Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Tucson, AZ

Sunday - Lunch/dinner at Culver's and groceries from Fry’s. Not much else until going to the pool around sunset. At 98°F, it was too hot for much else.

Monday - I participated in the morning and afternoon test sessions. I'm amazed at the difference that my new "computer glasses" that I picked up at Costco make. So much easier to read the text on the screen. 

After dinner, I headed down to the pool. There were thunderstorm warnings in the late afternoon but we never saw a drop and all the lightning was west of town. 

I ordered an RV Lock for the motor home. They are finally starting to make one for class A RVs. We had one on the 5th wheels and it may be one of our favorite upgrades. Being able to lock/unlock the deadbolt using a remote or the keypad was a huge convenience. Plus if you need to give access, you just need to give them the code. There is even a LE BT option available so you can lock or unlock using your phone. 

Tuesday - Morning test session today and the AT&T internet seems decent. In fact, the park's complimentary WiFi isn't that bad either though not enough bandwidth for Zoom. 

Dinner was grilled potatoes and lemon-garlic shrimp. Maybe I need to add some vegetables…

So I grilled some corn with butter and seasoned salt. It all came out delicious.

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Another Project Done

Saturday - Today’s project is trying to fix the turn signal lever. Lately, when signaling a left turn, the rear and Jeep lights flash but the front, mirror, dash, and the light on the side don’t. For quite a while, if I applied a little more force on the turn signal lever, it would work. That temporary "fix" stopped working on the drive from Texas. So I was pretty confident that the problem was something mechanical inside of the switch. Before removing the switch, I searched for a replacement and, big surprise, they were pretty pricey. 

After removing the switch assembly from the steering column, I disassembled it and discovered that there are two sets of contacts for each direction. I’ll assume front and rear. Some of the contacts look a little burned so I’ll clean them up with some fine sandpaper. If I was home I would use the points file that hasn’t been used since the mid-80s. (Remember points?) The reason for the multiple contacts is to handle the current from many bulbs. In this case, five incandescent bulbs for each direction. Maybe I should replace the bulbs with LEDs just to limit the current. 

I used the Dremel to clean off all of the contacts for both directions. Only one left turn contact was severely burned and pitted so I'm going to assume that was the problem. Time to reassemble the switch and test. Look at all that Cu! I guess it’s lasted quite a while. 

Later - Success! We now have front turn signals and four-way flashers. I had earlier assumed that the switch was a sealed, non-serviceable unit. It is probably considered non-serviceable but I was pleasantly surprised that it was so easily disassembled. This was one project that I really wanted to get done while we were stationary as it’s kind of a safety issue.

Other projects: kitchen slide lock, 12v compressor refrigerator conversion, replace SeeLevel II black tank sensor (I already have the sensor), replace inverter, repair windshield washer (pump leaks), add 600 additional watts of solar, LiFePO4 batteries, and replace tile and carpet with vinyl plank flooring. The last one is really major. The inverter, batteries, and solar is pretty straightforward, it’s just $$. The refrigerator conversion is probably the next major project while we are here in Tucson.

Friday, September 23, 2022

Saguaro National Park

Thursday - Today, AT&T seems pretty fast, at least for download. Jitter still seems to be on the high side. After the test session, I walked to Sprouts, one of the grocery stores near the park, and picked up some ingredients for riced cauliflower Spanish rice. If it's good, I'll include the recipe.

Mexican Cauliflower Rice 


Ingredients:

  • 10 oz Bag riced cauliflower 
  • 1/2 Onion diced 
  • 2 Tbsp garlic powder 
  • 2 Tbsp smoked paprika 
  • 2 Tbsp comino / cumin
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic 
  • 1 Can Rotel
  • 1 Tbsp Better Than Bullion 
  • 2 Tbsp butter 
  • Pinch salt & pepper 
  • Cilantro (optional)

Directions:


Microwave frozen cauliflower rice for 6 minutes on high.


Add cauliflower rice to a dry pan on low-medium heat. Cook until completely dry. (5+ mins)


Add diced onions and 2 tbsp of butter. Cook until onions are softened. Add minced garlic, comino or cumin, garlic powder, smoked paprika. Mix all dry Ingredients well for a few minutes then add Rotel, Better Than Bullion, salt & pepper and cilantro.


Friday - This morning, we went to Saguaro National Park, the eastern one of the two. The last time we were here, just about everything was closed including the eight mile scenic drive. This used to be a National Monument but was changed to a National Park in the mid-90s. I’m not sure why. 


The recent rains have resulted in a lot more green than usual. This is an ocotillo plant which usually looks like a bunch of dried up sticks. We didn’t see any wildlife except for lizards running across the road and only a handful of other vehicles on the loop. Lots of bicyclists in the parking lot so I suspect that the one-way loop road could get congested. 


Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Some Maintenance, Upgrades, and Repairs

Monday - This morning, we had the RV washed and waxed. It took him over three hours to get it done and it looks pretty good. The wheels are shiny, the glass is clean, and the paint hasn’t been this shiny since we’ve owned it.

It definitely looks better than it did before. After he was finished, I had to bring the slides in and start the engine to get the suspension airbags inflated. Otherwise, there isn’t enough room to put the tire covers back on. 

Around 3:15, I went to the pool to cool off from the 100°F afternoon high. After a half hour or so, a thunderstorm started moving in and the Weather Channel app warned me that lightning strikes were detected within two miles. So, I headed back. Some rain should lower the afternoon temperature. 

Tuesday
 - The morning project was installing an aftermarket hood lock. The Wrangler doesn’t have an inside hood release like 99% of vehicles these days. It has the latches on each side of the hood just like they had back in WWII. For just a bit of security, I added the hood lock. 

To eliminate having to have another key to lose, this one is keyed to the door key just like the gas cap. It is held in place by four stainless ¼ steel pop rivets so it isn’t going anywhere. No holes needed to be drilled as this is where the front trail camera installs. 

It came with a replacement center section grill insert, and the installation took about twenty minutes. Pretty easy since I had removed the grill before when installing the Roadmaster baseplate for flat towing. 

Now tot’s about time for the early test session. 

Later - The Internet was really flaky so I canceled the morning session and removed myself as a lead for the second session.

One other minor project was repairing the bedroom window awning strap. One more thing that has been put off for years due to lack of will. The loop at the bottom was broken and rather than picking up a new strap, I just sewed some extra nylon strapping to the existing awning strap. We rarely even open the blinds on this window as it is behind some cabinet doors. But the awning will probably keep that particular window opening cooler. I scavenged the nylon strap from the never used waist strap on one of my day packs.

Wednesday - I participated in the morning test session while Bridget went to Benson for a dog visit. It is still hot and now humid due to the rainfall last night. I think the forecasted high today is 89°F but it feels warmer than that...

By late afternoon, we had some thunderstorms come through the area. Not a lot of rain but enough to put some water in the wash next to the park. And enough that the NWS has warnings all afternoon about flash flooding. 

Around 7:30, the rain ended so off to the pool/hot tub to relax!