Thursday, October 17, 2013

Fast Mover and flowing neutrons...

Not wanting to run out of time before my conference in Vegas, put the pedal to the medal and zipped through California quite fast.  Left Crescent City and headed straight to the deserty area, Bakersfield. This is the route I took.

Normally I stop every two hours or so to take a break, but not this time..  Left around 9 am and pulled in to a Truck Stop around 9:30 pm, with about 45 minutes of stop time in there.  Looong day, wasn't overly tired though.

Leaving Crescent City was wonderful, for first couple hours of the drive.  It was a very scenic trip through more of the redwood forest, shady spots and windy roads in some areas.  Felt sorry for the people behind me as was going up the hills, but not much could do about the speed..  This isn't equipped with a rocket engine.  Could 3D print one some day though..

After leaving the redwoods area, it was the typical "highway scenery", in that there was nothing particularly interesting or noteworthy.  Well, one thing noteworthy..

California has HORRIBLE roads in places, but most states do (can't believe size of some potholes in NYC, as example).  While going south along 101, there were couple spots where was bouncing up and down like an excited school boy wanting to answer a question, or get the eye of a cute girl.  Really had a feeling the suspension would pop out those times.  As it was, the hydraulic jack (for the motorcycle/scooter lift) went down and was solidly resting on the safety pin, which was the first, and only time, it happened.

Passed through San Francisco, really wanting to drive over the Golden Gate bridge. Chose to bypass that this trip, much to my chagrin.  Next time will take the RV over it, during rush hour. Ok, maybe not, but who knows.  Am pretty sure saw it from a distance, twas hard to tell as was on a tallish bridge and didn't want to look too far down, or out.

I really wanted to hook onto Route 1 to follow the coast more, but felt the need to head inland.  Hearst Castle is still on my short term to do list, among many other destinations.

Instrument Lights

 I know, I know, didn't post this in the Initial RV Statistics post as wasn't sure about legality of driving without instrument lights.  Probably not a huge deal, but never know with politicians these days trying to increase ticket revenue.

According to the person I purchased the RV from, the instrument lights didn't work while they owned it.  Am not sure if this was when they purchased it, or due to some type of repair that was done.  Doesn't matter in any case, they didn't work.

It turns out that the problem is it wasn't getting 12V electricity, that simple.  The source wire (was green, not sure why), was hooked directly to ground (the frame) and so the positive and negative wires for the lights both went to ground and didn't get any electricity.  Found this out when pulled into the Campground at Crescent City, CA. Since then was trying to wrack brain about how to get 12V without a lot of work.

Turns out, there are tons of switches on the dash, so I pulled the 12V supply from one (not labeled so not sure what it is for) and hooked that up to the instrument lights, and voila, it works!  This was done at a truck stop enroute to Bakersfield, which is why could drive 12 hours that day...  Necessity is the mother of all (forget exact quote).

Electrical Modification

As a result of the instrument lights, noticed there were quite a few other wires in that same cluster hooked to ground, and there was a 15 amp inline fuse in that bunch.  Am guessing it's all supposed to hook up to 12V.

The current (pun intended) plan is to get some 6, or 8, gauge wire and run it from the battery directly to an electrical block in front, depending on size, and quantity, of current supply wires.  This would be overkill as it will easily handle 30 amps with 6 gauge, and 20+ amps with 8 gauge. Might just put a large breaker, or fuse, in this wire too, to be safer.

This might also solve the odometer issue as well as the jack issue.  Some people have reported, after cleaning electrical contacts, that their odometer problem (same as mine), was resolved.  We will see.

Found at least one initial problem with the leveling jacks.  In the troubleshooting manual, found in this post, on page 16, lists the wiring diagram for the whole system.  According to the diagram, pin 5, of the 6 pin connecter, should have 12V applied to it when key is switched on.  This contains no electricity at all and is hooked to ground (according to multi-meter).  Have a funny feeling (unconfirmed right now), that it is also among that gaggle of wires mentioned above.

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