Sunday, May 15, 2022

Brunswick, GA

 

Saturday - We had a wonderful dinner last night with my son and his fiance at a local restaurant called the Marshside Grill. It was right on the water and the oysters were fabulous.

Today's project has been brewing for a couple of weeks. This sliding storage tray is terrific but the RV frame hangs down in the middle so you can only stack things up on one side. The other side has our compressor refrigerator/freezer so this side was only partially usable. I put in a shelf to hold two bins which hold things used for water like the heated water hose and pressure water regulators. The water hose we are currently using gets stored underneath the bins on top of the folding table. The tray will slide out in this direction about a foot which is just enough. 

And, this is the first time in months when I could sit outside, in the afternoon, and enjoy a cup of hot tea!

Sunday - Today’s adventure was to St Simon’s Island just east of Brunswick. The lighthouse was at the narrow part of the inlet between St Simon’s and Jekyll Islands. There was a fishing pier along the walkway as well as a large playground and community pool.

This large tree was covering the picnic area. I’m not sure what kind of trees they are but they look old. 

We then headed north to look for public beach access and parking. 


Friday, May 13, 2022

Brunswick, GA

Thursday - This was our longest travel day since back in November at 4 hours. Lots of traffic and several slowdowns due to accidents. Including one that must of involved a truck carrying watermelons. They were all over the side of the road. 

We are at a private RV park for a week. The site is flat gravel with grass. It has a pool but no hot tub. It looks like the stereotypical older RV park that may have been a KOA before based on the A-frame office building. We arrived around 2:30 and mostly set up by 3:00. I still haven’t put out our mat and the awning as it’s supposed to rain tomorrow. 

Friday - A cool-ish day with partly overcast and some light rain. The pool is unheated but even today, it’s refreshing. When it’s hot, it would feel great. Today, at 3pm, the temperature is a very mild 75°F. 

This morning, I finished setting up things around the RV including the awning and the screen. Light winds ~8mph are forecasted for every afternoon for the week we are here. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Clermont, FL - TT

Tuesday - It feels like winter. (Just kidding) For the first time in months, both air conditioners were shut off last night. Windows opened and vent fans turned on. It is a nice break from the heat. 

Speaking of heat, the Raspberry Pi running as a DMR hotspot, was reporting processor temperatures around 170°F! Needless to say, that's on the hot side. The developer, Simo from CQRadios.com, sent me another version to try out that is running a Raspberry Pi clone. I have it running in the same cabinet to see if it runs any cooler. Right now, the CPU is reporting 108.3°F but it's still early in the day.

Later - At 5:30pm, the hotspot is running at 131°F with the cabinet door closed. The inside of the cabinet is 110°F so it is running much cooler. 

Wednesday - Another nice, cool night and morning. Since we are heading out tomorrow morning, I checked fluid levels. 2½ quarts low on engine oil and about 1 cup of hydraulic fluid. The shop in GA said that the hydraulic motor operating the radiator cooling fan has a slow leak and over the last couple of thousand miles, I’ve added about 2 quarts. 

Monday, May 9, 2022

Propane Mod

After giving up on the local hardware stores, I resorted to order the fittings to add a propane quick connect to our refrigerator line. Two 3/8” flare elbows, one 3/8” flare coupler, one tee with two 3/8” flare and a 1/4” NPT, and one 1/4” NPT elbow. 

This is in addition to the quick connect with 12’ of hose and the connector for the Blackstone Griddle. Right now, I have the hose going into the refrigerator space through one of the vents but I’m not sure if my preferred solution. Now to try this out with the roast I’ve had in the sous vide for the last 23hours. 

A coolish morning at 70°F so we have the windows open and vent fans in for the first time in a while. At 11am, it was still just 77°F and the scattered clouds and light breeze made for a nice morning. The pool was quiet this morning.

I’m still paranoid about all of those fittings so I will be checking for leaks on a regular basis. 

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Clermont, FL - TT

Friday - Hey, we have a visitor to the pond behind our RV. There is a nice breeze this morning and, according to WeatherUnderground, it be around all day. Possibly, strong enough to warrant bringing in the awning. We’ll see. 

I heard from multiple vendors yesterday. Our MaxxFan has started beeping and shuts off when it runs at higher speeds. The company is sending out a new control board. The Victron shunt had stopped working a few weeks ago. And they are sending out a new circuit board for the shunt. 

I looked at Lowe’s and Home Depot for flare fittings to add a propane quick connect fitting to the refrigerator propane line. They didn’t have what I needed so off to Amazon, again. The CO detector started occasionally beeping in the middle of the night. I heard that they should be replaced periodically anyway so a replacement was ordered (from Amazon). The new one is a CO/propane detector so the existing propane detector can be disconnected. 

Saturday - I ended up getting up at 3am today as a thunderstorm came through. I removed the sunshade and brought in the awning. Two of the tent stakes snapped in half! There must've been a lot of movement.

After the early morning test session and a quick trip to the grocery store, it was time to float around the pool. There is a nice light wind right now so the temperature is very pleasant outside. Nice enough to enjoy the hot tub. 

The new CO/propane detector arrived and was easily installed with Wagu connectors replacing the crimp butt connectors. The new detector is slightly smaller than the old one so, for now, I just have a piece of cardboard filling the rest of the opening. The old propane detector was underneath this and I just disconnected power. 

Sunday
 - It’s a moderate 72°F this cloudless morning so I did another cheap-ish Jeep upgrade. LED headlights from the factory was a $1000 option so we have the stock halogen headlights. Even aftermarket LED lights were expensive but I’ve been reluctant to simply try an LED bulb replacement as they are notorious for too much scattered light. 

A YouTube channel I’ve watched for a while, Wayalife, who does a lot of very well done Jeep mods, tried out these LED bulbs and compared the resulting beam pattern and light output to the factory LED setup. Yes, the factory LED setup was brighter and more uniform but these replacement bulbs in the factory halogen housing was definitely a huge improvement. And there wasn’t much scatter. I.e. light going above a fairly well defined line. 

The whole process, including removing and reinstalling the grill, took ten minutes. This included routing and using zip ties for the green wire seen in the picture. This wire is from a prior mod where I replaced the front marker bulbs with LEDs and wired them to be on when the engine is running. Now, I just need to wait for dark to see how they are aimed. I might just crank them down a few turns just in case. 

We went to pool this morning but it wasn’t very relaxing as it was a bit crowded. The weekend crowds were there in force. After a short dip, I went back to relax under our awning. It was much quieter. 

No storms in the forecast so the awning came back out. You can see what a difference it makes in the freezer temperature. 

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Day 69, 70, 71, 72 - Clermont, FL - TT

Monday (69) - It’s a little before noon and 82°F already. Surprisingly, I enjoy sitting outside especially if there is a light breeze. It’s too hot if there isn’t any shade. After the first test session, I went to float around the pool for a while. It was nice and relaxing. Only a couple of people were there. Maybe it’s too hot…

I'm joining the afternoon session from inside of the RV as it's almost 90°F outside right now. That's approaching "hot" unless there is a breeze and/or some cloud cover. 

Tuesday (70) - Kind of overcast today. I took advantage of the lack of direct sun and washed the Jeep and the front of the RV. I am trying out this new car wash soap. Hoping that it'll make the bugs easier to clean off. The front of the RV was plastered with bugs after only a 20-mile trip up the highway. Bob, a friend here in Orlando, said that the bug guts will eat through the paint. Many RV parks don't want you washing your car on the grass but this place didn't seem to care. And encouraged you to have a clean car and RV.

Wednesday (71) - The weather app says that it's 86°F right now but it is very pleasant with the light breeze. Participated in both test sessions today. Outside for the first one but by 4:30, it felt much warmer than the thermometer indicated. Maybe because no breeze.

Thursday (72) - After this, no more counting days out of Alaska as the flight to/from Alaska at this time of the year is about the same as the COLA benefit. In other words, flights are ridiculously expensive from Florida to Alaska. I'm not sure where the expensive part is. Orlando or Alaska. I sent email to the Division of Retirement and Benefits to calculate what I owe them from Feb. 22, 2022, to now for overpayment. 

Right now, I'm waiting for the first test session. Not doing it outside as it's a bit on the hot side (86°F). And, with last night’s rain, kind of muggy. It’s even warmer (93°F) for the second test session. It’s supposed to start cooling down in a couple of days. 

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Day 66, 67, 68 - Clermont, FL - TT

Friday (66) - I must admit that sitting outside having coffee at 10am with a temperature of 73°F is pretty nice. Is traveling around getting old? No, not really. Even though we’ve been in the area for a while, I’m fine with it. There’s enough that needs doing on the RV. Plus, volunteering for the ham radio tests is an enjoyable pastime.

Just a little further to the right of the first picture, is a cell phone tower. So the hotspot is working pretty good at this location.

Saturday (67) - I worked on the Jeep a little bit today after the morning test session. I picked up LED lights for the front turn signals with a white light instead of amber for the front marker light and amber for the turn signal. The white LEDs turn off when the turn signal is flashing. I plan to wire the marker lights to be on whenever the Jeep is running for daytime running lights. 

I had picked up a fuse tap but it was for mini fuses. The Jeep used micro fuses. I had never heard or seen them before. They are tiny. A fuse tap allows you to remove a fuse and add a second fuse to the circuit. There are plenty of unused circuits in this Jeep as it doesn’t have many accessories. 

After the second test session, I spent a little time at the pool. The pool is almost too warm. There were a number of families there but all of the kids were well behaved and minded their parents. How refreshing…

Sunday (68)
 - The “RV Repair-of-the-Day” was replacing the gas strut that holds the entry door open. I don’t know why I procrastinated as it was an easy fix. I’ve been using bungee cords to hold the door open on windy days. Replacing it took maybe ten minutes. The length was easy but I wasn’t sure how strong of a strut was needed. The Amazon entry had a list that said door struts, 10lbs. It works great. The old strut had no resistance at all. 

These little lizards are running around everywhere. 

The fuse tap came this afternoon from Amazon less than 24hrs from when it was ordered. I’m amazed at how the do that. I used fuse for the passenger seat heater (don’t have that option) and temporarily installed a 5amp fuse. I cut the wires going to the front marker light and connected it to my new circuit. Now the markers are white and lit whenever the engine is on. Both lights combined draw 0.49 amps, or about 6 watts, when illuminated.