Tag Archives: battery crimped lugs

The dreamstreamrs’ shortest odyssey in six years

to the tune of Leaving on a Jet Plane

Our big truck is packed, we’re ready to go
We’re standing here outside your door
We hate to wake you up to say goodbye
But the dawn is breakin’, it’s early morn
The trailer’s waiting, it’s hitched to the truck
Already we should be on up the road

[thanks to John Denver, 1966, Leaving On A Jet Plane]

Do you think of full-timers going part-time? We are making ready for traveling just three months before we return to NC. This is a way shorter odyssey than we normally embark upon, but takes as much preparation as traveling for a year. A breakdown is just as much problem no matter how many days or weeks we are on the road. The difference for us is what we can do without for three months versus taking EVERYTHING with us. Too much grandchildren stuff means we are leaving the 80-ball tennis tote until we return.

Just today we did all the season’s maintenance. It’s a long list, doesn’t look like one day’s work:

  • Re-attached a loose propane gas line.
  • Drained and re-filled the fresh water tank.
  • Removed the 31′ Eagle-One antenna from the roof and re-installed the High Sierra antenna.
  • Cleaned the solar panels and checked all attachments.
  • Removed the gas bottles, batteries, and hitch from the trailer’s frame.
  • Sanded and painted the trailer’s a-frame and hitch.
  • Checked all tires pressures.
  • Cleaned the truck’s windows so Deb will think the truck is clean.
  • Reattached ends on battery cables
  • We emptied and repacked the truck bed

I mentioned in earlier posts (March 2012, and April 2013) about problems with our crimped cable lugs. Today I removed all eight battery cables, drilled a 5/32″ hole in the lug’s end, and soldered thirteen crimped lugs. Two others I already had soldered and one (only one) was crimped so wonderfully there was no need or space for soldering. The process took an hour and is well worthwhile. All lugs of my battery cables are securely attached for both current conduction and mechanical integrity.

The truck bed is for this trip doing extra duty, now carrying a bed frame and rails for Vancouver grandchildren, and with printed materials for seminars and club activities we are involved in this summer. Our truck bed seems far more full, and the back seat is also full due to head, foot, and bunk ladder for the bed.

Our trip is across the USA to Vancouver BC and back. Along the way we plan to spend a week in Dayton OH for the world’s largest ham radio convention and show, a week in Jackson Center OH for Airstream factory service and Alumapalooza (a big rally), three weeks in Huron SD for WBCCI annual rally, two weeks in Vancouver BC to see grandchildren and help a little with their house, and then hightail it back to NC for Hannah’s wedding.

We’ve been in the Charlotte NC area almost three weeks. It has been a whirlwind. A wedding, a college graduation, family gatherings, Mothers Day visits, catching up with friends — we tried to make the most of our short time here. Another bene of only planning three months away — saying farewell seems a little easier.

We hope to see you down the road!

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©2007-2013 Dreamstreamr

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dreamstreamrs back in NC

The Escapees Club campground in Bushnell was a nice stay. We walked some, visited a nice nearby battlefield from the 1830s, wrote a blog, and did some maintenance on the trailer.

30a circuit breaker attached to lower battery box

30a circuit breaker attached to lower battery box

Jim removed the trailer’s upper bank of batteries to install 30 amp circuit breaker protection on a dedicated circuit to the hitch jack. But when he got into the lower battery box where the connection is made, he found he had already installed the circuit breaker. It’s better than forgetting to install this safety device, right?

Lug for #4 wire

Lug for #4 wire

While he was in there he found the second loose connection on our trailer batteries’ primary wires. There are six #4 wires connecting the batteries to each other and to the trailer’s electrical system. Each wire has two ends capped with 5/16″ X #4 copper lugs, crimped on for us by Interstate Battery. The past two times Jim has done maintenance involving the batteries, another of the crimped copper lugs has pulled loose.

Jim drove to the Ace Hardware store in Bushnell to buy new copper lugs. He couldn’t find enough to do the ten remaining ones, so repaired only this one loose one. He soldered it using a small butane torch. We’ll find nine more lugs down the road and replace them all with soldered ones.

entrance to Dade Battlefield Historic SP

entrance to Dade Battlefield Historic SP

Dade Battlefield Historic State Park was interesting. We had read about the three Seminole Wars, (1817 1st Seminole War; 1835 2nd Seminole War; 1855 3rd Seminole War), when we traveled the Tamiami Trail across the Everglades earlier this winter. This small state park in Bushnell is a fun short history lesson on the beginning of the second Seminole War — the devastating ambush of Major Dade’s combined Army troops by Seminoles.

High Falls SP

High Falls SP

We drove from Bushnell FL 361 miles to High Falls State Park GA, straight up I-75. It was a super easy trip although the longest we’d had in several months. High Falls is a gorgeous state park just far enough off the highway for peace and quiet. We were parked amongst at least a half-dozen other Airstreamers also on their way to Stone Mountain Park family campground for the club’s Region 3 rally.

Small group of Carolinas Unit members

Small group of Carolinas Unit members

Stone Mountain Park hosted 140 airstream travel trailers and motorhomes for the region rally. Our organizers said this rally was 1/3 again larger than last year’s region rally at Myrtle Beach. Their were only five rigs representing our North Carolina airstream club, but we are a great looking bunch!

We presented a fun seminar this morning on Smart Storage, Organizing Your RV. This was our second time with this seminar topic, we also did it one year ago. It went really well, probably because the audience was so nice. This year’s crowd was very pleasant, a nice size for this event. We had a great time, fabulous weather, and would have enjoyed a longer stay but we had a prior commitment in Asheville on our way to Charlotte and Kannapolis.

We’re in east Asheville Friday and Saturday night in a nice little RV park we’ve enjoyed before.

Jim and Debbie
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©2013 Dreamstreamr