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Lighter Traveling in our
Alumascape Travel Trailer, page 2

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The Great Blue Heron Edition is "For Sale"Thursday, April 23, 2015: While visiting the grandkids in Reno, I discovered a Class C motor home which would downsize us even more than the Alumascape and we both loved the idea. The decision was difficult, after all we were very comfortable for the last six months in the Alumascape and I've made the Dodge tow vehicle the perfect tow vehicle. It means changing our traveling live style again but we felt it would be a change for the better. So, our Great Blue Heron Edition is for sale as well as "Big Blue" the tow vehicle. I've listed in the two locations I search first: Craigslist, and RVTrader. When you check my RVTrader ad, you'll see 26SKS as the model when it is really a 27SKS but RVTrader did not have a 27SKS choice for a 2004 Alumascape. I've contacted the publisher about the problem and they have promised to fix it within 24 hours. We hope for a quick sale because we need the money to pay for Miss Blossom! We have truly enjoyed the Great Blue Heron Edition and have put a lot of work into making it perfect for us but now off to a new chapter.

Water pressure regulator installed, Behind: water source.



Sunday, January 18, 2015: After our problem with the leaking pipe I decided to get out the water pressure regulator I purchased several years ago. When you click the photo you'll see the source of the water supply and also see the pressure regulator at the faucet. Apparently these are very old and don't work any longer. The dial on my pressure regulator shows a pressure of 80+ before I made an adjustment down to 50, 40 when the water is running, on my regulator. I believe I will leave the pressure regulator attached. This is my first time to use it but now, after the water leak, I'm thinking the pressure regulator should always be attached to the hose.

Failure of a receptical


Thursday: January 15, 2015: Last night the ground fault interrupt(GFI) in the bathroom activated for no apparent reason. I walked into the bathroom and immediately smelled the odor of melted plastic so I began looking at the circuit breakers but soon discovered the odor was coming from the lavatory cabinet. There was only ONE receptacle attached to the cabinet. I soon learned this was the GFI which had activated and this was where the odor was coming from. I saved more investigation until this morning when I found why the receptacle had an odor. For some reason, one of the terminals overheated. There was no reason that I could find for this to happen. I can only hope it was a loose wire or faulty receptacle So I've replaced the receptacle Click the photo for a view of the new GFI.

I often joke that RV stands for "repair vehicle". After owning four RVs I'd have to say, if you aren't a "handy-person", you better have a big budget for repairs to your RV. Something is always going wrong. I've only owned non-motorized RVs but I would bet, an RV with a motor (motor home) must multiply the number of repairs by five. Just saying ....

The anti sway bar mount is reattachedThursday, January 8, 2015: Today I replaced the ball which supports the "Sway Control" bar for my travel trailer (bolted to the frame). I broke it off weeks ago when I disconnected from the trailer then let the trailer down without adjusting or removing the Sway Control Bar. That put all the trailer weight onto this bar as I let down the tongue jack. The bolts broke from the frame. I simple redrilled the holes, replaced the stripped bolts and it's ready to go again. I'll tell you, the "Sway Control Bar" is a JOKE anyway. Draw Tite and other manufacturers of this type of hitch want you to think it works but it's a JOKE, especially for a trailer of this weight. Click the photo for a close view of the ball connected to the frame. So this is a good time to begin a related topic:

Why the purchase of the Alumascape was a MISTAKE!

I purchased the "27 foot" Alumascape with the assumption that it would be easier to pull than my 36 foot fifth wheel because it is 7,000 lbs lighter than the fifth wheel. I assumed better gas mileage because of less wind resistance and the lighter weight. I assumed easier and more relaxed driving because it's lighter weight and shorter. All those assumptions were wrong. Before I get into WHY they are wrong, I'll say that the quality of the Alumascape is superb. The quality is equal to or better than the quality of our fifth wheel so that hasn't been a disappointment. So where have my assumptions failed? This trailer is NOT easier to pull than my fifth wheel which is 7,000 lbs heavier. Yes, it is lighter, so my truck has an easier time towing the weight uphill but because it is a "bumper pull", it is far more difficult to steer. Because the hitch is located behind the rear bumper, EVERY little side wind (from a cross wind, passing car, passing semi-truck) tries to push the truck (our tow vehicle) in one direction or another and I must react immediately (or anticipate) to overcome the side force. This doesn't happen with the fifth wheel because it hitches slightly forward of the rear axle. There is a "fancy" Hensley hitch manufactured to "move the hitch point forward", but it's $3,000 and I have no idea if it really works. The "sway control" does LITTLE to eliminate these side forces. Additionally, because of the hitch point on my 36 foot fifth wheel, I have MORE maneuverability in backing or turning around. I can turn my fifth wheel around on a two lane road. I can't do that with a bumper pull. The trailer measures 27.5 feet from tip to tip and ALL 27.5 feet trails behind the rear bumper of the truck. The living space of the trailer, then, is 25.5 feet since we lose at least 2 feet to the hitch up front. A 27.5 foot fifth wheel would have 27.5 feet of living space and only 22.5 feet is trailing behind the truck since 5 feet is over the bed of the pickup. Better fuel mileage? WRONG assumption, if we get any better mileage, it's not more than 1 mile to the gallon. To sum up, the bumper pull trailer is MORE difficult to tow for many reasons that the fifth wheel. The bumper pull does not save fuel. The total tow-vehicle-trailer length is longer than the tow-vehicle-fifth-wheel length. The fifth wheel has more storage space and living space is from tip to tip where the bumper pull loses at least the first two feet. A better choice would have been a 25.5 foot fifth wheel (the same amount of living space as in the 27.5 foot Alumascape). Would we have been able to get a fifth wheel for the same price we paid for the Alumascape? Maybe, all we needed to find was a seller as motivated as the Alumascape owner. Now, having said ALL that, I know your are thinking ... why not SELL the Alumascape and buy a fifth wheel. We MAY do that but that means the transfer of the solar system AGAIN and I haven't been able to get my head around that yet! I DO expect to get MORE for the Alumascape than we paid for it since we've spent a lot of time and effort improving it.

Having said all that, when we towed a 21 foot Aerolite behind our Dodge Durango, the negatives about tow handling were not as noticable. Perhaps that's because it weighed only 2,800 lbs fully loaded. If you don't own a pickup, you have no choice.

A slow water leak must be repaired, a plastic "T" must be replaced

Tuesday, January 6, 2015: Gwen discovered wet carpet. Fortunately I brought our little shop vacuum to clean the car. It also will vacuum water from a carpet. Next, where is the water coming from. I know about the spaghetti mess of pipes and wires below one of the drawers in the bathroom. I remove the door and see a wet floor but struggle to find where the water is coming from. I removed the electrical panel to get a better view, dried everything, turned the water back on, then found a slow lead in the "T" at the top of the spaghetti mess. It could have been in a much worse location. So now I need to replace the "T". I'm preparing to go the the RV store, 15 miles away when I remember the RV repairman in our park. Perhaps he has the parts I need which would save me the trip to the RV store. I met Marv working on a solar installation. He had the parts I needed but they weren't the thread-on style that I could install, they required special compression tools. I decided to let him install the "T". Click the photo to see a close up of the "T" needing replacement. Notice the sediment on the left side of the "T". I suspect it has been leaking for a while. Now, click here to see the replacement "T" installation completed by Marv. Marv charged me $48 for the 15 minutes it took to change the "T". I'd guess that's $100 per hour after subtracting the cost of the parts. Note the brass fitting and compression fittings. This is better than the original factory installation and much better than what I could have done with the threaded fittings.

The door mechnism has failed
Door mechanism is removed New mechanism is installed
Tuesday, December 30, 2014: The door mechanism has failed, we must use a screwdriver to get out of the trailer. After paying a premium price for a sewer hose support locally, I decided the local store will not rob me again, we ordered a replacement door mechanism from Amazon Prime and got the part in two days. The previous handle was white, this one is black and looks better.

Cleaning the Alumascape carpet

Sunday, September 28, 2014: We are about to leave Oregon for as much as six months so that calls for cleaning the carpet in the Great Blue Heron Edition before we go. We purchased this little "Green Machine" about two years ago and it does an "OK" job of cleaning the carpet. It's really designed to clean up spot problems but the whole trailer carpet is about the size of a "spot" in a normal house. It's hard to imagine trying to clean the trailer carpet with a normal size cleaner. Note the brush marks in the carpet behind the Bissell cleaner. Those will vacuum out and the carpet will smell nice and clean when finished.

Circuit breakers in the AlumascapeTuesday, September 16, 2014: I solved a problem today that has been plaguing me since the installation of solar on the Alumascape. The short version of the story ... we can now plug in the entertainment center directly into the outlet behind the center while on solar power.

The long version of the story: Every RV comes with a "converter". The job of a converter is to convert AC shore power (when plugged into electricity at an RV park) to DC power to run everything which is DC in the RV (lights, some electronics). It also charges the batteries. The converter in the Alumascape (as compared to the one in our fifth wheel) is very poor when it comes to charging the batteries. It's essentially a trickle charger so next to useless when you need a "quick charge". When installing solar I also installed an "inverter" which converts DC power to AC power so AC appliances can be used when parked in the wilderness. This AC power connects to the AC system of the trailer which means it also connects to the converter. Now we have a loop. The solar panels are charging the batteries. The battery power passes through the inverter into the AC system. The AC system using the converter is also trying to charge the batteries. So the batteries are discharging to the converter and the converter is trying to charge the batteries ... we have a loop. In the fifth wheel the converter it totally separate and plugged into an outlet. To keep the loop from happening in the fifth wheel, I just unplug the converter when on solar power. Unfortunately the converter in the Alumascape is located in the AC circuit breaker box as a one piece unit. So the circuit breaker to the converter must be turned off to keep the loop from happening. That circuit breaker also sends power to the entertainment center and the bedroom so when on solar power, I had to run an extension cord to the entertainment center, very inconvenient. Last night, in a half dream state, I began going over that problem again and wondered how I would have wired the converter to a circuit breaker if I wanted to share that breaker with the bedroom circuit. I know RV makers want to do things as simply as possible so my answer was ... they connect TWO wires to ONE breaker. One wire goes to the converter and the other to the bedroom circuit. This was pure speculation on my part. Today I took the cover off the circuit breaker panel and popped out the circuit breaker for the bedroom circuit. YIKES! I was correct! Two wires going to that breaker. I disconnected the converter wire and moved it to the circuit I had installed for the bathroom heater. After all, I won't be using an electric heater when on solar power so that breaker won't be used when on solar, only when connected to shore power. Now I have power to all trailer circuits when on solar. Why didn't I think of this last year?

The old cushion on its way to the trash bin, Behind: new foam and fabric
The seat bottom attached to the cushion, Behind: The back
Wednesday, August 20, 2014: The old dinette cushion must go to the trash and be replaced with new 5" foam and fabric. While in Eugene a week ago we picked up new foam. We tried several different levels of firmness and decided on something medium firm. We only needed one side of the dinette since I removed the living area side to give us more room in the "living room". Even so, this one side of foam cost $150, foam is expensive. I didn't bother to make cushion covers, it's much easier to make the cushions with a plywood bottom. Click the photos for additional views. For the final project, click here.

Original vent cap, Behind: original vent cap removed
Replacement vent cap to draw out black water odor
Saturday, July 12, 2014: It's getting HOT in Sutherlin so we are going to the coast to cool off for a week. I have a short list of projects to complete on the Alumascape before the next trip. Changing the black water vent cap is on that list. Hopefully to rid the trailer of any black water odors. As it turned out, when I removed the original vent cap (click the photos for additional views), I found a wasp nest nearly completely blocking the vent. Hopefully the removal of the wasp nest and replacing with an "active" vent cap will eliminate any black water odors from the interior of the trailer.
Replacing the plastic bin around the inverter, Behind: Alumascape parked in storageThursday, April 3, 2014: The rule at Timber Valley is to have your "traveling" RV off your lot from April 1 to October 1 unless you are about to travel. In that case, you have 48 hours to get your traveling RV ready while parked next to your stationary RV. So I move our Alumascape to storage. But before moving I needed to replace the plastic bin box around the inverter. When first installing the bin box I was unsure how long it would last because it was brittle plastic but the only thing I could find which would fit. Well, it lasted until the very last day of our trip south. I found a slightly different box this time and hope this may last even longer. Anyway, the first box did it's job, the plastic box took the hit, not the inverter. Click the photo to see the Great Blue Heron back into her storage space. It won't likely be there long, Gwen is already getting "hitch itch".
Front burner not burning properly Saturday, February 15, 2014: The front burner of our new range is not burning properly. I emailed the manufacturer and was told to replace the "bushing" and possibly the burner itself. The "bushing" is a short piece of plastic tubing which fits in the end of the burner tube at the valve end. I removed the burner tube and found the bushing misshaped and partially melted. I exchanged the bushing with one of the back burners and the front burner worked properly. The rear burner worked properly too, even with no bushing so I'm unsure of the bushing purpose. All the burners are working as they should. Note: I consider the "bushing" a ten cent piece of plastic. The manufacturer told me they don't sell the bushing without a burner and the price is about $35. After replacing the bushing

The original privacy window in the door, Behind: Inside frame removed
Frame and original window removed, Behind: Installing the stained glass The stained glass installed, Behind: inside view
Friday, January 17, 2014: We visited Mexico yesterday and found the stained glass window we were looking for. I removed the privacy glass in the door window and replaced it with the stained glass. This is not my first time to replace privacy glass. I did it in the Cameo too. Click these photos for additional views.

Sergio's crew polishing the Great Blue Heron Edition, Behind: Rear cap

Monday, January 13, 2014: It's a tradition for us to have Sergio (or his crew) clean our RV when visiting Yuma. He's always done a good job in the past and usually a good price. But this time I'm not so sure. He gave us a decent price quote but then raised the price to do a "de-oxidation" of the front and rear fiberglass caps. For a ten year old RV, I knew the front and rear caps had some oxidation but was pessimistic about the success Sergio would have in getting it back to a "new" condition but I agreed to the new price anyway hoping it would work. I sat outside to watch them work, both to learn how to do it if I needed to try it myself and to make sure these guys worked hard for my money. The crew started out at five workers, one using a pressure washer on the roof first then around the sides. Other workers used brushes on a handle to wash the sides before the power rinse. That's about the time Sergio wanted to de-oxidize the caps because they would not polish with wax. I watched one worker use a de-oxidize chemical at least three times on the rear cap before returning to wax. It did work to remove much of the oxidation. I did some laundry during the front cap so I don't know how many times the crew member worked the front cap before applying the wax. The results are good but not perfect, maybe that's all can be expected for ten year old fiberglass. My evaluation is that the Great Blue Heron Edition looks the best it ever has but I'll bet the guys back in Sutherlin would do this job for about the same price, we'll see. The interesting thing about having a vehicle or RV washed in Yuma is that those doing the wash must bring their own water. Tap water has so many dissolved solids that when dry, the film remaining on the vehicle is as bad or worse than a dirty vehicle.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014: The stove top came with the Alumascape along with a convection oven/mThe stove top purchased with the Alumascape, Behind: The new range is installedicrowave. The display on the microwave never worked and finally died last week. We had already been looking for a range which includes an oven. Both the microwave and convection oven draw too much current to use while boondocked. We needed an oven. Checking prices in Quartzsite and Yuma showed starting prices at $475 for the cheaper model. Gwen happen to find the same model as the stove top on eBay which I won the bid for only $163. Since it was the identical model, it was easy to install and works perfectly. We lost the storage space blow the stove top but I'm expecting wonderful things from the oven. Click the stove top photo to see the new range.

The old shower curtain needs replacement, Behind, Gwen wants a simple shower curtain

Saturday, December 28, 2013: Today was a time for a few repairs. One of those repairs was to replace the shower curtain. These small travel trailers are not designed for extended living like the 2 - 6 month trips we plan. Having said that, it's mostly the little things in this Alumascape which are failing. The shower curtain is one of those small things. We have a glass shower door in our Cameo but the Alumascape is a plastic curtain which is beginning to crack. Gwen wanted a simple shower curtain. I purchased the liner, Gwen will chose the decorative curtain to add later. I also wanted a grab bar. The step down from the tub puts the shower-taker off balance so a grad bar is helpful. Click the photo to see the new liner and grab bar.

Some additions will make it more comfortable

Friday, November 8, 2013: Today was the first service for our new Prius. Toyota maintains the prius for two years then we must take over. I went to the local Toyota dealer, Clint Newell in Roseburg but there was some confusion. The service representative told me, "no oil change until 10,000 miles", however, an oil change was shown on the invoice. I'm thinking Toyota was charged for an oil change when I didn't really get one so I called the service department and was told they were "training a new cashier and she entered the wrong codes". Additionally, I was told the car had been washed but later saw it was NOT washed. I called service to report this error also. Now I'm wondering about trying a different Toyota service department next time.

Gwen and I bought a new carpet and three drawer cabinet for the Alumascape. We both think this will help it feel more comfortable for our four month trip to Arizona. Click the photo for a larger view.

Hida-a-bed gone, replaced with Euro-chairs, Behind: table folded, ottoman storedTuesday, November 5, 2013: The hide-a-bed area has been cleared out and cleaned. The two Euro-chairs are in their place along with the collapsible side table we already owned. I plan to use the small table with the ice tea cup as a laptop desk which will give Gwen the table for sewing machine and the opposite side for eating meals. I also plan to adopt our slide method we use in the Cameo in the Alumascape. Since having slide motor issues in the Cameo, we have always unloaded the slide before drawing it up and in. The slide must lift up about 6" before moving across the floor. Since the motor is under severe stress to LIFT the weight of the slide and then moves easily across the floor, I unload the slide of all weight before lifting then reloading the slide to glide across the floor. Now I will do the same in the Alumascape, hopefully, to eliminate any future slide motor problems. Click the photo for another view with table collapsed.

Remodel the living area and dining area, Behind: One bench seat removed

Monday, November 4, 2013: After spending 6 weeks in the Great Blue Heron Edition, we concluded it felt crowded, just too much furniture. We decided to sell the queen hide-a-bed and replace it with the one Euro-chair we already own and found another used Euro-chair to set beside it. So the hide-a-bed has been replaced with two Euro-chairs. I was reluctant to remove the bench seating since there is good storage below the seats but decided to go half way and remove ONE of the benches. The cushions on the benches are failing both in firmness and upholstery seams are failing. I took the best of the two cushion to cover the remaining bench seat. We already own two folding chairs in the case we have company for a meal. Gwen is also thinking she will use a folding chair at the table when using her sewing machine. I plan to try using my Euro-chair with my computer so I'm not competing for the table when using my computer. This will lighten the load on that slide so should add life to the slide mechanism. Something we always had trouble with in the Cameo. This is how I spent my day today, cleaning the outside of the trailer then tackling the living and dining areas. Click the photo for a view with the dining bench removed and standing on end. I will be cleaning the carpet tomorrow.


Sunday, September 15, 2013: This was a day to prepare for another trip starting tomorrow. When we bought The Great Blue Heron Edition we thought: "How easy this will be, we'll decide to take a trip and 1.5 hours later, we'll be on the road." It hasn't ever been that simple. We both have long lists of items which must be moved from the Cameo to the Alumascape and another list which must be loaded into the back of the truck. These lists don't include all the food which must be moved from one refrigerator to the other or from one cupboard to the other. Nor does it include clothes, since we don't duplicate our wardrobe. Although, sometimes it is possible to keep winter clothes in the Alumascape when going to a cooler area and visa versa. What I'm saying, it's not simple and generally takes an entire day of moving and planning to be able to take a trip of almost any length. We expect this trip to be our longest yet in The Great Blue Heron Edition. And, this one is with our friends, Ralph and Janet.

Installing an accumulator tank, Behind: Installed above the hot water heater.

Thursday, August 1, 2013: On this first day of August, I'm working on a short "to-do" list after our return from our July trip. On the list was to shampoo the carpet which I completed today using our little "Green Machine". Something else I completed today was the installation of an accumulator tank to help stop the surging of the water when using the new pump I installed (below). My friend Ralph gave me the accumulator tank. You can see a short video for installation help here. It was relatively easy to install because I have plenty of room above the hot water heater. Click the photo to see the tank installed. You can see printed installation instructions here.

Difference in the two water pumps, Behind: New water pump installedSaturday, July 13, 2013: I had an extra couple of days where the Great Blue Heron Edition was parked on our lot so decided to tackle the last big project. The Cameo water pump failed before our purchase of the Alumascape so I replaced the old pump with a much better quality pump. The old pump was identical to the pump factory installed in the Alumascape (they always install the cheapest .. and noisiest pumps). Since the Cameo is permanently parked at Timber Valley, we no longer have a need for a water pump (except in an emergency) so I wanted the higher quality pump in the Alumascape (the trailer we will use for boondocking and travel). You can see the difference in pump size at the right. The smaller pump is the old pump. This difference in size means I must make adjustments to the attaching water lines. I replaced the pump in the Cameo first so I could turn the water back on in the Cameo. I needed new water line connection fittings for the Alumascape because the old fittings had to be removed to make room for the larger pump. I purchased the fittings yesterday but left the installation until this morning. An over night sleep usually gives me the ideas I need to solve problems such as fitting a larger water pump into a small space. Armed with a "better idea", the installation of the larger, better pump into the Alumascape went easily. Click the photo to see the pump installed. While working in this area, I used the insulation salvaged from the Cameo refrigerator replacement to encase the water heater. I honestly don't expect any improvement because the water heater is already encased in styrofoam. But I had the insulation so decided to use it. This completes my "to-do" list.

The wire loom has cleaned up in inverter installation.

Monday, July 8, 2013: I've installed several sizes of wire loom to conceal and protect the inverter installation. This looks far cleaner than without the wire loom. Thanks to neighbor Jim who supplied me with the wire loom. Compare to the original wire installation. The plastic box around the inverter still looks funky but I haven't come up with another solution to that. It DID survive the gravel roads in the Deschutes National Forest, so mayby it's not too bad.

The old shower faucet, Behind: The water connections behind the faucet. Friday, July 5, 2013: I mentioned all the trouble we were having with the shower faucet. It was difficult to adjust the water temperature so lots of water was used ... just to get to the right temperture. That makes boondock camping difficult since water is "precious" and the Alumascape has only a 6 gallon hot water tank so hot water is lost trying to adjust the shower spray. The old faucet removed, Behind: The new faucet installed.
I replaced the faucet with one which looks like our Cameo faucet. We've not had problems with it so hope this works. I was hoping for a better quality faucet but my first impression of the new faucet is "cheap" plastic so we'll see if it solves the problem. We really need to replace the shower head also because it won't shut off, just slows to a trickle. For now, I'll move the shower head from the Cameo to the Alumascape when we travel. It DOES shut off. We purchased it LAST year at the Timber Valley Yard Sale for $3. It was a brand new item (not used). The faucet is setup to have the hose coming off the top of the faucet rather than the bottom. The old faucet was setup that way but the faucet in the Cameo has the hose coming off the bottom which helps in managing the hose. So that's the reason for having the hose off the bottom (if you were wondering).

I found some wire loom

Wednesday, July 3, 2013: I mentioned yesterday that I was going to purchase some wire loom to wrap some of the battery and control cables going to the inverter. I actually stopped at an auto parts store to get the loom but they only sold the loom in packages of lengths I didn't want and I didn't want to pay for what I didn't need. I know NAPA, about one mile from Timber Valley sells the loom by the foot. I was intending to visit them today. However, I was visiting our neighbor, Jim, across the street who has just sold his park model and plans to purchase a small motor home. I walked across the street to be sure he knew that Max, another neighbor, had a really nice motor home for sale. During our conversation his wife, Pat, began to laugh about all the stuff they were getting rid of like that "plastic stuff you put around wires". "Say WHAT?! Jim went to his trash can and dug out several different sizes of wire loom, one of the sizes was exactly what I was looking for. This was far more than I was going to buy but now I'll look for other wires to wrap. They also loaded me down with some specialized cleaning supplies for RVs and patriot decorations for the golf cart loaned to us by our friends Don and Irene. We had just visited the dollar store to purchase a few decorations since we plan to participate in the July 4, golf cart parade early tomorrow morning. NOW we have some REAL decorations for the cart. Jim and Pat own a home in southern California and plan to return permanently in about a month so are "dumping" much of the stuff stored for years in their shed (you know how that goes). Morgan is just happy to be in the shade, although the temperature today was seven degrees cooler than yesterday.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013: From our first trip into the wilderness to boondock, I came home with another long list of things to do with the trailer, although, all are minor except one. Here is what my list shows (use the arrows to scroll up/down in the list ... there are 16 items):
I'll explain each so you'll know how it might affect our traveling experience. 1)Gwen was given a framed picture which she wants hung on her side of the bedroom. 2)I purchased a portable lap desk at a garage sale for a couple bucks to be able to sit on the couch and use a laptop computer comfortably. The lamp attached to this desk is broken but easily repaired with glue. 3)I don't like the way I ran the remote control wire and negative battery wire to the inverter. It needs to be inside wire loom. 4)One method of conserving water when boondocked is to catch shower water in a dishpan (size) container when showering. Then transfer this water for use in the toilet RATHER than use fresh water in the toilet. We need a small pitcher to make this easy. I'll pick this up at St. Vincent de Paul down the street. 5)My side of the bedroom has a retractable table installed to support a small television. We don't intend to have TV when traveling and can use this table in the living area. I've moved it to be convenient between the couch and side chair. Nice place to put a coffee cup or use to support my laptop computer. 6)You need to read my story of using our road caution cones to create a private space in the woods. That story will help you understand this sign. The cones worked well to keep our area private. I took that idea and wanted to do something more permanent. I decided members of the Escapee RV Club would be welcome to join us (we simply have not met a "bad" club member yet). So how can I keep "intruders" away but welcome Escapee Club members at the same time? I decided to add Escapee Club decals to the cones and make a sign stating: "SKP RV Rally ... Chapter 9" plus a decal on the sign. Any Escapee member will recognize the three letters (SKP) as a play on the word Escapee and know, as a member, are welcome to all club rallies. Hopefully they will stop and check us out. At that time, we'll invite them to park nearby. Those NOT a member of the "SKP RV Club" won't want anything to do with any "RV Rally". There can be ONE annoying disadvantage to this plan. Not every Escapee member is "solar knowledgeable". We may end up losing our "quiet" to the sound of neighbors running their generators. However, it's not been a problem in the past so we'll deal with it when it happens. 7)More robe hooks are needed. This time, in the bathroom. During our recent trip into the Deschutes National Forest we had nearly a week of rain. I had no place to hang the rain gear so I've added some robe hooks in the shower area so wet gear drips into the tub. 8)The trim on the dining table is loose and needs glue. 9)During the Deschutes trip, I needed the inverter manual but it was stored in the Cameo. I bought an 8.5 x 11 divider folder and transferred all instruction manuals of items moved to the Alumascape to that trailer. 10)Before the purchase of the Alumascape we were having trouble with the water pump in the Cameo. I replaced the Cameo water pump with one much better than the standard model. However, now, with the Cameo stationery, we won't use it. Someday, when I have the energy (because it will be lots of work), I will transfer this fancy pump to the Alumascape. 11)The tiny vacuum which came with the Alumascape needs to be blown out using compressed air. 12)We installed a wonderful, Empire, ventless, propane heater into the Alumascape. We also have one in the Cameo. But the the Cameo has a ceiling fan to help spread the heat. During our Deschutes trip we used this heater 11 of the 12 day trip. I noticed the heat just "hangs" in the air around shoulder level and gradually works its way south. However, a ceiling fan would be too low. Take a look at the photos below. I have a small, battery powered fan which would work nicely if mounted to a side wall and pointed at the ceiling. I had saved aluminum pieces from a broken TV antennae and used one of these to support the fan. It has a convenient lip on one side to hold the fan. I made wood blocks to keep the aluminum at just the right distance from the wall to fit the fan. This will stir and mix the hot air clinging to the ceiling.
Drilling the aluminum antennae part Mounting the bracket to the wall The battery powered fan can now help spread the heat
13)One of our neighbors has replaced his roof. During the replacement he had lots of old insulation discarded. When I see something like this again, I'll grab some to add MORE insulation around our Alumascape water heater. 14)Our Weber gas barbeque does not seem to burn as hot as it should. I need to figure out what's going on and repair it. 15)The shower faucet is the cheapest Alumascape could install. Once the hot water reaches it, the washers expand and water flow slows. This makes it very difficult to adjust the temperature of the water when taking a shower. It wastes precious water just trying to get the right temperature. The faucet must be replaced. (Photos of this project will follow once I get the replacement faucet.) 16) The bathroom walls seem unfinished because the wall joints and floor to wall joints are not sealed with caulk. I've already completed this project using clear caulk. I expect all these items with the exception of moving the water pump will be completed before our next trip (two weeks).
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