The ’79 Winnebago Brave, Mowing, and Gas

Last night Diane pointed out to me that we haven’t really done much all summer long and, specifically, we haven’t gone anywhere with the RV. All of that is totally untrue. I’m sure we’ve gone places and done things during the summer but I just can’t remember what they were right now. I do, however, vividly recall driving the Winnebago to our church, Bethany Lutheran, for the parking lot sale a few weeks ago. I’m sure I did that because I have pictures.

OK – I looked, and I don’t have pictures of the RV, but I have pictures of Ron sitting in a chair outside the RV. Still, it’s not proof, I guess, so I might have to concede that it didn’t really happen. But, I’m sure it did.

Back to last night – our Winnebago friends, who also have old Winnebagos, went to Lincoln City over last weekend. They stayed at the Elks Club where parking an RV is pretty inexpensive. Most Elks Clubs provide that service which is nice. Kinda makes me want to be an Elk again. We were going to go, too, but I still had work to do on The Bathroom and wasn’t comfortable being gone from it for so long a period. So, we stayed home. Now it’s time to get contradictory and report that we are now going to Fort Stevens State Park in Warrenton tomorrow, returning Sunday. In our defense, it’s much closer to us than Lincoln City, and it doesn’t involve driving long distance on a holiday weekend. But, still, we should have gone to Lincoln City, too.

In preparation for the trip I thought it would be a good idea to see if I could get the rig started. I worked and worked at it for a long time, until the batteries were almost dead, then I gave up for a little while and connected the battery charger to one of the batteries. Then I went to the local Chevron station for a can of gas, thinking the tank might be dry, and to ACE for a can of starting fluid to give the engine a little more incentive to be nice.

Before climbing into the driver’s seat, I removed the engine cover so I could squirt the starting fluid into the carburetor and give the engine a crank right away. As I suspected it would, the engine snorted it’s acceptance of the highly flammable mist from the can, but didn’t keep running right away. It took a few more squirts to get enough gas from the tank to the carburetor, but once done it ran well. And I let it run for a long time. 

While it was filling the garage, which is directly in line with the right exhaust pipe, with fumes, I disconnected the battery charger, the DirecTV antenna, and the 115V AC power cord so I wouldn’t be dragging anything behind us when we were finally ready to take it for a spin to get gas and run some errands. 

Then it appeared we weren’t going to leave right away, so I turned it off with confidence it would start right up when Diane was ready to go.

But it didn’t. I cranked, and cranked, it until it was obvious it wasn’t going to start without another sniff of the starting fluid. So, with Diane in the passenger seat, I risked serious injury by removing the engine cover so I could do the deed, and also allowed all the wonderful fumes, that should remain in the engine compartment, into the cab. All those fumes went directly to Diane and hovered over her while I got the engine fired up and running. Then I just slide the cover into place, kinda, and away we went with fumes surrounding us and hot air blowing on our little feet. I should have locked it down, I know, but we were going to the gas station and I wanted to have easy access in case it wouldn’t start right away so we wouldn’t be overly embarrassed. To me, none of that mattered, because I really don’t mind the odors emitted by a running engine. It’s kinda nice.

On the way to the gas station we stopped at our church, mentioned above, so Diane could drop off the aprons she had washed, and so we could spruce the joint up a bit because we are the assigned cleaners this month. Diane signed us up so we have to do it. As soon as we got within eye-shot of the church it was evident that the lawn needed a severe mowing. Since Floyd resigned as our arborist, and lawn maintenance person extraordinaire, such tasks are now available for anyone who wants to volunteer their time, like Floyd has for the past 28 years or so. Maybe it’s not 28 years, but he’s been doing it for a really long time. Now someone else needs to pick up the reigns and get it done. Since I was there, my conscience dictated my path to the mower barn, a little room at the end of the church car port, and I got to work. It’s a fairly new Craftsman, and works just great. I think it took me only a couple of hours to get it all mown, and the mower washed. I had to wash it because that’s what Floyd did before putting it away. There’s no way I was going to ride it hard and put it away dirty. No sir! Not me. So, I washed it, top to bottom and it looked good as new when I put it away. Now my conscience is telling me that I should probably do that with my mower at home. I treat it terrible and I’m surprised it still runs, but it does. It’s been very faithful to me. So, before using it next time, I will wash it and change the oil. Then I will wash it when I’m done. I don’t have a mower shed to store it in, however, because I haven’t built it yet. One of these days … until them, I park it under a holly tree where it’s protected pretty good from the rain. When it rains.

After leaving the church we headed for Scappoose to see how much gas we could pour into the rig. I truly don’t have any idea how many gallons the two tanks hold, but it’s a lot. We went to the Fred Meyer gas station, across the street from Fultanos and Les Schwab, and used Diane’s Fred Meyer card to drain their pumps. Luckily, Diane shops at Freddie’s fairly often which provides some relief at the pump when a lot of shopping has been done. She recently took all of our related school children there to buy school clothes which resulted in 45 cents off a gallon. They have a 35 gallon limit on that, however. Fortunately, the front tank didn’t take 35 gallons, so we just moved the rig up a little (it started right up!) so we could finish the 35 gallons in the rear tank. When it stopped, we ran the card again so we could fill that tank, and wound up getting 15 cents off whatever they could pump into that tank. It’s a smaller one, so I was sure it wouldn’t take 35 gallons. It didn’t. Total cost was just shy of $150 for the two tanks. I suspect that will get us to Fort Stevens just fine. Perhaps it will even get us home, too. We’ll see.

Now it’s almost 9 pm, I’m hungry, and need to stop and get a snack.

911, Eye Doctor, Fultano’s, and a Laptop

Yesterday a neighbor was at our door when we got home, looking for some help to help pick Bob Up. He falls down once in a while and they usually call 911 for help getting him vertical. I told them I’d be more than happy to give it a shot, and it worked. We popped him right back on his feet. He was sternly lectured by his wife for trying to carry his sandwich out to the porch. I guess the bees got most of what was left by the time I got there.

This afternoon Diane went to the eye doctor for one of her checkups. Her tear ducts are on the fritz, which isn’t a good thing. While she was gone, I worked with Doug on the American Legion laptop that was doing all kinds of weird things. I knew immediately what the problem was, of course, being the semi-nerd I am, and got busy on the ‘fix’. Then we went to lunch at Fultano’s in Scappoose.

On the way, I texted Jack to see if he was working so he could go if he wasn’t working. He wasn’t, so I stopped to get him on the way. So, it was the Peal brothers vs. the Cate brothers, plus two others the Peals brought for reinforcement. Jack had never been to Fultano’s before, so it was a treat for him. It was all you can eat salad bar and pizza for $7.15, including a drink. Very good stuff.

Upon returning home, I finished cleaning up the laptop and sent Doug an email that it was ready. However, Doug doesn’t check his email very often any more, but I know he reads this, so, Doug, the laptop is done.

The only other thing I did today was start the ’73 RV, just to see if it would. It fired right up. Better than the ’79 ever starts. Interesting.

Later in the evening I got in trouble, but I don’t want to talk about it. Instead, I’m going to bed.