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Why I Paid $25 for a Shower, and Why I’d do it again!


I’d had it!

Enough was enough! I reached the end of my patience with this off-grid RV living kind of life!  I just wanted a hot shower!

We’ve been living in our RV for 15+ months now! Because our water tank heater has been on the blink, that means we’ve had 15+ months of bucket baths!

Which includes:

  • Fill large pan
  • Heat on propane stove
  • Haul into bathroom
  • Mix with cold water in tub
  • Proceed with bucket bath
  • Hope you have enough water

You can get clean, sort of, but you never really enjoy the whole process. In fact, my family has procrastinated on baths all the time because of the hassle of this process! You don’t just jump in and take a quick shower! You really have to plan it out and gear up mentally for the whole thing!


Our RV fridge went out, as it regularly does. Something about the battery losing power, so the propane can’t ignite, and such. All I knew is that I had a messy job of cleaning out the fridge/freezer, and that we’d better call in an expert.


Dutifully, the husband got on the phone. Where do you find a reasonably priced RV fridge mechanic? Well…apparently, you don’t. We don’t consider $150/hr reasonable.

As with most service jobs, you can choose two of these, not all:

  • Cheap
  • Fast
  • Good quality

We really wanted a cheap, good, trustworthy person who could come today. That wasn’t going to happen, and we knew whenever someone agreed to show up, it would be $$$$$$.

We live in the boonies. ‘Nuff said.

What does this have to do with my $25 shower?

It’s coming…stay with me

So while my dear husband tried to find an honest guy, I could see the writing on the wall. No one was going to come out here way up to our side of the mountain, and if he did, most likely it wouldn’t be til the Spring thaw.

Time to hire the kids…

I turned to our son and found myself saying, “Hey, if you can figure out how to fix this fridge, I’ll pay you twenty-five bucks; but it has to be before someone else agrees to come.” Like that would be an issue.

Suddenly our fourteen-year old son, the lolly-gagger, snapped into action. He watched and rewatched the YouTube instructional video I’d found (which confused the sense out of me), and within minutes, he had that fridge roaring with propane, which is what we wanted.


Let me just say, this got me thinking…

If my son can fix a fridge just like that, what’s stopping him?

Why couldn’t he put that energy into my real desire–a hot shower!?!?

That’s when another deal popped out of my mouth: “Hey! If you can fix that hot water heater, I’ll pay you another $25!”

And I meant every word! With all of my shivering heart!

Wouldn’t you know, he took up that challenge too! The boy who’s not motivated by money–where’d he go? He started buzzing around like a bee, looking here and there.

Apparently my husband caught the excitement, because although he’d tried and tried to hook up the hot water heater in the past , something always prevented it from coming out more than a lukewarm dribble. So he joined in the search too.

“Something’s blocking the flow,” I wisely announced. “Let’s clear those pipes.”

Clear the pipes

When we’d moved into our RV, we really did have some sediment blocking the kitchen faucet, so that seemed reasonable to me. Anticipating a huge job of stripping water lines, I looked for an easier solution, under the kitchen sink.

Near to the tiny hot water tank, I noticed some valves, both closed. Could these be our missing link?

We opened one valve, then the other. One allowed water from the tank to the faucet, and the other circulated the water back to the regular water lines. Strange. So, newly heated water mixing with cold water, and flowing all over the RV–not the sink.

Husband closed that valve, seeing how our problem was so obvious now, but had been missed for so long.

To me, open lines meant water coming in, so he had to explain it a couple of times. No, I’m a red-head, not a blonde, but it took me a minute.

What I did understand was open first valve plus closed second valve meant HOT WATER FOR ME, and that’s really all I cared about.

Yes, I did a happy dance!

Yes, I owe my son another $25.

And yes, I did take the first HOT shower!

MY TWENTY-FIVE dollar shower

And…I did enjoy it! All five minutes of it before the tank went dry! Hello–it’s a five gallon water tank! But it was so worth it!


Would I pay $25 again for a hot shower?

Put me in an RV to live in for over a year again with bucket baths, and ask me then!

I may just agree to a hundred bucks, and not look back! I’m not making any promises!

I hope you enjoy life’s simple pleasures–like hot showers!


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