Browsing "Fridge"
Feb 6, 2013 -

A Strange Weather Day

I spent most of this afternoon at the McDonald’s in Port Lavaca until my Mac was fully charged. It was pretty pleasant until a teeming mass of high school kids came in and then the place just got too busy for me. The kids weren’t rowdy or anything and they took up the complete opposite corner of the restaurant, but their chatter filled the room completely. I was glad the laptop was just about charged so I could get out of there.

After the mega storm, the weather vacillated between sunny with white clouds and very overcast. It spit occasionally, but that was it.

I got home to discover I’d gotten 2% worth of charge and was sitting at a 88% battery capacity. Voltage readings were good, too, but that didn’t last of course. Voltage drops in the evening are crazy, I can’t even turn on two LED lights at the same time. I know my wiring and and connections are good so I’m wondering if the problem is the house wiring being too small.

I also now know that my fridge has to do with the low voltage readings I’m getting as it was OFF when I came in, probably because it was competing with the computer for voltage during the storm. I installed my thermometres and will make it a point to check the status of the fridge more regularly. All that to say, I got in and my voltage readings were 12.48 and as soon as the fridge kicked on, voltage dropped to 12.1. I just repeated the exercise, 11.7 with nothing on but the fridge, 12.3 with the fridge on. What a sneaky devil! It only consumes 0.5A, but it’s a voltage monster!

So maybe I don’t have as much of a problem as I thought this morning. That 12.3 reading is very close to what my battery monitor is saying right now. So my problem has to do with voltage drops. Anyone care to chime on that? And, again, all of my modifications were made with 1-gauge wiring in very short lengths. So my wire gauge and connections are NOT suspect!

At any rate, a good part of tonight was devoted to planning my trip!!! I’ve been so busy that I haven’t even had time to think about it! Unfortunately, the weather isn’t looking to be great, so I’m not too motivated to set off at the crack of dawn tomorrow. The plan is to wander down to Port Aransas to check it out and scout out the boondocking opportunities. Then off to Corpus Christi for the latter part of the afternoon to see what it’s all about. Then off to a hotel near the border for the night. The weather is too iffy to count on sleeping in the truck and a looooooooooong shower would be so appreciated!

I wasn’t able to get a good enough deal on Priceline, so I booked through Hotwire, where I found the cheapest rate of all, $44.15 (including taxes and fees) at the La Copa Inn in Harlingen. Reviews for it are fair, so I’m optimistic. It’ll be a 40 minute drive to the border on Friday morning.

My appointment with the dentist is at 1PM. I have good directions and plenty of time to find him. I will be able to explore in the morning, have lunch, and get in line to cross back at a reasonable hour. I plan to do a cannonball run to home in the evening, unless I get a repeat of Tijuana and get stuck at the border for three plus hours.

Wow, it’s late (10:00 p.m., ha ha ha ha I can’t get used to my new schedule). I’ll update from my hotel tomorrow night.

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Appliances, Batteries, Battery Monitor, Countries, Electricity, Fridge, Mexico, Technical, Texas, Travel, USA, Weather    10 Comments
Feb 6, 2013 -

Amazon Prime Shipping To General Delivery

I get free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime. They ship with UPS and it’s always been my understanding that a courrier company won’t deliver to a post office. So I did a little research and found a post on an RV forum by a guy who seemed to have all the answers. He claimed to have often addressed packages along the lines of “1 Big Bus Parked At the Hot Springs” and never had a lost delivery! His tip for Amazon Prime shipping to general delivery made sense and I decided to try it.

This is the format:

Your name
GENERAL DELIVERY
The street address of the post office
City State Zip Code

I placed my order late Monday and got my delivery confirmation this morning. I let the storm pass and then headed into town (hauling both computers to charge them at McDonalds, an expense that will be categorized under electricity and not food! But I digress.)

I told the lady at the post office counter that I had a general delivery package from Amazon (the boxes are distinctive) from UPS. She said that UPS had passed, but the packages were not yet sorted. She was willing to go have a superficial glance at the pile (was it really that big?!), otherwise I would have to come back tomorrow. She was gone about two minutes and returned triumphantly holding my box. Yay!

Part of my order was thermometres for the refrigerator and freezer, recommended by Andy Baird. My near disaster made me realise I should be monitor such things. I also grabbed a cheap keyboard for my iPad. I want to see if such a thing really will make me use my iPad even more before I splurge on a good one.

Now that I know that I can get Amazon Prime orders shipped general delivery, I will be making use of this service more often. I did feel safer sending an order to reader Pam’s mom in Houston, however!

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Appliances, Communications & Electronics, Finances, Fridge, iPad, Law and Government, Mail, Shopping, Technical    2 Comments
Jan 28, 2013 -

Monday Morning Calm

Saturday was very busy here at the beach, what with the weather being as lovely as it was. It was a bit calmer yesterday what with the storm that threatened to materialize, but there were still quite a few people milling about. This morning, however, the beach is practically deserted. There are a few fishermen and I have only one neighbour, quite a ways down the beach.

I took a long walk between coffee and breakfast, walking a couple of klicks down the beach and looping back by the access road. There isn’t much to see, but I’ll try to remember to bring my camera next time because there is a really odd building for which I need some explanation.

My schedule continues to be odd, with bedtime between 9:00PM and 10:PM and my being fast asleep by 10:30PM, then being awake between 5:30AM and 6:30AM and getting up between 6:00AM and 7:00AM. I am savoring every minute of daylight! What a treat for the winter when I usually hibernate and slip back into a true night owl routine! I remember going to bed at 4:00AM and getting up at noon in Campbell River! Here, it just makes good sense to live in the sun as that’s when I can best power my computer.

I’ll be heading into Port Lavaca shortly as I need to mail a few things and get some fruit. I think that mangos have less far to travel to get to Texas because I haven’t had a bad one since I got here! And the tomatoes! I didn’t know you could get good tomatoes in winter! And that’s another thing about enjoying a sunny warm to hot winter. I am eating my summer diet, full of fresh salad and fruit and very light meals. So combined with the sun and good sleep, it’s no wonder I feel the best that I have since the end of my first Klondike summer.

I’ll check my travel guide to see if I can make an afternoon of my trip to Port Lavaca. It’s cloudy again, so I’d be best to turn as much off as I can so that my batteries can get at least a little top up. I’ve got about 3A coming in which is just a bit more than what is going out with just the fridge running.

And speaking of the fridge, I had no idea it had been working poorly for months. I am going to get a thermometer for it. I’ve had the fridge cranked to super cold since I left Hampton Roads and it has been fine, everything that was supposed to be frozen was frozen and everything that was supposed to be cold was cold, although I couldn’t tell you the temperature in the compartments. But then I did some maintenance on it (just cleaning the exterior compartment and burner assembly) and the next morning I woke up to frozen lettuce! Now, when I open the freezer door I get hit with a wave of cold air and stuff freezes solid in a few hours, not overnight and I had to turn down the temperature on it! I have no idea why it wasn’t as cold as it could have been and I don’t want to know. 🙂 I’m just glad that my 16 year old fridge is going strong!

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Appliances, Batteries, Battery Monitor, Boondocking/Dry camping, Countries, Electricity, Fridge, Law and Government, Mail, Personal, Solar Panels, Technical, Texas, Travel, USA, Weather    4 Comments