Our 2019-2020 winter vacation has officially begun!


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Comment by Kevin F Smith on December 27, 2019 at 6:29pm

We started our annual Winter Vacation cleaning today.  This is going to take a while!

Today I got the stove top cleaned, topside and underneath, and the oven and hood and microwave.  I also deep cleaned the sink and counter top, and started deep cleaning the fridge.  

Also taken care of today was the trash and kitty box...but that gets done all the time.  Patti is doing the laundry and bedding as well.

Starting tomorrow, we'll be cleaning every nook and cranny inside, starting in the cockpit and working our way all the way to the back.  We are going to be using a mold/mildew killer while we are at it, since some is already starting to grow on the driver's door kick panel and in some of the window tracks.  No Bueno!!!  

The pups are also getting brushed out and bathed this week...and then brushed again outside once they are dry.  And then we are going to shampoo the carpets and upholstery.


Comment by Kevin F Smith on December 23, 2019 at 6:51pm

And...I just turned on the furnace again, and it fired right up!!!  WOO HOO!!!


Comment by Kevin F Smith on December 23, 2019 at 6:40pm

ITS ALIVE!!!  MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!  :::insert deranged maniacal laughter here:::

We had a break in the weather today, so I reinstalled the furnace, got it all hooked up, and it fired up!!!
And then the flame went out.  I figured it was probably just air in the propane line, so I tried it no fewer than 10 more times.  NADA!!!
Well crap.  Everything that is supposed to happen at the board is happening...green light, red when trying it ignite (and you can hear the click of the sparks), green light...the board tries three times, then eventually the time delay relay shuts it down. 
So now I am getting pretty ticked off!  WTF???
I'm thinking it must be either a bad gas valve and/or igniter element...and start searching Amazon and eBay for them, and the replacement costs.  They ain't cheap, and if I had to buy those too, the money I have spent so far would have pretty much covered buying a brand new furnace!
Then my dad (step dad, but I call him dad) said "hey, why don't you wait a while and try it again...could just be air in the lines."  I politely smiled and nodded, thinking to myself that I already tried 10+ times and that should have purged any air out of the lines, right?...but I didn't say anything since he's 83 and I love the guy.
I bid everyone good night, and came back into the RV, turned on the furnace, and BINGO!!!  Fired right up and stayed lit!
I'm pretty sure it is working now!  I'll try it again in the morning, but as of right now, IT LIVES!!!
Comment by Kevin F Smith on December 23, 2019 at 7:56am

I can't reinstall the furnace today because it is going to rain all day again...but I did hang one of these Delongi SafeHeat micathermic contraptions on the wall between the dinette and the bathroom.  Extremely light weight, draws less amps than a ceramic heater, and even on the lowest setting keeps the entire RV nice and warm!  I'll reinstall the furnace tomorrow though.


Comment by Kevin F Smith on December 21, 2019 at 7:44pm

I got the old motor out and took it apart...and one of the brush springs was collapsed!  It looks like from extreme heat.  Maybe I accidentally shorted it out when I was testing it?

So down to the Ace hardware store for new springs.  I would have gotten new brushes while I had this thing apart, but Ace and NO other store had them in this small rural town of Fitzgerald, GA.  There is lots of life left in the brushes though, so it wasn't a big deal.

I put the new springs in, reassembled it, and tested it with a 12 volt battery charger...BINGO!!!  Runs like a champ with lots of torque!

Getting the blower housing and motor out was a pain, since there was a cage around the whole thing...so I had my dad cut it off with a cutting wheel and a hacksaw, as I see zero purpose in keeping it there.  You can see what I mean in the attached photo...I had him remove the slotted parts of the top and side sheetmetal that boxed in the blower assembly, etc. 

After the cage was removed, putting it all back together was pretty easy.

It is completely ready now to reinstall...but it got dark and started raining, so I'll have to wait until it stops raining (Monday afternoon) to put it back in.

So that should do it!  Instead of paying 120 bucks for a new motor, it cost me .79 cents for two little springs.  SWEET!!!

Comment by Kevin F Smith on December 20, 2019 at 9:27pm

So I looked under the Jeep today, and noticed that the two bolts on the driver's side AND the spacers that hold up the transfer case crossmember are missing!  The transfer case had dropped, and the driver's side of the crossmember was just there, hanging in the breeze!!!

It must have JUST happened when I went to the market yesterday, so no damage.  My dad (really my stepdad, but I call him dad because I love the guy) took me down to the hardware store, and I got everything to make the repair.  Turns out the bolts on the passenger side were also loose!  Ye gads!  It looks like Christian Brothers Automotive forgot to tighten them when I paid them 1200 freakin' dollars to replace my cracked flex plate.  Shoddy workmanship!  This is why I hate paying money to mechanics when I know darn well that I would do a MUCH better and more thorough job, AND save a bunch of cash.  Dang idiots.

At least I noticed it and repaired it in time before there was any major damage!

As far as my furnace goes, it turns out the actual problem is a bad solder joint inside the motor.  A new motor is around 120.00 shipped...so I'm going to take it out in the morning, take it apart, try to repair the connection, and hopefully save us some money.  

Comment by Kevin F Smith on December 19, 2019 at 8:22pm

Having a great visit at my mother's house for Christmas!  We pulled right into her fenced in back yard, closed the gate...and the pups are loving it!


Comment by Kevin F Smith on December 17, 2019 at 6:22pm

We got out of my sister's driveway no problem this morning (after the local trash pickup), and the rig is starting RIGHT up, just like when we first bought it!  

We got about 50 miles from my mother's house, and got caught in a BAD thunderstorm with a LOT of rain!  I mean BAD!!!  A real gully-washer with really high winds!!!  

So we pulled into a truck stop for the night, and will arrive at my mother's house tomorrow morning.


Comment by Kevin F Smith on December 16, 2019 at 3:37pm

Everything is done!  The Jeep is loaded with all our stuff and the trailer lights are attached, I'm officially registered at the VA, I took the used oil down to a recycling center, and I troubleshot the furnace again (determining that it is indeed a bad time delay relay).  I ordered a new one and had it shipped to my mom's house.

Tomorrow morning we drive around 160 miles to visit my mother in Fitzgerald, GA for Christmas...the doggos are going to love her fenced in HUGE yard!
Comment by Kevin F Smith on December 15, 2019 at 5:22pm

Woohooo!!!  All the maintenance is done!!!

I changed the oil today with 17.2 quarts of Rotella 15W-40 diesel oil, the oil filter with a Wix filter, and checked all the other fluids (nothing else had to be topped off).  I also greased every fitting, repacked the front wheel bearings with Lucas wheel bearing grease, and set the RV tire pressures to 100psi, and the Jeep to 35psi.
While I was under the RV I also zip tied a few wires up and out of the way that were hanging down.  
Also while I was under the RV, I noticed ANOTHER and much SMALLER fuel filter on the side of the engine!  Off to NAPA, and it now has a fresh Wix filter in its place (they sure are proud of their filters!  16 bucks for a relatively small filter!).  I filled it with diesel and installed it and then started the rig...no leaks!
Then I cleaned my batteries and installed the post extensions because of the number of wires I have attached to them, between the inverter and the Morningstar solar charge controller.
Finally, I cleaned up the kitty litter I laid down to soak up the Jeep's power steering fluid, cleaned and put away all my tools...and took a shower.  
What a busy day!
Tomorrow I'm going to do one last voltage test on the furnace, go down to the local VA and see about some things, load up the Jeep and get the tow lights and whatnot ready to travel, and be ready to hit the road first thing Tuesday morning to head out to my mother's house for a visit.



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