Sunday, November 28, 2010

Electrical Mayhem

Friday night as Beverly was cooking coconut pies for a family get together on Saturday, she noticed the light in the refrigerator was not coming on. Outside it was dark, cold and misty. Not a good time to go poking around searching for electrical problems.

Using an extension cord I was able to get power to the refrigerator from an outlet I installed next to the breaker box last year. This solution would see us through the night.

Saturday morning I was able to check all the breakers for power and all of them were showing as good. This to me meant that there has to be a short somewhere in the line that powers the refrigerator. With my volt tester I began to check for outlets that did not have power. Of course the refrigerator was the first that I checked, there were six outlets on one side of the RV that had no power. These outlets seemed to be connected one to the other, but then the mayhem of it all.

One lonely outlet with a ground fault on the opposite side of the RV above the vanity in the bathroom. The safety had been tripped. When I tried to reset the ground fault switch it would not hold. Ok, this means I need to install a new GF outlet.

To avoid the holiday shopping madness I chose to stop at a hardware store on the way to the family get together and install the new GF outlet Saturday evening when we return. Wouldn’t you know it, the hardware store was closed. Sign said “Gone shopping”. Short on time I decide to wait until Sunday morning to purchase the GF outlet.

It was getting late, close to bed time so I decided to try and reset the GF outlet one more time. The switch held and I again had power to all the electrical outlets that were dead. I still intend on installing a new GF outlet in the bathroom, one that has both plug-ins  ground faulted. I also intend on changing the way the GF is wired in so next time only the bathroom power will shut down in the event the GF trips.

When the new GF outlet installation is complete I will post images of what I did and how I did it.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Stupidity caused sewer blockage

Yesterday when we emptied our black water tank we noticed sewage water exiting around our connection to the RV park. We then noticed waste exiting from the drain pipe in the next site over from us. The first thing entering our minds was “Did we cause a blockage in the RV parks drain system?”.

We informed the park management of the overflow and were told they had called a septic tank cleaning company earlier in the day to pump out a blocked septic tank at another location in the park and would have them pump out the one close to us too.

Blockage problem solved? No. The cause of the overflow for us was not a full septic tank, or was the blockage caused by our waste tank content.

One of the RV park occupants had inserted their sewer hose into the drain pipe without using an adaptor elbow fitting. The hose was pushed so far down into the drain pipe that it had blocked all the sites above it from proper drainage. qqqqq 005 Sewer hose elbows are not expensive and every RV park sells them so there is no excuse not to purchase and use the elbow for proper drainage. This problem was cause by pure stupidity.  qqqqq 004

Sunday, November 14, 2010

MiFi to the rescue

Yesterday we reached our last straw of aggravation with the WiFi at our location. Having to go and reset the WiFi here several times a day had gotten to be just too much of a hassle.

We decided to purchase a MiFi from Verizon. The credit card size unit is sleek, less then a half inch thick. The MiFi creates a WiFi hotspot and is password protected to keep unwanted users from connecting and stealing bandwidth. The cost was a bit high however we are not under a service contract or equipment lease and can stop service at anytime we choose.

We are starting out with 10 gigabytes a month for $80 + tax. The Verizon MiFi 2200 set us back $288.89 and we will be billed for the 10 gigabytes next month.

How it works for us

We don’t have laptop computers like most RV’er do. We have two desktop computers and neither came WiFi ready. To enable us to use a WiFi connection we had to install hardware into each desktop. We did this by purchasing two EUB-362 EXT - High-Power Long Range Wireless G USB Adapters. These would locate any WiFi signal in the area that we could connect to. tn_260_list_EUB362EXTmed_1249599495mifi

To setup the MiFi we just turned it on, let it connect it’s wireless communication to the nearest cell tower and it was ready to use. When we booted up the computers they were able to find the new WiFi hotspot we created. We highlighted our WiFi connection from the list, clicked connect and entered our password and bingo we were online again.111

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Dark and Rainy Day

The title says it all, dark and rainy today. This translates into a lazy day filled with television, internet activities and napping

We both have the vice of smoking. The cost of smoking continues to climb every year so to cut the cost we decided to start making our own cigarettes. We buy tobacco by the pound and filtered cigarette tubes by the carton then use a small device to cram the tobacco into the tubes. Cost of our brand of ready made  cigarettes is $36.37 a carton. When we make our own cigarettes the cost drops to a whopping $8.22 per carton.

                                   The Tobacco we usebacco                               The Filtered Tubes we useTUBES                             The Cigarette Machine we useTOP

Before you start in on the rants and dislikes of smoking take a moment to understand that we are adults. Our choice to smoke is just that “Our Choice”, not yours!  Our liberties to smoke in privately owned establishments such as bars and restaurants have already been stripped from us. As tax payers we can no longer smoke in government buildings although high ranking officials right up to the president of these united states can and do so. We are not uneducated so we know the so called risks involved even though none have been medically proven.  

Our intent within this post is that for those that do smoke there is a way to cut the cost.