When we arrived here at Bluewater Lake, I was lucky to meet up with a Certified Master RV Technician here in the park, and through a series of events, he ended up checking out my entire rig for me and making some repairs. He taught me a lot, and since I was past due for the annual service on my appliances in The Palms, he helped me out with that.
Ron was parked across from me in the first campsite I chose last Thursday. Then I decided to move my rig to a new site, and when I was talking to Ron, I dropped my welcome mat in his site, and didn't realize it. Later, after I was in the new site and setting up, he walked down the road with my rug.
I was plugging in, and he noticed that my electric plug was not in the best shape, not dangerous yet, but I knew it was going to have to be replaced soon. That's when I learned he was a retired RV tech and he had a replacement plug that he offered to put on my 30 amp cord. It was really nice of him to offer to do the repair, and his hourly rate was much less than I would have paid at a shop or dealership.
HOT WATER HEATER/ANODE ROD
Once that was done he noticed the screen in the water heater cover wasn't flush, so he went over and opened the door to re-set the screen. That's when he noticed my anode rod. It was looking pretty old and discolored and he asked me when I last checked it. "Never." So back to his truck he went to get tools to unscrew the anode. It takes a special size socket, a 1 1/16", and he unscrewed it and got it out. (I'll be buying one of those sockets.) It was completely worn away, and when he pulled it out we could see my water heater tank was full of white material and large flakes. He said the tank should be emptied and flushed out - this should be done every six months. He met me over at a water faucet that we could use, and it took lots and lots of flushes to finally get clear water coming out of the tank.
The graphic below was copied from the Suburban Hot Water Heater Service Manual. It shows the original anode rod all the way to 75% used up. You should replace it at 75%, mine was at 100%.
So... that's the story of my annual hot water heater service. Totally unexpected and unplanned, but it was done, thanks to Ron who gave me a great deal in comparison to other places I would have gone, and he has the training and expertise to do it right. I trusted him completely and was really happy to have him working on The Palms. I might add that he has the patience of a saint, and I only heard a couple of bad words through this whole ordeal. My own Dad wouldn't have had that much patience. :)
I'm hoping I'll be able to slide by for a while with the current hot water heater, but it is six years old, so I may be living on borrowed time. At least I now know what I need to do and how to do it to keep it going as long as possible.
CATALYTIC HEATER PROPANE LINE/SHUT-OFF VALVE
He noticed the new propane line installed in the fridge area that goes down to the outlet for my catalytic heater that I had installed last November. It seems this installation was not done according to code. The line installed is rubber instead of copper, and there is no shut-off valve, which is also a code violation. The installation is right over my rear wheel well, and a blowout that might take out the wheel well could cause a real issue with that rubber line. If there is a spark and the hose rips open, in seven minutes The Palms could be a pile of ashes on the highway. So I'm going back to the installer on my way to Arizona when I leave here and have him correct it and bring that install to code. Hopefully I won't have any problems with that.
And guess what - Ron checked my converter and said it is working fine - just the way it should be. Can you believe that??? I thought I had a defective one again. The first one I bought in Utah was broken after it had been bouncing around on the closet's under flooring without being attached to the floor, but the current one that I received under warranty IS working. So now I don't have to worry about it anymore.
The next thing Ron did for me was to show me, and walk me though, taking down my awning, which I've never done. This winter I'm having an automatic Carefree Awning installed when I'm at Quartzsite. Ron said that's the best, confirming what my friend Hazel has been telling me, so I was glad to have that confirmation. In the meantime, if I want to lower the awning, I know how. Also, to save a little money I planned to re-use my awning fabric when I have the automatic one installed, and I was glad to see I have only a little mold on the awning. It looks really good - brand new - and Ron said there's no reason he could see why I shouldn't be able to re-use it.
COACH DOOR LOCK AND TV ANTENNA
It was kind of amazing what he had in his Ranger truck that he pulls behind his motor home. Every time he needed a part or tool, he'd come back with the right thing. I finally had to laugh, and told him his truck was like those clown cars - it was amazing what kept coming out of it.
New Horse Photos
The other night I woke up to Katie's low growls and barks and she wouldn't stop. I looked outside and in the bright moonlight I could see six horses right near The Palms, grazing in the field. There was a little one that was trying to nurse, and the mare kept jumping out of the way and it looked like they were having a little dispute. Finally they walked away and the other horses followed them. Very cool to wake in the middle of the night to see these beautiful animals in the moonlight.
Hazel and I took a ride the other day and I got some photos of horses by the lake, and I also snapped some in the campsite near me. I love being back with the horses again, especially since there are so many new foals to watch:
From me and Katie, have a great weekend, everyone! :)