8/20/2009

Hello all, John here.

I got the RV moved into our new spot yesterday, with minimal drama. The site is much more level, and the tree’s are perfect for the shade. Normally I hate being under any type of tree, but here in the lan of non stop searing sun and heat every little bit helps. The power on this row seems much more stable, and has yet to fail. I met the next door neighbor to the left, and he seems like a decent guy, and was very friendly. While moving I also met another resident on our row that is fairly new, so maybe my attitude will turn around about our current living state…

Verizon was supposed to install our DSL tomorrow, but I got a call yesterday AM that they were pushing it back till the 9th. Our Modem arrived today so I will have to check and see if they have the line on our not… If not I will need to call and bitch, in my mind there is no reason it should take 3 weeks to activate a DSL line, especially on an existing line!

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Motor Home Connection and Umbilical Cord.

I finished my little project for the Brake Box today. It took me most of the day, and went well. I started with the Jeep, which went quick. I only had to run two wires in it since the breakaway was already wired. I did get real banana plugs to put on the ends that plug into the brake box, and choose to go with adding a separate 4 wire receptacle and plug for the brake system. Currently I use a round 6 wire for the lights on the towed, and use 5 wires out of that since we have separate amber turn signals. The 6th wire is for the Charge Line, which I have never took the time to add, basically it is a line from the Motor Home’s 12 volt power to the Jeep’s battery to keep the battery charged while towing. It is very necessary on a normal trailer since the trailer battery has no other way of being charged while being towed, and if runs low effects your ability to have emergency brakes. On a towed car, in most cases if you drive the car regularly it doesn’t wear down. In any case, some day I will most likely add it, but today isn’t the day. Back to the point, I needed to add 4 more wires, and probably could have gotten away with adding only 3, but that would still have meant an unusually pinned (non-standard wiring arrangement) 9 or 10 pin trailer connector. Now, I have seen them, but they are hard to find, which would mean having to carry spares because trailer connectors are known to wear out. My other logic was that if I do end up with problems it is much easier to diagnose when you can eliminate half of your connections right off the bat by unplugging a connector. So I have two on the front of the Jeep, and on the rear of the Motor Home.

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Jeep Connectors.

Now, I thought about putting both connectors on the jeep up in the little air dam shelf thingy, but decided against that. First, I would have required some fabricating since the brackets I had wouldn’t quite fit, and secondly I was afraid it might block too much air going to the radiator, and there is really nothing wrong with where they are other than they hang down.

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Jeep end of the cord.

After finishing up the jeep I need to run to get more tie straps (I do tend to use a ton of them), and figured I better get another chunk of wire since I didn’t think the 50 ft I had remaining would quite do it. I also stopped at Radio Shack, I had another idea for an addition, of small piezoelectric buzzer that would work in conjunction with the warning light. I got home and ran the wire as quickly as I could since the heat was coming up fast. There is just no good way to string new wires in this thing, and I probably should have taken Scott’s advice and ran conduit front to rear, but I just couldn’t justify the cost. After getting the wire run (which I am glad I got more, since my unusual route took much more than I thought…) I installed the rear plug and wired up the umbilical cord for the Jeep.

I also decided to run the breakaway cord in the harness this time, one less thing to have to wind up and stow. The plug on the light cord was looking a little ratty so I figured now was a good time to change it since I had a good one in my tool box, plus I needed to shorten the cord a little since the Ford had a bit longer distance between the plugs than the Jeep. When done I wanted to test it right away, and still didn’t have the box built for the dash so I just held the wires together, and it worked as expected. The next step was the box, which I could do inside in the A/C! I was going to put a small micro switch on the warning buzzer so I could shut if off If it was too annoying, but the switches I thought I had I apparently threw out or placed in an ambiguous spot, so I just wired it direct to the lamp. I also decided I wanted an On/Off and a Momentary, I got them both wired in, and screwed the box to the dash and now it is all done! I am anxious to get it on the road and see how it really works, and how well the Jeep tows. The big benefit is definitely the warning light. It will be nice to see when the brake box actually activates, and I should have done it from the get go. Now there are other options, there is a radio deal available, but the feedback I have read on it is that it is not reliable. Now, I fully embrace new technology, but unreliable brake information/signaling, is not my idea of safety.

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Dash Mounted Control Box

I also took a pic of the little fan I put together a couple weeks ago. It works AWESOME, and want to Thank Marcus for sending it to me! I like the ability to have a small portable fan, and it is 12 volt, so I can run it with no power if needed. It also has two speeds, Fast and Hurricane. I honestly thing it moves more air than the big box fan we have, in fact I put that back in the bay. I do use it quite regular in the afternoons, it helps keep the front area from being so warm, even though the addition of the reflectix has reduced it’s need, it still helps. Not I can’t take all the credit for the fan, Terry and Ron of Hitch it had made something similar, and I sorta stole their idea.

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Little fan on the pedestal I made for it from a chunk of wood I found at Hobby Lobby.

Derek tells me the readership this month is sagging some. I guess we are down to under 1,000 Unique Visitors a day, down from over 1,600 last month. I think it must be summer and people are just out doing things, or it might be since You all love my posts best and I haven’t posted much this month… Hmm. :P

It was 102 here today, and seems like it will never cool off. Now the power just went out, hang on I gotta go find out what the hell is going on………. Damnit, apparently we lost one leg, none of the mains are tripped so it must be a Power Co thing… ARGH! Time to call and bitch.

OK have a good night…

John

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