Birthday weekend

Our granddaughter’s (Paige) birthday is in August. We asked her what she wanted for her birthday. She said to go camping in the trailer. We are always happy to oblige any camping! Roxie’s birthday is also in August as our anniversary (35 years). It seemed like a thing to do. We couldn’t go right after Paige’s birthday so we did it the next weekend. We chose our old reliable, Princess campground.

Paige’s father (our son Aaron) and Aaron’s girlfriend, Rachel, decided they wanted to go also. They decided they would stay in a tent. Fine with me.

We decided to head up there Thursday to get a head start and they were coming up for the weekend. They also wanted to bring their dog, Maggie, which was up to us to do since we have the truck. It was nice to get there early. We were able to take a naturalist-led walk around Indian Basin and saw a fawn and a woodpecker:

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As we were resting, waiting for the rest of our party to show, on Friday we heard some diesel engines. The Rough Fire had started 2-3 weeks before and we knew that there were firefighters fighting it. The noise we heard were some Forest Service fire crews heading into the campground. They occupied a few of the open sites and probably rested from their chores:

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A couple of times various crews had to move as campers were coming in for their reservations. We knew that there were helicopters getting water from nearby Hume Lake and we heard them from time to time. I wasn’t worried about the fire as I knew it was a ways away.

On Saturday we all did the requisite visit of the General Grant tree but this time it was different. Rachel had never seen it or maybe had never seen and Giant Sequoia’s. I think she was impressed. Here is a shot of the General Grant and the walk through tree. Recently I was not sure that if we might ever see the General Grant after how the Rough fire has gone but it seems safe now:

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One thing we noticed this year at Princess was it was very dirty and dusty. This ight attributed to the drought and possibly because we usually don’t head her as late in the season. Here is our campsite, and that is not my tow vehicle:

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On Sunday, Aaron and Rachel left relatively early which gave us a chance to go on another walk around Indian Basin. This time we took Maggie and Paige. It was warming up and a bit of smoke was beginning to show:

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The dreaded part was next. Heading back down to the 100+ degree weather.

Shortly after we left they closed the highway that leads down to the Kings Canyon right by our campground. As Maxwell Smart says “Missed it by that much!”

A change in the breezes

When we purchased our Airstream it came with the 50 amp upgrade option. This means it has an extra Air Conditioner (making 2) for the bedroom. We have never had that before so it is kind of odd. If you are hooked up to a 30 amp connection you can only run one air conditioner. Previously that was not a problem in our old trailer as there was only one A/C. Hence the need for a 50 amp connection. You need 50 amps to run both A/C’s at the same time.

This has been kind of nice in the hotter locations where we really needed to run them. There are two drawbacks. The first is the power cord. To handle the potential higher amperage the wires need to be really thick so they don’t overheat. This was very evident the very first night. It was cold and that power cord was like a stiff Anaconda! Now I don’t hook up the 50 amp cord unless I think I will need both A/C’s.

The second drawback is what this post is about. When a second A/C was added, it was placed in the location where the second Fantastic Fan (FF) would be located. Two Fantastic Fans are great as they will create great airflow when used together. I really miss that. There is a FF in the front but now none in the rear. What to do? Put one in! Where?

I looked at the exhaust fan in the bathroom. Our old trailer had a round one that you would pop up and the turn on. It would sometimes squeal like a banshee! This version is a square one with a teeny little fan that doesn’t look like it could move any amount of air:

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The FF that Airstream put in the front only exhausted the air. The other, higher-end, FF’s will push air both directions. I purchased an extra FF to put in the front and had plans to replace the anemic bathroom fan with the original FF.

The first thing to do was to remove the old fan and its’ old caulking:




One of the hardest things was getting off the old caulking. My fingernail worked really good but that would take forever. I turned to AirForums to see what there might be for a solution. I found one:



Cow hooves. A treat for dogs. I tried the hoof part but the edge was not quite sharp enough. When I tried the edge where they cut it off it worked wonderfully. It took off about 98% of the old caulking in about 20 minutes. Perfect. I did a test fit on the new vent and it fit without any modifications! I was then ready to put in the new/old vent (while I was running out of light):



I got it all functional but still needed to put in the trim piece inside and mount the vent cover.

The interior hole needed quite a bit of trimming of the aluminum around the hole but steady work got it to fit. I finally did get it all complete and here it is:



We now have two fans to pull air through the trailer. This is great for cooling off the interior once we get to a site. An additional benefit is that we can exhaust any odors from the bathroom quickly!