Finally it was time to pick up Ryan from Boston University for the summer. Originally Karl had planned to drive up and back in the same day, but since Ryan had to be out of the dorm by noon on Sunday, we thought he might be cutting it too close, and I convinced him that we should take the E-trek and bring the dogs (after all it was Mother’s Day!) We would try our original plan from mid-April to drive partway up at night and stopover at the one of the Route 95 service areas in Connecticut.
We could also continue testing the battery strength and charging times since we had been discussing these issues with both our dealer and Roadtrek. We had been keeping a log of the battery strength for about a week, using the display on the inverter, testing different scenarios such as running the AC and instant hot water). Although we could not duplicate the Webasto automatic drain that occurred in Gettysburg on May 2nd, we did confirm that the batteries were not being charged by idling or driving. We charged the battery via shore power on Saturday and it was 98% charged when we left at 8:00 PM.
On our previous two trips to Gettysburg we had discovered that leaving the dogs in the E-trek was not a problem, since we could run the coach AC (although not for more than an hour or so) and check on them via an app called Manything. Basically we could set up our iPad to film the dogs and we could check on them periodically with my iPhone. Managing the dogs was the one thing that seemed to be working out. However, collapsing, transporting, and assembling Topper’s huge 42”L x 38”W x 30”H was an ordeal (for Karl-I just watched). So we decided to get a slightly smaller crate and install it in place of the second row Captain’s chair behind the driver. This would mean removing that Captain’s chair and reinstalling the other second row Captain’s chair that we had removed early April. We purchased the crate Saturday morning, as well as some foamboard to make a platform around the large bolts that are used to secure the Captain’s chair. We also bought a crate pad that we ended up putting on top of the crate to allow us to use the crate as a permanent table. We had found that the pedestal tables that came with the E-trek were clumsy to set up; so two problems solved for the price of one!
Saturday night was a comfortable temperature, so we needed neither the heat nor the AC to run through the night. We even turned off the water heater for the night, so the only draw on the battery was on to keep the refrigerator running. Even though we had driven 140 miles, the battery was still down to 88% by morning.