Category: Preparation

The Plan… for now

By , May 6, 2010 10:35 pm

Gonzales City Limit

We’ve left Gonzales and are currently a few miles up the road in Seguin, TX.  We just had the front bearing seal replaced on one wheel and will be heading out in the morning.  We did some thinking and calculating and figured out that we had better pass on Big Bend National Park for now.  Instead, we’re working our way up to Canyonlands National Park and Arches National Park.

If I had to pick a place to stay in between those two, there’s really only one choice…

MOAB!!!

For those who aren’t familiar with it, Moab is somewhat of a Jeep owner’s paradise…  off-road trails of all kinds in just about every direction… time to break in the new Jeep. 🙂

We’ll post about the Gonzales gathering soon… we had a blast!

How We Roll…

By , April 22, 2010 12:50 pm

A few people have asked how we take along everything we show up with.  Here’s the quick and short version.

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That’s us getting gas for the Star.  What you’re seeing is the Dutch Star, two mountain bikes, the Jeep and the TW200.  Let’s start from the front.

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That’s the basic setup for the Jeep and bicycles.  The whole contraption starts with a Blue Ox 10″ receiver lift.  Welded on the top of that is a 1-inch receiver tube, which holds the Mopar bike rack.

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The next bit of gadgetry is the Blue Ox BX7445 Aventa LX Tow Bar.  That goes into the Blue Ox riser and then attaches to the front of the Jeep.  We generally keep that covered with a Blue Ox Cover when we’re parked and we lock the whole assembly together using a Blue Ox 4-lock kit.

The Jeep has a Rock Hard bumper with tow brackets bolted through the bumper into the front frame.  The safety cables attach to the D-Rings and the other cable is what handles all the lights.  It’s a Mopar RV tow kit for the JK Wranglers (it’s a major pain to install, have a dealer do it).

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That takes care of the Jeep and the bicycles, so let’s move on to the TW200.

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The hitch rack is a HaulMaster motorcycle hitch rack.  It’s cheap and can generally be found at Harbor Freight.  I’d rather have a MotoTote, but the TW only weighs about 300 and the HaulMaster is doing a decent job so far.  It takes a lot of straps to keep the TW from wobbling around or stressing the handlebars too much.  There are strap locations on the hitch bar, but I prefer to strap to the safety chain loops on the Jeep.  If something catastrophic does happen to the rack, at least the TeeDub is attached to the Jeep and won’t go sailing down the highway into a truck or smthng.

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The one major fix I had to engineer for the rack is the lights.  We actually got pulled over in Key Largo because the TeeDub blocks the view of the taillights on the Jeep.  I added these with some aluminum angle brackets and wired up a four pin trailer connector to plug into the Jeep.  This works fine and makes us WAY more visible to people behind us.

That’s the basic setup for our towing ensemble…  If you want to know anything more specific, feel free to ask.

Note: Product links are to Amazon and I get a small percentage kickback if you order anything using my links.

A Day With Wires

By , March 26, 2010 6:04 pm

Note: This is technical wiring stuff and might not be of much interest to those who don’t have an RV and/or flat-tow a vehicle.  I put it up here just to show some of the things we have to do to prepare and just in case someone else ever gets this wiring harness and can’t figure out why it doesn’t work.

I spent most of today running around getting pieces and fixing our towing connector on the RV.  It wasn’t actually broken, it just wasn’t right.

TowSocket

This is our 7-way tow connector socket on the back of the RV.  Whenever you’re towing something, it gets plugged into this.  When you hit your brakes, turn signal or turn on your lights, it sends electricity through the appropriate “prong” and lights up whatever light is necessary on whatever you’re towing.

Since we got a new Jeep, we’ve had to prepare it to be “flat-towed” behind the RV.  I took care of the physical stuff to hook it up to the RV hitch when I got the bumper done.  I installed a special wiring harness from Jeep to take care of the electrical stuff.  Unfortunately, when I plugged it into the RV I got nothing.  No lights at all.  I was just about to run back to Jeep crying like a little girl when I decided to test it on my step-father’s Chevy Avalance (he has the same 7-pin tow connector).  It worked perfectly!

That meant that the Jeep wiring kit was okay (and I didn’t kill it when I installed it), but something was funky on our RV.  I had to wait two days for any of the local trailer shops to get a 7-pin tester in before I could figure out what was going on.  When I put the tester on, it showed that one line (which isn’t necessary for most towing applications) was dead.  Here’s a quick description of the pins in the connector above:

1 – Ground (common return path)
2 – Left turn and brake light
3 – Tail and running lights
4 – 12 volt charging power
5 – Right turn and brake light
6 – Brake controller
7 – Reverse lights

Ours had everything except the brake controller wire (we don’t have a brake controller) and the 12 volt charging wire (pin 4).  The brake controller is generally used for towing heavy trailers and it activates the brakes on the trailer when you hit the brakes on the RV.  The 12 volt charging line is generally used for towing campers and it charges up the battery on the camper when you’re connected.

Unfortunately, Jeep decided to use the 12 volt charging line to “activate” the wiring harness that I just installed.  No charging line, no lights.  So, I got to spend most of the afternoon dissecting the socket and running a power line to one of our six batteries in the RV.

So, if you plan to flat-tow a newer JK model Jeep and you plan to get the wiring harness from Jeep to do so, there are some things you should know…

  • The harness part number from Jeep is 82211156AB.  You can find it on the Mopar Accessories site.
  • Installing the harness is a serious pain.  It’s not worth doing.  Pay a dealership to do it.  You have to remove body parts, pull up carpeting, drill big holes in the firewall and then fit a 2 inch grommet into a 1 inch hole… without crushing the wiring harness in the process.
  • Get a 7-way tester if you plan to tow regularly… no telling when something will stop working, it’s a useful tool to have.
  • Make sure the 12-volt charging line is active.  It should light up immediately when you plug in the tester (it’s supposed to be constantly on).
  • I don’t care what the description says, the harness does NOT include an “underhood battery disconnect”.  Plan on getting a battery disconnect.  If you don’t, the Jeep will rack up miles when flat-towed unless you disconnect the battery manually.

Oh, the numbers I used for the pins in the diagram aren’t “common”.  If you’re going to wire up a connector or anything, check the diagram that comes with the connector.  Don’t expect my number 3 pin to be the same as everyone else’s. 

A Tale of Two Jeeps

By , March 21, 2010 7:08 pm

Or…  “Getting Ready to Roll”

While we’ve mentioned it to a few of our friends and family, we haven’t made any huge official announcements or anything.   We’re heading out of our “winter home” at the beginning of April (which is rapidly approaching).  That’s part of why we haven’t done too much on the blog.  We’re fairly busy with getting everything set up for the road.  Some of that “everything” is paperwork, insurance, vehicle registrations, and other “intangible” bits.  The rest is actually getting stuff physically done.

Two Jeeps

A big chunk of my time has been getting the Jeeps ready.  The new 4-door needed a bumper that was capable of being used for flat-towing.  Of course, what good is a beefy bumper without a winch and lights?  So, the winch had to come off my old Jeep, get rebuilt (it was in pretty sorry shape) and then get installed on the new Jeep.  The lights were in storage, but since the bumper was built for them, they’re on there.  Now, I need to finish off the wiring harness to allow the turn signals and brake lights to work off our RV towing setup.  Oh, an I need to wire an additional set of lights to the rack that’s going on the back (which will carry the motorcycle).  Old Jeep is going in storage for a while…  That means getting a larger storage unit, moving everything, putting as much IN the old Jeep as I can in order to save room, changing the fluids and removing the battery.

As for the RV… it’s mostly ready, but we have a fair chunk of stuff that needs rearranging.  But that will wait for a different post.

Looking Back at 2009

By , January 7, 2010 9:59 am

LS.1

Now that we’re officially in our RV and the year has ended, we figured we’d post up a recap of the stuff that we did in 2009.  This is the start of our adventures on the road, and we figured some of you might want to see what was involved and the timing of our travels.

  • March 20th – Visited RV showroom
  • Jun 9th-19th – Rented 25 ft RV, drove to Florida for a reunion, stopped at Cheoah Point and the Outer Banks on the way.
  • Jun 22nd – Bought the 30′ Fleetwood Storm
  • Jun 29th – Contacted our realtor about renting our house
  • July 13th – Met up with Chris and Cheri of Technomadia.com
  • July 16th-19th – Flew to Texas to pick up the Storm, stayed at Little Black Water Creek on the way back.
  • July 19th – Subscribed to AAA RV Plus coverage
  • July 22nd – "WeGoFar.com" web site went live
  • July 27th – Announced the plan to most of our friends and family
  • July 31st – Jonathan’s last day of work
  • Aug 3rd – Replace stereo, add surge suppressor, other minor improvements, front brake starts sticking
  • Aug 4th – Towed to shop to fix front brakes and parking brake
  • Aug 7th – House officially listed for rental
  • Aug 13th – House driveway resealed
  • Aug 12th-17th – Drove the Storm to Gatlinburg, TN for a family reunion, inadvertently spent the night on the Blue Ridge Parkway on the way down, replaced cabinet handles while waiting for tow truck. 😉
  • Aug 17th – Had our back deck refinished at the house
  • Aug 17th – Realtor called about possible renter, wanted to discuss price and qualifications
  • Aug 18th – Had new windshield installed on the Storm
  • Sept 9th – Sold the FJR, the bigger of my two motorcycles
  • Oct 15th – House officially rented out
  • Oct 15th – 22nd – Officially started "full-timing".  Stayed at Bull Run Regional Park.
  • Oct 23rd – 27th – Relocated to Pocahontas State Park.
  • Oct 27th – Sold Dasy’s Lexus.
  • Oct 28th – 29th – Stayed at RV Resort on Hilton Head Island (we still have to write that up)
  • Oct 29th – Arrived in Florida, set up in my parents back yard
  • Nov 9th – Became official Florida residents
  • December 1st – Bought the Newmar Dutch Star
  • December 8th – Storm listed for sale
  • Dec 21 – Dec 28th – Went to Sarasota, burned up Jeep parking brake, visited friends and family, stayed at Sun ‘N Fun RV resort.  Met Duncan and Jessica of TravelingOnTheOutskirts.com.

Next stop, Sarasota…

By , December 20, 2009 6:56 pm

The Star is all cleaned up, packed up and ready to roll a little further south.  We’re heading to Sarasota tomorrow morning. 

PackedBays

We have some close friends and some family in or near Sarasota, so we’ll be spending about a week there catching up with as many of them as we can track down.

We’ll be staying at the Sun ‘N Fun RV Resort, which also happens to be where Duncan and Jessica of Traveling On The Outskirts are currently workcamping.  I’m not sure what else we’ll be up to, as I’m waiting on everyone involved (ahem) to tell me when we’re doing things so I can plan other things around them.

See you when we get there!  🙂

The best laid plan…

By , December 11, 2009 12:15 am

The plans of the diligent one surely make for advantage…

Proverbs 21:5

The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men, Gang aft agley

Robert Burns

Yes, there are definite advantages to planning and being prepared. But life happens…

image When you get sick, you go to the doctor. When your RV is “sick”, it goes into the shop. When the RV is in the shop, (especially for an extended period), you are “homeless” and therefore need to do the following:

  • Get alternate accommodation (friend, family, hotel, etc…)
  • Pack your toiletries and clothing (have a toiletry bag on standby and an overnight bag handy)
  • Put away or secure your “valuables”
  • Expect it to cost you

We have had our share of the RV (first the Storm and now the Star) in the shop.

Knowing what to expect helps.

Homeless again…

By , December 7, 2009 12:07 pm

We knew that there would be some minor repairs needed on any used RV we got.  The Dutch Star is living up to expectation and we just dropped it off at the local shop so they can get started on it.

The main thing we’d originally planned on was having the original roof vents replaced with MaxxAir Turbo/Maxx fans (with thermostat), which we got a sweet deal on earlier when we were in the evil rental. 

What we didn’t exactly plan on was fixing a leak.  A day or two after we got the Star, we had torrential rains for two days.  Water was dripping out of the roof vents near the windshield and our dashboard ended up pretty much getting soaked.  I did a little investigating on the roof and suspected that the front roof running/parking lights were the culprit.  The roof itself and all the seals there looked good.  The lights had cracked caulking and backing pads, some of which were broken down enough that I could see into the light assembly.  To be sure I was right, we taped some plastic sheeting over the lights for a couple days.  Last night, we had another good rain and there were no signs of any water inside.  Success!  :)  So, we’re having the lights replaced.  For good measure, I’m getting the rear ones done as well, since they don’t look much better. 

DutchStarPlastic

Here you can see my extremely professional job of taping the plastic sheeting down. ;)  For those who attempt this on their own rigs, here are a few tips…

  • Leave a space with the tape at the bottom of the plastic sheeting.  If any water does manage to get into the sheeting, it need a space to run back out, otherwise you will end up with a water balloon until it gets to the level of your lights.  It’ll then all come into your lights, down your windshield, onto your dashboard, etc.
  • Use painter’s masking tape.  3M makes a 2 inch wide “medium adhesion” masking tape that works perfectly.  If you use packing tape or something like that, you’re likely to either leave “sticky goo” behind when you remove it, or you will take some of your paint off with the tape. 
  • Replace it every three days of rain.  Masking tape will hold when it’s wet, but it’ll eventually fall off or allow the water to soak through.  Pull it off, wipe everything down and dry it well and slap on some new tape.
  • Don’t expect it to hold when you’re driving.  I shouldn’t need to explain that any further. 😛

We’re also having Dave install tire valve extensions on the rear tires so I can check the pressure without crawling around under the RV.  Finally, he’s going to re-tension the awning on our living room slide, as it’s sagging a bit and can get stuck when retracting the slide (that’s generally a bad thing).

After we get the Star back, we’ll have one more big piece of work to do…  new tires. :(  I was expecting this, but hoping I was wrong.  I was about to ask Dave (the repair guy) about the tires, but he beat me to it.  When walking around the RV to check a couple other items, he said “Dude, get those tires replaced”.  When we get it back, I’ll take some pictures of the tires before we head to the shop for new ones and will explain what to look for then.

Some minor modifications…

By , December 3, 2009 12:25 pm

After thinking about the previous post, we decided to do smthng about the size of the Storm…  We stretched it a bit, added a few slides, tossed a bigger engine in and called it a day.

Newmar2Actually, we bought a 38 foot Newmar Dutch Star.  ;)  It’s a diesel pusher (meaning the engine is in the back) with two slides.  One slide is for the living area, the other for the bedroom.  Even with the slides in (closed), it’s a lot larger than the Storm.  Enough that we felt comfortable and not cramped with four of us chilling out (the parental units came to check it out the night we got it).

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The Star drives much better, is way more comfortable and is in better condition than the Storm.  Most importantly, it has a LOT of room!  It feels more like an apartment than a camper.

DutchStar

As you can see from the reflection in the picture, our Storm is still here.  We’re going to be doing some minor fixes and customizing to the Star, then moving all our stuff over.  Once we’re done with that, the Storm gets shuttled off to the dealer we got the Star from and he’ll sell it for us.  With the fixes and minor upgrades we did to the Storm, we’re hoping to get back out of it what we have in it without taking a loss. 

In short, it’s a lesson learned.  We made an educated guess on the kind of unit we’d need and came up short (hehe).  We’ve got a few days before we can call the Star “home”, but we’ll be posting up more about it as we go.  Right now, it’s being fumigated and waiting for an electrician to upgrade the connection to 50 amp. 🙂

Details, details…

By , October 21, 2009 11:58 am

BullRunCampsite

We’re still in Bull Run Regional Park and will be for a couple more days.  We’ve been taking care of all the little details needed for us to actually get “gone”.  Here’s a quick idea of what we’ve been up to…

  • Jeff at Adrenaline Offroad installed new ball joints in my Jeep – I’m now comfortable towing it long distances, but still need a new front drive shaft.
  • We installed a new battery charger in the RV, as it still isn’t charging the engine battery when we’re plugged in – this is a hack until we can track down the real issue, but it works.
  • We dumped the waste and refilled the water tanks – I’ll probably write an article on this later for those who don’t know what’s involved.
  • We re-arranged almost everything in the basement storage areas.  We got a bunch of bins from Costco that allow us to stack much more in the basement.
  • I installed the TV, Playstation and HD antenna – We get a handful of very strange channels on the TV, so I’ve clearly got to figure out something there.
  • We bought a new radiator heater for our long-term wintering in Florida…  It should do a better job than the small forced air heater when we’re parked.

We’re going to be re-arranging quite a bit more as we settle in, but it’s getting there. 

I added a new tab up above for the parks and places that we’ll stay at.  There’s not much there now, but we’ll fill it in as we go.  My sprained ankle is slowly on the mend, so hopefully I can do some exploring in Bull Run before we head out this weekend.  I’ll update the page for that once I can.

Other than that, we’re just muddling along…  saying goodbyes to friends, remembering last minute things we need to put into storage (or reclaim from storage), last minute maintenance, etc.

Almost… ready!

By , October 9, 2009 12:43 pm

Charged

Whew!  That pretty much sums up everything since the last update.  Sorry for the lack of updates, but we’ve been really busy and that has pretty much left us in a state of perpetual exhaustion.  The result of which is that I’m now kind of under the weather.  Nothing major, just a lot of flu-like symptoms that I won’t go into. 

However, we’ve gotten a lot done and are almost ready to switch our living quarters to the RV.  The FJR is sold and done.  The Jeep is in relatively decent condition, but still needs some minor front-end work (new drive shaft and ball joints).  I’ll get that done fairly soon.  All the wiring and stuff needed to flat-tow the Jeep are done and she should be good to go.  The RV is in pretty good shape.  All the mechanical stuff that I’m aware of is taken care of.  I still need to install the TV and computers, but it’s otherwise livable.

Also, we have a renter!  It turns out that a bunch of circumstances all lined up and we found a friend who needed a place quickly.  All our other potential candidates bottomed out, so everything is good for our friend to move in.  The lease is signed on our part and there are only a few minor details to take care of before we’re out of the house.

The consolidation of our “stuff” is nearly done.  We have two piles of stuff we want to get into the RV, but I’m pretty sure we’ll have to cut them in half before that’s going to work.  There are some minor things in the garage that will also have to be sorted out, but the majority is complete.

We have to be back in the area for personal and family events by the 15th, so there’s basically not much point in us going anywhere.  However, we have to be out of the house before then, so we’re probably going to move into the RV and get a site at a local regional park I found.  It’s big, not too far away and peaceful.  :)  We’ll probably be there for about two weeks before we head off. 

The good thing about that is that it will give us a chance to actually live in the RV and determine what we need to fix or change before we really get out on our own.  I’ll still have tools and friends in the area so I can hammer out whatever needs to be done before I have to “give up” everything and make do with whatever we can fit in the RV.

We’ll post again if anything odd occurs, or when we actually get into the RV… whichever happens first. 😉

Our House Feels Like A Clearance Sale

By , September 12, 2009 12:37 pm

The list of stuff to do is still large, but it’s not as big as it was. Unfortunately, most of the items are only partly done.  Each seems to carry along some other task to complicate things.  Here are a few examples:

  • We’ve set up a new mail forwarding service, but still have to put in change of address stuff with the post office and notify a bunch of companies of the new addresses.
  • The RV has another temp tag and the inspection is done.  Unfortunately, we’re still waiting on a title so we can register it and get a real tag.
  • The basement shelves and most of the furniture are gone, but I still have to get rid of a bunch of stuff that was on the shelves.
  • I ordered new bushings for the Jeep because they disintegrated last weekend.  Unfortunately, they won’t be here until sometime tomorrow and the Jeep can’t really be used until they’re done.
  • We’ve got a lot of stuff to give to friends.  Unfortunately, I can’t get it to them due to the Jeep issue.
  • I’ve got all the hardware needed to get the TV installed in the RV, but I don’t want to do that until we’re done using it in the house.
  • The FJR is sold!  Gone!  Outta here!  No strings attached on this one. 🙂
  • KLRonGOI was planning on getting some errands run with the KLR (my other motorcycle), but it died today so I’ve now got to deal with getting it to a dealer for a factory recall (again, need the Jeep to tow it).   Thanks go out to Charles from OCC for the assist in getting the KLR running enough to get me back home! 🙂

Anyway, you get the idea.  It seems that everything we do gets us closer to rolling out, but also generates a bunch more work to go with it.  Actually, it’s much more likely that I just underestimated the amount of work that was needed in the first place.  😉

Ah well, time to do some more sorting of the garage.  Hopefully I’ll have something more interesting to report in a day or two.

There used to be a table there…

By , August 25, 2009 4:46 pm

BareKitchen

I’m not going to bother showing the other rooms, but we’re now rid of a table, a couch and loveseat set, a bed, a bunch of lamps, a weight set, a treadmill, a patio furniture set, a bunch of pictures, a couple hundred DVDs, and a bunch of other stuff I can’t remember right now.  We’ve got more friends coming over to get some more furniture and rugs and we’re well on our way to emptying out the last ten years of “gathering” we’ve done in our house.

We’ve done some other necessary fixes as well…  deck has been refinished, tile ordered to replace a few cracked ones in the bathroom, problematic electrical sockets rewired, screw holes in drywall respackled, wood repainted and sealed, etc.  Nothing major, just a lot of little stuff to get done before we roll out.

Of course, there are some bigger things that still need to get done…  The huge and heavy bedroom set has to go to Dasy’s brothers’ place, along with the dining room set.  I have at least one motorcycle to sell, maybe two (I’m still waffling on the second one), a camper trailer to find a home for, a set of off-road Jeep tires to get rid of (and probably a ton of other Jeep parts), piles of computer stuff to get rid of, etc.  Oh… and the fish tank.  :S

And finally, we’ve still got some RV stuff to take care of.  There were some issues with the title, so we’re still on temp tags and aren’t registered.  We need to get inspected, install some new vent fans, fix the plumbing (done!), wire up some more electrical bits, clean out the black water tank, replace the black water drain valve (leaks – ick!), replace the screen door handle, etc. 

I did find out one of the sources of our dead batteries though…  someone installed the battery charger backwards, so it was constantly draining the main battery whether it was plugged in or not (that’s now taken care of and the battery is charging as I type). 

So, not much exciting stuff going on, but plenty of work. The goal is to be on the road by mid-September, which is rapidly approaching.  We’ll let you know how it’s working out.  Expect a post or two a week until we actually get going.

Getting ready…

By , August 11, 2009 6:50 am

Not a whole lot of technical info about the RV for you this time… We picked it up from the shop last night and drove it home during a wicked storm.  The front brake caliper slides had rusted a bit and the guys at the shop pulled them apart, cleaned them up, greased the slides and slapped it all back together.  They also fixed the emergency/parking brake for us.  Good timing, because we’re heading out Wednesday for a short trip down to Tennessee to meet up with a bunch of family.  That’ll be a “shake-down” for the RV and should give us a slightly better feel for it and what needs to be done than the three day haul back from Texas.  We’re still having charging issues, but I’ll check on that today and take enough tools and cables to jump it or charge it if needed.

As far as getting ready for everything else that goes along with this…

We’ve pretty much let all friends and family know about our plans.  The reactions were completely from one end of the spectrum to the other.  I expected that, but Dasy was a little taken aback by some of the responses.  We’re fine now though… everyone is different and has their own opinions.  We take a little bit of good advice away from everyone we talk to about our future travel plans. 😉

LockBox We now have a “get moving” motivator…  Our house is now listed for rental.  We had our real estate agent over to get her assistance in renting out our place.  She was incredibly helpful and gave us a lot of details about how to get decent tenants.  In short, the rent we’re asking (for a quite large house) is a bit on the high end of the spectrum.  Add to that a qualification of two incomes and that helps narrow down the list a bit.  Finally, they’ve basically got to have three months rent available to move in (deposits, real estate company fees, etc).  That may rule out some people who otherwise would consider it, but if it ensures a decent family who will take care of the place gets in, I’m all for it.

There are tons of other little things keeping us busy…  Getting rid of furniture, repairing bit of the house, arranging for someone to refinish the deck, power washing the siding, getting the Jeep ready, getting two motorcycle ready for sale, arranging to have the RV windshield replaced (glass is in, just waiting to get the RV back from the shop), getting rid of my fish, etc.  We have a LOT of stuff, a LOT to do and not a LOT of time to do it.  Today’s task is the patio furniture.  I’ll be spending the morning clearing off my trailer to make room for it all.

We’ll keep you posted as we go and I’ll let you know how the RV is when we next get it rolling.

Two steps forward, one step back.

By , August 3, 2009 8:40 pm

I guess it’s actually three steps forward…

First, I took the beastie out to a friend’s in Leesburg today.  I needed to run the engine for a bit to get the batteries charged back up and to see if the engine charged the coach batteries.  I found out that it does.  That’s a good thing. Of course, I think it should also charge when plugged in, so I’m still working on that.

While in Leesburg, we managed to get quite a bit done.  We junked the old radio and installed a new one.  We also replaced the front speakers and added rear speakers.  Much better now. 🙂

Another friend who also happens to be an electrician stopped by (mostly to check out the beastie), but we convinced him to tackle some electrical work while he was there.  He quickly and easily installed a new surge supressor for the RV.  Considering that it’s a 30 amp 110v circuit, I’m glad he did it and not me. 🙂

Unfortunately, on the way home, the front brake started overheating.  It’s probably sticking and needs to be replaced.  Unfortunately, since it now overheats (quickly), we can’t drive it anywhere to get it fixed.  So, I’m going to take a look at it tomorrow and see if I can noodle through it.  If I can’t, then I guess we’ll be making use of that new AAA plan real quick. :S

Starting on the list…

By , August 1, 2009 3:31 pm

…the list of things to be fixed.

There are a number of small issues with the RV that need addressing.  Some need to be fixed quick, others are on a to-do-in-the-future list.  The first one I tackled was the plumbing. 

We had a rather nasty surprise on our first night in the RV on the way back from Texas a few weeks ago.  We turned on the water pump (which provides pressure to the shower and faucets when we’re not connected to city water) and found water gushing out of the bottom of the RV.  Needless to say, we turned it off and used city water instead.  We had an outside sprayer (like a sink spray nozel) installed in one of the bays and I suspected that was the culprit.

I crawled under there today and found out that the installer had used a bypass valve instead of a cutoff valve.  The bypass wasn’t hooked up to anything, so it sprayed all over the place the minute the water was turned on.  I simply capped off the bypass and all is now well. 🙂  The pump pressurizes the system, water stays where it’s supposed to and the outside sprayer works.

One job completed successfully!

The second job was just discovered today and it pretty much trumps everything else.  Our house batteries don’t seem to be charging.  More on that in a future post when I figure out what to do about it. :S

Welcome to WeGoFar!

By , July 23, 2009 9:36 am

Welcome to our new home on the web!  We’ll be documenting our travels as we go, including how we manage everything, what we do to keep going and any “bumps in the road” we run into along the way.

To learn more about us, check the “About Us” link in the menu bar above.

We’ll be travelling around the country in a 30 foot RV, a 1999 Fleetwood Storm.  It seems pretty reliable and is mechanically in excellent shape.  It does need some “loving care”, but most of that is cosmetic or minor fixes.  As an example, I had to fix one of the leveling jacks yesterday and there are a few electrical switches that are “finicky” that I need to replace.  Nothing major, just wear-and-tear items you’d expect from a 10 year old vehicle (or house).

We’ll be spending some time cleaning up our current “root-based” life, which involves a lot of getting rid of stuff, arranging for care of our “regular” house, streamlining our schedules, alerting family and friends that we’ll be paying them a visit and determining where we’re going.

We also have some customization that we want to do to the RV, so we’ll be posting about that as we go.

Welcome and thanks for joining us!  Expect more as we prepare. 🙂

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