Have you checked your brakes? You should stop and read this if you can.

Before we left Phoenix, I spent some time crawling under our trailer inspecting its brakes, suspension, and axles. Until now, we had only hauled our house for a few very short trips, so thankfully things were still fairly clean down there. The trailer has an electric brake system on all four tires. One of the first things I noticed was the electrical feeds to these brakes were not protected in any way, and they could rub on the metal surfaces: a potentially dangerous situation down the road. I purchased plastic wire loom and wire ties to cover and protect the wires. The wire loom is corrugated and flexible, but split down one side so it is easy to install without unhooking anything. I slipped the loom over all exposed wiring and secured it with wire ties and clips. I maintained sag loops to allow for suspension movement. Trailer brakes are vital …

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Our Furnace Wouldn’t Light!

I know it’s August and we haven’t had to think about our furnace in months, but winter is just around the corner. It was time to do some maintenance. Much like moving into a sticks-and-bricks home, there is always something to work on. Last winter we were having periodic issues with our furnace not lighting, especially on the coldest nights. I checked the air intake and exhaust ports to make sure there were no blockages, since bees and wasps like to make their homes there from time to time. The other appliances that use propane fuel (stove, hot water heater, and refrigerators) all worked fine. The furnace itself is mounted under the kitchen pantry and is not easily accessible. Thankfully our trailer has an electric fireplace as an additional heat source when the furnace acted up. The propane (LP) gas system runs off two thirty pound tanks located on the …

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Bedside Cabinets

While we still lived in a sticks-and-bricks home and I had my wood shop, I did some last-minute cabinetry for our RV. Above the windows on each side of the bed was a space that had the potential for a small cabinet. The existing cabinets above the headboard had vertically-opening doors that were several inches away from the wall on each side. If I kept the cabinets shallow enough, they should fit. First, I drew up a plan for two cabinets, and then I made a wood cut plan. I chose poplar for the cabinets to keep the weight down, and to better match the other cabinets. There would be a single door and room for two shelves inside each cabinet, and a water bottle shelf. The shelves are large enough for things like average-sized pill bottles, small packs of tissues, eye drops, and lip balm. Rather than a plain …

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We finally hit the road! Does That Mean Major Truck Repairs or Just a New Battery?

Those of you who’ve followed our Instagram might’ve seen that we’ve officially left Arizona (for now) and are on the road. We have a schedule to keep to get to our Florida destination on time (more about that in a future post!), but not such a tight schedule that we can’t stay 2-3 nights in each spot, and we’ve limited our travel to 200 miles per day. So here is what happened when we landed in El Paso: The truck wouldn’t start! At least it waited until we were settled into an RV park, rather than the middle of nowhere. And in Texas, there’s a LOT of “nowhere.” We bought our 2016 Ram 2500 a year ago and it’s in great shape. It even came with brand new tires, but we suspected the battery was original from the factory. Anyone who has spent any time in the Arizona heat knows …

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Creating a Gluten-Free Kitchen

A basket of gluten-free flours and baking ingredients, with a set of measuring spoons and cups on top.
RV life required downsizing a large cupboard of baking ingredients. It turns out that everything I need will fit into this basket in the cabinet over the stove. It took some trial and error to find my favorite flours, but nowadays I prefer teff, sorghum, and arrowroot. Psyllium husk and xanthan gum provide some of the binding that gluten normally provides in baked goods, but they’re not required and they’re used so sparingly that a small package lasts for years.

When I realized it was going to be impossible to avoid gluten contamination if I lived with a gluten-eater, we immediately decided to make the whole house gluten-free.

I wish I could say a mixed-gluten kitchen was easier in a sticks-and-bricks home, but our apartment kitchen at the time was a little smaller than our RV’s kitchen, so that’s not true. The fact is, it’s extremely difficult to maintain a mixed kitchen, and impossible for us personally. So in preparation for a very a deep cleaning, we sorted everything in the kitchen to decide what could stay and what must go.

Maybe this post will help you if you find yourself in a similar situation, following a celiac diagnosis or eliminating gluten for other health reasons.

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