Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Newell Gurus Mini Rally - Day # 4 - Friends Helping Friends

As I wrote yesterday the wind came up around 5 pm accompanied by a little rain.  The rain stopped pretty quickly, but the wind continued unabated all night long with sustained winds of 30-40 mph, and around dawn increasing to 50-60 mph.  When you live in an RV this means the RV rocks, and rolls most of the night.  That translates into fitful, interrupted sleep.  Around 5 am TLE and I gave up trying to sleep anymore an just got up.  It's amazing how a cup of rich, strong, freshly brewed coffee can elevate your spirits.  Besides, there are always naps, right?  TLE's nap came around 8 am when the wind stopped suddenly.  For some reason, my nap never quite arrived.  I had things to do, and people to see.

The first order of business was to redeploy the main patio awning, plus the window awnings and sun screen.  The winds had swept away all the clouds leaving bright, intense sunshine with temperatures in the pleasant range of the mid 70's.

After creating some shade, I refilled my oil reservoir on the DD with one gallon of 40 weight.  The oil reservoir holds about 3 gallons of oil at a time, and when I need to add oil, which is not too frequently, I just open a gate valve on the reservoir and let the appropriate amount of oil flow into the engine.  I think the last time I filled it up was in Savannah, and we've used about 4 quarts of oil since then.

The theme of our Newell Gurus website is "Friends Helping Friends", and that is what I did Tuesday afternoon.  Our new friends, Todd and Dawn Flickema, want to add a crank up satellite dish to their coach, and since I did the same 5 years ago to my '82 I volunteered to help Todd make that a reality.  

He returned to his coach from Rapid City just after Noon time, and we got to work installing his new satellite dish.  We did the same thing on his coach I did on mine 5 years ago....remove the Weingard Batwing, over the air antenna, and used the same hole in the roof to install the dish.  While Todd removed the old batwing, I began to assemble the new satellite dish.

Normally this project should/would take one to 1.5 hours, but there is always one thing that doubles the time, right?  My son and I call it the Hockwald way, but all guys know what I'm talking about.  Do it yourself projects always seem to take two times longer than they should.  In this case since the dish is mounted on the center line of the roof where the sheets of riveted aluminum overlap you need a "shim" to make the entire mounting surface for the dish flat.  There was a shim big enough for the old "batwing" antenna, but the foot print of the dish was about 2 inches bigger, so we had to make two additional shims by laminating 4 cut pieces of aluminum sheeting together to equal the thickness of the original batwing shim.  I just happened to have a couple of 1' x 3' aluminum sheets which we used for this purpose.  It took about an hour for the glue laminating the pieces together to dry sufficiently, so we took time to eat a lunch prepared by Todd's wife, Dawn.

The shims I made worked out well, and the actual installation of the satellite dish went very quickly from that point.  After securing and sealing the dish to the roof we decided to put off until Wednesday the installation of the hardware on the inside of the coach to make the dish operational.  It was 3:30 by this time, and Tuesday night was our turn to open our coach for those in our rally who wanted to see the interior of a Newell Classic.  

TLE had spent time vacuuming, and cleaning the interior to put our best foot forward for our guests.  We had a steady stream of folks dropping by including John Clark (and his wife Vicki) from the Newell Factory.  John personally owns a 1987 Newell Classic, so he really appreciated the feel and look of our '82 Classic.  

We capped off a great day, and evening with a fire in our portable fireplace.  Friends dropped by throughout the evening, and we ended the evening talking with the Flickema's and McClouds.  There is just something about a fire that brings people together, and makes for interesting conversation.

Thanks for stopping by!

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