Browsing "Personal"
Aug 14, 2014 -

A Non-Intrusive Way of Bringing Cables Into an RV

All of last summer, winter, and spring, I brought my internet antenna cable in through the office window, sealing the gap as best as I could with tape and, in the coldest month, towels. Bugs and cold still managed to get in. This summer, I was determined to find a better, yet non-intrusive, way to bring cables into my RV.

My impetus was moving to a new type of cellular booster. I’m not ready to blog about that as my system is not working as well as expected and I’m still exploring other options. So while I wanted to bring the cable in in such a way that bugs and cold couldn’t get in, I didn’t want to make any holes since I’m not sure my booster system is what I’m going to end up using permanently here.

If I ever get this booster working as well as I believed it would, I will likely put a hole in the roof over a cabinet, install the booster in there, and run the cable to it. But for now, the cable is out of my way and this is working out well.

My coax cable is in two sections, with its connector being at ground level. So when I had to move Miranda in a hurry a few weeks ago, I was able to show Caroline where the junction was and leave her to disconnect the two bits and coiling the part attached to the RV around the ladder while I did other things instead of my having to disconnect the booster from inside and scramble onto the roof to yank the wire out of the way. Unintentional, but perfect, design!

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Jul 31, 2014 -

My Digital Honeywell Thermostat and the AC

Back in November, I upgraded from an analog Duoterm thermostat to a programmable digital Honeywell thermostat. This remains one of the best mods I’ve made to my RV.

This spring, I did my AC maintenance and testing before the weather got warm. The AC did not run correctly and made an awful sound. It took me a minute to think, “What changed between now and the last time I used the AC? Ah, the thermostat.”

It would have probably been faster to check my post from November, which I only just did, as it explains exactly what was going on with my AC!

But I figured it out on my own very quickly and before thinking I had any major AC issues.

The problem in November was that when I hooked up the wiring for the fan on the AC, it would run as soon as the furnace powered on. I disconnected this wiring and had no trouble with heating all winter.

So the possible solution to the AC not working was to open up the thermostat and reconnect the fan wiring. Sure enough, that did the trick!

My AC runs great and while I just about never use it, I’m grateful for it when it gets unbearably muggy in here, like tonight!

I don’t think that there’s a way around the fan issue other than¬† making a radical modification to the thermostat to add an off option in addition to on and auto. So I’ll just disconnect it when I need heat and reconnect it when I need cold, which should technically be once a year each…

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Jul 27, 2014 -

Creatively Replacing Atwood Range Knobs

I use my RV range daily and it has taken a beating over the last six years. The knobs in particular have given me a hard time. They are made of lightweight plastic. I lost one a few years ago and another one gave out a few months ago, leaving me with just one working knob for three burners.

I tried to find replacement knobs at Camping World and RV part stores, but the best anyone could do was order some in and I wasn’t in the location long enough for that to be a good option. Forget ordering them online; with shipping I was looking at something like $100 for three pieces of plastic!

My engineer friend L had a much better solution. He went to a city dump and pulled an assortment of knobs off of barbecues and stoves.

When he arrived here for his visit, he tried to fit each of the knobs to the stems on my stove until he found a close match. The holes in the knobs were a little too small, so he carefully drilled them out so that they would fit. That was imprecise and some were a little loose, so he added a little paper to the hole to provide a tighter fit on the stem.

This week, I picked up some Gorilla glue and put a tiny amount in each knob hole. Gorilla glue turns into a hard foam, so when the glue was almost dry, I put the knobs back on the stove to get the shape of the stem, pulled the knobs off, and let them dry. End result, knobs with holes that perfectly fit my stove!

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The new knobs look so much better than did the old ones and are at least as easy to manipulate. They only have one line on them, which means the stove is off when it’s at the 12 o’clock position, but I’m learning to gauge the height of the flame by the line’s other positions rather than attempting to put a medium and low marker on the knobs as well.

I love having three working knobs again and, really, these look so much better than did the old ones. Thanks again, L!

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