Das Pollen-mobile

Heidy-ho, friends and neighbors!  Welcome back.

No, that fine yellow coating isn’t an artistic touch.  The pollen is unrelenting here in the south.  Those of you with pollen allergies have my deepest sympathies.  I’m leaving Das Nook out in the yard this week in hopes of making her first bath a little easier on me later this week after the predicted Tuesday and Wednesday rains pass through.

Once again I must apologize for the late post, but yesterday was a glorious day in SC and I took full advantage of the fine weather.  It was so nice outside that I continued tweaking and playing until almost 11PM.  When I realized what time it was, (after looking at my watch during a pass with the circular saw), I figured I had better quit before one of my kind and patient neighbors decided to call the local constabulary to complain about the noise.  Thankfully, no one did.  Of course, a couple of them were standing there chewing the fat with me so, in reality, I could have probably continued for a while longer, but I didn’t want to press my luck.  Besides, if there’s one thing I’ve realized during this build, I’m not 25 any more.  I’m sure I’ll suffer some this week for the acts of contortion and the weird positions I usually find myself in, but it’ll all be worth it.  Bring on the Tylenol!

Once again, all that was accomplished this weekend is not visible, but necessary.  I managed to run a new 3/4″ gray plastic conduit underneath for a separate, 20 amp, receptacle for the hot water heater.  That’ll also leave one plug-in for the audio power amp that now rests under the shelf in the galley.

Das Greasers

And not everything I finished this weekend is “sexy,” but serves a  purpose.  I installed a set of bearing protectors to, I hope, help prevent any bearing failures on the road.  Bearing protectors are, basically, a round plate with a grease fitting sticking out of it within a tube, and a strong spring behind the plate.  You pump the protector full of high-speed bearing grease and the spring keeps a constant pressure on the plate, constantly forcing grease into the bearings.  Now if I can just remember to keep them packed with grease, and pack the bearings once a year, I should be able to get a few good years out of the wheel bearings.   Being anal retentive does, sometimes, have its’ benefits.   Things like packing bearings rarely evade this steel trap of a mind of mine.  Remembering to put on pants before I leave for work every day is a bit of a crap shoot, though.

Das Shower.

The shower plumbing offered up a bit of a surprise this weekend.  When I first pressurized the system last weekend, there were no issues.  Everything seemed fine and the taps and shower nozzle worked without a hitch.  This weekend, however, while pressurizing the system to test the longevity of a tank full of hot water, my groin was assaulted with a fine spray of hot water from a crack in an elbow joint in one of the cpvc fittings.  I was sitting behind it on an overturned 5 gallon bucket, (my preferred method of slacking while I’m working at lower levels), when I began to think that the third flying-monkey-rider of the menopausal apocalypse had come for a visit and I was becoming incontinent.  That’s a scary feeling, believe me.  I’ve already lost my mind and my hair.  A loss of bladder control would be just too much for my age addled gray matter to handle.  Thankfully, it was just a cracked pipe and no one was around when it happened so, once I shut off the water and replaced the fitting, (and that spot on my shorts dried), there was no evidence to offer my friends further fodder to ride me about. I’m still working out the finer details for the shower curtain and floor but, as of yesterday,  the shower is fully functional and, in a pinch, (and at the risk of being arrested for indecent exposure), it can be used.  There just aren’t enough hours in the day to finish all the things I go into the weekend with racing through my mind.

Das galley

We’re still lacking the cabinet doors, but Das Galley is now sporting a new, 3/4″ shelf for the vessels that create those mouth-watering meals that can only be cooked outdoors.  My original plans held up throughout all the changes and tweaks I’ve done over the course of the build and I can slide my six-quart cast iron dutch oven, 12″ cast iron skillet, (both Lodge, of course), and Coleman collapsible oven  in the bottom, leaving the top shelf for utensils and all the other goodies.  I haven’t hung the spice rack or the mirror yet, but those will come in the weeks ahead.  I bought one of those mirrors on an arm that folds into the wall when not in use, then extends for those days when company’s coming and you need to get those pesky nose and ear hairs that become a blight on those of us over the age of 40.  The back side of the mirror is a 5X magnifying mirror.  I don’t think I’ll be using that side.  I have to sneak up on a regular mirror as it is.  Seeing this mug magnified 5 times might be more than my heart, (and stomach), can take.  Especially on those mornings after a few too many toddies were consumed around the campfire the night before.  Yeeesh!

I was paid the ultimate compliment last night.  In keeping with my Italian roots, I always cook dinner on Sunday.  It serves two purposes:  One, that I get a nice meal at least once a week and, two, I’ve got left overs so I don’t have to cook on Monday and Tuesday.  Have I mentioned that I have become a little lazy since taking up the bachelor’s life?  Anyway, last night, after finishing work on Das Nook, I realized that it was definitely too late to prepare that fantastic rigatoni and meatball dinner I’d planned to fix.  My need for my bi-weekly tomato sauce fix needed to be quenched, however, so……………..you guessed it:  “Hello, Dominos?!  When the delivery guy arrived, he was in awe over Das Nook.  We stood there talking long enough for the pizza to cool.  Thankfully, I like cold pizza.  He’d never seen one of the little guys and wanted the chef’s tour.  I gave it gladly.  One of the reasons I built Das Nook was to give people something to talk about and stop them from asking me which circus I escaped from.  “I am not an animal!” (Unless you ask one of my ex’s, that is. *laughing*)

Next weekend will be the latest shakedown cruise for Das Nook.  I’ve got reservations at a local campground so I can set everything up and make sure we’re ready for the four hour drive to Raccoon Holler for the Spring Fling at the Holler 2011 in Jefferson, NC May 20-22.  I’ve been looking forward to this trip since I started collecting all the pieces that now make up Das Nook.  This will be the first gathering of the teardrops and tiny travel trailers I’ve been able to attend and the first of the camping season for them.  I’m really looking forward to meeting some of these great folks whose work and assistance have both inspired and helped me throughout the build.  Chatting with them on the forums has been a true pleasure and it’s really going to be nice to put faces to, and shake hands with, all of them.

Das Nook is now, as far as I can tell, completely road-ready.  There will be numerous additions, changes, etc, to come, but that’s the nature of the beast.  After a weekend surrounded by TTT’s, I’m sure I’m going to come home with a myriad of new projects that’ll keep me out there in the back yard making sawdust for years to come.  I am, however, thinking toward the future and about a next project.  Idle hands are the devil’s workshop; or so they say.  I’ve considered building another TTT from the ground up, (my own trailer design welded and fabricated in my own back yard), incorporating all the things I’ve learned during this build, (and none of the Oops! I’ve come across building Das Nook).  I’m also considering building a houseboat.  I have a perfectly good camper and, because of this build, no longer fear working with fiberglass.  Why not a houseboat?  Time will tell.  Stay tuned.

That’s about it for this week, my friends.  Next weekend’s blog will probably be brought to you from the deep woods where I will be, hopefully, kicked back in my new lounger, watching life pass by slowly.  That’s what weekends were created for.

Have a wonderful week.

As always, I wish you peace, happiness and prosperity all the days of your life.

Happy trails,

Brian

All new for 2011!

And, should you be so inclined, The Tenderfoot’s Guide to Family Camping has been completely revised for 2011 and is now available as an ebook!  Every ebook dealer from Sony’s iPhone store to Amazon and Barnes and Noble are carrying it.  However, we’re offering a 20% discount for all the loyal readers of Brian’s blog through Smashwords.com.   Just add the coupon code CM84R at checkout and you’ll receive the discount.  Picture this:  Wilderness 2011.  You just bought a new tent and figured it’d be a cinch to set up.  You got out of work late and arrived at the campground after dark.  Ominous dark clouds are looming over your campsite.  You unpack your tent only to realize that you haven’t got a clue about how it goes together.  What do you do?  Well, if you had a copy of this informative book on your phone, you could simply thumb through a few chapters and be roasting marshmallows within the hour.  Don’t have a copy?  Well, there’s a lot to be said for sleeping in the car.  Oh, you have bucket seats?   The kids will be voicing their displeasure over sleeping in the back seat…..all night long?   Save yourself the headache.  Order your copy today.

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