Saturday, May 10, 2014

Ooops.......Part 2


I left ya'll kind of hanging with yesterday's late blog post, so here is the rest of the story.

What I discovered Friday morning when I got up was that the water bay electric heater must have come on, as the temperatures dropped, sometime while we were watching TV Thursday night, and drained the house batteries down to 38% before I turned off the TV and the inverter around midnight.  As a direct result I could not start the big generator Friday morning as the house batteries are used to start it.  I usually start the big generator to run the block heater when we are dry camping so we can start the engine when over night temps get below 40 degrees.  The electric heaters each use 10 amps of power per hour.  I had the water bay heater thermostat set at 60 degrees, and the temperatures got into the 40's pretty early in the evening, so it must have been coming on and off for hours while the inverter was supplying it with power during our TV watching.....DOH!

Wow, I never, ever thought I would make that mistake!  My fall back option was to get out the Honda 1000 watt generator and plug the block heater directly into it to warm up the engine, and after a hour and a half we were finally able to start the big Detroit Diesel.  It takes longer to heat the block up as the small generator puts out just barely 10 amps (1,000 watts) of  usable power, and that is what the block heater takes.  With the big generator it takes less than 45 minutes before I can start the engine.

I don't know yet what the long term consequences of my mistake will be.....discharging a flooded cell battery below 50% usually results in some damage to the battery's charging capacity, and we were way below that threshold at 38%.  It took 4.5 hours of driving just to get them back to 60% by the time we arrived at my brother's home.  Now that we are plugged in they are charging back up pretty fast.....they are already up to 77% after just 3.5 hours of being plugged in.  It will probably take until some time tomorrow to get them all the way back to 100%......that is if they will take a full charge after being discharged so far.

Friday's drive, after we got the 6V92 started, was an adventure.  Once again we were battling a headwind out of the west, but as the Interstate changed directions it became a side wind at times.  We took a break in Evanston, WY after 98 miles of heavy rain, and wind.  We got back on the Interstate around 11:30 am and continued fighting the wind.  

Eventually we reached the Park City, UT area where the rain suddenly became torrential, and then, for a while, heavy wind driven snow.  As we descended I-80 into Salt Lake City the rain continued unabated, and then as we merged on to I-15 for the last 12 miles to my brother's home the traffic became terrible stop and go.....that last 2 miles were like pulling teeth. 

By the time we had the coach parked in front of m brother's home I was literally wrung out, and ready for a nap!  Amazingly, within 90 minutes of our arrival the clouds had parted, and the sun was beating down on us.  There was little evidence left within 30 minutes of the monsoonal type rain we had arrived fact, as I write this entry the neighbor who lives across the street is mowing his has dried out that quickly!

Hard to believe it was raining and snowing

I know many of you admire what we do, and would love to be able to do what we do.........and we also love what we do a lot, but sometimes, because we are only human, mistakes are made.  The question is, what do you do after the mistake is made?  I think we handled my mistake pretty well, and we handled the horrible driving weather pretty well, too. 99.9% of the time our life is pretty cool, and we wouldn't change a thing......when the .1% we don't like comes along we just deal with it knowing things will be better tomorrow, and they usually are.  I can only hope I haven't taken too many months off the life expectancy of our house batteries, and only time will provide that answer.

I always.....well almost always.....make sure I turn off all the electric heaters, and block heater before I unplug the coach.....this time I forgot one.....lesson learned!  TLE came up with a brilliant idea to remind me about the water bay heater in the future.....what do you think?

Around 6 we (my brother, TLE and I) headed over to a new micro brewery in town called Red Rock Brewing to check out their brews, and have a few appetizers.

We settled immediately on pitcher of their Smoked Porter and ordered our appetizers.......Bruschetta, Beer Cracker and 4 Cheese Pizza.  Yelp gives them 3.5 stars on 288 reviews which puzzles me.  Our service was fabulous, the ambiance is hip, and the beer and appetizers lived up to our expectations.  We would give it a solid 4 stars.

By the time we got home around 9 pm my brother's wife had just gotten home from a Clogging competition in which their son was competing.  We spent a couple of hours talking and sipping some excellent single malt scotch......

Friday was like two different days in one, and that is one of the reasons we love our life.  We started out with problems, drove through horrible weather, and some bad traffic, but ended up in better weather, mild temperatures with good friends who happen to be relatives.  We'll spend the weekend with my brother and his family before continuing our westward trek to South Lake Tahoe.......just 550 miles to go!

Oh yeah.....the batteries are back to 90% as of this morning.....that last 10% should take the rest of the day....we'll see....

Thanks for stopping by!

1 comment:

  1. Oh wow, Clarke - my condolences on the batteries! We've been dealing with battery issues and feel your pain. Sounds like quite the drive, too - crazy! Take it easy - a day or two isn't going to make a big diff - when dealing with that kind of weather!! Oh and our trick for reminders - we have a bunch of mardi gras beads that we hang in strategic places, depending on what's going on - like some hanging from the antenna crank when we have it up...