Monday, October 8, 2011—Maintain and Upgrade Day

The cool weather has definitely put us in the mood for Texas, and it will take us a while to get packed and ready at the rate we’re going.  My to do list is pretty long, but one way to cut it down is to delete things—why do today something that can wait until tomorrow, or the next day, etc.

Reading various blogs and forums related to motor homing revealed that without electrical surge protection, it was a question of when, not if, an electrical surge or other even would fry or otherwise harm or destroy some of the appliances in the RV.  After consulting with friend and fellow RVer Jim Watts, I ordered a surge protector, and decided to install it today.  I got all the tools ready, set a chair up near the electrical cable, and began cutting the “umbilical” electrical cord—a point of no return.  This 50 amp cable is big, stiff, and unruly.  I followed directions on stripping the wires, but did not have enough room to maneuver them into the surge protector; the more I tried, the more frayed they became.121008_E01  I finally resorted to stripping one at a time and inserting it into the surge protector.  This was a slow laborious process, especially when I tackled the easiest end first.  After much effort and patience beyond my normal capacity, I got the wires all seated and screwed in, the surge protector attached to the wall of the electrical compartment, and the long end of the cable fastened to the electrical compartment so that it wouldn’t easily pull loose.  I then wrapped electrical tape around the wires to pretty up the installation.

Next, was an oil and filter change.  We were definitely due for this maintenance item despite the motorhome only having 3000+ miles.  I tackled the job with overalls and an old shirt, and succeeded in getting oil all over me—not unexpectedly though.  Draining the oil and taking the oil filter off was not terribly daunting, but then trying to pour oil through into a small funnel from a 5 quart container in a severely limited space was unbelievable. Designers and engineers of RVs should have to live in, operate, and maintain one before they are permitted to design one!  (When I directed the Engineering and Construction Division for the Little Rock District Corps of Engineers, I would have future leaders interview park rangers regarding campgrounds, etc. in order for them to get as good a perspective of what worked and what didn’t as they could without actually backing an RV into one of the spots, hooking up, and using the facilities; it was quite an eye opener for some, but probably forgotten by now.)

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