Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Is Fun! Carbon Monoxide. "Nature Find". Generator Linkage. Plugged P-trap. Water Heater. Great Campfire. Houdini. Beatlemania. Rain!


For "tRaVersing Thursday", or RV Day, but first some thoughts about tonight.

Regular programming will resume after these messages:

Halloween is fun! What's the problem?

"Why would you want to stop kids from the fun and excitement of Halloween? Does it really matter?"

Transcript at:


Three reasons to ditch Halloween

Thousands of Christians around the world voluntarily have made the choice to kick Halloween to the curb. They made that decision because there are serious problems with the celebration of this holiday. (Photo by iStockphoto)Thousands of Christians around the world voluntarily have made the choice to kick Halloween to the curb. They made that decision because there are serious problems with the celebration of this holiday. (Photo by iStockphoto)

"Taking into account the origins and the practices of Halloween, here are three reasons you should completely ditch Halloween from your life and your children’s lives:

  1. God forbids the merging of pagan customs into our lives. “You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods” (Deuteronomy 12:31). God demands purity of worship from His followers—not combining paganism with Christianity.
  2. God wants us to avoid darkness. Halloween is all about darkness. It glorifies and emphasizes dark characters of mythology—witches, wizards, vampires, ghosts and zombies. These are all associated with either death, Satanism or the occult. The Bible is clear that we should “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness” (Ephesians 5:11). No fellowship means no participation!
  3. The whole celebration is based on a lie. The entire celebration of Halloween—from the celebrations it sprang out of to the present, commercialized holiday—is based on the unbiblical idea that humans have an immortal soul and live on in another form after death. The ancient Celts believed the souls of those in the Underworld wandered around on Samhain, and the Catholic All Souls’ Day is predicated on the belief that “canonized saints” are serving as mediators for God in heaven. Read “Is There Life After Death?” to learn what the Bible actually teaches on this subject.

Join the thousands of Christians around the world who have made the decision to ditch Halloween!"  More at: Click here: 3 Reasons to Ditch Halloween - Life, Hope & Truth


Back to our scheduled program: 

NASCAR RV Camper Killed by Carbon Monoxide

"DEATH AT TALLADEGA. Recently a carbon monoxide poisoning tragedy occurred in the RV camping area at NASCAR’s world famous Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. One man was killed, while his wife is in critical condition.

The Talladega County Sheriff’s Department said the 46-year old man died at a campground outside the racetrack. He and his 38-year old wife were discovered one morning unresponsive by friends. The wife was airlifted to a nearby hospital, where she remained unconscious and in critical condition. Sadly, the poison managed to shut down many of her internal organs. Even if she survives this ordeal, it’s possible she has suffered irreparable brain and heart damage.

What happened? Police said that carbon monoxide apparently leaked from the exhaust system of the family’s RV. The RV had a broken exhaust pipe on its generator, which was left running all night long– leaking deadly carbon monoxide into the living space.

The incident illustrates the importance of having a well functioning carbon monoxide detector in every RV. One of the most popular detectors on the market is the Kidde detector that includes both smoke and carbon monoxide detection, as well as a talking alarm. The talking feature will allow owners to quickly determine the type of threat."  More at: Click here: NASCAR RV Camper Killed by Carbon Monoxide




In the market for a motorhome but a little short on cash?

Here's the simple fix -- just find a good motorhome with a blown engine and do the Redneck Fix. It's quick! It's easy! It's inexpensive!


7 Gorgeous Alternatives to National Parks

image "The other Sunday I decided to go hiking with a friend. It was a gorgeous day and we decided to go to a favorite local spot, Great Falls. As we drove up to the entrance, it hit us. It’s Great Falls National Park, and it was closed because of the government shutdown. We were already in Great Falls and needed a new place to hike.

That’s where the National Wildlife Federation’s Nature Find tool saved the day. We found Riverbend Regional Park just down the road, and it was fantastic! I thought it would be useful to take a few popular national parks and find nearby alternatives while the parks are closed.

A pond at Riverbend Regional Park in Virginia.

A secluded pond at Riverbend Regional Park in Virginia. (Photo by Dani Tinker)

Update: Nature Find is still a great tool to find national, state, city parks and other sites to connect with nature."       List of parks and more at:


Keep your generator linkage clean to prevent stoppages

"Onan generators, typically 4000W (3600W for propane), are often a feature on mid- to large-size RVs. You can recognize these ubiquitous products by the presence of a large green box in place of a storage compartment.

While generally quite reliable, these units have a failure mode that is deceptively complex, yielding an error code that essentially says, "Take me to your Onan service shop." If you own or operate an Onan, there's an easy maintenance action you can take to prevent failures and expensive shop visits.

Inside the generator cover (two hand levers to open) you will see the engine and its carburetor at the upper right. On top of the carburetor is control linkage that governs the speed of the engine under different load conditions. If this linkage gets dirty, dusty or corroded, it can start to bind up. Since it's operated basically by air pressure from the cooling fan, it doesn't take much to get it "sticky."

This happened on my RV after several miles of dusty roads. I heard the generator "rev up" a little bit one day after the microwave shut off, and then the generator shut down and delivered an error code 14 — "Overfrequency Fault." Normally, such a fault is due to electronic failure in the generator electronics. But in this case (and several times since), the issue was simply that the feedback linkage could not respond quickly due to dirt accumulation, and the motor over-revved.

Blowing out the accumulated dust and putting a small drop of Tri-Flo on the pivot points was all that it took to get my volts and watts flowing smoothly again. Now, I do this proactively whenever I've been in dusty conditions, or if it's just been a long time since I cleaned up.

A compressed air source helps a lot, but if you're out on the road and don't have such access you can get the linkage free just by wiggling it full-stop by hand (of course, don't do any of this with the generator running). If you see evidence of crusty corrosion, use a TINY bit of lubrication — just a drop of WD-40 or light oil will do. Too much lube will only hasten the accumulation of more dirt." by Greg Illes


How to clean a plugged P-trap on an RV sink

"Don't worry if you accidentally drop your ring or your favorite earring down your RV sink. Your P-trap will save it from the holding tank. Here's how easy it is to get into that P-trap and retrieve your lost item."


How to flush out your RV's water heater tank

"Here's how to flush out your RV's water heater tank, which will remove sediment and prolong the life of your water heater."


See how easily a travel trailer can fall to pieces

"Here's a rare chance to see how easily a travel trailer can go from fully intact to a scrap heap. Here, a fellow decided to use the frame of a water-damaged trailer for another project. In this 50-second video, watch as the trailer easily falls to pieces with a strong tug of a rope attached to a pickup truck."

From me:  Maybe that is why I prefer the better built RVs, like bus conversions, or 'silver bullet' travel trailers.


Tools and techniques for a great campfire

"Everyone loves a crackling fire. The Africans of the 13th century had a Swahili phrase for "dreaming the fire," an exquisite encapsulation of the mood around a campfire. Here are some tips for making your own flickering camp delight.

Techniques:  A quality fire needs dry wood and ventilation. Make up a stockpile of multiple wood sizes from pencil-thick through finger size, broomstick, axe-handle, and 4x4s.

Always stack the smallest sizes first, into either a teepee or tic-tac-toe arrangement. Allow lots of air around the wood for good combustion.

Starting:  Anyone can get a blaze going with a splash of charcoal-starter — but where's the art in that? Dream-like satisfaction comes with primitive methods. Some folks will insist that they start their fire with only a match and shaved wood; others might fall back to a Bic lighter and a wax/wood starter pellet. I've seen purists use flint and steel! You choose.

Big wood needs big heat to burn with a good flame. A 4x4 won't burn over the heat from pencils — it will only smoke up the campsite. Don't put the big logs on until you have real heat and coals.

Tools:  A very handy tool is the "Fireside Friend" by Estwing (Home Depot, Amazon, Sears). This combination maul/hatchet is fantastic for splitting wood into smaller diameters. For very large wood, use a regular splitting wedge.

Typically, a poker of some kind is very useful in managing a fire. A pair of very long tongs works for repositioning a log or coals.

Safety:  Common sense but worth repeating:
·    Use safety glasses and gloves when chopping or splitting.
·    NEVER pour any kind of fuel onto a burning fire.
·    Don't leave fire burning or smoldering when you go to bed.
·    Put it out, really OUT. Push your fingers into the dead coals to be sure." by Greg Illes


RV Tips.

An alternative to duct tape

"We know we may be stepping onto hallowed ground: RVers love their duct tape. It's the greatest thing for on-the-fly repairs of all kinds. But we found something that you may want to add to your tape deck, if you'll allow it: It's called Waterproofing Repair Tape, made by Nashua, one of the big duct tape producers."  by Russ and Tiña De Maris  More at:

From me: I have used Nashua tape and it is definitely better than regular duct tape, but consumers say that Gorilla tape is the best.


Fast-cooked meal on a hot day — without heating up the RV
"Reader Sherry Zampino says she's now using an electric pressure cooker to make fast meals on a hot day, outside! Since it's sealed, even outside it doesn't attract critters, but cuts cooking time in a hurry. "I can go from frozen to cooked in about a half hour." Thanks, Sherry!"


Handy, and considerate, night lights
"LED "tap" lights near fifth wheel stairs, in the bathroom, and other places where a light is needed during the night can keep you from stumbling, or fumbling for light switches. And it's easier on your partner — the low level of light doesn't disturb sleepers."


"If or when you have a problem with your RV's blinds, check here for ideas about how to repair them." Fix My Blinds.


Is your roof air conditioner dripping?
"Got a dripping roof air conditioner but it's not raining outside? If the a/c drips when operating, you've probably got clogged drain holes inside the unit. Disconnect shore power and shut off the generator. Remove the shroud from the unit and look for debris blocking drain holes in the bottom plate of the roof-top unit."


Lots of “Bang” for Five Bucks

"With RV travel, sometimes it’s the little things that make a big difference. An example is the humble Camco hose elbow (

What’s the big deal about this little $5 piece of brass? It delivers great bang for the buck.

Solid brass, pardner! (Click the pic for more info.)

Solid brass, pardner!  It makes RV camping a little (maybe even a lot) more enjoyable.

The easy grip connector makes for faster and less frustrating water hookups.

It's technically an elbow, although here it looks like a knee. (Click the pic for more info.)

It's technically an elbow, although here it looks like a knee.  It’s also good for your equipment.

By adding this piece between your RV and your water connection, the elbow helps relieve unnecessary stress on the hose and fittings.

What? You want a 45 degree angle? Camco's got you covered.

What? You want a 45 degree angle? Camco's got you covered.  Extending the connection point away from your RV can work wonders in tight spaces.

These hose elbows are available in 90 degree and 45 degree flavors. The two are functionally the same; it just depends on what angle of access suits your needs.

Another view of the drop dead gorgeous 45-degree Camco hose elbow. It's a work of art, isn't it?

Another view of the drop dead gorgeous 45-degree Camco hose elbow. It's a work of art, isn't it?  As someone once sang, the little things mean so much.  So try a little tenderness, I mean, hose elbow.  Your hose (and maybe your back) will thank you." by C.S. (Sean) Michael


On This day:

Houdini is dead, Oct 31, 1926:

"Harry Houdini, the most celebrated magician and escape artist of the 20th century, dies of peritonitis in a Detroit hospital. Twelve days before, Houdini had been talking to a group of students after a lecture in Montreal when he commented on the strength of his stomach muscles and their ability to withstand hard blows. Suddenly, one of the students punched Houdini twice in the stomach. The magician hadn't had time to prepare, and the blows ruptured his appendix. He fell ill on the train to Detroit, and, after performing one last time, was hospitalized. Doctors operated on him, but to no avail. The burst appendix poisoned his system, and on October 31 he died."


Ed Sullivan witnesses Beatlemania firsthand, paving the way for the British Invasion, Oct 31, 1963:

"In the autumn of 1963, Beatlemania was a raging epidemic in Britain, and it was rapidly spreading across the European continent. But in the United States, where the likes of Bobby Vinton and Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs sat atop the pop charts, John, Paul, George and Ringo could have walked through Grand Central Terminal completely unnoticed. It wasn't Grand Central that the Beatles were trying to walk through on this day in 1963, however—it was Heathrow Airport, London, where they'd just returned from a hugely successful tour of Sweden.

Also at Heathrow that particular day, after a talent-scouting tour of Europe, was the American television impresario Ed Sullivan. The pandemonium that Sullivan witnessed as he attempted to catch his flight to New York would play a pivotal role in making the British Invasion possible.

John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote a song explicitly tailored to the American market and recorded it just two weeks before their fateful indirect encounter with Ed Sullivan. That song was "I Want to Hold Your Hand."

Ed Sullivan had his staff make inquiries about the Beatles following his return to the United States, and Brian Epstein arranged to travel to New York to open negotiations. As a result of the chance encounter at Heathrow on this day in 1963, and of Brian Epstein's subsequent coup in New York, the Beatles would arrive in the United States on February 7, 1964, with a #1 record already to their credit."



Jay didn't call to tell me that he was ready to be picked up.  He had left his cell phone here the day before, and his mother had thrown him out again, so he had no access to a phone.  We couldn't have done anything outside anyway, as it was teeming down rain.  But at least we could have got the carpet steamer down from the attic and cleaned the carpets.  I found out afterwards that he had just stayed in bed at his house, sleeping one off. 

SAM_2122 Misty timed her 'outs' with the short lapses in the downpours, but we couldn't even take a walk.  She must have a clock in her head, because about 5.00pm every evening she gives a little bark, and licks her lips, which means "Mom, time for dinner."  If I don't fix it right away, she will give another little bark 5 minutes later.  She has me trained.

The foster cats spent the rainy day watching it out of the windows, or playing, or dozing on the couch, just as usual.   

My rainy day was filled with computer work, housework and bookkeeping.

The carpets will have to wait for another rainy day.

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