Solar Tube Light

Wires, so many wires

As you may recall I cut a hole in the ceiling to install a skylight a few months back and what I found was a bunch of wires in the way of my grand scheme. After a loooong and fruitless search for an affordable port light with a trim ring I decided to give up and go all high-tech

The new skylight system collects photons from the sun via a roof-mounted collector and converts them to electrons. It then beams them through the roof to an emitter which changes the electrons back into photons and spreads them out in the kitchen area

New light installed
Installed a piece of 7mm ply to back up the light and give a place for screws to go

Okay, so it’s really just a solar panel powering an LED light but I tried

Got the light installed over the test hole I made last winter

The long-time summer camp host returned to the park this week and bumped us out of our super camp spot. The boys had a couple months of playing in their own little patch of rabbit brush and now we are next to a smaller patch of brush and closer to a busy road. Gotta train them to stay off the road and watch for cars

Up the creek to the wild
Just a little sore – I’ll be fine
Me at the cabin on the D3 trail

I finally made it up Devils canyon to the cabin. The maps I saw said it’s 5 miles round trip, my GPS said it was 3.4, and my watch said it took me four hours. I suspect it’s more like 7 miles since I was walking 2.2 miles per hour. Whatever distance it was it was about an hour too far for comfort. My feets hurt

The view from one of the Devil’s Canyon trails (D3 I think)

Next day Peter and I went out to West Water Utah and rode some amazing trails including parts of the Kokopelli. We did 18 miles which made the rest of my body hurt. Tomorrow I might manage a ride into Fruita to hang at the big bike festival.

Wild flowers are blooming

I made it into town for the big fat tire festival. Beer, bands, pizza, and friends. Fruita closes the street for a couple blocks so that’s nice. We walked around looking at stuff we didn’t buy then went over to the Hot Tomato to eat and listen to the music

Cacti are in bloom this week

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Slow News Day

The view from our shop


After a few weeks of fixing things in the shop and cleaning up after the campers the big excitement was getting a parcel delivered to my door! Over the winter one of the other hosts trained the UPS and FedEx drivers to bring parcels to the host camp site. The plus for them is they get to drop the package and don’t have to come back because the office is closed. The plus for us is ToYs!

Home Delivery

Since I’m not spending $500 a month on fuel I can afford to splurge on some things. Nice
I bought new boots to hike in and new shoes to mtn bike in plus some shorts without holes worn in them. Gettin’ fancy around here. The kids are still barefoot though so not too fancy

Helped Peter take out a window,
And install a sliding door
A Honda Africa Adventure Bike. I’m planning to get on this and ride it for four days without any practice on it beforehand. Once you learn you never forget – right??

I also put down a deposit on a rental-bike for a trip this July. Planning to ride with my friend from Tennessee when he comes to Colorado to Adventure Bike in the mountains. Hope I don’t get wet!

Spring – Sprung!

Nice parcel on the road to the Kokopelli trail


The first signs of spring are in the air. The water is back on at the camp sites, two days of riding in shorts, and campers in the park. (Later that same week) The temperature dropped to 25*, the water got turned off again, and it started raining and snowing. Mud season!

PFFeeww – Whirrrrrrrr
Damage control to the bridge!
We suffered a failure in our primary Dihydrogen Oxide containment system. Luckily I was in an adjacent compartment when the line blew and I heard it go PFFFffffffew, then the pump came on. I jumped into action and shut the pump off then cleaned up the mess in the storage compartment.

An increased pressure in the heating tanks caused the compression fitting to let go of the PEX tube in my handy-dandy shower hot water re-circulation system. I likely didn’t get it tight enough the first time. I corrected that oversight during the repair phase

Friend is in from out of town so we meet up in Glenwood Springs and made faces at the camera

Lets cut that open and see what’s inside!

These are Zurn water hammers. They gave their all for the cause and we cut one open to see what is inside. Turns out it has a bellows in it. Fancy

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Bomb Cyclone!

Screen shot from NPR.org

Bomb Cyclone just sounds cool. It’s one of the better weather-words. It ranks right up there with Polar Vortex.

Anyway as I’m writing this a Bomb Cyclone is laying waste to the country from Denver to Dallas and parts east. Roads closed, flights canceled, planes damaged, etc.

Here in Fruita we’ve been getting a lot of rain and winds gusting to 35 mph. Nothing damaging but it’s keeping me off the bike and the boys in the house

Got a few things fixed and out the door
The burner on the Hotsy stopped working after a few tanks of fuel

I have been busy in the shop this week. Since the Park is getting geared up to greet visitors we have been using equipment to clean the Park and it has been breaking. So far I have resurrected two snow machines from a mouse-infested shed, fixed reverse in a Kawasaki Mule, and changed out 700-pounds of batteries. It seems every time I fix something and get it out of the shop two more things come in to replace it.

Fresh tape on the filler pocket

I have done a little work on Truck 2.0. The fuel filler pocket I fixed with epoxy 20 years ago finally fell apart so I taped it back together with Gorilla Tape (the filler pocket is the space behind the fuel door where the fuel cap is)

I did come here to keep busy so I guess the prophesy has been fulfilled

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Repairs & Mods: Convection Micro Re-boot

Out with the new

Look! More Phaeton! This time we’re on a do-over mission. Awhile back we installed a new Frigidaire convection/ Micro oven in place of an oven that failed. Now we’re replacing that new Frigidaire because it’s no good. Just no good at all. It won’t preheat above 300º even if it’s set for 450º and when you put food in it it drops to 200º and sits there looking stupid at you. The thing can’t get a meatloaf to 165º so it’s basically a botulism machine

In with the newer!

The repair person came out and said the sensor and the mother board are bad, but that new parts are not available. Out of stock. Plus the oven has to come down/ out to be repaired. P.S., Home Depot does not allow customers to return major appliances even if they are defective. Bad Home Depot! Bad!

Since We’ve done this before the crappy oven came down pretty quick. Installing the new oven required moving the top support and drilling new holes. The backing plate was replaced with the plate for the new oven, and the vent fan was switched to vent outside

Glamor shot

Since this is in an RV we installed more fasteners that you would for a house install. There is a row of screws into the framing under the bottom cover all along the back of the oven, there are screws through the oven frame into the cabinet frame on both sides too

Maybe you are thinking “Hey, this is a lot more pictures than normal” and you are right. In addition to being a Repairs & Mods post it’s also the install/ uninstall guide for the next person who works on this coach

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Repairs & Mods: Table leg

Before the new leg

We’re back in the Phaeton and this time we’re modifying the kitchen table. It’s a cool slide out table that goes from two to four seating positions. The table slides out of the cabinet about two additional feet when it’s out. That longer length puts a fair amount of strain on the cabinet that holds it so we decided it needed some help in the form of a folding leg. The leg can be down in either the short or long position, or it can be up in the short position.

Test fitting the new leg while Jimmy checks the tiny internet

The leg is made from oak, the same style and color as the cabinets (and lights we installed last summer). It has a pivot that allows the leg to swing in all the way and tuck under the table, or out about 30º so it does not break off if someone just pushes the table in without taking the load off the leg.

Finished and done! (“Done is the engine of more” – google it)

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Repairs & Mods: Fail Edition

All the main areas are marked and ready for cutting

I had planned to install a 14 x 14 skylight/ roof vent in the area above the stove. I marked the area out, located the structure, made sure I was clear of the duct work, and cut an exploratory hole to see what was in the ceiling

Wires!

Wires. Lots of wires

The main wiring bundle from the control center by the front door runs to the power supply near the bathroom and goes right through the area I want to install a skylight in. Both the 12v bundle and the 110v line are in the way

Oops

Now I have a 2.5” hole in the ceiling above the stove and no skylight. Grrrr

I think I can still salvage the project by switching to an 8 or 10 inch porthole from a boat. The round nature of portholes will fit beside the wires and cover the 2.5″ exploratory hole I made.

Stay tuned!