Tuesday, December 6, 2016

New TV

Another job done (with photo :)). We bought a larger TV for the bedroom and I finally got a chance to hang it on the wall today. I used the same mount I built out of plywood and 2X4's a few years ago because it is bolted right through the wall into the bathroom cabinet and is stronger than anything I could buy. The job took longer than I expected but most of the time was spent hiding the yards of various cables and power cords from sight.

The new TV is a 24" compared to the old 20". It seems much bigger because it is the wider format so it matches the broadcast format and more of the screen is being used. The new one is a Samsung, the old one a Sharp. Anyway, Norma likes it.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Two Out Of Three Done!

Replacing the leaking Extend-a-Stay valve. It went in easy but I had to borrow a 7/8 open end wrench and had to try twice because it wouldn't pass the soapy water bubble test first time. It looks like I should invest in a can of rust converter and some Rustoleum paint. If it ain't one thing, it's another!

These new rivets in the door hinge were easy with the new rivet gun.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Nothing Happening Here Folks

Just settling down in the desert. Warm days (not exactly hot but I did catch Norma with the A/C on today) and cool to cold nights. The electric mattress warmer is getting used on low and nights are pleasant.

I noticed a hinge on the door had pulled the rivets out of the door frame and since my rivet gun was broken, we made a trip to Harbor Freight for a new one and that job is now in the jar. I have to drill out the old rivets and put in three new ones.

I also have to mount the new 24" TV in the bedroom. This may require a slight mod to the wall mount to accommodate the wider TV. I picked up a scrap pallet board to use for this if I need it. Norma's curling is over for the weekend so I might be able to get at the TV for a couple of hours.

I still have to find the add-on that turns the new IOTA converter into a four stage smart charger for the batteries. Blair's Station, the local RV supply place. might have one or at least will be able to get one in for me. I also have to replace one of the gas filled props that hold the outside bin doors open. Blairs should have one of those.

Keeping busy and keeping warm. It is turning into a pleasant winter after the excitement of the expensive first few days.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Desert Hot Springs Sunshine!

After another uneventful drive (!) we arrived in Desert Hot Springs on Wednesday early afternoon and after a stop at Little Sisters Truck Wash we pulled into the Desert Oasis RV Park where we stayed two years ago and where we had reservations until January 2.

It was warm (24C) and sunny! Finally! We set up and I walked over to the hottest of the three pools to soak my aching back, payment for lifting those damn batteries! I had the tub to myself until I was later joined by a woman from BC, We are going to enjoy ourselves here.

Well, it wasn't that smooth. After one night management came to tell us there was some confusion over the site we were assigned. We paid until Jan 2 and someone else had the site booked for December 30. They offered us the site right next door so it was an easy move. We could have argued but what the heck, we are easy to get along with.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Barstow, CA

We are in Barstow, CA after an uneventful three hour drive. It was sunny and 71F when we arrived, the first time we have seen either of these conditions. Tomorrow we head for Desert Hot Springs where we have booked a spot at Desert Oasis RV Park for a month. The weather is not all that great but the hot pools are HOT!

I love these uneventful drives!

Monday, November 28, 2016

One More Day!

We are staying at The Orange Grove for one more day because the weather is still not good to the east and as one reader pointed out, Monday is still a busy day on the highway as people go home. We are enjoying the break from the road and from what seems like forking over hundreds of dollars a day for repairs.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Battery Excange

We called Costco and told them we were returning the two 6 volt batteries that had failed the load test. We arrived at the store and asked to see the automotive manager, prepared with all the technical information we could remember from the battery expert. The manager stopped us before we started, telling us all he needed was the receipt showing the date of sale. We could replace them for up to one year, no questions asked. Period.

I went back to the rig, removed the batteries and took them to customer service where they gave me a gift card for the full amount. I took this gift card to the battery department and bought new, October 2016 dated batteries.

I had my voltmeter and both the batteries were putting out 6.37 volts, the highest of the batch they had on display. The manager apologised for the trouble we had and told us to bring these back anytime in the next year if we were not happy with them. I removed the old batteries myself and Miguel, a young, strong man helped me out with the new batteries and lifted them into place for me. The batteries charged all the way to Bakersfield at the rate of about 13.5 volts. I really hope they last because it is a pain in the ass (and back) to exchange them although I am sure Miguel would have been happy to help me get the old batteries out if I had asked.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Bakersfield, CA

Lots to tell you about but we are both exhausted! We are in Bakersfield, CA at the Orange Grove RV Park. We paid for two nights because they are calling for SNOW tomorrow! We drove through torrential downpours today. In fach it was pouring so hard we could hardly read the "Pray For Rain" signs all along Highway 99. Yes, we did 99 for a change of scenery and now I remember why we switched over to I-5. :) More in the morning.
Off to make coffee and watch some TV!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Batteries Plus

I called Costco to tell them I suspected bad batteries and was taking them to Batteries Plus for a load test. If they failed, I was going to return them. They said there was no need to have them tested and that I had one year to return them, no questions asked!
I decided to have them tested anyway for my own piece of mind and to prove I wasn't really stupid and couldn't connect them properly. He load tested the first one, shook his head and said it was borderline at best. The second one failed completely! Two bad batteries. He said to get two new ones tomorrow and bring them in for another load test from him or from any other Batteries Plus store, no charge. Fasten your seat belts folks, this ride isn't over yet!

Stockton, CA

We got into Walmart's Auto Center for an oil change at the crack of ten this morning and wandered around the store until it was done. We hit the road, stopped for breakfast, fought the Sacramento traffic and ended up here in Stockton at 4 PM.

I am still not happy with the batteries. We ran the extra fridge off the inverter same as we did last year and the year before with no problem but the batteries refused to come up past 12.4 being charged by the Ford engine. This is too low so we started the generator and ran it for the last half hour before we parked.

I called the local Batteries Plus store to see if they could do a proper load test on the individual 6 volt batteries and they can. We will get it done either tonight or tomorrow morning. If they do not pass I will take them to the nearest Costco and demand replacements. It is not unusual to see a bad batch of batteries and probably buying lower end (Interstate) brand doesn't help. They were $89 while the top rated Trojans are $130 - $150.