Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Big Floppy Hat Club

It's official, I've applied, paid my dues and joined the "Big Floppy Hat Club" After being out here a few days I quickly realized that since I take the bulk of the day shift, I was getting fried by the sun. Since I'm not one that likes to go from the heat to the a/c repeatedly, I spend most of the time out of doors and if I'm lucky, under the awning. See now, I said "under the awning" and the wind immediately picked up to the point that I may have to store it way for a bit.
I had to lower the antennas yesterday when the wind came up, adding the small TV antenna to the upper mast really increased the sway in the wind and everything is performing about the same at the lower height.
Internet access has been a little spotty. I thought I was getting a little rfi off of the light plant but I'm not so sure at the moment. Its 5am, the lights are on and I have access
Toie ran into Jourdanton yesterday to stock us up a little on fresh fruits and to do a little laundry. Everything is very expensive in Tilden and since the larger city is reasonably close at about 30 miles away and prices are a little better it just makes sense. Besides, she can get her Whataburger fix that way(the whole time we were in Iowa she wished they would open one close to us).

I'll post more later, its getting busy.

Have a great day

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Muy Caliente!

According to the evening news we hit 100 here in the Tilden area today. It was warm to say the least. I was lucky to see rabbits running across the road and early this morning I was treated to a serenade by the local coyote population. The "lake" out front is finally drying up and its less than a third the size it was when we got here. All in all a wonderful day.

We also had a few hiccups. Our generator shut itself down just as it was getting dark, luckily I had fired up the light plant so I didn't have to work in the dark to get the genset running again. I had Toie call our support guy and let him know what was going on as I was trying to figure out why it shut down. The positive battery terminal melted in half, there is even a little drop of lead on top of the battery. The positive cable was extremely hot, almost to hot to touch. The generator had shut itself off I thought because the battery had become disconnected. Boy was I wrong, when I touched the cable to the battery I got a nice arc out of it, which would have been great if I wanted to weld, but shouldn't have happened with the genset off (I had turned the switch to off). I grabbed a light and went to take a better look at things and discovered that the insulation on the cable had been worn through by the vibration of the generator while it ran. I got the positive cable removed/disconnected from where it had shorted. This looks to be a potential common problem with these generators seeing how they place the battery box and run the cables. I think my daughter had gotten into my toolbox before we left and acquired my electrical tape, so I had to improvise a bit. I took a piece of blue pex (crosslinked poly ethylene 1/2 inch water hose)a few inches long and sleeved the damaged part of the cable, using duck tape to secure it in place and then using a pair of vise-grips to hold the cable to the battery post. It worked and the besides a little belt squeal when first started, everything seemed to be running good.

We also discovered that our light tower seems to interfere with our internet. The lights must be giving off a little RFI.

Oh well,  you can't sweat the small stuff.  I only have  a few hours before Toie gets up and I want everything to be as trouble free as possible. 

Almost forgot.  The catering guys here are awesome. Last night it was barbecue pork chops, I wonder whats in store for us tonight?

(Btw.  It was chicken and sausage with green beans and mashed taters).

Friday, July 20, 2012

First Gate.

We got our first gate today and its been tremendous. Everyone has been very nice and we seem to have a real nice setup. Not to say it hasn't been eventful, we were in the H.E.B. getting a few groceries when we got the call. So we went to check out and the register malfunctioned, once we got out of there and headed back to the Whitsett yard, we had to play a little traffic checkers with 3 welding trucks. Once we got back to the yard and got everything situated we headed over to our gate which is near a little town named Tilden. Toie checked vehicles while I got everything setup with the RV. After I got things about the way I wanted them, I relieved Toie so that she could rest and take the evening shift which is a bit cooler. 

I'm not gonna lie, it was hot today and it will be hot tomorrow and for the foreseeable future it will be hot.  Larry(our support guy) asked me to check the oil on our company generator once a day for him so I will be doing that early in the am while it is still cool.  When we got here we discovered that some of the people here before left a beat up chair and a green indoor outdoor carpet thingy so I am putting them to use. Toie thinks I'm a little goofy for trying to resurrect that chair

We are on a 24 hour gate, that means that there is activity ALL the time.  Since we arrived we have checked in and out quite a few vehicles and as of this moment its pretty quiet. As soon as I wrote that last sentence, the clipboard fell off the table, scattering 55 pages of logs all over the ground, my phone fell out of my pocket and onto the ground, immediately falling apart, then I had a few vehicles go through and I went over and started our light tower, which has a sound all its own. So basically at this moment I am running two generators, one for lights and one for the coach. The sound of them both could put you to sleep. I would have to say that we are on a really good gate so far from what I've experienced. I'll let you know how I really feel in a few days. LOL.

It's a beautiful morning

Good Morning!!!

We woke up this morning and couldn't see our windows, the dew point must be high. I had to remove the "where am I" widget for a few reasons. The first being that when I checked this morning, it had us back in Iowa and second, now that we are done "traveling", we don't need to constantly update where we are.  Anyone that needs to know already knows exactly where we are.

The couple that pulled in after us yesterday must have just been dropping off their rig.  They were here when we ran across the highway for a minute and when we got back they were gone.  Today we run to Pleasonton and we are going to restock while we are there.  Maybe we will get lucky and be able to run to Corpus Christi this weekend so Toie can dip her toes in the Gulf of Mexico.

Well I better be getting moving before she kicks my butt!

Have a GREAT day!!!!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

We've arrived

We made it into Whitsett today just after noon.  When we arrived we were the only ones in the yard so we had our choice of spots.  As of this writing we have been joined by another couple that just pulled in.  The weather here is fantastic, there is a cool breeze  blowing, the birds are singing, I somehow managed to get prickly pear thorns in my finger already and I swear Toie is doing gymnastics inside the RV.

There is a bit of paperwork to be filled out and we have to run to Pleasonton to be fingerprinted tomorrow. 

Well I better get to that paperwork.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Texas!!!! but where?

We left Joplin this morning in pretty good spirits.  As the morning shaped up we traveled on 69 south through Oklahoma and got a real treat with some of the views.  As we got closer to our "scheduled" stop we decided to press on a little further. Lo and behold a few minutes later we crossed into Texas.  Toie got a great pic of the welcome to Texas sign on 69/75 South.  I'll let her post that on her own.  The RV ran great today with no issues,  I plan on making a more complete posting of our trip once we are stopped for more than just an overnite.

Have a GREAT DAY!!  (And try to stay cool)

(btw. Just North of Waco)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Day #2of our grand adventure

I must confess I was a bit nervous to start this new kind of adventure. Don't really hear of too many people leading this kind of lifestyle. So in my experience thus far it's been interesting to say the least.  We arrived in Joplin Missouri today around noonish.  When Bryan informed me we may need new break pads for the RV which that got the ole blood a pumpin!!!!  I was worried for a little while until Bryan got ahold of a really nice fella that's coming to our campsite to put new pads on her. He just phoned us and told Bryan he would be here in about 15 min!!!!! What a nice fella!!!!  His name is Jeff and he isn't even charging us that much for doing it!  Makes me feel good knowing that there are still people out there that will help someone when needed.  We plan on getting to the southern tip of Oklahoma tomarrow for Bryan only wants to take the ole maiden about 250 miles per day.  Which I have NO problem with.  So in closing I hope my first entry into this blog (or any blog for that matter) hasn't bored you to the extent you want to bang your head against anything.  Lots of love!!!!!

On the way.

Woke up this morning from a mostly restful nights sleep, took Moe for a short walk while Toie got herself put together. The KOA we were at is really nice and we were in the "back" of the grounds so it was really quiet. 

Last night we ran up the road a ways to see Lacey and Todd in Pacific and had a wonderful visit.  Toie even took the opportunity to give Moe a much needed bath.  He was so dirty its nice to see him white again
Today the goal was Joplin and Toie was itching to get started.

Just pulled into Joplin at the time of this posting. The first two pics are of Stanton and the last two are Joplin.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Pulling Out

We received our drivers licenses today and guess what?  We are finally leaving on Monday.  Everything over the last few months has led up to this moment, and I have to admit I have a slight case of the jitters.  Yesterday I finished securing the generator to rear deck and tomorrow I will pull the Wilson Cell Booster antenna down and stow it on the roof and then put the kayaks up there on Monday right before we leave.  I don't expect to be on the road before 10am with all the last minute preparations and re-fueling the RV.  Our goal is to make it to Sullivan Missouri the first day and Miami Oklahoma the second.  I really only want to drive about 250 miles a day and I figure 5 hours a day is enough, we really don't want to be in a hurry. 

I really can't believe that the day of our departure is finally here.  We can't wait to get south and start our new life adventure.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Ticks, Poison Ivy and things that make you itch

The ticks this year in Iowa have been absolutely ridiculous.  I think that Toie and I have killed over 40 so far, eleven in just one evening.  Its a creepy feeling when they crawl on you, or you have to remove them from your hair.  We have Moe on Comfortis and it seems to take care of any that get on him, we have only found one or two on him that were still alive.  The poison ivy seems to be prolific this year as well. As of this writing both of my legs are covered in a rash and its spread to my hands.  The funny thing about the poison ivy is that I know I exposed myself while removing the foliage from around the sand rail and beetle that I traded for the generator that now sits on the rear bumper of the RV.  The dogs have been my other source of exposure, they walk through it and then brush against a person.  Toie is lucky, poison ivy doesn't seem to affect her the same way it does me.

There is a post on a blog  I read regularly that touches on the subject of internet privacy. I have always said that once you put it out there, you can't get it back.  I can remember the days before the internet and Facebook, when you wanted to talk to someone you actually had to speak, or write a letter.  With the integration of social media, like Facebook, into society, everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE, needs to be conscious of what they put out there. That even includes smart phones and tablets. The tablet I use is so interconnected that I have to be super diligent what I keep on it. 

I have been playing around with the layout settings on the blog, please leave me feedback on the changes I've made or changes you would like to see made.
We had to renew our drivers licenses recently and are just waiting on them to come and we are out of here and on our way. 

Have a GREAT day!!!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Generators and stuff

There is just something about an older onan generator that gets the blood a pumping. I don't know if its the green color or the sound of a 2 cylinder horizontally opposed motor that does it, but there is just something about it.  After having a few days to play around with the 4.0BF-3CR and kind of getting to know it, I am very satisfied with it. The bottom plate is missing and I have to find the rubber mounts for it but all the important stuff is there. 

A buddy and I tried to get it to start yesterday without any luck.  Luckily I found a resource on the inter webs for manuals and a message forum full of knowledgeable members.  I have got the manuals and troubleshooting guides at my fingertips and its only a matter of time before I get her running again. 

There are a few things that really drew me to this particular generator. First being that it does not require an external starter, the generator is the starter. Second is the simplicity of design, the ignition system is simple to diagnose and fix. Third, its rated for continuous duty, once I get it running properly, I can run it for days without worry. Most "backup" generators built today are rated for occasional use.

This is going to give me something to mess with once we are in Texas to pass the time and I can't wait to get it fixed up the way I want.  I will be posting pictures of the progress.

Have a Great Day!