Monday, December 8, 2014

Life's a Beach, Padre.

A few additions to the Beast..
Most importantly of all: I finally have an inverter installed. This baby came straight from the hard working folks in China, unfortunately all American versions were well outta my price range. For the low price of $299.00 and free shipping, we now have power in the RV for all of our 120 V appliances and powered by our battery bank that powers the a/c.

2500 Pure Sine wave inverter, just roughed in and testing.

To connect this inverter directly into my power, I had to fashion what is called a murder cable, basically an extension cord with 2 Male plugs on it, so you just plug it directly into a power outlet. This in turn powers all of the outlets and appliances on the same pole in the circuit box. We are setup with 2 poles, so I created 2 cords that plug into 2 different outlets, and hence power my entire RV.  I tested it and it handles the load of the Washer/Dryer, Microwave, the wife's hairdryer(which takes more power than anything else), and the all important Keurig.

Murder Cables fashioned by me

Also, the way my RV is wired, the 12 V charger plugs into one of the 120 volt outlets, so when I have my inverter powered on I am also providing power for all of the 12V circuits in the rig as well (this is all of the lights, pumps, stairs, and a few other things I'm surely forgetting.)

So, the inverter was really the last piece we needed in order to Boondock and be off the grid completely. I no longer need a power cord when visiting my cousins house to prevent my 12 V batteries from draining. The Solar now keeps everything charged either directly to my 48 V bank of batteries or indirectly thru the inverter, to the charger to my 12v systems.

Okay..If you are still awake after the boring electric stuff, onward to our first Boondock trip: Padre National Seashore!

It's about a 450 mile drive directly from Plano Texas to Padre, but we broke it up into 2 days and stopped at my favorite halfway point, Snook Texas. From there we finished off the remaining 250 miles the next day to Padre. At the entrance gate I went ahead and purchased my Annual National Parks Pass for 80 dollars, which will let me into all the National Parks in the country for a year for "Free". After that I pulled into the visitor center to see what the 'grocery' section had as far as necessities, picked up a couple 6 packs of Coors Light and drove to South Beach. We drove down about 5 miles, passing just a few campers and continued maybe a quarter of a mile past the sign that warns only 4x4 vehicles recommended.
This is our site, no one within miles of us either way.

View to the left

View to the right

Our camp and fence setup

View from the front door

From the dunes(Only point to get a bar or 2 of EDGE network)

Sunrise the 2nd Day

The Neighborhood watch

The 2nd night a cold front blew in FAST, and we relocated off of our beach as the Tide was coming up fast.
After a little scouting the next day I found the RV/Campgrounds. It was still primitive, just gravel parking lots with a bench, but it had grass and some protection from the winds that came constantly off the coast. Plus we enjoyed meeting many of the full timers that were enjoying the Beach. The beach was maybe 100 Yards directly in front of us, easy to access via the handicap access pier/boardwalk thing. For 8 bucks a night, it was worth the piece of mind of not waking up buried under sand. Plus some grass for the dogs to utilize(though it had a million burrs).

Our new site

The experienced folks did start getting me pretty scared by the 4th day, as we had not prepped the Beast for the hardships a beach can do to a rig. Specifically they recommended an uncoat sprayed on before coming to help stop some of the rust. Having never lived in the north where they salt the roads, this was new to me and had me a bit worried. My new grill after 1 day the screws were already rusted, who knows what was going on under my rig.

Enough for now, on that note I'll give you guys the birds. Please keep in mind with the sun out in full force I could no see any of these pictures on my phone as I took them, I just pointed and shot blindly.

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