Surprise Package

Current Location: Fort Toulouse Campground, Wetumpka, Alabama

Yesterday was a fairly quiet day. Malcolm went to work and Val ran more errands. Malcolm had his yearly physical and everything looked good. The only concern that the doctor had was that Malcolm seemed a little too short for his current weight.

Malcolm stopped by the house after work yesterday to pick up some mail and a package for Val. While there, he decided to jump on the riding mower and mow the front yard real quick. We recently had our road widened to allow for bike lanes and as a result, there are a lot of gravels and rocks down in the culvert at the front of the yard.

Malcolm figured mowing right through the rocks wouldn’t be too bad of a deal. As a result, we now have a broken window on the front of the house. Fortunately, it only broke the outside pane. The inside pane is intact. One more thing to fix on the house.

Today, David stopped by the office and rode with Malcolm to pick up Val at the campground. After a fine dining experience at Taco Bell, we headed down to the courthouse to take care of tags and other paperwork. Since Malcolm had financed David’s car, but it is now paid off, we gave him the car so it will be fully in his name now. He got a new tag and they’ll mail him his title later on.

We got Val’s car, the truck and the trailer tags done, so we’re all set for another year. Total damage was $511 (about half of that was the trailer tag renewal).

Malcolm dropped Val and David off at the campground and they went shopping. Val stopped by the house and found two packages on the porch for Malcolm (he was expecting one). When Malcolm got home after work and pulled the packages out of the trunk of the car, he found that one of them was from Heartland RVs. Last Friday, Malcolm had emailed Heartland service about the fading furnace cover and the broken landing gear switch. Today, the parts arrived. Excellent service.

New parts

New parts

While hamburgers cooked on the grill, Malcolm replaced the landing gear switch (and took pictures in the process). The first steps involved removing the old switch. Four screws and some sealant hold it on. Once those were removed/cut through, the switch was loose.

Old switch with screws removed

Old switch with screws removed

Cutting through the sealant

Cutting through the sealant

Switch is loose

Switch is loose

Looking behind the wall, Malcolm found four colored wires (red, blue, yellow, green) that matched the wires on the back of the old switch as well as the new one. To keep wires from shorting against each other, Malcolm removed the tape from around the wire nuts and clipped each wire on the switch side.

Four wires

Four wires

Tape removed from wire nuts

Tape removed from wire nuts

Malcolm shortened the leads on the new switch (they were almost 2 feet long) rather than having to bundle up a bunch of extra wire. The switch was mounted to the front of the coach and the screws reinstalled. Then, he removed a wire nut and the scrap wire from the old switch and attached the wires, one by one, to the new switch using the existing wire nuts.

New switch mounted

New switch mounted

New switch wired up

New switch wired up

At this point, Malcolm gave the switch a quick test to make sure that Up was Up and Down was Down. All worked fine, so it was time to tidy up the wires and retape them and then apply sealant around the switch plate outside (not shown).

Wires taped up

Wires taped up

The entire process took about as long as it did to cook hamburgers on the grill. After dinner, it was time to tackle the furnace cover. Malcolm didn’t take any step by step pictures of this process, but it mostly involves removing screws. The screws holding on the vent plate were removed (they are odd-sized Torx screws that a T-15 removed, but would spin inside them). The four screws holding the cover on the coach were removed and the entire assembly was wiggled off. There is a long tube on the bottom vent hole and a short one on the top vent hole.

While trying to reattach the vent assembly onto the new cover, Malcolm found that the T-15 Torx bit was just not going to grab the self-tapping screw well enough to get it started into the hole on the cover. So, a quick trip to Lowes to buy equivalent Phillips self-tapping screws was successful. They ended up being #10 by 3/4″. Once those were used, the entire thing went back together easily. A plastic bezel was included with the new cover, but the one on the coach was fine, so Malcolm didn’t replace that.

Here’s a before and after shot.

Before: Note faded cover on right.

Before: Note faded cover on right.

After: Now both match

After: Now both match

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