Tuesday, November 28, 2017

For Sale - 2017 Wolf Pup Travel Trailer 16FQ $8,999.

Reason for sale - daughter and son-in-law are buying a travel trailer big enough for their two kids and asked me to be a partner.

2017 Forest River Wolf Pup – 16FQ

Dual propane tanks

Rigged for Honda 2000i (or extra battery) behind propane tanks

Wired for front mounted generator

Dual entry steps
One More Time Around: Wolf Pup - Two Step

Queen bed gas struts for easy access to storage below
One More Time Around: Wolf Pup - Under Bed Storage

Charging station w/ volt meter, double USB outlets and cigarette lighter outlet

Mattress keepers to hold mattress in place
One More Time Around: Wolf Pup - Mattress Keeper

Paper towel holder under dinette table
One More Time Around: Wolf Pup - Paper Towel Holder

Small TV on aft dinette wall

Containers for storage lockers

Holder for trash bags in galley

Toiler paper holder in head
One More Time Around: Wolf Pup - Toilet Paper Holder

Keepers to hold swing up cabinet doors open (and easily closed)
One More Time Around: Quit Using Your Head

Drying rack for towels etc. at tub
One More Time Around: Wolf Pup - How Dry I Am

Place for Champion 3100/2800 remote start generator on back bumper - generator NOT included
One More Time Around: Wolf Pup - Generator 

Wiring for Champion generator at back bumper

Transfer switch to select front or rear generator or shore power

Custom spare tire carrier
One More Time Around: Wolf Pup - Spare tire mount

Tires upgraded to passenger radials (new original ST tires also included)

Anti-Sway mount on trailer tongue
One More Time Around: Wolf Pup - Anti Sway

Micro-Air EasyStart wired to air conditioner to allow use with Honda 2000i - generator NOT included
One More Time Around: Honda 2000i VS Dometic 13,500 Air Conditioner w/ Micro-Air EasyStart 

Macerator - to empty holding tanks via a garden hose, with associated high amp wiring
One More Time Around: Wolf Pup - Sewage

Electric drill for deployment of stabilizing jacks

Spare electric element for water heater

Here’s a little bit about how we used it.
One More Time Around: Wolf Pup - Cross Country 2017

Recap of some mods:
One More Time Around: Wolf Pup Mods

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Lake Richard B Russell

Lake Russell is on the SC/GA boarder between Hartwell and Thurmond. We were invited to spend some time on Russell by friends who are in the process of making an old boat like ours water ready.

Blog of bringing his boat home.

 We have been to Hartwell

and Thurmond

but this would be our first trip to this Russell.

It had rained for a couple days before the planned departure and I was worried that I'd not be able to get Big Duck across the lawn and around the house to the street. I even had traction problems in the wet grass and leaves backing up the van to get the trailer attached.
My dog, Merlin says, "The yard is very slippery."

Later that evening  I got the mower out and blew the leaves away from the path out, in hopes the lawn would be more accommodating the next morning when we headed to the lake.
Eliminating the leaves made things easier.
The trip to the ramp, about 100 miles from home, was challenging due to traffic. We diverted off the Interstate because the GPS showed an hour delay due to a wreck, but the back roads added 45 minutes to the run. When we got to the ramp we found our friend Nicky and crew waiting to help us launch. I readied Big Duck and got Suzy aboard.
Suzy has MS and can't negotiate the steps so I winch her up via a homebuilt Suzalator.

With Suzy and Merlin aboard, Nicky backed us down the ramp and into the water. We hung around the ramp until he parked my rig and joined us with his wife Janet and her sister, Donna out on the lake.
Nicky and crew aboard their Sea Ray, Early Times

We all had a great time together, exploring the lake, getting together for meals and listening to the Clemson Tigers beating Florida State.
Jeff & Suzy eating fish, hush puppies and french fries, compliments of the ET crew.

Janet and Donna in the middle of our freshly fried fare.

Nicky getting the soup and cornbread ready.

Mmmmm! Janet's carrot cake - with ample frosting.

Merlin keeping watch on Big Duck.

Keeping watch wears a puppy out - time for R&R

It was cold but we kept each other warm.

Sunday morning we had breakfast and leisurely headed back to the ramp. Nicky jumped off at the dock and backed his trailer down while Suzy, Merlin and I watched as Janet drove Early Times up onto the trailer.

Then Nicky backed my rig down and I put Big Duck on the trailer. It was a little cold getting the boats road ready, but we didn't mind one bit, it had been a glorious outing.
Almost ready to hit the road.

Notice all the room on the trailer in front of the Sea Ray. Nicky has bunks there for his jetski.

This crisp Fall outing got me psyched up for a Florida run in December. More on that later.

Oh and a final note:
Merlin set a new record. He prefers to swim ashore to go potty but we have a 'grass' mat set up on the aft deck that he uses when we're not letting him off the boat. His previous record was 36 hours before using the mat. On this trip he was aboard for 48 hours and waited until we were back on the trailer to go down the steps and do potty ashore!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Wolf Pup Mods

Tongue addition for Honda 2000i generator or extra battery

Dual propane tanks with cover

Charging station - 2 USB, cigarette lighter, voltmeter, on/off.

Small 12 volt TV

Cabinet storage containers

Storage containers and cabinet door holder

Storage and cabinet door holder

Transfer switch to select where power comes in - forward = front generator, back = rear generator or shore power

Trash bag holder on galley counter

Tableware holder

Salt n pepper holder

My dog Merlin and fold down shelf removed from rear bumper to make room for generator - shelf comes w/ trailer

Single entry step removed in favor of two step entry - comes w/ trailer

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Meat Candy

I do the shopping and cooking. During a routine run to the store I bought a ½ pound of ‘premium’ bacon on sale. It was tough and only remotely tasted like bacon.

Yearning for some real bacon, the next time I was out I went to Fresh Market. I call this place the food museum because it has the best of everything – and of course prices to match. Nonetheless, I bought a pound of their Market Bacon and drooled as I took it home. I’d have it the next day.

The next day’s bacon adventure got a little complicated when my daughter and two grand-kids came over. I waited for a window to cook and eat my prize bacon in private but it didn’t materialize, so I decided to just ‘do it’. Mealtime ensued as I was cooking and my bacon became part of the bill of fare of the family meal. Bottom line – I got only one piece.

So today, I went back to Fresh Market and ordered a pound that I would eat by myself. Turns out it was on sale so I got two pounds. I like to cook outside on the patio table using an induction cooker w/ Teflon fry pan. This is for several reasons:

1 – cooking outside means the household cooktop doesn’t get ‘dirty’ too many days before the cleaning lady comes.

2 -  the temperature of the induction cooker is a no brainer…set it to the temp you want and it maintains it.

3 – the Teflon pan cleans up with a paper towel.

4: the cooker itself is streamlined and can be easily cleaned up with Windex and a paper towel.

5. when the patio table gets greasy enough, it gets a stiff brush with comet and the garden hose – maybe every 5th or 6th cooking.

It took 3 beers to cook 1 1/2 lbs of bacon and the grease in the pan looked so good I threw a couple eggs in it. I was brought back to reality thinking about eating enough bacon to put me in a coma when my dog Merlin wet nosed my hand, indicating I guess, that he too was expecting some bacon.

During all this potential bacon ecstasy I didn’t think to take any pictures, but when Merlin got into the picture and reality set in I thought I’d snap a pic of some of the chicken I cooked for him so I didn’t have to share my bacon.

Induction cooker with Merlin's chicken

You’ll likely read my obituary tomorrow, with my veins so clogged that Draino couldn’t open them, but the bacon was worth it. And if I do survive, I have a dozen Tums at the night stand, after which I’ll probably cook that last ½ pound.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Land and Sea Rescue

Every now and then when I have time to kill, I'll look up trailerable houseboats for sale and post the listings on a houseboat group I frequent. Classictrailerablehouseboats.   Many of the folks who hang out there are looking for boats.

A couple who recently joined the group was in the process of looking for a boat to restore and liked a Land And Sea on the list. The boat was in Wichita and they were in Colorado. Before I could offer encouragement, they were off to see/buy the 1973 houseboat for 5 grand. I talked with them on the phone while they were on site looking at the boat. When the owner came down to 4K they were sold...they just needed to replace all 6 tires on the triple axle trailer, buy a tow vehicle and the boat would be on it's way to their home in Colorado.

While they were negotiating for an F350 they got a call that the husbands job was in jeopardy due to management changes. They called me to tell me they couldn't risk buying the boat under the circumstances, and did I know anyone else that might be interested.

I'd had a couple inquiries from folks interested in Land and Sea boats but calls/texts yielded nothing promising. Then a buddy of mine, Nicky, who had been looking at $100,000+ trawlers, realized that the only thing a trawler could offer over a houseboat was more responsibility and more headaches. He and his wife committed to buy the LNS, then learned they had to take delivery in 2 weeks for the 4K price or the boat would be put back on the market.. This was a challenge in that the boat was over 1,000 miles away and Nicky would need to get time off work!

Nicky couldn't find anyone to go with him on the trip, then get the trailer ready for the return.   There was no way he could manage on his own...so I volunteered to help. We foolishly planned a 3 day trip to go the 1,100 miles there - get the trailer ready - and bring the boat home.
Tow vehicle was a 2005ish Ford Excursion V10 w/ over 150,000 miles (and a dirty windshield)

Nicky was at one time an over the road driver and drove the entire 1,100 miles without my help, stopping only for gas and potty thanks to his wife packing enough food to get us into day 2.

We arrived in town about 2am. The road to the boat was at best confusing thru construction zones. We finally saw the boat behind an auto parts store to the left, but because we had been straining to find the entrance, we weren't really prepared to turn. Nicky saw the entrance at the last minute and swerved into the lot. We stopped as soon as we were off the street to evaluate the way back in to the boat (at 2am). We had no more finished congratulating ourselves for being at our destination when a flashing blue light pulled up behind us. 

I''m thinking License and Registration but before I got the glove box door open Nicky had engaged the advancing cop in conversation. By the time the cop got to Nicky's window you'd have thought they were long lost friends swapping stories about the girls in High School.

After a few minutes of conversation the cop apologetically mentioned that the reason he pulled Nicky over was because of his erratic turn in to the lot. The cop thought Nicky was drunk.

"Naw," Nicky responded, and explained that he'd came to buy that boat back there behind the shop and didn't know where to turn to get in. They jawed for another 5 minutes or so when  Nicky eventually inquired, "We've been on the road for over 24 hours - where's a good cheap motel?"

The cop gave us the name of the motel and after Nicky asked and received directions the cop turned and almost started walking back to the squad car. About then a light must have go on in his head and he returned to Nicky's window.

"Could I see some ID" the cop asked?

He 'ran' Nicky and we were on our way to the motel for about 3 hours sleep before the meeting with the owner the next morning - at 7am. We stopped at an all night store on the way for a six-pack, but they wouldn't sell us beer because it was after 11pm.

I waited in the car while Nicky checked in at the motel. He took a little longer than was normal, probably because he encouraged the clerk/manager to tell him their life story? But he did show up with a couple beers that the manager said he wasn't allowed to give Nicky.

Talk about luck -- the next morning we were heading for the car when we ran across the clerk/manager. He and Nicky were talking like they were old friends when the manager casually suggested that if we wanted to stay another night, we'd better book it now because there were only 6 room left. Nicky said, "Do it!" and we were off to the lot to meet the owner and have a good look at the boat.

Wow - an original decal!

Giving the 'find' a once over.

All 6 tires were junk. There were 3 different kinds of tires and two different rim sizes.

Even though the boat was significantly rougher than expected, Nicky was sold. "Where do I sign?"

Except for the tires and lack of brakes, the trailer was in excellent condition.

The compressor and generator Nicky brought and the a pneumatic jack I brought saved us considerable time and effort.

The first order of business was to jack up each wheel and give it a spin to evaluate the bearings. Nicky is placing the jack.

All the wheels spun smoothly and freely except one. We removed the hub and discovered a little rust on the dragging drum which was remedied by backing off the shoes.
There were brakes on the front and rear axles but there was no way to activate them from the vehicle. The hydraulic master cylinder with the funny fork we believe was only a break-away safety.
 We'd been led to believe that the trailer had 5 lug wheels. This was a disappointment because the ultimate plan was for 16" wheels/tires that are only available with 6 lugs. We figured we'd make do somehow for the trip home, with new 15" tires - because of a clear picture of a 15 forwarded by the other couple.

Talk about luck - even before we jacked up the wheels to check the wheel bearing we realized that all the hub were 6 lug that would take 16" wheels/tires. After the bearings checked out we went back to the motel to regroup and get out of the heat. Once there, Nicky asked me to get on the horn and scout out some mounted 16's. He said no one would understand him on the phone with his thick southern accent (more on that later). I had no luck with 3 calls and mentioned it to Nicky. He said to look for a horse trailer place...which was the next call on my list.

Talk about luck! That MCT trailer store did have two 16" mounted tires, but said they could get 4 more in a couple hours. I told the fellow there that I'd call him back after I checked out the $150 each price with Nicky. I'd barely hung up the phone when Nicky said - "Call them back."

We needed lights for the trailer too so we decided to head over to Harbor Fright (Freight) during the wait for the tires. By the time we were through tat Harbor Fright about 1 1/2 hours had past so we decided to head over to the trailer store and check on the tires.

After about 1/2 hour wait, the tires showed up via courrier from their warehouse. We piled them in the back of the Excursion.

Here's Nicky paying the bill. Turns out he has several layers of Southern Accent and even a "Proper English" accent. He had no trouble conversing with the guy behind the counter.

Getting ready for the new 16's.

Damn - ain't that a pretty sight?

Let's make sure this generator isn't going to fall off on the way home.

Nicely hooked up.

Now to get all this stuff back in the Excursion.

This boat has been places.

A work site generator - wired into the electrical system mounted on the aft deck will need lots of work.

Twin AQ drives behind twin 170 HP 6's - each with 3 carburetors.

Strapped down and road ready!

Off we go!

Me and the boat back at the motel ready to head out the next morning.

Nicky the morning before we left.

On the road back home.

Janet was waiting at the curb when we pulled up.

Proud Nicky and the new boat.

Me and Nicky backing her into her new home in Springfield SC.

Janet and Nicky anticipating their new adventure.

Finally at rest and right on schedule.