We had picked up a screw in one of our trailer tires at Janes Island last month. The repair made by a local shop had not been done correctly. So, Dave decided we needed to replace the tire, since the bad repair could not be fixed. He than began the search for a replacement tire. The search led him to quickly decide that , rather than replace this tire with an equivalent, that we should replace all of our tires, even though the RV is only 6 months old, with Goodyear Endurance tires. These are better quality and will give us more confidence as we travel many miles over the summer.
The local Discount Tire was willing to give us the best price, and it would be an easy in and out with the trailer. The tires were installed with high pressure valve stems to prevent the problems we had had with the boat trailer tires. And, since our tires were in such good shape, our son-in-law was able to use them on his trailer. It’s all good.
Hand signals, walkie-talkies, cell phones, and just yelling at each other. We use whatever works to get the RV parked without running into something. Cathy stands at the rear of the RV with Dave in the driver’s seat while she tries to communicate how to hit just the right spot in the campsite. Sometimes it works well. Sometimes not so well.
The resulting image was clear and, while it hasn’t completely replaced Cathy’s guidance behind the RV, maybe it will in time. It also helps fill the blind spot when traveling down the highway, showing the cars that are close behind us.
A strange metal washer lay on our patio mat after retracting the awning one afternoon. Luckily Cathy saw it and we were able to locate the pin on the awning arm that it was supposed to be holding in place. After calls to Lippert and Keystone to confirm the part number we needed, a new one arrived in the mail. Thanks to the internet, we confirmed how to install it, and managed to get the washer to lock on to the pin. The awning opens and closes without incident, and we will be keeping an eye on those pins from now on.
We’ve been using our water softener for at least a couple of months since we reactivated it, so it was time to regen it again. That required 3 pounds of salt and about 20 gallons of water. Since the salty water would damage anything growing, we used the portable waste tank to collect it, so we could dump it along with our holding tanks. Once regened, the water tested perfectly, and tasted sweet. So, we are good to go for another couple of months.
When boondocking, we want to have the option of running our A/C if the temperatures start to soar. To ensure this, we purchased a Champion generator 2 years ago that now rides in the truck bed. It has a remote-start feature that makes it easy to start or stop it from inside the RV. However, the battery had been drained and needed replacing. Rather than order the very expensive battery that Champion recommended, Dave replaced ours with another battery that fit the space and specs. Once in place, he pressed the remote and . . . it started right up. That will make our life easier off the grid.
In order to finalize the wood order, we inventoried our current wood supply. Also, with the help of Ethan from the Park’s interpretive staff, Cathy reviewed some original blueprints of the cabins to learn more about the shutter construction that was used in 1936 ( since there at least 2 styles used at the Paspahegh cabin site). Confirming that the style using battens was original, she submitted the order for the rough-cut lumber. Now, we could turn our attention to preparing for the first of what we hoped would be monthly work days with local volunteers. We power-washed decks, trimmed trees, purchased and organized the painting supplies and met with the new volunteer coordinator to introduce him to the project.
Over the last 2 years, we had started to better understand the process for repairing screens. With over 100 windows in each cabin site, the volume of materials required for repairs added up quickly. While the volunteers reused what they could, the thin molding strips that hold the screen in place rarely survived the disassembly process. That meant that we required hundreds of molding strips about 3ft long for each site. After paying 50 cents a foot for molding that we purchased in prior years, we decided it made more sense to make these strips using scrap wood from shutter repairs – something that was readily available. Given the volume of screen repairs ahead, we needed hundreds of strips. Over a couple of days, we made over 150. These would need to be primed and painted before being installed, so these would be available for the volunteers to paint on the work day as well.
The news that we were finalists in the Lowes 100 Hometowns program was exciting, but to receive any funding, we would need to do some more work. Dave spent hours answering questions, collecting necessary forms, and soliciting information from the Friends and the park. Once done, the word came that the site visit could be scheduled. That meant there was a slim chance that we could be here to give the tour. Dave was able to schedule it for the day we were originally scheduled to leave. The park allowed us to stay the extra day, and we spent a couple of hours answering more questions and touring this year’s work sites along with those from the last 2 years. She took pictures of the work and even our the building where the supplies were stored. All seemed to go well, but we won’t hear about the final decision until later in June.
Time with family is a cause for celebration at any time, but even more so when we get to celebrate our granddaughter’s birthday together. Although the weather didn’t cooperate on her actual birthday, we gathered a couple of days later on a beautiful Memorial Day to enjoy her dad’s smoked ribs, a campfire and some birthday cake.
But the kids that camped the next weekend understood it that way.