Flight To Auburn With Angela

This past Saturday was awesome not only because I got to fly, it was awesome because I got to fly with a young woman I love very much! My daughter Angela. When she was younger I took her flying a few times. She went because I was her dad and told her we were going flying. Well, she’s grown up now and I can’t make her fly with me any more. Luckily she has, without any intervention on my part, started to develop an interest in aviation. I never wanted to pressure my family to like my hobby, just accept that aviation is a huge part of who I am. So it came as a wonderful surprise to me that she was developing this interest.

So about 4 months ago we went flying and I let her take the controls and see what it felt like. It was a lot different that what she expected I think. The plane seemed to do whatever I asked but it didn’t seem to want to listen to her. I explained that after some time in the cockpit you develop a feel for the plane and it becomes much easier. We tried again last month but the plane’s engine didn’t sound right so I asked the owner to check it out. I belong to an aero club and don’t own my own aircraft any more.

Well the stars finally aligned this past Saturday and we got in the trusty little Cessna 152 and launched toward Auburn Airport (KAUN). As soon as we had reached our cruising altitude of 3000 feet MSL (mean sea level) I gave her the airplane. When an airplane is trimmed up properly and on course, there really isn’t a whole lot to do. She finally tried some turns with some coaching from me. She was having problems with the nose dropping when she turned the plane. I told her that what I do is pull back slightly on the yoke when turning. For a very gentle turn I told her to just squeeze the yoke, that would cause her to involuntarily pull the yoke back just enough. She tried a few turns and started to get the feel of it. Mostly she was just content to hold the plane on course for Auburn.

Wings Grill and Espresso Bar

Once we got to within 10 miles of Auburn I took the airplane back from her and brought us in for a fairly decent landing. We taxied to the transient parking area and tied the plane down. We walked across the ramp to the Wings Grill & Esspresso Bar. We ordered a couple of fancy coffees and then grabbed a table and watched the airplanes taxi, takeoff, and land. Coffee and a show! It’s always a lot of fun to be able to just sit and talk to my daughter. We don’t always communicate that well, at least I don’t, so it’s always a treat for me to talk to her and find out what kind of woman she’s become. Happily the one thing we do have in common is Jesus!

Watching the show out on the runway

After coffee we walked around the ramp a little at looked at some of the airplanes. She was especially interested in the Russian Antonov AN-2 Colt biplane that was parked there.

Antonov AN-2 Colt at Auburn Airport

It was starting to get hot so we both thought it best to start heading back. I didn’t want her perfect (so far) flight to be marred by a bunch of thermal turbulence on the way home. We got back into the airplane taxied out to the runup area and prepared to depart. I made sure to lean the mixture for best power prior to takeoff, Auburn is at 1500 feet elevation and with a temperature of about 85 degrees that made the density altitude (the altitude the airplane “thinks” it’s at) about 3500 feet. There was no issue during the takeoff run and we cleared all the surrounding hills easily. It’s mostly downhill back into the valley after that.

We cruised back home looking for airplanes, helicopters, or anything else that might want to ruin our perfect day. Angela flew a bit more but I think it was becoming a little fatiguing. Step by step, she’ll get it. I don’t think this means she wants to become a pilot just yet but I’m so happy she’s expressing at least an interest in aviation. But to be on the safe side I bought her a logbook and a set of aircraft headsets. Hey, a dad can dream can’t he?

Leaky Fitting Fixed

Well as I reported in my blog entry about our trip to Morgan Hill RV Resort, we developed a leak in the hot water valve fitting on our outdoor shower. I ordered some tools to remove and replace the valve but I, being who I am, could not wait for the tools to arrive so I improvised.

I used a cutoff wheel in my Dremmel grinder to remove the existing stainless steel crimp ring that secures the tubing to the plastic elbow.

90 Degree elbow, crimping ring, and PEX tubing

I had to be pretty careful so as not to nick or melt the tubing so it was pretty slow going but I finally got the crimp ring off and got the fitting out.

Plastic elbow fitting connects the hot water line to the outdoor shower valve

I stopped off at Lowe’s RV supply department (that’s a joke y’all) and picked up some PEX tubing in case I really blew this and the next closest fitting I could find which was made of brass.

Since I didn’t have the ring crimping tool or any replacement crimp rings I made do with a hose clamp from my airplane supply box. I put it all back together and no leaks! I’ll keep my eye on it though. The tool and crimp rings did finally show up so I can always do the repair properly in the future if I elect to.

Installed brass fitting and hose clamp kludge-a-ma-jig.

I could have just taken it back to the dealer to have it repaired but it would have taken weeks to get it back. Since we’re not under warranty any longer I can imagine the bill would be a couple hundred bucks. This way I saved money and didn’t have to be without our trailer. You can save a lot of money on your RV if you learn to be handy with some tools and use what you have on hand. It’s the difference between an adventure and a cancelled trip.

Happy trails!

Thousand Trails: Morgan Hill RV Resort

This past weekend we loaded up the “Little House on the Highway” aka our Lance 1995 travel trailer and got out of town. I had made another reservation at a Thousand Trails resort trying to get some mileage out of the one year membership I had purchased. I decided on Morgan Hill RV Resort. We wanted to stay close by as Cristy’s mother is aging and we need to be able to get home in a hurry. It’s a short drive over the Diablo Range to get there. About a two hour trip with a trailer in tow. Traffic cooperated and we had no freeway adventures getting there.

We arrived around noon and checked in. It was made easy by the new online check in they are doing now. You show up, give them your name and off you go to begin the great site hunt. THIS is one of my big problems with Thousand Trails (TT). They do not let you reserve specific camp sites. You drive around, find one that’s available and park. We hate the uncertainty of not knowing where we are going within the park. Not knowing which sites are cramped or spacious. We like knowing exactly where we are going. However, the flip side of the coin is you can pick your neighbors.

We drove past a fairly cramped portion of the park and when I would ask Cristy, “What about this spot?” She would noncommittally indicate that maybe we should keep going. Glad I listed because we finally came across a site that was perfect. It was huge width-wise and deep enough that I could leave the truck hitched if I wanted to. Plus we already had neighbors and they seemed pretty quiet. We had already passed up a few areas where there were about 10 people sitting out front of their RV, 5 cars crammed into the site, listening to loud ranchero music. Really? Who comes out to nature and then blares their radio? Seriously, you’re music is not that awesome.

Happily we couldn’t hear their music down where we were. We heard only birds and the occasional ground squirrel chattering angrily. As we were setting up though we had our one and only downside of the vacation. It ended up being very minor but we weren’t sure at first. After I had hooked up our water hose I stepped inside to find Cristy looking under the bathroom sink. She said that’s not something she normally does but for some reason this time she did and how lucky we were that she did! There was a light stream of water squirting from one of the plumbing fittings under the sink!

The black fitting in the center is cracked. The black fitting just to the right is the shutoff valve.

Oy. I already had a headache from the drive. Now this. I turned off the water and thought maybe the water connection was just loose. As I first loosened it and then was tightening it again I noticed that adjacent to this fitting there was a shutoff valve for JUST this fitting. I closed the valve and turned the water back on to the trailer. SUCCESS! The leak had stopped. This was fitting that plumbed hot water to the outdoor shower. A feature on the trailer we have never used. With no more leaks our camp out was saved. I finally sat down and ate the sandwich Cristy had made me while I was investigating the leak. Then, FINALLY, we were able to truly relax and enjoy our camp site.

Campsite 113

The weather was perfect, daytime highs of 82F (28C) and nighttime lows of 52F (11C). We spent the remainder of the afternoon lounging outside and then napping in the trailer. We also took a short walk around the park just to see what was there. There was a nice little creek near by called Uvas Creek. Uvas is grapes in Spanish and it was aptly named as there are a lot of wineries in the area.

Uvas Creek

The next day we drove into downtown Gilroy and looked around. There wasn’t much to see as most of the business are closed due to the Covid.

Old Gilroy City Hall, now a brewery.

We decided to head over to Phil’s Fish Market in Moss Landing. Cristy got an order of cioppino and two oysters, I got a salmon sandwich and a cup of clam chowder. After getting our food we dove to down the street to Moss Landing State Beach. I flipped down the tailgate of my truck and we sat down and ate. Cristy discovered that they had forgotten her oysters and my clam chowder. We finished lunch and then walked back down the beach to Phil’s and they corrected the mistake quickly and without question. We walked back to the truck and decided to save these items for later. We headed back to the campground and read and relaxed for the rest of the day.

Saturday was our last full day camping and we decided to spend it in the campground with no day trips. This was like heaven to me. We took a couple walks around the park and read and watched movies we had downloaded. I also broke out my Blackstone Griddle and cooked BBQ’d chicken and onions for dinner. It turned out pretty good!

That was pretty much our camping trip for this month. We packed up the next morning, dumped our wastewater tanks, and then drove home. This was probably the closest we have come to a perfect camp out and we can’t wait to go camping again!

See you next time!

Post Script:

This will most likely be our last Thousand Trails visit. Given the caliber of people we have run into at these parks, the lax enforcement of park rules, and the hit and miss friendliness of staff at these parks, we have elected to let our yearly pass lapse and just stay in regular paid RV resorts. The customers are generally more likely to follow rules. The resorts are also generally kept up better. Thousand Trails bills themselves as “nature preserves”. And so pass off a lot of the lack of maintenance as “rustic”. Now, they are trying to update their facilities but at this point in time the parks in California are pretty run down. That all being said, for now, we are done with TT.

4 Year Work Anniversary

A little over 4 years ago I got the news that I was about to be laid off. Again. I was working for McClatchy Newspapers and was told that within 3 months we would all be let go. I went into full-blown job search mode. I started sending out resumes, I started researching was I could make money online and go into business for myself.

In the middle of all that I began praying in faith to God. My prayer was, “Father, I know you have my next job already picked out for me. Please just give me the wisdom to recognize the opportunities you present me with.”

Within a month of praying that prayer I saw job posting at a county hospital. They were looking for someone with my exact qualifications. So, on the last day the posting was open, I applied and didn’t think anything more about it. A few weeks later a followup questionnaire was emailed to me. I filled that out and sent it back and then didn’t think anything more about it. A few weeks later I was called in for a panel interview. I interviewed with them but didn’t think it went particularly good. And then didn’t think anything more about it.

Then on a Friday afternoon I was called in for a second interview with the CIO and a few other people. One woman just kept staring at me like I was crazy. I answered all their questions. I had been doing at my last job exactly what they were looking for for this job. That afternoon there was an email in my personal email box from the CIO stating “I should’t tell you this but you got the job!”

God had provided for me… YET AGAIN! My family would be taken care of by GOD! So this is more than just a job. More than just a work anniversary for me. It is the anniversary of date that God provided for my family. I had prayed in faith, and God had responded to my faith. I’ve certainly done nothing to deserve it. But I feel the need to witness what God has done for me.

So Happy Anniversary to me and thank you God!

4 Year Work Anniversary

A little over 4 years ago I got the news that I was about to be laid off. Again. I was working for McClatchy Newspapers and was told that within 3 months we would all be let go. I went into full-blown job search mode. I started sending out resumes, I started researching was I could make money online and go into business for myself.

In the middle of all that I began praying in faith to God. My prayer was, “Father, I know you have my next job already picked out for me. Please just give me the wisdom to recognize the opportunities you present me with.”

Within a month of praying that prayer I saw job posting at a county hospital. They were looking for someone with my exact qualifications. So, on the last day the posting was open, I applied and didn’t think anything more about it. A few weeks later a followup questionnaire was emailed to me. I filled that out and sent it back and then didn’t think anything more about it. A few weeks later I was called in for a panel interview. I interviewed with them but didn’t think it went particularly good. And then didn’t think anything more about it.

Then on a Friday afternoon I was called in for a second interview with the CIO and a few other people. One woman just kept staring at me like I was crazy. I answered all their questions. I had been doing at my last job exactly what they were looking for for this job. That afternoon there was an email in my personal email box from the CIO stating “I should’t tell you this but you got the job!”

God had provided for me… YET AGAIN! My family would be taken care of by GOD! So this is more than just a job. More than just a work anniversary for me. It is the anniversary of date that God provided for my family. I had prayed in faith, and God had responded to my faith. I’ve certainly done nothing to deserve it. But I feel the need to witness what God has done for me.

So Happy Anniversary to me and thank you God!

Bun Moreland Gone West

“Gone west” is a euphemism that pilots use to refer to a pilot passing away. I just learned this past weekend that a very special pilot passed away. His name was Bun Moreland. That’s right, Bun. He was a flight instructor. My first flight instructor in fact. He was the man that introduced me to the sky. He was the man that kept pointing out everything I was doing wrong. He was the man who used to try to mess up my airplane controls just to see if I was paying attention. He was stern while I was a student pilot. It made me a fair pilot.

I’ll never forget the day we met. I walked into Sierra Aviation and asked if they gave airplane rides. Merle Furry, the owner said they did demo flights. I told him I’d take one of those. You see, I was supposed to ride with a friend of a friend and they never showed up so I was determined to get my airplane ride. Merle calls to this balding older guy that looked more like a farmer in his plaid flannel shirt and blue jeans, “Hey Bun, this gentleman was to go on a demo ride.”

So Bun walks me out to the airplane and goes through preflight inspection with me. Explaining everything he was doing without even setting his coffee cup down. He told me to get into the pilot seat. I thought he’d tell me to move before we flew but he got into the passenger seat. He fired up the airplane and we taxied out. He did his runup (more preflight checks) and then taxied to the runway and took off. He told me to put my hands on the yoke and my feet on the rudder pedals, which I did. He then let go of everything and then said, “your airplane.”

I asked him what I was supposed to do now. He said, “I dunno, whatever you want I guess.” Simply awe-inspiring. But he did let me do whatever I wanted. We climbed we turned. After half an hour or so he talked me back to the airport pattern and then took over and landed the airplane. He walked over to the display case holding all the pilots supplies and filled out a logbook. The first entry (which I still have) turned out to be my very first flying lesson. I was hooked. It was the most expensive $20 I ever spent.

After I passed my checkride and received my certificate, he became a different person. He moved from stern instructor to mentor. Also giving me advice, which I took. Later still he became a comrade, a man who could find the humor in anything. I never would have guessed when I was his student. When we became peers, I found that the man could, would, and did laugh at everything, most especially himself. And more than occasionally, me. He taught me to laugh at myself.

My favorite Bun Moreland story was when I was still a student. We were on my first long cross country flight. We were over Sacramento, California and the engine started sputtering. He immediately called, “my airplane” and took the controls. He tried carburetor heat, mixture, magneto check but nothing would bring the engine back to life. He then called Sacramento Approach and declared an emergency. Air Traffic Control asked our intentions and Bun asked for the nearest airport. That airport happened to be an active US Air Force base. But in an emergency, you will be cleared to land there.

Bun had milked the plane most of the way to the Air Force base when the engine quit completely. Coincidentally the tower called us on the radio and said that our approach end of the runway was under construction and could we please land long? I’ll never forget the look on Bun’s face as he looked at me with a half smile, half what-the-heck expression. After a few seconds he looked back out the front and simply said “unable” on the radio.

As we were gliding toward the runway we saw it was indeed torn up but the taxiways were in perfect shape and much larger than our runway at home in Oakdale. Bun just side-stepped the plane over to the taxiway and continued our approach. I looked over at the runway and men were diving off their tractors and running. Trucks were speeding away from the runway as fast as possible. At the time I just thought, “huh, look at that.” It was much later that we found out that all those men know was that “an airplane is about to crash at the airport.” The had pictures of a huge cargo jet crashing and exploding on the torn up runway. That’s why they didn’t notice the little two-seat Cessna quietly gliding past them.

But set it down on the taxiway as pretty as you please. We were just congratulating each other when I pointed out a large barricade designed to warn other aircraft that the taxiway was closed. Bun wheeled our little plane around it, though how he could have missed is beyond me. It was almost as big as my house. We costed to a stop just as a fire truck also as large as my house rolled up with fire in their moon suits pointing a huge foam cannon at us. I just out and put my hands up and said “Don’t shoot!” Though they didn’t see much humor in it.

First the fireman asked us what happened. Then security arrived and asked us what happened. Then all sorts of men in uniform started showing up and asking what happened. We spent about 30 minutes trying to tell the story and getting interrupted as the next guy that was higher up the food chain in the Air Force showed up. Finally we were stuffed in a security car and taking to the security office to make our formal statements. In separate rooms. That was another two hours of filling out forms. The last form was one Bun had to fill out. A landing permit, and that’s the one that finally set him off. “Next time I’m going to put us in a f…ing bean field!” But after the fact Bun found a way to laugh at almost everything that happened during that incident.

Why Dogs Roll In Poop and Other Stinky Things

Another time Bun and Vito (another of Bun’s former students) flew their plane up to Columbia and I flew up in my plane. We all got on the ground and were just telling stories and lies on the ramp when we noticed a plane landing really long and fast. We were waiting for him to go around but many minutes later he finally came taxiing in. They all piled out of his airplane and everyone was arguing. Except for one small dog who jumped out of the plane and immediately started rolling around on the ground, sniffing the asphalt and licking it. Bun said, “Hey look at that dog!” I said, “He sure is happy to be on the ground.” And for some reason that just struck a chord with the three of us and we almost bust our guts laughing so hard. We still laughed at those stories every time we saw each other at the airport.

And now, that’s all that’s left of Bun. Oh, he had children but they never got into flying and I don’t really know them. But Bun’s stories will live on in my memory. Bun Moreland, the man that taught me to fly. The man who introduced me to the sky. CAVU Bun Morland. Rest in peace my friend.

sunset cessna | Photos: Cessna 150M Aircraft Pictures | Airliners ...

Installing A SoftStart On The Air Conditioner

In case you don’t know there are two ways to power devices in your recreational vehicle. There are batteries for running battery powered devices such as your lights, water pump, awning, and 12 volt TV if you have one of those. Then there is the AC power cord that plugs into the electrical service at the RV park. This runs basically two devices in my trailer: the microwave and the air conditioner. Since we do most of our camping primarily in the western US, we need an air conditioner! This limits us to camping where electricity is readily available.

But there’s another option, a generator! You can plug your trailer’s AC connection into a generator and run your air conditioner that way. There’s just one problem. You have to make sure that the generator has enough power to start the air conditioner, once the air conditioner is started, it uses far less power. It’s just that initial start. This is where the soft start module comes up. You see inside the air conditioner is an electrical motor that basically runs the pump that pumps all the freon around your air conditioner. When motors start, they generally use a ton of electrical current to get them going, and then once started, they use much less current. That initial kick of electrical current is called inrush current and will bog a generator down as the generator struggles to supple enough electrical current to meet the demand. Many smaller generators will just blow their breakers or shut themselves down.

But what if you could limit that inrush current to a manageable level that the smaller generator could keep up with? Then you wouldn’t have to buy that bigger more expensive generator. This is what the SoftStart module does.

Imagine electrical current as water. When you flip a switch to turn on your AC, it’s like turning your water faucet on full blast. When you flip the switch off, it’s like turning the faucet completely off. But what if you could just turn that faucet on slowly until it reaches full blast? This is what the Soft Start does. When you turn your air conditioner on, the fan comes on, and then a few seconds later the compressor comes on with a loud “thunk”. This is the motor responding to a full blast of electrical current, like the water faucet being turned on full blast, and the motor is trying to respond to that full blast of current. It’s hard on the motor and uses a lot of electrical current to FORCE that motor to start running at full speed almost instantly!

So the Soft Start ramps up the electrical current slowly so that the compressor’s motor comes on more slowly, thus using less electrical current and also being gentler on the motor and associated components. THIS means you can use a smaller generator than you normally would because it doesn’t have to supply as much current to start your air conditioner.

(For my sister, you can tell our brother than this device OBVIOUSLY uses TRIACS to limit the inrush current)

Installation was pretty easy. They have detailed instructions for every model of RV air conditioner out there complete with pictures. It’s a matter of mounting your Soft Start module inside the AC unit, finding the electrical box, and start wiring it in. All the wires are color coded and there are only 4 of them to connect so it’s hard to go wrong.

The Micro-Air EasyStart Soft Starter

I used strong, double-sided tape to mount it out of the air flow in my AC unit. I then routed the grey cable containing all the wiring over to the electrical box. I forgot to take pictures of my wiring but I’ll include a sample from the instruction manual.

This was all the wiring that was necessary. Connect a white wire where the other white wires are connected, connect an orange wire where all the red wires are connected. Connect the brown wire to the white wire going back to the compressor, then cut the blue wire (not the red wire, never the red wire) and splice the black wire into the middle. Tuck all the wiring away nicely. Remember you’re afraid of heights. Don’t fall off the trailer.

After it’s all connected up it’s time to “teach” the Soft Start device about your air conditioner. You do this by turning the AC on, wait until the compressor comes on, let it run for 30 seconds, then adjust the temp so that the compressor turns back off, adjust the temp again to make it come back on (it will make you wait 3 minutes before it turns back on but be patient, it will turn back on.) And then repeat this 2 more times. That’s it. The Soft Start module has now learned your AC’s inrush current particulars. You will notice that the compressor no longer “klunks” on. You just hear a gentle humming begin. Very nice.

Then it was just a matter of closing the AC back up and taking a nap! Now to shop for a generator.

Snowflower RV Resort

Snowflower RV Resort is part of the Thousand Trails network of RV parks. We’ve only stayed in one other and it was not the greatest experience. However, we decided to give them another try. Snowflower is located right of Interstate 80 just west of Truckee, CA. It was about a 3 hour drive from our home. We had no problem finding the place but the fun began once we started looking for a camping spot.

Like most campground maps it’s only a rough approximation of the actual streets so we got turned around a couple of times and drove up a road we probably shouldn’t have with only two wheel drive. However, we got back down to where we should have been and started hunting again. Then we got caught in a traffic jam of people looking to park their huge rigs in Snowflower’s modest sized RV spots. It had been going on for 45 minutes at this point and the folks were pretty apologetic but it was apparent they were not going to fit so they finally drove on. A very nice gentleman on a bike told us there was a great spot next to him and that we could fit into it. It was only just up the road and we fit perfectly.

Finally! Camping.

That was really my only complaint with this park is the free for all in trying to find spots. It’s not just this park either. Most Thousand Trails parks are this way. Other than that the park was beautiful and we had a beautiful lake view. We spent the rest of the day enjoying the views and napping. What a way to spend my birthday!

Later just before dinner we decided to talk a walk down by the lake. It was really serene and peaceful. This was probably one of the most beautiful places we have camped so far.

The next morning we decided to drive around the park and try to orient ourselves. We really liked the park so we wanted to take a look at some of the other camping spots and figure out how to find them! We ended up driving up to the “overlook”. It is the topmost part of the park and is just a great spot to hike up to and have a lunch or drive up and spend a few minutes admiring the view as we did.

After admiring the view we took a drive up to Nevada City. We walked around downtown for a short time but they are still opening up after the pandemic so not much to see. We did find a bistro that was open so we stopped in to have lunch. I had a burger and Cristy had a burger salad.

Garden near the bistro

After lunch we decided to head back to the resort to take a nap and unwind. On the way back we pulled off the highway to check out a meadow I had seen on the way up. I’d love to have a house here… if it wasn’t so cold and snowy in the winter.

After taking in the meadow views we headed back to the trailer for a nap. After our nap and dinner the weather started to get a little exciting. It started to thunder and drop first sleet, and then small hail. It was enough to make things exciting but not enough to damage the trailer. The largest hail was only pea-sized.

The storm ended after a couple of hours and we enjoyed a beautiful night sleep. I have to admit that we really enjoyed our short stay at Snowflower RV Resort and will definitely be back. Maybe for a longer stay next time. I really loved waking up to this view…

Morning view

We’ll be back.

Battery Monitor Install

BMV-700 - Victron Energy
BMV-702

I just completed another mod on my Lance 1995 travel trailer. I installed a Victron BMV-702 battery monitor. It’s a simple device that displays the charge state of your battery. Rather than measure the voltage level it measure the amount of current that flows into and out of your battery. It learns over time and will give you an accurate reading of how much battery power you have left.

It was a simple install but getting at all the locations I needed to get to was somewhat of a challenge for my bad back. The first decision was where to put the shunt. A shunt is used by an ammeter (a device that measures electrical current). Normally they are built into the instrument but with the current levels involved with two car batteries it’s just not practical. You install the shunt between the negative terminal on the battery and the trailer’s ground. A wire then goes from the shunt to the instrument head to provide power and current measurements.

Luckily for me there is a convenient access panel next to the bed where the negative terminals of the batteries connect to ground.

The black wire with the blue tape goes to ground. The other black wire goes to the 2nd battery. The black wire with the blue tape goes on one side of the shunt, and then a cable I made up goes from the other side of the shunt to the terminal with the unmarked black cable on it. This places the shunt between the batteries and ground.

First I had to mount the shunt. I screwed it to the side of the access compartment. The wood screws protrude into the wood block that the back of the nightstand drawers secure to. This made for a very sturdy mount for the 1 pound shunt. I also had to find a way to get the cable that connects the shunt to the instrument head down to the baggage compartment where I was going to mount the instrument. I did this by drilling a hole in the bottom of the access compartment down to the baggage compartment directly below.

Here is a photo of the connected instrument cable. The red wire goes to the positive side of the battery to provide power to the instrument. The only photo I forgot to take was of the battery grounds connected up.

The next challenge was mounting the instrument in the baggage compartment. I decided to put it next to the battery disconnect switch. It’s the first switch you turn on when taking the trailer out of storage so it made sense to put the battery monitor there. Why not mount it inside next to the other instruments? I didn’t want to run that wire all that way and if I messed up the install, I’d rather it be out of site in the baggage compartment!

I had to use a 2 inch hole saw to cut the hole. I then used a Dremmel tool to cut a small mouse hole at the top to run the cable through. I’ll use some clear RTV to secure the cable to the side of the baggage compartment. It took a little patience and some extra work with the Dremmel to get the main hole just right but in the end it all worked out. There is a bluetooth add on that I’m going to get so I can check the voltage from my phone inside the trailer. I’ll add that later. For now I’m just glad I can get a better idea of how the batteries are actually performing and when I need to charge them.