Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A few updates to the interior mods that I have been working on. My overall goal is to change the original brown(s) to a more modern grey theme. I managed to get some free poly leather type material that was very high quality and thought it would go well with the existing panelling. The rear hatch panel and front door panels were fairly warped/cracked/broken so I bought some spray adhesive and went to work. Here are before and after of the front door panels

Total cost for this was $11 for the can of spray adhesive and $6 for a really nice 6-piece auto trim panel tool kit from Harbor Freight Tools. Far from perfect but I think a great improvement

I have been looking up carbon-fibre vinyl and finally got a 4'x2' roll to try it out. Here are the before and after pictures. I'm not totally sold on it yet but it certainly goes with the grey suede couch and cushions

It is a textured dark grey carbon-fibre self adhesive vinyl that was very easy to put on after I removed the seat base. I think I'll leave the rest of the cabinetry for that "old school" - "new-school" combination.

The rear panel was an issue as it was basically in two pieces once I removed all the clips. I found a piece of cardboard and put that on top of the old panel and covered in the same fabric. Far from perfect but much better than before. Not the best of pictures, there are three lines from where the cardboard had it's natural bends but still way better than before
Overall I'm very happy with the end result, especially considering the minimal cost involved. I attempted to remove the sliding door panel but it is way too brittle and every clip seems to break..along with the panel. It has a huge crack in it as well so I have ordered in a new panel and will cover it when it arrives.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

We managed to get a 3 day camping trip this time so it was off to the California Redwoods. Our first night was at Pass Creek county park campground just south of Eugene. Nothing special to report with this site other than it was conveniently located right off HWY 5 and only $20. We then met up with our friends and visited the Oregon caves. The drive took us up 4000 ft on some very steep and windy roads and we took a 90 minute guided tour of the caves. The temperature in the cave is an almost constant 44 degrees year round, quite amazing!

We were staying at our friends tent site in Patricks Point State Park. The site was very spacious and private. Somebody special was celebrating her birthday so we cooked up some nice steaks on the grill. Rogue beer and Fireball whiskey to follow
The next day took us about 80 miles south to see the Redwoods. Our first stop I was able to drive through a huge tree

As you can see it was a very tight fit and here is the "badge of honor"
Here is the whole camping group
This is the Founders Tree and the tallest that we saw on our trip at 346 feet tall
The camper in the parking lot next to a nice Redwood
Then it was back to Patricks Point for our second night of cooking - the roast chicken was delicious!
Some excellent night shots of the LED lighting

The site had a metal "Bear Box" but some extra food was stored in a cooler outside which was raided by a raccoon, skunk and we even think a bear! Patrick's Point was a very pretty park but was cool and had fog nearly our entire stay.
We left early so we could visit Fern Canyon and of course had to visit good old Paul Bunyan

We logged well over 1,000 miles in 3 days with a full camper averaging just over 17MPG

Another weekend and another camping excursion. This time we reserved a site at South Beach State park near Newport Oregon. The temperature was scorching hot in Portland with temps in the low 100's which was a stark contrast to the 52 degrees that met us when we arrived.

The park was fully booked so we were lucky to get our full hook-up site with 2 days notice. $23 per night and a 1/4 mile walk directly to the beach.

Gratuitous peppered bacon shot - so good!
Discovered that the site was a short walk to the Rogue brewery so off we went for some samplers - our new favorite is the Hazelnut brown nectar

We left early after 2 nights so we could enjoy some driving up HWY 101. Here are some pictures of Beverly Beach campground which we will try to stay at in the future
And we got this beautiful pic on the way home


Thursday, August 9, 2012

You may have noticed that we still have the old California plates and that is due to the camper not passing Oregon emissions even tho it apparently just passed California emissions. After all the intake air leaks were fixed, the next and hopefully final step was to replace the Catalytic Converter and muffler. Here is the work in progress:
Nothing pretty but he welded it in nicely, installed a much better mounting bracket and curved the tail pipe back and slightly down.
This was our 4th attempt to pass emissions at the DEQ and as you can see the new Catalytic Converter did it's job. All previous attempts had a hydrocarbon level of well over 300 and as you can see, is now just over 100. it's now running even quieter and better than ever!

So there you have it and we're officially legal in Oregon. Stay tuned for our next camping trip this weekend at South Beach State Park, right by Newport Oregon

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

More LED madness!!! So after a trip to IKEA I had to pick up their multi-color Dioder. Here are pics of the newly installed strip
This is the controller in place. You can slide it to any color you want as well as two programs to either change the colors or blend from one color to another.....very cool!

 I regrettably cut off the AC power transformer so I could solder it up to 12 volt. From there the install was very simple, the controller and light strips are held securely with double sided tape

Here it is at night - It's more mood lighting but super happy with the end result
Our next camping journey took us to Cove Palisades State Park in Central Oregon and located on the waters surrounding Lake Billy Chinook. We arrived after 9pm so would have to wait till the morning to check out the sites. Full hook-up at this park was $26 per night
It was cool during the night but the sun rose early and got up to the mid 80's in the early afternoon. Here was our morning view

 We got up early and headed down to the lake. The area reminded me of Lake Mead in Vegas but with a bit more vegetation

We were surprised to see so much wildlife, especially during the day

Headed down to the lake and used our new inflatable - you can't complain for $19

It was still a struggle heading up Mt Hood on the way with speeds around 40MPH on the steep grades but the camper ran well and the fridge even maintained its chill despite the high temperatures outside. Here are some camper pics!