10.18.14 Q: Guess who has a new tiny washer/dryer! Guess whose A/C units are broken! A: Us and Us!

pumpkin rvNOTE:  This is a blog post that probably only current or future RVers will find interesting.

I’ve written before about our tiny washer/dryer combo  a few times when we’ve (actually Roy) needed to pull it out for servicing. It was a Splendide Model 2000S.  It’s extremely heavy and the limited space in an RV makes it more difficult to remove than a normal washer or dryer. There is no room in the little hole it lives in to reach over, under or on either side to get to anything. Two access areas are cut into the side wall of the closet so you can at least look in the back or fit one arm in there to try to work. 2000

Recently it started having “issues” again and one thing after another started breaking. First it was the handle that you open and close the door with. Then it was the detergent/fabric softener dispenser. Roy did what he could to repair those things but when the heat stopped blowing during the dryer cycle we declared it dead and in need of a replacement.

All of those things would be rather cheap to replace in a regular washer/dryer, but as with everything in an RV, these parts made specifically for an RV washer/dryer were highly overpriced. To replace the little door handle, which is plastic and maybe 4 inches high and 3 inches across, cost $90.00 A new detergent/fabric softener dispenser was $115.00. Don’t even want to say how much the price would have been to purchase a replacement for the heating element. Add to that the back-breaking labor of removing it to fix it, and the fact that part after part are failing, we decided to finally give in and relaxing saturdaypurchased a new one.

Washing clothes, during the week it took the new machine to get here, was just washing, no drying. Clothes came out wet and were hung up to dry wherever I could, all around the RV.  Shirts, pants, underwear, whatever all hung up to dry.  What a sight that was, no company that week! I’m thankful I could at least wash but I’m very glad that week is over.

Friday (yesterday) when Roy got off work our son Chip came over to work. Together they removed the old washer/dryer and installed the new one. Thank goodness for a strong son and husband!  The new model is a Splendide 2100XC.  It has a bigger capacity than the old one. While it does shake some when its drying it doesn’t sound or feel like a 747 is landing in the bedroom like the old one did. Since it’s 10 years newer than the old one it’s got lots of new features the older one didn’t like pre-wash, extra rinse, and low spin.

Now we have replaced the bed, the washer/dryer, the toilet and the ceiling lights since we bought it two years ago.  The RV is almost 10 years old so it is probably good that is all we’ve had to replace, so far!!!

The old washer/dryer going out!

20141017_144843_AndroidThe new one coming in!

20141017_15000120141017_16161820141017_161644While Roy was taking a nap on Thursday evening after work  I started to smell an electrical burning smell. I got up and could tell it was coming from the bedroom in the back. On my way to waking up Roy, a loud sizzle cracking sound coming from the ceiling went on for about 10 seconds. The sound was over before I got Roy awake but there was smoke in the bedroom which he could see. He checked everything inside that he could since it was dark outside by this time and getting on the roof of an RV at night is not something you do.

When I woke up Friday I noticed that the air condition in the living room and the one in the bedroom area were not running. They were on but the compressor wasn’t running. By the time Roy came home at 12:30 (he works half days on Fridays) the temperature inside the RV was 90 and it was in the low 80s outside. When I showered and dried my hair it was dripping wet in 20 minutes.

I am so thankful that the night time temperatures have been in the 50s this week because it was quite nice sleeping with the windows open Thursday night. Roy climbed on top of the roof Friday to check out the a/c problem after installing the washer and dryer with Chip.  Parts in the bedroom area air conditioner were fried. The front living area air conditioner had stopped for some reason.  Roy spent a lot of time on the roof trying to figure out what was wrong and to look into our options. Last night’s weather was just a wonderful as the night before so we slept with the windows open. If this was two weeks ago we’d have sweat all night, or slept on the carpet in the sticks and bricks house bedroom or taken Chip up on his offer for us to sleep at his house.  Instead we got to sleep at home!

Today brought a different set of air conditioning issues and options and I’m going to stop here with this story. Roy is out looking at pricing for options since replacing both air conditioners is quite expensive. When he returns and we know what it will take to be cool during the day again I’ll share!  I have a brilliant husband so I know he’ll come back with something promising!!!

Life in an RV is different and on occasion challenging, like this week!  We might have many, many uneventful RV related weeks before the next thing happens.  Let’s hope so!

Ya’ll have a wonderful weekend and ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!1893_714383375258783_1610695350_n

 

08.26.13 Today is the DISLIKE RV day :(

I’ve written many many blogs about how much we love this RV life and we love living in the RV.  I’m sure people have wondered “Don’t they ever dislike it?”

Well today is the day I dislike it.

Everything about an RV is different than a house and especially our little tiny Splendide washer/dryer that I’ve raved about.  Today was the third time it’s had to come out of its tiny hole for repair but this was the first time that it came out of its hole, got moved through the tiny walkway between the bed and the dresser and into the Kitchen to be taken apart.  I don’t know how much it weighs but it’s absolutely way more than Roy and I together should be handling.

Moving it to the kitchen did make it easier for him to get to all parts of it to find out the problem but moving it around the RV in the tiny quarters was awful.  Getting it out was not as bad as putting it back in however it did have to be lifted over the bed going both ways and it weights a TON.  At one point Roy had me hold it precariously in place a tiny bit back into its hole while he got on his back under it  to ease it over a hump so it could slide the rest of the way back in.  There is a step up next to where he was underneath so the bottom half of Roy was on the upper stair area and the top half of him was underneath.  I tried once to be the person underneath while he held it but I couldn’t get in the position he had to get in.

It’s back in its little home behind the louvered doors now and hopefully ready to wash again when needed.  They are wonderful little machines and probably not any harder to work on than a regular washer or dryer but getting to them and getting them in a place to do the work is near impossible.

But once again Roy Chauvin came through! Once again my hero!  Now that it’s back in and I’m using it again I’m back to loving the RV life – good thing the dislike didn’t last long!  Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!!

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The hole where IT lives!
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View of the insides from the top

01.27.13 Santa Paul, RV trash cans, 2 tsp of detergent, stinky foods, Sam’s visit…..

Roy's brother Santa Paul
Roy’s brother Santa Paul

Two months ago we purchased a medium size bottle of laundry detergent. Since we only use 2 teaspoons per load in our tiny Splendide washer/dryer I still have two week’s worth of detergent left. By comparison, in my previous life living in a sticks house with a regular washer/dryer, I purchased one of these size bottles every two weeks, if not more often.

Roy’s older Brother Paul came to see our RV for the first time. He looks so much like Santa with his long white beard (it was way longer than in the picture) and body shape that our granddaughter Madisyn is convinced he’s truly Santa. We had such a fun evening visiting with him and seeing Madisyn in awe the whole time. She thanked him for the bicycle he brought her last Christmas and gave him her next Christmas order! His wife Lois called Paul while he was visiting and his ring tone is a Christmas song. Madisyn’s eyes got huge when she heard that and then he told her “Oh, it’s Mrs. Claus calling”. She was in little girl heaven totally convinced that Santa was her Uncle Paul! We showed her his Facebook picture where he has his Santa costume on and she was totally sold!

We’ll have the most prepared house ever when we finally get to show it. Our son Chip has been helping a lot lately with those finishing touches. Removing all the outside porch globes and cleaning them out, painting the front riser part of the inside steps to the second floor, trimming back plants that died in a recent frost, etc. Our agent says we’ll have an Open House in February and we’re considering lowering the price again so hopefully things will move along then. Soon the grass will need cutting and of course we sold the lawnmower, weed eater, etc. All are gone, and the pretty little green blades of grass that I normally cheer about are not a welcome sight this year! Our sweet neighbor Jeannette offered to loan us her lawnmower, but we’re truly hoping to be long down the road before the lawn mower is needed too often!

We're living here in our driveway!
We’re living here in our driveway!

We’re still living in the driveway of our sticks home seeing more of our area than we did in the house.  We have windows everywhere you look in the RV and it’s lovely to see outside, even in our own yard!  Maybe one day we won’t live in a driveway!  Roy’s underneath the back in this picture doing something!  He’s promised me to write a couple of blogs soon about the work he’s done getting Boots, our toad, ready and all the incidental work he’s done since we purchased Dora.  I’m sure it will be him dictating and me typing if it ever does happen!

I’ve made some great progress on preparing for our final garage sale. I don’t think I’ve had three garage sales in my entire life yet after this one we’ll have had 3 sales in 6 months! Several tables are set up with goodies displayed and priced. Roy and Chip gathered all their old carpet/flooring installation tools and loaded them up in Roy’s truck bed. Roy use to work at Halpin’s Flooring in Baton Rouge and stays in contact with the owner Elizabeth, who is just the most delightful young woman. Now instead of installing flooring for her, he repairs all their computers. Elizabeth brings us fish, deer, fresh peaches and other goodies when Roy works on her computers. I love to hear that she’s coming with a computer cause we always know a goodie will accompany her! She said he could bring all his old tools to her and hopefully the flooring installers there now will want to buy a lot of his work goodies! This cleared a lot of space in the garage to set up sale items. It’s taken 5 months to clear out our house and garage and we’re not finished yet. Several pieces of furniture are still at the Estate Consignment Center in Hammond. They’ve sold some and there are still some there to be sold. February 9th is the garage sale date and if all goes well we should be close to cleaned out! Whoo hoooo!!

We have avoided cooking stinky things or pots of food that have to cook for a while to avoid smells accumulating inside our new home. This was something we were warned about on another RV owner’s web site.  Last weekend I decided to cook some fresh vegetables to serve with dinner during the week. I was not thinking about the smell when I chose cauliflower and turnips bottoms! They did smell while they cooked but after a little airing they left no lasting smell that I can tell. We (or at least I am) are trying a new healthier food approach. I want to be a trimmer version of myself when we are on the road and be able to climb hills and cycle around at will so I’m eating healthier and trying to be more active. No marathons for me yet, but a few more stretches and walking more is a start at least!

Our trip to Sam’s today was totally different than previous visits. We only go about 4-6 times a year and haven’t been since we moved into Dora. We’re use to getting whatever we can afford because storage was no problem. Our RV refrigerator/freezer is larger than most we’ve seen in motor homes but it’s not the same size as in a sticks house. Ours is now packed and at least half of the non cold stuff we purchased is headed to the storage bins beneath (I call it the basement). At least we have that space for our “overflow”.

Amazon Trash Can - paid 11 cents!
Amazon Trash Can – paid 11 cents!

One thing we have taken care of is our trash can. May not be a big deal in a regular home but in an RV it is. We tried a small one under the sink but that lasted about a week since  we had to empty it every day. We’re use to having a trash compactor that only needs to be emptied once a week so once a day was not going to work.  Then we purchased a tall plastic one with a lid. Well, it was white and when you walked into the RV the first thing your eyes locked onto was the white talk trash can. Not the look I’m trying to achieve! I shopped in all the stores around here and found nothing. Didn’t want white, didn’t want too small. I really wanted it to just disappear into the room. Finally on Amazon I found the right one. It doesn’t disappear into the room but at least it doesn’t shout, look I”m a trash can! When I checked out I found I had a large enough cash back balance on my Discover Card that the trash can only cost me 11 cents! We’ve received it and it’s in use and it is perfect! For owners looking for one, this is a picture of the one we got from Amazon.

I know this is a blog with very random thoughts, not many related. Yet that’s how our life is right now, all over the place so this is probably a good reflection of the current life of Dora, Roy and Rosalyn the Explorers!

01.10.13 Big Birthday Cakes and Tiny Washer Dryers

Today’s blog is about my Honey Roy’s 62nd birthday and our tiny RV washer dryer.  They have nothing in common but it’s my blog so they go together!

Roy celebrates his 62nd birthday today!  Retirement age at last!!!!  He also turned in his resignation this week effective February 28th of this year.  Not that we can start traveling then, we still have to wait for the house to sell for me to retire.  But is it certainly another step in the plan we laid out for all this.  Our granddaughter Madisyn and son Chip came to the office to surprise Roy with a visit.  He didn’t know that they also brought a giant lemon/chocolate doberge cake from our local bakery Caronna’s.  Doberge’s cakes have been a tradition in our family for many years.  Lemon is my favorite and Chocolate is Roy’s so we have to get a half and half!  If you’re not from the New Orleans area or have never had a doberge cake here’s how Wikipedia describes it:

“Doberge cake is a layered dessert originating in New Orleans.  Still popular in the area, the cake is made of multiple thin layers of cake alternating with dessert pudding. Very often the cakes are made with half chocolate pudding and half lemon pudding. They are covered in a thin layer of butter cream and a fondant shell or, alternately, a poured glaze on the outside.”

All of his coworkers, Chip, Madisyn and I sang Happy Birthday to Roy and shared the delicious cake. He’s never been big on birthdays but I knew this was my last chance to have an office birthday party for him so we did it and he was happy!  Our coworkers haven’t seen Madisyn for several months since she moved to Florida so they got to see how much she’s grown.  She even sang “Twinkle, Twinkle” and the “ABC” song for them and wasn’t shy about it at all.  She’s becoming a great little performer!

Our Fleetwood Excursion came with a Splendide combination washer/dryer pictured below.

It is in our bedroom behind louvered doors in the wall next to our closet at the back of Dora our RV.  The bedroom TV is positioned immediately above the washer/dryer.

 It’s really cute and small.  It can hold an outfit for one person (example: pair of blue jeans, a shirt and underwear) or a similar sized load of other clothing.  Probably ¼ of a load in a normal washer.  I do not know where the water goes to because Roy says there is no tubing coming out of it to drain the water.  I’m sure we could learn but it washes and dries fine so I’m happy.  It’s a mystery to me how it goes from washer to dryer and everything comes out fine each time but I sure won’t question what works! One unit changes from a washer to a dryer all on its own!  I only use 2 teaspoons of liquid, not concentrated laundry detergent and 2 teaspoons of liquid fabric softener per load.  Quite a money saver there! It has settings for cotton, permanent press and delicate like a normal washer.   You set the drying time from 30 minutes to 120 minutes.  The washing cycle is very brief compared to the drying.  It usually takes 100 minutes to dry and about 20 minutes to wash.  While that’s a long time it’s okay because I put a load in when we leave for work, fluff it when we get home and hang things up.  Laundry takes just a minute to put away because you have such a small quantity of clothing per load. 

Now for the weird part about the washer/dryer combo.  About four times during the spin and dry cycles it gets to going so fast and hard that the RV shakes and it sounds like a jet landing.  Roy says it shakes his teeth! It doesn’t bother me as much as it does him.  Our new flat panel TV is in the space above the washer/dryer and I was beginning to think it must be doing damage to the components in the TV with all the shaking but  the TV picture is still fine.  Roy investigated the shaking this week and found the washer dryer has blocks holding it in place and you can reach it through a panel in the closet.  He couldn’t do much without disassembling a lot of things but whatever he did seems to have greatly reduced the shaking.  I stopped doing two loads a day when the shaking started being a problem.  Since he worked on it I do what I wore the day before the next morning and wash after work what Roy wore during the day.  It’s not at all like doing two loads of laundry in a house.  It is a very mini version of it and quite doable.  Once we retire we’ll have shorts instead of long pants so the loads will be smaller!  We have a laundry bin built into one of the cabinets and it’s mostly empty since all our laundry is done each day.

Discussion on RV forums indicate that some people who don’t have the washer/dryer like to use the space for storage and they do their laundry at a Laundromat once a week or so.  For now we’re good with storage and I like my little Splendide.  I’m sure I’ll have to take blankets and bedspreads to a commercial establishment when the time comes.  It’s an odd little machine and has a couple of limitations, but otherwise I think our little washer/dryer will do just fine!

One of the very best things about our tiny washing machine is it’s location.  It’s right next to the closet and the bed.  When the clothes are finished I take them out, lay them out on the bed, grab a hanger out of the closet and hang the clothes up.  All without moving from standing in one place!!!  No more carrying a whole load of clothes from the bedroom all the way to the laundry room and then carrying the clean clothes back to the bedrooms.  The laundry basket, closet and washing machine are all in the same 5 square foot area!  Plus I can watch the TV over the washer while doing all of it!

Just heard today that our Saints quarterback Drew Brees will take RGIIIs place in the Pro Bowl!  Now we have a reason to watch it!