Saturday, August 19, 2017

BOB HAD A SIGNIFICANT BIRTHDAY YESTERDAY (AND AN INVERTER UPDATE)

Currently in Belton MO (Low 64 Mostly Sunny High 89) 

Bob turned 62 yesterday which is significant for a couple of reasons. He begins collecting Social Security in October and he is now eligible for the National Parks Senior Pass for a one time fee of $10. That fee will be raised to $80 on August 28th so Bob is planning on getting his pass this weekend.

One day a year Jo let's Bob be in charge and that is on his birthday 😉 Bob picked 'Mr. Gyros' in Overland Park Kansas, one of our all time favorites.


We've had gyros all over the country and these are the best we have had. The meat is a notch above and the pitas are also a notch above. It was a great meal. We then did some errands, one of which was getting some greek spaghetti sauce from 'Missouri Mud' in Raymore Missouri, another of our all time favorites. We freeze it and have a touch of home with us down the road.

We spent the evening with friends going to a show. A great day for Bob but Jo is a little sad. She says she really can't tease Bob much anymore as he is a tweener, too old for Social Security and too young for Medicare.

While at lunch Jo asked Bob about how he felt on his 62nd birthday. Bob said he was where he wanted to be, with whom he would want to be with, and doing what he wanted to do, so that he felt great. It never is great to be bogged down with problems with our coach but while troublesome when they are happening they are a small minority of the time we have been full-timing, almost 8 years now.

Inverter Update: approval for the work has been received and the new inverter is on order. We hope to get it installed sometime next week so we are extending our stay in Belton Missouri.

Till next time, 

Bob and Jo

Monday, August 14, 2017

TIPS FOR RV'NG - QUICK CONNECTORS (AND AN INVERTER UPDATE)

Currently in Belton MO (Low 64 Humid with Clouds and Sun High 84) 

From time to time we like to share tips that make our RV lifestyle more enjoyable. This time we want to share quick connectors. A lot of the water connections are plastic that can become worn after repeated usage. With quick connectors you thread onto the plastic only once. After trying a few different ones we like the brass quick connectors from Ace Hardware.


We tried the cheaper ones from Walmart and they just didn't last. We started out with the connection for city water since we were concerned about stripping the plastic threads if we disconnected once a week for travel.


It then slowly expanded from there to include all possible connections including our water filtering system.


Water softener


Pressure regulator. When not in use we bought more quick connectors and used them when stowing the filters, water softener and pressure regulator for travel.



All hoses


The advantages are that setup and tear down are a little easier and that if we don't need the water softener for example we can easily leave it out. We are also connecting the hoses to keep the connections cleaner. By slowly expanding the number of quick connectors we didn't have the expense all at the same time.

We didn't hear from the mobile service this past week. Bob called and last we heard they were still waiting approval from the extended warranty company. Hopefully we can get it resolved this week as we "plan" on leaving the 20th.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

G-RATED BLACK TANK REPAIRS (AND MOBILE SERVICE UPDATE)

Currently in Belton MO (Low 61 Humid with Clouds and Sun High 79) 

Note: this blog entry may only be of interest to RVers.

While in Colorado the plastic flange that our toilet is attached to broke on one side so we had a serious lean. Here is a flange like we have that is not broke.



At first Bob tried to repair it himself by buying a new flange. The RV parts guys at both Camping World and RV Four Seasons told Bob that it was either glued or screwed on so Bob brought both to be safe. Bob was also told that the pipe from the toilet to the holding tank was straight down and could be lifted up and the new flange attached. All good info in theory but this is the RV lifestyle where nothing is at it seems.

The pipe from our flange did not go straight down but had a bend in it. When Bob tried to lift the pipe so he could unscrew the broken flange it would not budge. We have the screw on type and it would not easily screw off. Since brute forcing anything to do with the black tank system is not advisable Bob decided the job was above his pay grade so he started calling mobile repair places. Turns out all the mobile techs were scheduling 4 weeks out or would not work on anything black tank related. One of the mobile techs thought about it and called back with a tip to try Home Depot and a flange repair ring.


Bob was a little worried that the rubber seal at the bottom of the toilet would not seal properly so he put them together, first the metal ring on top of the plastic flange.



We had a toilet seal as part of the flapper seal replacement kit so Bob then made sure it would seal before he started the job.



First the good news: The metal ring fit over the plastic flange on the floor. Bob was able to use 4 screws in the plastic one on the floor and 4 longer ones that went through the steel plate through the plastic flange and into the floor. The rubber closet flange on the bottom of the toilet that rests in the plastic flange on the floor was inside the metal ring so we got a good seal.

Now the bad news: the metal ring interfered with the toilet housing so it was a little bit above the floor. Bob shimmed and we were good for awhile.  

Bob then had the idea to see if a toilet riser would seat better, i.e. it would rest on the floor without shimming and the toilet would sit on the riser. 



Bob returned the two plastic flanges and checked out if the riser would work. He brought along a metal ring and plastic flange and checked out the spacing and it looked like it would work so he bought the riser. When we got the riser home we realized we were going to lose some valuable floor space in the bathroom so we abandoned that idea.

The replacement of the toilet flange was then added to our mobile service visit for the inverter and was successfully changed. The inverter was removed and they will do some shop testing on it before they call our extended warranty company. One advantage of this is that they hardwired the connections so now we have power on all the outlets so no more extension cords. We should find out soon about the inverter and the extended warranty.

This was a G-Rated black tank repair as no actual black tank was harmed, or displayed, in the making of this blog entry.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Friday, August 4, 2017

OUR FIRST VISIT TO A SCHEEL'S

Currently in Belton MO (Low 56 Mostly Sunny and not as Warm High 76) 

We've heard a lot about Scheel's Sporting Goods and finally got to recently visit one, this one is in Overland Park Kansas. 


It is huge and has a ferris wheel inside.



Here it is up close.



There also is an aquarium.



Here it is up close.



We walked around and found just about everything sports related. We were looking for a particular Yeti cup and they did not have it. But it was a pretty cool place to tour, and free to boot.

The mobile service is coming today, we can't wait to get things back to normal.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

HUGE MILESTONE - BLOG POST NUMBER ONE THOUSAND

Currently in Belton MO (Low 64 Nice with periods of Sun High 85) 

This blog entry is our 1000th post. We cannot believe that we have had that many or that we have been fulltiming for almost 8 years.  We started out with detailing the remodeling of our home for sale.


Although we weren't daily bloggers we did create a great record of our travels which we will reminiscence about when we come off the road. Here are some of our favorite photos.




We're hoping for another 1000 entries and 8 more years.


Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Monday, July 31, 2017

WE NEEDED A DIVERSION (AND A WIN)

Currently in Belton MO (Low 63 Partly Sunny and Nice High 80) 

With all the stuff in need of repair we decided we needed a diversion, a fun night out. We also needed a win and we got one (more on that later).

Saturday night we went to an Elvis Tribute Show. Bobby Simkins was the Elvis Tribute Artist. He started out with "CC Rider".



He sang for over 2 hours with one break. It was a great show with songs that Elvis sung including rock, gospel, and country. We even got a Christmas song. We were also treated to Elvis singing the National Anthem which he will perform at a home game on August 13th for the minor league baseball team in the KC area, the T-Bones. Here is Elvis on stage.



While in the crowd there was a great silhouette that Bob was lucky enough to catch.


He ended with an iconic Elvis pose. He really looks like Elvis in silhouette and in this pose.


As diversions go this was a great one. As wins go right now any win is a good one. Another annoying thing we have dealing with is the tilt out drawer on the island. Going down the road has loosened the mounting screws a few times. The trip to Belton was the trip of all trips for breaking stuff and the door gave up the ghost. Bob used the old matchstick trick gluing them in the enlarged holes. Remounting the door was difficult due to very tight working conditions and some contortionist like positions. Does Bob look like he is having a good time?


The good news is we were able to reattach the door. The bad news is that Bob needs a trip to the chiropractor 😏

We needed a diversion and a win and we got both.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Saturday, July 29, 2017

SEEMS LIKE EVERYTHING IS FAILING AT THE SAME TIME

Currently in Belton MO (Low 64 Partly Sunny and Nice High 80)

Original subject of the post: IT'S ALWAYS SOMETHING - THIS TIME IT'S THE INVERTER. Then we had to add "Hail" then "Battery Charger" then "Transfer Switch" then a "Leaking Roof".

To paraphrase Michael Corleone in Godfather 3, every time we think we have all the bugs worked out, we get pulled down by another one. Or in this instance pulled down again and again.

This time started with the inverter/charger which converts the 12v in our battery bank to 110v when we are not connected to shore power. This is mainly for our residential refrigerator to keep it cool traveling down the road. When connected to shore power the inverter/charger then charges the batteries after our trip and keeps them charged to run all of the 12v lighting and other 12v accessories. 

When we were setting up in Belton Jo realized that the refrigerator wasn't working. The air conditioners and microwave had power so we knew we were connected. We reset the 110v breakers but still no working refrigerator. We then went on a hunt to find out where it was plugged in. We finally found that it was plugged in behind the kitchen drawers but then had to learn how to get the drawer out. This was more difficult since the drawers almost hit the island when fully extended. Bob figured out the secret handshake and got the drawer out and tested the outlet which was dead.

The inverter is wired so that if you spent some time without shore power you could have a cold refrigerator, have coffee in the morning, watch television, charge your electronics, and have a fan in the bedroom. We checked and everything associated with the inverter was dead so Bob went and checked on the inverter in the forward storage area. Here it is with the cover off so Bob can do some troubleshooting.


The first thing he noticed was the cooling fan was not working which normally runs for a while after our traveling. He found and pressed the reset button and went back inside but everything was still dead. The refrigerator then became the first priority so we ran an extension cord from the microwave outlet to the refrigerator plug. With us you have to know that television was the next priority so we ran an extension cord to the TV and another one to the DVR. Eventually we ran an extension cord from the shore power 20a outlet through a window to the microwave and moved the Keurig to a working outlet.  

When Bob was doing the troubleshooting one of the screens on the inverter display showed 14.1 volts so he thought the charging portion was working but after a couple of days the lights were getting dimmer and sure enough the charging side wasn't working. So we added yet another bridge from shore power to inverter/charger and manually hooked up a battery charger to our battery bank. We can't wait until things are back to normal. Here is a photo showing the extension cords for the microwave.


If that wasn't enough we had a bad storm coming in so Bob closed all the exterior doors which unplugged the battery charger and microwave. If that wasn't enough when it rained we had a leak. Thank goodness for sham wows as we used them to control the water inside. If that wasn't enough when Bob reconnected the battery charger he reversed the polarity and fried the battery charger. So off to Walmart for a replacement. 

When Bob had the shore power off to test the inverter we decided it was a good time to exercise our generator. We rarely use our Onan 5500 generator so we follow the manufacturers recommendations and every month or so we run the generator under load for about 20-30 minutes. We quickly noticed we were not getting any power from the generator so added the transfer switch to the list.

As mentioned before the night we got hail and a fair amount of rain we had a small leak in the roof. Bob got on the roof and found a spot that might have caused it and caulked it. The hail storm was on a Saturday. The following Wednesday we had the mother of all storms, rain wise. The small leak in one spot turned into a gusher out of one of the ceiling lights and more leaks on top of that. We had sham wows and bowls and crock pot and anything that could catch water. Bob added caulk in more spots on the roof and with no rain in the forecast for a while we hope he's got all the spots taken care of. After it cures we will use the hose and see if it is still leaking and yet another thing to add to the list.

We have a mobile service tech coming and we have an extended warranty so we shall see how all this plays out.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Friday, July 21, 2017

WE SOLD OUR SOUL TO DYSON

Currently in Belton MO (Low 77 Mostly Sunny and HOT and HUMID High 96 Feels Like 106) 

Subtitled: Satan called and wants his weather back!

It is hot and humid here in Belton and we are under a "Excessive Heat Warning" until Saturday night so needless to say we haven't been doing much.

We recently bought a Dyson V8 Animal and could not be happier. For us this is the perfect vacuum for an RV because of no cord and because of the small space battery life is not an issue.


The V8 has almost twice the suction power of the V6 Animal that we also have, with less noise. We also recently purchased the Heat/Cool fan which we use in the bedroom.


We have been buying Dyson products for awhile and have the original handheld DC34 and the DC35 which was their first powered beater bar. The V6 Animal then improved upon the DC35 and the V8 Animal improved upon the V6. We are anxiously waiting for the next big thing from Dyson.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Monday, July 17, 2017

ON THE ROAD AGAIN - TO BELTON MISSOURI

Currently in Belton MO (Low 68 Mostly Sunny Hot and Humid High 92) 

We left Waukee Iowa yesterday and headed to Belton Missouri, the state we lived in for many years.


It was approximately 220 miles, this is the route we took down Interstate 35.



We are 'moochdocking' at a friends place and we will be here 5 weeks visiting family, friends, and a vet today for our 3 cats.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Sunday, July 16, 2017

REVIEW OF TIMBERLINE CAMPGROUND IN WAUKEE IOWA

Currently in Waukee IA (Low 70 Partly Sunny Currently 76)
Heading to Belton MO (Currently 70 Mostly Sunny High 91) 

Timberline Campground in Waukee Iowa is our go to campground when we are in the area. It is a little expensive, about the same as a KOA, but its closeness to Des Moines and to Bob's family and friends make it worth the $.

As it usually turns out when we have been somewhere before our GPS devices agreed on the route and brought us right to the campground. Sometimes, someplace we have never been before we might have issues, but not today.

We were surprised to learn at checkin that as of May the campground has new owners. So far things appear to be as they were before which was encouraging. The interior roads are gravel as is the site. There is a concrete patio. This was the first time for us in the trees but it all worked out. We backed up enough in our pull-thru to get on the patio but still be in the trees somewhat with great satellite signal strength. We balanced all that and we are glad we were in the trees as we had some 90-90 days, highs in the 90s and humidity in the 90s. Just a typical summer day in Iowa.

We had some rain and wished there was a little more gravel as the site got a little muddy. And we wished the sites were a little further apart. The hookups were convenient once we settled on our stopping point. The free park wifi was fairly good except in high traffic times. Since we are so close to Des Moines the Verizon 4g and cellphone signal strength was pretty good.

Here is the Lifestyle in the trees from the front.



To the right.



To the left.



From the rear.



As mentioned before this is our go to place in central Iowa so we will definitely stay here again. We depart today for Belton Missouri.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

A HIT AND A MISS WHILE IN GREENWOOD NEBRASKA

Currently in Waukee IA (Low 77 Storms and Heat and Humidity High 91) 

On our way to the Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum near Ashland Nebraska we had a hit and a miss. The hit was lunch at Over Easy in Omaha. We liked the 'Breakfast-Lunch-Drive Thru' sign. 



After we sat down we saw this sign that sums up our dining philosophy.


We split a Reuben sandwich with hashbrown rounds and Grilled Gouda with sweet potato tots.



Then a table next to us got one of their cinnamon rolls and from the oohing and aahing we got one to go. We had it later that night and it was wonderful. This place has been added to our favorites.

Our miss was after lunch. We had heard about the Holy Family Shrine between the restaurant and the SAC Museum. Google maps took us down a gravel road and then we came to a road closed sign. We could see the shrine in the distance and the fact that the road was also closed coming in the other direction.



The hit of the great food more than made up for the miss of the shrine. Then the bigger hit was the Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum we visited after the shrine.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Monday, July 10, 2017

ON THE ROAD AGAIN - TO WAUKEE IOWA

Currently in Waukee IA (Low 76 Very Warm and Humid with periods of Clouds and Sunshine High 92) 

We departed Greenwood Nebraska yesterday and headed to Waukee Iowa. Back to Bob's home state of Iowa. Here is the welcome sign as you cross over the Missouri River.


It was approximately 155 miles, this was the route we took.



We are staying again at Timberline Campground and will be here a week visiting friends and families.


Bob also has to track down a tire problem, probably one of the dual wheel valve extension inflators have gone bad.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Sunday, July 9, 2017

REVIEW OF PINE GROVE RV PARK IN GREENWOOD NEBRASKA

Currently in Greenwood NE (Low 66 Sunny Currently 74)
Heading to Waukee IA (Currently 73 Partly Sunny High 91) 

Our GPS devices brought us right to the park. The front office was courteous. The roads and sites and pad were all gravel with a grass patio. We were in a long pull-thru and the hookups were convenient and the spacing between sites was pretty good. There is free wifi provided by the park with some caveats. For one week you get 3 days free and then you have to pay. The signal was fairly strong but it was slow. The Verizon cellphone signal was fairly weak and there were a number of dropped calls. The Verizon 4g signal was also fairly weak. so we had a somewhat limited connectivity week. We had a great line of sight for our roof mounted satellite dish so our television watching was good. Although close to the interstate we didn't have that much road noise probably because we were in the row furthermost from the highway. The first part of the week the furthermost row was a good thing. Then on Friday night it became a bad thing as we were the closest row to the I-80 Speedway and they had races.

Here are photos from the park. The Lifestyle from the front.


To the right.


To the left.


From the rear.


We have had some great sunsets while here.




We leave today for Waukee Iowa.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo