Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Now, I am all CHARGED UP!

So I am on the road again. This time headed to Houston, Texas for Quilt Market. Last night was a rough one. Not much sleep. I left home a half a day earlier than planned and was excited that I might be able to fit in a couple of shop visits on the way down. Well the excitement was squelched by a long cold night in the camper with very little sleep.

I left home around 2:30 pm and drove to Mason City Iowa. When I decided that was enough driving for the day, I pulled into a Walmart parking lot for the night which means, no hookups, no electricity. I park, pull the shades, make a PB&J sandwich, turn on the heat, check my emails, do a little bookwork, crawl in bed, play scrabble on my iphone and go to sleep.

About 4 hours later I wake up to rain on the roof and just as I am drifting back to sleep I hear what sounded like a drip-drip-drip. So I crawl out of bed following the sound it leads me to the ignitor for the furnace, so it was a click-click-click, not a drip-drip-drip. (In the middle of the night they sound similar.) I look at the thermostat and it confirms the furnace is not working. So I play with the thermostat trying to get it to turn on. NO luck. Then I look at the control panel that tells you the status of all the gee wiz mechanical devices and see that the auxillary battery is dead! Holy Crap. (Excuse my language). I try to start the generator to recharge the battery - it won't start.

By now I am quite chilled and so dig out sweat pants and a sweat shirt to pull on over my pj's and add slippers to complete my ensemble. Then I remembered there is a switch in the cab that will transfer the vehicles battery to the auxillary battery. So I start the engine hold the switch and viola' the battery leaps to life, I can now run the generator and charge the battery.  Whew!

Now you are NOT suppose to sleep when the generator is running, due to the remote chance there is a problem and the exhaust enters the camper, in which case you would never wake up. So I sit up and wait and yawn waiting for the battery to charge.  I consult the gee wiz mechanical device panel and wow wee it's fully charged. So I turn off the generator, leave the furnace on and go back to sleep.

Quiet . . . peaceful . . . toasty warm sleep under that mountain of quilts on my bed.  Aahh, this is more like it, sleep, sleep, a little more sleep. . .

Not so fast!

About an hour later I had to repeat the whole process and then the hour after that AND the hour after that. You could say I was just a bit tired and CRABBY this morning! And being that I am traveling alone, there was no one here to be CRABBY AT, (nothing worse than that  ;-).

Tonight I am in an RV park and I AM PLUGGED IN!

Apparently when you haven't used a camper for a few weeks or a month or so, you need to plug it in to a 30 amp electrical outlet for at least 24 hours BEFORE you leave. As my mother always says, "live and learn".

Here are a few photos from today's travels.

OK, Does anybody know what the ? in the sign above means?
You can click on the photo for a larger view.
It says, ?  Iowa Welcome Center   Exit 4
Does that mean they are not sure they are the Iowa Welcome Center?
Or does it mean they are not sure you are welcome?
Maybe it flips over as vehicles pass by and it has different messages for different travelers?
Maybe it's just ME they are not sure about?

Maybe they know about me and my auxillary battery fiasco!!!

Thanks for following me on my adventure . . . who knows what will happen next?


  1. Sorry to hear of your troubles...but always impressed with you figuring things out.

    I think the ? would mean information center. That's my guess.

    Have a good trip and a great market. I am fondly remembering my trip with you. :D

  2. ??? ah,I see "information". ???

    Yes, of course.


    Wonder why I didn't get it. TOO tired from too little sleep? Perhaps?


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