Friday, August 12, 2016

More About Those Window Stays

Greetings everyone!  We are getting ready for our trip to Maryland to participate in the MD DOG (Dutch Oven Gathering), where we will camp and cook with our good buddies.  Momma Sharon has been working on a few mods to get us ready to roll.

Back on August 3rd I shared a little Story with you called "The Saga of the Stays" to tell you about replacing a pair of my window stays (or arms as we sometimes call them).  You'll remember that we weren't too happy about getting only right ones from Sugar Creek and then having to modify one of them to make it work.  Using a 10-year-old latch on a brand new stay kinda rubbed us the wrong way.

Mom drove to nearby Carolina Coach & Camper to follow a lead from Crystal about Lance trailers using the click-clack mechanisms on their windows.  They do, but they are an upgraded design and won't fit my windows.  Rats!

We've been in contact with Steve at EuroCampers in Missouri about ordering a pair or two or three. Yes, he can order them from Germany and yes, we can get a right one AND a left one.  They are actually $10 cheaper per/arm than the ones sold by Pleasant Valley.  But here's the catch . . . they have to be shipped via ocean freight from Germany. Good news: shipping will cost $20.00, bad news is that it will take 3-4 months.  Or we can get them via FedEX for $225.00.  Yeh right!!

We cannot wait three or four months for the boat to arrive because we need those window stays NOW!!  So yesterday Momma Sharon pulled out her stash, labeled them "old" and "new", grabbed a flat head screwdriver, and got to work.

Old click-clacks on the right, new ones on the left

The parts guy at Carolina Coach & Camper suggested that we put the latch into hot water to soften it up a bit in hopes it will come off easier and not crack.  So into a pot it went!

Sitting in HOT water in hopes of softening the plastic

The old latch came off like butter, but the new one didn't budge. Momma Sharon grunted and struggled.  The screwdriver slipped and gouged out a chunk of skin from her finger, but she kept on until it finally came off.  The plastic is a bit mangled, but it's off.

After a struggle, the old one is off…now to get the new one off!

After lunch, she came down to visit me and make sure she had the correct configuration for making the switch and re-installation.  She did and following another struggle, the old latch slid onto the new arm. What an ordeal!!  The easiest part was the actual replacement and took less than five minutes.

Everything in place & in working order

Now my front window will stay open while we camp and locked up tight while we travel.

Aunt Becky and Momma Sharon are working on a different sleeping configuration.  As soon as I pull that Story together, I'll share it with you.  Until it's Storytime again, always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love, & Window Stays That Work"

Friday, August 5, 2016

Raccoon Holler Stories - The Final Chapter

Mornin' Campers!  I have one last Story to tell you about camping in The Holler last week with Momma Sharon and then I will close this Book.  I always have a whole bunch of leftover tidbits that don't quite fall into any one Story, so that's where I'll share with you today.

Swinging frog that lives with Pod next door
Very last sticker that will fit on my door!
The ONLY meal eaten out all week
Me, Momma Sharon & our Camping Pups
Gotta find a new place for stickers - my door is full!
Chef Rob's cheeseburger topped with Mom's potato chips
Seafood in the mountains - pretty yummy leftovers
Four new stickers for Yeti
Time to close out another fine day of camping
Catching Baby Gracie in a sleepy yawn
Murphy the Camper Dog having a picnic at Elk Knob State Park
We heard the Pina Colada Song every single time we got in Levi

With these leftover snapshots, it's time for me to close this final chapter of my Raccoon Holler Stories. I really appreciate you coming by to hear my Camping Tales.  Now it's time to turn my attention to getting ready for the MD DOG later this month where we will join the Camp Dutch Oven Chefs for some cooking and camping.  

Until it's Story Time again, always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love, & Camping"

Thursday, August 4, 2016

The Clam

Momma Sharon suffers from a particular camping addiction that involves awnings and screen rooms. As long as I have known her (10 camping seasons), she has been on a quest to find the perfect auxiliary camping structure.  She has acquired quite a collection over the years in that quest.

Well, when Uncle Rob told her about a screen room called The Clam that he and Friend Mark had found, her radar kicked in.  New shade structure?  What color?  Can one person put it up?  How much?  How big? ??? Pod's Dad said that he would have it in The Holler and she could see it up close and personal.  I snitched a photo from R&T's Pod blog so you can see it too.  When I saw it, I knew we were in trouble!!

From my vantage point next door, I saw that it has 6 sides that bow outward and a fine mesh screen to keep out those no-see-ums. Around the bottom is a 12-inch wide strip of nylon that sheds water away from the interior.  The doorway has two rigid poles and tie-backs for the zippered panels.  There are hooks inside at each corner to hammer down stakes to anchor The Clam.  On each corner outside, there are also hooks to run guy lines.

The folks sat inside during a couple of torrential afternoon downpours and not a drop of water came in.  The mesh is so fine that the water just runs down the side.  

Inside there was room for all of Uncle Rob's cooking station, three folding chairs, two folding footstools, 3 humans, and 3 dogs.  I knew the real test would be the ease of putting it up and taking it down.  On Saturday afternoon, we all watched as Rob took it down and packed it up all by himself in just a matter of minutes.  Uh-oh . . . Mom had her camera and caught all the action.

Now in all fairness to the Camper Mom, she DID sell one of her awnings at the recent Blue Ridge Rally and she is thinking of parting with another one.  I was really proud of her for waiting until we got home to order it.  The order was placed on Monday and our new Clam arrived yesterday!  That means we will have it for the upcoming MD DOG and the Coastal Caravan!

Aunt Becky came over and together they had it up in a matter of minutes.  Talk about easy peasy!! This is going to be a great addition to our camping family.  I told Momma Sharon that it's going to have to travel inside of me on the bed when we are on the road because it's too long to go in Splish.  Oh, they took it down and packed it in the nylon bag in a matter of minutes too.  Sweeeeeet!

I appreciate you dropping by for a Thursday Story.  I think I may have another one tomorrow, so until then, always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love & Mom's New Awning"

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The Saga of the Stays

Well, well, well . . . you've come back for another Story . . . thanks!!

Today's chapter is all about parts, window parts.  My windows are made in Europe and in the corner is the identifier - Polyplastic.  Several summers ago while we were camping at the first Tearstock, Momma Sharon bought a pair of replacement window arms from Little Guy. Friend Sue replaced them for us at the Tanglewood Toast.  Push an unfolded paperclip into a tiny hole, slide the arm off, take out two screws, and reverse the process to put the new ones on.  Easy peasy!

Matching pair of old stays
The latches on the end that have different numbers

The arms, called "stays", on my driver's side window went bad so it was time for another replacement pair.  We contacted Little Guy once again, but this time around, they only have right arms left.  Hmmm. Not to worry says Little Guy, the right one can be modified to fit the left.  Hmmm.

Last Thursday morning in The Holler, Uncle Rob came over to do the install.

Off comes the arm on the left one
Here's the old right one
Off comes the old right one
Bingo!  The window stays open again!
We are in business!

But here's where the Saga takes a turn.  Momma Sharon totally forgot that Little Guy told her that one of the two that they sent would have to be modified to work.  To complicate things, their "right" is looking from the inside out and our "right" was looking from the outside in.  Confused?  Uncle Rob said as soon as he put them on, he knew something was funny-looking.  Sure enough, the latch on our right side wouldn't close because it was backward.  So off it came and the old one went back on.

Now my Camper Mom usually stays pretty calm, but this really rubbed her the wrong way.  In her way of thinking, a new part shouldn't have to be modified using a ten-year-old part in order for it to work. Since Little Guy doesn't have any left-hand stays left, folks have no choice but to "fix" the new so it will work.  That meant prying the latch off the old and new ones and making an exchange.

We were kinda afraid that the rigid old plastic might break in the process and then we would be in a heap of trouble with no way secure the window for travel down the mountain.  So the old one went back on until we could get home and tackle the problem then.

In the meantime, both Momma Sharon and Uncle Rob are doing online searches for replacement stays. Seems they are available as spare parts in Europe by a company called Reimo.  Thank goodness there's a button on their website to translate into English!  On their site was a listing of their dealers and there are three here in the States.

We now have an email in to EuroCampers in Missouri to see if they have pairs of the window stays or if they can get them from Europe. Part 2 of the Saga will follow.  We have our fingers crossed that we have located a source for us and all T@Bbers.

Today, my Camper Mom is going to put on her big girl panties, pull out the flathead screwdriver, and see if she can get the latches switched out using the old and new arm.  I'm sure it will look like a three-ring circus, so I will be sure to document it . . . LOL.

Parts, parts, parts - old & new - left & right!!

Until I continue the Saga of the Stays, y'all take care and always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love, & Parts"

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Road 5 - Fifth Avenue

Howdeeeee!  Welcome back for another Story From The Holler.

One of the neat things about Raccoon Holler Campground is how well the seasonal trailers merge with the ones like me that stay for a few days or maybe even a week.  Most of the roads (there are 6 of them) have a combination of the two.  But there's one exception . . . Road 5.  They refer to themselves as Fifth Avenue.

The pups and Momma Sharon took a stroll along Fifth Avenue on Friday morning with camera in hand.  She took several dozen snaps of the gardens, the decor, the back yards, and anything that grabbed her attention.  And there was a lot of that.  Those folks take camping to a whole 'nuther level!!  Here's what I mean . . . 

Those folks are a real social bunch too.  They visit and play cards and have parties and ride around in their golf carts and eat potluck suppers together.  At night their campsites are lit up like Christmas.  It's a sight to behold, that Fifth Avenue.

Well I'm happy being a little 16-footer with my simple Splashy decor. I appreciate you stopping by for a Story about the other side, the Fifth Avenue side of camping in The Holler.  Come on back tomorrow and I'll tell you another Tale.  Until then, always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love, & Camping In The Holler"

Monday, August 1, 2016

Groovy Tyes & Dyes

Mornin' all…

It's a laid-back, post-Holler start to our day.  Coffee has been consumed and I'm just looking at Story options for the week.  I want to take you back to the High Country Bus Festival that Momma Sharon just happened upon last Tuesday when out exploring with R & T.

I gotta tell you that my Camper Mom has a soft spot for VW buses, vans, and transporters.  When she sees them, I notice a far away look in her eyes like it takes her back to the 60s that she really digs.  She loves the music (especially Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young that she happens to be listening to right now), she loves the whole peace and love vibe it gave off, and she really, really loves the colors of tye-dye. Our friend Geo thinks that I should get a big ole tye-dyed peace symbol to replace my T@B emblem.

Momma Sharon switches out our little garden flags daily and here's one that we particularly love . . . 

As they were all cruising along in the Gator getting the Twin Rivers tour last Tuesday, she kept spying tye-dyed stuff everywhere.  It was kinda hard to snap photos from that hopping-all-over-the-road ATV, but she did get a few good ones.

Man oh man, that tye-dye was just too groovy!  Her excitement shot right off the charts when they pulled up to Tyes & Dyes By Michelle.  It was love at first sight and she was off the Gator before it hardly came to a stop!

Michelle is from Jacksonville, NC and travels the festival circuit to sell her creations.  Can you guess which one drew Mom like a magnet! Yep, that big blue one with the lime green and rainbow of colors. Uncle Rob had to spot her the money because hers was locked up in Levi. It was taken down and folded up with love.  Michelle gave us her business card and gave Momma Sharon a big hug.  Nirvana!

When my Camper Mom got back to the campground I knew something was up because of that $#!%-eating grin on her face.  Lookie, lookie what she brought me . . . 

This won't be where we will hang it when we camp, but it does look groovy doesn't it?!  "Our house is a very, very, very fine house…la, la, la, la, la."  I'll hum that CSNY tune for awhile and invite you back for another Story tomorrow.  Until then, always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love, & Groovy Camping"