Archive for the ‘Fun Finder 189-FBR’ Category

A Life Alternating Experience

Camping at Ike Kinswa State Park, what a blast!  On Monday we pulled our Fun Finder trailer to the park with 4 nights and 5 days of camping and geocaching in the plan. Our Trailer On the first night we found all of the caches that are in the park.  Tuesday we drove back to the freeway, leaving the trailer in the park, and found caches up and down the freeway exits.  We even went to Winlock and saw the world’s largest egg. Wow!

On Wednesday we left the trailer at camp and drove about 25 miles to Chehalis to cache the town.  Things were not going well, since it was raining and we don’t like to find caches in the rain.  We were running the windshield wipers, headlights, CD player, and heater fan to keep us nice and cozy while seeking the cache locations.  We found one, then passed up several others after seeing their poor choice of location.  Pulling into the parking lot of a mattress store we found a cache called “Cows, Cows, Cows.”  It was a very nice well planned cache and we found it easily.  Then our troubles began.

Mooo!!!We jumped back into the Jeep which we had left running and while glancing at the GPS on the dash to plan our next stop, I noticed that the BATTERY light on the dash was glowing bright red.  “That can’t be good.  Why didn’t I notice that before?”  I punched up my electronic gauges and was astounded to see that our battery voltage had dropped to 9.6.  We had to act quick.  The next minute or two strangely reminded us of playing Space Team.  “Check Battery Voltage!,” “Set Wipers to OFF!” “”Shut Down Entertainment System,” “Turn Fan to Zero,”  “Douse Headlights,” “Kill the Heater,” “Dim Dashlights,” “Unplug Gizmo Chargers,” “Astroid Shake!!!”  We were on the verge of a breakdown!

I did a quick search on the GPS for a NAPA auto parts store and found one just over a mile away.  We pulled into their parking lot where the Jeep promptly died.  We bought a new battery that was fully charged and a battery charger that was on sale.  After installing the new battery, we were able to start the Jeep and drive on battery power back to camp.  The battery light was glowing all the way.  At camp, we spent several hours recharging both batteries, ate lunch, hooked up the trailer and then headed for home early.  The park gave us a nice refund for our unused days and we arrived safely at home with a dead alternator.  I spent the next few days replacing the alternator.  It is supposed to be a 4 hour job but for me it took about 14 spread over 3 days with lots of interruptions.  In this model Jeep, the alternator is buried so deep that you can not even see it when you look into the engine bay.  Who says geocaching is boring?