January 24-29, 2006 - still in Clermont, FL

We find that a great way to take the whole day is to try to do anything in Orlando or Kissimmee, the traffic makes a small errand take hours.  

Bill succeeded in making a small 12volt circuit we could run the CPAP off a small inverter using 12 gauge wire, but the experiment failed.  Diane needs heated and humidified air for her CPAP and the heater did not run on the small inverter since it was modified sine-wave.  Our large inverter is pure sine-wave so it works fine.  The manual for both the CPAP and humidifier both say they will work with standard inverters, so our problem might be something else.  Many people think we are idiots for having pure sine-wave, since their modified sine-wave inverters are working for them and the pure ones cost more.  Now we have a solid answer for them.  Of course many won't listen, it is one of those areas where people have become rigid in their thinking.  A small pure sine-wave inverter is $400 and needs a direct connect to the batteries, so we will just use the big inverter and run the generator more to make up the difference.  The big inverter has more phantom loads and more overhead since it is a 2000 watt inverter while the little inverter cost us $25 and is a 400 watt one.  The big inverter also charges our batteries when we are on shore power or run the generator.  We haven't had a good chance to see how well our solar panels will recharge our new batteries so far.

Here is a picture of the fuse box before Bill's "extension cord" was installed:

Here it is complete with the wires in, but no fuse:

On another note, after resetting everything our electric hot water heater went back to working like there was never a problem.  We will be monitoring it in case the problem comes back.

On January 27th we met Henry and Inez for dinner at the Rusty Fox in Clermont, it was quite good and we had a great visit.  The Rusty Fox is about the best place in Clermont, that is what we were told in January 2004 when we had dinner there, and what we were told now.

We did get some more pictures of the Florida Sandhill Cranes in the campground:

And a Little Blue Heron by the par 3 golf course:

On the 28th Jim and Mary, who we met in Bushnell in November picked us up for the day.  They live in a campground in Orlando.  They have a Tracker and we did a little four-wheeling, here are some views of the "mountains" north of Clermont:

We stopped for a snack and Jim took our picture:

Then we headed for the Lakeridge Winery for music and food.  We took the short winery tour, which was a movie and small lecture and then tasted the wine.  We ended up buying some, it was a reasonably priced good wine.  The band was a blues band:

Here is a 5MB Quicktime video to show what the band was like.

Here are Diane and Jim standing in line for some wine and cheese for lunch:

Somehow we didn't get a picture of Mary, next time we will.

The blues band was good, but normally there is more food at these concerts than some cheese and bread.  We ended up going to the Lake Susan Lodge for a late lunch, early dinner.  Cheap food, about $6/each for burgers, chicken breasts, Philly steaks with fries and coleslaw, and good food.

We then came back to our motorhome for a light dessert and to visit some more.  We wish Mary and Jim success on getting on the road and expect to see them somewhere down the road, they promised to take us four-wheeling in Arizona.

Sunday the 29th we saw Rita and Roland come back into the campground and had a nice visit.  Bill had thought they were coming back on the 27th, Diane on the 28th and we were both wrong. 

When we came into the campground originally we saw an old converted school bus camped.  Later we saw it dry camped by the entrance for about a week and then it came back in which is when we got a picture of it:

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