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Monday, March 20, 2017

MOTORHOME MODIFICATIONS - *L* Light Fixture Fix, Attic Fan and Loom Wheels!!

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?

So here it goes, we are up to the letter L now!


Light Fixture Fix:
That danged Steveio always finds more projects to work on in our motorhome. As soon as I think we are completely done with upgrades, he finds something else to do.  Steve decided to take some 12 volt fluorescent lights from in the bedroom area and adapt them into the large 120v AC household type fluorescent light fixture in the kitchen ceiling.

Because we rarely camp with electrical hookups, we don't use that kitchen 120v AC light fixture, so it just sits there, looking pretty.   But it IS in a great location and illuminates a large area if you are cooking or working on something at the table.

There is a lack of a decent 12 volt lighting over the kitchen stove area unless we have the inverter on to power up that fixture or the one under the convection/microwave in the stove hood.  Both of those are 120v AC only.  Seems crazy to start the inverter or generator to just have some light while cooking with propane?   There are only 2 smaller 12v DC fluorescent fixtures under the cabinets, along the sink and countertop by the fridge, but none over the stove.

Sooooo Steveio came up with this bright idea.  And just HAD to try it out------

Our bedroom has tons of light fixtures, both 120v AC and 12v DC.  Thirteen light bulbs in all!   Inside the valances on each of the windows are hidden 12 volt single tube fluorescent lights.  We NEVER use them in the bedroom because we have so many other lights, mainly within reach of the headboard of the bed.  To use the ones in the valances, you have to get up out of bed to turn on and off by the switch on the far end of the valance.   I think they have been used once or twice in the last ten years.

Soooooo Steveio took down the valances and removed the light fixtures.   Easy Peasy.  It was only two dry wall screws to take them down, remove the light, cap off the wires, and put the valance back up.

Next he took down the reflective covering on the large 110 volt household fixture in the kitchen.

At first he tried adding the 12 volt lights to each side of the original fixture, but they didn't seem to reflect downwards as well.  So he changed horses in midrace and removed the 120v AC light buls and ends completely.

He accessed the 12 volt power by removing a speaker from the ceiling and reaching in and over to the wires by the Fantastic Fan nearby....   For the switch that originally controlled the 120v AC fixture, he created a loop using the same wires.  So nothing is changed on the wall, or trying to fish new lines, or any new switches needed.

Steveio respects electricity and double checks all lines with his Fluke meter. 

Plus.. he is tall enough to do the work without having to stand on a ladder!!!!

And here are the two 12v DC fluorescent fixtures mounted in the cavity space left by removing the 120v AC fixture.   They are a little shorter than the old one, but work just as well.

Also a while back, Steveio insulated the top layer of the cavity with pink rigid insulation.  Otherwise it was very cold to the touch in the winter, with nothing between it and the outside roof!   I am sure it helps on the heating and the air conditioning as well.   Just look at that happy man!

 Another Motorhome Modification project, well done by my Steveio! 


I mentioned in my last blog that Steveio has made up a honeydo list of things he wishes to accomplish this summer around Our Old House.  If you had read my blog last year, you might remember us making a whole house fan setup through our scuttle hole into the attic.  Here is that blog post:

The fan idea works very well. It gets our cooler AC air from the main floor to come up to the second story, especially at night.  But after weeks on end of hot humid horrible weather, we realized the ridge vents in our roofline were not enough to dispell that hot air out of the attic.  We noticed by the end of the summer some white specks of mold growing on the rafters and roofline inside of our attic!  Steve sprayed it all down with bleach to rid ourselves of it... but he knew we had to come up with a better solution for this year. 

At first he considered ripping out our chimney and using that open space to make a cold air return from our upper floor all the way back down to the basement.  But that would entail first getting a different water heater (power vent or tankless) because our current one is vented up the chimney. Our furnace is already vented out the side wall.  

But to make this open space for a cold air return, it would mean opening up the walls on two floors to access the space.... and once we ripped out the chimney brick by brick and then adding a ductwork liner ... it was going to be pretty crazy.  Add to that he would redo some of the plumbing at the same time to run in that open space, as well as redo the walls in our bathroom where he would be ripping out the chimney.. and on top of it he wanted to replace the toilet with a taller one!  WHEW! 

We came up with Plan B.....  

How about we just add a power attic fan that is thermostatically controlled to take that attic air and blast it outside through the gable end vent???   YES! 

After a little research, last night we took a drive to Menards to pick up this unit. It is thermostatically controlled and we can mount it in the attic facing out the vent in the gable.  That should take care of our problem. 

 Steve decided our small gable end vent was not large enough,
so he bought one of these and had to make a bigger opening. 

Today he has three separate runs with the Old Fart Party Bus.... and had time in between to come home and work on it (he doesn't take pay for hours in between runs so he is on his own time, just in case you were wondering)

He got out the ladder 
and this part of the house luckily 
has an upstairs shaker porch
to set up on so he is not wayyyyy up high on a two story ladder

He removed the old rectangular vent.... 

A few zips with the saw,
a few hammers and bangs and booms... 
look at that! 

(he just has to trim a bit on the excess siding pieces before putting them back up) 

While at Menards, at the same time, we picked up a few things that I needed for my own repairs on my looms.  

On both of my Newcomb Looms, the take-up lever usually bangs downward when released and swings under the loom (out of reach).   To try to solve that some time back, I put in a little screw to help catch it in a more accessible position.  That works sometimes, but when you bang on the loom, the lever sometimes hops off that little screw and still swings downward out of reach. Argh! 

I thunked and thunked and wanted some kind of a little metal hook that would have a tall end to it, but not stick out too far.  I found hooks that were wide but not tall enough. Steve said get them and he would "operate on them" for me----  hahahahah

He took two of the hooks and went into the garage and rebent them to the shape that I envisioned.  I unscrewed the two screws and installed these new hooks of each rug loom.  My hero!  Now they function exactly as needed. After advancing the rug, the handle drops down into the slot of the hook and does not bounce out during the weaving process. Thanks Steve! Now both of my Newcomb rug looms function better than before!

The other project idea I had in mind were 
taller better casters on this little white bench.
The ones I had put on last year were too small 
and bound up on the carpet at times. 

So my Hero Steveio swapped them out for me 
with the new ones I bought last night. 
(old white ones on the left and new grey ones on the right)

He had them done in no time. They were kinda tricky because the legs slant in on an angle.  But he was able to make them work, even if the new casters I picked out were almost too big on the base plate.  See... I use this bench for a rolling table surface for my Tools of the Trade 8 harness table loom!  I clamp it on with a couple C clamps and then I can roll it out to the front porch, the livingroom, or even out to the motorhome if I want. 

But the main reason is to roll it away into the corner for storage when not in use.  In the past I struggled to lift it and set it down on the carpeted floor by myself. It's kinda heavy and it's a very hard to angle to lift or lower the loom. It is hard to slide across the carpeting because I like to snug it back in this corner.  Soooo work smarter/not harder!  

It makes my work area just that much more organized.
When done, we had to put back the two doggie perches where they 
keep an eye out for the mail lady, the neighborhood dogs 
or the squirrels and rabbits in the side yard!  

Okay... Steve is back from his second run of the day. 
Now he has until 3 pm before he leaves again.
 I better go give him a hand installing that attic vent! 


Now to install the inside power fan. That should be pretty easy. He wanted to get this done before it gets too hot to be up in the attic. It is only about 50 degrees today, so that is a perfect time to get this project done. 

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