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Drowning in Chinese Crap

Yeah, sure, good luck with that!

CMCO Chinese crap

CAMCO Chinese crap

Honest, I try my best to source American made goods whenever I can even if it costs a bit more. About all I got left to do that might make some sort of miniscule difference is voting with my pocketbook. All I got to say is that it is getting harder and harder especially when the seller is intentionally vague about the Country of Origin.  This ain’t an oversight on their part – it is oh so intentional most every time.  They call it marketing.

I changed out the propane hoses between my tanks and regulator on the NO Princess Palace last February – not because they needed it but because I was just being pro-active maintenance wise. I changed from 30lb propane tanks to 40s at the same time  The heat and UV down here in the Puckerbrush play hell with anything plastic or rubber.  I would have been better off blowing the money on cold beers.

I walked out of the Palace about dusky dark one evening this week and smelled propane – BAD!  Following my nose up toward the snout of the RV even my wore out old ears could hear the gas hissing out.  My first though was these hoses are supposed to have a valve in them that prevents a catastrophic leak in the event of a rupture.  FAIL!  Didn’t take me long to suss out the source of the leak.

Hose fail!

Hose fail!

The cheap ass chinaman CAMCO pigtail had ruptured directly behind the ferrule and my precious propane was leaking out at an alarming rate.  I shut the tank off and went fishing in the guts of the Palace for the hose I had removed 15 months ago and quickly swapped it out.

You know, it just pisses me off to spend hard earned dollars and expend valuable time sourcing CRAP! so I decided to re-visit Amazon and try to figure out what had possessed me to purchase these pigtails in the first place and at first glance the reason was readily apparent.  The hose has over 400 generally positive customer ratings and it is one of the cheaper offerings in the category so it looks good at first glance.  Knowing what I know now, I dug a little deeper and found most of the reviews were what I call The Amazon Product Honeymoon.  Amazon knows full well good reviews sell product and most times, after you buy something, they will send you an email in the next few days asking you how you liked the product.  So what are you going to say?  It was packaged nice? Received quickly? Fits correctly ? …and my favorite – it looks good and looks like it will do the job.   Honestly, what else can you say?

In this case if you dig down past the honeymoon reviews, you see a pattern of failures just past the one year mark which also just happens to be the warranty period.  Many, many failures and seeing as how folks had to get back on Amazon specifically to leave a review after a year or more  has passed there is a good chance there are many more unreported failures out there.  I damn sure left a scathing how the cow eat the cabbage review.

2 40s on the snout

2 40s on the snout

Obviously, I had a time bomb ticking on the front of the Palace that needed to be squared up. It took some digging on Amazon but I think I came up with a legit replacement.  It is the MADE IN THE USA Cavagna (50-A-190-0032) 12″ Acme LP Pigtail and, yup, it was a few bucks more than the chinese CAMCO crap. I paid the difference gladly.

I try not to make a big deal about gettin’ by down here in the South Texas Puckerbrush.  Sure, it is a tough environment especially in the High Summer and certainly it is within my self defined danger zone that encompasses any area within 100 miles of the Mexican Border.  It is hard to describe to y’all just what it is like livin’ partly in one country and partly in another.  The Hispanic influence here is very strong at times overriding normal practices in the more northerly parts of this country.  Not all of the influence is positive nor is it healthy.  I made the remark to a valued confidante not many days ago that I felt I was getting lax when it came to my situational awareness.  Maybe it was due to the heat that saps all your want-to or maybe it was just the grinding down  of being here on station 263 days straight without a day off. That eclipses the old record of 236 days BTW.

My rearranged backyard.

My rearranged backyard.

My first tribulation was due to old age, machismo, stupidity or just utter ignorance.  Take your pick.  My Pivotpower generator has been leaking oil for sometime now and it was getting incrementally worse.  Some weeks ago the decision was made to swap it out (meaning the whole nurse trailer outfit) for a 100% unit.   When I rolled in here the nurse trailer was parked within arm’s length of the RV and directly next to the couch in the slideout where I sleep.  Not an optimum situation by any means.  It was noisy, the hot exhaust blew right on my bedroom and always in the back of my mind I worried about CO levels.  Swapping out the units gave me the opportunity to place the nurse trailer in a more favorable location.  It was 107 degrees (actual) here Tuesday and likely up around 120 with the heat index.  What with parking the new trailer, dragging the old one out and then hooking up all the various umbilicals; I was out in the mid day heat for about 3 hours straight.  I got too hot pure and simple and I knew it was happening.  A little dizzy, a little nauseous, face hot and not sweating and fingers all tingly.  Hell, I knew it but I was too bullheaded to come inside and leave it be.  I chugged down a liter of water and called it good except it really wasn’t.  I come >< that close to falling out on the ground and that is no bueno when it is just you and a silly dog that can’t call 911.   What a dumbass!!!   3 liters of water when I finally came back inside along with a cool shower and I was still feeling twerky the next day.  FWIW,  I call it High Summer when I don’t have to heat water for a shower.  We hit that mark 2 weeks past.

Buzztail 101: Notice the flat triangular head characteristic of a pit viper. You can also see why they call 'em ringtails. 4 buttons on this 'un.

Buzztail 101: Notice the flat triangular head characteristic of a pit viper. You can also see why they call ’em ringtails. 4 buttons on this ‘un.

Just last night I let Vela Von out for her final sniff ‘n’ pee of the evening.  She likes to go across the driveway to play and conduct business.  Suits me because it is fairly well lit and just one area has some fair tall grass.  She headed toward the tall grass and I was paying about half attention until she started doing her little yip-yip-yip routine that is dog talk for ‘Get yer ass over here and look at this!’. I have made a habit of carrying a Fenix E05   flashlight in my pocket for years now since it is an itty-bitty and hardly noticed.

I fished the light out to just see what had a dog worked up.  I looked and looked in the burnt up brown grass and had actually turned to leave, thinking my silly dog was worked up over a grasshopper or a field rat, when I just caught something out of the corner of my eye at the very edge of the flashlight beam.  Sure ’nuff it was Mr Buzztail all coiled up and ready to do business.  I can’t hear ’em buzzing anymore but Vela Von sure could.  She was prancin’ right beside my leg like the ground was red hot.



Snake School - Summer Session

Snake School – Summer Session

I took her back inside the Palace and then returned to dispatch the buzztail.  Once done, I carried it back to the RV and called out the pup for a Snake School refresher course.  You never ever pass up a good learning opportunity in my book.

Just another example of me gettin’ slack……….  Vela Von has been off leash 100% of the time for the last 30 days and it was easy for me to stand in the driveway and watch her run and play in her dog park.  Prior to that,  I had always had her on a leash and wore my ThruNite 825 Lumen Headlamp   at night specifically to spy out bad critters. Shame on me for slackin’ up and credit to a good pup that is gettin’  better by the day.

Parting shot:  I do believe I have seen more intellectual mosquitoes on TV in the last two weeks than ever before.  They seem to be missing the point when it comes to my beliefs and what I hold true.  I am not obligated to participate in bullshit.  That is all I got to say about that.



End Note: Nothing on Me by Chris Knight from the Little Victories CD.   Those boys from Kentucky make good music too.


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2 comments to Drowning in Chinese Crap

  • Byron


    Be careful bud with this heat. I have had my share of learning and now I have a keen interest and respect for the sun these days. I got me a dozen acres in the hills and have been working on clearing cedar and the last few weeks have been brutal so I know what you are going through to a certain degree. (NPI) Anyway just like you I get real excited about what I am doing but even with plenty of water this heat can sneak up on you. I move into the RV, get a semi cool shower and although there probably isn’t a medical study on this and some might think I am goofy, but I have found out after the shower if I put cold water in my mouth and swish it around for a few seconds and spit it out, and do it again and again, I get my body temperature back down fairly quick. Now I know we ain’t dogs but there must be something to keeping the mouth cool. Sorta like a heat exchanger. I am not saying it will work for everyone but I think it helps me. Maybe try it and let me know if it helps. I am not pulling your leg either! Too much respect for you to try that! Anyway, glad Vela Von is doing some good stuff now, I despise venomous Serpientes or as I learned as a kid viboras. Take care Andy and by the way, what is your favorite knife handle material. I like you, have an unusual passion for them. I really like trappers with stag handles. Let me know. B

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    • Andy

      Good to hear from you Byron.

      No rain here since 6/2 so it is DRY!

      On the knives, I haven’t got a single one that I would call a Gentleman’s Knife. Every one of mine have the utilitarian scales on them.

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