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Another Labour Day weekend has ended, or at least, will have ended officially when I go to work this morning. This tends to mark the end of summer for us.
The weather has already started changing. It is windy, “fall-ish,” and there was frost on the picnic table at the campsite yesterday morning. This morning is quite windy and dark and the leaves are changing. In short, it seems that summer is truly over.
That being said, there is nothing wrong with Fall. The colours are vivid and make our stunning scenery even more attractive to just sit and enjoy. Fall fishing can be quite good, although dressing warmly is a necessity. The coho should be running so both fresh and salt water fishing are an option. And, the camper does have a furnace that is more than capable of heating the inside to a toast temperature for those late season nights, even if it is capable of sucking the battery dry quite quickly as well as it is capable of generating warmth. I’m not that worried since I bought a new generator last week and recharging is a relatively easy task.
We traditionally go camping on the Labour Day weekend. We missed out last year because I was still in the hospital following surgery, so getting out was an important point this year. Also, our summer was somewhat shortened by my heading out of town for an extended period following the death of my father and that was followed up by a bit more surgical repair work. We went to Fox Lake campground (N61º W14.6 135º 27.7′) on Friday evening and came back yesterday afternoon. I got some fishing in and the new boat has finally had a fish in it. I caught four lake trout, although two of them went back into the lake to get bigger. I’ll put them in brine before going to work this morning and will throw them on the smoker tonight after work. Smoked trout is a tasty treat.
But now, I must remember that Labour Day weekend is followed by labour. Classes officially start today, although I’ve actually had two courses running for the past two weeks. And, with the official start of classes, I must make the transition from wearing my belt knife to wearing a Blackberry in it’s place and thinking of classes rather than this…
OK. Let’s go over the checklist again.
1. Replace the copper cold water lines with PEX ones. Check.
2. Install a city water connection. Check.
3. Install the new water pump. Check.
4. Install a new ground wire for the water pump. Check.
5. Treat the tank with tank freshener. Check.
6. Go over the system for leaks. Check.
Hmm. It seems like there’s nothing left on the list. Wait. That means… wait for it… the repairs are finished. You know, finished… complete, even. In short, they’re done.
I have a few minor things to close it up. I need to install four screws and put a permanent ring connector on the new ground wire from the battery. I have to sweep and mop out the camper. But, these can wait for tomorrow morning after I make a dump run to deal with some trimmed tree limbs.
Now, the only thing I have to do is deal with this cold, freshly poured, drink of Jamaican rum. I think I’ll get on that right away…
I started the day with three jobs to do. However, fate hath kicked me in the teeth again and each of the three are only partly done.
I wanted to finish the water system in the camper. After much cursing, swearing and expressing myself in a less than “fit for all audiences” manner, I did install the last fitting and nothing leaks. Yee hah! However, the pump for running from the water tank rather than a city water system doesn’t work. I suspect I have a minor wiring issue and will look at it tomorrow. All in all, this job is 98% done, so I was reasonably successful.
Job number 2 was wiring the trailer lights on the Escape. I had a hitch installed and ordered a factory wiring harness for it. The harness came in today and I went to plug it in and make sure it worked. It didn’t. I spent about 30 minutes tracking wiring until I discovered that the truck doesn’t come with the two fuses required for the trailer lights. I need a 15 and 20 amp mini fuse. I only managed to find the 15 amp one and have to go downtown tomorrow to get the other. This job is about 90% done, so I shouldn’t complain.
Lastly, it’s time to paint the old pickup and sell it. I don’t totally want to sell it, but having two pickups is sort of redundant. It’s a 1987 Ford F250 with a 460 cu. in. motor. It needs a bit of touch up on both sides. I picked up the paint and went to mask it but ran out of masking tape. I did, however, get one side painted and it looks nice. Oh, well. This one is 50% done I guess. However, tomorrow, the forecast is rain so I’ll either have to run a tarp over the truck or wait until a few days from now to finish this job.
So, three jobs to do and none finished. Maybe, tomorrow will be a bit more productive…
I know. Little things, by their very nature, are little.
This has been an awful summer. The weather has certainly had its down points. Mostly, it has been cool and wet. There have been nice stretches, but, these have been few and far between. My father passed away at the end of May and this has certainly put a damper on the summer. And, I had surgery again and have not been able to lift any weight, meaning some of my normal summer activities have been curtailed. I can’t, for example, take the boat out, go fishing, go camping, etc.
There has been a lull in fixing the water in the camper. I did get a plumber in to try and fix the fittings, but had no luck. So, I decided to change over to PEX rather than doing it in copper. After doing a little connecting, I think PEX makes plumbing fun . I connected everything but putting the water heater back in and tested it. Ye, Gods. There were no leaks. Honestly, not one thing leaked. I ran the sinks, flushed the toilet and there were no leaks. And, tonight, Ryan came over and put the water heater back in and I caulked and screwed it back in. Tomorrow, when there’s some light, I’ll put in a single tee connection and then all will be well with my camping world.
This is the fun of small victories. When things have not been great, they seem so huge. And, while little things are often just little, relatively, they can seem pretty important…
Well, I’m taking a hiatus from fixing the camper. I have to admit, it has been frustrating. The new tank is installed and is perfect. However, trying to repair the water lines has driven me to distraction.
I thought I finally had everything in place yesterday. I pressured the system up and had one small leaking connection. And, obviously, the nut on the compression fitting hadn’t been snugged up properly. So, I tightened it up, and no leaks! Oops, sorry, no leaks at that fitting. However, where the water line joins the hot water heater now gushes water out faster than all get out. There’s nothing quite like the spray of water under pressure.
So, I’m taking the tools out and cleaning the camper. The battery is charged and I think I’ll spend my day getting it ready to take out for a couple of days. I’ll just pack water containers and worry about getting the last connection fixed later. There are places to go, things to see, and fish to catch. I think I’d rather spend my time camping rather than fixing the camper for a little while…
One would assume that something a cheap and common as coupler nuts would be easy to buy. However, when you live in a small town, and it is the long weekend, that assumption is not the best one to make.
Here’s what I was looking for. They are simply longer nuts, threaded all the way through and used for a variety of purposes. The most common one is for extending threaded Readi-Rod, which, incidentally, is what I wanted them for. The new grey water tank is a little deeper than the previous one and it is supported under the camper by four threaded rods that hold two steel support straps. Since the tank is deeper, I needed to extend the support rods a few inches so the tank will be supported under the truck. However, buying them in town turned out to be a larger issue than I thought.
I went to Home Hardware which does have quite a variety of different bits and pieces for repairs. However, when I found the section where the coupler nuts were, and looked in the bin, I got quite a surprise. The bins were labelled 1/4″, 5/16″, 7/16″, 1/2″, 9/16″, and 3/4″. Wait a second. I need 3/8″ and there was no bin for them. I asked the woman working there whether or not they had that size and she was a dumbfounded as I was.
“I guess we don’t carry them, although I don’t have the faintest idea why.”
Then, it hit me. Several years ago, I replaced the black water tank with an aluminum one and had to do the same thing. Yes, I now remember going to Home Hardware and having exactly the same results, complete with the sales clerk wondering why there were no 3/8″ ones. Last time, I ended getting them at Northern Industrial Sales, but since this was the Saturday of the long weekend, I had to wait until today to get them.
Another point came up in this purchase. Home Hardware were selling the size above and below for about $4.50 each. The cost for the four of them I needed at NIS was, with GST, $1.43. So, here I sit, with a nice saving, a coffee, and four shiny, new coupler nuts, waiting for the rain to slow up a bit so I can install them….
The old adage is somewhat true. Let’s be honest. Most people don’t swoon over the view of a new grey water tank. But, control yourself because here it is:
Now to me, it’s a thing of beauty and missing only a few coupler bolts to lengthen the rods that hold it in place. I’ll pick them up tomorrow and I can drive the camper again any time after the 15 minutes or so it will take to permanently install it…
Needless to say, we’ve had a minor setback in the camping department. Mother Nature seems to have dealt us a wee blow and there are still a few repairs that need finishing on the camper.
In case you don’t know what Mother Nature did to us, here’s what it looked like at 1 o’clock this morning:
Considering that it snowed longer and harder up the highway at Kusawa Lake, I’ve lost my interest in going out for the long weekend. Hopefully, next week will be a bit better. The good news is that it’s melting already…
I have a number of things I really would like to get around to doing. The camper repairs need finishing, the boat needs seasonal setup, the mosquito vac needs fixing and so on.
I also have the last showing of the play tonight, but plenty of time to get to most of these things. However, I seem to have no ambition today whatsoever. I’ve run through my lines twice. All seems well, so I probably could go out and work.
After a little thinking, I’ve decided I’m going to take things easy and enjoy today. After all, it’s the last day of a run and I think I’m due for a little laziness.
Maybe, if I call it efficiency, since it looks exactly the same as laziness, it will sound a bit better…
The work on the camper progresses. Yes, I said “progresses.”
I took the tank to see if it could be repaired. I didn’t get the answer I was hoping for. Yes, it could be repaired but it would cost about $250 and with the amount of material fatigue, there was no guarantee that leaks wouldn’t start just by putting it in my truck and driving it home. I can take a hint occasionally and did manage to get the word, “condemned” out of that. So, I took the tank home and measured it and went off to one of the sheet metal fabricators in town with a drawing.
The estimate was a bit more than I was hoping for. However, there really wasn’t any choice. Newer tanks don’t have a drain in the center. Rather, they drain from one side or the other. The only choice is to get a new tank built and metal is the best choice. Therefore, I said to build it and bit the bullet. However, when I went to pick it up, the guy said that it wouldn’t cost as much as the quote and there was a $125 difference between the quoted price and the actual cost of the tank.
I picked up the fittings I need and now just need to do a bit of measuring and cutting the holes for the intake and vent pipes. These get a rubber grommet-style connector that the ABS pipes fit into. However, I get to agonize over cutting the holes since they have to be in the exact spots and you only get one chance to do it right. How does the saying go? “Measure nine times, cut once?”
I need to put in one more water line piece as well. It was getting late when I was working on these so I quit when I had the last one left. Oh, well. This is a good project for the morning before I start working on finishing the tank. Then, I have a little repair job to do on my mosquito vac.
Ahhh, it must be spring. I have more jobs to do than you can do in a spring and summer…