Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Our first driveway

Driving across the Smoky Mountains

"Where in the world is Odin the Winnebago?  The Unicoi, TN WalMart--in the mountains and that's fog/mist!"

Grocery shopping

One of the errands that require the most planning on a boat is grocery shopping.  Find an anchorage with a store.  Load up backpacks and grocery list (ha, ha.  Wish list!).  Dinghy into the dock.  Walk to store.  Repack into backpacks.  Walk back.  Load into dinghy.  Load into boat.  Unpack in cockpit.  Put away, careful to only open fridge the minimum amount of time.  Sailboat friends, you many want to look away for the next part:  There are advantages and disadvantages to taking your house to the grocery store.  Advantage?  The pic above--only unload once!  Disadvantage?  Even though we parked in the back of the parking lot, people were attracted to us like flies.  They parked all around us.  One woman parked so close (less than a foot from the driver's side window) that I had to get out and tell her we wanted to leave soon.  She said, "I'm meeting my daughter in an RV and you're not her!"  Ha, ha, ha!  Yes, I'm sure we all look alike to non-RVers.

Our first driveway!

Luckily, The Colonel's brother has had big trucks in here before, so he knew to tell us to back down their dead end road, then into their driveway.  Try something new everyday!


When the Winnebago a/c was acting up (in 95F heat), we bought a portable a/c unit.  Similar to our window unit for the boat, it doesn't take much to cool such a small space.  I hated spending the extra money, but we've found it helps supplement our manufacturer installed a/c to cool Odin down quicker after a long drive on a hot day.  Even better, it can be plugged into a regular household outlet (Odin's a/c requires 30 amp minimum, preferably 50).  While staying in our family's driveway, we needed to keep the coach cool for Princess Kitty.  We ran an extension cord with an adaptor from their front porch and watched the amp draw.  The portable a/c pulls less than 8 amps on a 20 amp plug with a few lights on.  If we turn on the a/c fan to help recirculate then we show 12 amps. (A box fan is also another option).  We're careful to only run one high draw item at a time--turn a/c off for Nutribullet, electric tea kettle or microwave so we don't blow our family's breaker).  The portable a/c fits snugly under our dining table and the exhaust hose goes out the side window (the newer ones don't require a water drain).  This will keep the coach 5-10 degrees cooler than the outside temp, which may not be enough for some, but it's comfortable for us and Princess Amelia.

Handy to have a 30-amp to 20-amp adapter or a 3-plug extension cord.

We also use the 1/4" silver insulation (comes in rolls at the hardware store) against as many windows as practical.  Awnings out (we're lucky to have extra awnings over both bedroom windows & the entry door).  Shades down as practical.

Could you run portable a/c on solar?  Maybe!

After days of tinkering, the moment when we get the main TV hooked to the laptop so we can watch Netflix & The Tour de France. Priceless! (Stay tuned for our setup)

Parked in a family members driveway for free!  OK, not totally free. Helping with new siding.
#brothers #powertools

The moment Princess Amelia discovered the screen door...

Day 1 of preventive maintenance:  engine wash & lube (access under our bed.  House smells like engine lubricant). 

Day 2:  climbed up on roof for further inspection & to measure our actual height.  The air suspension was down but we had the levelers extended.  11'9" at head exhaust fan cover so we'll call that an even 12 ft (manufacturer's brochure 12'1"?!). Today:  Wash & wax. I'm hiding!

Ironically, after a storm, our family's power went out for 24 hours, then again for another 12.  We cranked up Odin's generator, turned on the a/c, plugged in THEIR fridge and wifi router and moved the party out to our house!  It's the perfect apocalypse vehicle (Too much Walking Dead and Justin Cronin?)

Absolutely, gorgeous!

Our family has a treat in store.  Mountain biking the Virginia Creeper Trail!  We drive out to Damascus, VA and rent bicycles from Adventure Damascus.  They drive you up Whitetop mountain and you ride down.  Jonesborough's elevation is 1693.  Damascus is 1952.  Whitetop is 3500 ft (and yes, it's much cooler up there, in addition to the trail being mostly shaded!)  That's a 1600 foot drop over 17 miles.  It's a crushed limestone and cinder rail trail that crosses the Appalachian Trail at least three times.  (One of our favorite books is "A Walk in the Woods" by Bill Bryson and we had just watched the movie a few days before.)  For the particularly hearty, you can continue on to Abingdon, another 17 miles and they'll pick you up at the end.  Or you can ride UP the mountain, then coast down.  Next time.  Highly recommend.

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