Shoes and Ladders

The bathroom is scrubbed, the blinds wiped down (they were filthy!), the grass cut, and I’ve gotten ant control that seems to do a much better job of controlling ants. I also made a serious attempt at trying my fancy Reese hitch out, but failed a bit on that (note to self: put stabilizer jacks on RV up before hitching). The 401K stuff has also been settled, just waiting for the check to arrive so that I can deposit it into my bank as an IRA.

Some purchases have also been made. First up was a 6′ tall step ladder (if you’re contemplating getting a fiberglass egg style trailer, this is the size you want!). The other one as you might recall was bought on the way home from Florida back in March the first full day I owned the Casita. I didn’t really know what size I needed at the time, I just wanted something to get to that missing microwave cabinet rivet. It was a 4′, and not really tall enough to reach some things on the roof, like the plumbing vents for instance.

It’s a very good thing that I got that taller ladder. With it, I can look behind the vents and pull the top off and see inside. On the closet side one, I can now tell that I missed a small little gap in the back when I caulked around it. I also looked behind the black tank one on the shower side and discovered a crack, so that one isn’t water tight either. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem with these vents as the PVC pipes are sealed to the roof of the trailer when they’re made with some heavy duty black putty stuff, but 13 years must have been enough time to degrade the putty to the point where it’s no longer making a water tight seal. Here’s an overly complicated diagram of the inner workings of my closet side plumbing vent, exactly what you wanted to see early on a Tuesday morning.

I could get my ProFlex out and reseal the gap on the closet side vent, and caulk over the crack on the shower side one and probably stop the leaks, for now, but since the putty underneath is bad and the plastic vents are themselves crumbling from the intense UV exposure it’s only a matter of time before I need to pull both of them off, deal with the bad PVC putty, and put new fixtures on.

So now I’m thinking I’ll put my big girl panties on and just redo both vents now. Isn’t that the way of things, just when you’re making headway on your to-do list you discover something else that needs getting done. Ah well, not having to worry about it later will be worth the extra effort now. I’ll just need to remind myself of this a couple days from now when I have some time off work and I’m up on the roof cursing because the rivets for the vents aren’t long enough, or the holes don’t match up with the existing rivet holes. Actually I’ll be checking these two things ahead of time, but I imagine something unexpected will come up.

Today’s purchases were from work, a 150 watt inverter that plugs into 12 volt plug, such as the one found in Bertha, and behind the TV mount in the Casita. This will allow me to charge my phone, kindle, or laptop while driving and while boondocking off of battery power in the RV, very handy.

The second thing was a back up portable hard drive for my laptop. Cost $60 even with my discount, but considering everything that could go wrong traveling with a computer – the possibility of it breaking, or if I get a virus or something from using unprotected WiFi connections and lose data or have to reformat the hard drive, it’s good insurance to have. If you’re going to be earning your living from a laptop it’s even more vital.

I also did some shoe shopping. No, don’t look at me like that this wasn’t superfluous shoe shopping, I need a good pair of tennis shoes to wear at Amazon for walking 10 hours a day and I simply don’t own any right now, I have a feeling my VFFs wouldn’t cut it. Didn’t make any purchases but I’m pretty sure I’ll be going with New Balance for the brand, I’ve found them to be comfortable in the past and they tend to have a good selection in wide widths.

Speaking of work, my boss decided not to schedule me for next week (I said I was available through the 10th) so that makes this my last week. So I’ll have a little less money, but a little more time. Now there shouldn’t be any reason why I can’t get the repairs and such done before I leave. I only have two days left actually, Tuesday and then Saturday.

Besides shopping, Julie and I also went down to old Bluffton today and walked around some in the 90 degree heat. It’s going to be so nice to travel with the seasons and avoid this humid mess. Despite the uncomfortable conditions though, we had a nice time. I got a couple shots of a neat looking church down by the water, and a picture of a shoe. Someone had left this tall black glossy pump sitting on the sidewalk, I took the picture exactly as I found it. Now I have to wonder where the other shoe is and the story of how it got left behind, it was still in good condition.

Well, it’s nearly midnight and I open tomorrow morning. Here’s to a productive next few days, and moving closer towards our dreams.

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  1. hobopals on September 4, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    Sherry, I have the same kind of hitch. Just be sure to do everything in the same order each time and it will be a piece of cake. After a while on the road, I didn’t need the hitching rods–hitching and unhitching becomes second nature.

    The one piece of advice I would give (from personal experience) is: When you are hitching up (especially) and someone comes over to talk or maybe even try to help you. Stop what you are doing. Have the conversation or politely extract yourself from the conversation (you can always say good bye once hitched up). Then, go back to the start of hitching up and make sure to follow each step. I found out the hard way in Nebraska–don’t hitch up if you are distracted. Fortunately all turned out well, but I did a very stupid thing.
    hobopals recently posted..Can’t Wait Until November!My Profile

    • hobopals on September 4, 2012 at 8:43 pm

      Oops, sorry…BECKY!! My friend, Sherry, has been on my mind.
      hobopals recently posted..Can’t Wait Until November!My Profile

      • Becky on September 5, 2012 at 8:16 pm

        That’s alright. Sticking with the procedure step by step every time sounds like a good plan. Especially for me, seeing how distractible I can be.

  2. Misty on September 4, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Hee, good luck with the backing. I found that the only thing that really improved my trailer-hauling skills was actually living full-time in the RV and…backing out a lot. 😛 At one point, I ended up in a narrow dead-end by accident at like three in the morning and had to back out for about two blocks. Didn’t have a choice but to just bite the bullet and do it! It’s really not as hard as you think, and my experience has been that in parks where the sites are extremely difficult to get into, the owner or one of the maintenance guys will volunteer to help you back in before you ever get a chance to ask.

    The hardest part is remembering to turn the wheel the /opposite/ of what you want the trailer to do. 😛

    Good luck fixing your vent cap. I still need to eternabond my roof and fix some other things that have popped up while I’ve been on the road.
    Misty recently posted..Settled into ConnecticutMy Profile

    • Becky on September 4, 2012 at 7:15 pm

      I’ve already had some practice at backing up, it’s actually getting the new fancy hitch hooked up that I need to check on right now, lol. Bought it months ago and still haven’t used it yet due to a broken piece that needed replacing.

      Looks like i’ll get my practice this weekend as I need to drive the RV elsewhere to clean the outside of it, Stoney Crest like most RV parks don’t allow people to wash their RVs on site. It’s bad looking, the top of the roof is green, the underside is cobwebby, and the sides are getting those classic black streaks. The humidity around here is the biggest contributing factor to how dirty it’s gotten I think. At least it should come clean pretty easily with my Red Maxx wax job, we’ll see.

  3. Marvin on September 4, 2012 at 9:31 am


    Becky ,

    Use a thin blade disposable razor knife to trim small amounts of the putty or filler from around the vent pipes and roof opening .

    The sealer may be good 1/8 or 1/4 inch below the surface making the repair easier . A little bit of new caulk ( dicor ) and a new vent cap will solve and water problems .

    Hopefully , your 401k / IRA check has a bank name on it instead of your name , to avoid the federal penalty payment .

    A couple of empty cardboard boxes make good visual tools to practice with the truck and trailer routine , and they fold flat for storage in the truck . When you get to a site that requires backing you will have familiar visual targets marking boundaries , utility hookups , or problem areas .

    Have A Great Week , Be Safe !

    • hobopals on September 4, 2012 at 6:51 pm

      I was just about to mention the 401K / IRA check to becky, too, Marvin. I’m hoping that if you didn’t Becky, that there is some way to stop it. I’m fairly certain you probably have done your research about this as you do everything else.

      Sounds like you’re just about ready to roll, Becky. I wish you the happiness in a life of freedom that the lifestyle you’ve chosen will afford you.

      Keep us posted as you go. Good luck. It’s an incredible feeling to take off–especially the first time. 🙂
      hobopals recently posted..Can’t Wait Until November!My Profile

      • Becky on September 4, 2012 at 7:10 pm

        Yep, the check is all properly addressed so no issue there. 🙂

        Thank you very much Nancy! I hope you and Jack have a good time with your little holidays the next couple months.

    • Becky on September 4, 2012 at 7:04 pm

      I will have a good week Marvin, thanks!

      And yes, check is in the bank’s name care of me, made sure to do it all nice and proper.

      I have a pair of Hitchin rods that I bought at camping world, they do a good job of letting me know when the hitch moves over the ball. The thing I really need to make sure I can do is get my spring bars set up properly. This requires hitching up, then raising the jack on the hitch as high as it’ll go to get the spring bars loaded, then dropping the jack back down. I have a pry bar that came with the hitch to help me get the spring bars loaded, just want to make sure I can do it all by myself without problems.

      As for the plumbing vents, I’ve got all the supplies, it’ll be happening in the next day or two.

  4. Kim on September 4, 2012 at 8:57 am

    Here ya on the “humid mess”. I’m in SE Alabama and am thinking about spending next summer somewhere in the Arctic Circle!

    I know you are excited about your impending adventure. All your hard work and preparation is about to pay off. Excited for you!
    Kim recently posted..Labor Day LaborsMy Profile

    • Ross Macintosh on September 4, 2012 at 5:24 pm

      It has been an unusually hot & humid summer up here in Canada too. Just in the last week we’re starting to get some relief. Here in Prince Edward Island our fall weather has begun. Most years you southern folks will find some relief from the humidity by visiting us in the summer – but no so much this year. Come next year in the late spring early fall and you’ll never want to leave!
      Ross Macintosh recently posted..Oh Shit…My Profile

    • Becky on September 4, 2012 at 6:57 pm

      Ahh, the Arctic circle, now you’re talking! I’m clearly doing things backwards: spending the summer down here in SC, then I’ll be heading up to Kansas where it’s colder for the holidays to work at Amazon.

      Yep, I’m getting excited, especially now with three days off then only one last day of work to go! I bet you must be excited too, I just love the Good Deal Bus.

      Oh, and I’ll let you in on a little secret, I bang my head on the entryway to the Casita on occasion too. I’m like, 1 inch too tall to clear it when I head out the door, coming in doesn’t seem to be a problem. I think that’s the worst because if it was greater than an inch I’d be more likely to notice and remember to duck when I leave all the time. Luckily there is a strip of rubber along the top of the door, absorbs the impact to some extent…

  5. Ross Macintosh on September 4, 2012 at 5:28 am

    It is nice when a plan comes together! Great to read that your preparations are going as smooth as can be expected.

    When you have a bit of time before you leave it might be a good idea to practice backing up the trailer. I know I really need to with my trailer. I’m thinking I’ll go to a big empty parking lot and get more comfortable with the whole concept. At the last campsite I went to a friend did the backing up for me. I had wimped out but it was very helpful to be outside and just watch it backing up. Maybe you can watch others in your current rv park. If you develop some confidence in backing up I know it will serve you well.

    If you read my current blog entry (Oh Shit…) you find another IMPORTANT thing to add to your final pre-departure checklist!
    Ross Macintosh recently posted..Oh Shit…My Profile

    • Becky on September 4, 2012 at 6:50 pm

      I was lucky that my storage lot for the Casita before I started living in it was this giant flat grassy field. I did some backing up practice there and did a pretty good job both times I backed it up into my spot at Stoney Crest. At both places though I had quite a bit of room to work with, the first time I need to back up at a sharp 90 degree angle is probably going to take some time. But I’ve found that that seems to be the big secret to back up: taking your time, deep breaths and don’t try to rush it.

      I posted on your blog post already, but I’m fortunate to have one of those toilets where the valve automatically closes after flushing. I’m sure something else will come up though, I’ll be ready…