Time flies when you’re having fun!

Wow, I can’t believe our stay in Phoenix has already come to an end.  The past two plus weeks have flown by.  We even extended our stay at Lake Pleasant by a couple of days because we just weren’t ready to leave.Phoenix Arizonadesert sunsetsAs usual, the desert sunsets did not disappoint.  Since our days were filled and thus we were kept pretty busy, it was always a treat to relax in the evening and enjoy the view over a drink.

So what kept us so busy?   Well, the new couch lead to a few other projects; some necessary and some just for fun.  The just for fun projects started with removing the wallpaper border which I found outdated, unnecessary, and simply didn’t like.

Although tedious, it was a fairly simple job that required a little muscle to pull and peel off the wallpaper border.  Any left behind adhesive was easily removed with soap and water.

Smart TileNext up was installing a tile backsplash around the stove.  I didn’t feel I had a lot of options as I don’t believe in using ‘real’ tile in a RV.  After a bunch of research I went with the “Smart Tiles”.  Basically they are a resin/plastic based peel and stick product that is flexible.

I know a lot of RV’s out there have beautiful ceramic tile installed and it looks great.  However, the home builder in me emerges and I just can’t help but feel it’s just a matter of time before cracks develop in real tile and grout.   A ridged, breakable product installed in a moving object just doesn’t seem to compute in my mind.

I recall a fellow RV’er once saying, “We live in a rolling earthquake”, and boy was she right.Phoenix Arizona

Next up, we had some necessary maintenance done which we enlisted the help of professionals.  We took the RV over to Little Dealer Little Prices and had the wheel bearings repacked.  This is something that should be done about every 10,000 to 12,000 miles or every one to two years and we were definitely pushing it.  So I’d say we were a little overdue.trailer bearings

There’s a lot of maintenance Al and I do ourselves, but repacking the wheel bearings is a messy job that we felt best left to the professionals that have the facility and equipment to tackle the job properly.

And while the RV was in the shop, we had the waste tank release mechanisms reworked.  Our release levers worked on a cable system, which I think is the most ridiculous asinine method ever developed.  It sure is a crappy situation when one of those cables decides to break 😉  The new levers are fantastic and offer piece of mind.

Once out of the shop, Al and I went to work on some other household maintenance. Al cleaned out the ‘basement’ and reorganized.  Any items we felt we wouldn’t need over the next few months would be stored over at our son’s home.  Let’s lighten the load!  While Al (at least part of him) was in the basement, I was on the roof with the caulking gun touching up.  After all, our journey would be taking us from the dry arid desert to the moist Gulf coast.trailer bearings

Our time in Phoenix, Arizona, wasn’t all work.  We managed to incorporate plenty of visits with our son and several get together’s with fellow RVer’s.RVing in Phoenix

And did I already mention the fabulous sunsets?  I could get used to these views.

Saturday we enjoyed dinner with our son and hugged him and my little red truck goodbye for a few months.  My Tacoma is safely parked in our son’s garage while we head off to the Texas Gulf Coast.Pleasant Harbor RV Resort

The Texas journey begins ……

 

Mosaik Self Adhesive Wall Tile in Murano Dune (Set of 6)

Dicor EPDM Rubber Roof Lap Sealant, 10.3 oz, White 501LSW-1

 

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Antenna E.D.

Hubby and I have talked about making a written check list.  You know, the kind of list pilots use.  After almost a year of full-time RVing, we still haven’t made that list; a take off list so to speak, a list to review before hitting the road.

Knowing Al and I, we’d probably forget to use the list anyway.  And speaking of forgetting; check out the photo of us visiting the dump station at the Fruita visitor center.  The visitor center is located just west of Grand Junction, Colorado, in the town of Fruita and is a great place to stop, relax, and pick up all kinds of info on the beautiful state of Colorado.

erectile disfunctionLooks like someone forgot to lower the TV antenna.  The helicopter is part of a lovely Vietnam War Memorial and the rugged terrain of the Colorado National Monument can be seen in the distance.  We always enjoy our time hanging around the quaint little town of Fruita….  gateway to the Colorado National Monument and nearby world renowned biking trails.

While staying in my brother and sister-in-laws driveway, we would make a weekly visit to the Fruita visitor center to clean our tanks.  We wanted to make sure our tanks didn’t come close to filling.  Hmm, where’s that check list?  We obviously made it to the center without a problem with the antenna in the erect position, but on the return drive we weren’t so lucky.  Our TV antenna met some tree branches and after a quick altercation, the tree won.erectile dysfunction

No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t erect the antenna.  It was official, our antenna was suffering from erectile dysfunction.  This was a problem a blue pill couldn’t fix.  The antenna was also beat up pretty bad and the mother board was even exposed.

Al and I were surprised the antenna worked at all, but it did ok by bringing in a couple of channels which allowed us a little TV viewing until we could have a new antenna delivered.  We even received some reception during a heavy rainstorm which amazed us considering how damaged and exposed the antenna was.

After some research, we chose this Jack RV TV antenna that doesn’t require raising and lowering.  No more need to remember to crank the antenna down.  Yay!

JACK Digital HDTV Over-The-Air Antenna w/Built in Signal Finder – White

Although it was relatively easy to install the new antenna, it did take us most of the morning to complete the task.RV antenna repair

First the old RV antenna needed to be removed and since we have a rubber roof on the 5th wheel, it was crucial we take our time and not cause any damage to the roof.  Al used a blow dryer to heat up the old caulk and with a PLASTIC putty knife he gently lifted it to remove.  A metal putty knife could easily rip the rubber roof membrane.RV antennas

RV rubber roofsOnce the old antenna was removed, we set about installing the new one.  Once Al had everything hooked up and fastened with screws, I set about with the caulking. I used a special RV roof sealant that has a rubber consistency once dried.caulking RV roof

Geocel 56801 White Advanced RV EPDM Roof Sealant

We’ve been enjoying our new antenna for about a week now and are very pleased.  We seem to get better reception and the colors appear to be more vibrant…… better yet, we don’t need to remember to lower the antenna before hitting the road.replacing RV antenna

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty – Winston Churchill

Body work & Body work

Moab UtahThe heat in Moab had us moving on in search of cooler temps and Glenwood Springs, Colorado, proved to be the perfect location.  Moab starts heating up toward the end of May with temperatures in the 90 degree plus range.  Those temps will only increase as summer approaches.  Thus, spring and fall are the best times to visit this part of Utah.

It’s all about elevation when it comes to temperatures and knowing we have a few more repairs and purging to complete on the RV, Al and I seek out some of those cooler temps.  We’re familiar with some private land south of the town of Glenwood Springs sitting at an elevation of 6,600 feet.  After a quick phone call to the owner and a ‘come on down’ response, we were quickly on our way.

I’m so excited to be back in this part of Colorado.  One of my ‘bucket list’ locations is just 40 minutes down the road and I can’t wait to set my eyes on it.  Play before work!Maroon Bells

The Maroon Bells are the most photographed mountains in North America and what a vision they are.  Our visit was early in the season and the Aspen trees were still bare but budding plants were everywhere.Maroon BellsMaroon BellsI picked the Crater Lake Trail at the Maroon Bells for the days excursion.  The 3.6 mile round trip hike is rocky and climbs about 700 feet in elevation.

We weren’t surprised that after an hour of hiking and hiking partly in snow that we had to turn around before reaching Crater Lake.

The snow kept getting deeper and eventually we lost sight of the trail.  I was seeking cooler temps after the heat in Moab and I sure found them here at 9,600 plus feet.
Maroon BellsWe did manage to climb quite a bit in elevation and at one point we could see Maroon Lake below.  Our starting point and the parking lot are on the far side of the lake.Maroon Bells

Since we weren’t able to reach our destination for lunch, we returned to a bench along Maroon Lake to eat and take in the surrounding scenery.  Al and I both agreed this is one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever visited.  I’m hoping we can arrange a revisit in July for wildflowers and in September for fall colors. Maroon Bells

The Maroon Bells are a truly stunning sight to behold and my photos don’t even begin to do justice to the area.  For some stunning photos of the area Google Maroon BellsMaroon Bells

The next day, it was all Al and I could do not to return to the Maroon Bells, but alas work needed to be completed.  While Al was diligently working on the body of the RV by replacing the wheel fender; the fender that was damaged from the blown tire and all taped up,

body work

new fender and wheel covers

body workI was diligently working on my body in preparation for the upcoming summer weather.  Time to get out those shorts.

A little body work on the RV…… check!
A little body work on moi….check!

All we have left to complete is one more little fix after some silly forgetfulness and we’re back in business.  Well, perhaps we still need to do a little more cabinet purging, but we’ll continue working on that during a rainy day.

Next up…… what’s with that antenna?Maroon Bells



Classic Accessories 76250 RV Wheel Cover, Pair, White, 29″ – 31.75″ Wheel Diameter

Moab again and new tires

Hubby and I have been a couple of very busy campers lately.  First let’s just say Moab’s slogan of “again and again – the adventure never ends” is very fitting and I know Al and I will be returning to Moab again and again.boondocking RVing

We were back in Moab, Utah, boondocking with pals Linda and Mike for about a week before it was time for us to be moving on in separate directions.  But before moving, we all managed to get in some hiking, exploring, and a little socializing…..ok maybe it was a lot of socializing, but who’s keeping track  😉 Moab Utah

Why is it all the problems of the world seem to fade away over cocktails and an open fire?  Or perhaps we just felt somehow we solved all the problems.  Now if only someone would listen!RVing in Utah

The guy below sure didn’t listen to anyone and ended up getting himself stuck in a sandy wash.  Several days earlier it rained; first flooding the wash then compacting the sand, but as the sand dried out the sand got softer and softer making it impassable for anything other than a serious 4×4.  Yep, he’s calling AAA and they DID tow him out.stuck in sandAl and Mike even came to the rescue of a couple of Aussie kids young adults in a mini van.  This was their camp.  What made them think they could drive a mini van back there?camping in Moab

Two old spry men, a F-250, and rope…. can I hear a little male grunting “arrr, arrr, arrr” followed later by the clanking of beer bottles, “cheers” to success.  The Aussie’s were very grateful especially since the vehicle was borrowed from a friend and they had no other affordable options.  A “thanks mate” was all that was necessary.

wildlife in Moab

Beware of wildlife while camping in Moab

So with our fun in Moab over, we head back to Colorado and finish up some repairs.Moab Utah

I will say, having the new tires was a comfort during our travels.  We had the tires replaced before our return to Moab.   After experiencing a couple of blown tires on the 5th wheel, it feels a bit more reassuring to have a complete new set of tires all around when hitting the road.Discount Tire

Being in the home building business for many years, it was rather common for us to have tire issues.  Issues that centered mostly around air loss due to nails in tires.  Discount Tires has always treated us well and after a substantial amount of trailer tire research, we chose the Discount Tire in Grand Junction, Colorado, to do the work.  We spend the majority of our travels meandering around Colorado or Arizona and both states offer plenty of Discount Tire store locations in the event we have any tire issue that needs to be addressed.

We opted to go with their 10 ply trailer tire and not a truck tire.  We had 3 different tire shops in 3 different states recommend we use a 10 ply TRAILER tire.  Trailer tires are designed to withstand the scooching motion that occurs when maneuvering the trailer.

trailer tiresA motorhome, truck, or car all have axles that turn as the vehicle turns and thus the tires always move in the direction of the vehicle.  A trailer has stationary axles and as the trailer is maneuvered around, the tires aren’t always rolling but rather scooching or sliding.  The trailer tire side walls are specifically designed for this motion where as a truck tire is not.

Another thing we were adamant about was checking the dates on the new tires before installation.  Trailer tires should be replaced every 5 years regardless of mileage.  The manufacture date is clearly stamped on the side of the tire.trailer tiresOur new tires were manufactured the 15th week of the year 2014.  Thus our new tires were only 6 weeks old when we had them installed. Happy campers!

Next up, we complete some body work……..Moab Utah

Northwest Enterprises Hard Plastic Two Piece 5-1/2-Ounce Wine Glasses, Clear, 40 Count

Clear Plastic Margarita Glasses (1 dz)

Repairs and Unwanted Guests

When you live in a house on wheels, one can expect to have things break, loosen, rattle, or not work at all.  After all, it is a moving object and it’s moving down roads that aren’t usually smooth. I guess it’s all part of the RV adventure. FruitaIn the beginning, there’s the “breaking in” phase.  It doesn’t seem to matter whether it’s a new RV directly from the factory or a slightly used model.  They all have “their moments”.  Within the first couple of outings with our new fifth wheel, we experienced some problems.  Some warranty issues here, some warranty issues there.  Once those warranty issues were taken care of, the following two years were “issue” free

RV RepairNow that she’s broken in, withstood plenty of extreme weather, and gone down some pretty rough roads, we have a few things needing attention.  Therefore, we spend the month of August in an RV Park with full-hookups allowing us to tend to these things.

First is a major cleaning inside and out.  Al and I wash, vacuum, and clean every nook and cranny on the interior of the RV.  Even going so far as to removing vents and drawers.

We opt for a little help on the exterior though.  We knew that would be a huge undertaking that we felt we weren’t ready to tackle ourselves.  We hired Bravo Detailing. It took Salvador Bravo and his helper four hours to wash and hand wax the exterior of the RV.  She looks and smells like new. 😀

RV Repairs

We have Bravo Detailing wash and wax the exterior

RV RepairsNow it’s time for some minor repairs.  My kitchen faucet was leaking, plus I really missed having a sprayer.  Oh darn, I guess I need a new faucet and what a nice new faucet it is…..and it even has a built-in sprayer.

Next up, my bathroom doorknob….. As a ‘going on the road’ gift from our daughter, she gave us the first four seasons of The Big Bang Theory on DVD.  Al and I have been entertaining ourselves watching this sitcom.  One of the characters, Sheldon, is very OCD.  When Sheldon knocks on neighbor Penny’s door, he does so in a rather neurotic manor and sequence.  My point?  Stay with me…..  I use hand cream regularly.  It never fails, I always have to go to the bathroom AFTER I put the hand cream on.  Last week I stepped into the bathroom.  The door was ajar when I entered.  As I attempted to exit, my hand, moist with cream, couldn’t grasp the round doorknob without slipping.  I wrapped my T-shirt around my hand, once again attempting to turn the knob….to no avail.  I can’t get out – I’m locked in the bathroom!  I heard Al rustling around on the other side of the door near the closet and in true “Sheldon” style and sequence, I said “Al” followed by three knocks on the door…..”Al”….knock, knock, knock….”Al”….knock, knock, knock ….. “Al….knock, knock, knock.  If you’ve ever watched the show, you’ll understand why Al burst out in laughter then proceeded to open the door for me.  I now have a new LEVER doorknob!Chimney Rock

travelGetting locked in the bathroom may have been funny, but running out of hot water was not.  Our water heater had been acting up and of course it decides to stop working in the middle of MY shower while my long tresses were heavily lathered in suds.  Thank goodness for 90 degree weather, making the cold shower almost enjoyable.  Turns out the igniter needed to be cleaned and prongs squeezed a little closer to fire off properly.  It’s been working fine ever since hubby worked his magic.

Next on our list; when we first purchased our RV, I initially was happy with the décor ….well as happy as one could be with RV décor.  I think the manufactures are finally starting to hire some professional interior decorators.  I’m starting to see some newer RV’s with attractive décor.  It’s about time.

Now that we’re living in the RV full-time and making changes here and there, I decide I NEED to change the bedroom curtains.  The current set clash’s with the comforter on the bed, plus I’ve never been a fan of the silky green side panels.  I couldn’t capture the true pea green color of the side panels in the photo.  Trust me…it’s a pea soup green that had to go.

I picked a generic fabric that would easily coordinate with the comforter and other accent colors as well as the rest of the rig.  My sister-in-law graciously allowed me to use her sewing machine and I proceeded to make new curtains for the bedroom.  They turned out ok and even look like they came from the manufacturer…..hum, is that a good thing or a bad thing?

Mt. Garfield

Mt. Garfield, Palisades, Colorado

Onto the arcing and sparking microwave.  It started sparking intermittently last winter.  I don’t use the microwave very often, but I do like to use it to melt butter or warm maple syrup.  Al accused me of not using a “microwave safe” dish and didn’t believe me when I told him, “Something is wrong with the microwave”.  Last week I put a couple of potatoes in the microwave and boy did the arcing and sparking get Al’s attention.  We removed and cleand the wave guide cover and voile….. she’s working like a champ.

With the RV all taken care of and absolutely no signs of any unwanted guests, we move onto the trucks.  Al and I give the trucks a thorough cleaning and waxing.  What?  You want to hear about the unwanted guests???

repairs

Me hand waxing the F250….Al did the top and I did the bottom

A few weeks ago we were camped at a lovely state park….Ridgway State Park, Colorado.  While enjoying a roaring campfire, I noticed movement off in the brush.  I later heard the rustling and saw the little critters…..field mice.  Oh, how cute.  A couple of nights later, I’m awakened at three in the morning by the sound of scratching nails.  Since I’m a lady, I’ll fast forward to the morning and spare you the language that ensued.

RV miceOver morning coffee, I briefed Al on the nighttime noise and activity.   Shortly after breakfast, we both crawled under the rig, something we had done in the past.  No visible signs of any openings.  Al determines it was probably the chipmunks or mice running on the conduit/cables.

I’m convinced we have some unwanted guests trying to nest in our humble abode.   Al thinks it’s my imagination because I saw the little critters scampering around in the brush.  My imagination?  Really?  ……That is….. until hubby himself notices evidence…… True Value

Then we were off, in a rather urgent pace I might add, to the local hardware store to pick up some good old fashioned mouse traps.  We did indeed have a couple of unwanted guests. Obviously, it wasn’t my imagination…..”Told ya so!”

As we departed Ridgway State Park, we both felt confident that we weren’t transporting any free loading guests. However, shortly after arriving at the Junction West RV Park in Grand Junction, we were quick to empty the rig and do a very thorough cleaning and continued to keep a couple of traps active for a few more days, just to be sure.

Projects completed, guests terminated, and Al and I feeling refreshed…..sounds like it’s almost time to move on…….

RV repair

my MacGyver