Alaska Trip Day 13 & 14: A Mega Star Wars Store in Seattle & A Broken Water Heater… 04/28 & 04/29

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Folks, remember when I stated that “when it rains out, it pours?” Well, its pouring! Literally and Figuratively…

Tracey and I woke up in the #Walmart parking lot in #Aberdeen,Washington… We went in and showed our thanks by shopping for groceries… But when we got back to #TheFalcon, we tried to turn on the #RVWaterHeater to take a shower and it wouldn’t light… The water heater has been acting up lately but it chose the perfect time to stop working all together…

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After #TheTravelingMac came to terms with the fact we had no hot water on this #trip… He of course started thinking about how to solve the problem… But #TheMillenniumFalcon’s trusty co-pilot found something very interesting for us to go see first…

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And regardless of the catastrophe that was rearing its ugly head, we couldn’t miss making this very important stop…

It was a famous #StarWarsStore called #Sucher&SonsStarWarsShop… It was a must see considering The Millennium Falcon is apart of this trip also…

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And boy did we geek out! We put on our Star Wars shirts and everything… lol…

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And this store was magnificent! This guy had everything you could imagine that is Star Wars… From the old to the new…

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You really get the feeling of infinity in a store like this… With the combination of excitement and so much #StarWarsMemorabilia to see, I felt like #Chewbacca trapped in a prison cell in #TheCityOfClouds…

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He even had #KurtCobainMemorabilia, which was completely random in a shop that is supposed to be from a galaxy far, far away… Well, actually Cobain was also in his own galaxy far, far away… So he fits in a little more than we think… lol!

The gentleman who owned the shop was very passionate about his store and #StarWarsCollection… He told us a story about when #CarrieFisher came and visited his shop… He had an autographed picture with her hanging in the back of the store… He even has a tattoo of #CarrieFisher on his arm, with the signature… No lie folks! And I thought I was an avid fan… lol!

You have to check out his website… He has video of his store and so much to see… sucherandsonsstarwarsshop.com

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But the fun soon had to end… The Traveling Mac had a lot of work to do… We headed over to #HomeDepot first… I still hadn’t addressed the clog in bathroom pipe… We had been taking showers, letting the water fill up and drain slowly as we traveled…

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So I purchased a snake at Home Depot and went to town… It took me literally five minutes to find the clog… It was exactly where I thought it was… There was a big bend in the pipe after the bathroom sink, which was shared with the shower drain, and the convenient hole in the pipe was only a foot away from that bend… I figured clogs commonly happened there… Especially considering the manufacturer had the fortitude to put a snake hole with a cap a foot before the bend… Thank God!

Sorry for the gross picture above but that was what was creating the clog… It was the size of a golf ball and was quite the force to be reckoned with… Tracey and I both have long hair so I’m sure this was going to happen at some point anyway…

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Then we headed over to a #RestArea and refilled our water tank while I spent five hours trying to #TroubleShoot the water heater problem… Oh what a life…

But I couldn’t figure out what the problem was… After a little online searching, I found that the #ComputerBoard or #DinosaurBoard is usually the source of the problem… So, we decided to drive a little, to make up time lost, and then park at a #CampingWorld over night… But we actually ended up in a #Love’s parking lot because the Camping World was blocked off and wasn’t accepting over night travelers as advertised on their website… Oh the obstacles!

A little annoying but after everything else that has happened, it was taken like a grain of salt… We parked a few miles away from Camping World… I was planning on spending the whole morning tomorrow, getting this problem fixed… So, it was perfect that a Star Bucks was a walk away from Camping World… I was going to need all of the mental help I can get…

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So, we got up in the morning, got coffee and immediately hit Camping World… I had the #ComputerBoard tested and it tested bad… Then to top it off, the parts clerk told me it would take about a week to get a new one…

But The Traveling Mac foresaw this and already looked up alternative solutions to this aggravating problem… We were somewhat ok with cold showers if we had to do it but why add another complication to the #trip… We were already fed up with the constant #rain… And yes it was raining again today… So, I figured it was my duty as Captain of this vessel… I would make sure my ever so perfect co-pilot gets a warm shower everyday…

I know, I know… we are spoiled… But this is also supposed to be a #vacation of some sorts… A warm shower is so needed when you have been traveling all day… Especially when we get into the cold northern weather… And really, if you think about it, taking cold showers everyday in cold weather could lead to colds and even pulling a muscle… I know I sound ridiculous but when you are sitting and traveling for hours, a quick sudden jolt from a cold shower could easily pull something… I’m no spring chicken here folks… As I get older, a simple sneeze could put me out for a week… lol…

So, as you can see above, I bought a tankless portable water heater at Camping World… I did a lot of research and came up with this crazy idea that would solve our water heater problem for the rest of the trip, at least… And then when we get settled in #Alaska, I can order that new computer board through #Amazon…

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So, Tracey was in charge of the directions and parts, as I went to town on The Millennium Falcon… We had to go to another Home Depot because Camping World didn’t have the proper pipe fittings to attach this water heater to my system… Are you kidding me?

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After I got the needed fittings, I executed the plan… I figured I could run a new garden hose from the actual shower faucet inside, out of the kitchen window… I would make the hose detachable by putting a clip on the hose fitting that you can just push and remove from the shower faucet when done…

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Then I put a single screw into the side of the Falcon… It hurt me more than it hurt her… lol… I hate screwing holes into the falcon but this was definitely needed so I could quickly mount the water heater to the side of the falcon and quickly detach it when hitting the road… You don’t want to be traveling 70 mph with a tank loosely mounted on the side of your house… It’s a recipe for disaster…

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Then what I did was I bought an extra long shower hose that I could run directly from the portable water heater outside to the shower inside, back through my kitchen window… We would have to keep the window cracked when showering because of the hoses running in and out of the vehicle but the kitchen window is only a few feet from the shower, so it worked out swimmingly..

It was a clumsy set up but was a solution…. And a pretty ingenious solution I must say… So, every time we needed to shower I would just pull the water heater out, which I keep stored in the shower while traveling… I hang it on the side of the #RV… I attach the garden hose from the shower inside to the water heater outside and then run the extra long shower hose back into the shower through the same kitchen window… The portable water heater has to be outside for obvious reasons… That’s why I had to go through this painful process…

Then I just attach a propane tank to the water heater outside and turn it on… I figured I would keep the propane tank stored right under neath in one of my exterior compartments, so I could just pull it out and attach it… The only downfall to all of this is that you have to set it up and take it down every time you needed a shower…

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But hey, it worked… It came with its own shower head… So, all you had to do when everything was set up and turned on, was to turn on the shower head… When the water starts flowing, you feel a little cold and then the heater automatically kicks in…

And wallah, you have a hot shower! You just have to adjust the water flow and temperature a little on the actual device outside… But once you get the temperature set and the water flow perfect, it works amazingly… And guess what? It only cost us about $200… The water heater was a little over $100 and the parts cost around another $100…

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It took me all day, 8 hours, to fix this problem… We lost two days of #traveling and #exploring but we had hot showers for the rest of the trip… Definitely an even trade… I’m just so excited that #technology has gotten so advanced and cheap that I can actually manufacture a solution like this… This wouldn’t have been possible 10 years ago… Not this cheap at least…

If you ever have a problem that can’t be solved, just go on amazon folks and do a little research… That’s where I found these cheap water heaters… I may have bought the heater from camping world but it was amazon which provided me with the needed information to solve this specific problem… In todays day and age, if you think outside of the box, you can find cheap solutions to many common expensive problems…

So if your water heater suddenly breaks in your home and you have to wait for a new one, don’t suffer… Just spend $200 bucks and have a temporary solution… You probably could even sell the heater when you’re done with it and get most of your money back… I myself am going to hold onto my portable water heater just in case this happens again…

That’s worth the cost to me… Making sure Tracey and I never have to take a cold shower again… Oh what a world we live in!!!

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