Friday, July 3, 2015

Repelling the Disaster Kitty

Our first week back in the GPNW required another outlay of time to attend to our possessions.  Sometimes I feel like they own us, rather than the other way around.  Here are two hints as to what's been happening.
Bikes in the kitchen (and not in the truck).


A rental car.


Give up?  It's the wretched base plates again.  As you all no doubt recall, in April the base plates were ripped from the frame rails of the truck.  To refresh your memory, you may go here.  It was taken to a collision center in Tucson, where they torched off the front section of the frame rails and replaced them.  They then installed new base plates.  We spent some time with the collision repair folks discussing possible explanations for this failure.  They believed that the original installers had failed to use red Locktite, which allowed the bolts to become loose.
When we arrived in Issaquah on Saturday, the driver's side base plate was once again loose.  We took it back to Progressive who delivered it to yet another collision repair shop.  After they had it for a short while, we were contacted by a Progressive middle-person who told us the bolts had been re-tightened and all was well.  No, all is not well.  With the application of red Locktite and the additional stop nuts that were applied in Tucson, there is no way on earth those bolts could be loose in this amount of time. Further, the shop had done zero root cause analysis as to why this was happening.
We inserted ourselves into the process, talked to the shop, explained how a loose bolt was a NEVER event, and that it would be the first in a series of cascading failures that would result in the base plate being pulled out of the frame rail again.  We also inquired as to whether they had been supplied with the proper torque settings from the installation guide.  Why no, no they had not.  They're a collision center, they are not familiar with towing equipment.

The Seattle collision center reported that the collision center in Tucson did not use the red Locktite. 

So, our takeaway from this is that one must exercise constant vigilance when one is having an RV specific item repaired at a non-RV shop.  I would have preferred to have it taken to a place that actually installs Blue Ox, but in order to benefit from Progressive's guarantee on repairs, you have to stay within their repair network.
Jim has visually inspected the bolts and verified that there is indeed, red Locktite on the bolts.  If this happens again, I think we're going to switch out to a Roadmaster towing system.

We went into Bellevue yesterday to see our favorite dermatologist.  I got zapped once on the forehead with liquid nitrogen.  Jim looks like someone went after him with a cheese grater.  Their building is not air conditioned, and the doctor was spraying himself (at a distance) with liquid nitrogen for cooling.
The building in Bellevue continues.  High density housing is being added everywhere.  New roads are not.



We are spending this very hot afternoon waiting for a mobile RV tech to arrive and measure us for a new window shade for the hot side of the bus.  When we got here the little loop that you use to pull it down and attach it to the side of the RV snapped off.  It's old, we probably should have replaced the shade when we did the slide toppers.
Other than dinner with friends and family, early morning walking and marveling at the traffic volumes, I have nothing more to report.

Update to post:  Yesterday they replaced our grade 5 nuts and bolts with grade 8s.  We just looked at the removed grade 5s, and there appears to be red stuff on the threads.  At this point, we can't construct a coherent theory for what is happening under there.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Harrisburg OR to Issaquah WA

Saturday we made the drive from Harrisburg OR to Issaquah WA.  It was a terrible drive.  Somewhere south of Olympia there had been a car accident.  The backup was 4 miles long, with frequent stoppage.  Here is Jim, not driving.


Here is the traffic.  When we reached the point where the GPS on the phone showed the freeway going from red to green, there was nothing!  It was all memory of the accident that hadn't cleared out.  Southbound had it even worse.  They had the memory of a gapers block that pretty much merged into Tacoma traffic.


On the left is the Dome of Tacoma.


Now we are in Issaquah until September.  This is a freeway overpass in Issaquah.  See the hole in it?  A big truck with some sort of a pole ran into it. 


The park is looking festive with potted plants on various surfaces.


Yesterday we washed most of the RV, put on tire covers, stuff like that.  It's hot!  It's humid!  Any riding or walking will be done early in the morning.
We're here for the duration of summer.  Posting may be light, because we've hiked it, biked it, walked it and blogged it in the past.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Premier RV Resort - Coburg, OR

Our last two nights in the Coburg area were spent at the Premier RV Resort.  This is our view out of our front door.  It's very serene. After departing River Life on Thursday, we both felt as if a great weight had been lifted from our spirits.  That park was draining our life force from us.
Anyway, Premier is a nice park. It is hard up against the freeway, so there is some road noise.  However, there are no pesky trains blowing their horns at 2:30 in the morning.


We are facing the pond.  One drives in, and then backs out of the site. These are the sites behind us, which do not look at the water.  I would note, that some of the sites have fences between them.  These don't work for us because the bay doors on our big front side open up and out.  If you have that bay door configuration, make sure you ask for a site that does not have a fence.


We're on the left, neighbor on the right.


Sites are fairly level, we should have leveled a little, but were too lazy.  We have between 2 and 3 bars of 4G LTE.  Park wifi was unusable.  Water pressure is on the low side, but it's tolerable.  Sites have small picnic tables.  Laundry facilities are spotless, as are the restrooms.  Staff is very friendly.  They led us to our site, so they could ensure that we didn't run over the sewer, as it is close to the edge of the pavement.  It's a good sewer, it's flush to the ground.  Interior roads are paved, as are the RV pads.
There is a very nice common area with furniture and televisions.  There are game tables as well.  We spent some time there this morning while the RV was at Cummins having its fluids replaced.



This is a nice park, and we would come back here.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Lessons From the Maintenance Visit

We spent two days at Elite Repair with our laundry list of things to be fixed.  While we were there, Marty looked at the underside of the driver's side bedroom slide.  See that white groove?  That is a bad thing.


There are two rollers in there, over which the slide moves in and out.  The bottom of the slide box bows over time. When the slide box goes out of square, the rollers can gouge the underside.


Marty cut pieces of aluminum and screwed them into the underside.


So, keep an eye on the undersides of your slides if you have rollers.  Eventually the gouging will go all of the way through, and the slide will not move anymore.

We also learned that when you bring in your slides, you should have a window or the door open.  Slides displace a lot of air.  If your seals are good, air can be forced up through the roof of the RV and through the caulking, especially if the caulk is hot and pliable.  This is badness.

We did get a walk in while in Eugene.  Here we have a wild sweet pea.


This is one of the wet lands along the river walk.  If you look closely you can see two Great Herons flying away from the camera.


Tomorrow we are up and out for an 8 am appointment at Cummins to change the oil and transmission fluid.