Archive for December, 2007

A Mountain Christmas

December 30th, 2007

We hope everyone had a great Christmas. We spent Christmas with my parents in the middle of nowhere. Well, 10 miles or so outside of Boone, NC; but 10 miles is a long way in a place where everything is uphill both ways and not even the crow flies in a straight line.

As you can see from our Charlie Brown Christmas tree, Jenn, my brother and I went for a hike until we found something roughly Christmas tree shaped. The process of hiking in, choosing a tree, sawing it down and carrying it out took less time than the last tree we bought off a lot. It’s apparently a lot easier to choose a tree when you’re trying to convince yourself that something looks like a Christmas tree than when you’re trying to decide which Christmas tree is ‘best’. I’m not sure if we were completely on Dad’s land when we found this one, but I doubt the neighbor will miss it.

We spent the first couple of nights down on the road leading up to my parents place. We got in after dark the first night and weren’t brave enough to try the driveway. It’s something like a 30-40% grade and would have our rear jacks dragging if we hit it at the wrong angle.

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Braking in the Timbrens

December 19th, 2007

Monday night we drove the camper back to the campground through the Orlando highway system; about 45 minutes if you skip interstates and toll roads. Between the new brakes and the timbrens, it drives like an entirely different vehicle.

Its not quite a sports car, but it does stop with a lot more firmness and a lot less noise. While it won’t be doing pace car work over in Daytona, it certainly deals with corners and uneven pavement a lot better than previously. It’s still top heavy and prone to lean a bit, but there is no side to side rocking to speak of.

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Give me a brake!

December 17th, 2007

It poured on us pretty good late Saturday night and early Sunday morning, but by about 9:30 in the morning, the rain had stopped and the clouds were clearing out.

With great enthusiasm, we hopped out of the camper (well, after wearing out the snooze bar and having a cup of coffee) and started tearing off one of the front wheels and the brake caliper. We broke a couple of cheapo sockets breaking some nuts free and had to run out for replacements, but eventually we got the caliper off and got to the brake pads.

And then we had to run out for parts again. Apparently the last guy to work on the brakes couldn’t be bothered with putting things back together correctly. He left off one of the anti-rattle clips and BOTH of the V springs. Eventually, we found a auto store with a ‘brake kit’ that consisted of 4 V springs and 8 anti-rattle clips. A whopping $20 for about one ounce of cheap steel… but if you don’t have it… Anyway, we now had what should be all the parts and proceeded to try and pull this apart:

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Truck Maintenance

December 16th, 2007


Today was a work day as we try and get the truck ready for a trip to North Carolina over the Christmas holidays. We were hoping to change the air filter, fuel filter, oil, the front brakes and add a set of timbrens.

We managed to get everything except the brakes done today. Thankfully, the rain held off, but it should come in full force tonight. We’re hoping it will be over by tomorrow and we can get the brakes done as well.

There was some mild excitement during the proceedings. Mostly, myself cursing the engineer that decided to use fine threaded bolts in the timbrens as I tried to get them to line up without being able to see them. The other exciting bit involved screwing the fuel filter cap down too tightly, which caused the gasket to bunch up and allow diesel fuel to spray out. It was a very fine stream, but between the wind and the spray, it covered the entire front half of the truck.

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Moved Again

December 9th, 2007

We moved again this weekend. Johnny was right it was a lot easier than the last one. We picked up the few items that we had laying around our site, disconnected from shore power, put the slide in, secured everything, loaded the camper, and we were off! I imagine it took an hour. A heck of a lot better than 36hrs of no sleep.

Our plans were to head over to the storage, load up a bunch of stuff for my girl friend, and head down to Okeechobee. Plans always seem to change. We did pack up and head south, but it was only as far as Kissimmee. No, we didn’t see Mickey. We wanted to grab some replacement batteries from a store down there. We did some of that “exotic” parking lot camping. Camping World was close, so we stayed the night there. It was the first time we have stayed in a parking lot in the camper. It was a decent experience. The only complaint we had was the noise. There were loud people, cars racing, and city rescue vehicles going all night. It was pretty a pretty uneventful night.

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