Saturday, January 23, 2010

Into the rain....

Saturday, January 23, 2010 - 10am

During the winter I travel to soccer venues around Southern California to officiate youth soccer matches at various tournaments. In past years I have just driven my car to the venue, officiated 3-4 matches, and then driven home. This year Elaine and I decided we would use these weekends as mini-getaways. Most of the venues offer overnight RV parking. This weekend I had signed up to do matches at the John Blanche Soccer Complex in Temecula, CA, about 45 miles south of our home off I-15. As many of you most likely know, we in Southern California have been treated to Biblical proportion deluges for about 6 days this past week.

Elaine drove me over to the storage yard to pick up the Newell this past Wednesday. The coach had been sitting for about 5+ weeks. I am always concerned about the condition of our four 8d batteries, and with good reason. The first year we owned our coach 3 of those batteries went south. After discussions with numerous friends on the Newell Classic website I determined the cause of the failures was my 27 year old single stage charger/converter which I have renamed the "battery boiler". I bought an Intelli-Power charger/converter to replace the "boiler". The Intelli-Power unit has 3 charging levels, and also a de-sulfating mode. In the 12 months since its installation not one battery has passed from this life. At any rate, I am still a little paranoid, and expect dead batteries after several weeks of sitting idle. Not one time in these past 12 months have I not been able to turn over the 6V92 Detroit Diesel, and this past Wednesday was no exception!

After a short 20 minute drive home in the RAIN I plugged into shore power and turned on the water water pressure?! The lights that normally illuminate indicating the pump is on were dark. I first checked the fuse panel in the closet and found the water pump fuse had been fried. So, I replaced the fuse thinking "cool, that was simple".....uhhhh, sorry, to soon to celebrate.....the pump lights came on, but still the pump would not start pumping...ugh! I then checked the inline fuse at the pump and it was fine. I pulled out my multi-meter and stuck the red probe into the hot wire, and the black probe into the ground wire and showed 13+ volts....OK, that must mean the pump has "passed on". The next day, Thursday, I was able to locate the same model pump in Azusa (about 30 minutes from home), made a quick trip there in rain coming down so hard the freeway slowed to 25mph!

I was able to remove the old pump in about 10 minutes, installed the new pump in about the same time, and flipped the switch.........nothing! Then I decided to take the old pump and hook it directly to one of the chassis came on.....hmmm, the pump is not bad....what this time it was early evening...about 7pm, and the rain had started up again. I decided to "think" on the problem overnight......nothing more un-fun than sitting the rain working on something!

I awoke around 3am and started thinking about how trouble shoot the problem. After about an hour of tossing and turning I decided to recheck the ground wire. I got up around 7am, and went outside to coach to run the ground wire directly to the battery ground in the next compartment....the pump fired up immediately.....OK, that was way too simple, but sometimes the solution is just that simple. Apparently the ground connection began to fail at the end of our long trip.....that would result in a reduction in voltage to the pump, which meant the pump would pull more power, thereby increasing the amperage, and therefore, blowing the fuse.....mystery solved! I buttoned everything up, added water to our 160 gallon fresh water tank and left around 2:30pm for Temecula....I arrived at the soccer complex around 4pm to find the fields under water, and the complete absence of any vendor tents. Now, what to do? Head way. I made a call to the local Indian Casino RV park called Pechanga and they had plenty of spots, so I headed over to snag a spot.....I had barely set up and I got an e-mail from my soccer assignor advising the tournament had been postponed due to unplayable conditions, so now I have a weekend with my wife and no obligations....I think we'll head over to the wine country and do some wine tasting later today, and maybe head out the theater and see "The Book of Eli".

This park is nestled against some low lying mountains on the south side of Temecula, CA sky again! Things are drying out now!

We have a pull through through spot next to the Club House and pool....

I'll post more later today about the wine country.......

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