Remote control

This is Day 398 of 15 Days to Flatten the Curve. Deb and I are great.

There’s no way I can exaggerate just how special last night’s gathering at Squeek’s Bar & Grill was for Deb and me. Over the five-plus hours we were there, dozens of friends joined us to celebrate our (arguably crazy) upcoming odyssey.

These people mean the world to us. They are, in the best sense, Family. They remind us that we have amazing friends, and that we’re loved.

“We’ll be here when you get back,” said one friend as we were leaving.

Damned straight. These bonds can’t be broken.

We had ourselves a lazy Sunday here but not an unproductive one. We’re at the point of stocking Ernie for the road, and we’ve put in orders at a couple of places — groceries, mostly, along with a few supplies — and we’ll pick them up this week. It’s been interesting to see how our choices have been shaped by experience gained during the shakedown.

We know that Ernie’s 7.5kW generator will play an important role in what we’re doing, since we won’t always be overnighting with access to “shore power” (and because we haven’t yet equipped the coach with solar panels to keep the batteries charged). That’s why we had the genset serviced professionally on our way back from Tennessee — we need to be able to count on it.

The generator can be started either with an actuator on the unit itself or via a similar switch inside the coach, in the middle of the dashboard. We watched the previous owner demonstrate the dash switch twice — both the day we first saw Ernie and the day we brought him home — but since then we haven’t been able to make it work.

Troubleshooting the remote switch made it to the top of my to-do list today. A little Internet sleuthing gave me some clues, helping me trace the wiring harness from the dash down to a Packard connector on the side of the generator.

At first glance it appeared solid, with all of its wires in place. I pried back the locking tab, pulled it apart and examined both ends. I saw no corrosion, no bent or broken pins.

Before getting more involved in chasing the problem, I simply plugged the connector back together, stepped inside and flipped the switch — sure enough, the generator fired right up. Sometimes all it takes is the friction of disconnecting and reconnecting to clean contact surfaces. Check.

Now you might think that having a remote-start switch inside the coach sounds like manifest laziness — I mean, why not just walk out to the generator and use that one?

Well, if we’re parked and want to tap the 120VAC the generator provides, for reasons of security we might not want to raise our profile by opening the entry door. We can fire up the generator while we’re on the road, too, giving us power to run a rooftop air conditioner and cool the living space. Hell, we can even plug-in the Instant Pot and start dinner without pulling over.

Besides, if there’s a switch it ought to work. And now it does.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath