Sealing Tape

Have a leak in a seam, a rip or a tear in the roof or side of your trailer? I did. I had a dent in the roof of my trailer that is right on a seam. It allowed water to pool, and eventually leak. The best fix I found was 10’x6″ white  sealing patch tape (Di-seal I think).  The white tape was the closest match to the color of my trailer. What I did was apply the tape the entire length of the seam to make sure it was completely sealed. You need to Clean the area well. Make sure it is dry and free of debris. Apply the tape on a warm day it makes the adhesive stick better, and makes the tape more pliable. My trailer is aluminum with ridges, and the tape adhered well. I put the tape on two year’s ago and the leak is still sealed. You can see in the picture it goes completely across the width of the trailer.

Alternative Fuels

Alternative fuel trucks offer fewer environmental impacts, but have other out of pocket expenses and drawbacks.

fuelBiodiesel- I have a couple of friends who have switched their trucks to bio-diesel.  In order to run effectively, many of the gaskets in the engine have to be replaced.  This is very costly if you don’t know how or have the tools to do the work. and still quite expensive if you can do the work yourself. All of the fuel filters have to be changed, too.  Currently bio-diesel isn’t sold every where that diesel is and can be difficult to find. My friends were making their own, which proved difficult to perfect the formula. There wasn’t any noticeable change in their truck’s power or economy once switched over.

Hybrid trucks have a higher price tag since the technology is newer. I don’t have any experience with a hybrid truck.  Any advice for potential buyers out there? I have heard the batteries wear out and have around a 5 year life span. The cost to replace them is expensive as well.  So far I haven’t heard the range of a hybrid vehicle matching a fossil fuel vehicle, but strides are being made every day. Towing an RV increases the load on the engine significantly so the range has to be reduced even more.

Are you using an alternative fuel? Are you thinking of using an alternative fuel? What should others know before they jump in?

 

 

Cell Phones & Electronics

Dad is sitting by the campfire…checking email from work, Mom is next to him talking to friends back home, oldest son is there too, but texting 5 friends at the same time, middle son is playing Angry Birds close by, and youngest son is watching a movie. Is this what we call family time?

Digital devices are a part of our lives. They provide all kinds of conveniences. In fact, I’m not sure if my phone is a camera, or my GPS is a phone. This one device (cell phone)  provides many helpful services and entertainment. However, it can also provide a disservice that needs to be addressed…. it isolates. We can be physically present, but mentally absent. I’m not anti-technology…I like it too much sometimes. But what would happen if we set boundaries on the use of electronics, especially while on vacation? In our family we strive to have electronic black out times, so we can focus on conversation, and enjoy the adventures outdoors. How do you handle the use of electronics while on vacation?

 

Easy Camping Game

I was introduced to the game of washers last year. Since then, I have found out that there are several variations to this simple game. The version I played had three holes varying in size. Each hole was  assigned a different point value based on difficulty. The smaller the hole, the more points it’s worth.

It’s one of those games that doesn’t require tons of skill to play, but has potential to require lots of skill to master. We played for a couple hours and it provided plenty of fun and funny moments. It’s comparable to horseshoes. I found a site that shows you how to build a board of your own. It can be pretty inexpensive to build and some of the other designs make it really compact.

Anyone ever played before?  What’s your favorite configuration? Do you add any rules to make it more difficult, or easier for younger kids?


Sanitize the Water System

Update: This post was written before I started living in our RV. I now sanitize the fresh water tank about every 3 months. I’ll update the process soon.

There are a lot of great tips to be found on the web. I was reading the top 10 RV tips.  I’m one of those RVer’s who doesn’t use the fresh water tank for drinking water, in fact the majority of the time that tank is empty. So I never gave much thought to sanitizing the fresh water system. I know..Gross…Don’t tell my wife. The site recommends every 6 months sanitizing the entire system. Is this a good rule of thumb for an RV that sits over the winter with the drain valves open. Is an annual cleaning good enough or should it be more often. What do you do?

Furnace Repair?

Our gas furnace stopped working over the winter. I’m not sure if this is a simple cleaning or a major overhaul. The blower and thermostat are working but we don’t get any heat.
I’m not a furnace repair guy, but I understand the concept necessary for it to work properly. I’m pretty sure it is either a fuel delivery issue or an ignition issue. Since the stove and frig. are working on propane, it should be getting fuel too. I’m going to do a little research on the net to find out if there are any common furnace repairs. I’ll keep updating this as I learn more.

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After letting this project sit for a few weeks I got back to it today. I removed the furnace cover & looked in the peak hole and noticed no spark in the combustion chamber. I removed the control panel to get a better look (see pic below).

I removed the igniter.

I discovered that I was getting spark, but it was all around the porcelain, which is usually a strong clue that the insulating porcelain is cracked.

This is the old ingniter.

I purchased a new igniter, and tested the spark by leaving it out of the the combustion chamber. Worked great! While I was working on the furnace I figured now would be a good time to clean it up. I was surprised by the number flies and bees that were inside the combustion area.

After a good cleaning I put it back together. Guess what the furnace still won’t light.

I tested to make sure the circuit board was getting power. It is. I can hear the valve open to let gas into the chamber, but I don’t think the gas is actually making it to the combustion chamber. Now I have to figure out how to test the valve. More to come later.