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Old 05-13-2009, 10:19 PM   #41
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Going to the TT on Friday with the PO for his help in "opening" the trailer for the season.
The PO is a very kind person, a local minister, in fact, and he has graciously offered to take me through what he and his father before him have done each spring, ever since his father bought it new in 1974.

One of the items that I know needs work is that there is no power (12V, for lighting) in the rear bath. I believe that I have noticed this question for two or three other trailers of the mid-'70s vintage here on the forum.

Is there some common fault that occurs that kills the 12V supply to the rear bath? I had in mind to inspect the terminals in the lights, switches, bulb contact points, etc, but if anyone has had this problem, I would appreciate your insight.
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Old 05-13-2009, 11:00 PM   #42
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For some reason, the lights in the rear bath seem to be prone to some sort of grease buildup that can cause the bulbs to not work. At least this is the case in my wet bath. I wonder if the the steam from showering carries soap particulate or some such thing to cause this. Periodically, I remove the bulbs and clean their contacts and they work again, just like new. If I don't do this, eventually they stop working. The buildup causes them to lose contact. So before doing any thing else, maybe check if this is the problem. If not, you'll have to work back through the wiring to find the loss of power.
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Old 05-25-2009, 11:59 PM   #43
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Plumbing 1: the beginning

Well, a little over a week ago (was it only nine days!?) the OP came up and met us at the TT to give us his take on "de-winterizing" the unit. We puttered around and opened some valves (water, gas) plugged things in (electricity, vot else) and closed yet other valves (winter drains). Oh, we lit things, too: furnace: check, hot water heater: check, oven: check, stove: check. All gas systems go!

One thing I didn't expect was that while showing me how to empty the P valve on the sink drain, the OP wound up taking off the drain at the sink's tail end, and broke the plastic retaining ring in the process of trying to do it up again.

Then, when we had it back together (or so we thought) he happily turned on the kitchen faucet, and we both watched dumbly as water came gushing out onto the countertop. His only comment was that it didn't do that when he closed it up last fall. Then, we noticed the plastic pipe of the drain leaking water all over the inside of the cupboard below the sink.

"Cap'n, she's leakin' above and below, sir!"

As he left, I thanked him (not for the leaks, but for the knowledge of where all the taps are), and proceeded to inspect the drain first. I had to remove it completely to discover that the broken ring meant that the P valve, and connections to both the sinks plus the T-joint connecting them had to be replaced. Off to Home Depot, only 40 minutes away in Kingston. :/

Returning with what the clerk recommended, I paused, and ran through the assembly in my mind as I sat before the sink. I quickly realized that I had been sold a part that wouldn't do what was necessary, so off I go again to Home Depot, this time determined to do the pre-assembly in my mind while still at the store. The clerk's colleaugue admitted his co-worker's error, and after double-checking everything, off I go again.

If I must say so myself, it was heart-warming to see it go together relatively easily, after cutting bits of pipe to flesh it out, and have it work without a leak right off the bat. The following is a photo of my Masterpiece:



Next, The Evil Moen Tap!
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Old 05-26-2009, 12:45 AM   #44
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Plumbing 2: Taps make me Moen

The first plumbing adverture I had with Henri (I decided to name it after the first owner) went quite well, in fact extraordinarily well, except for the second trip to Home Depot.

I was therefore bouyed up and ready to repair the tap. It is a single handle tap, quite compact, and obviously original, since there was no sign of any change in the copper pipes which fed it. In fact, the only way to change the entire tap assembly would have been to take a torch to the copper pipe under it, and of course, THAT tool was at home, some 3.5 hours away.

I therefore determined to stop the drip, come Heck and/or High Water!

Pictures of copper entering sink, an odd size at that!

Pipe size:


Entry to tap:


The handle and cover for the tap is held on by a single screw:


So off it comes! So far, so good:


You can see, it appears to be quite simple so far. Here's the handle with the plastic guide it runs in:



So now, having removed the arm and guide, we are left with this:




Here it is and with the chrome faucet and spout removed. The innards!


At this point, I tried replacing the two rubber rings, which I picked up at, yes, your guessed it, the HD place. Put everything all back together, still leaked.

Back to HD, digital camera in tow, loaded with photos of the tap. We were in luck! We found a very experience gentleman who took the time to explain that there was a "staple" that needed to be pulled out, and he then gave us a complete new assembly to replace the core of the tap, as well as a small plastic tool to be used to loosen the old one.

We thanked him profusely and he told us again that Moen taps have a lifetime warrantee, and in any event, if it didn't work, we shouldn't feel too bad since the part (worth $30) was free.

At that point, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up, with the implied warning we got.

Anyway, back to the trailer, and we quickly found the staple (you can see it dead centre of the top of the cylinder, its back facing the viewer), and with a pair of needle-nose pliers, out it came.

Then, the little tool was applied, and with a tremendous amount of force, more than I thought the little piece of plastic could take without breaking, we eventually got the old core to turn. But it would not come out. I tried working the old core back and forth, then tugging with a pair of Visegrips for hours. No soap.

The next day, I called the 800 number that Moen supplied on the tiny printed instructions, and was told by a very helpful person that I should soak the entire assembly in vinegar for a half hour, then use a hammer to tap the Visegrips up in order to shake the core free of the encrusted mineral lock in which it was held.

Well, an hour of soaking, interspersed with repeated tapping and more soaking, along with the occasional swear word, and just as I was about to give up, I felt it give and slowly slide out! It worked!

We danced around the room feeling the rush of joy that only comes with victory over a stubborn inanimate object! Sadly, I was so excited, I completely forgot to take any photos.

The next step was to take a toothbrush and pour more vinegar into the now-empty barrel of the tap and scrub it thoroughly, followed by turning on the tap for ten seconds wide open in order to make sure any residue was washed out. A plastic baggie over the tap barrel was used to direct the water into the sink.

Pushed in the new core (which was a surprisingly tight fit!) then put the proper rubber rings on, lubed with the Teflon grease supplied in the package with them, re-assembled the rest of the tap (which by now I could do in the dark), and voilà, we have lift-off!

I think that I've had enough plumbing for a while. I sure hope that Henri agrees!



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Old 05-29-2009, 12:47 PM   #45
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With the kind help of Stefrobrts I changed the name of this thread to what you now see. Two reasons; I decided to name the trailer Henri, the first name of it's original owner, plus I intend to keep this thread as my blog for the work I have done and plan to do in the future.

Nothing much new this week. I did a real careful clean-up of the ceiling, plus put on two of the new lenses I bought for the ceiling fixtures. Doing that made the lounge area much brighter and more pleasant. I already posted those in the "glad it's Thursday" thread, and so won't put them here too.

We've also begun to repair the cracks in the front endcap, and when it's finished, I'll post the procedure we used for that. I've got a feeling that it's going to look fantastic.

Next chore is to get the new tires and put them on. I should be able to have that done within the next two or three weeks. At that point I can pull the TT out and have the tail sag looked at plus have the black tank replaced.

The new black tank has been waiting in my garage for over a month now, as I got hosed into buying it before I needed it due to me falling for the oldest trick in the retail world, i.e. believing that the word "sale" actually has meaning these days.

I find it odd that the retailer I bought the black tank from, along with a lot of other items, now is ignoring a question I have asked in email and PMs several times. I won't mention their name though, since perhaps the lack of response is for some real reason unknown to me at this time. However, if I don't get an answer, I will mention it later, in case this turns out to be SOP for this particular retailer. I believe that retailers should be accountable and responsive before and after the sale. My total purchase cost me C$2,000, so I have high expectations of help from them.

We're going up agan on the June 3, when I expect to finish the endcap treatment and install a dish so that we can get our satellite reception going. There is almost no radio reception where we keep the trailer, and I miss not gett in the news! But on my last trip there, I discovered that I can use my Sympatico email from there at no cost, albeit as dial-up.

Cheers,

Aage
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Old 06-06-2009, 10:42 PM   #46
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1st Step in the redecorating - lounge is liveable!

Ceiling and walls are scrubbed clean, new lenses on the ceiling fixtures (and new bulbs), repair and paint job to the end cap done, and new covers for the Ikea chair-beds installed (after some needed repairs to the chair-beds).

SWMBO made some new matching sheers for the street-side windows, so now we have a bit more privacy without losing the great light that those windows give along with the welcome breeze when they are open.

The small black tables are handy for eating and can slide away. The phone is now in and working, and dial-up internet is going.

I must say that my wife's strategy for the repair to the end cap worked well: wide fibreglass mesh "tape" over the cracks in the plastic covered with wall repair "mud", then application of a product called Flexrock Wall, a paint solution which includes a cement granules. It gives a very nice textured effect, and is a dramatic improvement over what was there before.

The original ABS finish had four or five cracks, and the original surface had lost it's shiny and colour and was an ugly yellow-brownish tinge. Yuck. The new textured surface completely hides our repair and the base and finish coats of Flexrock Wall give a beautiful pale beige finish that just slips into the background.

"Yet to do" is to install the beige "insert nosing" plastic trim into the aluminum rail that goes around the space at head level, and find a better solution for the huge original table. That monster-sized table was removed after the photos were taken, and it's not salvageable (too beat up), although I will likely use some of its hardware.

I like the orange '70s phone, it has a built-in spot for a pen and pad of paper and works in well with the colour scheme. All in all, the lounge area is much more likeable now, and when we finalize our ideas for the table replacment, we can move on to the sleeping area's décor.





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Old 06-12-2009, 12:29 PM   #47
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Step 2: Down with the orange shag skirt!

Finally bowed to SWMBO's request, and decided to remove the last vestige of the original carpet in this TT (an orange shag). That carpet was borderline "in-style" by1974 standards, and, what with fading and getting dirty from a normal life in a bathroom, needed doing desparately.

Tried tearing it off from a corner, and on the aft wall, where it was only fastened by glue as well as being tucked under the "insert nose" aluminum track, it came off pretty easily. In doing so though, I came across what is (to me) a mystery. Have a look at the following pictures of a "grill" that goes nowhere. I say nowhere, becase as you can plainly see from the close-up photo, what is behind it is plywood, and not an air passage to anywhere. WHAT IS THIS GRILL FOR!?



close-up:



Then, in trying to do the same simple removal of the ugly carpet from the bathtub skirt, I discovered two disagreeable things. One: the carpet was not glued, but stapled (a zillion times) And two: the heating duct outlet cover was screwed to the rear "fitting outlet" as it is called in the service manual, FROM THE INSIDE of the bathtub skirt!

Here it is with the skirt partly pulled away at the bottom:


Here is the grill with outlet fastened from behind to it, thus making it very difficult to remove the whoole assembly.



So, I pried out the "insert nosing" and drilled out the rivets holding the trim strip on and pulled it away from it's bed of calk, then managed to finagle the entire skirt away from the tub.

Clearly, the original install of the heat oulet and it's fitting outlet had been done with the skirt installed, but before the bathtub was in. Talk about an annoying shortcut!

To reinstall, I figure that before the new carpet is glued to the skirt, I will screw the "fitting outlet" to the back of the skirt from in front, then install the carpet, and finally screw the outlet cover to the skirt and into the fitting outlet. Then it's only a matter of riveting on the trim strip and installing the insert nosing.

That's when I have the carpet, the appropriate glue, and my rivet gun here.

I think a corollary to Murphy's Law is that when you have the correct tool, it is never in the correct geographical space to be able to use it.
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Old 07-17-2009, 12:13 AM   #48
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Summer hiatus

My apologies, dear reader, for not keeping up with my work that I've been doing on Henri. Please know that it isn't because I am NOT doing stuff (I am, really! ), but that I find if I want a response to a specific issue, I need to post it in the appropriate thread or section for the work in question, rather than here, as part of my overall project with Henri.

I am moving along with the bathroom skirt carpet replacement, in fact it's in and almost complete, photos to be taken this weekend when I'm up there.

Plus, the screen door, which was a disaster since we bought the trailer, has been repaired and installed. More photos on that, too, will come.

And as usual, one thing leads to another: the welding shop that repaired the screen door shows, on their website, that one of the specialties they make is custom steel counter tops.

A steel counter top!?? Of course! I intend to have him quote me, and if it's anywhere near reasonable, will install that along with an aluminum backsplash which has been in the back of my mind since we moved in. Practical, and in keeping with the Airstream look! What better to replace the lovely old orange counter top with?

I suppose that the real reason work is progressing slower than I had originally thought is that we have visitors about half the time we are there, and so I am forced to take people out on the boat and fish , and tour the beautiful countryside with them. Well, we have to have fun at some point in this exercise, don't we?

See you later, alligator!
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Old 07-17-2009, 12:23 AM   #49
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I have embraced the ugliness of the burnt orange countertop and it by any chance you do replace it can I hit you up for a small piece? I am missing the end piece of the backsplash. That missing piece bugs me to no end!
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Old 07-17-2009, 07:58 AM   #50
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Don't give up any of that old laminant! They just don't make make that stuff like they did in the 70's. I know, I had a 72 and matching up to make repairs was impossible. As for the tambour, there are a couple of companies that offer new tambour. The color will not be the same so it sort of an all or nothing deal. It's not cheap. You can also get new cloth backing and try fixing it yourself.
The trailer looks great! Very well taken care of. You did very well.
Good luck with the tires and axels. Let us know when the trailer take to the road again.
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Old 08-11-2009, 10:32 AM   #51
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Belated replies

Rhonda,

Yes, I will endeavour to save some of the laminate should I go ahead with the stainless counter top. It's in surprisingly good shape, for something that old.

dlb435,

The tambour is all in great shape, with the small and only exception of the little sliding door right under the sink. Of course, in the most obvious spot in the trailer, it decides to lose its grip on the backing. It stays open all the time in any event, since when closed, it hides the drawer where the cutlery goes, so no big thing.

Thanks for your comments, by the way. I do agree that it is in good shape for a 1974 and that I was fotunate to find a one-owner that old. This fall may or may not see us get it on the road. Every time I talk about sending it to the shop for the necessary welding to ensure that the new black tank (yet to be installed, sitting in the garage) doesn't fall out, and so that the rear frame is solid, I get out-voted by the rest of the family that just want to use it at the lake, where it has lived for so long.

Now, if I could only get that pesky rear bathroom lamp to work!
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Old 09-01-2009, 08:37 PM   #52
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massaging the Univolt

Well, at last, I have made good headway with the mysterious bathroom and sleeping area lights problem.

The history is simple: since taking over the trailer this past spring, the bedroom lights have been intermittent, and the bathroom lights haven't worked at all. Fiddling with the fuse brought the bedroom lights on once or twice, but cleaning the fuseholder and tightening the arms to hold the fuse with more firmness did nothing.

Since working with the Univolt was done more or less in the dark (in my model, it's in the bottom corner of the streetside closet ahead of the bathroom) to this point, I never really had a good look at the connections. So I finally woke up to this, and took a picture. Have a look, see what you think:


Yeah, scarey. The insulation of the yellow wire was just ashes and the purple one was almost as bad.

So, I took all the clothes out of the closet, got a good lantern in there as well as a flashlight, and proceeded to cut off the burnt ends of those two feeds, clean the connector post thoroughly, and lubricate the grub screw, so that I could actually tell when it was tight. Here's what it looked like afterwards:

(Sorry the pic is fuzzy. I lit the image with only the flashlight, and couldn't hold the camera steady enough)

Voilà! The bathroom lights worked! Well, they worked well enough to tell that all but one bulb was burned out. Luckily, I had extras from when I had replaced the lenses and bulbs of the lounge area light fixtures, so I cleaned the lens, checked all the sockets (they were fine) and loaded them up with good bulbs.

Wow! The thought flashed through my head that I would have to put my sunglasses on to shave now! Well, not really, but it sure was nice to have them going. Ditto for the ceiling fixture in the closet area adjacent to the bathroom.

And, the bedroom ceiling fixture worked too! I turned on all the lights: the bathroom fixture (6 bulbs), the hallway ceiling fixture (6 more), the bedroom ceiling fixture (yep another 6) and the bedroom lamps above each bed (I think they have two or three each) at once to show my wife, but the first thing she said when she arrived was "What's that burning smell?" I quickly determined that there was a lazy wisp of smoke curling out of the Univolt. Ut-oh...

Apparently, the aging Univolt won't handle the load any more. So, I'm still able to use all the lights, but if too many are on at one time, the Univolt kicks out one line or the other. I don't know how it does that, since the fuses do NOT blow, but one or the other feed wire (yellow or purple) will shut down if too much load is put on it.

So now, the plan is to invest in a new converter, Intellivolt or equivalent, and get rid of the hum while joining the 21st century for DC power.
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Old 09-01-2009, 10:13 PM   #53
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enjoy !
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Old 10-01-2009, 07:43 PM   #54
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cool shades, huh?

Well, I finally got around to finishing installing Henri's rock guard today. I, uh, bought it in June I think. It looks great, but I'm really disappointed on some of the fine points.

1. The installation manual was a photocopy with fuzzy pictures and different hardware (the catch for the rubber latch).

2. One of the support arms was too short, and whoever assembled this one either didn't bother to look at it, or ignored the fact that it wasn't riveted in on one end.

3. The worst thing is that there's still no response after three days (at least) from the seller (Inland RV) about getting a replacement arm.

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Old 10-08-2009, 10:36 AM   #55
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Henri moves!

Since I bought Henri this past April, he has been more of a cottage than a trailer. Oh, he is definitely a trailer, but he has sat in the same spot he's been in for over ten years.

Well, all that changed last Friday, when we were finally ready to have him pulled out and taken in for some repairs.

The folks that will do them arrived in two trucks, and despite Henri's being wedged in between his deck and a support post (buried in concrete) for his satellite antenna, managed to get him out with no damage to anything. Well, almost anything. There are a few new rub marks on the deck, but nothing that won't blend in with time.

The exercise somewhat resembled a plowing match for the first bit, since his sand bed was easily dug up by the many back and forths required to squirm out, but as you can see, it did go rather well.

Henri's First Movement, for Trucks and Aluminum, in No Flat


Being pulled by a Chevrolet 2500



So, off to see the Wizard, to have new black tank installed, new frames to support both waste tanks, his steps put back on, and the LP gas rack restored. Oh, and all new brakes and tires will be fitted, too.

In short, to be made roadworthy!




Finally, here is his site, without him in it, quite a strange sight for me.
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Old 10-08-2009, 11:38 AM   #56
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I had to re read the whole thread

Whew....I'm all worn out. Thats a great saga and great Airstream. Love that lake in the background....do you have visitation rights?
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Old 10-08-2009, 06:23 PM   #57
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Thanks!

As for the lake, you betcha, that's where we dock our boat. It's a great camp, and Henri will continue to live there for the foreseeable future.

Side-trips likely to occur in spring and fall.
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Old 10-18-2009, 12:52 PM   #58
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Well, the welding doctor has worked his magic: the steps are back on, the LP gas rack has been repaired, he installed the new brake backers (complete) that I bought. He also removed the black and grey tanks and fabricated and installed new holders for them plus a new pan for the black tank. They are good to go now, too.

Of course to do all this, he needed to drop the belly pan, and so I supplied the large-flange aluminum rivets to fasten it back up.

I also bought four new new tires, a Japanese house brand whose name I can't recall just now, and had them mounted and balanced, then delivered them back to the doctor.

Sooooo..... There's nothing obvious standing in our way to travel now, and we are contemplating dragging it down to see the DW's sister in Florida, at her new home she just bought down there. I need to settle whether or not I install a new converter before we leave, but one way or another, that's not a stopper either.

Next week, we're off to pick Henri up and practise towing, hitching and un-hitching. We'll see how that goes before taking a final decision on whether or not we follow the sun to the south.

This would be a good time to go shopping in the US for a new toilet, refer and battery, since our dollar is almost at par with the US$, but of course, the weather is a huge question.

I see that the KOAs in New York state and Pensylvania are all closed, so I'm not sure where we would stay the first and maybe second nights.


Time will tell. Soon.
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Old 10-19-2009, 09:56 AM   #59
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How exciting for you both! I very happy for you.....If you have propane and your furnace is working you could find a Walmart to over night in. I know of a couple that had to stay in a questionable area and parked by the Police Department over night. They were there after stores closed and gone before they opened so it wasn't a problem....Have a great trip...
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Old 10-30-2009, 09:17 PM   #60
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Before the Beginning

Thanks, kani! I'll keep that Police Station idea in mind.

Well, we picked up Henri on Wednesday (day before yesterday) then yesterday dropped him off at a local RV dealer's holding lot, since we don't plan to leave till about another week or so.

It rained all day on Wednesday, and out in the lot, when we hooked up to go, it seemed to take us forever until we were finally able to figure out the hitch (first time for both me and the "welding doctor" using a WD hitch with sway bars). A call to the friendly folks at Can-Am RV in London, Ontario helped get us on the right path.

But then we discovered that when the umbilical was plugged in, it immediately turned on the brakes. Lots of investigating and double-checking and cleaning of contacts later, Can-Am suggested to us to try reversing the umbilical. Bingo, no brakes until called for. Is this standard, one way only to connect the umbilical? Same plug both ends, no difference in the marking...

Next we saw that while I had brakes and running lights (when the TV's headlights were on) there were NO brake lights or turn signals! Hoo boy, this is getting to be frustrating!

More horsing around, and when we put a check light on the umbilical in the TV, we could tell that there was no power on the pins for either turn signal, nor the brakes. Looking under the TV's hood to see if by chance the fuse was blown, we discovered that there WAS NO FUSE in the fuse box! Of course, installing a fuse gave us the last part of the equation, so now we have all systems go.

After a short learning curve on the brake controller, off we went into the darkness and rain on our way home to Aurora along the 401 Highway. I was pleasantly surprised at how stable the rig felt on the road, what with this being prime time for the big semi rigs, there was a constant flow of them passing us. No push from them at all, I was very pleased. The '07 Ford Freestar gave ample power to keep up with traffic, and none of the hills really seemed to strain it, so I am confident that our "run to the sun" will be a pleasant drive.

We were so tired when we finally got home that I parked Henri across our driveway until moring, then towed him off to the RV dealers. The neighbours were all curious about him, and a couple of them asked for a tour. This we will do when we have him back at our house to load for the trip.



And at the farmer's field the RV delaer uses for storage:




So, it seems that we're really about to take off. A couple more things to do, such as install the toilet we bought on Wednesday, plus the new converter and fuse panel, AND find the leak that made the rear bath floor wet on the way home, but all in all, I'm happy that it seems to be ready to pay off!
__________________
“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
...John Wayne...........................
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1974, 31', allure flooring, henri, plumbing, sovereign, rear bathroom, replace


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