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Old 08-29-2007, 08:57 PM   #197
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1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
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T Minus 31 days and counting...

We are into the final month of living in a more-or-less normal house, before we take our rehabbed, road-weary Sovereign on what could become the best road trip. I have a few things to attend to, such as resealing a seam in the rear where I was too hasty with buttoning up after the saggy bottom repair, and installing a new taillight monitor cover to replace te one that crumbled to dust when I touched it. I "made" a new one out of Vulkem a couple of weeks ago, just to keep the debris and water out, if I didn't tell you, and you weren't looking hard at it, it would be passable. I know it ain't right, though, so it's going to be replaced. Bertha's A/C shroud is very brittle, and I am going to climb the roof (I'm now allowed to do so) and shore it up until we can replace the shroud. The a/c has worked flawlessly since I repaired the condensor fan motor (the kiss of death, now that I've praised it, it will fail spectacularly). I also want to run the fridge some more, both to make sure the insulation job I performed in a previous post will continue to work as it seemed, and, more importantly, a potential issue. It got warm in the reefer area, although the freezer stayed very frozen. Before I go dumping a lot of food into it, I want to make sure it's going to keep the food cold. This 3 day weekend will be an opportunity to let it run for more than a couple of days.
I'm also shopping for a pair of slightly larger twin mattresses, the ones I got from Bob's, while brand-new, are too narrow by several inches. It's disconcerting to wake up half off the mattress in the middle of the night, in the dark. These can wait for a while if needed (read if I can't find any we can afford). I'll also be rescreening a couple of windows, as well as trying to find time to tint the windows. I'm not sure if we want to go with limo dark tint, like I did with Goliath, or a silver tint, like I did with our Argosy. This is something y'all can help us with, if you have dark or silver tinted windows, please let me know if you are happy with them, and if you would repeat the tint, or change it.
The TV's are installed in their respective locations, the Batwing is functioning as it is supposed to, though I am going to try to route the cable connection through the outlet. Cable was relatively new when Bertha was built, so the cable connection that is there is something of an afterthought.
I've also moved the remainder of my professional equipment to where I work, so we can go through what is left here now, and see what we want to take along for the ride, or toss.
Something that we need, that we just didn't have time or money to repair or replace, is the fresh water tank, and te main and rear awning fabric. I am planning to return to Bob's RV Salvage in a couple of months (after it's a little cooler), and see if I can pick up this stuff. What is interesting about that, is I can take the trailer (our house) with us, to pick up the items. I'll know immediately if something doesn't fit, and we can make a weekend trip out of going shopping.
We've tossed more stuff into the trash that we know we won't need, like those (glass) saucepans that are in a state of unintentional disassembly.
I think the garbage men hate us now (What the hell is in here? Anvils???), but they know we are leaving soon, and why, so they are not complaining too much.
Interestingly, I was contacted by an individual that had found my wrecked scooter in the junkyard, and had some questions for me (is that mileage right? yes. Will you help me fix it? Let me think. No. Thanks for calling.) Hopefully he will have better luck riding it than I did, I want to be as far away from that piece of equipment as I can get.
I'll take some more readings of the temps in the pantry, and take some more pictures this weekend, so stay tuned. After all, we haven't left yet.
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Old 08-29-2007, 09:04 PM   #198
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Whats the route looking like?
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Old 08-29-2007, 09:15 PM   #199
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1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim & Susan
Nice looking job, Terry. I assume you used the torque wrench to torgue the bolts holding the axle to the frame to 100 lbs?

Jim
Jim, I'm sorry I missed your post when you first posted it. The torque wrench is to tighten the lug nuts if you don't have access to a torque stick. The grade 8 bolts that hold the axles tot he frame I torqued to the famous "really tight" torque specification. Nuts and bolts were all 15/16" hex, with the exception of the shock mounts, which were 3/4" hex. The flat and lock washers that came with the bolts were installed with the flat washer on the bolt head end, and the lock washer was installed on the nut end.
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Old 08-29-2007, 09:24 PM   #200
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1993 21' Sovereign
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gen Disarray
Whats the route looking like?
Right now, unless things change here, it will be about 10 miles North of here for the Winter, then shoving off in earnest around April or so.
We will be going to the hills (okay, mountains) of North Carolina for Marie's son's wedding October 27. This will be in the metropolis of Rutherfordton (the name is bigger than the town), which is near Bat Cave, home of forums member RichardT, whom I hope we can see while we are there. I'll also be going to Asheville to pick up my tuxedo (father of the groom, I get to emulate the James Bond look). We'll be returning to this area for the time being. I'm still trying to decide if I want to become a teacher at a school, or becoming a safety instructor for one of the companies I used to work for, or trying something new.
The 1500 mile round trip will let us know if there is anything else we need to do to Bertha.
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Old 09-02-2007, 08:03 AM   #201
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Colfax , North Carolina
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As the mother of the groom, I got the biggest request from the bride any mother could get. We were up in Holiday the middle of August and of course Dorey (dtr in law) and I were in the bedroom looking at and crying over the wedding dress, and she was telling me she didn't know how she was going to transport it to NC since it had to hang up to keep from wrinkling. I reminded here we were taking Bertha and she asked if we could transport the dresses. I will empty my closet and hang the dresses in it for the trip. Her mother was very pleased to learn of the solution and called to thank me. Personally I think it is an honor to be asked!!!

We, again, are spending the weekend loading Bertha. It's not that we have that much stuff left, but we are gradually loading it and putting stuff away as we take it out there, plus taking lots of breaks to relax. Still weeding and tossing, making decisions and moving stuff about.

Things we put away last week are getting moved about and I'm sure it will happen next weekend also. This is gonna be the easiest move we have ever done. Load the house, pull it to the campground on moving day, unhook and plug in, done (short short version) probably won't even break a sweat.

Well, speaking of loading, better get busy.

Marie
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Old 09-02-2007, 08:06 AM   #202
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1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
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T Minus 29 days and counting...

Friday after work, I went across the street to pick up Bertha, and bring her over to the mobile home park where we are staying, to start loading "stuff".
Of course, it was raining cats and dogs, I had to drive carefully to avoid the poodles... After dropping the trailer (in the rain), and hooking up electric (in the rain) and water (in the rain), and turning on the LP (in the rain), and lowering the stabilizers (still raining), and turning on the a/c, fridge, etc, it stopped raining. Anyone not surprised by this, raise your hand...
After getting into some dry clothes, I went back out, and deployed the awnings to help the a/c cool the interior. I then wnet in and got the first box of "stuff" to be stowed in Bertha. On the way back out, I walked into the awning arm. *WHACK!* "Argh!" That hurt... As soon as I could see again, I finished carrying the box inside Bertha, and stowed the "stuff". On the way back out, I made a left turn, and *WHACK!* "ARGHH!" As soon as the dizziness passed, I went on in, and got another box. I came out, missed the awning arm this time, and put the box inside the trailer.
Last weekend, I let you know I had found a solution to the overwarm pantry area. The fridge had been running a while, so I checked the temp inside the pantry. It is about 5 degrees warmer than the room temp (80 inside the pantry, 75 inside the coach), so it looks like it is a good fix. I love it when my engineering edumacashun pays off.
I then went back for another box o' "stuff", and since it had been more than 2 minutes since I'd done it, *WHACK!* "Argh! Oh, my head!..."
I picked myself up off the ground, picked up the box, muttered (loudly) about the probable genetic origins of the awning arm, and went back for another box. I got a phone call while in the house, and a few minutes later, again came around the corner with yet another box in my hands. *WHACK!* "ARGHH! SONUFA***..." Okay, I've had enough, I don't care how hot it is in the trailer, the awning is getting put back. I dropped the box inside, came out, and rolled up the awning. There, dammit! That'll teach it! I smugly turned around, took two steps, and walked into the side mirror on the truck. *WHACK* "ARGH! ^&*&%$%&**..." Okay, stick a fork in me, I'm done for today.
A few minutes later, Marie got home from work. She looked at Bertha, and said, " I thought you were going to open the awnings on Bertha, did you forget? Your forehead has lumps on it. Did you hit your head? Why are you looking at me like that?"
And so it goes...
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Old 09-02-2007, 08:27 AM   #203
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1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
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Ever since we got our new fridge, I've noticed it doesn't cool as well as I think a new fridge should, especially on LP. Yesterday, I started looking seriously into the problem, as it's only a matter of a very few weeks until we need it to work. I pulled the shield off the burner area, and noticed a small thumbweel valve by the gas shutoff solenoid. It had a line scribed on it, and the word "off" stampred on the fitting, almost exactly where the line was. I turned the thumbwheel as far away from "off" as I could get it, and was rewarded by the louder sound of the burner. The inside of the fridge went from 65 yesterday afternoon, to just over 40 by this morning. I think I would rather drink a glass of milk stored in the fridge now, before I really had serious doubts.
At least it was an easy fix, it kind of makes up for thhe lumps I've taken over the last couple of days.
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Old 09-02-2007, 12:21 PM   #204
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Lightbulb Whack ! @#$^%&*(&

.......*WHACK* "ARGH! ^&*&%$%&**..." Okay, stick a fork in me, I'm done for today.
A few minutes later, Marie got home from work. She looked at Bertha, and said, " I thought you were going to open the awnings on Bertha, did you forget? Your forehead has lumps on it. Did you hit your head? Why are you looking at me like that?"
And so it goes...[/quote]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Two words - pool noodles (colored noodles or maybe the less visable gray foam pipe insulation) Noodles can be slit with an exacto/sharp blade and applied to the awning arms. GT1969 (or is it GT1963?) put some noodle pcs on square, sharp window corners after hubby walked around the AS right into an open window. The forehead abraision has now healed and the bright yellow foam remains in place when the window(s) are open. I usually hang a short wind sock from the arm nearest the door to draw attention.
< Watch out for those head bangers >


Bertha has come a long way - must run in the family! Best wishes as the adventure moves forward.

sue
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Old 09-02-2007, 06:53 PM   #205
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1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
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Thanks, Sue. I'll try a noodle to save the ol' noodle.
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Old 09-02-2007, 07:02 PM   #206
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1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
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The furnace...

Since we are planning to go to a slightly cooler climate this fall, I thought I would look and see why the furnace was isolated from the LP system. I got on hands and knees, opened the outer access door, opened the inner access door (sounds like opening an airlock) and took a closer look. I was in here a couple of months ago, but I was merely making sure everything was there.
This time, I noticed a repair tag on the LP line leading into the furnace. Hmmm, it's been out, I wonder if it just wasn't hooked back up?
I tried unscrewing the inspection cap, and discovered it wouldn't budge, not even a little. Undaunted, I grabbed a pair of channel lock pliers, and tried again. I was rewarded by the entire cap, as well as a good part of the end of the combustion chamber, breaking off in my hand. I guess I know why it isn't hooked up...
Tomorrow, since we are closed for Labor Day, I'll labor at isolating the furnace from the catalytic heater, so we have something to keep from freezing in the arctic wasteland of North Carolina...
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Old 09-03-2007, 10:55 AM   #207
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1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
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This morning I unhooked the furnace from the catalytic heater, hooked up the LP line where it had been disconnected under the coach, and hooked up the LP line to the heater.
I turned on the LP again, waited a couple of minutes, turned on the valve, and hit the igniter. The heater lit in about two seconds. I tried both the single brick and double brick heating configurations, ten turned the heat off, and the pilot only on. Then tried again, and turned everything off, then relit and back on. It was about the easiest repair I have accomplished to date, total repair time was 20 minutes, including crawling under Bertha to hook up the line there.
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Old 09-03-2007, 03:16 PM   #208
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1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
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At last, some inexpensive repairs are bing completed. After I got the catalytic heater working, I took the grill off the front, and cleaned it with a Brillo pad. It looks pretty good without all the accumulated scum of years on it. I was so happy with the results, I then did the same with the chromed interior reflector cover, and it also came out looking almost new.
Once, I told all y'all about the new radio I put in, to take the place of the tired one that was in Bertha when we acquired her. After I got the new tv antenna installed, the radio wouldn't pick up any stations. It seems the tv antenna also was the radio antenna. So, rather than have a cool radio we can't use, I went to the auto parts store, and picked up a radio antenna for an import car. This one not only had a 90 degree mount at the base, it also had a second mount to keep the antenna from waving in the breeze. Pefrect for what we need for our trailers. I bored a 7/16" hole through the side of Bertha near the radio location, put a dab of Vulkem where the hole was, ran the antenna lead inside, and drilled a second hole for the mounting screw. I then put in te second mount, went inside, hooked the antenna up to the radio, and music poured forth from the speakers. I realized how important a working radio is, when I heard a rumble, and looked up to see purple clouds looming nearly on top of me. I went back into the trailer, and they weather service was broadcasting a severe thunderstorm warning on the radio. I snapped a couple of pictures of the new antenna, and one of the storm overhead. It's again raining cats and dogs here, but thanks to the newly funciontal radio, I am safe and dry inside the house.
Here are the pictures of the antenna, and the ominous storm clouds:
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Old 09-09-2007, 03:16 PM   #209
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1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
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Posts: 20,189
On The Dark Side

No, I didn't join Darth Vader, but I did tint the windows on Bertha this weekend.
I started Friday, using 25% limo tint, with 37% heat deflection. All the windows I did look good, except for the bathroom window (you know, the one everyone sees when they run up on you on the road). I removed each window, cleaned the glass and frames thoroughly, applied the thint, and after it had "set" for a few minutes, I reinstalled the window, and moved on to the next one. This worked well, except for the aforementioned bathroom window. It turns out that in order to remove that window, I would have to remove the awning over the window, creating more work than one guy can do on a mini stepladder. Since I was by myself, I opted to try putting the tint on with the window in place. I can add this to the things I have done that are not the smartest choices I have made. I got window cleaner all over me, and the tinting film fell on my head, and wrapped around my arms. I can tell you, the glue that holds the film on the windows really sticks to the hair on my arms. By the time I got done, I felt like I had starred in a Laurel and Hardy movie, with glue all over me, I was sticking to everything I touched, and the only thing that didn't stick was, naturally, the window tint to the window. It is in, and looks acceptable, from 50 feet away, as long as it is dark, and you squint real hard through one eye, and jump up and down while viewing. I think I will have a professional redo that window as soon as we can afford it.
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Old 09-09-2007, 08:00 PM   #210
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1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
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T minus 20 days and counting...

Today, in addition to the Window Film Follies, I retrieved a small Rubbermaid utility shed to carry with us (it's really, really small) to store our generator and off-season clothing in, and moved it to the shop I am working at. It stands about 5 feet tall, and about 2 feet wide, and 18 inches deep. Pretty much just big enough for the Honda, a can of gas, and 3, maybe 4, plastic Wal-Mart totes.
We also packed some more "stuff" in the house to move to the Airstream next weekend when I can bring it back here. I did a survey of the window gaskets wile I had the windows out, and it looks like we will be needing new gaskets for the windows, and all the access doors all around Bertha. It still seems odd, even after several decades of living here, this late in the season to still be running the air conditioner, and having temps in the 100's inside the steel building where I work. The gaskets will hopefully help keep the cool air inside the trailer, instead of cooling off the neighborhood. Bertha started out as a 74 model, by the time we get done rehabbing the trailer, it will be about an 82.
There are still things that need to be done, like replacing the leaking fresh water tank, removing the furnace, replacing the main and rear awning fabric, replacing the a/c shroud, and replacing the broken tambours in the kitchen and bedroom. However, Bertha is pretty much road-ready, as long as we don't want to take showers while boondocking. If nothing else, I won't get bored anytime soon.
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