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Feb 17, 2013 -

Non-Functioning AC On My 2000 Ford Ranger

Don’t ask me how I prioritize projects. It beats me. Something told me that today was the day to troubleshoot the non-functioning AC on my 2000 Ford Ranger. It worked when I bought the truck but quit sometime in the late summer.

I thought that I might just need to add freon, so I watched a video about how to do that, and I learned that the first thing I needed to check was if the compressor is coming on.

So I went out in late afternoon and my French-Canadian neighbours from Ontario (first time I mention them) were out. We talked and I mentioned that I was about to pop the hood on my truck to check the AC compressor. The husband sprang into action to help me! OMG, I love RVers!

He knew exactly where the compressor was and how to test it. Bad news: the compressor clutch wasn’t engaging. He had me pull the fuse and test it to make sure that wasn’t the problem. Nope. So I know I need to take it to a shop. But I now have enough knowledge not to get taken.

Unfortunately, I have to get the brakes done first, so no AC for a while. At least, I know I’ve gone as far as I can with that repair.

No AC wouldn’t be so bad if I had automatic windows, but I have the arm exercise model. L has a newer Ranger with power doors and windows! He said he’d trade me those for my rear doors!

With help like that and my repair manual, I’m getting well acquainted with Moya’s engine compartment and am rather enjoying getting my hands dirty tweaking this and that and just exploring everything.

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Feb 11, 2013 -

Warm In the Truck

BLECH. The day’s weather just keeps getting worse. It is so damp and chilly. I put the computers in the truck to charge them and then realised that I might as well join them so that I can enjoy the HEAT.

This was an afternoon for curling up with a good movie, so I put on the mini-series True Women, which I mentioned after my trip to Goliad.

The mini-series starts just before the Goliad Massacre and ends after the Civil War. It is the story of strong, brave Texan women pioneers and is very honest about the harsh reality of life on the frontier. The Dana Delaney character in particular is remarkable. I really do have to read the book on which the series is based.

My new favourite line from the series is, “I’m glad I came to Texas.”

Indeed.

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Feb 11, 2013 -

A Local Guide At Last

L and I drove into town this afternoon to buy fresh shrimp so he could show me how to do a shrimp broil. Surprise, surprise, the shrimp people decided not to open today! Dang! Our shrimp boil plans are postponed to Wednesday or Thursday.

We both had to go to Walmart anyway, so the trip into town wasn’t for naught (and it was really, really, really nice to have someone to carry the heavy jugs of water for me!).

L has been wintering down here on and off for 20 years, so he was able to point out a bunch of useful locations, including where to get my 30lb propane tank filled. I always forget how much propane the fridge needs, so my on board tank is just about empty. We’ll take my 30lber into town on shrimp day so I can hook it up.

Coming back into the beach, he pointed out something on the road into the village that made me groan: a laundromat! Dang! I didn’t have to drive to the laundromat in Port Lavaca!

He invited me to go to Galveston tomorrow for the Mardi Gras celebrations, but five hours in a vehicle with someone I just met doesn’t feel right, plus I have a big project due Wednesday morning. So I passed on that even though I was really tempted. And before anybody starts to get any ideas, he’s a much older widower with kids older than me! 😀

We both use a 150W panel to keep our rigs charged and he has the same problem as me keeping his laptop charged after so many grey days. His solution? The same as mine: charge the laptop in the truck (also a Ford Ranger) for a few hours a day. He says that he runs the engine for part of the time and then shuts it off, claiming that the draw from the computer battery is too small to drain the truck battery. I’m a little nervous to try that, but I just might… after moving the truck to the rig in such a way to make a boost possible if I need one! It takes two hours of truck running to full charge both my computer batteries. I did that this morning and will do that this evening.

We are beyond due for sun, but that won’t happen till Wednesday. *sighs* I’m sitting at about 70% battery capacity, so I am only running the fridge. L was an engineer for Boeing, so I’m going to ask him if he knows anything about solenoids and such. If so, I will wrangle his help to pull the RV battery, fix the solenoid, and get charging capacity back from my RV alternator. According to Harold Barre, that’s a very good method of getting the batteries to about 80%, and then you let the solar finish the charge gently so I know the effort and possible expense will be worthwhile.

Anyone know a good sun dance?

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