Thursday, May 23, 2013

RV Water Pressure. Passport America. Chinese-made Tires. Old Fashioned Oven or Convection Microwave? Leaky Shower? Bicycle Rack. Sink Strainer. Iced Tank. Compact Hose. Tornadoes. NYC Public Library. My Roof.


For “tRaVersing Thursday”, or RV Day:

Keep your water pressure under control

“RV water systems are designed for modest water pressures. The typical built-in 12-volt pump produces a maximum of 45 psi or 55 psi, which is enough for a decent shower. But when you hook up to "city water" there are no guarantees.

I've been connected to water supplies as low as 18 psi (wow, does that take a LONG time to fill the fresh tank), and as high as 125 psi, which is enough to damage water system components. It's always a Russian-roulette game, and it's one you really don't want to play.

The short story is to always test the water hookup before you hook up. But this involves digging out your water-pressure gauge (now which drawer was that in?), screwing it onto the faucet, testing, unscrewing, and then (finally) attaching your water hose. For most of us, it kind of begs for laziness ("Oh, it's probably okay"), which can be an expensive mistake. A handier solution is to make up a water quick-connect assembly with integral gauge.

Here's all you need, available from any local hardware store:
    •Water pressure gauge
    •Water manifold Y-fitting with shut-off valves
    •Short flex-line "hose-saver"

The Y-fitting female attaches to the flex-line and then to the city-water faucet — the flex line allows attaching the setup to even the most inaccessible faucet. The water-pressure gauge attaches to one of the Y-fitting male outlets and your water-hose to the other.

When you are ready to hook up screw the flex line onto the city-water faucet, turn off the valve going to the hose, turn on the valve going to the gauge, and then turn on the city-water valve. The gauge will show you what pressure you have. If it's okay, turn on the Y-fitting hose valve. If the pressure is too high, of course you'll need a regulator — but you don't need to employ such a flow-restricting device if the water pressure is under 80 psi.

Leave the whole setup attached to your water hose and you'll never get lazy. This dandy apparatus will keep you honest, always providing the important pressure reading whenever you connect your precious RV water system to that strange faucet.” By Greg Illes


Why a Passport America membership is a good thing

“Although it seems like campground costs are rising with each new season, bargains can still be found throughout North America. Passport America is one RV park club that makes it easy to save money.

If you're skeptical about yet another RV camping club you can put your skepticism to rest. For a $44 yearly membership fee you'll get half-price camping at hundreds of membership campgrounds in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Parks in choice locations like San Diego that normally charge $50 a night are just $25 with a Passport America membership.

Unlike many camping clubs, Passport America openly shares which campgrounds are part of its network with members and non-members alike. This makes it easy to research RVer's reviews on member parks at sites like To see which Passport America parks are currently part of the group's network click here.

Passport America memberships only have a couple of downsides: Affiliated parks are often located on the fringe of major cities and RV parks in the most desirable areas often restrict membership access to certain times of the week or season. For example, most Passport America parks in Arizona only allow members summer use.

Despite these limitations, RVing is one of the cheapest ways to enjoy prime real estate and a Passport America membership can make it even more affordable. For the price of one night in a first-rate RV park, you can have more money to put into your gas tank.” By Rene Agredano


Complaints on Chinese-made tires. Are they valid?

imagesCAETISW0 “Our RV Tire Safety blogger, Roger Marble, comments on complaints about "China bombs," or Chinese-made tires. He reviews some complaints to NHTSA.

Without complaints that provide the information needed by the investigators at NHTSA, there will never be a recall and without a recall there is little real incentive to some companies to improve the quality of their tires." Read more

Bottom Line
”Some but not all tires that fail, appear to be made in China. Also the NHTSA web site isn't very easy to use to find which tires have fewer complaints than others. One of the major reasons is what engineers call GIGO Garbage In Garbage Out. 
People are not providing the tire DOT serial so numerous errors follow, making the complaint web site less than helpful, which means others can't gain knowledge needed to make informed decisions.”


Old fashioned oven or convection microwave?

My Convection Microwave

“The oven has been a basic tool in home cookery for decades. RV's have had them for a long time. On the other hand convection ovens haven't been around nearly as long, but have proven to be a great cooking method for RVs and the home alike. So what's best?”   Rich Miller, the Wanderman, has some thoughts.


How to prevent your RV's shower stall from leaking

“Certified RV technician Chris Dougherty outlines a simple way to keep your RV's shower stall from leaking.”


A better sink drain strainer for your RV kitchen

Rene Agredano went shopping for a better kitchen sink drain strainer. Here's what she found.


RV bicycle rack uses roof ladder to transport bikes

“Jim Nelson demonstrates a very clever bicycle rack that uses an RV's ladder to transport one or two bikes.”


Ice cubes in the toilet

“Purchase a five-pound bag of ice cubes and dump them down the toilet before heading on the road. As the ice melts and gets sloshed around while driving, it should knock any dried solid waste from the walls in the tank and mix with the water that will be ready to dump at your next stop.”  By Jim Spellman


An ideal hose for your RV? Maybe not

“ editor Chuck Woodbury has a tip about a new type of compact hose that at first glance seems like a good thing for RVers. But maybe not.”

Just don’t use them for drinking water.


BT Daily: Tornadoes, God & Hope

May 21, 2013 - “Did God cause the Oklahoma tornadoes? Is there hope?”

Transcript at:


On This Day:

New York Public Library dedicated, May 23, 1911:

“In a ceremony presided over by President William Howard Taft, the New York Public Library, the largest marble structure ever constructed in the United States, is dedicated in New York City. Occupying a two-block section of Fifth Avenue between 40th and 42nd Streets, the monumental beaux-arts structure took 14 years to complete at a cost of $9 million. The day after its dedication, the library opened its doors to the public, and some 40,000 citizens passed through to make use of a collection that already consisted of more than a million books.

In the late 19th century, New York had surpassed Paris in population and was quickly catching up with London, then the world's most populous city. Unlike these cities, however, it lacked a public library large enough to serve its many citizens. In 1886, former New York Governor Samuel J. Tilden died, bequeathing to the city $2.4 million to "establish and maintain a free library and reading room in the city of New York." The gift remained unspent until May 23, 1895, when New York's two largest libraries--the Astor and Lenox libraries--agreed to combine with the Tilden Trust to form a new entity that would be known as The New York Public Library. Sixteen years later to the day, the main branch of the library was dedicated in midtown Manhattan.

During the next few decades, thanks in large part to a $5.2 million gift from steel baron Andrew Carnegie, a system of branch libraries opened throughout New York City. Today, the New York Public Library is visited and used annually by more than 10 million people, and there are currently well over two million cardholders, more than for any other library system in the nation.”



Thoughts of the front porch extension woke me up before 5.00am.  It is just too awful, and I couldn’t let it go on.  It really needed to be cantilevered and Jay doesn’t want to learn how to do that.  Jay had assured me that he could build this roof extension, but I have let it go on too long.  Every time I said to Jay that it looked unstable, or the boards look uneven, or not lining up right, he said “Oh, it’ll be alright.”  This is not what I had in mind for the entrance to my house!








NOT-New-roof-frontMisty and I went to get Jay, hoping he would do something about it, and Misty and I had a short walk down there.  As usual, I had to wait for him for about 25 minutes as he wasn’t ready when he said he was, and that just get’s my goat! 

That 25 minutes could have put to good use. I always have emails to tend to, yesterday I had two baskets of laundry to be folded, and there is always that pile of junk mail to shred. I could even be spending that time exercising these foster cats with a feather toy on a string and stick. Maybe, one day, I will have time to install the new padded toilet seat that I bought a month ago.

Jay took ‘umbrage’ (Brit: To take umbrage means to be offended), when I asked him to fix it to try to make it look more presentable, and he asked to be driven home.  He said images[9]he had to go home to change the water in his aquarium as his plecostomus had died.  I was already working on something else with Ray, and I told Jay that I shouldn’t have to waste my gas and time again.  He called someone else to give him a ride home.  Even though Jay owes me money, sometimes you have to cut your losses.  There are plenty of other things that he can do around here that maybe his beer-sodden brain can do right.  Such as, I need a bunch of fence pickets cut on the table saw, it’s one way to use up old lumber.

Ray and I were airing up the tires of all the vehicles with the compressor.  One utility trailer, one camping-cargo trailer, two motor homes, (one with air lift bags), my Puddle Jumper, my van, Ray’s car, and his son’s SUV.  That’s 32 tires on the ground, plus spares. It was still too damp from the overnight rains to do any painting.

It would be nice if my screen porch could look like this:

or my entrance way, like this:

In the afternoon, I had to cook a bunch of veggies.  They had been bought to be juiced, but I had been too worn out after cutting down the Collie to even think about juicing or eating for a couple of days.  I even forgot to take my vitamins.  That might have contributed to my immune system being compromised, and made me so susceptible to the allergens of the last few days.

No comments: