Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spring Cleaning

Today I did some spring cleaning in the van.  I also re-arranged the furniture somewhat, placing the bed at the back of the van.   This works for me, but for taller people, it would be rather cramped.  It's almost too small for me at 5'7.  The width is 66", so I sleep at an angle or with my knees slightly bent.  The one window does give a few more inches for my feet to hang out.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Winter wrap up, oncoming Spring

Since I replaced the battery, my power situation seems to be stable.  However, with some of the warm days, I tried running the air conditioner off of batteries (this is the 9500 BTU air conditioner) and it only runs a few hours.  My watt meter's screen doesn't appear to be turning on, so I'm not sure how much it is drawing.  I also tried running it on "fan only", and that seems to draw the batteries down just as well.    More on this further down.

Some tidbits from Winter:  I bought a heated blanket from Target.  It worked wonderful... for about 3 hours.  I woke up freezing.   Now, these blankets have an auto-shut off for 8 hours that can be reset by turning it off and on again.  That was not the issue.  So I exchanged it for another blanket and that one never turned on in the first place.  This was very frustrating.   I returned that one for cash.

I ordered a Sunbeam heated blanket from Amazon.  This works "ok".  It takes about 20 minutes to heat up, but does remain heated.  However, the blanket seems to only be useful if I foldit up around me (which the instructions warn me against doing).  Otherwise, you don't really feel any warmth from it.  I would say my sleeping bag remains more useful.

What would probably work better would be a mattress pad.  These are designed to be placed under blankets and radiate warmth.  I would love to have one of these setup with a remote control/timer.  Say at 5:50am it turns on and starts heating up.  I would get out there by 6:20 and just climb right in to heated goodness.

Finally, today marked a grand entrance into Spring for me with temperatures outside bordering around 90F.  I had brought the generator back down yesterday, topped it off, and had it ready for today.  It got to 84F by 11am, so I went out, started up the generator, and fired up the air conditioner.  The temperature started dropping nicely and I actually got cold enough to put a blanket on.  Sweet, sweet, air conditioned bliss.