I Give Up . . .

Today actually did turn out to be a stay-at-home day, the first one we’ve managed since we got here the 26th of November. I did go out to the truck a couple of times, but that was about it.

After our morning coffee, I decided to complete frig cleaning resulting from the coffee creamer misadventure a couple of days ago. I figured since I’d cleaned the inside shelves, I’d go ahead and remove all the door shelves and clean them and food containers too. Once again, I only did a couple of shelves at a time so the temperature did rise too much.

Later, while Jan worked on our Christmas cards,  I went through a couple of boxes of papers that I brought up from the storeroom yesterday. Most of it was junk (cancelled checks and bank statements from banks that went under in the 80’s, copies of contracts with computer clients from the same time period, business cards from people I no longer remember, old restaurant receipts, etc. Did you know that a 16 oz. Ribeye at Outback Steakhouse costs $6.99 in 1986?), but I did find a few things we wanted to keep, so it was worth the time.

While we were visiting with Chris and Charles Yust last month at their place in Livingston, Chris turned us on to the Savings Catcher feature of the Wal-Mart Android app. It’s real easy to use and can save you money.

Just use the Savings Catcher to scan the QR code at the bottom of your Wal-Mart receipt. Then the app compares the prices you paid for the items you bought at Wal-Mart with the prices of the same items at other stores in your area.

The first time we used it on a $20 purchase at the Wal-Mart in Livingston, we didn’t get anything back, but with our $154 purchases there a few days ago, we got back $8.22. That’s a 5% savings that you can get on a gift card. Or you can get 2X the amount back if you credit the amount to a Bluebird card account.

Easy and Neat.

Last night I finally gave up nursing along the Source Manager I unit in our rig. This unit, originally made by Heart Interface (now Xantrex) combined a 2500 Watt Modified Sine Wave Inverter, a 40 amp Power Converter/Charger, and the Shore Power/Generator Transfer Switch all in one box under the bed. But besides being all in one box, it’s actually all one interconnected piece of equipment.

Which means a problem with one part, i.e. the transfer switch, means you’ll probably have a problem with something else, like the power converter/charger, in my case. Which is why I’ve never been a fan of Single Point Failure Equipment.

I’ve been trying to find a manual/schematic for the unit for a good while. American Coach doesn’t have one, and neither does Heart/Xantrex. I’ve even check with Kevin Mallory of Cruising America RV Service in Celina, OH, and he doesn’t have one either, even thought he used to work on the units when he was with American Coach, and can still round up parts for it sometimes.  I have found a manual for the Source Manager 2, but it’s a completely different unit, so no help there.

Last night I decided to replace my Source Manager with 3 separate units, so I started by ordering this Power Converter/Charger from Amazon.

Powermax 110 Volt to 12 Volt 55 Amp Power Supply Converter Charger

This unit was $117 and for $10 extra,  I got another 2 years of warranty, for a total of 3 years.

I found a number of people recommending this unit online, and out of 35 Amazon reviews, it had 29 5 star and 6 4 star reviews. But even most of the 4 star reviews should be 5 stars.

One 4 star review said the fan was a little noisy, but another said it was quiet.

Another buyer gave it 4 stars because the mounting tabs of the new unit did not match up with the screws where the old unit of another brand was mounted, so he had trouble getting it installed. Really?

And here are the 4 other 4 star reviews in their entirety:

so far so good works fine, I realy (sic) like the fuses externally instead of internally

I haven’t used it for long, but it seems to be a great value. It works fine so far.

this has performed great so far and was a breeze to install thanks

was easy to install, seems to be working fine to date

The only thing I can figure is that for them to give it a 5 star review, they would have gotten the unit for free, and someone would have installed for them . . . for free.

Later this month, I’ll order a Transfer Switch and get that installed too. These two units will cover about 90% of our use. We only boondock (Wally Dock) once a year or so, so we seldom have use for an inverter.

But I’m looking at replacing our 2500 watt MSW unit with two new units, a 2000 watt and a 1000 watt unit, both FSW (full sine wave), for a total of 3000 watts. And by doing it with two separate units, it’s only about half the cost of a single 3000 watt unit. i.e., $575 vs. $1100 or more.

Right now I have a couple of small inverters (a 250 watt and a 400 watt) that will run most of what we need, .i.e. the computer system and the TV/Satellite system.

If I do the 2 bigger units, I will wire up the 2000 watt one to run the microwave, and the 1000 watt unit for the rest of the stuff. Or I may just get 2 of the 2000 watt ones. We’ll see how it goes.


Thought for the Day:

“It is better to be high-spirited even though one makes more mistakes, than to be narrow-minded and all too prudent.” – Vincent van Gogh