Saturday, September 13, 2014

Harrisburg to Bend,OR

Yesterday's key learning was this:  Get diesel in Halsey before heading out to Bend.  There is a surprising lack of truck stops on I5 up to Salem, where we turn off for highway 22.  Once on 22, there is the Santiam Quik Mart which is RV accessible, but only if the left hand pump island is available.  There's no where to pull off and wait.  We lucked out, got in the station and filled up.  We would have made it to Bend without a stop, but I feel better about things when the tank is full.  There's no fuel out there!  Too many trees.
We also saw this on I5 southbound.  I missed the cause of it shooting through the windshield, unfortunately.  Some sort of large farming equipment had fallen off its flatbed.  Only one lane was getting through.

This went on for about seven miles.

This was taken after cresting the Santiam Pass.  This is where the B&B fires burned.  It's still pretty stark.  We saw some baby trees, but not as many as we thought we would.  But hey, what do we know about forestry?  We're from the city.

We are now at Crown Villa RV park.  While it is a lovely park, providing lovely vistas of grass and the wretched trees, I find their pricing paradigm obnoxious.  The Silver row, the least expensive sites near the road, are only available for a week minimum.  One must upgrade to the Gold or Platinum spaces to stay for less than a week.  We had wanted to stay in Sisters, but they were totally full Friday night.

Did I mention the wretched trees?  This is the first time since we got the roof top satellite antenna that we have not been able to get a signal.  OF COURSE this was the night before the final mountainous stage of the Vuelta a Espana which we really wanted to see.   Fortunately, the park internet does not suck.  We were able to log on to Universal Sports and watch it live this morning.  It meant waking up early, but it was kind of fun laying in bed with the electric blanket on with two laptops monitoring the race.  Unless something terrible happens tomorrow in the TT tomorrow, Roberto Contador should win.  Not bad for a guy that broke his leg in the Tour de France.
Well, it's warming up some.  It's time to dig the mountain bikes out of the back of the truck.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The End of RV Repair and Maintenance

Yesterday we went up to Corvalis to walk around.  The day was almost identical to the one we had in May.  I will link to that post here, rather than repeat it.  I will say that we still really like the restaurant, Baugette.
Today has been a day.  When we got up the wind was blowing so hard that the slide topper on the driver's side bedroom slide was looking like a sail.  We could not bring the slide in because the fabric could not roll up and we didn't want it folded up against the bus.  Since we've spent so much time at Elite RV Repair we now know you can drive an RV slowly with slides out.  So, we had to pull out and get the slide out of the wind so we could bring it in.  The spring was being overpowered by the howling wind.
Tuesday was fiberglass repair on the nose.  Wednesday was paint and clear coat on the nose.  Today was the rest of the list.  Here are Eric and Mark pouring 5 gallons of vinegar into the bucket.

For HOURS, the vinegar was pumped through the copper coil in the Hydro Hot.  I can not tell you how bad concentrating hot vinegar smells.  The RV was inside their building, and we were all just dying from the fumes.   A fair amount of scale came out of the coil.  Erik has suggested that we improve our external water filtration system.

See the white blob in the middle of the photo?  The white part of the tube used to go into that black cup in the background.  That's where the refrigerator condensate used to go.  

Now the condensate is run into the air conditioning drain tube, and will go over board to the ground.  This is better.   The doors on the refrigerator have been adjusted, but we don't yet know if they're sealing properly.  If they're not, then we may be done with this refrigerator.  We had a lot of time to look at the Samsung French door residential refrigerators they've been installing lately.  Nice, very nice.

Here is Erik blowing out the lines into the Hydro Hot after it was all done.

Another thing done today was to discover the cause of the steering wheel shake.  There were four loose bolts in the steering column.  Elite is the third place we've been with this problem.  He's the first person to drive the bus AND wiggle the steering wheel.  This is what we like about this shop, they don't stop and fix a symptom, they go for root cause of the problem.  We also have a new vacuum pump for the dash air conditioner. 
Tomorrow we are heading out.  For the first time since we've been RVing, we don't have a plan.  Our first RV park reservation is not until October 11.  This is a new thing for us, may the force be with us.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

RV Maintenance and Repair

We're in Harrisburg, OR to see Elite RV.  The Oregon Ducks are big in this part of the world.  The amount of logo clothing people wear is amazing.  But then there is this.  Someone took a vintage Airstream and painted it YELLOW.   It's being towed by an old school bus.

This area is so pretty.  Spending time in Issaquah was good, but it makes us jangly. There is so much traffic and so many people in the area that after awhile we were just getting a little nuts.  I said to Jim today that when we're driving through the fields I can feel my blood pressure dropping.

We're going to be here for a few days.  This morning we mentioned to Erik that the refrigerator condensation collection cup over flowed and water ran across the tile floor in the kitchen.  This would be the floor that was re-grouted while we were in Europe.  Water running across said floor can raise the tile.  We thought it was due to the high humidity in Seattle causing the water to not evaporate as it is supposed to.  Nope.  The frig doors are not closing properly.  Warm air is getting in, the refrigerator is working like a dog to stay cold and there is way too much condensation forming.  Erik is hopeful that he can figure out what's wrong with the doors and fix it.  If not, we may be getting a residential refrigerator.   Aaaarrgh!
The other thing we're doing is Hydro Hot maintenance.  We've been finding a sand like substance in the faucet aerators.  It's scale.  There is a copper coil that takes cold water through the boiler antifreeze to heat it; the water in Tucson has given us scale in the coil.  Five gallons of vinegar will sit in the coil for 12 hours - sort of like cleaning your Mr. Coffee. So, if you have a Hydro Hot, please make a note of this.
Other than RV maintenance and repair, I have zippity doo-dah all to report.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Ribfest 2014 and Leaving Seattle

Greetings Earthlings!  Saturday was the annual Ribfest.  Every year Dave and Vicki cook ribs for the masses.  This year there were 60 some odd people.  It's a great party.  Much food and nice people.  These are the neighbor's dahlias.  Their entire front yard is given over to dahlias, and they're now very impressive.

I love the chicken.  Vicki sets a great looking table.

People on the deck.

Vicki (left) and Kim making margaritas for the masses.

Glenn and Jim.  Jim is married to Kim (above).  They just got back from a summer spent in their RV in Alaska.  They had a great time.  Interestingly enough the RV windshield took a fair amount of damage, but none of it occurred in Alaska.  Go figure!

It was a great evening - we had a good time.

Today - we departed the GPNW.  There is a blogger I read sometimes who is looking for a new tow vehicle for his cargo van conversion.  I think I have found what he needs.  It's a Sportchassis.  They're built on a Freightliner chassis, and are very luxurious inside.  Check out their website - these are way better than a Hummer.  I talked to the guy who was driving it, he borrowed it from a friend who uses it to tow a 40 foot boat.

It's hot and dry in Harrisburg.  The farmers were out in the fields raising dust.  Look to the right of the light pole, that's a dust devil.  It was very well formed and lasted quite awhile.

Are you watching the weather in the south west?  It's just crazy how much water they're getting.  When I was there in the 1980s, there was a huge flooding event.  I found pictures on the web.  This is one of the 1983 flood pictures.

We're back at Elite RV for maintenance; it's a Class A, it's always something.  After that, we're heading east and south.