Sunday, September 15, 2013

From the darkness, light

September 15, 2013, Hobe Sound, Fla.—Sometimes the simplest problems elude solution, especially when you are tired after a long day’s journey.

When we arrived at Jonathan Dickinson State Park, here in Hobe Sound, yesterday afternoon, we did the usual things: Hooked up sewer, water, and electricity; put out the three slides; leveled the motorhome.

I then went about organizing our furnishings and setting up the computer, while Jim eagerly tried to set up the satellite system so that he could watch the FSU football game.

That’s when things started to go wrong.

He couldn’t get the front TV to come on, and he couldn’t identify why.

About the same time, he also discovered that we were not drawing the proper amount of amperage from our electrical hookup. Instead of having 50 amp service, we were only getting 30 amps.
We called the park rangers, who came out and tested our electrical hookup. (Surely it was the park’s problem!) Unfortunately for us, the hookup was fine. The power problem was ours.

With that realization, we then discovered that we had no power on the entire left side of the RV. We had had it earlier; now we didn’t. What happened? We didn’t know.

But it was getting late, and we had had a long day (which included dinner with Jim’s West Palm family), so Jim decided he would tackle the problem in the morning.

The power problem aside, we also had another annoying challenge: Ants! When I opened the cupboard I found hundreds of big ants feasting on an open package of hard candy. I think we brought them from Jacksonville. We also found trails of smaller ants, which got into the cat food. I think those are of the Hobe Sound variety. Regardless of the ants’ genesis, ant spray works wonders, and that problem is mostly contained.

Back to the power situation.

When we awoke this morning, Jim started researching possible causes. Electricity was getting from the hookup to the motorhome, but it was not getting to some of the lines. He opened the breaker panel and checked to see if power was getting to each of the breakers that supply electricity to the left side of the motorhome. Power was there; it had to be another cause. He started researching again and somehow stumbled upon reference to a GFI breaker.

GFI breakers are usually located near water sources. They are a safety feature. We located the GFI for the coach, found that it had tripped, pushed it on, and voila! We had electricity, including 50 amp service! What caused the GFI to trip and leave us half in dark we don’t know. But now we have hot water, power to all the receptacles on the left side of the coach, and even TV! Problem solved.

Now if you could only get rid of those last remaining ants, one of which just crawled over my keyboard...

Until later,

Your Reluctant Rover

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