Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Powered up and Ready to Go by Interstate

No, I am not writing about Interstate-90 in this blog post.  I am writing about Interstate batteries which are supposed to be "outrageously dependable," see, that's their sign, large and in charge in the shop window.  After nearly a week trying to figure out why the LP (liquid propane/gas) monitor was flashing green and red, green and red, and beeping every 30 seconds (which I found out is different from chirping which indicates the presence of gas) and why every time we pulled in the slide-out, waiting for it to click, click, click as we tried to lock it back into the trailer, it blew a 30 amp fuse
Here are the FOUR fuses we blew
(well, we blew 4!)  and after all that calling and checking and fretting with a number of kind and "helpful" people (friends, family, salespeople, RV shop owners, manufacturers, etc.) and after laying in bed wishing it would just all work, we went (at the suggestion of the Ohio RV guy and because all Ken could conclude was that all evidence led back to electrical) to Interstate Batteries (Interstate because that's the type of battery we had) in Holland, Ohio and Gary (my new best friend)
Gary, our new best friend in Ohio
hooked our battery up to a battery checker (checking both voltage and amperage which Ken had not checked before) and said, "This battery is crap."

Now you might expect us, the customers, to be bummed but Rusty (I am trying to call my beloved RUSTY but only know him as Ken but I am trying as it seems apropos for our new life and I am in a world where nobody know who Ken is) and I were jumping up and down because THAT made sense that that was the problem!  When the left break light works intermittently (but the blinker always works) and the LP monitor works intermittently, and the slide-out works intermittently, of course it's all related.  And when the LP manufacturer says, "Those monitors never really fail," and when the RV salesman says, "You can have 3 big kids ride that bump-out in and out again and again and not have any problem," (because we thought maybe we put too much weight in the bump-out area) it leads you to know there must be something causing this multitude of failures.  And that was lack of battery power!

 Gary went on, "You are supposed to have 12 volts and you have 3 or 4.  And, you are supposed to have at least 440 amps and you have less than 200."  And he informed us, "Oh by the way, we don't even keep those batteries in stock because they are so bad and oh, my son works in an RV store and tells me that they always put these cheap batteries in RVs!  And, oh, occasionally, just every now and again these batteries don't get fully charged at the factory."  Perfect storm for us.  "For just $12 more (the original was replaced at no cost but we happily paid the cost to "upgrade") I can get you a much better battery with more voltage and amperage," Gary informed us.  Sold.
Crappy Battery!

And so this morning, double-checking to see if, in fact (please great wonder in the sky), the battery was the solution to our troubled Mini, we walked out to our "rig" and as we approached our little RV hooked up to the truck parked by the curb, we were straining to see if we could hear that frustrating and annoying "beep, beep, beep," and all we heard was the rush of cars on the main road and the happy tweeting of little neighborhood birds!  Feeling encouraged, next I climbed inside the trailer to see what was going on with the red/green lights and.....as I glanced below the refrigerator (where the monitor is "conveniently" located), there were NO synchronized red and green lights flashing off and on, just a steady green on the LP monitor, and when I slid out the bump-out and then took a big yoga breath as I slid the slider back in.....Voila!  It all seems to work easily now...thank the Lord from above!  Let's just hope this Interstate battery is indeed outrageously dependable from now on!

We are out on the open road tomorrow.  "Where are we going tomorrow?" I asked my husband as we lay in bed thinking ahead to our trip beyond Toledo.   And he smiled, "We are headed to Chicago in the morning.  Around lunch time we will pull over and decide where to spend the night."

I absolutely love it all :)

Oh, and I have a new pair of Eddie Bauer sandals, bought at Marshalls, Toledo for $9.50 (kids shoes fit my size 6 feet), on sale with the turn of the season. 

For now, we are outrageously good to go! 

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