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Blogs => Travel => Topic started by: ClydesdaleKevin on January 31, 2019, 01:31 PM

Title: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: ClydesdaleKevin on January 31, 2019, 01:31 PM
Time for a new chapter!  We are all hooked up and set up in camp, and the workshop is all set up.  We are getting ready for our season at the Arizona Renaissance Festival, and we have a lot of catapults to build!

I'll be doing little projects on the RV and some repairs as we go, and experimenting with things like the leveling jacks, etc.  And I will include lots of pictures!

That is it for now...I've got to get to work cutting out parts!

Kev
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: ClydesdaleKevin on February 05, 2019, 06:05 PM
In between building catapults, I did manage to do a couple of things to the RV.  First, I made a leg for the computer desk.  The desk isn't really made to be used full time, especially with my relatively heavy Panasonic Toughbook laptop that I use...so now it is stable and all the weight is supported.  The leg screws off and can be stowed in the desk when it is folded up for travel.

The used Atwood hot water heater propane control valve also arrived today, so I had time to install it and clean off the soot (again) from the hot water heater.  It works with no gas leaks...so we'll see if it soots up again or not.  If it does soot up again, then my next task would be to replace the regulator on the propane tank itself (process of elimination).  But so far, the water heater is working and the flame is a consistent blue.

I also scored a 35 gallon Thetford tote tank on Craigslist, new in the box, for 125.00 (I sold my remaining 7.62x54r ammo to a buddy of mine, since none of my guns are that caliber anymore, for 125.00).  SWEET!!!  The gray water is easy to get rid of, but the black tank is almost full (not bad for almost 2 weeks of use), so the tote tank will allow us to go 2 weeks between having the RV tanks pumped out (which is good, since those thieves are charging 65.00 a pop to pump out the tanks!).

I'll take some pictures soon and post them up!

Kev
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: postman on February 05, 2019, 07:47 PM
Kevin did the views on Go Fund Me work for you. I am getting shares and donations but 0 for views?

You're saying $60 to pump out your tank. Is it a vac truck? Are you boondocking or something else?
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: ClydesdaleKevin on February 06, 2019, 10:48 AM
Hey Postman.  I don't really remember the number of views on GoFundMe and have since taken down the campaign since we are all set now.

The sanitation/porta-potty company that services the Arizona Renaissance Festival charges us vendors and participants 65.00 each time they pump out our RV tanks.  Renting a big tank from them is also highway robbery at 400.00 a month plus 150.00 each time they pump out the big tank.  No thank you!  They are a bunch of thieves, but we have no choice if we want to use our own RV bathrooms...and those crooks know it.

Kev
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: ClydesdaleKevin on February 08, 2019, 08:25 PM
Yay!  All the catapults and trebuchets are built and set up in the booth, and we are ready for opening day tomorrow!  Great weather predicted!

The used propane control valve on the Atwood hot water heater seems to be working fine, with no soot!  Before we leave I'll buy and install a new one, as well as new thermostat thingies...the used one was just to eliminate a component without spending 80 bucks on a new one if that wasn't the problem.

Kev
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: Rickf1985 on February 08, 2019, 09:42 PM
If you still have the original single stage propane regulator or even a 15 year old double stage you might want to replace that also. Those things don't last all that long dependably. They are not that expensive either. Be sure to make sure whether you have a horizontal or vertical one, they are different.
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: TerryH on February 09, 2019, 01:50 AM
I changed mine two years ago, bought the replacement from a propane and appliance supplier and installer. They took the old one apart to show me the gunk it had collected over it's unknown lifetime. A lot more than I would have expected.
Their advice was, if you use your tank regularly to replace the regulator every five years.
Further, given the accumulation in mine they strongly suggested I clean all of the lines from the appliance connections to the regulator. Fill the line with methyl hydrate at the appliance, let it sit for a few minutes and then blow it out with compressed air.
Their suggestion, made sense to me.
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: Rickf1985 on February 09, 2019, 09:09 AM
Mine was working but I was having problems with the refrigerator going out once in a while and over firing other times. Sometimes I could even see the extra power on the stove. Once replaced everything is even. Probably should clean out the lines though.
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: ClydesdaleKevin on February 09, 2019, 09:22 AM
Thanks for the advice guys!  I'll replace the regulator this coming week, as we are surrounded in this area with RV parts stores.  I want to install an Extend-A-Stay tee fitting anyway, so I might as well replace the regulator while I am at it.

Kev
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: Rickf1985 on February 09, 2019, 09:58 PM
The "T" is always a good idea, I have one on mine but didn't you say you have an 80 lb or bigger propane tank? I can't picture you ever running out of propane between moves with a tank that big unless you are running the generator. You mentioned a big RV salvage yard in another thread, check with them for a diesel generator and if they have any see if they would be interested in a partial or full trade for your propane one. Why anybody would do that?! Propane generator? Of coarse that year that was built was right around when diesel fuel jumped up so that might have had something to do with it. People panic without thinking or researching to find out that diesel generator are fuel sippers.
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: ClydesdaleKevin on February 11, 2019, 07:16 PM
I scored a Hughes 2130 Autoformer 30 amp park power booster for 130 bucks off Craigslist today!  It works great!  The previous owner sold it because his new RV is 50 amps.  This should help to protect the air conditioners from low voltage (which happens a LOT at Renaissance Faire campgrounds!).  We've gone through a half dozen AC units since we became fulltimers, and all of them burnt out because of low voltage.

(https://storage.ning.com/topology/rest/1.0/file/get/1030357675?profile=RESIZE_710x)

Tomorrow I'll be getting some pressure treated boards to make blocks out of when I go out and get the materials needed for building catapults.  They are going to be 12x12 squares to put under the leveling jack feet.  And then I'm going to attempt to deploy the leveling jacks!  I'll let y'all know how that works out...lol!

Kev
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: Rickf1985 on February 11, 2019, 07:56 PM
Make sure all of the pivot points and any slides are well lubed otherwise you could have issues with retraction. Interesting little electrical part. I never quite understood how you get more power from less though. I understand how transformers work but if you step up power you step down current which means you could still shortchange the AC units because you would not have the amps needed even if you have the volts.
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: ClydesdaleKevin on February 12, 2019, 10:16 AM
Here you go, Rick, right from Hughes' website:

"Hughes Autoformers are designed to increase voltage to your RV and help eliminate low voltage damage to your appliances. Unlike a boost transformer, the ‘sense circuit’ in the Autoformer will adjust the output based on the load demand. For this reason you can run additional appliances on a 30-amp input. For example, a coffee pot and microwave each draw 1200 watts. Add wattage for the converter and/or a refrigerator – about 800 additional watts – and now you have 3200 watt demand. If you are only getting 100 volts from the supply, the maximum wattage would be 3000 watts. In this case, the Hughes Autoformer will boost voltage to give you 3600 watts to your RV!
[/color]The Autoformer output will self-adjust depending on the demand. With the increase in the voltage to the RV (through the Autoformer) the amperage demand will be lower and the overall performance will be greater. Your appliances will operate smoothly and efficiently without premature wear and damage to motors and compressors. With an operation range of approximately 94 to 125 volts input, the Autoformer will boost your RV voltage to safe & efficient levels.
[/color]Appliance failure can be costly, as well as frustrating and inconvenient. Many AC motors burn out due to higher-than-rated current draw caused by low voltage. This wasted current could be better used to operate another appliance at the same time the AC is being used. With low voltage you generally can’t run anything else without risk of damage.
"

https://hughesautoformers.com/autoformer-university/why-do-you-need-an-autoformer/

Kev
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: ClydesdaleKevin on February 12, 2019, 10:18 AM
"How Does It Work?At first we are tempted to say very ‘well’. But this may not be the answer you are looking for![/size][/color]
[/size]
Autoformers are used in industries to stabilize voltage and lower the operating cost of equipment. The Autoformer has 5 windings: 2 primary and 3 secondary. All models have surge and spike protection. When the unit is in Automatic and the park or input voltage is 116 volts or below, the output is 10% over the input. When the input is over 118 volts, the output is 2% over the input.[/size][/color]The Autoformer DOES NOT take power from the park.[/color]It does not affect the park or input voltage, or make electricity.[/color]What it is doing is changing the voltage – amperage relationship, lowering the amperage and raising the voltage. Since appliances run better on higher voltage, lower amperage, less overall power is used from the park, and better service is enjoyed from your RV[/color]An Autoformer running at full output (50amps) will use 1 amp, but will cause appliances to cycle more often and run cooler. This will use less total power from the park.[/color]Enjoy Your Autoformer Knowing You Are Doing Your Part For The Environment."[/color][/color]https://hughesautoformers.com/autoformer-university/how-does-it-work/
[/font]
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: ClydesdaleKevin on February 12, 2019, 10:27 AM
http://hughesautoformers.com/HA_UserGuide_2015.pdf
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: Rickf1985 on February 12, 2019, 11:49 AM
Ok, Here I copied from the manual you sent. You will notice that if the voltage drops below 90 volts the unit will go into bypass mode. This is the lower limit of most AC compressors anyway so basically it is not going to help you too much. The compressor will not like running at 95-100 volts but that will not damage it but 90 volts will. Hey, for the price you paid see if it works. If you have gone through that many AC unit then you have nothing to lose, besides another AC unit. D:oH!


Is the park voltage over 115 volts? Check the park power. See Measuring the Park Power on Page 11. The unit switches to by-pass mode when over 115 volts. It will boost when the park power drops below 113 volts. The Autoformer only gets its instructions to boost or bypass from the park power. It does not read or recognize the voltage inside your RV. If the park power is really low (reading below 90 volts), the Autoformer will not have enough power to work and will go into by-pass mode (and will not boost).
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: ClydesdaleKevin on February 12, 2019, 07:30 PM
I'm going to give it a shot and see if my AC units survive a few years at Renfaire campgrounds...lol!

I got back late from my materials run, but tried the leveling jacks:  No voltage getting to the control unit that has the on/off switch and indicator lights.  I checked the fuse and it was good, so I'll have to troubleshoot the wiring when I get a chance.

Kev
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: Rickf1985 on February 12, 2019, 09:20 PM
The fuse was good but did you check to see if there was power to the fuse? Power or no power would tell you that you need to look before or after the fuse.
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: ClydesdaleKevin on February 13, 2019, 11:06 AM
The fuse was good but did you check to see if there was power to the fuse? Power or no power would tell you that you need to look before or after the fuse.

I plan on taking the cover off today and checking the input voltage.

Kev
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: ClydesdaleKevin on February 13, 2019, 11:08 AM
So one thing that was bothering me was the lack of a light in the Norcold fridge.  I did some research, and it turns out that the light kit for the Norcold 6100 series refrigerators back in 1995 was an optional accessory.  The fridge comes pre-wired for the light, but mine doesn't have it.  Optional?  Geesh!

Anyhow, I looked up the part number, and it is unobtainium!  It is an obsolete parts kit and no longer made. 

But I found one on eBay!  It should be here on Friday...lol!

Kev
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: ClydesdaleKevin on February 13, 2019, 08:43 PM
Because I was busy with catapults, I didn't have time to troubleshoot the leveling jacks...but I did replace all four switches in the fancy brass and glass side lights.  There are two in the bedroom, and two in the living room...and all 4 had bad switches.  Now they all work and all have LED bulbs.

Kev
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: ClydesdaleKevin on February 19, 2019, 01:15 PM
I'm going to go look at, and probably purchase, 4 aluminum and stainless solar panel tilt mounts today that I found on Craigslist.  Wish me luck!  They look like just what I need/want for mounting smaller (80-120 watt) solar panels on the roof of our Itasca!

(https://storage.ning.com/topology/rest/1.0/file/get/1154242618?profile=RESIZE_710x)

(https://storage.ning.com/topology/rest/1.0/file/get/1154247679?profile=RESIZE_710x)

(https://storage.ning.com/topology/rest/1.0/file/get/1154254070?profile=RESIZE_710x)

(https://storage.ning.com/topology/rest/1.0/file/get/1154258624?profile=RESIZE_710x) 

Kev
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: ClydesdaleKevin on February 21, 2019, 06:37 PM
So the site keeps going down, but I got more stuff done.  The same guy that sold me the solar panel tilts is going to sell me 4 100 watt Kyocera monocrystaline panels, new and in the box, for 300 buck, which I will be picking up next week.

I also installed the light in the fridge.  what in the world was it optional?  What kind of cheapo greedy idiots ARE Norcold to offer a fridge light as an option?  Anyhow, it works great.

I also scored a roof rack basket (64x40) for the Jeep on the cheap...which is where the spare tire is going to go.  I got it assembled in the workshop today, but it is cold and raining here, so installing it will have to wait.

I was going to troubleshoot the 12 volts going to the leveling jack control board and the furnace, but my negative lead on my Fluke died totally...so I ordered a new set of leads today and will fix the leveling jacks and furnace once they arrive.

It is raining cats and dogs here in Gold Canyon, AZ!  And MAN is it cold outside!  50 degrees, rainy and windy.  BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!

Kev
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: ClydesdaleKevin on February 25, 2019, 10:49 AM
My new test leads for my Fluke should be here today, so I can troubleshoot and repair the furnace and the leveling jacks this week. 

The roof basket for the roof of the Jeep came out great!  I used the factory U-bolts that came with the rack to attach it to the factory roof rack...and then butted up my Yakima roof bars to the front and back of the basket, and used 8 more U-bolts I bought at Ace Hardware to attack the basket to the Yakima rack as well.  It is now super strong and will easily hold the weight of the 33" spare tire.  While I was at it, I figured out a neat way to install the Hi-Lift jack and my trail shovel to the rack basket sides that is strong, but also allows a quick release setup.  It looks sweet!  I'll take and post some pics soon.  I also bought diamond plate armor for the rocker panels under the doors and for the bottom of the doors.  I primed them last week, and today I'll be painting them flat black...and installing them sometime this week.

And that is it for now!  We are going to take the pups out today to the local "ghost town" and then for a picnic.  And of course a long walk.

Kev
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: ClydesdaleKevin on March 04, 2019, 02:02 PM
So the guy I was going to buy 4 solar panels from (one 100W panel and three 90W panels) flaked out and wanted to charge me almost 2.00 a watt.  So I just ordered 4 brand new 100W HQST monocrystalline panels off of Amazon for 99.00 each with free 2nd day shipping.  The customer reviews look great!

(https://storage.ning.com/topology/rest/1.0/file/get/1238739689?profile=RESIZE_710x)

Kev
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: ClydesdaleKevin on March 04, 2019, 02:07 PM
All four HQST panels arrived today.  I took each one out of the boxes to inspect for damage, and then put them in the sun and tested the output voltage.  All four read at 21 volts...SWEET!

(https://storage.ning.com/topology/rest/1.0/file/get/1238739689?profile=RESIZE_710x)

We have student days this week, so I won't be able to start the install process until next week.

I will have to buy a few things to complete the project, including wire, connectors, adhesive, a waterproof junction box that will mount on the roof, new temperature and voltage sensor leads from Morningstar for our Tristar MPPT charge controller, and some other miscellaneous items...but nothing too expensive.

We'll have the new solar array sorted out, along with our new battery bank, before we leave here on our next trip up to Utah in April.

Kev
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: Rickf1985 on March 04, 2019, 06:18 PM
Dang Dude! New panels and a grand worth of new AGM batteries! Business must be REAL good lately!!
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: LJ-TJ on March 04, 2019, 06:34 PM
WOW! I got to get involved in  the Re Fair business. Or start me a go fund me page. From popper to the kings court. Hm?
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: ClydesdaleKevin on March 06, 2019, 09:43 AM
HA!  The panels were only 100 bucks each, and the quote I got for the 2 Trojan AGM batteries was 140 each.   :P :P :P :P :P

We have a month off after this show until our next Faire in Utah in May...and then almost 2 months off until our next show in Sterling, NY after that.  Without installing a usable solar and battery system in the RV, we would end up spending WAY more money during our off time at RV parks, or spending a fortune on propane for the very inefficient propane Onan generator when boondocking.

That is the way this business works:  Work hard and make a good amount of money during a show...and then have weeks off in between where you have fun, but do a lot of boondocking on a budget. 

Don't worry folks...we are building back up our savings reserve for emergencies all the while.   :D :D :D :D :D

Kev
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: ClydesdaleKevin on March 06, 2019, 09:48 AM
So the panels are here, and I ordered the connectors and adhesive needed to install them.  Since this week is student days week, I'll install them next week.

I also ordered a spare tire rim for the Jeep, since we've been traveling without a spare since we got the Jeep a couple of years ago.  We've been lucky so far, but no more relying on just luck after our winter fiasco...lol!

I'll be tinkering with more projects before we leave over the next 4 weeks as well, and I still have to pick up a torque multiplier to keep on hand with the proper sockets...just in case we ever get a flat on the RV (darn lug nuts on this Oshkosh chassis are torqued to around 500 lbs!).

Kev
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: ClydesdaleKevin on March 06, 2019, 10:13 PM
I went ahead and ordered the MC4 connectors for the solar panels, and 65 feet of 4 gauge wire (half red, half black), which is what I am going to run from the roof (I'm going to install a waterproof junction box on the roof near the fridge vent), down through the fridge vent, and then over to the charge controller.  I'll be using 10 gauge wire from each panel to the junction box.  I ordered 25 copper crimp battery terminal fittings while I was at it from the same company I ordered the wire from, for 6 bucks (it was 50 bucks for the wire, which was cheaper than anywhere around here for 4 gauge).

So by the end of the week, or the beginning of next week, I'll have all the components I need to install my solar power system.  Sweet!

Kev

Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: tmsnyder on March 07, 2019, 07:34 AM
Are you connecting the panels in series?  What's your charge controller rated at for max volts input?  Just wondering b/c #4 wire seems awful big.
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: ClydesdaleKevin on March 07, 2019, 09:31 AM
Are you connecting the panels in series?  What's your charge controller rated at for max volts input?  Just wondering b/c #4 wire seems awful big.

I am probably going to hook them up in series, since our charge controller is a Morningstar Tristar MPPT 60, which has a maximum input voltage rating of 150 volts.  With the 4 panels, each putting out around 21 volts each, I will be well within the 150 volt range.  Then again, I might go in parallel, since it is a lot easier to wire them in that way in a junction box.

I know that 4 gauge seems excessive, but not only was I able to get 65 feet of it (half black and half red) for 50 bucks delivered, it will also pretty much eliminate voltage drop, and allow me to add more panels later on down the road if we feel we need more than 400 watts.

https://2n1s7w3qw84d2ysnx3ia2bct-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/150V-TS-MPPT-Operators-Manual.pdf (https://2n1s7w3qw84d2ysnx3ia2bct-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/150V-TS-MPPT-Operators-Manual.pdf)

Kev
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: ClydesdaleKevin on March 08, 2019, 06:34 PM
Everything is here for the solar project except the wires and copper terminal ends...but they should be here on Monday.  It is supposed to rain Monday and Tuesday, so in between building catapults, I'll get the solar system installed between Wednesday and Friday.

Kev
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: ClydesdaleKevin on March 13, 2019, 08:13 PM
So it was WAY too windy today to install the solar panels, so I did some other projects instead.

First, I installed the brand new Smittybilt 9500lb winch on the Jeep Cherokee's winch bumper.  I wasn't going to buy one yet, but it was on a flash sale for 250.00 delivered! 

Then I took off the propane regulator and hose, and brought it all down to the RV dealer to match everything up to buy and install an Extend-A-Stay.  Because it moved the regulator over a good 5 inches, I had to buy a longer new hose as well.  I bought a new regulator while I was at it, some yellow propane teflon tape, and then had to buy a new hose that connects a grill type propane tank to the Extend-A-Stay fitting (I must have left the one I had in the old RV).  I reused the fittings off the old propane regulator, and then checked it all for leaks.  All good!!! 

So for the Extend-A-Stay tee setup, the new regulator, the tape, and both hoses, I walked out of the RV dealer 120.00 poorer.  Not too shabby though for all those parts at a dealer!  I don't think I could have done much better online.

Tomorrow I'll be mounting the solar panels, and then running the wires down to the compartment.  If I can get that much done tomorrow, I'll have plenty of time for everything else we want to do before we leave.

Kev
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: ClydesdaleKevin on March 14, 2019, 08:43 PM
The solar panels and mounts are installed on the roof, and the 4 gauge wire is fed down the fridge vent, and coiled up neatly on the porch!

 :D :D :D :D :D

I have to spend all day tomorrow finishing up catapults and ballista for the weekend, so I'll finish the cable routing next week, and wire in the panels and charge controller, etc.

On a side note, the Chemlink M-1 adhesive I used on the solar panel mounting feet was messy...but cleaned up off my hands with just soap and water.  I hope it is as strong as they suggest!  I did use stainless screws on the feet as well though, to play it safe.

I'll try to get around to posting pictures soon!

Kev
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: ClydesdaleKevin on March 18, 2019, 11:22 AM
Just three more weeks until we are back on the road...this time to a small Faire in Utah for the month of May.  It is our first time doing that faire, so it should be a fun adventure...especially since we are building stock for the show here in Arizona, so we won't have to build any catapults in Utah.

So I went ahead and ordered a torque multiplier kit off of Amazon for my lug nuts on the RV in case we get a flat...the lug nuts on this Oshkosh chassis are torqued to around 500lbs, so it is a necessity!  50 bucks delivered, and it comes with the necessary sockets...SWEET!  Thanks for the link, Rick!

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BGQYN9L/ref=ppx_od_dt_b_asin_title_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The rest of this week, in addition to building catapults, I'll be running the wires the rest of the way to my power compartment, and then tying them into the charge controller, etc.  I'll install the two new batteries either this week, or sometime over the next 2 weeks.

Kev
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: ClydesdaleKevin on March 18, 2019, 07:59 PM
Darn it!!!   $@!#@! $@!#@! $@!#@! $@!#@! $@!#@!

I took a corner in a parking lot too sharply, and a curb took a big gouge out of the sidewall of the front passenger tire on my Jeep, and it went flat.

Thankfully I was just down the street from the Discount Tire shop that gave me a quote for new tires a few weeks ago, and the spare tire rim was already loaded in the back of the Jeep.  Almost 1000.00 later, the Jeep XJ is sitting pretty on brand new Cooper STT Pro MT tires (33x12.5x15r), and the spare is mounted on the rim, and the wheel is up on the roof rack, strapped down and covered.

Yikes!  On the bright side though, when I go back to the Discount Tire and bring the manager's business card with me (which has the tire quote written on it...I wasn't planning on getting tires today and left the business card at home), I'll get a hundred bucks back, since they said they would honor the quote if I bring it back to them.  Apparently the tires went up in price over the last few weeks.

I was actually going to milk out the tires I have for now, and just pick up a cheap used tire on Craigslist...and then put new tires on when we get to upstate NY later this summer...but the gods must have decided that now was the time...lol!  Everything happens for a reason, so I probably would have had a blowout on the way to Utah if I didn't get tires now.

I sure do hope we have a great last two weekends, since I still have to buy at least 2 new coach batteries before we leave...we are looking forward to lots of boondocking between this show and Utah...and then a lot more boondocking between Utah and Sterling, NY.

Kev
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: Rickf1985 on March 19, 2019, 02:36 PM
Kevin, I have been thinking about your situation for quite some time as I have watched you buying all sorts of goodies like winches, tires, solar panels etc.. I added up all the stuff you have bought and flashed in front of those of us who contributed to you in your time of need and it is a LOT of money. I am sure I am going to catch a LOT of flak for posting this but you went from rags to riches in the space of three months when you could have repaired your old coach for a fifth of what you have spent. Yes, you got a really nice diesel pusher coach that ANY of us would love to be able to own, Free and clear, I am glad to see you came out ahead. But why do you keep flashing all of your spending of that donated money in front of us? I just lost most of the infrastructure in my house. I have been without heat for three weeks in very cold temps and without a refrigerator for two weeks. I mentioned it on here, a couple times basically as an experiment to see what the reaction would be. Not ONE offer of help! NONE. You were lucky, several people found you transmissions that you could have put in and been on your way but you were lucky enough that someone donated a very large sum of money. Good for you. I do not mean this to be malicious but when people are gracious to you it would pay to be humble in return.



I hope you do not take this wrong and can understand why I wrote it, I don't think it will work out that way but I have always said things that bother me as I see them. Sorry.
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: LJ-TJ on March 19, 2019, 03:34 PM
WELL! I have to admit Rick I was kinda thinking and wondering the same thing. It did kind of seem like a rags to riches scenario. Either that or we should all be getting into the Renfair Business. One minute your down and out and the next it's raining money. Go figure. I didn't go back and figure out all the spending. Kev you must have made a forturne scraping out your old rig. All the new stuff you keep buying. Must be nice D:oH!
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: 007 on March 19, 2019, 05:57 PM
Kevin, I have been thinking about your situation for quite some time as I have watched you buying all sorts of goodies like winches, tires, solar panels etc.. I added up all the stuff you have bought and flashed in front of those of us who contributed to you in your time of need and it is a LOT of money. I am sure I am going to catch a LOT of flak for posting this but you went from rags to riches in the space of three months when you could have repaired your old coach for a fifth of what you have spent. Yes, you got a really nice diesel pusher coach that ANY of us would love to be able to own, Free and clear, I am glad to see you came out ahead. But why do you keep flashing all of your spending of that donated money in front of us? I just lost most of the infrastructure in my house. I have been without heat for three weeks in very cold temps and without a refrigerator for two weeks. I mentioned it on here, a couple times basically as an experiment to see what the reaction would be. Not ONE offer of help! NONE. You were lucky, several people found you transmissions that you could have put in and been on your way but you were lucky enough that someone donated a very large sum of money. Good for you. I do not mean this to be malicious but when people are gracious to you it would pay to be humble in return.



I hope you do not take this wrong and can understand why I wrote it, I don't think it will work out that way but I have always said things that bother me as I see them. Sorry.
well said Rick
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: Froggy1936 on March 19, 2019, 08:14 PM
Rick mostly true dat ! But his good fortune was mostly due to his mom. Who donated the 5 grand toward the purchase. Also they really lucked out on finding such a deal on a replacement. And they sold a lot of very expensive possessions , How much they make selling their wares is anybody's guess . But God bless them , They have been able to continue . And different from you they specifically asked for help . where as you just hinted at it ! I never thought you were asking for help, And you also have a lot of possessions you could turn into cash ! Just saying !Frank
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: TerryH on March 19, 2019, 10:40 PM
Kevin, I have been thinking about your situation for quite some time as I have watched you buying all sorts of goodies like winches, tires, solar panels etc.. I added up all the stuff you have bought and flashed in front of those of us who contributed to you in your time of need and it is a LOT of money. I am sure I am going to catch a LOT of flak for posting this but you went from rags to riches in the space of three months when you could have repaired your old coach for a fifth of what you have spent. Yes, you got a really nice diesel pusher coach that ANY of us would love to be able to own, Free and clear, I am glad to see you came out ahead. But why do you keep flashing all of your spending of that donated money in front of us? I just lost most of the infrastructure in my house. I have been without heat for three weeks in very cold temps and without a refrigerator for two weeks. I mentioned it on here, a couple times basically as an experiment to see what the reaction would be. Not ONE offer of help! NONE. You were lucky, several people found you transmissions that you could have put in and been on your way but you were lucky enough that someone donated a very large sum of money. Good for you. I do not mean this to be malicious but when people are gracious to you it would pay to be humble in return.



I hope you do not take this wrong and can understand why I wrote it, I don't think it will work out that way but I have always said things that bother me as I see them. Sorry.

Very well said, Rick.
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: ClydesdaleKevin on March 19, 2019, 11:19 PM
Thank you Frank for being the voice of reason here.  You're a good man, Frank.

Let me explain again.

Okay...we had a huge problem this winter, when after almost 5K in vet bills we had a major breakdown.  A MAJOR breakdown.  A driveshaft that went out, and then we shelled out 500 bucks to get a new one, and THEN discovered that the transmission was shot.

So we COULD have gotten a new transmission or a used one...on our old coach with over 120K miles on a 454 engine...an engine that also may have been damaged when the driveshaft violently exploded and took out a bulletproof TH400 transmission.

But I decided to ask for help.

As Frank said...5000.00 of the money we used to buy the "new" RV was donated by my mother...who used my GoFundMe because it was the fastest way to get me the money.  5000.00 she had set aside already in a CD as my inheritance.

Another 1000.00 was donated by two friends of mine.

So that is 6000.00 out of the 7500.00 or so donated.  The rest was small donations from awesome people that knew we were in a pickle. 

We also sold the old RV for 1000.00, and the old solar panels off the old RV for 300.00.  In addition, I traded THREE of my guns toward the purchase of the "new" RV.  The asking price of the "new" RV was 9800.00.  He sold it to me for 6800.00, my Mosin Nagant, a Savage .223 bolt action with a nice scope, and my Glock 30.  I also sold my 1998 Kawasaki KLR650 and the brand new motorcycle carrier that my wife bought me for my 50th birthday...which was very hard to part with for sentimental reasons.

To date, I have spent 400.00 on new solar panels, a 100.00 net loss.  I had to get new tires for the Jeep, no choice...the two rear tires were bald and right down to the wear markers, one had a broken belt, and then I gouged one of the good ones when I hit a curb.  Did anyone forget how much we had to spend on new tires for the "new" RV before we left Florida?  It wasn't cheap!

And back to our "rags to riches" accusation.  We have been on this forum for YEARS...and everyone that knows us knows how our work schedule goes working at Renaissance Faires:  We work hard and do very well for 4-8 weeks at a time, selling our product on weekends.  And then we have weeks and sometimes months in between income generation.

When we aren't working at Renaissance Faires, we do a lot of boondocking.  Thus the reason we NEED solar power and good batteries...batteries which we haven't even bought yet, with only 2 weekends left of our Arizona show.  And a month off before we do a little show in Utah which is only 3 weekends.

I'm not bragging about upgrades.  At all.  I'm just sharing what we are doing to keep on keeping on being fulltimers in a classic RV.

Every dollar we spend fixing up the "new" RV is a dollar we didn't spend on booze, drugs, or even going out to dinner.  We haven't been to a restaurant or even fast food since last November.  We are just trying to get by, eat and stay healthy, and take care of our doggos.

We rebounded and ARE rebounding after a hand UP.  And are using the earnings from this show we are at to try to make it so we can be self sufficient in our RV with solar power, etc.

Thank you again Frank for getting it and standing up for us.  You are a good man, sir.  Give Louie some extra ear scratchings from us!

It isn't like we are eating lobster and prime rib every night, and then boasting about it.  We don't even smoke or drink.

I'm going to keep on keeping on, and posting our adventures and our necessary upgrades.  I'm going to be posting more pictures soon as well.

(By the way, this forum has a really neat "My Mail" feature.  Instead of public shaming, a private email would have been better).

Kev
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: Rickf1985 on March 20, 2019, 08:37 AM
Sorry Kevin, I kind of figured you would think this way. The tires on your jeep looked very good in the pics in your fla. to Arizona thread but I am not there. When I said excessive spending all I did was add up what you posted over the last three threads. That's it. I am sorry that you think I did nothing but in truth I spent four days on the phone calling many places that I have dealings with and having them make calls all around where you were at. I came up with several transmissions but by then you had completely written off the repair. And no, I did not ask for help. I was curious to see if anyone would offer. My answer would have been thank you but not right at this time. And at no time did I ask who the donors were, I think it is wrong to name them. All I wanted to point out is that when people donate to help you out then accept it and move on, quietly and thankfully.
I will continue to do what I do, If someone is in need I will help the only way I can by trying to find then assistance, parts or help online with repairs. This goes for you also. If you have trouble down the line I will offer my advise. I hope you will accept it but if you choose not to that is totally up to you. Before parting I would like to offer one tip, That Freightliner chassis and Cummins motor are going to be substantially more expensive to work on than the Chevy based one you were used to. Brakes, engine parts, everything is a lot more money so I suggest you put aside an account just for that purpose.
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: ClydesdaleKevin on March 20, 2019, 10:09 AM
Sorry Kevin, I kind of figured you would think this way. The tires on your jeep looked very good in the pics in your fla. to Arizona thread but I am not there. When I said excessive spending all I did was add up what you posted over the last three threads. That's it. I am sorry that you think I did nothing but in truth I spent four days on the phone calling many places that I have dealings with and having them make calls all around where you were at. I came up with several transmissions but by then you had completely written off the repair. And no, I did not ask for help. I was curious to see if anyone would offer. My answer would have been thank you but not right at this time. And at no time did I ask who the donors were, I think it is wrong to name them. All I wanted to point out is that when people donate to help you out then accept it and move on, quietly and thankfully.
I will continue to do what I do, If someone is in need I will help the only way I can by trying to find then assistance, parts or help online with repairs. This goes for you also. If you have trouble down the line I will offer my advise. I hope you will accept it but if you choose not to that is totally up to you. Before parting I would like to offer one tip, That Freightliner chassis and Cummins motor are going to be substantially more expensive to work on than the Chevy based one you were used to. Brakes, engine parts, everything is a lot more money so I suggest you put aside an account just for that purpose.

Its all good Rick.  I don't hold grudges.  And yeah, we are putting money aside as we can to keep the "new" RV well maintained, along with emergency money just in case.  A lot of what we have spent has been "just in case," but again, its all good.

Lets just drop it and move on.

Kev
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: joanfenn on March 20, 2019, 02:25 PM
I will have to say that I am sure I read about all the things that you had to sell to make your new house your home.  But small sacrifices to continue to enjoy your lifestyle.  Keep on keeping on Kevin.  I am sure that you would be one of the first to help others if you could.
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: ClydesdaleKevin on March 20, 2019, 08:34 PM
Thanks Joan!

Kev
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: ClydesdaleKevin on March 21, 2019, 09:14 PM
I got some more stuff done today! 

I had to drill one 1" hole in the floor of the outside fridge compartment, and because of the layout of this RV, I was able to bring the solar panel wires down below the fridge and water heater...and then down below that to an empty space which I was able to access by removing a sheet metal panel in the compartment below the fridge and water heater.

That empty space goes all the way through the RV, and connects the storage compartments!  This is going to be easy!  The roof solar panel 4 gauge wires are already in the compartment where the charge controller and inverter are going to live!

This project is going way too easy...especially since I was trying to figure out how to turn off the Converter today when we are boondocking (It is a Magnetek Plus 45 amp converter).  Either Winnebago or Magnetek figured out the RIGHT way to set up the AC  breakers!  The converter shares a breaker with the fridge, and those are the only things on that circuit.  If I shut that one breaker OFF, it turns the AC off to the fridge AND the converter/charger.  Which is exactly how we boondock on solar power:  Fridge on propane, converter OFF.  SWEET!  Easy peasy!

I will have to resume this project next week, as tomorrow I have to churn out 4 handheld ballistas.

Kev


Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: ClydesdaleKevin on March 22, 2019, 07:43 PM
Well crap.  I was driving today, and the Jeep started bucking and acting weird...and then smoke!  Turns out the transmission is cracked at the bellhousing, right where the starter goes into it, and it started dumping transmission fluid onto the exhaust!  I made it as far as the Walmart before it crapped out completely...still running, but no propulsion.

My friend Will came with his truck, and towed me back to camp.  When I got back to camp, I removed the bell housing shield, and started it up...no oil from the engine RMS, so that was a relief.  I also checked the transfer case by sticking my finger in the fill hole (after stopping the engine...lol) to feel the chain, and the chain seems fine and tight.  So it is definitely a dead transmission.

I found a used transmission from a 98 Cherokee, same year as mine, down the road for 150 bucks...so I get to do another project next week.  Yay!  This will be the first automatic transmission I ever installed, so wish me luck!

Kev
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: joanfenn on March 22, 2019, 08:13 PM
You"ll do fine, just remember, you are smarter than the transmission :) :angel: :)rotflmao
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: Froggy1936 on March 23, 2019, 06:08 PM
Mabey you hit that curb harder than you thought ?  :(
Title: Re: Arizona 2019!!!
Post by: ClydesdaleKevin on March 23, 2019, 08:51 PM
Mabey you hit that curb harder than you thought ?  :(

LOL Frank!  I'm guessing it has been cracked for a while, maybe since I bought it a couple of years ago...and then cracked some more recently, into a transmission fluid channel.  I'll know more when I pull out the old transmission on Monday.  I wonder if the driveshaft from the Holiday Rambler did the damage when it shot out from under the RV and was run over by the Jeep?

Anyhow, it could be worse...my Jeep has a lift already, a friend of mine has a rolling floor jack I can borrow (and he's going to help), and I found a local guy on Craigslist that has a used transmission from a 98 for 150 bucks.  This will be the first automatic transmission I've ever installed, so I'm not sure what else I should replace while it is out...maybe a new torque converter and seal?

Kev