A repair, some modifications and a new project.

Repair:

When we were in Bishop I noticed a dripping coming out of a valve on the bottom of our tanks. There were two valves there so I was unsure of their function. I thought the freezing conditions may have broke the valve. I also noticed it dripping at Calico. However it was only during times where the water system was pressurized either via the pump or shore water. First thing was to figure out what they were.

Using both AirForums and Airstream support, I was able to find out these were the low point drains for the fresh water system. One for hot water and the other for cold water. The cold water one was having problems. I ordered a new one, actually two.

The good news is: there is an access panel:

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The bad new is: you have to take off a wheel to get to it:

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Upon opening it up I see the two valves with PEX:

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You can see the corrosion from the dripping. It took much consternation to remove the valve (I had to cut the PEX) but I got it off and it promptly broke:

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With PEX you are supposed to use a specific tool to connect the parts. However I could not get the tool in there due to size constraints. Also I didn’t have the tool so I would have to buy it (pricey) or rent one. So I thought I would try an alternative. I used the PEX connector but used hose clamps (see the nice new valve?):

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That was a great attempt but it didn’t work. I put the system under pressure but the next day I noticed a droplet of water. Not much but I don’t want any leaks. I thought about it a bit. How much do I need the drains? We don’t winterize as it doesn’t get cold enough here. Also when we are travelling we won’t go places that are cold enough. Additionally if I need to drain I can work it out with my solution.

I used a Sharkbite connection to put on a simple plug. This way IF I ever need to drain, I take off the access plate and remove the plug. I also wire tied them together to stop vibrations:

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Modifications:

1.

In our overhead cabinet above the couch there is an electrical outlet that I noticed was broken. I am replacing it. However the Airstream outlets are not cheap and are rather odd. I opted for a different one from the local home improvement store. This outlet not only has two 110V outlets but it also has two USB charging port. The more USB charging ports the better:

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2

We have a Dyson vacuum that we take with us on the road and will continue to use during full timing. I needed to have a more permanent mounting solution. The Dyson comes with a wall mount that is very functional but it needs a 110V outlet. The ideal area is in our large wardrobe but there is no power in there. The solution is to run an extension from the back of the microwave into the wardrobe and up the side of the wardrobe to a new surface mounted outlet:

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The Dyson charger brick is plugged in. Its’ cord runs up over the doors and to the other side to the Dyson wall mount:

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3

In our bathroom we have one huge and bright LED (retrofit) light above the sink and mirror. This is good for when you really need to see in the bathroom but it is not too great in the middle of the night, however there is a switch on the light. There is another light attached to the main switch that is in the shower but it does not have a light. I was trying to figure out how to put in a red light in the bathroom. We had a homegrown version in our ’92. I used a LED red trailer marker light that I put a switch on. It worked well. I could not find a good way to do this here. Until I found a replacement light for the shower. If found a marine light at Amazon. It does both white:

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and red:

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Perfect. Works really well.

 

4

Many years ago, while at an Ikea store, I found a LED strip of lights that could do multiple colors (Dioder). I used them for a while on the back of our TV for backlighting. One day I noticed that the controller and the lights ran on 12v. That sparked an idea. This idea was finally put into play. We have an area on top of our cabinet above our couch that is recessed:

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I cut off the transformer and wired it into the 12V behind the radio. I laid out the strips like this:

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Here is a shot of the lights on red:

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And a video of the cycling nature:

New Project:

Solar!

I am almost ready to start my solar project. I will have one, or more, blog entries about this. We have a lot of space on our trailer roof but you don’t realize how big solar panels can be until you get them. Wow! I was looking for more room when I was looking at my Winegard Sensar antenna. It is nice that it folds down but it takes up 5 1/2 feet on the roof!! I can use that for my panels. Time to change out the antenna with a King Jack antenna:

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One of the fun things about owning a trailer is the ability to customize things but it seems to never end.

Calico

I used to get all the rally information from the Airforums and their calendar. However things have changed a bit. Many more rallies are being announced and coordinated on Facebook. There are two primary groups that we follow, Southern California Airstreamers and Northern California Airstreamers. This rally was announced there.

It turned out to be a small rally and a good one for us due to its’ proximity to home. As an added benefit, our friends the Chen’s were able to make it also! It had been a while since we could camp with them and this time they had no kids with them. I am sure they missed kids but just a little…

We started out the trip with a present from our daughter:

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Appropriate for Roxie as she loves the mountains. Me, I just pretty much love anywhere with the trailer.

We got there Thursday and were able to relax a bit. There were a few of the other Airstreamers there and the Chen’s were coming in a bit later on Thursday also. There were only about 12 Airstreams signed up for the rally and about 5-6 were there already. We visited a bit with them (George got a selfie-stick):

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We all walked around the Calico Ghost Town on Friday. One of the benefits of staying at this campground is admission to the Ghost Town is included. Roxie and I had been there before but we were both very young, single digits young. But some jokes never get old (Roxie fell for this one):

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Actually I fell for it also when I was young.

After the Calico walk we decided to go into Barstow to get some things and lunch. We ended up at some hole-in-the-wall Salvadorean restaurant, Cafe Las Pupusas. It was down in a residential area but very good. We got some fuel, propane, hit up the Walmart and went to the Outlet malls there. Later that evening we ended up eating at Peggy Sue’s Diner, fun and nostalgic.

Saturday was the day to go shooting. We went out in some back roads to find a secluded spot. There were numerous others shooting also but we did find a spot:

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I also have some videos of Roxie and I shooting:

That evening was the normal Airstream pot luck. It was also a surprise baby shower for Cara and John. It was always nice to see the other ‘Streamers.

Sunday was the getaway day for most but not us. We were there until Monday. The Chen’s were going to leave on Sunday but since they lived so close they stayed around for a bit and we visited the Calico Cemetery:

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Here is a shot of the Airstreams there:

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Then us and the Chen’s:

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On Monday, another rally was over and we headed home. Here is a shot of Franco’s trailer with the Calico mountain at sunset:

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