i own some unimproved land in South Texas. I also own a travel trailer and a generator. I have a wife who loves camping on our unimproved land. Of course, I hate it.
I hate it because something always goes wrong in our camping experience. It rains. I lock the keys to our vehicle inside it, with it running. It rains so we can’t get the vehicles off the property. I get the keys, then get the vehicle stuck in the mud anyway. My neighbor gets his tractor stuck trying to get my vehicle out. My neighbor is forced to extract both with a commercial grade tractor. Loving it, yeah.
This past weekend, we went out there. Hey everyone, South Texas is hotter than hell in the summer. I had suggested going to an RV park at Lake Travis near Austin but that brought out Ms. Long Face. Anyway, we get out there. I pulled out the generator. It actually cooled down well. We had dinner, made some drinks, drank, had a few too many. It’s about 11pm and then …
The generator died. The same generator I ran for 36 hours three weeks ago. It was now out, and we were too loaded to, well, drive back home. I tried starting it a few times. It would run for a couple of minutes, then stop. So we got to sweat until the morning. Late morning. We went back to San Antonio and brought back an inverter we purchased for cold weather and a new generator. The new generator is way more powerful than we need for camping. In fact we can use it for emergencies at our house.
But the damn thing weighs 200 lbs. We also noticed it had a 4-prong turn lock plug for 30 amp power, so we scoured San Antonio for an adapter. Our first clue should have been there were none in the store. Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, and two specialty camping stores … nothing. So we figured we could use the standard plug to at least run the thing.
I assembled it and we got it running. I’ll be damned, it cranked up and gave us A/C right away. Of course, nothing else was running, but that was ok. It was sleeping weather inside.
Except the compressor stopped working. It was blowing cool air but not cold enough to sleep in. I now realize the compressor probably stopped working when I turned the TV on. You have to tightly manage your power in a travel trailer. But even after I turned the TV off, it still wouldn’t work. I changed the oil; a new generator has to have an oil change after 5 hours. Still no a/c. Another sweaty night. I woke up after what felt like a long night, praying it was 7 am. It was 3:26 am. After convincing myself to sleep, I did wake up at 7:30. I put some gas in the generator. It cranked right back up. Strangely enough, the compressor kicked right back on. The rest of the daylight hours, it ran fine. We left about noon.
I learned the following:
– Camping on primitive sites sucks
– Camping on a South Texas site in the middle of July sucks
– Having a big ass heavy generator sucks