Sunday, September 29, 2013

An experiment

I try and think of myself as open minded and willing to try new things.  It is along this line that I chose, over a year ago, to buy an audio book called The Emotion Code, by Dr. Bradley Nelson.

In the book he talks about how the body, and everything, is made up of energy, with the heart generating substantially more energy than even the brain.  As part of his theory, there are certain emotions which become trapped as balls of energy within our body and impede the normal flow and clogs "things" up.  These "things" can be emotional blocks, or even physical ailments, among other things.  In the audio book he gives quite a few examples of how life has gotten better for people, as well as animals such as cats, dogs, and horses.

In the past I have cleared a handful of trapped emotions, using methods heard on the audio book. This time I had a specific goal.  In the book Dr Nelson identifies something called a "Heart Wall", it is where trapped emotions build up around the heart to protect the heart, and the soul, from feeling negative things that are happening/have happened.  An example he gives (not valid in my case I think) is a lady in an abusive relationship, and how she had built one up around her heart made of a metal from outside of this world, which her subconscious remembered from a movie.

That is what I worked on last night, and this morning before hopping on the road.  Here are the numbers as totals for me.

Trapped emotion - 2 (plus an additional 3 or 4 from months ago
Heart Wall - 1 (1 inherited)
Hidden Heart Wall - 21 (7 inherited)

The Hidden Heart Wall turns into a normal Heart Wall after unhiding it, which is simply asking if it exists.  Just a minor difference.

Don't have any performance metrics to measure the outcome with, and I know big changes are coming because of this adventure in total, just don't know any more than that.  Will see what experiences await.  Items marked as inherited are not emotional blocks I created, but ones inherited from parents or above.


Route 101, for at least for the first 7 miles is really very scenic so far.  A little town, farms, small air museum (WW2 aircraft it seems), and life is now officially great!  Was great before, but it's official now.

An overview of my couple days in Portland.

Stayed in Troutdale, OR, so not officially Portland, but close enough to count in my book.  Stayed at the TA Truck stop the first night, and the Love's truck stop the second night, filled up the diesel tank at Safeway just up the road (thanks to GasBuddy for alerting me) though it was troublesome to get in there.

Also visited a couple fine dining establishments in the area..

Acropolis Steakhouse

Yes, it's more than just a steakhouse, but I swear it's not the reason I went, even though wasn't complaining.  It's because they have really good food, at an excellent price, for one of these types of establishments.  Had a one pound burger, and fries, for $4.00.  It's very difficult to get deals like this, and it is a really great price.  There is also filet mignon (have had before) for less than $10.00, as well as T-bone steaks and other typical fare.

The clientele that comes here is mixed as well.  Saw quite a few couples sitting there chowing down too (on food that is), and they seemed to be enjoying the atmosphere of the area as well.

While this place isn't for the faint of heart, if want great food for the price, it's definitely a must see stop in the area.

The person who originally told me about this place also informed me that the food is so cost effective because the owner owns a ranch someplace, so all the meat comes from his ranch.  Don't know if it's true, but if it is, lends some credence to how they can pull it off.  Did I mention it was good too?!

Shirley's Tippy Canoe

Sloppy Joe out of focus
This restaurant was really good, though a little pricey.  It was featured on Diner's, Drive-in's and Dives, and must say had really good food.  In the app I use to find places like this (TVFoodMaps), it said they had an awesome sloppy joe, so guess what I had..  A sloppy joy sandwich.

The sloppy joe was really good and it had a surprise luring underneath the sloppy part, a hamburger.  Didn't expect that at all but it added to the experience.  Pictures don't lie...

Little food tray
Shirley came up to me (I sat at the bar) and started rattling off all the yummy stuff they have in a shotgun approach..  Blew my mind and don't remember most of what she said, though there was a lot of talk about seafood mixtures and all that happy jazz. Every thing on the menu looked super great!

One neat thing about sitting at the bar is they gave me a little tray so don't have to lean over the bar and make a mess of the bar, or me, or anyone close by.

The restaurant itself has nice decor, nice outdoor seating area, and is very unassuming from the outside, but wonderful on the inside.  Due to the inclement weather didn't take a stroll to look at the river which flows right behind it.

Arleta Library Bakery and Cafe

While I didn't stop at this wonderful little hole in the wall this time, felt the need to give it an honorable mention.  If it wasn't for the income tax in Oregon I would've changed my plans and moved to Portland due in some part to this restaurant, and the good energy it gave off.

Very limited seating capacity and excellent food.  This was by far one of the best meals have ever had, even though there was "green stuff" in there. It's a small little organic and local restaurant that uses as many things close by, that meets their high quality, as possible.  The dish I had was some sort of mixture of veggies with some spicy sausage.  There were only little chunks of sausage, but it was really spicy, and I like spicy food.  Not the "spicy" from a supermarket, this was real....  and enjoyable.

Friday, September 27, 2013


OK, not literally coast bound, but headed to the coast.

The Dalles, OR

Now, I really have no clue why it's named The Dalles as didn't really go to the museum (should've but didn't).

After leaving the tri-cities area, made my way to I-84.  Now, this may sound strange, but there is also an I-84 on the east coast (I lived off of it), but the one from the East doesn't seem to intersect with the one from the West.  There's an I-80 in the middle, and one or two others probably, it just seemed weird.

The Dalles is nestled in the Columbia River valley and quite enjoyed the little town.  I stayed at an Eagles club (2126), located real close to downtown.  It is a very nice club with great people and a large interior room.  They were gearing up for a blockbuster weekend as a state Eagles convention of sorts is there and all the RV spots were taken.  It was time for me to move on anyways.

Dam view with sky and hills
The town itself was quite nice.  Didn't look like there was much to do as it seemed like an offshoot of the farming community, and end of the Oregon trail by land.  Situated within a short walk of the Eagles club is a restaurant called Cousin's.  Now, not sure if am supposed to mention this, but on Wednesday nights, in the bar area, they have a $6 hamburger, which was pretty good.  Along with the burger get some fries and a beer!!!  I don't drink alcohol so opted for for a different libation, but that is one heck of a deal if ask me.

One attraction worth noting in the area, for the techies, is the Google Data center, where this blog is probably stored (no clue really).  It's right on the river and I walked about 1 mile (1/2 mile one way, then backtrack) and probably walked about 1/3 of the way around it.  Say HI to the CCTV camera's as they're all over the place, along with armed guards, so I heard.  They're gearing up for an expansion with another data center building or so.  Cheap electricity plus huge tax breaks make it inviting.  Would've given my left nut, or maybe both, to have gone in there and just gawk, am pretty sure though that they don't like general public to show up without an invitation.

Wall with American flag, sigh....
Flood Gate at The Dalles dam
Another attraction really enjoyed was The Dalles dam, which is where Google gets it's cheap power from, and seeing some of the Native American fishing rights areas.  It was real humbling to see the power of the water like that.  This year is also a huge year for the salmon run.  Some of the locals said it was up by about 60% (according to the TV).  I spent some time down by the dam just listening to water at the flood gate (where picture is taken from).  Felt and sounded real nice.

Organic Beef Brisquit sandwich
Sandwich from here, local and organic
Am ramping up the amount of organic and natural (really natural) foods I eat and try to get them at a local mom and pop store (instead of the big chains) and was surprised to find the one in town closed down... pooey.  So, I drove the scooter the 20 miles (or so) to Hood River and found a little organic store off the highway and had a green smoothie!!!  yummie.  Also got some chickpeas to make some blackened chickpeas eventually (had some awesome ones in Providence, RI some time back at AS220).  Was surprised Grocery Outlet has a surprising amount of Organic food too (like cereals and crackers and such).

Oregon Trail endpoint - read more before say OH NO!

I was told, by some locals, that this is the place where at least part of the overland portion of the Oregon Trail ended.  Apparently, and I haven't looked this up (shame on me), but from here the trail continued down the river on the water until it met the ocean, or wherever it officially ends.  Just regurgitating what was told.

As a side note, backed a Kickstarter project called Meriwether about the Oregon trail.  I wonder if this location (same or different name?) will be featured..  Will have to wait an dsee!

Dufur, OR

On a whim, and cause it was a nice, sunny, 70'ish degree day, decided to drive inland as saw a small town called Dufur on a map.  All I did was drive out, drive through town, and drive back, didn't even shut off scooter engine.  Was impressed by the little town in the middle of no place, it was a true farming town, but looked like there was mostly hay being grown.

There's not much to the town, saw the school, couple restaurants, a post office, and not much else besides a smattering of homes and other small businesses.  Even a real, honest to goodness seed store.  A thought went through my mind to stop in and ask if they had any GMO seed.  Didn't, but thought it.

The drive out was uneventful, rolling hills and plowed, lifeless fields.  It still sickens me about our sad state of farming (IMHO as always).  The rolling hills was quite nice actually, just wish there was life out there.  The farmers do their best still and no ill words for them.  Real hard working folk.

Portland, OR

Staying couple days here, dry camping (without hookups and using battery) to experience it.  Will also take this time to go through some more stuff and clean out what I don't need.
I 84 and Columbia River Valley on Oregon side

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Overhead light repair...

While in the Tri-cities area, found an RV parts place as am looking for a control board to fix the hydraulic leveling jacks.  Didn't see any control board (and forgot it, but did find a reasonably prices overhead light fixture.  Couple days ago, while in Cle Elum, one of the overhead lights decided to fail on me, primarily the switch which turns it off, 1/2 on, and full on.  So got an exact replacement.

Smart thinking me brought some electrical repair stuff with me, but why is it can never find open rolls of electrical tape.  Each time have to do something like this, either search for 30 minutes to find an open roll already, half the time not finding it, or open a new one.  This time opened a new roll even though have several opened rolls floating around.

Anyways, it was simply a matter of snipping the wires, removing stuff, and wiring it back in place.  Not much to it really.  Some pictures for your viewing pleasure.

Old fixture, before doing anything
Black wire snipped and joined to new
Both wire-nutted and taped
 The captions should explain it all, but this was a really simple light fixture removal/install.

The original wire nuts were crimped on so had to snip the wires, but snipped them as close to wire nut as possible to preserve wire length.
Bare ground wire hooked up.

Out of habit, wrap electrical tape around the wire nut as some extra insurance.  Sometimes the wire nuts have a tendency to come loose, and especially with vibration of vehicle this is easier.

Completed!!! And it works

Toodling around in Eastern Washington

Subway @ Truckstop in Ellensburg, WA
After leaving Moses Lake went to Ellensburg, WA and did my first night of dry camping at the truck stop just outside of town.  It went surprisingly good and am quite happy by the experience.  Was able to barely get internet and finish up work for that day.  In the morning checked house batteries (via control panel above stove) and it was still all 3 lights light so apparently there was very little drawdown.  Purposely used as little as I could to avoid drawing them down, only had one light on and a small power inverter for computer.  Was quite surprised the following morning when went inside.  The subway actually cooked fresh eggs.  Factory farmed eggs, but still marginally better than microwaving.  It tasted OK, but they put way too much oil in the pan (to prevent sticking), and that's all I could taste until after lunch.
Pizza in Cle Elum

That morning headed to Cle Elum, WA, which is a charming small town just off I90.  Prior to heading here checked to make sure could get internet through the Clear puck.  Lo and behold, when got to campground, and subsequently checking out the town, no signal at all...  Big letdown since campground didn't have internet.  Was able to go to a Radio Shack (had a separate coffee shop and also a computer repair place).  There was also a McDonalds with WiFI too.

Had pizza there Sunday night after got back from Snoqualmie Falls and it was pretty ok. For the price don't think it was worth it as not a lot of toppings and had asked for heavy on the sauce, yet they charge me for an extra topping due to that.  Didn't realize till after the fact..  Bad juju there.

Enjoyed Cle Elum a little bit but didn't really spend all that much time there unfortunately.  Yes, the weekend, but went there primarily due to closer proximity to Seattle area and had two events to attend, one Saturday and one Sunday.  It had a real good feel to it, everyone seemed authentic and I even won a 50/50 raffle at the local Eagles club (and got an Eagles "passport" to get filled up).

Left Cle Elum on the way to the Tri-Cities area in Washington.  Followed I90 East until the Columbia River, then followed Route 242 south following the river.  It was quite a nice drive, though hairy at times due to the roads and a very stiff crosswind at times. Crosswind and RV is bad juju.  Made it and had no problems with anything enroute to current destination.  Route 242 turned into Route 240 which brought me right into the area.

While the tri-cities area is somewhat nice, this is one place where need a car or some other form of transportation.  Everything seems to be quite spread out, but it is super fast to get out of town and into the surrounding scrublands.  Great if want to offroad or something, but not many trees to be seen.  Am happy not staying here too long, just felt the need to come here.

Scooter news

So, have an Aprila Scrabeo 500cc scooter that is on the back of the RV when toodling down the road.  Month or two ago put a plug in the tire as ran over a screw after pulled off to side of road to check directions as was leaving a scooter Rally (T-Town Flotilla III).  The tire started leaking again, from the patch area, and noticed it first in Cle Elum.  Will be putting in some tire slime (the green stuff) with the hopes that it will seal around the plug.  If not then will have to get a new tire..  Will try this out at my next stop.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Leveling system

Made some progress in search for leveling documentation.  I will be making this more of a priority so every little move I make doesn't rock the land whale.

After looking at the powergear website ( couldn't find the manuals I needed.  E-mailed support and Bill responded. He was kind enough to attach the required document and showed me where to find it (not sure how I missed it, but did somehow).  Anyways, for those with a 1994 Fleetwood Southwind and a Milwaukee Cylinder leveling system here ya go.  It covers other brands/models am sure.

Direct link to doc on google drive

Troubleshooting steps seem fairly straight forward so will start troubleshooting most likely next stop I do, while engine is idling and parking brake engaged, with multi-meter in hand if needed.

Prior to doing the troubleshooting steps, will coat the fuses and connections with a thin layer of die-electric grease to help improve the connection, after cleaning them a little.

Other news

Do like Moses Lake, not sure what will be happening next year but if it works out will probably spend some more time here.  Quaint little farming community, though there seems to be a fair amount of big box stores and fast food chains, too bad.

Still have to get under the RV to grease the fittings, should've done that already, know time is a wasting and damage is probably being done.  Leveling system first though.

Off to the east a bit more tomorrow.  Overnight dry camp one night and then go to a sardine land this weekend.

There are two natural food stores that have found, and one of them even carried Raw Milk, YAY.  Will have to be careful about which states bring fresh raw milk into as don't want the Gestapo to knock on the door because of that...

Monday, September 16, 2013

Moses Lake, WA

Not as in the biblical Moses, not that I know of anyways.  Thought about heading a little more southerly on the trip but this was a nice stopping point.  Have to be concerned about internet access for work.

View of Moses Lake
The local Eagles club offers dry camping (no hookups).  Unfortunately I need electricity and currently only have 2 house batteries.  My options are to run the generator for a laptop, or run a little power converter off the house batteries. Either would work but would prefer to plug in so can use air purifier and other stuff.

One neat thing is that it looks like the fridge runs on propane nicely while putzing down the road.  When purchased the RV the prior owner mentioned that, according to his experience, the refrigerator would go out.  I have been planning shorter jaunts for a variety of reasons, this was among the reasons, so things wouldn't thaw out..

Not sure how long will be here.  Planning on going East a little more prior to the weekend and staying near Ellensburg/Cle Elum until Monday.

Right now it's sardine land, but at least have a nice view...

Location of puck
Puck on top of fence post
One thing which surprised me is that have 4G (from Sprint) here on my Clear puck.  Very nice.  At the Spokane Valley Eagles I struggled to get 3G and had poor signal.  Can see with the pictures what had to do just to get a very weak, but steady, signal.

While in Spokane tried to find a new circuit board for the RV leveling system.  It's looking more and more like have to contact the company directly.  Right now am planning to get another circuit board, but then will document what each wire does so can replicate it in the future with an arduino and some relays, or something else.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Fly like an Eagle

While this has nothing to do with me staying at Eagles clubs whenever feasible during my journey so far, would like to acknowledge that they do offer a great source of savings compared to a typical RV park/campground.  There is an added benefit of generally not being packed in like sardines and having some free room to move around in, plus no one is watching you like a hawk.

What I mean with Flying like an Eagle is the Eagle Expo that I just attended in Spokane.  This is the reason chose to start my Journey at the time I did.  It's a great kick-off point.

This event offered a great source of inspiration and networking opportunities, not just in Nikken, but overall.  At this expo Ken and Donna Hankins, who have been helping people realize the Nikken dream, have been awarding Eagle Awards for close to twenty (20) years. The awards are presented to people who give selflessly of themselves to help enable peoples dreams come true, while following their own dreams and aspirations.  The recipients have some criteria to meet of course, and I envision myself to be an Eagle award recipient in the near'ish future.  There is no monetary award, simply the acknowledgement among peers that the work we do is valuable and the pride in ourselves of the goals we have accomplished to achieve this award.  Think of it like Nikken equivalent of an Oscar.

Although I am still an infant in the Nikken world, I do share the vision they have to offer.  It is all about living the life that we want to live, about FREEDOM and many other things, both big and small.  About recognition for the accomplishments we receive.  About helping other people realize their dreams.  About spreading goodness and the happy fluffy feeling we all like to feel.

It is more than what I can describe right now.  It is an exciting time indeed.

One of the goals of this Journey that I am willing to share, is to find a mentor, or mentors, or people, that will help me realize the dream, my dream.  Some people get it right away and put into action immediately, some people struggle with the concept, and then there are people like me who know what the end goal is, but has some mental blocks that is delaying acquisition of some goals.  Rest assured these blocks will go away when they are meant to, with some prodding of course.  Have noticed some things happening already......

Nikken is all about enabling Humans Being More, which is their flagship self development course, a one of a kind course that all companies, from small mom and pop places to large mega corporations, should offer.  This course is a proven way of helping people realize what they are capable of.  There is no mention of the Nikken opportunity during the course as they do their best to keep open for everyone, regardless of what participants choose to do in life.  It is all about making us better, enabling our dreams and aspirations for a better way of life, and raising our spirit and removing the "funk" we accumulate.  It's really all about make us LOVE ourselves....  (sssh, I used that "L" word)...

Spokane ahead...

Hills after leaving Leavenworth, WA
Next stop on the Journey is the wonderful city of Spokane, WA, located in Eastern, WA just spitting distance from the Idaho border.  My destination was actually in Spokane Valley, WA.  The locals would probably crucify me, but tend to think of them as the same area.

Small Main St type of town
A large lake along Route 2
On the way here, from Leavenworth, WA, drove Route 2 east-bound and it was a very nice trip through farm country, and some quaint little towns where Route 2 was the typical main street as seen in photographs, lots of charming shops and restaurants.  Didn't stop at any of them.

One thing I learned from this experience is that traveling in an RV is definitely not as fast as other forms of transport, such as a car.  It blew past my estimate traveling here.

Stayed at Eagles Aerie #2 for one night, traveling through Spokane during rush hour as everyone is on their way home, not a good thing in noisy diesel rig.  Then headed over to Spokane Valley Eagles as that is right around the block from my destination the last couple of days, more on that soon.

People have met are great and awesome!

Now, a quick rant....

Dead fields to left and right
I took a permaculture course and know everything (guffaws), or at least enough to know what's alive and not so alive.  As was driving along Route 2 drove through all the farm fields where everything is flat and plowed and flat and plowed and flat and...  You get the idea.  Nothing should grow here.

Don't get me wrong, the farmers do their best with the knowledge they're given and am sure they pour their heart and soul into the rough life of a modern farmer.  If more Americans knew what I saw, with the limited knowledge I know about proper growing, am sure they would find it very disheartening to see the conditions in which our food is grown.  Am sure this even includes some of the stuff that goes into Twinkies, not that Twinkies are wholesome, but get the idea.  It is saddening, and maddening to me.

The fields really did look dead and decrepit.  There were couple farmers plowing the fields and could see the plume of dust from several miles away, as the soil was so dry it was just blowing off into the wind as the plow worked it's magic, taking the few nutrients (if any) left out.

From the road the soil didn't look inviting, just dead, cracked, chalky, and simply lifeless.

IMHO (In My Humble Opinion) this is definitely not a sustainable way of feeding a nation wholesome and nutritious food... No wonder we need sick, a.k.a. "health", care so much..  Our bodies can't get the nutrients it needs anymore.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Water, oh so nice when it's warm

We all, or at least me, like water when it's warm, fresh, inviting, and invigorating.  And of course warm or hot.

Apparently that is a challenge right now for me.  The RV's water heater seemed to be tempermental.  Unsure if did anything wrong or what.

When first starting it, there were about 3 flicks of the switch to turn on and activate.  And then it was generating tons n tons n tons of warm water.  I then shut it off, at the main switch (above the stove) and went on my way.

Went back to turn it on, and despite my best efforts, have been unable to make any progress on heated water.  Granted, haven't done much and am sure it's something simple which am overlooking, but really doesn't want to activate.  Probably because turned it off, maybe it's a safety feature, not sure.

All I know is that when the water heater doesn't turn on, things shrivel when they're not supposed to...
 Not sure if have mentioned this already, but someone highly suggested I coat all electrical connections with die-electric grease, to ensure a good connection and to help reduce risk of corrosion and such.  This is on to-do list.

Update: Since have been at Leavenworth the heater has turned on as needed, when needed.  Will continue to monitor.

Quaint little Leavenworth, WA

First stop of the journey was to Leavenworth, WA.

Handle left in Jack
First, have a little confession to make.  Upon leaving Vashon thought had secured all of the important stuff.  Turns out didn't do two important things that I know of.  Have an old picture of my Great Uncle which didn't take off the wall.  Nothing "broke" but a screw came out of the wood frame which holds the picture wire in place.  Easy fix.  The other was leaving the handle for my motorcycle lift jack in the jack piece. Am very surprised it didn't fall out enroute (guess I was "lucky").

Looks like the o-ring for the jack might be leaking a little so time to replace that before something not so nice happens.  Replacing should be a simple task, just need to verify how to fill it up with oil again.  Have the o-rings.

View of "downtown"

Should be beam of light on clearish day
Leavenworth is a quaint little replica of a German town.  It looks German, but with me having been over there in person it just didn't have that real Deutschland feel to it.  Nice and all for those who haven't been but still not quite the real thing.

View looking towards town
Some of these pictures don't do the view, and the town justice.  As I am preparing to leave the town am glad I came but it's time to go on.

Found a little organic store here also, which surprised me.  They carry goodies like Raw Milk, local produce (were out of local eggs though, boo), and lots of other goodies including DVD's such as Food, Inc and others.  Got me some Panda Puffs cereal for breakfast.

Food Pictures

This is a nod to someone I used to ride with.  On rides he would always take a picture of the food that was eaten on the ride, both his and other peoples, whatever looked interesting and fun and good.  All of his food pictures turned out great too.  So here's my contribution.
PIZZA! It was ok.
Lots of Mustard
My Braut, 3 types of mustard and curry something
 First time all the pictures lined up how I wanted!  The Braut actually tasted the "american" style and wasn't as tasty, or yummy, as those in real Germany.  Still OK but not too reminiscent..  oh my tastebuds.  Place went to also had organic turkey thing and also listed one that where they highlighted it contained MSG (not this one supposedly) which was great to know, just didn't expect that labeling.


TeePee drove by, no idea why it was there

River at campground
River at campground

Lessons learned

KOA campgrounds are decent places if like this type of camping.  Feel a little squishy here for me (like sardine squishy) in that we're all right next to each other.  Other than staying at the Eagles on Vashon, this is my first "real" stop on this journey.  Will probably stay at another KOA in the future cause it's not a bad experience, just not one I want to partake of regularly.

Checklist, checklist, checklist, or equivalent.  Need to figure out what works best for me in terms of making sure have everything.

Another thing have to do is put away all of the excess stuff I have.  Am planning to start on that this weekend.  With everything not stored in it's place packing up is a little time consuming, not to mention more things to go bonkers.  Plus things to navigate around when parked.  Will definitely be lightening the load soon.

Will touch base on this in a future update, but disconnect starter batteries when parked...  Definitely disconnect...  Bad things happen to those who are not vigilant, especially with all the custom wiring that's in this one..

Monday, September 9, 2013

Cats on the loose.....

Today made my first long trip from Vashon Island to Leavenworth, WA.  Left late due to battery problems (drained battery, more later) and ferry traffic (large Vintage Motorcycle Rally on the island).  Arrived at campground in the dark and promptly plugged utilities in and will dump tomorrow.

It seems like one of my cats, Pia, didn't really like traveling.  She made a mess on the kitchen floor and left bunch of nice little brown poo (quite a bit for her) on the bed..  Guess what I get to do, wash the duvet cover and who knows what else..  Pia definitely lives up to her name in this case.

Granted, shouldn't have gotten upset with her due to the travels (unlike most dogs, most cats don't take the car, or RV, well), but if let this slide without voicing displeasure then that's an open invitation for the future acts.

Am sure it will get better.  The other cat laid down next to me for quite some time, first half of the trip, and was calm as can be.

On the bright side, carpet wasn't affected that can tell.

Looks like it will take a period of adjustment..  Joy Joy Joy...

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Some things black....

Just talked with some fellow rv'ers, they've done this for at least three years that I am aware of. They gave me a recipe for stuff to use in the black water tank in lieue of chemicals, this is a more "natural" version that does the same thing.  Their dad, who is also an RV'er, uses the same mixture and handed the recipe down.

One word of warning though...  CANNOT USE BLEACH in black water tank with this method..  Bleach and Ammonia == Bad JuJu!!!!

So, recipe time.

Mix in 1 gallon jug
  • 1 Cup Borateem (Borax)
  • 1/2 Cup PineSol
  • 1/2 Cup Ammonia
  • Fill remaining with water
I'm going to add 1/2 gallon of water first, add everything, mix/stir/shake, then top off with water.

Again, CANNOT USE BLEACH.  Shouldn't use bleach anyways in the black water, but in this case it is imperative otherwise things have a good potential to go BOOM, and BOOM is bad in this case...

Caveat with this type of talk.  Everyone has their own preference on what to use and what's best to use so please keep that in mind.

Always use RV safe toilet paper that's passed the Toilet Paper Test

Monday, September 2, 2013

Getting rid of excess, some items I will miss...

Being in an RV means have a lot less room for "stuff".   Here are some items I will miss the most.

Had handmade this shelf to hold some computers and other supplies..  Was very creative with fully using a sheet of 3/4 plywood with no excess, and added extra support with 2x4's under shelf.  Am hoping to do something like this again, but for now it's collecting dust and won't fit.

Canning jars, the oldie but goodies.  At least they went to a good home!!!!  :)  Saved couple blue ones for me, but did give away last blue glass top that I had.  Still, off to a good home and someone who can use!
Somewhat related:  Good site for those interested in preserving

Pressure Canner:
Don't have a picture of this one, but it was a nice large aluminum one which held 6 or 7 individual quart jars.

Just a few of the items will miss the most, but am sure will be getting them again, to varying degrees.

Water Water Everywhere...

 This was a good exercise in something, not exactly sure what.

First "official" day of living in RV had an "opportunity" to, umm, improve myself I guess.  Got to the first place in my Journey, the Eagles club #3144 on Vashon Island, WA.  Awesome little place to start the adventure.


So, upon hooking up water and electric, hour or so later notice the floor is wet around the bathroom and knew this wasn't a good sign.  Thought it was coming from the sink as had it turned on (had to unclog sink drain just prior to this), but to no avail.  Took apart the access panels under the sink and it was bone dry.
First good shot, no drips here

A different view, no leaks here
Next came the toilet, and all the additional fun that comes with researching the problems.  First it wasn't dependent on if connected to city water or on-board water, not that it could be dependent on that, but still.

Reach behind and could feel drippy drip for the water, specifically something metal was wet.  If anyone knows anything about RV toilets, there is no way to really poke a head behind there.  Didn't have any smaller mirrors either.  As it being my first time ever dealing with RV plumbing, took out my phone and started snapping pictures in the hope of identifying where it the water was leaking from.  In addition to not being able to see behind the toilet it's also next to impossible to even grope around behind there.  Came out with couple good shots though.

Just different angle showing no leaks
 With all this picture taking and not finding exactly what was looking for started to get a little upset.  After what seemed like an eternity was able to pinpoint the source of the problem with this last picture of the series which share below.

In another picture of the same location could almost see the drip forming at bottom of the nut and bolt.  Turns out this is some sort of ball valve that controls flow of water (duh) into the toilet for flushing and cleaning...


Removing toilet

Water supply hose removed
This part actually was worse than it looks.  Very odiferous..

Bottom with old seal
First part was to take the toilet out, which was simple yet complex.  Am starting to figure out manufacturers of RV's do their best to conserve space and make everything fit while allowing enough room, barely, to take things in and out.  Unfortunately this is the case with the toilet.

Flange and floor
There are two nuts/bolts that hold this to the floor, and a flange on the flooring which these to into, very similar to how a toilet in the home works (have replaced and worked on some of those also.  In next picture can see flange and the uncleaned floor.  As a note, had to have exhaust fan in bathroom blowing air out as it was a little, umm, ripe....


Ball valve and seal kit
Toilet flange cleaned.. :-)  Still smelly
Luckily, as this is a very popular toilet for RV's, went off island (had something to do on mainland) and headed over to Camping World.  Prior to leaving had identified part (and brought it with me) using a search on Start Page, a secure search website using Google but anonymizing me to some extent.

This brought me to Mark's RV Supplies, where was able to identify the part, by picture, that I needed, which is 09868 according to their site, and turns out that's what Camping World has also.  YAY.

Hose carrying flush water
New part and existing plumbing adaptor, with teflon tape

So, picked up the kit and headed back to fix.  Prior to leaving had cleaned area in anticipation.  Picture on the left shows the hose which carries water to flushing mechanism, and right hand side shows new parts to be installed.  Reused existing hardware (though new nut and screws came in the kit).
Hooked up to flush hose

Screwed and inserted
Started going through the reverse process of unhooking everyting by attaching the flush hose that supplies water to the bowl from the ball valve.

Continued by securing the new ball valve to existing metal support structure, reusing the two brass screws that I took off.

Afer this it was "simply" a matter of hooking up water supply and verifying no leaks.

Completed and leak free!

One of nuts for flange to tighten, in back

And there we have it..  All done and life is greater now!

All in all, if knew what to do and had part on hand, would've been done with this within an hour.  As it is probably took 2-3 hours total time, not counting going to get part, etc.  Still a good experience, minus the odirific part.