The RV Shop

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Journey to the Oregon Coast

We traveled to the Oregon coast and will be here until after the Christmas holiday. We have been here alot this year...more than usual. The journey was uneventful, which we appreciate. After having issues with the tires recently, it was nice to have no problems. We arrived on a day before the rain hit. Quite often when we get here, it is raining. Setting up in the rain is no fun for either of us. Dwain was able to get the internet and TV satelittes up quickly too.

We miss our granddaughter!!

I hope to be able to see my Aunts, Uncles and Cousins while we are here.

LaCenter, Washington

We had two weeks in LaCenter, Washington at Adam, Carrie and Lyla's. Seeing them every day was a delight. The drive from the freeway to their house is through well-kept, small farms. The tree leaves are turning fast and are beautiful. You view Mt. St. Helens from their house.

We parked in the back of the house so we are separate, but together. I love the feeling of being close enough for them to pop in as they can. Lyla is only a year old, but soon she will escape her house and run over to Grandma and Papa's like her cousins do when we are in Wallowa. I wish they lived near each other. But Adam and Carrie will always live on the west side of the state and Matt, Heather and the boys will always be on the east side. And Uncle Seth will be in Chicago!

Lyla has turned one! She is walking, although working on her balance. She climbed the three steps in our RV without hesitation. It was her first step climbing experience. While here she has learned "So Big" and to whinny like a horse and moo like a cow. I'm working on "love you," how to say "sorry" in sign language and how to "be easy" when she turns pages in a book. She is so fun...full of the dickens.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A View From My Window

Catherine Creek Oregon State Park Union, Oregon
We left Wallowa on Friday, traveling to LaGrande. We left the RV at Curt's RV for repairs. We ran errands then met Heather and Joshua for lunch. We had Chinese at Josh's request. Our RV was ready by 2 pm and Dwain picked it up while I shopped at Walmart.

We spent the night at Catherine Creek State Park, seven miles out of Union, Oregon. We Park Hosted at Catherine Creek about five years ago. We enjoyed being back. Large pines are throughout the campground. If you are interested in making pine needle baskets, there is a large supply of needles. Catherine Creek SP has about 20 sites. It is a dry campground. However, it does have water faucets in the camp. It has restrooms, but no showers. There is a day use area about a quarter mile up the road. Hiking trails are across the creek.

Saturday morning we traveled to Cove, Oregon, a short distance away. We watched a junior high football game in the rain. Unfortunately our Wallowa team lost, but they played hard. Once the game was over, we were off to the local burger joint and enjoyed a good lunch, saying goodbye to Patrick, Joshua and their parents for a couple of months.
We drove as far as Rufus, Oregon and pulled in beside the Columbia River for the night. Took some beautiful sunsets photos while in the Columbia River Gorge. The wind came up during the night and kept us awake. Dwain measured the mph in the morning at 40. It blew stronger during the night, but he didn't get up to measure it. I wonder why...
On to Adam, Carrie and Lyla's!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A View From My Window

A Place to Rest
A Place to Contemplate
A Place to Read
A Place to Write
A Place to Photograph
A Place to Draw
A Place to Fish
A Place to Swim
A Place to Gather
A Place to Pray

This is one of several benches placed along the Wallowa River within the Wallowa River RV Park located in the small City of Wallowa in N. E. Oregon. A peaceful area with good people and beautiful views.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Road Notes!

We are preparing to leave Wallowa County for the winter. It's a bitter-sweet feeling. We have come to love this area and the Howards, our daughter Heather and her family, live here. That means grandchildren! Leaving the boys is always difficult. But we are traveling to our granddaughter Lyla's house. The most difficult part is when we travel south and don't see the grandchildren for four months. :(

The last few days we prepared the Komfort for winter and it is now parked beside the Howard house. I emptied the cupboards of the canned goods. I usually don't have alot, but this year we stocked it well, then didn't use it all. Today I need to reorganize the Montana cupboards so as much as possible will fit. There have been years when we donated to the local Food Bank. That might be easier!

We will be without electricity for a few days after we leave Wallowa, so I'm doing household chores that need the electric..laundry, vacuum, etc. I'm trying to fit our winter clothes back in the closet. At some point we hope to be like Dwain's Aunt and Uncle. They don't have winter clothing. They are in Wyoming for the summer then Arizona for the winter. They only need a light coat. Because we don't travel south until January, winter clothing is necessary.

Our Montana is scheduled for repair work from when the tire blew a few months ago on Friday so will leave Wallowa early that morning. From there we will start heading west. Must arrive at Lyla's before her first birthday, October 11.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Trip to the Oregon Coast

We decided to use our 26' Komfort on a trip to the north Oregon coast. What was to be a week trip has turned into two.

We attended our 40th high school class reunion the last weekend of August. We stayed at Pacific Campground in Tillamook, Oregon, which is where the reunion was held. This is a nice campground, across Highway 101 from the Tillamook Cheese Factory, with WiFi and laundry facilities. They have a covered picnic area with a fire pit. We were able to camp as a group, some RVs and tents, others stayed with family or in motels. While friends were arriving, our RV became "contact central." Always fun to see how many folks you can squeeze into one small RV. :-)

We spent several days visiting with friends and former neighbors, ending our coastal visit by going inland to LaCenter, Washington visiting our son and family. We had a great two days. Our granddaughter, Lyla, is 11 months old and so much fun. They have a large garden and stocked us with tomatoes, zucchini and corn. How lucky are we? Dwain and Adam worked one day in the yard with projects Adam wanted to complete. I played with Lyla!

While at Adam's, we received word of my cousin Natalie's passing from breast cancer. We were able to return to the coast to spend time with family. Being able to take our little home with us makes it easier than trying to find a place to stay over the Labor Day weekend. We have our bed, closet, kitchen, etc. Nothing to get used's all familiar. Very comforting.

Our little Komfort traveled well. I did notice a leak in one of the overhead cabinets. It is a slow leak and Dwain thinks it may have traveled inside the ceiling to its location. This RV is a nice rig, but has many problems, most of which are not visible.

I had to do laundry as we were only planning to be gone a week. We had our prescriptions transferred and picked them us today. Now we are good to go!

As I write, we are staying in Nehalem, Oregon at Dwain's Dad's place. A few days ago I picked enough blackberries for two pies. There were a few blueberries and huckleberries thrown in for good measure. Not enough to do anything with by themselves. I made one pie and put the rest in the freezer. Blackberry pie is our grandson Patrick's favorite so will bake a pie for him. I also picked a handful of wildflowers. I love having wildflowers on my table.

We are having rain and wind tonight...put up the awning.

Monday we will start our trek back to Wallowa. I'm hoping to convince Dwain to take the "Fruit Loop" in Hood River, Oregon.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Heading for the Oregon Coast

We are preparing to travel to the Oregon coast. This coming weekend is our 40th high school reunion. WOW are WE old! We enjoyed our class reunions in the past and look forward to seeing everyone. There will be many classmates that have never attended a reunion so will be especially fun to see them.

We will be taking our "little house" instead of our Montana. Yesterday we started transferring items from the Montana to the Komfort. Quite a chore, but do it a bit at a time. We try to keep the Komfort "ready" so there isn't to much to transfer, but we haven't used it since May so a little more to do. Dwain is taking shop tools back to the coast so he can use them while we are there in the late fall. We has 3 toy boxes to make for Christmas.

Here's hoping we don't have tire trouble on the Komfort like we did on the Montana...

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A Travel Adventure

We arrived in Wallowa on Friday. What a trip! I'm sure Dwain will post on this adventure, so will post on my experience as a passenger. You can view his comments on this site,

We left Ridgefield, Washington about 9 am on Thursday. Our intent was to travel to Wallowa, arriving by dinnertime. About an hour into our trip, the right, rear tire on the RV blew. It sounded like we ran over something, it was a loud sound. I didn't feel the vehicles swerving. We were fortunate enough to be coming upon a pull-off area for truckers. The tire blew with such force that it broke the plastic skirting over the tires and bent the fiberglass under. You could see black tire markings on the side of the RV and the awning. We checked the awning and it felt secure.

An ODOT truck stopped. They travel along the freeway, keeping it clear of debris. They saw the blowout, picked up pieces and brought them to us. Dwain changed what was left of the tire and put on the spare. It was a hot day and all tires were very hot.

We traveled to Les S. in Hood River. They sold us a new trailer tire and down the road we went, stopping regularly to check the tires. Dwain decided we would stay in Pendleton for the night. He didn't want to pull Cabbage Hill in the heat.

The next morning we had two flat tires. One had lost air, but the other, we had run over a nail. Are we having bad luck or what?!!! Off to Les S. in Pendleton. We purchased three more new tires.

We continued on to Wallowa and arrived safely and thankful. Although we had the potential of dangerous situations, our little fairy of safe travel saw us through again.

Now in Wallowa River RV Park our park friends are busy talking about our adventure and of advice. :>)

Exploding Trailer Tires

We were traveling back to Wallowa via Interstate 84 last Thursday when one of our trailer tires literally blew up. We were traveling at 57mph (according to Tom Tom GPS) when it happened. As you can see in the photo the tire skin ripped the aluminum skirt of our Montana fifth wheel from the front tire all the way to the slide. It also destroyed the fender skirts and bent the steel reinforcements just above the tire.
We had only traveled about 70 miles when it happened. Fortunately we were right next to the entrance to a large turn out that the truckers use in winter to install tire chains and the rest of the year to simply pull off the highway for various reasons.

It was a really hot day averaging over 100 degrees at the time the tire exploded. I checked the tire pressure on the remaining tires and found them at 89 to 91 lbs psi. They also appeared bulged like the skins were separating. They weren't but they looked that way. You can also see that I have my jack and spare tire out ready to begin changing the tire.

This image does a really good job of showing what the tire looked like when we stopped.

We had just passed a state highway incident response vehicle when the tire blew. They actually saw it happen. They also stopped and picked up the debris from the roadway and brought it to us in the event we would need it for insurance purposes. As it turns out our insurance company, GMAC, does not replace tires so that part didn't matter. They do cover the trailer however as a comprehensive claim.

I went ahead and changed the tire myself as I carry all the tools I need with me for just such occasions. I have the Good Sam Road Care insurance that would take care of it but I didn't want to wait. We were only about 20 miles west of Hood River, Oregon and I thought it would be best for us to simply go to the local Les Schwab Tire Center and get a new tire. I don't like traveling without a spare. Our tire had popped at about 10:30am and by noon we had a new one in place and were on the road again. The only thing that happened here was that the spare tire carrier under my trailer wouldn't work when the technician attempted to lower the cable and re-hang the spare for me. I learned later that he had stripped the gears by using his air wrench on it. I'll be contacting the store in Hood River about that.

My rig is pretty heavy in that it normally weighs 11,500 lbs combined axle weight. This doesn't include what is on the truck, only what is on the trailer axles. The tires specify 80 lbs as the maximum "cold" pressure. I had checked my tires before leaving in the morning and they were actually at 76 to 76.5 lbs. I decided not to add the additional four pounds per tire as I knew it would be abnormally hot. Tires normally increase pressure as they heat up and this can be from 10 to 20 lbs psi or more. They are designed to handle this so I normally don't change my air pressure after I set out. I thought that my tires were withing acceptable pressure range, and I still do since the repair shop only put in 75 lbs.

I wanted to have Curt's RV Repair in Island City, near LaGrande, Or. give me a cost estimate to repair the trailer damage, but I realized that I could not get to his shop before he went home. We decided to spend the night at the Wild Horse Casino RV Park. It's at the base of the Blue Mountains near Pendleton and has reasonable rates at $26.00 dollars per night. We would need electric power for the air conditioner so could not boon dock as we sometimes do. We would also be able to pull our rig up Cabbage Hill in the cool morning air which would be a little easier on the transmission than if I tried it after pulling for several hours and then hit that hill in the heat.

In the morning I discovered that I had another tire problem. both tires on the opposite side of the trailer from the one that blew up were totally flat. They are behind the hose in the picture. I was trying to show the poor sewer hook up for another blog in this image and didn't even notice the tire problem when I shot the image.

I attempted to pump these tires up with my compressor but could not bring them up to more than about 63 lbs. I discovered that the front tire now had a puncture at the outside edge of the tread and the rear one seemed to be leaking around the valve stem. I carry a tire repair kit for such times and I put a plug in the front tire. It helped but didn't totally stop the leak. (first time that happened!) I pumped the rear one as much as I could and then hit the road for the Les Shwab Tire Center in Pendleton. This time I bought three more tires replacing all the original remaining tires that came with the trailer. I should note that both tire centers only put 75 lbs pressure in my tires to "leave me some room" due to the extreme heat.

Damage to the bottom front corner of the slide caused by the exploding tire as the tread ripped off.

This tire had less than 7,000 miles on it when it burst, and had only been on the trailer 15 months. It had been the spare that came with the trailer until I had to put it on the ground in April of 2008.

I always feel the rim temperature of all the tires with my hand when we stop for breaks. This gives me an idea if a brake is dragging or a bearing is dry. These were all warm but not hot. I felt the tire treads this time and found that all the tires on the trailer felt much warmer than the ones on the truck. Later when I had the new tire on, it was significantly cooler feeling than the original tires as well.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Lewis and Clark Syndrome

We'll be leaving Tillamook County today. Our route, like Lewis and Clark, will retrace our pathway out here. Our first stop will be at Cape Disappointment where we will visit our friends who are working as park hosts there. We will only stay one night though then head back to Big Fir campground near Ridgefield, Wa. That will be a two night stay so we can see our son and granddaughter again. Thursday we will move to Rufus for an overnight along the Columbia River before heading the rest of the way to Wallowa on Friday.

The Wallowa County Fair begins on Saturday and our grandson will be showing his 4-H horse which, of course, we must see!

We won't have internet access while we travel since we use a Hughesnet Dish and I won't be able to set it up until we get back to wallowa.

It will be interesting to see how we do now that the trailer has all new bushings in the suspension. I've noticed that a squeek we had is gone but we have more sway back and forth as one of us walks around. I'll need to use my tire chocks. Watch for a blog about these in my other blog about RV tips.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Dogs and Choices

We've been on the road for the past week. We stayed the first night along Highway 84 near Rufus. The next two nights were at a little "Passport" campground near Ridgefield Washington called "Big Fir Campground." Then the past two nights were spent at Cape Disappointment State Park. I'll talk about each of these later as I have time to edit my photo's from them and do a good job of describing my impressions.

What I want to talk about here has to do with dogs and choices.

At Cape Disappointment there was a fairly large group of people camping together just a couple of sites away from us. They had five or six tents in their site and on the first night the kids played and everyone was smiling and exited to see one another. One of their group had brought along is two dogs though. Both large Pit Bulls. These dogs had begun to act up as we were moving our rig into our site but the owner was quick to quiet them. As time went on it became apparent that this dog owner had to be on his toes with these dogs as he constantly had to watch them and keep them under control. They were tied though so were not loose and running about on their own. Everything went smoothly for them and us the first day and we went about our business with out incident. We visited friends who were hosting in the park then came home late and went to bed. It had begun to rain anyway so no point in staying out and getting wet.

Next morning as everyone was getting up and preparing coffee and breakfast we suddenly noticed running and excited activity in the campsite with all the tents. One woman ran carrying a small boy to a car and it immediately left for help. Others were running about as well and some were using cell phones to talk to people someplace. That was amazing to us since our phones didn't even pick up a signal at our location. At first I thought the boy had fallen in the fire or had otherwise gotten a bad burn. Almost immediately a park ranger arrived with his lights flashing. he began talking to people from the campsite and then the owner of the dogs arrived as well. He had been off somewhere. That's when we heard what had happened. One of the dogs had bitten the boy, a nine year old, in the face. From above his ear to his throat.

Suddenly what was to have been a wonderful weekend with friends now turned into a very tragic one. One in which everyone there will be scarred for life. All because somebody had to bring animals he knew he had to watch closely. What will happen to the dogs now? I don't know, they are known to be unpredictable, but until they attack someone, virtually every owner I know will say that his dogs are safe. How many times a week do we hear about someone being attacked by these dogs? Why do people insist on keeping and having them, especially people who are not prepared and who do not know how to handle them? A nine year old boy will carry those scars for life and what about his emotional side? I hope the dogs owner has had his macho attitude sufficiently rebuffed.

Later, as the dogs owner was letting them relieve themselves on the posts at the water faucet that everyone uses for fresh water, I could see the pain in his face. He knew he had screwed up bad, yet he still protected his dogs. Shortly thereafter he pulled his tent and left, with this dogs. I feel sorry for him and his dogs. But not as sorry for him as for the little boy and his family and friends. All because of one mans choice to bring those dogs to a camp with children present.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

On the move

Well we'll be on the move again today. The plan is to head over toward the coast from our location in NE Oregon. We won't have Internet access while we're moving so watch for delayed posts as to where we've been and how the trip has progressed.

Depending on when we get moving we'll either spend the night on the road at Rufus or in a park near La Center WA. We have a new Grand Daughter there and wish to see her. From there we plan to visit friends who are park hosting near Cape Disappointment, then head south to family property near Garibaldi, OR. We will help host a family reunion there. I have a couple of photography projects I would like to do while in that area too so we won't leave right away.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wallowa River Rv Park

We are now situated in Wallowa at the Wallowa River RV park. There are several other full time RV'rs who spend the summers here with us.
The park is located along the Wallowa River at the edge of the town of Wallowa. The river is available for fishing and the park has about 800 feet of river frontage. The new owners, Debbie and Clarence Aherins and their dog Maggie, just completed remodeling the showers and they are beautiful and the best I've ever seen in an RV park anywhere in the country.

They have added a small raised garden area where long term visitors can grow vegetables and enjoy gardening with the other park folks.

Debbie loves a potluck and will often host one in which all guests are invited to participate. Guests can meet one another and make new friends. These are totally at random and anyone or anything can be the catalyst to get one going. Just tell people it's happening and we all show up.

The park is also next to land owned by the Nez Perce Indians where the annual Tamakaliks Celebration is held each July. This is a friendship celebration and everyone is invited. The Nez Perce, Umatilla, Warm Springs and other tribes set up Teepee's to live in and have drumming and dance competitions. There are also friendship dances in which everyone is invited and encouraged to participate. Vendors sell jewelry and other gifts and souvenirs.

While all children are welcome at Wallowa River RV park, it is more suited to older campers without kids. It is a quiet setting, with mowed lawns along the river, and all the sites are pull through sites. There are a total of 31 spaces that rent by the night for $30.00 dollars, by the week for $165.00 dollars, and by the month for $300.00 dollars plus electric. A few older sites still only have 30amp power but many are both 30 and 50amp. Time wise, the park is about an hour from LaGrande, 30 minutes from Enterprise, and about 45 minutes from Joseph and Wallow Lake.

If you are interested in staying in a place with beautiful scenery, friendly people, and a quiet and peaceful atmosphere, this just might be what you are looking for.

To get here just come to Wallowa. Take the Whiskey Creek Road turn off at the east end of town and cross the Wallowa river. The park will be on your left just as you cross the bridge. Tell Debbie or Clarence that Dwain sent you!

The park address is 503 Whiskey Creek Road, Wallowa, Or. 97885 PH/Fax 541-886-7002.
Email: Website:

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Thinking About Moving On...

In about two weeks we will be leaving Wallowa for the Oregon coast. We have two family reunions to attend. We will be staying near Garibaldi, Oregon. While there we will try to see family and friends.

We are hoping to travel to the Washington coast to visit friends who are park hosting at Cape Disappointment before attending the family reunions.

We had a propane leak and lost almost 2 propane tanks of gas. Dwain was able to fix the leak. Must refill the tanks tomorrow.

Friday, June 19, 2009


We are spending a couple of months in Wallowa, Oregon. Wallowa is located in NE Oregon. Our daughter Heather and her family live here. Know what that means...GRANDCHILDREN! Our grandsons, Patrick and Joshua are a great way to spend the summer. We are in the middle of baseball season.

The weather has ranged from 70 to 90 degrees, with some rainy days, thunder and lightening. Such is spring in Wallowa County. It will soon be too hot!

Wallowa Valley is a scenic area with beautiful snow capped mountains, the Eagle Cap Wilderness that provides many hiking adventures. It is the home of Wallowa Lake and Wallowa Lake State Park. The lake freezes over in the winter. Fishing is GREAT. The community of Joseph is home to several bronze foundries and is an art-filled area. There is not one stop light in the county.

We stay in Wallowa River RV Park located at the east end of the City of Wallowa on Whiskey Creek Road. The owners are nice folks and dedicated to their patrons. The park has 31 sites with an additional area for tents and storage of your RV. It is located along side the Wallowa River. Fishing is GREAT here too.

From here we plan to spend about a month on the Oregon coast near Tillamook.

What to do when it's raining!

If you've been on the road on a rainy day, you know that it can cause a number of problems or situations you will need to deal with. These include getting your rig really dirty if you're towing, newly discovered leaks, difficult driving conditions, and so on.

Personally I prefer being parked someplace and just relaxing in my rig while watching it rain. It's a perfect time to enjoy a book, or maybe a favorite movie. Most rigs nowadays have entertainment systems that allow music or video that is better than or at least equal to what you have at home. When we still had our house, I used to go out to our rig on rainy days and just sit and watch out the windows.

One of my favorite places to park my rig in foul weather is in one of Oregon's beautiful state parks. Especially somewhere along the Oregon Coast. The Coastal towns and communities are used to wet weather and it is perfect for the RV'r to visit these places. Most of the other tourist traffic is not in town on wet days so you can visit shops and restaurants at your leisure. Sitting inside a big picture window in a nice restaurant and watching a rainstorm on the Oregon Coast is a pleasure.