Tagged with " Edmonton"
Sep 25, 2008 -

Decisions Reached!

Calgary, Banff, Canmore, and Kananaskis country here I come!

I found a campground with full hookups outside of Calgary that has very reasonable weekly rates, so I’m heading there for seven nights!

First though, I’m going to go on the hunt for a new coach battery. Actually two 6V golf cart-type batteries. Faithful reader Croft has voiced what I have thus far avoided staring right in the face: I’m probably looking at an imminent coach battery failure. So, I’m getting that done in Edmonton today (hopefully) and then I’m moving on to Calgary. If I get a late start today, then I’ll stay overnight in Red Deer.

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Alberta, Batteries, Canada, Electricity, Itineraries, Maintenance & Repair, Technical, Travel    2 Comments
Sep 25, 2008 -

At Crossroads

Wow. I have to be out of this site by 11AM tomorrow and I have absolutely no idea where I’m going next!!! I really do want to plunk myself down somewhere for a several nights and just breathe before plunging back into working life. I’m a bit distressed that I don’t have the stamina I had when I was 19!

My options for getting to Kelowna, which will be my base of operations in October, are:

1) stick to my original plan and get to BC by way of Red Deer, Calgary, Canmore, Banff, Revelstoke, and Salmon Arm;

2) continue on the Yellowhead and get to BC by way of Jasper stopping in Hinton, Blue River, and Kamloops.

I’m going to get flogged for this, but I am trying to avoid staying in national parks. I don’t care how pretty they are, 45$ a night for camping is highway robbery!!! Even non-hook up sites are exorbitantly priced.

I’m told Banff is a must see place, but I already have a chip on my shoulder about it. I just resent having to pay a premium for going where everyone else goes. I therefore try to find my own out of the way equivalents. No, I have never been to Niagara Falls, either (well, other than as a foetus).

So, technically, that leaves me with a third option, crossing over from southern Alberta via the Crows Nest Pass. But that’s an extra 300km, so not an option I’m seriously considering at this time (although I did once).

Does it really matter which road I choose now? The one I don’t take will be the one I’ll embark on in the spring when I get back on the road again.

I’ve been avoiding making this decision since I started off on this whole insane adventure of mine knowing full well that I would eventually end up in Edmonton one night with no idea of what my next move would be. Let’s see what sort of wise advice the night brings. I’m such a procrastinator. 🙂

And through the night, behind the wheel,
The mileage clicking west,
I’ll think upon Mackenzie, David Thompson, and the rest,
Who cracked the mountain ramparts and did show a path for me,
To race the roaring Fraser to the sea.

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Alberta, Canada, Itineraries, Law and Government, Travel    2 Comments
Sep 25, 2008 -

Redoing the Electrical Audit

Another thing I did yesterday was redo all my reading about RV electrical systems to figure out why I’m having such a hard time when boondocking more than one night and properly determine what I need to upgrade. Things made sooooo much more sense this time around. For example, I finally figured out why watching a movie through the inverter runs down my batteries. Old timers are going to roll their eyes at me as this is really one of those DOH! moments.

I watch movies on my iMac. The iMac runs at about 100-120 watts. According to my initial energy audit, that meant that it uses at most 1 amp (120w/120v=1a), no more than a light. Therefore, I could definitely run my iMac on the battery for a couple of hours.

(Old timers are going waitaminute…)

Yeah.

What I failed to understand is that the inverter doesn’t really give me 120v power, so I should have been dividing that 120w by 12v, not 120. Meaning that my iMac uses 10 amps!!!

Okay, it’s clear. I can’t run the iMac when boondocking. It’s also the only power hungry thing I’d want to run for any length of time when boondocking. Therefore, my solution for long term boondocking isn’t to upgrade my electrical system but to get a slightly newer laptop that is faster and has a DVD player, a solution costing a few hundred dollars rather than a few thousand. Talk about my getting smarter!

That said, I most definitely need to replace my battery and I won’t even bother getting this one load tested. It has surpassed its lifespan and I doubt the POs did any sort of maintenance on it. So, two new 6V golf cart batteries are on my priority list for this winter, and then I’ll shop for a new-to-me laptop in the spring when I start boondocking again.

At any rate, I quit running the iMac while Walmarting quite a while back as well as running a million lights to either read or embroider as I’ve picked up a new hobby that requires no electricity and very little light. No, I’m not going to tell you what it is so don’t even bother asking. 🙂

Further evidence that I’m getting smarter about all things RV came about when I arrived in Edmonton on Monday night. It was really cold and damp in the rig, but I didn’t turn on the furnace since I was only on 15A service. Then, I actually questioned if the furnace would use as many amps as an air conditioner. I pulled out the manual and learned that the furnace only uses 8A. Add the 1 for the iMac and 1 for a light and I was still at only 10A. Ah, no more shivering. 🙂

Electrical heaters are next on my to-buy list and I’m still debating catalytic heaters. I have really mixed opinions on those.

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Alberta, Appliances, Boondocking/Dry camping, Canada, Communications & Electronics, Computer, Electricity, Furnace, Technical, Travel    7 Comments
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