Thursday, 18 September 2008

September projects

Furnace air ducts

Hot air from the furnace is ducted throughout the motorhome by two pairs of 4" flexible air hoses (similar to clothes dryer hose). The first pair of hoses run under the couch, in front of wich are two small vents where the air comes out. This couch, wich is permanently attached to the floor, can be transformed into a bed, and is also a useful storage compartment. The other pair of hoses, connected on the othe side of the furnace, run in the lower cabinets of the kitchen and then toward the back of the Travco.

The problem with these hoses is they take a lot of storage space. A significant volume of the couch storage compartment is taken by the hoses. Under the sink, the way the two other hoses are hooked to the furnace limits storage as well. So Dad decided to do something about this.

First Dad replaced the dual hoses under the couch with a single metal duct, that feeds both vents. Dad used old galvanized steel ducts. He had to adapt and modify some parts to connect them to the furnace output. The new metal duct is much stiffer and takes less space than the original flexible hoses. Dad spay-painted the duct, and it looks nice and clean.

This is the old hose adapter that connects to the furnace:

Here's a new adapter Dad made:

Dad painting the duct before installation:

Under the couch before installation:

New duct and adapter in place:

Under the sink, Dad kept the original dual hoses, but made an entirely new adapter that allow him to position the hoses in the back of the cabinet, freeing a lot of storage space.

Old hose adapter inside the cabinet:

New adapter completed:

Same cabinet, new adapter:


Dad made this small drawer, enclosed inside the end of the couch, near the entrance door.

The drawer is used for storing gloves, a flashlight, basic tools (pliers, screwdriver, etc.) emergency flares, and other objects that may be needed quickly, as it is quicker to open this drawer than search for stuff in an outside storage compartment. It has sturdy metal slides, and the drawer slides into a wooden divider box that separates the drawer's content from the objects stored under the couch. An old piece of wood, a bit of sanding, some varnish, a locking handle, a stainless steel frame, some patience and lots of time!

Parking spot

Dad kept working on the Whale's parking spot, in his backyard. Since last spring, a entire tree was moved, limbs were cut, the Whale almost got stuck in the mud... now Dad bought about 100 ft of drain tile, wich should improve soil drainage. So there will be a lot of digging and shovelling over the next few days...

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Travelling around

Over the last few weeks, the Blue Whale has been travelling quite a bit. Mom and Dad are finally enjoying the motorhome and are travelling around.

The Blue Whale first went to the Montreal area, where my two brothers are living, and then came back to Quebec City after a stop in Sorel, where my aunt lives. A few days later, the Whale went to Edmundston, New-Brunswick, my Mom's hometown. They spent a few days in northern Maine, visiting Jocelyne and Gerry, then went back north to QC on the Lower St-Lawrence area (Trois-Pistoles) before heading back to Quebec City. Finally, Mom and Dad drove the Travco to the Lac St-Jean area (where my Dad comes from) during the Labor Day Weekend, where we had our annual family gathering.

This first picture was taken at the Edmundston Airport. The aircraft on the picture is an Avro Lancaster, a WWII bomber.

This bomber, one of the few remaining Lancasters in the world, has been on display at this airport for many years. You can read the story of this plane by clicking HERE.
(I know I'm off topic with this, but we're all aviation buffs in this family!)

Another picture, taken at our family gathering, shows the Blue Whale side by side with uncle Yvon's 1975 Winnebago. Yvon, just like Dad, put a lot of work into his motorhome, and turned it into a very fine vehicle.

A few hundreds kilometers of travel, during wich the Whale performed almost flawlessly, Dad having only a few minors problems to report: a minor issue with the wipers, the speedometer going bad (again), and a little tweaking of the steering and wheel alignment. Otherwise, everything was just perfect, everything worked and nothing broke down. A nice reward after having spent hundred of hours working on the vehicle.

But that's not all: Dad and Mom found out that travelling aboard a Travco is something quite unique! On many occasions along the road, people waved at the Whale, thumbs up, took pictures from their car, etc. In overnight parkings (i.e. Walmart) the Whale was immediately noticed and usually attracted people all over. One time Dad wasn't even done parking the motorhome that groupies were already gathering outside, eager to take a closer look at the shiny old Travco!

I guess many people were thinking that the Whale is a much older vehicle than it actually is. Since the look of Travcos didn't change much from 1962 to 1979, the Whale looks like a relic from the Sixties. The rounded futuristic shape of the Travcos was probably very hot back in 1962, but it makes the "youngsters" like the Whale (born in 1975) look much older than they really are.

So Dad and and Mom had quite a few visitors, met very nice people, some of them even gladly inviting my parents to park at their place for a few days! So if you feel lonesome, get an old Travco, chances are your social life will improve quickly!

Back in Quebec City, Dad started to work again on the Whale, I'll have the details on my next post!