Crabs; Antiques; BBQ; Baseball Games; Travel Trailers; and More Roof Work (Cotton Lane RV Resort, Goodyear AZ)

It’s been a busy week or so since my last posting.  Most of the Alpine SoCal group left the park after the Spring Training Rally officially ended and we’ve been on-the-go ever since:

We celebrated our daughter Jennifer’s birthday (Monday the 14th) at Angry Crab Shack®.




Oldest daughter Jennifer and our grandson Kaan.


After our somewhat expensive dinner of crab legs in a bag, we went over to the Brass Armadillo® antique mall to browse around.  This is a pretty cool place that we heard about from one of our fellow Alpine Coach owners.  We spent an hour or so, walking around this huge place.  Check out the website.



This was a really cool place, you can spend hours here wandering around looking at the numerous booths.  Lots of childhood memories can be found here, regardless of what age you are:)

Kaan at Brass Armadillo Antique Mall.

Some of the Alpine Coach SoCal members that are still at the Cotton Lane RV Resort and/or still in the Phoenix area, put together another great group gathering at the local Wildlife Zoo’s popular eatery on Tuesday evening.  Dillon’s K.C. Style Barbecue was a really neat dining experience.



The Alpine Coach SoCal group meets yet again for another awesome dining-out experience.







On Wednesday evening we joined fellow Alpine Coach owner’s Noel & Carol Peck, Jack & Linda Giddens, and Ed & Donna Mathews for a night-time baseball game at the Peoria Sports Complex.



Stilla and I enjoyed our night out with good friends and watched the San Francisco Giants beat the San Diego Padres.  Fun times!



Throughout the week, we have been actively looking at travel trailers for our daughter Jennifer and finally found what I think is a good deal at a consignment park.


We found a 2005 Starcraft Homestead model 29SBS that I negotiated a decent price on.



We then spent a couple of full days driving around the Phoenix area looking for family-friendly RV parks to set Jennifer and Kaan up in their new trailer.  What a hectic couple days… we probably went through a tank or two of gas driving around town.  There’s a wide range of high-end (expensive) parks and an equally large amount of not-so-good (cheap) parks.  I saw at least 4 other Alpine Coaches at various parks throughout Phoenix while checking out locations.  One day, we even met up briefly with Mike & Donna Kuper ( at their current location (a nice place but unfortunately an age restricted park) on the east-side of Phoenix.

Meanwhile, we enjoyed a couple more evening get-togethers back at Cotton Lane RV Resort with our friends from the Alpine SoCal  group that are still here in the park.



We finally found a nice RV and Mobile Home park in Glendale to set up the new travel trailer.  I had to borrow the consignor’s hitch to move it over to the park since mine is sitting in our cargo trailer back at the “dirt farm” in Casa Grande.  We reserved a month here for Jennifer and also got us a neighboring spot starting on Sunday the 20th when we have to move from our current spot at Cotton Lane RV Resort.



After getting the trailer set up in the new park, I was able to get the title transferred with no problem at a convenient Arizona ‘3rd party’ DMV location.  I also filled the propane tanks, and did a full inspection while trying to figure out all the controls and buttons.

The roof needs a good cleaning and some re-caulking in areas.  The refrigerator didn’t seem to work at first, but started doing alright after I messed with some wires in the access panel on the back.  ‘Dodged a bullet’ there… repairing the refrigerator could have been expensive.  It seemed to be getting cool when we did our walk-thru prior to purchase, but it wasn’t hooked up very long to power in order for us to make a proper assessment.

There’s still a couple buttons I haven’t figured out and I haven’t tested the heater yet… probably don’t need it anytime soon anyway, right?  I also couldn’t get the water pump to work, but since we’re hooked up to water it’s not an issue yet… maybe I have to fill the water tank first, but I didn’t even hear the pump run.  Anyway, there’s no shortage of things to do…



I also had to replace the door lock since it didn’t come with keys.  Luckily, I found a replacement at Camping World®, but unfortunately I had to modify the opening to get it to fit right… nothing’s ever easy 🙂

Old door lock on Jenny’s trailer. I had to replace this with a new handle and lock.

Meanwhile, I helped another park model owner at the Cotton Lane RV Resort fix their shingles.  You may recall that I did the same for another resident last week, and word-of-mouth got me involved in another repair job.  Oh well, it feels good to help out and the owner’s gave us a few bucks for our time.



We’re now moved over (Monday, 21 March) to our new spot at the Mobile Home and RV park where I set up Jennifer and Kaan.  On Sunday, we said our see-ya-later’s to Jack & Linda Giddens who also left the park on Sunday and Noel & Carol Peck who are staying for another day or two.  They will be the last ones to leave Cotton Lane after our awesome Alpine SoCal Spring Training Rally… we’re looking forward to next year!

Check back soon, to see see what we’re up to.  I’m not sure how often I’ll post since it looks like we’ll be sitting still for a little while until Jenny gets situated here in Phoenix.  Our next destination is the Alpine SoCal Rally at Newport Dunes, CA at about this time next month.


Going Out to the Ball Game & Papago Park (Cotton Lane RV Park, Goodyear, AZ)

Most of our Alpine SoCal group left the Cotton Lane RV Resort on Saturday since the Spring Training Rally is officially over 🙁  Everyone said their “see-ya-later’s” with a little sadness and lots of hugs 🙂

I was able to extend for a day in my same spot, but had to move over to another site in the park on Sunday so we can stay another week.  The weekly rate works out to be a pretty reasonable $28 per day after military discount.  We’re paid up through Saturday the 19th when we’ll have to decide where to go next.  At least five other Alpines also stayed on here: The Archer’s; Giddens; Peck’s; Langord’s; and Mathew’s.

On Saturday, I spent some time over at the RV park wash area, cleaning and detailing the Harley.  Stilla spent some time at the pool again with our daughter Jennifer and grandson Kaan who came by to visit again.  I also supervised Noel getting some windows replaced (below), some of his double-pane windows started fogging up which isn’t uncommon as our Alpine’s age gracefully.



We also got some pics of a roadrunner that was hanging around near our site.  He was pretty cool to watch as he went around looking for leftovers from the many BBQ’s and outside dining areas:



Sunday morning we finished packing up to change sites as I mentioned earlier.  Our new site was still occupied, so we had to wait for the current occupants to leave.  We hung out with some of our fellow Alpiner’s that are still here while we waited.

Noel, Ed, and Jack waiting for the parade that didn’t happen.

We moved over to our new site in the park and got set up in time to meet my mom, stepdad, daughter Jennifer, and grandson Kaan at the Salt River Fields stadium at Talking Stick before noon.  We bought tickets over a week ago for the Colorado Rockies vs. LA Dodgers game.



(L to R) Jennifer, Kaan, Mom (Arlene), and Stepdad (Jimmy).
Jenny, Kaan, and Stilla.


It was a good game, but the Rockies lost to the Dodgers (6-4) 🙁  Kaan really enjoyed the game, it was his first time.  He also got the opportunity to run the bases with other kids after the game.

Kaan standing in line to run the bases after the ball game.

Here’s Kaan (below) running around the bases.  He was pretty fast…


He was even on the jumbotron screen!



Kaan high-fived the Rockies mascot with his Colorado Rockies ‘giant foam hand’ as he ran across the home plate 🙂


After the game, we parted ways with my mom and stepdad, they had to get back to the “dirt farm” in Casa Grande.  But Jenny, Kaan, and Stilla weren’t ready to call it a day yet, so we convoyed over to nearby Papago Park (←link) where the Phoenix Zoo and Desert Botanical Gardens are located.




We parked and walked around the ponds and enjoyed the nice evening weather.

Jenny, Kaan, and Stilla at Papago Ponds.


Here you can see Hunt’s Tomb (below), according to the Parks & Recreation website; “Hunt’s tomb is a white pyramid that is visible from almost any point in the park.  Entombed here is Governor George Wiley Paul Hunt, who set a national record by being elected to the first, second, third, sixth, seventh, eighth and 10th term as Arizona’s governor.  Hunt was born in 1859 and died in 1934.  Also entombed here are his wife, Helen, her parents, the J. W. Ellisons, and her sister, Lena Ellison.  From the tomb, one can enjoy a wonderful view in all directions, including a view of Hole-in-the-Rock.”




We decided to take the short hike up to the Hole-in-the-Rock:



Click (HERE) for more info from my friend Wikipedia™ on the Hole-in-the-Rock.



Kaan at Hole-in-the-Rock, Papago Park, Phoenix AZ.
Jenny, Stilla, and Kaan at Hole-in-the-Rock, Papago Park, Phoenix AZ.


View of Papago Ponds from the Hole-in-the Rock (below).


Stilla and Jenny at Hole-in-the-Rock, Papago Park, Phoenix AZ.

And a blog post just isn’t complete without another fine Arizona sunset picture from our drive back to the RV Resort.


When Stilla and I returned to the RV Park, we found our core group of Alpiner’s outside their coaches continuing on with the tradition of Happy Hour and Hor d’oeuvres 🙂  We joined them again for a short while before turning in for the night.  What a great group those Alpine SoCal folks are!

Stay tuned… I’ll post again soon if anything interesting happens.


Alpine SoCal Spring Training Rally – Day 7 and some roof maintenance (Goodyear, AZ)

Our last official Rally Day 7 (Friday) was another unqualified success and an awesome finish to another superb week-long Alpine SoCal rally!

Spring Training Rally Info Packet

Rally host Bob Bowers and co-host Stephanie Archer posed for a picture together during our final breakfast together.  Bob toasted bagels one last time while Stephanie kept the donuts, yogurts, fruit, and hard-boiled eggs stocked.


Breakfast was outstanding as usual and provided a great start to our last official rally day.


We lost one coach this morning; Rick & Judy Fisher had to hit the road early.  See you next time!


After breakfast, I used the morning to get up on the roof of the Coach to see if I needed to recaulk anything.  While inspecting my solar panels I noticed the tape on the sides was getting pretty worn out.  I never gave this (black duct) tape much thought in the past and never questioned why it was even there… maybe I should have because after I peeled the old tape off, I found that it was actually holding one of my panels in place!  I was missing two bolts on one side of the forward panel.  These bolts are very hard to see and get to because the panels were originally bolted to the aluminum brackets which were then screwed onto the roof.


I also unplugged the wire that goes down into the roof and found the connector to be corroded with one of the pins rusted away.  This means that I haven’t been getting any voltage to the batteries.  I had to wonder how long its been that way.



There was also some damage at one front corner of the solar panel.  It looked like the screw holes in one corner where one side is connected to the other were broken out and the screws were missing.


After seeing all these issues with my solar panels, I decided to just take them down off the roof to make repairs and/or get them replaced.  It was very difficult to get to the bolts in the limited space under the panels, but as I mentioned earlier, I only had to get one off on the side where the two panels are side-by-side because one of the bolts was already missing.  I was able to lift the forward panel enough to get underneath with my wrench.  I have to wonder how I’ll get those two bolts back on there when the time comes… maybe I’ll have to take the brackets off the roof too.


Here’s what the space looks like with the solar panels removed (below).  There’s about ten years of dust and dirt accumulated under those panels.


Here’s the panels I took off the roof (below).  Thanks to Noel and another resident here at the RV park for helping me get them down the ladder.  I used a multimeter on the corroded connector to see if they were still putting out any voltage and found a respectable 19.1 Volts were being cranked out.


Here’s the data sticker I found on the back of one of the 50 Watt panels.  Now I just have to see if I can fix the connector and the one panel corner I mentioned earlier.  But first, I have to go to the RV Park office to see if we can extend our stay here at the park.  We’re only paid up to Saturday the 12th.


After getting the solar panels down off the roof, I used some self-leveling caulk that I still had on hand to touch up a few spots on the roof.  All in all, it doesn’t look too bad up there, I just have to stay on top of any cracks that develop in the old caulking in the future.  Maybe I’ll get some of that Eternabond® tape that I noticed a few of my fellow Alpiners have across their front and rear cap seams.

I went to the park office and found out we might have to leave the RV park if an opening doesn’t come up soon.  The NASCAR race is going on this weekend in Phoenix and all the spots are filled.  I’ll go back on Saturday to see if we can extend.  Meanwhile, I finished up what I could on the roof and then relaxed a bit while watching Noel and Jack play another game of “washer throw” or whatever they call the game.  Ed kept score.  At least the rules didn’t keep changing like they did the last time I played 🙂




Noel Peck and Jack Giddens after a cutthroat game of “washer throw”.  The beers were courtesy of Jim & Stephanie from Durango, CO.

Before we knew it… it was time again for Happy Hour and our group BBQ.


Bill Figge was at it again with his famous margaritas!


Ed replaced Jack as the unskilled (or is it semi-skilled) labor this time to assist Bill 🙂


The ladies of Alpine SoCal posed for a great picture:

The ladies of Alpine SoCal… calendar coming soon…

The Happy Hour “circle” grew larger and larger as it came time to start the (bring your own meat) group BBQ.



Mike Hambarian brought out some tasty spicey-guacamole dip that was a big hit.


Jack was seen jumping in to help Bill with the margarita’s after Ed went missing at one point 🙂


Our daughter Jennifer and grandson Kaan came by to visit and spend the night with us which is always a treat (especially for Stilla) 🙂


Jack experimented with limes soaked in tequila overnight.  He might be on to something here…


Folks started bringing out their choice of meat to throw on the BBQ grills that were fired up and ready:

Joe Green.
Mike Hambarian.
Bob Bowers.

Lots of side dishes also appeared on the rally tables.


Bill and Jack were seen discussing some clearly important matter(s) 🙂  Probably related to Margaritas…

Before long all the grills were cranking out the BBQ and we all started eating (again) 🙂





Good food; Good people!




We took a moment to thank our rally host(s) and co-host(s) Bob & Connie Bowers, Jim and Stephanie Archer.  Thanks guys… another A+ rating and a tough act to follow for future rally hosts!  We also sang happy birthday to a few folks (names withheld to protect the guilty) and/or those who wish to remain anonymous 🙂





Our lighted neon margarita sign really came to life as dusk fell on our awesome gathering.


Finally, it was time to take down our Ez-Up tents and stack the chairs.  As usual, many folks jumped in to help out.




And then the party wound down and we all (slowly) went back to our respective coaches to reflect on all the good times that we are fortunate enough to experience.




This morning (Saturday) I was able to score another spot here at the Cotton Lane RV Resort for another week.   We’ll have to change spots but that’s okay.  A few others in the Alpine SoCal group are also staying on.  So check back soon to see what we’re up to…

Alpine SoCal Spring Training Rally – Day 6 (Goodyear, AZ)

And here we are at Day 6 (Thursday) of our Alpine SoCal Rally here at Cotton Lane RV Resort, Goodyear, AZ.  Read on for a recap of our day:

Spring Training Rally Info Packet

Breakfast was back on the agenda… and was superb as usual – thanks Bob & Connie / Jim & Stephanie!

Bob Bowers manning his breakfast station.

Folks sat around and socialized after breakfast for a good while.



After breakfast, most of the rally attendees went off to do there own thing.  Some went to another Spring Training baseball game, others enjoyed other local attractions, and a few just hung out here at the RV Park.  Stilla and I fell into the later category; we just hung around and relaxed most of the day except for a quick shopping trip for groceries.

Around dinnertime, Frank Krauland picked us up in his Jeep and drove us to Raul & Theresa’s Mexican Restaurant where we joined the rest of our SoCal group for our evening meal.



More good food with good people!


Mike Hambarian and Frank Krauland pose for selfies.


Frank Krauland brought an item for “show-and-tell” (below).  He had poor water pressure in his kitchen sink on the cold water side so he took apart his lines today and pulled out this small chunk of white rock-like material.  We joked that his Coach had passed a kidney stone 🙂  It’s probably a clump of minerals from the hard water that is so prevalent here in the southwest.


The food was great.  Servers brought us plates of tacos, enchiladas, rice and beans from the small buffet line they set up for our group.


One table was the last to leave.  I guess they were having so much fun, they didn’t want to go.



And so ends another fine Alpine SoCal rally day… check back tomorrow…

Alpine SoCal Spring Training Rally – Day 5 (Goodyear, AZ)

Another great Alpine SoCal Rally day!  Welcome to your Day 5 (Wednesday) rally recap:

Spring Training Rally Info Packet

As you can see from the rally agenda (above), our rally hosts get the day off… breakfast was on our own.  Stilla fixed us some delicious sausage and eggs.

The Urban Escape Vehicle parked at Cotton Lane RV Resort.


After we finished breakfast on our own, our Alpine SoCal Treasurer Rick Fisher picked me up and drove us over to a local Wells Fargo™ branch so I could be added to our club account.  As the newly-elected president of the club, I need to be able to access our funds in situations when the treasurer isn’t around, etc.,

Once Rick and I finished up with the bank account and returned to the park, Stilla and I went over to talk to the nice lady (Maggie) that we’ve been helping with the roof shingle repairs on her park model house here in the RV park (see yesterday’s post).  We needed to finish securing some of the old shingles on the edges of the roof with caulking to to keep them from flapping in the wind and breaking off.  I already replaced all the missing shingles yesterday and ran out of caulking.  Today, I just wanted to finish the job and make sure I did quality work so the roof repairs last for a good long while.

We needed more caulking, so Stilla and I made a trip over to Home Depot™ on the Harley.


After securing a couple more tubes of roof caulking from Home Depot™ and spending another hour or so on the roof, all the repairs are done.  Maggie paid us for the materials and gave us a little for the time and labor.  Thanks Maggie, hope that roof holds up for you for a good long time 🙂


I finished up the roof repairs by early afternoon.  Around that time, our daughter Jennifer and grandson Kaan came by to visit.  Kaan got out of school early today, so we decided to check out the pool and hot tub here at the Cotton Lane RV Resort.



After enjoying some fun time in the pool, we got ready for our evening with the Alpine SoCal group.  It was time for Social Hour with Margaritas and Hors d’Oeuvres.  Everyone gathered outside our Rally host(s) Bob & Connie Bower’s Coach which is next to our designated get-together site.


Bill Figge served up lots of his “famous” margaritas with the (somewhat) qualified help of Jack Giddens 🙂


And everyone showed up with lots of tasty hors d’oeuvres and assorted treats.  No one left hungry or thirsty, thats for sure…



A lighted neon margarita sign adorned the table so we all knew where to go for refills throughout the evening.


Jack Giddens and Bill Figge posed for a couple of pics:


Margaritas anyone?


We all socialized until the sun went down.  More good Alpine camaraderie :).





And another fine Alpine day comes to a close…


… join us again tomorrow for Day 6 of the Alpine SoCal Spring Training Rally…


Alpine SoCal Spring Training Rally – Day 4 (Goodyear, AZ)

Welcome back!   Here we are on Day 4 (Tuesday) of the latest Alpine SoCal Rally :

Spring Training Rally Info Packet

It looks like the official count of Alpine Coaches in attendance is 13 according to our Wagon Master.  Unfortunately, the RV Resort couldn’t fit us all in on the same street, but most of us are on the back row here at Cotton Lane RV Resort (←site map link).


Our Rally Host(s) Bob & Connie Bowers along with Co-Host(s) Jim & Stephanie Archer took a break today from the (now) standard breakfast routine of toasted bagels and hard-boiled eggs.  This morning’s fare consisted of breakfast burritos!  We had our choice of bacon or sausage… yumm!



Alpine SoCal morning socialization.

After breakfast, everyone went about their day… some went to another baseball game, while others took off to enjoy some of the many other local attractions.  Us?  Well, Stilla and I worked on replacing some of the shingles for a lady that owns a park model here in the RV Resort.  I mentioned in my last post that we committed to helping her out and we went to Home Depot™ and got a bundle of shingles, roofing nails, and a tube of roofing caulk.



I spent the morning fitting in some new shingles to replace the ones that were missing or broken from age and wind.  Stilla supervised and made sure I didn’t fall off the ladder or roof.  The nice lady (Maggie) will reimburse us for the materials and give us a little extra for our time and effort.  We’re glad to help out.



After replacing the missing shingles, I went around the roof and glued down lots of loose shingles.  I ran out of caulking and there are still a large number of loose shingles on the edge of the roof where the wind damage is the worst.  I think I’ll go back and get another tube or two of roof caulking to finish the job so Maggie doesn’t have to do anything more to her roof for (hopefully) quite a while.


After finishing up (for now) the shingles… Noel Peck and I took a nice motorcycle ride to Wickenburg (←link).


Noel Peck “In the Wind”.


In Wickenburg we stopped for liquid refreshments at the local Elks Lodge #2160.  Check out their website which details the historic lodge bar which was originally taken from a saloon in Silverton, CO, before 1850.



After an adult beverage at the Elks Lodge, we decided to check out another local Wickenburg establishment for a quick lunch before we headed back to the Cotton Lane RV Resort




I forgot to reset the odometer before we left, but I think we put on around 180 miles for the day.  It was a good day.  Any day you can spend on the motorcycle is a good day 🙂  Here we are (below) taking a quick break.


When we got back to the RV park in Goodyear, I caught a ride with fellow Alpiner Frank over to Rudy’s™ “Country Store” and BBQ for our scheduled evening meal where we met up with Stilla again.  She had spent the day with our daughter Jennifer and grandson Kaan while I was out riding with Noel.

We had an awesome buffet-style meal in our own private room.  We decided to forego the membership meeting and just concentrated on enjoying our meal and conversation with our fellow Alpine SoCal group members 🙂





Check back tomorrow for a full recap of our Alpine SoCal “Spring Training” Rally Day 5…





Alpine SoCal Spring Training Rally – Days 1 thru 3 (Goodyear, AZ)

Were having so much fun here in Goodyear, AZ at the Alpine SoCal Spring Training Rally that it’s hard to find time to update the blog!  Let me try to bring you up to date with our activities since my last post:

First of all, here’s our rally agenda for the week (below).

Spring Training Rally Info Packet

On Saturday the 5th, we drove the Urban Escape Vehicle from the “dirt farm” in Casa Grande to our rally site in Goodyear, AZ.  I opted to take the long way around and drive ~20 miles further in order to avoid the Phoenix inner-city traffic.  We took I-8 west to Gila Bend, then turned north on Hwy 85 and east again on I-8 – a total of 98 miles.  If I had taken I-10 north, the trip would have been only ~78 miles (but with heavy traffic).  It’s always nice to avoid those city folk rushing around to and from work whenever you’re running a 33,000 lb. rig down the road with a full-size pickup in tow .

Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 6.31.03 AM

Here we are at Cotton Lane RV Resort (←link).  I think we have approximately 15 Coaches in attendance.  I’ll have to check with our rally host(s) to confirm the number.

Row of Alpine Coaches at the Cotton Lane RV Resort in Goodyear, AZ.

We arrived just in time for the pizza dinner:



There weren’t many pieces of pizza left after we got done.


Good times with good people (as usual) at any Alpine Coach Rally 🙂  Stilla and I closed out the evening watching TV outside Frank Krauland’s coach along with our daughter Jennifer and grandson Kaan who stopped by to visit.  Frank has a nice TV setup in his basement compartment and a propane fire pit.  Nice 🙂


Sunday morning was our first group breakfast.  Our rally host(s) Bob & Connie Bowers along with co-host(s) Jim & Stephanie Archer emulated the previous high standard set by Dave & Nicole Guhsé with regard to breakfast.


Here’s Bob (on the right, below) toasting bagels.  We also had hard-boiled eggs along with the standard fare of fruits, yogurts, donuts, etc.,


On Sunday, fellow Apine Coach owner Noel Peck and I went out for a nice afternoon motorcycle ride while Stilla went to the zoo with our daughter Jennifer and grandson Kaan who are now living in nearby Glendale.  You may recall that I left the ATV in Casa Grande and loaded up the Harley for this latest trip.  I downloaded the Harley from the pickup after breakfast with Noel’s help.

Noel Peck.


In the evening (on Sunday) after “Happy Hour” most of our rally attendees carpooled and/or convoyed over to Waddell’s Longhorn Corral for dinner.  A nice place with a unique atmosphere.  Their menu claims that they have “warm beer, bad food, and lousy service” 🙂  We found it to be quite acceptable.  Check out their website.





On Monday morning, we all gathered again for an outstanding breakfast.  Our rally hosts and co-hosts are doing a super job taking care of everyone’s needs.  Thanks Bob & Connie / Jim & Stephanie!






After breakfast, I played a game of “washer toss” with Jack, Ed, and Noel.  I can’t say who won because it might create some animosity 🙂



During a morning walk around the RV Resort, several of us “guys” were approached by a park resident that owns one of the park models.  She needs help fixing some shingles.  I went back later with Stilla and committed to help her out.



Stilla and I made a trip to the local Home Depot™ to buy a bundle of shingles along with some adhesive and a few nails.  I’ll go back later as time permits to help her fix the shingles.  It’s a good feeling to be able to help others out.  The nice lady (Maggie) that owns the park model is from England and had received high estimates to fix her shingles.  I’ll do it for the cost of the parts and maybe take a small donation for the time.

Many of the rally attendees went to various ball games during the day in and around the Phoenix area.  We attended the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks game on the 3rd with my mom and stepdad, so we didn’t feel the need to go to another game so soon.  Plus, we already have tickets for the Rockies and LA Dodgers on the 13th… we’ll take daughter Jennifer and grandson Kaan to that one.

Around 4:30 it was time for Happy Hour again 🙂  It was a little breezy with a bit of a chill is in the air, but not enough to stop us  from gathering and socializing.




Dinner is “on your own” according to the rally agenda this evening (Monday), but most of us all carpooled and/or convoyed over to Roman’s Oasis to continue our Alpine socializing.


Roman’s Oasis doesn’t appear to have a website I can link you to, but here’s a link to my ‘blogging friend’ GoogleImages® for this interesting hangout.  The food and service were great, especially for a Monday night.  The company was awesome as usual 🙂


After another great evening with our Alpine friends, we retired to our respective Coaches to get ready for more Alpine fun.

Stay tuned…


A Little R&R “Rest & Refit” at the Dirt Farm (Casa Grande, AZ)

My last posting was on 23 February.  Since then… for the last week and a half or so, we’ve been hanging around the “dirt farm” with my Mom and brother in Casa Grande.

Not a whole lot of exciting things to blog about while we spend some quality family time with my Mom, Stepdad Jim, brother Steven & Cheryl.  However, I did get a few maintenance items taken care of… read on if interested:

Long time blog readers may remember that I had to replace my inverter/charger last year.  An autopsy of the old inverter indicated that the cooling fans gave up the ghost and caused it to overheat and shut down.  I decided to see what I could do to prevent this from happening to the new one.


I got a hold of some thin gauge sheet metal from my stepdad here at the farm.


I cut some notches on one side after putting in a small bend so it will tuck behind the wall-mounted inverter/charger behind the existing bolts.  I put black tape on the sharp edges.


I loosened the top two bolts from the wall and sandwiched my new dust guard between the wall and the inverter/charger.


The finished product should now keep some of the dust from settling onto the inverter/charger and (hopefully) prolong the internal components (fans) useful life.  There are also a couple water lines running above the inverter, so this shield should theoretically protect it from any water damage from above as well.


My new dust guard was just long enough to flex under the crossmember and up over the main bedroom slide cylinder.  No further mounting screws or clamps were needed.


Here’s the finished dust guard/shield (below) as viewed from the passenger-side rear basement door.  Not bad eh?  Even if I do say so myself 🙂  It still has plenty of room on all sides for the internal fans to draw air for cooling and is now protected on top.


My next project was to do something about the dust that always gets stirred up when the air compressor reaches its maximum pressure and blows air directly at the ground when the cut-off valve opens at the bottom of the air drier.  My solution was a PVC elbow that directs the air to the rear of the coach instead of the ground.  I cut multiple notches on one end of the plastic elbow so the plastic would squeeze tightly and hold with an ordinary hose clamp.  Now, when the air compressor releases its excess pressure, the forceful blast of air is directed to the rear of the coach instead of directly down on the ground while still allowing any condensation to drain off.


For my next project, I even got mom involved… the edge of my awning was starting to unravel at the corner.


I set up a step ladder so mom could show me how to do some sewing.



Of course, by the time I learned how to sew… mom was already finished.  Oh well, at least I’ll know how to do it myself next time.. right?  Thanks Mom!


Then, I decided to take the generator covers off to check things out and do a general cleaning.


Once I had the top cover off, I found an exhaust leak between the exhaust manifold and the muffler.

Generator exhaust manifold (as viewed from top looking down) on passenger side.

Unfortunately, to get to the offending part, I had to get the passenger-side cover off… not an easy task 🙁  There is one hidden bolt behind the angle bracket (below).


Here it is circled in red (below).  As you can see from the picture, there isn’t any room to remove the bolt without taking the whole front nose of the coach apart.

IMG_7037 2

Luckily, we’re here at the “dirt farm” where I have all my tools stored.  So I pulled out my angle attachment for a sawzall® and attached a small metal-cutting blade.


With the attachment installed, I was able to cut the bolt head off with only minor scratches to the panel.


After the sawzall® did its job on the bolt head, I finished off what was left of the bolt with a small hacksaw.


With the passenger-side panel finally off, I removed the exhaust pipe.  I also found the reason it was cracked.  The muffler was twisted off two of the three rubber mounts at the bottom.  This was caused by the exhaust pipe that extends out the drivers-side of the coach which had been hit at one time or another in the past.  I’m guessing it was the previous owner since I know I didn’t hit anything.  I had always wondered why the exhaust pipe mount had such a weird angle to it.


Here’s the exhaust manifold pipe below.  You can see the black exhaust soot at the bottom where the flex pipe was cracked.


View of the cracked flex-pipe (below).  There’s a wire mesh hose on the inside, I think it’s braided stainless steel.  If it wasn’t for this braided inner lining, the exhaust leak would have been really bad.


Here’s what I used to repair the hose.  I used both of these packages that I purchased at a local AutoZone™ store.


I wrapped the first layer of “bandage” tape around the crack in the flexible pipe.  This tape came with a wire to secure the bandage after the cloth-like material was soaked in a liquid that dries hard.  All this was in the package on the left (above).


Then I used the next package which consisted of a black sticky (gooey) tape to cover the first layer.


I also used some lacing wire to make sure the repair stays in place.  Here’s the freshly repaired pipe installed (below).  I also repaired the burned out insulation on the inside of the cover with heat-resistant reflective metal tape.


After the muffler was properly re-mounted into its rubber mounts hidden deep inside the bowels of the generator, I then attached a new exhaust clamp at the end of the pipe on the bracket.  The pipe comes out at a much better angle now and aligns much better now with the mounting bracket like it should.  I can’t believe how much quieter the generator is now!


I also changed the oil.  It’s much easier to get to the oil filter with the panel off.  I think I’ll do this job with the side panel removed in the future instead of fumbling through the small access plate underneath.  I didn’t have a new fuel filter so I’ll replace that next time.


With the generator back together again, I concentrated on cleaning and repainting the inner frame rails at the front of the coach.


Now, don’t get me wrong… we didn’t just do maintenance and cleaning on the coach while parked at the “dirt farm”.  I also cleaned and serviced the ATV and put it away in the shed.  Then I brought out the Harley and did some general cleaning on it as well.  I want to take it with us to the next rally in Goodyear, AZ on 5 March.

And when I wasn’t working or cleaning something we also had a little fun…  We went to the local dirt-track races at Arizona Speedway near Casa Grande one evening.  That was a good time.  We also went to our first Spring Training baseball game in Phoenix.  We watched the Colorado Rockies beat the Arizona Diamondbacks (6-5) at Salt River Flats, Talking Stick Stadium.   We had so much fun there, that we bought tickets for the 13th to watch the Rockies play the LA Dodgers at the same stadium.  It will be our daughter Jennifer’s birthday, so we’ll take her and and our grandson Kaan to this game.  Looking forward to that 🙂  It will be Kaan’s first baseball game.


Check in for my next post on the Alpine SoCal Spring Training Rally (Mar 5-12) in Goodyear, AZ.