Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Caught in Extreme Temperature

What is it about the Alfa we like:
1) Large windows
2) 7.5 ft ceilings
3) 2 inch thick polystyrene walls for insulation.

When we look at other Rv's it is always the same small windows and low ceilings. So our likes, will always lead us back to the Alfa. High ceiling and lots of windows.

One of the most important items all RVers are concerned with is extreme temperatures. Now, how do I defined an extreme temperature: anything above 105 or below 45 for an extended continuous amount of time.
Now one of the good thing about the Alfa is it 2 inch thk walls, which contain polystyrene, whereas the average Rv wall is only 1 inch thick and have standard windows. 

So, what is the best answer for our Alfa's ?
The best thing to do is head the opposite way, but we all cannot do that. So what is the next best thing to do is prevent the transfer of heat/cold into the RV. And where does the most cold transfer? The large windows. 

So, for Susan and I (34 years in AZ), we devised this method during the Arizona summer:

Summer, home made solar shades for each window mounted on the outside, we then place Reflectix insulation (For information on Reflectix Press HERE) between the window and solar shade. This reduces the heat transfer by over 25 degrees thru the windows.

In addition, we also place a utility fan (Lasko) or similar (Stanley, Harbor Freight) anything which looks like this:

With a similar fan placed in the front, angled up a little and pushing air to the back, the coach is able to cool down quicker. Now when all we want is additional air flow (no A/C), we move the fan to the bedroom and push the air toward the front.

During the extreme temperatures for winter we transfer the Reflectix insulation to the inside. Between the inside shade and window. This will then reduce the heat lost due to the extreme outside cold. A simple test with the hand is all it takes. Place your hand on the window and then the wall.

Now, everything which I wrote about can be used with all types of Rv’s, especially if you are caught in extreme temperatures and force to stay for an extended period of time. 

Now finally, with our Alfa's or really any other Rv's, what else can be done:
Dick's Air Sealing Kit/method.
Insulation of the entry steps from underneath.

Safe Travels and Journeys from DaGirls Rv

Monday, November 17, 2014

Happy Hour

Sunday, we enjoyed a local Happy Hour (HH) at our local.
Russell, Wayne, Kathy, Gary, Paul & Wendy came over for a rousing conversation. The common thread seem to be animals we have or currently owned. So Della was in her element getting pets and rubs as she laid at the many the feet.

We were prepared for HH on the living room slide side of the rig, but we all ended up inside the rig. We started up around 4ish and ended around 6:30. With Della being the star, especially when she was letting everyone know it was time to go out and especially pass her dinner time.

We held onto the Whitely’s ice cream till later. Also heard the many stories of Alaska, Canada and the north west area of the US. While we were talking, Gary mention that a friend of his, Wayne Moore, would be arriving around Dec. This sounds like a small world, if this is the same WM, then Susan and he are related, Stay tuned for future word of this.

Safe Travels and Journeys from DaGirls Rv.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Handle Extension

Hi everyone it is me again. Recently we have been visiting Alfa owners, what a great group. We found that you, Alfa owners are very friendly, what a great team.

Ok, back to my message/post, anyway few of us were talking about the front door and how as we age it is getting difficult in opening the door from inside. Now most people know me and as always I do my best thinking at night - while sleeping. So this is what I came up with.
Rough drawing is a Revision A, but currently working on Rev B if needed. I am awaiting word from my first experimental unit. Which I just installed on Saturday (11/16).

Tools needed
Torch with propane bottle, Stove may work also but I have not tried it.
1 Ft 3/4 inch PVC
1 90 Degreed Elbow

If you believe this maybe something you would like, I can provide additional instruction. But check out the Photos.
Handle Extension (4 photos)
Preview by Yahoo

Safe Travels and Journeys from DaGirls Rv

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Slide Relays - 2014

Ok, let’s start with wiring of the (2) relays (RL5). Here is a little trick when looking at the relay. The terminal layout Contact 30 is on the same side as the mounting tab plus how the terminal is laid out. Meaning Vertical Vs. Horizontal.
Relay Diagram
Contact 30, 87A and 87
Contact 30 is the common with 87A as normally closed and 87 is the normally open.
Non-energize relay: contacts 30 and 87A are closed
Energize relay: contacts 30 and 87 are closed.

How the relays are wired
Contact 87A goes to frame ground
Contact 87 goes to B+
Contact 30 goes to the motor.

Relay Coil
Contact 85 goes to frame ground
Contact 86 goes to the Slide Switch (B+).

So when you press the button for out, 1 relay will close and contact 87(B+) and 30 will engage sending B+ to the motor lead. The other relay remains off, allowing  contacts 30 and 87A to remain connected. I hope this along with the diagram I sent makes sense to you.

Safe Travels and Journeys from DaGirls RV

What we have been upto

Getting down to business: Priority Get Old Glory Up and Waving

Ok, so what have we been up to here at Countryside Rv Resort. Park is located 1/5 mile north of US 60 on Idaho Rd here is Apache Junction. 1st we have met lots of warm and friendly people, including Charlie, who we both learned we work at the same Honeywell in Phoenix, sometimes it is a small world.

We were introduced to Wes and his wife Mary Kay. They own a 2005 SeeYa, and have been full timing for 5 years. Seems they spend a lot of time at Charlies in Sunset, UT. Wes works there during the summer for Justin. Man of many talents. Another lovely couple is from Alaska, Paul and Wendy. They are checking out this full timing stuff in a small Winnebago for starters. Seems they are starting to like full timing as they will be staying here until Feb 2015.

Another couple we met last night is Jackie and Jim. They were traveling by in their golf cart and stopped to talk, and the next thing we knew Della was being taken for a ride around the block. Susan and I were very surprised as she just went with them. So a few minutes later they returned her. Seems she misses her daily golf cart rides.

On Sunday Nov 9th, we went to Colin's birthday party close to their home. There were more grandparents then anyone else. Here's a quick photo op of Colin.

Ok, so what have we been doing to the RV. I located a Dryer and Air Conditioner compressor. The compressor is a TM-16HD for those that want to know. Price is from $200 to $250 on the internet, not bad and a far cry from the $700 from Freightliner. I have scheduled a service call for Monday afternoon for a vacuum and recharged.

A few photos of the parts:

I will do a write up soon for those who have a need to know. It only takes about 6 tools to remove the alternator and compressor. At the same time you can also replace the serpentine belt if it is needed. I did find this neat ½ inch ratchet which makes working with the tension pulley a snap.
Check it out with this link:

1/2 inch Ratchet Link

It is an extendable handle. Works like a charm with the extra length handle.

Also, we finally installed Dick's microwave vent mod. Took about an hour, but some of that time was cleaning and redoing the silver tape inside the m-wave vent hole. His instructions were very clear once I removed the m-wave. I really am a 3-d person verses a 2-d drawing guy. Anyway, great mod and Susan is extremely happy now. Thanks Dick.  I have included a few of his photos below.

One thing I used was an extension for my wood bit, as in this manner I was able to do a straight drill from bottom of the M-wave cabinet to the bottom of the vent hole. 



By the way, we went up to the Superstitions Mountains on Wednesday morning for a hike,

the last time we hiked here was with Della and Koko. Which brings back many wonderful memories of our weekly hikes with them. Boy do we miss our Koko Bear. 

Koko we still miss you everyday. 

By the way, if anyone comes across a chocolate lab like the ones in the photo above that is available let us know.

On Thursday we went over to Wayne & Kathy's place for dinner along with Charlie and Donna. Wonderful time was had by all, also learned they had purchased a park model (Plan B), for full timing. While there I installed a new LED Scare Light which I make/modifiy. I got the idea a few years ago from some parts I had laying around. I use 4 of the LED panels and install and wire them up in existing light. This light gives you about 10 times the normal bulb intensity. 

I recently made one for Charlie, too, which I will take out to him. Guess I will go into production and come up with a good price.

​Safe Travels and Journeys from 

​DaGirls Rv​

Friday, November 7, 2014

We Have Arrived

Today was a sad day as we left Beth & David in Dead Horse Ranch St Pk in Cottonwood, and headed to the valley. David and I did get in about a 3 mile bike ride and a 5 mile hike on Thursday. We would have had a few additional days but he chose to go to the valley and do some work on Tuesday and arrived late Wed afternoon. Oh well, maybe next time we can spend some additional time together. Susan and Beth had a great time together as they are BFF's.
We took time off on Wednesday and headed over to Jerome, AZ. We met David and had a light dinner.

A few shots of the area .

By the way, I had earlier reported a failure in my generator. Dick sent me a new board and I installed it Thursday morning. Generator works like a charm now. Readjusted the AVR and she was good to go. 

Back to our road trip, we arrived in Apache Junction around 2ish stopped in at Fry's Food store where we had $.10 cents  off/gal of fuel. We added the required 30 gallons and DaGirls Rv was set to go. We arrived at CountrySide RV resort, checked in and escorted to our assigned spot. Too early to tell about the park, but I will do a write-up soon. Did meet our neighbor (Bill) and learned we had a few things in common. He has a friend who has a Dutch Star which is getting 2 new slides put into the bedroom. This is all taking place in Nappanee with PJ & Megan, small world.   

 Did not take any photos - woops I did get a couple of DaGirls Rv and sites at Dead Horse Ranch.

The main attraction is a Chocolate Lab on the Hunt.

​Safe Travels and Journeys from DaGirls 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Dead Horse St Pk - Cottonwood, AZ

We arrived in Dead Horse St Pk around 3. We waited on David and Beth to review and look at other sites. We chose to goto 67 & 68 as this would allow a common area between us. David backed in (5th wheel) and I pull straight in. 

 34.759779, -112.013564
We were originally in 93 & 94, but the desert was too desert between our rigs. Tuesday is turning out to be sunny and warm  possible in the 60's. David headed to the valley to do some chores and will be back later. The ladies are heading out to the Pandora  in town later. Me going to clean and straighten up the outside rig and get the bikes ready. I reported I found a replacement AC compressor, with the part number I located 1 for $200. A far cry from $700 from FL. I knew if I kept at it I would locate it. Next will be a mobile tech that will pull a vacuum and recharge unit. Della is doing better with the med's she is taking. 
Another project is to see about modifying our old Direct TV
​antenna to use on the Dish satellites.  If this does not work well the direct tv dish will be art work only. 

Safe Travels and Journeys from DaGirls

Monday, November 3, 2014

Down Time in Prescott

Awoke to the 30's today here at the Elks.

Sunday was a down time day, as I continue to recuperate from the very smart cold. Most of which is gone. Spent time replacing our cabinet latches with a new Tension Ball Catch Latch. The trick is in the alignment of the catch and the latch which I have found a very easy solution to. I made a jig out of a small section of cardboard bent into 90 degree with 2 small holes as mounting holes for the latch. How I place the Jig over the corner.

Once the latch is installed, I loosen the ball tension as much as possible insert the catch and place a small piece of double side tape on the back close the door very tight and then reopen. The catch is then stuck in the correct location. For the cabinets which are at a slight angle I just shift the locating holes a little bit.

I also began repairing some of the drawers in the bedroom and bathroom while installing the latches. Many of you have heard me requesting information on our dash air conditioner. I have also been working on locating a replacement air conditioner compressor for our dash air. I will be calling later today for additional information. Located the correct Mfg P/N of our dash AC compressor. Here is the response from Ryder:

"The Freightliner number you provided : 22-47820-000 crosses to MEI 5805D. We do not currently show this part in our inventory but , we can get the part from MEI. You can view the part on our website and place an order there if you like or call us and we can get an order in for you.  Your price is $ 251.07 with no freight charge. Any order that meets or exceeds  $250.00 is free freight unless you request expedited.".

Another tid-bit is our internet service.  We currently use Millenicom as our provider. which has been made an offer they could not refuse(read about it here). Tomorrow I will call the special 1-800 number and sign up for the month to month contract for $99 + taxes. I will use an Oregon address since they have a lower tax rate. This will still keep our cell phone and internet costs down. Susan and I have never seen the benefit of shelling out over $220 just to have a smart phone connected to the internet along with our laptops. I mean we are connected but do we have to be connected 24 hrs.  

Anyway, it is 7 am and Della is waiting for breakfast, our plan today is to travel to Dead Horse Ranch St Pk in Cottonwood, AZ. 

​with friends Beth, David, Boomer and Lucy. Della loves to be 
in the photos. This photo was taken while we spent time in Rocky Point (Puerto Penasco) at Playa Bonita RV CG. 

We will spend some friendship time together. Temperature is  about 10 degrees higher in Cottonwood as the elevation is lower. Check back as I will upload some additional photos on our latch project.

Calling all Alfa Roadrunners, remember send me in your Tid-Bits for the Hot Flash Bulletin. For without you I would have no Tid-Bits.
Send it to  my email address:

​Safe Travels and Journeys from DaGirls Rv

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Arriving in Prescott

We have arrived at the Elks Lodge in Prescott Valley, AZ after another windy day (11/1). Oops, let me back up a few days.

During our travels we spotted this off the Hwy, can't remember where as I did not write the location down, but hey I did get a photo.  (Susan - I think it was between Dodge City, KS & Hooker, OK)

We arrived at a RV park in Hooker, OK around 6ish on Thur. Susan found this pricey ($10) park on one of our membership clubs. We did not do any satellite views (note to self - DO THIS BEFORE WE GET THERE), but since Susan was driving and this was going to be just an overnight what could go wrong?  Well, the park is located behind the Love's station and is across the street from a very large grain elevator, which happens that to have a railroad track next to it. Biggest issues was that directions told us to take several thru streets that have now been blocked thru the Loves to get to the RV Park. 

I mean I had found a city park located in Montezuma, KS, which I thought we were going to.  (Susan - this sounds like whining to me.....LOL)

But Nooooooooooo, the driver always get to pick the stop. Which I have to say we did agree upon. 

By the way the grass was NOT green nor was there Grass, lots of little burrs which got stuck in the dogs feet and carried in on our shoes.
But it was only for 1 night and surely we could have done worse. So we all had dinner and watched a movie and off to bed. 

Next day after breakfast and closing up the rig (notice windy again) off we went. Heading toward Albuquerque NM. As always, we posted our whereabouts on various forums as we continuously seek out Alfa owners. Guess what a new Alfa owner contacted us via email informing us of where they were located near Albuquerque.  Our plans includes stopping O-N in area so we slightly altered our plans and  our headed for Isleta Lakes RV CG just south of Albuquerque for the night.  Nice campground for about $34.00 a night, part of Casino property and has a commuter train stop into city.  

We parked next to Pat, Kathleen & Noelani (hope spelling is correct a boxer mix) Bustamante, new 2002 Alfa SeeYa owners (and now our newest Roadrunner members). 

They currently are relocating Pat's mother to a new apartment. You will see his posts with "Aloha", as they have recently relocated to the Alfa from Hawaii. Let me give them a big Aloha greeting from the Roadrunner Chapter. "Aloha" This begs the question, should we, Roadrunners come up with a Special Greeting? Something to think about. 

Anyway after stopping and hearing that his charging system was now working (reported on Forum), we enjoyed a light dinner and conversation about what else? Alfa's and travels. After we made our good-nights, back to the rig to get some needed rest. Only Della had other thoughts as she kept getting us up during the night. Morning comes and we needed to locate a Banfield (Pet-Smart Vet) to get her checked out. So this morning was busy waiting, waiting, and waiting. We decided to pack up and wait on word of her. Now during this time, Pat reported his system was still not charging, this was the fastest trouble-shooting I have performed - (IMO) bad chassis battery as they will not hold a charge. Then off to a parking lot to await word on Della. Good news urinary tract infection (UTI). With meds for that and her eyes, we headed out around about 3pm.

Off we headed to Holbrook, AZ, only to hear from another Alfa owner, who happened to be spending night in Holbrook at the OK RV Park. We had planned to spend night at Holbrook Elks Lodge, but their parking situation was full with Halloween Party (10/31).  So, decision made to go to OK RV in search of another Alfa owner, Leary & Sandra Sooter from Livingston, TX.  I drove while it was windy and then Susan took over and drove through rain storms and into night. Oh, I do have to report in Albuquerque we picked up fuel for $3.319/gal. WooHoo we scored.

We pulled in next to Sooter's and began set up.  Next thing, we have knock on the door. Here was Leary offering assistance in setting up "DaGirls Rv".   He noticed on his WiFi a new name "DaGirls" and knew we had landed. What a bunch of great people Alfa owners are! Shortly after, Sandra arrived with her offering of assistance.  We enjoyed a good visit cause by then set up was pretty much done.

Guess what........................I forgot to get photos of them (bad Dale),but I did get photos of 2 of their mods: new KW 2 step and a rolling fireplace.

So L&S how about an intro for my next Roadrunner Hot Flash Bulletin? And you too P&K? Please. I just request something brief with a little history about your family, prior life, what brings you to the Alfa family or anything you would like to share, about 1 or 2 paragraphs for my November Issue, please.

Anyway, here we are seeing Susan's BFF.  She went to visit tonight and I stayed home trying to get rid of the rest of my cold. 

Lat, Log 34.578467, -112.355925

By the way, I know everybody is worried about Della, the meds are working and she is doing much better.

Oh, I forgot to mention, we are putting in a new headboard shelf in the bedroom. Stay tune for this mod as you will be blown-away by it or at least we are very excited about it.

Last word on the warranty work. Great job by Paul and Team (Rodney, Freeman, Mike, Dave & Ryan) at Precision Painting.  To date we have made it through 3 rains with no inside ceiling spotting.

Safe Travels and Journeys from DaGirls Rv