Thursday, December 29, 2011

Flyboy Chip2

9AM - Flyboy Chip is back!
This morning MsTioga began rocking. Was there an earthquake? Or was somebody messing with MsTioga? I went outside to see what was going on, and there was Flyboy Chip! He has returned to Mexico!

Chip has been rocking MsTioga for years in order to make me think that there is an earthquake.

We talked for awhile to catch up on stuff. Then Chip left to go south for a New Year party. He will return in a week to stay at Paradise Resort [next door to El Chaco]. Chip will remain here for the winter. Of course he brought his ultra-light aircraft with him and he will be cruising the sky.

10AM - MsTioga feels safe now
This month is going to be the largest visitor month for the Tioga-George website this year! The excitement of entering Mexico brought you back to our website a lot.

MsTioga and I were talking about that this morning. She feels pretty safe here at El Chaco. Both of us were wondering what you thought about that? Now that things have settled down and the excitement of entering Mexico along with the two robberies is over, are you going to be interested in what we are doing?

11AM - Solar battery compartment failure!
We were doing some routine maintenance in MsTioga's driver's side rear storage area. Lubricating the slide out drawer, cleaning; that kind of stuff. We were very shocked to see a large amount of damage to MsTioga's floor at the rear of the solar battery compartment!

It appears that battery acid has eaten away at the floor. All of Mr. Sunny's deep cycle batteries are sitting in their own individual plastic battery tray. So, it appears as though one of those battery trays is leaking. Wow!

Until the battery compartment is completely disassembled, we will not know what is required to rebuild the damaged floor. But we are thinking that at the minimum, a new plywood floor should be installed over the damaged floor.

In the pic below, it is easy to see the acid damage to the plywood battery box. This damage is bad, but not crucial. The real damage which is hard to see in this pic, was done to MsTioga's floor which is caved in at least 2". Acid damage cannot be seen from underneath MsTioga. Not yet. But from the looks of things, the floor's damage will go completely thru if the rebuilding is not done soon.
Battery acid damage

Solar battery inspection
During the first years of our journey, the battery bank was disassembled once each year for cleaning and inspection. However, this proved difficult for me. The batteries are heavy. It was difficult for my aging body to move those batteries around. So, the battery bank has not been disassembled for at least three years.

But with this failure, disassembly is not an option. All of the solar batteries must be removed. I am going now to buy the plywood necessary for doing the repairs. The battery box will be replaced and a new plywood floor laid over the damaged RV floor.

There is no doubt that I will need help with those batteries. That should not be a problem here in Mexico.

3PM - Supper
My supper was sooooo good today! This was a scratch supper. Nothing packaged or canned. Some kind of fish, don't recall what kind. Rice, fried squash and a salad.
Scratch supper

4PM to 7PM - Getting the batteries out
The Tioga RV Team had a meeting, and decided to get the batteries out this afternoon. And by ourselves too! With no help from anybody!!

It was clear as soon as the desktop above was removed and we had a better view of the battery bank, that two of the batteries in the back row had dropped almost three inches. This meant that entire floor in that area had failed. Readers who guessed that the terrible road to Kino Bay was at least partly responsible for this failure are probably correct.

Fortunately, there is good existing flooring under the right most battery and good flooring to the left of the battery box. We have ordered  a 3/4" plywood board that will span the failed floor and sit on the good flooring. This 3/4" board will provide a new floor for the entire battery bank.

In the first pic below, New Mavicita has captured a view that shows the dirty, rotten filthy mess that is now our battery bank. This entire area must be cleaned up and the battery acid neutralized before the new plywood floor is installed.

The second pic shows the temporary location of the battery bank. We hooked up two of the batteries together in series and used a battery jumper cable to connect these batteries to MsTioga's 12 volt DC circuit. This should keep our lights and other 12 volt items powered up.
Horrible battery compartment mess

Temp battery bank location

Clear sky