November 1, 2006 15:24 - Gol' Durn Plastic Crap!
Do you ever get weary of the insistence some folks have for building things that get some hard use out of plastic? I know it has its place, but there are some things that just shouldn't be built out of plastic!
Like the dump valve on the fresh water tank, and the fenders on a Fifth Wheel trailer!
The valve handle broke off when I was winterizing the rig, and those lousy plastic fenders are cracking left and right!
They want $86 for a new fender! $86 for a piece of plastic that doesn't contain fifty cents worth of materials! I'm hunting up an alternative repair/replacement for both items that will be a more permanent solution. I'd rather not just bolt on new pieces with an equal lack of quality!
I'm hoping to find a brass valve for the water tank that will fit well into that location, and I'm working on an idea to replace the plastic fenders with aluminum diamond plate panels. Well see how those ideas pan out.
Hope you guys down south appreciate your good fortune! Was 22 degrees here this morning! Too cold for my old bones. Soon though ........ very, very soon!
November 2, 2006 19:39 - Camp security
I've read some posts on various forums over the last few months, where folks are asking about, and concerned with security and safety while RV Boondocking and RVing in general.
I've seen folks ask about alarm systems, safety in this place or that, whether they should carry weapons for self defense, or not, all sorts of things. They seem genuinely concerned and seem to be honestly looking for some "magic tool" to ensure their safety.
Pretty sad really, that something as superbly sweet as RV Boondocking, should be marred with thoughts of the evil that might befall them at the hands of some of the worlds dirtbags.
First, let me say I have never in all the many circles I've made RV Boondocking, run into any safety or security issues.
My counsel on the subject is pretty simple. The truth is, you are and always will be in possession of the worlds greatest weapon for self defense. That bugger resides right between your ears!
Something you all want to remember is that the dirtbags that cause all the trouble you fear, are two things. First, they are lazy, and second they are largely cowards.
Your safety and security are not dependant on what "tools" you possess. They are dependant on your behaviour.
Predators look for the weak and defenseless to prey upon. Don't present yourself as weak and defenseless and the predator passes you by for an easier target. Strong, confident, aware, people scare them.
You need not be paranoid. Simply stay aware. Avoid situations that put you at a disadvantage. Don't back away. Move confidently forward. Self defense is largely psychology. Present a strong front. Back it up with situational awareness and you "scare away" the dirtbags. They don't like their prey to be paying attention. They want and need weak prey, because in truth they themselves are weak.
So don't let the dirt bags mess with your head. Mess with theirs! Go where you want, with reasonable discretion, in a strong confident manner. Stay aware, change course if the situation suggests it, stay safe and enjoy your RV Boondocking!
There is a saying I picked up somewhere along the way that applies. You don't survive by winning gunfights. You
survive by avoiding gunfights. The point is use your head to keep you out of the situations that put you at a disadvantage and your safety will take care of itself! Don't get lost in this. Put it in proper perspective, like car insurance, and get on down the road!
The upside is that all that extra attention you pay to your surroundings will pay you back with all the beautiful sights you won't be missing any more!
Enough of this! Let's go fishing!
November 3, 2006 20:34 - Still upgrading!
Though I am getting kind of antsy while I wait to overcome the "real estate" roadblock, I'm continuing to bang away at equipment upgrades of our outfit.
I mounted some new saddlebags on my personal "toad" today! My Yamaha V-star! I've gotten a little tired of my lunch getting all scrunched from being stuffed in the pocket of my coat! While I continue to work 3/4 time during this waiting period I'm riding that bike about 35 miles a day. 16+ miles each way. Not bad at all when the sun and the temp is up a little bit, but it tests my macho when it drops down around 20 degrees! Those bags will be nice to have when I am riding out of camp to go fishing for the day. Or running to the grocery store in town from our RV Boondocking camp for a couple of odds and ends.
I have some drawers mostly built for a cabinet in the fiver that I am converting to be Heidis' Bead Cabinet. There will be a story on the site showing that idea for any "Beaders" out there. It's a pretty good RV Boondocking camp craft for the ladies out there.
I suppose it sounds a little "frilly" ......... Cowboys and Beads? But I must say Beads have been good to me! Her store took me from bein' a $700 a month and found cowboy to driving a new diesel truck and living in a nice house with my name on the deed! Good thing I was smart enough to marry a woman who is finally supporting me in the style of which I am worthy! lol
Got word today some equipment I had a fella selling for me sold the other day, so the lining of the truck bed should get done shortly ................ if we have no further "burps" ..................... smelled something kind of "flowery" the night
before last. Went down in the basement and found "stuff" coming up out of the floor drain. %$@#!!
Since that is connected directly to the septic tank, you can imagine what the "flowers"smelled like!
I am working hard to stay focused on the prize ............ The Freedom of the Road. That's my advice to anyone else pursuing the same goal. Start your preparations at the earliest possible moment. Bumps along the way are bound to happen. Stay focused on the Brass Ring. Give yourself plenty of time and don't get frustrated! It will happen. Just keep your eyes on the prize!
November 7, 2006 16:31 - Just Pluggin' away
The weather is so fine here right now (70 degrees, in November!) it's hard to get whiney about the house ......... Started work on refinishing the pin box/hitch head. I couldn't stand how shabby it was starting to look. Makes the whole fifth wheel look bad!
That thing is gonna shine like a new nickle when I'm done!
Also started redoing the interconnection cables on the battery bank. Having a little trouble finding enough 4/0 cable lugs in this little burg. Though I didn't think 175,000 or so was a little burg any more! Had to order the balance in. Hoping they will be here in the morning, and then I can get that battery bank back into top notch condition!
Still hunting but have not come up with a good, metal, replacement valve for that gol' durn water tank dump valve. I'm stubborn though so I have confidence that I will win out in the end!
The little piece of paper with all the numbers on it arrived today from the guy who sold that equipment for me, so I am getting the bed lining rescheduled for Big Red. I have several tool boxes and a fuel tank sitting waiting for that to get done so they can get installed.
I'll post the stories, with pics of course, on all those projects just as soon as I get them completed and the words on paper!
Keep the rubber side on the asphalt! ........ It keeps you from scraping holes in the roof!
November 9, 2006 08:22 - Lots going on!
Wow! I recieved an e-mail from the webmaster of rverscorner.com the other day. He told me he'd found Goin' RV Boondocking and liked it so much he was recommending it in his newletter.
The reponse has been overwhelming to say the least! I have been flooded with e-mail. Not complaining! When that many folks tell you they appreciate your work, there can be no complaint! Even from a whiney ol' geezer like me!
Welcome to all the readers of rverscorner.com! Welcome everyone! This old cowboy is humbled. That's sayin' a lot for somebody with an ego the size of mine!
I have put a link on my "RV Links" page. So pay a visit to Les Doll at rverscorner.com and pick up some more good info.
80 degrees yesterday! In Northern Colorado in November! I like it! Chased cows at -10 so I never complain when it's warm!
Got the hitch box sanded and primed ready for the finish coat. Supposed to be a lot cooler today. If the wind will cooperate just a little bit I can get some of that finish coat on.
A few weeks ago a reader asked me what the rating on my gooseneck conversion was. Truth was, I couldn't find it. In preparing the hitch for refinishing I found a "hidden" stamping! The gooseneck conversion piece is rated at 20,000#. With the B&W hitch rated at 30.000#, everything I added aftermarket is built much stronger than the fifth wheel itself. I am, if you didn't already know it, a firm believer in gooseneck for boondocking!
An update on the Black and Decker Home cafe. Another reader sent me a link to a site where folks have been posting complaints on the machine. I posted that link on the Coffee Maker Page
Check that out too.
I haven't had problem one. Maybe I have a later model and the faults have been corrected? Hope so! I really like it so far. Would hate to have it turn itself into dumpster filler!
Got to go! Too much to get done! Hope the day is treating you as fine as it is treating me!
November 10, 2006 11:25 - I should have kept my mouth shut!
Word of advice. If you need to get some RV Maintenance or RV Repair work done on your rig, and the weather has been absolutely beautiful, take advantage of it, don't talk about it!
As soon as I said something about it being 80 degrees, the temperature dropped and the wind came on strong! So finishing my hitch box refinishing project is suspended for a little bit! Hard to spray paint when the wind is goin' 30 mph .............. I'm not sure my neighbor wants their stuff the same colors I have planned for my hitch!
Another word of thanks to all of you! All the friends I am making in this "Electronic Community" have pushed Goin' RV Boondocking into the top 2% ! WOW !
Found this Alexa tool to show my progress.
Thanks to all of you. My ego is so swelled up I'm going bust buyin' new hats!
I will continue to work hard to put out good and usefull information for you.
Got a nibble or two on the house ............. keep your fingers crossed!
Well, it's back to answering e-mails for me!
November 14, 2006 14:12 - weather is not cooperating much
The wind is whistling here today. Every time I think it's easing off and start outside to try and get some work done, it just comes roaring right back. So I'm just getting pieces and parts done inside today. Hopefully tomorrow will be a little gentler.
I've lost interest in fighting the elements much! A lot more pleasant to sit inside with a hot cup of coffee and work at a bench than be out there trying to not blow past the neighbors place!
That Hammer Blow, 4/0 cable crimper from Hensley Batteries in Greeley works sweet! It pinches the bottom of the cable lug into a V and puts a good deep locking "pinch" in the top, or open part of the V. A good solid connection this time!
It's compact and only retails about $40 or so. Heck of a lot better than the $300 give or take for the bolt cutter configuration kind.
For an RVer, who is only going to use it every year or so it's perfect!
When we installed the RV solar system a couple weeks ago we couldn't locate a fuse holder for the 300 amp catastrophic fuse.
No-one even had one in a catalog. Seems a little odd to me, seeing as how the fuses are a required item on the system!
We manufactured a holder for a lighter fuse in the charge side when we did the installation. The big fuse was installed in a temporary way until a holder could be devised for it.
I built one of my own design today for the 300 amp catastrophic fuse where the inverter pulls its power out of the battery bank!
Some bolts, a couple big blocks of heavy rubber, some construction polyurethane and Wa La! a fuse holder!
That story will be getting done up and posted this week. (weather permitting me to finish the re-work of the battery bank cables!)
I'll close now, Big Red has to go to the truck doctor for some preventive maintenance!
Stay warm. Until later
November 15, 2006 17:53 - The Battery Cables are upgraded
Got all the battery cable reworking done, and the story/pics are online now. Truth is, it's done the way it should have been done the first time. Cheaping out only means you have to go back and do it right some time later. It don't save a fella nuthin'!
But, this time, it's done right! Got it all looking a little flashier with fancy electrical tape too! A fella can't make things look too pretty can he?
Had a bit of a panic when I went to try to start working on the new page. I was locked out of my site! Some sort of computer snafu with the webhost. Over with in a short while, but it sure makes a fella nervous when he can't get to his "baby".
Made my heart thump just a little quicker for a while! I can be a bit of a "glass is half full" sort of fella if I'm not careful. I could see the dark clouds inside a light bulb!
I'd cry like a baby if all this work just up and disappeared, for certain sure!
That storm blew through mostly south and west of us here. Didn't get but maybe 5 minutes of snow here. But did it blow? I should smile! They clocked a gust just NW of us, at a place called Rawhide, at 82 mph. A little windy I guess.
If the weather permits, I'm planning on completing the hitch refinsh job in the morning. If not ...... I won't!
As always, making progress, slow but sure.
November 16, 2006 18:27 - Play Day
Been working too hard. Not hard to do when you start out lazy!
We decided it was time for a day trip up into the high country. So, we loaded the pups in Big Red and headed west for Rocky Mountain National park.
Our first stop was at the dog park on the east side of Estes Park. Let Lily and Buck have a bit of fun running the few agility obstacles they have and a few runs after a ball.
Then back in the truck and head up into the park. We made a quick stop at the shopping "opportunity" and little boys room in the Fall River Vistior Center just outside of the south entrance.
Just across from the center one of the big boys of the mountains posed for his portrait! My little buddy Kodak was pushing the envelope to catch this pic. Can't wait till his big brother Nikon gets home! It still helps clear out all the heartburn of dealing with the 21st century for me! Nothing like the high country and its critters to put things back into proper perspective.
Finally rolled through the gate into some of my favorite country in the world. The Rocky Mountain High Country. I expected a mite more of the white stuff after the storm of a few days ago. I guess the heavy part of that was over on the west side of the divide. The road up over the top has been closed for some time, though at the altitude it's shut off there's only a few inches of snow.
We pulled in to collect the view just below where the Park Service closes the road for the season.
Around another bend, a little later, it looks a lot colder don't it? Funny how a few minutes can change a lot up in those high peaks! If there ever was food for the soul, that place is it! Sure gives me a boost.
We were looking for a little restraunt one of Heidis friends had recommended, west of Estes park, when we found these Rocky Mountain Ladies having a little afternoon siesta.
Finally found the restraunt too. The Baldpate Inn about six miles west of Estes Park. Only problem was, it was shuttered for the season. Bummer, I was getting hungry!
Only option was to make a U turn and head back to our usual lunch stop at the Other Side Restraunt on the road to the south gate. It's a nice place. Quiet, good food, good service and a herd of Mallards feeding on the deck and in the pond just outside the windows, with the mountains behind. Made for a fine day. Just what the doctor ordered.
Got one coat of the finish paint on the hitch. Spray can malfunctioned, dumping paint all over as I was spraying. Have to go back now and do a little lite sanding before I can do the next coat. What a pain, but it's gonna' be a little differant when I get it sorted out! should make people say, Huh? I ain't never seen a hitch like that before! Goofy old buzzard! LOL
Keep on Boondocking .................. I'll catch up as soon as I can!
November 21, 2006 23:40 - RV Water Valve and Refinishing the Hitch
Got some good maintenance work completed on the Eagle.
I came up with a good plan to repair that broken plastic RV Water Valve junk. This one should work better than the factory original and last longer to boot!Repairing a broken RV Water Valve
Then I also overcame the tribulations of repainting the weathered pin box on the Eagle. Only I could turn painting an RV Hitch into a difficulty! It looks good now. Not the super shiny deal I had been planning. that kind of went a little sour! But it is returned to a good clean condition. Repainting the hitch
Getting ready for the Turkey Day feast.
We started a tradition nearly 10 years ago. Instead of cooking and all that mess, we go to a really fine steak house up in Laramie that puts on a really good feed every Thanksgiving. Heidi doesn't have to cook, it's a real pretty drive and after supper we go for a walk around the Super Walmart! to settle the meal.
You might be a red neck if ........... you walk around Wal Mart on Thanksgiving for entertainment!
Don't know what we'll do once this place is sold and we're on the road at Thanksgiving. Just have to invent a new tradition I suppose!
November 27, 2006 08:03 - The difficulty in Goin' RV Boondocking!
The biggest difficulty for us in our effort to get on the road RV Boondocking fulltime is rapidly becoming, cutting away the tentacles from this old life that just keep hanging on!
Disposing of 30 years of accumualted "stuff"" is pretty traumatic at first. After a while, we have gotten to the "we're over it" stage, and just want it all gone! We don't really care how! We just want to be free of the burden of whatever junk is left!
The biggest "mountain" blocking or RV Boondocking Road has turned out to be our second greatest asset, our house. (the first being Heidis store!)
Our timing on this little deal, as is common for us, has been kind of lousy! The real estate market is not, as everyone knows, very shiny just now.
Just the same, we just want the house sold! But, at the same time, the dinero tied up in it is a critical need for us. Without it our RV Boondocking "horse" ain't gonna' git saddled! So, hard as it might be, I've got to immitate the patience of an oyster!
Doing something now, motivated by a lack of patience, could be so costly that it could cripple that "horse". So we wait.
That ol' turtle out ran the rabbit so I'll just waddle along grittin' my teeth the whole way. The prize at the end is worth it.
I expect there are a number of folks enduring the same ' tribulations'. I can only counsel you to keep your eyes on the prize. Take a deep breath and keep working steadily toward the goal. Don't force things so hard that you turn it all into something unpleasant.
Just keep up a steady, easy, sustainable effort and wait it out. Build the dream bit by bit.
If we stay pointed in the right direction, our day will come!
Then we can laugh with the sure knowledge We Made It! That we are the lucky ones! We're RV Boondocking! Shinin' Times in pure Freedom!
We get to live the RV Boondocking Dream while all those other poor buggers have to keep up the 9 to 5 treadmill to make the wallet of the boss a mite thicker!
It don't get no better!
I'll see you out there RV Boondocking. I surely will! For sure and for certain!
November 28, 2006 15:23 - Rebuilt the Camp Jobs page
For those RV Boondockers that are interested in such things, I rebuilt my previously titled camp jobs page. It's now called Work for Boondockers. It had seemed a little disjointed and confused to me, so I tried to make it a little cleaner and clearer. If you have an interest in working while RV Boondocking and don't want the usual camp host and workamper type of things you might check it out at Work for Boondockers
It would seem to be the perfect fit for those of us who kissed the blarney stone! lol
Cold! 14 degrees yesterday morning when I got up. Heidi asked if I wanted to share the ride with her in Big Red rather than ride the bike ......... well.......... OK ...................... I guess so. She had to work real hard to talk me into leaving the bike home! lol
Nows the times that I envy the folks down in Quartzite and any other part of my home country of Arizona! My old bones just ache for that warm country this time of year!
November 29, 2006 11:49 - I guess we'll wait until next week!
We'd been planning on making a run up to Moorcroft to trim feet on my old retired gelding. As cold and snowy as things are we've (I've) wimped out and decided to wait for better weather!
Trimming feet on a grumpy old cow horse, in the snow at maybe 8 degrees is not my idea of RV Boondocking at it's finest!
I've been tempting fate for quite a while. I haven't had good backup hardware for the web site or the blog. Heading for town in a little while to start hunting for a new, external hard drive. I'd cry like a baby if I lost the work I've done so far!
I'm also looking hard at a new camera for our travels as well as for photography for Goin' RV Boondocking. I've been a Nikon fan for as long as I can remember. Until I picked up the little Kodak I have, I was resisting digital. I didn't want to lose my Nikon Lenses. That little Kodak Digital impressed me with the format so now I'm hooked! But I still didn't want to lose my good lenses.
A while back I discovered that Nikon in addition to Canon I believe are building new Digital cameras that will use the lenses off my older 35mm film camera.
I guess they've been doing that for a couple years. Quick aren't I?
Looking real hard at a D80 Nikon. Pricey, but it sure is a nice piece of equipment! Should help improve my photography!
November 30, 2006 16:42 - Goin' RV Boondockings files are now safe!
Cold! About 3 or 4 below around here this morning ................. tried to start the Yamaha, that good old two wheeled RVers Toad! All it could say was uh uh! Big Red fired right up! I suppose having him plugged in all night had something to do with that!
Won't be able to do that RV Boondocking full-time will I? ............ there isn't much need to plug in the block heater down on the Arizona desert in the winter time is there? lol ................ if there is, I may need to get a little farther south! ........... Corpus Christi? South Texas wouldn't be too awful bad for a wore out Ol' Stomper would it!
Well, my rv boondocking communications are now safe. Or, at least part of them are. Went in to the good Ol' computer geeks at Best Buy this morning. Went in thinking I was gonna get one piece of equipment, but after they educated me a mite, I came away with a differant brand.
The thing most important to me, was to get something to backup this laptop, that was simple. Simple, like, push one button simple. What I'd been thinking of getting wasn't that, apparently, but they found me one that is, with more storage capacity at the same price.
If you're going out on the road, RV Boondocking, first, digital cameras, if you haven't already gone that way, are the way to go. And second you have got to back up those picture files!
You'll be one sad puppy after you go RV Boondocking to Alaska by way of Banff, coming back through the Olympic penninsula and down the coast, before you cut over to Canyon lands, the Grand Canyon and your Grand Kids in Phoenix on your way home................. if the laptop you loaded all those fantastic digital pictures on is stolen in Albuqurque! ......................... or has your morning coffee spilled on it shorting out and destroying the hard drive!
Back up your laptop files / digital picture files regularly! Do Not Wait as long as I did to get that set up right!
I'm fixed up right well now, but I'm the first to say I waited too durn long ............ just dumb luck I didn't have a disaster with lost files!
Simple little deal too. Even for a keyboard puncher like my own self! I'll get an article posted on what it is, hopefully tomorrow ............. unless I'm feeling literary tonight!
If you're down south ............ I'm jealous!
If you're as cold as I am .................... hang on .............spring is just around the corner!