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Old 08-30-2011, 05:01 PM   #113
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Project photos:

1. The fan disassembled. The motor has a red and a white wire. White is ground, red is hot. I extended each with auto wire of the correct color, reversed where they were connected, and now I have a breeze over the dinette. The screen has to be removed periodically to clean it and the fan blades. The screen has many screws that go into the plastic cover and I found it is very easy to over tighten them and strip the plastic. Be careful!

2. The Surge Guard project. The shim is being held up by painter's tape while the glue dries. Once you remove the cover plate from the breakers you have fairly easy access to the breaker wire and the common and ground buss bars. I couldn't figure out how to get the breaker to release, but it wasn't too difficult to remove the black wire from it. This cable was just long enough to reach the junction box and provide enough wire inside it. Drilling holes through the plywood panels was where I gave blood (the first time)—the drill got stuck for a moment and then blasted through banging my ring finger against the plywood and pushing the nail back just enough to draw blood. It's still sensitive, but no major disaster. Second time I stuck myself with something sharp, can't remember what it was. In our trailer, there are a number of junctions under the far corner of the bed–a place suitable for very small creatures. Then battery and other wires cross under the bed and emerge behind the converter/breaker/fuse panel, so mounting the Surge Guard close to there is the easiest (and in our case, just about the only) option.

3. From above you can see the junction box in that small space. I pre-wired with three of the Romex cables before I installed it and pulled in the 4th cable—the cable from the shore power connection was the best one to do last. It was impossible to screw it to the plywood because the slippery melamine coating made both small drill bits and self tapping screws slide instead of dig in. So I just drilled 2 holes through the board and bolted the box to it—a larger bit grabbed the melamine better.

4. Installed! The red light indicates power is on and all is good because only the one light is on. I think this one should be green and the bad lights should be red.

If you have done a lot of electrical work, the wiring is not at all a challenge. If not, read up on wiring before you tackle this. It is important not to reverse the wiring. "Line" means the wire to shore power and "load" means the wires to the 30 amp breaker and ground and common buss bars. White goes to the buss bar with the other white wires, bare wire to buss bar with bare wires (seems obvious, but I've seen grown men screw it up). I mark everything with marker pen or pieces of paper taped to the wires to make sure I don't mix them up—it is very easy to do. I used the right sized wire nuts (the temptation is to use whatever is lying around) and then tape them to make sure they won't unwind as we bounce along the road.

Gene
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:26 PM   #114
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Gene,
A word of caution. That surge protector is designed to be mounted inside a protective enclosure. I think you will find that stated in the written install instructions. If those plastic wire covers come off there's danger of getting shocked.
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:47 PM   #115
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Hi, Gene. Are you sure that this is your trailer? I see all plywood and no press board. Nice job though. I bought the cheap in-line 30 Amp protector and only use it when there is a threat of lightning.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:46 AM   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A W Warn View Post
Gene,
A word of caution. That surge protector is designed to be mounted inside a protective enclosure. I think you will find that stated in the written install instructions. If those plastic wire covers come off there's danger of getting shocked.
As I recall, it said to mount it inside the electrical cabinet—that's a paraphrase. I assume they meant it was meant to be installed in a motorhome that had such an enclosure. When I researched the product, none of the websites stated it was only for motorhomes, so I ordered it. I improvised. I put a lot of high quality electrical tape over the plastic covers and will keep an eye on the tape. I don't like the design. Even in an enclosure, it is a poor design. I expected something where the wires went inside the item, perhaps in the back, where something like Romex wire connecters would be used to provide strain relief and protect from shocks. I am unhappy with the design and don't think anyone should use this product unless they are aware of the nature of it and prepared to find a way to make it safe. Even if the covers fall off, you do have to work at it to get a shock—you'd have to stick a finger into it and make sure it was the hot wire. An enclosure would not be much safer and if we had children, I would have returned it.

Bob, thanks for your PM and I will look for that product when we return. Yes, no fiber board, all plywood covered with either Formica or melamine. It surprised me too.

Our water system is sanitized, some packing has been done. I feel like we have about twenty hours of packing and other preparations to go and 12 hours to do it if we are to leave fairly early tomorrow. I found a book published by Moon that has reviews of all campgrounds in western Montana and east central Idaho (as well as a larger area of those states) and that will helpful in selecting campgrounds. I still want to print the reviews from RV Park Reviews for the area if I have time today. The big push begins. We always leave exhausted.

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Old 08-31-2011, 11:48 AM   #117
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this one to SW Montana and east central Idaho.


Ahh, off to The American Redoubt

Disappointing to see that both Idaho and Montana rank so highly on several lists of Most Corrupt US States (primarily due to mineral extraction I'd imagine; but it rather busts the wide-open space & clean living thesis). And I always thought it funny that Steunenberg had a statue erected to him . . the Joe Stalin dies in bed, Jesus on the cross kind of funny. Beautiful places, though. Highly recommend anything by Yaak Valley resident Rick Bass as companion travel reading.

I have an outdoor surge guard. Bought a locking case for it. I imagine that if it "goes" that it will create a smoke/fire hazard until the flow is interrupted. My next trailer will have some sort of surge guard/line conditioner, but to be installed in it's own cabinet.

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Old 09-04-2011, 12:17 AM   #118
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After leaving just after noon, and taking care of things on the way we finally reached Jumbo Campground on Grand Mesa by mid afternoon. A lot of FS campgrounds are being leased to concessionaires. The good thing is they have better pads and electricity. The bad thing is that it costs much more and they cut down a lot of trees. The reservation fee is now $9. We met friends there, spending 2 nights and getting a lot of sleep. 40˚ this morning on Grand Mesa—winter is coming.

Then, today, an easy 275 miles to Springville, Utah. As always, I-15 is under construction and it seems they close exits and entrances in confusing ways. We made it through the confusion. I remember I-15 was supposed to be reconstructed for the Olympics, but that was 9 years ago. Since the NBC affiliate doesn't carry Saturday Night Live (must be too wild for Utah), I did find Dr. Who on the PBS station to close out a good day. Tomorrow, 402 miles to Dillon, Mont., and two nights.

Today's question: why isn't ruffian spelled roughian?

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Old 09-04-2011, 07:33 AM   #119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene;
Today's question: why isn't ruffian spelled roughian?

Gene
I don't no, I gott no time for this militia, goeing to Polish my Airstream now.

Bob
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Old 09-04-2011, 08:29 AM   #120
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I don't no, I gott no time for this militia, goeing to Polish my Airstream now.

Bob
You'd have to have lived in Buffalo to understand Bob's post. Don't eat too much orange roughy.

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Old 09-04-2011, 10:18 AM   #121
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We have many wonderful ethnic festivals here in Boofalo, the ShineyFest is one of the best.

BTW...the most Inedible Part of the Chicken Fest is going on right now.

Bob
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Old 09-05-2011, 08:31 PM   #122
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Sunday:

Almost 400 miles later we are in Dillon, Montana. I-15 near SLC is perpetually under construction and the first 20 or so miles would have been difficult on a weekday as lanes kept changing one way and another, often bumpy as temporary pavement wasn’t too great. But traffic on Sunday morning in the SLC area was light. In Utah the Wasatch Range is always on our east side and one city after another sprawls almost to the Idaho line. Then the country became hilly as we approached Pocatello, but afterward miles and miles of flat farmland, presumably growing potatos. From Pocatello to Idaho Falls there was the most traffic we saw all day, but afterwards hardly any traffic. At about mile 300 we came to Dubois and we could see mountains just up ahead through the persistent haze.

We climbed to the Continental Divide (about 6,850' there) at the Montana line. Most of the mountains are treeless which means either fierce winter winds or they were forested years ago and trees never grew back since the land is now used for grazing cattle.

Dillon (pop. about 4,000) is a town to stop for gas, provisions and in our case, to figure out where we go next. The Beaverhead Co. Fair and Jaycee Rodeo is going on; there’s a carnival nearby and a concert tonight apparently close enough that we will be able to hear it. The county only has about 9,000 people and 2/3 live in and around Dillon.

Monday (Labor Day). We didn't hear the concert, but we sure heard the bass pounding away. We turned on the A/C and TV, closed the vents, and drowned it out. We watched Ice Road Truckers until midnight—our excuse for watching this somewhat dumb program is that we’ve been to some of these places and we get to see them again.

Our plans to visit Bannock State Park today we derailed by getting up at 10 am, taking hours to prepare breakfast and other lazy inactivities. We finally got to the Safeway store, looked at the old train station (it was closed) and saw some nice turn of the century (1900) Arts and Crafts houses. We forgot to take the camera. As a result of slothfulness, we are staying another night here. Wednesday we looik for a Forest Service campground up US 93 to stay for a while.

"Here" is Southside RV Park, a nice little campground. Wifi is good, grounds well kept and the people are nice. Much nicer place than the soulless one we were at in Springville.

Photos:

1. Our spot at Jumbo CG in Grand Mesa National Forest.

2. Our spot at Southside RV Park. The Airstream to the left is Classic from about 1990 in quite good condition. A couple from near San Jose are here with it. There’s a another Airstream, maybe a 23 and pretty new, but not in the photo.

3. That is a limo on what looks like a 1 ton flatbed truck. This was also at Jumbo CG.

Gene
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Old 09-05-2011, 10:50 PM   #123
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Sorry we missed you on I 15 near SLC

Guess we were a few days too early. Sort of miss being on the road but 3 months was a long time for us on our cross country trip and we just sort of tore home.....amazing how many miles one can go when you want to. Enjoy reading about your travels and stuff. paula
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Old 09-06-2011, 10:17 AM   #124
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As always we enjoy your travels & pictures. Wish I had more time to get the AS out. We went to Cloudland Canyon State Park, in Trenton, GA. for the Labor Day weekend. Hurricane Lee intervened and we've gotten over 12 inches of rain here since. Hope to meet you both at the Balloon Fiesta.

Regards, Terry.
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Old 09-06-2011, 10:48 PM   #125
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We went to Bannock State Park where some of the town of Bannock is being preserved. Bannock was the first territorial capital—for a year in the 1860’s. It was a gold mining town but looks like not a lot of gold was mined over the years. It had the usual bullies (murderers), miners, a school marm anyone would be afraid of, tradesmen and bankers.

A lot of buildings in various states of disrepair are open to the public including the first brick courthouse in Montana. It later became a hotel. Seems like Bannock lost the territorial capital to a more thriving mining town, Virginia City (not the one in Nevada) and then it was moved to Helena, the state capital today. Then Bannock lost the county seat to Dillon.

Some of the richer people had indoor bathrooms and running water, but most houses were log with rough cut boards, plasterboard or beaverboard walls in a few. Sometimes they stuffed cardboard in the walls to keep out the wind. Nothing seems to fit very well—the state of carpentry here was not very good—so it must have been very cold in the winter. There are a few private properties around, but it looks like most of the town was abandoned years ago.

The town sits in a well watered small valley surrounded by rolling hills about 20 miles from Dillon. There are trees along the creek, but the ranches are all bare fields except for some pockets of trees on hilltops. To the west are the Rockies, shrouded in haze from forest fires.

It is interesting to see how people lived then. The richest people would be poor by today's standards. The buildings are mostly water damaged and it seems the state is putting new rooves on some buildings, very slowly. Restoration, or at the least, stabilization, is moving very slowly and I wonder if the bulk of the buildings will survive. Buildings with beaverboard, plasterboard or even real plaster walls, a very few with a white coat, are (or were) wallpapered. Wallpaper a century ago had a muslin backing and lasted for a long time. But now it is cracking and sheets of it are falling off the walls. Many have linoleum floors in some early 20th century designs, but it is breaking up and being ruined.

The good part of this is you see how it looked a century or more ago without the embellishment of restoration. The bad part is that it is deteriorating faster than the state can keep up.

I have lots of photos, but haven't been able to upload tonight. Maybe later there will be enough bandwith.

Gene
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Old 09-07-2011, 06:18 AM   #126
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Photos in Dillon:

1. Metlen Hotel by the RR tracks. Lots of of buildings in Dillon date from the 1880's and this Queen Anne style building was probably a luxurious hotel for railroad travelers in those days.

2. There are American Craftsman houses that have been restored and painted in bright colors. The trees obscure this one. It has a round tower on the right.

Gene
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