Back with the Corps


Granada Lake

“The Basin” at North Abutment Campground / Grenada MS

I have to make a point in the next few days of snapping some pictures to illustrate how much the water levels have receded in 12 months.  The reservoir is quite a bit lower than it was last year.

There is nothing as soothing as a still night and the sounds of nature (unless of course it’s a pelting-hard-downpour) which is what we had last evening for a few hours.  It was only the second time in 4 years that the sky was obscured enough that DISH had a hard time finding a signal (for a scant few minutes).  After the pelting downpour the winds finally went away and peace and calm returned over the kingdom of Grenada Lake and the North Abutment campground. 😀

Fridge Update

I’m trying to consciously monitor the life of our new fridge.  What do I mean by that?  Well, it’s all about power consumption, temperature and lifestyle.

For one thing I have noticed that some RV’ers who have household refrigerators consciously shut them down when they travel rather than pulling power from their batteries.  I suppose if you routinely plug in every night at a RV campground that’s a workable solution but I would be concerned about temperature rise in transport and how long the fridge would keep things safely cool.  So it was that when we installed the fridge I purposely plugged the unit into the SHORE POWER outlet knowing that when we moved from Milwaukee the fridge would be disconnected from power until we pulled in here.  And, during approximately 30 hours of disconnection the temps in both the fridge and the freezer appear to have risen about 10º F.  In a pinch — and especially if we were only going to be on the road for 4 or 5 hours that’s not an unbearable situation.  In 4 or 5 hours we’d gain a few degrees and everything would still be well within safety levels.

Now that we are camped and plugged in for a week I removed the plug from the SHORE POWER outlet and plugged it into what used to be the ice maker outlet — one that is powered from the house batteries.  Over the next few days I’m going to monitor how much power we are using.  This is a process in process as it were.   We routinely travel with the inverter turned on for AC power.  I use the AC power to run the laptop that our Silverleaf engine monitor system runs on. So we always have some draw on the batteries, and on the trip down here the skies were so overcast that we didn’t get a lot of solar regeneration.  Still and all we arrived with 93% charged batteries.

Slide Topper Update

A little bit of bad news though.  After arriving we took a walk; needed a little exercise.  From a slightly higher point looking towards the coach I could see that we appear to have torn the slide topper over the curb-side lounge slide.  That’s the biggest of the four slides (wouldn’t you know it)!  We had a LOT of wind in Milwaukee over the last few weeks and I have been a little concerned about those flimsy pieces of awning material.  When it dries up and warms up I’ll get out the ladder to see if I can tape anything to extend the life a few weeks until we can get the awning material replaced — I’m sure that all four of them are original to the coach — so after 11 years I should not be surprised that the material is aging.  C’est la vie.  There’s always something when you’re RV’ing.

Coach lock

I think I mentioned this a few days ago, that we are having problems with the primary door lock on the coach.  It has been getting worse over time. While I might have dealt with it in Milwaukee I have never been thrilled by the expertise of the Milwaukee RV shops. So I made a conscious decision to wait until we got to Florida to have it worked on.  If we are in Ocala for 3 months surely there will be enough time to ship in parts to get the job done. I hope we don’t get locked out of the coach before then, but it was a conscious choice to delay. If we find ourselves locked out I’ll bear the repercussions.  I had enough stressors to deal with while we were in Milwaukee.

Health

The topic of stressors brings up another topic which is my health.  I’m feeling fine.  Of course I was saying that before I visited the doctor too!  I have gradually come to realize that I was much sicker than I realized or even thought about once the situation was explained to me.  So, I’m consciously taking new looks at what I do and how I do it.  As well as what causes me stress and what am I doing about it.  I have always been a serious guy — sometimes to the point of being socially backwards.  I have also been an intense guy who actually worries about things like being on time and doing things the right way — and yes, I’m still one of those guys who believes that there are right and wrong ways of doing/being/living.

Blood Pressure CuffSo, long story short, as long as I’m on a doctor’s regimen to monitor my BP I think I’m going to start checking things that I have always thought were not particularly stressful to me — so see whether my perceptions match with reality.  For example I have driven so much in my life that I have always felt relaxed while I was driving.  Maybe not so much in the middle of an ice storm — and I’ve done many of those trips — but overall, pretty relaxed.  Saturday night I made a point of checking my BP after pulling into Wally World knowing that I had been stressing about whether we’d have difficulty finding a place for the night.  Happily I was slightly higher but not overly so.  Last night after arriving here in Grenada I was actually right about my new normal  — 117/74 — which is right in there where the doctor wants me.  We all worked hard to drop that number in the last couple months — the less pressure I generate the less stress on my dilated aorta.  Makes sense to me!

All in all I’m just being more deliberate about a lot of things.  Which, I guess, is a good thing for someone my age.  At least it’s good if I want to live a lot more years!  Which I do.

Thanks for stopping and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.

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3 thoughts on “Back with the Corps

  1. It’s me again. Just a comment on the Whirlpool, On the EMS for the Magnum inverter, when the frig is running, it shows 3 amps draw, therefore, I always leave it plugged in to “the ice maker” outlet. It doesn’t’ run very long to maintain temperature, it won’t discharge the batteries, like the furnace will. Rich

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    1. Rich — I wrote a post ( I think it’s going to publish tomorrow ) about monitoring the power usage on the new fridge. I’m trying to be pretty geeky about watching what it does and what it doesn’t do. After my initial test with the fridge plugged into the regular ‘fridge’ outlet (I wanted to see how it would do just HOLDING temperatures) I have moved the plug to the ice-maker outlet and have been monitoring that. Pretty consistently if I turn off the automatic battery charge associated with plugging in to shore power and just rely on solar to keep my batteries up at the end of a 24 hour cycle I will have dropped +/- 5% of battery capacity. That’s not the same as running exclusively off solar — if I just disconnect the shower power recycle there are other parts of the Coach system that continue operating off the power post — but it’s an initial touchstone value for me to work from. When we actually go boondocking I’ll monitor usage again. You’ll be able to see the numbers when the post publishes.

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