Our Wonderful Followers who come back again and again to read about us...

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

MOTORHOME MODIFICATION - *F* - RV Fridge Stuff and Back To Work

I am going to start off the new year with posting some of our motorhome modifications, a few at a time. I will post repairs, modifications, or neato things we have found for RVing.  I have lots of pics in my files so I will do them in alphabetical order.

Underneath that stuff, I will post my regular daily stuff..... kinda sorta fun, eh?


We have the side by side Dometic Fridge in our rig, model RM7030.  The longer we keep this fridge going, the better.  The poor thing is 22 years old ya know. Replacing an RV fridge this size is about $4,000.  It usually means removing a window and using a forklift to get it out!  No thank you. We will try to keep this one going at all costs.

Some folks are replacing the back cooling units with aftermarket ones when their fridges die.  Others are replacing them with regular household fridges, but then you need have a constant source of electricity all of the time to run them.  That don't work so well when we like boondocking without hookups.  Or running and inverter and using up battery power on them.  That works for short spans but not days on end.  We will keep our propane one if at all possible. 

Plus I like the look of ours, with matching wood panels on the doors.

Fridge fans:
We notice after a week or so, we do get frost building up on the inside fins in our fridge. For just weekend camping, this hasn't been a problem, but longer periods like vacation we do notice the frost building up. Not in the freezer, just on the fridge fins. (the freezer has a heating switch to keep it from getting buildup in humid areas)

We first bought two of the little FridgeMate fans that run on 2 D cell batteries, but they are not enough to really keep the frost off the fins, they just circulate the cold air for even temps within the box when setting on a shelf.  This is what we HAD .......

But now, Steve saw this cute little fridge fan on Ebay.   
It was $14.99 plus $2.60 shipping.
Seller is Richard Lockhart
597 Pickens Gap Road
Seymour, TN 37865

It came in the mail, fast shipping, and we installed it in 10 minutes.  Pretty easy. The hot lead wire attaches to the 12 volt fridge light wiring before the switch, so there is always 12 volt running to the fans.  Then the ground is a clip that does double duty.  It attaches to the fins of the fridge to hold the fan in place but also completes the 12 volt circuit.  It runs all of the time the fridge is on, with very little draw, one tenth of an amp.   When you turn the fridge off after the weekend of camping is over, the fan goes off.  We put it right where our frost builds up and it helps a lot--  It sure seems to move the air!

From the seller's website:

RV refrigerators are not frost-free. The longer they run, the more frost & ice accumulates on the fins. Frost comes from opening and closing the door, letting in warm air. The warm air has higher moisture content which results in frost & ice buildup on the fins. The buildup causes your refrigerator to think it is colder than it actually is. Frost also prevents the fins from extracting heat from inside the refrigerator box. The purpose of the fins is to EXTRACT HEAT from the refrigerator box as they are cooling down.

Life Expectancy: 30,000 hours; Rated Voltage: 12 VDC; Max Air Flow: 18.86 (CFM) CUBIC FEET per MINUTE; Max Current: 0.10A; Power: 1.20 watt; Fan Speed: 4800 RPM + or – 10%; Bearing type: Sleeve Bearing; Noise Level: 27.7 dBA; Comes with 22” of wire to hook to power supply.


Fridge Dinosaur Board repair:
Just a few days ago, Steve's brother called from an RV trip they were taking in Nevada. Their fridge was not cooling and he was awaiting a mobile repairman to come.  He wanted to troubleshoot with Steve first.  After all of the practical suggestions were exhausted, the two brothers decided it was probably the electronic control board.  Sure enough, when the tech guy came, that is what it was and he and wife Ann are happily enjoying cold food once again on the road! 

We had replaced our control board in ours too a number of years ago, about 2008 or 2009 maybe?  What is wonderful is that there is a company that makes aftermarket boards so you do not need to get the exact one from the manufacturer (think $$$)   The company is called Dinosaur Boards. If you have your model number, you can usually get a replacement for about half the cost of what the manufacturer or dealer wants for one.  Recently, I looked up what they cost now....  when we did ours it was about $115 and Steve did it so fast I didn't have time to even take a pic!  LOL Instructions come with it and it is pretty easy, a few screws and a few wire connections.

Imagine my surprise when I googled Dinosaur Boards and our model number, up came a link for WALMART!  Yes, you can get them through Walmart's on line ordering and have it shipped to the nearest Walmart store! Not too bad of a price increase after 8 or 9 years since we bought one! 

Fridge Maintenance and Orifice Repair:
This is from a repair we did a few years ago.....

Our fridge is able to operate on both electric and propane.   The electric portion was working fine, so we knew the cooling unit was operating correctly.   But the propane portion has been warming up lately.  We have been up in the 50's for interior fridge temps and that is not good.  We keep a fridge thermometer hanging inside to monitor it. We have had the opportunity to use electric hookups for the last month or so, our food has been safe.  Knowing we were going to need it to operate on propane soon, we decided to start some diagnostic repairs.

First... Steve cleaned the burner tip of some crud. (see pics below as to where he cleaned).  He also cleared out the flue as much as he could.  Our model doesn't have a lot of access to get to the flue, but he checked that the baffle was free too.  That didn't seem to help much.

Second... we thought perhaps the last time our propane was filled, the attendant didn't turn off our valves and perhaps damaged the regulator. We noticed it had been taking longer to boil water on the stove, so it might be part of the problem.  We replaced the regulator.  $30.  That didn't seem to help much.  He also checked our "water column pressure" in the propane lines with a device.  It read just fine at 11 column inches.

Third... it was during those horribly hot weeks of 90+ degree weather. We thought perhaps the enclosure was needing more air circulation, so Steve added a 4" 12 volt blower fan up under the top fridge vent on the roof.   He wired in a switch down inside so we can control it when we want it on.  That didn't seem to help much either.

Fourth....   We were running out of "fixes" so we downloaded the service manual for our model fridge.  The last thing it said to do was to change the orifice.   Our manual said to get a #73 orifice. You have to have the exact one for your unit. We checked the local RV dealer.  No go.  They would have to find it first and order it out and it may take a few weeks.   So we went on Ebay and found one and had it shipped to us.  2 days and it was here! $22.50 and free shipping.

The orifice is a tiny brass fitting with a ceramic diaphragm thingie inside that helps control the amount of propane that flows into the burner.  Okayyyyyy at least that is my understanding.

Sooooo here is how he changed it.
First, turn off the propane 
and the fridge power button
 before you start! 



(this photo was taken later while it was operating for demonstration purposes)

Now replace the shroud piece and the cover, turn on the gas and purge the line a bit by running your stove burners for a few minutes.  Then turn on the propane portion of the fridge and let it ignite.

and... of course....  **IT WORKED**!!!!    The fridge is nice and cool now in the green safe range of 32-40, by George, we got it!

Dometic Thermistor Control Clip:
Many people are confused by what this little plastic slidey thing is on your Dometic RV fridge (if you have one)   It controls the interior temp of the fridge section by sensing the coldness and if it needs to call for more cold action.  Sliding it up makes it colder and sliding it down makes it warmer. Opposite of what you think.  Some RV fridges have nice labels inside to tell you that, most do not.

 Fridge Door Prop Idea: 
When we unload our fridge, especially in the summer months, we do not want the doors to stay shut.  A moldy mess can start growing inside, even without any food in there.  We tried different ways to prop open our double doors. Leaving them wide open it seems they are always in the way if we walk in or out of the rig to get things while parked in the backyard. The best one we found is to fold up two dishtowels (which are right in the drawer by the fridge) and set them over the tops of the doors to keep them open just enough for air circulation.


Okay, this post got pretty long with fridge stuff... so I won't write much about family or fiber things. I AM working on a secret thing but can't post pics of it yet.  LOL .  

As for Steve, he is heading back to work today at noon for a few hours. For those who don't know, Steve retired Dec 31, but took on a part time job for the county driving medical routes for patients for The Commission on Aging. 

Today he gets to drive the BUS!  Yesterday he drove the handicapped van. He had two delightful patients yesterday, one of which was a spry elderly lady the age of 94.  She was quick as a bunny and sharp as a tack he said.  He really enjoyed her banter.  This morning he was double checking his bookwork....  he is so cute.  

I am glad he found something fun to do during his retirement. They said it won't be hard to schedule time off for us to take some longer trips this summer. They have a number of drivers to rotate, but right now two are out on medical recuperations and one down with the flu.  So for now he will be putting in more hours than usual.  It should be settling down to 15-20 hours a week.

I hope so. I kinda sorta got so used to him around now all the time, I really miss him when he is gone.  I have weaving, quilting and the dogs to keep me company, but having him here with me all of the time was a nice bonus of the retirement.

Well, back to the sewing machine!

Sunday, February 19, 2017


I am going to start off the new year with posting some of our motorhome modifications, a few at a time. I will post repairs, modifications, or neato things we have found for RVing.  I have lots of pics in my files so I will do them in alphabetical order.

Underneath that stuff, I will post my regular daily stuff..... kinda sorta fun, eh?


Flame Genie Pellet Campfire:
This is Steve's favorite toy that he got for Christmas a few years ago. It's called the Flame Genie and runs on compressed wood pellets. Great for a portable campfire to take along camping!

We have emerald ash borer infestation in Wisconsin and cannot transport firewood for camping. But transporting compressed pellet bags is totally legal and safe.  It is also good to use while camping in the desert where firewood is scarce.

It lights up in just a few minutes. Full flames in 20 minutes.  It is safe to cook on and smells like a real campfire but no smoke!  Nice....   we got it via Amazon from http://www.pelletfirepit.com/

Here is a little video clip of us lighting it in the driveway on Christmas:

Steve took out his Flame Genie pellet campfire unit when camping and within just a few minutes we had a nice campfire going.  No smoke and easy to burn.

No digging for newspaper, buying firewood or chopping kindling.   We hauled along three 40 lb bags of pellets because we were not sure of the availability in the southwest.  Just a few scoops at a time, about every half hour.

What a way to spend great evening to sit out and unwind

It produces a nice fire for the evenings.  It cools off fast, then it can be put away before bedtime.

Removing Adhesive from Mirrored Headboard:
It was so warm this weekend, we went out in the motorhome and started removing the adhesive goop that was used on the mirror in the motorhome.  We pulled open the blinds and let the warm sunshine in to heat up the motorhome. It was soon 75 degrees in there! 

Here is my blog post about removing the mirror a couple weeks ago. 

We used a heat gun... and with a bit of trial and error we figured out just how warm to heat up each section to get it to pull off like a thick rubber band.  10 passes back and forth of the heat gun is just enough.  Not 8, not 12. Too little heat the adhesive breaks, too much is smears like putty. 

I got about 8 or 9 circles removed so far. My fingers hurt, so I quit for the day. I will keep removing it and then see if a good coat of satin polyurethane will even it out before we mount our print in a nice picture frame over the bed. Sooo much better than a mirrored headboard! 

With the sun shining in, we decided to take a break and stretch out in the motorhome in the back yard. The dogs hopped up on the bed too, and soon we all took a nap in the afternoon sunshine.  It was almost as good as going camping! 


Here is our BIG NEWS-----  Steveio, just barely retired now by 6 weeks, decided that he has found something he would like to do.  (part time)

You have heard about Driving Miss Daisy?  Well, he is going to drive the elderly, or handicapped people in a County Program called the Commission On Aging.  He will be driving a handicapped equipped mini passenger bus or a van to pick up people. He will deliver them to their appointments, wait or pick up another, and return to bring them home again.  It is supposed to be 15-20 hours a week.  

He applied, he passed the pee test & physical and was hired to start on Friday.  It was like sending a little boy off to his first day of school! 

He completed all the paperwork and information and will go out tomorrow on his first ride along. HIs first day is only 12-4:30 and will include two patients.  From there he will see how the schedule goes.  They are short on drivers right now due to two of them being out with surgeries.  It may be more than part time for a bit. We will see.....

He will be very good at this job... he is patient, kind, courteous and his mother taught him good manners and respecting the elderly.  I am sure he will become a favorite driver for all those sweet little old ladies!  hahahaha

Plus we are also volunteering with Calumet County Historical Society and also Camphost Coordinators at High Cliff State Park, training and scheduling the camphosts.  We will also be hosting in August in the park too. 

Our relaxing quiet retirement lives are filling up! 

Another project this weekend was that our car had a wheel bearing going to heck.  I am sooo fortunate that Steve is able to just buy the parts and do the work himself.  It's an old car, a 2001 Lincoln Continental... but I love it.  Each month that goes by without a car payment on a newer one is a blessing for us.  He got the new bearing in for only $80 in parts.  wheeeeee

This afternoon he said we should take a *test ride* in the car.  Since I had some great coupons for Joann's Fabrics, he said that would be a good destination for a *test ride* !!! Can you see why I love this guy???

We were able to use some 60% off coupons for fabric
and some 40% off sales for a pile of other goodies! 

We are having the strangest weather here in Wisconsin, and almost all of our snow is gone from the front yard!  The sidewalks are dry and clear.  The sun is shining and temps were in the high 50's today. Birds are singing up a storm and flocking to our birdfeeders, which are being refilled almost daily.  It feels like spring, but heck, it is only the middle of February!!!!

I sold the loom that I posted about in my last blog.
Now there is more room in my Loom Room,
and we added an extra perch by the south-facing window.
They totally enjoy keeping an eye on the neighborhood!

It has been so warm that we are getting in a couple walks each day with the dogs. Since the sidewalks are clear, it is pleasant to wear shoes instead of boots, and wear a light jacket instead of bundling up in down filled coats, caps, mitts and scarves. 

Even our front porch has been so comfortable.
Today it was 70 degrees out in the porch,
warmer than inside the house!

We grilled up BBQ ribs and took our meals out onto the front porch to eat, and it was like a picnic. The sunshine has really brightened up our moods after many days of fog, dreary overcast and freezing weather.  This is such a great treat. It will only be short-lived, but is a promise of spring to come. 

Thursday, February 16, 2017





Located in Chilton, WI - halfway between Milwaukee and Green Bay.

I am up to six looms now, with a seventh on it's way.  I need to clear out a few to make room. Please copy, paste and share?

Sturdy two harness rug loom made by the Reed Loom Company of Springfield, OH
This model is their Little Dandy Rug Loom.

Two shaft counterbalance loom with sturdy construction. Heavy cast iron ratchet and pawl devices on both brake and take-up beams. 15 dent reed. Restored with new cords and flat steel heddles.

 Sectional back warp beam with 2 inch spacing between pegs.

This loom is all set up and weaving straight and true.  Can be disassembled and we can make a video of that process step by step to refer to for re-assembly.

It is fully working and ready to go. I have a rug in progress that I will let any buyer come and try it out. Will include the remaining weft material to finish it.

Easy weaving with just 2 treadles... left or right. Not complicated at all. One step, weave, let go and beat, other step, weave, let go, and beat.  Voila.. in no time you have a rug!

Weaving width is 30 inches. Current rug on the loom is 25 inches.
Overall loom size is 42 inches wide, 48 inches deep and 51 inches high.

Possible to take out through a wide enough doorway
 on its side if left mostly assembled.
(like this)


(all vintage handcrafted)


(needs 8 dowels)

(for sectional warping) 

A free weaving lesson if you'd like included with the sale.


Located in Chilton, WI halfway between Green Bay and Milwaukee

Please email at pfundt@gmail.com