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Our Top 10 products in use EVERY day while boondocking or gate guarding.

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Taking Care of Business

Miss K doing the Gate Guard thing

One of the big advantages to the oil field gate guard job is the ability to get other things done while you are doing the gate guarding thing. Most days are like the day before and tomorrow will probably be about the same. We have a rush in the early AM hours when the guys come to work and a corresponding exit out the gate when the day is done. It is just about like that day in and day out. Weekends tend to be a little more laid back and then sometimes it is one truck after another and they are lined up all the way out the gate; waiting patiently to get in.

I had some maintenance items that just had to be taken care of on the Old Girl.  Working on an RV can be a challenge.  It can be a special challenge if your recreational vehicle is old enough to vote.   You see RVs are not like a Chevy or a Ford.   They are a mish-mash of parts from scores of different vendors;  you just can’t go down to the Ford house and tell ’em whats’ broke and expect a solution. All I have to say is thank goodness  for the internet.  If you can get a part number; you can usually locate the part.

That was the case with my old Generac 6.6kw propane generator.  Back in February I serviced the generator prior to leaving North Dallas. I pulled the air cleaner out to inspect it and the air filter pre-cleaner just disintegrated in my hands. This pre-cleaner is one of those foam type pads that you soak in motor oil and the foam just sorta crumbled up and whiffed away in a gust of wind.

Generac NP-66G RV generator

Well, it took a little while to find the right pre-cleaner for this discontinued model but I did it. I ordered 3 of them while I was at it and a new paper element as well. So many people have problems with their generators but they are really a simple piece of machinery to keep happy. They love to work – pure and simple. As long as you keep clean fuel in them, perform the maintenance at prescribed intervals and exercise them a few hours a month they should stay happy.  I never ignore my onboard generator when I am one broken part away from being in a boondocking situation.

The other thing on the to-do list was spring maintenance on the air conditioning units.   I am lucky at this location because I have a big old 12kw diesel generator running out back to provide power.  Most older 30 amp coaches are not set up to run both roof top AC units when you are on shore power.  You can run them both if you have your onboard generator running but if you are connected to an external power supply, you can’t do that.  I modified the Old Girl a few years back so I could run both roof top ac units at the same time. I can kick both air conditioner units on at the same time and that brute of a diesel generator doesn’t even stumble.   I wanted to get them cleaned up today and change the filters out because I know we are probably just a few days away from the constant drone of air conditioners working hard that is Texas in the summer.

I have been looking in Walmarts and Lowes and Home Depot for months for the foam air conditioning filters that my Duo-Therm units require.  No joy.  So I finally went to Amazon to get them.   With a local PO Box while we are on this gate, we have been wearing out the mail order

I was able to cut 2 filters from one package.

companies.  I like that Amazon because you pay no sales tax and you can get free shipping if you shop smart.  I ordered 2 packs of the Duck Brand Foam Air Conditioner Filters and they looked good. A little thicker and more robust than the old filters that were used up by now. I put the dryer sheets in place and closed that baby up. What is up with the dryer sheets you may ask? Well, you know how quickly those foam filters get all jammed up with dust and such, right? I just hate washing those filters out in the sink. So I thought up this deal with the dryer sheets; or maybe I read an obscure reference to the dryer sheets in a dusty blog; I don’t know. Beer was involved most likely.

I turn on the air conditioner and remove that little plastic grid over the foam filter. I take two dryer sheets and shake ’em out single ply. Then I just let them suck up against that foam filter. It takes two sheets on mine and I usually have to fold a side over just a teeny bit to get them to fit. If you don’t have the AC on, you will cuss when you try to do this because they will just not stay in place while you try to replace the plastic grid. Gravity and all you know. With the dryer sheets in place, you get that spring time fresh scent all through the bus from the dryer sheets and they catch all the dust that would  other wise get on your foam filter. When they get nasty, just peel them off and replace. I wish they made them with a bacon scent.

Magic Foam for RV air conditioner

The other thing I wanted to do was clean the coils on the air conditioner condenser.  Some people use a soft brush to do this and some people use a water hose.   I holler !bullshit! on both of those methods.  Just too much work for the less than stellar results.  What you need is a foaming coil cleaner.   You just spray that condenser good from both sides and turn your air conditioner on.  The condensate that forms on the coils will rinse the cleaner and the loosened gunk right outta there.   Pretty close to magic in a can.  Miss K had a minor problem with the fumes but I thought it was tolerable.  The fumes dissipated in just a few minutes.  I used the Thermwell Air Conditioner Coil Foaming Cleaner — again from Amazon. You should be able to find a can of this at any auto parts store as well.

Last on the list was to get my hummingbird feeder out on the dinette window.   The distraction of those little hummers coming to  the window to feed is something I really like.  Within two hours of putting it up yesterday,  a male ruby throated hummer was making regular visits.   I started this blog entry on the dark pre-dawn of a quiet Sunday morning.  Just about 7am,  just about when the darkness was giving way to barely discernible shapes, the male ruby throated hummer showed up.  Life is good you know and it is the simple things that make it such.

End Note: Black Cat Bones by Bonsoir Catin from the Vive L’Amour cd.  You either like zydeco/Cajun style music or you don’t.  It puts me in the mind of Bluegrass music.  Sorta.

Hey, if you don’t like that one, try this’un on for size:

Whose Baby Will You Be Tonight by Big House from the Big House cd.   You want hear either one of these on your FM stations..



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2 comments to Taking Care of Business

  • John Duncan

    Great idea about the dryer sheets!! I think we should start marketing the bacon scented ones…=)

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    • admin

      The bacon ones might work in a crew trailer on the pad….I doubt it would fly in Miss K’s RV

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