Thursday, November 16, 2017

Gas Math

Each November I travel back to my "home town" of Livingston, TX to get my state inspection for my truck and then it's state registration sticker ($85, ouch).  Typically I stay at the Escapee's RV park in Livingston for a week or so, then head up to Austin to celebrate Thanksgiving with my sister and her husband and my daughter, making the Austin trip the first leg on the move out to Arizona for the winter.  That WAS the plan but when I hooked the Mini up to the power pedestal at the Escapee's park a sort of sizzling sound came from the 30 amp outlet with a slight smell of melting plastic.  Even though I disconnected my power cable as quick as I could the damage was done, the Mini's GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupt) switch was thrown and would not reset, even when I relocated to a different campsite with a different power pedestal.

The fried GFCI breaker.

A GFCI breaker prevents you from getting electrocuted if your hair dryer accidentally falls into your sink full of water.  In 1/40th of a second the breaker detects the ground fault and interrupts the electricity going to the appliance so you are protected.  In the Mini, the breaker is located in the bathroom and then all the other six wall outlets are also wired into the GFCI circuit which means if the breaker in the bathroom won't reset, all the wall outlets don't work.  Since the Mini is still under warranty I didn't choose to replace the GFCI breaker myself for fear of voiding the warranty.  After talking with several helpful Escapee's I found a RV service business in Livingston with a good reputation that does warranty work for the Mini's manufacturer (Forest River).  The drawback?  They are so busy they can't get me in until November 29th which means my plan to head west after the November 23rd Thanksgiving is off, I have to come back to Livingston for what will hopefully be a one day or less fix on the Mini.

So that leads to the Gas Math referenced in the title to this post.  My sister's place in Austin is 201 miles from where I'm presently camped.  The pickup gets about 10 MPG pulling the Mini so, effectively, getting my rig to Austin is a tank of gas or $50 in round figures.  Getting the rig back to Livingston for the repair work costs the same tank of gas so round trip it's $100.  The Escapee park I'm staying at costs about $18/night.  If I leave the Mini in the RV park and just drive my 18 MPG (highway) truck to Austin for Thanksgiving I get there and back for 1 tank of gas or $50.  That $50 plus the $36 bucks for the Mini's solo RV park stay (Wednesday and Thursday nights) means I save $14 by leaving the Mini.  Plus that's 400 miles less wear and tear on the Mini and a faster round trip because I never tow the Mini faster than 65 MPH regardless of the speed limit.  Hope the Mini doesn't miss me!

Thanks for reading!