Old Diary

A Few Hacks

I’m always on the lookout for good RV’ing ideas.  Some of the ones I come across are better than others — but some seem to me to be a waste of time and money.

Camping Hack UpdateUglyFloors

I just don’t buy this as a good RV solution. But if you ARE going to do this, at least strip off the old flooring and do the job right.

For instance, there’s the idea about using stick-on flooring tiles to improve the look of your old linoleum flooring. You know, that sounds like it should be a good, cheap fix.  But, I’m here to tell you that I have used stick-on flooring tiles in the past and to me there are some real flaws to this as an RV’ing solution. They might be better in a sticks & bricks home where the temperatures are more controlled, but I don’t think it’s a great solution for the varied environments of an RV. The idea of putting your new tiles ON TOP OF the old ones is never a great idea.  For one thing if there is any other flooring material in your RV the levels of the adjacent materials will be off/different.   More importantly, you’ll never get the old material clean enough to insure a good bond. If you could get it clean enough, our old linoleum squares are textured, so if yours are like ours, you aren’t going to get a firm bond all the way across the new tiles.  Finally, given the fact that RV’s can go through pretty extreme changes in temperature our experience of flooring tiles would indicate that the bond will fail a lot sooner than you’d like to think.  Ok — enough of negativity.  Here are three more that I like — depending on your application.

camping hack ParacordAwningTrackHolder

Paracord hangers work quite well.

This hack to make awning hangers from paracord and short sections of aluminum or copper tubing is a good idea.  I tried it with Journey when we still had her and it works wonderfully.  The tubing slides into the spare awning track and you can make the paracord loupe any size you want depending on your project.


We’ve got one of these — which works fine for getting up on top of the coach.


but if you want to hang awning groove hangers you need something like this.

The only drawback to this approach — as we found with our new coach Serendipity is that if the awning is too high you have a hard time getting the paracord loupes into the track — we’ve given up using them as we don’t have the right kind of ladder to hang the little buggers.   C’est la vie.

Camping Hack StringLightHanger

I would never in a million years thought about using ID badge hangers!

When I saw this idea… using ID Badge hangers instead of the paracord loupes I thought that’s not a bad suggestion.  But now unless I stand on a picnic table I still can’t reach the awning — the newer coach has it’s awning mounted both higher on the body, as well as being a design that doesn’t extend low enough to reach from the ground.  We no longer have legs that we can walk into — but we can’t reach the end of the awning — seems with RV’ing there’s always a TRADE OFF!

Flea CollarOne thing that has perplexed me a lot while RV’ing has been the way that wasps seem to love to crawl into the air vents for our furnaces.  We haven’t had them build a nest in there yet but Peggy is scared to bits about wasps and they aren’t fun to have flying around the RV and I have been wondering about ways to rid ourselves of them without restricting the air supply for the furnace or some other equally stupid idea.

The next buying trip we make we’re going to try this one out.  Flea Collars, are supposed to contain chemicals that will mask the propane aroma that seems to be the wasp attractant. We don’t have a lot of wasps here in the forest — so it may be a while before we know for sure if this works.  There are other camping sites where the wasps have been much more of a problem than here.  But I’m eager to know if this works.

window screen repair tapeHere’s another that looks good but I haven’t tried yet.  Window and Door Screen Repair Tape!  Even though it’s easy enough to replace the small screens on your RV, there can be times that the repair isn’t possible and you need a temporary fix (because goodness knows if you drive down the road with a damaged screen it’s going to tear before you get where you’re going!  High speed is tough on screen fabric.

There you have it,  another day in paradise looking for new ways to make paradise a little bit more paradisiacal.

Thanks for stopping by and I’ll be here to chat tomorrow.

Old Diary

A check on our solar powered fridge

The first day’s results are in.

Yesterday morning I turned off the battery charging system from the power post here at the Corps of Engineers campsite.  That is an automatic function within the coach.  I have to consciously disable it because most people want their batteries to be charged when they plug into shore power.  In yesterday’s blog I mentioned that I wanted to monitor what happens when we rely solely upon the solar panels to power our new refrigerator.  Seeing as the fridge is powered off the same bank of batteries that power our house lights and some small appliances we’re really testing our over all battery capacity against our typical usage.

Yesterday was a nice sunny day.  By the end of the day, and after several days of severely overcast skies the batteries needed to be brought up to 100% charge.   At the end of the charging day we had a full 600 amp hours in the batteries.  And this morning — as the sun was coming up and the solar panels were about to start working again we still had 94% of our charge. I’m pretty happy with that result.  I will continue monitoring — specially on days with overcast skies — and on strings of days with overcast skies to thoroughly understand the ins-and-outs of the system now that we have a larger continuous load on the system, but I’m happy with the way things are working.

Chill Time

Monday, after two long days of driving, I didn’t accomplish much at all.  We mostly try not to drive two days in a a row but it’s not like we have a “policy” that we won’t do it.  It’s just a preference that we often abide by but don’t get too upset about when we don’t.

It’s interesting though that for various reasons being in Milwaukee seems to have been more ‘stressful’ than one might think.  We’re out of the city, back with nature and after several checks of my BP throughout the day yesterday my numbers are a good 10-15 numbers lower than they were holding steadily in Milwaukee.  We’re back in our kind of environment with the geese and deer and not nearly as many people and no truck backup alarms, and no tow trucks zooming through the parking lot and life is good once again.

The Sunrise Tuesday Morning.

The Sunrise Tuesday Morning.

For the first time in (probably) 3 1/2 months we didn’t get in the car and drive anywhere yesterday.  Even though I had a couple errands I want to run I decided to chill and do nothing.  I started (about 2 p.m.) and finished a James Patterson book,  caught up on computer backups, edited quite a few blog categories and tags — all stuff that I consider ‘doing nothing.’  Peaceful time at the computer, or sitting in the lounge chatting with my sweetheart.

Speaking of sweethearts…

The 21st (of December) is our 47th wedding anniversary.  We’ll be moving from Grenada to the Service Campground on the 20th — so that on the 21st we are stationary and we can just enjoy the day as ‘newlyweds.’ 🙂

Silas AL is not much of a metropolis — I need to get to the grocery before we leave Grenada to find something interesting for our anniversary dinner.  The last couple years we have tended to do restaurants for our anniversary evening but there appear to be only three restos of any sort in Silas AL so I’m going to arrive prepared!

Mrs P — one of my faithful readers — commented the other day about differences in cuisine between East and West (coasts).  And I have been thinking about that comment for a couple days.

One of the things we have noticed as we travel about is how much the grocery stores change from place to place.  I have commented a few times about various things:  corned beef hash, sausages and preserved meats, jelly/preserves, quality of veg/produce, etc. I’m sure I could make comments that would be taken as ‘profiling’ or racially biased but the fact of the matter is that one finds a different variety of product in local stores based upon what the local clientele will purchase.

And sometimes it’s not about different states or cities — sometimes it’s just about neighborhoods.  For example if you go to a grocery that says it’s an Asian grocery or the name of which is obviously Latino one is not surprised to find that the store carries ingredients unique to Asian or Latino cuisine.  But if you go to a Safeway, or Lion, or Sentry, of Jewel it’s easy to think that such differences don’t exist — or don’t exist within departments — but in fact they do.

While in S. Texas we had to learn to buy completely different cuts of beef and pork, and we found it very difficult to find lamb at all.  The cuts of beef were often much larger — intended for the outdoor grill as prime cuts of meat.  The same steaks that we might expect in Milwaukee simply were not to be found — A Porterhouse was extremely hard to find, but what I know as thin-sliced breakfast steaks were in abundance — whereas in Milwaukee not so much.  We have noted that in some areas of the country jams and jellies are found in abundance while in other areas you get the sort of standard grape/strawberry/apricot mix and not a lot more.  Ethnic foods are another telltale.  In some generic groceries there are multiple aisles filled with ethnic food — in others generic groceries you might be lucky to find 1/2 of 1 aisle devoted to ethnic foods.

If you go to a restaurant you’ll find far more standardized dining than if you visit a grocery — or at least so it seems to us.  Especially if you are one of those unimaginative eaters who love chain restaurants — for the thing about chain food is that they work very hard at giving you the exact same thing no matter where you are.  McDonalds has become the ‘taste’ leader — being the first chain to manage giving you the same cup of (admittedly mediocre) coffee no matter where you are.  Their reliance upon reverse osmosis filters (and subsequently their impact on other chains) has done a lot to remove the differences in restaurant coffee based on the local water supply.  Some of you may be young enough never to have tasted coffee made from highly sulphur water, or highly iron coffee but let me tell you, if you missed it, count yourselves lucky.  As terrible as McDonalds coffee might be, it’s infinitely better than coffees I’ve been served in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s in independent restaurants and truck stops.

Lemon Curd dundee orang marmaladeMy dad used to love visiting grocery stores while on roadtrips.  When I was young I never appreciated what he found there;  after we married and started traveling on our own I found myself doing the same thing and discovering the same delights as he.  I remember my first container of Dundee Orang Marmalade or Wilkins Lemon Curd.  The original containers — at least of the Dundee product didn’t even have a screw top lid or safety lid — they were covered with a piece of parchment tied in place with a little bit of string.  And they were outrageously intensely flavored — and we could not find them in Milwaukee.

In college I worked for Uncle August Sausage company and developed a taste for smoked meats.  When I first tasted the difference between fresh liver sausage and smoked Braunschweiger (same contents, but smoked) I was over the moon — my tastebuds woke up for the first time ever (or so it felt).  All of these differences to be found in an average grocery store — forget the idea of traveling the world for taste sensations — and we have done that as well.  One of the best meals I ever ate was in Carcassonne France, when I had a classic Cassoulet which is really nothing more than amped up baked beans — and yet the combination of circumstances and flavors hit a high note I have rarely repeated.  It doesn’t have to be fancy to be extraordinary.  Sometimes the simplest ingredients, honored and respected, produce the best flavors.

And at that, I’m going to get in the car and drive into Grenada to see what we can find for dinner.

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.

Old Diary

Back with the Corps

Granada Lake

“The Basin” at North Abutment Campground / Grenada MS

I have to make a point in the next few days of snapping some pictures to illustrate how much the water levels have receded in 12 months.  The reservoir is quite a bit lower than it was last year.

There is nothing as soothing as a still night and the sounds of nature (unless of course it’s a pelting-hard-downpour) which is what we had last evening for a few hours.  It was only the second time in 4 years that the sky was obscured enough that DISH had a hard time finding a signal (for a scant few minutes).  After the pelting downpour the winds finally went away and peace and calm returned over the kingdom of Grenada Lake and the North Abutment campground. 😀

Fridge Update

I’m trying to consciously monitor the life of our new fridge.  What do I mean by that?  Well, it’s all about power consumption, temperature and lifestyle.

For one thing I have noticed that some RV’ers who have household refrigerators consciously shut them down when they travel rather than pulling power from their batteries.  I suppose if you routinely plug in every night at a RV campground that’s a workable solution but I would be concerned about temperature rise in transport and how long the fridge would keep things safely cool.  So it was that when we installed the fridge I purposely plugged the unit into the SHORE POWER outlet knowing that when we moved from Milwaukee the fridge would be disconnected from power until we pulled in here.  And, during approximately 30 hours of disconnection the temps in both the fridge and the freezer appear to have risen about 10º F.  In a pinch — and especially if we were only going to be on the road for 4 or 5 hours that’s not an unbearable situation.  In 4 or 5 hours we’d gain a few degrees and everything would still be well within safety levels.

Now that we are camped and plugged in for a week I removed the plug from the SHORE POWER outlet and plugged it into what used to be the ice maker outlet — one that is powered from the house batteries.  Over the next few days I’m going to monitor how much power we are using.  This is a process in process as it were.   We routinely travel with the inverter turned on for AC power.  I use the AC power to run the laptop that our Silverleaf engine monitor system runs on. So we always have some draw on the batteries, and on the trip down here the skies were so overcast that we didn’t get a lot of solar regeneration.  Still and all we arrived with 93% charged batteries.

Slide Topper Update

A little bit of bad news though.  After arriving we took a walk; needed a little exercise.  From a slightly higher point looking towards the coach I could see that we appear to have torn the slide topper over the curb-side lounge slide.  That’s the biggest of the four slides (wouldn’t you know it)!  We had a LOT of wind in Milwaukee over the last few weeks and I have been a little concerned about those flimsy pieces of awning material.  When it dries up and warms up I’ll get out the ladder to see if I can tape anything to extend the life a few weeks until we can get the awning material replaced — I’m sure that all four of them are original to the coach — so after 11 years I should not be surprised that the material is aging.  C’est la vie.  There’s always something when you’re RV’ing.

Coach lock

I think I mentioned this a few days ago, that we are having problems with the primary door lock on the coach.  It has been getting worse over time. While I might have dealt with it in Milwaukee I have never been thrilled by the expertise of the Milwaukee RV shops. So I made a conscious decision to wait until we got to Florida to have it worked on.  If we are in Ocala for 3 months surely there will be enough time to ship in parts to get the job done. I hope we don’t get locked out of the coach before then, but it was a conscious choice to delay. If we find ourselves locked out I’ll bear the repercussions.  I had enough stressors to deal with while we were in Milwaukee.


The topic of stressors brings up another topic which is my health.  I’m feeling fine.  Of course I was saying that before I visited the doctor too!  I have gradually come to realize that I was much sicker than I realized or even thought about once the situation was explained to me.  So, I’m consciously taking new looks at what I do and how I do it.  As well as what causes me stress and what am I doing about it.  I have always been a serious guy — sometimes to the point of being socially backwards.  I have also been an intense guy who actually worries about things like being on time and doing things the right way — and yes, I’m still one of those guys who believes that there are right and wrong ways of doing/being/living.

Blood Pressure CuffSo, long story short, as long as I’m on a doctor’s regimen to monitor my BP I think I’m going to start checking things that I have always thought were not particularly stressful to me — so see whether my perceptions match with reality.  For example I have driven so much in my life that I have always felt relaxed while I was driving.  Maybe not so much in the middle of an ice storm — and I’ve done many of those trips — but overall, pretty relaxed.  Saturday night I made a point of checking my BP after pulling into Wally World knowing that I had been stressing about whether we’d have difficulty finding a place for the night.  Happily I was slightly higher but not overly so.  Last night after arriving here in Grenada I was actually right about my new normal  — 117/74 — which is right in there where the doctor wants me.  We all worked hard to drop that number in the last couple months — the less pressure I generate the less stress on my dilated aorta.  Makes sense to me!

All in all I’m just being more deliberate about a lot of things.  Which, I guess, is a good thing for someone my age.  At least it’s good if I want to live a lot more years!  Which I do.

Thanks for stopping and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.

RV Living

Pull Strap Improv

Do you cringe when you hear the word “Engineer”?  I do!

Awning strap-hook

The ubiquitous Awning Pull Strap

Awning End View

End view of the roller bar with three insert channels. In and of itself this is a clever idea. If only they hadn’t botched the design by making it harder to replace parts that deteriorate with age.

Sometimes it seems that engineers try to make things much harder than they really need to be. Take the pull strap on our Carefree of Colorado over-the-window and over-the-door awnings as an example.

I’m sure you’ve noticed them — even you non-RV’ers out there.  The pull strap hangs down below the bottom of the awning and you… guess what… you pull on it to open the awning.

Well, all the awnings I’ve seen are built with rollers, or “Roll Bars” that the awning fabric wraps around and those rollers have three slotted keyways.  The awning fabric slides into one of them. The pull strap slides into another.  And accessories like lights can be slid into the third.

open awning channel

Life would be easier if they designed the channel so that it was open on the end.

closed awning channel

Instead they put a cap on the end of the tube and made it impossible to remove the strap without taking the end cap off (or at least removing the old pop rivets, rotating the cap, inserting the strap, rotating the cap back and re-riveting the cap.

Eventually those nylon pull straps deteriorate with weather and moisture — as did our strap for the over the door awning.  Imagine my surprise when I looked at the replacement parts kit and found Pop-Rivets!

It turns out that the engineer who designed the awning thought that the best thing they could design was a slot that you had to disassemble the entire end cap of the awning (up some 12 feet in the air) in order to slide the pull strap into the slot.

Well, RV’ers are a clever bunch, we are (well, someone else was, I just learned this trick).  It turns out that you can take a 1/4” drill bit and a drill motor and drill into the channel about 1/4” — effectively making a 1/4” opening into the channel.  The old torn pull strap can then be coaxed out of the channel and the new pull strap can be inserted into the channel and you are all done.  No cursing, no sweat, no precarious maneuvering at the top of a ladder.  Done!  Finished.  Complete.

The thing is,  we rarely even USE that awning….

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.


Old Diary, RV Living

Altered by Perspective

How do you react to the places around you?  Is a city the same for a resident as for a transient?

This is something I’ve been thinking about in between visits to the clinic and Home Depot.   I am enjoying being back in our old hometown! Sure.  When we lived here I always said that I loved living living here — except for the winter. That’s pretty much still true.  But with each passing day I realize that there is a significant difference between being a resident in town and being a transient  visiting a town.


We customarily stay at Richard Bong Recreational Area — SW of Milwaukee about 40 miles.

This is the second year we chose to camp within the metro area instead of finding a campground in a more rural setting — for example, one of the local state parks. Of course the problem with state parks is that you are limited to 14 nights.  Further, a lot of the WI state parks close their campgrounds at the end of September.  If they have open campgrounds then they turn off the water completely or except for one hydrant.

In any event we would then have to drive in and out each day we have business to be done in town.  That’s not a lot of driving — just a lot of traffic. When we realized that extended stays at the RV park were more affordable than single nights this became the collusion of choice.

State Fair RV Park Office

The office at the park

Here we are 6 miles from the clinic/hospital instead of 45 miles;  and about the same to our daughter’s house.  The grocery (nearest) is 2 miles instead of 10 miles and there’s also a laundromat right on site.

03234 Site Map [Converted]

park map

Still, it’s different this time. When you live in a place changes are part of the web and woof of life.  A road closes, another opens, construction begins on a project in one place and finishes on another place elsewhere.  When you’re a transient the changes all hit you at once.  There is a remembrance of what was and a startling awareness of what is.  The challenge is to assimilate the changes without feeling disconnected to a lifetime’s experience.

This time of year there are fewer vacationers staying at this park.  Most of the RV’s are either contractors in town or retirees returning to Milwaukee for medical visits, or as patients coming for treatment.  It’s a different sensation, unlike a rural campground or normal RV park;  we’re all in the city for a reason.

Last year we were aware of the transient crews, this year their presence is more obvious (bigger crews, bigger crew trailers  — 6 door Montana 5th wheels).  Our next door neighbors in ’14 were a crew of 6 hispanics installing radiation shielding in a local hospital.  They had been there for 2 months already, were staying nearly 2 more months after we departed and their day long job of moving 20 lb radiation bricks was hard, hard work.  It’s easy to tell the contractors from the medical visitors this year — the construction ladders are dead-giveaways, as are the hours of departure and arrival.  Most of us patients have rather less predictable hours.

With fewer medical appointments this week we are at sixes and sevens.  With each passing day we realize more about what has changed since we left.  And then there’s that Norcold…

Even though we have the replacement on order we’re still monitoring the Norcold — for what little food is inside and to see what the temp may be.  I’m glad we decided to change it out, but I’ll feel better once it’s out of the coach.  At this point it’s just an annoyance and a safety hazard.  The other day before we committed to replacement I had been checking part numbers and realized that our fridge is some 5 model revisions out of date.  The electronics have been re-worked that many times and you have to use the correct iteration of circuit board to make it work — you can’t replace an old board with a newer design — so even if you update, you aren’t really updating.


even since the Norcold recall was initiated there were a reported 100 refrigerator fires in 2014.

Considering how many RV’s have gone up in smoke because of Norcold fires, that obsolescence issue does not instill confidence.  With the ordered refrigerator arriving this coming Saturday we just have to hold out until it arrives and I can get Michael to help me with the installation. It will be nice to be able to load up the fridge and freezer and forget about it for a while.

It seems that lately a lot of things have been about what I call Smashed Thumb Syndrome.  You know what I mean.  You manage to clumsily whack your thumb with a hammer while you’re doing something and then the only thing you want to do is protect that thumb from getting hammered again — you hold your thumb inside your hand — which of course makes it difficult to pound any more nails — but you don’t want that thumb out there exposed to the hammer.  All your attention goes to your thumb.  this is true, this is truthAnd that’s sort of how we have felt so far this month in Milwaukee.  So many little distractions are occupying too great a percentage of time.  We aren’t seeing the city for what it is, we’re seeing aspects of it, as it were, through all the distractions. We aren’t really enjoying the visit, we are enjoying ridding ourselves of niggling concerns that have been just out of reach as it were.  Like an itch you can’t scratch.

A few months ago I changed my Facebook profile image.  Being in Milwaukee this time feels like that graphic.  In the graphic there are two statements which can be made about the object.  But neither apparent fact is the entire truth.  And that’s what being in Milwaukee this year has come to feel like


I need to spend more time enjoying the beauty around me and less time sort out refrigerators and microwaves and junk. Those things are NOT what life is all about and I’ll be glad to be done with them.

Talk to you tomorrow, and thanks for stopping by.

Old Diary


mop boards

mop boards

I may not get things done quickly, but I do eventually get them done.  Poor Peggy waited 5 years after I remodeled the bathroom for me to install the mop boards in one of our houses .  I don’t know why I dawdled for 5 years about installing what took about 1 hour. But it did.  So, by now it should not be surprising that I talk a little, do a little, talk a little, do a little and eventually the job gets done.

With the microwave in place, we looked once more at the backsplash beneath the Microwave and above the stove.  A factory installed mirror lives there now, reflecting light back into the room. The head of our Housekeeping Department, also known as She Who Must Be Obeyed has been talking about replacing that mirror but I think it’s not going to happen.

We had found a peel and stick plastic product that might have been a solution but it wasn’t compelling.  2015091309563849 Available in  a variety of different color combinations, and in a 10” x 10” size they looked OK but not compelling.


We found these metal peel and stick tiles made by Aspect and we were a mildly enthused.  There’s no doubt it would make a nice looking backsplash.  Except….  The Holiday Rambler factory did such a good job adhering the mirror to the outside wall of the coach that I don’t really want to risk damaging the outside wall while taking down the mirror.  We finally both agreed that we’re going to leave it just as it is for a while.  2015091309565550
Aspect peel and stick tiles 1Neither of us is actually disappointed.  Yeah — it might have been a nice change but what we have is perfectly workable and cleaning glass is not harder than cleaning the metal tiles would be.  If anything the glass is easier to clean seeing as it is a perfectly smooth surface whereas the metal is a textured surface and I’ll bet my bottom dollar that that texture will be a grease magnet. So, the backsplash stays as it is.

I won’t run out of projects, that’s not a worry.  Besides, what’s wrong with having a little time to just relax and snoop around Wisconsin?

Ok — considering that this is supposed to be time to readjust to new meds we’re still finding little things to think about and evaluate as possible improvements.  Just because we think it, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.  And deciding which projects NOT to tackle is just as important as tackling others with skill and determination.

Thanks for stopping by and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.


Old Diary, RV Living

A Sudden Infusion of Chilly Air

It wasn’t the coldest temp we had all summer but somehow it seemed like it.  A paltry 47º has reminded us that Summer is on her last legs, Autumn soon to be followed by Winter are on their way.  During the coming week we head back into the 70’s and 80’s but a brisk shock once in a while does a body good!

If only I hadn’t awakened in the middle of the night pondering my refrigerator.  Having made up our mind and being ready to place the order I was shocked out of sleep by a ponder about the power outlet to the Norcold.  Where does that outlet get it’s power:  is it in the inverter circuit or not?

man with headache

I’ll be glad when we’re done with this Norcold!

As I write this I haven’t yet been outside or into the access panel to test it but let me explain my concern.  There are outlets in the coach that do not receive power from the inverter! There are also outlets in the coach that are relay controlled.  One relay controlled outlet is the power to the TV — safety requires that the driver cannot watch TV while the coach is in motion — so there’s an ignition interlock relay that turns off power to the TV as soon as you crank up the engine. Whether there are other relay controlled circuits we haven’t yet determined.

I know that the Norcold:

  • switches from AC to LP when we disconnect from shore power.
  • switches from LP to AC when we run the generator
  • will it stay switched on with the genset OFF and the Inverter turned ON?  With the Norcold set on AUTO we’ve never had opportunity to find out.

Later this morning I need to get out there and check it out.

[Later this morning came and went,  what I learned is that if I set the Norcold on manual (forcing it to run on AC) and turn on the inverter it does indeed operate!  That outlet IS powered by the inverter and we can go ahead and place our order.
But better to have worried about it in the middle of the night and then verified it’s function than to have ordered and paid for it only to be sorry.]

cable clipsGoing to Home Depot to place the order, instead of ordering online, is a good idea because I need a replacement cord clip to replace the one I lost during the microwave install.  One really nice part about being in Milwaukee is that on the weekends we get to see our daughter on most of the weekends for a good part of the day and that is the plan for Sunday morning.   A nice BRISK walk along the lake.  Then she’ll go home and spend the afternoon with Mike and the football game.  We’ll head over to Home Depot, pick up our power cord clips and get the fridge ordered.  Unless something changes because they sell too many of these refrigerators we’ll have it next Saturday.



WRT111SFDB 3We’ve been ditzing around with this decision for a long while — I probably started thinking about replacing the Norcold when we were still in Galveston last year but there was no ‘need’ to act at that time.  And, until this last failure I was willing to give the existing fridge ‘a chance’ — we’re still relatively new at RV’ing —  It is almost exactly 4 years since we bought our first RV — the 2002 Winnebago Journey DL.

You can see from this shot -- the day we picked up Journey -- that the door opens without hold-open and ... right into the mirror!

Our first coach

There are a tremendous number of RV’s out there still using Norcold refrigerators and I would be lying if I didn’t admit that part of me didn’t want to be a quitter.  It’s “just” a piece of machinery.  How can you be ‘beaten’ by a piece of machinery?  So, I let it go and eventually I decided:  “ENOUGH”!

The Whirlpool  10.7 cu ft fridge is larger than we had in the Journey.  It’s narrow enough that the doors will be able to open all the way into the aisle — some of the larger fridges RV’ers have installed were unable to open all the way.  I didn’t really want double doors up top like the larger three door refrigerators have and we were having a hard time finding one that would fit in a smaller space than the opening we’ll have when we remove the Norcold.


We should be able to get the fridge into the coach without removing windows, and just removing four bolts that secure the screen door.  I did not want to be taking the coach apart to get the new refrigerator into the coach.

So, in one week we’ll have the new unit.  Sometime after that Mike and I will change it out.  And thereafter life might be less uncertain.

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll talk with you tomorrow!

Old Diary

We’re (Micro) Waved

Saturday was a productive day!

Time with Kathryn blossomed into a work session with Michael which resulted in a completed Microwave installation!  Cooking in the coach is hardly the same as cooking in a gourmet kitchen but at least we have returned to full cooking functionality once again.

tip the micro into place

Sharp makes the shipping container into an installation tool

micro attachment screws

Once the Micro is in place — hanging on the mounting bracket — two bolts fasten the oven to the mounting bracket.

Cabinet bolts

The installation instructions tell you to attach the micro to the overhead cabinet (if there is one) using screws provided.

It’s actually been a couple months since the stupid thing quit on us. Having it shipped to Milwaukee so that I’d have another set of arms to help out with the install was a good idea.  I know know a more about our coach than I did before.

It’s amazing to me how simple things can be; and also how complicated they can be.  We followed the attachment directions in reverse to remove the old oven.  But little did we know that — there were NO bolts attaching the oven from the top (the supposed cabinet above).  In lieu someone at the Holiday Rambler factory had decided to put some sheet metal screws through the side of the oven into the  wooden side pieces.  As we were pulling the oven out of the opening we were hung up on something but had a hard time figuring out just what the problem was.  I think our alternate safety attachments will be just as efficient and easier to find if this oven ever needs to come out of the coach!

While Mike was with us we looked carefully at the refrigerator installation.  We’re sticking with the smaller (10.7 cu ft Whirlpool) and I’ll place the order Sunday.

Thanks for stopping by and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.