2012-05-24 Thu to 2012-05-29 Tue – Memorial Day Week-end (From Atlanta, GA to Ellijay, GA) <approximately 130 miles north>
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I had a hard time preparing for this trip. I had many ‘house’ items to finish before leaving such as washing clothes and washing dishes. On my last outing, my 12-volt plug to the battery wasn’t working. The marine panel that I installed had blown the fuse when I installed the in-line fuses on the last time that I worked on the van. I didn’t realize it until the plug didn’t work. I usually use my fan on that circuit. So…. I investigated the circuit and found out that the fuse had blown. I thought that this would be a simple fix – WRONG. I took the old fuse to the store with me and bought a box of 5 fuses that I thought would work. The fuses in the box were just a little longer than the fuse that I took out. How did that happen? Aren’t these things standard? (Answer: NO) I took the fuse to an auto parts store and asked the attendant about a replacement fuse – same result. OK – there must be a special MARINE fuse or something that will fit this socket – problem is … I live in the city and there aren’t any marine stores around. The attendant in the auto parts store reminded me that there was a Radio Shack store a mile away that may have a weird sized fuse. SO, I trucked up to the Radio Shack store and the attendant pulled out a drawer of fuses and handed me one. It looked like the 2 that I had seen previously. I asked him to examine it more closely and that the new fuse that he proposed would be my answer to the blown fuse was actually a little longer than the old fuse. He looked more carefully — scratched his head and said “I don’t know”. I asked him if he had any 12-volt sockets for sale. He showed me one from the wall display that had 3 sockets on a fused line. It cost about $21, so I decided to REPLACE the Marine panel and the previously working 12-volt socket with a new one that had a standard fuse. I bought the new gadget and prepared for my trip to Ellijay – leaving on the next day. I HATE working on electrical connections to the battery, so I decided to “put-it-off” until I returned from the trip. I knew that I could probably hook-up to some electricity on this trip, so I packed a small electrical fan and an extension cord. (Yes, I could use the van battery and the 1500 amp pure-sign wave AIMS inverter – but, I thought that the usage power for the inverter would be more than what the fan used. AND – I’m still learning how much power both the inverter and the fan uses, so I would just use electricity for this trip — because, it was easily available.)
I left Atlanta on Thursday in order to avoid some of the Friday Memorial Day traffic. <Note: Anytime that you can avoid traffic in Atlanta, that is a “good thing”.> So, I met Karen after she returned to her camp host parking from her ‘day-job’. We had a great time talking and visiting. For the Memorial Day week-end cook-out, I had stopped at Kroger and bought some pork ribs and BBQ sauce. A camp guest, Jason, told us that his group had been coming to the campground for 15 years and that they would be smoking boston butt in the pavilion 55-gallon drum cooker. He said that we could add our ribs to their 8 boston butts and that he would cook them for us. So, on Sunday, cooking-day, I took the ribs to the pavilion, met Jason and he put them in the smoker for us. He told us that they would need to cook for 5 hours. His group assembled for supper about 5:00pm, and shortly afterward, I went to the pavilion and retrieved the ribs to the camp host picnic table area. Karen and Ken added some sides and we had a wonderful meal – Best ribs that I think that I’ve ever tasted! Jason, also brought us a plate of his meat with 2 kinds of BBQ sauces: one was a honey-mustard sauce and the other was a vinegar-ketchup sauce. Both were very good and had just a little ‘bite’. This meal was undoubtedly the highlight of the week-end.
Ken left on Monday morning, and Karen and I read books and talked and watched a movie at night. (I had started reading the book “A Beautiful Mind” before the trip.) The weather was beautiful – with some rain threatening a little once. It’s beginning to get warm in the middle of the day (about 85 degrees Farenheit in the middle of the day) and the electric fan was really appreciated.
Several days after returning to Atlanta, I decided to install the new, Radio Shack, 3-socket, 12-volt, power cord to the battery. Meanwhile, I had also bought a black boat battery plastic top that has a 12-volt plug from Wal-Mart on an impulse. (The battery box top has both a black and red thick wires and 2 fuses under the top. A waterproof 12-volt socket is included in the plastic molding.) I put the new battery top on the right battery, and the new 3-plug power cord on the left battery. I hope that the power usage is balanced some by connecting the devices this way. I took off the marine boat panel and replaced it with the 2 new 12-volt socket options. I have included some pictures at the bottom.
After returning from Ellijay, I saw a folding Picnic Table for sale on the internet. I couldn’t resist purchasing one and it arrived on the day that I was re-wiring the 12-volt sockets into the battery.
((My Dad has a nickname for me and it is “Puddin”. He started calling me that when I was very young. I named my van, “Vanna White”. When I decided to start a blog, I wanted a unique name for my travels and the names “Puddin” and “Vanna White” came to mind.))