Monday, March 31, 2014

Hot Times

There's still a bit of a nip in the air; especially when it drops down into the fifties at night with a north wind blowing. However; Mother Nature has already telegraphed her intentions-we have already experienced a few ninety degree days-and it is only going to get hotter. If this is your first summer in the oil patch there are some things you should know. Some of this stuff is good to rehash even if you're a veteran gate guard. I know it keeps me on my toes. All of these things should have already been done or started immediately. As I said, it is only going to get hotter. If you've done some reading you should know a lot of this stuff. Andy's blog (, along with his forum, is a gold mine of information.
If you haven't already done it (or hired someone) now is the time to make sure your air conditioner(s) are clean and ready to go. If you're smart and have done your reading, you will have known to run your air conditioner periodically through the winter to keep it exercised. A second air conditioner is a must. One might do it if you had some shade, but that's unlikely down here. Some folks go even further and run portable air conditioners or window units. Just remember that you have a limited amount of amperage to run everything. It may seem like the ghetto look, but the insulated foil is a great help in cooling down the RV. You can also install insulated foam in your roof vents. They kind of look like a pillow and are available at Walmart or Amazon. We also use a fan to help circulate the air in the RV.
Keeping your roof cleaned will help ease the air conditioner(s) work load. Simply put, the whiter the roof, the better it reflects off the sun's rays which lowers the roof's heat load. I know your water is limited, but here's a tip or two. Every time you know you're going to move, use the remaining water you have to give the RV a quick bath. Most service folks dump the water anyway, rather than move the weight down the highway. Since we're at a long term gate and we have the luxury of knowing, within a day or two, when our water will be delivered we schedule heavy water usage for the day(s) before delivery. Unlike most fulltimers, it is a good idea to keep your internal tank as full as possible in the oil patch.
On a more personal level, keep sunscreen and oil handy along with a big hat. A pop up shelter such as EZ Up or Quick Shade will give you a place to get out of the sun on those busy days on the gate. Keep a cooler stocked with water and Gatorade at all times and stay hydrated. We're not talking about the heat of a Midwestern summer. We're talking about the heat of the desert, topping 105 plus degrees on a regular basis. Down here we track the consecutive days of one hundred plus degree temperatures.

Unless you have a residential unit your refrigerator cools using heat; either generated electrically or by burning propane. You can help it cool by installing a vent with an exhaust fan in place of your refrigerators current exhaust vent on the roof. These replacement vents are available in 12 volt and solar power.
Don't forget your vehicles either. Make sure tires are inflated and not weather checked. Anti freeze is important during the summer as it helps the engine run cooler with the air conditioning running. Make sure all your fluids are topped off and that you keep your gas tank as full as possible.

The heat is both a physical and mental battle. You have to be well rested and maintain as upbeat an attitude as possible. Sometimes something as simple as adjusting shifts (to equal out the heat exposure) can make all the difference. I also try to dial it back a notch and pace myself through the shift.

1 comment:

  1. Great tips. These will be a boon to any new gate guards working in summer! Also, watch out for snakes.