Thursday, December 31, 2015

Go Green!

My Alma mater, Michigan State University is playing in the College Football Playoff game tonight at the Cotton Bowl against favored Alabama.  Since it's a night game I needed a campsite with electric hookups to run my laptop and 4G modem as I didn't want to stress the Tank's solar batteries for the three to four hours the game would last. (It's on ESPN so I can stream it)  My plan had been to stay at one of the two Texas State Parks near Houston but I foolishly waited to secure a reservation and both parks were full for New Year's Eve.  Using the online reservation tool Texas State Parks runs I was lucky to find a spot at Buescher State Park about 75 miles from Houston which I previously reviewed here:  Buescher Park Review .  Checking my 4G modem on arrival I was getting 3 bars so it should be a satisfactory streaming experience....I'm pumped for the game!

Me at a East Lansing game...wish it was me at the Cotton Bowl tonight!
I won't have my fancy foam Sparty helmet on tonight but I will have my Spartan shirt in that picture.  My three college buddies, Scott, Steve and Gary and I text back and forth commenting on the plays as the game goes on so it's a group-like experience even though I'm watching it solo in the Tank.

Me and Sparty!
I hope everybody has a safe and Happy New Year!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Eggnog Pie Recipe Revisited

Merry Christmas everybody!  Per my now three year old tradition (seems crazy I've been "in the Tank" for three Christmas's now) I want to repost my blog post on my family's holiday tradition of consuming large slices of Eggnog Pie and also the recipe and how to make it.  Here's the link:  Eggnog Pie Post .  I get December 24, 25 and 26th off but my daughter is coming to Houston and wants to see Star Wars on Christmas day (probably along with tens of thousands of other Houstonians) so that will keep me in the metro area.

Thanks for reading!


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Low Profile

Readers of the blog know that I've been "sub-urban boondocking" in the Katy, TX area since September while working again at the Home Depot I worked at last spring.  Urban boondocking is different things to different RV'ers but to me it's staying in a city space for pretty much no cost.  There are different ways of accomplishing urban (or suburban) boondocking -- friend's driveways, Walmart parking lots (the ones that still allow overnight stays) the parking lot where you might be employed, area parks that allow overnight stays, and possibly other places.  One of the things I try to do is not stay in the same place for more than one night at a time.   I got off work Wednesday at 2 and have Thursday and Friday off so I drove back down to the FM 521 Park in Matagorda County that I previously reviewed here:  FM 521 River Park Review

The Tank basking in December sun at the FM 521 River Park.
You can camp for up to three days at the River Park so I'll take advantage of those three nights and let my overnight spots in Katy "cool off" for a while.  Next week I'll probably have to stay at least one paid night at one of the Texas state Parks in the area to dump my tanks and fill my fresh water tank back up.

That's pretty much all I have in the way of updates for now.  I can't wait for Spring when I get to go back on the road and camp where things are more attractive and interesting than parking lots.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Temporary Solutions

I've referenced the RV Repair Goddess in the past and how her intervention (or lack there of) in my attempts at affecting repairs to the Tank determines the ease and success of my efforts.  She was in a bad mood the day I attempted to replace the rooftop vent/escape hatch which had been ripped off the top of the Tank by a powerful rogue gust of wind.  I was behind the eight-ball somewhat from the start due to the fact that the wrecked vent measured 26" X 20" and when I Googled that measurement I got zero hits in response.  So I ordered a 26" X 26" vent with the thought that the slightly larger hatch would just cover 6 extra inches of roof and would still function normally over the 26" X 20" hole in the roof.  This is where the Goddess decided to intervene.  The old installation had a aluminum frame that fits inside the hole in the roof and my feeble attempts at removing that framework which must be super-glued in place ended in.....nothing.  Thanks a lot, Goddess!

The stubborn frame work that refuses to let go.
Giving up on installing the new vent I reasoned that since it's almost Winter and I never even open the vent between December - March I could devise a temporary fix that would get me to a point next year where I will be able to reattempt the full install perhaps at a friend or relative's home where I'd have access to both additional brawn and possibly a crowbar to attack the balky frame.  So here's what I ended up doing:

Working in the Building Materials Dept at Home Depot gave me some ideas.
I carefully cut some pink insulation board (R-30) material to fit into the vent-hole first applying a clear sealant between it and the aluminum frame to achieve a water tight seal.  Over that I applied overlapping strips of a 3-ply 6 inch wide roofing tape that has a tar-like substance in the middle ply that self-levels and seals the edges of the tape with it's neighbor piece.  I bought it all at my Home Depot store after talking design considerations with several Lumber/Building Materials associates who have tons more experience in the department than I have.  I had to buy a whole 4 foot by 8 foot sheet of the insulation board so I ended up spending about $31 for all the materials but so far I'm happy with this solution.  The primary function of the hatch is to offer a second point of exit should fire or some other catastrophe block the Tank's normal door and it still fulfills that mission in that I could fairly easily kick upwards and knock the insulation board out of the hole.  Hopefully this installation gets me to April when my plans are to end my urban boondocking and head back out on the road.

Thanks for reading!