It's about time.

Many of you that can relate to this. Working long hours at your career. Raising your families. Buying a home and paying all the bills related to being homeowners and parents. We're now retired and don't need all that work and expense. Now "It's about time" to follow our dreams.

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Saturday, January 14, 2017

Lake Havasu Balloon Festival, Day 2, Low Batteries and Water Balloons


Our Location today is Lake Havasu, Arizona, U.S.A. 

With all the overcast skies that we’ve experienced in the last few days I was a little concerned at the 11.9 Voltage reading we had on our batteries before going to bed. We had been mindful not to overuse the Inverter, Shutting the LED lights when we’d leave the room and Avoiding Overcharging the Computers more than we needed. As mentioned yesterday I even made an adapter to plug our trailer directly into our IE 3000 Watt Honda Generator to use if the sun didn’t help us out. 

Since both Kathy and I sleep using a CPAP machine to keep us breathing that was the reason we purchased our first Pure Sine Wave Inverter back in 2006 and we have never had any problems since that time. That was until around 6:20 AM MST this morning when we both woke up gasping for air. Kathy thought she had a bad Sinus Congestion but realized differently as soon as she saw there were no lights showing on her machine. As soon as I looked at the Fridge flashing the message “LO DC” I looked at the Charge Controller Remote Display to see 10.6 volts 

My Worst-Case Fear had just happened and even if I wanted to start the Generator I couldn’t because it was still in the back of the truck. I’d hoped to have had time to work on it and simply exercise it but now there was no waiting we needed it. Kathy pulled out our Electronic Candles before finding the real ones which meant we didn’t need to use any remaining Battery Power nor did we have to carry our Flashlights. Breakfast was Sullen with Kathy asking questions and listening intently to the answers I gave about our problem. 

By 7:00 I was outside in the High Winds getting things out of my way so that the One-Hundred and Twenty Pound Generator could be lifted to the ground and used. We have a Brand-New Battery for it that I tried to install but three of the four bolts simply spun in their mounts rather than releasing. We had been storing the Generator at our son Kevin’s Home and he used it a few times but had Exercised It on a fairly regular basis. Since we are in a pinch I lifted it from the truck and put it under the nose of the trailer, opened the Fuel Shutoff, adjusted the Choke and on the First Pull of the pullcord it fired right up. 
Our Honda IE 3,000 Watt Generator Saved the day.
Someone had told me the quickest way to charge our Battery Bank would be to use a Battery Charger so that was why I bought one last week. Connecting that up the Generator hardly flinched but the Meter on the Battery Charger showed it was working. Since I was concerned about the Fridge not having power I went inside to check it out. After five minutes with no improvement I thought about also connecting the Large Power Cord to the trailer. Once I had that accomplished the tone of the Generator never changed. 
Going inside I looked at the Breaker Box thinking the problem was there but it was all good. Looking up I was facing directly at the Progressive Industries Remote Monitor that was showing an Error Code. This is an issue I had just commented on yesterday and knew exactly how to fix it, I turned it Off. Suddenly the Refrigerator was working the Microwave display was on but the Battery Power was only at 12.3 Volts. When using an Inverter to feed power to the trailer it is wise to shut down the Converter or you have the “Dog Chasing His Tail” effect. As soon as the Converter was turned on you could hear the Generator speed up a bit. 
The flags held steady from the wind.
Now the High Winds were bringing Rain with them and we were freezing inside the trailer. I figured I knew how to warm us up so I turned on the Electric Fireplace. The experts say when Exercising a Generator, you should slowly add more load to make it work otherwise a tarnish builds on the contact area of the Armature. When I turned that Fireplace on the Generator really speeded up and it was straining. Kathy thought it was too much but with only two Fifteen-Hundred Watt loads it was just perfect. Soon afterwards you heard the sound of the engine even out and it was just purring along. 

We had Soup and Coffee for lunch to finish warming ourselves up. As we ate our lunch we witnessed a steady stream of RVs pulling out of the Camping Lot. They had come to see the Hot Air Balloons flying but with this weather that was impossible. Looking at other remaining RVs with Flags flying they were hardly wavering. They looked more like a Placard rather then Fabric. 
Rain over the Mountains heading our way.
Since the Wind was now driving the Rain and we were getting Cabin Fever so we decided to go Exploring. After shutting down the Generator and wearing our Raincoats we were on our way to town. As we past the Festival Area there were very few vehicles around. 
The brightest the sky got all day.
Once off the Island we drove down Lake Havasu Drive all the way to the Residential District before driving all the way back down to the Industrial District. We stopped at the Dollar Tree, Harbour Freight and Hobby Lobby where small purchases were made at each. We also drove down to Lowes and Tractor Supply to do some Price Checking 
Driving in the Residential Area of Lake Havasu.
Since it was still raining we stopped at Pandas to have our supper. This is the first time we have been to a Fast Food Style Chinese Restaurant. The price was reasonable, and the food was tasty. The only thing Kathy wished is that they would have had more variety but then it wouldn’t be a Fast Food Restaurant anymore. 

We had just sat down with our meals when a School Bus pulled into the Parking Lot with the Bulldogs Basketball Teams. It looked like they had all three teams from Junior to Seniors there. Counting the three Coaches I counted Forty-Five people that came in to eat. Just as they got inside the Rain became so intense you couldn’t see the pavement. We took our time leaving. 

Back Home I ran the generator a short while longer to top off the batteries before shutting it off for the night. The Sun is supposed to be back in all it’s glory tomorrow with very little Breeze. That sounds like the perfect day for another day at the Hot Air Balloon Festival. Thanks for following along and feel free to leave a comment. Be Safe and Enjoy! 

It’s about time.

Krackers 

You Might Be a Redneck If 

Your dentist has adult magazines in his waiting room.

5 comments:

  1. Sounds like you had a rough night, that is unfortunate. We are so grateful that we brought our Champion genny after good advice from a friend. It is one of the noisy ones but we run it every night while boondocking and wouldn't be without it. We need it to keep our residential fridge running and we like to watch evening tv for a few hours.

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  2. I would have thought with all those panels and batteries you should be good. With inly 230 watts of solar and 2-Trojan 6 volt batteries they never went below, 12.4 plus we have a 100 watt inverter in the car for charging laptops, phones etc..

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  3. That is some Honda generator you've got there. Should do the trick and they are quiet. I know about the inverter, converter fight. Forgotten to turn off the inverter myself a few times.

    The sun will surely come out soon. Boondocking is certainly more fun in the sun.

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  4. I have a Honda 2000 that I've never used. I'm hoping to be able to put it in the back seat when I travel next spring. I couldn't lift it as high as the bed of the truck last year. I might be able to, -now, but I don't want to risk hurting my back. Nancy

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  5. Sorry you're having such a challenge. And sorry the balloons were rained out too. Hope you get sun tomorrow.

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