Monday, May 22, 2017

Day 17

The big news is Bridget arrived with her two dogs on the red-eye flight into Portland. This is the first time she saw the RV and her initial reaction was "it feels small" but seems to have a lot of storage. Hmmm, we'll see how this goes as I thought it seemed huge especially while towing it. But that's probably a different perspective. I think that the dogs are just happy to be out the the belly of the plane.

It got up to 93°F today and it feels miserably hot. 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Day 16 - Oregon Vintage Motorcycle show

Trobairitz sent me an email letting me know that there was a vintage motorcycle show at the fairgrounds where I am camped. It was a beautiful day with a very packed campground last night. Not only the RV spots but the tent camping area as well. The bikes were roughly grouped by continent of origin i.e. Asia, European, American and British. Lots of beautiful bikes, only a couple of sidecar rigs.

The only RV stuff I did today was install the compartment locks and install a different cable clamp in the AC breaker box. I may have identified a potentially serious problem with the RV, I think the black tank and the galley tank valves are stuck in the open position. This would seriously limit our ability to dry camp. This is unexpected.

Today it was in the mid-80s so the air conditioning works. At least at these temperatures. I ran the inverter starting at about 7pm last night. Watched TV, made coffee, charged up everything. The batteries were only down 9% and were fully charged by 11:00am. I think we are in good shape there. The EMS that I installed yesterday shows the AC current. I am surprised that the air conditioner varies between 9 - 18 amps and the microwave is draws even more at 19 amps. Pretty handy.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Day 15

I think that I'm just about done.

The Raspberry Pi is set up and running. For some reason, the Tristar was absorption charging at 15.1 volts. Too high. I restarted the unit and that seemed to resolve the problem. It looks s supposed to be 14.8 volts Hmmm, I'll have to keep an eye on that. Fortunately, that's what the Trimetric is for.

The automatic transfer switch (circled in red) is installed and tested. It's purpose is to switch the outlets in the trailer between the inverter and shore power. Installation was pretty straightforward. One romex to the breaker (hot), neutral and ground in the panel and one romex to the outlets hot, neutral and ground which are isolated from the panel. And a third cord plugs into the inverter output. The breaker is 15 amps and that matches the 2000 watt output of the inverter pretty well. BTW, the refrigerator is on the same circuit so I need to remember to switch the refrigerator to propane if I don't want it to run off of the inverter. The transfer switch is in the same compartment as the EMS so I ran an extension cord forward to the inverter.

If you have an RV, take a look at the keys for the storage compartments. If it says "CH751" then you may want to re-key your compartments. That key is used by many manufacturers probably for the convenience of the dealers. Once I was able to physically measure the storage compartment locks, I was able to order replacements from Industrial Lock and Hardware ( They arrived in today's mail so I'll probably install them tomorrow morning. As you can see, I opted for the cylindrical keys just to be different.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Day 14

Two weeks so far… And there is a little bit of moto content in this post.

Today, I installed the Electrical Management System or in non-vendor speak, a surge protector. It is wired into the main power cable that is plugged into a campground. There is a remote LED numeric display showing realtime voltage, current, frequency and any error codes. If the campground pedestal is miswired or the voltage is too high or low then power is disconnected. This is just how it looks when unpacked from the box. The left side is the input from the power pedestal and the right side is the output to the breaker panel.

All installed. There is a coil installed over the hot lead on the output to measure the output current. I'm planning to just install it diagonally on the floor of this little compartment next to the electrical panel The automatic transfer switch will  be installed here as well as there is very little room behind the breaker panel. I needed to pick up a strain relief for the electrical panel on my daily run to Home Depot.

This afternoon I drove up to Tigard, OR, which is a suburb on the south side of Portland. I have been looking forward to a talk by moto-author Sam Manicom. It was a great talk with really cool pictures (made with a film camera) of Africa. He spent a year on the road in Africa before deciding to not return to England to a job that he didn't like and shipped himself and his BMW R80 G/S to Australia on a freighter. If you haven't read his books, I would recommend them. If you prefer audiobooks, like I do, he is the reader.