Tonight I landed just south-west of Little Rock, Arkansas. Since I’m not traveling at a break-neck speed anymore, I’ve started on a few of the projects that I’d like to get done in the camper.
There were a variety of Walmarts to chose from, so I picked one that other RVers reviewed well. Thus far, it seems like it should work out just fine. Oddly enough, I’m the only RVer here at the moment. Perhaps some more will show up later.
For lunch I made a frozen pizza, and just like everyone that’s ever worked with an RV oven has complained, the center of whatever you’re cooking gets burned while the rest may be undercooked. That’s because of the design of all RV ovens where the gas flame is in a single row down the middle of the oven. There’s a thin metal plate between the flame and whatever is being cooked, but it just doesn’t distribute the heat very well at all. The common solution to this is to add something like a pizza stone or unglazed tile on the metal shelf to act as a heat sink and distribute the heat.
I couldn’t find any pizza stones at Walmart, which was unusual, I figured they’d have that. So since there was a Lowes across the highway (1/2 mile walking distance), I headed over. They had tons of glazed tile, but only one unglazed, and it was too big for my situation. I spoke with one of the staff at the store and he was very knowledgeable about other options once I explained what I was doing. He pointed me towards a piece of slate instead, which seemed like it would work. They only sell slate by the box though, and I didn’t really want to buy a box. The Lowes associate saw what was going on, grabbed a piece of cardboard and a sharpie and marked “Sample” and told me I could walk out with it! Very nice solution, and Lowes has certainly earned some future business from me!
I also felt ambitious enough to start on another project: replacing the main seal in the toilet. Right now the seal is leaking, which means the bowl will not hold water. This is a problem because RV toilets don’t have P-traps like traditional household toilets. The only way to keep odors from the black tank from coming up into the RV is to have a good seal, and preferably to keep a small amount of water in the bowl. With the seal leaking, neither of those concepts are working.
To replace that seal, the toilet must be removed. In most RVs, it’s a job, but it’s nothing terribly difficult. This being a truck camper, and the bathroom being rather small, it’s an exceedingly tight fit between one of the bolts holding the toilet down and the sidewall. It’s also set up in such a way that a small socket can’t fit onto the nut because of the design of the toilet. Only a wrench will fit onto the nut. But a wrench won’t fit between the toilet and the wall. A new solution is needed.
Went back to Lowes and looked for a ratcheting wrench on a swivel head. I’ve seen these things before, but I do remember them being rather expensive. It’s the only tool I can think of though that’ll get this job done. I found the tool, as part of a $90 set, and I didn’t really want to spend $90 on a tool that I’d probably only use once. Oh, and that’s only for the SAE version, that doesn’t even include the metric version as well. They were selling the wrenches individually (at around $20 each), but they were out of stock of the one I needed. So this project is on hold for a while. If anyone has any suggestions on how to remove a nut from a bolt in a really tight area where a socket won’t fit on the nut and a wrench won’t fit between the toilet and the wall, I’m certainly willing to entertain suggestions!