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Monday, January 22, 2018


I am going to start off the new year with posting some 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 22 years old! Old enough to vote, and now old enough to drink and drive itself.  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)

A while back, 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. We don't use it very often, so we fold it up and store it.  I would imagine it would also be good for some privacy if you happen to be stuck in a campground with people right alongside of your RV. 


Whew... I know that was a long blog, but I like having step by step photos to help people.  The last time I posted about that process, soooo many folks came back and referenced it to help them replace their own air conditioner gaskets.

It was a damp cold icky day.... So I popped a frozen pot roast in the electric pressure cooker about 1 pm.  I added some onion soup mix,  and some slices of onion and a dollop of Andria's Steak Sauce.  I buy that from OFallen, MO. It's a local thing there. http://www.andrias.com/our-sauce.html

I have two electric pressure cookers... .this one I like the best because it has a stainless steel inside liner, rather than silverstone non-stick stuff.  I keep this one in our motorhome and it's the 8 quart variation.

A year or so ago, this one went on sale at Menards for the Black Friday sale.  I wanted it because it was larger, so it can accommodate a large roast, turkey breast or big volume of BBQ Ribs.  It does have a non-stick liner, but seems to be quite sturdy and there hasn't been any peeling or chipping in over a year of hard use.  I keep this one in the house, and use it a couple times a week. I hand wash the inner pot and do not put it in the dishwasher, per instructions.

 Anyhow.... I set it for 60 minutes because the roast was frozen solid when I put this together.  I left it sit afterwards for about 30 minutes under pressure slowly releasing. Then I put it on warm mode, so it acts like a crock pot.  About 4 pm I added chunks of potatoes and carrots, and reset it for 30 more minutes under pressure.  Voila!  Here is supper, all done without a lot of effort! 

I save some of the leftover juice, then I will add some gravy mix, and chop up the leftover meat and taters and carrots into stew size hunks for a meal tomorrow.  I will also shred up some leftover roast beef into plastic zip locks and freeze for tacos or enchiladas some day when we want a quick meal.

While the pressure cooker was busy doing my work, I hit the sewing room and worked some more on my quilt. Ya ever have one of those days that you can't concentrate?  (I think I really needed a nap instead)  Well, ... I sewed this block on the left wrong.  The coffee cup center is flipped sideways. 

I think the word "ESPRESSO" goofed me up, 
the word should be sideways like the one on the right. 

I knew if I didn't fix it, it would bother me forever.  Sooo I took out my trusty seam ripper and carefully pulled out all of the tiny stitches.  Okayyyyy

And then I proceeded to stitch it back into place.... 
I looked at my handiwork, ready to press it nice and smooth

I stitched it back in the exact WRONG WAY AGAIN!!!

Out came the seam ripper again, and I tore it all apart.  THIS TIME I stitched it RIGHT! 

Then I decided to turn off the machine, off the light, off the iron, off the tv --- and head on down the hall to take a nap.  WHEW! I learned my lesson to not sew when I am tired.

We are just having the freezing rain and damp and cold here, but north of us they are getting hit a huge storm and some areas getting 12-18" of snow.  Steve had to drive all day so I am glad the weather was held at bay.

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