Monday, February 27, 2017

The New Refrigerator

The transmission took a week and the boys and I moved into Bro's new trailer for the repairs.  They have two cats also and apparently their adorable little Rexs are extremely territorial and no one wanted to listen to a week of cats howling at each other through a closed door.

While Rigadoon was out, the refrigerator arrived - and everyone but me went back home.  Lucky for me my SIL is a well-bred southern lady and managed to put up with me without using a baseball bat.  She even helped me with the frig.

I consulted Google for how to proceed.  First step is to turn off the propane and disconnect it from the frig.  Easy, as long as you follow one recommendation I saw and use two wrenches, one on either side of the connection because otherwise the whole thing twists. 


You then have to get a special plug to close off the gas line and we roadtripped to the local propane place to get the fitting.  Hardware stores sell them also but the part was less than $2 and I knew it was a quality piece.

Next you disconnect the 110 electricity.  I was expecting a complicated dealing requiring capping wires and whatnot but it turned out that they had simply installed and outlet in the back and plugged the frig into that.  Pull the plug and done.

Removing the frig was a matter of removing all the front screws, taking off the door, and unscrewing two back screws.  Then with SIL's help we squiggled that heavy, awkward box through the tiny interior and out the passenger side door.  It wouldn't fit through the house door and I suspect that had the passenger seat still been installed I would have had to remove it to get it out.

Through the wonders of Craigslist, the old frig was taken away by some hopeful with grand plans.  Saved me the trouble of hauling it to the dump.

The new frig was a bit smaller.  When I bought the rig I researched 12v compressor refrigerators and had decided I really wanted one.  They are super-efficient and and can run for a couple days off a battery that isn't recharged.  They also don't require you to be level.  The price difference between the small one I got and the next larger size was too much so I chose the little guy.  I think the ad said something about 6 six-packs.  Not huge, but big enough.

So easy to hook up - the wires that attach to the frig have a small connector at the ends and a fuse wired in.  You just get some wire, attach it to the fuse and run it straight to the battery.

From the closet I drilled a small hole in the wall for the wires. Actually, I didn't have a drill and there isn't much space anyway so I used progressively larger screwdrivers to make the hole.  The wood is thin panelboard and easy to screw through.

From there I followed the other wired down through the closet and popped them on top of the battery.

From the photos you can tell that there's quite a bit of space left from the old, larger refrigerator.  A neighbor of SIL came over, measured the space and made me a drawer that now sits under the frig. 

Power on, Green light comes on.  Compressor starts up.  Dandy.  After more than a month in Fort Worth I can finally take off

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Almost There

I did short hops for the next few days on my way to Fort Worth.  Traveling the interstate wasn't quite as much fun as doing small towns but I was more confident about finding places to stop.  And I needed that confidence because the transmission was starting to complain a lot when it got hot and a slight roughness that I'd noticed going up to Carlsbad was becoming noticeably worse.  I was hoping it had something to do with spark plugs rather than the cylinder, but I know nothing about engines and I didn't know if this was an intelligent thought - or just a hopeful one.

Around the 15th of November I called my SIL to ask about arrival timing.  She said the next day would be fine so I settled in at the truck stop and made plans to stop a a store for provisions before heading up to the house.

In the morning I opened my frig to get breakfast and discovered that the inside was less than cold.  It was decidedly warm, actually.  My 31 year old refrigerator had decided to retire in Texas.

Well then.  With nothing else to delay me, assuming neither the transmission nor the engine would give out before the last 100 miles I set out for the big city.

I spent several days hanging out with my SIL before my brother and dad arrived and I spent the next several days not worrying about anything.  We had a lovely Thanksgiving and then I set about addressing the assorted issues that had come up.

Turns out that Walmart has vendors that sell through their site (like Amazon) so I found  good price on a refrigerator through a small company in Florida and ordered it.

Transmission was a little more annoying to deal with but I (well, my SIL, called their Toyota guy and he recommended a tranny person.  Who would be back after a holiday break.  At least there's a plan.