Saturday, March 23, 2019

Refrigerator "Water Leak"

RV refrigerator “water leak”

Our new to us rig suddenly had water running down the floor when we move out of our winter quarters in Casa Grande AZ.

We had no idea where it was coming from but at the next stop we traced it back to the refrigerator.

After mopping it up we found that the defrost tray under the cooling coils was full of cold water.

What the heck??

The refrigerator has an automatic defrost cycle to prevent buil up of ice on the cooling coil. When the ice melts it drips into the tray underneath and that has a drain in it to prevent the water overflowing into the refrigerator.

Except ours wasn't getting out of the tray.

I had to turn off the fridge and take the top shelf out before I could see the drain hole over on the left side.

I though about blowing the blockage out with canned air like you use on computers, but I didn't have any.

More thought and I came up with a roll of auto electrical wire. That fit insde the drain hole and I pushed it way down but it stopped. I didn't know if it was the blockage or something else in the drain tube.

Outside I removed the panel that covers the back of the fridge. Inside was pretty confusing.

Close examination showed a white tube going into an open black pan. 

On the bottom of the tube was a plug and some nasty gunge. 

After a little cleanup I saw there was a plug in the end of the tube. When I pulled it the water in the tube drained into te pan and the tray in the fridge emptied, Voila!!

Looking at the plug I saw it had a large hole in the top and a small hole covered by a little inverted “U” shaped plastic piece.

Inside the plug was full of a nasty spongy substance. By using a pin carefully I was able to pull out the stuff and clean everything up.

Once reinstalled everything was fine again. No more wet floors.

So what was going on here? The principle behind this is that the water drains from the catch tray down the tube and into the lower tray behind the fridge. Why? The amount of water involved will not overflow the catch tray so the water sits in that tray and slowly evaporates away avoiding water running across the floor of the rig or down the outside leaving a dirty streak. By the time the fridge defrosts itself again the tray is dry.
BUT and there is always a but. The damp tray can cause mold to grow which can plug the bottom of the tube,
So check the end of the tube once in a while.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Escapades 2019

We dug out the maps and sketched out a route for the summer thru California, Oregon and Washington the across Idaho into Montana. Now we only have one problem.

We want to get going!!

Our ambition was realized and we got going. Not far, just 80 miles or so to Tucson for the annual Escapades Rally put on by our favorite Escapees RV Club (

We met up with our great friends from the Shanty Shakers the San Diego Chapter of the Escapees. To get parked next to each other at the rally site we had to drive in as a convoy so to make things easier we all dry camped at a truck stop/bar/restaurant called the Spotted Bull eatery in Vail AZ, about 5 miles from the rally. There were 15 rigs in the convoy and when we got settled in we found all the other Shanty Shakers who were on staff, plus more who arrived on their own. We had nearly 50 people with us!

Dry caped at the Spotted Bull Eatery.
At one evening event Debbie Lupton introduced us to Clive and Jean Munro who are from UK and had just arrived 2 weeks before, bought a truck and 5th Wheel trailer and were on their way to the West Coast. Naturally we adopted them! It turns out they are staying in Casa Grande after the rally so we will be showing them around that town too!!

Busy wasn't the word, we were just rushed off our feet all week with me teaching 2 painting classes, entering 3 photo's in the photo contest, volunteering at the sign up for the contest, attending a seminar, enjoying the RV dealer's Happy Hours, the Shanty Shakers Happy Hours, meeting friends from all over the place, meeting new friends, fiddling with our new RV Satellite TV installation and the Rooftop TV antenna with Scott Pearson, getting John Lupton to install our new surge protector and in return painting him a “Shingle” to place in his window.
The line for free booze at the RV Dealer's Happy Hour.
That didn't include all the entertainment put on for the rally or the Chili Cook-Off (nice Chili Suzanne!) or shopping for supplies for the painting classes!!
13 beginners at the Art Class

And 11 Intermediate painters too
We thought we stayed busy in Casa Grande!.

The shingle painting for John and Debbie
This has been a fun and very crazy week. It will be a pleasure to get back to normal next week but then again we will be off for the summer April 1st and more adventures are around the corner.

I'm glad John was available to wire up this!!
Our past caught up with us when friends from our motorcycle days in San Diego showed up. Ralph and Crystal started full timing last May and we have been hoping to catch up with them.This was the time and they had fun along with Solo their Corgi puppy. Archie and Ellaine from the same group arrived unexpectedly too so we had lots of catching up to do.

Shanty Shakers sampling the free booze

Shanty Shakers drinking their own booze!
Bruce and Sue were working the information booth, Marty and Peggy gave a seminar on Veterans Benefits, John was on the sound crew while Debbie was setting up the rooms for seminars, Matt and Carol were coordinators. Rey and Ron were driving the shuttle carts. All in all a very active group of people and a joy to be with.

Got to go right now. More parties to attend!!

My photos for the competition
SW History 3rd Place

RV Lifestyle 3rd Place

SW Landscape

Friday, March 1, 2019

Winter 2018/19

If we don't see you or talk to you before the big day be assured that e wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas!
The New Year Girl
Oh wow, is it really that long since I posted a blog!! They say time flies when you are having fun and we have been having fun!

We hooked up with all our friends here in Sundance and got back into our winter activities. Shuffleboard, Darts, partying with the friends! Christmas and New Years were hectic what with parties, dinners, invitations to friends houses, the Elks. My liver was glad when we got it over with!
Shuffleboard Tournament

Busy Darts night
We have had a few chores to do on the new rig. A small leak in the bathroom drove me crazy for a while. I recaulked the roof penetrations a couple of times but because it doesn't rain much here it took several weeks to discover it wasn't really fixed! Eventually a product called “thru the Roof” from Home Depot seemed to have fixed the problem. But a month or so later we had torrential rain and it got back in again. I had puzzled over the difference between the Rexhall roof and the new one. It took me ages to realize the new one has no MaxAir rain covers! New ones arrived extremely quickly and another examination and application of Thru The Roof together with the new covers will hopefully do it, maybe.

New house batteries for the new season
The rig came with a built in vacuum system which didn't work when we tried it. I hauled it out from under the bed and a repair place in Phoenix replaced the control board. It probably would have been cheaper to buy a separate vacuum but the built in one doesn't take up much room.
It was a wet winter and COLD in Casa Grande
 Just to get out for the day we jumped into the Miata and after deciding that the Patagonia State Park was too far for a short winter day trip we decided to visit Maricopa which is about 20 miles from here.

On a whim we punched in “Dwarf Car Museum” into the GPS. We've heard other people talk about it and it was on a recent episode of Jay Leno's Garage.

What is a Dwarf Car? We these cars are perfect reproductions of actual vehicles but about ½ size. The gentleman who created them had no sheet metal experience before he began and his mechanical ability came from working on farm vehicles.

Can you believe this is made from old refrigerator sheet metal
Even more incredible is that these STREET LEGAL miniatures are made from metal reclaimed from old refrigerators!

And it's free to get in. Sure you can make a donation if you want but there is no requirement to do so.

If you saw a photograph of them you wouldn't know they weren't actual full size cars, it's only when you see a person beside them that you realize how small they are.
Suddenly you see how small they are!
Ed the creator of them is there just about everyday, and just comes up and chats about his work. He showed us the next one he's working on and one another guy is working on in the shop too. The way the steel is cut, shaped and welded to make the compound curves is amazing. They build them out of old refrigerator sheet metal! He calculates it takes about 3000 hours to build one of these. The engine and drive train comes from Toyota cars, with axles cut down to fit the width of the Dwarf Car.

We are getting ready for the Escapades RV Rally in Tucson in March. I'm teaching two art classes so I have to get all the supplies and handouts ready for that. I discovered Jerrys Artarama online and found they had a store in Tempe about 40 miles away. That's a very tempting place! We managed to get out without going bankrupt!!

Painting of Point Loma Lighthouse

I went to a “Quick Draw” event in Florence. You get 2 1/2 hours to produce a painting of your own choice. At the end of that they display the pieces and have a silent auction with the proceeds going to the Art Society. I painted an old favorite, Point Loma lighthouse San Diego from a photograph I took several years ago and it sold for $40! I even sold anther painting I brought along as a sample of my work. I think I'm only about $2 million down on the cost of all the supplies it's taken to get this far!!

We are in the middle of deciding whether we want to get satellite TV for the rig. We have managed this far with a regular antenna and DVD's from thrift stores. Our only TV “Need” is Formula 1 car racing. We both like to watch the races from around the world and unfortunately only ESPN2 show them. Last year we used “Direct TV Now which was iffy. Sometimes you couldn't get the race and other times we found we had the Spanish feed! It comes over the phone lines so if we streamed it to the big TV we used all our data up, otherwise it was watching it on our phones. We think that Dish TV will be about the same cost as Direct TV Now and we'll be able to watch other channels than we would get over the air.
Wiring everywhere
Getting the cable company's equipment out and the wiring in the rig restored to where it was before they did the install was a major problem, it wasn't helped by the fact that the coax from the roof antenna was apparently bad so lots of time was wasted between them finding the cause of the lost antenna signal and 3 of us searching for fuse boxes after they blew the fuse that feeds the signal booster! We found 3 fuse boxes around the rig eventually and the one tiny fuse that had blown.

I was down to do the satellite installation. We renewed our Good Sam Club membership in January and they sent us a $25 gift token for Camping World. When we got there they had refurbished Dish receivers on sale for $50! We bought a use antenna and tripod for $45 on Craigslist, a signal strength meter on E bay and 50 yards of satellite grade coax from Home Depot. First I had t find where the outside satellite connection came into the cabinet inside the rig. YouTube provided the method of isolating which of the many it was. I hooked everything up and, and, NOTHING. No signal on the meter or at the receiver. “Total Signal Loss” message on the TV screen. Various calls to a surprisingly helpful Tech Center finally had me re route the coax thru the slide direct to the receiver and a small realignment of the dish before we were getting TV again.

The "Urban Sketchers" had a mor ing drawing in the junkyard
The sedentary life has advantages and disadvantages over wandering. I don't know whether doctors visits are an advantage. It was ten years since we'd had colonoscopies. That was a disadvantage!! Barb did her's one week and mine was the next. Now we have to wait another 5 years before we “Enjoy” that experience again. Wellness checks and a bone density scan for Barbara, then we were declared fit for the next 12 months.

Larry and Marylin Forbes dropped by a couple of times and stayed at Sundance this last time. They know lots of people who are involved with Escapades the SKP Rally coming up in March. Next thing we were invited to a Happy Hour at the home of Bill and Jan who it turned out live just down the road from us! Good time were had by all. Potluck dinners for the Shuffleboard and Darts players left us with full bellies and an urgent desire to take a nap. Oh the hell of being retired!!
A wet day out in Scottsdale
Suddenly it's March first. Escapades is only 2 weeks away and we leave in 4 weeks. Where the heck did the winter go? Even the weather is getting warmer after what is the coldest winter we'e had here in the last 5 years. We dug out the maps and sketched out a route for the summer thru California, Oregon and Washington the across Idaho intoo Montana. Now we only have one problem.

We want to get going!!