Double dog bowl
We have two big, thirsty dogs, so to keep their water from spilling while we are on the road I created this bowl-in-a-bowl system. The outer bowl is a large foam-resin flowerpot that does not have a hole in the bottom. The inner bowl is filled with water for the dogs to drink. The outer bowl catches any water that may splash out while we’re moving.
Elaine Raines, F140791, Salt Lake City, Utah
Plastic grocery bag storage
Here’s a tip to help you organize and recycle all of those plastic grocery bags you accumulate after shopping. Take each bag and fold it lengthwise, and then fold it again. Now, fold in the middle so that it will fit into an empty facial tissue box until you are ready to use one in your garbage can. You will be surprised at how many bags the tissue box will hold. These bags also can be used for other times when you need a plastic bag.
Diane Prestebak, F104272, Seattle, Washington
Sink cover stabilizer
We use our kitchen sink covers for extra counter space while cooking. At times, though, they would collapse when any weight was added to the center area where they meet. It seems that the sink divider is lower than the surrounding edges of the sink. So we cut a piece of a swimming noodle to fit over the divider. This raised the height of the center divider so the covers don’t collapse. Problem solved!
Vance and Bonnie Clegg, F51388, Green Cove Springs, Florida
Tracking the towed vehicle
During a recent trip, my husband and I were flagged down by another driver who had noticed that the front tires on our towed car were smoking. Apparently the steering wheel on the towed car had turned and locked, and we were literally dragging the vehicle along the road. This resulted in a pair of tires that were burned all the way down to the steel belts from the friction. Thank goodness for these good Samaritans, or we would have had a blowout.
It turns out that the key in the towed vehicle ignition had been moved one click too far into the locked position, which prevented the tires from tracking along with the motorhome. So we painted a small white dot using stationery correction fluid on the circle around the towed car’s ignition switch to mark the correct key position. We then tied a rag onto the steering wheel, as was suggested in another “Tech & Travel Tips” column, so that the movement of the wheel could be seen in the rearview camera. Unfortunately, the windows of our towed vehicle are tinted and we could not see the rag. So we took one of my makeup compact mirrors and taped it to the steering wheel; this enabled us to easily see the reflection even through the tinted windshield. When driving in the dark, we replaced the mirror with a small flashlight that we left turned on. All three of our solutions work great and have prevented any further towing mishaps.
Mickey Watterworth, F326564, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Rusty stud repair
When I went to change the shock absorbers on my motorhome, I found that the exposed threads on the eight mounting studs were badly rusted. Rather than trying to forcefully remove the nuts from the studs (and possibly ruin the threads), I restored the threads to like-new condition with a homemade device before removing the nuts. First, I took a nut that was identical to those that were still on the rusted studs and clamped it into my vice. Using a hacksaw, I cut a slot through one of the flat edges and into the far side of the nut to the depth of the threads. This homemade thread chaser worked as well as an expensive die used to make new threads. I used the same wrench to run the thread chaser up the stud to the rusted nut, while adding penetrating oil along the stud and into the slot. The rust works out of the chaser by way of the slot. Of course, the original nuts went back on the studs with a film of antiseize compound.
Frank Woythal, F291956, Andover, New York