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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Grandsons Visit

It was an uplifting experience, having our two grandsons, Andrew and Owen over for a weekend stay.  It was nice to have something different to do for a change.  While our day to day volunteer tasks are important, it was wonderful break in the routine.

With lots of energy (the boys, not us) to use up, we hopped in the car to track down some geocashes.  Marti had downloaded a bunch in her handheld GPS device.  The first one was really easy, hidden in a COE sign.



Others were a little bit difficult, but the boy’s sharp eyes found them.




Owie took care of signing the geocache’s logs.


Checking the GPS device, the boys figured out which direction to go next.


An unusual geocache, with an unusual log.



Off to the next one!


Another day, we went to one of the COE beaches with the metal detectors we got the boys last Christmas.


I admit I had “salted” the beach with about $2.00 worth of coins so they’d have some results.  Well, they had some really good results.


When we had finished “sweeping” the sand, they had found several bottle caps, some fishing line weights and about $5.80 worth of coins!  I might have to get a metal detector myself, there are some 36 beaches around Thurmond Lake just waiting to be checked!

Andrew was really excited, one penny he found he declared was really old.  The date on it was 1976!!!

Of course lots of outside activities dictate lots of food for hungry boys.  They devoured most of a 20” pizza.


The leftovers made for a good snack later when rain forced us indoors.  We always have something for them to do, chess is a favorite game they play.


Too short a visit, but a wonderful break in the routine for us.  :c)

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Dryer Vent Hose Brush

As a follow up to a request by my friend Karen, I’m posting a few pictures of the flexible brush I use to clean out the Journey’s dryer vent hose.  It is soft and flexible enough to easily slide into the hose and catch lint, but not so rigid that it will tear the aluminum fabric dryer hoses.



It is about 40 inches long.


It has a soft bristle brush and easily coils up for storing.


I can’t remember where I bought it, in might have been in a Dollar store or a Walmart.  I’ve had it for years so my feeble old brain has let me down.  At least now you know what it looks like so you can keep your eyes peeled for one.  Hope that helps!  :c)

Monday, March 23, 2015

All Cleaned Up

Yep, our Splendide 2100 washer/dryer died.  Once I removed it, the cause of death became readily apparent.  Lint build up in the dryer vent hose.


But how did that lint build up so much after I regularly used a brush from the outside dryer vent to clean out lint?  Looking carefully around the compartment under the dryer, I found that the vent hose had at some point come off the dryer vent.


When the hose came off it rested against the wall, effectively blocking any tiny amounts of lint from exiting the Journey.  What threw me was when I used a cleaning brush into the dryer vent from the outside, I never got any lint because I wasn’t in the vent hose at all.  Live and learn.

Because the dryer was over 8 years old and the parts to repair it cost more than half of what a new unit cost, I bought a new Splendide 2100XC from PPL Motorhomes in Houston, Texas at a great deal.  This unit has a larger drum to handle larger loads.  Even better, there is a technique that can be used on this unit to flush any lint out of the drum, something that was not possible on my old unit.

I knew this was going to be a big job.  The washer weighs in at a healthy 155 pounds, so it required some extra muscle.  Several of the guys here at the Volunteer Village stepped up to help me move out the old unit and bring in the new one.  It was a tight lift just getting in and out of the Journey’s entry door.  That extra muscle sure helped out.

Before I started to remove the old unit, I took off all the cabinet doors and hardware, then I put a layer of duct tape on the edge of the cabinet to protect the wood from being scratched.


Once the old washer was removed, I found some sloppy construction hidden behind the washer, hanging wires and loose PVC pipes.  Because the PVC pipes are hooked to drain into the gray tank, it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to see they would crack somewhere someday making a massive leak.


I took the time to properly secure the wiring and used a clamp to hold the PVC drain pipe in place to prevent it from flopping back and forth.


I also replaced the vent hose with a new hose and properly secured it.  It was a really tight space to work and probably was never fastened correctly at the factory.


All set for the new washer/dryer.


There it is, all in place and running for the first time.  I checked carefully for any leaks and all connections were tight and dry.


Lastly, I color coded the hot water hose with a little red tape so I’d always know which was hot and which was cold.


Not a fun job, it took me a good part of the day to remove and replace the washer unit, but I’m sure glad it’s done and I know it was done right.  I now know I need to keep an eye on the through wall connection, something I’ll do monthly when I change the nearby air conditioner filter.

This DIY project would have been an easy $500 worth of labor at an RV dealer, so I’m glad I tackled it.  Plus it’s nice to have clean skivvies again.  :c)

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Life Happens

We’ve been busy doing our Water Safety Program a lot the last few weeks.  I’d post about it but how many pictures of kids with life jackets on and drowned oranges can readers stand?  Sometimes, life as a fulltimer is just what it is…life.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

One recent event we’re dealing with is our onboard Splendide washer/dryer has bit the dust.  Expensive dust.  I spent some time with a tech on the phone and it is going to cost big bucks to repair, not to mention the cost of the parts to repair it.  The tech said the average life span of the w/d for fulltimers is 5 to 8 years.  Well we’re at the 8 year mark, even though we’ve only been FT for about 3 1/2 years, the w/d did get lots of use the years before we went FT.

Cost wise, it is cheaper to replace the unit with a new, larger capacity unit than to repair this one and have another component fail down the road.

I’d dabble with a repair if it wasn’t so hard to get the w/d in and out where it’s located in the Journey.  It is going to be a couple of hour job for two men just to get it out and the similar time to install the new one, so I only want to do this one time. 

I found a brand new unit on sale at PPL Motorhomes in Texas for several hundred dollars cheaper than anywhere else (including shipping), so I bought one. 

Hopefully we’ll see it by then end of the week before I run out of clean skivvies!  :c)

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Playing In The Sand

Sometimes skills you learned as a youngster pay off when you’re an adult.  When I was just a wee lad, I loved to go to the beach and dig in the sand.  Many a magnificent sand castle was built with my shovel, bucket and hands.

It’s be a while (decades) since I dug holes in a beach, but I was able to recall those talents and put them to good use here at Thurmond Lake.

Around the lake, there are numerous beaches maintained by the COE.  Due to budget cuts, some of these beaches have been closed for years.  Recently, some extra money was allotted to the COE and it is going to be used to reopen a formally closed beach.

Marti and I hopped in a Ranger truck and headed out for an hour long drive to get to this particular beach.  Because the beach has been closed for years, the sand needed to be inspected to see if there was a need for grooming, replacement or adding additional amounts.

Arriving at the beach, we walked around and looked at it.


I had to dig several holes at various locations on the beach to measure the sand depth.



In the mid part of the beach, the sand averaged about 12 inches in the several holes I dug.

At the waterline, it was less that three inches.


Looking at the water’s edge, you could see how the sand had been eroded away over the several years the beach was closed.


The bottom inside the swimming area is in need of a bunch of sand to bring it up to the COE standards.  Nobody would want to swim in this water with all the mud and rocks.


We drove back and turned in our results to the park manager, who will arrange to get loads of sand to get the beach ready for opening this summer.

Another unusual job we’ve done, another reason we enjoy our workamping job here with the COE.  The variety of things we get to do is always fun and never boring.  We’ll be here for about another six weeks before we head out for our summer travels and look forward to see what interesting things we’ll do next.  Childhood skills proved to be helpful on this job.    :c)

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.