Thursday, December 20, 2012

RV Skids. Fridge. Honda Genny Recall. Winterizing Tires. Tanks Freeze. Storing RV. RV Tips. Virginia Cedes Western Land. French Surrender Orleans. U.S. Invades Panama. RVPort Is Gone!


For”tRaVersing or RV Day”:

RV skid rollers bring up the rear

“Sometimes RVing can be a drag, especially when you have a long trailer. Skid wheels were designed to prevent trailer drag when traversing steep driveways. When Jim Twamley purchased his second 5th wheel he struggled over whether or not to install skid rollers. He decided to drive around for a few months and see if he really needed them.” Learn what he decided.


How to identify and fix RV refrigerator cooling units.
”Learn about some common RV refrigerator problems, how to identify them, and how to fix them from the folks at Trailer Life. In this video learn how to identify and fix cooling unit problems.” Watch the video.


Honda recalls more than 150,000 portable generators

The Honda model EU2000I gasoline-powered portable generators are black and red in color or have a camouflage design. In some cases the fuel hose has leaked, posing fire and burn hazards. They were sold by Camping World, True Value and other dealers, and online from October, 2011 through September, 2012. "Companion" is printed on the side of some models.” Learn more.


Preparing your RV's tires for long term parking

Now is the time many RV owners are "winterizing" their RV. Even if you are in Arizona, you might be getting it ready to be parked for many weeks or months. There are a few things you need to do to help preserve your tires.

Inflate to the pressure shown on the tire sidewall. This will decrease the tendency to flat-spot and make the tire flat on one side.

PS Don't forget that even when parked you should check the air pressure once a month. If I hadn't checked the air in the tire with the leaking valve it probably would have been flat by next spring and might even have been damaged and unsuitable for highway use.


Driving and Freezing in My RV, Posted by RV Doctor

“Hey Doc, I'm currently driving through New Mexico in a Class C motorhome. Temperatures are expected to be in the 15-degree range tomorrow. Our RV is not equipped with tank heaters and we're hoping you may have short-term suggestions to prevent damage to our holding tanks?” Mike M., (Rockport, TX)

“For a temporary trip through freezing temperatures, Mike, I would suggest simply evacuating the holding tanks and leaving them clean and dry till you can purchase tank heaters or drive out of the cold. Overnight in the campground, simply position a droplight with a 60-watt or 100-watt bulb in the area of the holding tanks. Add a gallon of windshield washer fluid to each tank as well. You could use standard RV anti-freeze, but the windshield stuff is a lot less expensive. The fluid and that little bit of heat will allow you to use the tanks overnight and avoid potential freezing. Come morning, empty, flush and clean again until you get to a location above the freezing mark. Travel empty, use the windshield washer fluid and the drop lamp at night. If your holding tanks are exposed under the floor of the RV, radiant heat from the highway might also be enough to keep the contents from freezing, so you might be able to go a few days with just the windshield washer fluid. Tank heaters, however, are still a wise investment if you hang around the cold country often enough!” From:


Deciding Where to Store Your RV - Some Do’s and Don’ts
”Many RVers, unfortunately, do not travel full time in their RV. So where should you store your rig? Perhaps you’ll find some things to think about in this article.”


The RV Doctor’s Handy Dandy Winterizing & Storing Check-off List
”So you can be assured nothing will fall through the cracks while preparing your RV for any period of non-use, use this check-off list. Simply make copies of the blank form and check off each item when completed. Download your free copy here.”


Tech Tips from Mark Polk
"A water heater by-pass kit can save you six or 10 gallons of antifreeze (depending on the size of the tank) when it’s time to winterize your unit. You drain the water heater, put it in the by-pass mode and the antifreeze bypasses the tank and goes directly into the water lines. Caution: Never drain the water heater tank when it is hot or under pressure.”


Bill's Hints.    Batteries
“When adding water to batteries, use distilled water if possible.”
-- From Motorhomes Made Easy


RV Holding Tank Evacuations Optimized! Posted by RV Doctor

“When you are at a campground that has a sewer hook up and you are only going to be there over the weekend, should you leave your tank closed and dump when you get ready to leave or can you leave it open and just clean up?” Pam S. (Waco, TX)     Read the answer here:


Cold Propane?  Posted by RV Doctor

“My propane generator will not run unless I heat the tank with a battery warmer. What can I do to fix this problem?” Fred H., (Gold River, NS, Canada)  Read answer here:


Re-using RV Anti-Freeze.  Posted by RV Doctor

“I winterized my RV last year with RV antifreeze. I did not use the camper this summer or fall and never anti-winterized it. Will the antifreeze last a second winter?” John V., (Mt. Vernon, IL)    Read answer here:


Other Interesting Questions to the RV Doctor Concerning Winterizing an RV

•  Another pump won’t pump RV anti-freeze!

•  Batteries in, or batteries out, for the winter?

•  How do I winterize a washer/dryer?

•  Stuck check valve at the city water inlet during winterizing.

•  Faulty by-pass valves discovered while winterizing.


On This Day:

Virginia cedes western land to federal government, Dec 20, 1783:

“On this day in 1783, Virginia cedes the vast territory it had previously claimed by right of colonial charter to the federal government of the United States. The Ohio Valley territory, which covered the area north of the Ohio River, east of the Mississippi River, and south of the Great Lakes and Canada, had been contested by Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut.

A young George Washington began the Seven Years' War with a failed attempt to secure Virginia's Ohio Valley outposts in 1754. For some, the British Proclamation line of 1763, banning further European settlement west of Appalachia had been a major incentive for rebellion. To complicate matters, Congress and the states had promised their soldiers land in payment for their service during the War for Independence. The states without western claims worried that they would forever be poor relations without western land to sell and fill their coffers. The new and fragile union remained at risk of dissolution until the land-claims issue found resolution.

Pennsylvanian John Dickinson first suggested that the states cede their lands to the Continental Congress in 1776. Virginia argued that their western claims superceded those of any of the other states because they were made in the first colonial charter, but the desire of leading Virginians for a stable confederated government outstripped their desire for land. They were the first state to cede significant holdings to the national government. Other states soon followed suit, solidifying the strength and wealth of the union and making western expansion a federal project, which culminated in Jefferson's brilliantly conceived Northwest Ordinance.”


The French surrender Orleans to the U.S., Dec 20, 1803:

“Without a shot fired, the French hand over New Orleans and Lower Louisiana to the United States.

In April 1803, the United States purchased from France the 828,000 square miles that had formerly been French Louisiana. The area was divided into two territories: the northern half was Louisiana Territory, the largely unsettled (though home to many Indians) frontier section that was later explored by Lewis and Clark; and the southern Orleans Territory, which was populated by Europeans.

Unlike the sprawling and largely unexplored northern territory (which eventually encompassed a dozen large states), Orleans Territory was a small, densely populated region that was like a little slice of France in the New World. With borders that roughly corresponded to the modern state of Louisiana, Orleans Territory was home to about 50,000 people, a primarily French population that had been living under the direction of a Spanish administration.

These former citizens of France knew almost nothing about American laws and institutions, and the challenging task of bringing them into the American fold fell to the newly appointed governor of the region, twenty-eight-year-old William Claiborne. Historians have found no real evidence that the French of Orleans Territory resented their transfer to American control, though one witness claimed that when the French tri-color was replaced by the Stars and Stripes in New Orleans, the citizens wept. The French did resent that their new governor was appointed rather than elected, and they bridled when the American government tried to make English the official language and discouraged the use of French.

It didn't help matters that young Claiborne knew neither French nor Spanish. Claiborne soon found himself immersed in a complex sea of ethnic tensions and political unrest that he little understood, and in January he wrote to Thomas Jefferson that the population was "uninformed, indolent, luxurious-in a word, ill-fitted to be useful citizens for a Republic." To his dismay, Claiborne found that most of his time was spent not governing, but dealing with an unrelenting procession of crises like riots, robberies, and runaway slaves.

Despite his concerns, Claiborne knew that somehow these people had to be made into American citizens, and over time he gradually made progress in bringing the citizenry into the Union. In December 1804 he was happy to report to Jefferson that "they begin to view their connexion with the United States as permanent and to experience the benefits thereof." Proof of this came eight years later, when the people of Orleans Territory drafted a constitution and successfully petitioned to become the eighteenth state in the Union. Despite Claiborne's doubts about whether the French would ever truly fit into their new nation, the approval of that petition meant that the people of Louisiana were officially Americans.”


The U.S. invades Panama, Dec 20, 1989:

“The United States invades Panama in an attempt to overthrow military dictator Manuel Noriega, who had been indicted in the United States on drug trafficking charges and was accused of suppressing democracy in Panama and endangering U.S. nationals. Noriega's Panamanian Defense Forces (PDF) were promptly crushed, forcing the dictator to seek asylum with the Vatican anuncio in Panama City, where he surrendered on January 3, 1990.

In 1970, Noriega, a rising figure in the Panamanian military, was recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to assist in the U.S. struggle against the spread of communism in Central America. Noriega became involved in drug trafficking and in 1977 was removed from the CIA payroll. After the Marxist Sandinista government came to power in 1979, Noriega was brought back into the CIA fold. In 1983, he become military dictator of Panama.

Noriega supported U.S. initiatives in Central America and in turn was praised by the White House, even though a Senate committee concluded in 1983 that Panama was a major center for drug trafficking. In 1984, Noriega committed fraud in Panama's presidential election in favor of Nicolás Ardito Barletta, who became a puppet president. Still, Noriega enjoyed the continued support of the Reagan administration, which valued his aid in its efforts to overthrow Nicaragua's Sandinista government.

In 1986, just months before the outbreak of the Iran-Contra affair, allegations arose concerning Noriega's history as a drug trafficker, money launderer, and CIA employee. Most shocking, however, were reports that Noriega had acted as a double agent for Cuba's intelligence agency and the Sandinistas. The U.S. government disowned Noriega, and in 1988 he was indicted by federal grand juries in Tampa and Miami on drug-smuggling and money-laundering charges.

Tensions between Americans in the Panama Canal Zone and Noriega's Panamanian Defense Forces grew, and in 1989 the dictator annulled a presidential election that would have made Guillermo Endara president. President George H. Bush ordered additional U.S. troops to the Panama Canal Zone, and on December 16 an off-duty U.S. Marine was shot to death at a PDF roadblock. The next day, President Bush authorized "Operation Just Cause"--the U.S. invasion of Panama to overthrow Noriega.

On December 20, 9,000 U.S. troops joined the 12,000 U.S. military personnel already in Panama and were met with scattered resistance from the PDF. By December 24, the PDF was crushed, and the United States held most of the country. Endara was made president by U.S. forces, and he ordered the PDF dissolved. On January 3, Noriega was arrested by U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency agents.”



It was a long day, I was up early, and worked around here until noon.  I was raking and digging trying to find the property stake which is between my house and the guest house.  We ran across it a few months back, and hammered a piece of white PVC pipe around it, so we could find it again.  But it disappeared under the grass or gravel.  I’ll have to get a metal detector soon!

Jay was acting up again, and I had to get the RVport down.  A lady at the church had given me the phone number of a handyman in the congregation, and so I called him. At noon, he and his crew of two guys came to take down the RVport.  Of course I helped, unscrewed screws, handed tools to the guys on ladders, and carried sheets of metal and lumber around to the other side of the house to be stored.  I already have an offer on the galvanized metal roofing, and I’ll re-use the lumber to enlarge my storeroom on the guesthouse property.





I was beat, and really too tired to eat, so I went to bed early, but first I had to gather up the trash and take it to the curb, as the garbage man comes at 5.00AM on Thursdays!

The weather was wonderful, about 80°, and so it was tank-top day.

PS: For all of you who believe in the End of the World on Friday, 21st….it is already the 21st. in Australia!!

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