Posted in Down-Sizing, LIfestyle

Missouri Work

After leaving Bennett Springs, we returned to the St. Louis area and parked at Babler State Park.  We were having trouble with the leveling system on the coach and made an appointment for an oil change and check-up and stayed at our house (still not sold) during that time.   I turned off the water at several bathrooms to prevent any trouble while we had been gone so long; this was a chance to turn it back on and “flush” the systems.  We have 1 master bath, 2 other bathrooms, and a half-bath (this was the only one I left on).  After filling the tanks back up, the 3 toilets that had been turned off began to leak quickly from the tank bolts.  All the toilets were original to our house (28 years old) and the gaskets on those bolts had dry-rotted.  I bought 6 new bolt setups at the hardware store and returned to replace them.

The process looks like this:

  1. Turn off the water to the toilet.
  2. Flush and drain all the water out of the tank.
  3. Dry the interior of the tank as much as possible.
  4. Apply some type of lubricant to the bolts inside the tank for ease of removal.
  5. Hold a screwdriver on the head of the bolt inside the tank and simultaneously use a wrench to remove the nut on the outside bottom of the tank.
  6. Remember the basics of “righty-tighty, lefty-loosey”)
  7. Use a SawzAll as a last resort.
  8. Remove the old bolts and wipe everything out inside and out.
  9. Insert the new bolts, washers and nuts in the correct sequence, being careful not to over tighten.
  10. Turn the water back on to fill the tank and check for links.  If it leaks, tighten just a bit more.
  11. Flush the toilet, again checking for leaks.  If it leaks, tighten just a little bit more.
  12. Let sit overnight and check again the next morning.  If it leaks repeat steps 9 and 10.

The first toilet in the hall bathroom would not loosen after much effort and application of WD-40.  We had to resort to the SawzAll to cut it off.  Toilets are not usually in wide open spaces and we were working between the toilet and bathtub, hanging over the toilet to carefully saw it off.  What a mess….but the opposite bolt finally loosened and came out without the use of the SawzAll.  (Are you familiar with a SawzAll?  It is actually a reciprocating saw with a ton of back & forth cutting action that is good for a small space.)  We replaced these bolts in 6 hours (!) and headed to the master bathroom.

We were super tired now, but I decided to proceed with the project.  I drained the tank and applied some WD-40 to the bolts and let it work on the bolt.  Rather then reach over the toilet to try to loosen the bolts, I laid on the floor on my back and attempted to loosen them.  I am going to attribute the next problem with being tired and working on my back.  Trying to loosen the bolts, I turned them the wrong way (reference #6 above) and heard a little noise like ……. porcelain cracking …….. yep, the entire tank cracked in half from that bolt.

See that crack running across the entire tank?

There was some cursing and I may have thrown a few things outside the back door in anger…..  So now I had to replace the tank on that toilet, but you cannot buy a toilet tank at the hardware stores, you have to buy the entire toilet.  So, back to the store to bring home a new toilet and remove the old one.  Down to the floor.  Everything.  Yes, I may have hit the old tank with a hammer in the trash can smashing it to pieces.  So now, install the new toilet.  Luckily, it came with all the parts, even the flush valve already installed in the tank!  We replaced it and turned the water back on — No Leaks!!!

Good Bye and Good Riddance!!!

I went to the upstairs toilet and had to repeat the process above to remove those bolts.  But now I was very cautious and turned the bolts the correct way to avoid cracking this tank!  I was wedged in between the lavatory and shower stall working on the toilet.  A couple more hours of effort and the job was done.  Three toilets, three ugly repairs, three times the trouble.  Should I have left the water turned on?  Probably it would have avoided this problem.  Two weeks in Missouri, cleaning the house, packing up more stuff, cleaning up the yard, and repairing/replacing the toilets was just another reason we are convinced that we need to sell this house!  If only someone would make us an offer!


Posted in Campgrounds, Down-Sizing, RV Living

Missouri (pronounced: misery)

We spent about 5 days outside St. Louis at Babler State Park; we were there for doctor’s appointment and business calls.  Luckily (or really unluckily) I had gotten bronchitis the week before and really needed to see my doctor for my annual physical which turned out to be a sick visit.  Cough medicine & antibiotics in hand, I spent most of the week in the RV resting/coughing.  Barry also started coughing and his doctor gave him the same regime.  We did not get to see our family or friends this week, we were just too sick………so, we got ready to leave the area

But, not before we spent a day at our Favorite RV repair shop!  Chris at The Motorhome RV Store in Eureka has proven to be worth his weight in gold for us!  Remember that wiper motor that we tried to get North Trail to replace?  Done!  Wipers facing up and down?  Fixed!  All in one day!  I have learned my lesson and will only use Chris to work on my coach from now on!

While in St. Louis, we also sold 2 of the remaining Big Three Things to Sell:  2014 Subaru and 65″ Samsung 5K TV!  For the last 7 months, I have advertised the Subbie and had only limited offers; sadly, Barry turned down the early offers in the hope we could get more money, we just cleared enough to pay off our loan.  Finally, a guy contacted us from my ad and I was able to sell him my 2nd favorite car (I loved my 2000 VW the most!).

2014 Subaru Forester AWD – TURBO!!

He had also vacillated about selling the giant TV.  I bought it before he had knee replacement surgery 2 years ago to help him recuperate better.  He had high hopes he could, somehow, configure the RV to get that beast in it.  I knew otherwise…….it would be like have a drive-in movie screen outside garage…..just too big!  A friend of our son, Drew, contacted me from a FB Marketplace add and bought that giant beast the next day!  Add to that the $$ we got from our friend who sells our stuff on Craigslis and we are getting closer to our goal of full-time RV living!

That’s a Big TV!! 65″ Samsung 5K Curved Screen HDTV!

The last thing of the Big Three Things to Sell is our home.  We have discusssed our house with so very many people and, after interviewing a third realtor, decided to get more realistic about that sale.  Here are the issues:

  1. 3.35 Acres — Young families want a subdivision for their kids
  2. No Basement — Many St. Louis area natives feel they Need a Basement.  The fact that we have so much storage space everywhere and it is dry does not count for much.
  3. Baby Boomers — We are at the end of the Boomer Generation and no one our age wants a big house, they are all down-sizing also.
  4. Millinials — This is our target audience….someone who wants the seclusion of acreage, the room for teenagers to spread out, and the convenience of being close to St. Louis amenities.
  5. Price — We started at $400,000 at the advice of two different realtors….and have gradually moved it down to $375K.  The third realtor, who specializes in homes on acreage, added up the above factors and feels we are still too high. 🙁
Yes, we are leaving this piece of paradise for Full-Time RV Living!


We have dropped the price to $367,000 and driven away…….hopefully Someone, Somebody Special, will come to love our house as much as we have done.