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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Always some something to do

When we sold the house and decided to live in the trailer full time I thought 'WooHoo, no more maintenance!' Yeah, right. A different type of maintenance maybe but it still needs to be done and if you don't it you can expect costly repairs down the road......in addition to the stress of ill-timed breakdowns.

A couple of months ago we got a letter from Forest River stating the fire extinguisher in our trailer was likely being recalled due to a safety issue. We checked our model and sure enough it was part of the recall. We went online and completed the 'paperwork'. About four weeks later the new one showed up. If you have a Kidde fire extinguisher in your rig you might want to check their website to see if you are eligible for a free replacement. (https://www.kidde.com/home-safety/en/us/support/product-alerts/recall-kidde-fire-extinguisher/ )The biggest issue was apparently the plastic pins in the handle mechanism. The could break or jam when you tried to use the extinguisher.

The old 'defective' extinguisher. This one was recalled and replaced for free. Apparently the plastic pin actuator could fail.

The new extinguisher with a metal pin and a much more durable handle actuator. Kidde replaced defective extinguishers free and paid to have the old defective one returned to them.


Our water regulator woes were getting out of hand. I had been using a high pressure (50 - 55 PSI) one for over a year with no issues. Then one day it stopped letting water through it. I ordered a new one and it lasted less than two months. So I bought a real cheap one from the RV Dealer. Well, the pressure through it was unacceptably low. I even tried removing the regulator entirely. (Note to self: don't do this again!) This campground has VERY high pressure. In fact I found a couple of fittings leaking inside the trailer! I reverted back to my old standby regulator that I have had for over five years. It worked but it is much nicer to have slightly higher pressure at the taps. So, after chatting with a neighbour in the campground that showed me his adjustable water regulator I was quick to order one. The adjustable regulator has a gauge so you can see exactly what pressure is heading into the trailer. This is by far the best water pressure regulator I have used! It was under $40 on Amazon. Should have bought this one first!

Left to right: two silver regulators are the high pressure (55 PSI) regulators. Both failed and wouldn't allow any water through them. The gold one in the middle was a cheapo from an RV dealer. It didn't allow much pressure through. The dark coloured one is my good old standby. It allows reasonable pressure, The one on the right  is the same one but for some reason it doesn't have much pressure.

Tilt your head! This is my new adjustable regulator. The screw in the middle of the black cap is adjustable. The gauge tells you what pressure you are sending down the hose to the trailer. The white hose goes to the trailer plumbing. The green hose goes to the black tank flush.


One of the issues with fridges mounted in a slide out is there is no roof mounted chimney to remove heat from the cooling coils. To aid with heat removal the manufacturers often install a cooling fan that blows the hot air out. When the trailer is exposed to full sun on the slide out the internal fridge temperature gradually rises. The cooling fan kicks in (thermistor mounted to the cooling fins controls the fan) and so far we haven't experienced an unsafe temperature in the fridge (except when the thermistor screws got loose and didn't sense the temperature and therefore didn't turn the cooling fan on), however many folks have installed a second fan either beside the existing one or at the bottom of the coils to push air upward.

I picked up a 12 volt computer type fan from Princess Auto ($5) a switch, fuse, and some metal pipe strap to make a mounting frame. I can switch the fan on in hot and/or humid weather to help move hot air out of the cooling cavity. So far it works well. With our trip to the East Coast and down to Florida this winter I hope this will help keep the beer/milk cold.

My auxiliary cooling fan. The heavy yellow wire is the fused power line that taps into the 12 volt fridge feed. The orange switch allows me to turn on the fan in hotter weather and off when the temps are cooler or the fridge is shaded. The silver metal strapping was shaped into a  frame to support the muffin fan mounted horizontally and blows upward toward the fridge cooling fins.


I noticed the tape (Eternabond I believe) that Cedar Creek installed along the outer edges of the slide out roofs had some screw heads that had begun to wear through exposing a potential water entry point. I had a roll of 4 inch Eternabond tape on hand so after cleaning the roof area I placed an additional strip directly over the existing tape. Hopefully the tape will adhere well and help prevent any leaks. Of course I didn't get a 'before' picture.


A second layer of Eternabond was added to avoid screw heads from wearing through the existing strip of tape. Do what you can to avoid leaks!


I added an attachment to the TV antennae on the trailer. It is supposed to improve the VHF reception where digital TV channels reside. Some US parks we were in would receive dozens of digital channels but would pixelize, break up or freeze. I am hoping this attachment will improve our reception. We'll see.

Supposed to increase VHF reception. Should help with digital channel reception in the US.

Before

After


We've had a very busy summer helping with child care duties. Picking kids up from school, helping with field trips, and now since school is out we've had kids at least three days a week. Flying kites, riding bikes, sleep-overs at the trailer, and visiting every playground in a twenty mile radius! We expected to be busy as we won't be here after the third week in July so we packed in as much kiddo time as possible! Fun times!

I have two blow-up kayaks that the kids love. We go to Gull lake which has a very sandy beach and shallow water. Perfect for learning paddling skills, or if they get tired then Grandpa has to pull them back in to shore!

C'mon Grandpa, hurry up!


I haven't had good internet connections that are readily available to me so blogging has taken a back seat to other online priorities like paying bills and making campground reservations. I am now using my Verizon Jetpack but the speed is very slow. It uses the Bell system in Canada. It is marginally better than campground internet, when it's available. All this issue will go away when we get into the US and on to the Verizon system.

As of July 23 we headed out from Red Deer on our next adventure. Still catching up on the blog so be patient!

......and that was Our View From Here!


16 comments:

  1. We were wondering about you two, and what you were up to. Too bad we didn’t catch up with you this summer. I am sure you will enjoy your trip east, looking forward to seeing your interesting posts, safe travels!

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    1. Thanks Wayne! We had hoped you guys might be in Red Deer before we left. Hopefully next year.

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  2. Normal RV Maintenance is an inexpensive way of protecting your investment.
    Glad you are still enjoying the RV Lifestyle.
    Be Safe!

    It's about time.

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    1. Agreed Rick. Hope things are well with you and Kathy. I'm way behind in reading blogs.

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  3. We have been wondering about you two as it’s been forever since you blogged. Thought you went off the road. Nice job on the additional fan. I’ve contemplated getting the same Wingman attachment so will wait for your review. Safe travels and hope to see you down the road again!

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    1. Thanks for breaking trail to the East Coast for us. looks like we're following you about a month behind.

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  4. So nice to hear from you again! Now that you're on the road hopefully we'll hear more. Sad we won't be seeing you this winter! Fun days with the grandkids, I know it was wonderful! ((Hugs Cheryl))

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    1. I'm way behind in blogs but from what I've seen you guys have had a busy summer. Yep, I know we are going to miss Arizona this year. :-(

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  5. Great to hear that you guys are still living this wonderful rv lifestyle! We have friends with a Cedar Creek, you haven't met them yet, but I am going to pass along your tips in case they have any of the same issues. :) Have fun in your travels!

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    1. Thanks Pat! Yep, we've had a fun summer so far. I think most of the mods would apply to nearly every make and model....except the residential fridges of course......which you have.

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  6. There seems to be a never ending list of maintenance items to do on the rig. I need to do my bearings but I am going to wait until we are nearer to civilization in case I need to run for parts.

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    1. That would be wise Jim. No NAPA in Pasha Lake I assume

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  7. Rv repairs and maintenance are part of the lifestyle and if you keep on top of it all will good for you in the long run. The extra fan to your fries does help I put one in years ago as well as the wingman, we do get much better reception on our antenna now too. And of course the regulators are a good idea we usually get 2-3 years out of ours, I think eventually the one with the gauge will have issues as well, be nice to see how that works.

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    1. I like the added cooling on the fridge. Not sure about the Wingman yet. I'm sure you are right about regulator life span.

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  8. Good to hear from you. Was wondering what you guys were doing as I think the last post I read you were looking at some property?

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    1. Looked but didn't like what was out there. We haven't looked at the Island lately though! :-)

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