Saturday, October 29, 2011

Officer Anthony Holly Memorial Poker Run

Getting ready to start the ride under sunny Phoenix skies for the memorial ride for an Officer killed in the line of duty.
It will be ridden in a pretty melancholy mood, as word came last night that another Officer here, died in the line of duty.
The Raider is sitting ready to ride up front, helping to lead out the Ride.
Riding in the Desert

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Nice Thing About Arizona...

Is... in most of it... If it snows during the night, all you have to do is wait a few hours, like maybe, Noon? and that stuff is Gone! :)

The sun comes out and no worries... Maybe a lil' later in the season, up here on the Mogollon... but not today.

"Lord it's good to be back home again"... who knew John was singin' about Arizona?! The air is fresh and pine scented. Most of the Oaks have lost their leaves, though some are shy and hangin' on to their cover.

I'd hang here on the rim for another few days... but I promised to be in Phoenix for a poker run tomorrow, so, dragging my feet I'll pull down off the rim today. Roll through Payson, and on south to Glendale.

The Mogollon Rim has been here for a couple of million years... it'll be here till we get back.

Arizona is Home

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Problem With Gloating Too Soon...

... is that on occasion, you get caught.

Yeah... you brag that you were smart enough to get out before the weather caught you... but then... you stop too soon :)

Like, hanging up on the Mogollon Rim, 'cause the weatherman promises only a chance of some scattered thundershowers...

... um ... never heard any thunder, and the sky is Definitely NOT sunny as promised! ;)

Aw well... it's not the 8 or 10 inches they got back where I ran out of either. If the sun does come out, this lil' skiff will melt away quick.

Down below, in the Phoenix valley they're still predicting 80+, so my winter is likely to be of reeeeal short duration.

Which is a good thing. 'cause in my old age, putting a motorcycle, with a seat full of ice and snow, in the wind just don't tickle my whiskers Any More!

So, a word to the wise; If you're contemplating cuttin' south for the sunny slopes of an Arizona winter...

... Don't say nuthin'... till you get there! Murphy and his Granddaddy, Old Man Winter, are just waitin' to pounce on the unsuspecting escapee who reveals his plans too soon! :)

Snow Dusted on The Mogollon

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cowboy and the Repaired Eagle Dodged an October Bullet

A few last minute bobbles held us up from pulling out until nearly four in the afternoon. So, we only ran as far as the North side of Denver to meet the kids for a 'last supper' before we pulled on south.

We'd been watching the weather and had a real desire to outrun the coming first storm of the winter. I've seen snow... no need to see any more just yet...

*An Artist in the Making*

Watching that little gal concentrate on her coloring is pretty fun. About the only really 'serious' time you find with her.

So, well satisfied by Famous Dave's, one more time, we pulled on down to our first night at the Walmart Resort in Castlerock! :) yeah... don't take much to keep a red neck biker cowboy happy. Being down to Castlerock would have us on the south side of the Denver morning rush hour come daybreak.

That gave us a head start in the morning sun, to run for our second Walmart Resort night in Los Lunas, New Mexico. The clouds seemed to build up behind us, and to the west as we ran south. Coming into Sante Fe, the clouds looked identical to those I outran a couple years ago... or thought I had.

That trip, when I turned west at Socorro thinking I was south of the snow, I ran headfirst, directly into the storm... Yeeeee-Uck!

This time... we got about six rain drops last night in Los Lunas... and got up to a nice dawn in our Walmart Resort lot spot. :)

*Los Lunas, NM Walmart Sunrise*

The storm, from what I could read in posts of FB friends was powdering Colorado pretty good. Lots of branches down and power off all over the place... Made me feel kinda guilty that I'd cut and run... Ha! Whupped you again Murphy! Ha Ha!

Over west of Socorro, hard on the Arizona line, we pulled in for an early lunch at a U.S. hwy 60 "rest area" that no one seems too proud of... Nice lil' spot... if you discount the tumble weeds. I guess somebody thought they should be left alone to allow for an authentic western atmosphere! ;)

*Rest area lunch stop on the New Mexico - Arizona line on Hwy 60*

If you were wondering... these pics all came from my phone... sometimes it takes good... sometimes... not so much...

Anyhoo, we made it to a spot up on top of the Mogollon Rim that we know and like. It sits in the pines just off Hwy 260 west of Heber.

*A Boondock camp on the Mogollon Rim west of Heber, Arizona*

... and there's been an improvement 'round here. Last time we set up here, I had to kick on my Wilson amplifier to link up online, or make a call. This time? 3G and a whole bunch of bars... whoooeee! High Grade Boondocking. Far country and Internet access! Suh-Wheet!

Likely stay here a couple nights and then roll on down to Phoenix. I'm scheduled to ride a memorial poker run on the 29th... then I'm a NASCAR driver again at PIR the following week. :)

Really! A genuine NASCAR driver! uh huh!

Yup... Driving one of the trams again! :) Hauling drunk red necks to and from the races! :)

So...I better go get my rest... so I'm in good condition for the high speeds encountered on the tram road!

Outrunning the Colorado Snows

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

With Snow Predicted for Raton in the Near Future... We're Getting Ready to Roll

Still working at the putting the Eagle back together, but that'll all be finished early Tuesday.

Not sure why, but, working bent over under the nose of the rig (it's sitting kind of low the way it's leveled right now) seems to be a lil' bit of an issue for my banged up, disabled vet butt. :)

Boo Hoo! I'm feelin' kind of stove up tonight. Took a fist full of ibuprophen and a Landshark beer... but... sniff sniff... I'm still gimpin' around like an old lady with the gout.

What a wimp! :)

With the welding completed I'd went to cutting and stuffing fresh insulation into the spaces twixt the structural beams of the rig.

*Fifth Wheel pin box repair*

You can see in this pic what we did. The angled plate that goes from the bottom/back of the pin box, up and welds to the back of the main mounting beam. Two additional re-enforcement plates on each side of the main plate. You can see one of the gussets we added above the angled section of the main plate.

And then, behind all that, the two new members that transfers some of the load/torque to the next cross member.

The whole idea was to not only repair the fractured parts, but, at the same time, disperse the pressures and impact across the whole frame from where a heavy % of the torque was concentrated by a faulty design on the lower ends of two vertical welds.

My comment to James was; "If I break this... I hope the Freightliner that T-Boned me is screwed up too!

Like I said... After I put a couple coats of Rustoleum on the finished repairs... I spent a few hours cutting and stuffing fresh insulation into the rig in preparation to install a fresh skin under the nose.

*Rigid insulation on a fifth wheel*

I cut it to fit pretty snug... and maybe... juuuuuust a mite too snug. By the time I got done punching two layers of the two inch rigid insulation up between the frame members... bent over like a hunch back... and literally, havin' to punch it into place... all my aggression was used up, and my broke parts were competin' with each other for my attention.

I was hopin' to be back on the road tomorrow. We may still make it... All I've got to do is make a couple more cuts of the skin, and get it screwed in place... but... knowing that Murphy is likely hidin' 'round here somewhere... I'm not gettin' all worked up about it.

If we do, we'll likely only go as far as Denver and spend the night at the kids place for one more bit of time with the Grandkid... That way... we'll be able to cross Raton Pass in the snow that's predicted for Wednessday! ;)

Anyhoo... one way or t'other, we'll be rollin' south real soon.

Buttoning up another RV repair, and ready for the road.

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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Progress Report on The Pin Box Repair

Made quite a bit of progress 'fore dark last evening... and he should button his part up today. The three main re-enforcement plates are attached and mostly welded in place... Still a few "burns" to make... but he ran out of daylight.

*Re-enforcing Plates*

Looks kinda different compared to the pathetic crap that had been stuck in there back in West Yellowstone... Don't ya think? Those welds look juuuuuuuuuust a mite different too don't they? :)

*West Yellowstone ... um... Welding?*

Amazing what a difference ability makes! and how bad you can get... um ... USED...  when you're stuck with the only game in town... and that Game, don't have a whole lot of integrity...

He's not done yet though. He'll run two 2X4 tubes back from the outside plates to the next cross member... as well as adding four large gussets to sturdy things up more.

So now, rather than all the torque, of the normal "rotation" physics of the pin box, concentrating a huge percentage of the pressure to the ENDS of the two main welds where the back of the pin box was attached; That torque will be dispersed, by those plates, so that it is pulling the plates, into, the back of the beam, rather than tearing away from the front, at those two small points, at the ends of those Two welds.

Plus, it is dispersed all along that beam, rather than focused in the center...Plus, it is dispersed through the two tubes, and four gussets to be added, all across the frame structure of the trailer.

Bottom line? THIS repair will hold, and, I won't be worryin'... when I cross the paint stripes on the pavement, when I'm pulling into a gas station, that the "Bump" is gonna split something! ;)

*Nunn, Colorado sunset*

Even the sunset was cheered up by the progress!

We'll soon be warming to the sunsets of the Arizona Desert. HooYa!

Ready to Roll... Just Gotta Be Patient

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Friday, October 21, 2011

How Many Leavings?

We've been here for more than three weeks now, patiently waiting to break into our welders schedule and complete the re-repair of the fiver.

He got the pieces and parts cut and formed over the last week. Last evening he began burning the metal to restore the Eagle to road worthiness.

In the meantime... in amongst all my other lil' chores, we've been culling a few more things off the rig. Which is kinda funny considering the comment Mark/Box Canyon Blogger made yesterday. (he advised to keep the rig we have... and just lighten the load and cull down to the Necessities!) That is, maybe, the most difficult part of working to get into this lifestyle... The discarding of all those precious possessions. (that just aren't that precious!)

You can talk about it. You can say THIS is what I must do. You can head off down that trail with a pocket full of good intentions. It's a rare individual who can actually get it done in one, ruthless run. Most of US (I'm takin' full responsibility here!) though we KNOW it's the right and proper thing to do... just can't bring ourselves to chuck that left handed widget winder... even though we KNOW... we will NEVER... EVER, use it again... at least not on the first 'sort' of property... maybe the second or third? ;)

The thing is... I'm tellin' myself here, as much as I'm telling anyone else... IF... I ever did need that left handed widget winder... I can pick up a new one at Harbor Freight... for likely HALF of what it's costing us to store that last never-to-be-used-again pile of precious Junk! :) So, if you're wondering, dump it! It can be replaced!

So anyhoo... come early next week, we'll be coming to another Leaving. Kinda strange. It's not as intense as the first one, but still, though the feeling may be a bit less, it's still a feeling of anticipation, excitement... the feeling of Going Home.

I got to wondering, how many Leavings does a man have in him? Will he come to the point when it becomes stale and tasteless? or, will there Always be that sense of stepping off into the unknown? Can he enjoy at least some flavor of excitement, always?

I'm hoping so... It is such a treasured thing for me yet. After all the Leavings in my life, over these many years... I still, know that same feeling of being able to take a "full breath"... when I've broke the chains that held me static.

It is a feeling of contentment... of.. Being where I belong.

I expect that most people in the world can't understand or comprehend that restlessness. They have some goal in mind. Something they want to achieve. They think in terms of getting somewhere. They think in terms of familiarity...

They just can't grasp the goal of fellas like me...

I don't want to GET... anywhere... I only want to GO.

Getting Ready, One More Time... to Get Up and GO

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ol' Murphy Just Can't Keep Up...

It's gettin' cold on the front range. Leastways for a guy that's had his mind focused on chasin' 70 degrees on the thermometer for the last year or so! :)

Hard to believe I reveled in ridin' my Raider at 10 degrees through a Colorado winter huh? :)

Repairs have been comin' slow... Busy time of year for a good welder... Who Hunts! :) Hopin' to have those chores buttoned up this Weekend, and then we should be on the move come Monday mornin'... On the Road Again and takin' treatment for my Border Collie-ism.

It's that time of year that the southern desert starts callin' to me... 'course, if I do it like we done it last spring, movin' north too early, and catchin' 8" of snow on Memorial Day! :) ... we'll be hittin' the Sonoran Desert while they're still demonstrating their sidewalk egg fryin' techniques.

It's a funny thing, born a long ways back east... Cleveland, Freaking, Ohio... I never fit there. I remember always feeling like I was lost there... I didn't belong. And I was like, 11!

Hit that Arizona desert, and... have you ever had somebody pin you to the ground and sit on your chest?

Remember how good it felt when they finally climbed off and let you up? ... and you could take a full breath again?

That, is how it felt when I hit that open, high desert. Like, for the first time in my short life... I could Breathe.

Big hats, horsehide, and far country...

Same thing these many years later... I come rollin' down the line, cross into that desert country, and as much as I treasure the high up and lonesome?... that Desert will always be Home.

In a few weeks we'll be Home... and Ridin' my Raider in the Sunshine... in December... without takin' an hour to apply 17 layers of insulation to keep from transforming myself into a bald headed popsickle!

This has been kind of a tough month. Busted rig... greedy tax man; who I applied a good whuppin to I'll have you know! ;) a few other agitations and distractions... but... when it's all said and done, I'm gonna be back on the road that somehow, some way... gives me whatever it is my twisted and battered Ol' soul needs.

Yes Sir... between the RV Wanderin'... Puttin' that Big Red Motorcycle in the wind... Whittling my words...

And, Living in the Freedom I enjoy... the trials and difficulties really fade away into mere potholes to steer around.

The way to look at it, I suppose, is to see those difficulties as the necessary contrast so a fella can recognize the good fortune that occupies the greatest amount of his time.

So... if you tend toward the half empty glass... like... uh... some other Twisters 'round here... ya gotta make a deliberate and concentrated effort to see that though that glass IS only half full... there must be somethin' flowin' into it, at a pretty fair rate, to keep it that way...

... considerin' how fast that Murphy bugger is workin' to drain it all the dang time! ;)

Nigh on to South Bound

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Diagnostic Epiphany of the Psychological Disturbances of an RV Boondocker

... with a Prognosis of continued and incurable convoluted contortions and compounding genetic Psychosis.

I'd begun to think that I, as a shining  example of genuine Heroric RV Boondocking masculinity, was beginning to suffer from some sort of early onset dementia and confusion.

There's been an alarming set of symptoms recurring with increasing rapidity...

At first light each morning, I wake with visions of duplicating the minimalist, "cereal box with a pop top" home on wheels of the Box Canyon Bloggers.

As the sun rises toward noon however, the designs swell to a pickup with a built on Motorcycle garage, housing both a solo and a two up touring motorcycle pulling a toybox trailer with a customized classic Volkswagen "Thing" safely corralled inside.

By five in the afternoon the drawings take on a remarkably close resemblance to a fortyfive foot Diesel pusher with four slides accessorized with a hot tub and fold down, elevated deck; Dragging a Cadillac Escalade loaded with double Kayaks and two racing mountain bicycles.

Only... to retreat back to the pop top cereal box, by bed time.

The relentless, near daily, repetition of these mental gyrations was beginning to cause considerable alarm and consternation amongst the few remaining working neurons still resident within my crusty brain pan.

I live with the sure knowledge that I've employed my cranial appendage as a protective bumper, far too many times, during episodes of unexpected dislodgement from cantankerous equine transportation. 

While my purpose of attempting to prevent traumatic damage to vital pieces and parts of cowboy anatomy, from a too rapid convergence with the rocky topography of sunny slopes was admirable; I'd begun to have worrisome thoughts of excessive brain damage being the logical consequence of a possibly incomplete strategy.

Now, our current neighbor/"camp" host has a  couple of dogs. It was while observing those pups, and contemplating my place in the universe, that the Diagnostic RVer Epiphany impacted me with considerable force.

You see. I have discovered that my brain damage may be considerably less than first thought!

No sir! All that bumpin din do enee hawm ta mee a awl!

The truth of the matter is, A Gypsy Biker Cowboy is just and only the natural, genetic, hyper active Human Relative of a Border Collie.

What other people might see as indecisive, fickle, waffling, or some sort of attention deficit disorder is really just natural, normal, Human, Border Collie-ism.

That's why we have to keep moving. It is the genesis of our wandering ways. Ever watch a Border Collie? They can't sit still for too long. If they've nothing to do... they FIND SOMETHING... and... what they find isn't necessarily a good thing! :)

If we suffer the enforced prohibition of yondering for too long a time, the native border collie mentality takes over. If there is no movement, we will cause movement. Good bad or indifferent, there WILL BE MOVEMENT by God!

If the only thing that will move... is a bad thing to move.... It don't make no difference! I'm movin' that sucker! Gotta make it move!

gotta go gotta go gotta chase the ball, throw the ball, I'll go get it, throw it again! Do it Now! Throw it! I'll get it. run in circles, bark twice. I'm back, did you throw the ball? should I carry the shoe until you throw the ball? Huh Huh Huh? what? didn't hear me. I'll ask again. Throw the ball Ok. I'll go get it. bing bing BINGGGGG! riqochet rabbit! bouncing off the wall, nervous energy tee total Psycho!!!

So... The point is... ever' time I've a lil' too much "Down Time"... I get to doodling how I could move this, change that, rebuild the whatever, while I remodel the whoosywhatsis, and renovate the cheese whiz!

Now I know... Though there is no cure, there is a functional treatment... fill the tank, press my foot down on the pedal on the right... and wear some rubber off the tires! :)

Psycho Yondering Boondocker In Colorado

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Monday, October 17, 2011

More RV Bits and Pieces... Book Review, and Slow Goin' Repairs

Getting a few lil' bits and pieces of chores done while waitin' on the welding... He whittled a bit of his Sunday out yesterday, in between hauling a few tons of hay, and got the main plate adjusted and fitted to burn in place... so now all he has to do is burn it all. That should happen in the next couple of days... I hope :)

So... been doing some of those small things on the list that have never climbed high enough to get done... in between hunting down spelling and punctuation errors!

One of the dicey jobs was moving the pump/water heater/tank monitor panel. Jayco hung that down over the side of the counter... so... to turn on the pump in the kitchen you had to walk around the projecting counter or try to reach over and catch it blind. A small thing... but... one of those lil' aggravations that makes a guy say bad words... every time he goes to fill the coffee pot and the water ain't on!

*plenty of wires to get confused!*

But the wires were juuuuuuust long enough, with a lil' chainsaw carpentry, to stretch up and reach the new, top of the counter location... where they should have been in the first place...

*The Proper Relocation Switch Location*

Taking the pic of the wires, how they were... sure was a good thing to do!!! Made it a lot easier hookin' 'em back up... once I fought 'em through the lil' hole I bored in the counter to relocate... Now just a lil' cosmetic finishing... A LOT more convenient...

That's it tucked down twixt the water jug and the dog treat jar! :)

Been finding homes for bits and pieces of things that have accumulated as we've wandered. Packed away some things in better places that open things up a little better... off loaded some others that haven't been used, and are unlikely to be...

and... Finally, replaced the temporary "Test" dinette table that we've been using since I decided to pull the desk and Go Back to the Future. I just built a simple table top to complement the storage benches We'd put in.

*Replacement RV Dinette setup*

 They've been working out well, and are actually easier for me/us to access than the awkward drawer/bench of the factory configuration... makes a convenient place in one for my "Writing Stuff"... and the other an additional "Pantry" space... so... it all works out in the end...

 The bonus is that they actually leave enough room for another lil' "end table/cabinet" between the table and the new recliner couch we'd put in... back when the RV Remodel was first started...

Now... all I have to do is either finally find a permanent cabinet that fits that space... or build it... ;)

Sometimes I think I'm like some lil' Ol' Lady always moving the furniture around. Probably just another symptom of my Gypsy Nature.

Well, got a complete review back on "A Pair of Second Chances", from one of my "Editors"... "exiting and hard to stop to go to bed" ... not bad for my ego! :)

Then, just to keep things balanced, got a call from the accountant yesterday! He's was workin' Sunday to hti the Tax deadline Monday! Have to sign the tax papers today and get 2010 put to bed... came close on that sucker too! Kinda puts my shorts in a knot...

When the big thieves back on Wall Street and other Corporate Ivory towers get bailed out  by the trillions... on the backs of the workin' guy on the street... by their cronies that populate a corrupt congress... and white house...

... and then they try to make a broke cowboy, workin' pretty much hand-to-mouth, pony up another $1500 bucks! aarrrrrrrggggghhhhhh..... I managed to find some forgotten, legit expenses though that softened that blow considerable... but... It still makes a guy kinda angry... 'nuff said...

Back to Editing... So I can throw in another pound of flesh... to save the bankers

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Who Knew the Dalai Lama Was an RV Boondocker!

Yup. The Dalai Lama. Just as smart as a Motorcycle Ridin', RV Boondockin', Great American Cowboy! ;)

The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered; "Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. and then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the  future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived."

Kind of nice for you to hear the words come from some fella whose behaviour gives you just a lil' less "Pause" ain't it? ;)

Yeah well, you heard it the other day from Steve Jobs. Now you get pretty much the same words from a Tibetan fella. and... I happen to KNOW you've read the same sentiments from this word butcher... on more than one oh-kay-shun!

So... take the form that toots your whistle... and run with it!

What are you doin'? I said Run! Go! Go Now!... or... you're likely to suffer the same fate of those that defied the Wisdom!

Me? Yup. That's right. I'm nuthin' if I'm not defiant.

Or maybe I'm just a slow learner I guess. Though, it could be I'm just one of those insolent personalities like some kids you see. You know the ones. You say; "Don't do that again!"... so, of course, they run right over... stare you in the eyes... while they reach out with both hands... and do "THAT" with maniacal animation!

Yup, that's me. I'm doin' what Steve Jobs, the Dalai Lama... and Me! have been warnin' you against! ... Well, sort of.

I'm losin' my vision I think.

Yup. Goin' straight, closet dark blind... in addition to suffering, I discovered today, from a much worse affliction. That's the punishment I guess, for the wanderer of the southwest, writin' another Novel.

There's a crippling disease you get infected with, if you're exposed too close, for too long, to a goodly sized manuscript. It's called. Gargantuosa Terminalis Edititus.

Yeah... There are early warning signs if you're attentive. First your eyes cross and then your whole body starts quiverin' and shakin'.

Hopefully there's folks around to notice... How-some-ever... If no-one sees those early symptoms, and realizes their significance, and gets you evacuated to a secure location at a safe distance from the word file that carries the infection...

... Then... it quickly progresses to rapid heart beat and profuse sweating. That's followed soon after by rambling, nonsensical vocalizations and eventually copious drooling and total insanity.

Once the affliction has progressed to that point the hope for a positive outcome is extremely remote.

:) I'll tell you, if you hadn't already known it, I absolutely am tee total in Love with writing. It's just about the most rewarding thing I've ever done. To spin a yarn and turn a phrase, that has some sort of a positive impact on people is the finest feeling I can imagine. Well, short of that sensation you get from one of those deep, intense friendships, that defy description.

So... writing is Good... Editing... is BAD!

Commas, and thens or thans, and periods, and doubled words, and missing words and apostrophes, and semi-colons... and and and.... eeeeeeeeeeeeeeiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!

Bad words and Dirty Names!!!

Yeah... I thought the book was pretty well edited... Well, can I say... WRONG!!!

Oh Lordy... You put the thing down for a few days, to let yourself come back with a fresh set of eyes... and... what in the hell happened? Did gremlins get in there and move stuff around? :) Polished she ain't...

Yeah...  There's still work to do... sooooooo.... my hope of publishing this next week was probably juuuuuust a mite ambitious. :)

It's gonna take a touch longer than that to put this baby to bed.

The good thing is... the four reviewers I got workin' on it, are all sending positive notes on the Story. Early reviews are... "I'm Loving this story!", "Your writing has Matured" and "He didn't want to put it down!"

Actually, I think I've got five readers scopin' it out.

Anyhoo, now... with my swelling ego inflating my head... I'm gonna go back to chasing punctuation and spelling! until I start drooling...

Fighting a Bad Case of Gargantuosa Terminalis Edititus

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

"Stay Hungry... Stay Foolish"

Easy to say... More difficult to do. The fears and temptations of this life have a way of worming themselves into your thinking; Even if you know what they look like and stand guard to keep 'em out.

I gotta let ya'll in on a lil' secret. It's a piece of work bein' me.

Oh I know what you all think. What an easy road he's got. He's a purty, witty, really smart Biker Cowboy. A shining piece of masculine art ;)

Well, the the truth is; Not so much!... I'm a walking, talking, convoluted, twisted, tormented, self-confused, double rectified, living, breathing, cursing, contradiction on the hoof.

I admire and lust after silence... yet I talk like a freakin' electrified magpie when I get around people.

I nigh on to worship the untouched high up and lonesome, far country... but the first time I look at a lil' piece of ground, the first thing I think is; "Wouldn't it be sweet to have a cabin right up against that tree line, and live here...

Spying a narrow road, twisting through those quiet mountains makes me hunger to put a rumbling V Twin in the wind, breaking that silence.

I advise long camps.They save money and fuel, and allow you time to calm the spirit and see what's around you better... but they are a torment for me. I'm in such a camp for a few hours, and my eyes are soon on that pass just to the south... wondering what's on the other side...

I look at possessions with disdain... put no value on 'em... as I pay forty bucks a month to store my precious "Junk"... and surf pictures of beautiful machines and trinkets... wishin' I could build a new and fresh rig... adorning it with the trinkets... while I sit at the table and dream of a simpler life... !!!!!!!!!!!!

I talk of peace, compassion and a "Brush it off" mentality... while in the next breath I have to choke down a purple rage that urges me to strangle some fool that subjected me to his/her stupidity.

My intellect... Oh kay... I heard that...all that snickerin' is terrible mean! ... I do have intellect... it's 'round here somewhere, and as soon as I find where I put it... I'll take a picture an' show it to ya!...

So... THAT part of me says one thing... my heart and intuition... tells me another... and when I recently read the words of Steve Jobs... it went off like a Sunday Church bell in my head...

"Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice."

Sometimes I feel like that's what's goin' on... As in; My heart and intuition tell me one thing and then the insidious temptations of the world around me "Drown Out my inner voice" and like a sunfishin' Bronc leave me spinning in thin air, heading for a hard landing.

I'm pretty sure Steve Jobs was no Saint. Plenty of folks can rip on him I'm sure. I've not been a follower of his computers... though my Ipod is one of my most treasured "possibles" ;) I've criticized the business practices of Apple... like I have many if not most corporations...

But, puttin' his many likely faults aside, His words ring with a Truth that is inspiring.

It's time, I think, to shake things up. To get hungry again... To be foolish again...

A Hungry Fool

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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Rocky, Rain, Writing and Repairs

With fall comin' on quick we took a run up into the Rockies, to our old haunt, Rock Mountain National Park... and yeah... considerin' the temp was less than 45 degrees up there, with a strong wind, we took the truck.

Just inside the South gate a short ways the road turns up to Sprague and Bear Lakes. Neither of us feeling real ambitious, late on Friday afternoon, we thought the 1/2 mile walk around Sprague would fit about right.

Well, it seems some several other folks had the same notion. :)

Tickled me to see the most of 'em, diddy bop on down the lil' trail... right past...

*A Trio of Trout in the inflow stream of Sprague Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park*

Hmmm... :) ... Chemical Accident from a Big Bang? ... or ... the work of a "Cook" ? :) gonna have to wait and see ain't we?

*Sprague Lake Trout in Rocky Mountain National Park*

Well, the folks that walked right on by without seein', can't even ask the question.

The question I was askin' most though was; "Dang it's cold! How come that trailer ain't repaired and I'm not moving south following the thermometer?!!!"

*Mix wind with a mountain lake... and you get BRRRRRRR!*

Hoping to see some color... which is getting scarcer and scarcer in parts of the west where the Aspen has been run out by the pines, which are now falling to the beetle... we turned back toward Horsehoe park...

*Near the Rocky Mountain National Park South Gate*

We'd been told the color was peaking... hmmm... almost as much green as gold... I think the colors may be coming a lil' more stretched out this year, rather than in one big rush... Aw, either way the place still carries a beauty all its own...

*Horseshoe Park in Rocky Mountain National Park*

The next day, a storm come a thumpin' in here... I'm guessin' this spot is carryin' some snow about now... We got a half inch of rain down lower where we're waitin' the welder. Ankle deep mud... mmmm... time for this twister to be movin' south!

Our welder brought home a special tool this weekend to take some measurements for a "Special" Piece he's gonna bend up at the shop he works in... a bracing plate I guess you could call it... So, this next week we'll be movin' forward on that repair.

As soon as that's done, we've only got a baby shower to wait on... and puttin' our john henry's on some tax papers... then color my tattered behind South Bound!

My newest book, A Pair of Second Chances, is at the "Reviewers" now... all four of 'em. Me, I'm sittin' here squirming and restless. As impatient, as a schoolboy, waiting on his report card... anxious to get mine.

I do a lil' torquing on the formatting for the distributor, while I wait, but that computer "Stuff" makes my eyes cross, so I can only do a lil' of it at a time.

Time to Do a Few More Chores

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Friday, October 7, 2011

Dogs, Spirit... and RV Boondocking...

This is one of those posts  that's kind of risky... and like Mark says sometimes at the Box Canyon Blog; "I may wake up tomorrow and regret it." :)

I know in our lil' store in town, Politics and "Religion" are strictly prohibited... :) but... a discussion that has to be censored, 'cause some folks can't talk nice 'bout sensitive issues and feel the need to shout down everyone around 'em with their own, undeniably superior thinkin' is wearisome to me.

They jump up to tell you that there's only one way to look at anything... and that way is THEIR way. and everyone else is wrong... so be quiet! Such doin's are so... arrogant that all I can do is laugh at 'em. I know, that's rude and arrogant of me... but... I never claimed perfection... Just... Close! ;)

People with such opinions of their thinkin'... is to me... kind of like... The captain of the Titanic tellin' people "I know how to Navigate a boat... Do as I say!" 

Now... pay attention here!... I'm not pushin' ANYTHING... just puttin' out what I think, hopin' maybe I'll stir folks to think a lil' bit on their own... A lil' more thinking, a lil' more discussion, a bit more consideration, and a lil' less pushin' of ideas wouldn't be a bad thing... would it? I repeat... what I say is ONLY what/how I think... and what you think, carries as much value... if not more.

Though... I'm purty sure, there's a number of folks who describe what I think as dementia... NOT thinking! ;)

The loss we had yesterday, brought up this consideration of such thoughts once again.

Some folks don't believe in an "afterlife"... or... the existence of a Spiritual world. Their belief is that what you see is what there is. That you come from nothing and to nothing you return.

I believe those folks are wrong.

But, my knowledge is pretty much the same as theirs. It isn't tangible fact that can be measured, with a tape or a scale. It is only an internal faith that I perceive the world around me correctly. All I can do is react to the world as I see it.

The people whom I disagree with don't know. They can't Prove their position... and you know what? Neither can I. All I have is my opinions, and my faith in my own perceptions.

So, what is my argument that there is more to Life than chemicals and dust? All I can say is... Reason.

By that, I mean there is a REASON, for Rain. It fits into the "System". It is required for the chemical reactions to support the biological electro-chemical processes of the world around us. It has purpose.

But. Consciousness? Self Awareness? Music? Art? Emotion? Anger? Love? Fear? Passion?  They serve no PURPOSE in a Universe in which a Spiritual World does not exist. In a world of just physics and chemical accidents... They have no use.

To ignite a log and produce fire, there is no use for music. For a tree to grow, fall over and decay, there is no need for fear. It is simply chemistry and biology.

Without the existence of a Spiritual Force... there is no purpose, no reason, for those Spiritual Things; Consciousness, Self Awareness, Music, Art, Compassion, Honor, Integrity, Emotion, Self Sacrifice, Anger, Love, Fear, Passion.

Things Without Purpose, do not exist.

Now, I'm talking Spiritual...not religion. Religion to me is simply politics spelled differently.

So... that's where my "Knowledge" comes from... I may not understand the Purpose.... BUT... I KNOW... they have purpose... that purpose exists.

Like I said, watching Skye pass on yesterday, turned me inward and wonderin'... once again.

Do I believe Dogs have a Spirit? I think... just myself... that is fairly obvious. You can see, looking into their eyes, they are somehow different than spiders and frogs. There is something intangible there. A frog in an Aquarium doesn't wiggle and jump when you've been gone for hours. It doesn't place its life between yours and danger. Its only reaction is to do the mechanical things to extend its physical life.

A Dog, to me, demonstrates its self awareness, in the way it reaches beyond itself... to defend others in the world around it. Others that it clearly demonstrates its Love for. Freak chemical accidents cannot Love. They cannot create music. They cannot conquer their fear and sacrifice themselves in the defense of others. An electrified chemical solution, doesn't know, it's an electrified chemical solution.

A Dog, is far more than a Dog. Life is more than simple laws of physics. That is how I think. You are welcome to, and the rightful owner of your own beliefs.

I suppose there are those that will call my odd thoughts some sort of Biological Racism... I wonder about it myself... one reason I don't step on bugs... that are outside of my house ;) or take or waste other life, without the actual need in my own. Vegetable, animal... the same. I don't waste it.

So... What the Devil does any of that got to do with RV Boondocking?

Well, for me... that's kind of what it's ALL about. - LIFE -Gettin' out where the Rig lets me live... is to be in that place where I can clearly see/feel the Spiritual part of this world. Wandering around in amongst the gyrations and agendas of all our man made confusions, the Spiritual world I'm speakin' of gets lost to me too easily.

I need the strength and power of Far Country, to keep my Vision clear.

So, I suppose maybe some folks will see me as putting jewelry on a hog... but it's truthful, I vow.

Kind of a goofy, weird old Twister huh? Yeah, well... sometimes I get Out There... But, not to worry... I've got plenty of folks keepin' track of my Meds! :)

Cowboy Philosophizin' on a Melancholy Day

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Ahhhhh.... Life

We were going to go down and spend the day with our Daughter and Granddaughter today...
... And, we're doing that, just not so much as planned.

Many years ago, a dog, Skye, came to live with us. My daughter came home, in a bad place in her life at the same time. We soon realized that they both needed each other, equally. Skye was almost five and had had an empty life as a kennel dog. Her only purpose, to pump out puppies.

You could see the distrust and near fear in her eyes. It took nearly two years for Keriann to bring her out of that... And it was wonderful to watch the change as the dogs personality blossomed for the first time in her life.

Now, today, cancer forced her to leave us.
It's so painful to say goodbye to a Friend.

Sadness in Colorado

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Odds and Ends...

Spent most of yesterday afternoon, grinding that piece of Angle iron my Yellowstone wannabe welder hung on there a week or so ago, and, smoothing off some of the remaining welds.

Then, I'm re-skinning that floor of the fiver, around the hitch area, to make it quicker and easier to access for fairly frequent inspections of the hitch sub-structure in the future... as it was, it's kind of a pain pulling things out of the way, sufficient to see. It really wasn't made to be taken apart and put back together on a routine basis

... and now I'm gonna be kinda curious to take a look in there once in a while :)

James, the welder who IS a welder, should be getting to this project, some time this week... 

There's been a lot of comment on this, and I've gotten emails from folks with similar problems with their own RV's.

Thought I'd touch on a couple of 'em... might be somebody is gonna see something that might be of help to 'em.

One thing is the continuing discussion 'bout gooseneck or fifth wheel. The reason I chose and went with the gooseneck style hitch is my preference for boondocking, off the Beaten Path. Two of the big benefits of it are first the Main benefit from my perspective; and that is Movement. Fifth wheel hitches are very limited in the amount of side to side 'Tilt' available. Generally only 5 to 7 degrees.

This is important when you're on some narrow back road, or trying to pull into a really sweet camp... but the swing of your trailer means your truck has to go into a bit of a ditch, leaning to the left... while the trailer is still on the other side leaning right...

Now, with a fifth wheel, you hit that 5 or 7 degrees, the hitch locks up... but you tilt hard another few degrees... and... uh ... Ouch! all that twisting torque is now going straight to your truck frame and trailer pin box/frame... NOT a good thing...

With the gooseneck, if you run out of tilt... you probably already laid the trailer on its side. :) ... so, that was my main reason. The second being that you gain a whole lot of space in the bed for camp gear.

My figuring was that the reduction of "off road" frame stress was a greater gain than the increased stress Some think a goose type hitch applies to the pin box, on the road. I still haven't been convinced of that. But, it was/is a weighing of pros and cons, each person is gonna have to make on their own I guess. One thing... it did take ten years, and more miles than most fivers get drug, not overloaded, but with a maximum load, for mine to fail.

There are those that claim my recent excitement was caused by the hitch. I'm of more of the opinion that the Camels Back Breaking Straw was the Modification I had done to the suspension, that was Poorly done, back when the rig was maybe two years old. (it's now 10)

I sure seem to be finding the Poor Quality RV Workmanship don't I? I guess that Murphy fella must have thought I needed more to write about when it comes to RV wish-it-hadn't-happened-that-way sorts of events!

It was, in my opinion, the suspension being locked up for so long, because the shocks were remounted, totally compressed ( a fact hidden by the shrouds on the shocks) that caused accelerated metal fatigue and increased concussion that lead to the eventual hitch failure.That the bad position wasn't found for so long is My Fault. I should have more closely inspected the work, to ensure it was done properly.

That's the danger of taking a shops "Certification" at face value... You still have to check their work! A lot of places get lazy and careless. Check out the work you have done. Make sure it was done correctly. Use me as your Lesson! :)

If I'd not had the axles "flipped" ... I probably wouldn't have had any of this to write about :) or... IF they'd been flipped correctly.

So finally, Ted asked "What is a flipped axle?"

Well, normally, the suspension is arranged with the axle tube on top of the leaf springs.* O * When you "Flip" the axles (an incorrect name, You can't turn the axles over... that would screw up the alignment built into the axles), new spring pads are welded on TOP of the axles. That allows the springs to be moved from under the axle to a new position on top of the axle tube.

The result is that the trailer sits maybe as much as 6 inches higher.

The Reasons for doing it, in my case were two fold.
1. The space between the bottom of the fiver and the top of the truck bed was so close, the top of the truck bed was hitting the trailer, just going down the driveway apron pulling out of a gas station.

and #2, going where we like to go, sometimes, pulling through a low spot, or again, even in parking lot driveways, I'd come close to, or drag the tail of the fiver...

So... lifting the trailer with an "axle flip" gave me the clearance to avoid those issues. Of course, a year or two after flipping, I went to a flat bed and eliminated the truck bed interference anyway :) ... I still, on occasion get the tail awful close to the ground, even sitting as high as she does!

Well, today I've got a lil' fatigue of my own goin' on. Been up in the evenings editing my next Novel; A Pair of Second Chances". Finished that edit last night... or at least I think so. A few more odds and ends to button up on it and then hit the Send button! :)

So, to combat my mental fatigue :) How's that for a witty play on words? :) I'm Gonna go put two wheels on some familiar asphalt today. Kinda blow out the tangles in my brain from the last week or two.

We'll be rolling south, as soon as the repairs are completed... and the tax man is satisfied that he's drawn enough blood :) ... so you folks down on the desert, crank up your air conditioners and open your doors and windows... get that country cooled off for me... I'm a commin'! :)

Puttin' it in the Wind

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

"I Don't Know What He Calls This... But It Ain't Welding"

That's what our Colorado Welder said after the intitial; "Oh My God!" when he looked under the trailer.

Knowing that the work done in West Yellowstone was NOT gonna hold together for any length of time, I'd decided we should bail out of our Fall in Yellowstone, and get somewhere safe, if we could, to make permanent repairs.

I knew of a competent welder in our old stompin' grounds so we headed out, bound for Nunn.

Now... I gotta tell you, Wyoming is WIDE open spaces... but, they seem a lot wider... when you cross the state at 45 mph with a busted trailer.

We made it, as you read before, and are now in the process of doing a proper repair... Here are a few pics of what was left by the previous "Pro" welder up north...

 As always you can click to see those pics bigger.

For those of you who know what welding is, I'm purty sure you'll agree with my True Pro in Colorado... "I don't know what he calls this... but it AIN'T welding!"

Kind of leaves a guy with a sick feeling in his stomach when he's stuck with the only game in town, and the deed is done.

You can get all screaming mad and raging, or just pick up your marbles and leave... and TRY to leave that anger behind.

I've spent so much of my life angry, I really try to abandon it when I can...

So... I'm now in the process, as I wait for him to break out the time in his schedule to correct this mess, of doing the prep work, so he can do the job proper.

I'll grind off all those nasty bits of peanut butter... clean up all the areas where the cracks occurred and have everything ready so he can do his job with the least difficulty.

Bottom line? Beware if you're in a "foreign" place getting welding done... If you're in West Yellowstone... I'd suggest hauling over into Idaho...

Now... to go over something again. Ted made the comment on the last post that the damage could have been caused by the "Rotational" force and not the "Vertical" force or load...

So... one more time... the Tears and Rips you see in the pictures of the Last post? Were, Indeed, Caused by the ROTATIONAL force of the Hitch Trying to turn upward, when the trailer slammed to a halt as the breakaway locked up. 

It's when the trailer wheels are stuck to the ground that a hitch can REALLY apply those Rotational Forces, as the truck tries to keep on going... and BAM! Busted hitch.

To that I agree 100%. But, one of my points is; IF, the frame was built to a more proper standard, those cracks wouldn't have appeared in the first place... and knowing those break aways can lock up... they should have built with that in mind. With the frame built of proper weight, it's my belief most of the failures we see, wouldn't happen.

Sort of like being a chair builder. If you build your chair to support the average 150 lb person. sitting down gently... and all that sits in the chair is one of those... you got no worries.

But... let a 295'er come galompin' in... and kerwhump! Plunk their butts down like they jumped off the roof... and keerunch! You got a busted chair....

A proper builder, in my estimation should allow for a lil' bit wider spectrum of possibilities.

Now, the difference in cost? To build one that will do the WHOLE JOB? Minimal, in the whole scheme of things, and maybe that's my real gripe here. To have done the job right, and built the trailers that match their advertising boasts... would have been a fraction of a percentage added to the cost of constructing the trailers...

He thought I should go lighter on Jayco and the manufacturers on that. So one more time, here's my points.

1. Geometry; (the fifth wheel vs. gooseneck argument) Whether the space between the king pin and the truck deck is spanned by a Fifth wheel hitch or a gooseneck conversion, the distance of that space, that length, is the same. That lever is the same length. To exert more force, you have to lengthen the lever. Simple geometry... or whatever the particular math is. The only difference is that it has less available movement in a fifth wheel (ie. the fifth wheel locks up sooner than a goose and, locked up, then exerts greater torque). Bottom line, working correctly, they are going to exert very similar force. *and let's face it the gooseneck conversions were designed by engineers too! :) * and... then, when you lay in the "Long Style" pin box they put on... THAT is the main lever, having nothing to do with fiver or gooseneck... and is why I'm considering adding an air ride hitch, to reduce and moderate the impacts and leverage against the frame...

2. I've said it previous, and say it again now, another poorly done job, (The axle flip) basically had me, unknowingly, hauling with a suspension travel of maybe a 1/2 inch... the shocks were completely compressed ( now corrected) leaving an effectively rigid suspension. That compounded the concussion against the hitch structure a lot, and I believe, started the failure with metal fatigue, vertical load, stress cracks in the too light, sheet metal, box beams. THAT, was my fault. Failure on my part, to do a proper inspection of the work. My Bad.

So... I accept responsibility for a portion of this failure. Work I had done contributed to it. No gettin' around that. But, if the trailers were not built, to the lowest, minimum standard possible, such failures would not be the common thing they seem to be. That is another my points I guess.

Though they promote their trailers and RV's as the best money can buy... uh... they often... are not... Just Sayin'.

So... Like Ted said, there's more than one side to a story. Jayco has a great responsibility here, I do, the bozos that did my axle work played a part... and that guy doin' a poor imitation of a welder back up north... well... he didn't contribute, not one little bit, to the failure... but... he didn't contribute much to a repair either! :)

Where does all this leave me? Same as always, puttin' one foot in front of the other until this ride is over.

I could get all mad and run around with my liver all inflamed... or just deal with this difficulty, and get back to the road.

I choose to get back to the road, and to the greatest degree possible, leave the anger at some "Pro's" less than stellar performances... behind.

... and one last thing... I read the other day where Rosanne Barr made some sort of caustic? remarks concerning punishment for "Guilty" Bankers... someone called her to task on that and she came back that she had said pretty clearly that her punishment was meant for the "Guilty" not the UN-Guilty...

That's pretty much my thought on any of this. Are all bankers Guilty? Nope. Are all corporations guilty? Nope. Are all engineers guilty? Not even. You just about can't say ALL about anyone or any thing...

But at some point in life, you have to make a conscious decision; "Do I go with the flow and turn out substandard, unsafe work? Do I participate in what effectively is Cheating, Or do I refuse and take what comes?"

I can brag that I've walked, more than once, 'cause I couldn't endure the thought of having to look in the mirror at a guy who did it wrong. Who dishonored a craft, a commitment, or the folks I worked with.

Am I running a perfect score on that? Nope, remember what I said about ALL? :) But I'm workin' on it. :)

Now... an end to who done what to who, when and why... and Just get the work done... and get back down the road...

Grinding and Preppin' in Colorado

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Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Beginning... The Failure of the Fifth Wheel Pin Box

I found the cracks when I was un-hitching in the Madison Campground. When I found 'em they were just small, almost only hairline cracks. Disturbing, but not yet; "Oh My God!" ... they were still just only; "Damn, I could have gone a long time without that." :)

But, it was gonna be a couple days before the only game in town, that I could find, could do anything. So we looked around till Saturday morning... and, did the alternator replacement when that fried the next morning. :)

Then Saturday morning I hitched up and pulled the rig 14 miles west into West Yellowstone. Made that a long slow trip, not wanting to stress those cracks any more if I could avoid it. They could have been there for a couple days, I didn't know.

I got the rig, running slow with the emergency flashers goin' all the way to town. Just as we made the turn off of the Yellowstone road onto the main road in town, the cable that ran to the break-away brake snagged on something, and jerked the plunger out, locking the brakes.

Now, those small cracks were no longer, small cracks... When the trailer STOPPED, the 10,000 pound and more truck... Didn't... or at least, not very fast. oooooooffffffffffffff!

It jerked those cracks from cracks... into Tears and Hitch Failure.

*Failure of Attachment of Fifth Wheel Pin Box to Main Beam*

I sat in the intersection for many seconds, scrambling... as angry drivers cursed me for blocking the road. At least I was told they were. I was focused on getting the brakes released. Good thing for those Nasty Drivers, that I didn't hear 'em. That kind of ARROGANCE and lack of consideration is NOT something I deal with to awfully well. ;)

Finally, I got the plunger reinstalled, and the rig moving again. This time, with the main beam fractured and several other welds popped and torn...

*Example of other structural breaks from the twisting pin box*

I had another mile or so to get to the repair location. That was a long slow mile, moving at four or five miles an hour, with the flashers going... and rude drivers so intent on getting to their "Vacation" activities that they couldn't allow a man to deal with a serious breakdown, without their infantile gyrations...

Sometimes... What the hell is the rush with some folks? Take it easy, slow down. You'll get a more harmonious outcome! :)

So... we got there... and I went to work peeling the skin to get to the failure, and see what the total damage was...

*Getting the removable part of the Pin Box Out of the Way*

*The Fifth Wheel Hitch Area Opened Up for Inspection and Repair*

This is when we found cracks and pops on most of the supporting beams, that came when the brakes locked.

To come in the next post... the repair that wasn't a repair... yuck! !!!!!

The last thing here is this. This failure came NOT because of the Gooseneck adapter I use. If THAT was the problem it would have happened a long time ago, and the geometry simply don't support that argument.

But, if you look at that picture where I'm removing the front part of the pin box? You'll see that Jayco designed and built this rig with a "Long Style" pin box. Now... THAT is an issue.

My complaint and claim? IF you are going to utilize that sort of a design... You have to accept that you are putting a hell of a lot of stress on the frame... from the VERTICAL impacts over the many miles it will be hauled. Vertical impacts that are going to slam that frame whether it's sitting on a fifth wheel hitch or receiving those same impacts Vertically through a gooseneck adapter.

Those impacts are the SAME, with either attachment method. The geometry, the distance between the pin box king pin and the truck bed are the SAME, Fifth Wheel or Gooseneck. The lever length is the SAME. The gooseneck has greater flexibility and movement, reducing lockup over fifth wheel and REDUCING potential stresses from that but otherwise, the lever and it's forces are pretty much the same... The ROAD IMPACTS are the issue, NOT, the type of attachment.

ACCEPTING that reality, YOU AS THE MANUFACTURER must build the frame that the hitch is attached to, with a weight of material suitable to endure those Impacts... if you intend to sell it,with integrity, to someone.

Jayco, and MOST, Fifth Wheel manufactures, did not, and do not do that.

That frame is insufficient weight for long term heavy duty use. It is insufficient to build a car trailer that's gonna haul a Yugo. Honestly? I knew they don't build the things like they should, but I was still surprised by the light weight tubing they used.

So... we'll be adding several gussets, a heavy bracing member behind the attachment point, all intended to distribute the stresses more evenly across the frame. The idea is to eliminate the "Focusing" affect of how they built the rig. The way those stresses are now focused down on two welds...

It's also my intention to figure out how to scrape the beans together to install an Air Ride Fifth Wheel pin box, to reduce those un-avoidable  Road Impacts.

Taken all together, I believe our work will return our Rig to serviceability, and truthfully? Better than it was.

One more time, where a couple of rednecks fix the "Design" of engineers who allowed their work to be co-opted by the bean counters and "Bottom Line" bozos running the show.

Sound Kinda grumpy about it don't I? :) Yeah well, I kinda am. When I screw up, I admit it. In the end, I admit it, and try to do better the next time. Those guys, just keep running the line that they do good work and refuse to accept the reality, that they are Screwin' the Pooch... and cheating people. Bottom line, what they do is something they just can't be proud of.

So... this next week we'll get on to the final and real repair, and reconstruction of things, so we can get back on the road...

Takin' It As It comes

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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Broken Down Ol' Twister Goin' RV Boondocking on a Leakey Budget...

 ... and too stubborn to quit... just keeps on kickin'.

You know, I've run on about it before.  Anyone with a pocket full of cash and the desire to to wander can buy a half million dollar motorhome and wander to their hearts content, and if diesel jumps up to five bucks a gallon who cares? They just stick their card in the machine and fill up that smokin' diesel gulpin' monster.

And you know what? More power to 'em. Those folks are lucky son's of guns, though, I feel pretty sure they're carryin' burdens of their own. And you know what else? Contrary to what some might say, the greatest majority of 'em worked just as hard for their treasures, as you and I have to come up with our dust. :) Sometimes there's just no explaining why some prosper and others go bust... Is why we call 'em Lucky! :)

My guess is though, there's a whole lot more guys an' gals like me than those lucky ones who are flush.

You know what I'm talkin' 'bout, Gypsy blood and a hikers wallet with big dreams of Roaming Free.

I'm not about to go judgin' anybody. Ya make your best guess, take your chances... some hit it big and they're off for the sunny slopes... others do their best and work hard, only they come to find out  that their guess was bad, or more often, events without any possibility of them exercisin' any sort of control whack 'em hard.

There's so many things to keep track of... and, even if you KNOW a job needs doin'... if it only costs five bucks, but there's only four in the bank... that job just can't get done... Now, get a few of those lil' jobs stacked up and a fella can get to feelin' like he's runnin' a marathon, uphill, carryin' four of those big Ol' opera type singin' ladies on his back.

No offense meant ladies! You sing good! we are, back where we started, and my list of all those lil' jobs, stacked up with a couple of big ones, could get to lookin' pretty tall... IF ...

IF, I let it. But you know what? The thought of the alternative, havin' to give up my wanderin' ways and park my self in one place for more than a Long Camp... to me... is SOOOOO much taller and terrifyin'. Kinda like the first Bronc I ever climbed on... I thought that horsehide monster was a fire breathin' dragon. Just knew she was gonna eat my liver!

... and, as it worked out, turned out to be up to the job she did! Even if she was just a runty lil' sorrel mare and no dragon... But, I kept pullin' my nose out of the dirt and climbin' back on... Sometimes I'd win... many times not...

Bottom line? I ain't quit yet. I never sold my saddle!

The Army threw me out, said with a broke spine I was too busted up to soldier any more... so, Too dumb to do anything else... went back to cowboyin' for a lot of the next twenty years...  :)

What I'm gettin' at is what I've palavered about for a long time. I keep repeatin' myself for two reasons; First... I need to say the words to remind myself... and second, I know, folks get weary same as me. They lose sight of where they're tryin' to get. I want 'em to not quit, NOT give up.

If a dumb, bald headed, pussgut of a broke down twister, can turn around and become a published author, better'n half way through his first century, and keep himself and his wore out rig, scrubbin' the rubber off his tires on the roads that're strung out across the west...

... You folks that are prettier and far more talented can too.

The only thing I've got goin' for me is a crotchety unwillingness to give in. Hell, If my donkey behind can push on through with sheer stubbornness; You folks that have true education, artistic talent, the ability to understand High Finance :) and a deeper knowledge than me... CAN TOO!

Just 'cause you're as broke as me don't mean didly.The key is in refusing to say; "Ok, I quit."

Gonna build a house? Buy the first two boards an' a couple nails... stick them suckers together... then go figure out how to get the next pair. Eventually, you'll get the dang house built.

That's what I'll be doin' for the next lil' while.

I've got some repairs to make... but... one thing I hate... I Hate... I HATE! is having to go back and do a repair, over and over again. It holds you back. Rather than moving on to new projects all your energy seems to get used up just treadin' water...  Worked a few ranches like that. The bosses wouldn't allow you to do it right the first time. So, rather than spending fifty bucks to fix it once and for all... they had you spending ten bucks... fifteen times... Just plain dumbness the way I cipher.

We could have been spending most our time improving those places... rather than all of it... puttin' band aids on band aids.

I don't want to be rollin' down ever rougher roads, worryin' is the rig gonna snap in two. So... some how... some way... we're gonna fix it right, and correct what those "Engineers" and Bean counters layed out wrong, when they built this rig... without runnin' the design past some Ol' redneck who knew better, (without a fancy certificate hangin' on the wall) First! :)

So, yeah, we're broke, and the rig is busted... but... in a week or two, it'll be patched up again... and dented, dusty and still "Broke"... we'll be rolling again down another lonely road! Promise!

So boys an' girls, one more time... I'm determined to show that a guy... or gal... who wants something strong enough... or already HAS IT, and just only wants to KEEP IT... Can do just that.

IF... they Cowboy Up, grab that Bronc by the Head, and chew on his ear!

Fixin' Broken Fivers... With a Mouth Full of Ear

***I'll start posting some pics over the next couple of posts... the 0riginal Fifth Wheel Pin Box Failure, The West Yellowstone Pin Box Repair, that was NOT a repair... and then, the Proper Repair, along with whatever other changes I might make to work around the weak/Minimum construction that MOST RV MANUFACTURERS employ.***

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