I’ve been vexed by technical gremlins the last few days and it’s time to simplify. I’m about to get a map, a compass, and a tire pressure gauge and throw a whole bunch of electronic gadgets away.
When we left the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa I already knew our basic route, north on Interstate 75 to Interstate 10, west to US Highway 231, and then north to Dothan, Alabama. 375 miles, give or take a potty break or two along the way. However, my Rand McNally RV GPS had other ideas. It wanted to route us west into the Tampa area and then north on US Highway 19 for 224 miles to Interstate 10 and then into Georgia and on to Dothan. It would have saved us maybe 30 miles, but a lot of it would be stop and go traffic through endless small towns as we made our way up the west coast of Florida. We like the back roads sometimes, but not at the expense of two or more hours when we’re in “get there” mode.
The inner dual tire on our left side has a nasty habit of losing 20 pounds or so any time we sit in one place for a week or more, and this trip was no exception. Before we left the fairgrounds I checked the pressure in all of our tires on the motorhome and Explorer and aired up all of them that needed it. About 40 miles into our trip, our tire pressure monitor went off saying that the outside left dual was at 125 degrees while the inside was at 71 degrees. That didn’t sound good, so I pulled off at a handy rest area and went to check them out. Using my infrared thermometer it showed that both tires were at 77 and 79 degrees respectively. Then the monitor showed that the inside dual was at 90 pounds and the outside was at 130. I used my regular tire pressure gauge and both were at 110.
And just for fun, the monitor showed that one of the tires on the Explorer was down to 19 pounds. Nope, 40 pounds, just like the rest of them. After checking each tire on the rig and toad with my tire pressure gauge I confirmed that they were all at the correct temperatures, but for the rest of the trip the tire pressure monitor went off every twenty minutes or so. We finally just ignored it.
But wait, there’s more! I use a small Acer netbook to keep track of things with my engine with the Silverleaf engine monitoring system. It’s great when it works, but for the last year it has repeatedly lost power when on the road. I decided that the problem was the small inverter that I plug into a cigarette lighter outlet to provide AC to the laptop. So I bought a new Schumacher inverter to replace it. It’s a great little inverter, but the same thing happened again. The netbook will charge off the inverter when not in use, but going down the road it runs off battery power until the battery is exhausted and then it shuts down. Now I suspect the computer’s power cord may be the culprit. Or maybe not. When we got into Tuscaloosa and were parked, I plugged it back into the inverter and it works fine. Yep, time to haul them all over to the dumpster and be done with it.
Refrigerator update – we were on the road six hours Sunday and about three hours into the trip I turned on the generator for an hour and everything was okay when we got stopped for the night. Yesterday (Monday) was another six hour trip and this time we went the whole distance without using the generator and there was not much change in the interior temps from the day before, 47 degrees in the refrigerator and 10 in the freezer.
After the Escapade rally and medical appointments in Tucson, we plan to run over to Yuma and have Larry Crutcher at Starlight Solar install a Magnum pure sine wave inverter to replace our thirteen year year old Xantrex modified sine wave unit, and I also want to replace our Interstate batteries with Lifeline AGMs. We had them in our MCI bus conversion, and even though we don’t dry camp much anymore I still want them for their long life and ease of maintenance. I can’t seem to get Greg White to follow me around the country checking and servicing my batteries all the time. He came up with some selfish excuse about kids and grandkids and having a life of his own. And he wouldn’t even agree to pick up half the cost of the AGMs I’m forced to buy because of that lack of attention on his part. What a jerk!
Thought For The Day – Sometimes we create our own heartbreaks through expectation.