Tuesday, August 15

Cooked my first meal in the in the RV!  The gas is enjoyable to cook with, the stovetop is adequate.  The counter space presents challenges but I think we can adapt.  A full thanksgiving meal might be a challenge but Taco night is no big deal!

The chairs were as advertised.  They look great in the RV (hope the boss agrees) and are extremely comfortable.  —-The boss just walked in and approved!—–  great timing.

The gray and black tanks on the RV needed emptying again.  With the boss home alone for 7 days we made it 10 days until ¾ lights showed up on our tank gauges.  It looks like weekly pump out will work well and keep us safe from whatever it is that happens when you don’t empty the yuck tanks. 

The pool at the RV park has come in handy for 2 days in a row.  As it is the down season we have it all to ourselves.  Doing laps has been a pleasure in a big pool that I don’t have to take care of myself!

Time to go sit in those chairs with my feet up.  Past time actually (it’s 9pm)

Friday, August 19

Electricity is like magic to me.  I’m a fairly smart guy and have had some formal electrical training but unfortunately never applied myself to master the material.  Electricity has always been there to do what I want when I want, without conditions.  Not anymore, with a 30 amp service and RV breaker panel—

Here is what I learned late last night and today (thanks to the educational value of a crock pot). The situation started last night with our house master breaker popping.  We were home at the time and noticed the lights and AC turn off (easy to identify), found the breaker and reset.  Turned off a few lights and the fan that runs in the bedroom.  Reset the breaker and things were fine until an hour later.  This time the RV breaker inside was fine and I checked the service outside and found it to be tripped. Reset again and hoped for the best.  Long story short……we were using our crockpot for the first time and the main circuit breaker to our rig would pop when the AC compressor kicked in. We are using too much electricity, This was my diagnosis.

Fast forward to this afternoon.  AC and power all morning and our crockpot food was done so it got unplugged.  After taking care of some afternoon projects and enjoying dinner, and we settled down in the house.  THE OUTSIDE BREAKER THREW AGAIN!  This time with nothing on but the AC, the small living room fan and 2 lights.  

I did some studying online and found this to not be too unusual a situation.  An AC is an AMP hog and RV service is notorious for being fickle. My concerns / questions now are; is the AC in need of cleaning/servicing?  (this will have to wait until Saturday) or is the AC problematic and in need of replacement (It’s 6-years old but hardly used).  Could it be that keeping an RV cool in the summer heat of Florida is just taxing on the unit causing it to run more inefficient?  These are issues I need to figure out and AC is a top priority to me when its 98 degrees with 80% humidity.  I can’t wait to get out of Florida in the summer! Until then I will need to learn my RV electrical and Amp draws intimately.

Installed the first of our Max-air vents on the RV roof.  The bathroom vent fan needs to stay on to keep the room from getting damp from wet towels, moisture in the shower, swimming pool clothing that needs to dry.  Because the fan needs to remain on the vent cover needs to stay up.  The problem we identified with that is we live in Florida and the likelihood of daily rain is high.  It is counterproductive to have it rain into the bathroom when we struggle with moisture already.  Enter the Max-air.  It installed easily and not the vent can remain open.  Great design, and straightforward installation.

On a personal note:

The boss pointed out that I have become a bit unreasonable with not spending money.  She is correct.  I hesitate to spend the first penny unless the purchase is identified as “a complete necessity” and one that will satisfy a need for an extended period of time.

There is a result of an epiphany that took place while selling all of our belongings. This realization is still a bit haunting to me still.  As we were selling off our “treasures and belongings” I recognized how many things we had purchased over time and the massive amount of money that we converted into stuff.  Granted, some of this stuff added value and comfort to our life but soooo much of it was just stuff.  Impulse buys, things we just “had to have” trinkets and gadgets.  As I dug through these items and then sold them for pennies on the dollar I recognized the waste.

We have been a pretty frugal family in the past several years.  Living on a budget and working to become debt free kept us motivated.  And yet we still seemed to accumulate junk along the way.  Now that we live in a space where everything needs to have a place and be kept there I feel the need to “keep it simple” and minimize the “stuff” we purchase.  

I find no enjoyment in buying things but I am also not financially motivated.  Money to me is simply peace of mind and options, a tool that will allow us to move forward and live an adventure as opposed to the rat race.  I recognize the utility of money to buy things that provide comfort, value and service but finding the balance between that and “instant gratification purchases” is what I struggle with.  It will be a work in progress I suppose.

Sunday, August 21

Spent the morning emptying out the last of our stored items in the expedition, transferring to our storage location and then going through and consolidating some of store “Stuff”.

Its tough to stay focused while going through old children’s books, photos, and personal items.  The boss and I stayed strong.  Out went our old yearbooks, teenage memorabilia, odds and ends that we might need to look through again but serve no purpose.  I tossed my old Army certificates, awards, and collectibles.  The boss started unloading her scrapbooking supplies.  It was a successful trip.  We kept it short to prevent it from turning into “work”  we have plenty of time before we become fully mobile and have yet to determine our final storage solution while we are on the road.

Yesterday evening was spent with the roof AC unit.  I watched a few youtube videos on RV AC service and got to it.  I cleaned the internal coils and filter (they were not dirty).  Next, I headed to the roof to get into the outside parts.  After removing the cover i was happy to see that the Unit was clean and appeared to be in good shape.  The coils were spotless.

I found that all of the manufacturer info is on the inside of the shroud and helped tremendously with identifying what I was working with.  After putting the shroud back on I hit the internet to research our unit and got all of the specs.  The unit is an electric hog and with a 30 amp service to the RV we pretty much have to be selective with what electricity we use and when.  

I’m happy to find that nothing is broke but the I now know that you can’t take electricity for granted when living in an RV.  It’s time to study more and learn how to operate more efficiently.  LED light bulbs anyone?  I also found out that the 12-volt system runs off of a converter.   I thought the 12-volt was straight from the battery.  So much to learn but I am enjoying the process.

The boss and I were invited to dinner by some neighbors in the park.  The campground hosts!!  Finally get to hear the inside scoop from experienced full-timers.  I’m excited to hear everything that they have to share.  

Other accomplishments +learning experiences:

Converted our garden hose water supply line to a “white hose”.  The tap water in the RV tasted like garden-hose!  Surprise, that’s where its coming from dummy!  The boss found that this product existed and it’s a great improvement to our water flavor.  Hopefully we can quit buying bottled water now.  Curious to know how others keep water when traveling.

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn. “

-Benjamin Franklin