TRIP #5—MORE TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES

We spent the next week e-mailing and talking to the service department at our dealer. We were still trying to find out why the Webasto kept draining the fresh water. Furthermore, we were not clear about was why our batteries always seemed low. On the Monitor Panel, there are four indicators: L=low, F=fair, G=good, and C=charging. Our understanding from reading the manual was that the batteries would be charged by driving, idling, through the solar panels on the roof, and by plugging in to “shore power.” Even after driving 3 hours home from Gettysburg, leaving the E-trek plugged overnight, we still could not get a decent charge, and at no point was the C=charging light illuminated. One mistake we were making was failing to flip the Inverter switch to the “up” position (i.e., Power Saver Auto) when we were plugged in which indicates that 1) we are connected to “shore power” and 2) the battery is charging. So the next night we left it plugged in with the switch positioned correctly. Still no C =charging light. The service department ordered a replacement Monitor Panel, as well as some other parts that need to be replaced (refrigerator latch and instant hot water switch).

We had one more weekend before it would be time to pick-up Ryan, so we decided to try Gettysburg again. We knew where we could stay, and we felt we had a better handle on the Webasto and battery—or so we thought! We plugged in to “shore power” Friday morning. We turned the Webasto onto hot water mode (which is supposed to prevent automatic draining). Although we made it to Gettysburg without draining, when we left the RV on with the AC running (for the dogs), it drained the battery so much, it launched automatic draining mode again. We were parked at a nice picnic area, and water is pouring out while Karl chatted with some nice fellow from Maryland. Plus, the CO alarm was chirping due to the low battery. Apparently using the AC for 30 minutes drains enough of the battery to trigger the alarm and the automatic drain. So much for boondocking—we can’t even make it through a day at Gettysburg. And what about the solar panels—do they help at all?

By the way, we still haven’t figured out a solution to the autoplay. When we removed the music library from the iPad, we couldn’t get any sound (from Google Maps, etc.) to play though the USB connection. So Karl created a new library with one song—an Scottish jig that startles us every time it starts playing. However this is low on the priority list compared to the other issues.

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