May 31st, 2020

Adventure, Just things, Outdoors, Scotty Hilander, Travel, Uncategorized

Last night I went to bed at a decent time hoping to catch up on some sleep. I am staying in my trailer with my dog so we have our own world and Meghan and her family can have theirs.

I was awakened from my slumbers in the wee hours by what could easily be classified as gale force winds. Some of the plants on the porch were even blown over and hay and horse turds were scattered about the yard this morning when I took the dog out for a walk (speaking of scattering turds around! 🤣🤣). It wasn’t the noise that woke me as much as the shaking of the trailer. Even with the four outrigger stands deployed for stability the shaking was pretty intense. I laid there listening and thinking about the situation, flashing back to the similarities between that wind hitting my trailer and the memories of a truck I was in back in the 80’s being driven by someone way too fast and we rolled – it was just like a ride in a clothes dryer at the laundromat; I just flipped back over and soon went back to sleep since I couldn’t do anything about it.

After finally getting the stuff in the trailer whittled down to the necessities I decided to do some Spring cleaning – wiping out the window frames, cleaning the glass, etc. – and start looking at maintenance stuff. Now that I am able to spend more time in the trailer and looking things over I am finding many things that need to be fixed and a few upgrades I want to do to make life better during my travels. I had started doing a few things the last three years but my shoulder injury/surgery last year put a stop to doing anything more. Now I gotta get back at it to keep things from getting worse.

The trailer sat at the house in KS for about four years before I brought it home with me to Washington in 2017. On top of it being 12 years old now, things tend to deteriorate and break over time, and sitting through the seasonal extremes in KS did not help the condition (not really the extremes in Washington where I had it). The sun destroys plastics and fades paint and the decals. I replaced some plastic bumper caps yesterday that keep the sewer hose from falling out (the hoses are stored in the trailer bumper). The water leak I had in 2017 (due to the sealant putty melting in the hot sun and running down into wiring holes, basically unsealing the clearance lights on the roof) caused some damage to some of the wood inside the walls so I will have to take it in at some point for what will probably end up being some pretty costly repairs. The re-sealing I did around the clearance lights seems to be fine if not cosmetically pretty but I want to reseal them. Add to that the other things I replaced (cookstove vent, water inlet, taillights, carbon monoxide detector) I have actually done quite a bit already. I still have some more to do though.

Yesterday I did an upgrade to the ceiling vent fan in the main part of the trailer and today I replaced the one in the bathroom. The upgrade is a retrofit that goes into the existing fan housing so there is no worry about breaking the roof seal, hence no worry about roof leaks. It is a MUCH better 3-speed reversible fan that has a shroud so it moves much more air more efficiently, plus when run in reverse it can bring air in for a cool breeze from above – a very functional ceiling fan. Another added bonus is that with the shrouding around the fan it helps block out light; that can be helpful if staying in a commercial RV park (which I generally try to avoid but do stay on occasion to empty the sewer, get water, and charge up the batteries). Those places are lit up like the Las Vegas Strip and sometimes it is simply just the moon is shining bright.

I have a few more things on order I am waiting on and those should show up this week. I still need to pull the windows and reseal them with caulking instead of that problematic putty but that will be a big job. I even noticed the putty running out of the new water inlet I put in so that will need to come out and be resealed too. The microwave gave out but the space it was in makes for great storage so I may buy a new one and just leave it on the bed while traveling. The air conditioner (it’s a small window unit for a house) I am not sure about – it seems to be hit or miss, but it is at least 12 years old.

I also need to find a table for the rear dinette (the trailer has two that fold into beds). Unfortunately the old one got broken accidentally years ago. Currently I am using the makeshift setup my dad made which is basically five 1″x4″ pieces of oak to lay in the slot between the benches to make the bed. I could make one out of those pieces of oak to get by but I would really like to find a replacement similar to the original. That oak would look good finished though! As you can tell, though, I have plenty of other more important trailer projects to do for now.

I am trying to get to Colorado to meet up with some friends but I think we may have to wait a bit. The ‘rona is definitely affecting those plans since they do the hotel thing. In the meantime I have my eye on some new places I am anxious to explore here in Montana that I discovered on the map yesterday.

It is finally starting to feel like a real retirement!

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