Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Project Day - First Saturday

Saturday's used to be project days back in my stix and brix days.....I had to start early to finish the project before it got dark.  Now I have 6 "Saturdays" to work on projects.....that is, when we are not workamping.  Here at TVC* we have 4 "Saturdays" for projects, or fun.  There were a couple of low priority projects that I had been putting off, but Monday (1st Saturday) was the day I decided to get serious about these projects and get them done.

First off, we have been warned by several of our fellow workampers here at TVC* that sometime in late August the pine cones will begin to fall from the trees that surround our sites.  Unlike most of our fellow workers we have no plastic vent covers on our roof to worry about, but we do have two 150 watt solar panels that are at risk.  It was suggested by our fellow workampers that we purchase some plywood and cover them.

Additionally, going way back to before we started our nomadic journey I had installed a shelf in the right rear storage compartment to allow us to make better use of the space, and store more stuff, while being able to access the stuff easily.  I chose poorly at the time and did not buy a thick enough piece of plywood, so when we put our stuff on that shelf it sagged in the middle necessitating the use of a 2 X 4 block of wood to support the middle.  This block of wood had to be removed every time I wanted to pull out our telescoping ladder.  

Finally, I recently converted the last of the automotive style bulbs used in the "aisle lights" to LED's.  I had been looking for a bayonet style LED bulb that would fit the space.  The aisle lights are really license plate lights that have been re-purposed.  The new LED bulbs fit perfectly, but the unforeseen consequence was the LED's were quite a bit brighter to so I needed to install a dimmer to tone them down a bit.

So, there you have it.....three projects for "first Saturday".  We have come to like the local "DIY"** store, so that is where we headed Monday morning.  I needed two 27" X 60" pieces of 7/32" plywood to cover the solar panels, which necessitated cutting down two 4' X 8' pieces of plywood.  I don't have room in our VW Beetle to haul two full size pieces of plywood home, so I had DIY cut them to order, and those smaller pieces fit perfectly through the hatchback with the back seat down.  I also needed to buy one 2' X 4' piece of 3/4" plywood to replace the inadequate 1/4" piece in the storage compartment.  Finally, I needed to purchase one 3-way light switch with a built in dimmer for the aisle lights.  I thought I had picked up a 3-way switch, but when I arrived home I realized I had picked up a "1 pole" light switch........arrrrgggghhh!



There it is as plain as day in the lower right hand corner......"SINGLE POLE"

We were back to the coach by 11 am, but it was getting too hot to do any work outside, or on the roof, so I started to work on the installing the new light switch/dimmer, only to quickly discover my purchasing error, so we just turned on the A/C and stayed inside for a few hours.  Late afternoon TLE helped me hoist the "solar panel protectors" into position and then secure them with bungee cords.  Then it was time for me to cut down the 3/4" piece of plywood to the proper dimensions to fit into the storage compartment.  I just used the old plywood as a template and then cut it out with my small skill saw.


 New shelf.....no sag!


The solar panels are protected!

We watched our usual Monday night programs (Longmire, Masterchef, and "24"), and then it was off to bed.......we have finally taken our electric blanket off the bed......it is finally to the point where we no longer need a blanket as it is staying pretty warm at night.

Thanks for stopping by!


* TVC = Tahoe Valley Campground
** DIY = Do It Yourself Store

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