Long Pine Key Campground – Day at Camp

workingAfter getting in late last night, around midnight, we, slept in. We got up around 9 o’clock had breakfast and we took a walk up to say goodbye to Harold and Martha they had already left. We came back to the campsite, and I figured today was as good a time as any to look at the battery solar maintenance panel that came with the RV that had been initially set up to keep a charge in the house batteries. I moved the panel to allow for the installation of the two renogy solar panels we currently have on the roof, figuring that the more energy going into the he batteries the better off I would be.

I was able to start the RV twice early in January but wasn’t able to run it for long period of time, so by the time he came for us to leave the trip on January 9, the truck wouldn’t start. I thought that moving the maintenance panel from the house batteries to the chassis battery might be a good idea. The view has the ability to flip a switch and have the house batteries start the RV.

I’d disassembled the floor area all the pads panels and covers, and look for someplace to run the wire from the area of the battery compartment to the front chassis battery. After everything was disassembled I found a small rubber plug in the vicinity of the wiring harness for the battery. There was no place to bring the wire through into the battery compartment which extends below the floor of the chassis by the driver seat.

As I looked at everything I knew that I could seal the rubber grommet so that water wouldn’t come in, but this quickly emerged as one of those things that fell into the category of” just because you can do it you should you do it?”. I thought about the number of times that I’ve had to start the RV by jumping to the house batteries, and it just didn’t seem worth it. One of the pluses of the maintenance system is they give you a simple status indicator to let you know what shape the batteries are in. The charge for the main solar panels will flash when the batteries are maximum capacity, and the maintenance system will do the same. I’m always at ease when both of them were flashing at the same time, because I know that everything is peachy.

I decided not to route the wires from the maintenance system to the chassis battery simply because the benefit didn’t outweigh the potential risk of water infiltration into the cab. Everything went back together very nicely which was sweet and everything works, which is really nice.

RK5_0385We had a nice lunch and then left to take a walk around the lake to see if we could find the resident alligator again. On the way we bumped into the people that own the Winnebago view I’ve been ogling when the four of us walked to the crocodilians presentation at the amphitheater. It was one of the very few manufactured views, as it was configured with bunks in the rear, and did not have a slide out. Pat and Richard, from Indiana, had done a great deal of modifications to their RV. It was probably one of the more house like RVs we seen so far. Richard is an excellent woodworker, and had made a solid oak fold up table much like in a boat for the dining room area of the RV, and had replaced the flooring which Pat said was awful and sticky and she couldn’t stand it because she was mopping and cleaning every two minutes, with a beautiful hardwood floor, a floating floor, that must’ve been 3/8 of an inch thick.

RK5_0397In November and help put in a floating floor in a friends house, and I know how difficult the installation is, so is really wowed by the terrific job that Richard it done. In addition in one of the rear upper bunks he’d made a organizational center, for the lack of a better word, that reminded me of the upper part of a rolltop desk. He also built a very nice book case immediately in the area of the kitchen as solid oak, overall a very homey personalized RV. Additionally, he had installed renogy solar panels on the roof, with the same charge controller I have in our RV. I had a number of questions regarding the solar system, since he had installed longer than we have, and made me feel much better.

In talking with Pat and Richard, Pat supplied a tremendous amount of information that will be pertinent for our proposed spring trip, and just general good background information that I am sure will prove invaluable in the future. I left my wallet, and my cards, back in the RV so we promise that at the end of the walk, we would return to their RV that would lend me a book I would give her my card and we would talk some more.

The end of the walk we stopped back of the RV quickly picked up everything and went back, and no surprise to my friends, talk for another hour about a wide variety of topics. We zip back to the RV, and I prepare to dig their of chicken cacciatore, which I cooked outside since it was kind of warm. The sunset was actually spectacular, probably one of the best we’ve ever seen in the entire time we’ve been in Florida both this year and last. My buddy Frank called and told me that he would be arriving in Florida little later, so I been able to put off making any plans at all for even more time. We are truly enjoying herself just relaxing and not doing much of anything, which is about the first time in our lives we’ve done something like this, and I would highly recommend it.

RK5_0533My daughter bought me some solar powered fairy lights that we have spread on the end of the awning. They turn on about 6:30 PM at night and last till about 11 PM. There really neat, we don’t use any electricity and they just make everything look a lot like home, where we have 120 V lights underneath the rear awning that she also gave us. It’s like being home but not. I messed around with the television, which I thought was broken, but it turns out I’m just not competent in obtaining television stations with the unit. After I found 10 television stations that the TV can receive, I was made completely aware of the fact that were in southern Florida as all but one of the television stations are in Spanish, and my Spanish stinks. It was nice to have a distraction to some television, but I don’t think we’ll be able to receive the Super Bowl on the television come this weekend. We’ll just have a Super Bowl party without the Super Bowl.

RK5_0407Pat and Richard stop by when I was about two thirds of the way through cooking dinner there were no trouble at all and were able to both give them a tour tease them with the smell of good food and finished dinner with everything coming out very well. We have a plan for tomorrow, as my niece is now living in Miami Beach, so early tomorrow morning will be off to Miami Beach to see her.