127. Sevierville, TN

Fri., 4/9/21

What a long day! The reason I hate to make reservations! I have reservations starting April 18th in the DC area for the start of a happy event – a visit with Jon and Vicki Ruiter. So last night at the Cracker Barrel, Springhill, TN I started planning and the 18th was 10 days away and travel time is 3 days or 4 short days. So I needed to absorb a few days of down time and a good start would be this weekend. So I made a 3 day reservation, starting Fri night, in Sevierville/Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area.

So with my reservation for tonight, I had a destination to make today and, wouldn’t you know, the drive was horribly slow. The run from Nashville to Knoxville was basically one traffic jam after another. 5-10miles of 20 mph progress or slower for no discernible reason, then a speed up back to 70mph followed 2 miles later by the dreaded line of red tail lights ahead. According to the CB radio, no reason other than typical Friday traffic. Situations like this would normally see me at a rest area looking on the AllStays app for a place to stop ~ a Cracker Barrel, COE park, county park, someplace. But I had a paid for destination and so I struggled through. I’m too old to work like this. The scenery was nice though with lots of purple/lavender trees lining the interstate as I approached the Smokey Mountains.

Taken during a time when traffic opened up. And yes, there are a number of bug splats in my new windshield 🤬😱😡
And the the traffic starts building and backing up. In my side mirror, lower, you can see the white car along side me and upper, the black SUV behind it about even with my towed Jeep

I finally got set up in my weekend campsite at 17:55ET, 5:55pm at Riverside RV Park. It’s a very nice, large park along the Little Pigeon River and I’m backed up to the River. I’ve stayed here probably a half dozen or so times several times with Sharon, once I remember by myself and I think three years ago with daughter Deb and her rig as we toured looking at boats for sale.

This morning before I left, my inverter stopped working. The inverter takes DC power from my house batteries, inverts it and provides 110 AC power to most outlets in the bus, but most notably the microwave and the residential refrigerator. The inverter circuit breaker didn’t seem to be tripped so I’ll troubleshoot it a bit more this weekend to see if I can fix it. I’m thinking there’s probable a second breaker somewhere. So I ran all day with the generator operating which kept the house air conditioning and fridge going. Don’t want to chance having the ice cream melt!

Saturday, 4/10/21

Yesterday must have really tired me out as I slept in. Nonetheless, before noon, I washed off half of Tennessee’s insects from the front cap of the motorhome, found the second circuit breaker for the inverter which had tripped. Glad to say my inverter is again functioning. The electrical systems are complicated between the AC system from the park’s power pedestal, the AC system from the bus’s generator, the house battery DC system and the inverter system that bridges the AC and DC. Each has its own set of switches, relays, breakers and fuses which are all hidden from plain sight.

Picture of the transfer switch sans cover. This switch detects the source of incoming AC power, whether from the park power pedestal or generator ensuring that both sources don’t flow into the motor home at the same time, selecting park power as priority and passing appropriate 120/240 AC to the bus

Looks like I got out of MS/AL just in time as there were severe storms there again last night. Reports of LIME (not dime) size hail in AL but the immediate area was blessed again with just heavy rain. Happy to not visit the community storm shelter for a fifth time and happy to not have broken roof air conditioner covers, cracked fiberglass roof and broken glass to say nothing of a ruined paint job. Even though TN dodged the storms, it looks like it’s going to be a dreary day.

My site along the River. Spring hasn’t fully arrived here yet.
Evening brought clearing skies and the promise of a brighter tomorrow.

I also had fun browsing in the world’s largest knife store and looking around in a Lodge Cast Iron factory store. More knives, daggers and swords than I’ve ever seen much less in one place. Never knew there were so many styles of authentic Swiss Army Knives. Likewise, who knew there were so many cast iron skillets, pots, griddles and everything in between? I did stop at the Coleman store and bought a replacement for the Fold n Go grill that I used to have when I traveled the summer of 2016-17. It’s a grill for one and provides searing heat from the little disposable propane canisters.

Monday, 4/12/21

A nice bright sunny travel day heading towards the Blacksburg VA area, home of Virginia Tech University and my youngest and oldest granddaughter. I plan on having lunch or dinner with her, her choice. I’ve pulled into Fort Chiswell RV Park which is about 40 miles south. It’s a decent interstate full hookup pull thru RV Park where I’ve stayed 3 times, I think, before.

Ride along

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