Lost in New York 2015

No lame excuse here, neither one of us was following a map.  I had programed the G.P.S. wrong and we blindly followed it for about 2 hours into Upper New York State farm land.  When we realized the misdirection, we were near Ithaca NY with some choices to be made.  Our original plan had been to stop in Bristol, CT, that was out of the question as it would require a 200 mile detour.

We decided to go to Travelers Woods Campground at #13 below.  The reduced our mileage by about 200 miles, allowed us to be off the road at a campground we were more than familiar with.  most of the roads were good, we did have to bisect Vermont with about 70 miles on route #9, we’ve done that before.  While charging up a hill at 25mph, the views were wonderful {Me} or scary {Anne-Marie}.

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Another consideration was the weather forecast, it was spectacular on Friday & Saturday turning to rain on Saturday evening and Sunday morning (When I am writing this).  Hard to believe it’s almost July and I am running our furnaces.

The campground had a Spaghetti Supper on Saturday evening before the rains.  A good time was had by all, raising money for our charity.  This campground was founded about 30 years ago by several members of the National Camping Travelers {check us out at: http://www.gonct.org/) as a  public campground which follows Masonic quality of living guidelines. 

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We have a 2 week reservations here, after that we will go north to Essex Junction for the NCT national Rally.  On our trip south we will visit Connecticut again while we travel towards Balloon Fiesta in New Mexico.

Unless I get lost again!

PA I-80 and Ice 2015

Today we drove from Howe, Indiana to The Wal-Mart in Dubois. PA.  376 miles which according to Mr. Google should take 5:47 hours.  I drive slow but 9 hours is pure dumb ridiculous.  OK, we did stop for a fast food baked spud with steak & cheese in Ohio.  Lost about 45 minutes.  It was as good as it looked!steakspud

No, the problem was the 3 hours we spent on I-80 in Pennsylvania, we went about 30 miles!  I know you all feel sorry for me with the exception of the Rustburg’s who lay claim to relative buried here.  Yes. I pilfered this picture from the I-net.  That is the level of infamy associated with I-80.

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I did have wonderful news at the end of the day.  These are the first ice cubes to be harvested from the ice maker in our new-rebuilt fridge.  I will be testing them on Maker’s Mark shortly!

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We are on track to be in Connecticut on Saturday.

Amish Living 2015

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Here in the land of the Amish, we must be careful not to insult them or ridicule their culture.  That being said, how about the solar panel on this Out-House?

There is another problem when you drive out of a $10 car wash, right into a pile of their horses’ exhaust.  You really don’t need a photo.

Leon, the fellow who installed our rebuilt ‘fridge is going on a family reunion next week, its 20 miles away.  That’s a 2 day trip coming & going!  Where do you get hay?  Horse stops of America?

 

They are great business men, as you can see below they very slowly coming up on basic indoor plumbing repair.  Plumbing 101 would tell you this is not the way to fix a leaking packing.

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Looking for a great place to eat down here?  Don’t bother with the joint where the trailer trucks park.  Look for the one with the bicycles parked outside!

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Now for the rest of the story;  The picture at the top is not an electrified out house.  It’s a telephone booth, virtually every farm house or small business has one, not all with solar lighting.

We leave this land of milk & honey tomorrow, before I burst my britches.  We expect to be in Suffield on Saturday.  More news will follow.

RV Refrigeration 101 2015

RV refrigeration is usually supplied by a propane – electric appliance:

  • They are expensive, it easy to spend $4,000 on a new one installed.
  • The modern controls are electronic, not cheap to fix.
  • The Anhydrous Ammonia cooling cycle is difficult to comprehend
  • The cooling system is a complete mystery to most RV repair folks and dealers.
  • The Repairmen / Dealers will sell you a new one; see item #1.
  • It is not uncommon to have an installation badly fouled up.

There is a solution to all of this if you can come to Shipshewana IN.   That is where the home of National RV Refrigeration is located.  It is owned by Leon Herschberger an Amish gentleman who was driven to learn the inner working of the propane cycle by the need of the Amish Community that shuns most electric powered devices.  I meet him several years ago during our 1st visit.  He not only rebuilds the cooling systems, he repairs the electronics and installation foul ups.

20150618_150028We woke up at 6:30 so he could get an early start and have time for him to do some testing.  This is the back of our unit after it had been removed for o’haul.  Our unit is located in a slide, not ideal as it really needs a roof vent to function 100%.  Ours is forced to vent out the side, compounding this problem the vent passage was stuffed with insulation and the electric “helper” fan was inoperative  due to it’s wiring being tied to the burner tube, causing it to fail.

The R&R and associated rebuild took about 8 hours.  Ours is one of the largest side by side units, no longer made as most folks are enchanted by 4 door units.  Our cost was $1450 (+ $4 for 2 containers of his wife’s strawberries).  His guarantee is 3 years.  We are very happy, we had ice the next morning.

About 30 minutes after we go home we were hit by another driving rainstorm.  The tire tracks in the picture are those made when I pulled out in the morning, changing sites proved that even fools sometimes have good luck.

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Our friends The Schaffer’s were driven out of the campground that we stayed in last week, the river crested a 3’ above flood.  They are safe and dry in their son’s business property which is adjacent to the Purgatory Golf Club.  They sent this picture along.

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Michiana 2015

Michiana is a region in northern Indiana and southwestern Michigan centered on the city of South Bend, Indiana.  We are actually in Howe, Indiana which is only about 4 miles from the Michigan Sate line at Sturgis.  Home is a very small town that does all it can to support an Ice Cream shop.

They do have some nice murals oh the local shops & Post Office.

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The rain here continues with a ferocity that we are unaccustomed to for several hours a day.  One of the big draws is the Shipshewana Flea market which we slopped thru on Tuesday.  Most of the vendors were open and the light crowd allowed us to walk the whole area which is a first.  The girl under the umbrella is a real soldier, offering folks samples of hot fresh pretzels.

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I am amazed and entertained by the 6 or 8 simultaneous auctions that keep the main building all day.  Antiques, Objects d’art and junk is traded in a raucous fast moving display of gamesmanship.  The fellow in the white hat is the auctioneer.

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I’m trying to talk Anne-Marie into converting our Splendid Washing Machine cabinet in some thing more useful, such a a liquor cabinet.  Here she is shown evaluating the drying cycle of Amish washboard laundry…

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Noblesville, IN 2015

We’ve been visiting Charlie & Sue Schaffer this week and are having a great time.  Here we are after breakfast on Sunday morning.

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It’s not all play however, we worked at Saint Vincent DePaul’s Food Pantry on Wednesday, This is just one of the many charitable causes that the Schaffer’s support, often being the founding members.

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It’s good to develop secondary skills in the event we have to fill our fuel tank in the middle of the month.  I’m training to be a generator mechanic, practicing on Charlie’s Boliy Generator.

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Our time here is coming to and end.  We’ve canceled our Bristol, TN trip as it would have been an 800 mile detour.  My need for a fuel Drag Race fix will just have to wait. 

We will be going to the heart of Indiana Amish country in Shipshewana.  There we will go to their HUGE mid-week Flea Market and National Refrigeration.  Our 12 year old electric/propane is showing it’s age.  This Amish owned company has an excellent reputation for their rebuilds.

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We had a nice dinner last night, I grilled pork steaks just as the clouds opened for a night of driving rain.  We expect to be in Connecticut on July 4th after which we will got to Essex Junction, VT for a rally.

Rally Over, Going to Factory for service. 2015

The Fleetwood sponsored Rally ended on Sunday evening with an entertaining comedian/magician.  On Monday, were alone with the ‘46 Ford and than he left.

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We moved about 2 miles to the Fleetwood Service facility, note that we had a waterfront site with hook-ups.  We were a ‘drive-in’ having no reservations.  The building has about 30 service bays and there were about 50 coaches waiting. 

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The deluges of rains that caused to little ponds was a blessing in surprise.  It opened a seam on our big slide and caused very minor water damage, this is the same slide that is reluctant.  We’re talking 10 hours of labor, a $590 ‘Hi-torque’ upgraded motor and a minor repair on the slide gearbox.  To this I added a full chassis lube and inspection.  We did learn that our slide mechanism is suffering from poor preventive maintenance.  Not mentioned to me before, it is important to flood the rollers and gears with WD-40 only.  Ours were ‘gummed up’ with dust.

We went into the shop yesterday where the job was quoted.  I dried my eyes and told them to proceed.  They were willing to bring the rig out so we could sleep in it.  No say I, we don’t want to waste an hour (think of it as $120) so we went to the local Baymont Motel.

We expect to leave in early afternoon today.  We will stop in Noblesville to visit Charlie & Sue Schaffer along with their wonder dog Chloe.

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Last night we ate at Wings Etc, worth adding to our list of good places to stop.  Remember ‘Arnold’s’ in Happy Days? Well after about 30 years in Decatur, it was recently rebadged to be ‘Aunt Bea’s’.   Great ‘Car Hop’ food or you can eat in which is like a trip into the 60’s in itself.

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