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

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

MOTORHOME MODIFICATIONS *A* and News of Sam and Donna Weibel

I am going to start off the new year with posting three of our motorhome modifications 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?

So here it goes:


Air Conditioner Gasket change:
As many of you know, our motorhome is 20 years old! Old enough to vote, but not quite old enough to drink and drive itself, thank goodness.  LOL

Routine maintenance has kept it up in tip top shape, with 99% of it being done by ourselves.  The few things we have let other people do, we realize we could have done ourselves with a bit more information.  And also I think we would have done a better job, with more attention to details, and cost us much less in labor and parts.

So I try to take pics of the things we do ... step by step... and hope they will help someone else to do the job themselves too.  (rather than paying someone $100 an hour to do it)

We noticed a bit of water leaking down onto our bed from the back rooftop air conditioner.  This has happened once before on the front unit, and we learned a trick to remove the bottom plastic housing and tighten down on the three big bolts... compressing the gasket a bit more.

This time, we realized the gasket was squished down almost flat and not doing it's job on the back unit.  So we picked up two new gaskets to replace both of them when we had time.   Gaskets are generally available at most RV dealers.  We bought ours at Merz RV in Fond du Lac and they were pricier than what we found online.  We paid $35 each, but Steve wanted them NOW.... and not wait to order them I guess. Gotta keep the local RV dealers in business too.

Here is one I found online so you can get an idea of what I am talking about.  Yup, it is just a square shape of closed cell foam rubber that is sticky on one side.  We didn't use the leveling pads, perhaps those are for some fifth wheels I see with sloped rooftops where the AC unit is attached....  I think most RV's use the same gasket, as the hole in the rooftop is pretty universal in size.

I took step by step pics of the process. We have two Duo Therm Penguin rooftop air conditioners but I only documented changing out one of the gaskets.  They both were replaced the same way.

First .... UNPLUG your rig from any power source!   Then assemble all of the needed tools:

  • aluminum sticky tape, 
  • oscillating power tool, 
  • permanent marking pen, 
  • rags, 
  • acetone, 
  • ladder
  • an assortment of various screwdrivers, ratchets, sockets
  • and a camera to take pics


 We looked up inside and saw why our gasket was leaking:

this part might be easier if done with TWO people, but Steve is strong.... 

I would suggest here that before you remove the old gasket material, 
to make some marks with a permanent marker. 
This will show you exactly where the new gasket needs to be attached... 
so it will perfectly line up with the rooftop hole.

If you had marked with a permanent pen here, 
you wouldn't have to guess where the gasket needs to be applied. 

Again, this next part would work better 
with two people lifting, 
and a third person on the inside 
to eyeball how it's lining up 
with the hole in the roof.

You could use duct tape here, but Steve had some of this on hand too

now to take care of a couple air leaks that were never done from the factory either.

We feel the air will flow better by plugging up the leaks
that should have been plugged from the time it was built.

Awning shade screen:
This is an awning sun screen that came with our rig.  We never realized how nice it was until we were camping in desert one year.  When the sun comes down at such an angle in the winter months, this really helped keep the light off the sides of the rig.  Some days it was 95 degrees out there and this really made a difference during the days!   These shots were snapped after supper, so the sun is even lower in the sky and kinda on an angle now.  But it was great for mid-day use!

The top edge of the screen has a thick rubber bead sewn into the top hem.  It slides in the extra unused awning track on the bottom surface of the roller.  It has some little grommets on the bottom edge to attach ropes and tie to stakes in the ground. It was kinda tough to pound in stakes into the hard packed desert gravel. I think even tying around a large rock on each corner would work too. 

It is thin enough that we could possibly roll it up with the awning each time, but can also be removed and stowed it away in it's bag in a compartment. 

And... that is it for the letter A. Tomorrow I will start with the letter B. We will post about hings like batteries and backup cameras and boosters and blocks. Stay tuned! 


What kind of crazy weather is this in January in Wisconsin?  We had freezing rain all night, roads are glare ice and the temp is at 33. Schools are delayed or cancelled. Steve hauled in the trash containers for us and the elderly neighbor lady next door.  He said it was quite slippery.  Today is the first REAL day of his retirement because if he was still working, he would have had yesterday off for vacation.  I am SOOOO glad he didn't have to get out and drive today to the park. 

We have a pot of coffee going and are discussing what we would like to get done today. I write part of the blog in the mornings, and add to it in the evenings before I post it.  So hopefully we will do something fun or exciting today to have something to post about.  But I do think that we are going to take down the Christmas Tree and put away the decorations from around the inside of the house. Fun, eh? 

P.S. added later... we did get to take down the tree and put away most of the inside decorations. My oh my, the house looks so BARE now!  It was kinda sad to pack it all away. We removed the presents from under the tree and put them all away too. 

Steve helped me hang one of the gifts we got from daughter Erin and soninlaw Waylen.  How thoughtful to make this with all of our grandkids' names on plaques.  The word GRANDKIDS is done with colorful string around nails. We decided to put up on the wall in my kitchen to gaze upon any time I am hanging out at the island.  

(the pics in frames on top were already there) 

On a serious note:  Fellow RV bloggers Sam and Donna Weibel are both in serious condition in the hospital.  http://samdonna-5thwheelvagabonds.blogspot.com/  We have been waiting for updates and Sams sister Wendy sent me this update: 

Karen this is Sam's sister. Here is an update: Just a quick update on my brother Sam Weibel and my sister in law Donna Dutson Weibel. It has been a week since Sam was admitted into the hospital with what appeared to be a mild stroke but he then became agitated and incoherent. He wasn't eating or sleeping. MRI showed no stroke and even though he had fallen a few hours before symptoms started apparently there is no signs of head injury or concussion which would have showed up in the MRI. Today the did a spinal tap and we are waiting for those results. So basically we have no answers for sure what has happened and where to go from here. He was asking for his twin brother and he did go see Sam today so I am praying this was what Sam needed to turn around and come back to us. Donna is making improvements. She is still in the ICU but only has to use the cpap at night. They are hoping that tomorrow she can be moved to a regular room. They are both in the same hospital which makes it a little easier on my nephew but not much. I feel so bad that he is there with no family with him. Again I am asking for continued prayers for all of us. The waiting and not knowing is very very hard. I know I have friends on FB who know my brother as well as family members that I may not be able to call or texted/messaged so this is also a way to let them know what is going on. God Bless everyone and I hope we all have a Happy Healthy 2017

This has to be very hard on the family,
and their doggie members Riggens, Charlie and Sadie Mae too!


  1. What a nice gift, it looks great on the wall.

    Celebrating the Dance

  2. Thanks for posting the update on Sam and Donna.

    I love the Grandkids wall hanging. Very clever! I'm waiting for my daughter to help me hang the photos of all my grands, and now I have another new one! Have a happy and comfortable 2017.

  3. Thank you so much for the update on Sam and Donna. I have followed their blog for several years. (I am a fellow Missourian). I will remember them in my prayers.

    Did you see the RV on the Rose Bowl Parade? It reminded me of yours. Awe how sweet it must have smelled being all natural in flowers and seeds and then to rise in the air!


Thanks for taking the time to comment on my blog! I moderate all comments so it may take a little while for your comment to appear.