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Author Topic: Refrigerator  (Read 5920 times)
FloridaCliff
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« on: May 09, 2006, 07:09:00 PM »

Looking at getting a 10 cuft apartment style frig for the coach.

This will be electric only frig.   

Anyone else using this type?

Pro's, Cons, Regrets?

Cliff
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« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2006, 07:17:29 PM »

I don't remember if my frig is 10 cu ft, but it is definitely one of the smaller fidges out there.  I got it from Menards and it is a Heir brand without an electric defrost.  I was initially worried about compressor related issues due to running the fridge while going down the road, but have had no problems with it over the past 3 years and ~15,000 miles.  Good decision and MUCH cheaper than a high efficiency DC or 3 way norcold fridge.
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« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2006, 08:04:36 PM »

Hi Cliff,
As long as you camp in proper campgrounds or areas with power....no problem.  It'll work without a hitch.  However, you'll be running off your house battery bank any time your genset  or the engine isn't running.   Inverter will easily operate the small fridge.   Just calculate your use-amps and size your battery bank to suit.   You'll want a good quality inverter to operate a fridge...cheapo inverters will operate your appliances, but at a higher battery draw, and shorter liifespan...although this may be relatively unimportant in RV use.   The fridge will be running off the inverter while driving. 
I'm using a Dometic RV type 2 way..LP and 110.  They are relatively expensive and a chore to install,  but you can sit out in unpowered camping environment and forget it.  LP is good.  Still, if you generally use campgrounds, no problem with your plan.  Home style fridges don't have any issues with smooth riding buses.  Home fridge units require some airflow around them...don't box it in like an RV unit...or if you want it boxed, supply cooling air in some fashion to the coils.  Needs to be very well attached to the bus. 
If you're still planning to do Dallas' event, I'll see you there. 
Cheers, JR   
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« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2006, 08:23:10 PM »

We have the same Heir fridge.  It has almost twice the space inside as the same size rv fridge and you don't have to cut all those holes in the side of your bus. If we are boondocking, I turn it off when we go to bed.  It will stay cold all night as long as the door isn't opened. That will save the batteries as little.  We usually run the generator going down the road for air conditioning so the fridge has no trouble running then. When we started looking at refigerators, I just couldn't see giving up the interior space for a dual power rv unit. Cary
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« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2006, 08:34:12 PM »

Cliff,
    I looked at lots of small 120 volt refrigerators and ended up with a 6.8 cu ft Avanti.  It has the lowest energy use other than the very pricey Sunfrosts.  I added 1 1/2" of polyiso foam board every where but the door and cut the energy use another 25%.  After insulating it I measured 19 watts average power consumption over a 24 hour test.
Regards
Jerry 4107 1120 
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belfert
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« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2006, 05:25:38 AM »

I also bought a similiar Haier to Brian's.  Menards was clearing out the frost-free ones recently as part of their spring appliance changes.  I don't know if Menards will continue to carry any small double door frost free fridges or not.  I can't tell you how it works as it is still sitting in my garage while the bus is stripped and converted.

I considered the Avanti, but the really efficient ones have a single door and I wanted a double door.  I also didn't know where to get the Avanti.  Haier also sells a single door that is a bit more efficient than the double door I got.

For my type of traveling, a slightly less efficient refigerator is fine.  I'm not trying to boondock for days or weeks with no generator usage.

Edit: Opps.  I meant to say 'non frost-free'.  Mine is manual defrost and I don't know if Menards will carry a double door manual defrost frig any longer.

Brian Elfert
« Last Edit: May 10, 2006, 09:02:39 AM by belfert » Logged
Jerry W Campbell
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« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2006, 08:10:07 AM »

I have a Magic Chef 10 cf. from Home Depot. It draws 1.3 amps at 110 V. In hot weather it uses about 100 amps at 12 V a day. We love it. The ice cream is hard and the beer is cold.
Good Luck
Jerry
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« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2006, 08:36:36 AM »

I bought one of those cheap Korean refrigerators from Home Depot.  It's about 10 cuft.  They don't sell them anymore, as they have changed brands.  I have to run the genny about 90 mins/day to keep the batts up when booning.  No big deal.  The fridge only costs about $200, much less than Dometic and more reliable.   4 years and 30K miles with no trouble.

The only thing I wish I could do is disconnect the defrost heater.  This would save a lot.  However, the wiriing is such I can't get to it without lots of effort, so I have given up on it.  If you can do that it would be good. 

David
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Dallas
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« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2006, 09:55:35 AM »

I have an old GE 12cu' fridge. I paid $50 for it at a flea market. It's been running for 2 years now, and I can run it off my inverter for about a day and a half without recharging the batteries. I had a 6 cu' Dometic but since I like to cook and have beer too, I needed something that would let me pop the milk, softdrinks, beer and groceries in without having to choose what to get warm. Plus my wife gets upset when she finds the soda and milk sitting on the counter and my ice cold beer in the fridge!
When it dies, I'll just go to another flea market and get another one.
Dallas
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« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2006, 11:03:22 AM »

I plan to go with a smaller size in the bus.  I don't think there will be a problem.  They are much cheaper than the RV type.  If it goes south, buy another one...

Danny
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« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2006, 11:27:03 AM »

I have a nice stainless steel front/black sided Sanyo 10.5 apartment refer and even though it has the automatic defrost it uses very little little power.  I can go 2-3 days on 4- Grp 31 batteries and inverter.  I've been using it for 4 years.  Beer is always cold, the food stays frozen and the bus doesn't have to be level fo the refer to work.
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FloridaCliff
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« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2006, 12:17:19 PM »

Wow!

Thanks for all the great replies. Grin

Maybe I will get it purchased and put in before I head to Dallas's shindig next week


Cliff
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1975 GMC  P8M4905A-1160    North Central Florida

"There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded."
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Dallas
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« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2006, 12:57:19 PM »

Cliff,
When you get here, I'll pull out one of those nice, cold, icey brews for you.
Oh, and we may make the other guys wait just for S&G's
Dallas

Wow!

Thanks for all the great replies. Grin

Maybe I will get it purchased and put in before I head to Dallas's shindig next week


Cliff

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FloridaCliff
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« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2006, 02:19:42 PM »

Dallas,

Hmmmmmmmmm, I can taste that cold beer already!

Of course you know its only because of my bodys natural deficiency Shocked of hops, yeast and barley malt
that I and others who are afflicted with this common problem Grin must reestablish our daily balance.

OK,  what are S&G's. (I get it now)   I know i'm going to go "Dang, I knew that!" as soon as you tell me.

Cliff
« Last Edit: May 10, 2006, 02:46:49 PM by Floridacracker » Logged

1975 GMC  P8M4905A-1160    North Central Florida

"There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded."
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Dallas
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« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2006, 04:27:22 PM »

Gits and Shiggles, or....?

Dallas,

Hmmmmmmmmm, I can taste that cold beer already!

Of course you know its only because of my bodys natural deficiency Shocked of hops, yeast and barley malt
that I and others who are afflicted with this common problem Grin must reestablish our daily balance.

OK,  what are S&G's. (I get it now)   I know i'm going to go "Dang, I knew that!" as soon as you tell me.

Cliff
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« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2006, 10:45:52 AM »

I also installed a 110V fridge abot 2 years ago.It is a 10.3 cubic foot made by Sanyo called a absocold.I selected it because it had the lowest current draw.I think it is around 6.3 amps on startup & 1.8 amps when running.It has so much more room inside than the old Norcold 8 cubic foot.I run the fridge off of a 2000 watt Trace inverter with a 8D house battery when not connected to shore power.No regrets.I did have to install a small RV aftermarket latch in beween where the 2 doors come together,just for added insurance against the door flying open.
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FloridaCliff
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« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2006, 11:03:09 AM »

I wish I had asked this in the first post.

How are you all securing the door underway?

Cliff
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1975 GMC  P8M4905A-1160    North Central Florida

"There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded."
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« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2006, 11:39:19 AM »

I wish I had asked this in the first post.

How are you all securing the door underway?

The two conversions I have seen both had child proofing locks from Target. on the frig.

Brian Elfert
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Dallas
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« Reply #18 on: May 12, 2006, 12:44:53 PM »

I wish I had asked this in the first post.

How are you all securing the door underway?

Cliff

We secure ours with Aircraft Velcro. I bought it at the Boing Surplus store in Seattle. I riveted one piece to the door and another longer piece to the fridge, it holds so well, it's hard to get it loose sometimes.
 Neat stuff, if you have an unruly neighbor kid, put some on the branch above his trampoline... he'll hang there for days!
Dallas
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« Reply #19 on: May 12, 2006, 12:49:00 PM »

We have a GE apartment size of unknown size (not too big) the tag claims 1.9 amps draw.  The stick on child locks have seen there last leg, and we had a milk casualty the other night.  Luckily there was enough room in the other jug to transfer and save most of it.
 Also, If you leave it shut down for long periods of time, make sure you have a way to prop it open.  I may go with the Dallas's velcro trick next time.  Maybe fold a handle into it.  This would allow me to block the open too.
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belfert
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« Reply #20 on: May 12, 2006, 02:00:20 PM »

1.8 or 1.9 amps current draw is pretty high compared some of the frigs now.  My Haier claims 1.2 amps.  There are lots of newer frigs that are 1.5 amps or under.

Brian Elfert
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« Reply #21 on: May 13, 2006, 12:12:43 PM »

1.8 or 1.9 amps current draw is pretty high compared some of the frigs now.  My Haier claims 1.2 amps.  There are lots of newer frigs that are 1.5 amps or under.

Brian Elfert

Your right Brian, I definetely wouldn't say it's the best fridge out there. however for me it falls in the "already there and works for now" catagory.  Its somewhere around 9/10 cu, ft and manual defrost.  When it stops, I'll rethink/repost(maybe search the archives).

I also for got to mention the search mode on the trace inverter.  If I leave the bus sitting  i can put it the inverter in search mode and it won't waste energy inverting until there is a load like when the fridge cycles.  I have to uplug the radio or any thing with a clock/memory because the phantom loads play with the search mode.  The inverter is only around 15% effecient way down in the low amps meaning it would take almost another 1.9 amps (round to 4 total) to run the fridge when it cycles.  Keep some mass in the freezer and it will help cycle less too.  We half-fill the water bottles and have them ready to go and a ice bucket helps.

It does keep the beer cold but I prefer it in the cooler in the living room (outside) Cool

All the talk about cold beer is distracting me  Roll Eyes
I had better go check the cooler to see if there is any left from when we were having one with Dallas last week. Grin



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Dallas
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« Reply #22 on: May 13, 2006, 12:31:42 PM »

1.8 or 1.9 amps current draw is pretty high compared some of the frigs now.  My Haier claims 1.2 amps.  There are lots of newer frigs that are 1.5 amps or under.

Brian Elfert

Your right Brian, I definetely wouldn't say it's the best fridge out there. however for me it falls in the "already there and works for now" catagory.  Its somewhere around 9/10 cu, ft and manual defrost.  When it stops, I'll rethink/repost(maybe search the archives).

I also for got to mention the search mode on the trace inverter.  If I leave the bus sitting  i can put it the inverter in search mode and it won't waste energy inverting until there is a load like when the fridge cycles.  I have to uplug the radio or any thing with a clock/memory because the phantom loads play with the search mode.  The inverter is only around 15% effecient way down in the low amps meaning it would take almost another 1.9 amps (round to 4 total) to run the fridge when it cycles.  Keep some mass in the freezer and it will help cycle less too.  We half-fill the water bottles and have them ready to go and a ice bucket helps.

It does keep the beer cold but I prefer it in the cooler in the living room (outside) Cool

All the talk about cold beer is distracting me  Roll Eyes
I had better go check the cooler to see if there is any left from when we were having one with Dallas last week. Grin




Jon,
Whaddaya mean ONE! I seem to recall cracking that second pony, just before the fish jumped into the tub so we could clean them!
Boy that was a fight. Watching 5  big bass fight over enough room for 3! LOL
Well, at least we enjoyed it.
Thanks for stopping by.
Dallas
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FloridaCliff
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« Reply #23 on: May 17, 2006, 09:02:20 PM »

Well I broke down and picked up a refrigerator today.

I didn't want to head up to Dallas rally with the little frig out of my shop.

I went to Lowes to pick one up.

I am getting the Whirlpool 10 cuft stainless.

They were sold out.

Ended up passing another Lowes later in the day and found it marked down $100.00 and I get a  $25.00  gift card.

I hope this is a sign for how good my weekend is going to be. Grin

Cliff
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1975 GMC  P8M4905A-1160    North Central Florida

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« Reply #24 on: May 18, 2006, 05:09:01 AM »

I bought an Avanti a few years ago when I found one on sale. It has automatic defrost, which I tried to bypass with a switch. When in defrost cycle, the compressor will not operator, so I wired it so the defrost timer will still advance, but not energize the defrost coil. That way, if I turn off the switch when it happens to be in the middle of a defrost cycle, the timer will still advance normally and the compressor will eventually come back on. That was the theory, anyway. The problem, though, is that it will not advance the timer if the inverter is in search mode. There's not enough current draw to turn on the inverter, so it just sits. Meanwhile, the compressor can't turn on until the defrost timer advances. Catch 22. Took me a while to figure this out (and I'm still not sure I have). So I need to rework my bypass switch. I may just eliminate it, or wire it to the timer and put a pilot light on it so I know not to shut it off when on defrost.

My Father-In-Law bought a Hier, like Brian bought, but his has a manual, push button defrost cycle. Very nice.

For securing the doors, I bought child cabinet straps from Wal-Mart. They work very well. I added a piece of sticky velcro to hold the strap out of the way when parked, so it doesn't flop into the door. Here's a photo (doesn't show the velcro dots) :

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Craig Shepard
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« Reply #25 on: May 18, 2006, 06:30:07 AM »


My Fridge has one of the stras like gumpys and it has finally given up.  However, It was installed with the latch on the side of the fridge and the strap on the door.  The strap came apart from the latch.  The most stress is the left hand turns with  a couple gallons of milk on the top shelf.

I think I might replace the straps with those type and put them on gumpy's way.
( Then I wont have strap envy LOL Cheesy)
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« Reply #26 on: May 18, 2006, 08:12:52 AM »


I think I might replace the straps with those type and put them on gumpy's way.
( Then I wont have strap envy LOL Cheesy)

That seems to be a common theme with you and my bus!  You really might need to see a bus doctor about that.  Cheesy

These straps have worked out very well for us.

I found some round sticky backed dots of velcro which I used on the latch. I put one part on the latch part (on the end of the strap) right behind the thumb tab, and the other part on the other end of the strap, so when I'm parked, I just fold the strap back on itself and the velcro holds it and keeps it from getting shut in the door.

The adhesive on one of the staps came unstuck for some reason. I just re-cleaned the fridge surface with alcohol and reattached. No problem since. Make sure you clean the fridge well with alcohol before attaching, as any dirt, grease, grime, or body oil on the surface will keep the adhesive on the strap from sticking properly.

craig
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Craig Shepard
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« Reply #27 on: May 18, 2006, 08:13:21 AM »

It sounds like I'm the odd ball with my set up (what's new?).  I have a Norcold 6.3 marine compressor type reefer that automatically switches from 12v to 120v.  On 12v it pulls 5.5 amps.  That works out to be .55 amps at 120v.  I bought it as a return for about $650.  To supplement it I also bought the Norcold 100# chest reefer/freezer.  This can be adjusted to be either all reefer or all freezer.  On this last 17 day trip, this worked out great.  We defrosted the reefer twice (don't like much buildup-really cuts down efficency).  Just fired up the freezer, when cold switched the items from the reefer to the freezer covering the non freezer stuff in a towel.  Then in the defrosting reefer, take out the drain drawer below the coils and stuff a towel to catch the water.  I do this after breakfast and by mid afternoon is ready to be wipped down and transfer the food back to the reefer.  Quick and easy (though sounds complicated).  While I've had zero problems with either of the Norcolds and the size is sufficient, going with an 120v apartment reefer might be a thought.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #28 on: May 18, 2006, 08:42:27 AM »

It sounds like I'm the odd ball with my set up (what's new?).  I have a Norcold 6.3 marine compressor type reefer that automatically switches from 12v to 120v.  On 12v it pulls 5.5 amps.  That works out to be .55 amps at 120v.  I bought it as a return for about $650.  To supplement it I also bought the Norcold 100# chest reefer/freezer.  This can be adjusted to be either all reefer or all freezer.  On this last 17 day trip, this worked out

I would love to have a 12 volt fridge, but they are way too expensive.  I've not found one for less than $1000. I've also read that the Norcold version is prone to failure.  The 12 volt fridges I looked at used a 120v to 12v converter to run on 120v so there was no reason to get the 120 volt version.

My fridge and Prosine 3.0 inverter cost a little over $1000.  A 12 volt fridge would make more sense if I was trying to boondock for a week with no generator.

Brian Elfert
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« Reply #29 on: May 18, 2006, 05:48:14 PM »

You're better off with a 110VAC fridge powered by an inverter.  Most (that's most, not all) RV fridge uints no longer  offer the 12V feature.  They either run on LP or 110VAC.   12VDC fridges would run a battery stone cold dead in short order.  Many MH units were wired so that the 12V feature wouldn't operate unless the engine was running.   At the worse, your inverter will cut out when bat volts drop to 10 volts or some value proximal, so the batteries won't be damaged by gross discharging.   The cutout voltage trips up battery calculations for using inverter powered items.  Be sure you factor the battery bank amps available above the cutout voltage.   
If I hadn't wanted the LP feature, 110VAC/inverter would also have  been my choice. 
All you gotta do now is size your battery bank according to your best guess use.   When dry camping, it's amazing how much battery power can be used by a few incandescent lights left on and and entertainment systems.   When one has 25 or thirty lights in a coach, keeping them off is almost a chore.  LED lighting is ideal to limit this problem, albeit at some expense.
Cheers, JR 
 
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« Reply #30 on: May 18, 2006, 08:28:14 PM »


I think I might replace the straps with those type and put them on gumpy's way.
( Then I wont have strap envy LOL Cheesy)

That seems to be a common theme with you and my bus!  You really might need to see a bus doctor about that.  Cheesy

These straps have worked out very well for us.

I found some round sticky backed dots of velcro which I used on the latch. I put one part on the latch part (on the end of the strap) right behind the thumb tab, and the other part on the other end of the strap, so when I'm parked, I just fold the strap back on itself and the velcro holds it and keeps it from getting shut in the door.

The adhesive on one of the staps came unstuck for some reason. I just re-cleaned the fridge surface with alcohol and reattached. No problem since. Make sure you clean the fridge well with alcohol before attaching, as any dirt, grease, grime, or body oil on the surface will keep the adhesive on the strap from sticking properly.

craig


My strap and fridge came with the bus.  Falls in the already there catagory.  The strap has lasted a couple years with me but came apart from the buckle the other day.  I think that if it had been put on with the strap on the front like you have it would have lasted longer.  It is still stuck and has long outlasted the one on the freezer of a different type.


The really envy that I have for your bus is that You are paying for it.  If you payed for mine too i wouldn't have envy. Cheesy

before it wasn't said that you're bus wasn't fit for a barn, it was that your bus wouldn't fit IN a barn,  Roof raised too tall. Cheesy  Maybe we should put one of those straps on dallas, Cheesy  He said he's havin the rally just so he'd have a crowd for him to be that one in Cheesy
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« Reply #31 on: May 19, 2006, 04:57:05 AM »


The really envy that I have for your bus is that You are paying for it.  If you payed for mine too i wouldn't have envy. Cheesy

Yeah, wish I could get someone to pay for mine, too. I need to help some crazy rich old lady across the street of something. Maybe she'd adopt me and feed me toys just because I'm nice.
 
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before it wasn't said that you're bus wasn't fit for a barn, it was that your bus wouldn't fit IN a barn,  Roof raised too tall. Cheesy  Maybe we should put one of those straps on dallas, Cheesy  He said he's havin the rally just so he'd have a crowd for him to be that one in Cheesy

Yeah, I got the impression it was Dallas trying to start something all along. I think he's a troublemaker.  Wink

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Craig Shepard
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Dallas
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« Reply #32 on: May 19, 2006, 05:32:24 AM »


The really envy that I have for your bus is that You are paying for it.  If you payed for mine too i wouldn't have envy. Cheesy

Yeah, wish I could get someone to pay for mine, too. I need to help some crazy rich old lady across the street of something. Maybe she'd adopt me and feed me toys just because I'm nice.
 
Quote

before it wasn't said that you're bus wasn't fit for a barn, it was that your bus wouldn't fit IN a barn,  Roof raised too tall. Cheesy  Maybe we should put one of those straps on dallas, Cheesy  He said he's havin the rally just so he'd have a crowd for him to be that one in Cheesy

Yeah, I got the impression it was Dallas trying to start something all along. I think he's a troublemaker.  Wink



Of course I'm a trouble maker!
Ask my wife, she'll tell you what's really true!

Of course I could plead youth and inexperience.
Or throw myself on the mercy of the court!
Or throw myself on my saber!
Mea Culpa!

Have a great bussin' day you guys!

Dallas
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« Reply #33 on: May 19, 2006, 05:44:25 AM »

Youa whatta???

Don't do the saber thing. That sounds painful.

Should be a good weekend (if it doesn't rain too  much).  I got my water tank fixed and the valve assemblies replumbed and ready to go back in the coach, so hoping to get that done and get things ready for a quick trip to WY next weekend.

Of course, any day I get to play with the bus is a good bussin' day.

take care
craig
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Craig Shepard
Located in Minnesquito

http://bus.gumpydog.com - "Some Assembly Required"
Dallas
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« Reply #34 on: May 19, 2006, 10:46:29 AM »

Youa whatta???

Don't do the saber thing. That sounds painful.

Should be a good weekend (if it doesn't rain too  much).  I got my water tank fixed and the valve assemblies replumbed and ready to go back in the coach, so hoping to get that done and get things ready for a quick trip to WY next weekend.

Of course, any day I get to play with the bus is a good bussin' day.

take care
craig

Craig,
 Cat and I hope you have a safe trip and figure maybe we can get together and have a good time of our own one of these days.
Enjoy Wyoming and if you have problems along the way, just give me a holler, I have firends all along the route that can help make life easier, or more miserable! LOL
Dallas

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