Quiet Period

Things (adventure life in general) have been quiet over the holiday period. Less Rhodes Trips and more homebody between Thanksgiving and the New Year. Work has also been busy. Both known, annual items, and then time sucking last minute stuff that has been mentally draining at times. The Omicron surge has been a large part of that.

Rides in the sunshine have been rare lately

December was abnormally wet. If I recall the weatherman said we had only 6 days with no measurable rain. All the others were wet wet wet. I know there is the myth that it rains all the time in the PNW. Truth be told though it isn’t normally this wet. Toss in a week of artic air right as 2021 was coming to a close and we ended up with almost 8″ of snow here in Forest Grove.

Christmas Eve ride
Christmas Eve ride
New Year’s Eve ride

In the meantime I have been planning out some 2022 adventures. Both #vanlife and bike related (some combining both of course). There is also an ongoing conversation about summiting Mt Adams in the spring if we can pull off a nice weather window.

I’ve been working with my friend Paul about installing a battery system in Clifford the Big Red Van. He’s now converted 4 Ram Promasters and has lots of knowledge about what I need to do. Initial conversations put the cost right around $1600-1700. The largest part of that cost is a 200ah lithium ion battery. My intention is to scour the internet for deals and hopefully have everything purchased by the end of March for an April/May install.

As an intermediate solution I installed a “shore power” system this weekend. It’s not a true shore power as most RVers would understand but it does allow us to hook up to an external power source and avoid using the Jackery or starter battery.

Clifford shore power
left rear of Clifford
Clifford shore power
plug with 6′ power cord
Clifford shore power
Drill a hole

Snaking the power cord into the van is definitely not a simple job. You need to remove a few pieces of paneling, the brake lights located above this plastic piece, cut a hole in a vent and then put it all back together again. I found the best way to do it from this video below.

Thanks to their video for helping me out
Clifford shore power
all snugged up and sealed with silicone glue
Clifford shore power
Good enough for now

While we rarely stay at sites with power hookups this install gives us the option to now hookup to external power. Our initial thoughts are to be able to power something like a Zero Breeze air conditioner or even plug in our “fridge” and not have to use the Jackery (or future house battery system) to power it.

Thanks for reading,


One Comment Add yours

  1. adventurepdx says:

    Yeah, December was wet! I think we got somewhere between 8 and nine inches, and the average is like 5.5″. January started out wet, too. 4.5″ inches in the first week, when the month average is 5″! So I am happy that things have been pretty dry this last week and am looking forward to dry weather next weekend.

    We didn’t really get any snow here in North Tabor during the snow week. It’d snow up to an inch or so overnight, then be pretty much gone by mid-afternoon.

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