plans: leaving Leadville

The weather is excellent but I’m running out of places in this area to stay on the right side of the 14d/25mi rule. Time to start thinking about moving.

I think Leadville would make a great summer LTVA like the BLM runs in the Southwest. There is a golf course adjacent so I know water would be available. Build a couple pit toilets, rotate in a couple dumpsters and make some money for the NF.

My overall plans, to the degree they will not be disrupted by Covid deniers intent on shutting everything down again, lead me next to the Albuquerque area in ~September.

My vague plan right now is to start heading southwards on 24 (then 285) which is a pretty clean route to Santa Fe / ABQ. I found an Amzon pickup location along that route which is predicted to arrive on Wednesday the 1st.

amazon package

I ordered some 40mm x 20mm cooling fans. I have a supah-cheap MSW inverter I liked for running resistive loads but the fan started shrieking so I put it away. I dug it out this week and opened it up to see what the fan was and how it was connected. Note: only the top two screws on each end have to be removed to take off the top. I took off all four in this pic before I understood how it came apart. I’m replacing the fan:

  1. out of curiosity
  2. because I want to use the inverter in an experiment to see how hard it is on inverters to power them on with a decent load attached. I don’t want to endanger the more expensive PSW.

The fan has been removed in this pic. It was mounted on the far right at the vent holes and the power connector is the small white connector in the bottom center. The replaceable automotive-style fuses (red 50A) are right of center.

Cautionary Tale: I had a Bestek 300w PSW inverter I liked several years ago. It was aggressively inexpensive for a PSW because although PSW was verified on a ‘scope (by amazon reviewers) the output was noisy. Not a problem for me. So. It was cold day in quartzsite (RTR 2017?) but I didn’t notice the sun was shining through the side door onto the inverter, superheating the black case.Wwhen I turned it on the fuse insta-popped with no load. I opened it up to find the fuse and found it was a non-standard microfuse soldered to the board. Cussing ensued. I swore to only buy inverters with replaceable, normal fuses. I am also now more aware of how sunlight enters the van. I generally prefer to park facing west so my open side doors get very little direct light.


  • True Lime natural lime crystals. I had these a couple years ago and really loved them in water. I keep adding them to my cart but some reason they mess up the shipping timelines. This time they dropped in with no drama. Booyah!
  • a dog seat restrainer for Muffin. She’s ok when she just sits in the passenger seat, but she’s started hopping in/out of the seat, pacing, etc. I am hoping the restraint will allow her to chill and sleep in the seat like she used to.
  • a hammock. I really like to read in a hammock in hot weather but hadn’t bought one since I spent most of my time in the treeless desert. This year I have been in many more NF so will try out a hammock again.

battery maintenance

I watered the house batteries which took about 5 minutes and ~.75qt of distilled water. Not sure how long it’s been since I watered them but it’s been a while. The plates were in no danger of being exposed.

The weather was nice and I had no excuse not to, so I opened up the floorboard and related hardware to water the starter battery. Last time I did it was over two years ago but each cell took only a dribble. It’s not clear from that old post, but both times I removed the “byzantine arrangement of hold-downs, power distribution blocks, and cleverly hidden fasteners” to access all the caps and fill each cell.

Based on the tiny amount of water consumed in the past two years I might not check the starter battery levels again. At this rate the water levels would outlive the (late 2016) battery itself.

outdoor percolation

The Dragonfly’s pot supports are rather wide and I had (incorrectly) assumed the Stanley percolator wouldn’t sit on it. I actually tried it out today and it worked great.


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