Sunday, December 14, 2014

SACRIFICIAL

Today’s fuel efficient design’s for RV’s and indeed trailer’s in general, are prompting the use of aluminum frames  for strength, rigidity and weight reduction, that will result in the owner reaping fuel savings.  Axle’s and suspensions, because of their very nature, are almost always made of steel. And there is the engineering rub. That rub has a name. Galvanic action, or, as end users, like many of us, think of it as, two dissimilar metals in contact, causing corrosion. A solution is the use of the sacrificial anode, like those pictured below.

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One method to reduce galvanic action is by isolating the steel suspension assembly, from the aluminum frame, by first mounting it on a heavily galvanized  bracket, before it is mounted to the frame. Here is a look at one manufacturer’s anode installation’s. This anode is located on the bottom of the frame by the Galvanized bracket and suspension.

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  This anode  is located on the bottom of the tongue by the Oliver Legacy II’s  Bulldog Hitch.

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Most of us have replaced the sacrificial anode that is in many RV hot water heaters, and are used to checking that anode on a annual basis. But if we have an aluminum frame, we probably need to be checking on our aluminum frame’s sacrificial anode’s also.

Should replacing these anodes yourself, be your goal, they are available from your manufacturer, or on eBay. They are strategically placed nearby dissimilar metals and attached with a pop rivet. Readily visible on the bottom of the frame, they are easy to check and replace as needed, using a drill and pop rivet gun.

So, if you Winterize your RV and you are in “salt on the highway” territory, it might be a timely thing to check or replace your aluminum frame anode’s.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

RING

Years ago, while back in the “work a day” world, on a day off, I was working my way through a chore list, on the farm.  One of those chores was to worm the small herd of Brangus cattle, that included a young Brangus Bull. Now, the wormer that I had on hand was not the liquid type, that pours on the back, but was instead, the paste in a tube type. He. he, now, those that have been there, already know that this isn’t going to go well !

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The cows handled easy and the paste worming went well with them. But, with the Bull however, it quickly became a battle of will’s ! Soon, the bull was back in the pasture, un wormed,  with his cows, and I was looking for something to cut a wedding band off. In the above photo, taken many years later, one may see the ring imprint, but the scar tissue isn’t readily visible.

As my current wedding band wore thin over the years, it began to cut and inflame the old scar tissue. Causing me to leave it on the dresser more than I was comfortable with. Then one day I saw a ad on the internet that caught my attention.

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A soft, supple, silicone wedding band. I ordered mine a size larger and it fits and wear’s great ! Here is a look at the ring by it’s self.

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This non traditional solution works well for us, but may not be for some that have made better decisions while worming a randy young bull !

Sunday, November 30, 2014

NOMAD

If you have a strong and compelling desire to see what is over there on the other side of the mountain, or maybe, hike to the mountain top in the pre dawn chill, just to see the first rays of sunshine peek over the horizon, you might be a nomad.

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As baby boomers retire by the thousands each day, they bring into their new lifestyle, the values instilled in them by their parents. The worlds greatest generation, the World War II Veteran’s and spouse’s. That generation, out of necessity, were world traveler’s and experienced the restlessnes  brought into their lives by the upheaval of WWII.

The new Eisenhower Interstate Highway system was developing rapidly during this same time frame, and they took advantage of it in the form of a rapidly developing Travel Trailer industry.

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Because of their intense sense of duty, the world’s Greatest Generation rebuilt America while taking every opportunity to Hit the road.  Many of their offspring, the Baby Boomer’s, first memory’s are of a military base and a Mobile, somewhat Spartan life style. Now as the offspring of the World’s Greatest Generation are retiring, they are often time’s hitting the open road on a full time basis.

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Because they are so active and out of doors oriented, many need a trailer that they can get into those places that are just naturally good for the soul. They need a more maneuverable, agile trailer with good ground clearance.

Today’s four season, long lasting, molded fiberglass trailers fully meet that need !

It is a great time in America to be retiring out on to the open road !

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

EARLY

It was a thing that we all enjoyed, the brand new Oliver Forums. Oliver Travel trailers were growing in fantastic leaps and bounds, out reaching everyone's expectations. The factory was swamped with orders and inquiry's. And, yet, some of us wanted more. Though we had a cool new Oliver trailer in the driveway, we wanted more. We wanted a way to visit with other owners and enthusiasts to exchange ideas, photos and much, much, more.
What we needed and wanted ever so badly was a forums.
In its infancy and experiencing growing pains, the Oliver Factory was sympathetic to our needs, but were covered up in the nuts and bolts of phenomenal growth pains. They did however give the ok to proceed with a Forums project, then went back to what they do best, building cool trailers.
So, there we sat, with the green light on the project, but no funding. The solution seemed easy at the time. He, he, now we all know just how those quick fixes can come back to bite us. And of course they did, but way on down the road.
Our web designer at the time provided borrowed server space and we picked up some free software from out there on the internet. We had our own forums !
The forums evolved rapidly and grew wildly, becoming a force of it's own.   
Years of evolving and growth, bring us up to 2014, with many members and moderators on board. Now the forums are on their own servers, having experienced bumps in the road during that major move, and Oliver has a IT Department that is coping with the QUICK FIX SOLUTIONS of the EARLY DAYS.
I have went to the Oliver IT department for help in the past and these guys are absolute Magicians !
Our years old forums issues, are being fixed as they rear their ugly heads, but, it is a pretty labor intensive process.
I have no doubt that Oliver's IT department will prevail, but our iron in the fire is but one of many that they must navigate their way through.
So, here is hat's off, to our forums members, moderators and IT Department for coping with inherited issues from the past, while planning for those cool forums features of the future !
Future ? Yes there will be streamlining changes in the future to make things more "user friendly", and those will be much welcomed changes, but as history has taught us, there will be "bumps in the road !"
So, let's "cinch up tight, screw our hat's down tighter" and ride into the forums future together ! It's gona' be a great ride !

Friday, November 7, 2014

MOUNTED

Our first major cold front of the Fall, brought with it a spell of rainy weather. Being cooped up inside, I soon began to look for a project.

We have had a small television that we use from time to time, that is stored away until needed. But as is with most things stored away, the first thought after needing it, is, “ now just where did I put that thing” ! Mounting it up on the wall of the trailer, somewhere out of the way, would resolve that.

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And after ordering a double articulating arm, TV mount, it arrived. The plain brown box contained everything that we would need in the way of hardware.

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Using the base plate for a template, marking and drilling holes went well and soon the project was finished.

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The sound is better and we now have more useable storage space.

All in all it turned out to be a great rainy day project !

Saturday, November 1, 2014

GREASE

Servicing the wheel bearings on our travel trailer is a given, otherwise we will be on the shoulder of the highway with serious trouble. Choosing the right grease to pack your wheel bearings with, is important, and gives peace of mind. Here is my current choice for a quality grease. Note the wear on the container from many thousands of miles of travel.

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Back in the 70’s we had a bearing failure not too long after that bearing was packed with a bargain basement brand of grease, that I had picked up at a flea market in Tucson Arizona. That broke me from cheeping out on grease.

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Our jump start battery pack and our 12 volt impact wrench sure make bearing service go smoother !

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Our lazer point, infrared thermometer is the thing that tells us if bearing temperatures are creeping up, while traveling. If that bearing temperature is beginning to climb up, our time to service the bearings, is getting near. At each stop, we take a quick check of the tire tread, tire sidewall, brake drum and wheel bearing.

For us, the little extra steps, give us that extra margin of safety, that gives us peace of mind as the miles roll by.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

MEETUP

Though it is usually pretty sweet, sometimes, Nomadic life can be a bit cranky.  A recent example for us, is meeting up with family members that are still in the work a day world. Angela and David have driven for Sierra Trucking for a little over seventeen years. They stay busy. They have a dedicated route to the Pacific North West, and usually one can tell by the day of the week, just where they are at.

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Here is Angela in front of their Truck “Big Red” while at the Freightliner dealership in LaGrange Oregon. Photo by David.

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As we were on our way North to the sugar beet harvest, our paths crossed about forty hours apart and we were both on schedules of arrival. However on the way back to Arkansas, we had the convenience of no schedule to keep, so we would go to one of the fuel stops on their route and await their arrival. Simple, right ? He, he, not ! They broke down ! So, unload their stuff from the truck, go to motel, cab ride to get rental truck from LaGrange to Portland then back with rental, deliver load, pick up new load, back to pick up their truck, return rental, shuffle their stuff again. Oh yeah it was complicated ! Then all the com-check stuff to pay the repair bill, and finally they are on their way ! Woo Hoo ! The saga CONTINUES !

Meanwhile we have satellite TV, internet and cell service, with several good restaurants right near. Yup, we a’ coastin’ and they are hustlin’ !