Generator Fixed

Friday, December 8, 2017

Woke up to 14 degrees this morning.  Luckily, the wind was minimal, so didn’t feel too bad when I took Yuma for his first walk of the morning.  He runs like the wind to warm up in his sweater.  Without the corn, it looks desolate.  Nothing to stop the winds during the winter out there.

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Every Thursday, Dolly, Fergie and I go over to our youngest son, Jim’s house and have dinner with him, Sarah and our youngest grandson, Keaton.  Dolly started doing this last winter while I was gallivanting around the southwest.  We continued after I returned.  Fergie and Dolly are all dressed up for dinner.

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I mentioned in my last blog the generator didn’t start and made an appointment at Cummins to have them fix it.  While talking with the receptionist, I asked what all they did at their shop.  She said everything except glass and tires, so I now have a shop nearby that will fix anything on the MH.

So, I had them fix the generator, fix the steps that would stick all the time and fix the generator remote switch inside the cab.  It was not working at all so I was having to open up the generator panel and use the switch on the generator to start it each time which was a hassle.

As I thought, the generator was fine, but the negative cable had rusted and was loose along with several other wires.  They replaced the bad wiring and serviced the generator.  The steps needed a good dose of rust penetrating  lubricant.  Now everything works great!  The total cost was $502.28, most of it labor.

I have one more item to take care of before the MH is ready to go.  The rear dual tires are only four years old, but they have cracks in the sidewalls.  I will call the tire shop tomorrow and have them checked out before driving 4400 miles this winter.  Don’t want tire problems.

See you later.

Darn Generator

Monday, December 4, 2017

Today is the last day of warm weather for this year.  Today, we had a high of 64 – 20 degrees above normal.  Looking at the extended forecast, no more days in the 40s this year.

With that in mind, I decided to take the MH to FS Farmtown to fill the propane tank while it is warm.  When I back the MH out of the driveway, I stop and take a quick look down the road to make sure there are no cars coming along.  We live on a country road with very little traffic, but don’t want to take any chances.

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Wasn’t long before the gas man added 9.4 gallons and I was home by 9:30 to finish my coffee.

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Before I left, I tried starting the generator and all I got was sparks and noise.  Decided to call Cummins in Normal and have it checked out by a pro.  When I got home, I made the call and they were very friendly and we made an appointment for Thursday to have it fixed.

I pass that place many times and see motorhomes sitting outside waiting to be worked on, but I have never checked with them to see what they do.  I assumed they only work on diesel engines, but I guess they do more.  This will be a great opportunity to find out what all they do.

This morning, while reading The Pantagraph, our hometown paper, I saw an article with our son Steve in it. That was a surprise!  Way to go Steve!  I’m proud of you.

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This evening, Yuma and I took a shower.  He loves his shower and gets excited afterward, jumping around with his toys.  Here he is, giving me the evil eye when I told him to stop jumping on and off the couch.  He’s lying on the clean sheets Dolly laid there to fold and put away.  BAD BOY!

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Time for Monday Night Football.  See you later.

Super Moon

Sunday, December 3, 2017

We had a beautiful day with a high of 59.  Did vacuum the cab of the MH today, so accomplished a little bit.  Spent most of the day watching football.

I started the generator to give it some exercise and found a problem.  Not a new one, but I don’t know exactly what the problem is.  I think there are some wires shorting out when I go to start it.  I could see large sparks coming from where the wires enter the generator compartment through a hole in the metal wall.

I shut off the main switch to the batteries and pulled the wires from where they attached to the relay and checked them over and could not find where the short is, so I massaged the wires a little and hooked the wires back to the relay and the generator started without a problem.

I had this problem last year as I was preparing to leave and the generator would did the same thing.  I tried it again at some point on the road and it started working again and worked okay all winter.

My plan is to start it each morning till I leave and see if the problem resurfaces.  If not, I will just ignore it.  Otherwise, I will take it someplace to have it looked at by professionals. 

I know there are two live wires touching.  I’m just not seeing them yet.  After fourteen years, I’m sure the wires around the generator are brittle and should be replaced, but that would be an expensive endeavor to be done as a last resort.  Luckily, I can live without the generator.

Beautiful Super Moon tonight.  Barely got it before clouds came in.

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See you later.

New Wave Heater

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Less than a month before leaving for the Southwest and I’m beginning preparations for the journey.  Plan to leave a few days after Christmas, weather permitting.

Dolly bought me a Wave 6 catalytic heater for Christmas and gave it to me early so I could get it installed.  And today was installation day.  My son-in-law, Evan came by this afternoon with a bunch of adapters and a hose ready to do the job for me.

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The weather is so nice he drove his Harley over.  Nice looking bike!

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Don’t know how Evan steers that monster.

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Just as we started the install, up drove Jim, Sarah and my grandson, Keaton in a brand new 2018 Honda AWD CRV.  They had just left the dealership and stopped by to show it to us.  What a beauty!

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Even with all the excitement, Evan managed to get the gas line installed and on came the gas to give it a test. 

Found a convenient gas line under the fridge to cut into.

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Evan ordered a quick-disconnect with an open and close valve included so I can just pop the hose from the connection under the fridge and store the heater away when traveling.

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I didn’t install it on a wall because I want to move it around to point the heater either toward the living room or the bedroom.  If I find that it easily heats the entire living space, I will consider hanging it on a wall permanently.

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Exciting and busy day for Dolly and me.  We are not used to so much activity.  Full moon tonight.

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See you later.

Summertime at home

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

We’ve had a quiet summer so far.  Our two old cats (both black) died within weeks of each other.  They were around twenty years old, so they had long and comfortable lives.  We are now down to one calico cat, named Chloe, about ten years old; one parakeet and then there is Fergie and Yuma.  Our family is getting smaller and more manageable.

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A couple weeks ago, poor Yuma saw something in the culvert going under our road and went to investigate.  He came running back out spitting and slobbering heading for the house.  I could smell right away what he ran into.  A skunk!  Luckily, the spurt only hit him in the mouth and the right side of his head and shoulder.  Didn’t get into his eyes.

Went to Petco and bought some skunk smell remover and washed him several times, but weeks later he still has that smell on him.  Guess it will slowly fade away.  The culvert is a couple hundred feet behind Yuma.

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The corn is over seven feet tall now and very thick.

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There is our house hidden in all those trees.

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Our original Miss Adventure trailer still sits in front of our MH.

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Traveling to the southwest this winter is still a sticky subject.  Just have to wait and see what happens.  Still plenty of time.

See you later.

The easy life!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

My location:  Home

Amazing how quickly Yuma and I fall into the normal rhythms of home life.  I have the MH parked in the driveway and Dolly and I have been slowly removing the personal belongings.

After eating a number of little white donuts and two cups of coffee, I decided to sit down and put a few facts together of my trip.

For those interested, below are my expenses for the three months (90) days, and 4460 miles I traveled this winter.  I am not a full-timer, so it does not include expenses I pay all year such as insurance and RV payments

 

Winter 2016/17 Southwestern Trip

Bills January February March

Gas - Motor home

$604

$199

$646

Maintenance - MH

$84

$10

$0

Tolls

$39

$0 $22

Gas - Jeep

$134 $176 $125

Maintenance - Jeep

$15 $0 $0

Camp fees

$20 $0 $0

Food - Dining out

$19 $8 $0

Food - Groceries

$149 $240 $198

Laundry

$5 $6 $8

Dump & Water

$10 $19 $44

Propane

$96 $32 $12

Miscellaneous

$29 $25 $0

Entertainment

$13 $0 $0
Total $1214 $720 $1054

I didn’t shave or get a haircut during the entire trip.  On the left is my beard growth when I started and on the right when I got home.

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As you can see Yuma is happily at home in his Dad’s lap while I work on the computer.

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I won’t be writing posts each day, but I do plan to let my readers know how things are going throughout the remainder of the year.  I do appreciate all those that read my blog this past winter.  It was a fun time and I hope I was able to give my readers a light and fun look into the adventures Yuma and I had.

Got to get ready to watch Survivor!

See you later.

Made it Home!

Monday, March 27, 2017

My location:  Home!

Slept pretty good last night.  My location on the north side of Walmart was nice and quiet.  Had a few rain showers, but no wind and it was warm enough to leave the window behind my bed open.

Got up at 7:00 and put coffee on and started reading blogs and eating little white donuts for awhile.  By the time I was ready to get on the road, it was 9:00.  Have 325 miles to cover today, so better get going.  Told Dolly I would be pulling in around 3 o’clock.

The roads were great, but it either rained or drizzled most of the day. 

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When I saw the sign saying Fort Leonard Wood,  it brought back old memories.  I was 22,  just graduated in August of 1967 from college, and I was drafted by the U.S. Army.  Two months after graduation, Dolly drove me to  Kansas City to be inducted and they put me on a bus that very day and drove me to Fort Leonard Wood for basic training. 

Those six weeks were eye opening and definitely memorable.  I was four years older than most of the draftees, so I was able to view things a little differently than the 18 year olds fresh out of high school.  Oh, the good ole days!

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The Ozark hills around this area are beautiful, even on a cloudy day.

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As I closed in on St. Louis, the rain and fog made driving difficult to see.

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For that reason, I made a last minute decision to take I-270, the bypass around the west side of the city.  First time I’ve done this.  About 20 miles further, but I’m not in a hurry and just had a bad feeling about driving through St. Louis in rain and fog.

Crossing the Mississippi River North of St. Louis.

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As I promised, I pulled into our driveway around 3 o’clock.  It feels great to finally be home from my three month Southwest journey and have our family whole once more.

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Yuma doing one of his high jumps in excitement at seeing his Mom and Fergie looking over at me with anxious eyes.  Yes, it’s good to be home.

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See you later.

Lebanon, Missouri

Sunday, March 26, 2017

My location:  Lebanon, Missouri – Walmart parking lot

It was a nice place I stayed last night.  Quiet, but I couldn’t sleep.  Guess, I’m just ready to get home.  Got up at 5:30 and watched the Sun come up while I cleaned up the kitchen area and cleaned all the dishes, then sat down and read blogs while I ate little white donuts and drank coffee. 

I was just thinking.  I left home on December 27th and today is March 26th.   Three months on the road and I stayed only one night at an RV park.  Not bad.  That’s a lot of boondocking.

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I was so tired last night by the time I finished my blog for the evening, I didn’t fix dinner, so this morning, I made up for it.  Three pieces of bacon, two fried eggs and a buttered bagel.  Washed that down with milk.  Then I finished up with half a grapefruit, a breakfast bar and a glass of OJ.  Ready to hit the road at 9 o’clock.

I drove 360 miles today and got into Lebanon around 4 o’clock.  I finally get to my destination early, and have nothing to blog about.  It was just a nice day with no wind and slightly overcast skies.  Perfect day for driving.

Rest area on I-44 toll road.  The roads today were great.  The toll fee from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to Joplin, Missouri is $22.

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It is Spring in Missouri with the green grass and budding trees.

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I’m parked on the North side of Walmart across from the Auto Center.  Going to be  a nice quiet evening here.

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See you later.

El Reno, Oklahoma

Saturday, March 25, 2017

My location:  El Reno, Oklahoma – Walmart parking lot

I had the best sleep last night at the Love’s Truck Stop.  I must have been tired, because I never heard a thing till I woke at 6:30 ready to get up. 

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Spent a couple of hours on my breakfast, reading blogs and then we were off at 8:30, heading East on I-40 again.  My plans are to drive to Oklahoma City, 350 miles from here.

Much better day than yesterday.  It is warm with bright sunshine and no WIND!  

It’s flat in Eastern New Mexico.

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Only 15 miles to the New Mexico border and we’re in the Texas panhandle.

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Flat lands and mesas in Texas.  And, oh yes, wind mill farms.

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The drive was mostly mundane until I got about five mile West of Amarillo, Texas.  I knew there was something I wanted to see, just wasn’t sure where it was.

Back in 2007, I stopped at Cadillac Ranch and I wanted to make a ten year reunion visit, so I was looking for it.  There are no signs.  You have to look for cars parked in a field just off the interstate.   I saw them, so I knew it was at the right place.   Why else would cars park in the middle of nowhere.

When I saw it, I drove to the next exit where the Cadillac RV is located and stopped there to take a few photos.

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Then I drove back west on old Route 66 about a mile and there they were.  Ten Cadillacs sticking up out in a corn field!

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Kids were painting graffiti on the pavement of Route 66.

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Can I have a spray paint can, Daddy?  I’ll put Yuma and Doug on Route 66.

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The painted gate into the corn field.

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These cars have been painted over a million times over the years.

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Yuma is a big hit wherever he goes.  All the kids wanted his photo and autograph!

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Kids bringing boxes of paint cans.  This is a regular party!

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That was fun.  A few years ago when I passed this way, I missed them thinking they were on the East side of Amarillo.  Have to do it again in 2027.

See these large crosses everywhere I travel.  Never have stopped to find out why they are there.  Don’t see leaning towers everywhere though.

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Just another pretty ranch in Texas.

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Must have missed the sign to Oklahoma, but about 50 miles in, I was tired of waiting for a rest stop, so we pulled off the interstate and stopped at this abandoned gas station and had our lunch. 

While eating, a highway patrol car came up the ramp, sirens and lights going and went over the bridge and back down the ramp and back on the Interstate heading east with his engine roaring.  Thought to myself, he’ll never catch that speeder.  He has too much of a head start.  If, he does, may see them down the road.

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I don’t know what kind of vehicle this is, but it was sitting at the abandoned gas station.

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Soon, we were back on I-40 with 75 miles to go.  Be resting at a OKC Walmart by 4:30 Central Time.  NOT TO BE!

We didn’t make it ten miles before I had to slam on the brakes.  There was a line of trucks and cars in front of me coming to a full stop.  Now, I know why the siren.  Accident ahead.  It must be a bad one, because emergency vehicles and trucks with lights and sirens were heading the other direction at a fast clip.

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When I got out of the RV to take photos of the line, I took the following one looking back with my zoom.  It wasn’t till I was editing this evening that I saw there was an accident behind us when someone couldn’t stop in time.  So we have one in front of us somewhere and one behind us too.  This will surely make the news.

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We moved along at a very slow stop and go clip for about an hour.   I finally left the line of cars and trucks at the first exit we came to, so I never did see what happened up front.  Took a few soothing pics as we slowly creeped along.

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Sooo!  We have a change in plans.  It’s almost 6 o’clock and time to get off the road.  It’s been a long day!  Instead of staying at a Walmart in OKC, I am staying at a Walmart in El Reno, Oklahoma.  Kind of ironic.  Bill and Patsy of Chillin’ with Patsy are staying at the Lucky Star Casino just up hwy 81 about six miles from here.

The site I have here at the Walmart is just beautiful.  I’m at the back of it next to some trees with a large field to the west of me.  I will sleep good tonight!

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See you later.