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clyndes 07-28-2009 10:25 AM

First Trip
 
The toaster doesn’t work! I was so tickled with the toaster, and now that I have a chance to use it, it doesn’t work.

Actually, it may work, but I can’t tell. That is because this campsite doesn’t have 50 amp power, only 30, and the 20 amp outlet has one of those ground fault things on it and that pops when I even get close to it with a power cable from my Wanderlodge. So I’m powering the circuit with the battery charger, the refrigerator and one air conditioner, No Toaster.

This is our first trip in our new to us Bluebird, a 1983 FC. It is in really good shape, considering it is 26 years old. I brought it to a local mechanic back home, and he was very impressed with the condition it is in. Said someone took really good care of it.

This summer I’ve had it parked at the campground where Lucie, my partner, and I have a trailer with a sun room. It has been my hobby, giving me something to do in the evenings after work. I’ve discovered a lot about it, fixed a few lights, done a lot of maintenance, broken a few things and then fixed them (don’t ask). But we both work most of the summer, so it hasn’t gone anywhere, and we haven’t stayed in it, until now. Now we’re on our 2 week vacation.

We left Vermont yesterday, after taking a day and a half to recover from the work week and pack up everything that we needed. An empty RV is a challenge. It has show me that Lucie and I are going to be all right, as we got through deciding what was necessary and what we could leave home. I’ve been saying that this is our retirement home, sometime we will be full timing. One thing I’m really happy about is the amount of storage it has. We have packed everything and there are still empty overhead compartments, drawers and basement compartments.

We drove south and east, our destination Portland Maine, our first night goal a Walmart Superstore to finish the provisioning. As dusk was approaching we stopped in Epping NH at a Walmart, which wisely allowed overnight RV parking. We filled a shopping cart last night with kitchen supplies, towels, an inverter and many little odds and ends. Then this morning we filled another with groceries and more of the day to day necessities for our new home.

As we left the Walmart I stopped at a gas station to top up the 260 gallon fuel tank, that had mysteriously dropped ¼ tank while sitting for two months. The mechanic I brought it to back home had mentioned tightening up a connection and stopping a fuel leak… Our mileage was UNDER 2 MPG. On the trip up to Vermont when we originally purchased it it go 8.5. I’m glad the leak is fixed! Now that it is filled we can gauge what it is getting again.

Now we’re parked in a rustic campground, Recompense in Freeport, on Casco Bay, north of Portland Maine. Getting it in here was very interesting, narrow roads with many turns and lots of mud and rain soaked roadbeds. The rear wheels have sunk into the gravel of the campsite about 3 inches, and I nearly got it stuck trying to back it in here. I realize a lot of that has to do with my inexperience with driving it, but this thing is HEAVY.

A few questions for the more experienced members who may be reading this.

Where do you put the trash cans? Specifically for the kitchen and the bathroom?

When you take the cover off the burners, where do you put that while you are cooking?

How long can you go on battery power?

Does it matter if you keep the throttle peddle to the floor when the Max Fuel
Flow light comes on?

How do you fix the little springs that keep the latches for the overhead compartments closed?

We’ve paid for a week here, relaxing on the ocean. I’ll write more as this first trip progresses.

Craig Lyndes
’83 FC 35’
Colchester VT

gcyeaw 07-28-2009 10:49 AM

Craig,
Battery power is an interesting thing. There are many phantom loads in a Bird that drain the batteries constantly (sporlin valves in particular). We usually run the genie in the morning to make hot water and charge the batteries. Then again in the evening to charge things up for the night. Don't leave your computer power supply plugged in or any other item that uses power when you don't need it. The condition of your batteries is also a major part of the equation. When I get up in the morning the batteries are usually showing 12 volts or less. Your generator battery should be isolated so it isn't drained. That way if you accidentally kill the batteries you should be able to start the genie and charge them up.

Try turning off the main breakers in your power panel and plugging in the shore line. If it doesn't trip the grounjd fault, turn off all the breakers, turn on the mains one at a time, then turn on the breakers one at a time to see if thare is a particulatr curcuit that is the problem.

A few questions for the more experienced members who may be reading this.

Where do you put the trash cans? Specifically for the kitchen and the bathroom?
We have a small one that squeezes next to the toilet, and another small one that attaches to the inside of the door under the sink.

When you take the cover off the burners, where do you put that while you are cooking?
I but the cover on the bed, if I put it anywhere else and I trip over it.

How long can you go on battery power?
10 or 11 hours (that is me, others may be different)

Does it matter if you keep the throttle peddle to the floor when the Max Fuel
Flow light comes on?
I tend to try not to lug the engine. That is mashing it to the floor and slowing down on a hill. I try to keep the light just on the edge, but once again, that is my idea, I have no proof it is the best way.

How do you fix the little springs that keep the latches for the overhead compartments closed?
OK, you mean the latch that hooks to the aluminum under the door? Or the gas springs that hold the doors open. The gas springs get replaced. The latches wear a groove in the aluminum and need to be re positioned slightly to the side to grip on a new area.

gcyeaw 07-28-2009 11:05 AM

Craig,
I re-read your update, can you locate a 30-50 amp adapter? I have a cord that is wired for a 30 amp plug with a 50 amp connector for the coach. It is wired so the 30 amp feeds both sides of the main pannel.

A 30 to 50 amp adapter should accomplish the same thing.

vad_007 07-28-2009 02:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by clyndes (Post 25663)

A few questions for the more experienced members who may be reading this.

Where do you put the trash cans? Specifically for the kitchen and the bathroom?

When you take the cover off the burners, where do you put that while you are cooking?


Colchester VT

for us, we put our garbage can in the shower(it's is big enough to use for the bathroom and kitchen garbage)...then when we have a shower we move it to just over the step or under the table

and as for the stove cover...I also place it on the bed, well out of the way of humans and pets

sanibel 07-28-2009 05:36 PM

GFCI
 
I cured the GFCI tripping problem on my bus with some effort. I had a couple of white/green shorts. Disconnect all power. With an ammeter check for continuity (low ohms) between the white and green on the shorepower inlet. If you have continuity, pull the circuit breaker face panel and confirm continuity between the white and green bus bars. Start pulling white wires off the bar until you get an open circuit. That is a bad one. Reconnect the rest of the wires checking after each one to be sure there is only one bad circuit. If desired, you can then disconnect the hot from that breaker and start using the shorepower if you can live without that circuit, fixing at your leisure by hunting down and disconnecting every connection, checking after each. My problems were in the engine block heater and an outlet behind the fridge. I've also had a bad water heater element do the same thing. Good luck. At least it is usually a cheap fix.


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