Lucky Find

He said…

I was just walking from the car to my folk’s house (we’re currently mooch docking on their property) when I noticed something shiny on the ground. It looked like a spring until I bent over to pick it up and it turned out to be a headless 5/32″ Allen bolt.

In my head I’m thinking, “Oh great! What now?”  But it was more of a sigh than an angry thought.  I figured it had to be something from the awning since we’ve had it out the last few days (and the wind keeps kicking it back in).

So, up I go to look at all the joints.  Once again, not too difficult.  After just a minute I found where it went! It is one of six bolts holding the awning to its frame.

All it took was a minute to screw it back in.  But, to be on the safe side, I checked all the screws.  Glad I did since two others were a little loose.

It’s the little victories that make me happy!

The Squeaky Fireplace

He said…

Now those two words don’t really seem to go together:  squeaky and fireplace? But, they do.  Many RVs now come with electric fireplaces. And, it turns out, there are moving parts in them which tend to squeak as they rotate.

In our fireplace, there are two places that rotate: the mechanism that simulates the fire and the blower for the heater.  Both of those were making noises since the day we bought Wanda (our RV). And the fireplace has been in just about continuous use since November of last year. I don’t want to do the math, but that’s likely thousands of hours of squeaks and groans coming from it.

I finally decided to get off my lazy bum to do something about it.  It turns out that this was pretty easy.

First thing I needed to do was get access to the screws holding the fireplace in the wall.  All that is needed there is to slide the outer frame up and off of it. Oh – and turn it off.


All there is holding it into the wall are four very small screws. Remove those and it slides right out.


Nice big hole in the wall is left behind. Might as well clean up the production dirt while it’s open.


Need to remove 13 screws from the back of it to get access to everything (have to ignore the sign that tells me there’s nothing to work on inside).


Turned it on again just to see it working with the back off.


Interesting mechanism to simulate the flames… Used WD-40 to lubricate that flame simulator (just above the LED lights) AND the heater blower at the top.

After that it was just a matter of reversing all those steps to get it back into place!  Now there are no squeaks and groans coming from our fireplace.

I might not be able to sleep with all the quiet now.


Welcome to Our New Blog

He said…

Welcome to the new home of Wandering With Us.  Although the location is new, we are still the same. And, for now, the design is mostly the same.

I’ve finished migrating the followers from our previous location to this new one.  Hopefully you’ve made it here peacefully!

Dinette Mod

He said…

Well… we went and done it.  We started tearing apart the RV to make it ours.

Our Wanda came with the dinette bench seating which also had decent storage underneath the benches AND turned into another bed.  The problem with them is that they weren’t terribly comfortable.

We spend (probably too much) time at the table on our computers. And sitting on those benches started to become troublesome. Not only were they a bit too soft, they were also too low in comparison with the table.

Since we also didn’t need the extra bed and we have plenty of storage space elsewhere, we decided to take ’em out and replace them with something more comfy. Turns out we got a couple computer chairs from Staples (an equivalent chair from Amazon can be seen here).

This is what the before picture would have looked like (I didn’t take a before picture, so this is off an RV dealer’s site).

Source: Independence RV

I didn’t know how to take out the benches; but, really, how hard could it be?  Once I figured out the trick – it wasn’t difficult at all. It was just tedious.  What is the trick you may ask?  The part of the bench under your legs (behind your ankles) actually just pops out.

Once you get that out, all the screws that are holding the bench down are exposed (for the most part). It turns out that those screws are pretty long and you have to be in an awkward position to unscrew them.  That’s the tedious part!

The front bench came out pretty easily.  The back bench had a couple extra items to be dealt with. Namely, there is an electrical plug built into the bench and the subwoofer for the TV is stashed under there.

A little time with a drill and a jig saw made a hole in the back of the living room sofa where I could put the electrical plug. A little more time with a wire stripper and a couple electrical wire connectors and the subwoofer is now under the sofa.


Our new look!
It turns out that, by doing this, we’ve gained a couple of advantages beyond the increased comfort.  The weight difference between the two benches and the two chairs is in our favor… we’ve lowered the RV weight by about 150 pounds. Another advantage is that the place is now more open (roomier).


Pressure Regulator Test

He said…

So I’ve heard from a variety of sources on the Internet – so it must be true – that the pressure regulators with the gauges are better.  Since I don’t believe anything I’ve read unless I’ve looked into it myself, I decided to test a couple different types just to see for myself.

Having just gone through the plumbing problems I’ve had we knew we needed a pressure regulator to protect the plumbing in our RV.  It turns out our RV’s plumbing is PEX Tubing which is rated to 100 psi and the place where you hook up the potable water connection to the RV even says 100 psi max.

Having gone through what I’ve gone through now, I’d not care to put more than 50psi into the RV.  I don’t trust the manufacturers to actually do things right anymore. So… it’s just smart to have one of these regulators.

Weaving by Mariel: Cat Proof Surface Cover
Anyway… on to the test.

I recently bought into the hype (okay – I guess I do believe what I read) and purchased the Renator regulator on the left and my dad has the Camco regulator on the right. These are the two that I tested. I wanted to see if the volumetric flow rate (gpm) was different between the two (all that I’ve read says the Renator would have a higher flow). I also wanted to see what the pressure would be during flow and with no flow.

This test wasn’t accomplished with the RV plumbing… I just used a garden hose about 100 feet long.  The city pressure during these tests was 80psi.

Pressure Tests

I hooked up the regulator at the upstream side of the hose along with a separate pressure gauge and, after filling the hose with water, hooked up a second pressure gauge at the outlet of the hose.  Both regulators performed the same:

  • When there was no flow, the pressure at each end was 40psi (which is what you’d expect).
  • When there was flow, the pressure lowered to about 20psi.

No real difference in the pressures held – either regulator would protect the plumbing of the RV.

Flow Test

I then used a 3.5 gallon bucket and timed how long it took to fill up the bucket with each of the regulators. I performed this twice with each regulator.

  • Renator regulator filled the bucket in 36 seconds – about 5.83gpm.
  • Camco regulator filled the bucket in 38 seconds – about 5.53 gpm.

As you can see the Renator does have a higher flow which would equate into RV living as a more comfortable shower… but really only by a third of a gallon per minute.


So what are the advantages of the Renator (or equivalent) type of regulator?  As mentioned, you get a slightly higher flow rate (in my experiment anyway). More importantly, they are adjustable.  If you want a higher or lower pressure, you just turn a screw and the pressure changes appropriately. And you can see that the regulator is functioning… no hoping or guess work.

What advantage is there to the Camco (or equivalent) type of regulator? It is cheaper.  The Renator type costs between $40-50.  The Camco type is between $10-15.

There you have it… spend the money to see or change the pressure… or save a little and get basically the same results with a less expensive regulator.  No matter what you may think, however, get one… It will save you some plumbing headaches!