2021 - 2022 Trip To The Southwest 

Day 181, Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountain National Park, TN, Day 3

2011 Trip across the US
2012 Trip across the US
2014 Trip across the US
2015 Trip to Alaska
2015-16 Southwest Trip
2016 New England Trip
2016 - 17 Southwest Trip
2017 - 18 Trip to Pick Up a New Escape 21 Trailer & More
2018 - 19 Trip to Winnipeg & the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta
2019 - 20 Trip to the Southwest
Other Trips



Tuesday, April 19, Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountain National Park, TN, Day 3 - 0 Miles, 6,924.8 Miles for the Trip

While the rain is gone, it was a cold night (34°F at 7:00AM) made even colder by my Micro Air thermostat failing again. Like last time, around 3:00AM it froze (no pun intended) calling for heat, but not firing the furnace. At least this time I know how to do a temporary fix - I pulled the fuse for the thermostat, waited 10 seconds, put it back and the thermostat reset. Of course I then stayed awake most of the rest of the night watching it. The temperature setting number turns red when it calls for heat, then back to blue once the set temperature is reached. I watched it turn red every 10 - 15 minutes, and the furnace came on each time. I did fall asleep a couple of times, and finally got up around 8:45. The "permanent" fix last time was to update the firmware in the thermostat. Of course I can't check to see if I'm up to date here at the campground without an internet connection. By the way, I also discovered that I can't listen to the audio books I bought on Chirp. When I finished my current library audio book, Raymond E. Feist's At the Gates of Darkness, I tried to start one of my purchases on Chirp. I got a message that it could not connect to the App Store so the application would not run. I guess those audio books will be the last I buy at Chirp! An update - I tried some other apps, and all of them insist that I connect to the App Store before I can use them. It seems that my phone did an update last Saturday night & the apps all think it is a new phone & want to confirm that the apps on it are mine.

I went for a walk around the campground loops doing around nine tenths of a mile. Came back & the furnace was running. Since I was down to 70% on the batteries, I decided to go to the campground store for coffee. They filled my 24 oz mug for $3.29.

After breakfast I dug out the portable solar panel. I'm parked under an evergreen tree that shades the trailer's solar panels for most of the day. I was collecting around 60 watts of solar from the 320 watts of rooftop panels. Adding the 300 watt portable brought me up to 180 watts during the rest of the morning, and as high as 304 watts during the afternoon, a long way from the 550+ watts I usually connected in the Arizona Desert. Even the bare branches of trees shade the panels enough to drastically cut the output. The batteries were back to 89% by 4:00.

I decided to put the old Dometic thermostat back in so I could get a decent night's sleep. Some minor problems changing back to the old thermostat. Dometic uses a very cheap terminal strip on the circuit board that fell apart in the storage box. I found the pieces & reassembled it & it is working. I'll miss the easy to change touch pads & bright display of the Micro Air thermostat, but I'm not convinced it is reliable enough to keep using. It has to be installed to do a firmware update, so I'm probably going to wait until I start my summer projects before trying to fix it.

I tried sitting outside for a bit, but it was 49°F, and even in the sun the light wind made it uncomfortable. The high for the day was at 52°F at 4:00.

Dinner was a Mushroom & Truffle Oil pizza from Krogers. Probably my last one since I'll be leaving the land of Krogers.

Until the Next Internet Connection -


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Last Update: April 21, 2022