Sunday, October 18, 2015

Power Issue on Landing at Traders Village in Houston

We left Beaumont this morning about an hour earlier than usual at about 10:40. We boogied west on I-10 about 30 miles to make a pit stop at the rest area near Hamshire, TX.

Rest Stop Hamshire TX I10 10182015


Restroom Rest Stop Hamshire TX I10 West 10182015

Grooviest ladies restroom I have ever seen at a rest area!

Our passage through Houston was uneventful and even easy up until we got onto Hwy 290 West. It wasn’t difficult, but a bit tedious; the right-hand lane had those construction barrier concrete walls all along the whole way with no shoulder. You know what I mean . . . makes the lane pretty narrow. We made it through just fine with no incident, although we heard a squeak/scrape sound at one point; Dave said he thought it was the truck behind us scraping the wall. Yoinks! I didn’t feel anything and checked our rig after landing here; it wasn’t us, as there was no sign of us caressing the wall.

Getting into Traders Village wasn’t as bad as I though it might be, although there was a ton of traffic. In case you don’t know, Traders Village is a humongous flea market with an RV park. We made it to our site with no problem and began our process for staying one night . . . lowering landing gear, putting out slides, etc. All was fine until . . .

No power inside the rig. Rut roh.

Power at the pedestal and into our power cord, but zilch inside. What to do? Called a couple of mobile services; it’s Sunday, so no joy there. Called Good Sam and talked with Technical Assistance, who was some help as to what it might be, but all they could do was give me phone numbers of RV service people. No joy there.

Opened all the windows and figured we’d just deal with it overnight and hit an RV service center in Bryan tomorrow (Monday).

Walking around outside, I saw two guys on the roof of a Class A two sites down. Walked that way thinking I might see a mobile tech van. Guy walks up and asks if I’d seen the owner of the coach; they were here doing work on roof and guy left his truck window down.

Nope, hadn’t seen the guy as we had just arrived. Asked him if he happened to be a tech.


So he came over and checked stuff with his voltage meter. After doing this, he right away determined it was our ATS (Automatic Transfer Switch), which is in a rig that has an onboard generator or is wired for one, which ours is. He found the box, opened it and voila!

The switch had melted. Yoinks.

He said this was probably due to low voltage. Well . . . our surge protector black box had shut us down a few times at the work site in South Carolina due to very low voltage like 105 (norm is 120). The facility manger had checked and said that everything was fine; however, by the time he would get to the spot to check it, incoming power would be back to normal ranges and our box would power us up again.

This happened several times during September. We weren’t totally convinced that our box was on the fritz, but there was nothing really to be done.

We did notice during our time there that our interior lights weren’t as bright as they had been . . .

So! Rhoan (the tech guy) commenced to fixing us. Since we do not have an onboard genny and have no plans to get one, he bypassed that portion of the ATS. Now power comes straight in and to the rig without going through that extra portion.

That boils down to power coming straight from the pedestal to the load (the rig). No middleman, so to speak.

Traders Village tech working on rig inside basement Dave watching 10182015

Dave watching Rhoan (inside basement) rewiring the ATS. You can tell we have no A/C at this point, because our door is open and so are all our windows!

Rhoan works at Demontrond RV but also works freelance on weekends. I tell ya, after checking voltage in a few places, he knew right away what it was. Said he has seen this happen quite a few times before. He said we would probably notice our lights were brighter since we were using straight power now and bypassing the ATS.

Turning on our living room overhead lights after dark . . . wow whee! Yep. It’s brighter in here again! We had replaced the regular bulbs with LEDs a few months ago and had commented on how nice and bright it was in here. We had noticed – while in SC – that it was dang dark in here and Dave was struggling to read or use the computer in his recliner.

Well, it was money we really didn’t need to spend on repairs, but taking it to an RV dealer might have cost us more, taken longer and might not have even been fixed.

Just Providence, good luck or whatever that I happen to look around and hook up with Rhoan.

So we’ve gone from looking at a relatively miserable evening and hassle tomorrow in getting to a dealer before landing at our spot in Bryan to being comfortable. A/C is working fine. I can charge my phone. The TV has picked up some sort of movie station (showing Gregory Peck movies).

Whew. What a day. I am looking forward to getting to our landing spot tomorrow, settling in, working my virtual assistant job and finding a medical transcription job. Hoping our life will settle down and we can get in a comfortable groove.

I am very grateful for today’s safe passage of a bit over 90 miles under beautiful skies and gorgeous weather.

Hope your Sunday was pleasant and that you stay safe out there!

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. As they say... Alls well that ends well.

  2. yep you caught a break there with the service guy... next you are headed to our old home town of Bryan-College Station...

  3. That is a very nice restroom!


Thanks for taking the time to visit and comment!