Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

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We just got back from a fortnight trip with out Spartan Manor to Pennsylvania and Mid Ohio, to test the A/C and fridge in hot, muggy summer weather.  The A/C passed with flying colors, the fridge, not so much.  We used it last fall, in cool temps, and it did fairly well, but it struggles to keep it’s cool in warm weather.20728230_10214593978665809_5666013374635989023_n

These gas/electric fridges need air flow over the cooling unit in order to operate, and the consensus was that I didn’t have enough airflow.  The exhaust stack was a 4″ vent through the roof, to which I added a small fan, which helped a little, but still left us with temps in the fridge cabinet in the low 50’s.  Then we added a fan to the cabinet, which makes noise but doesn’t seem to help at all.  In a last ditch attempt, I took the freezer door off the interior, which made the fridge compartment a little cooler, but a freezer that wasn’t below freezing and frosted up.

Yesterday I took the back of the cabinet off again, and made a new exhaust plenum.  This one is 3 1/2″ x 14″, three times the size of the old 4″ flue, and I kept the little fan, which is on a thermostat.  It turns on when the stack temp is greater than 100 F.  It certainly LOOKS like it should work better.

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This morning, after running all night, and with a case of (cold already) soda and 6 pack of beer inside, the interior is 46.  The freezer compartment is cold, the partial bag of ice and  inch of water that had melted from that is frozen solid  again in the Tupperware container I put it in, so the freezer is once again below 32.  I’d be happier if the cabinet temp were 40 or slightly below, but if this is as good as gets, we can live with it now.  We may resort to keeping a block of ice in the freezer, and one in the crisper drawer to help with getting the fridge cold, if we have to.

In retrospect, I’d have left the original compressor and coils in the fridge and simply run it on 110V, as I just got a 2000 watt inverter which would easily power the fridge while traveling.  Which was the only reason we had it converted to gas in the first place.

So, live and learn.  It has given me something to do this past couple of days, as opposed to working on the roadster, which I wanted to have ready for next weekends “Relix Riot” car show, but there’s always next year…

Addendum:  I discovered, via a Google search, and You-Tube video that there IS some temp adjustment these “automatic” control RV fridges.  Inside, on the fins of the cooling unit, on the fin next to the right hand wall of the fridge, is a little plastic clip.  In the clip is a little gizmo called a “thermistor”, which, by sliding the whole thing up, or down, the fin, lowers,  or raises, respectively, the cabinet temp.  This one was just over halfway up the fin, so I slid it all the way to the top.  If I’m fortunate, and have said the correct incantation, the fridge should get colder.  Or, I’ll be drinking warm beer…






Summer is here and we’re enjoying the fruits of the hard work of winter!  The season is short , so we’re packing all the adventures and excitement we can into the season. 

The Spartan is all we hoped, it’s comfortable and practical.  Kim looked beautiful in the period dress our friend Cheryl gave her, perfect for the trailer.  

We’ll be getting ready for a trip east to Pennsylvania in a few weeks, and a short trip to Gun Lake for the 4th, and many more fun times after that!

Our fall vacation in Northern Michigan has been found to have been totally rigged!  From start to finish, from Tahquamenon Falls to wineries and restaurants around Traverse  City, it was nothing but sleeping in, great fall colors, great food, great wine, and great friends.  We slept in, ate bacon and eggs, drank champagne with smoked whitefish pate and apple pie with dinner.  Not one whit given for responsibilities of work, the election, or bills to pay.

And it was good.

So far, we can’t complain. 

One year of blood, sweat, and a few tears is being rewarded with what is turning out to be a FABULOUS weekend in Milford at the Tin Can Tourists fall rally.  I’m reminded again that without our great friends, none of this would be possible.  Many thanks to Mike and Cheryl O’Conner, Mike and Cortney Greene, Butch and Pam Starner, Jake and Tami Moomey , Kirk and Donnell Brown for assistance, and all our TCT friends for support and encouragement.  Kim and I couldn’t have gotten so much done so fast without you.  
Without further ado, behold, the ’47 Spartan Manor:

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See that guy, with polishing compound in his beard, ears, eyes, reflected in the trailer?  That guy, yup, right there, the one who said he wasn’t going to polish another trailer, that this one would be painted.  Looks like he’s polishing a trailer, doesn’t it?

I was going to simply acid wash the trailer and call it good for this fall, but after I got done with the wash, I didn’t like how it looked.  I had bought a new buffer, pads, and Nuvite polish from Vintage Trailer Supply, so I had everything on hand, and started in.  I bought some 3M Super Duty rubbing compound, which I’ve used in the past for the first cut, but it’s SO messy, greasy, flings all over, that I tried the Nuvite G7 I’d bought, and it works MUCH better!  Not nearly as dirty (although you wouldn’t know that by looking at me!), cuts better, and doesn’t fill the bonnet with greasy left over compound.  It’s a winner.  C grade compound after that for the 2nd cut, and it’s as good as I can get it with a rotary buff.  I’ll have some residual swirl marks, but it’ll be fine.

I realized both of my step ladders, and the planks I use as scaffold to get up on the roof and polish are at our sons house in Dexter, they  used them painting and a little kitchen remodel in their new home.  The steel ramps on sawhorses are great for doing the sides, I can’t get up on the roof to polish.  Darn.  So, I’m going for a tu-tone bare metal scheme, only the sides below the drip rail will be polished (for now), the roof and back will be left the dull white acid wash.  Later, when I recover from polishing the sides, and I have my ladders and planks back, I’ll get ambitious and do the rest.  For now it’ll look interesting, and much, much better than it did.

Tomorrow I want to get the 2nd cut completed on the curb side (shown), I still have to do the upper panels between the windows, and then move on to the street side.  It should go faster than today, since the wash is done, I should be able to polish the rest in about 4 hours.  Then, I’d like to get started on the screen doors and get the curtain rods up.  Kim is finishing up the curtains tonight, so it’d be nice to see the interior with the barkcloth curtains in.

In other news, the Zip-Dee awning arrived today, my buddy Jake Moomey is going to stop by Saturday and help install it, he put one on his Spartan this spring hours before they left for Camp Dearborn, so he’s experienced!

That’s all until tomorrow, time to take an Aleve and pass out…

I’ve gotten lots done the last couple days.  All the Spartan’s window garnish trims are polished and installed, accent lights on the display shelves in, bulkhead cabinet lights over the bed are installed.  The dump valves are on the black and grey tanks are on and I replaced the leaking seal in the Dometic “Sea/Land” toilet.  Not very glamorous but needed.  

The new Zip-Dee awning should be done this week, the screen doors need to be built and I have get the new center front window in.  The upholsterer needs to get busy, my work is almost done!