Friday, May 29, 2015

Alaska Trip....Not this year...Motorhome is just not ready for it...


Here is where we camped last night, at McKay Truck and RV Center.   It was a fairly peaceful place to spend the night…along Old Salem Road, this once busy road is fairly peaceful now.  There is also a bit of a buffer between the road and the lot where we were gated in, but with a pass code in case we had an emergency and needed to take the car somewhere.

Paul, tech from McKay Truck and RV Center

Service Tech Paul got right on it at 8:45.  All of the fuses checked out.  All of the relays that dealt with “auxiliary batteries” checked out.  After 2+ hours of looking and looking all over the place, what couldn’t be found was the battery isolator. 

Battery Isolator

A battery isolator (or split charge relay) allows an auxiliary battery to be charged by the vehicle's system, yet not participate in engine starting.  It also prevents the starting battery from being run down by your equipment when the engine is off.
Paul, who has been working as a RV Tech since 1977, told me that the better thing to get now days is this Sure Power 1314 Uni-Directional Battery Separator (for a 30 amp system).  It is easy to install….one end to a line coming off the alternator, and the other on house battery, and then ground it when you mount it.  This device also has a Start Assist Feature.   An optional input from the key switch or a manual switch will program the Battery Separator to parallel the batteries during starting. This feature will only engage if the auxiliary battery has sufficient power available to assist in starting.  We already have the switch in place, and Paul was not sure it was working either.

Now one would think that we were disappointed with McKay Truck and RV Center.  That would be farthest from the truth. Paul spent 2 1/2 hours working on this project…even Buddy, the head of the RV division, came out to look things over.  It is not there fault that Dynamax hid it so well.  Paul thinks it might be above a bunch of sprayed on insulation. They asked me for more time so that they could call Dynamax…but we had already felt that heading back was the right thing to do…that a smaller trial run was what we should have done.  I complement them on their effort…and oh, by the way…they only charged us $60.  When I showed that to Marcia, she could not believe it….she thought for sure we had blown a couple hundred bucks. And remember, we stayed the night…that could have cost $30-$40 at an RV park!

So essentially, it is time to punt….time to regroup.  As many of you know, we bought this motorhome a year ago after our previous class C burned up in a storage fire in Tarpon Springs.  We thought after a year we would be ready to travel the 8,000 mile round trip from California to Alaska and back.  But since we left in mid April from Florida, just too many things show us that we are just not there yet.  We need to have a few good trial runs with everything working right…and we are not there yet.

Where do we go from here?

I will be planning a few minor trips…if they go well, we will plan a major trip with options to call it off if needed.  For instance, the major trip might be to go to Utah to visit Stephanie.  From there, if things go well, we can go up to the Tetons, and Yellowstone again, or return back to Sacramento if needed.  “If” things are going well at the Tetons and Yellowstone, we can head up to Glacier, and go over the boarder…and if it is still going well, go to Banff and Jasper.  If things are still going well, we might even head over to Hyder and see the bears feed…and feel good because we did make it to a small portion of Alaska.  After that, we would head south…spend time in Washington…and then back to Sacramento.  I think “that”, if we decide to do that, would be the extent of our travels this year.  But there are other major trips we can do without going too far from Sacramento…and that is also an option. First thing first…get the battery situation fixed…and a few other minor items too.  Then we will decide what to do from there.

 
So here we are near Roseburg Oregon, at a Passport America park for two nights at $12 per night.  It is a lovely little RV park and Golf Course along a river.  It is called, On the River Golf and RV Resort.  We plan to be here two or three nights…if a third, it is full price of $24.  We went into Roseburg tonight to a Greek Restaurant called Alexander's Greek Cuisine.  Not bad for a Greek Restaurant in a little town in Oregon, but would never make it in a Greek Community like Tarpon Springs.  We plan to stay out until Tuesday or Wednesday, see if any more bugs pop out before we make it to the safety of my sister's backyard.  Besides, we have to be sure we have time to finish off all that Moose Munch!
 

16 comments:

  1. So SO sorry to hear you are postponing your trip, but it's certainly understandable. That's not a place you want to break down for ANY reason ... in several areas, services are very far apart!! Good attitude about it though ... I would have been fuming!!! LOL

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    1. Disappointed yes, fuming no...not drunk either (LOL)

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  2. Sorry to hear that you need to postpone your trip again. But it does sound like a very wise decision. Maybe take a shorter trip up through Albert and visit Calgary and Edmonton and the Icefields Parkway!? Sure would give the flavor of Alaska with all the glaciers and gorgeous glacial lakes! Very easy to visit most of the lakes without the need to take big hikes. The NP campgrounds in Jasper and Banff are very nice. We, also, saw lots of wildlife.

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    1. I am hoping that we feel comfortable enough to get up into Canada...and I would love to see the bears in Hyder feeding...but time will tell.

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  3. Aw, Dave, so sorry you have to postpone your big trip. I know you both must be disappointed. But there's plenty to see in the lower 48, too. I know you'll have fun whatever you do.

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    1. Always lots to see...been in 47 states, Marcia has been in around 35. Sure looking forward to that 48th and 49th state, which would complete it for me because they don't have a road to Hawaii yet.

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  4. One of our friends ran into this same problem on her RV. The techs had a hard time finding her battery isolator too - sorry I don't remember where it was.

    Sorry about your trip having to be postponed once again.:-( I hope you'll still get to see some of the beautiful places in this part of the country since Alaska has been put on hold.

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    1. Worse case is we put in the new Battery Separator, run new wires. It would be nice to find the isolator though so we can use the original wires.

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  5. I'm so sorry your trip didn't work out as originally planned. Maybe we'll cross paths with you on an Alaska trip next year.

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    1. Not sure what next year holds, nor the rest of this year....but Alaska trip will always be a goal...wouldn't mind going a few times myself, but there needs to be a once one way or another.

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    2. Sorry to hear you won't be going to Alaska. If you make it to Hyder (that still counts as Alaska) it was quite interesting for us.

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    3. Yep, that's what I was thinking, if we feel comfortable about that later.

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  6. We all have goals and aspirations, but sometimes God has other plans. I'm sure that if you and Marcia are meant to visit Alaska it will happen someday. However, no matter what you do - relax and enjoy the summer! :-)

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  7. I feel badly for you, since it was your heart's desire to see Alaska. Hopefully, you'll be able to do this, next year. Blessings, Lynn

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    1. Our heart's desire is, as stated at the top header of our blog, "Our journeys to see the majestic wonders of God", and as you know, those are EVERYWHERE. Yes, we would like to see the wonders of Alaska, and we still might be able to see a little of Alaska, if the Lord be willing.

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