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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Moochdocking Memorial Weekend and Motorhome Modifications

Our Memorial holiday weekend started out with a fun overnight babysitting for a couple of the grandtots!   At Christmas we had given each of our kids and their spouses a "DATE"  It was gift cards for a dinner out, a movie and also an overnight babysitting to enjoy their "date"   Dan and Heather saved theirs till now in May to use on their anniversary.  Awwwwwww   We kept little 8 week old Mason and 2 year old Allegra overnight on Friday.

We told the young parents that they could sleep in and come by noon on Saturday.  But no, they are too used to getting up early and were at our door by 9am to take their kids back!   Before they left, I got the two grandtots to pose by my birch trees.

All of the grandkids have been posing for pics in front of these trees for three years now.   And if everything goes as planned this week, we may not even be owning these particular birch trees in the near future.  But I am not going to say anything to jinx it, you blog readers will just have to wait and see!~

Seeing as the kids left early, we hopped in our rig and headed west on Hwy 22.  Stopped in Cecil by a little parking area on the shores of Shawano Lake to make a little lunch.  What a great view out the windows!!!

(panorama camera setting)

Being  that it was a busy holiday weekend, we knew that the chance of getting an open campsite was just about nil, so we headed over to Wausau, WI to "mooch-dock" in our fellow Safari-owning friends Mel and Paula! 

"Mooch-docking" is when you hang out in someone's driveway for free, as opposed to "boon-docking" out in the woods for free without hookups, or "Wally-docking" when you park overnight for free at a Wal-Mart! 

It was a pleasant day and we avoided a few of the scattered showers during the daytime....   Their rig is crosseways in front of ours is the same year, just a different color and slightly different model.  Sahara vs Serengeti.  But basically the same rigs...  both made by Safari. 

Because Mel and Paula live within the city limits, they are not allowed to have a burning campfire.  Sigh.   What fun is "camping" if you can't have a campfire?  So Mel had made up this Campfire In a Can!   You can buy commercially made ones, but Mel made this one up from a metal wash tub, a fireplace gas log setup and a hose to a propane tank!  It sure put out heat too!!!

Saturday night we were up kinda late, yacking and going between their rig and ours, comparing ideas and modifications.  The rains started, and soon the HAIL!!!! ACK!   It was pinging down on the roofs of our rigs... and piling up as the 1-1.5 inch hail was sliding off the end of our tilted awning.  The pinging was getting louder and louder and we were shaking, just thinking of our solar panels getting smashed to smithereens!    The rain let up around midnight, so they wandered in their house and we made it back into our rig to get some sleep.  

The next morning they examined the roofs.  Our rig made it through safely, probably due to being parked underneath a pretty big tree.  Paula and Mel's rig didn't fare as well.  They had a few holes banged through their fiberglass air conditioner covers!   Mel said he can repair them though, so all is not so bad.  At least the expensive bathroom skylites and solar panels all made it through safe and sound! 
Paula and I kept ourselves busy with cooking food, checking out her quilting room (she has a huge long-arm quilting machine!)   and we even hit a few thrift shops.  I found some yarn. Yah, right, like I really need some yarn!    Their wonderful daughterinlaw, Sarah, made us a cheesecake and raspberry glaze for a special treat.  Yummmmm 

The guys never left the yard!  They were busy---- under, inside, over and on top of each other's rigs.  They fiddled and futzed and researched and repaired.   Two guys, a pile of tools, and two similar motorhomes to play with.  Talk about FUN!~ 

They did discover a problem.... first with Mel's rig and then even worse with ours!   I will let Mel tell it in his own words from his post on the Safari Group SafariCoaches

This past weekend Stevio and I where diagnosing my PacBrake because, to me, it felt as though it was no longer working as it had been. (Turning it on would cause the Allison display to drop to 2nd and the coach would downshift as it slowed..... but did not have the "drag" I was accustomed to).
We figured out how to activate the PacBrake air solenoid, (after turning ON the key and allowing the air pressure to build up), with a momentary jumper wire from the always hot chassis battery post of the isolator to the positive wire of the solenoid, (which we had removed from the PackBrake relay).

The air cylinder would only push out about 1/4 as far as it should with each momentary application of 12v, (which only slightly closed the butterfly).

Steve discovered that the strange looking 90 degree elbow, (mounted on the top of the PacBrake air cylinder), to which the air line from the solenoid is attached, had an air leak.

When Steve sealed the opening in the end of that elbow with his thumb and I jumped the 12v, the PacBrake cylinder extended all the way and closed the butterfly, as it should.

He removed that "elbow" and we discovered that it is actually a "Humphrey 1/4 Quick Exhaust Valve #SQE2".
When we disassembled that "valve" we found that the internal rubber diaphragm had a hole in it.

Steve took the diaphragm from the working valve on his '96 Serengeti  PacBrake cylinder and put it in mine and it is working perfectly.

Link to valve:

Link to kit:

BTW, the reason Steveio is willing to go without his Humphrey Valve temporarily is that we found that his PacBrake butterfly is rusted/frozen in the open position............ (I guess it's true: "No good deed goes UNPUNISHED")! :-)
I have ordered a new valve, ($15.95), plus a rebuild kit,($7.95) plus shipping ($3.83), so when Steve frees his up he can use it.

'96 Sahara, 3126 Cat

Paula helped me solve a dilemma that I had-----   Long ago, my friend Lisa gave me her old cast aluminum roaster.  It's perfect for a small roast, a chicken, casserole or mashed taters (that is what she used it for).  It's one of those "prized possessions".  Also when my daughter bought her house, the previous owner had a larger one, and it was being tossed in the trash as the sellers were cleaning out the house.  I was allowed to keep it when we were just looking at the house for Erin and Mark to buy it.   So I have these two antique roasters.  The big one won't even fit in the convection oven of our rig, and the small one will barely fit.  They are very heavy, and I am guessing quite old. 

I know this sounds silly, but I have been just agonizing over the decision of what to do.  If I get rid of them, I doubt if I could ever find them again if we do settle down into a larger home and kitchen.  They are not very common.  Do I toss the big one?  Do I keep it?  None of my kids wanted it. Even if it doesn't fit in the oven, it's great to put out over the fire and will fit a turkey in it.  There is just not enough room in the motorhome's kitchen cabinet that I have for the regular kettles.  I needed to cull one and didn't want to.  I have most of my allotted storage compartment space underneath already earmarked for other things, so putting it there would just let it sit and rattle around never get used? 

Sooo along comes Paula with a solution!  

Our Safari rigs come with a pretty useless lazy susan cabinet in the corner of the kitchen.  I hate mine.  Paula hated hers too.  The cans and jars and bottles of food spill over the edges and get caught way in the back!   Then you have to get down on your hands and knees to reach wayyy back behind with a pair of cooking tongs to get them out again. Argghhh.   

Paula had the best idea, she took her lazy susan out!    The boxed-in area underneath the lazy susan is covering our water heater.  It's a nice carpeted cabinet with a strong surface to hold items without slipping around.  There is a narrow side open area that works great for baking cookie sheets and muffin pans.  So tonight, my Steveio got down on his knees to remove my lazy susan! 

(before)                                                       (during) 

(and after!)
Now it's like a big appliance garage!   I fit in the roasters, the toaster, my little food chopper, hand held Braun blender, some bread pans, my apple corer  and there is still some room for the waffle iron!   It sure don't take much to make me happy, Steveio says.  Remove one little rotating circle and his wife is grinning like a fool!  LOL 

While he had out his trusty drill with a phillips bit in it, he removed these wooden brackets that were around the top opening of our stairs.  My newest sandals have been catching on them and I have tripped twice in the last week going into our rig.   (I know, I know, just pick up my feet, eh?)   

They were originally designed to hold up a flip down door that would cover the stair-well while in transit.  We long ago removed the flip down door to create more space for the heater located on the wall next to the stairwell.  If the door is gone, why keep the brackets in place?   He removed them and the tiny screw holes left behind are not too noticeable.  

I hope everyone had a nice Memorial Day
 and lest we never forget the brave men and women 
who have fought to protect our freedom. 

So that is about it from the Pfundtner's home, 
stay tuned for the newest updates in our transition to full time RVing! 



  1. Fingers crossed about your 3rd paragraph.
    Boy Karen have you got a sweetheart. You trip and Steve remodels the coach to accommodate you. ;).

  2. Now if I would only do the little fixes like Stevio does, I wouldn't so slap wored out all the time. I'm think'n that letting every thing pile up for 5 years and then try to fix them all in one week may be the wrong approach.
    Hope to see ya all down the road a piece in my brand spank'n new motorhome....when I'm finished repairs.

    1. Yup... I am sure we will run into you somewhere's down the road!

  3. Okay, you've gotten me very curious!!!! I've been checking my blogroll every day waiting for a post from you!

    Has Steve retired now? I can't remember what you said about that.

    It looks like you had a nice holiday weekend and how nice that you found some extra cabinet space.

    1. Not retired yet, but counting down! 48 weeks minus a few weeks of vacation he might save for the end. But we put the house on the market early and have an extra plan if it does sell on where to be this upcoming winter.

  4. I would not part with those wonderful roasters either. Glad you found a solution.

    1. Yah, I know it might sound silly or minor to have to decide about keeping or getting rid of a couple stupid kettles. But could I ever find more like it again if I did? With all the decisions on what to keep and what to donate or give to the kids, this was a stumper!

      Modern gals like crockpots and not having to think twice about what is in the roaster. But there is something soooo "Betty-Crocker-ish" about lifting the lid on these roasters and seeing how well they cook!!!

  5. Perhaps you've had a reasonable offer on the house?? Exciting times. :)

  6. I'm glad you solved your dilemma about whether and where to keep the roasters.

  7. Sounds like a super great weekend! I tell ya, you two need to come done here and camp! So much work to do on m.h. and John can't do much yet. Oh well, he's gaining strength daily.

  8. Ohhh, so happy about your secret / not so secret!

  9. Ohhh, so happy about your secret / not so secret!

  10. I forgot to tell you to also put down some slip-not. Hard braking will slide those things as will sharp turns. Don't ask how I know! LOL! Also, put the food chopper and your apple peeler towards the back or in between other things. Those small things tend to bounce around and fall down. Just sayin.
    We enjoyed the week-end with you and Steve. Mel is still talking about Steve finding the problem with the pac brake and how he probably would still be looking for it. He/we appreciate all of Steve's help.
    It was a great fun week-end inspite of that dang hail!
    Love my new socks!!! I can use them tonight when the temps drop and keep my toes nice and warm!Hugs

  11. I'm absolutely sure you were not "mooch-docking" as that has some very negative connotations about you and Steve that are definitely not true as there is no way one could consider either of you "moochers". Instead, you were "drive-docking". It is wonderful how you continually find ways to improve your living space in the RV. Hope you have a good offer coming in on your house!


  12. Here's hoping things work out the way you want!

  13. I love the roasters! I don't blame you for wanting to keep them. Steve deserves a good pot roast or chicken and dumplins in those roasters for helping you fix a place of honor for all your cooking "stuff". Hope your living and rolling in that motor home soon!

  14. Love your corner cupboard solution. I'm very good at downsizing but I would have stumbled over the idea of getting rid of either roaster as well.

  15. I'm starting to think you two don't know how to relax when you are supposed to. You put the "A" in type A personalities. ;c)

    1. Heh heh heh and we are going back there soon to help them seal tbeir motorhome roof and paint Paula's quilting room too.....


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