Ramblings of a Techno-Viking

Little Projects on my Motorhome

My journeys lately have mostly been to various places in South-Eastern California I've been before, so there has not been a lot to blog about. I spent a few days with Bob Wells and crew on the other side of I8 from Pilot Knob, but moved on partly to get TV reception. (Less than 5 miles can make a big difference, I think the problem was the mountains to the north-east.)

Staying places for a week or two at a time has let me have time for various small projects.

Thermometers for my fridge and freezer mounted on top of the useless thermostat in the living room with imitation velcro. (I think the thermostat is for auto-switching between the front and rear air conditioners.)

Replacement handle for the broken crank on the crank-up TV antenna. This gives me better leverage than the original.

Voltmeter with center-off switch between house and starting batteries. One of several hooks I've placed around for hanging stuff.

Outlet and light over the bed, where one of the shirt-closets had been. The wires had been dangling since I started my bedroom remodel. The light fixture comes from one of the lower compartments, where it was more in the way than useful. The wire from the light is a 12 volt power outlet with an Anderson Connector. A future blog article will describe using them for 12 volt power.

My Tristar MPPT 60 solar controller's web page had not been working correctly for several months. Recently it started putting out 16V during the day when it should not have exceeded 15V. I pulled the fuse from the controller to the house battery overnight, which cured the first problem but not the second. Disconnecting the battery sense wires has fixed the over-voltage, I guess they had become unreliable. (I do get a warning about the battery sense, but it's much better than overcharging my battery.)

Posted Wednesday 06 March 2013 01:12 UTC
Last edited Wednesday 06 March 2013 01:12 UTC

Condor and Sunland San Diego RV Park

On the way between Plaster City and San Diego, it snowed hard enough that I decided to get off the road and eat lunch at the Golden Acorn Casino. There are three passes over 4000 feet elevation between El Centro and San Diego on Interstate 8.

This is the second year in a row I attended Condor, a nice little SF convention in San Diego. My activities at the con were pretty similar to last year, other than the last trolly was at 10:29 so I needed to leave early. Conney Willis was Guest of Honor.

Sunland San Diego RV Park is in La Mesa, about ten miles east of downtown San Diego. There is a "trolly" stop next door, and there is another across the San Diego River from the Town and Country Hotel. The three-day trolly pass was $14. (Including $2 for the card.) The trolly ride and walks took about 45 minutes each way, not counting the wait for the trolly which ran about every half hour and was on schedule most of the time. With the Passport America discount, the three-night RV park stay cost me about $90. Since I mainly used it as a place to sleep, I did not hook up to the provided cable TV or check out the facilities, but they did look nice from the outside. My site backed up to the creek that flows by the RV park, but I couldn't see the water unless I walked to the wall at the back of the site.

Posted Saturday 16 March 2013 19:36 UTC
Last edited Saturday 16 March 2013 19:36 UTC

Veijas Casino and Outlet Mall

Veijas Casino and Outlet mall is about 30 miles east of San Diego on Interstate 8, at about 2000 feet elevation, near the town of Alpine. They allow overnight stays in RVs in their eastern parking lot. (Check in at the security office.) The lot is not close to the Casino, but they have frequent shuttles.

When I was there they were offering a free meal at their Buffet for joining their club. (Normally $16, 20% off with the club card.)

The outlet mall (across the street from the main casino entrance) did not have anything of interest to me other than the California Welcome Center.

Posted Saturday 23 March 2013 20:01 UTC
Last edited Saturday 23 March 2013 20:01 UTC

Helendale Road BLM

To escape the heat, I moved from the low desert near Yuma to the high desert near Victorville. My current camp is off Helendale Road between Adelanto and Helendale, north of the Airport that is mainly used for storage of older jumbo jets that are no longer in service. The area north of Victorville is dotted with patches of BLM land.

My campsite is at a wide spot on BLM road 6120 where it intersect another dirt road. Both appear to be maintained to service the water pipe running parallel to them. There is a BLM survey marker from 1959 here. TV signals are mostly strong analog rebroadcasts of Los Angeles stations, and both Verizon and T-Mobile signals are good. (The speed of the Verizon internet connection is intermittent however.)

Posted Saturday 30 March 2013 19:50 UTC
Last edited Saturday 30 March 2013 19:50 UTC