RV

Friday Day 4 Summer Trip 2022

Friday morning we left the Benton KOA and drove north-east about 4 hours to the Indianapolis KOA. We’ll be staying here 2 nights. This will give us a chance to spend time with our friend Wynn that moved here recently.

We went through some construction and traffic going through Indianapolis, but otherwise the drive was just lovely.

We stopped to rest half way. The Rest Areas here are very nice. Kenzie really enjoyed checking it out.

The KOA is very nice. Since we’ll be here two nights, we went ahead and did a full setup on the rig; bringing out the awnings, lowering the deck, and full hookups. Normally if we’re just spending one night we will leave the truck hitched up and just connect shore-power and maybe water.

Thursday Day 3 Summer Trip 2022

Today we drove from Arkansas, over to the Mississippi river, then north through Missouri and into Illinois. This was our longest travel day, so we got out fairly early. Normally we’d drive most of the way, then stop for lunch and a nap, and drive the rest of the way in afterwards. Today we opted to drive straight through, arriving about 12:45 early enough to just have lunch and our nap after arriving.

We stayed at the Benton KOA, a very nice RV park. It has a little stream running through it, and lots of trees. It rained most of the afternoon.

Just a Rainy Day Outside

At one point we had some thunder and lightning right over us, which upset Kenzie very much. She’s sleeping on the couch next to, still shell-shocked I think.

We’ve ordered a pizza to be delivered, and we’re going to just sit in and continue watching Godless on Netflix tonight.

Refrigerator Problems

We’ve been having a bit of trouble with the refrigerator when we travel. It is a standard residential type that runs off 120 vac. When we’re traveling and disconnected from shore power, it uses a 12v pure sine wave converter to keep it running using the battery. Well it turns out that this setup means that there are a bunch of things that can cause the refrigerator the stop working:

  1. The refrigerator circuit breaker can trip. I’ve not seen this happen yet.
  2. The inverter circuit breaker can trip. This happened yesterday.
  3. The inverter on/off switch located inside the RV can be left off. This has happened at least twice on previous trips.
  4. When running on the generator, one of the two generator output circuit breakers can trip. This has happened a few times in the past, and happened again yesterday.
  5. The battery can run dead. In this case the next item will happen also.
  6. The inverter can shut itself off due to some sort of error. When this happens a beeping sound comes from inside a cabinet at the front of the RV near the king pin. The inverter displays a code to indicate what is causing the problem, but of course it isn’t possible to see that code. So I have to stick my head inside the cabinet, and using my phone’s camera, take a picture of the bottom of the inverter to see what the code is. On a previous trip, a low battery condition caused this to happen. I’ve since replaced the two 100 kWh lead-acid batteries with a single 208 kWh Lithium battery. We haven’t seen that problem since.
  7. Also located on the bottom of the inverter where it cannot be seen is a GFI outlet. This was tripped today. I took a picture of the bottom of the inverter to see if there was any code displayed, and noticed the GFI and reset it. It’s somewhat difficult to take a picture of the LED code, as evidenced by the picture posted below which totally missed the LED.

Wednesday Day 2 Summer Trip 2022

Today we drove from Sulphur Springs to Hazen, Arkansas. We went through some construction that slowed us down a bit, and then some pretty good rain near Little Rock which helped wash a lot of the grunge off the truck.

We stayed overnight at the H&G RV Park which was small but very pretty. We were met at the gate by Paul who directed us to our choice of either of two pull-thru sites. Later we were greeted by Gary the owner, and had a nice chat about their family business and the area.

H & G RV Park

Tuesday Day 1 Summer Trip 2022

Our first stop Tuesday afternoon was at Shady Lake RV park in Sulphur Springs, TX.

It was a quaint little RV park. There were no other overnight RVs, so the owner moved our site to the nice spot right next to the lake. It wouldn’t have been very pretty if we’d had to stay in our originally booked site; basic gravel parking lot. But God is smiling on us, as usual.

Summer Trip, 2022

We had originally planned to make a big trip this summer, starting with the Escapade ’22 in Tennessee, spending a month in Massachusetts, and finally the month of August visiting family in Windsor, Ontario. Covid and a recurrence of Shelley’s breast cancer put an end to those plans.

While we were forced to drop the first two parts, we are in a position now to do the third part and spend the month of August in Windsor.

We needed to get the RV safety inspected and registered, so we took Monday 7/25 to do that. When one lives full-time in an RV, it tends to require a lot of picking up and bolting down before it can head back out onto the road. So we spend the week beforehand doing just that.

We setup a Wyze camera at the site so we could keep an eye on things while we’re gone, and of course the Tesla has built-in security cameras that we can monitor.

Shelley had forgotten to pick up a prescription the day before, so we had to wait for the pharmacy to open and run to get that. While she did that I put all the stuff in our yard into the shed.

So we headed out Tuesday morning about 10:30, a bit later than planned but in no rush anyways.

Three Weeks in Chama, New Mexico

In July ’21 we decided to get out of the Austin heat for awhile, so hauled the rig up to Chama for three weeks in the New Mexico mountains.

We stayed in 2 separate RV parks, both of which were quite nice.

The 1st RV Park

We went downtown quite often for a meal or just coffee.

Downtown Chama

Shelley setup the hummingbird feeders, including putting one on her finger. The hummingbirds were interested and came quite close to Shelley’s ring feeder.

Feeding the Hummingbirds

While we were there we of course took a ride on the Cumbres Toltec Railroad. This is one of only a few narrow gauge railroads.

Our lunch stop off in the distance

We rode most of the way in one of the open flat cars. The view was great, but we ended up with soot all over us.

An Aspen stand just outside of town

These trains are narrow gauge in order to make the sharp turns necessary in some of the mountain passes.

The lower path seen here is the highway, which is much newer than the original train tracks which are shown above it, and much more precariously cut into the side of the cliff.

Shelley Saying Goodbye

We were sad to leave, but it’s always nice to head back home.

Problems with Our Sleep Number Bed

A couple nights ago my side of our Sleep Number bed started leaking. I woke up in a pit with my hip hurting from laying against the plywood underneath the mattress.

Chica likes sleeping in a trough.

Ron’s side of the bed doesn’t hold air, but Chica doesn’t seem to mind at all.

I’m able to fill it back up, but it’s flat again within a couple hours. Sleep Number has very good help information on their website, and we were able to determine by swapping the left and right side hoses that the problem is with the airbag on my side, and not the pump or hoses.

So I contacted Sleep Number, and they checked my warranty status and are sending replacement airbags at a discounted price to us here at the RV park in Chama, NM. They have very good instructions on how to replace it, including a help video.

So upon receiving the replacement airbags we followed the installation video instructions and about 45 minutes later I’m back sleeping on air.

Installing the new air bag

Overall I’ve been very impressed with the level of service, not something that I can say very often.

New Standing Desk

As I’ve written about previously, I use the garage in our toy hauler RV as my office. One of the cool features that came with the garage is a motorized mechanism that allows the bench seats/lower bed to be raised from bed/bench height all the way to the ceiling. Since we don’t really use the lower bed, I decided to convert it into a motorized standing desk.

Desk lowered for sitting

I simply removed the legs from the table I was currently using, and mounted the table to the existing bed brackets. The motor can be used to position the desk at any height.

Desk Raised for Standing

To use the stepper exerciser, I need to raise the desk even higher.

Desk Raised Higher for Exercising

And finally, if I need the space for hauling a motorcycle or whatever, I can raise the desk up to the ceiling.

All Natural Mosquito Control

With all the rain we’ve had this season, we are finding ourselves inundated with mosquitos, and of course some of them find themselves getting inside the RV. It’s hard to concentrate on my work with those pesky things buzzing around me.

Well, I don’t have any problem with flying insects in my office anymore.

Our resident mosquito control

This little guy has setup shop near the door between my office and the living area in our RV. It sets up its web every night, and takes it down mid-morning. This is classic Orb spider behavior. It seems to alternate daily between which side of the web it is on.

The only drawback to this mosquito control solution is that I tend to forget that it’s there. Unless I turn the light on right next to the web, it is completely invisible. It’s right a face level for me as I enter the office. One night I went into the office to close my blinds and ended up walking face first right into the web, destroying it.

I’m pretty sure that it was unhappy about that, but it rebuilt the next night so I think we’re all good.