St. Helena Island, South Carolina

Day 12


     Each day brings new challenges. Most RVs have what is referred to as an RV refrigerator. It is a small 9 cu. ft. refrigerator that is run by the batteries of the RV (commonly referred to as “house batteries” to distinguish them from the car or truck batteries), and propane. Yes, propane. The RV fridge does not use a compressor, like your home fridge, but a method of cooling called “absorption”. This uses the heat of the propane flame to cause a chemical reaction that absorbs heat from the refrigerator box, leaving cold.

     The advantages of this type of box is it weighs less, uses 12 volts and propane to run, which means you do not have to be hooked up to electricity. The disadvantage is that they are small, and propane has trouble running a flame at high altitude because less oxygen.

     We decided that we wanted a full size “residential” refrigerator for both size and the ability to use a compressor to cool, rather than absorption. No problem at altitude. The disadvantage is they weigh a lot, and only run on 110 volts. This means I need to be hooked up to power. For traveling down the road, or camping without power (called boon-docking) I need electricity. This is achieved by installing an inverter. This device transfers 12 volts from the house batteries to 110 current. I also can use my 5.5 kilowatt generator to power the refrigerator._DSC0508

This is 20 cu. ft. My one at home is 18 cu. ft.

     The point of this rambling (after all, I am retired with nothing to do for the next 5 years) is to describe to you the following:

     Our fridge comes with an ice maker and filter cooled water. We have now exhausted the ice we brought and decided to hook up the ice maker. First, I went to the water dispenser to prime it. Pushed button. Nothing. I figured the dealer probably did not want to turn on the water to the fridge until delivered. No problem. Went to turn water on, can’t find valve. Looked behind unit, where it is on my house fridge. Not there. Looked under sink, where most of the water connections enter the coach. Not there. Is this beginning to sound like the cable/antenna switch? After a day and a half of searching, I found the turn on valve OUTSIDE the coach, by the rear spare tire. Why I did not think to look there first is beyond me.

     St. Helena Island is one of 200 islands, collectively known as the “Sea Islands”, off the main cost of South Carolina. They include Port Royal, of pirate fame, and Parris Island, close to the heart of all marines. Not far from us is the US Marine Corps Air Station. Fighter jets were constantly flying overhead. At first I thought they were just doing maneuvers, then I realized, one flew over our RV site and went back and told the others of our attempts to set up camp. The others then came to see and laugh for themselves.

Technical Stuff:

Florence to St. Helena Island 171.2 miles

10.9 mpg

3 hours 37 minutes

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