December 23, 2017

Temporary Chaos

yikes! good thing it's temporary

As some of you know from first hand experience, RV cabinets are typically not made to hold much weight.  But what is the purpose of this?  I know the manufacturers want to keep the overall weight down but sagging cabinet bottoms is a good way to get your contents broken.

Roamin's cabinets were no different than Raven's cabinets.  We got used to it at the time and didn't think much about it.

Raven has a large cabinet over the front sink area that extends nearly the entire width of her.  In the short two months of having to deal with a sagging shelf we knew it was time to do something about it.

Luckily Ron is tool savvy!  Plus his ability to design what needs to be made is uncanny!  Yes, he does read this and he approved this message :-))

Once the cabinet was emptied Ron got to work.  Mind you, this was a long process and everything went in and out of the cabinets frequently...  First things first: assess the situation.  As soon as the top layer was opened up we knew what was needed.  The entire cabinet (~16" x 72") was void of any interior support.  Time to go get some 1" x 2" boards and hardware.

Good thing we have a small air compressor as it came in handy a few times on this project.  Ron assembled right angle hardware on the cut pieces prior to installing them into the cabinet. 

Notches were cut out for the light fixture wiring.  The supports were spaced 9" or 10" apart across the entire length of the cabinet.  

It was a tight fit working in the back area of the cabinet.  The doors had to come off for the time being.  The shelf couldn't come out so it had to be taped up and back out of the way.

Once all of the supports were in place, Ron's outside-of-the-box thinking/designing came into play.  He created a plastic holder for all of our shaker cups, ninja cups and water bottles.  Because the front of the rig is curved Ron had to design it with that in mind.  The holder itself is screwed directly to the vertical facade pieces so it won't budge.  It takes up the entire center cavity.  It sure simplifies getting what we need.

I bought a couple of organizers from Lowe's and put them into the left cabinet section.  I highly recommend using some sort of grip-mat on the base of the shelves.  It helps keep glass from shifting due to road vibration.  I even put it on the store bought shelves to keep items in place.

Another holder that Ron designed and custom built is this organizer.  Our soup mugs and coffee cups each have their own slot on the top section.  The center section holds our dinner plates.  The plates are easily removable because they slide in/out.  But when we drive we put a small piece of grip-mat under the front of the bottom plate.  The bottom section holds two cookie racks perfectly!  There is an area to the far right of the holder that is 'wasted space'.  I decided to use this for items that I rarely use.  I hadn't put down the grip-mat when the photo was taken, but it's there now.

Slowly but surely Raven is going to get this type of added support to her other cabinets.

This morning Ron and I hitched up Raven to Rainer.  I'm happy to report that everything in the front cabinet was in place and unbroken when we arrived :-)  Right now we're at Park of the Sierras (an Escapees park) in Coarsegold, CA.  We plan to spend the Christmas holiday here and then we have a couple of repairs to tend to on the road before returning to Rocklin in early January.

November 24, 2017

Three Weeks Away & A New Home

Ron and I have been parked in the same spot in Rocklin for quite awhile.  Working and home life have kept us off the road lately.  We began planning for a fun get away, mostly to keep our sanity :-)

We left with Roamin in tow on a Saturday afternoon in early October.  Our itinerary included the Pomona RV Show, then make our way down to Patagonia, Arizona to spend time with my cousin David, then make a stop in Moss Landing while working for a couple of days and end up back in Rocklin three weeks later.

Stop One: Pomona RV Show

"We're Just Window Shopping" = famous last words!!  We wanted to check out the RV's and see what was in store for when we upgrade in a couple of years.  I bought multi-day passes because I knew we'd want to visit the show several times.  I also booked a spot at the KOA campground which is right next door to the show.

Ron and I had discovered on our drive that the refrigerator had a problem.  The freezer seemed to be working all right but the fridge part continued to hover around 45 degrees.  Not at all what is supposed to happen.  Ron researched a bit and thought he had a solution.  He also found out this particular model of Dometic refrigerator was discontinued.  In the end, we called Howard, a mobile RV mechanic.  His name and number were on the advertisement sheet on the reverse side of the campground map.  Ron spoke with him on Sunday night.  He answered Ron's questions, explained his charges and gave us the choice if we wanted him to come out.

Howard arrived as promised Monday morning.  While he did his thing, I did laundry and Ron learned a bit about RV refrigerators and how they operate.  Turns out the part Ron thought was broken wasn't the problem.  There was another part which had calcium buildup inside.  During the drive some of the calcium must have dislodged and then became stuck in a cooling tube.  Howard says he sees it often.  His solution: lets carefully hammer on the solenoid to try and free the clog... ??  All I know is it worked!   Once Howard was finished and the laundry put away Ron and I headed over to check out some RV's.

We walked through many, many travel trailers.  We checked out different manufacturers and floor plans.  We even went into a few 5th wheels and Class A coaches knowing full well we can't have/don't want that type of rig.  Our last stop of the day was the Rockwood display.  Roamin is a Rockwood and we wanted to check out the new styles.  You know, for future reference :-)

A few were out of the question for one reason or another.  When we stepped into the 8335BSS we were floored.  So. Much. Room!

from the Forest River website
The rig had so many great points compared to Roamin.  Bigger kitchen, bigger bedroom, deeper closet, bigger bed, bigger fridge (we still found the discontinued model in some of them at the show), two couches AND a dinette, bigger TV (don't judge, it's home), better sound system, 50AMP with two  A/C's, better stairs, two doors, lots of windows :-), WiFi booster built into the rig and more!  A few not so good differences were less 'garage' space, no separate coat closet, two dump valves (one under a slide), plus a narrow & deep pantry.  It was also four feet longer.  Could it fit into our already tight spot back in Rocklin??  We had a lot to ponder...

The next morning we went back to see the trailer.  We were leaning towards buying it, IF all of the conditions were right.  As Ron says, "If all the stars align".

Happy Birthday to Ron!!

All of the stars did align and we were at the show until after closing time working with our sales person and the finance department.  It was Tuesday.  The show still ran until the end of the weekend.  They wanted us to wait until the show ended before we could pick it up.  But, they had a different one in stock locally.  Same floor plan, same features.  We could pick up our new home at a nearby dealer two days later!!!  YES :-))

Moving Day

Thursday arrives.  We have some stuff boxed up after a trip to Home Depot yesterday.  The dealer positions our new home in the parking lot next to Roamin.  Door to Door.  Wish I got a photo.  We were up and down the two sets of stairs for almost the entire day!!  Final paperwork and inspections were done and we rolled out of there at 7:30PM.  We were so exhausted that we called a local campground for a quick pull through site for one night.  KOA was booked :-(

Here are some photos of Raven:

view coming in the front door, we love the huge kitchen window

big open kitchen :-)

full entertainment center just across from the double recliners

the second couch is more than big enough for Rufus!

basic bathroom but it has two doors

plenty of foot room for us and Rufus's bed

meet Raven, our new home!!

Stop Two: Patagonia, Arizona

We did have a couple of nights in Quartsite on the way to Patagonia.  At this time of the year we seemed to be the only one in the park.  I didn't bother taking a photo.  We did get out and explore the area just a tiny bit.  I could see how it would be better experienced once the tents are set up.  One day we'll go there in January, just for the experience.

Patagonia is an itty bitty town in south Arizona.  David chose it as a midway point between his home in Texas and our home in California.  The small campground is very basic.  Gravel all around with sparse dry grass patches.  But it had full hookups at a decent price of $33 per night.  Over the course of our five days there we found about 100 marbles strewn about our campsite.  Who ever gets our spot next may be in marble heaven! LOL

so that's where I left 'em...

Ron and I were pretty much still unpacking/organizing at this point.  We did manage a day trip to Tombstone.  David and Dee went a bit earlier in the day.  We did catch up with them at the tour depot.  We paid our fee and hopped aboard the bus.

David and Dee, too bad she didn't look when I took the photo
We drove past parts of the city while learning a little about the town and it's history.  Quite the colorful past.   Old western towns can be interesting.  I'd like to come back another time to visit some of the more historical sites.  One day isn't enough...

We walked in some of the shops.  We bought a few souvenirs for ourselves.  We have a lot of wall space in Raven so we bought a small wall hanging.  Ron bought himself a new hat. 

Our daughter and son in law are expecting their first child in March.  Our first grand-baby!!  We didn't know it's sex when we were in Tombstone so we came home with two t-shirts.  Jessica and Mike are having a boy :-)  Friends are having a granddaughter around the same time so the new parents will get the other one :-)

Stop Three: Moss Landing

During the previous weeks we received additional work for the Salinas and San Jose areas.  One of the benefits of this lifestyle is being able to change plans, if needed, in order to help our clients sooner.  I looked up campgrounds near Salinas and found Moss Landing KOA.  You know how much I love the beach.  This campground is within walking distance :-)

The park is small but situated in such a way that the sites have ample space between neighbors.  We ended up staying at the park for four days, we liked it so much.  During our stay two other Rockwood trailers came in.  We all decided on an impromptu walk through.  The first one belonged to an older couple who travel with their grand kids on occasion.  They have a bunkhouse model with a Murphy bed in the front.  The second one is a couple with grown children, no grand kids yet.  Their trailer was purchased  a couple of months earlier.  This was their maiden trip.  Good times :-)

Ron and I walked to the beach a few times.  Why not, it's just that close :-)

the color was not altered in these two photos

we found some geocaches on the walking path

I tell you, those three weeks flew by quickly.  We all had a great vacation from the usual.  We're already planning for our next outing.  We're hoping to take a trip to the Sierra mountains in late December.

nope, he's not spoiled... :-)
*As always, you can click on any photo to see it larger.         

November 1, 2017

Last Day In The States

A quick catch up...

When I last posted here our son and his wife were visiting.  Alex and Kana left on August 31.  We spent their last day in the states in San Francisco prior to their red eye flight back to Japan.

We did some of the usual touristy stuff:

                                                drove across the Golden Gate Bridge

                 walked all over Golden Gate Park seeing flower gardens and other beautiful spots

       took a photo at the mermaid fountain in Ghirardelli Square, oh and bought chocolate :-)

                               then ended the day at Boudin Bakery with a delicious dinner

Somewhere in between all of that we went to Pier 39 for some souvenirs.  Needless to say, my FitBit step count set a new all time high record that day!

It's been crazy around here since they left.  We just got back from almost a month away.  We left with Roamin in tow and returned with Raven in tow.  Stay tuned...

September 16, 2017

Solvang, Family Time & Rainier

Solvang is one of those places in California that I've heard about but hadn't ever been to.  Until now.

Ron and I had been hired to repair a playground slide in the neighboring city of Lompoc.  We didn't have other repairs in the area so this was originally going to be a quick overnight trip.  Not worth towing Roamin again :-(  Then I saw that Solvang was nearby :-)  I booked a hotel right in the middle of town.  They accept dogs so Rufus joined us on this outing.

Our first night there we arrived late in the day.  We were still anxious to see the town in all it's Danish splendor.  We took a midnight stroll through the neighboring streets.  There was a bakery nearby that makes pastries from scratch.  We knew we'd have to go there when they were open.  The street cleaners were the only ones out, besides us.

The following day we made the necessary repairs returning late in the day.  We decided another day to relax and stroll the town was a must!  We went for pastries and saved them for the next morning.  That was tough!

After lunch we walked down some of the streets.  So pretty there.  If you're in the area I highly recommend a stop. 

Our son, Alex, and his wife, Kana, were in California recently.  They stayed with friends nearby and we were able to share some fun times with them during their stay.

There is a nature park about 40 minutes away.  It had been years since Alex was there.  Kana really enjoys nature walks so it was the perfect place to spend an afternnon together.

Hidden Falls Regional Park boasts 30 miles of hiking/biking/equestrian trails, waterfalls, swimming, fishing and picnic areas.  They now operate a parking reservation system because of popularity.  On our midweek visit the system was not yet operational and the parking lot had less than one dozen cars.  Score!

We walked to the first waterfall overlook.  The water was flowing even though it was mid August.  There was no trails leading to the fall itself but just downstream there was a nice spot were we could get our feet wet.  We splashed in the water and clambered over rocks for nearly two hours before we decided to make our exit.  Still have yet to see the rest of the 25+ miles of trails...

Kana, Alex, Ron, Rene' and Rufus

everything is so green :-)

Alex finally got to see and drive his '64 restored truck.  It recently came back from the paint shop.  He and Kana were pleased with how it's coming along.  Planned projects for the truck include a spray-on bed liner, new seat upholstery, dash panel upgrades and carpet in the cab.

it took a master paint-tech weeks months to get the lettering right!

new chrome for the front

their smiles say a thousand thanks :-)

Meanwhile Rainier now has a custom industrial shell installed.  This makes it much easier for us work wise.  We're able to park our truck near the work site, leave the generator and air compressor in the back and work away.  We're glad we don't have to move it too much 'cause that new generator weighs A LOT!!