Monday, October 29, 2012

Amish Cooling Unit

056(Chuck) We have a Norcold 1200 refrigerator. It is a big RV fridge that seems to have an all too common failure where the heat is applied at the boiler tube. The metal tube cracks and the yellow rust inhibitor, ammonia gas and hydrogen gas all escape, resulting in a yellow substance at the back of the fridge. On a small percentage of failures the hydrogen gas can ignite and provide a source for ignition of the surrounding RV cabinet. Most RV fires are electrical, but when it happens from any source, it is a disaster. Several small manufacturers have been dealing with these failures. 020One replacement product that has a top reputation is known as the “Amish Cooling Unit”.

Several of our friends have purchased this cooling unit and all seem to have found good success. When our fridge died several weeks ago I knew what to do. I had researched this previously and found RV Cooling Unit Warehouse. David Force is the capable man who represents this company. He convinced me that proper installation was the most important part of any cooling unit. Since we were going to be in Nappanee, Indiana it was simple to travel 37 miles up the road to Shipshewana to have it installed. As it turns out we hit the mother lode. Our installer was JR Lambright who with his family, manufacturers the Amish Cooling Unit. I discovered that the improvements are far more than only 50% bigger boiler tubing. These units are redesigned to provide far better heat transfer and reliability.

For the instillation, JR & crew generously covered the surface areas inside to protect our rig. It took about three hours and it went smoothly. 033



This shows our old Norcold unit on the left and the new Amish Cooling Unit on the right. Note that the new unit does not have the tube and insulation around the boiler stack at this time.

It has been over two weeks since the installation and we found that we can run the temperature setting on 4 instead of the previous setting of 8. It stays cool and is doing a good job. The refrigerator is at 38 and the freezer 2 degrees. We are very happy with this improvement.




Here are some pictures of the manufacturing area.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fort Wayne, Indiana

003(Jan) Fort Wayne sits at the confluence of the St. Joseph, St. Mary and Maumee Rivers in northeast Indiana. Under the direction of American Revolutionary War statesman General "Mad" Anthony Wayne, the United States Army built Fort Wayne near the Miami Indian village of Kekionga in 1794. Named in Wayne's honor, Fort Wayne established itself as a trading post for European settlers. Today Fort Wayne is Indiana’s second largest city with a population of 255,000.chuckJan[1]

We’re making our home this week at the very pleasant Johnny Appleseed campground. Although we are in the midst of the city, this CG has a very relaxed, isolated feeling. The yellow & orange leaves have been showering down, carpeting the ground all around the MH. We are so fortunate to be in the middle of this colorful event.

We met long time RV friends Jerry and Nancy here this past week-end. Both couples share a love of genealogy and spent a fun afternoon on Saturday at the Allen County 012Library in the Genealogy Center. It’s a world class facility and Chuck has been wanting to come here for a long time. We were not disappointed.

The four of us shared three full days of storytelling and reminiscing; several good meals at home and a trip to a Fort Wayne classic, Don Hall’s. Our late lunch there was good and filling so that evening we settled on a yummy Dairy Queen Blizzard to finish the day.

Fort Wayne has some terrific bike paths and the Old Fort to explore but due to my leg, we’ve had a less active lifestyle here. We will be here until Thursday when we will once again stay in Shipshewana for more RV work and more visiting with RV friends! 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fall Happenings

(Chuck) We have found ourselves in the Midwest this fall for the first time in years. It was good to spend time with our friends in the Manning, Iowa area. We boondocked at the farm where it was peaceful and quiet. The wind rustled the leaves and the birds chirped.

Lynn Phillips (Phillips Farms) does custom work for us, we also rent him some ground, and we have enjoyed the relationship for many years. It was good to ride in the his combine and experience the harvest again. The fall weather was glorious, and harvest seemed to go well. The corn and bean yield was decreased this year due to the lack of rainfall this summer; however we are indeed blessed to be a part of agriculture in this great nation.

071The combine heading into the corn rows. 062The combine dumping corn into the grain cart. The crew- Semi driver Paul, Combine operator Lynn and Grain Cart handler Kelly.

(Jan) The photo below was taken about a mile south of our farm place after the harvest was completed.004(Chuck) Our plan was to move to Indiana for the remainder of the fall to continue genealogy work in the Wabash County area. Several of my ancestors called Wabash County home in the 1850’s and I have wanted to look for more information on them. Our good friends Jerry and Nancy have always told us that the Allen County Library in Fort Wayne is the place to be and now is the time to pursue it. They have even scheduled a chance to be with us for a few days and we look forward to spending time with them.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe have thought of having some cabinet work done on our rig and Nappanee, Indiana is the home of several top craftsmen who specialize in RV work. We have contacted Gene Miller to do the work for us. Gene took over the business of Irv Kaufman and we have great confidence in his work. We anticipate a roll-out drawer under our sink to give us some much needed pantry storage. Another improvement that we had wanted to make was the installation of a new cooling unit on our refrigerator. Several friends have installed what is known as an “Amish Cooling Unit” on their refrigerator and have been very happy with it. I have wanted to do this simply as a preventative measure for our Alaska trip next summer. I did not want to find ourselves without a fridge on that trip. One night two weeks ago the fridge beat me to the punch and as the “no code” flashed on the screen, I went out to look behind the grill on the outside of the rig and I found the yellow “sign of death”. The cooling unit had sprung a leak and it was time to speed up the plan. I will cover it in a blog soon.

At this time we are in Fort Wayne at the beautiful Johnny Appleseed Campground. We may be here a week.


(Jan) Below are a couple of the pictures of friends and family and the good times we shared with them earlier this month.


008 Moores and Odendahls at Swan Lake Jan & sister Linda in back, brother Glen and in-laws Mary & Richard093 001Cousins Jerome & Dolores and Jan & Chuck

Tuesday, October 2, 2012



(Jan) It’s harvest time in Iowa; the combines are running in the field and there are dozens of semis loaded with grain headed to the local co-ops.  This summer’s dry, dry weather has made the yield very questionable but from recent reports it sounds like the crop in this area will be at about 60-75% of last year’s yield. 008And considering the drought, that’s pretty amazing! Our corn is scheduled to be combined soon so we are hoping for the best.

The past week has been spent visiting with relatives from Omaha & Carroll, having lunch with area cousins Jerome & Dolores after church one morning, dinner & cards with friends Ron & Edna at Swan Lake, lunch with Brent and Donna & Maddie in Ames and of course, visiting mom at St, Anthony’s. Pictured at right are Aunts Ann & Charlotte and Jan in front, Cousin Jerry, Uncle Frank, Cousins Christine & Jolene and Aunt Rosie in back. We enjoyed lunch together and then all went up to visit my mom. Charlotte and Frank are mom’s brother and sister.

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