Thursday, May 30, 2013

Clueless about RVing. Electrical Adapters. Mice and Ants? Mold. Awning. Fitted Sheets. Gas vs Diesel? RV Insurance. Decoration Day. First Indy 500.


For “tRaVersing Thursday”, or RV Day:

Clueless about RVing.

“You can get a good laugh from someone clueless about RVing. I came across a remark by a guy named Randy on the Thousand Trails Facebook page. He was commenting on the photo to the right.

He wrote: "I've told my friends, for years, that I will meet them at the campfire in the morning. But I'll stay in the nearest motel and have running water and a comfy room to sleep in. Didn't work all my life to act like a homeless person on a camping trip and call it fun!"

I could not resist responding. I wrote: "Geez, Randy. You'd rather stay in a motel in a bed where some person you don't know slept the night before? Hey, ya gotta love those bedbugs, too! Did you know that RVs have running water, just like motels? Amazing huh? You are severely undereducated in the comfort level of RVs."

Look at that photo: That's a fifth wheel trailer in the distance. I don't know anyone familiar with RVs who, observing that scene, would say they'd rather stay in a motel because, in so many words, "it's more comfortable." Randy, for example, shows his RV ignorance with a comment about how he'd rather stay in a motel where there's "running water," like maybe we RVers need to brush our teeth in a stream. Where has this guy been for the last 50 years? Has he ever stepped inside an RV? Me thinks no.

When I look at the photo, I go a little bit nuts. I want to be there. I know what it's like. I know what it's like to wake up in the morning in a beautiful place like that. I can imagine the sounds of birds, the warmth of the sun filtering through the trees, and the smell of the crisp, clean air. I can imagine stepping outside with my freshly brewed coffee, taking everything in, feeling I'm the luckiest guy in the world.

I also know what it's like to wake up in a motel room to a glorious view of a parking lot and those magnificent, scenic American icons — Denny's, McDonald's, Burger King, Taco Bell and maybe even a gas station.

Randy can have his stinkin' motel.”  By Chuck Woodbury


Electrical adapter may cut power to your RV

“Gary Bunzer, the RV Doctor, has a tip about using electrical adapters when plugging an RV into power at a campground or elsewhere.”


What to do when your RV power plug begins to fail

“Sooner or later, the connection between your RV's power cord and its plug will begin to separate. When this happens, you have a couple of options:”


Is your RV range a magnet for mice and ants?

“RV technician Chris Dougherty discusses how the range in an RV kitchen can be a big attraction for mice and ants. He also offers a tip about keeping the pests away.”


RV Mold Monster: Don't let this happen to you

“Chuck Woodbury confesses a stupid mistake that led to something very ugly appearing in his RV kitchen. It didn't need to happen, as Chuck explains.”


Use less hot water when taking a shower

“When taking a shower, use your water pump and the fresh water tank when your tank water is lukewarm but the well water for the RV park is icy cold. That way less hot water is needed to mix with the cold.” From reader David Bushouse


How to fix an RV awning that will not retract properly

“An RVer asks Gary Bunzer, the RV Doctor, why the awning on his recreational vehicle will not retract evenly and what he can do to fix the problem. In order to fully secure it when not in use, he must go onto the RV's roof to manually adjust the awning to fully secure it.”


HOW TO: Make a Fitted Sheet fit an RV Mattress

“It seems that we're not the only ones who've found that "King" and "Queen" beds aren't always exactly the same size we were used to in a stick house.

It didn't take long for us to hatch a plan to solve the problem, figuring that some sort of elastic strap beneath the mattress would keep it pulled tight. During a stroll around Wal-Mart (during a typical overnight camping stop) we discovered the perfect solution: suspenders! "


How To: Fold A Fitted Sheet

“Help is on the way! Premier bed-stylist and soft-goods expert Steven Whitehead reveals the age-old secret of how to properly fold a fitted sheet.”

From Me:  If you don’t want your bottom sheet to go slipping and sliding around, hook both TOP corners over the mattress first, and then do the bottom.


Should I buy gas or diesel?

“If the question is which truck will tow more or which motorhome has more torque the diesel will win hands down, but I honestly have no complaints with our gas powered motorhome either. Especially when considering the price.

Question: Why does a diesel engine have more torque?
Mark Says: Much of the reason is in the way the engine is designed. Internal combustion engines use spark from a spark plug to ignite fuel in the combustion chamber of a gasoline engine and the high heat from compression to ignite the fuel in a diesel engine. It’s more difficult to burn diesel fuel so diesel engines have higher compression ratios resulting in more heat to ignite the fuel and more power.

Question: I have always heard that a diesel engine is much louder than a gas engine, is this true?
Mark Says: If you asked me that several years ago the answer would have been yes, but newer diesel engines are actually very quiet.

Question: You said in the article a diesel motorhome rides better, why is that?
Mark Says: Most gas motorhome chassis’ use leaf spring suspension systems. With this suspension system you will experience things like “body roll” and “pitch.” whenever pressure is exerted against one side of the motorhome. It can be caused by a gust of wind, a shift in weight while cornering, or a passing truck. The effects of sway on a motorhome are increased because of the height and mass of the motorhome. A diesel chassis uses an air ride suspension system. These systems keep the chassis adjusted to the proper ride height at all times by adding and releasing air as required. And the way the system is designed eliminates the pitch and roll affect you get from leaf spring suspensions, resulting in a smoother riding motorhome.   Happy Camping,   Mark J. Polk”  More at:


Dutch RV insurance commercial -- no need for geckos

“So if you can sell car insurance with a gecko, can you sell it without the lizard? A Dutch insurance company shows how you can still have fun without the leapin' lizard.”

(Chatwakan - 2000) “Another commercial for Centraal Beheer Achmea, a Dutch insurance company who always (try to) make good commercials, you can watch them all on their site:  Then there is this one:


Shopping for RV insurance -- what all those terms mean

“When it comes to buying RV insurance, it can be a bit tricky — the terms can be so daunting. Just what are you shopping for, and what does it cover? In this and our next installment, we'll walk you through some of the seemingly mysterious terms that come with RV insurance. Read more.”


On This Day:

Civil War dead honored on Decoration Day, May 30, 1868:

“By proclamation of General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, the first major Memorial Day observance is held to honor those who died "in defense of their country during the late rebellion." Known to some as "Decoration Day," mourners honored the Civil War dead by decorating their graves with flowers. On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, after which 5,000 participants helped to decorate the graves of the more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried in the cemetery.

By the late 19th century, many communities across the country had begun to celebrate Memorial Day, and after World War I, observers began to honor the dead of all of America's wars. In 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday to be celebrated the last Monday in May. Today, Memorial Day is celebrated at Arlington National Cemetery with a ceremony in which a small American flag is placed on each grave. It is customary for the president or vice president to give a speech honoring the contributions of the dead and to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. More than 5,000 people attend the ceremony annually. Several Southern states continue to set aside a special day for honoring the Confederate dead, which is usually called Confederate Memorial Day.”


First Indianapolis 500 held, May 30, 1911:

“On May 30, 1911, the inaugural Indianapolis 500 is run at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indiana. The 200-lap, two-and-a-half mile race has since become a Memorial Day weekend tradition. With the exception of a break in 1917 and 1918 for World War I and from 1942 to 1945 for World War II, it has been run every year since, and is now the largest sporting event in the world, attended by about 270,000 spectators annually.

When the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was designed, the track was meant to have a crushed rock and tar surface. That surface was abandoned after only a few races in 1909, due to fatal results caused by unevenness. The rock and tar was replaced by over 3 million street-paving bricks that were filled in with sand and then mortar for strength. The track has since been referred to as "the brickyard," although subsequent resurfacing has covered all but about three feet of the bricks.

At the first Indy 500 in 1911, 40 cars met the qualifications to race. Track founder Carl Fisher felt the large number could lead to danger, so he decided to lead the first lap around the track at about 40 or 45 miles per hour, before pulling off to the side. The "pace car" has since become standard practice at all auto races.

A multi-car accident occurred 13 laps into the race, and the ensuing chaos temporarily disrupted scoring, throwing the finish into dispute when the eventual runner-up, Ralph Mulford, argued that he was the rightful winner. It was Ray Harroun, however, who took home the $14,250 purse, clocking an average speed of 74.59 mph and a total time of 6 hours and 42 minutes.

In the 30th mile of the race, 80,000 spectators watched as a driver from Chicago lost a front wheel, which caused his car to turn over on the track. Both the driver and his mechanic, who rode in the front seat with him, were thrown from the car. The mechanic landed against a fence and was killed instantly, while the driver escaped with a broken arm. The race continued, and the crowd watched nervously as accidents piled up, knowing another fatality could take place at any moment. None did, and Ray Harroun, driving a Marmon, was the only driver in the race who didn’t ride with a mechanic. Instead, he employed a rear-view mirror, his own invention, to keep an eye on the other cars on the track.”



Misty and I went to get Jay, and we all had our walks down there.  It was time to go shopping.

First stop was Lowe’s to return some of the unused polycarbonate roofing.  It is 26” wide and 10’ long, so it meant that Jay had to crawl under it and sit in the second seat until we got that out of the way.  I bought some 10’ long drip cap there, but that just rides down the middle of the van.

Then we went to Walmart for Jay to get a few things, and dropped off a bunch of used plastic bags in that recycling.  To save another stop at Petsmart, I bought Misty some Paul Newman’s organic canned dog food there.

Jay had a wheel to return to Northern Tool, so I bought a new ratchet for my tool set there.  My Craftsman one had broken and I don’t know when I can get to Sears in The Woodlands for a free replacement.

We unloaded the paper recycling at St. Marks thrift shop and Jay bought several bargains there, but I didn’t see anything I needed.  But I did find some bargains at Krogers, and then we came home. 

None of the driveway surfacing people that I have called have returned my calls, so we are still stuck on that project for a few more days.

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