Nov 102009

With Hurricane Ida downgraded to a tropical storm, we were not too worried about it up here in North Carolina. The weather reports are predicting heavy rain and wind on Wednesday, but nothing we can’t handle.

However, I wanted to get out of our campsite at Neuseway Nature Park in Kinston, because the high water markers from previous floods were over my head, and in Saturday’s blog I included a picture of the electric boxes mounted high on poles at the campground. One of the locals told me that the river carries a lot water from the mountains in the western part of the state east to the Atlantic Ocean. I don’t tread water well, and our Winnebago probably wouldn’t float very well either, so yesterday we hit the road.

We pulled out of the campground shortly after noon and drove 67 miles east on U.S. Highway 70 to Morehead City, where we are now parked on a paved lot at the Elks lodge, waiting for the storm to pass. Our route ranged from divided four lane highway with a 70 mile per hour speed limit, to small towns with more traffic and a lot of stoplights to deal with. But overall, it was an easy trip.

The lodge has one 30 amp electric outlet on the back of the building, but I couldn’t plug into it, because the outlet is in a plastic box about two inches deep, and my 30 amp cord would not clear the bottom of the box. One of the lodge members came out to check on us, saw the problem, and said we were welcome to cut the bottom of the box out if that would help.

I drug my Dremel tool and extension cord out of the bay, to plug into a nearby 15 amp outlet on the side of the building. Unfortunately, the extension cord wasn’t quite long enough, so we went to Plan B. We ran the cord in the driver’s window of our motorhome and plugged it in inside, then Miss Terry fired up our Onan 7.5 Quiet Diesel generator to power the Dremel tool. In less than a minute I had cut a wedge out of the bottom of the box large enough to accommodate our power cord, and we were plugged into shore power. RVers are resourceful, if nothing else! 

If you ever wondered just how much difference driving 55 miles per hour saves you, here are the results of a quick informal experiment I did yesterday.

The Silverleaf engine monitoring system can be configured to monitor both instantaneous miles per hour and your rolling miles per hour over a given distance. With our Winnebago’s cruise control set at 55 miles per hour, on flat terrain yesterday, the Silverleaf showed us getting 8.5 to 9.25 miles per gallon. When I bumped it up to 63 miles per hour, in the same terrain and with the cruise control on, we dropped to 7.5 to 7.75 mpg.

That’s not a huge variation, but if my calculator is working correctly, on a 1,000 mile trip it could make a difference in your cost of about $50, depending on fuel prices along the way. This wasn’t a scientific experiment, but it was interesting to see the difference.

As I said, this is pretty flat country here on the coastal plains, and the Silverleaf showed we averaged 8.5 miles per gallon yesterday.

There are several places we want to visit in this area to gather stories for the Gypsy Journal, and I need to tweak Carlyle Lehman’s Focal Wood website, so we’ll have plenty to keep us busy for a while.

Bad Nick has been busy already, posting a new Bad Nick Blog titled I’d Put Down A Vicious Dog. Check it out and leave a comment.

Thought For The Day – I’m not a complete idiot, some parts are missing.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  6 Responses to “Waiting For The Storm”

  1. Not only fuel saved at 55 mph – your nervcs are a little less frazzled by the moderate driving, and you get a better chance to see the scenery, even in flat terrain. A plus: going that more sane speed gives you a little more time to make a decision whether to turn off at an interesting opportunity. Nothing but good!

  2. Good Morning Nick… Sounds like a great experiment. So at what speed will you travel? We usually stick at 60 in interstate but slower on US highways… Our Horizon gets about 8.5/9 on average. We are looking to see if we could come to your next rally. Would love to meet everyone. Hope your day is fantastic…

    Travel Safe

  3. We max out at 55-60 mph on interstates as well as 4 lane roads. We tow a Jeep liberty which weighs around 4000 lbs. On flat terrain we get about 10 mpg. Up and down we get around 8-8.5 mpg. Remember our diesel is broken in at 200,000+ miles. If we increase the speed, we decrease the mpg. Besides that fact we are retired and not in a hurry, we want to see what is going by on the roadside. Also, if you are traveling slower, you have a better chance of controlling any accident. I was driving when we blew a right front tire. I was going 55-60 mph on a level interstate, thank heaven. No problems other than rapid heart beat. I let in roll and pulled over to the side. No major damage to the rig or us. Others traveling faster have not been so lucky. Friends had $15000 damage and he almost overturned the rig. I think due to excessive speed – 65 to 70 mph. So there are many pluses to 55-60mph. Enjoy them all.
    PS We move over to the slow lane or pull off occasionally to let faster traffic by on 2 lane roads. We try to be courteous RVers.

  4. You’ve talked about the Silverleaf monitor a couple of times. How does what it predict work out in real life? I mean if it says you are getting 8.5 mpg; when you fill-up do you get 6 mpg or 9? I know it would be extra fill-ups to check this but I’m sure people would be interested. (Doesn’t do anything for me because we are a pickup-trailer rig & Sliverleaf doesn’t to us little guys.)

  5. Hi Nick,
    At 55mph what gear does your silverleaf say you are in. My Windsor runs in 5th gear at 55. I have to get up to 58-59 for it to kick into 6th. I’m torn between trying to run as slow as I can in 6th gear or whether I’m better just running slower in 5th.

  6. Donna, I imagine we’ll run about 60, which is usual for us.

    Don, I’ll be able to tell you that more accurately on our next fill up.

    Jim, it shows us running in 6th gear most of the time, in the economy more

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