Summer 2018, Day 45

Our first stop today was James A. Garfield National Historic Site in Mentor, Ohio, home of the 20th president:

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1980s social media?

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We toured the house:

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The wreath from Garfield’s funeral after his assassination in 1881:

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An original painting of Yosemite, probably from the Hudson River School, most likely Bierstadt, who was a contemporary of Garfield:

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We continued east into Pennsylvania along the shore of Lake Erie:

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Onward to New York.  The Rainbow is a consolation prize, I guess:

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Our next stop was Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site in Buffalo, the house where then-VP Theodore Roosevelt was inaugurated in 1901 after the assassination of President McKinley:

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Upon leaving the site, we discovered that one of our new leaf springs had become misaligned, so the top leaf spring fell past the lower leaves.  We limped to a home depot parking lot where I unloaded the spring and hammered the leaves back into position:

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We overnighted at a nearby truck stop.  See the alternating yellow line on the trip map for today’s drive.

Summer 2018, Day 39

This morning I drove the motorcycle into Bismarck and bought replacement studs.  I got the studs installed:

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I reinstalled the disc brake and brake pad assembly:

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After installing the brake caliper and putting the wheel on, I’m done:

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We continued east into Minnesota:

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We continued on to my brother’s house, where we will be for a few days.  See the alternating yellow line on the trip map for today’s drive.

Summer 2018, Day 38

Another great day at Glendive:

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The horses wouldn’t come down today:

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We got in a little over our heads today:

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We packed up and headed east into North Dakota:

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We stopped at the South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park.  Last year we visited the North Unit.

We visited Theodore Roosevelt’s Maltese Cross Cabin.  Roosevelt moved here from New York after the death of his wife and mother:

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The Maltese Cross carved into the cabin:

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In the visitor center, this display listed the lands conserved by Roosevelt:

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We went to an overlook for the Park’s badlands:

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We continued east.  Approaching Bismarck, I felt an odd shuddering in the steering wheel.  We pulled off the interstate into a gravel parking lot and discovered most of the lug nuts on the front passenger wheel had broken off:

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I had M check the lugs on the other wheels:

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The remaining lugs sheared off when I tried to unscrew the lug nuts:

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Broken pieces:

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I removed the brake caliper and brake disc:

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I was then able to remove the brake pad holder and pound out the broken studs:

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Not a bad spot to be stuck:

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We took down one of the motorcycles so I can drive into Bismarck tomorrow to buy replacement studs:

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I’ll be taking this frontage road to get to Bismarck:

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See the alternating yellow line on the trip map for today’s drive.

Summer 2017 trip prep

Getting ready to leave for our summer trip involves plenty of work.  I tested the telescope with the solar filter and camera mount to make sure everything would work well when viewing the eclipse.  Note the sunspot:

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I filled the fresh water tank and turned on the pump which supplies pressure to all the fixtures in the RV.  I heard a spraying noise, and ran into the master bathroom to find the toilet leaking fresh water.  I winterized the RV after our 2016 Assateague Island Sukkos trip, which involves opening low-point drains and then opening all water fixtures to allow the water to drain out of the fixtures and out the low-point drains.  Unfortunately, I didn’t think of the toilets as water fixtures, so I didn’t do this.  The toilet’s supply valve must have been filled with water and cracked over the winter when it froze.  Getting the supply valve disconnected from the toilet was easy:

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I ordered two new valves, since the kids’ toilet broke in the same way.  The new valves won’t arrive before we leave, so I had them shipped to my brother’s house where they should be waiting for us when we arrive on Sunday.  In the mean time, I capped the water supply line so we can use the water in the rest of the RV:

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For now we’ll have to flush by filing a container with water and manually pouring it into the toilet.  So much for our glamorous RV lifestyle.

The New (for us) Truck Camper

There may be some trips for which a massive 5th wheel like our 2014 Avalanche 360RB is too large.  I found a truck camper on Craigslist and bought it for $500.  It’s a 1990 Sunline C951.  The floorplan can be found on page 11 of the manual:

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The truck camper needs a good bit of work, hopefully I can get everything working.

In order to bring the truck camper home, the truck needed tie-downs to attach the truck camper to the truck.  I could have purchased a set for $450, but it rankled to pay almost as much for the tie-downs as the truck camper, so I decided to build tie-downs instead.  I welded up a pair of rear tie-downs using a bar attached to the tow receiver:

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For the front tie-downs, I based my design on commercially available tie-downs:

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During construction, I installed the tie-downs to make sure the fit was correct.  To tie-down the truck camper, extension bars are installed to bring a mount point out beyond the undercarriage of the truck:

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Stay tuned for the rebuild of the truck camper!