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Old 10-25-2008, 11:54 PM   #841
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Among the equipment in operation at the museum, are several restored trolley cars, locomotives, an cars (known as rolling stock). There are some pieces of equipment once owned by Ward Kimball (one of Walt Disney's "elves"), and the only operating General Electric 2500 hp diesel locomotive of its type in the world. They also have a "rent a locomotive" program, where anybody over 18 years old, and having a couple hundred bucks in their pocket, can drive a real locomotive (under supervision, of course).Here is a photo of the switcher they were using for that:
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Old 10-25-2008, 11:56 PM   #842
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Lastly, here is a photo of that last operating locomotive, known as a U25B, pulling a string of cabooses and other cars:
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Old 10-28-2008, 12:30 AM   #843
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Black Tank Follies

A few days ago, I noticed the black tank dump valve was leaking on Bertha, and it was annoying enough I impetuously decided to try to repair it. The next time I make a decision like that, somebody beat me on the head until I regain my sense.
I drained the black tank, and started cleaning out the slide valve, The valve has been weeping for some time, but has not been a major headache while we were hooked up to full hookups. Now it's a different story, having to dump the black and grey tanks periodically. I started moving the "stuff" around where the blade slides, and was rewarded by the rubber gasket shooting out of its little hole in the valve. Great, now it never will seal.
Fortunately, there was a spare valve kicking around here, and I removed the PVC piping that went between the valve and the termination cap. After that, I unscrewed the four pihillips screws that hold the valve in place, and carefully pulled the valve out of the end of the black tank. I realized the folly of my ways, when I heard a gurgling gushing noise, and looked at the hole in time to see the dam that was made out of petrified poo and toilet paper burst, allowing the remaining contents of the black tank to pour forth, all over the rear bumper compartment, the ground, and, of course, my shoes.
Cursing, I jumped up, slipped, fell down in the "stuff" that seemed to be pouring out with all the gusto of a 4" water main, and grabbed a bucket to catch the (by now almost ended) flood. Marie heard the commotion, and stepped out of the trailer. She started to ask what was wrong, got a wiff of what I was standing in, gagged, and hurriedly stepped back inside.
I managed to get the new valve in place, and hooked up all the piping, then hosed down the scene of the crime...
I spent the next couple of hours hosing down the area, and cleaning up little pieces of used toilet paper, and other evidence of the spill...
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Old 10-28-2008, 11:45 AM   #844
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Yuk! At least it's your stuff. I'd rather have a rotted frame. Ohhhh,… you've got that too.

Seems like you two had more than your share of problems. There must be a simple, easy period up ahead.

Gene
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Old 10-28-2008, 12:20 PM   #845
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Sounds like an interesting misadventure, Terry, but at least you've got the new valve in now!


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Old 11-06-2008, 04:42 PM   #846
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New Invention

Terry.... well I'm so sorry to hear about your misadventure.

It is inevitable that stuff does NOT float, especially when paper is involved, and that there is NO really foolproof way of "cleaning" the inside of a black tank before removing the drain valve.

Of course we've all been told the virtues of running for several miles, then doing our hookups and drains, and the last time I was out, I emptied my tanks at the campground, then added a couple of gallons of warm water, bleach and dishwashing detergent to both the black and the gray. When I arrived at my next stop I immediately hooked up the sewer line, drained the black (with the factory sprayer going) and when it was empty, drained the gray. In the mean while I had hooked up my water line and was running water through my kitchen sinks to sweep out the gray tank. There was Lots of stuff in both tanks. What you'd expect in the black tank and grease and coffee grounds in the gray.

I'm still not sure I got either one "really" clean because to know that you'd need a sewer camera. However I did get one of those little wands you can use to attack the problem from above, and it always seems that there's more paper and more paper and more paper.

I have heard some folks say they use T.P. then put it in a can and burn it daily.... but eeewh... unless you have a completely separate fire for cooking or sitting around than the "disposal fire".

So... back to the invention. Do you think you could adapt something like a blender to agitate the black tank? Maybe a paint stirrer on an electric drill - with some kind of soft rubber seal to keep the odor out of the bathroom and perhaps a place for a quick disconnect for a hose to add water to the mixture?? or even have the "stirring wand" be hollow stainless rodwith a right angle bend that would hook up to a hose and have lots of little jets for the water throroughly scrub the top, sides and bottom of the tank while it was being drained?

Paula
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Old 11-06-2008, 05:41 PM   #847
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does anyone have the phone number of the tidy bowl guy with that little boat? ;-)
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Old 11-06-2008, 06:42 PM   #848
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Originally Posted by overlander63 View Post
The next time I make a decision like that, somebody beat me on the head until I regain my sense.................. I realized the folly of my ways, when I heard a gurgling gushing noise, and looked at the hole in time to see the dam that was made out of petrified poo and toilet paper burst, allowing the remaining contents of the black tank to pour forth, all over the rear bumper compartment, the ground, and, of course, my shoes.
Terry, those are some of the..... NO, those are the funniest words I have ever read on this forum. I laughed for 5 min. If we ever meet, I must buy you a beer!
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Old 11-06-2008, 07:46 PM   #849
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The natural way to clean the tanks

You take a goat (they eat anything) and a ferret (they can crawl up into pipes) and cross them to get a ferroat, don't feed it anything for a couple of days and give it something to cause constipation, and put it in the drain. While you're traveling, the tank is cleaned. I'll leave it to someone to come up with a cage the ferroat won't eat. What do you do when the ferroat needs to go?—take it to the ferroat exchange station and exchange it for a hungry one.

Gene
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Old 11-08-2008, 11:56 PM   #850
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March Field Museum

Some of you--okay, many of you, umm, all of you that read the bunkhouse owners thread know that Rich Luhr of Airstream Life fame paid a visit to Inland RV's world headquarters late this week, and we spent most of yesterday replacing axles, balancing running gear, and a few other issues. He also had to get an exhaust manifold replaced on his tow vehicle, but that's something for another thread.
This morning, we headed to March Field Museum, near Perris, California. I noticed this nice, clean museum when we went to play with full-size trains a couple of weeks ago, and made a note to go back sometime and check it out. Today became that "sometime", and we went with Rich to the museum. Since Rich's truck was at the dealership getting fixed, we all piled into our B van, and headed out. We got there right at opening time (9 am), and spent all morning, and part of the afternoon, roaming the property, snapping photos of the airplanes and other denizens of the facility. One neat thing was a full-sized model of a P38 in a separate hangar. WHile we were there, one of the current crop of transport craft was practicing touch-and-go landings, so we got to watch him repeating his aproach, touch down, and takeoff. I snapped some photos of this, trying to catch the "moment of contact" when the blue tire smoke indicated he had touched, and was going. I got very close, as close as you can probably get with a cheap digital camera, and am incliding a photo here.
Something interesting, if you have either a child or other aviation aficianado, is two of the retired cargo aircraft are available for birthday parties. If you are in town, and have a loved one that loves airplanes, and is about to have a birthday, you can reserve on for that special occasion.
Here are a few photos of our adventure today:
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Old 11-09-2008, 12:03 AM   #851
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A few more photos:
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Old 11-09-2008, 12:09 AM   #852
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Some of these photos may be a little out of sequence, and the foreground may not be the subject of the photo. Several planes were large enough I couldn't get them in a single frame, so I took a series of photos. I took as many photos of the railroad a couple of weeks ago, but know that more people on this forum are interested in aircraft than trains... At least with all this "stuff" to see, we aren't getting bored anytime soon.
Here's another batch of photos:
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Old 11-13-2008, 10:31 PM   #853
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The Adventure Continues...

We've been in Southern California for about 6 weeks now, and it looks like we'll stay, unless this area slides off into the Pacific during the next earthquake. This thread has been about our fulltiming experiences, good and bad, but we are going to move out of Bertha, and into a home or apartment in the next few weeks.
Bertha has serious frame damage, and it will take a lot of time and money to repair or replace the frame. This might not be such an issue if we were planning to stay in Bertha, and continue moving around, but the value of a very large trailer better suited to living in is not so much if we are going to be taking more weekend trips, and living in a permanent home. To that end, I'll be looking for a smaller trailer that has solid floors and frame, and transfer our new and nearly new stuff from Bertha to a smaller trailer. Our current plans are to move into an apartment, and keep an eye open for a 23-27 foot coach that will better fit our new life. I'm not going to "stick" somebody with Bertha's problem, so it looks like she has rolled off her last miles getting us here, and housing us. Any remaining parts of value will be removed and stored until we need them, and she will be scrapped. I feel like a parent pulling the plug on a kid, but it is cost ineffective in the extreme to spend thousands on a coach that, when complete, will still only be worth $4,000-$6,000.
When we move out, there will be a brief decommisioning ceremony, and Bertha will be moved to a quiet corner of the lot here at Inland until we can remove the fittings and retire her.
While this may be the end of our Fulltiming road, at least for now, it is just the beginning of our new lives here in California, with a new career, new home, and "new" Airstream.
We'll see you down the road.
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Old 11-13-2008, 10:39 PM   #854
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Thanks for letting us keep up with you, Terry. I'm sure it can't be easy to let Bertha go, but I have no doubt that you and Inland will help her go comfortably.

Good luck on your next chapter, and your next coach, whenever that happens. And many thanks for all of your help that you have given to me specifically, and to the rest of this message board.

Best,
-Marcus
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