vrijdag 17 april 2020

People who sail across oceans say time seems to go faster in those weeks that you only see water. I hear them tell me that it's almost like watching a camp fire, ultimately relaxing, while you still have to keep an eye on the wind, currents, and route. To know exactly where you are, you need to have GPS, or be able to calculate your position via the time+sun (height and exact location).

Luckily, we don't have any of those troubles, as we stay in our marina, happy with our old ship that is relying on a fuel source that's overpriced from about 30 cents per gallon (when it was being built) to the current 4 dollars per gallon (boat fuel), making it simply not economical to move, with our 2 V8 big blocks of almost 8 liter each. The nature here is great, as are the views, sunsets, etc. There is work, at least when there are no viruses going around. We are lucky to have nice friends here, and Ilene's son Jeremy lives in Sacramento so she can visit him regularly, like today, when she brought both dogs to give them a good bath (in this time of year we have to do that, as flea eggs are hatching).

With the camper it's no use going out as all campings are closed. We've finished painting the interior (from ultra ugly wallpaper to simple, plain white).
All we can do now, is to stay home and wait. Enjoying our freedom, our extra vacation time. There always is so much to do in house and garden, on boat and bike, outboard et cetera. Here are some pics of Lucille.

vrijdag 20 maart 2020

Now we're all forced to stay home, there is time to work on our beloved little motorhome. Other projects interfere, there's 2 outboard motors that need to be running, so we can see more of the Delta. There is a stack of stuff we want to sell since we're not using it.
And we have started to create home concerts that we stream live. Keep following *via your LIKE* our facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/freewheelerscelloband

There we will announce when we go live. We'll follow who's online and can read your comments in real time so that we can respond and react. You may for example ask us to play a certain song. But: we will not promise that we know it!

dinsdag 4 februari 2020

It is Tuesday, February 4 already, January went by in a teaspoon. Meanwhile our lovely little camper has past Smog, and we're working on getting her ready for little tours. Unfortunately, the last time I drove her (to Discovery Bay, about 20mi from here) on the way back, the stick shift linkage to the gearbox failed, so I had to drive home going no faster then 20mph. Luckily, I was in 2nd gear, so I could stop and drive off, which was necessary a couple of times. Back home, I discovered there was a loose bolt, but before tightening it, I got those blocking sims to prevent this from happening again! It really isn't very hard, but you need handy, experienced fingers to get to the bolt positions, find the thread on feel since there is no way you can see what you're doing. Eventually, we'll need a new linkage, as it is made of the dreaded Plastic. In all my experience with oldtimers, it's always the plastic and rubber components that need to be replaced.

Anyway. I also installed the roof window, and after taking off all of the old fiberglass from the roof, painted it with a layer of special roof paint, which has rubber in it. After a couple of layers, it was done, and the rain couldn't get through. One of the roof windows over our bed had a bit of a leak, so I took that out, cleaned it, cleaned the window seat, and sealed it again with special glue.

The Band currently is non active. We've participated in various contests and apparently, other players are doing better in serving the audience what they want to hear. It's pretty hard always being a pioneer. Especially when you're kind of poor, unable to hire a studio or promo firm. Being nice is all we can do, and practice, compose, record, improve. We hope to fly to Europe this year, as my father will be 85 year old, and his health is deteriorating. With a bit of luck, we'll be able to live in Spain, on our own land, in a home we've repaired, growing organic vegetables fruit and herbs in our own garden. A revival of the Red House Parties will happen then!

Meanwhile, Bas published a book he worked on a few years ago, about how to build your own webshop using free Zen Card software. It's in Dutch, on Amazon, check it out if you understand Dutch!

maandag 25 november 2019

Winterizing the camper

Using the last dry weeks in the year, I painted the roof of the camper, using an elastic type of roof paint that worked pretty well but rendered the brushes I've used to a useless punky hairstyle. Now we hope the winter rains won't leak through anymore, like they'd been able to do in the back and shower before.
The broken shower roof window is replaced, also are the two vent caps. They're pretty cheap online and easy to screw in. I've helped many people with their campers to their comfort. This way, I know how to do this job, with which materials, and how much time each little part of the job will cost.

Inside, the back of the camper was pretty much rotten wood. I took all the rot out, and replaced it with new wood that I first protected against rot, to not have the same problem again. I took out the old battery and checked the electric wiring, which still is functional.

Ilene painted the interior white, so we don't have to look at plastic 'woodprint' and ugly blue kitchen 'tiles'. White makes it look a bit bigger.
Since Ilene's Toyota Natoma had to go to the garage, where the check engine light was checked with all codes, and many new parts had to be installed, we didn't have much money left for the Travette. So she's still waiting for her smog check, and we already know there is an Evap problem. Please wish us luck on that, since we don't have much financial reserves.

At least, we can be sure now that we'll stay dry during our sleeps in our beloved camper!

dinsdag 4 juni 2019

Update: we call her 'Lucille'

For those that Instagram: Ilene has her own blog there, about our camper: https://www.instagram.com/p/ByMGZHSj05v/

The last few days we spent on painting the interior white (Ilene) and getting the old decomposing glassfiber off of the roof (Bas). Ilene tried to smog her after Bas had put in a new fuel filler hose, but again, EVAP failed.
It would be nice if the smog places would be more helpful in overcoming smog problems, instead of turning this legally obliged obstacle into an eternal subsidy...

Before the smog hell opened up, we invested $780 in brand new, 6 ply tires.
To get the title, Ilene had to go to the registration of deceased people.
The cop station where the freak works who impounded our vehicle, a proven scam. He and a towing company have a deal in which the tow club calls in this cop, to take the vehicle in, for just anything.
Notice that the towing company uses a white board to claim their prices. We had to give them $480 of our hard earned money. I see this as theft with help of the strong arm of the law. It makes me puke!
A remote junkyard in Lincoln is being used for this scam. The camper wouldn't start anymore, so the tow driver -now he has received his Judas pennies- was so nice as to tow it to the street, where he left us. We tried to find a tow to Sacramento via our AAA but all tow companies work together and would not help us. So far for this AAA 'service'. The entire night Ilene tried to get us out of there, but eventually, I unscrewed the carburetor, repaired it in Sacramento and we came back the next day; luckily, it ran!
If it's hard to remember where all wires and hoses go, make a picture (or more)
This junk inside the carb was the reason it stalled. After removing, Lucille ran again!

zaterdag 30 maart 2019

First work on our Travette camper

Yesterday was the first day without rain so we could work on the motorhome. PS. http://rvsandohvs.blogspot.com/ is a great blog about motorhomes and has a review on the Travette. We're always interested in more information about this Bakersfield company, and personal experiences from everyone who owns, or owned a Travette.

Here are some pics of our work yesterday.

this is how we first found it. Via craigslist ad. Flat tire and paneling coming down. What else?
As you can see, the extra layer of glass fiber that was put on later, is coming off. We have to get it all off, or put new bondo on it so that it sticks, and then repaint it. The back looks even worse:
But the underside will be okay with some surface rust sanded off and a layer of Rustoleum.

Ilene was already busy cleaning up the interior and checking the upholstery, which needs total renewal.
And meanwhile I was busy trying to get the lights working, which means to inspect all connections, light fixtures, switches et cetera.

maandag 25 maart 2019

We bought a Toyota motorhome

To be more mobile and see more of this great nation, Ilene and I have bought a camper. It's a Travette from 1979 and needs tons of work, but we got it for a good price. The engine, R20, is famous for it's durability and economy. Which we need, since now we got to get new tires. The old ones are from 1995 and WILL pop on any hiway trip.

We'll keep you posted!!