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1/24/19 Preparing to Head South


We are bound for the Florida Panhandle in a little over a week, but right now the Chicago area is entering the deepest deep freeze yet in an otherwise mild winter.

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The snow isn't going anywhere as temperatures are expected to hit -17F by the middle of next week. And if you believe local forecasters, there's even more snow on the way.

I've been visiting the NewAire biweekly, always starting the generator and letting that run a while to boost the batteries a bit. So far the solar panel is keeping the well-serviced house and chassis batteries just above 12V. I wish that was higher, but I can live with it for now.

The only systems trouble occurred yesterday: the Webasto burner failed to light - first time for that. My best guess is the fuel has gelled in/around the burner's fuel filter, even though I treated the tank when I filled it, and I have run the Webasto system every time I visit. I do have a replacement filter among other spare parts, but I'm not going to troubleshoot the problem until we hit the Gulf. We have a ducted heat pump that works well down to 32F as well as two 1500w electric heaters. We'll survive.

This is what we have left to do before leaving: Start up and drive the rig around until it's up to normal running temperature (a confidence ride)Top up the fuel tankStock dry goods and consumable suppliesTransfer clothing, etc.Add water to our hand-carry potable tank (half full?)Load the back of the toad with overflow stuff (umbrella, fishing gear, etc)Hook up and go. We're planning on three days and two nights to get from Chicago to Fort Pickens on the coast just south on Pensacola. That starts four weeks of wandering around Florida, ending up on the Georgia coast for a week in early March.

Broken Mirror Update: not a peep from whoever it was that broke it. I'm resigned to fixing it myself sometime in the Spring. I have the materials and found a source for matching paint.

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