We arrived at Poncha Springs Fairgrounds to attend an Xscapers convergence for July 4th, 2022. We would be spending 8 nights dry camping and with only 30 amp power. We were hoping it wouldn’t get too hot as that amount of power will only sustain 1 air conditioner running at a time.
We are starting to get used to Colorado weather: Thunderstorms each afternoon with high winds and often hail. So far only pea gravel sized hail, so just a bit noisy and no damage. The good part is those storms really cool off the afternoons nicely. We got to meet a lot of folks we had not met before and a few we had.
A day into the event I met Chip who was parked a few rigs down from us. He came by to ask if we were experiencing low voltage. I said I didn’t know and proceeded to look for my multimeter. At that moment we were getting 115v, which is fine. But later in the afternoon I checked it again and we were at 104v, not good at all. That’s when I realized I had nothing but the multimeter to measure voltage. My smart plugs only measured watts used, but not the more important voltage. After researching there was really nothing available that would measure voltage and log it somewhere. So I did the next best thing. I ordered one of these real-time meters from Amazon. Hughes Autoformers Dual Color DVM, LED Digital Voltmeter .
About a week later, it had worked so well I purchased another one to go onto the other side of the incoming hot wires. It doesn’t log anything, but at a glance you can read the voltage. If the voltage is 108v or higher, the back ground is green; if below that it’s red, easily seen and unmistakable. I saw that red color a lot while camped at the convergence.
The next morning I decided to test out my special Y cable that is supposed to combine the 30 amp outlet with a 15/20 amp outlet to give you about 45 amps. It did not work, specifically it doesn’t work if the 20 amp outlet has a GFI, which these all did.
I also noticed my existing Surge Guard didn’t even allow the 30 amp to work as the other leg was dead. (L1 & L2 make a 50 amp connection)
It was then I noticed the other pedestal at the front of the bus and looked in there. Low and behold, there was a 50 amp plug. I got out my 50 amp extension and tried to plug it in, but someone mounted the outlet upside down. The way the plugs work, there was a bar in the box that prevented it from connecting.
I walked over to the fairgrounds office and found the manager, explained my issue, and she tried to call the site supervisor. He didn’t answer and she told me she would keep trying. I left, and probably 1/2 hour later I saw him at the event building across the way. (at least I saw his truck) I found him and explained the issue. He mentioned he knew about that but needed a certified electrician to do the work. I asked if I could do it, it was a simple thing to rotate the outlet, and the breakers were right there next to it to shut off to make it safe. That’s when he said he would do it, and we walked over and in 5 minutes it was fixed. I was then able to plug into the 50 amp outlet. That didn’t really solve the voltage issue, but having two legs of power kept the voltage above 108v the rest of the time, not great, but way better than before. And now on the hotter afternoons we could run both AC’s if needed.
We decided to hang back at the fairground to watch the fireworks with a bunch of others in their camp chairs. It was about 4 miles from downtown Salida, so the fireworks were spectacular but the sounds were way off due to the distance and the difference in the speed of light vs sound waves. But we got to see fireworks. Really hadn’t seen any since the Pandemic started. We almost could see them while in Memphis last summer, but they were too far away to feel like you really got to watch them.
The next evening was the Lot Crawl, but just prior a big storm moved in and it rained for a couple hours. Usually the afternoon storms were done by 5, but not today. Kathy and I had made our Fireball Jello shots for the crawl and they went over well. There was only one left at the end of the evening and it was really, really good! (I got it)
They had moved the Lot Crawl into the event building due to the weather. We were hoping it wouldn’t be a super spreader event. No one got sick from what we heard. Some folks were saying a lot of folks caught it at the Escapade which occurred a few weeks before this event not very far from here, over in Rock Springs, Wyoming.
I think it was the next night after the Lot Crawl we had a band (The Status Crowes) play for us. We had heard them at the Bash a couple years back and they were pretty good.
One morning on the way back from town, I stopped in a gun store. It had to be the biggest one I had ever seen. They had so many rifles and handguns it reminded me of an armament museum I checked out in Cody, Wy, a few years ago. Something that I had never seen prior, and didn’t think were actually legal in the US, were silencers or suppressors for rifles and handguns. Some of the handguns I looked at had threads for the silencers. Wow.
The next weekend we stumbled upon their yearly Brewers Rendezvous down at the Riverside Park in Salida. It looked like a big deal, there were at least 60 brewers there.
There were a lot of Starlink users at this event. I got to see many different mounting options for the dishy. When we get home this year, I will probably turn off three of my 100GB Data SIMs and replace them with a Starlink setup. Starlink’s monthly is about $70 less per month than those 3 SIMs, and Starlink now allows you to turn off your service when you don’t need it. (for us that’s about 6 months of the year when we aren’t traveling in the motorhome) The SIMs cannot be turned off when we aren’t traveling. We will see what’s available from SpaceX this winter.
July 2nd thru 10th.