with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

Fridge is OUT

Brent and his dad, Kent, pull out the old fridgeThe fridge is out!!! Yeah!!! It wasn’t nearly as hard as we thought it might be. Brent removed the instrument panel, after having a bit of trouble removing the dried up sealed screw plug covers, with ease and carefully disconnected the wiring and propane plumbling. This old fridge ran off of electric and propane and 12v battery. The new one will run only off propane and 110v The old fridge gets pulled out of the trailer compartmentelectricity, but we have an inverter which permits pulling 110v from our 12v batteries. That’s why we have the deep cycle marine batteries.

Anyway, after disconnecting from the panel in the outside of the trailer, he and his dad tipped and slid the fridge out and carried it out to the truck. The advertised weight of the fridge is 120 lbs 4kg) and the two of them managed without a problem. They had to be careful of the sharp edges (they wore heavy work gloves) and the tubing on the back, but it went very smoothly.

Brent and Kent haul the old fridge out of the trailerThe hole left behind is amazing. Without the outside vent cover, anyone can climb into our trailer through the hole and fridge opening left behind. For the night or two it will be empty, we’re not worried. With the cover in place, who would know that the fridge was gone? But it is an entertaining hole. Both Brent and his dad came through while I was photographing it to make faces and I realized it would make an awesome puppet theater stage!

Mud Dabber wasps left their nests behind in our trailerI vacuumed it out and pulled the rotting fiberglass insulation out to find mud dabber wasps had made their nests in there. Several of them. I’d never heard of these before so the muddy cocoon nests were interesting to me. Brent told me it was a good thing we changed out the fridge now in November instead of in June. We’d be screaming and running for our lives from these vicious wasps. I don’t know what they are, so I’m not sure if he is teasing me. I’ll have to look them up now. Something more to do. As if I don’t have enough to do.

I asked Brent to buy some small boards to reinforce the fridge cabinet from the inside so I could add shelves on the outside over the desk. So we made a list of what we needed, and he added some electrical components to fix the wiring up better on the inside of the fridge compartment and we closed everything up and headed to Home Depot for parts and pieces. There are a lot of wires running inside of the fridge compartment, including stereo and TV/VCR wires, and wires to the heating/air conditioning controls, so we want to attach those securely to the walls and then put the new insulation back on.

Brent examines the massive wiring for the fridge, vcr and radio stereo inside the trailerIn the truck, Brent hadn’t even started the engine when my new cell phone rang. It was Brent’s dad saying that Lisa had called from the office and they have a huge fridge sitting inside the office waiting for us. It is Thursday and we ordered this Tuesday. Incredible. Ebay, you are wonderful!

We called the office and they said it was inside and not in the way and that we could pick it up tomorrow, so we headed to Home Depot. On this visit, I took more time to really look around, not as shell shocked with captilistic gizmos and gadgetry, and got a bunch of odds and ends cleaning supplies, electrical and “stuff” that we needed. The insulation we wanted was seriously fire proof and heat resistant, but they didn’t have heat resistant. Said that was a specialty item that either had to be special ordered or go to a fireplace or specialty builder supplyer. We hunted through the specs and decided that heat resistant wasn’t that important, since the stuff that was in there certainly wasn’t even close to heat resistant – merely cheap, (we’re worried about it being next to the stove, but it is through two thin walls plus the insulation) so we went with encapsulated fiberglass, a “new” fiberglass insulation that is wrapped in sealed plastic so you don’t get the fibers all over the place.

Unfortunately for us, since we live in an irregular house, so to speak, it comes in standard 15″ width to fit between standard 16″ studs. The fridge is 24″ deep, so we got a small bag (huge anyway) and we’ll just run two strips and cut off the excess to the back of the fridge compartment. I’m thrilled about having at least most of the fiberglass sealed. It’s thick too, which will help with the insulation. The back and top of that compartment is exposed to the outside so in the really cold areas, it is a biting wind that comes through.

Since we haven’t been near cold in over 8 years, I don’t expect this to be a problem REAL SOON!

We headed home to get ready for a pizza (yeah!!! Not only meat and cheese on the same plate but pork and cheese!!!!!) with Brent’s parents. There, Brent got a call from the carpet cleaning guy who adBrent sticks his head in through the hole for the refridgeratormitted that he didn’t think he could confidently handle the mildew on the carpet and he recommended someone else that goes to Brent’s family’s church. With a quick phone call, we are set up at 2PM tomorrow for the guy to show up and clean the entire trailer carpet and couch. I’m overwhelmed.

This has turned out to be a perfect day. Fridge out, fridge arrived, carpet going to be cleaned, and ending with pizza covered with cheese, sausage and shrimp, a perfect day. Tomorrow, hopefully, things will even be better. With the fridge in, we can move into the campground and the serious cleaning and restocking can occur.

Right now, Brent’s plan is to make appointments (we hope) for Monday and haul the trailer to get the tire bearings repacked and brakes checked, change tires on truck and trailer, and then pull it into the campground in the evening. That’s a lot to do, but I hope it all works out. We are several days late getting into a campground, but we can move with speed when the speed is called upon.

So good things are happening…but it makes me nervous. None of our past travel preps have gone this good. We are great attractors of pain and suffering, so a part of me is waiting in the wings to go “ah-HA! I knew it was too good to be true!” I’m holding that part back, but I know it is lurking.

Tulsa, Oklahoma

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