24 Dec 14 – 1 Jan 15; Christmas, The New Year, Trips, Family and as Always…Repairs

Hello blog nation!  A shout out to the Packers winning the NFC North and the Badgers for beating Auburn in OT to win the bowl game!

It has been quite a great week as far as we are concerned.  We had Christmas Eve and Christmas with Jason and family, and on the 27th, Ashley and her family showed up, and we were surprised by Mandi coming up on the 27th and staying for a few days as well!  Too bad Justin could not make it, as we would have had the entire clan together again.  We have been very blessed, and the time with family is going exceedingly fast.  We have done a lot of traveling, exploring, eating, and just spending time with each other…so much so, my blog posts seem to be few and far between.  Here are a few shots from the past days.

Jason, Meghan, Peyton and Logan at Christmas Eve services.

Jason, Meghan, Peyton and Logan at Christmas Eve services.

Terri and I with the classic pose in front of the tree at Jason's house.

Terri and I with the classic pose in front of the tree at Jason’s house.

Logan told the show on Christmas day!

Logan stole the show on Christmas day!

Peyton was not to be outdone however.  She really enjoyed this years' Christmas.

Peyton was not to be outdone however. She really enjoyed this years’ Christmas.

We were just pulling out of the base on the 26th, and I spotted Ashley and her family trucking down the highway.  They drove all night on the 26th in order to get here on the 27th.  We got them all settled in, and Mandi arrived a bit later.  I got Toby out to the Coach to help with some much-needed chores later in the day.

Helping Gramps make a trash run.  He forgot his hat, so he snagged my Camo Badger hat off the dash of the Coach.

Helping Gramps make a trash run. He forgot his hat, so he snagged my Camo Badger hat off the dash of the Coach.

Over the next couple of days, we toured sites in Camden, SC…home to a great historical society and a lot of Revolutionary and Civil War sites and history.  We also went to Columbia to visit their great zoo, and to Charleston to tour as well.

RV Travel:  I mentioned this a few posts back, but worth mentioning again…Terri and I are annual members of the Brevard Zoo in Florida, and they are part of a nationwide consortium of Zoos that honor either full reciprocal entry, or partial.  At the Columbia Zoo, we received 50% off because we are members in Florida.  If you like Zoos, it a great money saver to have an annual membership somewhere.  Our membership at the Brevard Zoo is around $85 per year for unlimited entry there, and we have more than made our money back with the zoos we have visited and the savings we have achieved.  Here are a few shots of the activities:

Peyton loved feeding the Giraffe.

Peyton loved feeding the Giraffe.

Toby wasn't quite so sure!

Toby wasn’t quite so sure!

I don't know if Ashley and Jason enjoyed the Merry-go-Round more than Peyton and Toby or not...

I think Ashley and Jason enjoyed the Merry-go-Round more than Peyton and Toby…

It was a cool and rainy day, but we had a great time in Charleston.

It was a cool and rainy day, but we had a great time in Charleston.

On Friday, we said goodbye to our neighbor from the past few weeks.  He headed down to Florida for warmer climates.  Yesterday we got new neighbors, and they are great!  They really like to decorate for the season as well.  I need to find out how they manage to carry all of the stuff with them to brighten their camp site up.

Tech Tip:  Ok, Jason and I still have not gotten the final touches on the electronics bay, as things have been quite busy; however, I was unfortunately greeted by a bay full of “wetness”once again late last week.  I mentioned previously that the vent on the backside of our refrigerator leaks water in when it rains real heavy, and we had heavy rains late last week.  Jason and I took another look at the previous “fixes” I had done, and determined that the frame around the vent cover needed to be shimmed so the angle was better to keep the rain out.  The previous preventative caulk job did not “weather the storm” as it had in the past, so more work was needed.  If you recall, the frame around the outside of the vent is rotted, so the frame has nothing to bite into.  This “rot” is from a long time ago when the previous owner had a leak in their ice maker water line.  I’ll show a picture of the rotted wood…it looks a lot worse than it is, as the structure underneath is dry and solid, but it will not remain that way long if I cannot get the leak stopped, not to mention what it is doing to the bay below it.  See below.

This is hot of the vent in place before out "fixes."  Due to the rot in the frame, the rain would gather on the ridges you see, and would not drop off, causing it to fill, and overflow behind it and leak into the bay below.

This is a shot of the vent in place before our “fixes.” Due to the rot in the frame, the rain would gather on the ridges you see, and would not drop off, causing it to fill, and overflow behind it and leak into the bay below.

Drying the bay out.  I spent two days with the bay open, wiping down with towels, and using a fan to dry things out once again.  This is not fun.

Drying the bay out. I spent two days with the bay open, wiping down with towels, and using a fan to dry things out once again. This is not fun.

This is a shot of the back side of the vent cover.  When the water piles up, it comes in through the vent slits you see.

This is a shot of the back side of the vent cover. When the water piles up, it comes in through the vent slits you see.

Why not seal it you may ask??  Because the fridge has to be vented whether operating on gas or electric.  Sealing it would increase fire hazards if operating on electric, and gas emissions if operating on propane.

Jason picked up two types of sealant for the sides of the vent cover, and the one we thought would work did not.

Jason picked up two types of sealant for the sides of the vent cover, and the one we thought would work did not.

We ended up using the “clay” type moldable sealant seen in this pic above.  It seems to have worked so far.  We had a few rainy nights since the “fix” and have had no issues.  Keep you fingers crossed please!!

This is a shot of the rotted area.  We used some paint stir sticks to shim the lower area so the vent leans outward as it should have all along, then also sealed and caulked the lower area.

This is a shot of the rotted area. We used some paint stir sticks to shim the lower area so the vent leans outward as it should have all along, then also sealed and caulked the lower area.

These are all temporary fixes.  When I have the time and the $$, I will need to tear all of the wood out and replace it.  I only hope that the delimitation does not go too far along the outside walls, as then we are talking about some major repairs.

Speaking of major repairs…I got the truck fixed the other day.  A while back I mentioned that the driver’s side Heating/AC system would only blow warm air.  After a lot of research, I determined it was the actuator that controls the flipper in the heating/cooling mechanism.  I also was sorry to learn that the entire dash, steering column and both front seats had to be removed to get to this part.  Needless to say, I was not about to take this on myself, as I’m sure I would have broken more parts in tearing the dash apart than the repair costs would be.  When we were back in Florida a few weeks ago, I got some quotes for repairs, and they ranged from $850 on the low-end, to over $1,200 on the high-end.  I was kind of happy to get a quote form the Ford dealer here in Sumter for $800 on the high-end.  It ended up costing around $700.  They had the truck for two days, and when I got the final bill, I learned that Ford was able to get the part for $12.60.  What a crock!  8 hours of labor to fix a $12 part.  Oh well, such goes the life.  This however was not a repair I was planning on, and has totally trashed my truck maintenance budget for 2015.  Hopefully we can make that up somewhere.

Tech Tip:  it is the first of the month, and the year!  The first of the month means monthly maintenance on the coach to make sure all systems are happy and running well.  Either tomorrow or Saturday, I will run the generator under load for two hours, run the motor on the coach up to operating temp and check all fluids, check tire pressure, and service the batteries.

One more leak story…our washing machine for some reason has decided to magically get water in it when we are not running it.  This happened right after we purchased the Coach as well, but after we used the machine a few times it stopped.  Last week this cropped up again.  I did as I had done before and lubricated the valves and ran a few loads and that seems to have worked, as it is not dripping into the main area of the washer any longer.  I may have caused this when I did some wash last week and did not attach a water pressure regulator to the fresh water line.  This Coach has an internal regulator, but I am concerned about its functionality, as when I do not have the external one hooked up, the pressure seems too high.  You should not go over 40-50 PSI, or you run the risk of blowing your water lines out and having MAJOR issues.  We will continue to monitor.

Yesterday I got all of the tanks drained, the fresh water re-filled, and wiped the dreaded white lines off of the side of the Coach again.  I mentioned this in the past…with the roof material I have, I tend to get white streaks down the side of the Coach after a lot of rain or excessive morning dew or moisture.  The Lucas Oil polish I used in the past seems to be holding up quite well, as it was very easy to wipe the streaks off with just a microfiber rag.

That is about it for now.  We have a lot to do over the next few weeks, as we are going to help get Jason and family moved back to Maryland.  We will then head back down to Florida later this month.  I am way behind the power curve, as I have no reservations anywhere, and the places I have called are full.  I will have to see what kind of waiting list I can get on.  Staying in the house is always an option, since it has not yet sold, but we would prefer to stay in the Coach.  Our plan is to stay in Fl for a month or two, and hopefully rid ourselves of the boat anchor that has become the house.  Neither of us thought we would have this much of an issue in selling.  Pray that things improve on that front.

Happy New Year to all, and I hope to update you more often in the future.

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