We value experiences and relationships more than we do stuff. But stuff still has a way of keeping you tied down. So part of the idea of this adventure, at least in my mind, was to force ourselves away from our stuff and replace it with those things we value more. When you live in tight quarters there is not much room for physical stuff. Even if we had the space, we are filling our days with exploring the outdoors, nature, history and science that we don’t have time to futz with physical stuff. Yet somehow we still have too much stuff and so something’s got to go.
A month ago we shipped a couple of boxes of stuff home that we didn’t need. I also tried to sell our unused cooler on Craigslist but no takers. We brought a folding table with us that we have unfolded exactly twice and used neither time. It stays in the bed of the truck where I keep thinking someone will steal it so I don’t have to haul it around anymore but it’s still there. I brought clothes that I haven’t worn and games that we haven’t played. Our fifth wheel has an outdoor kitchen that we really do not use. It has this HEAVY counter that folds out with a stove that does not work, a cabinet where we store a box or two of crackers, and a mini fridge. If we were to go full time the first order of business would be to convert the outdoor kitchen into drawer and closet space for the bunkhouse. From the outside, the space would just be a few inches deep and house tools and such along with a fold down standing desk. But that conversion is a different story….we’re talking about stuff.
We had sort of forgotten about the mini fridge until we got to the warm weather of Florida and wanted cold beverages on hand but couldn’t afford the space in the main fridge. So the mini fridge became the beverage fridge. And it was awesome except for the fact that it only runs on AC so doesn’t have power on travel days. Well, after our fun day exploring Ocracoke I came back to the rig for a nice cool beverage and found myself grabbing a warm beverage instead. The fridge, it seems, had died. I made sure the outlet had power and when I took the fridge out the compressor was pretty hot so I know it was getting juice. Maybe the motor seized up. I don’t know but I could not revive the little guy. Not only did we not have cold beverages anymore, we also had more useless stuff.
Even back in our home town I think it would be difficult to find the place you take a non-working fridge. I hit up Google for the answer. I called several appliance repair places to see if they knew (they all said to call a scrap yard). So I search for scrap metal and found a few that were on our route to Virginia. One that I called seemed perfect until she said the fridge could not have freon in it. “Do you know how I can get the freon out of the fridge?”, I asked her. “Nope” was her quick reply. I called another place, Public Scrap, and they said they would take it even with the freon AND “we got big 18 wheelers coming through here all the time so no problem bringing your trailer”. So here is a little video of us navigating the scrap yard with Ava and the Beast…
The sign out front said no freon but the guy at the window assured me it was fine (maybe mine’s new enough it doesn’t use freon?). So, we set the fridge out in the pile and said goodbye to some dead weight. I hate the thought of it ultimately finding a resting place in the landfill after they strip out any metal that may be of value. I did take a brief look at replacing the compressor but even the expert repair people say, “its cheaper to buy a new one”…ughh, I hate that. Here is a list of 40 ways to reuse an old fridge…none of these are particularly feasible for us right now however.
I’m now watching Craigslist to see if we can score a replacement.