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.

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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.

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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

San Elijo SB

We spent a few days on the ocean at San Elijo State Beach. For the most part, Muddlin’ Through did a great job of keeping us comfortable. Here’s what we learned.
The rear screen does a nice job of being a slight sunscreen as well as it’s obvious purpose of keeping out bugs. Cut down on the glare quite a bit when the sun was behind us, which it was quite a bit since we had the nice big rear doors facing the ocean.
With a few more showers behind us, we still find it a pretty decent experience. Only real issue is that the drain screen clogs completely and quickly. It is very fine mesh. We need to determine whether or not the pump that moves that water to the grey tank is really that sensitive to lint and such. I suspect this is the same drain and pump used in the Travato G, so hopefully a lot of knowledge can be gleaned from the owners of those models.
The Truma was a champ both for keeping us warm as well as heating water. Still kind of amazed how quiet it is.
Our only real issue was that although in a campground, we were boondocking. No hookups.
Starting Wed early evening through Thur evening ran on batteries and 15 minutes of generator use just fine. That was lights, water pump, fridge, iPhone and Apple watch charging, 30 minutes of TV and DVD player and Truma set to 65 overnight with outside temps dipping down in lower 50s. A bit of sunshine during the day, but not much. Thursday evening we were down to 12.2V.
We ran the generator for about 25 minutes to charge some laptops (overkill, I know) and put a bit of energy back into the batteries. Friday morning we were down to 12.1V, which is 0.1V less than I’d like to dip down to.
So what this tells me is that for boondocking in the less sunny times of year, we are going to need to run the generator more than we did (maybe 40 minutes from Wed afternoon until Friday morning), or add more solar. And this was modest use of the 12V in my opinion. Will be worse when we use an inverter to keep laptops charged.
Sadly, don’t have our battery monitor installed yet so just going by battery voltage, not actually able to monitor amps in and out.
Converting the table to a bed is never going to be fun, and we certainly noticed that it was some effort each day. But still a reasonable tradeoff for allowing a nice large seating area in a B that also has a huge fridge, and a decent sized bathroom.
That large table has been great, and sitting there eating meals with an ocean view out the rear of the Paseo was nice. Good view with doors closed and a fantastic view with them open!
Yeah, we could have eaten on the grungy picnic table, or in folding chairs and a small portable table outside. But since it’s still a little cool out, being somewhat inside with a view almost like we were outside worked great.
And the park itself is nice – fantastic ocean views. Most spots don’t have hookups, but that’s a reasonable tradeoff for the location. Short walk to Bull Taco there in the park, and if you walk inland a bit you have access to a bunch of places to eat in Cardiff by the Sea. VG Donut is the best, and you can get great food at the Seaside Market and bring it back to camp.