Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Biting the Propane Bullet

While at the rv maintenance boot camp I learned that I'm supposed to run the generator at least once a month.  I wasn't aware of that and I haven't used it yet. I decided today was the day.  My generator uses propane and I'm still uncomfortable dealing with it...propane...that is.   I didn't turn the propane on at first and that was probably my first mistake.  It almost started a couple times but died.  Then I turned on the propane and couldn't get it to start at all.  There's a panel inside that I can use for starting the generator and it's pretty easy, just press the button to start.  I talked briefly with the man who sold it to me and he told me to run the burners for a short while before starting it.  I wasn't able to get the burners going.  Any ideas as to what I was doing wrong?  I finally get up the courage to deal with the generator and I can't get it started.  I need to get this behind me so I don't have any more fears operating Olivia.  I think this is the last one.  Since I need to start the burners first, that takes care of that fear, then starting the generator takes care of that fear.  So, I can kill two fears at once.  

I've been looking on the internet for jackknife sofas and I learned today that Flexsteel no longer makes them.  I also found out that the nearest dealer to me is in Vancouver, WA, about three hours from where I live.  

Today I talked to a very helpful lady at the dealership where I bought Olivia and she informed me about the jackknife sofas and said they're being replaced with Easy bed sofas.  The lowest price appears to be in the $800 range and I'm thinking that's more than I want to pay.  I guess I'll be sleeping over the cab for the duration.  

One of the shows I like on HGTV is Deserving Design.  Vern Yip, the show host, redoes rooms in homes of people who help other people.  One show that struck me was of a woman who helps low income people pick out furniture that has been donated so that they can furnish a new home.  I'm not sure what the draw is for me, but it's there.  So I've been looking for something similar in my area and I think I found it today!!!  It's called Home2Home and they "provide furniture and household items to people who are referred by pastors, school counselors, case workers and other local non-profit organizations."  

I'm starting to lean towards getting rid of as much furniture as I can stand to lighten my load and maybe lower the price of moving stuff down to AZ.  I'm thinking of downsizing like so many of you have done or are doing.  I posted a picture yesterday of the "monster" buffet.  I also have a dining room table with 6 chairs, a coffee table, end table, book case and a small round table. It's a matched set and it's all large.  

Home2Home has a list of what they will and won't accept and, unfortunately, my couch is too long and the coffee table and end table have glass tops. They won't take those pieces.  They also don't pick up so it's looking like my best bet is to call Salvation Army since they do pick up.  

There's a lot of things they will take that I wasn't able to sell in the moving sale, like kitchen stuff.  I also have way too many sets of sheets so I'll donate a few of them.  

I just spent the last 2.5 hours with my prospective tenants and they're wonderful!!  I would be so happy to have them in my house.  They wanted to take measurements of the rooms to see if their furniture will fit since the house they're in now is quite a bit larger than mine is.  They have two dogs...a Corgi and Bernese Mountain Dog.  

I have fantastic news...I don't have to move the "monster" buffet!!!!!  I am so relieved.  

Stay tuned, there's more to come.



  1. Huge relief about the 'monster'!!..now you just need to win the battle with the propane..
    we have always lit the stove tops first before trying to light the fridge..have to get propane in the lines..and we found this worked for us..now as for the generator?..it could be the same thing??..good luck!!!

  2. We have had Rvs for most of our lives, yet when we tried to run the furnace in the new MH nothing happened. Turns out Russ had not turned the propane on all the way. Just a thought...

  3. I agree with Sue and Doug...you have to get propane in the line first...it takes a minute or so to get to the burners then on the way to the generator. I never realized generators ran on propane..what a great thing that would be. On the furniture....I would let it go now. Living in Az (as I do) there are so many estate sales etc that if you do decide to re-furnish you can pick things up for practically nothing. When I see people driving big U-haul trucks across country I think why?..it is not worth it....

  4. I had a problem lighting my fridge and then I was also told by a friend to always light the stove first. Since you tried to run the generator first it will take a few tries to light the stove. I didn't know that a generator ran on propane either.
    Do you have womens crisis centers near you? They would love to have donations also. I don't know about the glass top tables but you can ask. They also pick up since they don't want to many people to know where they are located its a safty issure for the women and children who have had to flee an abusive home.They also take clothing and most household goods. Glad you don't have to move the monster.

  5. We used our RV for the first time in a few year this summer. Like you, we could not get our propane generator to start - we have the same thing with an inside panel start. We need to check it out - hopefully it is something as simple as spider webs blocking something... Our fridge won't stay lit on propane either - always something... We have not tried the furnace yet but I guess we should. The burners are working just fine as is the hot water heater. I need to start checking it all out as we hope to take a short trip again soon. Thanks for the reminder!

  6. There should be a process for starting the generator in the user manual or in the generator guide that came with the RV, starting the burners only makes sense in making sure gas is getting to the burners, not the genny. The generator isn't on the same line as the burners so starting the burners doesn't mean the genny is getting gas.

    I would follow the process in the user guide for priming the genny. When you try and start a generator without fuel it uses up whats in the lines so priming may be needed to get her running. I have never had a propane one but I think the theory remains the same.

    Here are a few Jack Knife's for sale on eBay. http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p5197.m570.l1313&_nkw=jack+knife+sofa&_sacat=See-All-Categories

    Also try these places. http://www.rvandvansurplus.com/bargain_furniture.asp?Vehicletype=RV&Items=JackKnife#


    You'll need to scroll down to them here.

    The salvage ones usually have very good condition ones that may need cleaning but otherwise are near new condition.

    Good luck!


  7. You might try to place a wanted ad in some of the Craig's lists, as well as watching for one for sale. The ad only runs a week without renewing it so you have to keep doing it, but you may find something either there or later in AZ. Does the kind of sleeper you want have a mattress? You might find an old one and just replace the mattress.

    Also keep an eye on freecycle.

    $800 seems like a lot if you are not going to keep the View for a long time.

  8. Congratulations on not having to move the huge buffet. Downsizing is not easy but it can be a huge help. We only kept family heirlooms and keepsakes....things that had memories attached.
    Good luck!!
    It is always good to get the fears behind you. :-)

  9. Have you pretty much decided not to keep Olivia? Have you decided on what you might go to next? I've been research smaller RV's..one that I actually probably drive. We are in the process of selling our 5th Wheel and the truck we pulled it with. I'm tired of waiting...I actually am thinking (out of frustration) of me getting the smaller RV (like a C-Class) and take some slooooow trips. My kids and grans. are in California, Colorado, and Virginia

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