Coronavirus Covid19 and motorhome life?

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deppstein
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Re: Coronavirus Covid19 and motorhome life?

Post by deppstein »

Thought I would give you all an update on our trip across the country in Turtle (2004 Premier) during this Life of Covid19. We left Boston on Sunday 3/22, headed for Longmont CO to be present for the birth of our first granddaughter. We didn't dawdle, nor set out to break any cross-country speed records--made it out here in six days...on the 80 for the vast majority of the time. We stayed in a combination of RV parks and State Campgrounds (in states where they were still open--one really nice ranger at West Branch State Park in Ohio took pity on us and let us stay the night despite the fact that he had been ordered to close the park just as we arrived), and one Walmart (nothin like a Walmart when you have no where else to land). The trip was a bit surreal, but uneventful for the most part. It was only us and the truckers out on the roads--literally...no passenger cars to speak of, and hardly any other Rigs. We successfully executed a plan of self-isolation the entire trip out...had our own food (no restaurants, no take-out), no motels, no bathrooms. In the State Parks we maintained the 6 ft rule of social distancing when out walking. The only real highlight of the trip was the night we spent at the Fort Kearney State Recreational Area Campground adjacent to the Platte River where we got to witness the Great Sandhill Crane Migration--450,000 cranes at one time. They stop over on their flight north (Siberia and Alaska!). We watched them return to the river at dusk, after foraging for corn in the fields all day. It was unbelievable!
The Rig was terrific...I had replaced the water pump (original was still working, but seemed to have a slight diaphragm leak) and purchased two new Group 31 deep cycle batteries (old ones were beginning to not hold full charge) before setting out. The only issue we had was on the last night in Wyoming...we hit a snow storm, so sought refuge in a funky RV park that had electrical--which worked for a while (we used it to run our small electrical heater which is quieter than the regular RV furnace, with the added advantage of not drawing down battery power)...until the GFI outlet near the back door tripped and would not reset. Got through the night in good order by using the furnace a couple of times (thank goodness we had those new house batteries!). I checked the shore power as soon as we arrived in Longmont the next day, and all was fine...so I'm figuring/hoping it must have been something in the shore power post at the RV place. But just in case, I think I'll order the new PD converter charger you all recommend and install it before our return trip just to be safe.
I've included some pics from the road for your edification and delight.
Be safe everyone.
David
Attachments
Trip 4.jpg
Trip 3.jpg
Trip 2.jpg
Trip 1.jpg
deppstein
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Re: Coronavirus Covid19 and motorhome life?

Post by deppstein »

Seems like I could only attach four files to last message, so here are the last three.
David
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Trip 7.jpg
Trip 6.jpg
Trip 5.jpg
chin_k
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Re: Coronavirus Covid19 and motorhome life?

Post by chin_k »

I would love to see those cranes up close! Thank for the pictures.

As for the issue you experienced in Wyoming, I think you should check the AC electrical to make sure there is no issue with the outside outlets. It can cause your GFIC to trip, and disable the rest of the outlets in your rig. I think it is why it was not working at the snow storm, and not any issue with the power post.

Enjoy your time with your granddaughter and her parents. It is very precious time to be able to spent time with them.
2000 Concourse dinette, on 2000 6.8L Ford E350 Triton V-10 Chassis (built in 1999)
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SMan
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Re: Coronavirus Covid19 and motorhome life?

Post by SMan »

Great pic's David. Thanks for posting. Quite a trip, especially with the virus and all that is going on with it. At least gas prices are down. We were in the middle of a long vacation when 9/11 hit and it was a very strange time to travel. We were in Capitol Reef National Park and couldn't even get a radio station.

Enjoy the rest of your adventure!
Steve aka SMan
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deppstein
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Re: Coronavirus Covid19 and motorhome life?

Post by deppstein »

Chin_k--thanks for the suggestion to check the AC outlets as source of the GFIC trip (fyi, in addition to the outlets, the frig went back onto propane). I'm now hoping you can tell me where to start and what to look for--I would consider myself electrically challenged, or at least a slow learner--but am good at following directions. Any and all help much appreciated. We are here in CO for a month at this VRBO, and I expect that I will have some time in between new GrandDude (just call me Dude for short!) to do some Rig work. So, I'll put this on my list, along with the PD plug-n-play upgrade.
David
chin_k
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Re: Coronavirus Covid19 and motorhome life?

Post by chin_k »

David:
The frig lost AC power (auto to propane since it still have DC) is consistent with the GFCI issue. If you say your microwave or the AC stopped working, then it is more likely the shore power. See, the microwave and the AC (and the floor heater, if you have one) has its own AC breaker in the panel, but the frig share its circuit with the outlet *after* the GFCI (you should have a photographic memory of every page on the Chinook manual... ;) ). This make sense, since the plug where the frig uses is right near the access panel from the outside. Anyway, if I were you, I would just unplug the microwave in the side compartment, and plug in the AC heater and it should still working fine in the snow storm at night, and enjoy the peace and quiet until the storm is over.

Looks like 3 of you guys are doing the charger/converter upgrade at about the same time. Check out Clay's blog if you have not, and learn from each other as well as share your experience.
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deppstein
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Re: Coronavirus Covid19 and motorhome life?

Post by deppstein »

Chin_k....I should have clarified a bit more about the heater I was using when the power crapped-out in the snowstorm. I had a small portable electric heater plugged into one of the AC outlets (one near towel rack above sink). It was set on the low setting, so not drawing more than 900 watts. We pulled the microwave a long time ago...finding the space able to be put to much better use as pantry storage for our longer trips (we cook outside on fire grill at campsites, or with our camp stove on picnic table most of the time). So can't tell if microwave was affected by the AC power failure. I also did check the circuit breakers in the brown box and none of them had tripped. Does that change your analysis, or what I should be looking for? If that were to happen again, I could try plugging the portable heater into the power outlet in our "microwave panty" to see if that still has power running to it when the GFCI trips the other outlets. Maybe it was just a matter of the electric heater tripping the GFCI circuit...I have used it numerous times in past without issue, but...who knows
Also, yes, I will most certainly share my experience on the install of the new PD charger/converter when I do it. I am an absolute believer in the value of this shared resource! Learned a ton over the years, and always enjoy the conversations.
David
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Scott
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Re: Coronavirus Covid19 and motorhome life?

Post by Scott »

deppstein wrote: March 30th, 2020, 11:16 am Maybe it was just a matter of the electric heater tripping the GFCI circuit...I have used it numerous times in past without issue, but...who knows
Hi David,
GFCI outlets and circuit breakers are quite different. A breaker trips in an over-current situation, like pulling 20 amps through a 15 amp circuit. GFCI outlets protect against "ground faults" or current leaks, and they do this by detecting a variance in current between hot and neutral. They're quite sensitive and they're usually used to avoid shock hazards related to water (kitchens and bathrooms). The fridge outlet, and all the other 120V circuits, are GFCI protected since they all branch off of that one outlet at the back door. As I would recommend to any Chinook owner: open up that outdoor outlet and have a look. They're usually not so good (moisture and corrosion), and can cause the GFCI to trip, which would subsequently turn your fridge off of 120V as well as all other outlets. One other quick thing (but I don't think it's your issue) is that the breakers in the brown box only move a fraction of an inch when they trip, so it's not super obvious. Always a good idea to fully reset them when troubleshooting (I always do the cheapest and easiest things first). Also, there's a slight possibility that you might be an internal short in your fridge if you have the original circuit board. But my money is on your outdoor outlet. It's a cheap easy fix that you can do with just a screwdriver. Good luck.
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deppstein
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Re: Coronavirus Covid19 and motorhome life?

Post by deppstein »

Thanks Scott for this suggestion...especially since checking that outside outlet feels like something I can handle! I’ll do that and report out.
David
chin_k
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Re: Coronavirus Covid19 and motorhome life?

Post by chin_k »

David:
I think you said the GFCI tripped during the storm, and you have a hard time reset it. I assume after you left the camp ground, you were able to reset them, and everything is working properly, correct? If that is correct, then it is consistent with wet outlet that tripped the GFC. If you never hit the reset, and the outlet magically went back working, then the GFCI never got tripped, and it is probably the power post issue.

I think unless your camp neighbors complaint about the same power issue, I really think that it was the wet outlet is the most probable cause.
2000 Concourse dinette, on 2000 6.8L Ford E350 Triton V-10 Chassis (built in 1999)
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