Preparations, preparations, preparations

DSCN5555.JPGBeen doing the bachelor thing for about a week now. Unfortunately, PJ’s dad has been having some serious health issues and she went to Rhode Island in order to help around the house while he was in the hospital. He is doing better, but still has a lot of pain and some upcoming procedures that are kind of scary. Pamela’s going to stay a few more weeks and help with getting them around to appointments and just doing what she can to ease the situation. DSCN5474So, our departure date is getting pushed out a bit longer. In fact, we have set aside having a given time to leave and when the time is right we will know. There have been a number of new factors that have come up and we’ll have to work out the wrinkles.

I’ve been keeping busy with projects around the house and doing a few projects on the motorhome. I drilled a couple of holes on the undercarriage and installed a few eye bolts to use as dog leash connectors. With carabiners, they will make it quick and easy to secure Eddie and Cali while we are on the road. My plan to add snaps to the front privacy curtains hit a snag when I realized that the headliner is too thick for the snaps to embed themselves in metal, so it’s back to the Velcro application to hold them up.DSCN5477 Earlier in the week, I got the wireless remote tire pressure monitoring system working so I can check the tires for pressure and temperature while I’m driving. Pretty cool, geeky stuff. The other tech dork item that I got hooked up was the push button door lock that I got for Christmas. Now a four digit combination gets us into the RV. No need for a key when going to the beach for a swim. I also added a little under table drawer on the dinette table to give us a bit of extra space to put miscellaneous stuff in to help keep things organized. The other little thing I did was to install double bolts on the battery hold downs and secure them with Loctite as they seemed to want to back themselves off with road vibration.DSCN5556

Since Tuesday, I have been spending my days with the good old boys over at the welding shop in Escondido getting the fix done on the mount for the winch. The original guy that fabricated the brush guard had the winch bolted onto two thin little tabs he had welded onto the guard. He had faked the other two bolts only making it look like the rear bolts were holding it on. We found this out when we removed it. It had the potential for the winch to easily shear off and go flying the first time it encountered any load. Anyway, it was a comedy of errors working with Ben and the boys. Since PJ is out of town, I have no one to drop me off, so I figured I could just hang in the RV or maybe bike around Escondido while the work was (wasn’t) getting done. DSCN5560The first day, the guys just had too many other things coming up; people coming in, problems with other projects and a general feeling of absent mindedness on their part. A few bolts would get undone, Ben would disappear for a while. He’d come back, undo a few other things, then disappear once more. Toward the end of the day, Ben got Tom working on it full time, but it was still far from finished when they closed at 5:00. We buttoned it up and I headed home planning to return the next day and be out of there in time for my CT scan for my kidneys at 1:00.

But… it didn’t go that way. On Wednesday, I got there early. As the time neared for my appt., the front end was pretty well dismantled. DSCN5564Luckily, dad was hanging around at home without any pressing plans, so he was able to come and get me and take me to the doctors. I took him out for lunch at Teri Café afterwards figuring by the time we got back in the late afternoon, surely the job would be done. But, it was still being worked on when in. They were rushing to get it done and, like an episode on one of those car shows where they are racing to beat an arbitrary deadline. As closing time arrived, they were getting to the final assembly bolted down. DSCN5471We got it all together only to realize that the clearance between the winch and the rack still didn’t allow enough space to get the cover on it. “Come back tomorrow and we’ll get it right, we want you to be happy.”

I came back Thursday morning (third day at my new employer) and we pulled the base plate back off and re-drilled a couple of holes and got it right where we wanted it. This thing is solid as a rock. 3/8” metal plate bolted to the frame in three places. I’ll definitely be able to use the winch with confidence if I ever need to get myself or someone else unstuck. The guys at the shop are pretty relaxed and it was actually a fun time creating the new part. While they were welding, I polished the opaque looking headlights. We also put on a pair of Monroe gas shocks to replace the Bilsteins. DSCN5486They react a lot slower and for the motorhome, they give a much more stable feel to the ride. They put in a lot of hours and were really interested in making it right. The price was excellent and I picked up a few new redneck jokes. DSCN5506All in all, a very Mexico like experience. Good thing I’m retired and can set my own schedule! Next up, the vertical hitch rack on the back for hauling surfboards. I’ve got a guy lined up at a muffler shop in Oceanside. Stay tuned to see how that turns out.