Sunday, June 23, 2019

Severe Weather and an LIoP Norcold Error Code…

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One thing RV’ers dread is severe weather. We have had our fair share of weather dilemmas. Our very first year we had to run from a hurricane in Maine only to end up in New Hampshire right in the middle of it. With branches falling from the trees above it sounded like our RV was being pounded upon.IMG_20190622_200120

Even last year we were chased out of the Outer Banks of North Carolina when we had to run from yet another hurricane only to end up in Raleigh NC where we were in the edge paths of two hurricanes including the one we ran from. We saw the effects of hurricanes and flooding the last couple of years in Florida. Especially hard hit was a favorite stop of ours in Mexico Beach FL which was literally decimated.

We have experienced high winds and even had to run away from a  storm projecting gusts as high as 80 mph in coastal Oregon when we drove through the darkness over the mountains to escape the storm. Never again we will drive at night through the mountains…


I can’t even recall the number of severe thunderstorm warnings, tornado warnings and severe weather alerts we have experienced in just about every state. So we are pretty accustomed to hunkering down and riding out storms. Just a few months ago a tornado touched down very close to where we were while we were hiding out in a parking garage during the tornado warning

However, recently we experienced the highest winds we have yet encountered when a severe thunderstorm came through College Station with wind gusts of 65 miles per hour that lasted more than 10-15 minutes. It felt as if we were in the ocean on a boat in rough seas as our RV was swaying to and fro.


The rains came down so hard, and sideways, looking like we were in a hurricane. Then it happened… We heard our Norcold refrigerator beeping an audible alarm. Upon inspection of the LED panel it said we had experienced an error code – LIoP.

Looking up this error on the internet I discovered that the Norcold Error Code LIoP was a triggered relay in our High Temp Limit Switch according to the Norcold  manual (See header photo). There is a light on the High Temp Limit Switch  and if it is OFF it s normal, if ON it has failed. Ours was on… sigh…

I turned off the refrigerator and waited till the next morning when it wasn’t raining. I opened the panel on the outside of the RV to gain access behind the refrigerator (photo 2). I located the High Temp Limit Switch on the coils behind the refrigerator and sure enough, light on and it was wet from the sideways rain (In photo 3 look top left corner to see green and red wire leading to High Temp Limit Switch ).


All I needed to do now was to use a hair dryer to dry out the electrical wiring and circuits in the back of the fridge. About twenty minutes later I felt that all was dry so on to the next step. They tell you that the High Temp Limit Switch is unserviceable but you actually can reset it it yourself.

It really was very easy. All I needed to do was place a fairly strong magnet to the top right of the light on the High Temp Limit Switch (see photo above where my finger is pointing for magnet location) and it reset a relay which in turn reset another relay and then the light went off.  However, if the light does come back on there may be a bigger, more dangerous problem (think possible fire) and it should be professionally serviced. I like the Telescoping Magnetic Pick-Up Tool I bought on Amazon as it works great for this task and many other tasks as well.

Luckily, in our case the light went off and the code on the front of the fridge also went off. Thankfully the fridge then continued to work normally and another RV crisis was averted. 

NOTE: We are back in our old home town until July 7th…

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Going Back to Work in Texas…

Image may contain: cloud, sky and outdoorWith our time ending in the hill country we sadly started heading east (instead of west as we would have preferred) to head back over to College Station Texas. We are back in Aggieland and have returned to our old home town because we need to do some work on our rent house.The last tenants have been in it for over 8 years and since they were two guys with three dogs you can imagine how much work needs done on the rental.

After soliciting many bids for the work we finally decided it best to go back to College Station to do much of the work ourselves to save a bundle of money. The bids had come in at around $13,500 to have everything done and we figure to save at Image may contain: one or more people, tree, plant, outdoor and natureleast $6500 doing much of it ourselves. The only thing we for sure won’t do is the replacing of the concrete driveway at a cost of $4500.  

We pulled into Holiday RV Park with a plan to stay until at least July 7th and perhaps longer if we need to extend to get the work done. Thankfully our being full time RV’ers allows us the luxury to change plans as needed at a moments notice. We can simply point our home (RV) in a different direction to take on whatever it is that challenges us.

One of the first tasks I chose to tackle was replacing our very old and dilapidated privacy fence. Two sides of the fence needed replacing and one neighbor agreed that if I did the work they would pay for materials, meaning the fence would cost us no money. Fifty feet of privacy fence on open bid would have been over $1100 to have built.

Well, it has been 8 years since I have done any kind of hard work and this is some very serious manual labor. The first day I spent tearing down the old fence, digging new holes with a metal post hole digger and finally putting in new posts in concrete. The following two days were spent framing the fence runners and screwing in the pickets.


It took a little less than 3.5 days to build which saved us at least a grand but man that was hard work. After the first day I felt like I had been in a car wreak. Fortunately Sharon offered to give me a deep massage that evening and friends of ours offered  the use of their hot tub which I graciously accepted. I didn’t feel great the next day but I also can’t imagine how I would have felt if I hadn’t had the massage and hot tub therapy.

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So here we are a week into our work and we still can’t get in the inside until our tenant leaves later this month. A hell of way to spend your birthday but at least Sharon made me a fantastic carrot cake!

NOTE: We are back in our old home town until July 7th…

Saturday, June 15, 2019

One Last Scenic Hill Country Loop Drive…


With our time winding down here in the Texas Hill Country we decided to take one more loop drive. This hill country drive would include some better known sites but would be a bit longer than our normal loop drive.

The furthest point would be Fredericksburg, Texas and include stops at some of our favorite places. It would also include a few stops at new spots we haven’t been to. After lunch we hit the road and started our loop heading north on Texas 484 to Fischer.

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After checking out the little town of Fischer we headed NW on Texas 32 to Blanco Texas. Blanco has a neat courthouse and little downtown area on the verge of being revitalized. It is also home to one of our favorite Texas Breweries called Real Ale. No visit for us this day as it was a bit early but if you are in the area check it out!

From Blanco TX we drove west on Texas 1888 along the Blanco river and then headed north on Texas 1663 to Albert, or Albert Freaking Texas. We have already visited so we didn’t stop this time around and continued on to Stonewall Texas on Highway 281.

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Stonewall Texas is home to Burg’s Corner known very well for its hill country peaches. Back in the early 1970’s my mother would drive up from where we lived in San Antonio to buy a bushel or two of their peaches. I have fond memories of helping her can those peaches and remember very well her very delicious peach jams and cobblers. I just had to stop to visit for nostalgic reasons…

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From Stonewall we continued on 290 to Fredericksburg a very quaint Texas town of German heritage.  It is home to Opa’s sausage and the Nimitz museum. Another fun stop is a little store on the main drag which has various food products for sale with tastes of most of them available. Here we tried such things as Agarito Jelly, Mesquite Bean Jelly, Jalapeno Peanut Butter and some seriously hot Hot Sauces. One I tried contained over 6 Million Scoville units. In comparison a typical jalapeño is from 2,500 to 5, 000 Scoville units while a habanero pepper ranges from 100,000 to 350,000 Scoville units.

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After Fredericksburg we drove south on Texas 1376 to Lukenbach. This is a lively little honkytonk made famous by Waylon,  Willie and the boys. It was late enough to partake in a frosty adult beverage, Shiner Beer of course. A couple of strummers were singing some country music so we sat and enjoyed a tune or two before heading out.


While driving down 1888, turning right on Crab Apple Rd, a scenic back road, we spotted several large exotic Axis deer. Man they had huge racks. A lot of exotic animals can be seen in the Texas hill country as there are many hunting ranches with many different species.


The other day we were driving over to the very scenic Edge Falls in the hill country and we spotted a small group of zebras running around on a ranch. I should mention that going to the falls off of Edge Falls road right after a good rain will ensure the falls reward viewers with a good flow and provide a very scenic stop.

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Well our last stop was at the Rough Diamond Brewery outside of Kendalia and then we headed back to the park. After some discussion we have decided rather than head further west we will instead return to College Station to work on our rent house. So we will be bidding farewell to the hill country for another year…

NOTE: We are back in our old home town until July 7th…

Monday, June 10, 2019

Family Time in San Antonio…

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One of the main reasons we travel back and forth through Texas is for the chance to visit our son and his family. Our grandkids are growing up fast and it is crazy how old they have become in such a short amount of time…

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Camping at Canyon Lake allows us the opportunity to take several visits into San Antonio Texas where they live. On one trip from our camp we arrived early in the day at a time when the parents were working and the kids were still in school.

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Our plan was to head to the main draw in San Antonio known as the river walk.. It is a fun place for an urban stroll along the San Antonio River. It definitely is a happy place to be with plenty of vacationers along the trail. There are restaurants and shops along with tour boats with animated guides describing the history of San Antonio. After enjoying a long walk, we stopped for a happy hour at Landry’s on the Riverwalk before driving on over to our son’s house.

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We spent this weekend and one other with the family fully enjoying our time with our  grandkids. Cameron, the youngest will be going into middle school next year while Adrianne, the oldest will be going into her senior year in high school. This makes visiting the grands fun although maybe not as fun as when they were younger versions of themselves.


The grands are both more independent and prefer more alone time than younger children so we spent a lot of time with our son , JJ, his wife Kelly and our three grand-dogs. The two oldest dogs are wiener dogs. Bernie (the eldest) and Bear, are both good dogs. Then there is the Boxer, Barley, who is still basically a pup so he’s a bit wilder


We did smoke a lot of meat one day on JJ’s smoker… and I mean a lot of meat. There was a brisket, a pork butt, a rack of baby back ribs and some jalapeño cheese sausage. Needless to say we ate like royalty!

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Our last event while visiting family was to attend Cameron’s graduation from elementary school to middle school. It was a bit of a long event but Cameron sure looked spiffy in his suit and sure looked proud holding his diploma… Well done Cameron!!!

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NOTE: We are back in College Station to get our rental house in shape to rent again. We are here in our old home town until July 7th…



Friday, June 7, 2019

Another Loop Drive and A Change of Plans…

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Central Texas doesn’t really offer a lot of hiking opportunities so we mostly just walk around this very scenic Potters Creek Corps of Engineer park overlooking Canyon Lake. Although it is already June, we are still seeing wild flowers. The annual grasses, however, are seeding and starting to turn brown under this relentless heat.

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Temperatures are in the low 90’s and will soon give way to triple digits. So why are we still here? Well, our plans have changed and as a result we extended our stay at Canyon Lake until Friday. Then we will move back over to College Station to perform some needed work on our rent house there.

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We hoped to be heading north by now but after soliciting bids for all the work that needs to be done I have decided that it would be economically wise to our bank account if I did most of the work. The bids came in at over $13,000 to get all the work done. I can’t do the $4500 driveway re-do but I can do the flooring and the painting as well as replacing our privacy fence along with all the other minor issues that need to be taken care of.

So we will be in Texas during part of the summer… something we swore we would never do again. Life has a way of making liars out of us!

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Another way we entertain ourselves when we feel the need to venture away from the lake is taking country loop drives through the beautiful hill country. One particularly scenic drive is the one that takes us down the Old River Road which snakes along the Guadalupe River. To us this is one of the best (if not the best) scenic drives in Texas.

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The area has become a lot more commercialized since all the land along the riverbank is privately owned. However, the blue waters of the Guadalupe and the chalky colors of the limestone bluffs make it gorgeous despite all the commercialism. The road ends in New Braunfels so we made our way over to Gruene Tx to see if it had changed at all. It hadn’t so instead of walking around town, we parked and walked down to the river to admire it up close for a while. 

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We then drove over to San Marcos to finish our loop at the Aquabrew Brewery. We enjoyed their AB Bacon Jam Fries and a few cold brews. We thought we were just snacking before dinner but the fries order was large enough for a meal! With all the fun we have had on our walks, the backroad drives and the beer stops, it will be hard to leave this beautiful part of Texas ….

NOTE: We leave Potters Creek CG on Canyon Lake Tx today and move back over to our old home town until July 7th…