Friday, November 26, 2010

Installing Tires for Dummies

Since installing those tires on my RV, people keep asking me questions.  Like
* Why did you install them yourself?  Couldn't find the wheels locally.
* Don't those tires weigh too much to handle?  No! Just use my technique!!
* Are you some kinda dummy for trying it yourself?  Yes!
As a public service, I'll describe the methods I used for an easy and safe tire installation on our RV.

1 Select the correct tires and rims.  This involves learning the boring technical requirements of tires and wheels.  And ingestion of high quality beer.  Suggestion:  buy wheels with more than the original number of lug nuts, in case you lose your nuts in the grass.

2 Raise the rear wheels of the trailer.  This is actually easier than it sounds, by using leverage.  [Mathematically, this is expressed by M = Fd.]

- Pull down on the trailer king pin.  You may need an extra strong rope.
- The trailer will pivot on the front axle [the fulcrum], lifting the rear axle off the ground.
- Tie off the rope to a heavy object, like a park bench.  If none around, find a heavy friend.  Safety first!

3 Now pull out your new tires.  Each tire weighs about 110 pounds - very heavy to work with.  Then I noticed that the tires were inflated to 110 pounds per square inch.  That can't be coincidental.  This undoubtedly means the tire contains 110 pounds of air.  That's too much!  So I let some out, reducing it to 70 pounds.  That's better!

4 Remove the old tires and mount the new ones as usual.  Now you appreciate having those extra lug nuts, don't you?

5 Tighten the lug nuts with a good torque wrench.  Ooof, that's a lot of pressure.  Wait a minute!  I need 110 foot pounds.  Another coincidence?  I think not.  [Remember, this is a tire system .]   I reduced it to 80 pounds [70, + 10 for safety again.]

6 Lower the trailer slowly and carefully.  Find a new friend.   Don't let him talk to your old friend.

7 Raise the front wheels of the trailer by reversing the process.  Tell your new friend to stand on the back bumper.  Tie your new friend to a heavy object so you don't damage your bumper.

8 Install front wheels.

9 Then I realized that all those pounds of air pushing against the inside of the tread must cause the tire to wear out prematurely.  So I reduced the pounds of air to 60, and the lug nuts to 70 [60 + 10 remember?]  Should be enough, I reckon.  If not, I'll let some more air out later.

That's it really.  Oh, wait.  I also wondered how to keep those tires as clean as they look now.  So I looked on the Internet [naturally].

Motor oil!  Coat the tires with motor oil.  Same color as the tires!  But what rating?  Turns out oil weight refers to the weight of the tires.  [Some people think it refers to engine operating temperature.  Why would they call it "weight??"   Now who's the dummy?]

Couldn't find 50W oil, so I lowered the tire pressure to 40 and used 40W oil on them. [Don't forget the lug nuts!]

So that's it!  Tow safely!!


PS Just throw away those extra lug nuts.  You won't need 'em now.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving, American Style

Didja see the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade on TV?  Floats with happy children, marching bands, and Spiderman!

In the same frame, sharp eyed viewers would also spot a billboard on a building in the background. A woman in a Victoria's Secret bra.  Ha ha ha!

"Oh look at Mrs. Santa Claus!  As well as her errant daughter!!  Gosh, they look so much alike!!!"

The Sacred and the Profane.

More News you can't Use.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tires On. Move On.

At last I have reached the end of the month long saga of installing new tires on the RV.  Slapped them on with a lot of help from my friends.  Sorry no pictures of the operation.  But certainly one of the result.


Now we be ready for the road again!  Weather of late has been cold and rainish.  But of course we will wait for our community Thanksgiving dinner!  And the leftovers luncheon on Saturday!!

Monday we depart for southern California for a final (ha ha ha!) repair on our slide.  Then Tucson bound!


Monday, November 15, 2010

Tired of Tires

People without RVs think that people living in RVs lead simple lives. True enough in some respects.  We don't mow the lawn, pay property taxes, or...ummmm...mow the lawn.

We do work on home maintenance just like normal people.  And then some.  Two electrical systems, appliances with multiple fuels, effluent duties. There are some differences.

Which brings me to differences between a car vehicle and a recreational vehicle.  When normal people buy tires, they drive over to the tire store.  "Gimme a set of tires," they say.  Maybe they choose a brand, like the ones made by the fat funny looking cartoon, who rates restaurants on the side.  ["I'll try the steel belted radials with a side of roadkill."]   Or tires sold by George Foreman.  After all, what did the heavy weight champion of the world know about electric grills?

Not so us.  We need new tires on our trailer.  Which lead me to consider buying heavier wheels and bigger tires so we can carry more toilet paper around the country.  Which lead me to discover that you can't find such wheels easily now, what with cutbacks in production due to creeping socialism in the aluminum industry.

To make a long story short [too late!], I ordered four tires and wheels from Ohio.  Shipped by FedEx freight.  And so I await delivery of a 450 pound box of rubber and metal.  How much does this cost?  Don't ask.

Watch here for pictures of the Blog Writer wrestling 100 pound tires into position.  Followed by pictures of the aforementioned Writer entering his chiropractor's office, driven there by Mrs. Writer, who is saying to him, "I told you so!"


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Summer Plans Already

We lead a life of serendipity.  Meaning whatever we want as long as it doesn't cost too much and our health doesn't interfere and Clancy agrees.  But sometimes we plan ahead. 

Like planning for summer, when working people dream of taking a break and enjoying themselves too.  They resist the Capitalist Manifesto, which requires people to work more for less so a few can work less and have more.  Which is why the few recently took even more, so people would lose their jobs and stay home instead of going on vacation.  If they still had homes.

Of course, when they lose their homes, they feel unencumbered and travel more, looking for work.  Thereby living their dreams after all.  So it all works out...for a few.

Where was I?  Doesn't take much.

Last year (2009) we worked as volunteers for the Oregon Parks Department.  This year, we did not secure positions at Fort Stevens for 2011.  Instead we will spend June at Collier Memorial State Park in the Cascade Mountains near Crater Lake.  Then July and August on the coast at Nehalem Bay State Park , 10 miles south of Cannon Beach.  In each park, we will work in the Information Center, dispensing brochures and wisdom about the local attractions and the closest wifi service.  No selling firewood or cleaning campgrounds.  Sounds great!

Yet life has a way of working on its own.  Check back in eight months to see if it works out.