Saturday, March 30, 2024

Back to RV Maintenance- SKP

Wednesday - It has been raining for most of the morning. Not continuously but enough for it to be somewhat cool outside. By late morning, the time for the early test, it's only 58°F. 

I got the maintenance "kit" for our Onan 7500QD generator. It includes the air, oil, and fuel filter. I found the operations manual online so that will be my next project. I was going to start this afternoon but no one had signed up to lead any of the afternoon test sessions. So I went ahead and volunteered.

Thursday - I tried to change the generator oil but some “rounded” off the brass drain plug. I ordered a broken bolt extractor and it should be here on Saturday. I then tackled my next task, replacing the RV headlights. Very dusty job as I had to remove the mounting brackets holding the headlight to the fiberglass front cap. I only did the passenger side as it was getting hot.

The test session today was a large class with over 20 candidates. It was long…

Friday - I just lost most of this post as I had the editor open twice. The older one updated overwriting the changes. Another warm day. 

Saturday - I changed the driver side headlight today and it went much faster. It turns out that this headlight was used on 2002-2005 Ford Explorer so replacements are readily available. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Not a Project - SKP

Sunday - Finally, not a project. Just a walk around the park. It was around 1.5 miles but completed the “circuit” before it started to rain. I’ve been running the propane appliances for the last couple of days and they all seem to be running fine. The water heater used to shut off prematurely but that seems to have stopped after cleaning. The rear furnace has been used all winter without any issues. 

Monday - Another walk after a Ural trip to H-E-B. The steering damper mod is working fine. The little bit of extra travel can’t hurt. I swung by the Hondo Medical Clinic to find out where the reception area is. I have an appointment this week. 

Today was a “meeting day”. A disaster preparedness meeting, two lot improvement committee inspections, and social hour at the clubhouse. Plus I went for another long-ish walk this morning. 

I ordered some supplies for another project. Generator maintenance. I need to pick up an oil drain pan. Too bad I didn’t pack one of the three in the garage. 

Tuesday - A couple of Ural trips to town this morning and led a couple of test sessions. Between it all, I changed the engine oil and filter on the Ural. No discoloration and no metal on the drain plug magnet. I also greased the U-joints for the sidecar drive. I’d call this a somewhat productive day…

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Even More Projects - SKP

Friday - It is a sunny, warm morning. Around 75°F at noon so about the ideal temperature to add more Dicor to the roof. It looks like there may be a small leak around the screws holding the rear-most solar panel. This one did not line up with a roof truss so I had tried to hit the top of the wall with a long screw. I was counting on the Sikaflex to make a good seal around the screw hole and hadn't added any Dicor. I now have Dicor self-leveling sealant around the perimeter of all of the plastic mounts and on the screw heads. The problem didn't occur until I had installed the tilt mounts and the plastic mount came loose. This is my best guess of the problem. No pictures of Dicor drying. I have other projects.

There were multiple updates for the laptop and the phone so I'm using the WiFi in the clubhouse. It's almost as fast as AT&T but more importantly, it doesn't use any of my limited quota. AT&T hotspot is limited to 100GB/month. And I usually get pretty close by the end of the month. The Mac OS update was almost 4GB.

During the afternoon test session, the wind picked up so I brought the awning in. After looking on WeatherUnderground, it looks like it will be windy for the next week or so. The high for today was 85°F! I had both A/C units running since around 1pm.

Saturday - The front furnace ran several times and not only did it light immediately but it was putting out more heat. All the bug carcasses limited the flow of propane. I think I need to make sure the vent hoses aren't clogged as the airflow through some of the vents seems really low. Since the burner on the furnace was clogged with insect carcasses, I checked the water heater burner. It had a few. Nothing like the furnace. 

One of the minor tasks was re-attaching the LVP flooring to the stair tread. Originally, it had two small finishing nails on one edge and the trim was glued with construction adhesive. The adhesive didn't stick really well and the LVP moved on the underlying plywood. I screwed the LVP and the trim in place with #6 wood screws with flat washers in addition to Gorilla glue.

There was even an opportunity for a Ural project. This the aluminum scrap I had found and used to replace the thinner aluminum piece I was using. I had just used the existing holes in the piece but it limited the travel of the hydraulic damper. By moving the mounting point a bit, it significantly increased the travel of the damper. I need to take a test ride now…

Thursday, March 21, 2024

More Projects - SKP

Wednesday - UPS delivered this yesterday. It is a drive-over cable protector for the propane hose. Neither the Ural nor the Jeep is that heavy but it’s rated for 11,000 lbs. The yellow part is hinged to position the hose or cords easily into the channels.

All the bits and pieces came in for me to allow the solar panels to lay down again. One of the panels has an additional piece of steel angle to reinforce the plastic mounts to the roof. And that steel angle prevents me from putting nuts on the bolt holding the panel in the lowered position. My solution is to install rivnuts on the mount to take the place of the nuts. And instead of just doing the one problem panel, I was going to do all of them. Including the panel supports. This means no wingnuts or other hardware to get lost. The picture was my test of the tool.  

I got a couple of the panels done before the afternoon test session. The rivnuts and the tool work. And the metric unibit was a good purchase as it made the perfect size hole for the M8 rivnuts.

I now have the solar panels flat on the roof again. This project is almost done.

Thursday -
The new burner head arrived today and I had it installed in about 15 minutes. The propane is back on and the thermostat switched to the furnace instead of the heat pump. We’ll see how well it works once it’s cooled back down. It’s 71°F right now.

The next project was installing rivnuts on the aluminum pieces used to hold the solar panels when tilted. These rivnuts are SS but weren’t much more difficult to install. I don’t plan to install them again while we are parked here. 

Still have more projects...

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

A Few More Repairs - SKP

Monday - Most diesel pusher motorhomes have a front door. Kind of like a bus. The area where the inside steps are would be a "hole" right in front of the passenger seat. To make it more comfortable for the passenger, there is usually some sort of cover to fill in the opening level with the rest of the floor. The cover for ours is fastened to the backside of one of the inside steps which can rotate to fill the opening. The six wood screws fastening the plywood cover to the step had pulled out and the cover no longer worked. I had to remove the vinyl plank flooring from the step and the underlying plywood had only two screws. I reattached the floor cover to the back of the step using the original six screws then added several more. 

I led two tests today while sitting outside our shed. It's not very warm today and it even rained B a bit. Between the test sessions, we drove south to Devine, TX. Bridget picked up a new pair of glasses at a small shop and we also did some grocery shopping at the Devine Walmart. I think it may have been even smaller than the one in Hondo.

The rivnut assortment arrived today. The hole for the rivnut needs to be pretty close to the outside diameter which is 11mm. A 7/16” drill is 11.1125mm which is too large. The drill bit arrives Wednesday so installation is put off for a couple more days. 

Tuesday - I knew that there was probably a mud dauber nest somewhere inside the furnace as the burner didn’t light every time. I found one next to the air intake for the burner. That sounds like a good candidate . I broke up the nest but the furnace still doesn’t start every time. I hear the igniter and smell propane in the exhaust but it’s not lighting every time.

Later - I pulled out the burner assembly from the furnace and found two problems. The first was a rusted out burner head. A replacement was ordered on Amazon. 

The second problem was a partially clogged jet. It was clogged with insect carcasses. How they got in there isn’t known but there were quite a few. I emptied out the tube after removing the jet. 

Not sure what they are but they had the jet pretty clogged. 

Saturday, March 16, 2024

Site Maintenance - SKP

Wednesday - After morning coffee, I cleaned up our site from all of the old leaves and flower remnants from the tree. The leaf blower is still getting plenty of use even though Fall is long gone. Most of the leaves on our lot were from trees on other lots behind us. Not from our evil tree. It was pretty warm today with a high of almost 90°F.

Thursday - Another warm day but not as sunny. The project for the day was finishing up the propane hose from the bulk tank to the RV. There is a two stage regulator on the bulk tank and a buried line to a valve next to the concrete pad. I spliced two hoses together using a 3/8” flare union. 

The hose then runs to the low pressure side of the RV regulator. A brass 3/8” NPT tee is used to allow the bulk tank to feed into the RV propane line. I will add a shutoff valve replacing the 90° 3/8” flare fitting. 

Friday - The morning was spent helping to make meatballs for the spaghetti dinner tomorrow. We made around 160 meatballs. My job was to mix the ingredients and add seasonings. It was a fun task.

I went up on the roof to see if the solar panel mounts were still secure and I ran into a problem. When the panels are in the “folded” position, I couldn’t get my hand under the panel to bolt it in place. I ordered a rivnut tool and will be explaining the process in a later post after the tool arrives. 

 - A few days ago while heading back from Uvalde, I stopped the Sabina Country Store and they had a Cajun boudin kolache. I’ve heard of boudin recently and wanted to try it and this seemed like a good way. Boudin is a sausage made from cooked pork, rice, some veggies, and spices. This one was pretty mild and I think just some onions. It made for a delicious breakfast. 

Rain today gave an opportunity to wash the Jeep. There was a lot of road grime from the Florida trip. At least road salt was not part of it. I got about ¾ done before the rain started again. I was told that due to water restrictions, cars can only be washed on weekends and only by members. Seems like a strange “rule”.  

Yesterday’s dinner was corned beef w/cabbage, carrots, and potatoes. One of my favorites. It does seem like I have a lot of favorites…

The propane shutoff valve came from Amazon today. If compared to the other picture, you can see that I replaced the 90° flare fitting with a ball valve. The lower hose is from the bulk tank. When the hose is disconnected, the valve would be turned off and the flare fitting capped off to keep it clean. BTW, the yellow is propane-rated thread sealing tape and used on all NPT fittings. None used on flare fittings. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

SKP Park Maintenance - SKP

Monday - This morning, I volunteered to help stain the benches and corner posts within the park. We met at 8am which was just shortly after sunrise. RMarx and I started on the southeast corner and worked our way west. We met up with another group around the clubhouse. After a short coffee break, I continued on until my back was too sore from bending over. I'm now recuperating while downloading software updates and waiting for the afternoon test session.

Tuesday - I took the Ural to a propane shop near Castroville to get a line from the bulk tank in our yard to the motorhome tank. It was around a forty-mile round trip so a decent ride. I still need a tee and possibly some other adapters. I'll post when I actually get this installed.

I also stopped in downtown Hondo at the tax office to drop off our property tax payment for the leased RV lot. Just a bit over $30 for the year. Can't complain about that. It was a challenge to find the office as it's combined with the vehicle registrations. This was the first time I'd ventured into the downtown area which is north of the train tracks.

Sunday, March 10, 2024

Uvalde and Bandera, TX

Thursday - I’m back in Ulvalde again to get another vaccination. I should have asked about it before as I could’ve saved a trip. Since it was drizzling today, I didn’t take the Ural. Not that the wet roads are a problem but the seat was pretty wet. 

Friday - Lots of wind and rain early this morning. I had to go out and get the awning pulled in around 6am before the wind really picked up. It is still breezy right now but not the 35mph gusts we were seeing earlier. And this was after no wind for days...

Saturday - This morning there was a meeting of the Medina County Amateur Radio Club. It seems unusual to meet in the morning. But they have said that they've always met in the morning. I rode in with three others from the park and, as far as I know, there are at least three other operators. 

Sunday - Morning coffee came early. I’m not a fan of daylight savings time at all. No reason for it. 

I spent some time on the park WiFi to update the Windows machine and program my Anytone radio for the local repeaters in Hondo and Castroville. I am planning to volunteer for the Tour de Castroville, a local bicycle event next month, with the radio club. They use their local repeaters. 

We went into Bandera for lunch meeting up with other RVers at a small restaurant called Brick’s River Cafe. The food was good and the service was exceptional. 

This picture is a small park in Bandera that seemed to be a good parking location for wandering around town.

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Still Winding Down - SKP

Sunday - It has been a while since I had last started the RV so today was the day. It started right up with not even a trace of smoke. I ran the engine for about 15 minutes at a high idle (1200rpm). 

Monday - The chore of the day was defrosting the refrigerator. Quite a bit of frost had built up near the top of the freezer. A combination of high humidity and making ice cubes (in trays). Getting rid of the ice made a big difference in the freezer temperature. From 0°F to -9°F. 

Tuesday - It's going to be a warm one today! At 10:45am it's already in the upper 70s. I'm sitting outside for the first test session and there is a slight breeze which is pretty nice. 

Not much going on today. I also led a test during the afternoon session. Though it was a bit too warm to sit outside. I think today was supposed to be the warmest one for the week. 

 - It’s a nice day so I rode the Ural into Uvalde, a town around 35 miles west. It’s much larger than Hondo and is the closest Walgreens pharmacy. The Walgreens recommendation is for anyone over 60 to get another Covid vaccine. 

The picture is from the rest area a few miles west of D’Hanis. The thermometer on the bike said 80°F and it felt warm. And the rest area had an air conditioned space which felt good. 

Saturday, March 2, 2024

Back in TX - SKP

Friday - We arrived around 5:30 yesterday afternoon after what seemed to be a long couple of days of travel. I think all of the traffic going through Baton Rouge, Houston, and San Antonio made it seem longer than it actually was. And, I'm pretty tired of restaurant and gas station food.

Saturday - Today was a busy-ish day. There was a flea market today here at the park and I volunteered to help with breakfast and lunch. I believe it was a successful fund raising event for the group in charge of social activities. Since I was in the kitchen for the sale, I managed to leave the sale with two homemade nut rolls. 

Around 1:30, I came back to the RV and fired up both A/C units as it was pretty warm. The forecast for the rest of the week is for a high of around 80°F. The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing watching YouTube.