The Transnistria parliament building with a statue of Lenin out front. In the city of Tiraspol, Transnistria. Photo taken December 9, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Tiraspol, Transnistria...the country that doesn't exist.

Where are they going next? Northern Moldova. Arrive December 11th.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

If you would have told me this five years ago...

It poured with rain all Friday night, and most of Saturday. High temperature was 11C (52F).

We had 13 reservations for Friday night. Six of them called to cancel, three didn't bother to call and simply didn't show up. Four die hard campers did show up, and one more came in for the night who was passing through.

I warned the one who was passing through that the hill leading down to our campground gets very muddy and some people have had problems actually leaving the park after days of heavy rain. This guy was in a class B campervan though, so he wasn't towing anything and I didn't think he would have a problem.

Yesterday morning, I was watching out our front window and I saw him leaving.

Half an hour later, I had a knock on the door. It was him!

Says he made it to the top of the hill, but he pulled over to the side so his wife could take a photo. Big mistake! He might have been able to stop on the center of the road and been able to start up again, but pulling over to the side on this mud is a big no-no.

He asked if I had a truck that would pull him out, and offered to pay. After all, he was stuck.

Well, I don't have a truck. But I have a tractor!

So he took off walking back up the hill and I got dressed up to go out in the wet and cold. I brought our new little waterproof camera, but it was so miserable out that I didn't take any pics of him being stuck. He was definitely stuck, but the tractor walked him out of there without a problem. No charge, and another happy camper on his way.

As I was driving back down, I did take one shot of my view from the tractor's seat...


If you would have told me five years ago that I would be sitting on a tractor in the rain in Saskatchewan, I would have bet against you!

Not much to do around here to keep busy in this kind of weather, so I went up to the shop and puttered around on Sherman. Got his inverter and the remote switch installed. Works great! 

New inverter installed under the kitchen sink.

It's hardwired under the kitchen sink. I had installed #4 cable from the batteries which are only four feet away. The main electrical cable is also under the sink, so I simply plug it directly into the inverter outlets to enable all of Sherman's 120v outlets to work. Lots of room for a camera to slide in there to take the picture, but not much working space for your hands!

I bolted the inverter to an old cutting board to keep it off the carpet.

Remote inverter switch.

The original hot water heater switch and the holding tank heaters switch had a big gap between them that was perfectly filled by our new inverter switch. No more getting down on hands and knees and reaching inside the cupboard under the sink to check and see if the inverter is on or off!

Works great! I plugged a 350 watt halogen work lamp into it, and turned it on for two minutes. I was actually testing our batteries at the same time. Our four Trojan T-105's are over five years old now, and I do believe they're starting to get weak. Starting voltage was fully charged at 12.72 volts but after running that lamp for two minutes it had dropped to 12.1. It took 20 minutes to stabilize back at 12.68.  

Inverter works perfectly.

I then left two of the ceiling lights (I think they're 15 or 21 watt? Can't remember...) on for an hour and a half. Voltage then read 12.4. Turned them off and after 20 minutes it stabilized back at 12.64.

So I think the batteries are okay for another year, but I thought I remembered the voltage recovering faster than that in the past. I've read that you can expect 4-6 years from deep cycle batteries with proper care, and as I said, these are just over five years now.

I poked around underneath and had a look at the shocks. Removed the lower bolt from each one and tested the pressure. The fronts were replaced in 2011, and they are still good. The rear ones are done though. I can buy some Monroe RV shocks up here delivered for $79.22 CAD ($61 USD) each tax included so I think I'll order them on Tuesday. Should have no problem installing them myself.

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Boy, it is sure feeling like fall here today! A huge selection of fall jackets on sale at Amazon.com today only....


And a good deal on a motion detector security light at Amazon.ca here in Canada...





22 comments:

  1. Nice install! Replaced the shocks on our RV - impact driver certainly helped! You headed through Denver on your way south?

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    1. Unfortunately, partly due to the value of the CAD dollar in the U.S., we're going for a straight shot south to Laredo. Hoping to do the Canadian border to the Mexican border in two weeks which is twice as fast as we normally would. So we'll likely be in eastern Colorado, but won't be doing the extra 100 mile detour to Denver!

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    2. Denver to Laredo I did in two days, but alone and in our pickup! Should things change, I have a 1/2" impact that makes short work of shock bolts!

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    3. Thanks for the offer Kent! But I also have a 1/2" impact gun here, so I'll be changing the shocks before we depart. Maybe we'll see you in Mexico again this winter!

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  2. Good job with the inverter, ours is right beside our 2 trojans with the remote in the bedroom, sure is handy.
    We had 4 Koni shocks install 5-6 years ago, but was a major job, cutting torch and all, this Holiday rambler is not as easy to work on as yours. They are still good.

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    1. Yes, for most people the bedroom is a good spot but because we don't have a TV there or anything else that is electrical we don't have a need to put it there.

      So glad that our motorhome seems to be a fairly easy one to work on for the most part. Mind you that all depends on how the easily the bolts will come off of course!

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  3. Nice job on the inverter, how many watts is your inverter again? I have two 300watt inverters they are good for when the power goes out here at the RV park and we need to charge our devices, but I think that's about it.
    You must be getting excited planning your trip!!!

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    1. This one is 1,000 watts. The big one we had before was 1,500, but it was more than we needed, and I wasn't totally unhappy when it gave up. We also have a 400 watt one that we bought for emergency use and we'll keep it as a spare. We usually only need it for the laptops, but we like to be able to use our electric toaster and so this one will run that too.

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  4. I sure hope the no show/no call people get billed for the night. Love the picture from the tractor. Lucky for that guy the park has one and you keep it in good condition. I'll be anxious to see your shocks replacement post. We need to do ours as well. I assume you did the ones in 2011 too?

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    1. Yes, they forfeit one night's camping plus the reservation fee.

      When we replaced the front ones in 2011, we were on the road and I paid a little one man garage $30 to do the job. It's fairly simple on our motorhome...only two bolts... so provided they're not too badly corroded and you have the proper tools, it's a pretty quick job.

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  5. Like I said the other day, the tractor picture is really a beautiful picture. Nice job on the inverter.

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    1. Thanks Chris! Can't wait now to try the inverter and remote out properly on the road, won't be long now! Hoping to go for a short hike this afternoon if it doesn't rain on us and then we can show some more pretty pictures of the area.

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  6. i dont know much more about it... but looks like a good job

    thanks
    Dudhwa National Park

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  7. It rained in Ocean Park WA Friday night, too, and STORMED on Saturday. The storm was so severe that it impacted coastal Washington's Olympic Park campgrounds (downed monster trees) and they had to close them Sat-Tues. Imagine the disgruntled folks! By the beginning of Labor Day wkend (Thursday), the campgrounds were STILL empty, unheard of in these parts. We had our choice of sites, for sure! Summer's over!!

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    1. Wow, that must have been some storm to have downed some of those huge trees. I certainly hope that nobody in the campground got hurt or had their units damaged from the storm. Nice that you were able to bonus on the fact that the campground was still empty for the Labor Day weekend.

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  8. I bet that camper will not be pulling to the side of the road anytime soon to get a picture:)

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    1. Well at least not on dirt roads after a ton of rain! Lucky that we had the tractor to help him out of the mud.

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  9. The shocks do look easy. I have 1/2" sockets with an 18" cheater bar (and a 2 foot pipe if needed). If PB Blaster will loosen the nuts I should be fine. How do you compress the new shocks if they are extended more than the space between the mounts?

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    1. I used a cheater bar and a pipe to loosen mine because the impact gun wouldn't fit in there! I also have a small 2 ton floor jack that should work for compressing the new shocks once the top nut is reinstalled. I'll be sure and do a write up when I'm done the job.

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  10. I've got a bottle jack as well and am ordering the shocks now. Let you know how this one goes on a Workhorse W20 with either Bilstein or Monroe Magnum RV - whichever the partsgeeks have. Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Hope you have an easier time getting the bolt out than Kevin did. He had a rough time with it.

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