Journals, Photos and Videos

Nice weather in mid-Feb

Time to start preparations. We went down and did a cursory inspection of the Bighorn and all looks fine. We have a few maintenance item to deal with. They include:
  • The TV mount in the entertainment center needs to be reenforced
  • The break release switch wiring needs to be repaired (the blue wire has frayed)
  • Build and install 2 drawers for the cabinet that we use for dishes
  • Fix the ceiling fan - we lost some screws so the blades we’re connected securely

We also have to ensure that all our appliances work. The furnace, water heater, refrigerator, freezer etc have to be checked. We’re confident that these will all work. Of course we also have to check out the breaks, hitch, tires as well.

It's Open!

Liam (our 3 y/o grandson) helped us open the RV this afternoon. We replaced the battery, connected 115 amp current from the house and connected the truck. Maureen and Liam then extended the slides.

After a thorough inside inspection, we’re sure that we have come through the winter unscathed. When we move above 50°, we will get serious about the external inspections and any external repairs.

So then we ran over to Camping World.

A Successful Week

  • The Break Release Switch: On Tuesday, we rewired the switch and connected the truck to supply the switch with current to charge the internal switch battery. After about 30 minutes, we inserted the lanyard into the switch and all appears fine. We’ll verify the apparent success when we are ready to move the RV.
  • Denver RV and Boat show: On Thursday, we look a ride to Denver to attend the Denver RV and Boat show. The show was well attended and there was a plethora of booths and RVs to visit. We were surprised to see booths representing the fishing village from which Maureen caught her halibut - Ninilchik and Fairbanks
    • rib-o-lator-by-lake
      The “Auspit: This was one of the more clever offerings. This was a device that provides a way to easily BBQ over an open pit fire with a rotisserie. It also has several optional attachments. There is even an item called the trough that contains charcoal that could be used in lieu of the fire pit. Please take a look at it. Even if you don’t need one, it’s fun to see the ingenuity.
    • Ultimate Camp Cooking: Pat Mac and Mike Faverman provided very entertaining, matt-and-pat-2
      informative and tasty 45 minutes. The session ended with a sampling of their efforts. All 3 easy recipes proved to be excellent. They were great fun and we broke down and got their camping cookbook which is a serious departure from the typical camping fare.

More Done

The most challenging project on our list was to solve the TV Wall Mount issue. Last summer we drove over a large rock and found the flat-screen TV dangling from the TV Mount. After attaching some bungee cords and other straps, we developed a makeshift temporary solution to the suspect TV support.
dscf0402-2 tv-mount-repair

Assisted by Dimas Nunez, we finally took the time to determine the extent of the damage to the brace to which the mount was connected. In order to accomplish this we had to remove a panel and rebuild and enhance the frame system. We are comfortable that the TV Mount can now withstand a 7.9 Earthquake. Actually the roads to Cooper Landing have proven to be quite good except for about 100 miles just prior to the Alaska border.

On Thursday, we repaired the wiring for the breakaway switch. Although it was a bit uncomfortable (had to scrunch over), the repairs were pretty straightforward. First the junction box had to be anchored more securely. It was the movement of the box that actually cut the wire (the blue one) that provided power for the breakaway switch as we we returning from Maine. Once the box was anchored, it was an easy task to splice and secure the blue wire to enable the breakaway switch.

After doing a few odds and ends in the RV, we decided to tackle the first drawer. We only had the materials for one drawer at this time. After a couple of false starts (we don’t have a lot of experience at this stuff), we finally got the box component of the drawer completed except for cosmetics. As soon as the cosmetics are completed, we will finish adding the drawer slide and install them. Prediction - we’ll have 2 drawers done and installed by Wed of next week.

The weather for the next week looks perfect so we anticipate to be in great shape by the end of the month.

A Bit More

We have continued our leisurely pace of getting ready to leave. We’ve started bringing goodies down to the freezer (which survived the winter’s rest). The fridge also started up in fine shape as well.

We’ve even got a few clothes, a high quality Epson printer and the sewing machine in the camper. We could easily be ready in a day if push came to shove.

Today we ran a hose the 150 yards down to the RV and hooked up water. The faucets and toilet all spit out the pink anti-freeze and appear to be fine. Got to get back there and ensure that no subtle leaks pop up. We also need to put some water in the holding tank to test the pump. Also - along the water topic - the hot water tank is ready to be tested now that it should be full. That will be a task for later today or tomorrow.

Just turned the water heater on with a bit of a user glitch. There MUST be water in the tank. The water was turned on so therefore... After turning the heater on, I felt uncomfortable about the water status so I loosened the plug to see if there was a water level in the tank. It was still empty. I shut the heat off, reinstalled the plug and, after a minute of trouble-shooting, discovered that the winterizing bypass levers were still on. This prevents water (with anti-freeze) from going into the tank. I flipped the levers and you could hear the water rushing into the tank. I restarted the heat on the tank and we now should be in business.

We expect a bunch of folks this week-end. Geoffrey and Colette are arriving momentarily, Andi, Ellie and Sammie are coming tomorrow, Greg, Gwenan, George and Vera will be joining us on Saturday along with Doug, Catherine, Luke and Liam. In theory they will be here to help with the finishing touches, but it will probably be a lot of socializing and good-byeing since we’re in such good prep shape due to the perfect weather.

We’ve done a bunch of administrative stuff like broadband, satellite TV, etc cancellations. We are going to try an experiment with TV. We are going to attempt to use the internet to provide all our TV needs. All the shows that we enjoy are available for replay on a variety of sites. We’re going to use
BOXEE on our obsolete Windows laptop as I described earlier. So our first Cooper Landing concern is getting an adequate internet access.
 Page 1  >>