Sunday, May 20, 2012

Weekend Paul Wolff Trip & Visit From Niece & Nephew

After the Cubs lost to the Sox on Friday I took Ronda home and headed out to the storage lot to pick up the RV. Good news, still no mice and it smells nice inside. Smile  I drove the speed limit even though I was against the clock since Paul Wolff is a county run campground I wasn’t sure when they close the gate. Long story short, they were kind enough to let me in even though they had been closed over an hour. The people who work here are friendly and accommodating people and the campground is always clean. If you’re in the Dundee, IL area you should check it out.

As I was heading through Marengo, IL around 8:45pm I started hearing very heavy splats on the front end and then they started hitting the windshield… JUNE BUGS… big lumbering bugs that make a huge mess when they hit. I could hardly see out the windshield when I got to Paul Wolff.

junebug    IMAG0578

I didn’t have my camera so I used my cell phone, for some reason I couldn’t capture the windshields so here is the section that showed up well. If you look closely you can see several of them stuck in the grill. When I cleaned the front end this morning I cleaned out about 40 of them from the grill alone.


I managed to back into our spot and park the rig in pitch black darkness by myself with the backup camera in one shot without waking anybody, yay! After I hooked up power I put out the slide and when it almost finished extending I heard a bang but it kept going. It makes noise once in awhile so I wrote it off as being a 13 year old rig that makes funny noises once in awhile. I figured I’d see how it retracts and call the dealer to have it looked at.

Remember when I couldn’t remember if I should level first or put out the slide first? Per Monaco/Holiday Rambler put the slide out first then level. Check out what my HWH leveling Jack book that came with the rig says. Learn something new everyday, let me know what you folks see in your leveling system user manuals ok?


My sister comes over with my niece, nephew and boyfriend and while taking out the chairs one had slid towards the middle of the pass through compartment so I had to reach in to get it. I saw something sagging on the other side compartment so I walked around and opened the compartment door and was met with this, if you click on it you’ll see where the mounting arm broke. That is the slide mechanism motor mount.


Top mounting bolt is still there but the slide is still out, what will happen when we try and close it, either manually or trying the motor, we’ll see, I haven’t tried it yet.


Here you see both mounting positions that broke. I’m heading out now to put in the slide, Ronda is going to tap the button and I’m going to put one of my size 13 sandals on the floor side so the motor doesn’t try to go through the floor. I’ll be right back, hopefully the slide goes in and we can head out.


Ok, I’m back, I removed the bolt that was still attached to the mounting bracket so the motor wouldn’t hit it, you can see it in the above picture above, the mount is bent a little, thankfully that bolt came out easy enough. I had Ronda hit the slide in button for 1 second intervals so I could watch and place the sandal above the motor, it worked great, we got the slide closed and then I had her hit the out button to relieve pressure from the motor and to release my sandal.


Oh, almost forgot, I installed the new HD JACK antenna, no not the one I ordered from Amazon silly, that would mean our luck had changed for the better and that one worked. Nope, the one I received from Amazon was DOA so I went to General RV and bought, you guessed it, another HD JACK antenna because that’s all they carried.

I found I had to use the power booster that the dealer installed which is a Winegard SB-2000 in order to get the antenna to work because while I had the correct voltage at the roof connection it was lacking in milliamps. My meter doesn’t measure milliamps but the fact that antenna # 2 didn’t work didn’t make sense. I tested both first of course and found the 1st one dead out the box, the second one worked in the cabin of the rig but not on the roof which made me assume since voltage was good, amps, as little as they are were lacking due to distance.

The Winegard SB-2000 must put out more than the little one included with JACK antenna is clearly too small. I took the first antenna apart and I should have taken pictures, there might be $3.50 in parts in these things. These are sold as outdoor antennas but lack any kind of weather strip. I don’t see this antenna lasting but I have 30 days with it to see. I need to return the other one.

Anyway, I got the second one working and we went from 3 channels at Paul Wolff to 49, not a bad jump! Very good picture quality.


Since I’m writing this on the fly I have yet to put the antenna down so I’m going to go do that right now… be right back…

Ok, I’m back, it went down but I had to go up on the roof to align it since the arrows lined up don’t put it down all the way now. Since this antenna weighs nothing you can’t get a feel for where it’s at going up or down so I’m going to take it all apart so I can clean and lubricate it. Also, the bedroom TV is a tube TV so we can’t get anything back there so I need to fix that.

It was a stressful weekend but it was great to see my niece and nephew again! Happy birthday Lars! Now I need to break down camp, get the rig to storage and then get home, shower and then meet my brother and his wife to celebrate their sons Travis birthday.

I hope everybody had a great weekend, I’ll post something about the slide mechanism when I find out where to get it repaired tomorrow.


kcgaz said...

Erik - Good luck with the slide motor and thanks for the info regarding the Jack replacement antenna. I have been thinking about replacing our batwing and your post motivated me to get it done.

Erik's RV Blog * said...

kcgaz - Keep in mind the JACK antenna isn't built very well but may be one of the only options out there to replace the batwing.

Good luck! Let me know how it goes, I do have to say the thing does pull in channels even if it isn't the best built device I have purchased.

JOJO said...

Sorry about the slide trouble. But at least it went in.
As for those nasty beetles, just be glad you weren't on a motorcycle. YUCK!

TexCyn said...

Those Junebugs have been a nuisance here for awhile now. That antenna looks like a stingray! Sorry about the slide. Sometimes I wish I had one, but it seems like yet another thing to have to maintain...glad you figured out your problem though.

TexCyn said...

PS, last year, I bought that booster for my antenna that is supposed to draw more channels in. Went up on the roof to install, then I found out my antenna isn't a winegard, so returned it. Mine is a commander. I do pull in a lot of channels...but most are religious or foreign!

Erik's RV Blog * said...

JoJo - Agreed, I was afraid I'd be stuck in Paul Wolff if I couldn't get the slide to go in!

I have been on a motorcycle during June bug season, it's like getting hit by golf balls going down the road. ICK big time!

TexCyn - Agreed, the slide is nice to have but yet another mechanical device that can develope problems and some rigs have 4 of them! Yikes!

I did notice a lot of foreign and religious broadcasts. I also noticed that there are still some analogue signals out there that this HD TV antenna gets in that my analogue antenna did not, how strange is that? I thought all broadcast TV was forced to move over to digital, looks like some didn't do it!

Diana said...

Wow for a minute there I thought you were too busy to have any fun! Glad you had some relaxation time Erik!
BTW, my hubby wears a 13 shoe too!
Love Di ♥