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Second Chance

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  1. On Aggies... my late wife's father graduated from Texas A&M. His brother, my wife's uncle Frank, graduated from UT. In 1970, Uncle Frank bought a brand new Olds Delta 88... white. He drove it straight to a paint shop to have it painted burnt orange below the "belt line." Uncle Frank kept a 6' stuffed Bevo on the bed in his guest room in Dallas (my wife and I had to find someplace to put it when we stayed at his house). In the mid '70s, Cindy (my late wife) thought it would be funny to order an Aggie T-shirt for Uncle Frank for his birthday (out of her dad's A&M alumni magazine, of course). It was maroon with white stripes and had an Aggie logo on it. Uncle Frank did not acknowledge the birthday gift. He was a marathon runner and, some years later, admitted that he got the shirt - but would only use it for running after dark when he couldn't be identified. When he got tired of doing that, he used it to check the oil on his Olds. It took us a while to find out what had transpired, but the wait was worth it.

    So - did you year about the Aggie terrorists who were injured attempting to blow up a school bus? They burned their lips on the exhaust pipe. (I graduated from the UT system... twice. I have a few Aggie jokes.)




  2. What Linda and Kirk are saying is absolutely true. I'll just add a little anecdote. Our previous fifth wheel did not have tank heaters on it. It had a thin Coroplast (corrugated plastic) underbelly, but that had no insulation on top of it (the floor was well insulated - though that doesn't help the tanks which are below the floor). There was one small, 2" heat duct going back to the kitchen island and fresh water tank area from the furnace. Anyway, against my better judgement I let my wife talk me into spending the holidays near grandkids at the tip-top of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. The week before Christmas an arctic air mass moved in... we had single-digit lows and highs around 21 - 22F with 45 MPH winds for five days. We had a heated water hose and the water standpipe had heat tape and insulation on it, but I filled the fresh tank during the day, disconnected the heated hose, and ran off the tank and pump. I waited until the warmest (if you could call it that) part of the day to drain the gray tanks every two to three days and the black tank once a week. We went through 60lbs. of propane about every four days during this time. Through all this, neither the fresh nor waste tanks froze (the Pex water lines to the kitchen island did, though). The mass of the fluids in the tanks takes a lot longer to drop in temperature and freeze than does water in a hose or Pex line.

    This is just for perspective - hope it helps.


  3. amarie1,

    As bigjim suggested, it helps others answer your questions better if we have a little information on your rig. An easy way to do this is to go into your profile and create a signature (like mine below). Include as much information as you're comfortable with. This way, you won't have to repeat it every time you ask a question and members won't have to ask you before they answer.


  4. 1 hour ago, Wrknrvr said:

       With the wild fires in the west leaving trails of smoke covering other states as it is in western Montana. Would it be possible to run hot water in the shower for a normal shower length of time . Then turn heat on if needed. And then off. Then turn the air conditioning on to remove the moisture and smoke from inside the .rv.


       Vern in a T-shirt 

    I don't know that it would catch much of the smoke. Also, refrigerated ACs aren't overly effective if the outside temps are too cool. Wouldn't hurt to try it.


  5. My sister in Las Cruces, NM, sent me a photo last night of the sunset from their place - same thing... that much farther east. We have full-timer friends who summer in Bend, OR. This past week they couldn't even see the sun. They were finally able to leave Bend yesterday en route for their winter place near Palm Springs, CA. The wife wrote Laura last night and said that it was good to be able to breathe again.


  6. I didn't want to move my Battle Born LiFePO4s behind the basement wall in our fifth wheel (didn't want to redo the wiring and move the ATS, inverter, solar charge controller, etc.), so I left them in the front compartment (non-heated) and put BB's thermostatically controlled heating pads on them. The pads are 12VDC and take their power directly from the batteries. They come on at 35F (temp inside the battery boxes) and turn off when the temp gets back up to 45F. We'll be wintering at the top of the Chesapeake this year and the converter/charger will supply the power for charging the batteries and heating the pads.


  7. 42 minutes ago, sandsys said:

    In some ways, it is going to go on forever in that people and businesses have change enough that "normal" will never be again.


    How true, Linda. Our son-in-law is a pilot for one of the major airlines. His company has said no furloughs through the end of the year... but no-one can predict what the aviation industry is going to look like after that or for the next five years.

    On the people side, Laura was just talking about how she may never be comfortable being in crowds again or just walking up and hugging people like we used to. 


  8. I'm with 2gypsies. There are so many places in the east to see the colors without traveling so far. We have seen the fall colors in the Smokies (in fact, anywhere in the Apalachians), New England, and all up and down the coast - beautiful! We're hunkering down for the fall and winter at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland near grandkids. The fall colors around here can be beautiful, too. We spent a fall in Cincinnati near another grandkid a few years ago... that was beautiful. Shall I go on?


  9. 15 hours ago, JimK said:

    Many UHaul stores can fill propane cylinders.

    I've found that most U-Haul locations aren't certified to fill anything larger than a 30 - 40 lb. cylinder. In my experience, their prices are also significantly higher than other sources.


  10. As my late wife's mother would say, there are two sides to this and I can argue either one. Buying used certainly saves you a lot of money on depreciation - but if the unit needs too much "bringing up to snuff," that could eat into your savings from buying used. Some will say that if you buy a unit that's a couple of years old, the bugs will already have been worked out. 

    It's sometimes difficult to find exactly what you want on the used market. If that's the case, and you are willing to wait, ordering one from the manufacturer just the way you want it and with the options you want will get you into a rig that you'll be satisfied with, too. We just sold our five year old fiver this past winter and moved into a new one we ordered (optioned the way we wanted). So far, we have not had any quality issues other than with the Chinese made LED puck lights (and all rigs have them). The manufacturer sent me a box of replacements directly without having to go through a dealer for the warranty claim. We negotiated a good deal on the RV, but we still paid "new" prices and understand that the depreciation is nearly all up front. Since we are full-time and this is our home, we are happy to have it "our way."


  11. 1 hour ago, Barbaraok said:

    Most won't renew for another year without having seen you - or at least do a televisit and having labs done.    

    We just had a conversation with Laura's PCP about this when we contacted her this week (via the practice's secure messaging system) about a minor issue. We normally do our annual visits in the January/February time frame. When we told the PCP we hoped to see her then, her response was (paraphrasing), "If it works out and is safe for you to travel. If not, we can do an e-visit." All of our providers have been extremely accommodating since we hit the road - and even more so since the onset of the pandemic. Now, if we could just figure out a way to do an e-visit for a dental cleaning and check-up...


  12. 2 hours ago, Kirk W said:

    ... It is very common on the HD Truck forum to see subjects that would apply to everyone discuss there, such as appliance problems, yet many who do not have a big truck never see or participate in those discussions. 

    That's why I always use the "All Activity" function to look at the forums every day. It lists the latest posts regardless of which topical sub-forum they're in.


  13. 3 minutes ago, amarie1 said:

    Oh. Dang. I'm going on a long trip (2200 miles), mostly interstate, leaving Wednesday, and spending a month at my destination. So ... just leave the bike at home? I don't have time to get that rack before I leave.

    I've got this rack: https://www.1up-usa.com/product/quik-rack-single/

    still learning ... 

    The rack itself weighs 23 lbs. and then you'll have the weight of the bike. That's a lot for a 1.2" tube (unless the the "tube" is solid). You might get by with it, but I would be nervous. If I recall, you're in a class C? Is there any way you could secure the bike inside the RV for the trip?


  14. 5 hours ago, amarie1 said:

    I have a great bike rack, hitch-mounted, but it's for my Honda's 1.25 hitch.

    My RV has a 2" hitch. Folks have told me 'oh you just need a converter.

    Okay, What exactly should I be looking for at the Auto store or UHaul or Home Depot? 



    Because of the G-forces at the back of an RV, I wouldn't trust any rack with a 1/25" tube. There are bike racks that are certified by the manufacturer for RV use. Swagman has several... this is the one we use:

    Amazon link


  15. On 8/3/2020 at 10:04 AM, GR "Scott" Cundiff said:

    I10 is very rough a you come into Texas from LA - also construction and congestion.  Just be ready.  Some people complain about the long Atchafalaya bridge just west of Baton Rouge.  The seams in the roadway set up a rhythm that is just wrong for certain wheelbases.  Also, traffic can back up going over the MIssissippi bridge on I12 at Baton Rouge.

    I20 is pretty bad at Shreveport.  Lots of potholes.  I thought the rest of the drive was okay except for Monroe which was a repeat of potholes.

    Either way is generally fine, but you might need to slow down in the rougher sections.

    I also tried taking Hwy 84 from Natchez to Alexandria to Leesville.  I was going to stay on the state highway over into Jasper, TX.  Just as I was getting ready to make the turn at Leesville I noticed a sign warning me of low clearance on the bridge crossing into Texas.  Wouldn't have fit!  Detoured down to DeRidder to continue west.  Cost me about 30 miles.

    Some people talk about crossing LA on 190 which parallels I10 - haven't tried that one one yet.

    I'll concur with Scott. The two stretched mentioned are pretty bad. We've done the I-20 route through Shreveport as recently as this spring. "Potholes" and "rough" aren't strong enough words.


  16. 1 hour ago, jean pierrre said:

    at the outlet of the fridge

    Then I'm voting for the control board or the resistive heating element(s) on the fridge (some models have one electric element, others have two). If you have a multimeter and are comfortable doing this type of thing, you can use Google and find out how to check output to the heating element from the relay and/or check the resistance of the heating element. If you're not experienced in this type of thing, don't do  it since it's 110 AC. 


  17. When you say "check if ac," do you mean in the whole RV or at the outlet for the refrigerator? If the fridge works on propane, then you know you have 12 volts for the controls. If there is AC at the outlet at the back of the fridge, that would narrow the problem down to the refrigerator control board or the heating elements in the cooling unit.


  18. 30 minutes ago, Blues said:

    My doctor put my vaccination on my shoulder blade instead of my arm, so it wouldn't be visible.  These days, I can't think of a single place on a person's body that would be considered safe from visibility.

    Oh, I can think of a few... but I certainly wouldn't want a vaccination there!


  19. 49 minutes ago, Barbaraok said:

    YES!  Though my has really faded out over the years.  My daughter, born in '76, never had one of those.  Had all of the rest of the vaccinations EXCEPT chicken pox.   She was in the 7th grade when she caught that disease - - two days before we were set to go to a meeting where I was presenting a paper.  Our friends who were going to take care of her said "no problem, we've all had chicken pox" and she spent the week with them.   Now that's true friendship!

    The chickenpox (varicella) vaccine wasn't licensed in the US until 1995. Our kids just caught the disease from kids at church or playmates and endured a week of itching and confinement to gain immunity. 


  20. 4 hours ago, Kirk W said:

    That is because you are such a youngster. Barb & I are a bit older since the Salk vaccine was introduced to the public schools in 1955, while the Sabin oral vaccine was not made available until 1962. 

    Thanks for the compliment, Kirk. I haven't had anyone call me "youngster" in a while.


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