Saturday, March 23, 2013

An Interesting March

It appears that this year we get to travel from one job to another. I don't have a problem with that but we are not used to this much travelling when we are suppose to be working. Let me recap for you.

It all started on March 1st, which by the way was our payday. The gate we were at was closed down and the guys came by in the morning to pick up the equipment. The day before we made arrangements to go to the Gonzales yard and off we went. We stopped by the main office to get our check first. We pulled into Gonzales and set up. We were worried that being in Gonzales that we might not get any jobs, but that didn't last long.

On Monday the 4th we received a call that there was a gate opening up and we took it. We didn't know how long we would be there but we were working. It wasn't far from Gonzales only about 30 miles or so. It was a nice place and we were level in an area of some grass. On Friday the 8th, our service guy called to tell us that the gate was being closed. I asked him if our spot was still opened at the yard and he said it was. So we took off again back to Gonzales.

We were in Gonzales for over a week now and there isn't much to do their. It's a nice town but maybe two days and you have seen it all.  Saturday evening, the 16th, we were asked about going back to the same gate that we were just at again. Once again the day before was payday and we needed to go shopping for groceries. Our guy told us that we needed to be there the next morning so Sherry and I decided to go shopping after dinner. Sunday the 17th we were off to familiar grounds. We didn't know how long we were going to be there this time but we didn't think it was going to be long. Well we were right, Wednesday the 20th we were informed that they were closing us down again.

This time the phone call had a bit of a twist to it. The office told us that there will be a gate opening on Friday and to head to their yard in Karnes City. OK not a problem and off we went. This trip was a bit farther to get to but we made it with no problems. I talked to the service guy there and he said that he would get together with me the next day and give me the details. He never showed up Thursday evening but did show up on Friday morning. Now it's Friday the 22nd and we were packed up and ready to go by 9am. The location wasn't far, maybe 10 miles but the dirt road we had to take seemed longer, very bad bumpy road. After we got all set up I had to go back into town to the post office to set up a general delivery for our mail. As I right this, it is Saturday morning the 23rd and we think we will be here for awhile. I just have that feeling.

As you can see this month of March has been very interesting. There is one thing that we have learned is that we can break down and have the trailer hooked to the truck and ready to go in about an hour and a half. If that is any constellation.

Until Next Time............................Be Safe.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

What Can You Do??

Over the past two years I have posted many items about Rv repair. Mostly about what I have done around our 5ver, toilet, air conditioner, water leaks that sort of thing. But I noticed I never told you how I was able to find the problem. So I thought in this post I would take a few problems and try to give you some kind of process that I go through.

Toilet and plumbing in general.

This can be an easy one. The first thing that I notice is usually water on the floor. Water, where it's not suppose to be, in an Rv is a killer. I found one time that there was water in the front of the toilet and none around the sides and back, conclusion, gasket that seals the toilet to the floor. Why, because if water is only in the front and nowhere else it must be the gasket. Was I 100% sure NO but its a start.

When I try to diagnose something I always use simple logic and common sense.

I have had numerous water leaks under the sinks. When travelling the connections vibrate and come loose. I turn the water off and re-tighten them or apply some "plumbers tape" around the threads and re-connect. No more leaks.

Water heaters.

The biggest problem with water heaters is that they don't produce hot water. Duh, no kidding! On mine I have a Suburban 10 gallon, with Direct Ignition and an electric heater. When I experience a problem with this heater I go outside,  pull the panel off and push the re-set buttons. On Atwood Heaters, from what I have researched there are no re-set buttons. I normally don't use the electric part of my heater just propane, but if you do check the circuit breakers first. All direct ignition means is that you don't have a pilot light to worry about. If none of this works then chances are that the circuit board took a dump or if you use the electric part only the heating element went belly up, or both.


Once again you turn on the furnace and no heat. There are many problems that can cause this. When this happened to me I went on the internet and started to research the unit I have. It is important to have the manufacturer's name and model number handy when you have a problem. I usually study the wiring diagram because it will tell me all the parts involved and if there may be a fuse to look for. Plus any kind of troubleshooting guide. My unit has a circuit board and when I pulled the unit out I found a fuse but it was good. Most of the time I have not had any problems with our furnace.


This can be a tough one. Most people don't like to mess with the electrical portion of their unit. If you don't have a clear understanding of this subject you may want to stay away from this. But some simple checks won't hurt.

To start with we will go into the 12 volt side first. My battery is dead. You need to check the batteries at least once a month for water or twice a month. If you found out that something doesn't work, like maybe some lights, locate the fuse box and check some fuses. This box would be similar to the one on your vehicle.
On the other side of the spectrum is the 120 volt, items that require you to plug into a wall socket. This system is very much like at your old house. You have a series of circuit breakers that are usually marked and labelled for you. Lets say that the microwave doesn't work. Go to the circuit breakers and see if one of them may have tripped.

This is just the tip of the iceberg but it might help solve a problem and save some cash down the road.

Until Next Time.........................Be Safe.

Monday, March 4, 2013

There's a Lot of Change Going On

I know that I haven't posted in a while but there is a reason for that. We have been kinda of busy. To start with we were let go at our last job assignment.

Last Thursday we got a call from the office that they were going to close down our location. I told them that we would not be ready to leave that afternoon and if they could close us down the next morning. The office talked to the boss and he said he was OK with that. That gave us some time to figure out what to do and where to go. We found out that there were no spaces available at the company yard where the office is at. Great now where are we going to go now.

I made some calls to find out that there was an opening at the Gonzales yard. I made contact with the person in charge and he said there was a space available and that we could have it. Good deal, now we have a place to go. It was about 125 miles to get to Gonzales, not a bad drive. We got to the yard and park the trailer just like we knew what we were doing. No problems. There is only one problem being in Gonzales and not at the main yard, "out of sight, out of mind".

Later that day I was able to talk to the person in charge and he said it was very slow around his area. I assured him that things will be picking up. What do I know, it just seemed the right thing to say at the time. Sherry and I talked about our situation and she didn't seem to be worried about it. After setting up we decided to go out for dinner, since this was payday and we haven't gone to the store yet for groceries.

We toured the main drag and there wasn't much around but a Pizza Hut. We decided to eat there for dinner. The place was empty and we had our choice of tables to sit at. The music was very loud and the employees were yelling at each other from across the room. I guess because the music was too loud. We got our food and drink, ate and we left. Probably will never go back there again. Tomorrow I guess we better go shopping.

We all slept in on Saturday, boy it felt good. We got going around 11:30 and went to lunch. After lunch we went looking around Gonzales, small town so it didn't take long. We found a large antique store and went inside to check it out. There was another one next door and we investigated that too. After that there wasn't much open so off to Wal-Mart we go. I wanted to shop for a new TV for the bedroom but no luck. We also need a new bedspread but no luck as well. We got what we needed and took off to HEB, which is a Texas grocery store. We like HEB because they have a large meat department with food sale prices.

We usually shop for two weeks since that's how we get paid, once every two weeks. We have to be careful in what we buy. We have limited freezer space even though we purchased a small fridge with a freezer. What we do is take the food out of the packaging for more room. If we need the instructions on one item we will cut them out and tape them to the inside of the cabinet door.

On Sunday we went to lunch and then went to look for some RV parks around the area. We found them but nobody was in the office to get information. We also needed to find a laundromat so we can do some washing. Bingo we found one. Now the next day we can do laundry, Oh Joy!!!

Here it is Monday now and still nothing. Again I am not worried but still waiting. I got up early this morning and drinking my coffee. I got dressed and took the dog out for his walk and came back in. Sherry is up now and so is Brianne. As I am drinking my coffee the phone rang and noticed that it was from around here. The man in charge told me of a job that came open and if we wanted it, I said yes. Yahoo we have a job. We finalized some details and we started to pack up.

The man in charge showed up at the yard and we talked about where the location was at. He didn't know but was taking the equipment out to the site and he would call me when he got there. He called us and we made final directions and we were on our way. When we got there he positioned his trailers in place and then we started to do our thing. We placed the trailer where we needed to, leveled, unhooked and BAM we are done. I helped our guy out by hooking up a few things for him and he finished up and left.

I started to check everything and found out that the water pump wasn't working. I called our guy and he returned with a new water pump, installed and works. Everything is now going good.

Tomorrow we will start to check license plates as we were told that the traffic will start in increase much more. We still don't know how long we will be here but it is a job and we like it.

Until Next Time.............................Be Safe.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

What's a SHE-OAT??

We have been on the road now for over 2 years and have encountered many creatures along the way. We have seen many reptiles, snakes in particular, insects, cattle and a bunch of other animals, too many to list.

At our current location there are some cattle that likes to come close to the trailer and graze. Nothing to worry some about the cattle but one interesting travel companion that is with this herd is a SHE-OAT.

Now you may be wondering what the heck is a SHE-OAT?? I know I am. Well I think it is a SHEep and Sherry thinks it is a gOAT, henceforth we call it a SHE-OAT.

Can you decide??

Here's another.

And one more.

I am somewhat of an educated man but this one has me stumped. I went on line to get some education on this and the only thing, well not the only thing, i found that made sense was that if the tail is pointing up it is a goat and if pointing down a sheep.

I guess by these pictures and what I read it must be a sheep. But I think I will keep my opinions to myself. What do I know, I am ol' city slicker from Phoenix. Have fun with this one and let me know what you think it is.

Until Next Time............................Be Safe.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Not Much Going On

We have been on this job now for about three weeks. I would say that we average about ten license plates that I check per day and nothing at night. It really makes for an easy day.

Sherry has made up a list of things for me to do around the place to help keep me busy and the list is getting smaller. I am sure she will probably add more to it in the near future. It can get somewhat boring around here but I have my books to read, Sherry has her quilting and Bri has her school work.

We might get switched to another location but we will just wait until the boss man tells us to move. Until then we just keep on keeping on. We did have some excitement yesterday. I went to check out a little store and when I was gone our dog Gizmo decided to go exploring on his own. Sherry went to check on a license plate and he darted out the door and took off. Sherry went after him and about ten minutes later finally got him. She was just about to give up on catching him. She will start training him by the door starting today.

The weather around here has been decent but very windy. First we had strong winds coming from the south and then a front came through and the winds switch from the north. The front did bring some cooler temps but the wind was bad. It shook the whole trailer but died down in the evening time. Today looks like a very nice day with no strong winds.

Tomorrow is payday so Bri and I will make our trip into town to get groceries and supplies for the next two weeks. Bri gets all excited about going into town. I think it's that she gets a happy meal along the way.

Oh speaking of Bri we have now started to pay her for little jobs that she does around the house. She noticed that she wanted a particular Barbie doll and she saved her money to buy it. I told her that the Walmart we go to didn't have it but introduced her to the world of buying online. We went to and there it was. We ordered it and I told her that it will be sent to our office and it will take about 5 days to get there. She went to the calendar and counted out the days and realized how long it will take. It about killed her to wait that long. But she did get her doll and she was happy. Now she is saving her money for a another Barbie toy, she needs 20 dollars more and she will have that one.

Each day she comes up to me and asks if there are any jobs that she can do. I think she is getting the idea. I just hope that she will take this lesson into her adult life that you have to save your money if you can't afford them right away. A lesson that I wish I would have learned when I was young.

Well not much more to say other than that I have not forgotten the final pictures of the floor. I will get them up soon. So.......................

Until Next Time................................Be Safe. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The New Floor

I must admit this was not an easy job. I mean it was easy putting the floor together but the up and down and on your knees about killed me. I am still pleased how it all turned out. What I thought I would do is just post pictures with some added comments, so let's get started.

Time to get the old carpet out.

UH OH, had a few boo boos along the way. The one on the forearm was a scratch from one of the staples in the carpet and the index finger was cut from the razor blade. That one really hurts.

Carpet all but gone and pulling up the last few staples. They really wanted to make sure that carpet wasn't going anywhere.

Time to start the flooring.

This was one of my challenges, trying to cut a curve and lay it under the slide. Not too bad, what do you think?

Almost there.

I have to apologize for not have taken any pictures of the final product but I will later on. On to the bedroom.

The toughest part of the whole floor was the angles and getting them right. As you can see the angle around the shower was quite the challenge.

The flooring going down and all but finished. Once again I will post pics of the finished floor.

What is left to do still is put flooring on and around the step to the bedroom and a few trim pieces. For Christmas I got Sherry one of those robotic floor cleaners and it works great.

In case you would like to do this yourself the tools I used was a chop saw, battery operated drill, circular saw and a jig saw.

You can do this job yourself but if your back and knees give you trouble I would opt for someone else to do it.

Until Next Time..........................Be Safe.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Back At Work

Well the holidays are over, rang in the New Year watching a movie and spent time with the kids and grand kids. Now it is time to go back to work. Due to the weather we extended our stay in Tomball by a week or so. We just didn't want to drive in the rain if we didn't have to.

We left Tomball last Friday under beautiful skies and no rain. We drove to a state park just north of Gonzales, TX called Palmetto State Park. We really liked this park with a lot of trees and spacious sites. The price was very reasonable at only 18 dollars a night for water and electric. We left the next day and drove to our office to see if they had any jobs for us.

All of the sites were taken so the boss said that we could park next to the office building. We got settled and the boss said that he might have a place for us on Monday. Not too far from the office which is good because we can have our mail delivered and pick up our check there as well.

On Sunday we went into town to get some groceries and stuff. We had lunch and headed back to the trailer. Early Monday morning I woke up to find out that we had no power. I checked the circuit breakers and they were fine. We were far enough from the building that I had to use two extension cords for the trailer. The extension cords that I mentioned were the 30 amp RV type cords. I usually don't like to use them but I guess you have to do what you have to do.

Once I realized that the circuit breakers were fine, I got dressed and went outside to check the box and it was good as well. Then I checked the connections to the cords and sure enough the one plug coming from the trailer was burnt.

OK now what?? Last April I remembered that we went to an RV store and I picked up some cord plugs. I used one of them to repair an extension cord (I have two of them) and the other I put in storage. Now I just have to remember where I put the damn thing. Oh yea I remember, it's in a box under the trailer. I hunted for the plug end and found it. While I was making the repair the lady from the office told me that we would need to be ready to leave for our assignment in about an hour. I got Sherry up and she started to pack up on the inside.

I was finishing up with the repair and came inside to get some coffee and warm up. After the repair I started to do my thing on the outside. Things went smoothly and we were ready to leave only to be 15 minutes behind schedule. We were to follow one of the workers to the location. I guess he forgot that we were pulling a fifth wheel because we lost him a few times, luckily I was somewhat familiar with the area.

We found our location and talked to the couple that we were releaving. They gave us some info about the site and they left. I surveyed the area and proceeded to park the trailer. There were a few adjustments that I made but nailed the trailer exactly where I wanted it. We are level and stable on a pea gravel type pad. Very happy.

The couple told us that this site is very quiet with only a small handful of license plates to check, not bad, now I have some time to get the floor finished.

By the way, that will be my next post with pictures (hopefully). So............

Until Next Time.....................Be Safe.