Thursday, July 18, 2013

RV, New or Used? Lemon RV? Camper Project. Closet Door Latch. ‘Sisters on the Fly’. RV Tips. Canada Bound? Bent Awning Tube. Self-fusing Tape. Rome Burns. Singing Wobbly Joe Hill.


For “tRaVersing Thursday”. or RV Day:

Buying an RV? New or used?

“Sean Michael discusses the pros and cons of buying "new" versus buying "used." Among other benefits, you can save a lot of money buying a quality, used RV.”


How to Spot a Lemon when Buying an RV

Tips on what to look for on RVs


The $800 truck camper project
“Seems like truck camper owners are a breed apart from many other RVers. We've seen plenty of do-it-yourself-ing in the community. Here's an interesting video from a gentleman who took an $800 pop-up truck camper, 30 days, and plenty of sweat equity to return a run-down rig into a unit ready for use. Watch the video.”


Add A Simple, Clever RV Closet Door Latch

“Many RVs have sliding closet doors, but since RVs are moving vehicles the doors must be latched to keep them in place on the road. Different models have different ways of keeping the doors closed. But here's a better way according to the RV Geeks.”


‘Sisters on the Fly’ still having ‘more fun than anyone’ in their vintage trailers, fishing, riding

“Real-life sisters Maurrie Sussman of Phoenix, Ariz., and Becky Clarke of McCall, Idaho, are avid fly fishers, ‘cowgirls’ and vintage trailer owners.

Together they are the inspiration and force behind a “grab life by the tail and swing it around” group of women known as “Sisters on the Fly.”  Read more at: "Sisters on the Fly" still having fun in their vintage trailers.


RV Tips:

2Avoid waiting games at the RV service center
“Does your rig spend more time in the shop than on the road? Don't let delayed service times ruin your RV trip. Here are some tips that may help.”

Pack along a small fan in your RV that can operate on 12-volt power. “It will come in handy on a hot day when you simply need to cool yourself and don't have the power to run your air conditioner, or don't want to. It can also double as a hair blow dryer, although it might take a long time to do the job.”

Wheel bearings
“When was the last time you repacked your travel trailer's wheel bearings? Experts recommend an annual shot of grease to keep things moving safely.”

Be careful not to void your water heater's warranty
“Want to void your Atwood water heater warranty? Simply replace the drain plug with an anode rod. Atwood says leave the anode rods to "other guys."”

Using a tablet or smart phone to get online? Be careful!
“We love our mobile devices. Unfortunately for us, so do hackers. The 2013 Javelin Strategy Research Identity Fraud Report found that tablet users in the U.S. are 80 percent more likely to be victims of identity fraud than all consumers – 9.6 percent compared to 5.3 percent. Read why, and how you can protect yourself.”

Lock your RV
“Always lock the RV when you’re not physically at the campsite. Do not store valuable equipment in outside storage compartments. Believe it or not, a vast majority of RVs use the same exact key as yours for outside storage compartments. If you store valuables, like golf clubs, fishing gear or tools in the outside compartments, you may want to have the locks changed.”  Tech Tips from Mark Polk

 Waste outlet cap
“Carry a spare waste outlet cap.  If you fail to put the cap back on after dumping, it will probably be torn off while driving.” From Bill's Hints

Clean your roof. . . . . and stay safe
”Be safe cleaning your roof! Use a regular ladder to access, or build a scaffold alongside with stepladders and planks. If you need to go on the roof, remember: safety first, exercise caution.  First feel out its weight-bearing capacity on your hands and knees. If you do step out, make sure it’s not slippery. Learn more.”  Handy tips from Dicor.

Avoid those water leaks! “They can lead to very expensive structural repairs. Many RVers understand the importance of keeping water and moisture from entering the RV through faulty seals or other forms of compromise, but oftentimes it’s difficult, at best, to determine exactly where the leak exists. Well-equipped RV service facilities rely on a SealTech machine to accurately identify air or water leaks in any RV. Check out this RV Doctor video tip.”

RV Solar System Maintenance
”Many of the components in a well-designed RV solar system require very little maintenance, but there are still some things you should check periodically. Solar panels, being up on the roof of the RV, often fall victim to the out-of-sight, out-of-mind syndrome. Here are some maintenance tips you should consider.”


Canada bound?
“The Canadian national anthem doesn't begin "Oh, Canada!" for nothing. It's a big country with much see. Here is some advice about how to plan a trip to this magnificent country to our north.”


Awning tube bent. What to do?

Dear Gary,
“Is it possible to straighten an awning tube? If so, how?” —Steve D., Neola, Iowa

“Love those "to the point" questions Steve! To my knowledge, there is no method in the aftermarket of straightening a bent, extruded aluminum awning roller tube. Some can be manipulated somewhat, but will always show evidence of the damage.

In order for the canopy fabric to remain straight and roll up square and evenly, unfortunately, the tube will need to be replaced. I’m sure re-extruding the tube could make it like new, but a new replacement tube would certainly be less expensive than trying to find a way to make that happen! Wish I had better news for you, but I'd recommend a new roller tube.”  Posted by RV Doctor


Use self-fusing tape for weatherproof connections

“Standard vinyl electrical tape has been around for a long time — too long, some would say. The problem with this commonly used product is its adhesive. It doesn't really stick very well, and after awhile it starts to peel loose, leaving a gooey mess behind.

Some years ago, a worthy alternative appeared — a silicone rubber tape that was self-fusing. It bonded to itself with enthusiasm, and had no adhesive to age or create a mess. Furthermore, it was impervious to many chemicals, ozone and UV, which age and deteriorate lesser products.

Recently, this self-vulcanizing tape has seen a surge in popularity. It's now sold in many colors and widths, all at affordable prices (although much more expensive than its cheaper brother). Sold by everyone from Ace Hardware to Amazon, a 1" x 12' roll runs about $10-$14, and 2" x 36' will set you back $40.

You apply the tape by peeling off its backing (being careful not to let it touch itself — it bonds instantly). Wrap the tape around the object to be covered, and make the first wrap go over itself. Then stretch the tape in the direction you want and continue wrapping. It's easiest to cut off a piece in advance rather than applying it from the roll. A little experience will show you how much to use, and it takes very little: Two to three inches will weatherproof most electrical joints.

Notice that the tape doesn't actually stick to anything but itself. This means that it's easy to remove, but it also means that it can't be used for any application that requires a sticky seal. The best way to think of this "tool" is as a rubber-molding process. Once the tape is applied and wrapped around the object, it is literally as if the object were cast inside a mold. In fact, I've cut open 5-year-old wrappings and they still looked as if they were just one solid piece of rubber.

Due to its stretchy nature, the tape is fabulously conforming. It will create a solid rubber sleeve around the most odd-shaped joints and other objects. In addition to electrical, the tape can be used for any purpose where a rubber coating is desired. For example, my flagpole gave up its rattle after I rubber-taped the base. Your imagination is your only limit.”   By Greg Illes


Collapsible rigid sunglasses case stows in small space

“Over-the-counter drugstore reading glasses are so inexpensive that when they scratch or break you just chuck them and buy a new pair. Not so for sunglasses. When you sink a decent sized chunk of your disposable income into eye protection that is both high quality and cool, you want to take care of them.

But protective cases become problematic because off their size and rigidity. You can't just stick the case away in your pocket or purse since it takes up so much space.

Until now. Integral has introduced the Flipcase, which is a sturdy and collapsible sunglasses case that folds up flat when you're not using it. And by flat I mean only 1/4 inch thick, and small enough to stow out of the way just about anywhere until you need it. 

Inside the microfiber protects the lenses from scratching and outside the rigid plastic keeps them from breaking. The case will fit about 99% of sunglasses--up to 2.5 inches high, 2.5 inches wide, and a girth when folded of up to 7 inches.

You can learn more about Flipcase on the Integral website where you can also purchase the case for $34.” Submitted by Bob Difley


On This Day:

Nero's Rome burns, Jul 18, 64:

“The great fire of Rome breaks out and destroys much of the city on this day in the year 64. Despite the well-known stories, there is no evidence that the Roman emperor, Nero, either started the fire or played the fiddle while it burned. Still, he did use the disaster to further his political agenda.

The fire began in the slums of a district south of the legendary Palatine Hill. The area's homes burned very quickly and the fire spread north, fueled by high winds. During the chaos of the fire, there were reports of heavy looting. The fire ended up raging out of control for nearly three days. Three of Rome's 14 districts were completely wiped out; only four were untouched by the tremendous conflagration. Hundreds of people died in the fire and many thousands were left homeless.

Although popular legend holds that Emperor Nero fiddled while the city burned, this account is wrong on several accounts. First, the fiddle did not even exist at the time. Instead, Nero was well known for his talent on the lyre; he often composed his own music. More importantly, Nero was actually 35 miles away in Antium when the fire broke out. In fact, he let his palace be used as a shelter.

Legend has long blamed Nero for a couple of reasons. Nero did not like the aesthetics of the city and used the devastation of the fire in order to change much of it and institute new building codes throughout the city. Nero also used the fire to clamp down on the growing influence of Christians in Rome. He arrested, tortured and executed hundreds of Christians on the pretext that they had something to do with the fire.”


Singing Wobbly Joe Hill sentenced to death, Jul 18, 1914:

“Convicted of murder on meager evidence, the singing Wobbly Joe Hill is sentenced to be executed in Utah.

A native of Sweden who immigrated to the U.S. in 1879, Joe Hill joined the International Workers of the World (IWW) in 1910. The IWW was an industrial union that rejected the capitalist system and dreamed one day of leading a national workers' revolution. Members of the IWW--known as Wobblies--were especially active in the western United States, where they enjoyed considerable success in organizing mistreated and exploited workers in the mining, logging, and shipping industries.

Beginning in 1908, the IWW began encouraging its membership to express their beliefs through song. The IWW published its Little Red Song Book, otherwise known as the I.W.W. Songs to Fan the Flames of Discontent. A few years later, the witty and handsome Joe Hill became one of the Wobblies' leading singers and songwriters. Hill composed many of the IWW's best-loved anthems, including "The Preacher of the Slave" which introduced the phrase "pie in the sky." By 1915, Hill was one of the most famous Wobblies in the nation.

Public notoriety, however, could prove dangerous for a radical union man. In 1915, Hill was arrested and charged with murdering two Salt Lake City policemen during a grocery store robbery. Although the evidence against Hill was tenuous, a jury of conservative Utahans convicted him on this day in 1914 and he was sentenced to death. He was executed by firing squad the following year.

Ever since, scholars have debated whether Hill was actually guilty or was railroaded because of his radical politics. Regardless of his guilt or innocence, Hill became a powerful martyr for the IWW cause by telegramming his comrades with a famous last-minute message: "Don't waste any time in mourning. Organize."”



Misty and I went to get Jay for shopping day, and we had a good walk down there.  An armadillo went by across the street, and even though Misty couldn’t see it, she knew it was there and was pulling at the leash trying to follow it like a little bloodhound.

The van was full of stuff that needed to be dropped off at different places.  Big pieces of Styrofoam were dropped off at the community dumpster.  Plastic bags went either to the recycling, or useable ones donated to thrift shops.  We stopped at St. Marks and recycled the paper, and looked in their thrift shop.  Neither of us saw anything we wanted there.

The Unique Thrift shop was having a clearance sale, I didn’t buy anything, but Jay bought two pair of comfy boots, very cheap.  Then we went to Angelic thrift shop and donated some items.  We did buy a few things in their shop.  At Home Depot I bought a different brand of door bell, maybe this this one will work.  I also bought some white spray paint that works on vinyl, so I am hoping it will cover the sunburn marks on my white siding.

Once again, we didn’t stop at a grocery store as we were running out of time. Jay had to go shopping with his mother, and I was expecting the contractor.

In the afternoon the contractor and his helper leveled, plumbed and cemented in the corner post that we had torn my screen porch apart to install.  He is going to be building my front porch extension from that, so I knew he would rather do it himself. 

Now we can put the screen porch back together today.

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