Electrical Conundrum

Good morning.  Did we have the wind last night. It whipped against the motorhome and howled throughout the night.  Poor Patty Pepper cried a couple of times.  She had a hard time sleeping through it.  It was so strong it tripped our electric off.   Again, it happened in the middle of the night. The Xantrex Pro Power Inverter started beeping.  I got up, turned it off and went back to bed.

When I went to turn on the coffee pot this morning the plug wasn’t working.  Weird, we have lights.  The electric heat is working.  The light on the TV is lit. Time to investigate.  I turned back on the inverter that I had turned off in the middle of the night. Nope, the plug still didn’t work.  Ugh.  Now what.  I checked the fuses/circuit breakers.  Nothing was tripped, but the surge protector monitor, which is in the same area, was not lit. I went back and pushed the little button on the plug itself and still nothing.  I checked the control panel on the wall to see if I could find anything out of the ordinary. The section that says how many amps we are using wouldn’t light up.  Ok, now what. I think the next step is to check the post outside and see if the circuit breakers were tripped.  Um, it’s cold outside and windy.  I’m in my pj’s.  Clyde is still sleeping.  I need my coffee.  It’s 6:30 by now. Yah, I’ll let him go check. He did. He said nothing was tripped but reset it anyway.  It worked. The plug is working and the coffee is brewing. (Big smile).  Thanks honey.

The motorhome electric is a conundrum to us.  No matter how much we read or how hard we try, we still don’t understand how it all works together.  Why do we have lights sometimes and not others, like this morning.  When do I need the inverter on and when should it be off. When we want to boondock and rely on battery power do we leave the inverter on or off. So many questions.  The answer to all of this is probably very simple.  It’s just that the light still hasn’t turned on in my head.  I’m just glad we have it all working again.

Day 81. Such a cold windy wet day we had. It would have been nice to have a warm sunny day, but it wasn’t a priority.  We got to spend the day catching up with an old friend we haven’t seen in years, who moved down to this area to fish and play golf.  He chauffeured us around the island, pointing out different sites to see and visit.  It’s nice to view the area through the eyes of someone familiar with it. We stopped at one of his favorite places for a drink, where the proprietor knows him and his family. We had a nice time and hopefully we will get together again before our time here is up.

Until next time,




7 1/2 Months Later

Last May 10th I posted about being overwhelmed with all that is involved in owning a class A motorhome.  I was asked by my son Scott how I felt now about my abilities and on a scale between 1 and 10 how familiar am I with Winnie.  I had to stop and think about that for a bit.

I no longer feel quite so overwhelmed as I did in the beginning, but in no way do I feel like I’ve got it all figured out.  Everyday we learn something new.  Most times, unfortunately, it’s learned the hard way-like having the batteries run dry.  We had taken Winnie in to the dealership to be repaired and during the couple weeks they had her the batteries ran down.  The repair guys didn’t check the batteries and sent us on our way home.  The next week we couldn’t figure out why the batteries wouldn’t hold a charge.  We finally figured out they were dry, bone dry.  The steps wouldn’t retract and the front shades stopped working.  After adding water to the batteries and plugging her in to shore power, she is now holding a charge.  The steps go in and out, but the shades still do not work.  We haven’t figured that out yet and it is too cold to play around with them right now.

Lesson learned:  Batteries need water.  Lots of water.  Always check batteries.  Don’t take anything for granted.  The dealer doesn’t care.  They only do as little as they have to and no more.  (At least that’s how it is with the dealer we purchased Winnie from).

We still haven’t figured out when to use the inverter and when not to.  The electrical system in a motorhome is still over our heads.  The generator is still a foreign object.  I know many of those things that we haven’t quite figured out will eventually be a piece of cake.  The lightbulb just hasn’t gone on yet.

We would love to boondock this spring and summer, but we aren’t quite sure how to do it successfully.  I’m sure we will give it a try and make a few mistakes.  In the end we will figure it out and enjoy many more nights off the grid.  Our goal is to eventually be able to boondock in Quartzsite, Arizona with other RV’ers.

So, to answer your question Scott, I feel much more competent than I did at first, but I’m still learning.  On a scale between 1 and 10, 1 being where we were 7 1/2 months ago, I would say I am at a 6 right now.  I know the more we get to use her the more at ease we will be.

Remember, we are the couple who rent movies to watch and take them back unwatched because we can’t figure out how to work the DVD player.  Yep, just one or two more things to figure out.

Until next time,