Thursday, April 26, 2012

Good News / Bad News

Delicate Arch, Arches National Park, UT
The good news is the cooling unit for my refrigerator has arrived at Camping World.  The bad news is is is going to be a bit longer before I can head out - the first available time block long enough to pull the refrigerator, install the cooling unit & put things back together is Wednesday morning.  They now estimate it as a 4 hour job.

Had an interesting thing happen over the rain storm the other day. Looked out at the trailer & the lighting strip I added under the awning was on.  Now I know I didn't turn it on so I went out & checked.  The switch was in the off position, but filled with water.  Enough got inside the switch to short out the contacts.

So, yesterday's project was to pull the upper refrigerator cover (where the switch is mounted) and change it to one that has a waterproof cover.  Hope that will do the trick. Unfortunately, with the current weather forecast,  I'm going to get the chance to find out - rain is predicted for the next couple of days.  On top of that, the overnight temperature is predicted to go down  27°F Friday night.  I guess I'll need to plug in the trailer & run my electric heater...

Till next time -

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Still Waiting

The 7th Annual Clean Sweep
While I'm waiting for Dometic to send the new cooling unit I was able to shoot some photographs of the 7th Annual Clean Sweep here in Oswego.  Every year around Earth Day a group from the city & college get together and spend an afternoon cleaning the banks of the Oswego River & Lake Ontario.

This year it was organized by the Oswego chapter of RSVP, an organization I have been working with for a number of years.  Over 300 members of the local & college community collected hundreds of bags of trash.  For more photographs, check my "Clean Sweep" pages.

After shooting the photographs, it was back home to post the web pages.  While part of me wishes I was on schedule & in Cedar Key, FL today (particularly because it is a dreary 41°F outside), the weather report for that part of Florida last night didn't look all that good. Actually, a quick look a second ago was better - partly cloudy & 70°F.  Oh well, I'm stuck here!

Till next time  -

Friday, April 20, 2012

I'm Now a Grumpy Old Man!

Oswego Lighthouse

I'm still here in Oswego over a week after the planned departure date. Still waiting on parts to fix the broken refrigerator.

I can't fault Camping World - for what ever reason, Dometic decided that even thought the techs at Camping World determined that the cooling unit was bad they sent a replacement heater.  When the techs asked why Dometic's answer is they have had problems with the heating units and they need to try that first.

So, today I hauled the trailer down to Camping World, they replaced the refrigerator's heater, and it still doesn't work.  Repair by substitute isn't all that practical when it takes a week or more to get each part! 

Now Dometic says they will send out a cooling unit either later today or on Monday.  That definitely rules out the Townsend, TN "egg" get together, and will probably shorten the number of days I can stay in New Mexico before the heat is so bad I need to move north.

There are not that many parts of the trailer I can't fix my self; in fact I probably could have replaced the cooling unit, but since it is under warranty I have to have a dealer do the work.  Am I frustrated?  You bet! Still, better here at home than on the road.  

I guess I will have to get a couple of the projects here at home done.  I kinda put them off since they would be out-of-sight for 5 months, but now that I'll be here for the better part of a week (at least) I don't have an excuse.

By the way, I did get a chance to take the trailer to the dump to get it weighed.  If nothing else, it points out the difference between "Dry Weight" (listed at 2100 lbs) and the real world.  With full propane, 1/3 fresh water, empty grey & black tanks & packed with everything except the stuff going into the refrigerator it hits the scales at 3020 lbs.  Hitch weight is 340 lbs.

Till next time - 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Cooling unit on Tuesday!

Mustard Field, Kalispell, MT
Things are looking up - Camping World tells me the replacement cooling unit will be in either Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.  If it is early enough to get have it replaced on Tuesday, I might even make part of the Tennessee Rally. Of course, things don't always go as planned, but I'm hopeful.

I'm going to weight the trailer again now that it is packed.  I checked the tongue weight - a little high, so I'm going to have to move some stuff from the front to the back.  I'll have a better idea of what I need to change after getting both weights.

Till next time -

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

So Much For Planning!

Pectol's Pyramid, Capitol Reef National Park, UT

I finished with doctor & dentist appointments, let "Meals of Wheels" I wouldn't be delivering for 5 months, cancelled a bunch of meetings scheduled throughout the Spring & Summer, and started packing the trailer. Since it takes a day or so for the refrigerator to get cold, I turned it on yesterday morning. I also added bleach & water to the fresh water system to sanitize it.

Then it was off for a swim, and back to the house to plan how to schedule stops between leaving Oswego & the first day of the Egg Camping Club's "5th Annual SE Spring Eggscursion April 19 - 22." Since I like to drive 200 miles or so per day & stop in early afternoon I planned my stops & left room for 4 days in Washington, DC.  I've been there a number of times since my daughter lived there up until last April, however we never spent much time in museums & I decided  to see some.  So, the schedule was set & I'm leaving on Thursday.  Yea, WAS has become the operative word.

The first thing I noticed was that the remote thermometer sensor in both the freezer & the refrigerator sections was going up, not down - sure never saw that before.  In the past it never took a full 24 hours to reach normal temperatures, if fact it was usually ready to go in 10 - 12 hours.  When I went to bed it was still 5° above the outside temperature.

This morning it was at the outside temperature - 44°F.  I did the usually wiggling of things, shaking the entire trailer to get things flowing, switched back & forth between electric & gas, etc & no change.  The chimney was getting hot on gas or electric, I could hear gurgling in the coils, so it seemed like at least part of it was working, but still no cooling.

Made a call & off we went to Camping World in Syracuse, the nearest Dometic repair facility.  The end result?  A bad cooling unit - unusual in a 12 month old trailer.  The good - it is under warranty.  Another good - Maybe the bad cooling unit is part of the problem I had this summer with erratic cooling. The bad - A call to Dometic still has not been returned after 4 hours as to the availability of a replacement.  Camping World said it would take a couple of days if it is in stock at Dometic, otherwise at least a week or two.  Rather than wait to hear on the availability, I headed home & will wait for a call when Camping World hears from Dometic. Since it isn't all that popular size (5 cu. ft.) I'm not optimistic. Oh well, at least I didn't make reservations other than the July rally in Oregon & they promise me it will be repaired by then!

I did get to try my new "Grand Areo Towing Mirrors". They took a bit of time to set up, but there is very little shake even at 60mph, and they stayed in place & in adjustment over the rough roads & wind between here & Syracuse.

So, I'm back in Oswego with a half packed, sanitized trailer but who knows when I'll be ready to go!

Till next time...