Sunday, September 18, 2016

Shakedown Cruise

Much has happened since our last post. Russ retired on September 1st. In preparation for our "shakedown" cruise, we had solar panels installed on the roof of our trailer as well as adding 4 AGM batteries. We then took a trip to Vermont to check it out.

Our destination was Woodford State Park in Woodford, Vermont, near Bennington. Our trip took us through several mountain passes, encountering grades of up to 9%! The truck and trailer handled nicely. We were unable to put our trailer into the site that we had booked due to the fact that the site was just too tight to accommodate our trailer length. The ranger graciously let us choose another site. We chose one that was perfect and easy to access.

The primary goal of this trip was to test out our new solar system. Unfortunately, the solar panels did not charge our batteries. The inverter, on the other hand, worked fine. Each morning and evening, we had to run the generator to charge the batteries and make coffee in the morning and use the microwave in the evening. Thankfully, we were in a park that allowed the use of generators between 8 and 10 in the morning and 4 and 6 each afternoon. 

We enjoyed a leisurely week taking in all that nature had to offer within the park and what the nearby communities also offered. We cut our trip short by one day to return to the RV dealership that had installed our solar panels for a bit of trouble shooting. Russ was able to watch this process and gained knowledge that will serve us well later. This time, it was a simple fix in that a wire on the solar controller had come loose. Everything is working well now and we are ready to depart on our greatest adventure on September 26th.

Now for a few pictures from our trip:

Kay and Jake relaxing beside our trailer after setting up camp on Site 20 in Woodford State Park.

I used the built-in outdoor kitchen for the first time, featuring pan-fried marinated chicken and steamed cauliflower with shredded cheddar. Yum!

Finally, it was time to relax by the fire.

Adam's Reservoir from the beach inside the campground.

Battle Monument in Bennington, Vermont. It was an obscure victory for the rebels of the American Revolution that you will not read about in the history books. The monument looks taller than the Bunker Hill Monument in Boston.

We experienced a lot of colorful wildlife in Bennington.  This is just one example.