Thursday, February 19, 2015

La Lair is back with a new valve and I'm ready to install a vent

  La Lair has a new valve. The dealer had to replace the entire unit, since the defective valve was a small part of a larger unit technically called the "Cooler EGR". They also replaced the appropriate gaskets, clamps and antifreeze coolant along with this new unit. So now that I have about 200 miles on La Lair, I'm hoping it's happy trails with this new unit for the next quarter-million miles. Here's what the new unit looked like before install.

  My next project is a wind-powered vent which doesn't require power. I'm not sure if it will work as well as a vent with a powered fan. Next year, I'll follow-up with an assessment. With the help of mon ami Chef Renauld via Skype and US Priority boxes (previously an electrical engineer with US Forest Service), he's sent me a hole saw, acrylic rib fillers, sealant, and various drills plus a video demonstration on scrap metal, so I'm ready to go on this new adventure. Feel like an inexperienced surgeon cutting into a newborn baby!

  There are only two places that sell this wind-powered vent from Germany, one is Trail Pals which specializes in trailer accessories, and the other is Wings and Wheels which sells accessories for glider trailers. I used to have a trailer and horse, and I know from experience that horse trailer stuff is more practical than RV human trailer stuff. For example, I bought and will eventually velcro a lightweight shatter-proof mirror from Trail Pals inside La Lair. I also bought Trail Pals' reflective tape for high visibility at night along the sides of La Lair. These photos were taken with a flash just after sunset so you could see how well the reflective tape (red on driver side and red and white on passenger side) works. During the daytime, the tape isn't noticeable.

  Stay tuned for the vent operation!

Monday, February 9, 2015

   Before I had 100 miles on La Lair, the "check engine light" came on, so took it back to the dealer where it sits, waiting for a part to arrive from overseas while I drive a loaner. The dealer claims the computer shows the diesel engine's emissions valve is at fault, but other new diesel ProMaster owners with similar issues claim it might be a software glitch. 

  So I'm using this time to repair my low maintenance cottage. I had wood-boring ants on two pieces of water-soaked siding near my deck (see upper left photo below), and elsewhere three pieces of siding were rotting. I have different kinds of boots each designed for an exclusive purpose; one pair is a $10 Wal-Mart steel-toed and thick-soled boot for comfort on ladders. Spent the past few weeks fitting new siding, up and down the ladder umpteen times scraping, priming, and painting the front of my cottage. Next winter, I'll finish the north side of my cottage.