Rethinking The Plan . . .

We now have a real, physical address. Rob, our park owner, put in mailboxes a few weeks ago, and a couple of days ago he dropped off our key.

Petticoat Junction RV Park Mailboxes

We also have a PO Box here in Santa Fe, but a lot of financial institutions won’t accept a PO Box, but require a physical address. Previously I’ve used either work, or Brandi’s up in Katy. So now we’re all set.

While I’m tracing out my lighting problems I’ve been rethinking my oil leak repair plan. Back in February after the repair place in Luling replaced the oil cooler gasket with no change in the leak problem, I got back under the rig to replace the single oil filter head adapter gasket with a double set. Several people, including a Cummins tech, recommended trying that before any doing anything else.

But when I got under the rig I found that the Luling shop had apparently over-torqued two of the four bolts holding the adapter head on the oil cooler. They’re only supposed to be tightened down to 212 inch pounds, a little over 17 foot pounds. And unfortunately the two stripped bolts are both on the same side, so I was wary about driving the rig anywhere, or even cranking up the engine.

So I was looking at having the rig towed up to the Channelview area to get the oil leak repaired once and for all. And that’s where things stood until the last couple of days. And then I had a thought. One word – Helicoil.

Thinking about how the stripped-out threaded holes would need to be fixed, I’m thinking about just doing this myself, which will probably save me several hundred dollars having the diesel shop do it in addition to fixing the leak problem.

That way I can just drive the rig up there rather than go through hassle of getting it towed. But after I repair the bolt holes, I’ll go ahead and replace the gaskets. And then do an extended rig test drive while towing the truck.

Who knows? That might fix the problem anyway.

But I’m still thinking about it, while I’m working on the lights.


Thought For The Day:

Everything will Kill You. So choose something fun.

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On To The Bay of Fundy


September 12, 2009

Headin’ Home…

We left Wayside RV Park about 10:30 headed 180 miles to Moncton, NS on our way back to the States.

As I mentioned yesterday,  we stopped and got diesel. Because the pump cut off at $150 I decided that would be enough to get us back the US, so I didn’t fill up.

We arrived at Moncton about 2:45pm and parked at Camper’s City RV Park. This is the same park we stopped at on our way in to Canada, so it was easy to find.

We got set up, and, after puttering around the coach for a while, we headed out to Boston’s Pizza for supper, one of our favorite places to eat.

Coming back to the coach, Jan sat outside with Mister while I got the satellite dish set up. After letting Mister roam around a bit, we headed in for the night.

Tomorrow we’re going down to the Bay of Fundy area to see the 30 foot tides in the Bay.

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Heading Back to Houston


September 12, 2010

Gumbo

We left Jackson, MS about 10:30 and headed south on I-55 toward Breaux Bridge, LA, and some of the best gumbo in Louisiana.

Most of the road was really crappy. A lot of the Interstates down here are the old concrete type with the expansion joints that go BANG…BANG…BANG.

Pretty soon your fillings start to get loose.

But finally we were on I-12W and then picked up I-10W in Baton Rouge.

About the same time we also started picking rain, a lot of rain, and, of course, the winds to go along with it.

By the time we were coming up to the Breaux Bridge exit, I was really looking forward to registering and setting up in the pouring rain. But I really lucked out.

By the time we got to Poche’s RV Park about 5 miles north of I-10 and Breaux Bridge the rain had stopped in that area.

By 3:15 pm we were set up and had a chance to look over the park.

Poches RV Park 1

Poche’s is not just an RV park, it’s also a fish camp with cabins, and 5 – 10 acre fish ponds.

Poches RV Park 2

Poches RV Park 3

It’s really a beautiful park, and it’s PassPortAmerica too, only $15.00 per night. The only downside is that Internet and cell phone service just sucks.

About 4:00 we drove over to our favorite Cajun restaurant, Mulates. I’ve been eating there for more than 15 years, including twice a month for 10 years when I would drive to Birmingham from Houston and back to visit my mother.

They have a Cajun band every night and a big dance floor that’s always crowded.

Mulates

Their gumbo is just about the best around, with shrimp, crab, and oysters, and a great roue. And it’s not a Mulate’s meal without a dessert of their bread pudding with bourbon sauce, and a cup of strong Cajun coffee. (BTW it’s pronounced ‘Mu lots’)

Getting back home about 5:30 I got the satellite dish set up and we settled in for the night.

Tomorrow we’ll make the 230 mile trip back to Houston and the Galveston Bay RV Park, where we’ll be for 4-5 months.

More from Houston…


Thought For The Day:

On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog. – Peter Steiner

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Gate Guarding Repairs


September 12, 2015

Fixed!

Well Kinda . . . Almost.

Well, our cooler weather has finally arrived. It made it up to a blistering 85 degrees today, and sunny with a light breeze. Couldn’t be much better. It’s supposed to stay like this for a few days before the temps creep back up into the low 90’s. Right now at midnight, it’s 60 degrees and I’ve got a long-sleeve shirt on. Nice.

Today’s count was 108, compared to yesterday’s 111, so maybe that’s what it will settle down to. Like I said yesterday, very doable.

I finally had a chance this morning to get back to my water heater problem, and finally got the access panel off so I could get to the electrical connections on the back.

The electrical side of the water heater died a couple of months ago, but with everything going on with the gate, I’m just now getting back on it. We’ve been using the propane side since then, but I didn’t want to have a problem running out.

The first thing I did was to turn off power to the unit using the switch on the side of the box. Well, I tried to, but the switch snapped and then went spongy with no more clicky-clicky. But I don’t think that was the initial problem.

20150912_122759

So what I was pull the wires on the switch, and after cutting off the old spade lugs, I stripped the ends and joined them with a wire nut. So now I was finally ready to troubleshoot the real problem. And a couple of minutes with the ohmmeter told me what it was.

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I used the ohmmeter to check the two thermostat units here, with one of them being the actual thermostat, and the other being the high-temp cutoff. The one on the left tested good with 0.0 ohms, but the right one showed open, or bad. They’re not marked, and I was hoping the bad one was the ECO cutoff, but after checking my Atwood manual, I found it was the thermostat.

Normally the power comes into the left unit, loops over the right unit, and then feeds power to the heating element.. So what I did was to move the wire going to the heating element over, bypassing the bad thermostat, so I could check the system.

At the lavatory I measured the hot water temp at 96 degrees. Then I turned on the wall switch for the heater, waited 20 minutes, and measured again. This time it was 132 degrees, so I knew the bad thermostat was my problem. But of course the problem won’t really be fixed until I replace the thermostat itself. I probably won’t replace the power switch

Checking, I found one on Amazon (of course) for $12 and it will be here Tuesday. But for right now we’ll just turn it on 20 minutes before our showers, and then turn it off when we’re done.

The other thing I fixed recently was the AC blower in our truck. The air flow just wasn’t what it should be, and it was a struggle to get the cab cool in hotter weather. Back before we left the Houston area, I replaced the blower resistor pak and that helped somewhat, but it just didn’t seem to be as strong as it used to be.

So after doing some checking I decided to go ahead and replace the blower motor itself. The reason I hesitated before is that changing one of these out can be a real pain in the rear. In some cases you almost have to disassemble the dashboard to replace it.

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But this one was so easy it was almost ridiculous. Just reach under the dash, unclip the power connector, remove 3 – 8mm bolts, and the blower motor falls out in your hand. Then reverse the procedure and 5 minutes later your done. Easy Peezy.

And boy, did it make a difference. It’s back to cooling like it used to.

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Thought for the Day:

Texas Food Pyramid

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Off To Wal-Mart For A New TV


September 12, 2016

Well, Isn’t That Just Fine and Dandy . . .

The temp was a little hotter today, and the traffic a little heavier, but all in all, not a bad day. I guess except for the fact that when I get groceries this Thursday, it looks like I’ve got to buy a new front TV.

A few days ago, the 32” RCA we have in the front of the rig started losing video. The audio still works fine, but the screen goes black.

At first it might do it once a day, and just turning the TV off and back on fixed the problem. For a while. But over the next few days it got more and more frequent , until now it will only work for a few minutes before the video dies.

When the problem first appeared I thought it might the HDMI input itself, so I switched the cable over to HDMI-2, but the problem still occurred. So I dug out a 3 wire video cable, the one with the Yellow, Red, and White RCA phono connectors and tried that,

Again with the same result. So the problem seems to be in the actual video output stage, and not on the input side. And it doesn’t seem to be a loose connection, since rapping on it doesn’t fix the problem, even temporarily.

Now back in the day, when you could still fix things like this, I’d just order a Sam’s Photofact for the set and tear into it. Using my oscilloscope, I’d trace through the video section until I found the bad component, and then replace it.

Back in the early 90’s I used to contract out to several computer stores in the Houston area to do board level repair on Commodore VIC-20’s, Commodore 64’s, Commodore Amiga’s and Radio Shack TRS-80’s. At that time you could get service info from the manufacturers, and even specific parts, like IC’s and transistors, and you could actually fix something.

But no more. In many cases, depending on the TV, there may be no real parts to replace anyway. Just a couple of large chips that do everything. And without very specialized equipment, it would be almost impossible to safely unsolder the chip and replace it.

And you probably couldn’t even get a replacement chip anyway, since the manufacture won’t sell you one. So now it’s off to Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club for a new one.

We bought both of these TV’s from Sam’s Club when we were in Fairbanks, AK in 2008 to replace the old CRT models that came with the rig, and this is the first problem we’ve had with them, so I guess 8 years is a pretty good record.

After all of this, at least my problem with my DVR randomly rebooting turned out to be a simple fix. The DVR plugs into a AC receptacle on the underside of the cabinets over the dashboard, and I noticed that often the reboots happened as one of us came into the rig and shut the door. Turns out that the AC plug was a little loose in the socket, so I spread the prongs apart, sprayed a little Strike-Hold on it and problem solved.

At least that’s something I could fix.


Thought for the Day:

The Wages of Sin is Death. But the Hours are Good.

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Black Bear Diner


September 12, 2019

PB B & M . . .

Today was Black Bear Thursday so we were on our way by about 1pm where we’ve both have gotten hooked on their ‘Super’ salads.

This time Jan went with their Taco Salad, staying Keto by eliminating the taco shell and the refried beans.

Black Bear Taco Salad

But adding their delicious Bacon Ranch dressing.

I once again got the Bacon Cheeseburger Salad, also with the Bacon Ranch. But unlike last time, I asked to have the burger done medium. Last time it was so well-done it was actually crunchy and hard to even cut. But they got it perfect this time.

Black Bear Bacon Cheeseburger Salad 2

But even well-done their hamburger meat is delicious, both mine and Jan’s taco meat.

Next up was a stop at the big Flagship HEB store over on Hwy 96. We’ve never been to this location before, but we were looking to bulk up our Lola Savannah coffee stocks. We were running low on our nightly Decaf ration, and also wanted to see if they had any additional flavors, and we hit the jackpot.

So besides the Decaf, we got a pound of Chocolate Crème, Almond Delight, and Cozy Winter Night.

The Chocolate Crème is pretty much self explanatory, while the Almond Delight has a blend of almonds, coconuts, and dark chocolate, so pretty much a candy bar. And Cozy Winter Night has butterscotch and caramel flavors accentuated with flavors of cream, vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

One flavor we didn’t  get was Lunch with Elvis, a blend of peanut butter and banana flavors, mimicking Elvis’ favorite sandwich. And one of mine too. Of course to make it perfect you’d need to get some mayonnaise flavor in there somewhere.

You just can’t beat a peanut butter, banana, and mayonnaise sandwich. On white bread, of course.

Found out this evening that Brandi, et. al., have a new dog.

New Dog Jack

Jack, a shelter pup, is part Doberman, part Rottweiler, and has made himself right at home with the two other dogs, and the cat.


Thought For The Day:

With the rise of self-driving vehicles, it’s only a matter of time before there’s a country song about a guy’s truck leaving him.


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3 Responses to Rethinking The Plan . . .

  1. Did you examine the Bolts first to be sure that they are not the problem? Helicoils  were mentioned when you first discovered the problem some time back .

    Around the same time you were replacing the Fan Motor in your truck I was doing it to our  then 2004 Intrepid. I became a contortionist to fix that one.

    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It’s about time.

  2. Joan benoit says:

    If you should get some stuff from ron please put my name joan. Somewhere. For discount….. hope all is well. Take care

  3. Len says:

    I just purchased a semi-trash water pump from Northern Tool. When I attempted to rotate the discharge outlet, one of the four bolts securing the outlet to the bowl was not very tight. Apparently, the factory had failed to apply an adhesive between the Helicoil and bolt. So, be sure to use a good adhesive to secure the Helicoil to the bolt.

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