Trying to keep cool

A heat wave rolled across Georgia.

Today in the central part of the state the high was 95 which is ten degrees higher than normal for this time of year.  Need I mention, it’s humid also?  The crew and I are in a rhythm of rising early so we can do what we want to get done before noon.  Then for the greater part of the afternoon we run errands (in a/c) or hang out in the coolest room in the house, the bedroom, where the monster oscillator constantly sends some relief for all of us.  This provides an excuse for laziness:  reading, listening to the radio, snoozing, playing around on the computer . . . . 

The best designs are often the simplest, like the boomerang, scissors, paperclip and bobby pin. Most of us know who invented the cotton gin but not the people who came up with these great tools!

This afternoon I researched dog stuff online:  LED collar lights, rattlesnake vaccine, dog equipment.  I came across an unusual tie-out posted by “Jim” on the fiberglassrv forum.

The ad at L.L. Bean’s website says it was inspired by aircraft tie-downs. When the dog pulls, the claw grip gets even tighter.  It’s made out of aluminum.  Lightweight and easy to pack.  It costs about $20.  Pretty nifty, huh?

It cooled a bit by dinnertime.

I took some BBQ chicken and iced tea outside to eat while sitting under the redbud tree.  A gentle breeze wafted through occasionally.  The brown thrashers have a nest in the redbud.  They were busy poking the ground for their dinner, and, of course, Janie and the crew sat in a semi-circle in front of me waiting for hand-outs.  I wish I could take a picture of them as they anticipate a bit of chicken tossed their way.  I don’t have the dexterity to bite into a chicken breast while simultaneously taking a photograph!

So far Bridget is doing well in the heat.

You can tell by the green grass this is not a recent photo of Bridget. The lawn has dried up and turned brown.

She tends to get skin problems in the summer. Whenever she starts biting her butt, I tell her to stop.  I think she gets itchy in the heat.  

Janie and the crew are on  Advantage-multi for protection against fleas, heartworm, and other nasties.  It’s doing a great job so far.  The vet said that Frontline and Revolution are no longer very effective in Georgia. 

 Yes, I know, I’m avoiding the topic of the PTV.

If you read the previous post, you know why I don’t want to talk about it. I didn’t drive the Perfect Tow Vehicle much this weekend, just a trip into town for some groceries.  I’ve lost confidence in the vehicle again.  When I park it, I find myself taking into consideration the room a tow truck would need!  Now that is sad.  I’m not moping around about this situation, because I’m aware of how very fortunate I am, but it is weighing on me.  I need to decide what I’m going to do and when.

Tuesday is my first firearm class and Wednesday is tow-hitch installation day!

Be sure to drop in to see if I had to be towed!



About rvsueandcrew

Fulltime nomad
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20 Responses to Trying to keep cool

  1. Vickie Bailey says:

    Sue, I’m not a blog reader—but I “met” you on Fiberglass RV Forum, and I’m hooked. I hope you take some time to write a novel or two, as I think you’ve got great talent, and I’d be one of the first to put it on my Kindle!!

    I’ll be praying the the PVT shapes up so you can “ship out” without stress!

    Vickie B.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello, Vickie!

      I am delighted to hear you like my blog! And what a lovely compliment! I hope I can keep the blog up to your expectations. I do enjoy writing it and it’s fun reading the positive comments. Your comment was a great start for my day..

      Thanks for your prayers. I guess a life change such as this is bound to carry some stress.

  2. Mick says:

    Very few women know about cars. It is socially unacceptable for young ladies to run around with grease under there fingernails. But you would do well to get a “Auto Repair for Dummies” book and look under the hood of the PTV. Many automobile problems can be found by look and touch but you have to know what your looking at. Being at the mercy of others regarding your vehicle is expensive and unnecessary. Dive in, get dirty, save money and increase your independence. Yea Sue!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Mick!

      How have you been? I hope you are well in the beautiful TN woods! I was thinking about you yesterday, wondering if you would visit here again.

      You are absolutely right about women and cars. I wish my father had taught me automotives, as he was good at it, along with electricity. How well-equipped I would be now. It was unheard of in those days, letting a girl fool around with an engine. I can remember being interested in many of his interests and thinking, “No, that’s not right for me. I’m a girl.”

      In my case I never did care much about my fingernails! I love digging around in the dirt! I have found I often am frustrated when tryiing to handle “big” fixes. There are several reasons, besides lack of background knowledge. My hands are very small. Just when I think I’m making progress, I don’t have the strength. Then I have small wrists. I go to use leverage (such as using a wrench) and my wrists start hurting, and I end up asking for help anyway. Now that I’m older, I find it difficult to work on anything I can’t pick up and move, because I end up at an angle where I’m looking through the wrong part of my bifocals and can’t see! Factor in the Georgia heat and sweat in your eyes . .. I could go on and on. . . Hey, I just did!

      I had a pretty good understanding of the Odyssey’s engine. I could at least identify the parts! The PTV’s workings under the hood are all jammed together and even when I stand on my toes it’s hard to see where things are.

      Good tip on the auto repair book. Thanks for the vote of confidence. Yea, Mick!

      • Bob Giddings says:

        ” I can remember being interested in many of his interests and thinking, “No, that’s not right for me. I’m a girl.””

        LOL. I can almost remember thinking on several occasions: “Damn, I wish I was a girl. Then I wouldn’t have to do this crap!”

        Bob, who quit changing his own oil about 10 years ago.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I know what you mean! I can remember threading a sewing machine in home ec thinking, darn, I wish I were a boy so I could have taken drafting!

  3. Greg says:

    The dog tie-out looks intriguing and would no doubt work well when you are in places that have a nice green lawn – you won’t find anywhere out west where you will be able to pound this sucker into the ground….too much rock, dirt and sand. I would not recommend purchase…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m not planning on buying it. I was impressed by the simplicity of the design and the many positive reviews from people who used it in a variety of locales, including non-lawn, dirt places. Sure, it’s not going to work on solid rock or really rocky places.

  4. William B. Kelleher says:

    Now that is a invitation. LOL

    “Be sure to drop in to see if I had to be towed!”

    You are correct, van’s I very hard to work on. 😦

    Bill Kelleher

  5. Gary says:

    Your present, and seemingly persistent ‘no start’ problem is most likely due to one or more starting circuit electrical connections between the battery and the starter that are not making a good connection probably due to corrosion. Or a bad spot in the starter motor. Or a bad starter solenoid.

    You don’t need to look at the whole engine or understand much if anything about it. Simply remove each connection past the battery (you find them by following the wires/cable starting on the battery, with a finger or your eyes like reading a map). Inspect all mating surfaces (they have to be shinny) and clean each one til it shines, fine grit sand paper or the brass brush I mentioned works perfectly, one at a time, and reconnect each. The garage guy just did the battery connections when replacing the battery so let them alone.

    You don’t need much strength to loosen/tighten electrical cables. But if you do, add a piece of pipe (metal or plastic like schedule 40 PVC) onto the end of the wrench you are using to give you more leverage and you’ll be fine and build some confidence in your abilities, and FEEL much better ’bout most everything. Or, tap the wrench with a hammer or larger wrench to loosen/tighten things. IOWs, improvise until you succeed.

    If yer short, get a 3 step folding step stool and take it with you wherever you go.

    First things first, go spend the possibly $100 for the tools I mentioned previously and approach this glitch as you would approach eating a 32 oz steak to win a million bucks and a new PTV; one smallish manageable bite at a time. Quit feeling bad about it and just go do it. It won’t fix itself. I promise you’ll feel better. There can’t be more than 3-4 connections. And if the thing won’t start again down the road, you’ll know it’s the a bad spot in the motor or the solenoid. If it’s a Ford, they used to have a separate solenoid mounted on the fender well inside the engine compartment with 4 wires. Google Images and a search for Ford solenoid should come up with a picture for you. Or take a picture of whatever you don’t know what it is and post it in the blog, someone will tell you what the thing is.

    You build confidence by attempting things and failing or succeeding. If we put the time in to figure out what we did wrong, we learn from our mistakes, so don’t be afraid to make a mistake.

    Turning a bolt or nut to the left loosens and to the right tightens. Righty tighty, lefty loosy. In this case there are no bolts, just 2-6 nuts. And the wire/cable comes off the stud bolt.


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, Gary. If you only knew how many times I’ve smashed a hand trying to hit a wrench with a hammer. I cleaned off a few connections. If I attempt all these things, the next time it doesn’t start I won’t know if it is the original problem or something I caused because I didn’t tighten something well enough. Follow like a map? There is a big ol emission control thing in the way, plus a huge receptacle for fluid. The “map” is mostly hidden. If I loosen something in my yard, I’ll need another tow. There is absolutely no one I can call to help me who will not expect to be paid.

      Oh, you mean a bolt turns just like a faucet . . .

      You may think I’m timid about trying new things. In this case, just being sensible. I understand levers and my limitations. I moved a small building once by leveraging it up onto telephone type poles (only shorter) and causing it to roll with applied leverage. It was in the wrong spot in my back yard. I don’t have the stamina to attempt those kinds of things anymore. And its too hot!

      I’m going to have to find someone to do these things while I watch to make sure it’s done right and thoroughly. If it’s so darn easy to do, someone ought to be able to do it for me. Thanks for outlining exactly what needs to be done.

      • Jeff says:

        Hi Sue,
        Bring the PTV over and I would be glad to look at it for you and won’t charge you a thing….course I am in northern California but if you can get by that small detail I’m offering:) But on a serious note this thing is just a small glitch and it’s better to work it out where you are than somewhere 2000 miles from home towing a trailer. However even if it came to that it is totally fixable for a relatively small amount of inconvenience. Look at it this way at least it won’t break down and make you late for work!! Jeff.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Dear, dear Jeff,

          Thank you so much! I needed someone to put this into perspective. I feel better for having read your message.

          I tried starting the PTV. It kept whining and wouldn’t start on the first try. At least it wasn’t dead quiet like before. It started on the second try. I cancelled my class at the firing range for tomorrow. I’m taking the PTV to the garage (or the tow truck is). They are going to go over it from battery to starter. If I have to replace the starter and the solenoid, I’m going to grin and bear it. After all, it’s not like a paid a lot of money for this vehicle or I have payments on it every month.

  6. Hi Sue,
    I have enjoyed your blog, thanks for sharing. We have full-timed for about 6 six years and have enjoyed every minute. We were cautious at first. We sold our home and “stuff”, loaded a few items in our 5th wheel and heading out for Missouri. We decided to try full-timinng for 3 months and see if we would continue. That was six years ago. We liked it.

    I do have one suggestion regarding the breakdowns. We purchased an annual 24-hour emergency roadside assistance program for a under a $100.00 per year. Great program. They have changed our flats, given us jump starts, tow us to garages, and a few other services at no additional cost. You can call them at 800-601-3244 or check out their website at Peace of mind and a savings of mucho $$ over the years.

    Herb and Cindy

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Welcome, Herb and Cindy . . . I’ll look into the roadside service.. I’m curious: What part of the country were you in when you were given this good service?

      So you like fulltiming. Good for you! I like the phrase “enjoyed every minute.” I’m glad you are also enjoying my blog.

      Thanks for the tip.

      • We had a blowout on our 5th wheel in the middle of nowhere outside of Pecos, Texas. It was late and the sun was going down. Called Road Care and a wrecker came out of Pecos and retrieved the spare (it was flat). They had a portable air compressor (thank goodness) and inflated the tire, then they mounted it and away we went. We followed the tow truck to a tire store. It was closed, but the tow truck radioed the owner and he opened up, sold me a new set of tires (at a very reasonable price), balanced them, and replaced all of my seven year old RV tires. Fifty miles later we found a place to camp. No charge for the tow truck and their services.

        Second event. I was backing into a spot on a lake in Oklahoma with my F-350 and my truck transmission blew. I called Road Care. They send a tow truck to my location in about 30 minutes. The tow truck hitched up to my 5th wheel and completed the placement in our camp site. He then towed my truck to a transmission place (highly recommended) and took me back to the rv. The transmission place fixed my transmission and we were on the road in two days. No charge for the tow truck.

        Third event. Traded for a class A motorhome, kept it for a year to travel Mexico. I was driving north of Houston, Texas when an inside rear tire blew. Called Road Care. Tow truck came in about 45 minutes, changed the tire, and we were on the road in about two hours. No charge.

        Fourth and Fifth event. I left my ignition switch on for several hours on my towed – ran my battery down. Tow truck came out jump started my car. No charge. Also number five, a friend was visiting at a lake site. He locked himself out of his car. Called Road Care and told them I locked myself out of the car. Tow truck appeared about 45 minutes later, unlock the car, and handed over the keys. No charge. I recommend this service without hesitation. Herb

  7. susan coltrin says:

    what are you up to ? You have us worried…..

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m sorry, Susan! I’ve been getting a lot of little tasks, including housecleaning, out of the way. I tried to write yesterday but things needing to get done kept nagging at me so I couldn’t focus on writing. It’s nice to know I’m missed.

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