Browsing "Towing and Toad"
Jan 31, 2013 -

You Can Call Me Crazy

I keep forgetting that disconnecting the house batteries is simple now since I have one cable each going from positive to the fuse and from negative to the shunt. So I shut down everything in here, hit the 12V disconnect button, disconnected the batteries from my RV, pulled my truck up to the rig, connected the battery bank to the truck with my THICK jumper cables, and voila! I’ve got about 13.8V going from the truck to the rig. I’m going to try this setup for an hour if I can stand the sound of my truck running that long. 🙂

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Batteries, Electricity, Technical, Towing and Toad    4 Comments
Jan 24, 2013 -

First Impressions of Texas

When I first came to southern Alberta, I thought that it looked exactly like my vision of Texas: mostly flat with a few rolling hills, lots of county roads with super high speed limits to explore, more pick up trucks than cars, and lots of jeans and stetsons. Add in palm trees, and you’ve got Texas so far.

This is the first place I’ve been with my truck that I can legally drive at a speed that requires me to shift into fifth gear! My truck is a speed demon, the ride just gets smoother and nicer the higher over 110KPH I go. This could be a Ford engine design thing; Miranda drives much more smoothly at 110KPH than she does at 90KPH.

I drove to Rockport and back just to get a charge on the laptop. Nothing much was open, but I did get out of the truck to take some boring pictures:

I met my neighbours, nice folks from Colorado.

My batteries are fully recharged, and I now know my battery monitor is NOT working correctly. 🙁 I resynched it to show that I am at a full charge and it immediately dropped to 98% because it claims that I am running 8A when I have nothing running at all except the fridge, which is only an amp if that much. I should have just paid to get a pro to install the damn thing. I saw a couple of ads for mobile RV repairs and I’m going to make a few calls to see if I can find a mobile tech who can come take a look at it for me. Anyway, I’m not worried about power for the next few days as I’m barely running anything and it’s sunny enough to get a full charge by mid-day.

The laptop charging situation has completely floored me. I can’t believe it’s taken this long for me to realise that it’s not possible to charge a laptop through an inverter drawing off batteries! Are all other computer using boondockers charging theirs when the genny is running?!

Both my Mac and PC need 16.5V to charge. The Mac is a little less fussy than the PC and I can charge it on the small inverter while I’m driving. But that’s still not high enough voltage for the PC! I’ve found a DC charging solution for the Mac that I will be getting on Saturday, but the PC is trickier. I found a charger, but it’s not for my model exactly, so I don’t even know if it will work. It should also be here Saturday, I hope, and am crossing my fingers it will work.

In other wonderful news, the AC on the truck isn’t working. This is not news to me, but I only just remembered to mention it. I’m hoping it’s because of the leaves I still haven’t attacked. I’ve been a bit gun shy about this repair since step one is to remove the radio. The AC worked fine when I bought the truck, so I’m not convinced at this point that there is anything majorly wrong with it. Ha, famous last words.

It’s quite warm today, but there is a lovely breeze coming off the bay so the rig is comfortable. My neighbour says the water is just below 60 degrees. I bought some wading shoes at Walmart on the way home, so I am probably going to get a little wet today. 🙂

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Batteries, Battery Monitor, Boondocking/Dry camping, Communications & Electronics, Computer, Countries, Electricity, Solar Panels, Technical, Texas, Towing and Toad, Travel, USA, Weather    16 Comments
Jan 15, 2013 -

A Smoother Ride

WOAH! I thought the truck was running smidgen roughly on my trip to the Gulf Coast, but I attributed that to my not having driven the truck in a few days and needing to get reaccustomed to it as the drive did get a little smoother as the day progressed and everything was fine on the highways.

What was happening is that when I was doing a manoeuvre at low speed, I was getting the sound the transmission makes when you’re trying to move at low speed in too high a gear, a sound I’m very accustomed to from nearly 10 years of driving manual transmission vehicles. I wasn’t worried and kept reminding myself that the truck needs to be run in lower gear that what I was used to in my Accent.

Now that the throttle cable has been replaced and the assembly cleaned, I didn’t get that sound once on the drive back home from the Ford dealership. I seriously doubt my driving skills have improved that much in a few days. 🙂

The total bill with tax was $341 and change. This included a ‘complimentary’ 27-point inspection that made the ‘dealership premium’ worthwhile since it included a thorough exam of my brakes! They do need work, but it’s not urgent and I can save up, so this was not bad news in the least. In fact, I was planning to have the brakes examined and possibly serviced in Texas, and it’s nice to know for sure that the work will need to be done.

The car return happened without incident. I went in ready to argue that I had the car for four days, not five the way the guy I spoke to yesterday calculated. But the guy at the counter came to the same number I did, so I didn’t have to raise a fuss. And someone was available immediately to drive me to the Ford dealership.

I stopped at the post office on the way home, but my package has not arrived yet. I’ll try again early-ish on Thursday so I’ll know whether I have to move to a new spot or if I can roll out of town.

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Maintenance & Repair, Technical, Towing and Toad    6 Comments