We’re getting ready to head out on our first “test” trip. We’ll probably be out about 3 weeks this time. Somewhere in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. Nothing’s etched in stone. It’s not a test of whether we’re ready for the full-time RV life. We already know that we are, having taken several extended trips in the past in this same motorhome, as well as having lived in it “full-time” for 3 months.
This is more a test of whether the rig is ready. I say “rig”, because I’m including the Bounder, as well as the Jeep toad. It’s hard to believe that we have been preparing for our Great Escape approaching a year. It started last September, when I auctioned off several items on EBay as a means of financing a good portion of my then upcoming solar project. For reference, the 400 watt solar project with 440ah battery bay was completed at the beginning of this year.
Next on the agenda was installation of a long overdue Trimetric battery monitor, one of the best decisions I’ve made after considerable feedback that such a device was a must-have.
Somewhere along the way, our attentions were diverted to an interior remodel consisting of removal of all the carpet, replacing it with vinyl “wood” plank flooring in the living area and bedroom floors.
And speaking of the bedroom, we decided to ditch the undersized queen bed that was mounted with head against driver side, foot toward passenger side with about a one foot (maybe) walk around. In its place we built two twin beds and ordered 12 in. thick memory foam mattresses and decorative bedding accessories.
Recently, after several years of no in-dash air conditioning, we dodged a bullet and got away with a re-charge of the system. Driving locally suggests everything is a-okay.
Then, as if that was not enough, I decided to upgrade the converter. Converters, convert 120 volts AC to 12 volts DC in order to allow for interior coach lighting and other items, and also incorporate a battery charger for use when on shore power. These units have really taken a giant leap forward over the years since our Bounder was manufactured. Not only are they physically smaller so as not to take up as much space, they are lighter and more powerful. And most importantly, the built-in battery charger is state-of-the-art, incorporating true multi-stage levels of charging.
Not wanting to quit while I was ahead, I decided to install a 2000 watt inverter. If we are really to be “boondockers”, solar and powerful batteries are not enough. A powerful inverter is needed to run tools and small appliances.
So now, the testing begins. Tomorrow I will do a dry run of hooking up the Jeep to the Bounder utilizing the as yet untested Sterling Roadmaster tow hitch. These units are a bit pricey and I must say that, had it not been included with our purchase of the Jeep, I probably would have gone with something less expensive and less complicated.
Our game plan is to hit the road this Thursday, about 5 days from now. But, then it dawned on me that we’re retarded, er “retired”. So, maybe if it’s not Thursday, it’ll be Friday. Who knows? What’s the rush? 🙂