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Relaxation with some smoke???

Mar 27th - Apr 10th (14 days)

This stop was in Mustang Island near Corpus Christi, Texas. This is another one of our longer stops, two weeks. We haven’t decided if two weeks is long, or maybe it’s too long. It depends a lot on where you are, but two weeks seems to be enough time for us to hang out and start getting a little bored. Which is not always a bad thing. When you’re always picking up everything and changing places, having some time to sit is kind of nice.

With all that time at the beach, I was able to work with the back door open to enjoy the breeze. Plus we would take a walk on the beach during lunch or after work.

The only downside is that Texas has a lot of wind at this time of year, so we had to make sure we had time to go to the beach just before the afternoon breeze picked up and turned everything into sandpaper.

The first week, we went to a concert that Melissa had booked a long time ago knowing we would be close to the Concrete Street Amphitheater at Corpus Christi. So that first Wednesday afternoon we got a chance to listen to Papa Roach!

The First and second bands were exciting but a little too heavy metal for me. Papa Roach was pretty good overall. Melissa has seen them like 20 billion times. They played all their classics from when we were in high school, and even I knew most of the music.

On Friday, Melissa had the great idea to take her day off and get the truck customized. She ran off to a truck and trailer place and installed a new heavy duty front bumper. Now we have our very own deer killer.

It’s pretty sturdy, and it has a handy hitch on the front, so we went out and got ourselves a bike rack. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find one that was supposed to be on the front, but we got one that was close enough and then did some modifications of our own to see over the bikes.

Now we look like serious full-timers.

The rest of the time in Corpus Christi, Melissa and I spend our afternoons hanging out at the beach, going for long walks, and checking out the local restaurants. The island certainly did not have much in the way of entertainment. Instead, it was a very relaxed beach town.

I could see owning a small plot of land here just big enough for the RV. We could easily spend a couple of months each year here when the weather is a little better. The beaches are broad, and there were many large, long-running waves for body surfing. It’s just generally a very peaceful area for hanging out. Unfortunately, the water here, and the beaches, are not the cleanest in the world; Destin spoiled us. So maybe if we do buy a plot of land, it’ll be a little further down the coast.

We’re thinking we like the idea of being around the beach in winter, so perhaps at the end of this year, we can hang out on the beach in Baja.

Our drive to Del Rio, which was just a pitstop on the way to Big Bend, was very eventful.

First, our tire sensor monitor system wasn't working. Second, we stopped to have lunch and non of our slides worked.

Then we got lost in the middle of the neighborhood trying to get to our campsite. So we had to take our 35-foot rig and do a little three-point turn in front of a bunch of strangers in the back alleys of a small town next to Mexico.

But that was OK because we did it reasonably quick. Once we got to our campsite, it was nice and quiet. Like very quiet. Like we were the only ones in the whole place, except for a creepy pick-up truck they kept doing rounds. We were at Amistad National Recreation Area, but I’m guessing it was not the high season. Of course, all the water levels being so low in the area did not help since there wasn’t a lot of water left to swim in.

We decided we were probably safe enough, and we weren’t even unhooking the truck. So we made dinner, hung out for a little and then went to bed. It was an extremely long 8 Hour drive with the RV to get out here.

Thankfully I completed all the solar work before leaving, so we didn’t need the generator here.

That night is when the fun happened! It turns out that when I upgraded all of the solar, I should not have cheaped out and kept our Chinese DC to DC converter. In the middle of the night, suddenly, all the lights, thermostats, and such started blinking and making noises and just generally seemed like the entire RV was having a seizure.

I quickly recognized that expensive electronics turning on and off on their own is a bad thing. So I ran outside to my new electrical system, opened the storage hatch, and was greeted by a cloud of stinging, painful electronics smoke.

Thankfully I built this system a little better than the previous owner, and I had added shut-off switches for each component. So stopping the device from burning the RV down was just a flick of a switch. That Chinese crap was definitely melting. Bits of solder and resin were dripping out and into the bottom of the RV. After I took it out, we could see that the wood the converter screwed into had even started to burn.

I’ve already ordered a fancy new Victron one as I should have from the beginning. And now I also have a fire alarm next to all those electronics!

I am sure nothing else will break on this RV.

Next morning with little sleep after our smoke fiasco we got everything together and started the rest of our journey to Big Bend. I was up early ordering an new DC to DC converter and smoke alarm to get delievered to our next location. Our stay at Big Bend had hookups but after that stop we would be boondocking near Carlsbald Caverns and need our solar system to work.