Why the title?

"Pioneers take the arrows"

Oh, wait. I should be upbeat and taking arrows doesn't sound like an upbeat thing to say.

So, let me amend that statement.

It was courage and vision that led the pioneers to leave behind a comfortable, settled life and trek West to begin a new life in a new place. Many of those from the East that went West found a strength within themselves that they didn't see while they were in their old life. Instead of being one of those that just kind of went along with the others in the old life, they became leaders and visionaries in their new lives.

The sentiments of that last paragraph come from a favorite author, Louis L'Amour, in many of his books. So, I can't really say that it is an original thought from me. However, what he said is truthful.

Welcome to being a pioneer. Look ahead and ignore the "barking dogs" that give you negative opinions and comments. Louis L'Amour also spoke of the barking dogs.

In some of his stories, it was usually a father or older man telling a young boy how it was that when the Westward bound Conestoga wagons rolled through towns, the dogs came out to bark at them. His character then told the young listener that the barking didn't stop the wagons from going on to their destinations.

Following the advice of the Louis L'Amour characters, may we all forge ahead with our plans, after carefully considering all consequences and leave the "barkers" behind.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A Change for Ignoring the Barking Dogs

While it has been fun and interesting doing my blog on Blogger, I’ve decided to make a change. Since Blogger is a part of the Google community of features and programs, and Google seems to be wanting to do a lot of “data mining” and collecting data on individuals and businesses, I’ve decided to move Ignoring the Barking Dogs over to WordPress.

While I will lose the familiar look that was here, at least for now, and especially with the comments about pioneers taking arrows being on the front page, it will also be interesting to experiment on WordPress to see what effects I can see there.

Blogger has brought me something over 20,000 page views since January 1 of 2011, and it will be interesting to see what kind of traffic I receive on WordPress. For now, my primary reason for this post is to provide a link to the blog site at WordPress. As I become more comfortable with the new system, I will change the links that I’ve put on the RV forums.

Please bear with me in regards to the new blog site as it is still a work in progress as I experiment with different “themes” and styles of display. It is my sincere hope that each of you that have checked in with the nonsense that I engage in here will also check in with me at the WordPress site.

Bless all of you that have been following or just checking me out, and I pray that I can continue to entertain and inform you at WordPress. It has been amazing to see the number of folks that check in from foreign countries. Somebody in the Ukraine, Brazil, Russia, Canada, Australia and other points in between must really be bored.

I love having you, and I hope you continue to follow. Once this refrigerator thing is accomplished, I hope to post some more entries with regards to our vacation to Pagosa Springs, Colorado back in 2009.

Now, without further ado, my new, and hopefully improving, blog site address:

Ignoring the Barking Dogs at WordPress

Once again, thanks to all of you.


What Started It All with a Residential Fridge

While we initially had thought that there was no way to get away from the problems of the Dometic RV refrigerator, I ran across a thread on Suite Owner’s International Travel Club’s website and forum that was started by a gentleman I’ll just call Big Al. That is his user name on SOITC’s forums.

He started out with this picture and described that they had made the change over to the Samsung RF197AC refrigerator. However, he did not provide any details as to how he accomplished the job and what all he had to do to make it fit.

Allen n Sherma Crutchfield Big Al Samsung

With that information and also a comment from Ron of Ron and Libby that they wanted to do the same thing, I got in touch with both via the private message feature of the forums. Ron was first to answer, so his information go posted first here on my blog. That was followed by Richard Miller getting me his information.

Allen’s answers to my questions came back to me via private message and I shared the questions and answers on the SOITC forum. However, I forget to include the same information here as well. So, with egg all over my face for not doing this sooner as a service to others interested in the same idea, here are the questions I asked of Allen and his answers.

Allen’s answers are underlined.

Allen and Sherma,

Jo and I are in the process of either having to fix or replace our Dometic 1350 refrigerator or remove it entirely and replace with a residential. I noticed in your thread about doing the install that you had gone with a Samsung RF197AC unit. We are considering the same number, but we aren't sure of whether the current models are of the same dimensions as yours.

You also mentioned that you didn't travel, but do you ever pull in your slides?

YES, we don't travel over the road but do have to move our RV at times.

If so, is there an issue with hitting the kitchen island?

NO problems at all we have about an 1 1/2 with slide in, we don't have a generator and have no way of keeping the Frig cold.

As near as we can tell, in our 38TKSB3, ours would be just a tad short of hitting our peninsula counter.

Did you lower the floor for the refrigerator, and if so, did the slide rollers below that floor cause a problem?

We only removed the bottom drawer and it was a perfect fit. We didn't use that drawer anyway and it wasn't much of a trade-off for the bigger frig! We did add a 3/4 inch board at the bottom so the legs would have extra support. We stained the board to match current interior color. No problems with the slide rollers.

How did you anchor the refrigerator?

L brackets in the back. Removed the two outside access panels to bolt the frig to the sidewall frames for a total of 4 brackets.

(Well, after thinking on that a bit, you might have not needed to if you never travel.)

If possible, could you be of assistance to us in our "potential" project by providing some answers?

Hope I have answered all your questions. We also have pictures posted on the website. We have not missed the old Dometic frig and all the problems we had however we love the extra space of the residential frig.

Thanks for any help you can provide.
Terry Miller

So, if any of my readers are considering a transition from an RV refrigerator to a residential, you will now have an idea of what is involved with the process. In no way am I saying that this will work in every RV. Thus, if any of you are considering the transition, be sure and do your own homework and measure…measure….measure.

Good luck. I’ll post more once we have our transition done.

Monday, July 2, 2012

More on Richard Miller’s Fridge Change-over

I received an e-mail this evening from Richard Miller. I showed pictures of the finished project in my last post for this topic of installing a residential refrigerator in a Mobile Suites in place of the Dometic 4 door refrigerator. That installment is just below a post or two, or you can find it at this link:

More on Refrigerator Changes of Others

The message of his e-mail simply informed me that he was attaching some more pictures and drawings of his modification. I should point out that Richard and Gracie’s installation is the only one I’ve seen where someone was able to keep the drawer below the refrigerator. All others have done away with their drawer.

So, without further ado, allow me to post his photos and drawings, and if I remember right, I’ll try to link the photo to the comments in the previous blog posting on their refrigerator.

First, the two drawings that Richard did up for me. This first one appears to be as one would be looking at the front of the full refrigerator compartment. Hopefully, each of you can read the dimensions in the diagrams.  If you can’t, contact me via one of the RV forums with your e-mail address and I’ll try to provide that for you.


This next one is a drawing of the “support box” that Richard put under the refrigerator’s “floor.”  While the bottom two lines may be hard to read because they are lighter, they state:

“Frig Support  -  1/2” plywood lays on this.”


You may recall that I wrote of him stating that the two boards at the sides “straddle” the area of the slide rollers. I also wrote of him saying that he had “ripped” the 2 x 8 boards down to a smaller size.  That size is 6 5/8” to fit between the floor of the slide up to the “floor” of the refrigerator.

This next photo is of the drawer area, showing the left side as one would see it when looking into that space.  I had written of Richard saying that he had cut down the size of the “head” of the slide adjusting bolt so that it wouldn’t drag on the bottom of the drawer.  If you look closely, you may be able to see that in this photo.


The next two photos show the refrigerator sitting on its “floor”.  And, no, I don’t know what that black roller-looking thing is in the first picture.  (I’ve mentioned before that I am neither an engineer nor a carpenter.  Not a cabinet maker either.)



The next photos show the drawer compartment’s corners and sides.



Being that I am none of what I just mentioned, if anyone is using these as examples, be sure and compare them to the space in your own RV.  I am glad to provide these pictures to help anyone, but it is unlikely that I could answer too many questions about details of the modification of the change-over.

This last photo appears to show how Richard has fastened his “support box” to the cabinetry by using screws through the front of the cabinet.  At least, that is how I see it.


If a reader of this modification has any questions and is a member of SOITC (Suite Owner’s International Travel Club), you could likely contact Richard via private message.

Now, I’m looking forward to any information that can be provided by another SOITC member that is planning on installing the Samsung in his coach as well.  That member has the username of Mikey.

So, if you all are considering such a modification for yourselves, I sincerely hope that I have been able to provide some service to you by posting all this information and photos.  Good luck with your job.  I’ll be glad when ours is done and I can quit “stewing” about this whole thing.

I should provide you all with one humorous side note.  We took our Honda EU3000IS generator in to have a new battery put in and a tune up.  I was told that it would be at least 3 weeks before it was finished.  So, if the changeover of the refrigerator is done in 2 weeks and the generator won’t be ready for 3 weeks, which gives me a whole week there when we could have a disastrous power outage to mess with my mind about being without.

Here is hoping that you all don’t get to laugh at that “possible” predicament. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Replacement of Ceiling Fan with a Hunter Fan

Considering that the ceiling fan that came with our Mobile Suites was beginning to make noise, we decided to replace it with a Hunter ceiling fan. We had been thinking of this idea for some time, but we just hadn’t done anything yet because the original fan wasn’t bothering us.

As you will see, this one is a 42’, five-blade fan that is a low profile “ceiling hugger” style. However, this one comes with a light kit. In case anyone is interested in what kind or model it is, here is a picture of the box it came in, complete with name and model number.

One thing to mention is that this fan did NOT come with a plate to cover the bottom should one decide to NOT put the light kit on. So, if one wants to buy a clean looking fan without having the light kit, one might need to see if they can find a similar style and size without a kit.


When we decide to travel, we will have to do two things with the fan before pulling in the slides. One will be to remove the globes from the light kit and the other will be to turn the fan so that an inverted “V” made by two blades faces the “point” of the cabinet over our desk, which are both visible in the picture below. (Our Mobile Suites is a 38TKSB3 with the desk, and the desk has an overhead cabinet that sticks out from the rest of the cabinet.)


The next two photos give an idea of how the fan blade is in relation with the point of the cabinet. It really isn’t much different from the old 4 bladed fan that was in there. We will just want to take extra precautions so things don’t hit each other.

Lights off.


Lights on.


Being a Hunter fan, it is very quiet and smooth running and there is darn little wobble in the two pull chains hanging down. That is an indication of how well balanced the Hunter ceiling fans are. We’ve had experience with about 10 or 12 Hunter ceiling fans and have never had to balance them. I doubt that there is much more than ¼” of “swing” in those chains.

This last photo gives a better idea of the color of the metal.  As with all ceiling fans that we have dealt with, the blades come with a dark side and a lighter side.  We chose the lighter color.


More on Refrigerator Changes of Others

Richard Miller called this evening to give me some idea of what they had done with regards to putting in their Samsung RF197AC refrigerator. Richard doesn’t like to try to write descriptions in e-mails, so we talked via phone instead.

While I can’t recall everything that he told me right now, I’m hoping that as we do our change-over that I will remember more as I see parts in the refrigerator compartment as we move along. I did try to write up a few notes from what he told me, so I’ll try to incorporate them into this posting. Those notes are as follows:

“Richard mentioned that there were some wooden supports somewhere in relation with the top and bottom of the drawer and that one or both of those may need to move.

He built a “box” around the rollers so that a long 2 by board was across the back of the area below the fridge floor. That board was parallel with the length of the coach. Then two other boards were put in somewhere on each side of the slide rollers to straddle the rollers. These all support the floor for the fridge.

He allowed in some way for the distance of the slide movement related with the rollers and the box.

If I remember right, the drawer and/or floor for the fridge (maybe both) was lowered about 1 ¾“.

He also cut crossways on the head of one roller adjusting bolt with a hack saw so that the drawer (I think) didn’t drag on the bottom.

While I don’t remember exactly, some part of the bottom part of cabinet above the fridge was moved up to complete the area above the fridge and make it look good.”

That is the best that I can remember at the moment as to what he did. Now, to complete the posting, I’ll include the pictures he sent me. Perhaps they will serve to give others (as well as ourselves) as to ideas of how to do the modification to keep the drawer.

I’ve asked to see if he can take some pictures of the inside of the “drawer cavity” so we can have a better idea of how he configured the support boards to allow for slide travel. If he can get those to me, I’ll post them as well.






The last two are pretty blurred, but they give an idea of the relationship of the drawer slides with the opening.



I hope this post is helpful to those interested in changing out their RV refrigerator for a residential one.

Monday, June 25, 2012

How About a Prequel?

We have ordered our new residential refrigerator from Best Buy. A number of places can get them, but Best Buy had the cheapest price. Unfortunately, it will be roughly July 12 before the refrigerator gets here for to pick up and install.

Our choice was pretty easy, but took a lot of researching. That is because there aren’t very many residential refrigerators that are small enough to work in some of the RV’s, especially if one is modifying the space of a regular RV refrigerator for a residential one. That one is the one I wrote about in RV Refrigerator Issues and Possible Solution earlier in the month.

Since a number of folks over on Suites Owners International Travel Club (SOITC) have been discussing the issue of replacing the RV fridge with a residential one, I’ve decided to post a prequel to the change over here. There have been at least three couples that have done the same modification to their Mobile Suites, so I’ll post some pictures of their refrigerator and include their comments as to how they did their modification.

This posting will be only about the experience of one couple, as I’ve not gotten permission yet from the other couple that have communicated with us and provided pictures. Once I get permission from the second couple, I’ll do a separate posting in regards to theirs. In one sense, the second couple’s information is intriguing me because they have managed to keep the drawer under their Samsung.

Ron and Libby Gordon’s comments and pictures are what I will put first. When I initially went looking for more information from the third couple that had done the modification, Ron and Libby were only considering theirs. But, the forum thread where they had stated that had been a year earlier, so I contacted them via private message at SOITC’s website and asked for information as to whether they had gone ahead and made the change.

Let me start with the initial comments from Ron, which were in his reply to my private message:

“Hey Terry & Jo, I did remove my Dometic 2 door side by side and replace with a counter size Samsung RF197ACRS, with French Doors and bottom freezer compt. It was fairly simple to change out; remove old fridge, had to remove bottom drawer & framing; side to side measurements were OK; installed 1/2" plywood for bottom allowing about 2 inches to stick out past framing to allow a 1" angle iron to go across to act as a stop so it would not roll out. The doors are the only thing sticking outside the frame and fits good and tight. I did have to make some brackets to secure doors while travelling. Best thing we have done and love it. I do have a built-in generator and I run it while enroute, so fridge stays cold & run the a/c unit also just so unit is cool when we arrive. We don't do lots of travelling since we snowbird in Florida winter. Also with the old fridge out you have lots of room to work from the outside vent covers & filled them foam board since I did not want cold air to enter. The Samsung fridge has a bottom vent below door that pulls air in on one side and vents on the other so no need for rear air intake. I do have about 1/4" on each side of the doors so the sides of the fridge can get cooling, since the condenser cools are built-in to the sides of the fridge. No rear coils!”

I found it especially interesting to hear that the Samsung’s ventilation is all done through the vents in the front of the refrigerator. That should be helpful in avoiding a “warm-up” in the present cavity for the refrigerators.

I replied with questions, which are these:

“Ron, thank you very much for the reply. Now, I just have to try to picture the way you did things, especially there in the front. So, if you don't mind, I'll ask some more questions now, and perhaps more as we get into this project. Jo is getting antsy since we've been having problems with the Dometic for about 3 weeks.

Did you anchor the refrigerator in any way other than the angle iron across the front?

Did you have to lower the floor that the fridge sits on? (Our 2010 38TKSB3 gives us a couple of challenges in that we may have to lower the floor that is the base for the fridge, and we'll have to work around the peninsula counter.)

Regarding this, "installed 1/2" plywood for bottom allowing about 2 inches to stick out past framing to allow a 1" angle iron to go across to act as a stop so it would not roll out." I guess I can't picture where that 1/2" plywood sticking out is actually done. Were you able to not have to cut into the area of the bottom drawer? (The way I see ours (without actually having the Dometic taken out), I may have to cut down about two inches into the area of the bottom drawer plus cut some out at the top and re-trim everything.)

Do you happen to have any pictures that were taken before, during, and after the installation? If so, I would appreciate it if you could send some to me via e-mail. Our e-mail address is millerjnt@aol.com.

With our unit, when I take out the drawer below the refrigerator, I find two slide rollers in that cavity below the refrigerator compartment. I really hope I don't have to go so low that the rollers can't be worked on if necessary.

Would you have any objection with me asking you more questions as we go along? If not, could you provide me with your e-mail address so we can communicate directly instead of via private message. If you could continue to be a source of information for us, I would really appreciate it.

Jo has been researching as well into installing a residential and she commented today that nobody seemed to take pictures of a remodel process quite like I do. So, I guess if we get this done, I'll have to take pictures as we go along.

Thanks again.”

Then came Ron’s answer to my questions and some pictures:


I did have to go all the way to the bottom and then add additional support bracing so it would be solid. The finish trim between the fridge and drawer is just screwed in at each side so that is easy to remove. The plywood was cut to cover the entire bottom area and was allowed to protrude 2 inches out past the outside trim. Just drill large hole for the roller bolt head. This is covered by the plastic bottom vent cover of the fridge so the angle is not visible. I just drilled three holes in the angle and plywood so that I could bolt it in once the fridge is pushed in place. I did install some strapping at the top of fridge and ran it to the outside vent framing just to add some insurance on tipping, but was not needed. It is all hid on the inside. The water line had to be recessed back into the wall so the fridge would not be pushing against it. Connect water line and you already have two 110 volt receptacles to plug into before you make the final push. It just takes some measurements and patience, and is really an easy task. You will not regret it once you get finished.

Hi Terry,

Took some more pictures but sorry I did not take pictures while installing fridge, it would have slowed me down too much. I was on a mission to get finished and never looked up! LOL!

Pic 215 Shows angle blocking roller on fridge also see strap on each front side that attaches at back through lower outside vent cover.

Pic 216 Shows 1/2" plywood protruding out 2 inches also the angle that blocks fridge roller.

Pic 217 Shows vent cover from floor view & is not visible from above

Pic 218 Shows homemade bracket that holds upper doors while travelling using metal bracket & Velcro and can be removed if not travelling.

Pic 219 Shows bracket that holds freezer door, drilled hole for small screw or pin. Bracket stays on after screw is removed, not in way.

Pic 220 Shows how door handles miss the center counter (freezer door handle is under countertop.

As you can see the black shows everything and needs cleaning when we take it out of storage.

Note: The edge of the plywood could be trimmed out with molding if you want to really look professional. Just have not got that energetic yet! This was just my engineering and possibly could have been done differently. Once the Dometic is removed you just look at the opening and take lots of measurements, then it will come together. I will be glad to help in any way possible. The way I look at it, if I can do it anybody can. The Dometic has about 3 screws on each side on the inside and few on the outside from inside the vent covers. I just installed plug in the propane connector which is out of the way. One other thing; the slide rollers are under the fridge and drilling out large hole to allow roller adjustments, but would require rolling out fridge to get to it. Hopefully we will never have to do that. Hope this helps! Ron”

Now, with regards to the pictures and their “number,” the following are in the same order as he wrote above.













Lastly, two images of the finished remodel.



Saturday, June 16, 2012

Hey, It’s Just Life

Nothing seems to happen as it is planned.

This month with blogging is just not happening. I had even posted something of a blog challenge idea, which I had fully intended to do this month, but it looks like I’m not even going to get that done. Oh, well. No one else seems up to that challenge either.

We have been having issues with our refrigerator, so that takes some of my time. We had to make some trips to different stores to check the sizes of 2 different Samsung refrigerators. One was an 18 cubic foot model and the other was 20 cubic feet. But, we’ve since decided to just fix the RV refrigerator we have now and try to save that money. After all, our extended warranty is supposed to cover repair or replacement of the RV one.

This last Thursday, our youngest son and I went to a class put on by Baker Photo and Video out of Yukon, Oklahoma. We had gone in there a couple of weeks back and Eric had bought a Tamron 70-300mm zoom telephoto. While checking out the lens, Patricia the sales lady attached it to a used Nikon D300, which is the same model as my camera. Jo ended up buying the used D300 for Eric, so we decided to take this class on cameras together.

When we saw the workbook for the class, I thought to myself that it was going to be a class on the basics of knowing about aperture, shutter speed, and ISO (which is the “film” speed, so to speak.) To my delight, we went into a lot of how to use the digital SLR cameras to best use those three elements of photography. I was also surprised to see that I already had been using those camera settings in the past.

Considering that I’ve never taken a photography class or course before this, it was a very valuable class. Basically, I use my high end D300 like a point-and-shoot camera. I have always set it on “Program” and auto focus and just gone to town taking pictures. What really sold me on the D300 were its metal body, weather-resistance, and the ability to take multiple pictures without having to deal with “shutter lag.”

Shutter lag is that abominable long time between the time one presses the shutter button and the shutter actually operating. A long shutter lag prevents one from getting really good pictures of grandkids. Those little ones can really move fast. Right out of the range of the camera in a flash.

I also learned that the built in flash on Nikon’s and Canon’s DSLR cameras have a tendency to be too “hot,” leading to some images looking like they are washed out. We were shown how to adjust our cameras’ flash compensation to adjust for that “hot” flash.

Today was a different kind of day for me. We got up this morning and Jo decided that it was time for her to put a finish on her sewing cabinet. In the past, we had just built it and then had Alicia and Slade at Rolling Retreats to get us the Suite Oak stain that is supposed to be what we have in the wood of our Mobile Suites.

After helping her get the cabinet outside, she went to work applying the stain on all the surfaces. I did some online research and drank my morning coffee.

We went to get some things at Lowes to help finish off the “look” of the cabinet. We bought some polyurethane finish and some wood trim to put along the top of the back of the cabinet, along the front of the top board of the cabinet, and along the front of the “legs” of the cabinet. We also bought some small nails to attach that wood trim.

After getting that stuff, we went back and Jo stained the wood trim while I did “something” that I don’t even remember. Then I went to attach the stained trim to the edges of the boards and the very first nail caused the end of the trim to split. So, a trip was in order to go back to Lowes and get just a wee bit smaller nails.

After helping to cut and then hold the trim while Jo nailed them in place, I went back inside the coach. Somehow, I managed to get a nap while Jo was out “slaving in the heat” to finish the wood on the sewing cabinet.

Man! What a SLUG I am.


Actually, the above picture was actually taken some time back to show an online inquisitor how far back the love seat recliner went when reclined.  However , you will notice that both dogs thought it was time for some serious nap time with “Dad.”

While the finished look appears to be a bit darker than the original finish of the interior wood, it still has a pretty good look. It is certainly a lot better than the unfinished look in the photo below.



This next photo shows the finished product. Now, we just have to adjust to the smell of the newly finished cabinet until it gets better.



If you’ve noticed pictures of our interior before, you may notice that the chair has changed. We had originally gotten rid of the original furniture for the coach and replaced the two recliners in the door slide with a love seat recliner and the couch in the back with a Euro-chair with ottoman and the sewing cabinet.

Jo has given the Euro-chair and ottoman to her sister in Tulsa and has now put the recliner she had in her office at work in its place. The recliner was originally purchase for her office because she used to have to “pull some all-nighters” while doing updates to the computer systems at work. Those updates cannot be done while other employees are there working, so the all-nighters were necessary.

Sorry for the nonsense that I’ve been posting. I guess I need to get back to posting about vacations and showing more pictures of the places we’ve been.

So, since I’ve had a nap and I took a late shower, it is likely that I will be up for a while.  So, perhaps we need an image of a nocturnal creature?

Leave Me Alone Im An Owl