Archive for February, 2016

Below the little dots in the middle of the page is what I wrote before, I’m gonna leave it. Today as I wake I’m tired and achy and still anxious. I don’t see how I’m going to go on this trip as things are going so slowly. I did get my new tires, finally!  There was so much confusion on the process, they arrived, they didn’t arrive, they arrive…  well maybe not. It seems Costco lost my tires (or they were swiped?) and so had to send a different set. I dragged my housemate up at a very early hour to have them mounted only to find out the tires were missing in action. Anyway they are on my RV now. Hope I like them; they do look nice.  Of course since I changed something in the delicate and queasy ability of my RV to track the road, that will be a fight again…<sigh>

The Door Panel: for now the tires are inflated with nitrogen exactly as stated.

The Door Panel: for now the tires are inflated with nitrogen exactly as stated. 55 Front, 80 rear.

Still waiting for that silly bit of lace to finish the curtain lining….  see below. Monday the RV goes to my mechanic, Bruce’s Auto, I hope he can do a lot, if not most of the things on my list as it’s beginning to look like other things just won’t get done. I’ve already shortened the length of my trip as well…..  ok, so I’m leaving it open. I SO WISH I could have found an affordable upgrade to my ride and “home” ..  I was dreaming of smooth power, ease of driving, a bathroom with a shower that is all contained, an awning, a quieter motor, a cooler interior, a vehicle that stays in its lane, a happier me, happier dogs….   not to be. Not without giving up too much of my funds and facing the unknown with approaching zero resources.

My phone updated to the new Marshmallow system….  it burns my fingers when I use it. Verizon jacked up my monthly bill by about $27 or so a month, all for the pleasure of rapid battery draining and burnt fingers. I have a grandfathered unlimited plan but Verizon still found a way to mess with those of us that have hung on to a bit less wallet draining or data limiting plan than they currently offer. I will have to tack on another $25 a month to be able to use it to post on the Internet as a hot spot while I travel and another $5 if I need to call out of country.  Ok, what else can I complain about. Ordered a new diamond cutting blade for my ring saw which I need to finish the fused glass dogs that I hope to take with me on this trip. I was cut by a flying piece of exploding glass in my glass class…  I’m fine but it was scary.   I’ve yet to have time or inclination to begin another CP (colored pencil) drawing, and I’m supposed to give one away to my breed club for the raffle…  that may not happen….  ergo the fused glass dogs as substitute.

And don’t even start with troubles with my beloved animal companions. I finally broke down and ordered a vibration e-collar…    Will post later on results and who I wind up taking with me.

I’ve been struggling to understand automobile bluetooth radios….  don’t like the one the audio shop offered to sell and install..  the buttons are so tiny I couldn’t use them even if they were close enough to use and the readout cannot be seen in daylight….   combine that with my burning cell phone and big bills and hopefully I’ll be able to talk hands free and listen to audiobooks, and internet music….  If it happens?  I also could use a new laptop but I can see I’ve reached that age where technology is moving faster than I can understand. Please send me a newer RV all nicely equipped and ready to go!!!

I think the lace may show up today. Will wash my hair and take the dogs out to  play, then back to work.


This is the Post I didn’t Get Posted

Time is moving at a fast pace. From Halloween to the middle of January, time was marked with migraines with aura accompanied by heartbeats that would occur so fast, a days worth of them fit into a few hours leaving the remainder of the day floating in a strange region of distortion.  Now there is much to do, I’m pushing hard, like a race; sometimes exhilarated, other times fearful.

I’m shocked that’s it’s been 9 … 10 days… and the curtains are still lying neatly folded in the living room. After a search I re-found the video with the technique to attach the lining….  here it is:  RV Stuff – Keeping RV Cool in Summer Heat Project   Thank you Wander Dano for posting this! Of course I’d forgotten this video the day I scurried to Michaels for supplies. What a good camper I was carefully measuring the lining and testing the fabric glue; yep the solarizing material glues nicely to itself; however it does not glue to the curtains! Instead it soaks through the curtain material and leaves stains! Ok I got that off and attempted at random: straight pins, nope, makes big holes: riveting tool, I’ll just say no: safety pins … hummmm  just couldn’t get those lined up right with the pleats, hole punch to put something in the liner to hang it… no, no. no. . I came up with all kinds of ideas using ribbon, duck tape, velcro, taking the mess up to Lee’s for her to do the sewing….    I’m terrible at sewing. I’m sure I could learn but I’ve reached saturation, at least for the moment.   Many many thanks to Jacqueline for your insight and great ideas, you were right on btw! 

Failed attempt to get the lining on. Now waiting for the binding lace.

Failed attempt to get the lining on. Now waiting for the binding lace.

After rewatching the video I ordered 1.5 inch lace which I will glue onto the lining and then hang it into the curtain hooks and train the pleats (just like the video says) with paperclips and clothespins. Tried to pick up this simple item in Santa Barbara, but there are no functioning fabric stores remaining in our city. I went to Art From Scrap and found some fun tiny little containers which I will use for my K9 Nose Work students as soon as they are ready for the  challenge. Meanwhile I was hit with an outbreak of Thoracic Outlet pain (I’m not fooled by that anymore…  it’s not a heart attack stealing sharp angry from my chest and mid back down into my fingers which paralyze… days earlier it was my foot feeling like it was broken at the instep, then up into my ankle. I don’t know what’s wrong with my body, I’m used to it so I ignore it as much as possible. Intense pain occurs randomly to my shoulders, thoracic vertebrae, ribs, hips, knees, ankles, wrists, fingers, feet….  so it’s not everywhere…  oh and my eyes and ears and breathing. It’s background, like visual snow which I also am plagued with, body static. I do get very scared at times. I miss the ones who are gone that I loved…  some dead, some alive but gone. I not only found great joy in knowing them, but I relied on them. I meet women that tell me how brave I am…  let me tell you I am in no way brave…  stubborn, yes, brave… ha! Brave means you have to put on a tough face and take it….  I’m not capable of that. I type complaints to my new besty and to my amazement she graciously types back encouragements and never reproach or the adamation  to be brave.  If you find yourself suffering don’t fall for that nonsense.  Do something about it. My rule is to do 3 things to help myself feel better at any given time. If it doesn’t work it’s off the list and find something else to try. By experimentation I’ve found things that might help, it isn’t necessarily the obvious. Then I ignore it, sorta. I’m not going into details, you wouldn’t want to know.  As my mother will say about me, “I’m glad I’m not you.,” and my favorite, “I don’t’ have any suggestions for you.”  I don’t mind being me though, actually it’s perfect and although I suffer I’m happy being me.

Darn that silly sewing lace is not here yet. Wed morning brand new tires at Costco! They say it will take 2 hours to install them and since my vehicle is big I need to be there very early, radio next, then my mechanic.

I’m very tired, have been waking about 6 am but there’s so much to do. …  tomorrow will work on the fused glass dogs I’m making and get them into the kiln at glass class.

Something to sing next time you’re on a mountain herding Livestock!
Vallåtar från gammelboning (Swedish kulning)

Very Brief Update

The curtains are clean, soft, smell good and have retained their perfect pleats with no ironing needed.

I went to Michael’s yesterday to try to find fabric glue since I don’t sew and all our fabric and craft stores are gone except the big chain store. Hope I got the right product and can figure out how to get the liner on and looking spiffy.   This is what they had:  Liquid Stitch Original, Stitchless Sewing. Will post when it’s done.


I decided to clean the accordion pleated blue curtains that came stock in my RV. Who knows how long since they had been cleaned? I’d long shied away from this task even after I’d spilled some nasty brown something on them. After all who could see them but me. It was the pleats that scared me. I don’t iron and if I do I’m more likely to burn and scorch than to produce a nice crisp looking result. I’d checked with my mom about this and it was she who said, yes, I could try to take them to the dry cleaner but they likely would not do them and if they did they would cost a bundle or might be damaged. Who knows what to expect from 20-year-old curtains?

RV Curtains

I have a project in mind for these curtains. I’m going to line them with Solarize Insulating Thermal Barrier Fabric  (the stuff’s not cheap but my goal is to keep the interior of my RV cooler for my dogs.) I saw this done on a video and it doesn’t look too hard. I don’t sew but I think I can glue them on with some fabric glue…. seems only right to clean them first.  I looked up dry cleaners that did sewing repairs but then I read comments from other RVers that had simply put them in the washing machine.  Well, okay.  I’m not brave enough to try that in the old machine here that chunks up holes my clothes. I decided to hand wash them. Here’s what I did:

  1.  Get the dogs out of the bathtub. My Lagotti Romagnoli are certain about many things in life, esp the puppies who were born here. They know that when I pull the shower curtain way back it’s time to jump in the bathtub and look cute. In they went. They were not happy when I scooted them out and closed the door. Definitely some nasty looks from Jeana.
  2. Lay the curtain with the horrible stains that had been heat setting for months very gingerly into the bathtub and wet the curtain thoroughly with cool water. Add a bit of,  All Fresh and & Sensitive Dye Free, gentle on the skin stainlifter detergent that had been sitting in my van for who knows how long into a cup with a little of my favorite stain fighter, Soilove in the green bottle and mix with cold water. Pour delicately onto the curtain and swish, swish……  it helps if you sing while you do it…. swish swish, away goes the dirt, in comes the suds, no $200 dry clean for me, for me ….   well, you can make up your own song.  I was expecting reams of dirt. Whenever I wash my dogs no matter how clean they look brown scuss floats into the water as I add soap; it’s kinda like they’re melting, the brown just runs off them. RV Curtains-Washing
  3. Rinse curtain and let drip from the shower rod and go get the next one out of the van.  I might add that I was congratulating myself at this point on how easy this was. Anyone could do this!
  4. Put curtain #2  in the tub and do the soak, soap and swish.
  5. Take #1 outside to see where I might hang it…  didn’t really find a place but, wait! Uh-oh!  What’s that! No!  Stains! I took a look at #2 and they both went plop plop back in the tub. My dogs were not even interested in the tub now.
  6. Add a ton more All Fresh and & Sensitive, Soilove and this time Dish Soap.
  7. Scrub the icky poo with nails and fingers.
  8. I left both curtains on the bottom of the tub sitting in soap to sit there and think about life.RV Curtains- 2ndWash
  9. After about 20 min, wondering why my hands were so so dry, I turned the shower on; then swish, rub  and rub and make like a mock washing machine agitation motion but not too hard.
  10. There was now a ton of suds so rinsing had to be done in stages. The plumbing is very old here and the drain is slow.
  11. Eventually I got the soap out. By this time the sun has set.  I started late because I’d waited until 4 pm when I could move my RV back in front of my house due to (irrational) parking requirements in my neighborhood..
  12. I hung them on big towels over the curtain bars in the shower.
  13. I will look at them later…   at least I can still see pleats….

Next Up…..  attaching the lining!

I’ve been diligently pursuing a motorhome upgrade…  i.e. somewhat newer, tad bigger Class B.  It’s not gone well, my eyes starting dropping white streaks, my shoulders curved inward towards the monitor like long ago when I lived in a cubical maze of head tops and clocks from spending too much time on the computer.  Hmmm…..

I cannot believe the price flurry. When did Class B RVs get to be $135,000, $175,000 and more for a non custom rig.  Even with the 20% – 25% off list, it’s insane.

Price craze has caused used Class B’s to become more expensive than what used to the price for a new one!  Am having trouble imagining such a drain on my bank account. Tack on dealer fees, inspection, taxes, registration, shipment and whatever upgrades and changes I’d want…..  oh my.

Every time I find something (maybe) affordable it’s located on the other side of the country. I find I’m really not that brave or I just don’t know for sure what I want.

The clincher is many newer models I’m seeing lack storage that I currently enjoy even with a stretching of length to 24.5 to 26 feet.  I want a Class B is because it’s L I T T L E!  I like the Promasters at 21 feet but the models I’ve seen have too much stuff crammed inside them; nevertheless I do like them and may get one someday. There are small Sprinters, 20 to 23 feet and older Ford and Chevy’s but cost is killer or lack of storage and interior light.

Claustrophobic doesn’t work for me. I require lots of windows and doors. I did see a 2007 Great West Classic Titan for sale (on the other side of the country) that I loved but it was sold before I could even think about how far away it was.

I love that I can sleep in the back width-wise in my current B, with windows all around and a back door that opens onto a beautiful river or….  what-have-you (it could use screens).  I love the open shelf that runs along the inside, the cabinets that have no barriers in-between so I can put long things in there and the fact that other than the pathetic bathroom there is room for everything I need.

So I’ve temporarily given up my search my for next RV….  It will come. There are many new Class B’s coming. Hopefully at some point the prices will level out or I’ll get that winning Lottery ticket.

So…..  I’m revving up my little LT for Spring Travel; maybe I’ll even give her a real name, she deserves one.  any ideas?

Here’s my list:

  1. Have brakes checked…  do I really need a brake job? If yes then find a shop that can do it right the first time.
  2. Tires!  Sure there is tread remaining on the Toyos, but I hate them. I plan to buy 4 beautiful Michelin LTX M/S2 (LT225 / 75R16)  from Costco at $689.96.  I understand they go on sale from time to time.
  3. Am considering replacing the Monroes with Bilstein shocks…. undecided.
  4. Get the back window fixed.
  5. Apply thermal insulation to the undercarriage to stop the exhaust heat from soaking into the cab…  this video sent to me by a friend explains the problem perfectly..  and the solution:  Fix the Hot Floor Problem in Your Gas RV
  6. Bluetooth radio to stream my Note 4 Android Cell Phone instead of the maze of wires I currently have.
  7. Line front curtains with Fairfield Solarize Liner Fabric; clean curtains first!
  8. Craft hanging system for reflectix or more Solarize for other windows.
  9. Install a small 12 volt fan on the wall in the front by the wing windows.
  10. See if I can find a longer sewer hose that can be compressed to fit in tube and be able to reach its target without needing an extension.
  11. Touch up interior paint.
  12. Inspect all screws / bolts. . .tighten as needed
  13. Oil change / trip check.
  14. Service generator….  can I get it to work reliably? If not, (painfully) consider replacing it…  expensive 😦
  15. Awning?  Maybe?? Also expensive.
  16. Electric bike and dog-cart….  maybe? will need a rack if go this route.