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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Day 80 - 4/6/14 Hike & Friend's Camper Generator Repair

I was eyeing a 12 mike hike today but a got a job to help another camper with his generator this afternoon.  I changed my hike to Wasson Peak, where I have hiked once before.  

This is a 4 hour round trip hike with an elevation change of 1500 feet.  This is a good hike to stay in shape.  I opted to hike it faster than last time to push myself and had no problem doing this.  


On the way up I paused 2/3 of the way at an intersection of a few trails.  There was a man and woman coming down and stopped on the trail going up do this was an opportunity to take a quick break.  


I had my earphones in listening to podcasts I had down loaded this am, but I could overhear their public conversation.  Apparently they met today on the trail and they were having the guy/girl conversation about hiking, but I could see where the conversation was going.  He is a Math Teacher and she is a Conputer Scientist and he finally asked her out while I sat there with the podcast running trying to listening to both with my curiosity of their conversation taking priority.  I can always rewind the podcast.

I would guess that she was 50 something and he 60 something.  With hiking as their common interest, he asked her to meet him next week for a hike on the same trails and she agreed.  He then asked her what time worked for her and she said she liked 6:30 am. He agreed and then proceeded that he would like to meet at a the trailhead he was parked at (other side of mountain).  She was parked next to me at the other side.  Then he said he would like to take the trail that is closed to see where it goes.

A red flag went up in my head.  
Although I don't think he had sinister thoughts, I felt like advising her to stay to main trails for her first date hike, but got up and walked passed them still standing in the middle of the trail, saying good morning to both of them, and got the same reply from them.

On my way up to the top of the mountain there were other hikerscoming from a different direction.  I spent a half hour at the top and had a snack.

Across the way is the mountain I climbed on the Finger Rock Trail.  This mountain is much higher and it kicked my butt and I didn't mind as today's climb was that much easier from that workout.


My selfie at the top. 


On the way down a man and woman were climbing up and he was huffing and puffing. He stopped seeing the USS Boxer shirt I had on. (This is the ship son Clayton is on, and returning in just over a week to Dan Diego.

This man was career Army, but knew of the Boxer.  We spoke for a few minutes with him asking questions about Clayton.  This reminded me about a man who approached me the last time I wore the shirt who had served many years ago on the previous USS Boxer.  The short gets a lot of attention.

I made it down the same way I went up as I wanted to get to the camper to start working my way to meet up with a camper friend to help him with his generator.

Before heading out I made a sandwich for lunch.  Then stopped at McDonalds for the second time of day for iced tea.  Lastly I stopped at Food City for some items I needed.  I then met up with Jim who works nearby and I had met through Dan who has a camper like mine.

Jim has a camper on the same Chevrolet G30 chassis as I have but his camper is like a trailer camper stuck on the chassis.  So his is wider than the width of the van chassis.

His camper looks like this.


He has a deal with a business where he works to park his camper at the business where he lives in it.  He watches over the business after hours, and they don't charge him for his connections to electricity, water and sewer.

He bought the camper a year ago and could get the generator to run but couldn't get power out of it.  My offer was to diagnose the problem and possibly fix it.

I arrived about 2:30 and he showed me the generator and I checked out the wiring.  I disconnected the generator wires from the camper and had him start it.  As it hadn't been started for some time it took some spray either to help it along.  Now running, I tested the wires with my volt meter and there was no power.  I glanced on the left hand side of the generator, and with only an inch between the generator and the cabinet wall I could see 2 switches.  I flipped them and there was power.  I told him to let it run for 10 to 15 minutes.

Enter the police.  We were sitting on plastic lawn chairs and the police show up and wanted to know who's camper was parked outside the business gate with Massachusetts plates and I got up and told them it was mine.  It appears that they were on patrol and my campervan and the business gate open on Sunday looked suspicious.  I handed over my license when asked and they talked to Jim too.  Seeming satisfied that Jim lived at the business and I was there working on the generator the left.

Back to the generator:

Jim shut down the generator and I rewired it and he swapped the power to the generator so we could test under load.  He started the generator and threw the switched and went inside his vim camper and turned things on and he was all set.

I explained to him that the switches are there to help the generator as you don't want to start the generator where there is a load on.  Once the generator is running then throw the switches on and turn on the appliances.  

Jim was thrilled with the results as he just had the air conditioner replaced and now with the generator he could head out to take some trips and with summer coming he could use the generator to power.

I stayed with him talking about his life's problems until about 5:30 and head over for the night and made dinner.






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