Friday 30th March 2007, Wagga.
It seems to me lately that because I am posting these memoirs on the web site that I may not be putting down as much as I was prior to doing so. This was never my intention, as I originally intended the memoirs to also be a record of things, like improvements to the van, that we undertake as a reminder for later.
The thing that bought me to this idea is the job I did on Wednesday: I have for a while now been considering a different battery charger for the caravan. I do have a few things, like the TV, running on 12 volts all the time so it is my idea that while we have 240 v connected that the charger should provide that power instead of wearing out the battery by constant discharge and recharge by solar panels only. I have never been really happy with the small charger I have been running as it didn’t provide enough power to successfully do the task and I didn’t like the idea of leaving it running all night, as it possibly resulted in overcharging the battery (I won’t go into all the technical details).
Anyway I have for a while now been keeping my eye out for a new charger that would adequately perform the required tasks and have noted one that Super Cheap Auto have had. It is one of ‘Switch Mode Technology’ so it is more efficient, and doesn’t have that heavy transformer as that of the older ‘Linear Technology’ models. So for a little over $100.00 I got a 10 amp charger that is light, in fact about the same weight as the one it replaces, and will provide all the power necessary and is automatic. This means I can leave it connected to the battery all the time, and when it needs to it provides just the amount of power one is using, then when there is no load it will just maintain the battery at full charge. So far it seems to be performing immaculately.
All this is also in readiness for us replacing our fridge in the van. The one we have now is a three way, 240/12 v and gas, and is very inefficient on 12v when travelling. The intention is to replace it with a 12v compressor type, much more efficient, and no messing around changing power supplies for whatever mode we want to use. This will be a great advantage when, or if, we get to the west next year and do a lot of camping out. It will mean a lot less use of gas as well.
Now you can see why I have tended to leave these type stories out, I tend to waffle a bit.
Anyway we got one of our biggest walks out of the way today, a 10 k walk along the Murrumbidgee river and around part of Wagga. This was a good test for the practise walking we have done lately in preparation for The Rock and it all went extremely well.
We were surprised to see so much water in the river as I do recall seeing a story recently that indicated that the Murrumbidgee, or maybe it was the Darling, was almost dry. The level is down a bit, but there is still a fair flow which could explain why the caravan park manager told me they are only on level 1 water restrictions here. Then the level may have increased lately with the rain the whole area has been getting.