Casita Repairs — & Epic Fail!

Several months ago we had taken the Casita to a local tire shop to have them check the bearings.  They apparently forced too much grease in and blew out the seals on the back.  We ended up with grease squirts in our wheel well, and our brake controller started showing wildly random, nonsensical readings.

Ron took the truck in for service and had them check it to make sure that wasn’t the problem.  They told him the truck’s brakes were fine.

Long story short… we’re having a guy look at the electric brakes on the trailer Wednesday, and are pretty sure they’ll have to be replaced.  And that’s something we need to have done before our next trip.

Secondly, we have to park the Casita under trees, so we have a problem with mildew growing on the roof.  Before our last trip, Ron was scrubbing the roof and decided that a foam mildew remover would make the job easier.  What we didn’t count on was the foam running down the sides of the trailer and leaving chalky streaks in the Poliglow.  It did.  It totally ruined the finish.

So I got the old Poliglow stripped off the top half of the trailer before it turned cold.  But the weather hasn’t been warm enough to reapply it until now.  Now that it is warm enough, we are also getting rain.  And I can’t apply the new coats of Poliglow when there is a chance of rain.

So we will probably head to Texas with a matte finish trailer instead of a shiny white egg unless we get a break in the weather really soon.

My cayenne infused oil made a gorgeous pinkish red salve.  Unfortunately, it doesn't work!  :)

My cayenne infused oil made a gorgeous pinkish red salve. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work! 🙂

The epic fail story?

I’ve rarely used shea butter before.  When I did, it was always way down the list of ingredients in a lotion.  Since I had read that shea butter was superb for eczema treatment, I ordered a pound of it for my homemade creams and lotions.

Last night I made two big batches of shea butter cream and lotion — then slathered myself with that wonderfully rich, creamy goodness before going to bed.

Rich, silky, deeply moisturizing cream -- that I'm violently allergic to!

Rich, silky, deeply moisturizing cream — that I’m violently allergic to!

I woke up itching — bigtime!  I had a weepy red rash all over my body!  It never occured to me that I might be allergic to shea butter, but I am.  Violently allergic to it!

So tonight I’ll scrape my creations out of the jars so I can reuse them.  Then I’ll make another batch.  This time it will be unscented, and with no shea butter!

Casita Tweaks & Plans

Weather stripping added around air conditioner to keep air intake from making black streaks on carpet

Weather stripping added around air conditioner to keep air intake from making black streaks on carpet

For a while I have noticed the Casita’s ceiling carpet around the air conditioner getting dirty.  Finally a nasty black streak of dirt appeared all the way around it.

I took a close look at it and realized the air conditioner housing wasn’t sealed tightly against the carpet. That was allowing air to enter through the top of the unit without the benefit of a filter.  So the surrounding carpet was acting as a filter.

So I took the AC housing down, scrubbed the carpet, and remounted the cover.  But the screws would not go far enough to snug the cover down tight against the carpet to prevent the problem from recurring.

An air conditioner filter that fits the Casita's unit properly

An air conditioner filter that fits the Casita’s unit properly

So I scrounged through my supplies and found some white weather stripping that I thought might work.  It looks like it will do the job.  Time will tell.  🙂

Another problem we’ve had all year is very high humidity from the exceptional amount of rainfall in the area.  Even the ground stinks like mildew sometimes.  Inevitably the Casita started smelling a little musty.  I knew that if I didn’t dry it out good, I would soon be dealing with mildew inside the trailer.

I bought Damp Rid, but was not convinced it would be adequate.  For a while, I ran the Casita AC or heater, but I figured that was getting to be an awfully expensive solution.  Finally I put the little electric heater that we used to use in the Aliner in the Casita.

The little electric heater makes a fantastic dehumidifier

The little electric heater makes a fantastic dehumidifier

I like the little heater because it is thermostatically controlled, and it only runs when it is actually heating.  The Casita’s air conditioner/heater fan runs the whole time it is on.

Running the little heater is a lot cheaper than buying and running a decent dehumidifier.   And it has completely dried out the Casita’s interior.  There is not a hint of dampness or mustiness in it anymore.

I also, after using all kind of unsatisfactory substitutes for the factory air conditioner filter, found the perfect solution at Amazon.  It’s a foam filter just like the one that came in the air conditioner.  The only difference is, you have to cut it to fit.

I bought 3 filters, and figure it is good for at least 9 filter changes in my air conditioner!

spider

A spider lurking on the side of our storage shed

Our weather has been rainy and dreary the past two days.  I didn’t find much outside to take photos of.  But we have several big, fat spiders making their home around our storage shed.  So here’s the best nature shot I could muster up for you today!  😀

We had to cancel our trip to Texas.  Instead, we were going to meet with friends at a nearby COE.  But they’ve had to cancel due to a family emergency.

If the government doesn’t shut down, we’ll still use our COE reservations.  If the government shuts down (which means closing the National Parks and Army Corps of Engineers campgrounds) we may go to a nearby state park for a few days.

We are just bursting to get out again!

In preparation for cooler weather, the Casita's closet has been stocked with jackets, raincoats, dog sweater and coat, hats and fleece gloves..

In preparation for cooler weather, the Casita’s closet has been stocked with jackets, raincoats, dog sweater and coat, hats and fleece gloves.

Camping This Week

We’re skipping the mountains this time.  I’m a worry-wort, and I’m concerned that so much rain may have weakened some of the roads.  Probably totally unfounded, but it’s a real concern to me.  Also, I’m concerned that going a week without hookups in cloudy weather might mean the solar panel couldn’t keep our battery charged.

Last week I checked the weather in northern Mississippi and it looked great, so we were going to head there to escape the rain.  On checking it now, they are predicted to get as much as we are.

So we’ve decided to head to the Doll Mountain campground at Carter’s Lake in north Georgia.  At least our Georgia fishing licenses are good there.

If I can get everything done, we’ll leave Wednesday.  I not, it will have to be Thursday.  I don’t have a long enough lead time to make reservations through Reserve America, but it looks like there will be enough walk-in sites available.

Today I thought I’d give the Casita a quick wash.  But I found black mold (mildew?) embedded in the roof.  So by the time I scrubbed all that off with bleach, dish soap and a nylon scrubbie cloth, I realized I’d also removed most of the Poliglow.  The roof still shines, but it doesn’t bead water anymore.  So redoing the roof’s Poliglow is another project on my list.

The rest of the trailer was as easy as I had expected it all to be.

Except that I discovered road tar on the bottom front of the trailer and in the wheel wells.  I didn’t have the energy to tackle it, so I’ll worry about that later.

When I was putting up the shelves in the bathroom the other day, I decided to open the bathroom window for ventilation.  It’s always been hard to open.  This time, it was really hard, so I gave it a mighty pull — and the metal top, along with its rubber seal, came off in my hand, leaving a bare glass edge in the window.

I wasn’t sure what to put it back on with.  It looked like there had originally been some kind of sticky glue on the front edge of the rubber.  I was afraid to use anything too permanent in case I messed up and would have to redo it.  So I put some silicone sealer on the inside of the rubber and put it back on the glass.  I let it set overnight, then put a little more of the sealer in the metal track of the piece that came off, then firmly pressed it on.  It looks okay, but I haven’t tried to open the window again.

I did decide that if I put some silicone lubricant in the window track it would make it easier to open and close in the future.

When I finish packing the Casita tomorrow, I’ll use the lubricant in the other window tracks, too, as they are all hard to open.

Sorry, no pictures today.  I was too pooped to worry about the camera.  🙂

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