Thursday, April 30, 2015

Downtime activities

It's been quiet here in blog-land. I haven't been writing that much, and (surprise!) people haven't been visiting that much.  I'm turning the corner from recovering from the last trip to launching the next, and what I have posted has been about my plans for that foray.

I did report that Buck's took care of the leaking seal on the differential.  I didn't report what I did about the issue of the leaky kitchen sink faucet: Access to the underside of the faucet is close to impossible. I'd have to take out a good bit of cabinet work under the sink to make space for my shoulders to get in there.  So once again, I punted: I tightened the fitting on the gooseneck faucet, and if I do that, the oozing leak seems to stop.  It's a nuisance, to say the least, but I'll see how it goes on the Wyoming trip and if all else fails I'll take it in to Merrigan's when I get back and throw money at the problem.

This next trip will be the longest I've lived in the rig continuously, and I've been thinking about comfort in daily living.  I've been using the bathtub as a storage bin for awkwardly-shaped things, and decided that if I'm going to be staying at campgrounds with water, I'd like to be able to use the shower from time to time!

So I took an inventory of the available storage in the rig, underneath and and in the main space.  I won't burden you with the details of what's where.  But I did make some decisions.

One involves the electric bike.  I repaired and replaced the damage from the attempt to steal it, and it's back in running shape again.   But the fact is that I simply haven't been using it when traveling.  So this next trip I'm leaving it behind, and I'm putting a storage "rack" on the rear hitch fitting where the bike rack has been.

The extra storage will be a place for some of the things I've been putting in the bath tub and the closet.  There's a major security issue back there: the rack myself can be locked in place pretty securely; the problem may lie in what I carry on the rack.  Given that there is no such thing as complete security, my plan is to (1) put things back there which aren't all that attractive to a thief: the armload of firewood, for example, which is currently taking up a lockable storage bin, and (2) things which wouldn't cost all that much to replace: bottles of oil, brake fluid, and coleman fuel for the little grill and the space heater.  People steal the damnedest things, but in the style of travel I currently anticipate, I won't be leaving the rig behind while I go off elsewhere much.  I think I can secure things on a rack so that when it's parked (for example) in a lot at a life dwelling site, it'll be out in plain sight and require a fair amount of effort to steal something.  We'll see.

About the bike:  I'm considering getting a small hitch put on my small car so that I can transport the thing around town, to various bike paths, for example.  And if that doesn't turn out to be something that I actually do, I'll sigh a deep sigh and put it up for sale on Craigslist.

I got a little folding table to use when I'm seated outside.

This will let me leave the bigger folding "workbench" table at home, and thus out of the bathtub when I travel.  I added to my supply of cam straps so the lightweight stepladder can travel securely lashed to the built-in ladder on the back of the rig.

I got a replacement for the 1999 OEM "city water" connector on the side of the rig.

I got a cool little LED-powered headlamp.

And probably my biggest "upgrade" was a cell phone signal booster: Not for use while I'm traveling, but when I'm camped.  We'll see about this: it requires an external antenna, and the cabling for that may cost almost as much as the unit itself.

Bob Wells swears by this unit, and Bob is Van-dwelling God, so this is an act of faith.  Of sorts.

That's it for now.

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