We’re happily busy

Another couple of days have gone by and WOW!! We are happily busy and what a day we had yesterday. The day started off with morning of beading and I was teaching a new pattern to the beading group here at the Thousand Trails Park at Walchula, Fl. It’s always fun to sit and learn a new pattern and talk with those around you. Making new friends and learning about great parks and restaurant in the area. People have been coming here for years and they know all the great places to go. I find it interesting how some patterns go together so easily and some are a bear. I have been working on a strawberry pattern and it just is not working for me. I keep working on it because it a principle thing now. I have decided I will finish if it takes me a year.

For lunch we met with Reno Viola and Sandy of the Reno Viola podcast network. He has 35 podcasts on this network and most is about fishing and hunting and of course Living the RV Dream. What an interesting person, Reno is in the Canadian Fisherman’s Hall of Fame, he was on TV and radio and has decided to branch out on his own and get into podcasting. It is of course the latest thing in radio.

Later in the day Matt and Meredith Pokorney from Sevierville Tn. (you all know I cannot pronounce this city) dropped by to say hello, they are a young couple who are working in the Crafting industry. It was great fun to sit and talk with them about their life and their plans to become full-time RVers. They told us about Sevierville having a big craft sale during the month of Oct. It is huge and it sounded like a lot of fun. I wish we could go, but this year is the gathering, so it would be fun to head to the gathering and make a stop at the big sale on your way.

You know I always find it amazing the diversity of the RV’s out here on the road. From CEO’S to Waitresses, all with desire to see the country and find all the wonderful places we have here in the USA. Once you are on the road what you did before really doesn’t matter, but what you are doing now is really interesting. We are in the older group, but the younger ones are finding their way and they are doing it the right way. Planning and researching what they will need and especially the finances. I am in awe of all of you fellow RV”S. Thank you for joining us out here and being our friends.

God Bless and Happy Camping

Kathy

ps: please don’t forget to shop Amazon.com from the link here and on each page of our website.

LTRVD0287 Phred’s Poop Sheets, Escapees

We answered some great mail questions this week including questions about the Thor A.C.E. motorhome, our location at the Tampa RV show, storing wheeled chairs for travel, and about Phred,s Poop Sheets. We also read a wonderful testimony for Coach-Net and Passport America during a listener’s time of need.

Fred Tinseth aka “phred” was Escapee number 394 and wrote extensively in the Escapees Magazine from 1980 about RVing subjects from boondocking to inverters to solar electricity and many more. Fred died in 2010, but his excellent “Phred’s Poop Sheets” remain as a great legacy to a man dedicated to full-time RVing. Check them out on our website. http://www.livingthervdream.com/Phreds-Poop-Sheets.html Some of these are dated as they were last revised in 2002, but most of the information still holds true.

We discuss the Escapees RV Club “Good Neighbor Policy” which has turned into an RV industry sanctioned Code of Conduct while overnighting on private business’ parking lots.

Kathy discusses the responsibilities of being a good co-pilot from another Escapees magazine article. We both talk about the wonderful Instant-Off RV water saver gadget available from http://www.instant-off.com

Our last discussion is about hiding your valuables in plain sight with “can safes.” These are identical to a real can but with a screw off top. You can hide cash and small jewelry in your refrigerator that look exactly like the real thing. Available on Amazon.com

RV Toilet Seal Leaking

We have been having a problem with the toilet not holding water. It just drains out slowly. This makes trouble as the water in the toilet is all that is between you and the black tank and all that is in it. I had replaced the Teflon RV Toilet Seal and the plastic ball assembly less than a year ago, so I figured there must be build-up on the seal due to our being in many hard water areas lately. I could have taken pictures of this, but I don’t want to gross anyone out.

This is an old style gravity drop toilet with a foot actuated valve that moves the flush ball aside and also actuates the water fill valve. No electric valve or macerator here. It is a Sea Land Traveler model 110, very popular on older rigs. The entire bowl comes off by loosening one screw that adjusts the tension on a metal band that holds the bowl to the bottom part of the toilet. You also have to remove the flush water line at the back of the bowl assembly. I loosened the screw, removed the 2 plastic guides, and lifted the bowl assembly out and put it in the shower.

Now it’s time to put on rubber gloves for the rest of the procedure. Then I removed the 2 piece seal and took it outside with a bucket of warm water and a scrubby sponge that I tossed after using. Both parts of the seal had lots of calcified material which was easy to remove. About 10 minutes and the seals looked like new. Then I cleaned the top of the ball valve with the sponge and it came very clean in a minute or two.

I put it back together making sure the “This side Up” on the seal was up. Then I placed the newly cleaned bowl assembly back on, centered it on the seal and put the spacers back and tightened the band back up. Make sure to re-insert the flush water line at the back of the bowl, or a small flood will occur. Don’t ask how I know this.

All is well once again and the toilet is holding water again. If you do this and the seal is torn or warn, you will need to replace both parts of the seal. If the ball valve is scratched or gouged, replace it as well. Instructions come with the parts. Get the part numbers of your particular model from your manual, or look up the parts by toilet model number on the PPL Motor homes parts page. They have almost everything you will need. http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/parts/rv-toilet-tanks-plumbing-sanitation-1.htm

This whole project took about 20 minutes start to finish. Or you could pay a service tech $100/hr plus the cost of a service call. Pay me now, or pay me later. Live the RV Dream folks!

RV Satellite Antenna Installation

At listener request, we made a photo show of how we do our RV satellite Antenna Installation when we get to a campground. This is a DirecTV HD Satellite dish we use with our new Genie receiver. The entire process takes around 10 minutes when we’re not taking pictures.

All stored in a basement compartment
All stored in a basement compartment
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This is the Positioning assembly on the right with arm and LNB on the left
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Tripod carrying case
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Here is the Mast, the ground screw, the bubble leveling tool, and the tripod assembly
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Here the tripod is set up and awaiting the mast to be screwed into the socket in the center
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The tripod is complete and awaiting levelling
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Each leg is individually adjustable to obtain level shown in the bubble tool.
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The ground screw installation
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All the way in!
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The leveled tripod is secured with a ratchet strap. This will keep the entire antenna stable at winds up to 50mph.
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The adjusting assembly is placed down over the mast.
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The dish is attached to the adjusting assembly.
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These are the fine adjustments for azimuth(left or right) and elevation (up and down). The bolts in the center are tightened when optimum azimuth is detected with the signal strength display on the TV.
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Adjusting for rough azimuth. Usually I have my cellphone on and talking to Kathy inside looking at the signal strength display. This tripod is a heavy duty model I bought from H&G Enterprises for around $125. Check them out at http://www.tv4rv.com
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Attaching the signal cable to the LNB (Low Noise Block Amplifier)
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These Coaxial cable ports are right behind the Satellite Receiver inside the coach.
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Selecting the proper cable to connect to the TV.
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I do this step first to get the coordinates for aiming the antenna.
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Input the current zip code and the proper settings will appear.

Usually, Kathy will be inside on the phone with me as I adjust things outside. Today was quite special as we only moved around 100 miles north and I set it all up and went inside to take a picture and lo and behold, we had an optimized signal without further adjustments! This NEVER happens.

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This is the signal strength display after we aimed the dish. This is a DirectV Genie Receiver which can record 5 shows at once, thus 5 tuners.
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This 1/2 inch ratcheting wrench is the only tool I need for the dish setup.

Orlando Thousand Trails Park!

This morning we left Horseshoe Cove RV Resort after a month. It’s a great park and we will return sometime just before Thanksgiving. We took red roads up to the Orlando Thousand Trails Park. Pretty easy run through Wauchula on FL 64 and up US 17 to Haines City and then US 27 across I-4 and up to the park. Lots of traffic lights, but pretty smooth drive.

The park here is 840 sites with most amenities. Great pool complex. We’ll be here 3 weeks and then back down south to the Thousand Trails Peace River Preserve in Wauchula. We’ll do this back and forth through mid November.

Tomorrow morning we’ll produce this week’s podcast and put up the Satellite TV antenna. We will document the process for a blog post at a listener’s request. Then we’re free for a few days to do some sightseeing in the Orlando area.