Terry and I spent the weekend sealing all of the air leaks around our twin radiators and the door leading to our radiator air blowers. Like many old MCI buses, ours tends to run hot, even after we rebuilt the squirrel cage fans that draw air in through the radiators.
While we were at a bus rally back in October, diesel mechanic Christopher Best diagnosed a big part of the problem as the worn out rubbers seals around our radiators, as well as several places where the door over the blower compartment did not fit tightly. Like water, air follows the path of least resistance, so anywhere there is a leak in the seals or around the door, air gets sucked in that way instead of through our radiators, reducing their cooling ability.
We tore out the old worn out rubber seals and replaced them with rubber strips used for the bottoms of garage doors. Then we used closed cell foam to seal around the blower door. Then Terry sealed around everything with silicone caulk, and plugged several gaps where things did not come together as tight as they could. By the time we were finished and had everything back together, we were both convinced that we had eliminated any leaks that existed. We won’t know the end result of this project until we get back on the road, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed. Since we plan to spend the summer out west and will be driving in mountain country, we need all of the help we can get.
With all of that done and the bus put back together, we cleaned up and I checked my e-mail to find three new reservations had come in for our February Gypsy Gathering rally. I have posted a tentative schedule on the rally registration page. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for a look at the seminars and events listed so far. This is not final by any means, and I’ll be adding more information as seminars are confirmed.
Since our last rally in Casa Grande, the fairgrounds has a new manager, who has been, shall we say, less than easy to work with. Even though we had agreed on a price for the 2009 rally before this year’s rally ended in February, and paid our deposit, he wanted to raise the price for the buildings we rent during the rally by over $5,000, and the camping fee per RV by 20%. I finally convinced him to honor the agreed upon price, at least for the 2009 rally. After that, who knows?
In talking with the coordinator for the Wandering Individuals Network (WIN), which is scheduled to hold their rally at the fairgrounds soon after ours, they are having the same problem. The feeling on the part of the new fairgrounds manager is that RV rallies are small potatoes.
For our 2008 Casa Grande rally, we spent well over $17,000 just for the fairgrounds facility rental alone. That did not include the thousands of dollars more we spent in town for rally supplies, morning coffee and donuts, making copies of the rally schedule, paper plates and Styrofoam cups, door prize tickets, the over $1,000 we spent with Dominos for our pizza party, and on and on.
And that was just what Terry and I paid out. It does not include the many RVers who came to the fairgrounds a week or more early, and some that stayed on after the rally, which added up to several hundred dollars extra income for the fairgrounds in additional camping fees. We also had people who stayed at local RV parks before and after the rally, and people who did not have RVs who stayed in local hotels.
Sometimes I think people do not realize just how large an economic impact an RV rally, even a relatively small rally like ours, brings to a community. This year we brought over 500 people to Casa Grande. People who shopped in the local stores, dined in the local restaurants, and purchased fuel at the local gas stations. That is a lot of money for any community, let alone a small town like Casa Grande! If I were a merchant in that community, I’d sure want that business to return again the next year. Wouldn’t you?
If you are coming to the rally, we need your help. To help us demonstrate just how much money we contribute to the local economy, I am asking all rally attendees to save all of your receipts for anything you spend in the area. Fuel, food, groceries, RV park fees, propane, whatever you spend money on. If you can give us those receipts, or make copies (we’ll reimburse you for the cost of copying), we can go to the Casa Grande City Council and the Pinal County Board of Supervisors and show them just how much they stand to lose by allowing short term greed to overcome long term benefits to the community as a whole. Patty Coon from WIN is going to ask her people to do the same thing. Hopefully we can make these folks understand that RVers and RV rallies make a significant impact on the local economy.
Thought For The Day – Credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.