Thursday, December 27, 2012

RV Stuck? Winnie Recall. Cruise and Overdrive Towing? Oil Field Gate Jobs. RV Chalet. RV Dangers. Queen in RV. Ditch Propane Canisters. Slides. EV RV? Apollo 8. Sukkot.


For “tRaVersing Thursday”, or RV day:

Off main road with your RV--getting unstuck

“Boondocking away from "civilization" in your RV is a great way to get away from noise and hassles and bring you closer to nature. It can also provide its own set of challenges: Getting your rig stuck off the road is an example, and one you really don't want to experience.
Experienced boondockers can tell you: The best way to get your RV unstuck is not to get stuck in the first place. Whenever your wanderings take you away from maintained roads, it's best to look ahead--without the rig. Scouting ahead on foot can help you identify hazards. Obviously mud is something to steer clear of, but check the terrain carefully--it may be good today while it's dry, but what if rain comes--will that perfect "spot" suddenly become a mire?
Despite your best intentions though, things can happen. You may suddenly encounter a muddy or soft patch on an otherwise good gravel road. Be sure to…….”  Read the rest at:


Winnebago Recall:

“Winnebago Industries, Inc. is recalling 2,944 model year 2009-2013
Winnebago model Era, View, and Via motorhomes, and 2010-2013 Itasca
model Navion and Reyo motorhomes. The proper fuses were not installed
for the refrigerator circuits.  Without the proper fuse, heat can build
which could lead to a vehicle fire. Winnebago will notify owners, and
dealers will replace the fuses. The recall is expected to begin in early
Jan. 2013. Consumers may contact Winnebago Industries owner relations at (641) 585-6939. Winnebago's recall campaign number is 127.”


What about cruise control and overdrive when towing?

“When towing a travel trailer, can you use the cruise control? What about an overdrive transmission? These are questions that can puzzle new RVers--and even some veterans.
First, let's talk about cruise control. Here's a school of thought where most folks who've had cruise tend to agree: Towing a trailer with cruise control is fine--with certain caveats. Towing "on the flat" is a snap, and may save you fuel if your cruise control handles the accelerator. However, if you encounter a situation where your transmission begins to "hunt," that is, to move from one gear to another and back, then you may need to make a change. Usually the "hunting" can be stopped by simply slowing down or speeding up just a tad. If this settles the transmission down, well and good. If not, you may be back to "flying manually."”    More at:


Oil Field Gate Security Booming

“We have just started working in Texas as an oil field gate security gate team. We sign vehicles in and out of a ranch that has one or more oil wells and/or drilling sites. I'm writing this because it took me quite awhile to find out how to get into this business and thought we could help others.

The company we are working for has started us at $150.00 dollar a day or about $4,500 a month. You must be a team of two, as this is a 24 hour position, so one of you must be at the gate at all times. We intend to do this for five or six months, then take two months off and back again for another hitch. The owner of the company was the one that suggested this work schedule. Figure we will need a break after being in the middle of no where for six months.
The owner also asked if we knew any other RVers that might be interested in working as oil field security gate guards. As they are overwhelmed with jobs, your employment would be almost immediate. You must have a clean criminal background history. You will take an open book test on the details of your responsibilities, get finger printed, and then you're off to the job site.
I'm asking that, if you are interested, to contact me by email for further contact information. cstarkey090 at .”  By: Tina Starkey
(Working a Paying Job While Full-time RV Living)    From:


RV Chalet, The best of two worlds.

“Full-time RVing is indeed a spectacular way of life. Extremely popular, but not fully attainable to the multitudes of us who still must work for a living and travel when we can.

The RV Chalet is a means to accommodate RVing and still have a home base to return to when it's time to punch that time clock.  Or for those who are retired or travelling full-time, when it's time to hole up for the winter. In truth, flexibility is the key word, for actually any scenario fits the RV Chalet. Sound appealing?”    Read on at:


“I wish we had more readers.”

“The sad truth is that a lot of RVers are doing bad things because they have not learned how to properly use their RVs.

They overload them, they drive on defective tires, they don't understand the dangers of carbon monoxide or LP gas, they don't maintain their rigs properly -- some don't even know how to correctly empty their holding tanks. Many put themselves and their families in jeopardy because they don't understand RV electricity.

We have run our "No Shock Zone" series on RV electricity several times and have received at least a few letters from readers who said what they learned may have saved their lives. If we had five times the readers, we could do more good.”    More at: Editor's corner,


Queen Elizabeth Impressed by RV Factory Tour

Queen Elizabeth II (in pink) exits an RV during her tour of the RV plant in Bristol, England. Photo courtesy of the London Daily Mail.

“Queen Elizabeth II recently visited an RV plant in Bristol, England.  The queen and her husband, Prince Philip, were taken for a brief ride in the motorhome, the Approach SE760, known at the factory as Mavis, and given a tour of the plant.

Impressed: The Queen looked delighted to be shown around the motorhome Aides said they believed it was first journey in such a vehicle for the couple, who are more accustomed to the royal train and the former royal yacht Britannia for mobile accommodation.  Nevertheless, the Queen, dressed in a vivid pink Stewart Parvin coat and hat by Rachel Trevor-Morgan, seemed genuinely impressed.

Click here to read the entire story and watch a video of her visit.”


Use your RV's propane tank to fuel your gas barbecue

“If you're tired of having to buy those expensive propane canisters to operate your gas barbecue, and running out half way through the campground potluck, then this adaption is just for you.

A gas connect kit, which comes with the fittings including a T to connect to your rig's propane tank, can fuel your barbecue right from your larger tank.

The cost of propane used will be cheaper than the canisters, and with the Quick Connect fitting it can be hooked up in seconds. You can leave it connected while you are camped and only need to pack it away when you move on.

Since I barbecue right next to my rig I installed two book shelf brackets above my propane tank so when I cook, I slip the extensions into the brackets and place a shelf on top. Voila! A place for holding utensils, tools, condiments, barbecue sauce, etc., right at hand.   Kits can be found at RV supply stores and propane outlets.”     By Bob Difley

How to avoid damaging your slides when leveling your RV

So what's the correct way to level your rig without damaging the slides -- before or after they are extended? The safest (and most warranty-wise) answer: "Do what your rig's manual tells you. Here's a lift from a Keystone manual: The recreational vehicle must be level to avoid binding the slide-rooms. Remember, stabilizing jacks are not capable of supporting the weight of your vehicle! They are intended only to stabilize the unit maintaining a level condition. Non-leveled conditions cause sticking situations providing damaging strains on the slide-out mechanism."

This advice is pretty much standard with most RVers. If the rig is twisted, even a bit, it can put a real cramp on the slide-out mechanism. Pinching your slide-out can make for a most uncomfortable situation -- particularly if you can't "reel the unit back in" when it's time to hit the road.

As to the case of the "leaning RV," we can only say that if your rig leans after you deploy the slide-out, the most likely issue was not having your unit properly settled in the first place. Were the levelers on firm ground, or did they perhaps "sink" a bit into soft ground? Here's a case for leveler or "jack boots" to provide a larger surface area to those little feet.” By Russ and Tina De Maris

Electric Vehicle update:

“As EVs continue to gain acceptance, will small RV power plants be far behind? Ford is pushing their small van, the Transit Connect, which could easily be transformed into a Class B RV, and there are several companies producing electric buses. And both Federal Express and UPS are experimenting with electric delivery vans. This experimentation by business and industry will spur further development in more efficient batteries that charge faster and deliver more mileage in less size and weight. And that will be the ultimate game changer.”  More at:  Read the comments, too!


On This Day:

Apollo 8 returns to Earth, Dec 27, 1968:

“Apollo 8, the first manned mission to the moon, returns safely to Earth after an historic six-day journey.

On December 21, Apollo 8 was launched by a three-stage Saturn 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, with astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell, Jr., and William Anders aboard. On Christmas Eve, the astronauts entered into orbit around the moon, the first manned spacecraft ever to do so. During Apollo 8's 10 lunar orbits, television images were sent back home and spectacular photos were taken of the Earth and the moon from the spacecraft. In addition to being the first human beings to view firsthand their home world in its entirety, the three astronauts were also the first to see the dark side of the moon. On Christmas morning, Apollo 8 left its lunar orbit and began its journey back to Earth, landing safely in the Pacific Ocean on December 27.

On July 20 of the following year, Neil A. Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, astronauts of the Apollo 11 mission, became the first men to walk on the moon.”



When I woke up and turned on the news, I heard a familiar voice, it was my son Kevin on KHOU.

Tue Dec 25 20:01:30 PST 2012

High winds topple trees killed in drought

Many of tall pine trees here along Eldridge Parkway and the surrounding area are the casualties of last summer’s drought. view full article

Partial Transcript:  “Many of tall pine trees here along Eldridge Parkway and the surrounding area are the casualties of last summer’s drought.

The danger proved all too real when a young man tried removing a tree that had plunged down onto the road. A second tree fell on top of him and ended his life.

What’s going to be done to fix this problem is unclear right now.

But tree expert Kevin McKean says it’s likely going to be expensive.

“The problem is it costs a lot of money to get these trees down. With the economy the way it is, people don’t have the money to get their trees done,” said Kevin McKean, of Kevin’s Tree Service.

McKean says if you have a dead tree on your property, you have about six months before it becomes a real hazard.  Brown pine needles and bark that peels off are ways you can tell if a tree is ready to go.

“You have a full size tree that tree is 6,500 pounds and when the top breaks off, it’s going to produce a tremendous amount of force,” said Kevin McKean. “I’ve seen them punch completely through two-story houses and hit the concrete slab on the ground floor.””    From:


I don’t know why Kevin was there, as he told me the other day that he wanted to get out of the tree removal business.  With the problems of having to hire competent help, he wanted to concentrate on just stump grinding, which he can do by himself.  He has three different stump grinders for different situations.

astro-ramp The overhead and liability insurance is so much less too.  He has a ladder-truck, log loading truck, crane and big chipper for tree removal, which have to be taken to the site with helper drivers.   Whereas even his large stump grinder, on right, can be loaded into his custom built high-top Astro van with the ramp that he made for it.

Later, I learned that we lost Jack Klugman and Charles Durning.  Two great actors.

I am still watching some of the home renovation shows on HGTV, as it is giving me ideas how to make my house more desirable for someone to buy.  I like it just the way it is, but not everyone likes a small galley kitchen with an ‘Early American’ 3-burner RV propane cook top!  Also, I only have an enormous built-in electric microwave-convection combo, so I might have to buy a regular propane stove with oven.  I rarely use the big microwave-convection oven as I have smaller ones for every day use.

Then, the private appraiser wanted the lots split up on the county records before he does the appraisal.  So I went to our county’s Appraisal District in Conroe and did that, then emailed him the paperwork.  The county is going to send out one of their appraisers too, as now that the RVport and my pergola are no longer here, it alters things.  

As I received some emails about Christ being born during Sukkot, The Feast of Tabernacles, here are these thoughts:

Sukkot, The birth of Jesus the Nazarene


Well, that’s it for today.

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