Starting with the camping side of our lives:
Liz and I made it over to the storage yard and brought over all the necessary stuff for the Galley of the camper. At the same time I double checked the roof patch that I had done earlier and I am pleased (proud) to say that the roof work survived the last of the Monsoons that I had talked about previously…
There is still lots to go on the “to do” list but it should all happen for our “maiden voyage” planned for the end of the month…. The biggies are:
(1) Check the bearings and replace/repack as necessary
(2) Get off my butt and get those propane tanks re filled so we can check the propane system.
(3) I have all the extension cords and adapters in the camper already but I need to take it somewhere with a 30 amp service so I can check all the shore power stuff. Our first trip will be to a “full service” campground (boondocking cancelled for now) so we might have to cross our fingers and check it then…
(4) I have to replace the storage battery (Battery 1) in the camper. This is the one that powers all the 12 volt accessories (lights/waterpump/small inverter) This is fairly easy to replace…
Take it out and measure it … then buy the same size replacement so it fits snugly in the compartment…but actually getting over to the store and replacing the battery (paying for it) is a pain in the butt (or wallet). This battery is automatically trickle charged whenever the camper is hooked up to shore power or connected to the tow vehicle. (see below comments about solar as well)
I also have a 2nd 80 ah sla storage battery (Battery 2) that will be charged when ever its connected to shore power. Its main purpose will be powering my amateur radio gear along with a different small inverter just in case. 80 ah will be more than enough to power the FT 817 along with any other of my QRP gear for a week or so with no issues expected…
There also is a 15 w solar panel I plan to wire in with the main storage battery just to keep it maintained and also might extend the battery life if we are boondocking for a weekend. Yes I do have a small generator but why burn the gas unless I really need to?
We have 15 days to go before the “maiden voyage” so I actually have lots of time to put things off… so I can rush around at the last minute….
Amateur Radio for a few minutes:
Yesterday was an “Out with the new and bring the old back” day…
Liz and I had been chatting about what I was going to do with the Flex 1500 as there will be no room in the camper for the computer that controls it…. When the laptop died we bought new IPads and so I did not want to buy another laptop just to control the SDR Radio.
Also the 32 inch TV that I use at home as a monitor for it will be mounted in the camper….
Well yesterday that problem was solved. I was reading an “on line amateur swap page” and found that there was a local amateur (about 3 miles from my home) that was looking to buy a Flex 1500.
A quick phone call followed by a drive over to his place saw “my” Flex becoming “his” Flex … and after our maiden voyage I might be looking for a HF rig for the camper or the 817 just might be it for the season.
Another radio thing is that I now do have all the parts to connect my Baofeng handheld to my old Android tablet so I will be able to run APRS (VA3QV-13) while Liz and I are on the road.
However finding the time to construct the interface cable from the parts I have acquired could take a bit. It will be all running before the July trip but most likely not the the end of May trip.
Its hard to imagine that just over a year ago we were sitting on the side of a highway near the Quebec- New Brunswick border watching a Fire Department trying to put out the fire in our motorhome and now our first trip in the replacement rig is in just over two weeks from now…where has the time gone?
Stay tuned for the “Official” beginning to our EXCELLENT adventures.