Sunday, November 30, 2014

Some Fifth Wheel Repairs - November 30, 2014

Last spring, while driving up the coast of Oregon in the rain, I noticed some water dripping out from under the overhang on our fifth wheel. It seems that there was a leak on the roof along the front cap seal. I re-sealed the area and took care of the leak, but the damage was done. As the weather warmed up, the wood under the fiberglass started to buckle and warp.

Here are some photos of the area.

I picked up two 4 X 8 sheets of fiberglass/fiberboard paneling from Home Depot and decided I would tackle the job.

I removed the nasty, moldy, warped and rotten area and carefully measured the frame studs so I could attach the new paneling to them.

This is the old piece I removed.

I laid out the new panels and used the old piece to outline the pieces I needed to cut.

While examining the undercarriage area, I saw a couple of frame cracks and broken weld points. I took some pictures.

They don't look like stress areas, but I will contact Heartland and see if I should be concerned. There has been an issue of 'frame flex' in some models in the past. I use the Heartland User Group Forums and will definitely seek other opinions.

I used self tapping screws to secure the new paneling to the undercarriage. This repair should be stronger and more secure than the original.

After doing one side, the other was a bit easier.

Then a bit of trim and touch's done.

Looks so much better now. Not too bad for a cheap repair.

Just in time. Moving day tomorrow. Heading for Quartzsite and a couple of days of boondocking.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Howdy, ya'll!! We Be Texans! - November 26, 2014

We are both trying to get over some pesky colds. Clogged head and a cough. I quess it is going around. But we did get one important thing accomplished. We drove our truck to El Paso, TX and got our drivers licenses. Now I just have to contact Miller Insurance and get insured again as Texans this time. Then get on the good old ACA website and get us some health insurance.

We got up early on Monday, at 4:30 AM. Drove in the dark for the first couple of hours. This was gonna be a fast trip. We took the Phoenix bypass through Gila Bend and on down to El Paso. We saw lots of cool cacti on the way. The desert is really beautiful. It was a long drive, 697 miles. I wish we could have taken our time on this trip. We had friends in Phoenix, Mesa, Why, Organ Pipe, Casa Grande, and Benson. But we were on a mission.

Just outside of El Paso, we stayed the night in an American Best Value Inn...... it wasn't! Got up early and were in line at the DMV at 7:45 AM. We were in there exactly one hour and left with our temporary licenses. Cool!

Heading back home, we did go through Phoenix. That is a big place, and the traffic sucked too. Only 686 miles on the way back. We only gassed up once on the way there, and once on the way back. I got 22.1 miles per gallon, and pretty much cruised 75 - 80 mph all the way.

All in all a good roadtrip. Long but good.

After getting our truck and fifth wheel registered and licensed via mail through Polk County, TX, we were glad that we just had to get into Texas to get our DL. Livingston, Polk County, Texas was 817 additional miles beyond El Paso.

Here is what was needed to get our drivers licenses:

South Dakota Drivers Liscense
US Passport Card
Social Security Card
Proof of vehicle insurance amounts
Two items on mail showing our Texas address on them - I used my Social Security Disability letter and our Texas truck registration
Donna showed our Texas RV registration and had to fill out Form DL-5 - Texas Residency Affidavit (because she only had one piece of mail showing her Texas address)

A photo, fingerprints, and a eye test later, and we got our temporary Texas drivers liscenses.  Yay!!

Today, Wednesday the 26th, Donna is thawing out our turkey, making pumpkin and apple pies, and making a banana pudding to take over to Gene & Cyndi's house for Thanksgiving.

Only 2 more days, till my diet starts!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Vehicle Registrations in Texas Completed, and We Have Internet - November 19, 2014

We bit the bullet and finally have mobile internet. The plan was to go through Millinicom and get their Jetpack and have 20 gigs of Verizon mobile data for only $89.99 per month. But they went out on buisness in October and all their accounts reverted back to Verizon. So I re-activated our old jetpack. It is a Novatel MiFi 4620LE.

We have had this for a couple of years. I never thought I would go back to Verizon. But I did, and will keep my eyes open for new deals that may come about. We have no contract and pay $80.00 for 10 gigs a month. We will see how it goes...

I ran a speed test and got 5.51 Mbps download speed with an 2.56 Mbps upload speed. This will do for us. I'm sure our location is a factor here.

We just got our Texas liscense plates for our truck and RV yesterday. I mailed off all the required paperwork on November 1st. There has always been lots of discussion online in regards to what is needed to register in Texas. The following is a list of what I sent. Some was overkill I am sure.

For my truck:

Form 272 - Application for Registration Only
Form 272-B - Vehicle Identification Number Self-Certification
Our South Dakota Registration
Insurance Card with detailed coverage amounts
Sales Tax paid in California papers (I paid more than 6.5%)
My Escapees Mail Address card
Copy of my drivers License (SD)
Copy of my Passport Card

For my 5th Wheel RV:

Form 272 - Application for Registration Only
Form 272-B - Vehicle Identification Number Self-Certification
Our South Dakota Registration
Insurance Card with detailed coverage amounts
Sales Tax paid in Idaho papers (I paid more than 6.5%)
A photo of the 5th Wheel RV
A photo of the weight capacities

And a check for $429.00 per the Polk County Tax/Assessor lady.

All sent to the Polk County Tax Office in Livingston, TX.

No inspection required till the rig enters the state. Next year the registration will be $249.00 for both rigs for a year.

Now a trip to El Paso to get our Drivers License.  Then we be Texans .... Whaaa Hoooo!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Week in Washington - November 11, 2014

Tuesday, Nov 4, Donna and I drove to Las Vegas, parked at the Hampton Inn near McCarran International Airport, and hopped an Alaskan flight to Seattle. This trip had been in the works for a year. Last November, we were all ready to fly to Seattle and be present for the birth of our grandson Ryker. A broken foot killed those plans. We decided to be there for his 1st birthday (and to see the rest of the family).

We got up at 3:30AM and made the 105 mile trip in the dark early morning hours. Not much traffic at that hour, thats for sure. Got to our parking spot and made the 5 AM shuttle to the airport. The security check-in wasn't too bad either.

After a 2 hour flight on Alaskan Airlines, we landed at the Pacific Northwest's rainy Sea-tac Airport. Our son Tim was there to pick us up. Back to his house we went.

It was good to see the grandsons Rome and Ryker after just 3.5 months.

Us and Rome.

Us and Ryker.

Our oldest daughter, Candy drove up from Vancouver. We all got together and opened a couple of gifts for Ry.

We then took a trip over Stevens Pass to Leavenworth, WA, the Bavarian Village. We stayed at the Fairbridge Inn. Our youngest daughter, Kim drove up from Pasco.

And Erik (grandson)

and Oli (great grandson)

came over from Wenatchee as well.

Kim was working and had to go back, but the 6 of us spent the night there. We had a busy evening.

A walk around town.

Can you tell it is Fall?

Leavenworth is getting ready for Christmas too.

The boys sure got along great.

Candy & the boys.

Visiting the Hat Shoppe.

What a day..... and night.

Then back to Mill Creek (Tim & Shannon's house) and Donna and Rome made a couple of pumpkin pies.

We had an early Thanksgiving dinner. Yum, yum.

Shannon's Dad, Scott,  came over and we had a '1st' birthday party for Ryker. He got lots of goodies and we all had a great time.

Here is Rome doing his 'photo bomb' thing.


Later Ry had his 1st birthday cake. What fun that was!

While visiting, we got to watch the boys while Tim & Shannon took off for a few 'date nights'. They are easy to watch and very well behaved. We played 'Transformers'.

On Tuesday, Veterans Day, we flew back to Arizona and our home on wheels. We did stop off at Costco in Las Vegas and picked up a few things.

A toast to all our Veterans.....

A great trip, good visiting family, but also good to be home.