Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Cosmetic Change

The Tank is getting on in age and some of it's plastic components that get exposed to the Sun's ultraviolet rays have yellowed to the point of attractiveness.

Believe it or not the yellow parts were originally white.
I bought some flat white spray paint that adheres to plastic ( most don't so you have to be careful when you buy) and waited for a nice, low wind day to paint the offending yellow plastic trim.

Beginning painting the lower screen door panel.
The outside door has two pull down shades that I had to remove but that was just a matter of removing four screens on each shade.

The pull down shade had to be removed but no biggie.
The slowest part of the project was having to tape around the inside of the windows and outside of the trim to prevent overspray.

The screen door after the paint...no more yellow!
It looks five years younger!
I've recieved the replacement hatch from Amazon and I'll do a post on the (hopefully) smooth installation process.

Thanks for reading

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Weather Induced Change

I was spending the afternoon in a Katy, TX park (you can't stay overnight) and there was a severe weather alert in effect.  A front was supposed to come through and chase away the muggy low-80's weather and replace it with more Fall-like low humidity 70's.  In less than 15 minutes it got dark and extremely windy.  I got up from where I was working on my laptop in order to tighten down the escape hatch vent that is in the ceiling over my bed but before I could get there an extremely powerful gust of wind first ripped the hatch to it's wide open setting and then an even stronger gust ripped the hatch completely off the top of the Tank!  It happened in less than a couple seconds and I stood looking up through my roof at rapidly approaching storm clouds (up to two inches of rain was forecast).  Racing outside I was able to catch the pinwheeling hatch cover and bring it back into the Tank but by now raindrops were starting to fall through the open hatch onto my mattress with the high winds continuing unabated.  I got a piece of rope I keep inside the Tank and tied it to the hatch cover's crossbar and fit the cover up onto the roof of the Tank through the escape hatch.  Instantly the wind caught the cover and would have ripped it out of my hands had I not had the attached rope wrapped around my left hand.  The cover was now shielding most of the hatch cover but I couldn't get the hatch to fit over the entire opening because the screen part of the assembly was bent and in the way.  The only thing I could think of was to flip the screen out of the hatch and up onto the roof, allowing the cover to be about 95% "in place" but rain was getting blown by the powerful wind through spaces the hatch cover wasn't sealed around.

Garbage bags "sealing" the space around the roped down hatch cover.
I got a roll of kitchen garbage bags and stuffed them one at a time into the spaces allowing the rain in beneath the hatch cover and they ended the direct entrance of rain but still allowed some slow dripping through the hatch opening (it was a virtual monsoon outside at this point).  So I got every pot, frying pan and mixing bowl out of the kitchen cupboard and placed them underneath where the drips were dropping.

A frying pan protecting my files from rain drips.
 With the situation (mostly) stabilized I got online and found a replacement hatch cover assembly on Amazon for $299 and ordered it, although it wasn't eligible for Prime two day shipping so I won't have it until next week.  I didn't have much choice as the old hatch assembly was trashed and unable to be repaired.  I emptied the pots and pans as needed until the storm finally blew through.

The next morning dawned sunny and perfect -- low-seventies and low humidity.  I got onto the Tank's roof with a roll of duct tape and did this:

Good ol' duct tape!
I'm hoping the tape will keep head winds from ripping the hatch off while driving.  I'm also keeping the rope tied down to the hatch cover's crossbar inside the Tank so if the duct tape fails the hatch doesn't go flying off the top of the Tank and into someone's windshield.  Fingers crossed until the replacement hatch gets here next week!  I'll do another post around the installation.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Getting Lucky

The part for the repair of one of the Tank's lift legs delivered and I opened the box form Rieco-Titan to find these parts:

Everything you need, nothing you don't!
My past experiences involving repairing the Tank led me to expect difficulty to rear it's ugly head.  Maybe the bolt was the wrong size, maybe the threads in the bottom of the lift leg were stripped.  So I got the ratchet wrench from the Tank's tool case wondering what might go wrong this time.

The Tank's extensive tool set pays off again!
This time, however, everything went smoothly.  I held the foot pad to the lift leg with one hand and hand twisted the bolt to get it started and then ratcheted the bolt home with the wrench.  Since I had the ratchet out I checked the other 3 pads and found one other that was slightly loose so I tightened it too.

The Tank's shiny new foot pad.
I guess this time the RV Repair Goddess smiled on me!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Tank Repairs

Unlike the Tank's truck component the camper part was really never designed and built with every day full-time use in mind.  The manufacturer, Sun Valley, probably envisaged perhaps two to three months of usage per year.  Readers of this blog know that I've been full-timing in the Tank since June of 2013 and a lot of that time has been spent driving down BLM roads that were wash board and pot holed at best. Wear and tear to the Tank is pretty much unavoidable over time.   A few weeks back I came around the passenger side of the Tank and saw this:

Hmm....something appears to be missing.
For reference the other three lift struts look like this:

No missing foot plate....yay!
The loss of the foot plate on the lift means I couldn't take the camper off the truck if I needed to because the plate-less jack could potentially be damaged.  So today I contacted the company that makes the electric jacks, ReicoTitan, and ordered a replacement foot plate for my ailing jack.   Hopefully, I can just lie on my back and screw the replacement foot plate in with it's included bolt and lockwasher and things will be great.  (Foreshadowing).

Thanks for reading!