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Motorhome Winter Strategies

Unlike last February, I have a spare 30/ 15amp mini tandem breaker on board here in the motorhome.  The Coleman roof top unit is a heater/ air conditioner.  Right now, at 48°F outdoors, I have the heater set at minimum in my 31 year old Itasca Sundancer.  The indoor temperature is reading 66°F.  There is no wind to speak of here.

Last year, I used 14 bales of hay to insulate the outside bottom of my motorhome.  This year, I have some kind of padded material and it's outside is kind of foil like.  I'd even call it "space age?"  But I just now had a thought.  What if inside the shielding, I could stuff the bottom to make it more solid?

What I have coming up is I have to replace the hot water tank.  Then I'll have to search for gas leaks.  I'm certain that there's one at the stove.  In case things go wrong, I need to be able to bypass bad systems, or directly plug them in one at a time.  That could at least entail the installation of a liquid propane coupler from the outside to the in so that something like a 20# tank can remain out.  Of course, a line from the inside port would connect to the hot water heater, stove/ oven or heating systems.

Or could I install shut off valves at each appliance and just use the main input line?  If I did both strategies, I could accommodate a LP heater.  A cylindrical shaped object that costs about $150 present day.


Why Don't I Hike?

Some might ask me why I don't hike.  With 1200 miles covered on the Buckeye Trail and 2000 career, I like to think that I'm just on "inactive status."  But one more hiker isn't going to amount to a hill of beans in Ohio and West Virginia. 

Right now in Far SE Ohio, I'm having a hard enough time "keeping the lights on." We have an annual maintenance contingent from the BTA's Road Fork/ Whipple Work Week, but it gets there in July and this place needs things to start happening in June for economic reasons.  That needs local volunteerism, which we had in the past warm days, but this area has incurred multiple, successive calamities.  And the best thing that can happen now is that we withdraw and regroup now that we're in the cold ones.

Digital Mapping File

The file for Adventurer's Project's Digital Mapping was 375MB in hard disk size.  In the past, Google Earth crashes when it tries to load a file of about 400MB (give or take a few megabytes).   I know that this is just going to get bigger, so I saved the individual items and folders to the hard disk itself.  It will be much easier on my laptop to work with them that way.

Adventurer's Project's Digital Mapping is slated to work on digital cartography well out side of its region.  One idea that I have is in support of the North Country Trail Association's "End-to-End" program.  I think that a regional+ transit project that would include passenger airports, Greyhound intrastate buses and a few local amenities would suit a trail of 4,800 miles well?

I'm not sure what the output will look like for the end user, but considering that their Avenza and Guthooks (I'm not sure what they use) basemaps are probably not drawn for this, it might end up being written on Adventurer's Project's website?  But to do that, we'll have to pin point where everything is and that takes a map.


RV Repair Manual Received

My mechanical aptitude is improving.  A lot of times, I don't need a manual to fix something.  Today, I received my RV repair manual from Half Price Books via Amazon.  I'm looking forward to using it when I go after my liquid propane leak in my 1988 Itasca Sundancer 25 foot's stove.  I'm not sponsored by anybody and the only reason why I mention the make and model is for your convenience regarding search engines.

I'm a full timer and I have an idea on how to keep the heat in the winter.  The front cab windows are huge and they bleed heat.  Last year, I draped a tarp from the overhead bunk and that did some good.  But my idea to better it is to cut some 1 inch foam ply insulation.  I'd do the windshield in several pieces.  I can use some light grade canvas from Jo Ann Fabric's and adhere it all together using hot glue.  I used this canvas and hot glue for a modification to my hiking backpack and it held for quite some time.  Anyways, the hot glue will melt the canvas a bit like a weld.

For the cabin windows, it's the separation between the glass pieces that's the problem.  Just use some packing tape on those so that they'll come off easy with a razor blade when spring comes around.

I have full hookups, so last winter, I used my roof heater, which is electric.  That acted like the primary heat and then I used a large electric ceramic heater as my secondary.  But my gas systems are offline right now and last year I had a lengthy power outage.  I live in very rural Woodsfield, Ohio.  It's in Appalachia and every time a driver hits a utility pole, this village has power outages.  But I have a new liquid propane gas sensor.


New Heated Hose

In the last week, the daily lows have gotten as down to 34°F. My previous heated hose broke last winter. So, I paid $138 for a new one. I upgraded the city water port to feature a "Y" splitter and put a pressure gauge on it. Well, this new heated hose has a higher flow rate and it was hard trying to control it.  I have a 1988 Itasca Sundancer 25ft motorhome, so I have to keep its pressure down at 20psi, instead of 40 because the plumbing is old.


Water Online

The water lines at the hot water tank in my 1988 Itasca Sundancer 25ft motorhome have been bypassed.  Back in February, the hot water tank ruptured. And I thought that the T connections were a part of it and non-serviable? But I have a replacement tank and saw threadded holes on it, which lead me to investigate.

The hose connections are not your typical 1/2in variety. Their noses are more rounded off, or bullet like. My local hardware stores dont have anything for them. Either the space where the hot water tank's located was too cramped for me to see then, or I just assumed that all 3 connections in the T were the same?

With the new information, I took one of the T's off and found that the one that mounted to the hot water tank was a standard 1/2in. I was then able to screw in a PVC valve that could later bypass the hot water tank in case of an emergency.

From there, I got some 1/2in, threaded PVC caps from my hardware store. At that point, I removed both T's and used the caps to turn them into couplers.

Right now, I have cold water running to the kitchen sink, shower/ bath tub, toilet and bathroom sink. But the bathroom sink plumbing has a rupture and its leaking.

I had to use my black water hose to clear out some sewer blockage. I use a jet attachment on my sewage outtake port for this. After about 5 minutes, it cleared and went right down.

I found a mouse hole at the exterior hot water tank relief valve and patched it up with some Big Gap Filler.


Two Lines Run, New Shock

I snaked the oil pressure gauge and tachometer positive lines through the firewall of my 1987 Chevrolet G20 van.  I know that I don't have enough tube for the oil pressure gauge.  I'm going to wait for daylight to determine what bolt the water pressure gauge needs to mount to the engine.

I replaced one rear shock, but it didn't improve the van's disposition.  But the bolts came off easy.  I had a cheater bar standing by and didn't need it.  It looks like I'll be replacing the rear leaf springs next?


Motorhome Leaks

The 1988 Itasca Sundancer motorhome that I live in has multiple leaks. My guess is that it could handle 1 inch of rain, but not 2. The latest leak developed at the front roof hatch. And it was like a hemorrhage. Looks like I'll have to take a chance on sealing the roof very soon?

It's got this grey stuff up top that's like a ridge on the front and back. My roof is metal, but I'm concerned about the fiberglass body it's also adhered to. My thoughts now are to try getting the back one off. That way, if something goes wrong, I might be able to use some long sandbags to temporarily seal it? I may even be able to redirect the water flow temporarily?


Products Received & Gym

I received my liquid propane sensor and my replacement hot water tank for my 1988 Itasca Sundancer 25ft motorhome. 

Things here regarding the trail is dying down.  It's getting quieter.  I got part of my workout routine on a spreadsheet and it's in my smartphone's storage now.  It looks like I deleted some things on my old smartphone that I probably shouldn't have.  My old workout spreadsheets are old and there's likely to be something that my current gym doesn't has, or is called something different.  I have it set up for 6 days a week and I'll have to go back through both routines to determine what pins I use for proper form?  And then I'll have to max out on them over two days.

But the important one is abdominal machine.  4 years after the Night From Hell, I had rehabilitation done on my back.  It's in shape, but my abdominals are apart of the tensioning for it and the rehab facility didn't have such a machine.  If I ever have to use a bicycle for longer than 8 miles to access the trail, I need to tension my abs.


Township Meeting Places

I think I finally found a resource that shows where the township meeting places are.  The bad news is that the addressing system sucks in many places this region.  I'll be lucky to get half of them right.  I've been working with four counties and I may have found some prospective parking places along the Buckeye Trail (North Country concurrent)?


Hot Water Tank, LP Gas Alarm, Roof Seals

The replacement hot water tank and propane gas alarm for my 1988 Itasca Sundancer Class C motorhome is ordered.

In order to survive another winter, I'll have to see what's going on with the auxiliary battery capacitor?  I may have to replace the electrical lines to the generator, but right now, I don't know what to get that could withstand low temperatures?

The auxiliary batteries might be needed to keep the pilot lit in the overhead heater/ air conditioner?  I'll have to ensure that they're full and I need the on-board battery conditioner to do it when the power converter is plugged into the AC source.  Also, the motor home is more than 2° pitched back right now.  I may have to seal the roof in order to get it to within 2° in order for the pilot flame in the heater to make proper contact?


Gauge Lights Work

I finished wiring my voltmeter, oil pressure, water temperature and tachometer to the power system of my 1987 Chevy G20 Sportvan.  I tested the gauge lights, I got the power from the headlight switch to work, but the only thing that I got wrong was I didn't do it to the dimer switch.  Oh well.  I'm happy.  I did turn the key to the accessory position and got a low voltage reading.  The instructions for it come with troubleshooting tips.  I didn't want to turn the engine over yet because I still have to install the lines for three of the gauges to the engine.