Saturday, June 15, 2013

As we shuffle off to Buffalo…

Pa and Buffalo NY 022Pa and Buffalo NY 006My original plan was to write a blog about the last several places we visited while in Pennsylvania. We loved hiking around the lakes at Twin Lakes Park and we also enjoyed hiking around Linn Run State Park along the beautiful mountain creeks. However, a couple of events occurred; one of which complicated our lives for the next several days…

While in Pittsburgh nearing the end of our stay, I decided it was time to replace our two 6 volt house batteries as the others were just not holding a charge very well.  Since there was a Sam’s Club nearby we stopped at their store Pittsburgh Universities Tour 030and picked up two new 6 volt batteries for the house. Not as many amp hours as I would have preferred but the price was right. I installed them in short period of time and all was well.

That evening the dreaded “derecho” that the weather channel had been predicting for the Pittsburgh area came through. As a precaution we brought in our slides for the night and although it was quite a Pa and Buffalo NY 019storm with lots of lightning it wasn’t nearly as bad as predicted. So the next morning everything was set for our long 250 mile drive north to just north of Buffalo New York.

As I pulled in the slides they seemed sluggish and when I tried to pull in the last large living room slide it would not come in as it seemed we didn’t have enough power. I had just replaced the house batteries so I assumed all was well… but it wasn’t. After a call to Good Sam’s we finally got the slide in after pushing the auxiliary start and the slide return button at the same time. Something was not quite right.

While driving other issues became apparent as we had no power to the refrigerator and no power to any of the front dash 12 volt plugs essential to our GPS and cell phones for navigation. With 250 miles to drive we decided to write down the directions and only use the GPS when we were getting close to a turn which, although added some stress to Sharon, worked. We eventually pulled into Cinderella Motel and RV Park about 3 hours later than planned due to the delay with the slides issue.

Pa and Buffalo NY 003After setting up I looked at our situation and realized that our Xantrex Inverter was not connecting to the DC side of our world. So I call the technicians at Xantrex on a late Friday afternoon and after having to make one run to a Walmart to replace my bad Voltmeter  we were able to determine the inline fuse must have failed since there was no voltage reading between the positive and negative terminals of the Inverter. Everywhere I called did not have a 250 amp inline fuse for our system and our only hope was Colton RV in Buffalo, NY but they were closed…

Fortunately they were open in the morningPa and Buffalo NY 024 and they had a 250 amp fuse that would work if I could only cut down some of the copper so it would fit in the slot our RV had for the fuse. After a bit of cosmetic surgery on the fuse we got it in and all seems to work except the generator which I think has its own fusible link. Since we are planning on hoteling it the next four nights in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada we decided that we would take the RV to Colton RV to llet them replace that fuse.  We will also have them do a small solar upgrade for our rig.  We had called Tiffin for a recommended service facility and the service guy was very enthusiastic about Colton RV.  After visiting them we can see why.  They are very friendly and accommodating even allowing us to park for free at electrical sites right behind the service area… and hey at least we are in Tim Horton country!

Pa and Buffalo NY 028I am still trying to figure out what may have caused the fuses to fail in the first place. I have a surge protector on the system so the lightning shouldn’t have gotten past it and fried the fuses but I guess it could have. What may have more than likely been the cause however was when I installed the batteries I got ready to put the crossover cable on and it sparked rather aggressively. It was then that I noticed that I had one battery in backwards and send a charge up the line. I didn’t think would fry anything but it surely could have. In any event even though we were unable to tour the Buffalo area as we had hoped we should be shipshape once we checkout of our room in Ontario on Thursday night… Yep, in this lifestyle it is always something…


  1. That's always the problem with a blown fuse...what cause the fuse to fail.

    Can't understand why the system requires a 250 amp fuse. How would anyone possibly use that much power in this application?

  2. If its not one thing its another. Although theses things happen here, The house doesn't need to be driven anywhere.

    Check out the abundance of wineries in NOTL, especially the dessert ice wines. Also, the Shaw Festival is underway. Always a great show or two.

    Where to next week?

  3. How true, always something. Some times I feel it is the black cloud over us but then I read of others having issues. Hoping all else cooperates with you.

  4. So much to see and do in that area on both sides of the border, we have spent many weeks around there and have not seen everything. Have fun.
    We have also used Colton Rv a couple times with good success.

  5. I've heard these kinds of things are supposed to keep life interesting. ;)

  6. Despite the troubles, it is great that you have it in a place that can fix it.

  7. Wow that's a slew of problems in a row. All related no doubt and a lot of figuring out on your part. So glad to hear you found a good RV place to help you out.

    I've just spent the past few days in Tub Run and Ohiopyle with no Verizon internet or phone. Sure glad we didn't have problems there. Pays to be near a big city when those things occur. Enjoy Niagra.

  8. Challenging set of troubles, but happy to hear your problem-solving saved the day and that you were close to a good service place. Enjoy the falls!

  9. look forward to you tales about Niagara as we are headed there after the Fourth. . .good luck with the electrical issues!

    ReadyToGoFullTimeRVing Blog

  10. That is a puzzle. I thought the slides went off the engine battery. They did in the Suncruiser.