Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cleaning The RV For Tomorrow – Holy Crap!

I began cleaning this morning and am now sitting down to eat and I’m……. maybe half done overall! I cleaned the dash, gauges, vinyl ceiling pad, all lights, shelving, the kitchen, the bathroom, the ceramic tile floor, the driver and passenger seats, the leather recliner, every single cabinet plus the shower stall. I can’t believe how dirty everything was, I was blown away! Plus the mouse poop, good grief they got everywhere! I believe I found where they are coming in as well, bad news is I don’t think I can do anything about it so I’ll ask Collier when I go there.

I installed a new adjustable shower head that can turn the water off at the head. I cleaned all inside windows and found that when Collier removed the side windows to fix the leaks they didn’t clean the windows prior to putting them back in. So, in-between the panes of glass is somebodies dirty hand prints. I’m going to call them tomorrow and ask what can be done about that because it’s pretty bad. I thought the windows were just dirty so didn’t see this until I cleaned them inside and out today, ugh.

I cleaned all passenger side exterior basement bins and reorganized them. I still have to do the entire drivers side basement bins plus wash the exterior of the rig tomorrow. Then we have to stock it, hook up the tow dolly and our Escape and then we can finally take off! I may put off the bin clean-up for Friday at the CG, not sure yet. My arms feel like butter right now.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

TV Installed, Air Compressor Fixed & RV Update

What a busy day! I spent a good portion of it at the truck/rv shop and found that my rig has essentially brand new tires up front. Not the best brand mind you but brand new which is great.

The back unfortunately are checking, not that deep mind you but enough to warrant replacement. He gave me a quote, after I recovered from the shock I told him as long as there are no belts separated we’ll have to wait until next month. It drove perfectly today so keeping positive thoughts for tomorrow night.

I fired up the air compressor this morning and it refused to make any more than 75 PSI. When turned off you could hear air bleeding off, not good. I removed the regulator and went to Home Depot this afternoon hoping they might have one in stock. They did! I bought it and installed it and fixed a line leak as well and now it works perfectly up to 150 PSI, great! I can put the compressor in a basement compartment and we can air up any tire going forward.


On to the TV mount install.


 I went to Menard’s & Home Depot and found, absolutely nothing. Only plywood planks and I would need a router to make it look good. Then I remembered a custom furniture place near our home and decided what the heck, what can I lose by going right? They had part of a desk shelf in the back and 25 bucks later, I had a new TV mount!


So, I lined up the old TV frame against this piece of OAK and drilled the holes. Unfortunately it sits a little lower than the TV frame did but I can live with it for now. Also, this board sits about 1.2 inches too wide on each side, but really, for now I’m not going to worry about that. I mounted the TV mount and I can run the wires under the dash when I mount the TV, you can barely see the wires here! The stain is also pretty close to factory, it’s not perfect but it’s pretty close. This is what it will look like while driving down the road.


Here it is installed.

SAM_1930Here is the final look with over the air TV from our house. Not too bad!


Tomorrow I’ll be cleaning the dog house tray and also putting in the lower bolt in the TV mount now that I have it even. I am going to be using different mounting screws for the OAK board so it blends in better than the silver ones in use now. Next project before leaving for Geneseo is cleaning all cabinets to get rid of the mouse poop. My wife removed all linens and anything that can be washed is in the washing machine right now. Next update will be sometime tomorrow afternoon.

1 day, 2 hours, 58 minutes and 40 seconds until we hit the road!! Smile with tongue out

Gas Mileage – Better Than Expected!

Quick update from last night, I have an appointment at 10:15 with Champion Chassis and they have tires in stock. Hopefully I won’t need to buy any today but if we have to we have to.

I haven’t been able to figure out what our mileage is because this winter I have run the generator every time I have been at the RV. Last summer we never had a chance to measure MPG either for various reasons. Since I had to fill up the tank last night I did a quick calculation and even with the amount of generator use we averaged 8.2mpg on our last tank! I was told best case scenario would be 7 while running nothing else.

Considering the weight of this rig and the high final gear ratio I wasn’t expecting this. 8.2 is great and when we drive up to Geneseo I’m not going to run anything and I’ll drive for the best case possible MPG.

Ok, have to go to my appointment, I’ll take a few pictures if they let me!

RV Vibration

The wife and I went to pick up the rig tonight. While there I checked the genny and found a switch called Summer/Winter… ugh, no mention of this in my documentation and the dealer walk through didn’t include this and when I checked the oil I missed this little lever. I flip the lever to winter and press the start button, instantly it starts, no priming needed, go figure.Disappointed smile The good news is, I now know about this little switch and will incorporate it into my checklist.

So I get the rig onto the road and and notice a harsh vibration around 20mph and it got real bad over 40mph. Bad enough to make everything inside shudder….. I was thinking here we go again, I drive this *#%$& thing every two weeks for nearly 6 months with no issues what so ever. Pick it up to go on vacation and that’s when something goes wrong, but of course. Possible tire flat spotting? You would think that would have happened during the –18f days that I drove the rig during the winter but it didn’t.

I call my wife on the two way radio and ask her to pull up on the driver’s side and see if anything looks strange. Sure enough, she says the drivers wheel is bouncing up and down. We pull it over at a gas station and everything looks fine, the wheel simulator looks like it may not be perfectly round anymore (could be the light) but the tire itself looks fine? It’s dark out so I run my hand around the tire and feel a bulge so it must be a separating tire belt. I call Good Sams and ask if I should get road side service to bring a tire, there is nobody available to do so but they have a 24x7 number for a chassis shop that it turns out I have done business with before.

I call them and leave a message explaining what’s going on and then carefully drive the rig home. It’s now almost 3 hours since I called and I haven’t heard anything yet. Technically it’s not “RV season” yet so I don’t know what to expect. I wrote an email to my boss explaining everything because there is no way I’m going to call him this late at night asking him if I can hit vacation a day early. He has a sail boat but I don’t know if he has issues or not because he’s not the kind of guy to complain about it, where I, clearly am. Eye rolling smile 

I’m hoping these guys call and tell me to just drop it off and they’ll take care of replacing the tire(s), hopefully it’s just one but I have a feeling they need to be changed out in pairs. We’ll see what happens in the morning, for now I’m going to go take some Excedrin and try to get some sleep.

I’ll update in the morning when I have more information.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Trip Is On – And Rude Comments

Wait, you didn’t know it might be off did you! While the wife and I did a full sweep Spring cleaning of the first floor on Saturday we realized how badly the entire house needs a real deep cleaning. Plus I have a bathroom that I ripped apart over a year ago that I have to finish.

So, Saturday I ask the boss what she thought of cancelling this trip and doing some serious cleaning around the house. She agreed so we decided Saturday morning that we would drop the trip and wait until warmer weather decided to finally arrive……

WAIT A MINUTE!!! ARE WE INSANE!?!?!? Disappointed smile 


Clearly I might be but my wife? Of…. course…. she …….. isn’t……. ahem… Nyah-Nyah

By Sunday we (meaning I) gained (my) our sanity back, whew! We have been waiting for this camping trip since late September LAST YEAR! Every time last year we had to drop off the rig after we went somewhere to get work completed, not the RV’s fault at all. Finally we have a fully functioning RV, we want to enjoy it first chance we get.

So we are going to go up tonight and pick up the rig, talk the neighbor into moving his kids car lot to the left and then we are going to prepare for our first trip of the year. I still have to mount the TV, I did a trial run yesterday and it worked perfectly so even if I don’t have the mount completed we can still use it as is. I just emailed the CG and asked for a site number and confirmation so we are committed now!

- A commenting side note, I received a few comments the past few nights, no name(s) mentioned, that I deleted because the person(s) decided that they did not like my postings and rudely explained why. I don’t typically delete comments but when they include swearing the comment serves no purpose by being left alone. Be rude all you want, if you don’t swear the comment will be left alone.

I don’t think it should have to be said that this is a blog, my blog. Like TV and Radio channels, nobody is forced to come here to read my ramblings. I have never stated that I will be the most interesting person to read nor will my posts always be RV related or even make sense at times. Thankfully we still have free will, if people don’t like what they read I invite them to delete the link to this blog and their problem is solved. Why some people feel that the creator of a blogs content should have to change to suit one readers needs is beyond me, a rude reader to boot.

Letting anything I write affect you to a point that you feel you need to be rude or in one case an utter a’hole makes no sense to me. I suspect this was one in the same person that has been around before but you never know. It would be great if Blogger logged IP’s but alas they don’t.

Anyway, 99.99% of the people who comment are fantastic people who I hope to meet someday. That one person who has this need to behave like a mental patient with no control over himself Annoyed should at least have the cojones to not be anonymous or at least give a way to get ahold of you so I can at least let you personally know what I think of you. I know we can block anonymous commenters but I have family that sometimes (rarely) comments and I don’t want to force them to create ID’s, heck then they would never comment! Smile with tongue out

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Loki Says Thank You….

She is so humble, see how humble she is…. Smile with tongue out


Friday, March 25, 2011

Loki Featured On Toadily Pets Blog :)

Check out Loki at she is todays featured pet! Smile with tongue out

Short Trip Coming Up – 5 Days To Go

Next Wednesday the 30th I am picking up the RV to get it ready to head out on the 31st to Geneseo, IL. Great right? Well, the weather has taken a turn from getting warmer to getting colder, winter is stubbornly hanging on. Last week was tee shirt weather and it was steadily getting nicer and nicer as the days went by.

This week, back to freezing each night up until the 30th, it’s going to be in the 20’s each and every night. So I can’t pick the rig up and de-winterize it this weekend like I had planned. Disappointed smile Plus the neighbors driveway, (the one where the house is empty and my other neighbor is using it to park all of their cars, how does 3 people need 6 cars?!?!?) is full of cars and I won’t be able to put the RV in that driveway unless the kid comes home and can move them. I haven’t seen him in a week so I think he is off somewhere.

So, the 30th is the day….to…do….everything for the trip. Disappointed smile I called our new RV dealer and asked if I was crazy to de-winterize on the 30th, their response, YES, nuts Crying face. They have a lot of rigs to deliver and they are delivering them winterized, even for the people heading out on the road after the 30th, better safe than sorry they said. I am now looking at 10 day forecasts every hour like an insane person and as is typical, it changes every hour! I want to take a shower while we’re gone, I know my wife sure as heck doesn’t want to smell me after 4 days of poor man showers! Somehow she can skip a shower and she smells fine, that must be a girl thing… Girl  But me, after cleaning the rig and if possibly waxing it, not going to be pleasant no way no how.


Right now it looks like from the 30th on, each night for our trip will be in the 30’s which is fantastic. Solves that problem if it continues to say that, however, I have to watch for several weeks after because if I do de-winterize any night that dips into the 20’s is a threat to the pipes in the rig, even if I drain everything. Winterizing after this trip is possible but would be a big pain in the butt so what to do? I am not putting the trip off, nope, not gonna do it…                         Guess I’ll re-winterize after the trip, there… now that was easy… Confused smile

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Memory Lane Comments Response

Merikay – My wife and I have tried finding an old antique 1930’s Grandfather radio/clock. Here is an example, not a great example but one I found from the web since I don’t have access to my pictures from here. As long as you like the clock as you modified it that’s all that matters! I agree, some of these radio’s are simply not replaceable!


Alan and Marilyn McMillan – I have a few cedar chests my Grandfather carved and one huge chest my Mother inherited that goes back nearly 140 years or so. It sat unopened for decades until my Mother died and my brother and I finally got it open, it contained Christmas decorations going back a very long time. Things we’ll be able to give out to family as time goes by. Not sure what we’ll do with the chests yet, we have a lot of decisions to make there.

DeanO – Yeah, classic electronics are awesome. The tube radios all featured point to point wiring that is better than using circuit boards and the best tube amplifiers today use this old fashioned wiring method.

Sue and Doug – Agreed, getting the back story helps you understand the person you’re reading about.

Teri – I wish I could say no regrets but I’d be lying to myself if I told myself there were none. I agree to take them as lessons which is saying the same thing as you said kinda sorta… sometimes I can’t come up with the right words so I’ll leave it at that. Smile with tongue out

Mike McFall – Ok, you have me by a few decades! 1935, the middle of the golden era of radio! Perfect time to be born if you ignore the depression. How Zenith could come up with the radios they put out during that bad a decade is simply amazing. That they could profit during that time shows the vision they had! I love Fibber Magee and Molly, Johnny Dollar, Boston Blackie, X-Minus 1, Suspense, Inner Sanctum, Lux Radio Theater, Sam Spade even My Favorite Husband with Lucile Ball. I could name hundreds!

Speaking of battery sets, here is my 1937 Zenith 4B131, it required a pretty large battery! This was part of the collection I bought for $100.00, I completely forgot about it until last night. It doesn’t work but it looks nice!


Mike, I can honestly say, it’s the older generation that we can learn the most from. Your and your parents generation was one of the last to know what true sacrifice meant, the rationing going on during WWII and the things people had to do without because of the war effort, truly inspirational and something we take for granted today.

Diana – Thanks, tell your husband to get his license renewed! The Morse code requirement is gone now so it does make it easier even though I sometimes wonder if that was a good idea or not, but I digress. I listen to Old Time Radio on Sat radio as well, much better than listening to the news which is always bad it seems! Knee surgery, that is in my future as well, I was supposed to have them done a few decades ago but alas I never had it done.

WCFL and WLS, ANIMAL STORIES!! My wife and I were talking about Uncle Larry and Little Tommy a few days ago. I miss those days! Well, I don’t really miss the ‘70s that much, it wasn’t exactly the best decade but we tried to have some fun! Remember, Bob Sirott, John Records Landecker, Steve Dahl and Garry Meijr? The Loop WLUP 97.9 was awesome as well. Check out these sites I found this morning. 

Big Matt, You should try HAM radio, I think you’d enjoy it a lot! Granted the initial cost of a rig isn’t cheap unless you buy an old unit but it’s worth it when you do! I have had a lot of fun on the amateur bands that my license spans over. I currently have an Icom 746PRO that I would like to install into the RV, but that will cost a bit antenna wise so putting it off for now.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Trip Down Memory Lane

Since I was a kid I have enjoyed looking at the old radios as they glowed and had that warm sound. My first experience with these radios was while they still made tube radio’s which of course makes me feel a bit old but hey, in 1966 we got a TV, it wasn’t color but we got one! I actually have a set now that’s very similar to the set my parents bought and it even works! This is a 1957 RCA Victor, we bought it to watch old Twilight Zone’s and other old programs.


I for some reason don’t have a picture of the radio that sparked my interest in antique radios (on this computer anyway) but I found one that’s similar. It was the radio that my Grandmother had purchased in the late 50’s and I listened to radio shows known today as “Old Time Radio” but back then there were still shows being played live, soon after they all went off the air CBS would air shows on “Radio Mystery Theater” and so would WGN. This is the little radio I would huddle up to when we visited my Grandparents. Her radio was more of a tan color, but you get the idea.


When my Grandmother died the radio was lost so a few years back I went searching on eBay and found a bunch of them. I bought 6 of them and restored them as best I could and gave each family member one to remember Mormor (translated, mothers mother). Their faces lit up and they loved these little radios and they all still use them today. When my Mom died I received her radio and I’ll be holding onto that one until the day I die.

My first real antique radio came from a collection I purchased from a co-worker who had been let go at a company I worked for. They were letting people go because the company was for sale, anyway, his bad luck was my good luck. If I remember correctly I bought the entire collection for less than $100.00. Most of the radios were junk and this radio you see here was so filthy I almost said no to the deal, it was almost white with grime. Knowing it didn’t work didn’t help much either but I also figured he needed the money so I bought them. The radio is a Howard Model O or 0, not sure which because there is literally nothing about this radio anywhere. I have almost every guide and book about most all radios but this one gets no mention, so either it’s worth a lot, or not much. Who cares, we love it.


It turns out the radio is gorgeous! It took me the better part of a whole day cleaning the scum off and then polishing it up to what you see here. Original finish with just a few chips in the front. I have since had the electronics restored and it’s the one radio we will never get rid of. So for a few years this was all that was on display at our house, along with a few smaller radios.

In 2004 while on a trip to Minnesota we found a store dedicated to selling antique radio’s and radio memorabilia. we found this radio, a 1938 Zenith 12S267, expensive even in its day and ridiculous expensive today. We bought it, of course with every intention of keeping it forever.


Soon after I bought it I wanted to hear radio programs from the same era the radio was built. What to do? Build an AM radio station of course!



I figured while I was at it I might as well go AM and FM so I built an FM transmitter antenna to go with the FM transmitter, go big or go home right? I also built a computer and added a mixer so I could transmit from different sources, all at the legal limit. It looks different now but you get the gist.

RadioStationAntenna  RadioStationEquipment

So now I could hear music on either AM or FM and the entire house could pick up whatever old time radio I was broadcasting. I often set it up so it would broadcast for days, mixing in news broadcasts from the times and even WWII broadcasts. I was working from home more often then so I could enjoy it while working. Then I added a new hobby, HAM radio, as you can see I was busy. We drove to Dayton Ohio and on May 17th 2008 after studying all night, literally we headed over to the Dayton Hamvention and I passed the test that day.


As you can see my head was so filled with other things we completely forgot about camping and RV’s. Since my mother died Nov 29th 2009 my perspective on life has changed, actually, our perspective has changed, what was important to us before isn’t so much anymore. I was living to work instead of working to live and enjoying life. My hobbies were as I look back, selfish and didn’t include my wife even though she gave me her blessing. More so because she knows my mind, it’s doing 500 mph all the time, these hobbies helped. What they also did was take us further into debt, helping out family did as well, some things that can’t be said here did more damage but we are at where we are at and are now moving towards living life again and giving up some of the trappings that are keeping us hostage to the credit card companies and material things.

This may have been TMI for some people and that’s ok, that’s what the close window button is for right? For others it may explain my postings a bit, I tend to ramble, sometimes repeat subjects and maybe even sometimes whine a bit (stop agreeing with me!! Smile with tongue out) but as a buddy of mine says, I’m just Erik trying to be Erik (he says it with his Indian accent and a funny look on his face, gotta love him). Till next time…

Monday, March 21, 2011

Nobody Is Buying – Antique Radio’s That Is

I posted one of my very rare Zenith 12S267 radio’s (I have 2 of them) on Craigslist and eBay last week. 7 days without a bid or an email. Wait, I got one email, from a guy who wrote he would give me no more than $200.00 for it. The radio knobs are worth more than that! This radio 4 years ago would bring over $3,000.00, now it doesn’t even get a bid. I read peoples blogs where they are selling stuff off and I realize for us to sell things off we’ll need to lose money, probably a lot of money or not sell them. 73 years old, works perfectly, gets in stations from all over the globe and is rare enough to warrant the price per the price guides and people in the know who sell them. In an antique store this would really bring a high price.

I know the economy is bad and I have seen a few of these hit eBay and not get a single bid. 4 or 5 years ago there would be a bidding war going on. Our house is worth less than we paid, our antiques are worth less than we paid. Damn taxes are due next month (you don’t want to know how much) and selling some things would really reduce the stress.


This is the second 12S267 I own, I’m the only one on the planet that I know of that has two of these in excellent condition. When I invested in them, I was a genius considering where the prices were going, every year they went up! But now, we own them and they might as well be paper weights. Don’t get me wrong, if it were up to me, I’d keep them forever but the economy/taxes/life dictates what happens to them, or in this case isn’t happening to them. I am going to relist both of them with a reserve and if they don’t sell, I have no clue what to do with them because we need the money but I’m not going to give this stuff away! Crying face  I have a whole collection of these types of radios… double drat none of them will sell unless we let them go cheap.


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Emission Testing – RV Better Not Be Longer Than 34'!

When the Government does something I think they get together with as many people with zero knowledge of whatever they are working on and then come to an agreement on how to do something as expensive and wrong as possible.

Enter, Illinois emissions testing, call the “Air Safety Team” number and get transferred from person to person just to find out which facility can fit a 36ft RV. Their response, all of them, no wait, only the full service centers, oh wait, some of them have tight turns that may not be able to handle an RV that long. Ok, great, which…one…can…handle…an…RV….36ft long? They really don’t know. I log onto their website and find they have web cams, great! Forget about Schaumburg but Crystal Lake looks good!

I got there and the typical 3 minute wait is now 35 minutes and the line is all the way out to the street. The good news is it looks more than large enough to handle a 36 footer, woohoo! When I got the rig inside the very tight (from the perspective of inside the RV) door opening I was met by a great team of two who walked me through the process and the RV passed with flying colors!

When we finished and they handed me the very nice official looking document I asked “how the heck am I going to make it out the exit?” His response, no problem!! Uh, I wasn’t convinced, look at the picture, about 33 feet to the grass and the grass goes uphill!


One of the guys walks in front of the rig and as I’m pulling out I’m watching the backup camera and I can see this is going to be VERY close. I get right up to the lawn with the front bumper and start cutting the wheel, and start doing the back and forth and finally get enough to the right that I can keep going.

The weight of the rig pushed the left front tire deep into their lawn but it made it! Now comes the fun part! The exit for the facility parking lot has an incline and the street does as well. So, again I cut the wheel and start to pull out and then it happens, drraaaaagggggging the back, so now I have no choice but to keep going and finally the dragging ends and I’m free.

Whew! I pull over and look at what wonderful news awaits and find no damage except for a broken drag wheel. Of course it’s possible there might have been some body flex so we’ll see if we now have leaks because of this. The rig is considered smog legal until Sept 2013, between now and then I need to figure out how to exit that place without dragging the hind end again. Can you say air bags?  We’ll see!

RV Park’s Wi-Fi Limitations For Streaming

I guess I’ll just call this “what’s in Erik’s brain today”, because I know how to solve it but lack the funds to do so right now. I have a Verizon card for work that has a 5 Gigabit limit per month so can’t use that. The parks that have either free or paid Wi-Fi have limitations where you reach an amount of data downloaded and it lowers the bandwidth available for you. This renders my Slingbox/Netflix/Vudu and other streaming technologies to maybe one or two shows and then the data stream will slow down reducing quality to unacceptable levels.

At least, this is how it works at our two favorite RV parks. I know I could get Satellite Internet service and problem solved to a point. I could pay for an unlimited data plan from AT&T or Verizon but those aren’t cost effective just to watch streaming movies and we plan on using those services during bad weather mostly.

We are spoiled however and I usually come up with something to solve technical issues and I suppose my Verizon card could suffice if we kept it to just a few movies. My Samsung TV has Internet apps built in so my Verizon card would be useless unless I traded it in for the MiFi or bought a router that can use the card for sharing but that wouldn’t be easy because it’s my companies card, not mine and I have a hard time using company equipment for personal use. I don’t use the company laptop for personal use either.

Another thing to mull over for camping this year. I’ll talk to my boss and see if he minds me using it for streaming/sharing and if he approves maybe I can chip in for a bigger data plan and if so, then I’ll buy the router that can use this card. Yeah, that sounds like a plan… Nerd smile

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Decided On TV Mount!

I swear it was easier to buy the TV when we bought it!! I am going to save some money and not buy a new TV. My wife is going to make a soft storage container from big fluffy towels and when the TV isn’t in use in the rig it will return to bedroom duty. At least until we can afford the TV we want to replace it.

I am going to use a powder coated mount from Bello, model 7440. I chose this because it has a small footprint, leaves just a small plate on the TV itself making it easy to remove and install and it allows me to position the mount up higher so I can make a few shelves for equipment below. Since we’ll never drive with the TV mounted I can position it where ever I want. Smile with tongue out


I also found, thanks to Andy at RV-ADVENTURE BOUND* a 12 volt centric website that I’m going to purchase a few things from, unfortunately 12Volt didn’t have the Bello mount, it did help me figure out which kind I wanted to get. For now though, just going to do a temporary job to get this ready for our upcoming trip. When I buy the wood I’m going to create two panels, one for this coming up trip, $5.00 makes that panel disposable, but I can still re-use it for the shelving later and I’ll start on the permanent panel very soon. I’ll see if I can draw up what this will look like, I have zero artistic skills so don’t grade it! Nyah-Nyah

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

LED LCD TV Install Ideas

Ok, had some more time to think about this. How about this, make a decorative cabinet out of the console opening and have a self on a slide mechanism that can come out from the bottom, pull the shelf out and simply put the TV on the shelf, below the shelf will be a Coax, HDMI and power receptacle. I need to check the car stereo and see if there is an aux in on the back on the unit, if there is then I can use the stereo for sound when we want it a little louder than the TV can provide. I have plans for the sound system some day, can’t afford to right now.

I picked up a new water filter and also a factory toggle switch so when I mount a big electric radiator fan this summer I can mount this switch in the one slot on the dash that is un-used right now and it will look factory when I’m done.

The police won’t let us keep the rig in the street, even though we have no traffic in our half cul-de-sac they said they will write us a ticket. I gotta wonder who writes these laws. If the RV is more than 12 inches from our curb it will also get a ticket if they drive by and measure it, no matter how short of a time it’s there. Since the curb curves and the RV is 36ft long guess what, half the rig will be more than 12 inches away from the curb!!

This means, when they finally sell the house next door we will NEVER be allowed to have the RV at the house legally. Right now a neighbor is using the empty house driveway, how 3 people can have 6 cars is beyond me so I’m going to ask them to move part of their fleet to the left side so I can bring the rig home this weekend to work on it. We’ll see what happens.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Trip Prep Comment Response

I.M. Vayne, yeah I know my limitations, but right now the biggest one is where the RV located making it difficult to try out new ideas. I need to make a plan and go with it and pray I get it right.

Big Matt, the coax cable in that picture is the main feed from the distribution box in the top middle cabinet. They stuffed a VCR, distribution box and digital converter into that little middle cabinet. I haven’t decided where I’m going to put the Blu-Ray player yet but I have an idea, I need to scope out the path from the upper cabinets to the lower cabinet and go from there. 


There already is an electrical outlet in the cabinet that I can reposition, there is plenty of slack. I am going to re-paint the wooden trim plate that surrounds the opening and I’m also going to install a decorative panel that will match the trim in color, most likely the same color or darker than it is right now. I have seen too many retro fit cabinets that people tried to make look like the oak cabinets and have not seen one that I liked. They all looked like, well, somebody tried and failed to make it look factory and I lack the ability to make stained woodwork look good, this is a limitation I know I have and have come to terms with it.

The only people who I have seen get a factory look is the folks from Semi-True Tales of Our Life on the Road. They had a company do the work and as you can see, it looks the factory did it. I lack the funds right now to put in the right TV and have somebody do the woodwork.

  Old TV[4]  New TV[4]

I am a “make it look like the manufacturer did it” kinda guy so no plywood for me, it has to look good when the TV is stored. I am going to put in a wooden panel (I have to go to my 2nd home “Home Depot” and look at wood) and then create a mount where the TV will hang from it like a picture. This panel will also house 2 12 volt outlets with a factory rocker on off switch and maybe a CB radio, all set up so when we are driving the TV will be stored under the couch and the panel will hopefully look like part of the dash, when parked, the TV will look permanent. There will be a shelf built into this panel where I can put my wallet, phone and other small items so the entire panel isn’t flat making it look out of place.

Samsung has a mount like this for their 9000 series LCD LED TV and I think I can re-create it for our use, that, I actually am good at. I may actually sell the one TV and purchase a newer 22” LED Samsung that’s about half an inch thick which will fit the diameter width wise perfectly, exactly 21.5 inches wide, the same as the cabinet. So maybe I can deal with a smaller screen.

The only issue will be height and I think I can build the panel so the Samsung Blu-Ray player also fits. If I can get the RV home this week I’ll dry fit everything and take some pictures. I still have to map out the wiring that the dealer modified and fix what they broke, none of the 3 other coax cables in the top left cabinet were connected to anything but I’ll get that sorted out when I can get some time inside the rig at home where I have the tools to do the job and power without using the genny.

For the TV power, coax and HDMI cable there will be a port similar to the kind you see in new Ford’s. A round vent port, these cables will come out through this port when needed and when not needed they will be put back inside this port. I already know how I can do this and not have to worry about fishing them out each time we put up the TV.

The brain is running high gear, I hope I can put into action what is floating around in my head! The good news is, I can do most of this work from home since I have the mounting plate from the old TV at home.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

RV Trip Prep

I went up to the RV today to remove the TV and check out the compartment’s and what do I find, ANOTHER DEAD *#&$^ MOUSE!! We went almost 3 months I think between catching mice so what was this little guy doing in the rig? I had hoped I could clean up after the mice but left the traps in place until I pick it up for the trip on the 29th.

I pulled out the pile O junk TV the dealer installed and found it was smashed against one of the air tubes for the vents on the passenger side. That explains the weak airflow and why the TV looked like it was protruding from it’s mount. Now I need to figure out the wiring, I installed a combo DVD/VCR a few weeks back and I could not get the picture to show up on the TV, so that’s another project. I also found out the wiring the dealer installed for the digital converter was done wrong, it works but if you move the converter the wire comes out the back and bye bye TV signal, would it have killed them to at least crimp the wire? Disappointed smile 

Anyway, the TV is out, I currently have a 26” Samsung HD LCD that I could mount in this spot but it will over hang on either side about 2 inches. Or, I could find a smaller TV that can mount inside but because all TV’s today are wide screen there will be a gap below the TV and lets face it, it will be a tiny picture. I suppose I could do that and mount a thin Blu-Ray DVD player beneath but I hate tiny TV’s, my laptop has a 20” screen, how could I go smaller for my TV?? Smile with tongue out

Much to mull over, I’m going to do some research on what might fit, I brought the frame for the console home, maybe I’ll go over to Best Buy and see what fits within….SAM_1854