Saturday, July 30, 2022

At The Bird Feeder

 I'm somewhat tied down with a pulled muscle, otherwise I'd be heading to the Harborfest Fireworks Display tonight.  So, I sat out on the back deck and shot a few bird photos:

Until next time - 

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

A Short Trip to Fairhaven State Park, Fairhaven, NY, Day 2

 Rain off & on over night as well as most of today.  There were a couple of breaks; I managed to do a one mile walk around the campground, and sat outside watching the hummingbirds fight over the feeder for about half an hour.  I set it out yesterday, and one found it within 30 minutes.  This one has 8 stations; you would think they could share, but there is always one that has to chase away all others.

I thought about staying another day since packing the trailer for just two days seems like a bit of a waste of energy, but decided to stick with the plan.  There is only one day available at my site; if there were a few more I might have considered staying.  In any case, between cloud bursts I packed away the grill.  I hope the rain holds off long enough to pack up the 6' X 12' mat in the morning.  

Until the next rip -

Monday, July 11, 2022

A Short Trip to Fairhaven State Park, Fairhaven, NY

 One of my shortest trips, both driving distance (16.4 miles) and duration - two nights in the campground.  I had new brakes installed on the trailer & wanted to wear them in, plus it gave me a chance to test my new thermostat installation.  I'm in site 84, a 30 amp electric only site, mostly dirt & grass with a little gravel, a fire pit & a picnic table that is on the wrong side of the site. While there are no water hookups, there is a water station next door to the site.  A short walk to the bathrooms that have hot showers.  $57.25 for two nights ($25.00 per night plus a $7.25 registration fee.  The reservation was mixed up when I signed in - The registration clerk kept calling me Rush, and when I looked at the tag I was listed as Bob Rush, arriving yesterday and leaving tomorrow.  We got it straightened out & Bob wasn't parked in my site.

Site 84
As I said (well typed), I tried to seat the new brake shoes on the trip out.  Still not as strong as the old ones, but it will probably take a longer drive to wear them in.

The thermostat change needs a bit of explaining. I replaced the original thermostat with a MicroAir thermostat. The "touch" capabilities of the original Dometic thermostat left a lot to be desired. Sometimes it did nothing, other times it went through 2-3 "touches" with one touch. It did not show the current temperature, and was too dark to see except when setting it. The MicroAir solved all those problems, shows indoor & outdoor (if connected to the internet) temperature, and also provided WiFi & Internet control, ie I could turn on or off the AC or heat from anywhere using my phone (assuming I am within Bluetooth range or have an internet connection at the phone & trailer). 

The problem was the MicroAir thermostat kept freezing at 3:00AM. It would show that it was calling for heat, but didn't fire the furnace. The customer service representative suggested doing a firmware update, and once I had internet coverage I did, and it worked better, but I still had it hang one night. Changing the three wires connected to the thermostat at 3:00AM with frozen fingers was a pain.

So, I decided to put both thermostats on the wall with a three pole, double throw switch to let me choose between them. At the same time I decided to try to solve another minor problem. My favorite electric heater, a 1986 Pelonis ceramic unit died. I bought an inexpensive ceramic disk heater from Walmart & it works, but trying to set a specific temperature was difficult. I decided to add a 120 volt AC receptacle that was controlled by a standard wall thermostat. I added a furnace relay & transformer (an aube RC840T-120) and a household thermostat. The whole thing looks a bit weird, but it solves most of my heating & cooling problems.
Three Thermostats

The Furnace Relay

Another summer project was to replace the sink.  The original sink is just a bit too small to wash pots or pie pans.  The replacement is the same front to back, an inch deeper, and 3" wider.  I also redid the drain.  The original installation used a "S" trap, illegal in the US because running a large amount of water will usually siphon out the trap, letting gases into the trailer.   I switched to a "P" trap & added an air admittance valve to keep the trap full.  While I don't like AAVs because they eventually stop working, there is no other way to vent the kitchen sink close enough to the trap to work.

The New Sink

The New Drain - AAV at the Top of the "T"

Another project is to replace the trailer coupler. The original tends to jam, particularly if the trailer is at an angle to the tow vehicle. After destroying my tongue jack at Big Bend National Park many miles from any source for repair, I decided to switch to a more reliable coupler. I decided to go with a Curt 25217 Black A-Frame Coupler. The old coupler had to be removed, and the new one welded in place. While I've done quite a bit of welding, I don't have the equipment anymore, and prefer to have it done by a certified welder.  Around $160.00 for the grinding off of the old coupler & welding on the new one.

The New Coupler

That's it for today.  It was a beautiful afternoon, however rain is predicted for late tonight and all day tomorrow.  I probably should have spent the early evening outside and saved typing all this until tomorrow!

Till then -