Seekin' My World

Subaru Outback traveling, ATC Bobcat on Tacoma in the past

Portable shower contraption December 30, 2017

Filed under: curtains and steps,Hygiene — Sierrashadow @ 6:11 pm
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shower1 copyshower7 copy

This isn’t specific to my Bobcat but Wander the West had a thread regarding showers, so I decided to record this for posterity. I have used the curtain system with the Bobcat to create an outdoor potty room at a music festival when I had company in the camper. I used carabiners and velcro to attach it to the roof latches of the Bobcat outside. But I can’t find pictures of that. Sorry. I rarely carry this as I find sponge baths to be sufficient in most cases. And as a side note, my goodness, have digital cameras improved in 15 years! Sorry these are blurry.

Many years ago, on a pop-up tent trailer forum there was a discussion of portable shower enclosures. So here is what I constructed at the time. It all fits in a box for travel purposes. They recommended a banjo fitting. No one around here knew what a banjo fitting was, but when I showed them the picture they kept saying the $24 “tank fitting” was the closest they could come. I bought it, and then later saw the faucet hole covers. At $2.49 they were very similar, but not quite as beefy. Since this isn’t a high pressure, permanent type of installation, I thought why not try? I drilled a small pilot hole, and then another bigger one, etc, until I had a decent sized hole for the water to drain through. One advantage is the shower hose fits directly on without adaptors. The tank fitting needed adaptors to get to a hose fitting, so I returned it. So the water that falls inside the Sterilite box can be drained through the faucet hole cover and a tube to the outside. (Tank fitting on left, faucet hole cover with hole drilled on right below)

shower2 copy

My next challenge was to hang a shower curtain without drilling into the ceiling. I played around with lots of different things, but here’s what I finally ended up with. I had 2 shock corded tent poles from a tent we no longer use (they are still undamaged, so can be put back if necessary). I built a frame of PVC larger than the bottom of the Sterilite box, with 12″ risers coming up from the corners (actually it’s a dog bed I made years ago, but…dual purpose, right?) Then I put 9 inches of doweling inside the risers to “raise” the tent poles to roof height. The seven segment tent poles go up three sections to the ceiling, bend 90 degrees, pass through 2 eyebolts on lid/curtain (one segment), bend 90 degrees down three segments back to the floor like a big inverted U shape. The lid of the Sterilite box has four holes drilled in the corners for the eye bolts. The shower curtain was gathered and sewn to a rectangular base of fabric about the size of the lid. From the inside of the lid put eye bolt, nut, washer, fabric (shower curtain right side out), plastic lid, washer, nut so that the practically smooth side (nut) is on the outside of the lid. Thread the tent poles through the eye bolts. When it is time to pack it up, flip the whole lid over so that everything fits in the box for travel. Another advantage, the whole thing can be moved outside to take advantage of the outdoor shower if we are in a secluded enough spot, although it is more wobbly if not wedged against the ceiling.

shower6 copyshower4 copyshower3 copy

We had onboard water so I used a water thief to create a shower device. My Bobcat doesn’t have water because I learned how much of a PITA it is to winterize!

shower5 copy

9.96    hand held massaging shower head with 60″ hose

7.53    diverter for instant on and off

?          3/4″ female to 1/2″ male hose fitting

4.95    water thief (I couldn’t figure out what size the sink threads were, and I had it.)

2.00    8 washers and nuts for eye bolts

2.00    4 eye bolts

8.99    shower curtain

8.99    shower curtain

4.94    58 Qt Sterilite box for shower pan and lid for curtain support

2.49    faucet hole cover (drilled out for drainage)

7.99    60″ white vinyl shower hose

?          2 aluminum shock corded tent poles (I already had)

?          various PVC pipes and connectors I already had for base frame

1.49    1/2″ dowel to raise the height inside the PVC risers




Fall color 2017 October 7, 2017

Filed under: Bobcat travels,curtains and steps,Modifications — Sierrashadow @ 10:34 pm
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I had a midweek reservation in Yosemite for an art journaling class. It was just a few days after a good sized chunk of El Capitan came down. The pictures don’t begin to describe the size of the chunk that came down. Much of the rock pulverized on impact. There was still lots on the trees, and as I drove by a good gust of wind stirred up a cloud. I didn’t get the camera out in time for that, but pulled over to walk around. I spoke with some climbers who had been on the face when it came down. They said they couldn’t see it (around the corner so to speak) but felt the rock shiver and heard the impact. People had run their fingers though the dust on the fence posts.

IMG_7149   IMG_7153

Bridal Veil Falls almost had more water than Yosemite Falls itself. But I think it is a distance/perspective thing.


During the art class, we saw a small yearling bear on the grass right outside. He climbed up into an apple tree and gorged himself. It was interesting to see people’s reactions, from complete terror to idiotically approaching trying to get a picture.


There was a controlled burn up in Little Yosemite Valley that gave Half Dome a halo effect when I passed Olmstead Point headed to 395.


I had a nice lunch stop at the Wildlife viewing-picnic area at the top of Tioga Pass. I love framing the shot through the doorway to record my lunch stops. IMG_7183

Then over the pass for the aspen color. I went up Virginia Lakes Rd. but the higher I got the more blown out it was. The best color was right at highway level.

IMG_7186    IMG_7191

Up 108, past the Mountain Warfare Training Center, the aspens on the hillsides were beautiful. It is a terrible picture, but I watched this guy landing. I had to slow down because he was kicking up the dust. I think it is called an Osprey Tilt Rotor Transport. Very cool, hovering like a helicopter, but an airplane.

IMG_7196   IMG_7199

So for the modification fans, I have installed many D rings throughout the camper. I utilized existing screws where possible. Then attached shoe strings as tie off points.


I needed to dry my towel after a shower and realized that it was much darker than the Bali Scarf I used to put up and since I carry it anyway is a better curtain for the back door. Bali scarf will stay home from now on. It is attached to the aluminum with binder clips. Note where I store the lifting device in the handle of the refrigerator. I mangled out the rivets ATC installed and use it carefully for lifting and lowering. But taking it off opens up the space for sleeping. I banged myself on it far too many times. Which leads me to another thing I discovered this week. I needed more light for reading in bed  (wanting to minimize the battery usage), so I hung a lantern using an S clip in the hole created by removing the lifter bar. Cool.

IMG_7168     IMG_7177

I also have this little guy on velcro, but he doesn’t put out quite enough light for serious, early evening, wintertime travel.


The Sterilite bins I bought are working out well. The lids only go on for transit, but they do contain a large amount of clutter, higher than the top of the couch alone. One for food and one for, well, clutter. In this picture you can also see how the command hook for the curtain popped off and I just tied it up using one of the D rings nearby. It works fine and is securely attached. The little red ice chest functions as my step stool into bed, and stores mittens, booties and a sleeping hat.


My husband joined me for the first part of the trip. I made him take the extra pads back home with him so I would have the extra room. But I was glad to see he was willing to travel in the Cabin on Wheels (COW) again.

And bad news. I was careless and backed up into my stepstool like an idiot. I mangled it just enough that I don’t feel safe using it. Fortunately I had my trusty but tiny hitch step and a little white turtle step along, so it wasn’t a complete catastrophe. But I am researching and in the market for a new step stool, hopefully a little higher than the one I had. But not much is on the market that I think will work. One of the guys I met at Millpond last month had an awesome one, but I didn’t get the name of it and can’t find it online. It was grey plastic 2 step and folded like the turtle stool, but was much sturdier. So if the retired firefighter from Kernville is reading, please help me.




Morro Bay January 20, 2016

Filed under: Bobcat travels,Destinations — Sierrashadow @ 10:29 pm
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Now this is why I travel!

IMG_2807   HC me

Just a little trip to Morro Bay, Hearst Castle and Pinnacles. The Elephant Seals were birthing pups, and they squeal and whine for milk. The bulls are guarding their territories, but I didn’t see any true clashes.

e seals lots e seals


The weather waffled between sunny and warm to foggy and rainy. Most of the time it rained at night, and again I enjoyed the pitter patter on the roof. The surf on the breakwater was booming because of the storm. I am enjoying off season travel.

Morro waves   Morro sun

I gave a tour of my rig to a couple who were interested in the ATC. My friend reminded me I stalked people for years before buying my own, so I guess it is payback.

IMG_2809   IMG_2810

This trip I learned if I clip the front curtain to the thermostat it keeps just enough tension on the hook that I don’t have to squeeze my hand between the propane box and the front wall trying to get it on the Command hook. I also used the heater each night and there was a lot of condensation. So next trip I am going to bring my 40 year old Thermorest pad to use as a “headboard”. I was using my down jacket around my hand to keep it warm. But it got pretty wet.


Overdue Posting June 29, 2015

Filed under: curtains and steps,Modifications — Sierrashadow @ 12:47 am
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I can’t believe it has been 2 weeks since we picked up the Bobcat. I have been having a blast figuring out where and how to put things in.


I found a nice fabric for the curtains and have been sewing up a storm. I am using Command hooks to mount them, but the hot temperatures have meant the mini-hooks aren’t sticking as well as I would like. I had to switch to the larger hooks with more contact surface, but if that won’t hold I will have to put in cup hooks. I am trying not to make any “permanent wounds” in the Bobcat. The hardest window was the one in the rear door. It is plastic with a rounded frame. No way to wedge something in there. This morning it dawned on me how I could deal with it. This has not been field tested, so it may not work, but I used super strong, tiny round magnets in the curtain and “sandwich” the screen door with a second magnet.
As I think about it, I think I will put it on so that the curtain itself is between the screen door and the solid door. This will only go up in crowded campgrounds, so not often.

I am discovering that velcro will be my best friend. I am carrying a Strongback chair on the little shelf under the side window. Since it is covered with carpeting, the velcro sticks, and keeps the chair from sliding around.
a chair strapped
And I found a step stool that works well for $70. I wanted a hitch mounted step, but the Otto step for dogs seemed a little too flimsy for us. Again, I mounted it just inside the door with a strip of velcro to hold it in place. Notice the ironing board on top of the pad. It is the perfect table solution for us, works well in the aisle, and can be taken outside to use also. step outa stool stowed
I found boxes and containers for all the cubbies. I find it easier to keep things organized when you can pull it out and rummage through. You lose a little space, but it is worth it. The white ones are available everywhere and the blue ones are cheapies from 99 cent store. The folded curtains fit nicely in that little space on top of the blue boxes.
a blue lefta blue righta white lefta white right
I also must not neglect to thank the guys at All Terrain Campers. They made the whole purchase procedure extremely easy. The camper is everything I hoped it would be. It drives like a dream on the Tacoma. I can feel it a little on hills, but not too much. And the visiblility is much better than I expected. It really doesn’t hang over the sides and back more than a few inches. It is a well built piece of equipment that should provide many wonderful hours of traveling.