Friday, May 11, 2018

Our vintage RV

We aren't the type of people to restore anything except tractors (OK,  we don't restore tractors; Cliff does), and after our "new" camper sat here awhile, I was sort of afraid of what we'd find.  So far, though, the good outweighs the bad.  These things aren't made to last forever, and this one is a 1986 model of a brand that no longer exists.  On the bright side, the sellers said the tires were new, and they appear to be so; I'm thinking the folks we bought it from, who only bought it last year in May, must have bought them.  The reason they were selling it?  They upgraded to a newer and larger camper.  They bought this one to see if their family would enjoy the camping lifestyle, and obviously, they did.  

Whatever fastened the waste tank to the floor of the camper had given way and let it drop, causing a leak where it fastened onto the tank, but Cliff kept working on that until he got it fixed.   After pulling it up and sealing it, he filled it with water to see if it still leaked.  It did, slightly, so he got out the J.B.Weld.  Seems to be holding without a leak now.  He put the stuff on the roof in case of leaks.  Finally he ran an extension cord to the camper to see what worked and what didn't.   We were surprised to find the refrigerator working!

Speaking of things working, there's a radio/CD player with a terrific sound, and an electronic whatever (on the left in the picture below) that tells how full the tanks are, how the battery is holding out (if you're using a battery for lights and such).  There's a clock on it, but we couldn't figure out how to set it.  Sounds like a job for our daughter.  

This week I've gone out there several times, wiping out cabinets and such.  I did a few things to it this morning, then my buddy Gabe and I relaxed on the very comfortable bed through a few random sprinkles that came through.  I was reminded of my old cabin days, and decided if we don't end up camping, I'm keeping it for a getaway cabin.  While I was daydreaming, Cliff joined us.  Deciding to help clean things up, he yanked the curtains down, knocking the mini-blinds behind the couch.  Those curtains aren't much, and could use a washing, but good grief, his enthusiasm was tearing up my my cabin our camper.  

Here's our camper, which really needs a name, but I haven't figured one out yet.

The propane tanks are empty, so Cliff was going to use an old one he had (the smaller one) for a trial run.  We weren't sure if the tanks that came with the thing would even work, or if anybody would fill them, having had no experience with such things.  But I have a nephew who works at an RV place, and he told me to look for a stamp on the handle part of the tank; if the date is no more than 12 years ago, there should be no problem filling it.  Score!!!  It was last filled in June of 2015.  Cliff had already found out the stove works, oven and all, by briefly hooking up one of the small tanks.  

Next, the inside, looking toward the front end:

And next, the view toward the back end:

We wanted a small camper, but this is still more than we really wanted.  We were looking for something that had cooking facilities, a potty of some sort, and a comfortable bed that wasn't on the ground.  We'll never use all the storage spaces in this thing.  But it isn't huge, and Cliff said he can't even tell he's pulling it behind him when it's attached to the pickup.  

If you think we're about to tour America now, you're wrong.  Our truck gets 10 MPG and gas prices are going up.  Who knows, we might make Arkansas.  Or we might just get well acquainted with Missouri's state parks.  Or I'll have Cliff pull it back to my old cabin spot so I can camp out with my dog.  

Actually, Cliff thinks he could get our money back and possibly more if we put it on Craigslist.  We made a little money last year on the popup camper we never used, and this thing didn't cost much more than the popup.  

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Gabe's big day

Up until today, Gabe has only had brief little rides with us in the car or pickup.  For one thing, he pukes easily, and more often than I'd like.  OK, I'd rather he never threw up.  And when I remember times he vomited every other day, I'm thankful that it's just a couple times a month or so.  But still... if you're with Cliff, who wouldn't choose to have a dog and can't stand vomit... you don't want your dog puking in his vehicle.

However, I knew we'd be outside for hours, and it seemed like it would do Gabe good to be with a crowd of people he didn't know, ride on a tractor, and have a major road trip (50 miles).  I realized it would hinder my picture-taking, because I intended to have him on a leash at all times, with the leash firmly attached to me.  I knew it would be like going someplace with a toddler, and it was.  However, he did really well.  Yes, he puked, but we were in the Donna-carrier behind the tractor, so when he started retching, I placed him on the floor of the thing and let him puke.  Most of it went right through the grilled bottom of the carrier and down to the road, and I wiped up the remains with a wet wipe.  All in all, it was a good day.  I didn't let Gabe climb on people's legs as he always wants to do, and pretty much kept him away from the people.  I understand that most folks like their own dogs, but aren't that fond of someone else's.

Here's what we were doing:  One of the members of our tractor club, Joe Kipp, died last year in December.  His wife wanted the club to do a memorial tractor drive at the time of her husband's funeral; however, the weather was horrible and most of the club members are anything but spring chickens.  Add to that the fact that the flu season was starting out to be the worst in years.  So our club president told the lady we'd schedule a drive for later.  Today was the day.

Gabe, riding to the tractor drive in the pickup.  He looked out both side windows often, but finally relaxed.

This is my dog and me, as seen by Cliff from the seat of the Allis Chalmers.

This is what my dog and I looked at on the tractor drive. 

Gabe just looked out the door at the big, wide world, but I wouldn't let him jump out into it.

Before we headed off to Kingston from Polo, I saw this.  I'm not really sure what was happening, but you see things like this all the time at tractor drives.  Today one of our members couldn't get his tractor restarted, but somebody had a chain they hooked up to his tractor and pulled it;  that got it started.  When you're dealing with tractors that are anywhere from 30 to 70 years old, stuff happens.

Gabe enjoyed the scenery. 

Finally we arrived at the Kingston city limits.  It's only six miles from Polo, but that's a long way on a tractor.

This doesn't show all the tractors; there was a great turnout for Joe's memorial drive.  We stopped here to use the rest rooms (older people need restrooms often), but they were locked up.  So we all agreed to "hold it" and relieve our bladders later. 

Here's the view from a different direction.

Finally we arrived at the Kingston city limits.  It's only six miles from Polo, but that's a long way on a tractor.

Then we gathered around Joe's grave; it's right beside the graves of his parents.  He was a veteran of the Korean War.  You'll find his obituary HERE.

I really liked this way of honoring someone, so if Cliff goes first, I'm keeping this in mind.  Hey, I wouldn't even mind having it done for me after my own death, and I barely know one tractor from another.