Summer Projects, 2022

I know, sort of boring, but that’s life.


There seems to always be some projects to do on the coach, mostly driven by something we think that would make our life in the coach better or by some maintenance requirement.

Fluff and Buff

This summer I polished the entire coach. You never have any idea how big it is until you do this. We had the coach washed last December in Fredericksburg. The guy that did it said they could wax it too, I said OK. They used some spray on stuff that looked very good when they were done but within a few weeks it started interacting with what was already there and started looking blotchy. It was more noticeable in the white gel coat areas where it just started looking cloudy, off white, discolored. I tried cleaning it by hand with no success. So when we got home I got out my machine buffer, a micro-fine polish and set out on a mission. Of course it was in the hottest part of the summer and sunny. It was hard to see what I was doing in the sun and almost as hard to see on the shady side. I had a roll-around scaffold that made the job easier.

I got the whole coach done. It looked much better but there are still areas where more attention is needed. I’ll get to them sooner or later.

Steer Tires

It is not very exciting but we got two new tires for the front of the coach. They had about 40,000 miles on them but reached the 6 year point when most sources suggest replacing them for safety reasons. So we did. The rear tires will get replaced next summer. I kept the take off tires, most dealers in Minnesota won’t give you any trade-in for them. My Texas friends say they get something. I brought them home, put an ad on Craig’s List the next morning and sold them for $100 each before 3 in the afternoon. Thanks Craig’s list. The buyer was a Ukrainian fellow from north of the Twin Cities who has semi-trailers in which he hauls sand and gravel. These are better than retreads for him. He asked me to call him next summer when I replace the rear tires. Good for us and for him. We stand with and support the Ukrainian people in their struggle for their country, their homes and families, and their very lives.

Bathroom Fan

I also replaced the bathroom fan. The old three speed fan was original to the coach and was still working. The newer ones are variable speeds, reversible, and have built-in thermostats to control the fan. And they have a remote control. In the evening you can set the fan to a temperature you want, say 65 degrees, and the fan will start exhausting air. The further away from the temperature you set the faster it goes. The fan slows down as the exhaust air gets closer to the temperature you have set. This is a pretty effective way of cooling the coach, especially the bedroom, when the days are warm and the evening and overnights are cooler.

The fan was on sale, cheapest I had seen it, works great.

Cooktop Cover

Our friends Hans and Marjet, from South Carolina, asked me to make a new cover for the cooktop in their coach. The existing one was a fold up metal one, they were thinking a wooden one would be nice. There was quite a bit of back and forth about dimensions and fit. I finally got busy on a new black walnut cover for them.

They report a perfect fit and they can use it as extra counter space when it sits on the top kitchen drawer when it is pulled out.


Our 21 year old house (we can’t hardly believe we have been here that long) was due for some maintenance and upgrades.

Water Softener

When we got home and started all of the normal systems back up we thought the water softener wasn’t really working as well as we thought it should. We called the guy who installed it when we built the house in 2000. He had retired and sold his business but he came over anyway. He was pretty surprised it was still working but not as well as it should. He suggested replacing it, the guy that bought his company could get it done in just a day or two. So we ordered a new water softener with fancy controls. The recharge cycles are based on how much water we actually use not just how many days go by. Much less salt and water use.

The installer showed up the next day and had the old softener out and a new one installed in just over an hour. He also installed an incoming water sediment trap, something we should have

done originally. So we are all set.

Susan asked if, as long as he was here, could he replace all of the filters under the kitchen sink so he did. And, Oh by the way, she asked, we have a new kitchen faucet, could you install that too? Sure, he had it done in a fraction of the time it would have taken me. The kitchen filters and faucet are now done and working fine.

Fresh Air Exchanger

If it isn’t one thing it is something else. The fresh air exchanger that removes air from the house and replaces it with fresh air from outside wouldn’t come on. If the outside air is colder than the inside air it is warmed up as it comes in. If the incoming air is warmer than inside it is cooled. If it is humid some of the moisture is removed.

One thing about living in a smaller town that we like is that we get to know who to call for help when we need it. We called Jeff, he came over to check it out. It wasn’t working, he said. When was the last time you cleaned the filters, he asked. It has filters? I replied. So obviously, in more than 20 years the twice a year cleaning had never been done. And he said it was installed incorrectly in any case. We could fix the old one but for not much more we could replace it with a new one, much more efficient, and all four of the controllers. So it got replaced.

Our job was to figure out how to get wires from a place on the wall in the library down to where the new air exchanger was. We couldn’t just go down through the floor. With in-floor heat there are tubes running through the concrete floor that might get damaged. There was an access hole made through the floor when we built the house but it was now behind the built-in book cases and desk in the library. We managed to snake wire up from down stairs where the internet, phone, and cable tv cables were, back up between the wall and the back of the book cases, across the top of the cabinets and desk, into the wall and down to where the air exchanger control was mounted. It only took most of a day.

The new air exchanger is installed (correctly) and fully functional.

Radon Mitigation

A couple years ago we did a long term radon test over the winter while we were gone. The results were right on the border between OK and Do Something. We decided that it was time to do something. nothing was installed when we built the house, it was probably not required and no provisions were made for a later installation.

We found a qualified radon mitigation installer and he came out and took a look. These are pretty simple to install, a 4” hole gets cut through the concrete basement floor, a space under the floor is opened up, and a PVC pipe gets installed in the hole and out through the roof of the house. Any radon gases are sucked out from under the basement slab and exhausted outside with the help of an in-line fan.

Once again the heated floors presented a problem, where to put a big hole in the floor without hitting any of the tubing in the floor. The installer had a camera system that clearly showed where the warm lines in the floor were which is where the tubing was. It was pretty easy to mark where to make the hole safely. The radon mitigation system was installed, tested and is working properly. A followup radon test showed no more radon gasses. Perfect


Some projects take a long time to finish. The lower level of our house is finished, we did it ourselves. But not quite completed. The wood work on the interiors of the three closets was left to do. Each closet has 21 pieces of trim that has to be carefully cut, fitted and installed. And all of this woodwork (as is all of the woodwork in our house) is custom woodwork we made ourselves, carefully sanded and finished, and then installed. We also added a new door between the store room and the room where the water heater and HVAC equipment is located. And that door needed trim too, just 12 pieces. This part of the downstairs project is almost done now.


In the NE corner between the street and our driveway there are three old majestic oak trees. We have no idea how old they are but the fellow that trims our trees guessed 75 years or more. This entire area was at one time what is called an “Oak Savannah”, a prairie with oak trees spread across it. In the mid 1800s, the City of Nininger was located right where we are now. That city is long gone and the land became farm land and then pasture land. The oak trees returned and survived the farming and grazing. All of this ended in the 1960’s and a forest of smaller trees and undergrowth filled in.

We want to provide a healthier area for these three oak trees by removing any of the new growth trees that interfere with the oaks and all of the undergrowth that used water that could be used by the oaks and then plant an appropriate ground cover for an open woodland setting.

This meant clearing a few thousand square feet of the woods around the oaks, getting rid of all of the cuttings, leveling off the ground and preparing it for a new woodland grass seed mix. We don’t intend to mow this but want a stable grass that will promote a better and healthier area for the oak trees.

There is more to trim and clear, a never ending job in the woods.

A Ramp

As we get older steps get harder to navigate. We had three steps coming down from our deck to the walkway along side of the garage. Moving things on and off the deck was much easier 20 years ago than now. And while trimming some branches I tripped and did a face plant into the steps. The docs said I did not have a concussion but I got pretty black and blue and now have a new wrinkle (dent) in my forehead.

It was not pretty. Bouncing my head on the edge of a step was no fun.

We decided to remove the steps, replace them with a ramp, add a gate, and improve the walkway.

The improved walkway
Leftover pavers from other projects, cut to fit.

Another project done in the name of geezerdom.

Well that is enough. I apologize for the long stretches between posts, you might just guess that we were busy. But there is more, next time.

More Later, Much Love,

Roger and Susan

Fredericksburg, TX, March 2022

Where has time gone? Poof and months go by. A friend mentioned last week that he missed my blog posts and I figured I better get back to it.

We have been to Fredericksburg several times, it is starting to feel very comfortable being there. We have many friends who live there, we know about half of the good places to go eat (that is a never ending learning curve), we know where to get groceries, we know where Walmart is, we know where the hardware store is, almost like home. But there is always something new and new people.

We left a few extra weather days to move from the Phoenix area to Texas after cancelling out stop in Santa Fe which got us into Fredericksburg early so we stayed at the Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park Campground in the Lady Bird Johnson Park. There is a golf course there, a big dog park, lots of places to walk and ride bikes, and it is next to the airport which provides endless entertainment.

Runway right in front of us. This particular day there was a grass fire not too far away, lots of white smoke for a while.

Jeff and Sandy and Hans and Marjet, all of whom were in Tucson when we were there stopped in for a while at the Fredericksburg RV Park. It was fun to see them again.

We had lunch with Jeff and Sandy at Alamo Springs Cafe. It started as a cool day but the sun came out and it was nice. Their dog, Greta came along hoping for a morsel.

Hans and Marjet and I went for a hike to the top of the Enchanted Rock, a giant granite boulder about 20 miles from Fredericksburg.

You start by coming down a long set of steps, cross over a dry stream area and then up the rock.

You just go up there aways.

It is a ways and then you get to the rock, no specific trail, just up. Easier to zig zag. Hans and Marjet were on their way.


At the top (about 400 ft higher than where we started) there are views in every direction. And then back down and at the end that long stairway back up to the parking area. We slept well that night.

We had a nice time visiting with Hans and Marjet and Jeff and Sandy again in Fredericksburg. And the dogs. And then they were on their way.

Our friends Mike and Jackie from Nacogdoches, TX, sold their home there and bought a home in Fredericksburg. And they moved all of their stuff and their Motorhome to Fredericksburg while we were there. The coach moved into the RV Park and they stayed there while things were moved into the house and had some work done on the house to get it just right. We visited the new house, perfect for them and much closer to their kids in Austin.

We managed to get to Emma and Ollie’s for breakfast again, went to Warner’s for lunch one day with several friends, visited the Airport Diner, and we went to Camp Verde about 40 miles south for a birthday lunch.

Susan and Norm and Shirl
Dave Cobb and Debbie, Mike and Jackie

Mike surprised me with a gift certificate to a place in town to get a pedicure. I was skeptical. But it was fabulous.

I also started playing Texas Hold’em Poker one or two nights a week with a regular bunch from the park (as many as 14 would start). Curtis is sort of in charge, $10 buy in, the top three at the end get shares of the pot. I never won anything but had a good time, every time.

Susan and I got over to Lady Bird Johnson Park to ride our bikes a couple times a week. We rode 6-8 miles each time. It is pretty hilly so it is a good workout. Our new Terra Trikes are working quite well.

I added a phone mount on one of my handlebars so we get accurate route, distance, and time information and it lets me take videos while we ride.

Time to head for home, sort of.

We had another pleasant spring time in Fredericksburg. We left at the end of March and headed for Houston. We wanted to see Rudy and Caroline in their new, to them, 2001 Foretravel in their new place. And then we went to dinner at the Monument Inn, Rudy’s favorite. Keith and Jo joined us.

Their new coach used to be our friends, Scott and Carol’s. So now it is Rudy and Carolyn’s coach. They have more room to spread out and relax. Rudy is an AquaHot heating system specialist and he finally has a coach with one in it.

Always nice to see Keith and Jo.

Then we headed to Nacogdoches to get our fuel lines replaced. At 22 years old there are a series of preventative and normal maintenance items related to age, just like all of us. This is the last of these that we need to have done.

Motorhomes of Texas did the work, they suggested we stay overnight in a local motel since it usually takes more than one day. So we made reservations. Scott and Carol drove up from Houston and stayed overnight in the same motel.

That night we went to Auntie Pasta’s for dinner and some time together. Dinner there is always good. In the morning we went to Dolli’s Diner for breakfast. Dolli’s is on the main square downtown and is a favorite spot for many.

Good food, good friends. Our coach was done so we were leaving the next morning. We said goodbye to Scott and Carol. One last stop, an afternoon visit with Chappell and Mary Elizabeth Jordan.

We had a nice visit, they are very kind and gracious and a pleasure to visit.

And so, finally, we left for home in the morning. It was an uneventful drive home, three days and we were there. Then the move from one home to the other, a dozen or more doctor, dentist, eye doc, lab, and more appointments saved up until we got home. And coach projects, home projects, easing back into Habitat for Humanity work. A full schedule and a busy summer ahead.

More Later, Much Love,

Roger and Susan.