Archive for the 'on the road again' Category

Asymptotically Approaching the Limit

Parkinson’s Law is an old adage which says something about consuming all the time available to complete a job. Well, a corollary likely applies to consumption of all the space (area) available for RV storage, particularly in our case.

Entering the RV Drive Clearing the Patio

(Clickable) Images above - Entering the RV Drive and Clearing the Patio

Originally, when building the house, we had our contractor construct an area behind the house to park a 24 foot travel trailer with access from the road just west of the house. Eventually, we had the area paved and a wall constructed to define the “RV Drive.” Soon after the wall and concrete were complete, we upgraded to a 32 foot Class A motorhome which fit - more or less - comfortably in the RV Drive space.

Parked - View 1 Parked - View 2

(Clickable) images of Palazzo parked, jacks down, all three slides and the awning out

Now, we have upgraded to a Class A diesel pusher which is just about the shortest in the diesel category at 35 feet nine inches. We have three slide outs and an 18 foot awning, all of which can be deployed in the space available behind the garage. But just barely.

Bedroom Slide and Patio Clearance Departure from the Concrete

(Clickable) images - bedroom slide proximity to patio and Palazzo departing

The forward starboard slide (dining room) is no problem but the aft bedroom slide must be past the patio in order to deploy. The Better Half guides me as I position the RV in this regard.

The port side slide clears the wall on that side by a foot or so when fully extended if the RV is precisely halfway between the patio and the wall. TBH also calls the position out as I’m entering the spot. We have two-way radios available, but she prefers to give hand signals.

All images courtesy of The Better Half.

Fixed a Design Flaw in the RV

Thermostats

After returning from our second excursion in the Palazzo RV, we noticed a whining sound coming from the rear of the coach long after it had been shut down. I investigated and discovered that an exhaust fan was running in the compartment where the inverter resides. The inverter produces household AC power while the RV is underway, primarily to power the refrigerator.

I did an on-line search for “inverter fan running” and found a forum where my exact problem had been discussed. Many others had experienced the same thing. One forum commenter posted that there was a thermostat monitoring the air temperature in the inverter compartment and it was activating the fan at too low of a temperature, thus resulting in the continuous whine, even after a considerable cool down period.

Another commenter had solved the problem by replacing the fixed thermostat with an adjustable one. He was able to quickly replace the old thermostat with the new one (slide on tab terminals).

I ordered an adjustable snap disc fan control, S.P.S.T., close on temperature rise adjustable in 10° steps from 90° to 130°. In the (clickable) image above, you can see the new device installed with me holding the original one for comparison.

I set the thermostat to activate at 120° which should be adequate for this purpose. Our next trip takes to warm and cool places and I will be interested to see how the new device performs under varying conditions.

What’s for Dinner (On the Road Again)?

Meatball Sandwiches

When we head out on an excursion, one of the important concepts is what to eat and when. The Better Half will generally prepare something that is quick and easy to just heat up and eat when we get to the terminus of a day trip. Today, that item happened to be her meatball sandwiches which were popped in the microwave and devoured even before setting up camp. A cold beverage helped to wind down from an hours long desert crossing.

If we’re going to stay for several days in a place, then the routine gets modified to a full-on dinner preparation. For example, tomorrow, we will be having Corned Beef and Cabbage with boiled vegetables a day late in recognition of Saint Patrick’s Day. And on Sunday, Grilled T-Bone Steaks with Asparagus Tips in Rice on the side.

It’s a good life on the road under these circumstances. ;)

Breaking in the New Portable Grill

Pit Boss Grill On Site Grillin

When we traded in our Georgetown Motorhome for the new rig, we left the grill that was part of the outdoor kitchen module in the old RV. That left us short of a very important component for camping - an outdoor grill. So, to rectify that shortcoming, we bought a replacement grill, the Pit Boss.

We burned the new grill in at home (per recommended user manual instructions) when it arrived a couple of weeks ago. A few days later, we grilled a two-inch thick T-bone steak on it in order to get a feel for how the Pit Boss would perform. That went well and The Better Half and I enjoyed the steak. The (clickable) image above left is new grill being burned in.

This past weekend in California, we initiated the first road trip usage for the grill. In the (clickable) image above right, you can see the setup in the campground with the attachment to a propane bottle with the grill on a folding table alongside the RV and yours truly in the act of grilling a pork loin inside of the stainless enclosure.

We had a lesson learned while grilling this time in that this two burner grill gets a LOT hotter than our grill at home and requires a lower flame setting in order to keep from scorching the meat. Regardless, the dinner was great.

Satellite RX to Go

Deployed Stowed

You may have read here and on the other blog about our new motorhome. Having graduated form an “entry level” RV to this new one encouraged us to ask for a number of desired add-ons, one of which is satellite TV reception.

Since we are already DirecTV™ customers, we opted for the Winegard™ satellite system which is DTV compatible. In the clickable images above, you can see the rooftop satellite dish deployed and in the stowed position.

I got the satellite antenna system and the DTV receiver activated today. I first had to turn the satellite dish control on and it began auto acquisition of several satellites in the “constellation” of geosynchronous birds. That process took a while with the system retrying several times before locking on. But, when that was complete, it was all downhill. I got on the phone with the DTV folks who walked me through the rest of the setup.

After that process was complete, we now have very satisfying HDTV reception on the three TVs in the motorhome - a 48″ TV in the parlor, a 32″ TV in the bedroom and another 32″ TV behind an access door outside on the passenger side of the rig for outdoor viewing. I verified that all were working as advertised.

Having the satellite system gains us independence from the limited and often flaky cable access in many of the RV parks we have visited, and, in fact, we can now camp in areas with no hookups and still be able to enjoy our TV entertainment.

Last Hitch-Up for the Layton

Last Hitch-Up for the Layton

I hitched up the trailer to the pickup this afternoon in anticipation of taking it to the dealer where we will be trading it in, along with the Georgetown 30X3 gas coach, on a new 36 foot diesel pusher. The dealer is in Mesa, AZ and we will be towing the trailer there in the morning (it’s now Monday Evening 1/23/2017).

Later in the week or possibly early next week we will be taking the Georgetown to the dealer when our new coach is available. We might have had all this behind us by now, but the weather has been such that a) the new coach couldn’t be transported from its location in Colorado and b) we wanted better weather to make the trailer trip to Mesa. Tomorrow should be good weather for both purposes.

Beyond Hope

Beyond HopeIt was six years ago that we posted a photo of the sign in Hope, Arizona, at the town limits declaring “YOUR NOW BEYOND HOPE.” At that time, we pointed out the grammatical error of using “your” instead of “you’re” on the snarky sign.

Clickable Image: Beyond Hope Updated Sign

Well (I assume), the good folks of the Hope township’s only RV park, recently updated the sign with the corrected version and (of course) with a plug for their business. They also have posted American and Arizona State flags on either side of the sign stand.

Hope is only one small town out of several that we pass in the Arizona Outback along US 60 on our way to California and Back. The Better Half took the photo as we were returning from a recent visit.

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