Monthly Archives: December 2012

Livingston, Texas, December 2012

We’re still in Livingston, Texas. We’ve stayed longer than we originally expected, but will probably be moving on soon. We’ve caught up with our mail ordering and I’ve finished the work on the motor home.

I keep up with the RV-ing world on a couple of different on-line forums. What I’d heard both in the forums and from some people I’ve talked to is that hard water can do a real number on the internal water systems of a motor home and that the water in the southwestern United States is particularly mineral-laden. We’ve had past experiences with murky water (many RV parks are on private wells) so I thought that before we traveled too much further it would be best to do something about the quality of the water coming into the motor home.

Starting from the water tap, I first added a high-volume water regulator with a pressure gauge (have to keep the water pressure to no more than 60 PSI). Next I put a pair of water filters in-line. The first filter is a 5-micron particulate filter, the second is a 1 micron carbon filter (these are the two white canisters on the right). I built a small frame with a handle to keep them upright and off the ground. The final step is a water softener (the large blue canister). The water filters will have to be changed a couple times a year and the water softener will have to be back-flushed and re-charged about once a month. A bit of extra work, but it should help keep the water system in good shape. All this was the easy part since all these parts are attached outside of the motor home.

Filters_&_Water_Softener

Since the water softener increases the amount of sodium in the water I was concerned about using it for drinking and cooking so I decided that we needed a reverse-osmosis filter as well. I installed this system under the kitchen sink. This was a lot more involved project as I had to tap into the water supply and the drain as well as mount the RO filter, a carbon filter and a 2-gallon reservoir and then connect it all with 1/4” tubing. Water goes through the reverse-osmosis filter very slowly so it fills the 2 gallon reservoir first which in turn supplies a tap I mounted next to the sink. We’ve had a Brita water filter for years and I have to say that the water from the RO filter tastes better and it’s certainly a lot more convenient. We both feel our shower and drinking water is substantially better than it was before so I think the time and money spent was very worthwhile. Continue reading Livingston, Texas, December 2012

Houston Museum of Natural Science

Houston is about 70 miles south of the Escapee’s campground in Livingston. Houston is a very spread-out city and it reminds me of Los Angeles. There is a moderately dense center with skyscrapers but almost everything else is one and two-story buildings and very spread out. About a week ago we took a trip into Houston to visit the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

About twenty-five miles from Houston our two-lane highway changed to three lanes. Another ten miles or so it was four lanes and by the time we could see the Houston skyscrapers it was five lanes across and sometime six. Traffic was light and it was pretty much a straight drive in, but once we got off the freeway we had to take several rapid turns to get to the museum and then I was glad we had a GPS.

We got to the museum parking garage and found a spot without any problems. The entrance to the museum was all stairs however and we had to go around the side to find the handicap entrance. It was a little confusing at the Admission counter as it turned out you had to pay separately to get into different parts of the museum, and there were about a half a dozen different areas. Susan and I quickly decided and picked up tickets for the planetarium, the butterfly garden and the general exhibits.

The planetarium show was on the Aurora Borealis, but didn’t start for another 45 minutes so we went into the paleontology exhibit which was just around the corner. The paleontology exhibit is one of the largest in the museum and has to be the best one of its kind we’ve ever seen. It was arranged in chronological order, starting with pre-Cambrian era and ended up pretty much in the present with fossils of mastodons and giant sloths from the last ice age.

 HMNS_Trolobit 1

 HMNS_Trolobite 2

Continue reading Houston Museum of Natural Science