Thursday, October 30, 2014

Fall and Winter

I feel like a bit of a failure once again. For how long I've had this blog going and making videos for YouTube it seems like I would have gotten my crap together and been on the road at this point. 

To be honest I'm incredibly close. There's really no reason I couldn't be on the road this winter. There are a handful of things I would feel a lot more comfortable doing/fixing before I hit the road, but I could squeeze by without addressing them. 

Mostly I'm just not 'feeling' it. I feel like I'd be forced into doing something I'm not 100% ready for just because winter is coming and the evil white stuff (snow) will be making all of my decisions for me. I'm concerned about money, about breaking down, or about getting out there and after a couple weeks wondering what the hell I'm doing. 

I've been feeling a different direction lately. I've been feeling really good, and more like 'me' than I have in probably the last 8 years. I have no intention of getting rid of the motorhome, but it'll  most likely be sitting through another winter. 

My life, while there is still work to be done, is more organized than it has been for years. I'm finally down to two vehicles, the motorhome and my van. Junked out my other old vehicle a few weeks ago. My storage unit is gone, but I'm still dealing with some of that stuff.. at least I'm not paying $100/month anymore. I've been working on web development lately, which is what I used to do. Things more or less seem to be falling into place in the big picture again. 

I'm seriously considering getting rid of my big 1 ton van. Practically every system on it needs repair in one way or another, and it will be terrifying driving it this winter. I'm looking at minivans, because I still like the space. It'd be nice to have something with a lot less rust and a little better gas mileage. 

This change is probably going to force me into getting a job again. I'm not opposed to it. I'd be looking for part time though, or else 3 possibly 4 day work weeks. I want to have time to do something with my life, and also to keep focusing on the web development stuff so hopefully I can get back into my own independent income stream enough to support my life. 

At this point I envision having a minivan for short trips this winter, and then getting out and about more often in the motorhome next year after the snow melts. 

So.. anyway. The above picture is from washing the motorhome. The roof still needed to be cleaned at the time of the picture, but I washed it on Monday. I'm also putting the bars across the top back on because my roof seems to be sagging. Unfortunately I'm cutting down the sides that go under the solar panels and it's weakening them quite a bit. Better than nothing, is my mindset. This is also requiring me to take the solar panels off, just to put them back on again. I've done the front bar, I still need to do the rear bar. I also put the spare tire back on the front now that I'm done doing all my engine work. I might try to do the rear without taking the panel off, but it's a good idea to clean under there anyway.

Monday, October 13, 2014


I got into metal detecting this year, but after a lot of digging and finding nothing very good I took a month or two off recently. I bought a cheap metal detector off of craigslist during winter and actually was out digging in the snow and frozen ground. My first dig was a 1920 wheat penny only 40 ft from the house. Since that first dig, nothing of any real note. Not even more wheat pennies.

Until last Thursday! I finally decided to break out of the metal detector and drove the motorhome to one of the closest parks. I wasn't getting much of anything, and then tucked into an isolated corner of one section of the park I dug up a 1948 wheat penny. That by itself was enough to make me excited after so many digs and nothing but modern coins or plain junk. Then just a few feet away I dug up a 1949 wheat penny! Imagine that. Nothing all year and then two notable (for me) finds in such a short time.

Saturday I went back to the same park again. Also once again in the motorhome. A wedding party was just starting to assemble at the pavilion but I decided I was going to park and detect anyway. I usually would have left, as I have a problem with feeling I have a 'right' to be somewhere. They were on one side, and I planned to be on the other side so I parked and soon the motorhome was surrounded by cars on all sides. Haha.

Anyway, I was hunting the same overall area as Thursday but I was finding pennies from the 90's like crazy. Complete shock when I pulled a 1937 mercury dime out of one of the holes! My first silver coin while metal detecting. Couldn't be happier that it was a mercury dime. I love that design for some reason. I went over that area for a long time hoping to find something else good. Nothing.

Then tonight I went to the store to cash in some bottles (10 cent deposit in Michigan) and got some Pringles and a 2 liter too. I still got money back from the bottles and as I was walking out I was looking through my change. A 1964 silver quarter. 2 silvers in 3 days. Can't beat that!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Oil Pressure and Water Leaks

Earlier this week I was driving the motorhome around on some errands and when I looked down the oil pressure was completely gone. The gauge wasn't registering anything. This freaked me out, but up at the next stop light the pressure went back up and stayed there to my next destination. On the way home it started to dip low again. I installed a new pressure switch and changed the oil. It was a quart low, but I don't think that would have caused it. Just running it in the driveway has the pressure where it's always been since the new engine. Fluctuating between 40psi and 20psi. Doesn't seem great, but I never paid attention to where the gauge was before I changed the engine. Soon I'll have to take it for some more drives to see if the problem was fixed with the new switch and oil change, or if I'm going to have bigger problems.

Originally I was feeling like if it's a bigger problem (i.e. bad oil pump or pick up) that it  would pretty much mean I'd be sitting through another season for sure. Now that I've put some thought into it, it wouldn't be too bad. A pain in the butt, and a decent amount of work, but not impossible. I would have to pull the exhaust, transmission, starter, and raise the entire engine again so that I could take the oil pan off. I'm practically a pro at all of that now. 

It's been cold and rainy. We got a couple inches in 24 hours yesterday. I noticed water in the motorhome again. Yuck. It seems to just be coming from the window. I don't know if it's just old weatherstripping or poor design or something else I haven't figured out yet but definitely the channel on the bottom that the window slides along seems to get very wet, and I think it's just overflowing to the interior.

I took that window out last year and redid all the "monkey poop". Maybe I'll run a bead of caulk around the edge anyway. My other thoughts are to drill some more drainage holes in the bottom of the channel, and possibly make a metal guard along the top of the windows. Both the motorhome and my old travel trailer have that sort of thing above the doors. 

Either way it's better than it used to be. I used to have a small pool of water along the bottom of the wall after it rained. Of course, it could just depend on which way the vehicle is leaning and maybe I have a pool collecting somewhere else I haven't found yet.