Thursday, March 02, 2006

Surfing for RVs

I have been dreaming about buying another RV. I own a Prowler 19', but it leaks, and would need a lot of work to get back out on the road. Plus, it requires a pretty heavy-duty (read gas guzzling) tow vehicle. I have a 1986 Chev Beaumarchais (is that right? I can never remember) full size van.

It has a 305 engine, and pulls a treat, but only gets about 12mpg. My brother used to say I had jacked up the radiator cap and driven a new vehicle underneath, I've repaired it so often. Tires, brakes, one point I had the front end fall off! In California rush-hour traffic. On an expressway. In the fast lane.

I went from 55 to 0--without brake lights--in about 100 feet or so. I'm lucky I didn't get rear-ended.

With 250,000 miles on it, though, the van's starting to lose its pizzazz. Going up a steep mountain road without a tow slows it down a lot; add a trailer and I'd go backwards. Plus lately it's been draining the battery, and now rain has started coming through the roof. Apparently the metal has gotten thinner over the years.

I've been eyeballing fiberglass trailers such as Scamp, Boler, Casita, etc., because I also drive a Honda CRV, and thought I might be able to tow with that. These little (as short as 13 feet) jobs are light and appear homey. Keeping an eye on what they sell for, watching on Ebay, etc., I saw one 1972 model on Ebay that sold for $3700 or so. For a 24-year-old 13-footer made in St. Cloud, MN.

However, the towing capability of a 2001 4-banger CRV is only 1000 pounds, and most of these little jobs are heavier than that. Oh, I suppose I could get a tent trailer or an A-liner, but those don't add up to something I'd like. New ones, too, sell for $12,000 plus.

Once I get back out on the road visiting farflung golf courses, I'll be happy.

Monday, February 27, 2006

A Sparkling Smile

7:10a.m. to 9a.m.--In the dentist's chair. A bunch of x-rays and a cleaning. There are a couple of spots of decay that will need looking after eventually, plus a number of fault lines from old fillings and other reasons. By fault lines I mean cracks in the enamel. Over time, the stresses on teeth around fillings can cause the teeth to crack. So they need to be watched. If you've ever had a tooth break off, this is probably the reason.

My lady dentist in Minneapolis is one of the best. I had a friend who worked in the dentistry business making fillings and false teeth, and he swore by her, saying privately the majority of other dentists he did business with were "butchers".

In fact, she is on the board to check other professionals in her field. She was also listed near the top in a recent magazine article poll by patients. So she must be good.

Plus, the Bell's Palsy makes things a little more difficult, as the cheek on my left side sags. It's harder to brush well, and I'll admit I'm not good at flossing. So, they gave me an implement that looks like a Y: I have to wrap the floss around it and work it around my teeth. I have one of those Butterfly flossing gadgets, but it doesn't seem to do as good a job, and the little plastic heads are expensive.

My electric toothbrush was OKed; I just need to use it longer.

I've also been referred to Act mouthwash. The dental technician said I should begin using it to kill the bacteria that cause plaque.

I guess from now on I'll have to Act on all the good advice.