We both got up at 7:45 AM. My back felt OK when I went to sleep last night but it was not good by morning. I don’t know if that is a result of being immobile and supine or just the Ibuprofen wearing off. As painful as it is to get up it feels better once I do. We both got dressed to work. Linda prepared raisin toast and tea for breakfast while I positioned myself on the heater pad. Linda was busy by a little after 9 AM and I was up and about by 9:30.
The first thing Linda did was take out the trash. She called yesterday and stopped our pickups starting next week. It took me an hour to finish organizing tools and supplies in the garage. At that point I turned off the garage furnace and opened the overhead doors. I started my car and turned it around with the back end facing the garage. We moved all of the things that were going in the bus outside the larger door. We then loaded a lot of the stuff into the car. This is not a permanent arrangement but was merely for the convenience of getting packed for traveling.
I helped get the recycling tubs into Linda’s car. Late morning she took them to the recycling center and stopped at two different banks to make club deposits. I took care of some computer-based tasks while she was gone. I finally got a reply from DataViz regarding a sync problem with Passwords Plus and sent the tech support person (Colin) a copy of the sync log from my computer. I also managed to register the Sony flash and accessories I bought a month ago. When Linda got back she made grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch and served them with fresh apple slices. The cheese was Tomato Cayenne from Field Roast and it made for a tasty sandwich on rye bread from Metropolitan Baking Company. I had a couple of Ibuprofen for dessert.
We disassembled the temporary work table in the garage and stored the sawhorses out of the way. We shook out the floor mats (as best we could) and Linda used the ShopVac to vacuum the floor of the larger bay. We finally had enough room to store her Honda Civic inside for the winter. That will be the first time it has been stored inside since she bought it in 2007.
[ Photo 1 of 1 – HC – The large bay of garage ready to accept our Honda Civic for the winter. This is the first time we have been able to put a car in the garage since we moved in to this house. ]
We rearranged some things in the front of the smaller garage bay to make room for the large trash container, the wheelbarrow, several 10′ lengths of 1-1/4″ plastic conduit, 10 large paver blocks, and the mower deck for the Cub Cadet lawn tractor. With those things stowed inside the concrete driveway was now free of objects that Kerry could have hit with his snowplow.
The tractor and 18 cubic foot trailer will remain in the yard alongside the driveway where we park the bus. The tractor won’t start and we had no interest in pushing it uphill through snow. We found our large plastic tarp the other day so we unrolled it, covered the tractor and trailer, folded the edges under, and weighed the edges down with landscape blocks. Hopefully it will stay put through the winter.
With sunny skies and the temperature hovering around 50 degrees F I opened the house electrical bay on the bus. We loaded the four toolboxes onto a hand truck, two at a time, and rolled them over to the bay where Linda got them stacked and pushed in. We then loaded the two drill cases in front of the toolboxes and I closed up the bay.
Next we opened the passenger side engine bay door and replaced the main engine air filter. It did not look that dirty but the new one was obviously very clean by comparison. This air filter is a bit pricey at $130 plus tax but it is so critical to good engine performance that it does not make sense to try and save a few cents by not replacing it or trying to clean a used one and reuse it.
With the air filter changed we then pulled out the chassis battery tray. It holds four Group 31 lead acid batteries and is very heavy. It has a very heavy duty slide out tray but the tray is worn and lets the leading edge drop a little bit as it comes out. That means we had to lift it as well as push it to get it back in.
We applied a 14″ strip of black Gorilla Tape to the horizontal frame member at the top of the compartment opening to prevent metal tools from coming in contact with the chassis, which is tied to the battery ground. I got this idea from Chuck when I saw that he had done this to their coach. There was some fine rust on top of the batteries but the connections were all tight and did not show signs of corrosion. I should probably have cleaned them anyway but we had too much else to do. I did notice, however, that one of the batteries was from 2009 and the other three were from 2010 so they may be due to replaced.
I opened the doors on both sides of the front bus bay and climbed in. Linda carried stuff over from the driveway and the living room (of the house) and I figured out how to fit them into the space. We have less stuff in the front bay then the last two winters but more stuff in the car. The problem for the bay is that we have things in open topped cardboard boxes so I could not stack things the way I have in the past.
We were done with this phase of the loading process by 3 PM. I had turned on the main engine block heater and the Aqua-Hot engine preheat loop at 1 PM. I started the main engine to air up the suspension, leveled the coach, and then turned on the auxiliary air compressor to maintain it at level. I was getting ready to pull my car around behind the bus so we could hook it up when I realized I should probably move the bus a little bit first to make sure the brakes were not locked up. I backed it up a few feet and turn pulled it forward a little farther than where it started. Linda checked the floor and it was level so I switched the suspension back to Level Low to help minimize leaks and hold the pressure.
I continued to let the bus run on high idle while we hooked up the car. With all of the connections made I opened the air valve that supplies air to the auxiliary braking system in the car and went to the cockpit to activate the various lights while Linda checked them. Everything checked out as OK.
With the bus still idling we carried the HP Color LaserJet network printer from my office in the basement upstairs and into the bus. It was heavy and awkward but we got in into the bus. I had to remove the center cover from between the desk pedestals and we had to get it into its alcove in the left pedestal from the knee space between the pedestals. I was pleased, however, that it fit very comfortably in that space as the space was designed to hold this particular printer.
Once the printer was in we found the replacement black toner cartridge and put it on board. Linda also carried the smaller APC UPS up from the rec room to the bus and I put it on the connector cover shelf. I think there will also be room on the shelf for one of the NAS units. The newer one is physically smaller but has more storage capacity and is faster but my plan us to take the larger/older/slower one.
We were done with this phase of the loading process at 4 PM. Our next task was to replace the screen insert from the front door of the house with the storm door insert. Linda turned her attention to preparing food for our family gathering tomorrow and I stripped the bed, took all of the laundry to the laundry room, and started a load of whites.
My back was making me aware that I had worked it harder today than it would have liked so I took a few more Ibuprofen and settled in on the sofa with the heater pad. Juniper found my lap almost immediately and stayed there until just before 6:30 PM when I had to get up for dinner.
Linda heated up a couple of Amy’s curry and rice frozen dinners and served them with the remaining kale/almond/raisin salad. After dinner Linda started packing non-refrigerated food items in paper grocery bags for moving to the bus. I brought all of my photography equipment upstairs to repack but left that for later. I went downstairs and pulled two additional sets of BCM issues plus extra copies of some of the issues in which I have had articles. I boxed the sets, labeled them, and brought them upstairs.
By the time I replied to a few e-mails it was after 9 PM. We could have worked until midnight but we had both had enough for the day. I settled in on the living room sofa with the heater pad on my back. In spite of wearing a knee brace Linda’s right knee was bothering her all day so she took some Ibuprofen and we both went to bed. We watched Weather Nation for a while and then went to sleep.
Tomorrow will be a long day but of a different sort. In the morning we will finish loading the bus and I will check/adjust the pressures in all of the bus and car tires. We are due at our daughter’s house at noon for Thanksgiving dinner and will probably stay until 7 PM. That evening, after we get home, we will winterize the plumbing in the house and spend the night on the bus in final preparation for our departure for Florida the following morning.