Sunday, August 29, 2010

Daze of Wine and Roses

When I increase my elevation, activity seems to increase as well.  I get highper, and look for things to do.  I suppose if I ever made it to space, I'd just explode.  Well, of course I would.

I spent the night at a rest area above the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge.  They give you 24 hours here before confiscating your rig, or so the sign says.  One could do a lot worse than throw down a portable chair and spend your evening here.

But before the sun went down, I got a lot done.  I dismantled all the vents in the Daze and cleaned the screens.  Then I started to dismantle the heater and work on a squeaky fan, but backed off when I realized the night was apt to be cold cold cold before I finished.  Sometimes the squeaky fan just doesn't get the grease.

So I turned to the passenger chair.  This is just wasted space for me, and even worse the back is hyperextended somewhat into the door area, where it got stuck when a previous owner wanted more leg room.  Over the years the cable that controls the ratchet of the seat recliner stretched out until the little lever in the arm no longer engaged.  So it was left that way, partially blocking the coach door.  I invented a little Latin dance number to avoid it, but it nagged at me.

When I took the control apart, I saw the problem and went fishing in my junk drawer for a washer.  Then I threaded it over the end knob, as below, and bent it double to make a spacer that wouldn't come off.

Success!  While I was testing it out, looking under the chair at the track, I saw a control I'd never used, which seems to swivel the chair toward the door so that elderly people like I'm slowly turning into can shift themselves out more easily.  Idly, I played with it.  Wait a minute!  This chair goes right on around!  Well, except for hitting the seat belt mechanism.  And the laptop table.  Two bolts later the seat belt was off.  A moment later, the table.  Wow.


It feels like the Daze is 10% bigger inside.  The chair reclines back into the dash, and daylight pours over my shoulders.  I am not fighting that seat back anymore.  The toilet door completely opens.  I can sit back and view the world outside the passenger door window.  No, not from the toilet.  I can roll the passenger window down if I like, and catch the breeze.  The couch is a comfy reading place, but nothing like this!  And I can reach the stereo without bending over.

It is well taken that all old motorhomes have secrets.  That is not usually a cause for joy.  But this!

Of course nobody can sit there while the vehicle is in motion.  No seat belts.  But then again, nobody's trying.  Besides, it only takes 5 minutes to turn it back around and reinstall the belt, now that I know how.  And there's seatbelts back at the couch, for quick trips.  The newly unburied original drink holder, which was holding up the laptop table, perfectly holds Mini-Me. The netbook's battery bump extends over the rear and locks it in place.  The laptop table has regained its former life as a cutting board.  And now - drum roll please! - I can actually for the first time stop the Daze, stand up, and walk to the rear without going outside!

Blow, north wind!  Do your worst, wretched weather!  Wreak wrack and thunder!

O, it's the Daze of Wine and Roses! Gentlemen may retire to the Front Reading Room for brandy and cigars!  Ladies will be served sherbet and smiles in the Rear Lounge!

Bob G., feeling Giddy.


Anonymous said...

american ingenuity at its finest - well played!

Max Duryee said...

Aug, 29th was a week ago. I'd be surprised to learn that you haven't done anything at all for a whole week

Bob Giddings said...

Thanks, anon. I don't know why the factory put in fully rotating seats when they can't actually rotate unless you remove obstacles that are normally legally required. But I'm glad they did.

And Max: Remember this is a lazy Daze I'm in. But you are right. I've done lots. I will eventually catch up. I am now in Pagosa Springs, Col., headed for somewhere north of Durango. The problem is finding a moment when I'd rather be writing than riding the Beast. And have a connection.


Anonymous said...

funny you should be there, my new to me and future tow vehicle i got just this past weekend was first sold at pagosa springs back in '03.

the thing about engineering... it takes many of them to design a vehicle and though talented in making 'things' work together, most of them are as equally challenged when tasked with getting 'people' to work together - leading to a bunch of well designed pieces that don't fit too well