Sunday, 30 July 2017

We have a departure date and an Inverter

We have set Oct 1st, 2017 as our 'get outta dodge' date. There is a lot to do and only 8 weeks to do it now...

I rummaged through the house a couple of months ago and made a pile of stuff in the garage to try to sell in a garage sale. Last weekend I finally got around to having one. Nothing major, I just put a sign over the realtors sign with a couple of balloons and Brad mentioned it on Facebook but I didn't go all out with advertising it everywhere. Did pretty good too, mostly it was just small stuff and I put stupid cheap prices on everything since the goal was just to get rid of it. Having started with many many boxes I am now down to just one box and a few odds left. So I'm pretty happy with that.

On our travels home from Red Deer, AB with this new rig we purchased a 500w inverter for Brad's CPAP machine. We don't want to be tied to 'needing' shore power and the inverter will allow us freedom to boondock whenever we want/need. We have full intentions of putting solar on the rig shortly after we head out in October and will likely have this done in the states but we still need to get to the USA and to that end sleeping would be helpful.

We tried the inverter on that maiden trip but could not get it to operate the CPAP. Having read through the paperwork I now understand why not. Yesterday I had great plans to get the inverter set up into the battery box (basement) and run an extension through to the bedroom but having read through the details I am once again kerfuffled. The paperwork says not to put the inverter with the batteries and not to subject the inverter to the elements, well the battery compartment is open to the elements due to the battery 'off gassing' (can't think of a better way of saying that) so now I guess I shall have to locate a way to have the inverter in a different box with the battery connections close enough to reach the batteries at the front end of the rig and the extension cord heading towards the back.

This will require some thought and as the rig is perched beside our house on the edge of a cliff and I don't like going into it particularly, it will need to be pulled ahead so that I can look around into the compartments and figure out the best configuration without having to punch holes through everything. All of our basement bins are sealed units and I'd sure like to keep it that way but the man has to sleep and a girl has to do what a girl has to do. Yes I'm the technical one in our family. Brad can do it also but he usually has other stuff on the go and I am quite capable of doing things so why not?! Rhetorical question, I don't really want your answer and I may be a girl but I'm a girl with scissors so... let's stay friends.

Anyway, I watched a video on Love Your RV where Ray explains his inverter installation and a couple of other options which is where I learned just enough to be dangerous. I chose the extension cord option for this situation as it is really only a temporary fix for a couple of weeks while we get deep into the States where we will promptly let a professional sort us into some solar.

The great thing about this particular rig is that everything except the plugs runs on DC, gas or propane (this is my understanding at this point - but I'm just a girl ;) so we'll let a professional actually do it) but by my calculations (redone since the previous rig) using the details learned from Pippi Peterson we will require 3 100w panels. Now I need to verify this as I've lost the actual calculations somehow. Someone asked me on a previous blog for the details of solar calculations and I said I would write a Blog about it and haven't yet. I will do this on Tuesday Aug 1st.

Perhaps I will make a video about it, but I will definitely put a written explanation on the blog also. Everything I found online was very piecemeal and confusing so it would probably benefit a lot of people to have a clean concise way of calculating ones solar needs. It is surprisingly simple once you know all the pieces to the puzzle.

Thats enough for today as I have to go to work. Yuk! Who's bright idea was this anyway?! Oh! Nevermind.....

Until Tuesday then.

Friday, 21 July 2017

We attempted a trip and lessons learned

Mostly out of boredom but also because everyone recommends taking a test trip, we did just that. Packed up the rig, booked time off from work and off we went Thursday for a 10 day mini holiday....

The Campground we chose (10 hours from home) had provided us with bad directions and we ended up forced to drive our 12' rig through a 10' forest. There was nowhere to turn and we couldn't back up as it was near dark when we arrived (there wasn't any staff to direct us) . So Brad said 'to hell with it' and we drove through the damn thing.

Lesson #1: Don't pull into a Campground at/after dusk.
Lesson #2: Don't pull into a Campground at/after dusk.

The next morning, first thing, Brad checked the roof. There were a few cracks varying between 6 and 12 inches in the TPO roof. The closest RV supplier was a 3 hour drive away in the direction we had just come so off we went. Having purchased the Eternabond and some lap sealant we returned to our campsite - long day and not how we envisioned spending our first day out.

Having cleaned the roof Brad realized there was only 1 crack about an inch long which was quite a relief to us but meanwhile we have plenty of extra Eternabond should we need it again. Shout out to our RV Salesman Blair who told me that TPO was better than EPDM and in this instance, I believe him to be correct, because TPO has a hard outer shell the branches just dragged across it instead of digging in as I think would have happened with the EPDM I was so insistent upon at the time.

Saturday we drove around the area and there was not much to be found. With feelings of great disappointment and with our Campground being just a gravel parking lot we decided to come home after just 2 nights. We will stay home now until we go. We can always fish off the lower deck.

Our house, as you may know, is finally on the market. Unfortunately the MLS listing is terrible, very few of what we consider 'selling' pictures showing the double-sided rock fireplace, view of the main floor, etc... just a lot of duplicates of the 2 offices and the staircase, even the dot on the map is in the wrong location. I emailed the realtor to have this fixed and received an email last week that she would address it that day, but nothing yet and she hasn't returned Brad's call from 3 days ago.

I discovered Property Guys and wanted to switch to them but having re-read the contract with our current Realtor there is no way for us to cancel her contract as it is 'irrevocable'. However if the contract were to be terminated there is a 120 day after termination clause... seriously!?! We'll try to dig into this issue.

The good news about our trip is that Robbie (the dog) found his place in the rig.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Going once, going twice?!?!

Well... we've finally done it. We listed our house for sale. Our friend and realtor came all the way out here today and we now have a sign on the lawn. Actually, we don't have any lawn but you get the idea.

Because of the long weekend the listing won't hit the MLS system until Tuesday but the realtor seemed to think we wouldn't have any trouble selling it especially since we knocked $100,000 off the list price she had pre-determined before arriving. She was surprised by the size of it, apparently the house is much bigger than it looked in the pictures I sent her. I have not yet checked her website to see if it is there yet (probably not since that was only about 4 hours ago).

I had to take Brad to ER!! He was banging the sign into the property with the back end of an axe. Yes, an AXE! Got himself right between his thumb and forefinger, about a half inch long split. Built the entire house just the two of us and he built the 70' x 8' deck all by himself on the edge of a cliff and only upon banging in the for sale sign did he injure himself!!!

My poor baby has an owie

Anyway, after sitting there for a couple of hours with no Dr. in sight, we left. We went for supper to celebrate the milestone and he refused to go back to the hospital so I will be doing my Nurse Neverwell routine on him shortly and wrapping the damn thing up so his thumb can't move and he will just have to adjust for the next week or two. (PS Don't tell him I put this on the Blog - you know who you are) LOL

Well so much for that. He did it himself. Manly man and all that.

We still have no idea what we are going to do if/when it sells and frankly I can't even bring myself to think about it never mind try to talk to him about it. Since there really isn't much to talk about unless/until it sells anyway we might just as well wait it out. We have a couple of ideas and I have done some research into the options already so now its all about the wait. If it isn't sold in 3 months we will likely pull it until we return from our snowbird session in late spring/early summer and try again.

In the meantime and in between time I think we'll enjoy what we've built, spending the summer out on our deck with a drink or two - thats probably all we'll drink too. We often complain we don't drink enough. I will buy Coke periodically with the specific intention of having a stiff drink and then we forget we have it and it goes flat. I refuse to buy 2L bottles anymore just because of this. At least if you only open a small can the rest will hold for a couple of months if need be.

There is still the problem of our vehicle which we need to address. We have an FJ Cruiser which is not flat towable or even 2 up towable without spending a couple thousand $$ on something or other which is above my head, so I have been researching vehicles which are our style and flat towable. The Jeep Wrangler 4WD (2010 and up) is the obvious leader of that pack. Brad is very broad on the shoulders and just doesn't fit comfortably in most cars and neither one of us is really the car type, so... I'm watching for a suitable Jeep Wrangler 4WD in Canada - If you hear of one, please let us know.

Special thank you note to Kelly for calling me when I asked for some advise on RV Logistics, appreciate that.