Saturday, April 29, 2017

Sometimes I Wonder

Lately I've been wondering why I even bother having email?? Other than a couple humorous sites and a couple sites for buying shit, about all I get in my inbox is political shit. I've unsubscribed from a bunch and still there is a ton (seems like when you sign up for a site they have multiple senders and you would have to do the unsubscribe from every one that sends out shit for that site.

Anywho, the real reason I wonder about why I keep my email accounts is I can go for weeks without getting any personal emails and then it's usually one that slips in from a crazy relative with a forward of some outlandish far-right-wingnut BULLSHIT!! Hopefully I've blocked all of the email accounts of that relative that's gone over to the darkside!!

It seems that email has become obsolete as snail mail??

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Interesting Travels With The Guppy

It has been interesting traveling in The Guppy. On the way to Arizona the driveshaft fell out and we had to abandon the tow dolly. But all in all we made it to our destination. On the way back we had different problems. When we took off in AZ I had to jump it started. After I gassed it up it started without a jump. That was the last time it started without a jump. In Grand Junction, CO I bought a new battery. I had hoped to make it home before buying a new battery, but the old one wouldn't hold enough charge to start anymore.

These are the two rear tires from the driver's side. When we got into Missouri I felt a vibration and couldn't figure out if it was the road or a tire. When I on to a different road and the vibration was still there, I stopped at a truck stop and checked the tires. They all had air and the lugs were tight. I got about 5 miles farther and one of the rear tires came apart. Most of the tread came off, but it still was inflated. I had stopped on an uphill stretch so I drove a little farther to where it was more level. I couldn't go much further because someone else was on the shoulder with a flat. Looking back it could have been worse, I could have still been on US-60 with no shoulders, but I was on I-49 which did have a shoulder just barely wide enough for The Guppy. Anywho, I changed the tire while hoping I didn't get run over by the traffic. After I had the spare on we continued on our way. We stopped at a campground that we had kinda planned on for the night. The next day we hit the road again and got about 100 miles when the other driver's side rear tire did the same thing. Most of the tread came off, but it eas still inflated. I didn't want to repeat the previous tire change and didn't have another spare so I drove slowly on the shoulder to the next exit. I stopped at a gas station and asked where I could find a tire shop.

I was told there was a tire shop at the next exit, but I couldn't get there by a side road. I took the tire from the day before in my car and went searching for new tires. At the next exit there was some kind of tire shop (no garage, just a couple of building and a pile of old tires. Nobody was there so I asked st that gas station where I could find another tire shop. I was told there was one 7 miles down the road at the town. I drove there, found the tire shop and they must have been out to lunch also. A guy at the gas station across the street yelled someone would be there in a few minutes. Anywho, the guy had the tires I needed and I got one on the wheel I had with me. Went back and put the new tire on The Guppy and then drove it to the tire shop to get 3 more tires.

The tires were 16 years old and when 2 of them went so close together, I decided to replace all 4. When the second tire let go it did some damage underneath. It tore up a wire bundle that I'll have to figure out what the wires are for when I replace them. It also broke the pipe from the gray water tank. And it ripped the mudflap off. So I will have some work to do before we can use The Guppy.

We purposely avoided Kansas because of our problems going thru Kansas on the way out and turned out Missouri bit us!!

Why does shit happen when you are cruising thru BFE??

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Got My Driveshaft Back

On our way out to AZ the last section of the driveshaft fell out. While I was under The Guppy working on that part of the driveshaft I noticed that one of the carrier bearings had some play in it. I could shake it up and down and around. Turned out it wasn't the bearing but the rubber that the bearing was mounted in. As the carrier bearings are pressed on to the shaft that wasn't a job that I could do myself in the RV park. I probably wouldn't be able to do it at home, although I do have a way to press things with a hydraulic jack and a framework. Anywho, it took two weeks, but I got my driveshaft fixed. I found a shop that had a bunch of signs across the front of it and one of the signs said bearings, so I took the driveshaft out and brought it there.

They only had one of the carrier bearings in stock and had to order the other one. That's what took so long. I also had them replace the u-joints on this part of the driveshaft. Now it has all new bearings. Hopefully it will last as long as The Guppy will last.

These are the old bearings. I didn't get one of the hangers back, but I don't care. I may or may not have a use for the bearings, but I just wanted to get the old parts back. The u-joints I may be able to use on my old plowtruck if any of the u-joints wear out.

There you go, and
I put up a post for you guys!!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

It's Working

The Old Lady wants to call it Casper Jr.*
We got a small dehumidifier recently and at first we weren't sure how well it was working. It did get some water in the tank, but weren't sure just how much it was doing to reduce the moisture in The Guppy. At first it was in the living/kitchen area and then I put it up on the bunk over the cab. One of the reasons we got it was because there was a lot of condensation on the window across the front of the bunk area. It would run down the glass and fill the channel in the window frame and then run down the paneling. I had brought along a piece of paneling to replace the piece that was getting wet. I didn't want to replace the panel until the condensation problem was fixed. Today I checked the front window and there was hardly any water on the inside of the glass. The dehumidifier had been on the bunk running for a couple days. The tank on it was a little less than half full. The tank holds half a liter or about a pint.

We got a new neighbor a few days ago and he suggested putting small bubble-wrap on the inside of the windows. He had just come down from Denver and said he had done that with his windows and had no trouble even with below zero temps. I am thinking about trying that with some of the windows, like the ones we don't need to see out, the front window in the bunk area is a prime candidate.

*My middle name is Casper, so that's why the Jr for the little white machine. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

I Think We Need A New Awning

This is the way we had the awning set up. I put a board down under the upright in front and screwed the upright to it. That way it wasn't in the way like it would be when it is attached to the side of the motorhome. It made it easier to walk around but it also made it more hassle to close up. 
A few nights ago it was windy. The awning was out and flapping pretty good. About 5 o'clock in the morning the Old Lady said she was worried about the awning because it was making so much noise. We were out trying to get the awning closed when it ripped. When we bought The Guppy the awning had already been ripped by high winds on the end that attaches to the motorhome. The previous owner had used a couple of furring strips and screws to attach the awning to the side of the motorhome. We figured we would have to replace it at some time, just have been wondering what design on the awning to get. The Old Lady would like one with the logo of her alma mater. Question is which one, Michigan Tech or Virginia Tech?? The school colors for Virginia Tech would sorta match the accent strips on The Guppy. Anywho, we had sorta figured on replacing it sometime this winter and now we really need to do it if we want shade.

I'm making a cover for the windshield and doors. I had an old tarp with a couple of rips in it so it wasn't much use for covering stuff. I was able to cut pieces out of it to cover the windshield and the windows in the doors. I have it taped together temporarily but will need to sew the pieces together as the tape isn't holding very well. I used aluminum tape as I thought it would hold better than duct tape. Well it doesn't seem to stick to the tarp very well. I bought some strip magnets to hold it in place and is laying smoother than in this picture. The strip magnet came in a roll, so I laid it out for a day or so to straighten out, but it still wants to curl. I laid the magnets out on the trunk of the car during the afternoon and  overnight. But when I cut pieces from it, they at times still want to curl.

Another thing I've done is put a piece of sheetmetal under the door for the water heater to direct the water away from the compartment under it. The relief valve on the water heater weeps after the water gets hot in the water heater. I replaced the relief valve and it still weeps some water. I thought maybe the city water pressure at campgrounds was too high, so I got a pressure regulator that is supposed to keep the pressure at 40-50 psi. It still weeps. There is no way to adjust the temperature on the water heater, which if I could lower the temp (which gets real hot) that might stop the problem. In any case, I thought this would at least stop the water from running down the door for the storage compartment below the water heater. Yesterday I saw some guys working on the skirting for a trailer here in the RV park and I asked if they had any scrap pieces of sheetmetal that I could have. The guy cut off a piece and gave it to me. I then cut it to size with my utility knife and installed it. I took the screws out across the bottom of the water heater and slipped the sheetmetal up under it and replaced the screws to hold the sheetmetal in place. The piece was bent at one edge and it makes a trough for the water to run off to the side and away from the compartment door.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

A Week in Paradise

We flew back from Hawaii a week ago. We had fun while we were there even tho it rained a lot. One of the things that was new to us was the rental car. It didn't have a key. All we got was a fob. It would lock and unlock the doors, do the panic thing (blow the horn) and it also had to be in or around the car in order to start the car and to open the tailgate, liftgate, whatever. I think if you were to buy that model it would come with a key as there was a slot on the handle for the driver's door for a key, but it had a piece of scotch tape over it.

This was the rental car, a Buick Encore.
  At first I would put the fob in the cupholder in the console, but then I thought what if I locked the doors and couldn't open them. After that revelation I would keep it in my pocket and only take it out to unlock and lock the doors.

This is the fob.

One of the things that I didn't like was there wasn't an owner's manual in the car. When we first got it the dash was saying the percentage of the oil change that had been used. One day I played with it and didn't figure out how to change it. When I tried again a day or so later I was able to figure out how to navigate the menu and put it on fuel range. That way I had some idea on how far I could go before it ran out of gas. We had paid for filling the tank at the time of the rental and the guy said as long as we brought back with less than  a 1/4 tank it would be a good deal. We managed to run it down to about 60 miles left and because it was over 25 miles back to the airport and we weren't done running around I put $5 worth in it, which was a littl over a gallon and a half at $2.929 a gallon.

One of the places we went was Waimea Canyon. It was interesting and at the observation places the wind was such you almost had to lean into it to get close to the railing at the edge.

Waimea Canyon
Here's a link to more pictures and info on Waimea Canyon, the Grand Canyon of the Pacific.

We managed to see most of the island, Kauai isn't a very big island. There is still some stuff we didn't see, but we only had a week and like I said it rained a lot. It would rain and some times it was a downpour, but later it would stop and the sun would come out. Some days it would be off and on rain, we would wait until the rain stopped and then go out and play tourist. Almost everywhere people will say, "If you don't like the weather, wait a while and it'll change!" Well, it certainly was true while we were on Kauai. I don't remember it raining so much when I was on Oahu almost 30 years ago, but I was there in April that time.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Devil's Donuts

When I first saw this commercial I didn't know if it was a parody, satire or real. I guess it is real. Still it strikes me as really weird!!

Monday, November 7, 2016

The Guppy Was A Real Adventure This Time

We left for AZ on the 27th. About 75 miles into the trip I noticed a vibration on taking off from a 4-way stop. After I got up to speed it seemed to go away. At first I thought maybe I had a tire out of balance or something. By the time we got to Iowa it was worse. We stopped for the second night at a campground in Missouri. In the morning I slid under and looked at the u-joints on the driveshaft. It has a three piece driveshaft with two carrier bearings and I couldn't find anything wrong. Decided to continue on and hope it would get us to AZ.

We got as far as around KC and we decided to stop for lunch. As I went to pull out on to the street to head for where the restaurants were the driveshaft fell out. I coasted to a stop on the shoulder. Because the driveshaft fell out we had to put something under the wheel to keep it from rolling. The Old Lady called AAA as we have the RV+ plan. First she had trouble explaining what kind of motorhome we have (Class C), but finally got told a wrecker would be sent. AAA recommended a repair shop, but when talking to them they said it was too tall to fit in their shop. They gave us a number for another shop and we got the same story. They recommended the local Ford/RV dealer.

The Ford/RV dealer said they were going close at 3 pm as it was a Saturday. And if we had it towed there it might be 2 weeks before they could get to it. Thought about having it towed to the Walmart parking lot that we could see from where we broke down. The Old Lady called The Kid to let her know we broke down and asker her to use her smart phone to check if we could park at Walmart. The Kid even called and was told a local ordinance banned overnight RV parking there. There was also a Super 8 motel in sight. I took the car off the tow dolly and The Old Lady went over and asked about parking The Guppy there and got us a room. After waiting all afternoon the tow truck finally arrived after several calls from AAA to see if it had come. The tow truck was one that they use for semis. (A bit of overkill).
The u-joint that worked its way out the side of the yoke below.

The yoke that slides on the splines of the second section of driveshaft and is on the front end of the last section of driveshaft.
The new yoke.

While waiting for the tow truck, I crawled under and removed the u-joint from the rear end and the yoke off the end of the second section of driveshaft. The section of driveshaft appeared to be OK, but can't say the same for the yoke.

Lunch turned out to be supper as it around 5 pm by the time the tow truck hauled The Guppy to over by the motel. After we ate we went looking for parts. At Autozone I got the u-joints and the u-bolts that hold the joint to the rearend. But they didn't even have a listing for the yoke. Went to O'Reillys down the street and they didn't have a listing either. Figured we'd have to wait until Monday and try the Ford/RV dealer.

Monday morning while at breakfast at the motel got to talking to another guest. Turned out she was originally from the area and she knew a shop that worked on her horse trailer. She called and passed the phone to me to talk to the guy. He gave me the name and directions for a place that did truck parts and service. I drove there (two exits back on the Interstate) and they didn't have the part in stock, but they ordered it and had it FedExed overnight. The next day I got a new yoke and that afternoon I put the driveshaft together and back in The Guppy.

The next morning we hit the road again. A couple hundred miles down the road I felt a shudder, but thought maybe it was just a bad spot in the road. A couple miles down the road we had to stop for construction and a guy pulled up alongside on the shoulder and told us we had lost a wheel on the tow dolly. I pulled over on to the shoulder and when I looked the tow dolly was not only missing a wheel, it was also missing the hub for the wheel. (The Guppy has a lot of power, I hardly noticed the extra drag from the missing wheel.) I pulled the car off and dragged the tow dolly around into the ditch as much as possible, basically pivoting on the side with the missing wheel. We only paid $400 for it a couple years ago and couldn't figure out how I could get it fixed there in the middle of Kansas. (I think I'll avoid Kansas in the future). 

From there on we convoyed. The Old Lady drove the car and I drove The Guppy. After we lost the anchor (tow dolly) the gas mileage improved on The Guppy. I haven't run the figures yet, but just doing it in my head it seems to have gone from less than 6 mpg to 8 mpg or better. That more than makes up for the gas used to run the car. The only problem was the car needs a brake job, but that was only a problem when stopping. It makes a horrible grinding noise when braking and when first starting to move. Am in the process of buying the parts I need to do the brake job.

Thru the windshield shot in New Mexico.

We finally got here over a week after we left home and are getting settled in the RV park. We were shooting for getting here on the first and got here on the fourth. We spent four nights in the motel, so if we hadn't broke down we would have got here as planned.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

One Of My Projects Before Winter

I moved the carport to cover the travel trailer. That's the only way to keep the roof on the trailer from leaking, by putting a roof over it.

Work in progress, I got this end closed in and only need to put metal up on the other gable end.
Because I won't be here to remove the snow off the roof this winter I decided I needed to reinforce the roof. The frames for the carport are a little over 4 feet apart and I figure with the amount of snow we get the roof panels could sag from the weight of the snow. I put 2x4s between the frames to support the sheetmetal panels.

Hopefully I put enough 2x4s to reinforce the roof. 
Notice how little room there is to work.

The hard part was working over the trailer as there wasn't a lot of room to work. If I had been putting the carport up for the first time I would have put the 2x4s in before putting the metal on, but I had already assembled it a couple years ago to put my boats in. That meant I had to get the screws back in the same holes again.

The metal I'm using to close in the gable ends is from a 12x60 mobile home we used to have. I dismantled it 10 years ago. The metal is aluminum, but the price for scrap aluminum hasn't been high enough where I felt it was worth the gas to haul it to a salvage yard!! So I have been using pieces for a couple projects. This is one and I covered the end wall on the barn with the aluminum. The barn used to be twice as long, but my brother tore down the haybarn part 55 years ago and the end wall was bare boards. I used lumber wrap and aluminum to cover it and stop the cold winds from coming thru the wall.