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Old 07-22-2008, 05:38 PM   #581
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Thanks for the picture. The downside to the chairs would be a lack of a bed for visitors, and we do get them more often than you would think. I'll run the gaucho removal/chair addition by Marie, and see what she thinks of the idea.
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Old 07-22-2008, 06:17 PM   #582
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I have seen the light!

LED light, that is. When we took Bertha across the state 6 weeks ago, I noticed the tail light housings and lenses looked a little tired. Okay, they looked a lot tired. All right, they were so bad, the only thing holding them on was the rust, and not much of that. So, while I was on the phone with Inland Andy, letting him know about the successful fresh water tank install, I asked if he had a source for the Cyclostat taillight and backup light assemblies for our trailer. While he didn't have any, and it seems no one else does or will (the tooling was destroyed), he DID have LED replacements. Okay, I'll try 'em. I like the LED concept, I installed them all around on our old Argosy, and was happy with the results. Last week the lights arrived, and yesterday the adhesive for the LEDs arrived.
The new LEDs don't bolt directly to the trailer, rather they have a wire to ground, and are held in place by adhesive, preferably Vulkem. Getting right to the task at hand, I unscrewed the lenses for the taillights and backup lights, and removed the screws holding the housings to the trailer. If you do this, save the attaching screws, so you can use one of them per assembly to ground the lights to the trailer.
After removing the old housings, I cleaned out the holes they went in, cut off the wires to the bulbs, and, using solderless crimp-on connectors, I attached the replacement harnesses (provided with the lights) to the trailer wiring. On taillights, the red wire goes to the stop/turn signal, and the black wire goes to the running lights. The white wire is ground. It is marked on the back of the light, as well as a small label that comes with each light. The backup lights use the red and white wires only.
After connecting all the wires, I checked to make sure everything worked, in preparation for the next step. You should run a small bead of Vullkem around the outer edge of the lights to secure them to the trailer. Oridinarily this works well, but for some reason the Vulkem I got hold of was pretty runny, and went everywhere but where it should. I wound up wearing more than I applied, and there was more on the taillights and bezels that I wiped off. I found out about this time my can of mineral spirits had evaporated, leaving me with a mess, and nothing to clean it up with. I wiped it off, though there is a small amount inside the bezel I couldn't get. I hope no one notices...
Anyway, here are a few pictures of the latest adventure in camping:...
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Old 08-02-2008, 07:30 PM   #583
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Another RV!...

No, we're not getting rid of Bertha (no one has given me any packages of large, unmarked bills yet).
What started out as a more or less simple trade of Marie's little green wagon for a small pickup truck turned into the day from hell. Without going into a bunch of gory details, the less-than-one-year-old fuel pump in my truck bit the dust, the little truck we were supposed to get is not an automatic transmission model as advertised (Marie needs an automatic so she doesn't have to push the clutch pedal with her bad knee), and I got the truck stuck in the mud after a South Florida rain shower (severe thunderstorm anywhere else).
While I was at the dealership, I was browsing around waiting for things to dry out a bit. One of the salesmen was tagging along (business is very slow) because he didn't have anything else to do. In the course of the conversation (sales job?) he learned we needed a small truck with an automatic transmission and air conditioning, that could pull a small trailer. He pointed out what looked like an older conversion van, and said he would "make me such a deal". I wandered over (we need a conversion van like space needs more vacuum) and opened the back door, to be greeted by a toilet. I looked further, and saw a walkover couch/bed, sink, stove, and fridge. Holy crap! A B-van. It's not an Airstream B190, but for the price, who care?
So, for less than the price of a new RV air conditioner (not installed), we are now the proud owners of a B-van. Now all I have to do is buy my own oil refinery so we can put gas in it...
I'll post a few pics tomorrow. Since it's not an Airstream, I won't dwell on it much more than how it fits into our fulltiming life, but it's still kind of cool to be a two rv family.
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Old 08-03-2008, 10:59 AM   #584
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Rivet Congrats

I will have to admit, since I need more TV I have considered a B-van
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Old 08-03-2008, 07:08 PM   #585
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And now, as Paul Harvey says, for the rest of the story...
We left here this morning in the Saturn with the intention of being gone only a couple of hours, and back with pictures of the new member of the camper clan. The best-laid plans of mice and men...
The car dealership is kind of far away, but we were about 20 miles from it when the Saturn suddenly lost power, and the temp gauge swept toward "H". We coasted off the road and rattled to a stop with steam and oil billowing out from under the hood. Investigation showed that we had blown a head gasket on cylinder #2, and it was pumping compression and hot exhaust gases into the cooling system. This problem is twofold, as the increased heat causes the coolant to boil, but the pressure from combustion pushes the coolant out of the system, causing it to heat up even faster. Great...
In typical MacGyver fashion, I unplugged the fuel injector to #2, and removed the spark plug and plug wire. This greatly reduced the pressure on the cooling system, and eliminated the heat of the combustion gas. I then trotted into a nearby auto parts store, and got a bottle of cooling system sealer, which I poured into the radiator. This was to keep the comparably lightly pressurized coolant from pouring back into the effected cylinder. I then filled it the rest of the way with water and oil, and started the engine. It sounded like a constipated Harley, but it ran (top speed 58mph). We limped into the car dealership several hours late, but we made it.
After some spirited renegotiating, we wound up leaving in the B-van. We arrived home a few minutes ago, in the dark, and the rain. I found out a lot of water can come through a cracked roof vent. Pics will have to come tomorrow, it is a little too dark and wet outside now to show you more than a hulking blob.
We estimated our use of the car over the coming week, and determined it would have died Wednesday evening on Marie's way home from work. It's strange how things work out, as we were going to let Marie continue driving the Saturn while I readied the truck for her use. Since the truck didn't happen, and we took the B-van, it is more-or-less ready to go, with a few minor issues I can take care of evenings when she gets home from work.
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Old 08-03-2008, 07:17 PM   #586
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Close call Terry, glad it worked out. I'm looking forward to seeing pictures of the van.
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Old 08-03-2008, 08:04 PM   #587
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"i just love it when a plan comes together" :-)
give the man a cigar!
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Old 08-04-2008, 04:34 PM   #588
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Yeah! a big cigar. We took Sophie with us, and the lady in the parts store was to busy loving Sophie to pay attention! But MacGyver was able to "fix" it and we were on our way again. Good thing I thought to bring bottled water, treats and other supplies for her.

I had just told Terry a couple of days ago how great the Saturn ran. Won't do that again!!

Life is an adventure! Could I please have a couple of boring days?

Marie
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Old 08-06-2008, 10:09 AM   #589
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Terry and Marie, I just discovered your saga (I left out the middle though). You guys certainly get into it and quickly. I like the attitude of "I'll find a way to fix it no matter what it is" even though sometimes that leads us to strange places.

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Old 08-06-2008, 07:25 PM   #590
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I took a break this evening after installing a new door latch so Marie can get out of the B van, and took a phew fotos. Umm, make that a few potatoes. (^)**&&*%%#$@ speel chequer!) Sigh... Good thing it's got more lights than a Hollywood spaceship inside...
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Old 08-06-2008, 07:34 PM   #591
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63 View Post
......I won't dwell on it much more than how it fits into our fulltiming life, but it's still kind of cool to be a two rv family.
Terry, yeah its cool to be a two (or in our case three) RV family until you have to start replacing and/or repairing things! Don't ask how I know

Brad
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Old 08-06-2008, 07:51 PM   #592
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Terry, yeah its cool to be a two (or in our case three) RV family until you have to start replacing and/or repairing things! Don't ask how I know

Brad
I don't have to. I spent Monday evening replacing the fuel pump in the truck, this evening replacing the door latch on the B van, and tomorrow evening I have to verify if the smog pump is about to shuffle off its mortal coil in the truck. Then I have to climb back on the roof of Bertha to patch another leak.
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Old 08-06-2008, 07:56 PM   #593
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nice guest house you've got there!
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Old 08-06-2008, 08:04 PM   #594
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nice guest house you've got there!
Maybe we should call it that. I can see it now...
"911, what is your emergency?"
"Somebody is stealing the guest house!"
"Someone is stealing your house?"
"No. Somebody is stealing the guest house! It's parked out front!"
"Your guest house is parked?"
"Not any more. Somebody just drove it away."
"Sir, someone is driving your guest house?"
"Yes! Send help before they get away!"
"CLICK!"
Then again, maybe we shouldn't...
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Old 08-06-2008, 08:10 PM   #595
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There are a number of Jeff Foxworthy one-liners that come to mind right now, but I don't want to get hurt the next time I see you, Terry.

"911, what is y'all's emergency?
"well, you won't believe this but....."
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Old 08-16-2008, 06:38 PM   #596
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battening down--again

Current computer models seem to indicate we have another hurricane coming toward us. This one is on an eerily similar track to Charlie in 2004. Soon-to-be hurricane Fay is expected to strike Florida somewhere between Fort Myers and just North of Tampa (were we are located). It is currently predicted to be a category 2 hurricane by the time it gets here. Even though we are many miles inland this time, and flooding is not a potential issue, I really don't want everything we have left crushed by a falling tree.
So, along those lines, we'll be packing everything away, and getting ready to leave town with a few hours' notice. This evening I rolled up the rear and left window awnings, and tomorrow I'll be rolling up the main awning, and putting everything that can be damaged or blown away in our plastic storage buildings, or the back of the truck or van.
The hurricane is supposed to make landfall between 8 am and 8 pm Tuesday, but I expect to either stay put, or be well out of harm's way by then. If nothing else, it's an excuse to clean everything up around the place, both inside and out.
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Old 08-16-2008, 07:23 PM   #597
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The good news Terry is you can take your house with you.

I remember in the mid '50's my family went to St. Pete for a vacation in August (my father made less money in August than any other month, so we went to Florida in the summer!) We planned to go up the Atlantic coast home to NY but at Charleston, SC, a hurricane was coming, so we went inland. For days, the hurricane passed us at night, we passed it in the daytime as it went up the coast eventually going inland in Pa. I never had seen so much rain. The lesson—watch which direction you escape to.

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Old 08-23-2008, 12:03 PM   #598
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Terry, did you go the right direction? This storm seems very attached to Florida and the predictions for where it will go have all been wrong. I can assure you it won't get to Colorado although some of the rain might (we love rain here until we get a flood). I hope your battened down and safe.

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Old 08-27-2008, 07:22 PM   #599
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I went in the right direction, even went a little overboard as far as distance.
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Old 08-27-2008, 07:31 PM   #600
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Now, for those of you that have been eagerly awaiting (and those who haven't) the documentation of the replacement of our 6 16 watt incandescent lights in the bathroom fixture with a pair of 15 watt Flourescents, I thought I'd let you know I finally got them, and I have one of them installed.
It is pretty much a replay of the install of the overbed lights, but in a single fixture. I found that two complete light assemblies won't quite fit in the fixture, so, I got creative. I removed the guts of one Thinlite, and riveted it in place. The other one will get installed tomorrow evening. I need my tin snips to trim the Thinlite, plus the battery in my cordless drill wednt dead, so it will have to recharge before I can drill mounting holes for the second one. I have the second one wired up, but not mounted. The two 15 watt lights are brighter than the 6 1141 bulbs, and each Thinlite uses a watt less energy than a single 1141 bulb. The two lights will provide the same illumination of the 6 incandescents, at an energy savings of over 66%. Plus, they are cooler. Incandescents are like little heating elements, and it gets warm enough back there in Summer without them.
Here are a couple of photos of the progress so far.
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