Thursday, April 12, 2012

RV Tips and Tricks, Too Many to List. Civil War Begins. FDR Dies. Space Shuttle. Mikey.

For “tRaVersing or RV day”:

Bumper Snicker of the week:     I'm not old, I'm chronologically gifted.

Joke of the week
Q. What do you call a cow with no legs?
A. Ground beef.


You throw away the outside and cook the inside. Then you eat the outside and throw away the inside. What did you eat? Answer below.


Take a mirror with you

After being lost near Santa Barbara, California's Nira Campground, a man is happy he took a signal mirror with him on a hike. He'd set off on a 17-mile loop but didn't return home by nightfall. Concerned family called authorities who say a helicopter spotted the lost man near Happy Hunting Ground Campground.


Bizarre accident! Bullet in campfire blinds camper in one eye
In a bizarre accident an Arizona camper was blinded in his right eye when he leaned down to blow on his small campfire. At first he thought a hot ember had blown into his eye but it turned out to be an unexploded .22 caliber slug exploding because of the heat of the fire. It had been buried in the dirt beneath his campfire. Read more.


Hunters recall near-death experience in home brew truck camper
December marked the 50th anniversary of a tale of survival for two hunters. Dick Lansberry and Bob Wise headed off in the woods on a hunting expedition on December 2, 1961 in a home-build truck camper. The trip turned into a nightmare. Read more.


Why are “bad tires” on the road?

“In my previous post on Chinese made tires, I clearly touched a nerve.
Now, before I proceed, I have to tell you that when I was working I had a bit of a reputation of sometimes being a bit abrupt and “in your face” with some people. So please keep that in mind as you read this post. It is definitely not my intent to offend anyone but I do sometimes get a bit frustrated.
While some felt I had provided a reasonable report on the topic when I suggested that quality is not a function of geography, others seemed to think there was some political conspiracy underway against RV owners. As proof that I was incorrect, it was suggested I would learn the truth about Chinese quality if I did a Google search or looked at some on-line forums and checked out some customer complaints.
What I did instead was to go to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration website and did a search for tire recalls to see which brands had recalls underway. I found over 200 tire brands in the current list with probably 1000 individual tire lines involved. Included in the list were BF Goodrich (owned by Michelin), Bridgestone, Continental, Firestone (owned by Bridgestone), General (owned by Continental), Goodyear, and Uniroyal (owned by Michelin). Each of these brands have a fair number of tires on the recall list. I did not see Mission brand, which is a specific brand identified by one person who contacted me about my post.
When I looked at the list of current investigation, I found most of the same names but again no Mission brand tires. I did find a single complaint from someone claiming that three of the “Mission Radial ST” tires on their passenger car had suffered tread separations. The complaint identified the tire manufacturer as GENERAL TIRE & RUBBER CO. This “complaint” is a good example of one of the major problems NHTSA faces. That being incomplete and inaccurate reports. The three failures were claimed to have occurred in Feb 2011 but the person didn’t bother to file a complaint till Jan 2012!. Since these were on a passenger car they should not be Mission brand ST type tires.”


Proper maintenance will help make an RV awning last a long time
A good way to help keep your RV's awning up to par is to check the hardware at the beginning of each season and to lubricate buttons, handles and threaded knobs. Read more.


Suspension systems, tires can create handling problems while driving
Motorhomes will never handle like a sedan. An RV has a suspension system to support the weight. Worn springs affect the steering when it comes to adjusting for bumps and dips in the road. Other problems include leaning, nose diving while braking and rear squatting while accelerating. A new coach should have no issues. Used coaches, however, are different. Read more.


More than 2,200 places to stay for free or less than $10 in an RV.



RV DoctorThe RV Doctor, Gary Bunzer, answers your questions.
RV tub will not drain properly
Dear Gary,
“I have a 1977 Layton travel trailer and it has a bathtub/shower combo, and the tub suddenly started filling up with water, not draining and I cannot locate the problem. I checked the outside water lines and there is water all over the ground and a small continuous drip. It has never happened before, I am puzzled and have very little knowledge of RV repairs, please give me an idea of how I might be able to fix this issue.” Leslie R., (Yakima, WA)
Read Gary's response.


RV Tips,  just click on the ones you want to read:

Don't let the dreaded green corrosion shut down your electrical system.

Efficient hot water heaters require good maintenance.

Good RV refrigerator maintenance helps keep the unit running.

Toast made easy with Camp-A-Toaster.

Campsite parking takes practice, but it's worth it.

Single plug surge suppressors provide protection without clutter.

New way to haul your sewage away -- by motorcycle!

Sturdy folding wagon collapses for easy storage.

Slab City. "The last free place in America."


How to escape a submerged car or RV and an essential device you may need

“Here's a five minute video from the Today Show. Watching it could end up saving your life. It shows you what to do if your car or RV should be forced off the road into a pond, lake or other body of water. There is a right way and a wrong way to deal with the situation, and seconds count. Take a few minutes to watch this, and tell your friends to watch as well. The small, escape device mentioned in the video is available at for less than $10. Get it. Or even better, get a larger, even more useful device, the LifeHammer for only a few dollars more.”

From me:  I keep a hammer secured under the driver’s seat in each car, for emergencies. My son had to try to kick out his rear window, when his car landed upside down in a narrow ravine.


Bulk food purchasing and repacking boxed stores saves space and waste

Much of what we buy in grocery stores comes in packages that are used more for advertising the contents than for containing them. You can cut down on some of your food bill by switching whenever possible to dry food sold in grocery stores' help-yourself bins, items such as rice, pasta, cereals, dried fruit, snacks, and other dry stores.
Store them in clear, rectangular plastic containers that you can fit together like a 3-D jigsaw puzzle to fit compactly in your cabinets, saving storage space and packaging waste that will end up in a landfill. You can also repackage those items you can't find in bulk in plastic containers to save space as well.    By Bob Difley


Become a "boondocking expert"
“You can become a boondocking expert if you do it often. Keep a log on how many days you can boondock without having to dump or replenish your on board systems, and what measures -- such as carrying extra water, watching less TV or using the shower warm-up water to flush the toilet -- have contributed to extending your boondocking days. Soon you will be practicing these conservation habits automatically. These skills will open up thousands of square miles of forest land and open desert to you for boondocking and exploring.”  By Bob Difley


Random RV Thought
On a rainy, stormy day in a campground, if your neighbors are in a tent, consider inviting them into your cozy RV for a drink, dinner or perhaps a card game. They will appreciate a break from the foul weather, and you will probably enjoy their company. Maybe you'll turn them into "RV believers."


Reduce the risk of "back over" accidents
It's a scary statistic: Each year 18,000 people in the U.S. are injured in accidents while backing up, and another 300 are killed. No doubt the majority of these are mowed down with automobiles and pickups, vehicles that are admittedly easier to see behind than RVs. What can you do to increase the margin of safety when backing up your rig? Find out.


Craziness! Motorhome tows car and pop up trailer with golf cart on bumper
“Try backing up this motorhome -- or even driving it down the road. Let's see -- it's got a golf cart on the back bumper, with a Jeep towed behind the motorhome, and a pop up trailer behind the Jeep. This is crazy! Watch a 23-second video. Our advice: Don't try this.”


Riddle answer: An ear of corn.


On This Day:

Fort Sumter fired upon, Apr 12, 1861:

“The American Civil War begins when Confederates fire on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor in South Carolina.  The fort had been the source of tension between the Union and Confederacy for several months. After South Carolina seceded on December 20, 1860, the state demanded the fort be turned over but Union officials refused. A supply ship, the "Star of the West," tried to reach Fort Sumter on January 9, but the shore batteries opened fire and drove it away. For both sides, Sumter was a symbol of sovereignty. The Union could not allow it to fall to the Confederates, although throughout the Deep South other federal installations had been seized. For South Carolinians, secession meant little if the Yankees still held the stronghold. The issue hung in the air when Abraham Lincoln took the oath of office on March 4, stating in his inauguration address: "You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors."

Lincoln did not try to send reinforcements but he did send in food. This way, Lincoln could characterize the operation as a humanitarian mission, bringing, in his words, "food for hungry men." He sent word to the Confederates in Charleston of his intentions on April 6. The Confederate Congress at Montgomery, Alabama, had decided on February 15 that Sumter and other forts must be acquired "either by negotiation or force." Negotiation, it seemed, had failed. The Confederates demanded surrender of the fort, but Major Robert Anderson, commander of Fort Sumter, refused.

At 4:30 a.m. on April 12, the Confederate guns opened fire. For thirty-three hours, the shore batteries lobbed 4,000 shells in the direction of the fort. Finally, the garrison inside the battered fort raised the white flag. No one on either side had been killed, although two Union soldiers died when the departing soldiers fired a gun salute, and some cartridges exploded prematurely. It was a nearly bloodless beginning to America's bloodiest war.”


FDR dies, Apr 12, 1945:

“On this day in 1945, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt passes away after four momentous terms in office, leaving Vice President Harry S. Truman in charge of a country still fighting the Second World War and in possession of a weapon of unprecedented and terrifying power.

On a clear spring day at his Warm Springs, Georgia, retreat, Roosevelt sat in the living room with Lucy Mercer (with whom he had resumed an extramarital affair), two cousins and his dog Fala, while the artist Elizabeth Shoumatoff painted his portrait. According to presidential biographer Doris Kearns Goodwin, it was about 1 p.m. that the president suddenly complained of a terrific pain in the back of my head and collapsed unconscious. One of the women summoned a doctor, who immediately recognized the symptoms of a massive cerebral hemorrhage and gave the president a shot of adrenaline into the heart in a vain attempt to revive him. Mercer and Shoumatoff quickly left the house, expecting FDR's family to arrive as soon as word got out. Another doctor phoned first lady Eleanor Roosevelt in Washington D.C., informing her that FDR had fainted. She told the doctor she would travel to Georgia that evening after a scheduled speaking engagement. By 3:30 p.m., though, doctors in Warm Springs had pronounced the president dead.

Eleanor delivered her speech that afternoon and was listening to a piano performance when she was summoned back to the White House. In her memoirs, she recalled that ride to the White House as one of dread, as she knew in her heart that her husband had died. Once in her sitting room, aides told her of the president's death. The couple's daughter Anna arrived and the women changed into black dresses. Eleanor then phoned their four sons, who were all on active military duty. At 5:30 pm, she greeted Vice President Harry Truman, who had not yet been told the news. A calm and quiet Eleanor said, "Harry, the president is dead." He asked if there was anything he could do for her, to which she replied, "Is there anything we can do for you? For you are the one in trouble now."

Indeed, Truman had rather large shoes to fill. FDR had presided over the Great Depression and most of World War II, leaving an indelible stamp on American politics for several decades. He also left Truman with the difficult decision of whether or not to continue to develop and, ultimately, use the atomic bomb. Shockingly, FDR had kept his vice president in the dark about the bomb's development and it was not until Roosevelt died that Truman learned of the Manhattan Project. It was also not until FDR died that Eleanor learned of her husband's renewed affair with Lucy Mercer.

Eleanor, in her own words, was trained to put personal things in the background. She swallowed the shock and anger about Mercer and threw herself into FDR's funeral preparations. Thousands of Americans lined the tracks to bid Roosevelt farewell while a slow train carried his coffin from Warm Springs to Washington, D.C. After a solemn state funeral, he was buried at his family's home in Hyde Park, New York.”


First launching of the space shuttle, Apr 12, 1981:

“The space shuttle Columbia is launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, becoming the first reusable manned spacecraft to travel into space. Piloted by astronauts Robert L. Crippen and John W. Young, the Columbia undertook a 54-hour space flight of 36 orbits before successfully touching down at California's Edwards Air Force Base on April 14.

On September 17, 1976, NASA publicly unveiled its first space shuttle, the Enterprise, during a ceremony in Palmdale, California. Development of the aircraft-like spacecraft cost almost $10 billion and took nearly a decade. In 1977, the Enterprise became the first space shuttle to fly freely when it was lifted to a height of 25,000 feet by a Boeing 747 airplane and then released, gliding back to Edwards Air Force Base on its own accord.

Regular flights of the space shuttle began on April 12, 1981, with the launching of Columbia. Launched by two solid-rocket boosters and an external tank, only the aircraft-like shuttle entered into orbit around Earth. When the mission was completed, the shuttle fired engines to reduce speed and, after descending through the atmosphere, landed like a glider. Early shuttles took satellite equipment into space and carried out various scientific experiments. On January 28, 1986, NASA and the space shuttle program suffered a major setback when the Challenger exploded 74 seconds after takeoff and all seven people aboard were killed.

In September 1988, space shuttle flights resumed with the successful launching of the Discovery. In subsequent years, the space shuttle carried out numerous important missions, such as the repair and maintenance of the Hubble Space Telescope and the construction and manning of the International Space Station.

A tragedy in space again rocked the nation on February 1, 2003, when Columbia, on its 28th mission, disintegrated during re-entry of the earth's atmosphere. All seven astronauts aboard were killed. In the aftermath, the space-shuttle program was grounded until Discovery returned to space in July 2005, amid concerns that the problems that had downed Columbia had not yet been fully solved.”



Jay and his mother both had doctor’s appointments, so Shopping Day was postponed.  I take Jay Jay shopping with me to get him out of his mother’s hair for a while!  She is not only still feeling bad from her liver transplant, but also she just had 6 teeth extracted.

So I groomed Mikey, a poodle who lives down the street with his Dad who had a stroke.  I did that a day early, so we can go shopping today.

1 comment:

Dizzy-Dick said...

Dang, and I just bought six 26" Michelin at over four grand. Hope they last awhile.