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Saturday, January 20, 2018

MOTORHOME MODIFICATIONS *A* Air Intake, Air Horn and Awning Lock

I am going to start off the new year with posting some of our motorhome modifications in alphabetical order. I will post repairs, modifications, or neato things we have found for RVing.  I have lots of pics in my files so I will share them with you RV blog readers!

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

So here it goes:


Air Intake Relocation:

Our air intake for the air cleaner is located in the rear of our diesel motorhome, as most are.  But the problem is that it is located UNDERNEATH the motorhome by the engine. Things get pretty dirty and dusty back there, especially with driving on any dirt or gravel roads, out in the desert, or just around blowing winds from newly plowed farm fields. You ever see a dirt devil over loose soil? 

Steve measured and figured and futzed around... and soon he said he was ready to cut!! OH MY!  Cutting into the fiberglass on our vintage motorhome is pretty scary (to me) but he was not daunted in the least.  He grabbed his drill and made four pilot holes and used a sabre saw to cut out the rectangle. 

Here is his crazy looking inner workings for the intake vent.  It looks very rigged, but it works. Thankfully it is hidden up inside the back engine compartment and nobody can see it. LOL  PS he said that is super duper heat resistant aluminum fibered duct tape.

With a little bit of sputtering, partial swearing, and a few bruised and scraped knuckles, he got it into place.   Laying in the driveway is how Steve does most of his projects. Of course we do not have a garage space large enough to pull it inside. I am the ''gopher'' to bring him tools, take the pics, and basically support and encourage him as he does a great job.

And there it is...  all complete!  He sprayed a regular steel household vent grid with silver paint to match the motorhome color scheme.  It would have been impossible to match the blue, so he went with the silver to go along with the stainless steel lower compartment doors.

I am pleased to report that it has been 8 plus years since we changed the configuration.  It has lessened the need to replace the air filters as often because this reconfiguration works so well. The little filter minder device is only showing a small amount of dirt picked up since the replacement, so our air flow is fine. Engine temps are fine.  (on edit: we did replace the air filter about 2 years ago, so we got a long life out of the first one since Steve did this change) 

Air horn button on passenger side:
This one is a recent improvement. You are going to think it is really STRANGE.... but it is a great idea--- And it works!!  

See.....  when you are in a long long rig, with a towed vehicle behind, you can not just whip over to another lane to avoid the merging idiots who do not seem to see you.  Countless times we have had idiots who cannot merge safely into traffic.  They are immersed in their cell phones, their coffee, their GPS settings or whatever.  They cruise right alongside of us, mindlessly involved in their own little world, going the same speed until they suddenly run out of pavement from their on ramp!  We have had soooo many close calls of possibly having them crease right down the side of our rig.  We do not want to go through the trouble of being laid up for weeks to have have our rig repaired, or trying to match the stainless steel doors and paint, nor cause injury to other folks around us if we did have an accident with a dumb merging idiot. Not to mention the insurance hassles and down time during precious vacation hours to get it fixed! 

Usually Steve does not have room to move over to the left, and we find ourselves struggling with either trying to rapidly slow down or speed up to try to avoid the collision with the idiot who does not know how to merge.  ARGGHHHH   

I swear they just do NOT see us! We are blue on top and silvery/grey on the bottom. I think they think we are sky and pavement????

When this happens, Steve is busy looking in the mirrors, driving straight ahead to stay in his lane, but trying to see if he can move, trying to see the tiny car in his almost blind spot on the passenger side, etc., that he does not always have time to beep the air horns to wake up the idiot.  

I warn him to blast the horn, but he does not always have time....  when he does, it does help!  It wakes up the person who suddenly either speeds up and cuts in front of us, or drops back to safely merge behind us. 

Ssoooooooo to help with this tension filled event, Steve installed an extra horn button on MY side of the rig!  Seriously!!!

I can look down out my passenger window and determine if the person needs a blast to wake up and realize we are there!  Our dual air horns blast out sounds similar to a big ocean liner.... and it is enough to get their attention before we are both in an accident.  It is the GREATEST thing ever and so far it has saved us twice since he installed it.

Plus, it is kinda rewarding to see the idiot suddenly realize we are there and look up and react --- and either look stupid or sorry .... or worst of all angry!  Then they drop back, intending to swing around us to quickly to flip us off as they speed by. But then they meet up with our towed Tracker behind us, which makes them having to back off even more to get around behind us.  By now, they are pretty ticked and zoom up alongside of Steve to flip him off.  He smiles broadly and waves a nice wave at them.  No sense giving them the satisfaction of getting US mad... right?  

Awning locking rod:
The awning on our Safari motorhome has a ribbed aluminum cover to help protect the awning during travel. But it is possible for the awning to unwind by accident during travel. This has happened to many people over the years and once to my parents while driving on a cold rainy windy sleety winter night on an interstate. Traditional arm locks are not enough. Yes, their awning unfurled and it was dangerously flapping out like a sail into the next lane! They had to carefully pull over in the dark, and examine the damage that had ensued.  My folks were in their 70s and had no choice but to try to fix it and get off the dangerous section of the interstate where they were pulled over. They could not just roll it up, the arms had bent in the process. Now, while in the dark and wind and rainy sleet weather, they had to crawl up on the roof and strap it up around their air conditioners and vents to be able to finish their journey.  

After that happened to them, Steve started thinking.  He came up with this: 

I am pleased to say it works perfectly
and we have never had an unfurling 
in the past eight years since he made this for our rig! 

(stay tuned for more motorhome modifications in my next blog)

We had some very very cold weather last week... and some interesting sub zero frost designs appeared on some windows that face south.  The damp moist winds from the south turned suddenly very cold and the moisture froze in the most interesting patterns.  This was only on the south side of the house, not on the east, north or west. 

Take note.. these are on the outside of the windows, not inside of our house. LOL! 

We were sure to stay in, cozy and warm during those subzero days. Besides my suffering from pneumonia, Steve was also not feeling so well.  The doggies cuddled with us in bed, and made sure we were well taken care of!

And last up, I will share a recipe for some GREAT soup I made... 

Zuppa Toscana (better than Olive Garden!)
1 lb. Italian sausages (use spicy to get that signature Olive Garden flavor)
4-6 russet potatoes, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/4 c. REAL bacon pieces (optional)
2 Tbsp minced garlic (about 3-4 cloves)
32 oz. chicken broth
1 c. kale or Swiss chard, chopped
1 c. heavy whipping cream
2 Tbsp flour
1. Brown sausage links in a sauté pan.
2. Cut links in half lengthwise, then cut slices.
3. Place sausage, chicken broth, garlic, potatoes and onion in slow cooker. Add just enough water to cover the vegetables and meat.
4. Cook on high 3-4 hours (low 5-6 hours) until potatoes are soft.
30 minutes before serving:
5. Mix flour into cream removing lumps.
6. Add cream, kale, and bacon to the crock pot, stir.
7. Cook on high 30 minutes or until broth thickens slightly.
8. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste.
Image may contain: food

Here are pics of mine. 
I did it long and slow on the stove 
instead of the Crock-Pot or pressure cooker. 
I did chopped spinach instead of kale or swiss chard.
 The house smells great!!!

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