Man is it hot in St George, Utah.

One of our objectives for this trip is to check out a different church every Sunday. Today, Kelly searched for and found one at 1030, called SMCC The Springs. On our arrival we found it to be a young, casual, relevant church that believed in Jesus- meeting in an industrial strip mall space. The rent was probably right, and their facility was very comfortable and technologically impressive- but not flashy at the curb. The music was good, the message was pertinent, and the kids seemed to enjoy it. They were disappointed to hear that the Church’s swim party/baptism would be NEXT weekend, and all of the public pools were closed today, on Sunday, as were most locally owned businesses. Home Depot was eerily quiet, with 12 cars in the lot on a Sunday afternoon at 230pm as we shopped for drawer slides, a 50amp RV plug and padlocks for the towing setup. I’m sure we’ll get smarter as the miles and days tick by, but here are a couple of things I think I’m wiser about so far:

1) Park the bus facing due West at night, so the sun rises in the East and heats the best insulated side (the rear without windows) early in the day

2) Don’t worry about expensive toilet additives. After dumping the black water, add ¼ C laundry detergent and a half capful of Snuggle (or the cheapest) fabric softener available, plus four flushes or so which will soften and break up the contents, make them smell nice and create some suds to wash the tank while in motion. Occasionally, as a smell arises (IF it does, or just for fun), add ½ C of bleach to kill whatever is hanging on after each dump. So far, any stink issue has disappeared and the waste tank has been easy to control. One of the most common comments I hear from people that look inside is that our bus is missing the smell they remember from their childhood, when ‘so-and-so’ had a camper but it smelled like the toilet all the time…. We do have one closet that has a propensity to stink (the black tank vent passes through the back of it) but we have stored the cleaning supplies in there along with the vacuum, and it doesn’t smell anymore.

3) Use web based email. I have given up on the ‘office’ computer that I brought along to run the vinly plotter, the financial software etc- but I can’t get Thunderbird to collect email through this wireless setup we have (the JEFATECH wireless wifi extender). We’ll keep you posted, but will probably stay with web based email for good thanks to its versatility.

4) Verizon MiFi is the most reliable access we have had, and it’s very handy to be able to browse on the laptop while rolling down the highway. The limit is 5GB/month, but we think we’ll be under that as long as no one watches any more episodes of the Chef show in the back of the bus at night…..

Thanks to the heat, we probably took more time than necessary in the stores that we browsed and shopped this afternoon- for when we returned to the bus and it was 112 inside, and 107 outside, I was ready to head back for the cool hills… We ended up running the A/C and preparing for departure to somewhere else while we could and not kill the bus engine… but the electrical system tested us a bit. Seems that the power from the very capable generator is having trouble getting through the inverter to the coach lights and other 120v things… Seems to me that the trouble is when the Trace inverter switches to ‘charge’ mode when it senses the availability of 120vac, it fails to connect the 120vac to the coach load and doesn’t continue to invert (provide 120vac from the batteries), so we’re left without any 120vac: plugs, microwave, refrigerator (that we just filled today with 4 days worth of food).

Now, we have stopped traveling South on I-15, and are at the Nevada Welcome Center with the bus motor running to provide AC for sleeping, and allow the inverter to run the 120vac items, while it is receiving a charge from the 12vdc alternator on the bus motor. Hopefully I can sort that out tomorrow. We are planning a stay Monday night at the Oasis RV Park in Las Vegas. Pool, strip shuttle and full hookups. We’ll have reached  a whole new level if we can maneuver it in and ‘hook up’ without help. Doug, my fine RV consultant, be prepared for a call around check in time of 1pm.

Short of me trying to get to sleep over the rumbling 500hp diesel motor and whooshing AC vents, it has been sticky hot, good day. My eyes are pushing down hard, I must let them do their job; back on the road tomorrow to LV and inverter solutions?