Saturday, June 11, 2016

The next venture begins

In a few hours I'll head north to Flagstaff to spend the night and catch up with some friends up there. Then to Utah and Idaho.

I'm getting used to the routines of going on the road.  Emma the dog is across the street with my friend Steve, her alternate doggy daddy.  I've done laundry, packed clothing.  Food shopping and moving food from the house refrigerator to the rig.  This morning -- it's 4:30 as I write this -- I need to straighten up the house so it's welcoming when I return, and organize the last-minute stuff like shaving gear and the electronics.  

The road to departure has had a couple of bumps. When I set up the solar panel in the parking lot so the refrigerator could start cooling down, the indicator lights weren't what I'd come to expect.  That set off a flurry of email and phone calls with the folks at Renogy in California who supply the unit.  I cannot speak highly enough of them, not just because they make good gear at reasonable prices, but because they provide excellent customer support.  Excellent, I tell you!  They were ready to ship a new unit to me on the road, and sent me a prepaid FedEx mailing label so I could return the old one. Adam spent a lot of time with me, helping troubleshoot the "symptoms" I was seeing, and was unfailingly courteous.  When you buy high tech gear that you only partly understand, good tech support is crucial. These guys are the best.  If you ever contemplate getting solar gear, you can find their stuff on their web site or go to Amazon.  Tell them Rich sent you.  They won't know who I am, but they'll pretend they do and treat you right.  And they're even in the same time zone, sort of. 

Eventually the solar panel and its controller and the rig's indicators all decided to play nice, and it's behaving normally.  And Adam's offer to send a replacement wherever I am stands.  Nice!

The other bump was literally that.  Temperature regulation in a propane refrigerator is pretty crude; it depends on sliding a thermo-whatsis up and down one of the cooling fins, checking the temperature with a thermometer, and repeat.  It's easy to move the whatsis accidentally when you're loading food and I did.  It wasn't as cold as it should be. PANIC!  Then I remembered that I do this every darn time, took a deep breath, and fiddled with the whatsis.  I just checked, and it's nicely cold in all the right places out there.

You like the technical jargon??

So: shower, shave, wash the breakfast dishes, pack the laptop, and I'm ready.  I'll try to check in regularly, so those of you who want to worry can do so.   Be well, folks!

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