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Two for the Road - 2009

Pre-Trip Notes

Pre-Trip Notes
Panoramics (81)
Singles (68)
EV's Trip Notes
Mary Ellen's Trip Notes
Pre-Trip Have To Do's
Ya know it dont come easy .. a song lyric by Richard Starkey a.k.a Ringo Starr

The Bottom Line: If you own an RV, you MUST be a Handyman or spend a lot of money/time in the repair shop.

Its really amazing, but oh so true ... in order to accomplish one simple single task, one is usually required to accomplish numerous tasks prior. The lack of efficient engineering is so common.

Here is a perfect example: In order to replace a $16 rear engine oil seal, a labor expense of $450 is required in order to get to the seal, replace it and return everything back to normal again. In addition, other parts that are needed to accomplish this task are also billed. What a mess, but this actually happened to me a few years ago.

Therefore, in order for us to make this trip in the RV enjoyable/hassle free, a lot of things were accomplished since the last major cross country Four Corners trip we did in 2008.

Here is a list of items, in no particular order ....

Replace the broken fluorescent shop lights in the garage so that I may still work during the evening hours.

The 12 volt DC electrical grounds on the rear of the RV became intermittent and/or completely failed. I suspect it was due to shoddy workmanship and/or engineering. It was far more efficient to run a new 0 gauge cables, recondition all the grounding blocks and mount new grounds directly to the chassis frame vice trying to sort out/troubleshoot the source of problem.

Remove and replace the 12 foot vinyl awning over the slide out that was becoming delaminated.

Design and assemble two small boxes to house an AC (120 volts) / DC (12 volts) power switch overs for both of the HDTVs.

Remove all RV clearance and marker, porch entry incandescent lights, replace with sealed LED type lights. They use only 15% power vice the originals and last well beyond 10,000 hours.

Add separate two LED sealed, boat trailer type, left/right tow lights on the back of the towed pick-up truck, instead of using the pick-up trucks rear stop/turn incandescent lights.

Replace the broken 7-pin receptacle jacks on the front of the pick-up truck and on the back of the RV. Rewire are necessary.

Assemble a new, 6 foot - 7 wire umbilical cord with new 7-pin receptacle plugs at each end. Rewire as needed. This cable goes between the RV and the pick-up truck to make the parking lights, stop and turn signals operate on the back of the pick-up truck.

Design and assemble a TV antenna rotator that holds a 21 db Wi-Fi panel antenna. A brace/pole is hung on the gutter of the RV with the cables going into the RV to the laptop for an internet connection.

The above Wi-Fi rig became moot when I obtained a PDA/Smart Cellular phone that has an internal modem link which is USB cable linked to my laptop and gets me 3G on the internet anywhere I have a cel phone connection. It is only $49.99/month and its use is pro-rated. The rate includes transfer of 5 GB, after that it is another fee per Mb. I shall use this with the local Wi-Fi to get the best internet connection option. It was just tested and it is fully operational. It shall be turned off after the RV trip.

Removed and replace the radio stereo speakers with high tech 3-way water resistant speakers.

Removed and redesigned the Garmin GPS marine antenna to prevent damage from low hanging tree branches.

The string in the bedroom privacy-shade frayed and broke. It was restrung.

Remove, clean and reinstall the bathroom shower relief drain valve.

Reinforce the brace for the wire frame food pantry to prevent movement while on the road.

Complete shelving all remaining shelves, drawers and all flat surfaces with heavy duty shelving plastic.

Repair/reinforce the front bra for the RV. Sew all edges with cloth taping to stop fraying of the vinyl.

Redesign the container for the dining table to hold napkins, condiments, and so on. Another container was needed for the bathroom items.

Both the driver and passenger Captains chairs hardly swiveled and required massive lubrication to properly work.

Repair an 8 inch electric table fan that decided not to operate.

The rear passenger side mud flap was removed because it was worn out due to not being properly braced. It was supposed to protect the exhaust pipe from damage. The stainless steel heat shield plate was removed, cleaned, painted and repositioned to insure proper protection of the exhaust pipe. In addition, I discovered that the exhaust pipe hanger was never properly braced to the RV frame to prevent unnecessary movement. It was subsequently repaired.

The gas range stove top was removed, reconditioned and painted gloss black vice the original white that exhibited unusual premature aging tendencies.

All these items keep me quite busy for a long time, but when properly accomplished, it felt really good!