Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Things Are Progressing Right Along

We left base Sunday hoping by being out of the way things would start happening with respect to our RV Port. It must have worked as we received a call yesterday from BIL James wanting us to order the material for the metal roof and have it ready for pickup this Thursday Aug 2nd. He said he wanted to take advantage of our not being there to complete the project before we return next Monday Aug 6th. I called the order in to Mueller and since they do not stock their roof panels by any particular length it would take a week to process the order. Bummer!

The salesman said he would try to rush it but felt the order would not be ready until early next week. So, we may have to boon dock for a couple of days while the roof panels go up. James said they would have the roof pipe trusses and the C-Purlins in place toward the end of the week. The colors we selected are Light Stone roof panels with Saddle Leather Brown trim and gutters. We'll paint the support posts to match the Saddle Leather Brown.

We will be sooo glad to get this project behind us. Looking forward to reducing the direct sun off the motorhome plus the other advantages. Maybe the A/C's won't have to work as hard particularly with the three digit temperatures we are having this week and it appears there will be no let up.

Another plus this roof is going to give us is our patio will be covered nearly two-thirds by the roof. This way we will not have to deploy our large awning and just maybe eliminating any additional damage due to storms with high winds.

Not sure what this is going to do with our ability to get DIRECTV with the roof satellite. We're hoping with the 16ft walls and 20ft peak in the middle we just might get lucky. I suspect we will have to go with either a ground mount or support post mounted dish.

imageOn another front I finally got around to getting Sandy her Breville Smart Oven for our 36th wedding anniversary we celebrated last month. We picked it up at Bed & Bath (aka those who know me Bird & Bath) at a great price with their store 20% off coupon. Now let me tell you this oven is one smart dude and cooks things great.


The 1800 watt countertop oven does the thinking for you. Automatically adjusts the independent heating elements ensuring an exact cooking process. It has 9 menu functions suggest the ideal temperature and time, and the oven remembers them for the next use. Toasts evenly, makes delicious cookies, bakes perfect pizza, and roasts succulent meat.
The convection option speeds your cooking time by as much as 30%. We have also noted the oven does not heat up the home like the Cuisinart she use to use. Sandy just loves it! We don't use our convection oven as often either. I should say she as I do very little cooking myself.

Until until time. . . .MtnAire Travlers.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Let The Digging Begin......


Post holes that is. BIL James was over around 8am with his Kubota tractor and the two helpers. They took off the brush hog and installed his auger to the PTO drive of the tractor. Since he already had the stakes in place all he needed to do was start digging the eight post holes for the 4" pipe we will use for the cover post supports. Each hole would be dug two feet deep and about ten inches in diameter. Each hole would be filled with a 40lb bag of concrete after the posts were put in place and leveled. Sandy and I took off to Hughes Springs to pick up the eight bags of concrete. When we got back they were just about ready to start the drilling.

imageWell on the first hole Mr. Murphy stepped in and due to all the iron ore in this area the pins on the auger sheared. The closer James looked it was determined that the auger being old as it was just wasn't going to get the job done. So, the four of us took off to Pittsburg Tractor in Pittsburg TX to see what was available in the way of a new 3 point PTO auger. Now let me tell you these augers are not cheap ranging from $995 to $1500. I suggested why don't we just rent one and James said it would probably break down as when you rent tools like that they've usually been run through the mill.


Larry the owner said since we were talking about renting he had a used auger in excellent condition and with a 3" cutting bit. He also said he would make us a good deal on a ten inch bit. We took home both pieces for just under $550.
After arriving back to base and installing the new auger they had all eight holes drilled in a little under one hour. We decided to move the motorhome out to make the job a little easier and to avoid any accidents. This really helped as they were able to approach the drilling points with ease and without the hassle of jockeying around the motorhome. (click on Pictures to enlarge)


After the drilling they began setting the 20ft x 4" OD pipe into place and pouring the concrete into the holes around the pipe. They leveled each pipe and pushed the dirt back in the hole to finish the job in about three hours.

imageAfter pulling the motorhome back into its spot we are now trying to decide if the 18ft walls with a 20ft rise in the middle might be a tad bit tall. Maybe 16ft walls would be more like it with a 18ft rise in the middle. This would give us about five feet in the middle above the motorhome. After talking with my friend Mark I think we have settled on the 16ft walls with the 18ft peak down the middle. I think the next phase will be the side top rails, joist and rafters. James will be using 2-7/8” pipe and sucker rods for these.

Until next time. . . .MtnAire Travlers.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Finally Had A Nice Rain Storm Come Through


About 3pm Sandy stepped out of the motorhome to go over to her Mom's. She said come quick an look back to the east. There was a very dark cloud rolling toward us. I had been mowing the seven acres (well at least most of it as Sandy brush hogs about three acres) and hadn't put up the mowing tractor. So, I quickly jumped on and drove it to the shop.

On my way back to the motorhome the wind picked up quite a bit. There was a lot of thunder boomers and lighting. Just as I made it to the motorhome the bottom fell out. It rained hard for about 45 minutes. Finally the iron ore spell has been broken and we were receiving a nice rain!!!! Thank you Lord! Like a kid I wanted to go out and play in it but, the lighting was a little too much. This will finally settle down our dust bowl.
Isn't it a shame that life here has been a little boring forcing one to post about the weather.

Until next time. . . .MtnAire Travlers.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

That Iron Ore Story May Have Something To Do With It After All

Maybe that iron ore statement made by BIL James as to why these storm systems skirt around Lone Star has some truth in it after all.


Here are a series of several storm systems that came our way on Monday July 9th out of the north heading south. None of these systems captured on screen at the different times left a drop of rain here in Lone Star. The systems simply rolled around our area.


Sandy's sister Pam who lives in Longview about 36 miles south of us had one of these systems roll through about 3:30pm dropping about 3" of rain with a lot of thunder and lighting with very strong winds. They lost electricity and their phone line for about two hours.

BIL James called Sandy about 7pm that evening advising there was a strong storm headed our way with quarter size hail, strong winds with rain, lighting and thunder. We went outside let all the small awnings in, tied things down on the patio and pulled the Jeep under one of the large cedar trees.

A little after 8pm the system had divided with the bulk of the storm going west of our area and the other going east of the area. We did manage a very light sprinkle but nothing like the weatherman predicated. Naturally we prefer not to have the bad storms but one would think with all these systems rolling our way we would have received a little measurable rain. Oh well maybe soon as the weatherman is giving us a 50% to 60% chance of rain the next few days.

Until next time. . . .MtnAire Travlers.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Installing a 32" 1080p LED HDTV

We've been wanting to upgrade our 26" LCD HDTV to a larger size. The new 32" LED 1080p HDTV dimensional wise ( 29.1" x 17.5" x 3.7" without the stand ) would fit between the two cabinet doors perfectly. All we needed to do was find a good way to install it to the false wall we added to the TV cabinet about three years ago for retrofitting to the 26" TV.


While on one of our visits with friends at Canton several months ago they showed me how their 32" TV was wall mounted in their travel trailer.They used a Dynex TV wall mount that allows you to mount two mounting arms to the back and clip them on the wall rail. When you need to remove the TV you pull down on two straps that releases the TV from the bottom rail. You then raise up the TV and while still resting on the top wall rail you disconnect the wiring and then lift the TV off the top rail.

Note here:
To be on the caution side when traveling we force two nerf balls between the back of the TV and the false wall. This not only adds some support, it also assures a cushion as the TV will bounce a little due to the mounting method. Once we get to where we are traveling to we simply remove the nerf balls before watching TV.


So, after all this investigation and measuring we went out and purchased a 32" Samsung UN32EH5000 (Black) LED HDTV with 1080p. We had very little problems mounting the wall bracket to the false wall inside the old TV cabinet. I did have to cut out another opening in the false wall to allow all the cables and wiring to be connected to the back of the TV.

Because the HDMI cable slots where on the side of the TV I had to notch out the side of the cabinet to allow them to clear the box. It doesn't look that bad and the average person entering will probably never notice it. If they do well......


This new Samsung 32" LED HDTV weighs only 12.6lbs and 3.7" in depth. Not only does it look nice mounted it delivers an excellent picture. If you look real close at the bottom of the TV you can see the two release straps.Oh by the way I'm using the 26" LCD HDTV in one of my outside bays. I would like to mount this to somewhat a slideout tray or turntable. Not real sure what to do here. I just may put it in the bay that has a slideout tray and let it set on the floor of the tray when watching TV and lay it down when traveling.

Until next time. . . .MtnAire Travlers.


Finally had a nice rain last evening that really cooled things off. This was our first measurable rainfall in a while. In fact things were beginning to look like last summer during the drought. Small ponds, creeks and our lake under Hwy 259 are just about drying up.

It's strange areas around us have had good amounts of rain but for some reason the systems seem to split up and go west and east of Lone Star. BIL James says that's because of all the iron ore we have in the area. I know he is pulling my chain but something is causing these systems to go around us. We were in Longview Saturday and they had a nice rain Friday night and it rained most of the day we were in Longview. When we arrived back in Lone Star we didn't have a drop of moisture even though the system came out of Arkansas and Louisiana.

We have staked the eight posts that will support the RV cover for the motorhome. Their will be four on each side about 21ft apart. The patio will be about half covered with the roof panels. This will be nice as we won't have to let the big awing out as much.

Sandy and I visited the Mueller Steel plant over in Kilgore last week and got prices on the roof panels, gutter system and an idea what kind of lead time they would need to fill our order. We also looked at colors and could not come to any conclusion. We did learn it will require 22 panels per side to cover the 24ft x 65ft shelter for the home. We learned they have no standard lengths of roof panels they'll do any length required. It looks like we will go with 13ft lengths which will give us about a foot overhang per side. We will run gutters on both sides. With the roof over the motorhome we won't be able to use our roof mounted Satellite dish. We will have to use a ground mount or mount a dish to one of the support posts.

We chose the U-panel design which is a nice looking panel with these benefits:

Up to a 30-Year Limited Paint Warranty
A Wide Range of Designer Colors
Hail Resistant – Underwriters Laboratories Class-4 Rating
Fire Resistant
Wind Resistant up to 140 mph
Practically Maintenance Free
26-Gauge - Commercial Grade Steel
Energy Efficient
Greater Life Expectancy
Outstanding Durability
Possible Insurance Savings

Boy as hot as its been we will be so glade to have this project behind us. Since BIL James trimmed the limbs of the huge oak tree that use to overhang the motorhome, our A/C's really have to work hard to keep it comfortable inside.

Until next time. . . .MtnAire Travlers.