12-15 Dec 14; Gingerbread, Decorating, Electronics, Leaks (again!) and Cleaning

What a busy few days!  Friday was a whirlwind, as we spent most of the day with Meghan, Logan and Peyton, as Jason was at work.

Tried to catch him with his eyes open...they are, a bit!  Growing like a weed!

Tried to catch him with his eyes open…they are, a bit! Growing like a weed!

Peyton and "Pa" snuck off for a bit in the afternoon to attack the Exercise Course on base that is located around the Fam Camp.  I think she will be a gymnast!

Peyton and “Pa” snuck off for a bit in the afternoon to attack the Exercise Course on base that is located around the Fam Camp. I think she will be a gymnast!

Friday night was going to be a trip to the live Nativity that one of the churches are putting on, but it ended up being a Gingerbread House building night.

A lot of the building materials either ended up on Peyton, or consumed by her.

A lot of the building materials either ended up on Peyton, or consumed by her.

We all had a shout of approval for the final products however.  Too bad I didn't get a shot of the finished product!

We all had a shout of approval for the final products however. Too bad I didn’t get a shot of the finished product!

It’s been a great experience being here and enjoying the grand kids and Jason and Meghan.  Terri has spent a few nights at their house trying to take some pressure off on those nights that Logan has his day time and night-time confused…it is quite often!

Tech Tip:  Saturday was for the most part a project day.  Jason and the whole family are sick once again, so things got started later in the morning.  I had wanted to hit the local garage sales early on Saturday, but there really were not too many advertised.  I want to get a small electric leaf blower that I can use to blow off the camp site.  They work real well for many purposes regarding the RV.  Everything from clearing off your site before you park, to drying things, to keeping your site clean.  The smaller ones are easy to store, and why not use camp site electric rather than having to worry about carrying gas around?  I hope to find one soon at a garage sale rate.  Jason and the kids came over mid morning, and Terri, Meghan and Logan went shopping.  Jason, Peyton and I set out to shore up some more of the electronics projects we had started a while back.  Here are a few things that we did…not real pretty, but very functional, and we have relieved the Coach of many things that were sucking electric power.

The main control area now has the Blue Ray, Antenna switch box, Apple TV and Antenna Booster securely installed.  This is behind a dark piece of glass that allows the remotes to work while not having to see the "mess."  We have plans to cover this area with a plexiglass type cover.  In the mean time, it serves to store the many CDs we have with us.

The main control area now has the Blue Ray, Antenna switch box, Apple TV and Antenna Booster securely installed. This is behind a dark piece of glass that allows the remotes to work while not having to see the “mess.” We have plans to cover this area with a plexiglass type cover. In the mean time, it serves to store the many CDs we have with us.

Jason is an electronics whizz.  We traced many, many wires and determined that the 6 CD changer that was original equipment with the Coach was non-functional.  I have a CD player in the radio head unit and I can use the Blue Ray to play CDs.  The hole is where the CD changer was, and the other unit controls the surround wound and subwoofer.  All that works great.  These are located behind a door, so not so unsightly when closed up.  I hope to find something to place in the hole, or I will fill it with a blank for now.

Jason is an electronics whizz. We traced many, many wires and determined that the 6 CD changer that was original equipment with the Coach was non-functional. I have a CD player in the radio head unit and I can use the Blue Ray to play CDs. The hole is where the CD changer was, and the other unit controls the surround sound and subwoofer. All that works great. These are located behind a door, so not so unsightly when closed up. I hope to find something to place in the hole, or I will fill it with a blank for now.

We had a lot of other wires that we removed that served no purpose at all.  Another “lightening” of the coach.  We also removed the old XM radio head unit and all of its wires and power sources, and traced the antenna to the roof.  We spooled the wire for that and placed it behind the wood you see in the picture above should we ever want to use an XM radio again.  We messed a bit with the non-functional CB radio I have, but did not have the time to trace down its “issues.”  One thing I still have to do is remove the Satellite dish from the top of the Coach.  It is extra weight, and we don’t plan to have Direct or Dish TV anytime soon.  They make better and lighter “dishes” now, and this is just a boat anchor.  The only problem is it is bolted to the roof, so I will need to research how to fill in the holes to prevent leaks.  Also, there is a switch box up on the roof that I believe the roof antenna coax goes through, so that will have to be re-wired as well.  All of this took quite a bit of time, as we had to remove the front TV and all of the doors and wood fascia to get at what we needed to get at.

Meghan, Terri and Logan showed up mid afternoon and made a great lunch for us, and then they headed to Jason and Meghan’s house.  Jason and I had a few more things to do.  We hung some coat hooks, and used Velcro Command Strips to hang a few things as seen below:

"Gods Rules" and twin frosty's securely in place.  We also secured one of my favorite Satchel Paige  framed quotes in the bathroom: "How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?"  I don't know where Terri got that, but I love it.  Some days, very old, but most days, very much younger than the calendar indicates!!

“Gods Rules” and twin frosty’s securely in place. We also secured one of my favorite Satchel Paige framed quotes in the bathroom: “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?” I don’t know where Terri got that, but I love it. Some days, very old, but most days, very much younger than the calendar indicates!!

I provided s hot of this the other day.  It is now secured, and can be placed in another direction so we can see the temp while we are driving.  In this position, we can see it from anywhere in the living room or kitchen.

I provided shot of this the other day. It is now secured, and can be placed in another direction so we can see the temp while we are driving. In this position, we can see it from anywhere in the living room or kitchen.

Jason worked his magic and was able to get our steering wheel table to behave and actually stay in place.  Terri's neat little nativity scene is now displayed there.  We need to get a table cloth I guess.

Jason worked his magic and was able to get our steering wheel table to behave and actually stay in place. Terri’s neat little nativity scene is now displayed there. We need to get a table-cloth I guess.

My hat collection and our nativity scene from Alaska have since moved to the dash of the coach.  I hate that the Pack lost to the Bills on Sunday night, but still a fan Sam I am!

My hat collection and our nativity scene from Alaska have since moved to the dash of the coach. I hate that the Pack lost to the Bills on Sunday night, but still a fan Sam I am!

We also took some more measurements and talked about some things we want to do to be able to mount a TV in the bedroom where I removed the old tube TV.  Presently, that space only seems to collect “stuff…my stuff.”

On Sunday we went to church with the whole clan, and ate a great meal at iHOP.  We had the best waitress ever!  She was so sweet, and was so concerned about making sure Peyton and the baby had everything they needed.  She got a little extra in her tip stocking for that.  Terri tried to catch up on some much-needed sleep, and Jason and I attacked the garage and the leaves!  Funny thing in Sumter is that everyone burns their leaves.  There is no pick up service, and the trash man will only take what fits in the can.  So we set about to search, destroy and burn!  What a nasty business.  We raked and burned for the better part of the day, and there is still twice as much left to burn as we burned.  After that “fun,” we loaded up and checked out the live nativity scene we wanted to see the other night.  It was free, and very very well done.  We also drove through the City of Sumter Fantasy of Lights display.  They did a very good job as well!

Live Oaks are a pain in the Oak when it comes to their "droppings."

Live Oaks are a pain in the Oak when it comes to their “droppings.”

Today started with Jason dropping Peyton off early so we could feed her and get her to school.  That is such a blast!  Also, we got a new neighbor the other day.  He is a Viet Nam Vet, and is a hoot to talk to.  He has seen some stuff I hope and pray our sons and daughters never have to see.  That being said, he greets me each morning with a “Hey Air Force!” or “What’s up Wisconsin!”  He and I commiserated on the Pack loss today, and also spent some time talking about the engineering of the sites here, as well as engineering of our coaches.  Obviously, we both agreed that people who design camp sites or RV’s should have to camp in the sites and live in a Coach before they apply their engineering skills (not dissing you my engineering friends…just some words of wisdom picked up on the road!)

Tech Tip:  After spending some time with the neighbor, and getting Peyton off to school, I had a job to do.  I couldn’t understand why the Coach has been moving so much of late when walking around.  I took a look at the air pressure gauge and is was at zero.  Not good considering our leveling system is air only.  So…I started the Coach, deactivated the leveling system, let the system air up, and once it was at the nominal 120 PSI, shut her down.  I then re-engaged the auto leveling system, and ventured outside to see what was going on.  I could hear air leaking under the rear end of the Coach.  OK…time to get under and get dirty!  I wiggled my way to the center of the underbelly, and located the area I thought was leaking, and this is what I found:

This is one of the main air system hoses looking from the bottom up.  The leak was coming from the top brass nut where the green air hose is attached.

This is one of the main air system hoses looking from the bottom up. The leak was coming from the top brass nut where the green air hose is attached.

Here is a top down shot of the culprit.  You can see the small black hose coming out of the left side of this shot.  That is the junction that was added when I had my auxillary air break actuator installed for towing the truck.  It is a compression fitting, and it was not properly "compressing."

Here is a top down shot of the culprit (cameras can fool you!)  You can see the small black hose coming out of the left side of this shot. That is the junction that was added when I had my auxiliary air break actuator installed for towing the truck. It is a compression fitting, and it was not properly “compressing.”

These pictures look like there is a lot of room to move around, but trust me…there isn’t!  You have to be half a contortionist to work on one of these things…back to the engineering comment above!  While the air was still leaking out, I wrestled with the hose a bit, and it “sucked” back into the fitting.  I then got my wrenches out, and was able to get about a 1/16″ turn on it to tighten it some.  The air stopped leaking!  I then went back in the Coach, fired her up and got the air pressure back up to 120.  I then put the system into travel mode, and then re-engaged the auto leveling system.  After that was done, I shut her down and went out to see if my luck was holding, and it was!  We will see over time if this “fix” is actually a fix or not.  It has been about 6 hours since I did this, and the pressure is still where it should be, meaning we are level and not rocking every time someone walks around the Coach.  Travel will tell if it is actually repaired or not.  If it does not work, I will get a new fitting and re-connect the hose to the new fitting that was added for the brakes.  Sheesh…does it ever stop?  The answer is no, and if you are not comfortable with “issues” the RV life may not be for you.

Tech Tip:  Cleanliness is next to Godliness so the saying goes.  I like to keep a clean exterior on the Coach (interior as well actually.)  Rather than doing a complete rub and scrub on the Coach every time it is a bit dirty, I wanted to find something that would work for a “dry” cleaning.  The roof on this rig is “rubberized,” and is white, and will “weep” white streaks down the side of the Coach after a rain, or when it freezes at night and the frost melts.  It is quite unsightly.  After some research, I found that Lucas Oil makes a product that will clean and wax that is a spray.  It rated quite well, and was about $6.00, and states it should be good for at least 20 complete cleanings.  That is a car rating, so I am hoping I will get at least 7 or 8 uses out of this bottle.  What I like about this product is that you can apply and use it in direct sun light.  So many of the products will not allow you to do this.  Of course, this is just for minor clean-ups in between a full “cleanse.”  Here is a shot of the product:

Seems to have worked quite well and removed all of the silly white streaks.

Seems to have worked quite well and removed all of the silly white streaks.

Took me about an hour and a half to get the whole thing done, but well worth it I think.  It applied real well.  I used a micro-fiber rag to wipe it off.  I sure am glad my Dad gave me his old wood 6″ step-ladder a while ago.  It has gotten a lot of use since we have had the Coach, and is easy to store, light, and easy to maneuver.  Here are some “after” shots (one would think I would remember to take some “before” shots as well!)

Like my grill cover and L'il broom??  How about the clean Coach??

Like my grill cover and L’il broom?? How about the clean Coach??

 

And the drivers side.  Note the only thing out is the electric.  With the cold temperatures here, I only keep the electric out.  We use the water pump and the fresh water tank, and only haul out the sewer hose when needed.  The fewer amount of "entrances" into the coach the better for the cold temps.

And the driver’s side. Note the only thing out is the electric. With the cold temperatures here, I only keep the electric out. We use the water pump and the fresh water tank, and only haul out the sewer hose when needed. The fewer amount of “entrances” into the coach the better for the cold temps.

Terri spent the day getting things taken care of for Christmas, with things to mail and also did some more organizing in the Coach.  She really knows how to put things in their place, and it helps out immensely making sure our space is livable.

Speaking of mail, since we are kind of in a “tweener” state with our address right now, we will not be sending out a plethora of Christmas cards.  We hope that all of you that know us know how much we love an appreciate you, and are keeping up with our exploits here rather than a once per year catch up at Christmas.  Don’t get us wrong…we love getting cards and updates from those of you that catch us up on your year!  We hope to be able to talk with you, or e-mail with you during this special season!

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3 thoughts on “12-15 Dec 14; Gingerbread, Decorating, Electronics, Leaks (again!) and Cleaning

  1. Ron and Terri,

    I love reading the posts of your journey…you guys have always been an amazing family! I wish you all a Blessed Christmas!
    Paula = )

    Like

  2. Super blog and comments on this one…. looking forward to your Christmas and New Years blog! Keep it up, you are being read and enjoyed!

    Like

  3. GO BILLS! Wait, Go Pack Go…. wait………… I’m soooo conflicted!

    Nice post Ron, you guys have been busy! Be safe and can’t wait to see you guys soon!

    Gus

    Like

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