Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Joy of Owning an RV

Well this was an exciting day! With no winds blowing I decided to pull the protective cover off the RV even if I had to do it by myself. By lifting the end and slowly brushing the snow off the roof, I managed to get almost all the way across the length of the Winnie with out a problem. The very front end was a different story. The wind sun and wind hadn't gotten all the old snow off and there was a layer of ice fusing the cover to the RV's roof. The cover eventually ripped as I tugged and tugged. Still, I got it off. Mostly. A small patch of fabric is still stuck to the roof over the driver's side.

Then I tried to start the RV's engine. Nothing. Not even a click, click, click from the battery. Well, it's been very,. very cold so that wasn't much of a surprise. I hooked the jumper cables up to the truck and let it charge a bit while I installed the auxilliary batteries that had been fully charged in the garage. Then I tried starting the engine again. It wasn't easy since I couldn't rev the Tundra's engine while trying to crank the Winnie's but I eventually got it to start. I let the Winnie run while I disconnected the jumper cables and moved the Tundra back to its parking space. Forty-five minutes later I turned the Winnie's engine off and tried to start it again. Nothing. Not even a click, click, click.

I pulled the battery out of the Winnie and brought it into the garage, attached it to my battery charger and checked its voltage. The charger told me it was at 6.5 volts which didn't seem right. Thinking the battery--new in August--might have gone bad, I put it in the Tundra and, at 2:30 on a Saturday afternoon, headed down to Mansfield Exxon hoping against hope that Ryan might be there. Normally he's only there 8:00 AM to noon on Saturday IF he has any work to do.

Luck was on my side for a change and Ryan was doing some maintenance on his personal snowmobiles in preparation of a trip he's taking later in the week. He opened up the shop for me and tested the battery. It was so weak that it wouldn't even run his testing device. "Let me but it on my charger and then we'll test it again. I warn you it doesn't look good though. Go do some shopping or something and come back in an hour."

So I went off to CVS, the liqour store and McDonalds. (Hey, I had skipped lunch.) An hour later I got back to Ryan and we tested the battery again. This time there was enough charge to run his little hand-held device and it told him that the battery had only 5 volts, zero cranking volts, and was no good and...that's when it suddenly crashed to zero across the board. Luckily, Ryan had a fully charged battery just the same size and I had just enough cash in my wallet to pay for it.

When I got back to the Aerie, I popped the new battery into the Winnie, tightened the cables down and turned the key with my fingers crossed. VROOM! The engine started right up. I let it run a little while as I put all my tools away. Then I turned the engine off and started her up once more just to be sure. VROOM!

Time to sit back with a glass of bourbon and say a little prayer that the engine turns over again tomorrow.

UPDATE: When I left Ryan's garage, I told him that if he got a phone call in 45 minutes it would be me with a problem so answer the phone. Well, I didn't have a problem and dindn't have to make that call. Just now, Ryan called me. He had finished up his work on his snow machines and had just gotten home. (Did I mention that he lives just down the hill from the Aerie? And that it's his uncle who will be plowing our driveway if it needs it while we're gone?) Anyway, he thought he'd give me a call and if there was a probelm he'd swing by with his tools. 

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