Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Sew n' Sew

BJ managed to make this table runner without me looking over her shoulder with a camera.

I like the spring colors and the bunnies seem to confirm the theme.

Now she's working on another project. This one has lots of little pieces.

And for the first time, she's created a bunch of patterns on paper.

She then started sewing fabric to the paper leaving me scratching my head. Maybe I should just go back out to the garage

and finish checking and packing the wheel bearings on the trailer. If all goes well, we should be on the road in about three weeks.

Now I understand the paper! All the pieces are coming out the same

and it looks like they'll fit together the way it was intended.

One's not enough - the pattern calls for three stars.

She's down to the quilting, but still has a ways to go.

Meanwhile, Turk is doing what Turk does best.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Quick Visit to Miami

BJ and I headed to the hills twice last week, visiting Top of the World, Miami, Claypool, and Globe. The first time was because I discovered there were a couple geocaches that had been placed about six weeks ago and still didn't have a first to find.

We did find a number of caches, but decided that we really didn't need to break a leg trying to navigate a quarter mile of boulder hopping. Not sure about wiser, but definitely older.

The old highway route was MUCH better than I remembered it. We'd traveled a bit of it about 15 years ago that I recall being very marginal. This time it was in wonderful shape.

With a bit more elevation, the plants were different and some flowers were still blooming but I didn't get pictures of them.

We went back to Globe a couple days later, specifically to crawl around under a building.

There were some cobwebs

but all in all it was much cleaner than I expected AND much drier. I'd imagined muddy floors, but that wasn't what we found.

There were three of us looking for the cache (which we found), while one of the crew decided that someone had to provide logistical support, getting additional tools from the truck, etc.

After finishing with that cache, we visited a few others around town before meeting with local cachers at one of the local Mexican restaurants for dinner. Lots of fun!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Urban Camping with a Twist

One of the things I've had on my mental list is camping at the race track. Years ago, my daughter and I actively watched NHRA drag races when they were in town, but their ticket prices have risen faster than the cost of medical care. It finally got to the point that I wasn't willing to spend the dollars to enjoy feeling the earth shake and smelling nitromethane fumes.

Kelli sent me a note about a race coming to the raceway formerly known as Firebird. The price was right AND there was camping available at an extremely affordable price during the two day event.

I pulled in and parked in what would normally be the fuel dragster pit area, overlooking the lake used for hydroplane racing. The trailer in the background was setting up his pair of Honda generators so I gave him plenty of space.

The event was a first for me. Diesel pulling and drag racing put on by the National Hot Rod Diesel Association. On Friday evening I was a bit worried because the pit area for the pulling event was pretty sparse.

There were quite a few pickups, primarily Cummins powered. There were a couple diesel tractors and a couple four-engined alcohol powered pulling machines.

Some of the trucks were running nitrous in addition to their oversized diesel injectors. Several of the trucks were pulling in more than one class.

There was one pickup in the event that looked suspiciously like it was set up to pull a fifth wheel on a regular basis. That truck actually broke his hitch trying to pull the sled.

The most interesting thing was the sled. It was custom built using the engine and drive axle from a diesel pusher motor home. When the trucks or tractors were pulling, the drive axle was off the ground. At the end of the pull, front wheels would hydraulically unfold from the sled, raising the front end of the sled and putting the rear drive axle on the ground so the sled to back into position for the next pull. Always wondered where motorhomes went to die.

After the pulling event I headed back to my trailer to discover that I have a cabin cruiser, and an older class A rig on one side and a pair of large fifth wheels on the other, complete with surround sound generators. It really didn't matter since the freeway was directly on the other side of the lake. Quiet would not be one of the terms used to describe this boondocking location!

Saturday was dedicated to drag races. Wandering through the pits, it was interesting to see the variety of rigs. Everything from Model A running a Cummins with dual turbos and 4 wheel drive to old semi's set up for drag racing. For some reason, the Ford Mustang sporting a Cummins engine did not compete.

There was even a class for road-worthy semis. They tended to top out at about 80 mph in the quarter mile with lots of wasted time shifting...

Checked another thing off the list - camping at a race. I don't plan to submit this location to Campendium!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017


Years ago, we switched to a pair of 6 volt golf cart batteries instead of the smaller stock 12 volt battery for the low voltage system in the trailer. That decision was right for us and the way we use our rig. The down side was that it left room for only one LP tank. With just one tank, keeping track of the amount of gas remaining was important, especially when wandering miles from easy service.

Originally, I replaced the remaining 20 pound tank with a 25 pound fiberglass tank. The fiberglass tank was translucent, allowing you to see the level of liquid gas in the tank. When that tank was recalled, I replaced it with a standard steel 30 lb tank which was approximately the same size as the 25 pound fiberglass tank.

Tanks with float gauges exist, but are very hard (impossible??) to find in a 30 pound version.

The end result is that I've been looking for an accurate way to easily know the level of LP gas in our Scamp's 30 pound tank for years. Pressure gauges don't work but a lot are sold. The old boiling water trick or the boiling water tape are a hassle, especially when the tank is hidden behind a shroud. I've been using a luggage scale, but that means undressing and de-mounting the tank.

A couple years ago some ultrasonic, handheld devices were released but got very mixed reviews. This year I spotted the mention of the TankCheck sensor in a Camping World catalog. Turns out it's available from a variety of sources including Amazon, if they can keep it in stock!

The basic sensor is about 2 x 3 inches and about 3/8 inch thick. The face side has a label and a flush reset switch that is only used when pairing the sensor to a bluetooth device.

The back side of the device has a rubbery sensor pad and a couple rare earth magnets.

Installation is simple! Clean the bottom of the LP tank and then place the sensor in center of the tank bottom. In most cases, the provided rubber feet are added to the tank base is provide some extra clearance, but since my tank mount is totally different, I didn't bother with the rubber feet on the tank.

A free application is available for Android or iPhone. If you don't want to mess with a phone app, a small Double Monitor is available to mount in the RV.

The app correctly reads out in percentage remaining, assuming you remembered to tell it what size tank you are using. The Double Monitor reads out in quarters.

I've had it in place for a month or so now. I don't know how long the battery in the sensor will last, but I LOVE knowing how much gas I have left with no more effort than looking at an app.