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March 14, 2006: In about a month, Gwen and I will be moving back to Howard Prairie Lake Resort for seven months. There are some things that need to happen to our fifth wheel before that move, especially since we have our house on the market.

The first item on the list is to have the carpets professionally cleaned

Carpet Cleaning
Scrub the carpet in the trailer. These guys did a good job on the carpets in the house so we had them continue the work in the trailer. We lived in the trailer for 8 months in 2005 so this cleaning will help get us started in a clean unit for 2006. The whole back end of the cleaning service van is a carpet steam unit which does a good job of taking the dirt and stains out the door.
March 16, 2006: Mark this date! Besides getting the trailer ready to live at a resort, I need to get ready too. I'd like to do some real biking, hiking and kayaking this season. I joined 24 Hour Fitness today. I weigh 188 lbs, that's the most I've ever weighed and my body fat is at 27%. My trainer (I got a free 1 hour appointment today only) said that after using the equipment properly, my body fat will be only 16.5% and I will weigh only 165 lbs by this summer. I just hope I can keep up the routine.
24 Hour Fitness
March 18, 2006: On one of the first days of our Oregon Coast Trip in December, 2005 I dropped the step into the bed of the pickup and broke the protective cover on the trailer electrical connector. No big deal I thought when I found that a replacement connector was about $5.50. However, today, I learned that this was a much bigger job than I had imagined because there are 8 wires which must be removed then replaced to the connector. I decided I needed to turn the power off to the plug since all the wires are so close together I did not want any wires shorting to another and blowing a fuse. I could have disconnected both batteries in my Dodge but decided it would be easier to pull a fuse. I ended up pulling four fuses to find the right ones. Replace a broken trailer connector
Old connector replaced by new This was much more work than I was expecting. I had to make sure each of the color coded wires went back to the correct terminal while fighting with relatively short wires. The photo at the left shows the old cap against the installed replacement . I really don't have any way to test it until I reconnect to the trailer. Hopefully all wires are in the correct place. I'd hate to have to do this again, so I will be more carefully with throwing things into the back of the pickup.
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March 19, 2006: Last winter was a dry winter until mid-April when it rained for 6 weeks. Because it was so dry, the lake level was hardly at 55% in mid-April when Gwen and I moved to the lake. In the link above, you'll see that the marina was still sitting in mud last April. Howard Prairie Marina in plenty of water
Click the marina photo above/right to enlarge the photo. Today, Gwen and I took a drive to the lake to see the difference because this year has been a wet winter with plenty of snow in the mountains. The lake level is already at 98% and the snow and ice have not melted yet. We also learned today that Gwen's job will begin on April 10, only three weeks from tomorrow. How much snow do YOU think will still be at the lake in 3 weeks? Today, I would not have been able to tow our trailer even to the parking lot and no RV spaces are cleared. Most have 3 feet of snow in them.
Eyes in the garbage
While, visiting, Jeanette, the resort manager, asked me to crank the cable lever on the dumpster bin so she could put garbage into the bin. The top was loaded with snow so very difficult to raise. Once the lid was cracked open, there were two small eyes peering back from the inside. This is a very young racoon. We left the lid ajar to allow the critter to make the choice to leave this home.
March 20, 2006: Do you see what I mean? This is the resort parking lot with the restaurant in the distance. Click on the photo for a larger view. There is no RV parking here now, we'll see how it looks on April 9 when we need to bring our fifth wheel to the resort. snowy parking lot
Space Y50 March 21, 2006: Our space at the resort is Y50 at the left with about 3 feet of snow. Our employee identification tag is still on the post. Compare this to last April when we arrived at space Y50.
Memorial Day Decoration Our Memorial Day decoration is still in place, it has survived the winter so far. Our picnic table is on the right. You can see the level of the snow is to the table top, about 3 feet. Picnic table
Unload the drill press March 28, 2006: We are only 12 days from moving back to Howard Prairie Lake Resort. Last year I tried to keep my bearing business going. That requires getting bearings and parts in Grants Pass and access to my drill press, also in Grants Pass. I was rarely in Grants Pass so it made this very difficult. This year I chose to sell this part of my business to George and Ginny, owners of Neely Bearing in Grants Pass. They also wanted my drill press and plastic bag sealer. This was an old drill press when I bought it in the early 70's. Yes, I've owned it for more than 30 years.
I bought it at a garage sale. The base says Sears Roebuck while the head says Dunlop. It has been a great drill press for me, not fancy but always did the job. George and Ginny will make good use of it, I'm sure. So this is just another piece of my history ... SOLD. An old drill press
On the way to Howard Prairie Resort
April 10, 2006: Does this look like fun? It was pouring rain yesterday in Grants Pass and I was hoping that did not mean snow in the mountains but it did. This is more snow in April than the area has had in several years, much different from last year at this time. Still, the Dodge CTD (Cummins Turbo Diesel) and I had no problem in getting to the 4,500 foot level in the Cascade Mountain. In most spots, the road was wet but not icy but it was right on the transition so I had to be careful in spots.
Searching for a foul odor May 8, 2006: Yesterday I took off every vent cover, pulled out every drawer, opened every hatch, removed everything stored, removed screws to covers on cabinets and hatches in search of a foul odor. It seemed like we would notice the odor more when the main compartment furnace was
in use so I centered my search around the furnace. I removed the vent hose to peer inside the hose too. The good news was that I found nothing. I found no water leaks or dampness, no hidden mold and nothing in the vent hoses but that did not stop me from washing everything down with bleach water and spraying the inside of the vent hoses with Lysol. The inside search
More good news, I found the shut-off valves for the hot-water tank. I was suspecting the hot-water tank of leaking but the compartment was dry and no evidence of ever leaking. Additional good news, everything is now clean and washed with bleach water. I threw away stuff that we don't need and learned we already had stuff that we really DO need. We used the furnace today and did not smell the foul odor. Perhaps it's fixed. The bad news: is the same as the good news ... I found nothing so I don't know if it's fixed because I couldn't find anything to fix. I did find a utility hole leading to the holding tanks. Water lines, a furnace vent hose and electrical lines pass through the hole. It DID seem like the odor might be coming from that direction. You know the household can of spray insulation which expands to fill a hole? I have a can of that at home and plan to use it to plug the utility hole to the holding tanks and any other holes I might find. I DID throw away some old potatoes, do you think THEY may have been the odor?
May 12, 2006: Of course we must have an outdoor barbecue while at the resort. Last year we bought a cheap $15 gas barbecue and used the little throw-away canisters of propane the entire season. At the end of the season, we tossed the barbecue too. This year we have purchased the same $15 barbecue but not the canisters. Barbecue
Where a portable canister would attach Instead, I had saved a 5 gallon propane tank from our home gas barbecue which had finally deteriorated to the point I threw it away but kept the propane tank. I purchased a propane line which connected to the tank and the $15 barbecue. It works great and will probably last all season without a refill.
May 23, 2006: Gwen says I have found the source of the foul odor I was looking for on May 8. Even though I took everything apart looking for the odor source, I found nothing and a very slight odor continued to bother us. Gwen took a turn looking and decided the odor was coming from the hot water tank compartment. I still found nothing but kept looking and happened to see a drip coming from the Drip from the hot water tank
hot water nipple on the back of the hot water tank. It was just a tiny drip but there it was. You can see evidence of wetness in the corrosion around the nipple and fitting above. I removed the fitting and wrapped the pipe with teflon tape then re-tighten snuggly. I didn't see any drips after that. Today, four days after the repair, Gwen says she no longer smells an odor. If I can past the Gwen-test, the problem must be fixed.
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