Dawn Michelle's Blog (28)

The Desert & the Nomads

Incredible week (and a half) out here so far.  I wasn't sure what to expect but despite the isolation, I have to say everything is much more intense than I anticipated.  I don't think I've managed to capture it in photos yet, but the desert is beautiful.  Yes, it's very dry, very rocky, but the play of colors and textures has caught me in awe more than once.…

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Added by Dawn Michelle on December 1, 2017 at 5:30pm — 3 Comments

Made it...

I'm a little slow with my report, but I made my final destination on Thanksgiving, and found "the tribe".  For those of you that don't know, I'm doing my thesis research on solo female RVers and vandwellers.  So while my ultimate destination is the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous (RTR) in Quartzsite, my final physical destination was Ehrenberg, AZ, 17 miles west of Quartzsite.  There, on BLM land the 14 day rule is in effect, but not enforced.

So, many RVers that are going to the two…

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Added by Dawn Michelle on November 25, 2017 at 4:34pm — 6 Comments

Road Report #1

I have to say the first leg of my trip, from Asheville, NC to Denver, CO was stressful and there were several times I was close to turning around and packing it in.  Those that I've caught up with on chat have had the dubious honor of providing emotional support.  In addition to the strangeness of sleeping in new places every night, I was dogged by a mechanical issue that still hasn't been resolved (I'm on my fifth mechanic now and just won't know whether the last fix resolved the issue…

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Added by Dawn Michelle on November 4, 2017 at 10:42pm — 2 Comments

And, Liftoff!! Well, Tomorrow...

Had one last day of loose ends to tie up, but tomorrow, after all these months of renovations, I'm ready to go. 

Tire pressure good? Check.  Water level in batteries good?  Check?  Fluids good?  Check.  Everything packed, details taken care of, fresh water filled, electronics charged?  Check.  If anything breaks now, it has to be dealt with on the road.

I've been promising interior shots for awhile now.  Remember - being an 84 I felt at liberty to mix it up and…

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Added by Dawn Michelle on October 17, 2017 at 7:54pm — 5 Comments

On The Home Stretch

I finally came to accept that Juno is never going to be done.  There's always going to be another project. And, that sooner or later I have to get on the road "imperfect".  Don't chuckle so hard, this was difficult for me to come to terms with!

So, sooner is better than later.  Next week a shakedown cruise over to Tennessee and then that weekend, if all goes well, I'll get on the road west.

She's currently at the new mechanic's for a last bit of work.  My…

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Added by Dawn Michelle on September 28, 2017 at 6:13pm — 14 Comments

Some Good...and, Some Bad

First let me start by sharing that we all survived our first overnight camping trip!  By we I mean my mother, the dog, the cat, and myself.  Juno still has a long list of things to do, but we had water, fully working electric, a working toilet, good bedding, a fridge, and mechanically needed to put her through some paces so when I take her back they can try to track down the oil/transmission fluid leak (I think it's the former from the cardboard spots).…

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Added by Dawn Michelle on August 19, 2017 at 7:32pm — 2 Comments

Just a Quick Rundown of Progress

Lately the pics from camera have been terrible so not going to post any, but did want to at least do a quick update on progress:

-Curtains finished and rehung.  Valance upholstered and that and dinette blind reinstalled

-Dinette -u-shape bench modification finished, and cushion/upholstery finished for that.

-Kitchen backsplash smart tiles installed - only one wall looks like it is melting where I managed to install two sheets at angles.  Instead of using the…

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Added by Dawn Michelle on August 5, 2017 at 9:34pm — No Comments

Juno's Back!! And she now has a "face"

I am so ecstatic to report that I picked up Juno from the mechanic's last Thursday and she and I had our virgin trip together.  It was definitely a happy honeymoon.  Do you know I signed the papers on her in October and this was the first time I actually was behind the wheel on the road??!  Rick didn't get her here until January and then she sat in the yard until I could get the roof sealed, and finally the mechanic took pity on me and came and got her because of the stall on idle issue.  I…

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Added by Dawn Michelle on July 4, 2017 at 1:00pm — 9 Comments

Not Dead in a Ditch - Take Two - Part II - Curtains, Upholstery and Plumbing

While Juno is at the mechanics, mom and I are tackling the curtains and upholstery.  She'd finished one side of the dinette prior:

She used the old cushions as a template, and we salvaged the vinyl backings and the zippers.  That's five inches of high…

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Added by Dawn Michelle on June 18, 2017 at 11:46am — 4 Comments

Not Dead in a Ditch - Take Two - Part I - Mechanical Update

Apparently my previous post was lost when I did a couple of edits, so going to try again and split it into two parts.  If you think you've read it before, then you probably did! LOL!

Just wanted to give an update as it's been a little while and while progress is slow, it has been happening.

Most importantly Juno finally went to the mechanics!!  WOOT WOOT.  

My guy is awesome - he even came and got it for me since I was nervous about taking it on…

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Added by Dawn Michelle on June 18, 2017 at 10:05am — No Comments

Just a short update, no pics :-(

It's been awhile, but fixes have been progressing at the rate of Methuselah.  

Mostly because of my lack of skills and knowledge.  How could plumbing be so complicated you ask?  It's actually not.  My rig is 21 foot - there's a couple of short runs and everything with a connection is accessible.  A couple of back twisters but only because I don't move quite like I used to :-)  For Lakota's young buck in the WalMart parking lot it would be a breeze!  And, seriously, my…

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Added by Dawn Michelle on May 17, 2017 at 6:40pm — 11 Comments

And the major sealing is done!!!!!!

Can I say yeehaw!  I'm finally off the roof!!  

The new ac shroud came in last week (Camping World order took about a week direct from manufacturer).  Fixing the old one became an exercise in futility.  I did learn a lot about fiberglass, though, from my mistakes.  I don't regret my decision - it looks great.  The old shroud is going to become a little goldfish pond.

So, confessions.  I have come to despise dicor with a passion.  Stuff didn't set up fast, I was…

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Added by Dawn Michelle on April 30, 2017 at 7:50pm — 2 Comments

Rigging a Vent Fan - Cheap Mod

Because I have a lot of things to sort out on my new-to-me-rig, as well as a limited budget, there are some places I'm going to have to make some compromises, at least initially.  Juno came with two ceiling vents, but no fans.  Decided that was something I had to modify, and I did consider replacing them, but ultimately decided for now to rig fans into the opening.  This is by no means either pretty or convenient, but it's workable and will save me about $400 I can spend elsewhere.…

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Added by Dawn Michelle on April 22, 2017 at 8:09pm — 1 Comment

Playing with Power Tools (& Step Solutions)

Pretty day today, but rain tomorrow so postponed (yet again) un-tarping to start cleaning off the corner trim to reseal.  Some progress however - our handyman put in a new gate this week to make it easier to get in and out of the yard and he's going to quote me to put in a gravel pad and a carport.  

Today I tackled the steps.  The bottom one wants to sag forward, and it would take some serious metalwork to try to fix that at the pivot, so I bought a simple metal step brace…

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Added by Dawn Michelle on March 25, 2017 at 6:28pm — 3 Comments

First Wiring Project & Lessons Learned

I have a list of wiring projects to tackle, but being a complete novice when it comes to electrical work, I thought it best to start simple.  I've been youtubing for weeks making sure I have a basic understanding of wire gauge, types of connections, and concepts such as grounding.  I've been filling my toolbox with gadgets, a multimeter, heat shrink, a pair of rubber gloves and the like. 

Today I finally took the plunge.  Everything starts with a first step, right? And sharing…

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Added by Dawn Michelle on March 11, 2017 at 8:30pm — 4 Comments

Owners Manuals I Could Upload

If of any use to anyone just let me know (assuming all are mid-80s):

  • Coleman 6727 Mini Mach Roof Top Air Conditioner Operation and Maintenance Instructions
  • Coleman Installation Instructions for All Roof Top Air Conditioners
  • A&E Systems 8000, 8500 & 9000 Fabric Roller Tube Assembly with Universal Hardware Operating Instructions, Installation Instructions and Installation Supplement
  • A&E Elite/Deluxe Plus/Deluxe Window Awnings with…
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Added by Dawn Michelle on March 6, 2017 at 10:26pm — No Comments

Meet-My-Engine-Battery Day and Should This Be Hooked Up Somewhere?

It wasn't an ambitious weekend.  Undone schoolwork is catching up with me.  In some ways going back to college at this time of life is gratifying, and other times I just feel like I can't be bothered.  Wait!  I felt like that back in my twenties and that's why I didn't finish.  Guess it's not an AGE thing - LOL.

Yesterday my fixit guy came over with his air compressor and fixed the valve stem and aired up that inside dually.  I think he just pried it a little to open it up,…

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Added by Dawn Michelle on February 26, 2017 at 4:33pm — 7 Comments

Weekend Update

Unfortunately I only had this afternoon to get out and work on Juno.  Earlier in the week, though I did learn all about topping up batteries and how to test with a multimeter (my house battery is subsequently in fine shape) –so that was something.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

First, I finally figured out how to use the new environmentally-friendly piece of garbage that qualifies as a modern gas container so it doesn't leak gas out of the…

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Added by Dawn Michelle on February 19, 2017 at 7:24pm — 11 Comments

Beautiful Sunday To Tackle A Project - Part #2

The squished out butyl tape didn't trim as neatly as I'd hoped.  I tried the putty knife, but finally settled on a flathead screwdriver.  I'd love suggestions on how others do this!

After that I used the best option I had on hand to protect the butyl tape - which was a white latex caulk. Hmm.  It's old and and seems to set up more quickly than I think it should.  Best to use a clear next time (and note to self - don't be cheap - just get some new stuff) - then I can…

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Added by Dawn Michelle on February 12, 2017 at 4:31pm — 1 Comment

Beautiful Sunday To Tackle A Project - Part #1

Alrighty then.  A nice day, and butyl tape in hand, I finally decided to tackle one of my first projects. Resecuring a marker light and the license plate that fell off on the journey over.  Remember, I'm taking baby steps.  What probably is like nothing to most, simple stuff, is all new to me. But thanks to advice from here (especially Rich and Lakota - but others as well), youtube, camping world and numerous hardware store employees I think it came out alright. Time will…

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Added by Dawn Michelle on February 12, 2017 at 4:06pm — 4 Comments

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