Final preparations are well underway. We decided that before we head out for six months it would be smart to take a short trial run. Until recently we have been sleeping on an air mattress placed on top of the fold-down sofa. The air mattress had two drawbacks, it was very uncomfortable, and by morning it had lost so much air we had sunk to the sofa anyway. In it’s place I built a platform and on that we placed a memory foam mattress which we bought and cut down to fit our space. The new mattress is very comfortable and it increased the amount of storage under the bed. That was a pleasant discovery.
Another discovery we made on the trial run was that the battery we had bought last summer to replace the bad house battery did not work. I suffer from a condition called sleep apnea and must have a breathing apparatus going as I sleep. It pulls about 2.5 amps and along with other necessary things we pull about 7 or 8 amps all night. That means the battery which is supposed to have a capacity of 115 amp/hours should run a little over half way down in an 8 hour sleeping session. Not a problem, right? Wrong. The thing ran from 100% to zero in 2.5 hours. I spent the entire next day testing things and puzzling over this problem. I found nothing which would account for a major draw down on the battery. The only other possibility was a defective battery. When we got home I called Camping World, where we purchased the battery. I asked them to look up the paperwork on the battery I had purchased last summer. They looked it up and informed me of the model number. I asked them what the amp/hour rating was on that battery. They said there was no amp/hour rating because it was a starting battery, not a house battery. I asked them why they sold me that battery as a house battery. They said they did not know I needed a house battery. I asked them why they did not know I needed a house battery when they installed the battery in the house part of the vehicle. They said, “hold on”. As I waited on hold, I tried to calm myself so I would not be terribly rude to the young lady who was trying to help me. I succeeded in calming down and was ready to argue my position calmly, but she came back on the line and apologized for the mix up. She said I could bring the van back in and they would replace the battery for me. I thanked her and drove to the store that same day. As it turned out, the battery I needed was $100 less than the one they sold me in error. I love refunds. Happy ending.
The new battery should work fine, but we will be doing one more short trial run to be sure. We will be doing lots of dry camping on our trip and this battery is very important.
Everything else checked out just fine. All other systems are working well. You may recall the sewer disaster from a previous post. After the repairs were completed I made some other modifications that have made dumping the holding tanks much easier and faster. That means less time and energy dealing with sewage. I like that. Sewage is not one of my favorite things. I don’t mind creating it, but I don’t like working with it.