Monday, April 7, 2014


April 2nd - 5th 

We're finally in a groove. Took a couple nights to get the caravan systems fully operational. Reminds me off opening up the AMC Huts after the long NH Winter.  Basically we left home with 2' of snow in the yard, and our first pitch was Lake Erie. Geneva State Park was open, but all facilities were closed. The lake still had ice, and temps were just above freezing. I fired up the propane heater in the morning to take off the chill. 

Our second night at Mammoth Cave NP, we were able to fire up the fridge and add water to the tank. Both took some work. The water pump draws under an amp. After flushing we had an air bubble in the line which took work (gravity) to remove. The fridge took hours to get going. 

I made a few mods to the 3-way fridge, adding a new fan, with a switch, and an automatic piezo for igniting propane. I did this over the winter, and was able to fire it up in the yard before leaving. However, this is the test. And I thought I had failed. I couldn't get it to start. After searching Google I discovered these Dometic refers are temperamental in damp conditions. Apparently the monsoon we drove through drenched the firebox. I resorted to 12v, in hopes that would dry things out. It did! Food is cold. Now we can hike!

Mammoth Cave was a blast. Although very crowded with school kids and guided groups.  We hiked one of the exterior loop trails and didn't see a soul. Kentucky woods are cool. Tall cedar, little undergrowth, and very open. Nice to be able to see through the woods. 

Returning to the caravan I could hear the trip alarm on the inverter screaming. When I opened the door there was smoke, and I found the coffee bean grinder smoking! I tore into it and discovered a chip on the timing board burst and had melted a hole in the back. No idea how that happened. 

The following morning we packed up and drove 500 miles, crossing the Mississippi, and pitched at Lake Dardanelle State Park, Arkansas.