Thursday, October 28, 2021

Some Nifty Storage bag for water and sewer hoses…


Just so you know these bags were sent to me as a promotion with the request that I review them. I have been offered a lot of RV related “stuff” over the years and have turned down most of the items offered. However, these bags intrigued me as I saw a need for them in our everyday life and willingly accepted their generous offer of trying out their bags.


Like us, one thing which befuddles many an RV’er is how to organize items. One place I never spent much time organizing was our wet bay. I did, however, think it would be nice to have some type of bag, box or other device to use in order to better organize and store the items in our wet bay.


Well, to our rescue were these premium RV hose bags made by Humanfriendly. The bags are made using a polyurethane material and can be secured using a drawstring. They also have convenient grab handle making things easier to move about.


What makes these bags stand out is that they are waterproof! This means when we are storing our hose and if we still have some water in it then the water will remain in the bag and not in our wet bay floor. Being waterproof is nice but the bags are also vented since the top half of the bag is made from a breathable mesh.


The bags sizes are nice in that we a can fully store our hoses up to 100 feet in length in the bags labeled hoses. We can store our Slinkys in the another bag. Each bag is labeled with unique rubber tag making it easy to find the bag we are looking for. No longer will our hoses and extra slinkly be in an unsightly mess in one of the bins.


Also these bags carry a one year warranty so if a bag doesn’t hold up they will replace it free of charge! We found them to be well made, the right size to hold 50’ zero gravity hoses, cords and more. They also help keep the back clean from sand and dirt. I’m glad to have them. Plus I love the clever tags.


Now, when leaving a site I have a handy way to store all our wet bay items in these nifty little bags making our break down days a bit easier and neater. While the company didn’t send me a link for for their product I was able to find them on Amazon so if interested, check out their bags here.

NOTE:  We are currently in Mesa, Arizona until November 1st…

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

A Visit to Phoenix Desert Botanical Gardens


Now that I am finished with all the repairs to our RV we started looking for something fun to do. After scouring the internet I came across the Phoenix Desert Botanical Gardens. It seems that once a month (the second Tuesday) there is free admission.


We have been burned on things like this before by showing up only to find out the offer wasn’t valid anymore, especially since Covid happened. I did call ahead to check and was glad we did since visitors are required to obtain a ticket even though it is indeed free on the second Tuesday of each month.


I check out their website and only one time slot was left (actually one of the times we  preferred) so we scored our tickets. It was only about a thirty minute drive over to the gardens from our RV park so we parked (also free) and walked to the main entrance.


We were certainly glad we had tickets because a lot of people (disgruntled people) were near the entrance booths complaining about the need for tickets and that none were now available. We showed our OCR codes from my phone to the ticket taker and in we went.


We walked the entire trail system within the Gardens. Our favorite was an unexpected exhibit – the Butterfly Pavilion. It really is pretty cool as it is a 3,200 square foot open-air structure. It features plush garden plantings along with a water feature and thousands of live colorful butterflies.


We spent a good deal of time enjoying the variety of butterflies before venturing back out into the gardens. There were several loops representing different types of natural gardens. The varieties of cacti were as abundant as anywhere we have ever visited. There were also lots of plants still flowering adding beautiful splashes of color here and there. Some of the unique features of the garden were:


  • The subfamily Opuntioideae: The Garden features the world’s most complete collection of this group, displaying 208 of the 261 species and varieties recognized
  • Over 2/3 of the total number of species in the cactus family are held in the Garden’s collection
  • The Garden displays 186 of the 212 known species and varieties in the genus Agave, making this the most prominent agave collection in the United States and perhaps in the world.


We spent several hours enjoying the plants, butterflies and birds in the gardens. Upon leaving we decided to go to one of our favorite happy hours in Gilbert AZ called Joyride. They have one of the best happy hours in the area for sure and was the perfect ending to a great day…

NOTE:  We are currently in Mesa, Arizona until November 1st…

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

When it rains it pours! Slide motor replacement.

When it rains it pours! Once we moved over to Mesa Regal RV Resort we noticed that there was a strange noise coming from the kitchen slide out. Well while troubleshooting it and trying to locate where the noise was coming from, the slide suddenly stopped working all together…. sigh.slide motor

The slide stopped when it was only partially out but the slide motor has a lever on it (see photo above and note the lever under the left side of the rubber boot) which allows us to disengage the slideout so it can be manually moved out or in. We have a rack and pinion slide out system that uses an electric motor to push the slide out and in. Once the motor has been disengaged I used a large crescent wrench to turn the square bar (see photo below) which moved the slide the rest of the way out.

insert tube on new motor

Once out I had access to the motor. I suspected the motor was the issue because back in 2014 I had a similar problem with our living room slide out motor.I am reusing some of the pictures to show this process.To remove the motor first I needed to remove a bolt on the end of the square slide rail ( see below photo for how it attaches and the other one below that to see the whole rail) ) so I could slide it off of the end of the motor.

align holes

Next I removed the wire nuts from the wires to the motor and  then I removed the four bolts holding the motor to the chassis and off it came. It is as simple as that. Like last time I went ahead and opened up the slide motor casing, took apart the slide motor and once again found what I had suspected. One of the gears in the motor had several broken teeth.


Remembering how hard it was to find a replacement last time I started searching the internet right away. Luckily I was able to find a replacement at . Even luckier it was on sale and available. I order the part and waited until it arrived.


Once the motor arrived in the mail a week or so later, I attached it using the four bolts while also reattaching the red and black wires.  Before reattaching the slide rail I did make sure that the slides looked the same on both sides. Since the slide out distances were equal on each side I  replaced the bolt on the slide bar after reinserting it onto the motor. Note, I did have to use the crescent wrench to turn the slide bar a  bit so that the hole on the new motor lined up with the one on the slide rail.

Once installed I tested the new motor and the slide worked perfectly! Thank goodness… Maybe we can get back to having fun again!

NOTE:  We are currently in Mesa, Arizona until November 1st…

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Dang the RV Fridge Died - Part 3 of 3


Next up was to replace the old floor under the Norcold since it was warped after all the years that the Norcold sat upon it. Some 3/4” plywood would do the trick. I bought an 4x8 sheet of 3/4” plywood and had them cut it to my needed dimensions at Lowes. They will do this for free so make sure to measure accurately. Once back at the RV I installed the new flooring board and fastened it to the side rails so now we had a new floor for the new fridge to sit upon.


I also wanted to close off the outside vents to the old fridge. The new residential fridge produced heat from the sides not the back so there is no need for outside ventilation. Also residential fridges won’t work in extreme high or low temperatures so closing it off to the outside was a must. I chose using foam board insulation and simply cut it to the appropriate sizes and used dots of liquid nails to secure it in place. I left the bottom piece un glued so I could get it out and access the rear of the fridge if needed.


Once insulated I built a narrow cabinet next to the new fridge since it was narrower that the old Norcold. We will use this area to store mops, brooms etc. and maybe add a small shelf to store a few other items. I will have a door fabricated for it later.

With all this done the new fridge I bought from the Whirlpool site was on sale at $539.00 plus tax. Shipping was free and we could get it in a week. Once it arrived the fellows from J B Hunt brought the new fridge in through the front door (it barely fit) and placed it on its new floor.


I plugged it in and all seemed to work well so I commenced to securing it to the floor. One thing I did was cut another piece of the 3/4” plywood so that it would fit under the front legs (one leg extended just passed the new floor) and extend out about 3 inches. I cut it also the perf3ect length so that it would but up against the rollers in the back of the new fridge acting as a wheel lock so the new fridge couldn’t roll forward.


This construction resulted in the fridge being slightly tilted backward but I like this since the doors of the fridge easily shut due to gravity. Also new fridges don’t have to be level to work normally as did older ones. Next I added wood strips to each side of the new fridge so that it could not slide left or right . Finally I anchored the back of the fridge to the floor with two screws I drilled in through the base frame and one lag bold which I put into an existing hole in the frame and secured it to the floor.


I used a 2x4 laying flat across the top of the fridge and screwed into the side walls to secure the top so there is no way for it to tilt over. Lastly I bought some baby proof cabinet latches that will keep the doors closed while traveling. So the cost so far for the new fridge and construction needed to get it in place is $700. I figure a new door and the remaining work needed will be an additional $100 but that means we are all set up for less than $800 for our new fridge that, by the way, freezes ice cream perfectly!

NOTE:  We are currently in Mesa, Arizona until November 1st…

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Dang the RV Fridge Died - Part 2 of 3


We started researching what fridge was available after we took careful measurements of the space the old Norcold was in. Then it happened! Our old Norcold died leaving us little choice but to buy something immediately available so we purchased a small 9.6 cu ft. fridge as a stop gap while continuing our search for a better replacement.

Now with all of the supply line disruptions finding a refrigerator was challenging unless we were willing to wait until late December of January 2023 for a new one. Available supplies of fridges were very limited. A week or so passed before we found a better alternative, a Whirlpool WRT112CZJ.

fridge build out

We chose this one (even though it was about the same size as our old Norcold) because it would not only fit in the existing space easily it would also fit (just barely) through our front door of the RV so we wouldn’t have to remove a window and hire some people to get it inside our RV. In fact the movers Whirlpool hired (J B Hunt) delivered the RV, brought it inside and placed in in its rightful spot.

So let’s back up a bit and I will describe what needed to be done before buying a new fridge. First I had to disconnect the water from the ice maker, the gas line from the fridge (turn off your propane first) and pull the electrical plug. Next I removed the front trim from around the Norcold (several screws had to be taken out for removal).


With the trim off I next located the screws that were fastened to the back of the Norcold holding it down to the floor. Once all of this was done I was able to shimmy the Norcold out of its spot. Next in order to be able to get it out the front door I had to remove the four doors from the Norcold.

With the doors off I was able to get it out the door. We then went to Lowes and bought the 9.6 cu ft. Haier fridge and plugged it in so we could use it for the time being (cost was $369.00). That gave me access to area where the old Norcold sat so I could modify the area for the new fridge.

What I did was first to buy a plug for the faired end of the old propane line so I could plug it up. I used a soapy water solution after turning the propane back on to ensure there were no leaks around the plug I installed.

NOTE:  We are currently in Mesa, Arizona until November 1st…

Friday, October 8, 2021

Dang the RV fridge died… Part 1 of 3.


Our next stop was Sun Life Resort in Mesa Arizona. We arrived September 1st and left October 1st. We really didn’t have a lot of activities to talk about because it was so dang hot we didn’t do much except work out in the fitness room,go to the pool and occasionally to happy hour.

The hottest it got while we were there was 114 degrees. I don’t want to hear about it being dry heat because dry or not 114 is freaking HOT! One problem that arose while at Sun Life Resort was our Norcold 1210 refrigerator was becoming less and less able to keep our refrigerator contents at an acceptable safe level.

I know the heat was causing it problems but the cooling issues were not just due to the heat. I tried resetting the control board and diagnosed everything I could including replacing the thermistor but to no avail. Therefore I began researching solutions.


One was just to replace the cooling system again (we did that once already) at a cost of $1200 in parts plus labor. Another was to replace our old cooling system with an Amish (electrical only) system for $1100. The problem with both of these is that the shell or body of our old Norcold had bad seals and it didn’t make sense to simply replace the cooling system and continue to have bad seals (which can’t be replaced without replacing the whole door).

Thus the only other options were to buy a new Norcold 1210 for $4500 (YIKES) or replace it with a residential fridge for a $1,000 or less. We opted to replace it with a residential fridge because we couldn’t see shelling out $4500 plus labor for another Norcold.

NOTE:  We are currently in Mesa, Arizona until November 1st…

Friday, October 1, 2021

Why are we going to Phoenix in September!!!


We really enjoyed our stay in the Prescott AZ area but we decided to do something we may regret. The plan is to move on down to Phoenix during the heat wave they have been experiencing. We spent three nights at the Phoenix Metro RV Park using Passport America and then moved over to Sun Life RV Resort in Mesa for a month.

The Phoenix Metro RV Park was pretty empty but the sites were fairly nice but small like most are in the Phoenix area. There was a nice pool and hot tub and we had a scenic view from our RV of a small desert mountain.

state 48 rock brewing

With temperatures in the 110’s we spent some time at the pool to cool down and Sharon spent some time in their small, but adequate, fitness room. We didn’t do a whole lot while at this park but we did check out three breweries, one each night we were there. Our favorite was Front Pourch!

One thing we were happy to do was to meet up with former RV friends and now residents of nearby Sun City. We met for brunch at a place they chose, JD Campbells, and I had a fabulous green chili omelette while Sharon enjoyed a traditional breakfast plate.. We first met Bobbie and Jim at Betty’s RV park and have stopped in to see them a few times since. It is always fun to catch up with friends we made while on the road. These two are always great to be around!


When the temperatures dropped one day we took advantage and found a little disc golf course to play. It was still plenty hot but it was nice to be outdoors for a fun round of disc golf.


So you may be wondering why we are in Phoenix during the heat of summer. Well now that we have been here a month we are wondering why we chose to do that as well. But there was a reason…


We have been on the road a long, long time and know that the end of our fulltime travels is closing in on us. As a result we are starting to explore areas of interest to us as places we might stay for a longer period of time after our travels in the RV are over. Working on an exit strategy is something we simply cannot put off any longer.


Both of us have always liked Arizona so we took advantage of a Cal-Am promotion which allows us to stay in three parks we think we would like for only $995. That allows us to stay in any Cal-Am park on the list of the offer from September 1 to December 31st. We came down here in September to experience the 110+ heat to see if we could tolerate it.

simple machine brewing

Short answer is – We can’t. We are outdoor people and 110+ means little of that beloved activity occurs. However, it is all part of the grand experiment of looking for future homes… We understand it will be a process.

NOTE:  We are currently in Mesa, Arizona until November 1st…