Saturday, December 5, 2009

December 5, 2009 Post

What’s New With Us: We’re Home!

Of Interest: Could This Happen To You?


We’re Home!

Greetings from Huntington Beach, CA We arrived home exactly two months after we left.
In our October 23rd post we were headed for Little Rock where we visited with friends for a few days. Then we took a hard look at the weather predictions to determine whether we would continue west on I-40 and cross the mountains around Flagstaff, Arizona or go around the mountains by heading southwest on I-30, I-20 and I-10. Even though it was only the 28th of October, snow had already fallen in the mountains. So our decision was made for us – take the south-west route. We drove through a heavy rainstorm in east Texas but, other than that, the weather cooperated all the way to Yuma, AZ

On the way, we had brunch with John Holod and Jodie Ginter in Tucson, AZ and dinner with Mike and Terry Church in Benson, AZ. We stayed four days with Joe and Joanne Annuzzio on their lot in Yuma and had lunch with Margie Maxwell while we were there.

It was a welcome 80 to 90 degrees in Yuma. It was also my first opportunity to really check out our new solar system. Until now, we had stayed in campgrounds with electric hookups or had campsites that were covered with trees. We dry-camped in my cousin’s horse pasture for five days while in New Hampshire. It was cold so I was able to measure how many amps our furnace fan consumed and I was able to measure how many amps our various 12-volt lights and appliances drew. But the days were o’cast and rainy so I had to use our generator to recharge the batteries.

And in Yuma (because someone insisted on connecting to electricity and turning on the air conditioner when temps soared above 90 degrees) the best I could do was rely on the inverter to make coffee one morning and watch the solar system recharge the batteries until noon. So far the numbers pretty much match what we had been told to expect.

Our motorhome has been in storage for four weeks now. Prior to installing the solar system I would disconnect the ground cables from the batteries while the RV was in storage. This eliminated the possibility of “phantom loads” discharging the batteries. But I always held my breath when I went to start the engine after the RV had been in storage for more than six weeks.

This time I was relying upon the solar system to keep the batteries charged. I left the cables connected. Yesterday I checked the condition of the batteries. The coach and chassis batteries were all at full charge and there had been no loss of electrolyte.

We’re planning on spending some time in the desert next month. A few days of self-contained camping should give me a pretty good idea of how well our solar system works.

As I said, we have been home for four weeks now. We have caught up on the things that needed tending. We enjoyed a great Thanksgiving Day with our kids and grandkids. We have been home four weeks and we are ready to hit the road again.

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Could This Happen To You?

For years now, Vicki and I have been telling our seminar audiences that we consider the RVing world a relatively low crime neighborhood. And, while we know bad things occasionally happen, we have also said that in 45 years of RVing, we have never known or talked first-hand to anyone who had ever felt personally threatened while traveling or camping in their RV.

Well, now we have heard, first-hand, from someone we know.

Our friends Nick and Terry Russell recently had a nightmare encounter of the worst kind.
Nick and Terry had taken their motorhome to an RV repair facility to have some maintenance and repair work done. Since the work was taking more than one day, Nick and Terry camped overnight in the repair facility’s complimentary camping area. On what would have been their third evening in the campground, they went out for dinner. Upon their return they came upon a burglar exiting their RV. The burglar was holding a gun. There was a physical encounter. Read what happened next in (Scroll down to the December 5, 2009 entry)

Coincidentally we wrote about security concerns in our RV Notebook Post on July 14, 2009.

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