Borrego Springs, CA

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The check valve search

I had a list of three RV places that might have a check valve as Emma and I headed out this morning on our search.  The closest place was in St. Anthony, ID, which is over 50 miles away, and the furthest one was in Idaho Falls, which is close to 100 miles away.  I was crossing my fingers that Angell RV Repair in St. Anthony would have the valve, but it was not to be.  He had just sold his last one a couple of days ago, and hadn’t restocked since that one had been on the shelf for two years.  :(  However, he did suggest I go to Hathaway Inc. about three miles down the road to check there.  Hathaway’s wasn’t listed in the yellow pages that I checked at the campground office yesterday. 

So, I followed his directions and headed for Hathaway’s.  What an eclectic place that was.  Not only do they sell RV supplies, but they also sell modular homes, a few trailers, and they are also a carpet store!  I guess you have to diversify in a small town in Idaho.  :)  After about 15 minutes of scrounging around, they came up with the needed check valve.  I decided to buy two of them (just in case), and wiped out their inventory.  :)  Since the valves were only about $6, I figured what the heck.  I’ll have a backup that I can install myself if I need it down the road.  As I was about to pay for the valves, I decided to ask them if they had any discontinued carpet samples for sale.  (You know…those rectangular, finished edge, chunks of carpet that are about 18”X30”.  I like to use them under my bench table.  That way, they get dirty from my shoes instead of the installed motorhome carpet.)  Anyway, the salesman said “follow me” and led me to a stack of samples.  I picked out two that would go with the carpet in the RV.  He told me there was no charge!  Yahoo!  Two valves and two carpet samples for a total of $12, and I didn’t have to drive all the way to Idaho Falls.  I was a happy camper!  Sometimes things work out better than you think they will.  I’ve been looking around for carpet samples since I got the new rig, but hadn’t found any.
IMG_1962On the way back home, I decided to make a couple of side trips.  First stop was the Island Park Dam, and what a great stop it was.  I got this pic of a double-crested cormorant as it came up for air after diving for a fish for lunch.
IMG_1972Then I spotted a Western grebe in the water.  This is a new bird for me.  I’ve never seen one before.  :)
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I wish I could have seen a pair of these grebes doing their mating “dance.”  They fairly rise up out of the water next to each other and seem to dance on their toes in perfect harmony across the lake on the tips of their webbed feet.  I’m probably a couple of weeks late for that, but it was a thrill to see one anyway.

My next little side trip was to drive up the road to Sawtell Peak.
IMG_8603Sawtell Peak is the highest mountain in back of my rig in this picture that I took on June 6 when I arrived at Red Rock RV Park.  (Sam, this is my new, to me, 2008 Winnebago Adventurer Limited)

The drive we took was on the other side of this mountain, and was a nine mile up hill climb on a nicely graded gravel road.  There were many, many switchbacks and steep grades.
IMG_1994This was the view from the top.  You can see the curvy tan road that I took to get up here.  The view wasn’t the best because of the heavy haze down below.  I’m thinking that that heavy haze is caused by all the pine tree pollen that was being blown about in today’s brisk winds.  You can also notice all the snow that can still be found at this elevation.
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On the way back down the mountain, I was fascinated by the silvery windblown dead and dying trees clinging to the mountainside.   They had no visible bark, just the silvery smoothness.  How could this one on the right still be alive with no protective bark?  I don’t know.

When I got back to the rig, Jim, my neighbor, was sitting outside his rig, and was curious to find out if I had been successful in my search for a new check valve.  I gave him a thumbs up, and we both headed inside to install the new valve.  I want to clarify for some of my commenters, that neither I nor Jim knew anything about hot water heater valves to begin with.  It was only because of your comments, responses to my post on the Escapees forum, and each of our internet investigations, that we were able to come up with a solution to my problem.  We both learned a lot from this experience, and will both be prepared should this same problem arise in either of our rigs.  I didn’t have the proper wrenches nor the strength to accomplish the fix, and I am very grateful that Jim helped me out with this challenge. :)  In return for his help, I will watch over his rig while he and his family take a trip (without his fifth wheel) up to Glacier NP next month.  It’s all give and take out here on the road.  That’s one of the things I like about this life.  :)

A couple of folks have asked about Rick’s fix for sizing pictures to match their desktops.  My suggestion is that you read his instructions that can be found in the comment section of my post entitled “Asking for help with two challenges” which I posted on 6/28.  His instructions are so clear and easy to follow, that I can’t improve on them.  :)  Just click on comments at the end of that post and look for Rick’s comment.  :)

This post has been long enough, and I’m going to take a shower tonight thanks to my newly fixed hot water system!  :)

Thanks for stopping by….talk to you later,  Judy


  1. It was your luck day finding exactly what you wanted and not having to travel a long distance.
    Great pictures!

  2. Glad to read all ended well today. Even though it was a little hazy, that view on the mountain top was awesome. Have a great day!

  3. Great bird photos & that was a nice piece of luck finding those check valves so close by. I wouldn't even have a clue what a check valve looked like let alone install one. Yes, the forums are all so helpful. We aren't Escapee members so use another forum called RV Net a lot. Sure is an easy way for people to help people, plus blogging about problems like you had is also another great way to convey helpful info.

  4. Good to see you were able to locate the valve and buying the spare when the price is right is a wise move as any water part will get dirty or corrode and stop functioning especially in the RV climate where you see a lot od hard water. Your rig is just beuatiful, Just remember from the old bus driver when you get in any tight spots stop and make sure where your corners are, even if you have to get out and look, the forty foot walk back will give you a chnace to relax and then you can make s safe move. And with a motor home you don't have 50 people wondering "What the hell is he doing now" Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

  5. Wow Judy, if that was your first Western Grebe then you must be from back east!
    Aren't they gorgeous?! Your pics are great, even got the red eyes!!
    We didn't drive up to the top of the mountain last September and after seeing your pics I'm glad we didn't try in the one ton dually!! Those are some hair pin curves!
    Whoohoo on finding the check valve and carpet!

  6. Glad you didn't have to drive so far to find your part Judy and love your photos today.

  7. so glad you found the part you needed. Looks like a great place to visit.

  8. So glad you were able to get the check valve. I missed yesterdays post due to more laptop problems. Glad you were also able to get the cure for the picture sizing for the desktop. Three cheers for Rick!!
    Very nice pics on your drive home. Love the pictures of the Western Grebe and the Double-crested Cormorant.
    I never knew what motorhome you had. It is really nice!! I'm sure you are really enjoying it....and Emma too.
    You take care!
    Mike & Gerri (happytrails)

  9. Love the tree and water bird photo's!!

    That's a road we haven't traveled... yet another reason to return!

  10. I am learning how to handle problems as I read! But I was wondering if you could have called the stores in advance of going there. It would have been very frustrating to drive the 100 miles and not get the part.

  11. Merikay, I tried to do that, but it isn't easy without cell service! The only way I could use the campground phone was with a calling card, which I don't have. I would have called the other places I was going to visit if I hadn't got the tip at my first spot. I did have a few bars on the cell phone in St. Anthony.