Saturday, January 12, 2008

Departing without fanfare

It took an extra day to finish up all the sealing, and we took the opportunity to have Jeff the vinyl repair guy touch up the cat-claw damage to our settee. The good news is that last night's rain revealed that most of the downstairs windshield leaks are gone, and perhaps some or all of the major leaks around the exit windows and the bathroom window are also mitigated. Unfortunately, the large Peninsula window at the left front is still leaking badly. I watched them seal up almost every possible entry point around that window, so I admit I am baffled as to how the water is getting in there.

That being said, we are not going to stick around all weekend just to find out. At some point in the future, I will take an air hose to the window and a bottle of soapy water and see if I can't track it down further. At least things are quite a bit dryer in here than they were.

I also realized sometime late Thursday night that we had not really fully tested the new inverter, and we should do so before we rolled out of the shop. (The new remote suffered an infant mortality shortly after my last post, and we already had to replace it -- we wanted to make sure the inverter itself would not suffer the same fate.) So when we rolled into the shop yesterday, we left the cord unplugged, and ran the coach on batteries all day, including the electric heaters as needed. I even fired up the air conditioners for a few minutes just to make sure the new inverter would start them OK.

When we finally came back from dinner last night with Danny and Mitra, the batteries were down nearly 300 amp-hours, and I turned the shore power back on for a good charger test. OMG, we nearly choked from the fumes. Somehow I had convinced myself that, as a factory re-furb, this inverter was already well-used, but it is quite possible that it was a relatively short-lived customer return. In any case, as soon as the charger starting working hard and generating lots of heat, the unit began out-gassing all manner of manufacturing by-products, coatings, and what-have-you. We had to open the downstairs windows and turn the kitchen FanTastic on in the intake mode to push the foul stuff out of the cockpit and not have it kill us up here. We spent two hours bundled up against the cold even though we had the electric heat on full blast -- the FanTastic was bringing in sub-40° air.

We survived the charger test, as did the inverter, and I can even say that the new unit seems to run both quieter and cooler than the old one, although that may be an artifact of blowing cold air through the cockpit the whole time. I now know to expect some more out-gassing over the next couple of weeks as the inverter gets a good workout.

In just a few minutes we will pack up, dump our tanks, and begin the southward trek. Our plan is to head out to the coast west of Oympia, and work our way south on US101, stopping to visit family in Tillamook in a couple of days. I am looking forward to posting more relaxing and recreational narrative here as we meander southward.

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