Category Archives: Maintenance and Repair

Pop Goes the Rivet

The cooler weather forecast for Monday arrived as predicted. It was in the upper 40s in the morning when I headed over to the pickleball courts. It didn’t feel that cold though – we had abundant sunshine with clear skies and calm wind. The high temperature for the day was 68 degrees.

One of the things I love about the RV lifestyle is the community. We’ve met so many people and made new friends as we travel about. In some cases, we have connected with our new friends several times in different places. Our stay here in Mesa, Arizona is one of those times. On Monday afternoon, we met up with Hans Kohls and Lisa McGuire (Metamorphosis Road) at The Hub for happy hour and dinner.

Hans and Lisa are full-time RVers and we’ve crossed paths several times – most recently at Mission Bay RV Resort in San Diego. Since we both like to spend the winter months in southern California and Arizona, we often find ourselves in the same areas at the same time. We sampled some good beers – stouts for the girls and IPA for Hans and me. We sat and talked for about two hours and the time flew by. Today they’re moving from Lost Dutchman State Park in Apache Junction to McDowell Mountain Regional Park – about 40 miles away.

Last night, before Donna went to bed, she said the door on one of cabinets didn’t feel right when she closed it. The cabinets on the upper walls of the living room/kitchen have small spring-loaded struts that hold them fully open and keep them closed. When she opened the cabinet door this morning, one of the struts was detached from the door.

Left strut detached from mount

The strut attaches to mounting points with rivets. I have several replacement strut assemblies that I picked up a couple of years ago, but I decided to repair this one since it was a quick and easy repair. I’ll save the replacements for times when a strut sacks out and loses spring tension to hold the door open.

I retrieved my pop-rivet tool and and a 3/32″ rivet from the trailer and went at it.

Pop-rivet tool and rivet

Pop-rivet inserted through strut and mount

Tool pulls mandrel, breaking it as it expands the rivet head

Voila!

The entire repair took no more than five minutes – job done! It’s always good to have the proper tool for the job at hand.

If the weather-guessers have it right, today will be the start of a warming trend. The forecast calls for upper 70s today and mid to upper 80s for the rest of the week.

 

*Just so you know, if you follow one of my links to Amazon and decide to make a purchase, you pay the same price as usual and  I’ll earn a few pennies for the referral. It’ll go into the beer fund. Thanks!

RV Renovators – Day 29 – Outta Here

Steve and John put the finishing touches on the paint job Wednesday morning. For good measure, Steve painted the latch handles on the basement compartment doors. This gave it a crisper overall look – I think I’ll paint the latches on the other side of the coach.

Black paint on the latch

Once they were finished, Izzy put a new seal on the slide where the outer wall meets up against the body when the slide is closed. He also went over all of the molding with silicone sealant.

Then Dave took over and installed the window awning and slide topper. With that done, we moved to the wash bay at 3pm for the last step in the process. They washed the coach while I settled the bill in the office.

We headed out around 3:30pm. Donna rode the Spyder while I drove the coach and we met at Mike Hall’s house. I hooked up our trailer and we pulled out – Donna was following on the Spyder. It didn’t make sense to load the Spyder in the trailer for a trip of a few miles only to unload it again.

We pulled in to Viewpoint RV Resort a little past 4pm. I told Donna to take the Spyder to our site after giving her directions. The security person wanted me to wait for an escort to take the coach there. After waiting for five minutes, I told security that I knew where I was going. She said I was supposed to have an escort, but could proceed if that’s what I wanted to do.

The RV sites here are wide. I didn’t think I would have any trouble backing the trailer in. What I didn’t realize was how narrow the road was and we had a fence and structures right on the edge of the road across from our site.

I made several passes before I was able to position the trailer on the concrete pad. Then I drove the coach to the end of the road and made a three-point turn to come back facing the opposite direction. I wanted to back the coach in from this direction.

It was a tight squeeze with an small orange tree on the passenger side and a street light post on the driver’s side. Again the narrow road didn’t help. We had an audience of several people watching while they enjoyed happy hour. One guy – our new neighbor to the right – came out to help. The thing is, Donna and I have our system worked out. Sometimes too much help just jams us up. This was case here. In fact, he even opened the door to the coach while I was backing in so he could talk to me!

I had to jockey in and out of the site several times to position the coach. I would gain a few inches closer to the concrete pad with each pass. At one point I was extremely close to the light post. I could see in my side view mirror I only had a couple of inches when I heard a bang! The slide topper on the bedroom slide extends a couple of inches beyond the side of the coach. It hit the post. This is the first time I’ve ever hit anything with my coach.

Once I finally had the coach positioned where I wanted it, we had another issue. They placed the sewer connection at the rear center of the site! It was under the rear of the coach. I had to pull forward, attach our sewer hose, then back in over it. Otherwise I would be crawling under the coach to attach the sewer hose.

Several friendly neighbors came over to chat while I was setting up. I was friendly as well, but I don’t like anything to break my set-up routine. That’s how mistakes can happen. When I put the slides out, I had a problem with the bedroom slide. It was binding after moving a few inches. There’s a stop lever on the end of the topper tube. When I hit the light post, it pushed the stop lever to the side and it was hitting the mount. After I finished the rest of the set-up and dumped our tanks, I got a ladder out of the trailer and pounded the stop lever back in place. Now the bedroom slide opened fine.

Roomy site, but difficult to enter

It was after 6pm by the time I had us set up.

We’re so happy to be out of the shop and in a nice, quiet environment. We’re also going to take advantage of the amenities here – pool, pickleball and whatnot.

The next couple of days are forecast to be sunny with highs in the mid-70s. Rain is coming this weekend though.

RV Renovators – Days 27-28 – The Best Laid Plans

I’m sure you’ve heard this before – the best laid plans of mice and men go awry. Well, it’s true – at least in this case. Monday morning I was optimistic about getting the job finished. I was sure we would pull out of RV Renovators no later than Tuesday, possibly even by the close of business on Monday.

On Sunday, our painter, Steve, told me he had a few small touch-ups to do on Monday, then another clear coat. After that it only needed to be blocked and buffed. Izzy has some sealant to apply and the slide topper needed to be installed.

Around 9am, I realized we might be in trouble. I went outside and saw John sanding the clear coat. I asked him what was up. He said he didn’t think Steve was coming in, he had called in sick. John said he was going to sand then buff the clear coat. I told him that’s not what Steve intended. I showed him a few areas that Steve wanted to touch up. I also told him Steve only applied a light clear coat to seal the paint before it rained and he was going to clear coat it again.

Here’s an example of the small imperfections Steve wanted to touch up

John said he would handle it. He cut through the clear coat and masked and painted several areas. He was still working on it when I left around 3pm to go to Viewpoint RV Resort to choose our site and also inform them that I may not be out of the repair shop on Tuesday.

From there, I stopped at Red, White and Brew and had a cold one with my friends Pat and Leendert.  When I got back to the coach a little past 5pm, John was gone. He had sprayed clear coat and at first I thought he was done. Then I looked closer and felt sick to my stomach. The paint didn’t have small touch ups – it had major flaws now. John had screwed it up completely.

Bad tape job

More bad masking

Waves sanded into the trim

Tuesday morning I had a heated conversation with the owner, Monte. I was totally frustrated. All the hard work done by Izzy, Armando and Steve had gone by the wayside. In the end, people won’t see the time and talent that went into the job – they will only judge the job by the finish applied. I’m sure it was disappointing for Steve, too. He had to sand out the mistakes and start taping all over again.

Masking and re-shooting the base coat

He spent about five hours taping and applying colors again.

More taping

Around 3pm he was ready to apply clear coat. He rescued the paint job, but it has a few minor flaws that weren’t there on Sunday.

Clear coat applied

Oh well, the rest of paint on the coach isn’t perfect either. I’m not going to lose any sleep over it at this point. I’m hoping there are no more glitches today and we can get out of here.

We’re looking forward to moving into an actual RV Resort with a patio outside our door, pickleball courts and swimming pools. I’ll have our trailer and can set up the barbeque and Traeger smoker/grill. The weather looks good for the rest of the week – highs in the mid 70s and sunny. They’re calling for rain in the area over the weekend though.

RV Renovators – Days – 25 – 26 – Almost Done

The weekend was low key. On Saturday, Donna felt jet-lagged and had a rough feeling in her throat. She’s still feeling the effects of something she picked up on her trip to Vieques – a cold or some virus.

We managed to get out for a while on the Spyder to start looking for our next place to stay. February is probably the busiest month of year for RV parks in Mesa, Arizona. Things start thinning out in mid-March. We went to Val Vista Villages first – this is a huge park with somewhere around 1600 sites and lots of pull-throughs. The pull-through sites are 100 feet long.

Unfortunately, they wouldn’t have a pull-through site available until March 17th. They didn’t have anything for us unless we wanted to make a few moves over the next month. This park is part of the Cal-Am family of RV parks. They told us not to bother stopping at a couple of their other parks in the area as they are all full.

So we went east on University Drive about seven miles to Viewpoint RV Resort. This is another huge place with a golf course, pickleball courts, tennis and a bar and restaurant on site. The regular rates there are high, but with our Thousand Trails membership, we qualified for their Encore rate. I booked two months there starting tomorrow, leaving on April 14th. The total bill is $1375 ($687.50/month) plus electricity.

On Sunday, we ventured out to visit our friends, Dave and Stilla Hobden. They’re fellow Alpine Coach owners who recently bought a home here in Mesa. They were on the road full-time, but decided to set up a home base and also provide affordable housing for their single-parent daughter and grandson. We had a nice visit and toured their new digs. Stilla has been under the weather and is staying home while Dave heads out to Lake Havasu for the Winter Blast Alpine Coach rally today. We were with them there at this time last year.

We’re assuming we’ll be done at RV Renovators by the end of the day today or late morning tomorrow. Over the weekend, Steve the painter came by. On Saturday, he spent some time doing touch-up on the paint but couldn’t stay long due to family commitments – he’s a single parent. He came by again on Sunday and sprayed clear coat. He wanted to seal the paint job with a layer of clear as there was rain in the forecast and it looked like it could start raining at any moment.

Today he needs to do a little sanding and finish the touch-up work. Then he’ll apply two more layers of clear coat. This will be followed with final sanding and buffing. Then all we need is to have the slide topper re-installed. I had a seam on the topper repaired while it was off.

Another job I had them do while we were here was repainting the front lower valance. Some people call this the front bumper area, but I don’t think I would ever want to bump anything with it. A while ago, I talked to Levi about painting the lower area where there were large stone chips and some peeling paint. He said he would have a guy sand it, put down a layer of texture coat and then paint it since we already had the paint. It would be a minor job.

This job was assigned to John. He worked on it last Thursday while Steve was painting the slide out wall.

Lower valance sanded and primed

Texture coat added

John told me he thought having the lower valance painted in the dark brown color wasn’t right. He thought it should be the light pewter color to better match the coach. I agreed with him and told him to go ahead and change the color. You can see the brown on the lower valance in the header photo.

By the end of the day on Thursday, he had it sprayed. He actually used two colors – the color we discussed and the silver 1/4″ trim color. I thought it looked good until I looked closely. There’s a light brown strip above the 1/4″ trim. I could see splotchy areas where the paint was coming off. John saw me looking at it and said the paint peeled when he pulled the masking tape.

So on Friday morning, John masked the front again and applied light brown above the newly painted area. Now we have a three-color job on what was supposed to be a simple sand, texture and shoot job. John was two days into it. I talked to our service advisor, Jim. I told him how the front paint job transpired. He told me John had already told him about it. He said he instructed John to do whatever takes to make the job right and he would only bill me for the simple job we originally agreed on. Nice!

New paint on front

When the generator compartment is completely closed, the paint colors will align

Our stay at the RV Renovators workshop is about to come to a close. We’ll be happy to settle in to a real RV resort with full hook-ups and the slides out. Donna joked that she’ll miss the banter, the singing and noise of the workers here.

The rain came last night along with lightning, thunder and high winds. This morning, we have mostly cloudy skies which are supposed to move out east. The forecast looks good for the rest of the week.

RV Renovators – Day 24 – Five Colors

While I was watching Steve mask an area he had painted in preparation for the next color, one of the service guys stopped by. He mentioned how labor intensive repainting a coach is. I agreed with him. He told me he often gets requests from customers to do a “spot repair” on peeling clear coat. Then when he explains what’s needed to repair it right, they’re shocked at the cost.

Clear coat on a two-stage paint system contains UV inhibitors to prevent the base (color) coat from deteriorating due to exposure to sun light. Peeling clear coat can be a indication of the base coat deteriorating. You can’t just shoot clear coat over the area and call it good.

As Steve was masking, I realized I was wrong about the number of colors in our paint scheme. Earlier I said it was four colors but it’s actually five colors. I wasn’t counting the base layer that makes the 1/4″ stripe between the other colors. So what I was calling the first color was really the second color.

Second color masked and Steve is spraying the next color

The blue areas you see in the photos are painter’s tape masking the previous coat of paint. We don’t have any blue paint.

After each color, Steve masked the freshly painted area, then sanded the overspray with 800 grit sand paper and Scotch-Brite pads and wiped everything clean with solvent.

Third color on and masked

The fourth color covered large areas and is masked with paper

All five colors revealed

Now the end is in sight. Steve will touch up a few spots, lightly sand the surface and apply clear coat. Once the clear is cured, it will be wet-sanded in stages with with fine grit, then buffed for a final polish.

With the weekend upon us, we’ll have a few more days here at RV Renovators before we’re done.

Donna made it home from her trip to Vieques around 9:30pm Friday night. It was a long day of travel. She had a great time there and she’s feeling refreshed after spending a week in the sun and sand – although she may have caught some kind of cold virus on her flight there. Hours of flying in a crowded airplane can spread a lot of germs. She still has a rough throat, but nothing too debilitating.

We’re expecting the temperature to reach nearly 80 degrees today and tomorrow with a chance of rain moving in Sunday night. I don’t know if rain will affect the final steps of finishing the coach. I hope not.

RV Renovators – Day 23 – Paint

Thursday morning Steve sprayed the first base coat of paint. He started by spraying a fine, misty tack coat. This fine spray isn’t meant to cover the panel, it just puts down a very light coat that sticks and creates a tacky surface for the next pass to adhere to.

Steve spraying over the tack coat

Once he had this first color applied, he carefully inspected the surface. He found two flaws – tiny chips in the gelcoat that I doubt I would have even seen if he hadn’t pointed them out. He filled these spots with polyester resin. Once it set, he sanded the areas smooth and painted them again.

Filling a flaw

First color applied

This first color coat provides a base that seals the entire surface. The thing is, this color is only needed for the 1/4″ stripes that separate the other colors in the final design. Once the design is taped with 1/4″ tape, this coat will be painted over in the other three colors used. When all of the colors are done, the 1/4″ tape will be pulled off, revealing the stripes.

Taping the design on the slide out wall is a long, tedious process. At the factory, they use templates to outline the design and can mask the design quickly. Steve had to re-create the design free-hand. He did this by looking at the original panel that was removed from the wall and matching the existing points where the slide out meets the rest of the body. With the slide pulled in, all of the lines and colors need to match up.

Taping the design

There’s no way I could have done this. It takes patience, attention to detail and downright obsession with perfection. Steve made several attempts with each tape stripe before he was satisfied. He would lay out a line, then see a tiny squiggle or an arc that he didn’t like and he would pull the tape up and start over. Once he had it down to a point where it looked good to me, he would continue to adjust the tape line until he felt it was perfect.

Around 4pm I left. I rode the Spyder to Mike Hall’s place and retrieved some supplies from the trailer. Then I went to Lucky Lou’s where I had a couple of cold ones with Mike and Jodi Hall.

When I returned to RV Renovators, they were done working for the day. Steve had started spraying another color. Once the areas of this color are painted, he’ll mask over the color up to the 1/4″ tape lines. Then he can do the same process with the next color. When the last color is applied and cured, all the masked areas will be uncovered and we’ll see the result.

More color

Then it will only be a matter of applying the clear coat, wet sanding and buffing to the final gloss.

Donna is traveling back home today. Her week in Vieques went all to quickly for her – although I’m looking forward to her return. I’m sure she’ll have lots of stories to tell me. She won’t arrive here until 9pm or later.

We’re expecting the temperature today to match yesterday’s high of 84 degrees. The weekend should be a little cooler, but the rain they were predicting has disappeared from the forecast.

RV Renovators – Days 21- 22 – High Expectations

Achieving good results from a paint job requires meticulous preparation. This is especially true when the panel you’re painting is flat and more than a 100 square feet of area. When the finish is applied, the smallest preparation flaws will show.

More sanding with guide coat

After another morning of sanding, I moved the coach after lunch on Tuesday. I drove it to the dump station first – it had been only eight days but I thought I should dump the tanks since I was moving.

I set up the coach next to the paint booth. The painter, Steve had previously worked at a custom car shop. He excels at applying multi-colored paint schemes and is very picky about the surface preparation. He filled the corners of the edge moldings. Then he decided to use polyester resin to fill the entire joints where the edge moldings meets the sidewall. He told me there were small gaps in places and when the finish is applied the small gaps will show. They’re sealed underneath so no moisture would get through, but the paint wouldn’t look smooth over the gaps.

Polyester resin on the corner

Moldings filled with polyester resin and primed

This took more time to sand the resin and create a crisp edge along the moldings.

New site next to the paint booth

I looked at a couple of coaches that Steve recently painted. One, a Sportcoach, had been repaired and painted on the entire rear cap and some of the rear quarter. The areas Steve painted looked better than the factory paint. The areas where the color scheme changed color had slight ridge lines in the factory paint that I could feel with my fingers. The newly painted sections were totally smooth. The other coach was a Winnebago Tour and the factory paint had a slight orange peel look in places. The areas Steve painted were smooth as glass.

I have high expectations for the final finish on our new living room slide skin. Wednesday morning went by with more sanding and surface cleaning. The cleaning and degreasing took a lot of time. In the afternoon Steve started masking but was pulled off the job to handle an emergency repair that took about an hour. When he returned, Armando came with him to help.

They applied masking tape to the backside of the moldings which extended sticky side up about an inch beyond the edge of the molding. Then I pulled the living room slide in. The slide will stay in until the paint work is done. It’s a good thing to have a floor plan that’s usable with the slide in. The masking tape along the edge of the molding gave them a way to mask right up to the edge without overlapping any of the molding.

They used paper over the windows and around the slide. They also put paper on the roof, A/C covers and satellite dome. The front and rear of the coach were covered with plastic sheets.

Masked and ready for paint

The last thing Steve did was checking the color match of the Diamant paint. Meanwhile another worker started stripping the front lower panel. I’m having that refinished while were at it. It had large stone chips that were beginning to peel in areas.

Today we’ll finally start getting painted. The forecast looks good – we should reach 80 degrees today and tomorrow with zero percent chance of rain. Rain is likely to come over the weekend.

RV Renovators – Day 20 – Gelcoat

A big repair job like the one we’re going through on our coach requires patience. The guys performing the work have to patiently work through several steps to get the body work right. The owner of the coach (me) needs to remain patient as the work is done – pushing to rush the job is not a good plan. I want it done right – I can see they are very detailed in what they’re doing and I’m giving them space and time to get it done.

I mentioned before that the body guys – Izzy and his assistant Armando – speak English as a second language. Izzy speaks pretty good English, Armando not so much. Technical terminology gets lost in translation though.

Last week I described the process to ‘glass and prime the seams. Izzy called it primer. When they applied a catalyst over the “primer” I was surprised. I’m not up on the latest techniques, but I never heard of a two-part catalyzed primer before. Yesterday Levi Germaine was checking the work and discussing the next steps with the guys. I asked him a few questions. It turns out the material Izzy was calling primer was actually gelcoat resin. This made sense. They use gelcoat to seal the seams and flatten the surface before the final finish is applied.

Gelcoat provides a high quality , smooth finish. However, it’s harder to sand than a traditional primer coat. Levi told me they only use a primer for small repairs – large fiberglass repairs are always sealed with gelcoat.

Yesterday they finished installing the edge moldings and put the windows back in. I set up the suspended bed for Ozark the cat with suction cups on the large living room window.

Ozark the cat’s window bed

At this point the painter, Steve, is taking over the job. He looked the surface over and said it wasn’t flat and smooth enough. He sprayed it with black guide paint. This morning he’s block sanding the surface by hand.

Windows are in and more sanding to be done

At some point I’ll have to move the coach. Steve doesn’t want to paint it in the paint booth. He would rather paint it outside in natural light to better match the original finish.

Yesterday the clouds remained all day – I thought it might even rain at one point. But it stayed dry out and the temperature reached the upper-60s. We should be in the 70s today and will hit 80 degrees by Thursday.

I’m trying to remain patient, but I wonder how much longer I’ll be here at the RV Renovators shop.

RV Renovaters – Days 18-19

No work was performed on the coach over the weekend. I discovered more work was done Friday afternoon than I reported in my last post. One of the basement doors was damaged, presumably by the one of the hoofs of the deer that slammed into the side of the coach.

I didn’t notice it right away as it’s partially hidden with the living room slide deployed, but they fixed the ding and it’s ready for paint.

Ding in basement door fixed

I spent most of Saturday morning reading. At noon I rode the Spyder down to Jason’s Deli on Baseline Road a few miles from here. I had one of my favorite sandwiches for lunch – the muffuletta made with ham, salami, provolone and olive spread.

After lunch I visited Howard Graff at his place. I hung out and fondled his gun collection. We’ll have to hit the gun range one of these days. Other than that, I didn’t do much on Saturday. With Donna away I just hung out with Ozark the cat and read a book.

Sunday morning I rode the Spyder down Main Street to the Quick Trip. Quick Trip is a privately held company with headquarters in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They have stores in eleven states which are gas stations with convenience stores. The also prepare food to go on site. I wanted to try their breakfast pizza that our friend Joel Myaer told us about.

The breakfast pizza is a thin pizza crust topped with sausage gravy, scrambled eggs, sausage bits, bacon bits and cheese. It was good but a personal size pizza was enough for two meals. With Donna away I’m not following a very healthy diet.

I planned to go to a Superbowl party at Mike and Kim Childs house. Around noon I thought I should try our satellite and see if it was possible get reception. I hadn’t even tried it because I was sure we would still be blocked by the building next to us and the canopy over our roof. To my amazement, it found the signal and I had reception. I went online and opened a chat with Dish Network support and changed my location from San Diego to Mesa and got local Phoenix broadcasts.

With that done, I tuned in the Superbowl pregame show. I decided to pass on the Superbowl party. I knew I would want to have a few beers during the game and I also tend to get a little animated at times during football games. If I went to the party I would have taken an Uber ride – it’s over 10 miles each way and I wouldn’t want to be on the road on the Spyder after the game. I thought it was best if I just hung out in the coach where I could yell at the TV without making a fool of myself.

The first half looked like an Atlanta blow out. The second half was an epic comeback by New England and the game went to overtime. What an entertaining Superbowl.

The weather was nice all weekend with the temperature reaching the upper-70s. Donna sent me a photo of sunset behind the band at an outdoor bar in Vieques. I think she’s enjoying the warmer weather and better scenery there.

Sunset behind the band

Today we have high, thin clouds and the temperature should reach the 70s again. Izzy and Armando are finishing up the edge trim. They need to seal all of the trim, then block sand a few areas before they put the windows in. I think Steve will start painting tomorrow.

 

RV Renovaters – Day 16 – Smooth

I wrote in yesterday’s post how smooth the fiberglass lay up over the seams was. I also wrote that I thought we’d be ready for primer. I was wrong.

Izzy explained to me that although it felt very smooth when I ran my fingers over the seam, there were still high and low areas. These aren’t detectable by running you fingers over the seam – but you would detect them visually once the finish was applied. There were surely some pinholes as well that would show up when it’s painted.

So, Armando coated the seams with a two-part lightweight filler. He sanded them flat with a long narrow air operated sander. It was about a foot long and a couple of inches wide. Paint and body guys call this tool an air file.

First filler stage

After he sanded the filler he applied a spray paint called Guide Coat. This sprays a very thin coat of black paint over the filler. Then he hit the filler with the air file again. The black spray was removed from the high spots first and remained in the low spots. This way he could decide if he needed another layer of filler or if he could sand the area flat.

Guide Coat

He spent about six hours applying filler and sanding the surface.

A high spot where he sanded through the filler

When he was satisfied with the surface, he applied a glaze coat. This sealed the filler and closed out any pinholes that may still be there. The filler and glaze are two-part products with a catalyst. This allows them to cure and be sandable in about 30 minutes.

Glaze applied

Armando was spreading the glaze coat when Donna and I headed out at 3pm. We rode the Spyder over to the Graff’s house to pick up a package Donna had delivered there. Then we went to Lucky Lou’s to catch up with the usual suspects.

Jodi, Mike Hall, Donna, Ray, Kim, Leendert and Mike Childs

Donna wanted to visit with them before she leaves for her trip to Vieques.

It was another nice day weather wise with the temperature in the mid-70s. But, once the sun sets it cools off quickly. We decided to get take-out from the Thai Kitchen next door to Lucky Lou’s rather than dine-in and have a cold ride home after dinner.

When we got home I saw that the glaze had been sanded smooth. Now we’re ready for primer – I’ll see how that goes today. The final finish paint will take four or five days. There are four colors to apply plus clear coat and complex masking to recreate the original paint scheme.

This morning Donna woke me up at dark-thirty – it was 4am. I walked her out to the gate and unlocked it so she could meet her Uber driver. Her flight was scheduled at 6am and the Uber driver picked her up at about 4:30am. She should be in Vieques around 4pm local time. I locked the gate and went back to bed!