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Posts from the ‘Modifications’ Category

Recipe for Friendship, K9 Sport Sack, Dreaming of Sedona

Recipe for a Fun and Lasting Friendship

Mix two parts fun-loving adventurers from New Hampshire, two parts warm-and-wonderful adventurers from San Antonio, one part wacky Wild Thing from Massachuestts.  Toss them gently together and sprinkle liberally with wine!

I was honored today by a visit from two exceptional couples (and fellow Escape Trailer owners)! I met these terrific folks this past May at the Escape Trailer Appreciation Rally in Osoyoos, BC. We became fast friends during the wine tour portion of the rally and have stayed in touch since. I was fortunate to visit Lucy and Charlie on several occasions at their home in New Hampshire. They live just 2 hours from me in MA! I was also lucky to meet up with Dora and Fred again on one of those trips to NH while they were also visiting Lucy and Charlie. Dora and Fred are full-time RV’ers and they hail from San Antonio, TX. Lucy and Charlie just happened to be visiting Dora and Fred in San Antonio this week, and so they all drove to Kerrville to see me and Dexter today! What fun we had. It’s such an amazing thing to meet people who have the same passion for travel and adventure that you do! We all missed you, Steve!

We enjoyed a  spectacular lunch at a local gem called Grape Juice. Our server, Lanette, was a delight! She’s from Ohio and a fellow traveler! Thank you for the excellent service today Lanette, and thank you, Janice, for introducing me to this great restaurant! Everyone loved the brussels sprouts!

I love these people and am so fortunate to have had an opportunity to share a meal with them and to give them the grand tour of Wild Thing. They were all so helpful and supportive of me during the trailer build process, giving me tips on which supplies to bring on the trip, and coaching me on the fine points of handling the rig. Today they provided even more helpful pointers and equipment suggestions. I’ll soon be investing in a new hose, a space heater, and a water filter as soon as I can find a Camping World!   Lucy and Charlie will also be heading for Tucson in a few days and will also be staying at the Catalina State Park over the Christmas Holiday! Jingle Bells!! It will be an Escape Christmas in Tucson! They will then join Dora and Fred for a guided tour down the Baja Peninsula. That trip is on my wishlist, but not feasible for this year! I’ll be following their journey closely though and wish them safe travels Maybe they will catch up with Glen in Baja!

Dexter was happy to see everyone, after his initial barking-fit-intruder-alert-moment. He is my protector and showed it today! After he calmed down, we modeled his new backpack for everyone. I purchased this dog backpack just before I left for this trip and am thrilled with the product. It’s a K9 Sport Sack and allows me to carry him comfortably on my back. I will be taking some hikes that will be too long for his little 2” legs to keep up with, so this will give me a way to carry him in a way that’s comfortable for both of us. I tried carrying him in a cross body bag, and a purse-like bag, but both were too hard on my back. This pack sits high up so he can see over my shoulder and it’s very comfortable.  He won’t be in it for more than an hour or two but it will be a lifesaver when I need it!

After my visit with the Escape gang, I lay down with a book and promptly fell asleep! I realized that I have been on-the-go for several days and a bit of downtime was in order. I ’m feeling refreshed tonight and glad I took a little time to recharge

Dexter and I have taken three good walks today, so we are getting plenty of fresh air, exercise, and sunshine. I saw this lovely creature on the path…is it a butterfly or a moth?

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This evening, I spent a few hours researching places to go after my stay in Las Cruces, NM,  and before Catalina State Park in Tucson. I have 10 days between those two stops and I’m considering a trip to Sedona, AZ. Steve and I loved the area when we visited briefly last fall and I have been itching to get back there.  I found a campground where I can stay 7 nights on the 50% off Passport America rate of $20.00 a night. Not bad at all for the area. I’ll call them tomorrow to see if they have availability.

I’m planning to take a ride to Fredericksburg tomorrow morning and visit the St. Mary’s Cemetery where my parents are buried and depending on how crowded it is, I may poke around the town a bit. Fredericksburg has grown into quite a top-notch tourist destination with shopping, vineyards, and wineries. There were plenty of Holiday shoppers out when I drove through the town on Friday and I’m not too interested in fighting crowds so I’ll play it by ear tomorrow. Maybe I can sneak in early….

Hose Handling, Reset Buttons, Retrofit Weber Q

I’m beginning to reorganize Wild Thing for the next trip, removing items I don’t need and adding some new gadgets.

One thing that didn’t make the cut were the cute plastic tableware that I purchased without realizing they were not microwave-safe. I just need one set of dishes in the camper and don’t want to worry about what I can and can’t put in the microwave so they’re going to have to stay home.

My biggest storage struggle in the trailer was with the water hoses. I have a 10-foot hose that worked most of the time and a 25-foot hose I used when the shorter one did not reach the water supply. Both were unwieldy, especially when they were cold, and were difficult to store. I tried wrapping them in velcro strips and storing them in tote bags but I wasn’t satisfied with that arrangement.

After doing a bit of online research I found the StorAHose bag from Stone Wolves and it looked like a good solution. The bags I ordered arrived while Wild Thing was in for service, so today was the first opportunity I’ve had to test them. I found them very easy to use and extremely effective.  I used one for my 25-foot water hose and it worked like a charm. I tried the other on my Rhino Sewer Extension Hose. The bag was a little too large for the sewer extension hose so I’ll wash it with bleach to be sure it’s disinfected then use it for my 10′ water hose.  The StorAHose bag is shaped like a donut with a hole on only one side. To use, you simply feed the hose it through the hole and it curls around itself nicely, pressing up against the outside edges of the bag and making a neat coil. I will try sewing a bag more appropriately sized for my sewer extension hose using a waterproof oilcloth fabric.

My Rand McNally RVND7730 RV Navigation GPS stopped working on my way home from picking up Wild Thing from the repair shop. I love this little device and found it a valuable tool for navigating in my camper, so I was less than pleased with the prospect of being without it. The unit simply went dead and the screen would not turn on. I called Rand McNally customer service and the walked me through resetting it by pressing the small button located on the back of the unit with a paperclip. The unit rebooted and is now fully operational again! I love easy fixes. Like many electronic devices, the circuits in this device can get confused and a reset often resolves the issue.

Next on today’s list was to assemble my Weber Q1200 Grill and retrofit it to use the propane quick connect built into Wild Thing. I have two 20# propane tanks in the camper and a built-in quick-connect port that allows external devices, like my new Weber Q1200 Grill, to connect directly and use this propane. The propane is regulated at the tank on the camper so the regulator that was built into the grill needed to be removed and replaced with a quick connect hose.

I purchased the Torjik ConvertaQ Kit that contained all the items I needed for the retrofit and followed this YouTube Video to accomplish the task. YouTube has been a wonderful resource for me. I feel like I have a team of tutors helping me learn how to become handy. Another successful project completed!

Camper TV Case, Go Baby Circles, Repair Complete!

I headed for the studio this morning to sew a storage bag for my camper TV. One of the luxury items in my beautiful new camper is a 24 inch Samsung Smart TV that attaches to the wall between the upper bedroom area and the entryway on a swivel arm, allowing me to view it from either the bed or the main cabin of the camper. When traveling, the TV is removed from the swivel bracket and stowed to prevent damage from bumpy roads. On the maiden voyage with Wild Thing, I didn’t have a good storage solution so I simply tucked it under the covers of the bed when traveling. I wanted a padded case but was unable to find what I wanted in the marketplace, so I decided to make one of my own. I used a drapery weight fabric for the exterior and lined the bag with a heavyweight muslin. I placed 1″ foam padding between the two layers to keep the TV well protected when storing it for travel. It’s not too fancy but is quite functional and I think it’s stylish!

Once the bag was completed I started cutting out circles to be used in my camper quilt. Using my AccuQuilt Go Baby and a 5-inch circle die I was able to cut out a stack of 100 circles in well under an hour, including fabric pressing time!

The AccuQuilt Go Baby is easy to use. I rough cut 5 1/2 inch squares of fabric and laid these, four layers thick, on top of the circle die, then covered it with the cutting mat. This sandwich was then fed into the machine as I turned the handle. The die cuts the fabric shape as it passes through the rollers in the center of the unit.

This handy little gadget saves so much time cutting out multiple fabric patches of the same size and shape and is especially useful for tricky shapes like circles.

I’ll base the raw edges of these patches under and use a template to starch them into the proper size and shape making them easy to hand applique on the quilt later.

Good news came late this afternoon when I received a phone call from Hazard Marine informing me that the repair on Wild Thing is complete! I’m thrilled they were able to accomplish the repair so quickly. Tomorrow morning I’ll get up early and drive to Webster, Ma to bring Wild Thing home before heading to Boston Logan Airport to pick up my son Glen in the afternoon.

I’m thrilled he’s going to be able to visit us for a few weeks before heading out for his winter job in Baja, Mexico. It’s such a gift that we will all have a chance to be together for Thanksgiving this year. Those occasions are becoming rarer now that the boys are adults and life is taking them in different directions. I’m happy to delay my winter departure in Wild Thing in favor of family time!

1st Day Home “To Do” List

My first day home was spent mostly on practicalities. I contacted our insurance agent at Amica and reviewed the accident that happened in Boulder, WY. He contacted an adjuster who will be out to assess the damage on Tuesday. Fingers crossed that the repair is quick and easy.

I then spent some time online ordering items for the camper:

  • A Sink Drain Wrench so I can fix the leaky sink. I purchased the plumbers putty on the road so once it arrives I can correct that problem.
  • Replacement LED Bulbs for the Range Hood Light. Thanks to the folks on the Escape Trailer Forum, I know these will work and provide me with brighter, longer lasting light.
  • Wheel Chocks that are larger and stronger than the ones I currently have. I will continue to use the X Chocks between the tandem wheels and want to add these to the front and rear of the tires on both sides. I like that the X Chocks can be locked and that they help to stabilize the trailer,  but I want the added protection that these chocks will provide.
  • I want to wash the trailer and the folks on the forum recommend a good marine type wash like Meguiar’s that will protect the gel coat exterior of the camper and will also not strip off the wax.
  • I needed a bug remover that will not harm the finish on my beautiful Wild Thing and the forum was again my source to find what I needed. Bug Melt by PPC was the winner here!
  • I had a Weber Q 1200 Grill in my trailer hope chest but learned that the propane -quick-connect port on Wild Thing provides propane that has already been regulated at the tank so any appliance connected through this quick connect should not have a regulator attached.  The Weber Q 1200 Grill came with a regulator attached so I need to modify it to use with the quick connect port on the camper. The Escape Trailer Forum folks helped me find the right thing, a conversion kit. There’s even a YouTube video outlining how to make the modification with the Torjik Converta Q Kit!
  • I found wrangling the fresh water hose on the trip challenging. I have a 10′ and a 25′ water hose and both are sturdy, do not kink, but are stiff and difficult to wind up for storage. I’m going to try this mesh bag, the Storeahose by StoneWolves Products that promises to make the job easier.  I’ll post a review after I give it a try.

The rest of the day was spent on laundry, errands, cooking, and snuggling with Dexter!