While we stayed with the Millers we parked Ava in a vacant lot owned by their neighbors. We considered taking it to their house but it would have been a challenge to park and this vacant lot was a breeze. But the area seemed slightly sketchy. I thought about moving the bikes inside the trailer but figured that 3 cable locks would be enough. Before we went to visit my niece in Birmingham we stopped by the rig to get some stuff. I could see something hanging loosely at the back of the trailer, my heart sank, and when I rounded the back of the camper….all 4 bikes were there (Brielle’s gets stored in the basement). However, someone had cut the ropes and taken the bungees off…so there was at least an attempted theft. Oh I was fuming mad that someone would do that…I just don’t understand the mentality of taking other people’s stuff. But I’ve had a pretty nice life so maybe I just don’t get it. We moved the bikes inside the rig so they would hopefully be more secure. By the way, 4 out of our 5 bikes were purchased on Craigslist…these are used bikes…no titanium frames, kevlar belts, plutonium filled shocks, etc…just plain ol used bikes.
Anyhow I decided to stay at the camper the next night by myself while the rest of the family stayed at the Miller’s. I figured if there were any issues I could provide the thieves with a choice between a 9 iron and a pitching wedge, but Steph said, “I don’t want you to spend the trip dead!”. Really I’m a peaceful guy, but boy was my hide chapped! Well, when I got to the camper the light in the kids’ bedroom was on…and had been on ALL DAY LONG! And I’m sitting in a vacant lot with no shore power to charge the batteries. Would we have enough juice to get the slides in or would I be learning the manual way to retract them? Or could I jumper to the truck batteries? Would I be lifting the camper by hand (which I already know how to do)?
Next morning slides went in, landing geared raised us up no problem!! Yeehaw! So, you may be asking why is he thankful for thieves? Well, had some thieves not given us a scare with the bikes I would not have stayed the night in the trailer. Had I not stayed the night in the trailer I would not have seen the light was on. Had I not seen that the light was on I would not have turned it off. Had I not turned it off the battery would have probably drained to nothing. Had the battery drained to nothing we would have had to figure out how to get slides in and front raised….AND we would have lost the stuff in the fridge and freezer (even in propane mode the unit requires 12V to operate control board and valve).
Thank you thugs/punks/thieves…you saved our batteries!
When we arrived at our next destination I decided to teach Steph and Caden how to hook up to shore power. They get it all connected and they turn on the breaker and I go to show them the blinking light that indicates that the system is happy…but it isn’t blinking. Caden says, “whats that funky sound?” I turn the breaker off. Is the pedestal voltage and polarity ok?…check. Is the surge protector happy?…check. I turn on the circuit breakers on the rig one by one to find the culprit is the AC/DC converter. I googled something like “rv converter periodic fizzle pop doink sound” and see that a bad battery can cause this…and we just pushed our batteries really hard. Also, the day before we left CO my buddy Eric tested the batteries and said one was a little iffy. I put 2 and 2 together, added 12 and carried the five and came up with a bad battery. We ran on the remaining good battery for a day and then I replaced them both. Mr. Barry from Barry’s Batteries in Panama City has been in the battery biz for 30 years and will tell you anything and everything about batteries, his ex-wife, the government and that “it’s too damn cold for shorts son!!”