Sunday, May 24, 2020

RVing and Social Distancing

An RV can be a great tool for social distancing!  Just after many states started to re-open from the COVID-19 lock-downs, our granddaughter was scheduled to graduate from high school in Alabama. Although she had been out of school for almost 2 months at this point, we decided to go through with our previously planned trip to her graduation. The plan was to have a private family party to help her celebrate. Then, about a week before the event the school decided to have a modified graduation ceremony in the open-air football stadium with very limited family member attendance. We have rural property there with RV hookups, so were quite isolated in our living arrangements! Using a credit card a the fuel pump helps to maintain distancing, the only required contact with other humans being one take-out lunch along the way and one RV site rental. We enjoyed the week with family, breaking the isolation only for a trip to Walmart for supplies. On the way to Alabama we did an easy two days, staying overnight at Bonita Lakes RV Park in Meridian MS for $25 per night with Escapees RV Club discount. On the return trip to Texas, we got an early start and drove straight through, a bit over 600 miles. To cap off a great trip, we refueled 7 miles from home base paying only $1.86 a gallon for 50 gallon of diesel!

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Working the "Honey-do" list ...

With the extended lockdown for Covid-19 I eventually ran out of RV repair projects and moved on to "Honey-do list" items in the "stick house."  One involved the dishwasher, which sometimes refused to wake up and work. At first I thought the breaker for that circuit was bad and flipping it would sometimes cause the dishwasher to work. But the breaker checked out as good. After more checking I found that flipping the breaker off for more than 30 seconds would cause the dishwasher to work. Some internet research told me the problem was most likely the circuit board or the door latch. So I ordered a circuit board for apx $75. The install was relatively easy except for having to lie face down on the floor to work under the front, and so far it is working fine. Another project that was more fun involved the mailbox out at the street.
When we bought the house, it had a mailbox painted and trimmed out to look like a red farm tractor. The previous resident was a red tractor fan who owned a couple of restored tractors, and one that needed restoration. I had done some pretty extensive repairs and repainting on the red tractor mailbox a few years ago. It was needing some minor repair again. We don't own any red tractors, and very recently bought a John Deere lawn mower, so I decided that the repair would include a change in colors.  I would like to see the red tractor collector's reaction if he happens to drive by and see his red tractor is now John Deere green and yellow!!

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Boosting the local economy!!

     RVing is an adventure … even when you aren't RVing!!  Our diesel pusher has 5 large 12v batteries on board … 2 chassis batteries supporting the "truck" side, and 3 house batteries supporting the "house" side.
     During our annual chassis service in March, the shop advised us that the chassis batteries went dead on them a couple of times and when tested, they failed the load test. While they were at it they also tested the house batteries and advised that one of them failed the load test.  These batteries were all 6 to 7 years old … pretty good service.
     I decided while in COVID-19 lockdown that I would replace the chassis batteries, Group 31HD bateries, and do the house batteries in another month or so. Alas, the best laid plans …
     While installing the new chassis batteries I was hearing a strange noise. Then I touched the nearest house battery and found if very hot to the touch … not good. Then I realized the hissing sound I was hearing was the battery boiling … while not hooked up to external power, charger, etc. REALLY not good!  I tripped the battery disconnect switch and the boiling continued, so I disconnected the negative cable on the closes battery to shut all three batteries down.
     So, after finishing installation of the two new chassis batteries I went in search of three new house batteries … Group 29 deep discharge batteries. I found them at a local auto parts store at a good price, and got them installed.
     The motorhome is now happy with 5 new batteries in place, but my vision of spreading the cost over a couple of months didn't work out.  We did more than our part to boost the local economy on the day that Texas "re-opened" for business … apx $150 for groceries, and just under $600.00 for batteries.  Yikes!  RVing is great, but we haven't been anywhere since early March!!  Even so, we have learned that these beasts cost money just sitting still!!  At least we will be ready to roll when we can finally get back on the road!!

Back for a brief RV trip ...

 After 3 months of no RVing, following the death of a 92 year old family member, we decided to take the motorhome to Oklahoma for the burial...