Thursday, February 3, 2011

Strutting your RV bed stuff. De Soto Nat. Mem. Pk, Florida. Walmart Loses. Storm Coming.

Lifts.  Props.  Gas springs.  Struts.

"There’s a variety of names bantered about for those little thingies that many RV manufacturers stick under their bed platforms to help us lift it and hold it so we can pile stuff into that otherwise wasted space under the mattress.  If you bought a brand new rig, you were probably pleased with how easy you could lift and hold the mattress platform. 

But then you got tired of the mattress, right?  Replaced it with a thicker, softer, and heavier one.  Suddenly you had to use a baseball bat to hold the platform up while you shoved those extra blankets under the bed.

What happened?  It could be that you did increase the weight of  your bed a bit; or maybe the existing gas strut simply got tired out.  In any event, you’re now in the unenviable position of risking your neck–literally–every time you manhandle the mattress platform up the air to shift cargo under the bed.  What’s to be done?  It’s time to replace the strut–maybe to beef it up to meet the new load requirements, or just replace a worn out or damaged strut.  How do you do it?

First, you’ll need a safe prop while working on the issue.  It may be safer–if it’s possible–to take the weight off the platform by shifting the mattress off somewhere.  Not always enough room for that, so in any event, get a thoroughly safe prop or a helper (preferably both) when working under the bed platform.  The old struts come off easy:  On the ends of the strut, there are hemispherically shaped sockets, that slip (and clip) onto corresponding studs.  Slip the business end of a flat-bladed screwdriver between the socket and the stud.  Give it some leverage and the socket should pop right off the stud.  Remove the other end of the strut from its socket.

Sizing it up is the next order of business.  The extended length of the strut is measured as you would imagine, with the strut extended.  Measure from socket center to socket center, and you have the length information you need.  Often printed on the strut is the working pressure; sadly at times that information is buried in a code.  Knowing the strut pressure is helpful:  If you’ve found when you’ve added weight to the bed that the struts no longer suffice, you’ll want to increase the strut pressure a bit.  We say a “bit,” because more than one RVer has been chagrined to find that when they’ve really beefed up the pressure of their bed struts they’ve actually damaged the bed frame, and had to go in and repair and reinforce the connection points.

Where will you find replacement struts?  Some RV parts dealers may be able to help.  Others have turned to auto parts houses.  One strut dealer has an Internet presence devoted to helping RVers, you’ll find it here. With new struts in hand, simply snap the socket over the existing stud.  If you find the socket on the new strut doesn’t match the fit of the stud, you often can simply unscrew the socket from the threaded rod of the new strut."

FEATURED PARK:  De Soto National Memorial, Florida.   January 2011"Situated on Florida's west coast, De Soto National Memorial is an historic site that commemorates Spaniard Hernando De Soto, one of the earliest European explorers of North America. He led his men on a four-year, 4,000-mile trek from Florida into what is now Arkansas. They were the first Europeans to see the Mississippi above its mouth in the Gulf of Mexico. Attractions at the park include Camp Uzita, where park staff reenact De Soto's landing at the southern edge of Tampa Bay, and the lives his men lived once they were settled. Programs run every day from mid-December through mid-April. Historical artifacts from the expedition are on display in the park's museum. 
In addition to its rich American history, the site also provides critical habitat for important species like bald eagles, egrets, and endangered wood storks, which might be glimpsed on a nature walk through an unspoiled mangrove swamp.

If You Go:
Camp Uzita and the nature walk are the park's biggest attractions. Here, visitors can get a sense of what the Florida coast must have been like when the first explorers from the Old World arrived. Recreational fishing, swimming, beach combing, and kayak tours can also be enjoyed in the park."
View the slideshow > >


Walmart Loses:
 Read NPCA's Press Release  
"We have some thrilling news to share with you! NPCA and our partners in the Wilderness Battlefield Coalition have been working to protect a part of the historic Wilderness Battlefield on privately owned land adjacent to the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park from a proposed Walmart Superstore. Such development in this location would have forever compromised a valuable piece of our American heritage.

But on Tuesday, Walmart announced unexpectedly that they were abandoning their plans and would not be building on the parcel of land in question.
As we commemorate the 150th anniversary of the U.S. Civil War this year, it is more important than ever that we protect these sacred places for our children and grandchildren. Our success this week means that a significant piece of the American story told at Wilderness Battlefield has been preserved for us and for future generations."


cat-rain-ready (Small) As the weather is forecast to be sleet and snow later on today, this morning was the time to run into the next town do to a little shopping.  Bobcat's food was running low, and she eats a special senior cat food made with glucosamine chondroitin and Omega 3, which I can only get at PetSmart.  I didn't want to be stuck here in a storm, and run short of anything.  She quit limping with her very bad arthritic shoulder since she has been eating that, so I didn't want to run out.

PETCO Raincoats for Dogs in YellowJay and I went to several thrift shops.  They were all having great sales, some things were 75% off their already low prices.  
He found a few things, and I bought another Mr. Coffee, and an as-new Petco yellow rain coat for Misty.  I thought that if it became sleety cold, it might keep the wind out.  If it is really cold she can wear a doggie sweater under it when she goes outside.

I looks like this, except it has a hood, and it is smaller, as Misty is a miniature (mid-size) poodle.

I also bought 2 used corded phones, never know when we will need them.  I have phones all over the place, but most of them are cordless, and they don't work when the power it out. 
I don't wear one of those "I fell and I can't get Up" things, so I have phones everywhere, even one in the attic!   But usually I have my old, tiny cordless phone in my pocket. I have never been able to find another one that small, so I keep on paying through the nose for new batteries for it.

I have never worn sweats, but I bought a pretty fleecy sweat shirt and pants as I thought they might come in handy if we have a black out.  So after walking "Big Girl", who is still happily staying in my workshop, I have been vinegar-ing the Mr. Coffee, Lysol-ing the phones, and washing the clothes.

This impending storm has got everyone in an uproar here.  We are not used to this. 
Cars lined up at gas pumps, and every store we went to, had people buying storm supplies today.

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