The Battery Malfunction

Yesterday we made our way from Fort Boonseborough, Kentucky to the Meriwether Lewis campground in Tennessee. It was around 300 miles with the worst part being route 65 through Nashville. We had left 65 north of Nashville due to a 30 minute delay caused by an accident and I thought I could route around Nashville entirely. Unfortunately, all roads lead to Nashville. I can check “get stuck in a traffic jam” off my bucket list.

As soon as we got out of the city things slowed down. We found ourselves on the Natchez Trace Parkway. I had never heard of it before, but I am so happy we found it. The Natchez Trace Parkway is a highway that goes from Memphis, Tennessee to Natchez, Louisiana. The speed limit is 50, no commercial trucks are allowed and no bill boards. It is lovely.

We pulled into the Meriwether Lewis campground not really knowing what to expect. There were no fee stations or check in huts but there were bathrooms and water available. The site we chose was a little un-level but the view out the back window more than made up for it.

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Meeka chose to wait outside while Brian and I did the normal set up routine. She loved the leaves and wouldn’t come in even when invited. I had a little bonus work to do because something had jarred the trailer during travel and a couple of my bins spilled on the kitchen floor. One of Brian’s bins fell too, crushing my poor, defenseless seedlings. Brian had a little bonus work to do trying to level the trailer on a slope and make sure we didn’t take an unplanned nighttime trip downhill.

When he started the set up he checked the trailer battery, it read 2/3. That’s odd. After a full day of travel the battery should read full. When he finished the set up he checked again and the battery was showing 1/3. This is a problem because we rely on the battery to run the heater’s blower motor and keep us warm through the night.

We started trying to fix the problem. We plugged the trailer back into the truck and let the truck run for awhile. When that didn’t work we set up a trickle charger for awhile. Next Brian found a loose connection to one of the wires and we plugged the trailer back into the truck.

I did take time during this process to admire the view and watch the sunset.

 

We went to bed knowing that we wouldn’t have heat when we woke up.

We were up early and ready to go, it had started to drizzle making getting ready to go less than fun. One little problem though, with the trailer battery not charging, the front jack wouldn’t jack the trailer up to connect it to the truck properly for weight distribution and sway control. We drove the 7 miles to Hohenwald, Tennessee half jacked. Brian was able to get us properly hooked up and we hit the Natchez Trace Parkway with the idea of finding someone to look at the rig on the way to our next stop, Jeff Busby Campground.

In case I haven’t said already, the parkway defies words. The speed limit and lack of big rigs makes it a relaxing drive, I mean ride 😉 Even the bridges weren’t too scary for me.

We drove the rest of Tennessee, a small bite out of Alabama and before noon, we stopped at Parkway Visitor Center just north of Tupelo, Mississippi. The lady working there was helpful, selling me a “Passport to your National Parks” and some stickers as well as giving me my first stamp on the passport.

She also gave us the names of a couple of RV repair places, recommended more free camping sites, suggested an eatery south of the Jeff Busby campsite and when I mentioned Brian was starving, gave us directions to a Cracker Barrel. The best thing she did though, was give me a teacher’s discount on our purchase, even after I pointed out I was a “home school teacher.” That made me so very, very happy.

After a refueling at Cracker Barrel, we went to Sherman RV Center. By this time the drizzle had turned into a downpour complete with thunder and lightning. The gentleman who helped us checked a fuse under the hood of the truck. That was what was causing the issue. It took him about 10 minutes to find and fix the problem and he charged us $39.04. I’m logging that as ‘education costs’ because Brian now knows that this could be an issue and can fix it himself in the future for less than $10.

While the electrical issue was being worked out I checked the weather and found that this area, and by that I mean all of Mississippi, was in for a pretty good storm. Rather than drive through driving rain, I found a state campground just 10 miles up the road and we are currently holed up by a dry lake in Belden, MS. It is a pay for site, but full hook up so I will enjoy a hot shower before bed tonight. Tomorrow, or the next day, we’ll continue down the Natchez Trace Parkway.

Now for the next.

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Maiden Boondock Voyage

You could argue that our first two trips with Nunc Pro Tunc were boondocking because we didn’t have shore power, water or sewer hook ups, but both at established campgrounds with amenities such as vault toilets, potable water and internet access. Last weekend we went true boondock.

Continue reading Maiden Boondock Voyage