Lessons Learned – Spring 2015 Trip

OK. Every trip out is a learning experience and with a vintage RV, you seem like you are always on some degree of a shake-down cruise! In addition of the mechanical stuff, there are also things we can do better.

What Went Well

  1. Prior to installing the new carpet I added a 12v power outlet under the dinette. Turns out I used it all the time.  The extra 12 outlet was a great addition.
  2. My Duracell 12v inverter with two USB ports worked very well. I used the two USB ports to charge our two phones. I also used it to keep my laptop charged while working in a parking lot for the afternoon (twice).
  3. Coach battery. My Argosy 20 only has one coach battery so I have to manage power very carefully. During the last two years, I had to replace the old univolt with a new charge controller and the battery (which was fried by the old univolt going bad!). The battery held up well for the whole trip.
  4. Extra fuses! I keep a good supply of extra fuses in my tool bag. I did blow two fuses on one circuit. Still not 100% why but with the old wiring and an electricity conducting aluminum frame make for a tricky combination.
  5. The Beetle towed great behind the Argosy and the magnetic tow lights hung tight on the bumper.
  6. My Wilson Sleek booster worked really well. It was indispensable since I had to work while on the road and the hotspots were not getting good coverage without it.
  7. The AllStays app worked well for finding Wal-Marts to stay at. Of course we also either called the store to confirm or asked at the front desk if they allowed overnight parking.
  8. I bought a HooToo wireless router that has a bridge-mode. The router signs on to the campground’s Wi-Fi and all of your gadgets then connect to the HooToo router. This is handy since you avoid having the connect each device to a new Wi-Fi each time you change locations. I used it while in Pigeon Forge at the private campground and it worked great.

What Did Not Work Well

  1.  My furnace broke part my though.  I already have the part and I just need time to pull out the furnace and replace the part. I have also ordered the Heat Kit for my Brisk Air overhead unit to have a second option for heat.
  2. I actually ran over the wire for the trailer lights while turning in the parking lot. The wiring harness for the lights had lots of extra slack and I did not have it strapped down enough. Fortunately, the wire snapped apart at my bullet connections. It did blow a fuse on the Chevy chassis but I did have the fuse in my toolbox. Next time, strap down the dinghy light harness better!
  3. DON’T pre-pay for campground nights when the campground does not offer refunds. We stayed at a park that was nearly empty and paid for week. Turns out we needed to change our plans and leave after three nights. No refund! We do have a credit though. If the park does not offer refunds and is not busy, only pay for the nights you are POSITIVE that you will be there even if it means paying every day.
  4. Using black USB cords – I used 6′ black USB cords to the previously mentioned inverter. They tended to fall on the floor and get lost among all of the other black cords. I have already ordered colored USB cords (that match my color scheme of course) to distinguish them from the other black cords.
  5. Using the Waze app on my phone as a GPS did not work well. The screen display on my Garmin GPS is much easier to see versus the phone. Waze is a really fun app ….. for the passenger!
  6. Inspect your tires and check the DOT dates. My rear tires were past the seven year rule and started to show some dry rot. You don’t want any issues with the tire while out on the road.

Happy Travels,

Fred