Monday, October 16, 2017

Fixes and Improvements

I uploaded all my photos to Amazon's cloud from my phone and then downloaded them to my laptop so I guess it's a workable solution.  I'm going to save future photos directly onto my phone so hopefully I'll be able to transfer them directly to this blog instead of the laborious up to the cloud and back again method.

Another fix I made was replacing the broken wheel jack assembly that I broke when I was up in Michigan.  Amazon had a drop-in replacement for it so I got it delivered here at the RV park I'm staying in.

The broken wheel jack assembly.

All fixed up!

The Mini came with a 110 watt-hour 12 volt house battery that only has 55 usable watt-hours because you're not supposed to run lead-acid batteries down more than 50% down.  I had room to add a second 12 volt battery but that would have only provided 110 usable watt-hours of off grid energy.  Research online revealed a UPS - like battery "generator" that offers 345 watt-hours (probably 300 usable) that weighed less than 8 pounds because the battery it used was lithium-ion like the battery in our phones, only way bigger.  I found one on Amazon that was 40% off and that had good customer reviews so I bought it and Amazon got it to my RV space in the park in 2 days.

The Chafon-brand "generator".
The generator came with a 100% charge so I plugged my TV and the Dish set top box into it for a trial -- it ran them both for over six hours before I shut it down when the gauge on the front indicated 20% charge remaining.  (Lithium ion batteries can be discharged to 20% without damaging them).
So instead of another heavy lead-acid battery the Mini has this little 8 pound powerhouse for solar storage!  My solar suitcase charged the little UPS back up in a couple hours which I thought was really fast!

So those are the Fixes and Improvements to the Mini (hopefully no more fixes!) thus far.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Phone Problems

Sorry for the delay in new posts, the SD card in my phone where I store all the photos I take of the camp sites I stay in is acting up and I don't know if I'll be able to recover the pictures I've taken.  I'm currently staying at the Escapee's Dreamcatcher RV Park in Deming, NM which I previously reviewed here:  Dreamcatcher RV Park Review .  I'll keep trying to pull photos off my recalcitrant SD card and post as soon as I'm successful.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Campground Review: Potters Creek Park Canyon Lake, TX

I'm always looking for parks that accept my Senior Access Pass 50% discount off their camping fees.  I found a really nice one on the northern shore of Canyon Lake, Potters Creek Park, which is an Army Corps of Engineers constructed park in the Hill Country of south central Texas.  Most National Parks, Corps of Engineers, federally administered parks accept the pass and it has saved me a ton on camping fees!  When I got to the park only one of three sections was open for camping.  It was a couple weeks after Hurricane Harvey and the CoE were reserving one large section for any evacuees that might need a place to stay (this seemed weird to me, if they didn't get anyone just after Harvey why hold campsites more than two weeks after it hit?)  It's a big park, though, with 130 full hookup campsites so I scored a nice shaded campsite in the loop that was open.

The giant live oak trees kept the afternoon sun off the Mini.

There really aren't any hiking trails in or around Potters Creek Park so I got my walking in on some of the country roads going by the park where some of my fellow campers also biked.  I guess the main activity at the park would be boating on Canyon Lake.

The boat ramp onto Canyon Lake.

Here's the Potters Creek data sheet:

Hookups:                                             20, 30, 50 amp, water                                                
Fire ring:                                              Yes                                                                 
Water Access:                                     Yes (lake)                                                       
Fresh Water:                                        Yes                                         
Trash Service:                                      Yes                                         
Toilets:                                                Yes (flush)                                         
Showers:                                             Yes                                                                 
Dump station:                                      Yes                                         
WiFi:                                                   No                                          
Level sites:                                          Yes                                         
Laundry:                                              No                                                                  
Store:                                                   No                                                                              
Pool:                                                    No                                                      
Shade:                                                 Yes                                                     
Verizon reception:                                4G, 3 bars                                           
Internet reception:                                3 bars                                      
Cost:                                                  $26/night, $13/night with Senior Pass

Being in the Hill Country meant that there were a lot of deer in the park and it was a rare walk where I didn't encounter some.

One of the park's deer families.

Like all the CoE parks I've stayed in Potters Creek is really well laid out and the showers and bathrooms were cleaned on a daily basis, the trash dumpsters were emptied daily too.

Covered picnic area with shower building in the background.

For full hookups and access to Canyon Lake $13 a night at Potters Creek Park is a pretty great value!  I'd never camped there before but I'll definitely be back.

Thanks for reading!