Friday, November 23, 2012

My last - I hope - RV Mod

I'm not a Black Friday shopper.  I guess I might shop on-line today if I needed anything, but I don't.  Do you fight the crowds to get the good pricing on Black Friday?


I hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving and a wonderful meal with the people you love. 

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving Dinner yesterday at Bluewater Casino in Parker, AZ.  I had dinner with three of the Dingbats, Hazel, Debbie and Carol.  The turkey was fresh roasted and very tasty, and everything was wonderful.  Their gravy was really good, which enhanced the already delicious turkey, stuffing and potatoes.  Even their coffee was better than the good restaurant coffee.  They do a great job in their kitchen! 

Notice the  cream pie?  That's the only thing I didn't like, but I didn't realize it was sugarless when I took it.  There was a table with real pie slices and real whipped cream to top them off, so I went back and got a slice of pecan pie with fresh whipped cream spooned over it. 

My friends couldn't believe I'd never tasted pecan pie before, especially Hazel who is from the South, but this was my first time trying it.  It was sooooo good.  It may have been my first pecan pie, but it won't be my last, for sure.  A wonderful way to finish off a delicious dinner.


I was standing at my kitchen sink when I looked out the window and saw this guy slinking along, stopping, slowing turning his head back and forth as he scoped out each campsite on the other side of the bushes, and then continuing on.  It was sunset and the sun turned him a beautiful color - at first I thought he was a large fox, he was so red.

I've cropped these photos to give you a closer look at the coyote, but you can see the wheels on the vehicle at the top of the photos.  He was very close to the campsites he was checking out.  He was looking for dinner, and I was glad that - at least this time - he kept walking.  As much as I don't want coyotes near me and Katie, I really do like seeing them in the distance and watching them as they walk along in their desert.


This is something I've been planning to do for a long time, and finally got it partially completed.  I ordered Camco Flying Insect Screens on to cover the vents to the refrigerator, water heater and furnace on the outside of The Palms.

They were more expensive than I thought they would be - $18.89 for the refrigerator screens, $18.49 for the water heater vent screen, and $14.11 for the furnace. Because I have Amazon Prime, the shipping was free and there was no tax charged, so the total for the three vent covers was $51.49 and they were delivered in two days.

This is the furnace screen.  The furnace and hot water screens come with two little attachers and a small tool that you use to attach the screen to the vent.  It keeps out little critters so they don't enter your appliance and build nests.  I guess if that happens, it can be an expensive service bill.

This one went on very easily - you have to read the directions, figure out where you are going to do the attaching, and then use the tool to get the little hooks in the right places.  The reviews on these things mentioned how hard it is to get the little hooks attached, but I didn't find it to be a problem.

 This is the "before" shot of the furnace vent:

 And here's the "after" shot:

There are three screens for the refrigerator that fit in the openings of the vents and they provide six small ties to attach the screens.  This one was super easy to get done.

See the screens on each vent opening?

This is the little white tie that attached the screen - they provide two per screen.

The screens are supposed to stay put - not fly off on the freeway.  The reviews I read all said they stay very well.  No one had problems with them coming loose.

Then I tried to put on the hot water heater screen, and it was the wrong size.  I specifically ordered the one for my Suburban six gallon heater to be sure it would fit. Reviews of this screen complained that it didn't fit, so I wanted to make sure it would fit mine.  I didn't realize until I got it that it has to be square, not rectangular. This rectangular shape fits fine if I put it on lengthwise, but then it covers the toggle switch that is used to take the cover off, and I don't want to have to remove the screen to take off the cover.

I'm going to have to return it.

Taped up and ready to return. You can see it says "Suburban 6," but it doesn't fit MY Suburban 6.

The Gambler, one of the businesses in town that has a lot of RV things, does have these screens, so when I'm in town today I'll check to see if he has the right size.  I should have bought them all from him a few weeks ago, but when I saw the prices, I thought he was too expensive.  Turns out, he was right on and I ended up paying the same thing from and waiting for them to be delivered.  And now I have to return the one I have.  :(

I was going to get an automatic awning while I'm here at Quartzsite, but decided against it.  I've heard good and bad about them, but then I thought, I've never used my awning - I won't miss having it work automatically if I never use it, so why spend the $1,500 that it will probably cost?  If I DID get one, I'm sure I'd use it, but there is always shade outside cast by The Palms when it's sunny out, so if I want to sit outside, I can always find a shady spot, or put my chair under a tree.  I have window coverings to cool the inside.  I enjoy the view of the full expanse of the sky and all the light I get inside my rig which an awning will affect, so I think I'm good on that score.

I can't think of any other upgrades or additions I need - isn't that a good thing?  I think I'm done with my RV mods. :)


Did you notice the logo on my photos today?  Dewell Designs is a company I was going to use on the road to do on-line resumes and/or use for a word processing business on the web.  I haven't started it yet, maybe I never will, but I decided on Tuesday to make a logo for the business name and put it on my photos.

The idea behind the palm tree and sunshine graphics are twofold.  The palm tree is because I'm most recently from San Diego where there are lots of palm trees, and of course because of  The Palms, the name of my motor home; the sunshine over the "i" in Designs is because I'm living in a Forest River Sunseeker, and also because I follow the sun.

Here are the different versions I made.  Sometimes on a light or dark photo one looks better than the others.  I was going to make transparent logos, but these were more noticeable, so I decided to go with a background and third one looked better with a border. 

Pretty cool, huh?   (I just love this stuff.)

From Me and Katie, have a great Black Friday - if you're shopping today, I hope you find all the deals you're looking for!  :)


  1. Love the logos - especially the sun in the i. Hadn't thought about insect screens, but sounds like a good idea. Our Phaeton had an automatic awning - we didn't like it all. It was so high that it didn't provide much shade. Also couldn't hang lights on it easily. The new RV has a manual one and I think we will like it better. That coyote was a little bit too close for me.

  2. I did notice the logo. Perfect! Bummer that you have to return one screen. Dontcha just hate that? I have the screen over the furnace but will do what you did. Maybe wait till I get to Q-site to buy from your guy?

  3. Hey it seems like you have a blast! I was wondering if you would be willing to do a guest blog on our site. We are a Florida RV dealership in Stuart, Florida and run an active blog where we talk about a wide array of all things RV! Let me know! My email is

  4. Love the logo! I like designing things too, I used to do label designs when I was working for the bottled water company.
    George installed screens on all our vents too. We actually found a bees nest in the fridge vent on TOP of the screen, so it works :)

  5. Your dinner looked wonderful - it's about time you got to taste pecan pie - it's good stuff!
    Good idea on the screens.

    With a manual awning, you can position it & slant it for water purposes. The automatic ones, you pretty much have to go with how they work. Can't slant them for water run off.

    I do use my awning quite often when I'm on the road. Don't use it much where I am right now though. But sometimes I pull it out so I have shade when I want to work on projects outside.

    Love the new logo!

  6. Well, i did not know they made screens fr those things, i got a wasps nest in the furnace this year :(..good idea!
    I don't get up early, early anymore, BUT i did go in to Bend and scored on a pair of BearPaw fleece lined boots, my feet are freezing! the were more than half off. But missed out on getting "Brave" for a little girl i know at a good price at Target..all gone! Looks like you had a happy day!!!

  7. You are right. It sure looks like a fox to me too. I don't want them close but certainly just close enough to get a good picture .. which you did!

  8. we've always had manual awnings..this motorhome has an automatic..and runs off the remote..we love does tip itself to let the rain water off..but alas to me its just another electronic thing that can break down..that coyote was too close for comfort..looks like you had a great dinner..

  9. I have gone shopping on Black Friday before - but not super early - and not really to buy a lot of stuff at great prices...just for the fun of the crowds and the Xmas music, the whole experience. :)

  10. Better not leave Katie outside alone with those coyotes around!

    I like my electric awning, but I sure wish I could adjust how low or high it goes. That's the advantage to the manual ones.

  11. I have shopped on Black Friday years ago before the craziness of the event, fights over merchandise, etc. I think it's gone too far when they co-opt the one holiday in the country that people can agree on and is non-religious. (I don't consider gratitude and thankfulness as religious.) I would have joined the picketers at Walmart if I was younger and in better condition!

  12. That dinner looks wonderful - and the best part is no cooking or clean-up. Maybe I'll do that next year.

    I like the new logo and your reasoning behind it.

  13. Love that logo. Especially like the looks of that dinner. I don't like pecan pie but Jim does and somebody made one here in the park that he got a piece of. He was a happy camper.

  14. nice new logo! looks great as a 'watermark' on your photos!

  15. Ah pecan pie, that is my favorite! is one of the easier ones to fix. Black Friday, I'd take on your coyotes before venturing out in that mess. I don't much like shopping any ways so why go when it is a zoo.
    We have an electric awning, and they do tip to let water run off. They lock into place after you tip them. And we hang lights on our all the time. Maybe it depends on which RV company made your camper, if they work easy or not. We love ours.

  16. Hey Barbara, Noticed the logo in your pics immediately. Looking good girl !

    No turkey for me this year - sure looked yummy though.

    Glad to hear you got your screens on. This was something that I read on the various RV Websites as something to do right away.

    As for Black Friday shopping - I HATE shopping at the best of times - well unless I'm buying something cool for my bike or the RV. LOL

  17. We had a mouse get in our furnace vent one year and build a nest. I was out camping with my teenage son and his friend once, the night got chilly, so the furnace came on at 2am when we were all sleeping. The nest started smoldering, created a lot of smoke and the smoke alarm went off. It woke me up and I shut the furnace down and everything was ok after that. It sure was a scary thing though!

    I no longer have an RV but it's nice to know about those screens. My next RV that will be the first thing I buy!


  18. I too love the logo. If you do decide to start your business, you have one step done. Be careful with Katie with that coyote so close. I always watch for them when I take Sugar out at camp.

  19. I noticed your logo right away, it looks good with the palm tree. I'm undecided about the automatic awnings, too. I'm still considering having my awning removed, wonder if I could sell it. The supports for the awning just get full of bugs and I have to keep washing it.

  20. Love the new logo. I don't use the awning a lot but when I do it's so nice that it's automatic.
    I just replaced the battery vent cover on "My Spot". It's plastic and parts of the vent had broken off.
    This was the 1st year that I didn't make the pumpkin pie that I make with ice cream, but made a new one that was unbaked , Carmel, nut pumpkin cream. Yummy!
    Give Katie a pat from me and a woof from Angel.

  21. I'm still a little confused as to what exactly your RV converter is ?? I am assuming it is something like this item ? It converts 120 volt power to 12 volt DC power ? and your looking at a max of 30 amp DC power.

    This sort of begs the question if you have 120 volt power then why not use 120 appliances "which are supper dependable" in your RV ? In my trailer I Have 840 watts solar and my charge controller & separate inverter both cost $700- $900 - admitted a little overkill , but personally I would be scared to install this $126 item and use it for what your using it for.

    Being one who likes a little mystery and being someone confused as to what your exact problem was, it is generally Volts that are supplied as 120 - 240 volts - for homes or from Rv parks , or as from a battery 6, 12 , 24 , 48 volts .... I'm lost as to how your watts were of the dial as you stated ? Watts are power used for 120v - like your TV uses 100 watts & a DC TV uses amp hours for 12 volts is normally what is being used by your appliance "your DC" TV would use 10 amp hours !!

    Putting a larger 50 amp or 100 amp converter does not make any difference....if it did my 840 solar would have burned down my trailer already.

    I'm guessing your defective converter produced maybe 16 or higher volts vs standard 12 - 13.6 max volts & that this is what lead to all your electrical problems, granted the flake at the RV dealer should have tested the unit after it was installed - but I would also say in all fairness to all RV owners that just because you have a low quality part to start with - there is no law on earth that requires you to replace it with a equally low part.

    Having seen a few RV's that caught fire - I would say you were VERY VERY VERY LUCKY - to get away with only a $1,000 hole to your wallet.

    Just last night I put out a car fire.


  22. Isn't it amazing how some things are less expensive with time. My coach is getting to the point of needing new screens and I just looked at these last week.

    I love Carefree awnings. I have had them on my last two RV's and when my current one dies, I will replace with a Carefree. I get the manual ones and like them. I can also tie them down.

    My old coach, that a friend now has, has had it's awning out for eight years (it's a Carefree). It has been out during heatwaves, frigid temps, ice, snow and wind up to 65mph, to include a microburst (that was very unnerving, it also made the light green!). That storm produced a tornado that landed a few miles away.

    I put out my awning everywhere I stop (unless it is only overnight and not raining). It is nearly the most used item on any RV that I have had :)


Thank you for your comments - we LOVE them!