Thursday, May 5, 2011

Best resort in Georgia. We have gone to there.

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Carrot is done with the sittin'-still life
We had a great time at the wildlife management area, but it wasn't long there before we realized our electrical system was toast.  Not that we could make toast.  Annie worked with what we had, and then got more, but the basic set-up was a wreck.

  • Nothing charged from the alternator except the chassis (start-up) battery, so to charge our house batteries while we drove, we ALSO had to run the generator.  What.  
  • The generator didn't charge the batteries, either, until Annie plugged the umbilicus into an outlet.  Recap:  The Duck has to be plugged into itself to charge.
  • Even with a full battery bank (the 4-6 volts in the back), the inverter kicked out an error code ("bad ground" or "charge overload"), and so none of that power was available for any purpose, AC or DC.
So, phone calls to the electrician were answered within three days, with sub-optimal results:  I thought the generator would charge it.  

This is where the story needs a she-ro, and this story has two.  Annie is always the hero of my story, so you might be bored with that.

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Darlene and Downwind Nicole

With the last trickle of battery power in the iPad, I emailed Nicole for advice, because I know she and Darlene are rewiring their van from scratch.  Better than advice, they offered us a posh place to stay, technical savvy AND labor.

The following technical stuff is brought to you by Annie:

The solenoid now has a connection from the starting battery to the house batteries up front, and the battery bank in back.  The system needed a ground, and that was also added.  We didn't change the generator hook-up, because the extension cord serves our needs pretty well, and we had a hierarchy of needs. 

There will be no question-and-answer period.


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Representative sample of the day's work
During the most exciting portion of the project (not shown),  Annie (who now wishes to be called "Sparky") arc-welded her ratchet thing to the fuse box.  Several times!  Nicole kept saying don't touch anything!  okay, this time, don't touch anything!  oooh, don't touch anything!  until Sparky said oh!  DON'T touch anything!  There are no photos because the photographer was paralyzed with terror.

"We" spent a little time dropping Darlene and DW Nicole's gas tank so they could repair it.  [It's a bad idea for the documentarist to get too close to the action;  she might get her camera dirty.]  A neighbor came over to introduce herself to us, and remarked to me, "You're not the mechanical type, are you?"

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You guys rock!

We had never met DW or Darlene "in real life" before Monday when we pulled in and plugged into all their amenities.  It chokes me up a little to think of the hospitality they have offered when we are could have been weird and dangerous.  Thank you, guys!

From here, we'll travel together to a women RVer's meet-up in northern Georgia.


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14 comments:

Maria B said...

Thank God for the "kindness of strangers" and for your foresight in blogging about the Duck, so that you could build this community for yourselves before you started off on your spectacular journey!

Thank you DW and Darlene for looking out for our friends!

Marianne said...

Ditto! Have fun at the RVers meet-up!

Tesaje said...

It's always something, isn't it? Now I know where to go for electrical questions. They do rock!

I have a short to find in my van :-(

Levonne said...

Superior! I love what happened with your encounter. It gives me faith that the world really is a very great place to be as a human. Thanks for your post and feel free to drop by A Camp Host Meanderings when you have a minute or two.

~~Mike~~ said...

That is such a cool thing to see and experience! People helping each other on the road like that is always very inspiring and one of the things I always loved about this lifestyle! :)

Carrot LOL! What a perfect name!

-Mike
97 Roadtrek 170P "Taj Ma Trek"
HTTP://WWW.VanTramps.Com

Maggie said...

As above. Great reference, Maria (or should I say, "Blanche?"). :-)

The Good Luck Duck said...

Yes, what all of you said. I agree. It's very inspiring. I feel grateful.

Blanche! It took me almost five minutes to get it.

Barbara said...

I am so jealous of you ladies! You get to meet such awesome people when you're on the road.

I also love the photo of Annie driving with Carrot perched close enough to her ear so that Carrot can whisper helpful hints/critical comments as to Annie's driving.

Wheels on Fire!

Merikay said...

All the bloggers we have met are really great people!

Sue and Doug said...

the kindness of 'strangers' is the best!!..hope you got the issues resolved!!

The Good Luck Duck said...

Barb, Carrot is a fair weather co-pilot. The first time the wheel caught on fire, she just jumped down and got into her bed. After that, she didn't bother to react. She's just not reliable. Prudence would be a better look-out.

Merikay, imagine if these women did blog! I told Nicole once that she should, but she's such a blur of activity all the time that she doesn't slow down enough to write things down. Their adventures are great, though, and will only increase once they go fulltime.

Sue, I think we did - tests indicated they were resolved - and we'll get out on the road again today for "real life" testing conditions.

Soaring Sun said...

I'm so glad you all connected and got this problem solved. It is so great to see pics of some of my favorite she-roes.

wheelingit said...

It's the coolest and most wonderful thing when you find good people on the road. We've met lots of them on our travels especially when we've been in "trouble", and I always remember the experience fondly.

Karen and Al said...

Hi
I just found your blog and have really enjoyed your sense of humor! Obviously you both like cats, so you're okay in my book!

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