Thursday, July 31, 2014

Mods-The Final Chapter

 The final modification we made, was to pull out the dining room booth style set up, which we hated ever since we bought the rig, and replace it with a free standing style table and chairs. First up, was to remove both booths, which came out pretty easy. This left us with the table which is attached to the wall. We wanted to leave it attached to keep it secure while underway, but it needed to be repositioned up to fit the new chairs. While relocating the table, I also had to relocate a 110 outlet, which took a little figuring, but was pretty easy to do. Next we headed over to Lowes and picked up two Oak finished upper kitchen cabinets 12" deep X 24" wide. One cabinet was placed on each side of the table for a total with of 6'. We also picked up a 6'X12" prefinished board to go on top of the cabinets and over the table. Both the new table top and board were given an oak finish to match the rest of the interior. We picked up the chairs here on base for a pretty good price. So now we have the free standing dinette we have always wanted and with the cabinets, we didn't loose any of the under bench storage space.

The Jeep also needed new shoes. The old tires were beginning to show cracking next to the rim and didn't want to take the chance of a blow out while towing. With our up coming trip toward Colorado and Utah we wanted a good All Terrain tire for those times when we want to get out on the trails. We went with the Cooper ATP's from Discount Tire. I had read some pretty good reviews and they are priced right, so we'll see how they do. It's always nice to have the peace of mind new tires give you, both on the motorhome and Jeep.
So that is the bulk of our upgrades and modifications we have made over the past two weeks. Tim at Country RV was the biggest help, he troubleshoots the best way to install something and again his rates are more than reasonable. In fact, for all the work he did, he charged us less that what the local dealer wanted just to restring the blinds, now that's a deal!!!
We are pulling out of the Tinker Campground tomorrow (Friday) and turning the rig into the local Heavy Duty Ford shop for brakes, bearing and transmission service before heading west into the higher mountains. These are just normal service items for our mileage, it's just convenient that they need servicing now before the trip.
That's it for now, so we'll see you back here before long with reports from the road!!!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Mods-Part Two

 In this post I'll cover some of the more minor mods we had done, since the two major ones were cover last time. Some time ago, we had lost a lot of our exhaust pipe due to rust. This is one thing that has been bugging since we lost it, however finding a muffler shop that a) you can get a big rig into and b) at a reasonable cost and c) the time to pack up your house to have it done, here in OKC can be a challenge. So I asked Tim our RV tech if it was something he could do, and of course, no problem, so here we are with a custom fit shiny new exhaust pipe from the muffler back.

 A smaller and yet very convenient item I handled myself was installing a shelf in our large cargo bay. We carry 4 chairs-2 recliners and 2 rockers, stuffing them in the bay took up all the room and had to be crammed in. With the shelf in place, the recliners fit nicely on top and the rockers fit just as nice in the bottom part, with easy access to both. A small thing that makes life just a little easier.

Another item we had been putting off were tire covers, we didn't want to buy new ones just to have to turn around and buy another set, had we bought a new rig with larger tires. We found these at Camping World for just a few more dollars than the white ones, the brown and tan matches our rig much better and of course keeps the sun off of them.
Another job we had Tim take care of was restringing some (ok most all) of our blinds. I guess at 14 years the Day/Night shade blind strings couldn't take it any longer and all seemed to break at the same time. So, 7 blinds later, it's nice to be able to open them all for fresh air and the view.
Last year, I had picked up a mini frig that fits in one of the cargo bays, how ever to get power I've had to run an extension cord out of the bay and into the outer 110 receptacle. While Tim was modifying the elec, I asked if he could also put in a outlet in the bay so I could just plug the frig in there. Of course you know the answer by now. We have a nice new 4 plug outlet in the bay, no more wires sticking out so I can just plug it in and forget it, ahhhhh nice cold drinks with half the hassle.
There is one last thing we had him do, but I'll save that for next time as it goes hand in hand with a DIY project we are finishing up, so on that note, stay tuned........................................

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Mods-Part One

 In our last post. I mentioned we had been doing some upgrades and modifications. I'll cover a couple of those now and a couple more next post. One thing that has been driving us crazy and uncomfortable to boot is the fact that our motorhome has only 30 amp service. Back in the early 2000s it was Fleetwoods failed attempt at running 2 A/C units on 30 amps. So when Mother Nature turns up the temps, we suffer as 1 A/C just can't handle it. Our answer was to have the bedroom A/C unit put on a separate circuit and run from a separate power source, such as one of the 20 amp plugs found on most Campground pedestals. Our local RV guy was able to fix us up with just that, only he took it one better then expected. He did run the separate circuit, but ran it using a 30 amp power cord this way we have several options for pugging in depending on the campgrounds power set up. In the picture above, you can see the new power cord and box on the left side of the utility bay. You will also notice on the right side, the main power cord was hard wired in, this was not always the case. Before we had a 30 amp male pug mating to a female plug on the power cord. While the RV guy was in there he noticed the wires on the rear were very badly damaged from bad and lose connections, he suggested hard wiring it in and so it was done. Got to love RV guys who will take that extra step.
 Since he was running the extra circuit, I asked him to run a new plug off that circuit by the motorhomes power center under the frig. My reasoning was come winter time, we can run two electric heaters without worrying about blowing the breakers. This will also help to save a lot on propane. While running the extra circuit, he placed a switch inside the power compartment so we can switch the system back to normal operation if needed, for those time we run into a picky campground that's strict on just having one power cord plugged in at a time.

A DIY project I tackled myself was to install a new microwave. Our other one worked however the LCD display was burnt out, so we were always guessing and hoping we had put in the right cooking time. Of course as with most DIY's nothing went as planned. First the new unit was 1/2 inch to big for the current opening (of course) so a little alteration was in order, again made much more difficult than it had to be with my limited tool Finally after a day long installation with several cursing and cool down breaks, I was ready to plug er in..........and...........nothing!!! Really!!! Turns out the wall outlet had broken, as I plugged it in. Sooooo off to the RV parts store for a new plug (luckily we have a large one just down the way from the campground). So with new plug in hand I powered down the rig and got it installed. Yes, I shut the whole rig down as when it comes to working with electricity I take no chances!!! Experience talking
The other major fix we had taken care of was the bedroom slide leak. It has been leaking for sometime now, so we usually just pull it in when it rains. We did have a new outside seal put on last year, but it didn't seem to help much and at that time the RV guy was stumped. This time he had a seal for the inside of the slide out and it has worked great during the last couple of downpours, so looks like we are all set.
I'd like to give a shout out to our RV Guy, Tim at Country RV here in Oklahoma City. He is the owner and has well over 30 years experience. The best part is, he's retired and started Country RV as a side job, has little too no overhead and is very, very reasonable with his rates. I'll wrap up the rest of our modifications on our next post, so see you then.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Screaming Deal on a New Tow Bar Plus

 Today we came across a deal too good to pass up. One of our neighbors here at the Tinker RV Park, switched from towing his vehicle 4 down to getting a small trailer to tow. We were talking and he offered to sell us his Falcon tow bar and rock guard shield at a very good price. We had looked at the Falcons before, but even used they were out of our price range. Of course you maybe asking, what's the difference between this one and the one you already have? The main difference for us is, the new one stays on the back of the motorhome when you are unhooked and our old one stayed on the Jeep. Now you can take the old one off, but it's heavy and with my arm giving out more and more, it's much more difficult to throw around (usually store it under the rig when not in use). So, this new one will be much easier to deal with and also be easier to hook up and unhook.

 Along with the tow bar, he threw in his Roadmaster Rock Guard. This mounts to the front of the Jeep via the tow mounts. Best part is, it's light weight and very sturdy and will keep the Jeep looking much nicer.

 The Rock Guard also stows away on the rear hitch when not in use, nice. So that was our big score for the day. We actually have been pretty busy lately and also fighting a couple of colds. One big decision we made was to keep our current motorhome, instead of trading it in for a diesel. As nice as a diesel would be, we couldn't justify doubling or tripling our payments along with the added expenses that come with a diesel rig. Besides ours will be paid off in 2 years, got to love that!!! Since we had planned on trading in our rig, we had been letting a few things go, on my next entry I'll go over the improvements and other items we had fixed or modified, so stay tuned and we'll see you then.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

New Gallery Albums

 Odd and Interesting
Signs of all Kinds
During our travels, there are a few things we have noticed, one being all kinds of funny or informative signs and the other just down right interesting sights. I went back through all the photos I've taken and assembled them into 2 new galleries on my Flickr Page. Feel free to stop by the galleries and have a look around. You can go to the gallery page by just clicking the One Way picture on the right side of the blog. These will be updated as we find the new and unusual, so check back once in a while and see what's new.