Thursday, September 26, 2013

Bye, Bye Diamond Shield!

Lucy, our Tiffin Allegro Bus Motorhome had a Diamond Shield protection on the front that had failed…quite awhile ago! There were a couple of spots on her at purchase time, but nothing like it was in its current state. Nasty, nasty nasty!

Diamond Shield Failure

I’m sharing close-ups to give you the full picture of how nasty she really was :) All those spots are mildew behind that Diamond Shield. We originally thought they were just bug stains but no matter how we tried to clean them, nothing worked. I had been itching to peel back this yucky film for a long time but whenever Rick caught me “trying” he had a coronary :)   He was afraid I’d start something I couldn’t finish.

Well, the time finally arrived! Here the generator drawer is done. See the difference?

Generator Panel Completed

With Rick on one side and me on the other, we rolled and pulled taking care that no paint came off in the process.

Peeling Diamond Shield off

We have several friends that removed theirs and it took them many, many man hours. We asked about removal while we were in for service at one time and got a quote of $1000. I have to tell you, had we spent $1000 to have this film removed, I probably would have just been happy to have it gone. BUT, it only took Rick and I an hour and a half to remove the film and, then about another 6 hours of Ricks time to remove the remnants of adhesive, wash her and put on 3 coats of wax.

It wouldn’t have taken him that long if we had removed the adhesive immediately after removing the film. We were tired having traveled that day and decided to wait until tomorrow. The adhesive dried out over night and it was much more difficult to remove than when it was soft and pliable.  Lesson learned! $1000 saved! We were very lucky though. Others we know, have spent 40-50+ hours to achieve these results. Had we had that experience, I think $1000 would have been well paid!

Bye, bye Allegro Bus! Unfortunately, our “Allegro Bus” lettering was on top of the Diamond Shield. It came off with it.

Bye-Bye Allegro Bus!

Hello Lucy!  Doesn’t she just sparkle???

The “Lucy” is just a simulation, but we are thinking of having it done.  

What do you think?

Simulation

Thanks for stopping by.Turtle

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Motorhome Mod…New Kitchen Backsplash

We are spending the week in Cedar Point, NC right next to Emerald Isle Beach. This is one of our favorite spots and we’ve done some prime beach walking :)

Beach

But today, it was time for work!  Rick replaced our air conditioner shrouds with shiny new ones.

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The old ones were threatening to take flight as we drove down the highway :)

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They were much worse than this picture shows. There were cracks all over the place and one fell apart before Rick could throw it in the dumpster!

Here is the shiny new model. We had our choice of colors-black or white. The old shrouds were tan. That was not an option, so black seemed the better choice. Lucy has some black, but no white. They look fine and our fellow motorists are much safer now :)

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While he was doing that, I replaced our kitchen backsplash. It turned out pretty darn good, if I do say so myself :)

Our backsplash has always been a thorn in my side. It was a mirror. Every tiny splatter found it’s way onto that glass and it looked horrible unless it was cleaned twice a day. I’m retired. Twice a day was too much work for me! :)

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The mirror was glued to the wall so I wasn’t sure how much elbow grease I was going to need.  First I covered the entire surface with tape so if it shattered it would be contained.

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I first tried dental floss and slid it behind the mirror hoping to gently work it free. I had to abort that plan immediately. The edges of the mirror, although finished, cut the floss in seconds. I ultimately ended up using a small pry bar and working in sections.

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The mirror had a vinyl film on the back which helped hold the larger pieces together as they broke. I vacuumed up the small chips and glass dust as I went. It turned out that the mirror was attached by a strip of double sided foam tape on top and bottom with a glob of adhesive through the middle that resembled liquid nails. It was on there to last. It took awhile to get the entire mirror down but finally, at the end, the last section let go all in once piece.

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After packaging up the pieces for a trip to the dumpster, I cleaned the excess adhesive and tape off the wall and gave the entire wall area a good cleaning.

I have always loved the look of glass tiles and really, really wanted to have them as our backsplash. Realistically, however, I knew I couldn’t afford to add the weight. They are heavy! Then I discovered a product called Smart Tiles.

Smart Tiles look like glass tiles but come in 10” x 10” sheets of self stick awesomeness. They are made of gel and mimic the look of glass fabulously! What do you think? Pretty cool, huh?

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A little closer view

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I left the small side mirror and tiled around it. I still get a bit of the extra light/spaciousness for which the mirrors were intended, but without having a huge expanse and not above the stove.

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I am happy as a clam :)

I actually gave us back some CCC (cargo carrying capacity). The mirror I removed weighed 9½ pounds while the Smart Tiles came in at 1 ¾ pounds! How cool is that?

Now, all I need is a new kitchen window treatment :)

Thanks for stopping by. Turtle

Monday, September 9, 2013

Guess Who Came to Dinner :)

We were at the NC State Fairgrounds a great deal  this summer, so when we heard that friends, Howard and Linda Payne of RV-Dreams.com were going to be presenting seminars at the North Carolina RV Show this month, we thought it would be a great opportunity to have a get together.

And, get together we did! :)

Some of us gathered at the Fairgrounds RV Park…Gin and Syl of Wandering Sylville, Ronnie and Cynthia of Eas-on Down the Road and Bruce and Laura (who haven’t decided on a blog yet)… for a fun weekend.

Saturday morning we headed over to the RV Show to say hi to Howard and Linda, do a little browsing and, of course, some horsing around :)

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We started the evening festivities with snacks and Happy Hour. Howard and Linda had an hour break between seminars so were able to join us for a bit before returning to do their last seminar of the day.

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We were later joined by Hank and Selene Montgomery, John and Terri Shea, Gary Moore (minus Peggy who was doing Mom/Grandma duty…we missed you Peggy!) and, of course, Howard and Linda, for a potluck dinner.

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We ate (a lot!), drank and laughed until our sides hurt. It was a wonderful time and left us wanting more :) Howard and Linda left with a few new ideas for future get togethers :)

Those of us that are full-time RVers or plan to become full-time RVers know of Howard and Linda. They are an inspiration to many. If you would like more information on this lifestyle, I encourage you to visit their website: RV-Dreams.com. There is a wealth of information there. Rick and I discovered their site early on in our research and what we learned in the process was invaluable. We consider them friends and mentors. They are partially responsible for our decision to down-size, sell it all and travel the country. We would have still done it without them, but they made our research so much easier! We will be forever grateful to them :) It was one of the best decisions we have ever made!

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Yup. Life is good :)

Thanks for stopping by. Turtle

Monday, September 2, 2013

Spending the Summer in NC and Thanks to a Fellow Blogger for Giving Me Back My Identity!

Before I get into this blog post, I want to thank Rick Doyle for his priceless help after my G+ rant a few weeks ago. Rick not only corresponded with me several times about my noreply-comment persona, but he spent time researching and came up with a solution! If any of you are on the G+ profile and find yourselves in the noreply-comment black hole, Rick’s post here will show you how to fix that. Thanks again, Rick!

What? You had completely forgotten about my rant because it has been so long since I posted??? Guilty as charged. The reasons for that are many, but for the purpose of this blog, I will say that we were just too busy spending quality time with family :)

We changed our travel plans this summer and returned to North Carolina to welcome our daughter, Nicole, home from Italy where she has spent the past 3 years attending HÈLIKOS International School of Theatre Creation, based in Florence, Italy. Although we saw her each summer for a few days, we had not spent any quality time together in many years. That all changed this summer and we got a chance to really reconnect. It was the most time we had spent together since she was in high school and we both enjoyed it immensely! Sometimes it’s just nice to be family :)

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We are in the Triangle area and have spent a great deal of time at the NC State Fairgrounds. They have FHU sites for $25 night so it’s convenient, but the ambience is lacking. There are 2 state parks in the area, each with a 14 day limit so we’ve tried to keep things fresh and interesting by traveling between parks occasionally. The state parks only have 30 amp electric service and water. There are no sewer hookups but there is a dump station available, so we took advantage and booked ourselves into a couple of waterfront sites :)

Our site at Rolling View Campground, Falls Lake

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We could just walk the Sea Eagle down that slope to launch…Perfect!

Sunset from our site at Crosswinds Campground, Jordan Lake.

Jordan Lake

We had an easy launch from this site also. We had several nice paddles this summer.

Enjoying some non-paddling time with Peggy and Gary :)

Peggy & Gary

In fairness to us, we did have to paddle to get there :)

We have had some great family time and we have had some great friend time. We have even had some awesome weather, short-lived, but awesome for NC in August.

Yesterday was our 28th wedding anniversary. We shared the day with Ronnie & Cynthia and Peggy & Gary. We were planning a dinner out but the skies opened up and dumped several inches of rain on us while we were enjoying Happy Hour. Flash flooding throughout the area convinced us that we would be safer right where we were. We pulled out more food and settled for a dinner of heavy hors d'oeuvres :)

Anniversary

There is no way I’ll ever be able to “catch-up” this blog and cover the entire summer, so I’ll just continue on from here.

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The End

Thanks for stopping by. Turtle