Sunday, February 23, 2020

Day 16, 17, 18 - Harlingen, TX - TT

Friday (16) - Another cold day at the southern tip of Texas. I guess we must’ve brought it with us from Arizona. The temperature really isn’t that bad but the 20+ mph wind is what really makes it feel colder. Originally, we were planning to go out to South Padre Island today but with the wind, maybe we’ll wait until next week.

So, not much going on. I had picked up corned beef and more out of curiosity than anything else, I’m trying out the sous vide. The recipe says 24-48 hours at 135-140°F. I settled at 138°F for 48 hours. It’ll be done on Sunday evening. I’ll report on the results at that time.

Saturday (17) - The task of the day was defrosting the refrigerator. The cooling fins on the refrigerator were half coated with ice (not just frost) and the freezer had a thick sheet of ice on the bottom from a frozen drain. The heat gun worked to thaw things out but it still took quite a while. The ice was pretty thick. It was overdue…

One remaining task for the day is disconnecting the chassis batteries and running an equalization cycle on the Magnum inverter/charger. I disconnected the ground wire from the chassis batteries before starting the equalization. The voltage climbed to 15.58VDC when I started the cycle at 5pm. It should run for several hours. Then, I just need to check water levels again and hook the chassis batteries back up. This is something that needs to be done regularly with the flooded lead-acid house batteries. I have never done it so it seems like it’s time. The chassis batteries are AGM and could be damaged by the high voltage of the equalization cycle.

I’m relaxing by the pool again. Just a light breeze but overcast. Not ideal but at least it’s not raining.

Sunday (18) - It's 79°F, overcast and humid. There must be a hundred people over at the bocce ball courts. Bridget thought that it was a tournament. The equalization cycle ran for four hours and there was acid splashed on top of the batteries from bubbles in the cells. After checking the fluid level and putting the caps back on, I sprinkled baking soda on top of the batteries to neutralize the acid before rinsing the batteries off with plenty of water. The four batteries on the left are the 6 volt flooded golf cart batteries hooked up in series-parallel and the two on the right are the 12 volt AGM chassis batteries hooked up in parallel.

The purpose of the equalization cycle is to de-sulphate the battery plates using a controlled overcharge. The sulphate coating builds up with use and I believe that deep discharge tends to cause more buildup. I’ve been very careful to not exceed 50% depth of discharge but who knows about the previous owners.

Time to hit the pool!


  1. Was gonna say, what did you do bring the cold with you? I'm glad it warmed up eventually. 79 is respectable. I'm learning lots about the rv/snowbird lifestyle. Lots of chores. :)

    1. It seems like where ever we go people comment that “it’s never been this cold before”. I’d does make me wonder how we are dragging the cold around. Lot’s of maintenance to do on any RV no matter what the size. But mostly small stuff. And, clean up is much faster than any house.

  2. And here I was thinking you wanted to escape the cold, far wrong ;-)

    1. I guess this is about as warm as we will find without going to Mexico or Florida. Florida May be next winter...