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Borrego Springs, CA

Friday, November 28, 2014

A possible short move. What do you think?

Barring a government shutdown, this refuge is only closed two days per year… Thanksgiving and Christmas.  That meant that all ten volunteers here had the same day off.  Since we man the refuge seven days a week, this only happens twice a year.

79 Imperial NWR 2014-152Did we get together to celebrate the holiday?  You betcha!  We also invited the refuge interns to join us.  One couple was not present since they were visiting their daughter.  Happy hour was first up before the feast.

IMG_0934We had the usual sides to accompany the ‘bird’.  The chest freezer was  disguised as the desert table, and I didn’t get a picture of that.

IMG_0931The star of the show, of course, was the stuffed turkey.  Jay, one of the volunteers, was a chef before he retired.  He deboned the turkey before stuffing and baking it, and carved and served each of us.  It doesn’t get much better than having a professional chef in your midst.  I wish I had seen how he deboned that turkey.  I’m not a big fan of stuffing, but this stuff (pun intended) was delicious.  I can’t remember all the ingredients, but I do know Oregon cherries were one of them. 

I behaved myself and didn’t rip off a big piece of breast skin to savor.  I just love browned turkey breast skin with a little salt on it.  It’s probably my favorite thing about Thanksgiving dinner.  Guess I’ll have to wait until next year. Crying face

Now for my little dilemma.  While I was taking Emma for a walk this afternoon, we stopped at one of the two unused volunteer pads.  I’m thinking I might like to move over to this site, but there are pros and cons.  Let me explain.

_MG_1234This is my present site, #5.  It’s on the end of  one of the two rows of sites.  Hard to see, but notice the very small cement patio.  The site is surrounded by a shallow layer of gravel over the dusty desert land.

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This is the view from my rocker as I sit outside with Emma.  Not bad; enough room between rigs since no one is parked right beside me, but Emma stirs up plenty of dust, and rolls around in the rocks.  She is filthy!  If you pat her sides or back, puffs of dust rise.

IMG_0941

This is the view out the front window of the site I’m thinking of moving to with the maintenance area in the distance.  It’s not much different from my view out the front of my present site, although it’s a little closer at the new (to me) site.

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This is the view from the very large patio of the new site where I would sit out with Emma.  I’m guessing this patio is six or so times the size of my present patio, and the rig would also sit on pavement.

IMG_0942 IMG_0944

You can’t see it in these photos, but the pond below is loaded with coots, cormorants, ducks, and some white pelicans.  When we were there, little birds were also bubbling through the mesquite and shrubs out in front.  There’s also gravel surrounding the pavement for Emma to do her ‘business’.  Did you notice that saguaro on the right?  One of the few that are around this part of the desert.

IMG_0946

If I move here, the bunkhouse for interns is right behind, but I don’t have a window facing back anyway.  I like that good sized tree on the left, and bushes on the right.  So, what’s not to love about this site?  A beautiful view, a not so dusty Emma, and maybe the pavement would help trim down her nails a bit.  Seems like a no brainer, right?

HOWEVER, the site only has 30 amps. I live in a 50 amp rig with a residential AC/heat pump and convection oven.  I’m still running the AC every afternoon, and by February and March the temps are sure to rise.  This is the desert after all.

If I remember correctly, the AC/heat pump pulls about 22 amps (I think) and the residential fridge pulls about 1 or 2 amps normally.  That leaves me about 6 amps for the microwave/convection oven, the hot water heater, lights, TV, toaster, and computer, etc.  I can switch the water heater to propane.  I lived on 30 amps for five years before I got this rig but I didn’t have that residential AC/heat pump thing then.  I also think the rig is supposed to shut down some things being used if I near the 30 amp limit.  I also have the volunteer building nearby if I want to use a real oven. 

I’m leaning toward moving, but I’d like to know what you think.  Can any of you see what problems I might have with only 30 amps that I haven’t thought of? 

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

40 comments:

  1. Sorry I don't know anything about the electrical stuff, but I would want to sit outside by that pond.

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  2. I think I would do the move. Appears you have pretty much thought out a plan. May have to watch using something like the toaster or microwave while AC/heatpump is running. I don't think lights, tv, and computer would be an issue.

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  3. I'm sending you an email from my favorite electric man. :- )

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  4. How much do the satellite and the receiver pull? It's a touch decision. I really enjoy 50 amps, although we can still pop the whole house RV breaker running the microwave, space heater, and the tea kettle at once.

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  5. The cowboy echoed Jerry, you will probably need to turn off the AC/heat pump when running the microwave but he also thinks you should be fine!

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  6. I vote for the view....The appliances can just take turns.

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  7. Could you move back if the new site did not work out? If yes, it's a no brainer, if not that's a different story. It would be great yo have a "cleaner"dog in the house! Not sure about the electricity but you could probably select what you use at one time. Good luck with your decision

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  8. WOW...how nice is that to have a chef on board!
    I am no help with electrical questions...so sorry.

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  9. One way to look at it is that you've got three big energy users in your RV. Air Conditioner (Heat pump), Hot Water Heater when used on electric, and Microwave/Convection Oven. Other significant energy users would be the toaster, and any plug-in electric heaters that you might want to use.

    On a 30 amp service you can generally run any two of your big users at once. If you switch your water heater over to propane you'd eliminate one of them, or you could try to remember to turn off the electric hot water heater when you decide to use your microwave or your toaster.

    We like our 50 amp as it takes all of the "management" out of our appliance use. But we had a 30 amp trailer for over ten years and got by fine, so you can do it if you prefer the other site.

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  10. We lived with 30 amps in San Diego for 2 months...not a problem. But maybe it wasn't as warm as Yuma. I would go for the view and a cleaner pup.

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  11. All i've ever had is 30 amp so i can't help you there, but i'm with Terri, I would love to set out by that pond......unless mosquito's were around ....

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  12. I'd go for the move. Your rig has the Energy Management System which should shed a load when an additional load is put on. For example, the a/c unit has two compressors, the EMS will drop one compressor off line when another load is put on. You certainly can turn off your electric water heater and only light it off when you need hot water for a shower or to do dishes. The water tank should stay pretty warm.

    If all else fails, just turn the a/c off for a few minutes while you use the microwave or toaster. It's certainly better than Emma becoming a dust mop.

    PS: I've been having trouble getting the Winnebago website to download the plumbing diagrams for your water system. I don't know why, but I keep trying every day or so. Hopefully I can get it downloaded so we can troubleshoot your water tank valves.

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  13. My Melbourne is 30 amp only and I run AC/heat pump, microwave oven, water heater and refrigerator off the same circuit and haven't had a problem. It might take some management if you find yourself popping breakers, but the view would probably be worth it.

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  14. New site has a great view:) Your smart control panel should control the 30 amps OK, but not sure when you have hot weather and the residential fridge for extended periods. I suspect the panel might shutdown some operations in the coach. I am wondering if the interns are anything like college kids? Will there be lots of noise and partying behind you at odd hours?

    If those are not issues, I would move for the view:))

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  15. I can't think of anything to add to the great move discussion. We'be always had 30 amps and just get. off the hot water heater. But I sure would like that stuffing recipe if you can get it. I am a big fan of the stuff. A chef, now how Lucky is that.

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    1. Sigh...spell check. we've always had..... just turn off.......

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  16. I was going to echo Vera....wondering if it was too much of a problem if you could move back. I would be inclined to move, but we live with 30 amps anyway. Thew new site looks so much nicer for you and Emma. Good luck with the decision.

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  17. I think the only consideration is what Paul said. Your AC will run but it will not run both compressors
    If it gets too hot, it might struggle a little bit to cool the rig. You will probably be fine until March but much later and you would want both those compressors running.

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  18. I think it would take me about 2 seconds to make the move.

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  19. I say go for it. You will have to manage the electrical and turn things off so you don't blow circuits, but only a little while during the day. Meanwhile you have the slab and less dust to enjoy....

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  20. In our old 30 amp rig, we had two rooftop airs, and an energy management system. The system would "shed" if needed so we never blew fuses and always seemed to have plenty of power. We always had both airs running and never had an issue or worry about what appliance I was using. It sounds like you have something similar. The new site looks pretty darn nice.

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  21. Dennis retrofitted our Hiker with an extra wire into the camper and extra outlets, so we always have 50 amp in a 30 amp spot...However, I know you don't have a MacGyver...It's a toss up..You would just have to watch what you use and when for that view...I know....I know...I'm spoiled!!

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  22. I'd move. The full time benefits (less dust and better view) outweigh the possible occasional electrical challenge.

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  23. After reading all comments I bet you're busy moving right now. We would.You're going to be just fine!

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  24. I like the fact that Emma wouldn't be so dusty at the bigger slab by the pond (and that's a big plus). It seems like you might be able to manage the electricity usage, and I would definitely switch the water over to propane if possible. The big drawback I see from being so near the pond is the possibility of mosquitos swarming around you to the point you wouldn't want to sit outside.

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  25. Given the law of averages, I'm sure if you do move that you'll occasionally blow the breaker a few times simply by forgetting about appliance draw. But, even that wouldn't be enough to make me not move. At least if the breaker does go, you'll know immediately what it is.

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  26. Always having 30 amps we are used to managing appliances, so the view would definitely win out for us.

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  27. For me it would be a no brainer, I love to camp near water. You're the bird lady - you'd have the water birds in your FRONT YARD! Can you run your generator when you need to use the microwave or other elec things for short periods? All the comments above make sense - and if it didn't work for any reason, you could move back, right? :)

    PS - for the warmer weather, get some of those cooling neck wraps at Wal-Mart, and some FrogToggs (I think that's what they are called). They keep Katie and me cool up into the mid 90's.

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  28. Consider asking for a 50 amp service! The worse that they can say is "No".

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  29. I mover for the view... are you closer to the chef?

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  30. my friends call me the 50A Princess. . .but that view might convince me to sacrifice. . .I don't know!

    This little gem, recommended to us by an electrician in Ohio may help. . .if it could be utilized on the site's power pole. . .we carry one onboard, and have utilized it a couple of times while traveling in the Northeast. . .good luck!

    http://www.amazon.com/Progressive-Industries-230-ADTP30-Cheater-Box/dp/B003AN1UF8/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1417301245&sr=8-2&keywords=50+amp+rv+box+adapter

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    1. That is a nifty item with a great name. However, it would not work with the site power pole that I have in my current Park - no 20A outlet, only a 30A. It is a little expensive also if you only use it once in a blue moon.

      Judy, I say move and watch your appliance usage. If is does not work out then move back. Since you are the new kid on the block and currently have 50A and want to move for the view I'm not sure that asking the NWR to install 50A for you is the best thing to do at this time. Maybe if the ask you to return next year you could then ask them if they could make that 'improvement'.

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  31. A chef? How lucky are you! I would also like to know how to debone a turkey...not because I am a cook but just curious! Any stuffing with cherries is bound to be good.
    I guess I would weigh the pros and cons..are there more bugs near the water..snakes? It looks like a more wooded area for those Coyotes to hide in. I am sure you will make the right choice.:)

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  32. Is there a 15- or 20-amp outlet in the box in addition to the 30-amp outlet? If so, would it be practical to run one of those orange heavy duty cords into your rig through a window? Probably not practical if/when there are bugs, but might allow you to live more normally.

    On the other hand, a power management system should really help with keeping you on the straight and narrow. It will take some thinking before firing up a lot of electrical appliances at once, but certainly can be worked out. You might want to verify the amperage used by the refrigerator. Are you familiar with the product Kill A Watt?

    http://www.amazon.com/P3-P4400-Electricity-Usage-Monitor/dp/B00009MDBU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1417313076&sr=8-1&keywords=kill+watt+meter

    Very handy for scoping out your electrical draws so that you can manage the situation effectively.

    Virtual hugs,

    Judie

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  33. Happy Thanksgiving! Did you decide yet? That is quite a dilemma and I would have a hard time choosing. I love watching wildlife and the great view, but I also like the comfort of the AC along with instant hot water and using other electrical items that cause the the circuit breaker to pop!

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  34. We are 50a weenies so we wouldn't move.

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  35. I'm with heyduke, I'd move closer to the chef!

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