I spent most of this afternoon at the McDonald’s in Port Lavaca until my Mac was fully charged. It was pretty pleasant until a teeming mass of high school kids came in and then the place just got too busy for me. The kids weren’t rowdy or anything and they took up the complete opposite corner of the restaurant, but their chatter filled the room completely. I was glad the laptop was just about charged so I could get out of there.
After the mega storm, the weather vacillated between sunny with white clouds and very overcast. It spit occasionally, but that was it.
I got home to discover I’d gotten 2% worth of charge and was sitting at a 88% battery capacity. Voltage readings were good, too, but that didn’t last of course. Voltage drops in the evening are crazy, I can’t even turn on two LED lights at the same time. I know my wiring and and connections are good so I’m wondering if the problem is the house wiring being too small.
I also now know that my fridge has to do with the low voltage readings I’m getting as it was OFF when I came in, probably because it was competing with the computer for voltage during the storm. I installed my thermometres and will make it a point to check the status of the fridge more regularly. All that to say, I got in and my voltage readings were 12.48 and as soon as the fridge kicked on, voltage dropped to 12.1. I just repeated the exercise, 11.7 with nothing on but the fridge, 12.3 with the fridge on. What a sneaky devil! It only consumes 0.5A, but it’s a voltage monster!
So maybe I don’t have as much of a problem as I thought this morning. That 12.3 reading is very close to what my battery monitor is saying right now. So my problem has to do with voltage drops. Anyone care to chime on that? And, again, all of my modifications were made with 1-gauge wiring in very short lengths. So my wire gauge and connections are NOT suspect!
At any rate, a good part of tonight was devoted to planning my trip!!! I’ve been so busy that I haven’t even had time to think about it! Unfortunately, the weather isn’t looking to be great, so I’m not too motivated to set off at the crack of dawn tomorrow. The plan is to wander down to Port Aransas to check it out and scout out the boondocking opportunities. Then off to Corpus Christi for the latter part of the afternoon to see what it’s all about. Then off to a hotel near the border for the night. The weather is too iffy to count on sleeping in the truck and a looooooooooong shower would be so appreciated!
I wasn’t able to get a good enough deal on Priceline, so I booked through Hotwire, where I found the cheapest rate of all, $44.15 (including taxes and fees) at the La Copa Inn in Harlingen. Reviews for it are fair, so I’m optimistic. It’ll be a 40 minute drive to the border on Friday morning.
My appointment with the dentist is at 1PM. I have good directions and plenty of time to find him. I will be able to explore in the morning, have lunch, and get in line to cross back at a reasonable hour. I plan to do a cannonball run to home in the evening, unless I get a repeat of Tijuana and get stuck at the border for three plus hours.
Wow, it’s late (10:00 p.m., ha ha ha ha I can’t get used to my new schedule). I’ll update from my hotel tomorrow night.