Thursday, August 8, 2013

RV Tank Monitors. Leaky Tank. Flushing WH. High Altitude. Solar Panel Care. Laptop Table. RV Tips. General Robert E. Lee. Great Train Robbery. Nixon Resigns.


For “tRaVersing Thursday”, or RV Day:

HOW TO: Calibrate RV Tank Monitors

“Since we're sometimes pretty serious boondockers (that's camping without hook-ups for you RV newbies), we want to know the exact level in all of our holding tanks - fresh water, grey water and black water - and our propane level too.”


Ways to repair a leak in a fresh water tank

“The RV experts at Trailer Life explain options for repairing a leak in a fresh water tank.”


Flushing the RV hot water tank

“Jim Twamley, Professor of RVing shows you how to do essential RV maintenance by cleaning out the hot water tank.”


RV appliances at high altitude: Do they really work?

“An RVer studying his rig's appliance manuals and came across a statements that suggested his LP appliances might not work at higher elevations. How big a concern is "at elevation" operation?

Traveling in high places with your rig can mean a few changes, but the drama of "no shower, no cold beer" may be a bit overblown. Both from personal experience of our own, and "as told by" RVers around the country, heading for the hills in the RV isn't a huge problem. ”  More at:   By R & T De Maris


Solar panel maintenance is easy

“Those new to RV solar sometimes wonder: What kind of maintenance routine do I need to perform? Happily, maintaining the RV solar system is easier than taking care of a goldfish. Much easier!”  More at:


Laptop desks make RVing easier

"Sizing down" for the RV lifestyle can be tough. Where do you put your laptop — other than on your lap — when you have some serious computing to do? Enter the laptop desk.

There are a couple of different approaches: Simply put a more solid platform under your computer and set the whole works down in your lap. Some are wide enough to use a mouse in conjunction with your laptop. All of them help to keep you from getting "laptop burn." One such desk that retails for less than $30 is marketed by LapWorks ( This one uses a folding hinge trick, allowing you to set your laptop on a table; the device then gives a bit of an angle to the laptop making for easier typing. One problem: When you need to move, you'll need to set the desk and laptop aside.

A similar system, but one that gets the  laptop off your lap entirely, is to use a "bed table." These little stands take a flat platform and add legs, usually folding ones. Many have room for a mouse and also prevent burnt laps. But what to do when you need to move and don't want to disrupt your work in progress? The one pictured right is from Sam's Club. Careful though — those handy drink and silverware holders could create issues with free mouse movement.  (So preferably, find one that doesn’t have them.)

Here's another idea: Coupling the flat and stable platform with "full-to-the-floor legs," the "Table Mate II" is made with lightweight plastic and is adjustable in height and platform angle. There aren't any side braces, allowing users to slide their legs in and out from under the rig without fear of banging knees or legs. The whole rig slides right up over your lap, bringing the computer into reach and at precisely the right height. They're adjustable so you can use it with more than one chair or even the sofa.

We snagged a two-pack of these from Walmart for $50, drop shipped to a nearby store. We found we could use the second Table Mate as a printer stand.  Set for the correct height, we could roll our plastic file cabinet right underneath the stand, saving even more floor space. Right now Walmart says they're out of stock on these; but try Google "shopping" for "Table Mate" and you'll find many sellers offering single packs for around $30.”  by Russ and Tiña De Maris


From Me:  Or look for “couch table”, and get one like mine. The legs can go under the couch so you can pull it towards you, are adjustable, and it can be tilted or horizontal.


RV Tips:

Drying swimsuits inside an RV

“Where do you hang all those swimsuits to dry? Get thee to the local hardware store and grab a spring-loaded closet rod. Expand it and hang it in the shower stall. After all those suits are drip-dried, you can stash the rod away in any skinny slot.”

Zip-locks to the rescue
“You can save a lot of space in the RV refrigerator (and elsewhere) through the clever use of zipper storage bags. Dump whipped topping in the bag, snip off a corner of the bag and squeeze out topping — saves on spoons and space. Store the "cut out" bag in an intact bag. Freeze popcorn kernels in a zip bag. Stores in a tight space in the freezer and doubles as a "cold pack" for owies. Put cold cereal or crackers inside — saves space and keeps 'em fresh.”

Draining fresh water tank
“Whenever you return from a trip you need to drain the water from the water heater tank. This not only will prevent stale and musty water, but it will prevent costly damage that could occur if water were left in the tank and it froze, causing it to expand and split the water heater tank.”  Tips from Mark Polk

Dumping holding tanks
“Jacks greatly facilitate the dumping of holding tanks. Just tilt the rig toward the sewer connection.”   Bill's Hints

“Always put your campfire totally out before leaving your campsite. Stir up the ashes with water until they're like mud. A fire is totally out if you can touch a piece of paper to the ashes or charred wood without any visible heat effect to the paper.”


Get long life out of your RV tow bar system

It could be every motorhome owner's nightmare: A runaway towed car because of a faulty tow bar. Imagine looking in the rearview mirror and seeing traffic behind you trying to avoid your toad. What causes tow bar failure? Most often abuse, and sometimes age. Folks in the tow bar industry say the most common form of tow bar abuse is. . . Read more.


Does your RV need a slideout topper?
First, what is a slideout topper? Imagine an RV awning that extends itself, not over your "patio area" but over the top of your RV slideout. Most are constructed of heavy-gauge vinyl; but unlike standard RV awnings, these automatically deploy and retract as you deploy or roll in your slideout. So, do you need one? Some thoughts.


RV toilet sprayer alternatives
“RV toilets, by their design, at times don't flush quite as cleanly as we might hope. To that end, manufacturers often provide a spray nozzle to assist cleaning the bowl. But what if your biffy doesn't come equipped with the spray nozzle — are you stuck with stickies? Not at all — you can often add your own spray nozzle.”  Read more.


Need more water in your RV? Think horse tank!
“For some boondockers, there's never enough water. Perhaps they haven't been able to make the jump to "Navy showers." How can they get enough water if the fresh water tank is too small?”  How about a horse tank?


Drippy RV faucets   The RV Doctor

Dear Gary,
“How do you repair a bathroom faucet? I have a two-handle faucet in the bathroom that looks to be all metal and it constantly drips. How and what do I replace?” —Mike R. (Richmond, B.C.)     Read Gary's response.


On This Day:

Lee offers resignation, Aug 8, 1863:

“In the aftermath of his defeat at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Confederate General Robert E. Lee sends a letter of resignation as commander of the Army of Northern Virginia to Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

Lee not only seriously questioned his ability to lead his army, he was also experiencing significant physical fatigue. He might also have sensed that Gettysburg was his last chance to win the war. Regardless, President Davis refused the request. He wrote, "To ask me to substitute you by someone... more fit to command, or who would possess more of the confidence of the army... is to demand an impossibility."”.


Land Rovers used in famous Great Train Robbery, Aug 8, 1963:

“On this day in 1963, the 15 thieves involved in the Great Train Robbery, one of the most famous heists of all time, escape in an ex-British Army truck and two stolen Land Rover four-wheel drive all-terrain vehicles, making off with some $7 million in stolen loot.

The mastermind of the Great Train Robbery was Bruce Reynolds, a known burglar and armed robber. Inspired by the railroad heists of the Wild West in America, Reynolds and 14 other men wearing ski masks and helmets held up the Royal Mail train heading between Glasgow, Scotland, and London, England. They used a false red signal to get the train to stop, then hit the driver with an iron bar, seriously injuring him, in order to gain control of the train. The thieves loaded 120 mailbags filled with the equivalent of $7 million in used bank notes into their Land Rovers and sped off. The vehicles had been stolen in central London and marked with identical license plates in order to confuse the police.

In their hideout at Leatherslade Farm in Buckinghamshire, England, the robbers divided their loot. Viewed as folk heroes by the public for the audacious scale of their crime and their flight from justice, 12 of the 15 robbers nevertheless were eventually captured. In all, the gang of thieves received a total sentence of some 300 years.  The two Land Rovers used in the robbery were discovered at the thieves' hideout; a car enthusiast still owns one of them today.”


Nixon announces that he will resign the Presidency, Aug 8, 1974:

“Richard Nixon announces that he will resign the office of the President at noon the next day, August 9. He had been engulfed by a major political scandal that began with the bungled burglary and wiretapping of the Democratic Party's campaign headquarters in the Watergate apartment complex in Washington, D.C., on June 17, 1972. Senate investigations eventually revealed that the President had been personally involved in the subsequent cover-up of the break-in; additional investigation uncovered a related group of illegal activities that included political espionage and falsification of official documents, all sanctioned by the White House. On July 29 and 30, 1974, the House Judiciary Committee approved three articles of impeachment, charging that Nixon had misused his powers to violate the constitutional rights of U.S. citizens, obstructed justice, and defied Judiciary Committee subpoenas. To avoid almost certain impeachment, Nixon announced that he would resign from office.”



As the contractors are coming today, Ray and I pressured-washed the part of the house where the screen porch ties in.  It would be difficult to get to it later, after they have built the framework for the new roof.  We also washed all the porch framework, window sills and floor, ready for painting.  Then we washed the front of the shed and the ‘algae’ side of the vintage motorhome, Pugsy.  That makes the place look better.

The gentleman arrived from San Antonio and bought the two horizontal propane tanks, so that’s two more items out of the way, today.

1 comment:

Dizzy-Dick said...

Good luck with the contractors.