I’m at a Starbucks in Stafford, VA, about 30 miles south of Washington D.C.
It was cold in St Clair overnight, but nothing like it was in Saratoga. I left the furnace on super low and it only kicked on once, at 4AM. I was very comfortable and slept like the proverbial log.
When I got up at 7AM, the morning sun had already warmed the rig five degrees and was melting the rime of frost off my vehicles. I went for a walk and discovered I did not need my winter coat. The air was a little chilly, but the sun was very warm, promising a lovely day.
I took it easy pulling out of St Clair, gently easing up the big hill and navigating my way around the construction at the top. I drove steadily, but paused at each rest area. I breathed a sigh of relief when I hit Maryland since PA roads are just like Quebec roads: in crap condition and under construction. 🙂
With the Maryland state line came the crossing of the Mason-Dixon line just moments after. And, like magic, autumn fell back several weeks, with the trees having brightly coloured leaves again.
Lunch was had at the West Virginia welcome center and shortly thereafter, I exited the state safely and made it to Virginia! By this point, I had to drop a layer as the weather was positively balmy!
The last part of the day was difficult as I was on secondary roads and battling increasing traffic. It was really hard to manage the high speed limits, frequent traffic light, and idiots who would dart in front of my rig as I was trying to slow down, cutting my stopping distance to a barely sufficient length.
Stafford is a little farther north than I would have liked to be tonight, but my ETA onto I-95 was about 3:00, not leaving me much time to find an alternative overnighting spot if the first one didn’t pan out. I called the Walmart here and the ones in Fredericksburg and no one would give me the okay over the phone. They all said, “Pull in and come and ask in person.” So I decided to start with this one and then move on to the ones in Fredericksburg if I wasn’t given permission. Thankfully, I was.
It’ll be a short drive to my friend’s place tomorrow. I should arrive in early afternoon.
I am officially declaring that my batteries need a funeral service, hence why I am at a crazy overcrowded Starbucks desperately trying to get as much charge out of my computer and iPad as possible.
With everything off, I’m getting the same voltage across the board, about 13, at the batteries themselves, the big fuse and shunt, the inverter, the battery monitor, and the solar monitor. Inside, the voltage is a couple of points off in the battery bay, but still above 13.
As soon as I turn anything on, voltage drops to 10.5 volts. I can’t even turn on an inverter, not my new big 1,000W model, not my newer 300W one either. The fridge runs, but barely, occasionally giving me the ‘low voltage’ error message. My battery monitor agrees that my batteries are at a full charge, but that voltage is 10.5. I have a hard time believing the issue is my wiring as I am overgauged at every step of my electrical setup.
Moreover, I’ve been having to add water like crazy to my batteries the last few months. Yesterday, I thought that would help and when I added it, the water sizzled! I’ve never heard that before! I really do think that the last year or so of the rig being plugged in almost constantly boiled my batteries dry. Needless to say, my new bank is going to get a watering system!
Lack of computer charging power not withstanding, it’s been another great day on the road!