Checklists

Flying an airplane teaches you the value of checklists. Even for things you know forwards and backwards, and have done a million times, a printed (or electronic) checklist is important.

It’s been a long while since I’ve flown, but some habits stick with you and are applied to other domains. For our Paseo we’ve developed a few so far. Nothing too complex or detailed, but hopefully enough to keep us from making silly mistakes. (I have no doubt we will still be able to find new silly mistakes, but at least we should be able to avoid these!)

The “Pre-Flight” checklist is one we follow before we drive. It applies to both the initial drive when starting a trip and to the drive when we leave a campsite.

The “Start-Up” checklist is really short, as it normally segues into the Pre-Flight checklist. This is where we start when getting ready to leave on a trip.

“Shut-Down” is the steps we take when closing things up after a trip.

“Campsite Setup” is pretty brief, and in most cases more stuff happens (awning out, chairs out, etc.). The steps listed are the basic ones we do pretty much every time.

There are certainly going to be things missing, but these are the major ones. Everyone’s will be different, these are a merely a start!

Things like “dump tanks” and “fill potable water” aren’t on here, they get done as needed. The level-checks done on the Start-Up list should trigger those actions if they didn’t get taken care of at the end of the previous trip.

Start-Up

  1. Coach battery on
  2. Refrigerator on
  3. Check tank levels
  4. Check propane level

 

Pre-Flight Checklist

  1. TPM on
  2. Shore power disconnected and stowed
  3. Propane off
  4. Awning retracted
  5. Overheads closed
  6. Refrigerator & freezer latched
  7. Kitchen sink closed
  8. Stove closed
  9. Bathroom door latched
  10. Bathroom sink up
  11. Toilet seat down
  12. Bathroom vent closed
  13. Maxx fan closed
  14. Water pump off
  15. Window shades open / removed
  16. Levelers retrieved

Campsite Setup

  1. Level RV (as needed)
  2. Turn off TPM
  3. Connect shore power
  4. Turn on propane (if needed)
  5. Verify shore power on via One-Place panel. Set to appropriate amperage as needed.

 

Shutdown Checklist

  1. Bathroom vent closed
  2. Bathroom toilet clean
  3. Shades closed
  4. Fridge and freezer doors open
  5. Maxx fan closed
  6. Empty trash
  7. Coach battery disconnected

Solar Panel Musings

I did some measuring today. I think another solar panel would fit in the back if you delete the TV antenna. Looks tight, but just possible. It would also require turning the panel mounting brackets around, which looked possible but I haven’t done it. Would make dealing with the mounting bolts a challenge, but should be possible with the right tools and dexterous hands!

Disclaimer: Until I or someone else actually does this, please don’t count on it being feasible!

A narrower panel (the stock one is about 26″ wide not including the brackets which in the “outward” orientation take 2″ or 3″ on each side) would make installation easier, and might also fit forward next to the Maxx Fan..

Paseo solar panel

The mounting bracket. With it outward like this it makes the bolts to the rack easy to access. To conserve space on the rack, looks like you could probably turn it inward.

Playing a DVD

One of the Facebook forum folks had this question, so I figured I would answer here on our blog as well since it’s probably something other might wonder about.

To play a DVD:
* Turn on the receiver via its power button.
* Turn on the TV power switch on the wall below the TV.
* Press “TV” and then “Power” on the larger remote to turn on the TV.
* On that same remote, press “Source” and choose HDMI from the menu that appears. (Hilight HDMI and then press Enter)
* Insert a DVD

After a short time (15 seconds?) the DVD will start to display its menu and such on the TV.

If the DVD was already inserted and you had the receiver on another source, you will need to switch it to “Disc” by pressing the “Source” button on the receiver until it displays “Disc” and then pressing “Enter” on the receiver.

Some of the receiver steps can be done via the remote, I only listed the way to do it via the front-panel controls above.

Anza-Borrego

This weekend we visited a primitive camping area at Anza-Borrego State Park. Such a beautiful desert area, and not really that far out of San Diego at all.

We arrived on Saturday morning, and had a rough idea for which of the less popular camping areas we wanted to try. Being complete newbs to camping anyplace other than an RV park with spaces and reservations, or a Cracker Barrel, we were unsure of what we’d find.

There was a couple there tent camping, and walked up and said hello. They confirmed we had found what we were looking for, and then invited us to join them by their fire that evening if we were so inclined. (A fire held in a metal container, off of the ground as is required in this state park.)

The desert was beautiful, and so quiet. Exactly the kind of relaxing place I’d imagined spending time at when we decided to buy our Paseo!

There was quite a bit of wind, so the screen doors on the Paseo were great – plenty of ventilation to keep interior temperatures down. And when the sun set and the desert cooled down the Truma was its usual quiet efficient self.

With the sun shining on the driver’s side of the RV, the fridge had a little trouble getting cold enough. Outside temperatures were not that high, but the sun was strong. The fridge was 44 degrees, and the freezer 15. Not awful, but not the around-zero freezer and mid-to-low-thirties refrigerator temperatures we are used to.
Wondering just how much insulation Winnebago managed to fit between the refrigerator and the outer wall of the Transit.

One thing I failed to think through was breakfast. We didn’t have a chance to grab any donuts or pastries, so I just figured I’d toast a pop-tart. What I forgot about was the need to have 120VAC power to do the toasting. Way too early to run the generator!
Turns out you can do a creditable job of toasting a pop-tart in a frying pan on the stove. Trick is to use low heat and turn it several times.

One minor disaster occurred. As we were driving into our camping area, we went over a dip (think full-width shallow v-shaped culvert) and scraped the rear end a bit.
As we were leaving the next morning, I saw something in the road that looked suspiciously like a cover from a dump-hose storage tube. Yup. Our storage tube cover.

The tube itself looked ok, but the cover was destroyed.

A couple of large nylon wire-ties and our dump tube was no longer going to slinky its way down some highway somewhere. Not sure what the long-term fix will be. Don’t want to have to replace the entire tube assembly, but I’ll really be surprised if that door is available as a separate part.

IMG_2429

 

IMG_2430

IMG_2431
Wire-ties to the rescue! Impressed the tube survived.

Driving the Paseo – Video #5

Our fifth video is up on YouTube. This one is all about our experiences driving the Paseo. And as a welcome change, Linda gets most of the on-camera time in this one!

I’ll summarize things we like and mention:

  • Acceleration is amazing.
  • Noise level is good, no problem carrying on a conversation.
  • Large windows make it a good way to actually see a lot of the beautiful country we travel through.
  • Nav system works well.
  • Cupholders! So many cupholders!
  • Lane alert is a great feature, especially for those of us new to driving a vehicle of this size.
  • View out the back via the rear-view mirror is actually pretty good.
  • Seats are comfortable.

I’m sure I missed something, so you should still watch the video!  😉

Minor Improvements

We’ve done a few little things here and there.

Clear tape for my beloved Brother labelmaker, and now we have at least a clue as to which switch does what. In hindsight, I probably should have added information as to which ones are bright-off-dim and which ones are on/off.

Originally (as you might notice in one of our videos) I used narrow white background tape. The labels were more legible, but Linda was not happy with the aesthetic, so this is version 2.0.

Paseo
Labels!

 

Small organizer for the medicine cabinet from the Container Store.

Medicine Cabinet organization in process in Paseo
Medicine Cabinet organization

 

And an added bin that lets us use more of the vertical space. This is a 3M Small Caddy, mounted with Command Strips.

Medicine Cabinet organization in process in Paseo
Medicine Cabinet organization

 

Monitoring the temperature of the refrigerator and freezer. This was just the right size to wedge between the window frames.
AcuRite Freezer Alarm

Paseo
Freezer Alarm