Monday, November 20, 2017

Too Much Ruckus

One of the cool items that was stock on Jeff's Vista XL is a set of automatic hydraulic levelers. So much nicer that stacking up boards or Lego blocks.

The manufacturer requires that the jacks are deployed before the slides can be extended. The engine must be running to deploy the jacks or slides, BUT... they're very concerned about someone driving away with the jacks still deployed.

They installed a warning light, but their ergonomics engineer was absent when they did the design. It's not at all visible when an average height person is in the driver's seat.

You must lean significantly forward to find the light shining brightly, but totally hidden behind the steering wheel.  It's just a light, installed in a hole in the plastic dash. Apparently no one has ever considered moving the light to a position much more obvious to the driver.

Since the light is essentially useless for its intended function, they also include a horn. The horn should have a warning to not use it near a cemetery because it will wake the dead!. It's so loud that it becomes a safety issue because you rush to get everything closed up so you can kill the horn. Of course, the horn is buried just about as deep as possible, forward of all the circuit breakers by the driver's left leg.

Removing the fairing around the circuit breaker panel provides hand access, but it also makes the horn more painfully loud while you try to locate it.

Removing the hydraulic leveler control panel gets an angle so you can get some light into some of the darkest recesses of this corner. It's fair to say access is neither easy nor comfortable.

Yup, it's this little critter that is making so much noise it can be heard 200' away with the coach door closed. We debated about removing it entirely, but decided to try a muffler first. I constructed a housing out of 1/2 inch foam that went over the horn. It's still loud, but at least it's not painful. He's going to use it a while and see if that's enough or if it needs even more muzzling.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Lost Dutchman Testing

It was a first for us. We've enjoyed our Scamp for over seven years, but we'd never stayed at Lost Dutchman State Park. BJ spent many hours in the park and surrounding area as a member of the Search & Rescue group, but we'd never camped there. Too close and usually too full.

Since Jeff is leaving his new rig in Arizona for the winter, they came down for a long weekend and we managed to reserve a couple sites right across the road from one another.

We both had to suffer with this view. In our case our large back window framed the mountain while in Jeff's case the front window provided the best seats in the house.
We did work on a couple mods for his rig, but I also got a chance to go geocaching with our grandson for a while one morning until the heat got to be too much.

Always nice to be young - makes the tree climbing easier!

I even loaded up some charcoal and brought a dutch oven for one of our dinners.

Pot roast - the easiest thing to fix - was excellent. Our daughter and son-in-law came out so we managed to have everyone together in one place. The pot was empty when we got finished!

We enjoyed great weather, excellent time together, and beautiful sunsets. No wonder valley visitors rave about Lost Dutchman State Park!

Friday, November 10, 2017


In spite of living in Arizona for 27 years, I'd never visited Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza until a couple weeks ago. The plaza is essentially surrounded by state government buildings that house civil servants and not-so-civil elected lawmakers.

The plaza is home to a large memorial to the men of the battleship Arizona. The anchor from the battleship as well as a couple of the gun barrels are part of very moving memorial to men who gave their lives for our freedom.

What I didn't realize until my visit, was the large collection of other memorials at this plaza.

The day was nearly overcast and occasionally spitting a bit of rain. The light made for poor photos, but I enjoyed my time reflecting on each and every memorial. This one was for the Navajo code-talkers who played an integral part in the war in the Pacific.

The spot I'd selected to park was near this gateway leading to the Korean War memorial.

The one that hit closest to home, perhaps because of my age, was the Vietnam memorial. In addition to the sculpture, there was a timeline of the major events and a listing of the Arizonans who lost their lives in Vietnam.

The most colorful memorial was to the people who served in Desert Storm.

In addition to all the military memorials (I've only shown a few,) there was a memorial to slain peace officers and a very large memorial to fire fighters.

It wasn't intentional, but the visit certainly got me thinking about Veteran's Day and all the people who have died in service to their country.