Jan 2012

Blog, North America

DISCUSSION 15 Comments

When it Rains it Pours

As we pulled up to the bay at San Quintin, it was as if we’d entered a military ambush. We passed an armored vehicle loaded with troops. As we made our way into the dirt parking lot we noticed several of these around the place. The dock leading from the restaurant to the water front had several troops with machine guns, waiting as if they were expecting the bad guys to show up at any time. Nope just us. We quickly circled around the parking lot and headed for the exit. A soldier gave us a piece sign as we passed by. On our way out we noticed that a seemingly important meeting was underway in the restaurant. Whatever it was, I think they were safe. We pulled a few hundred yards down the road and found a camp spot.

When we parked we turned on the water system, only to hear water spraying the back of the cabinets. It seemed my repair of the Sure-Flo check valve while we were in Phoenix didn’t hold. All right, no water. Next, I flipped the switch for the inverter. I heard a sizzling sound, and then our Samlex inverter went into overload mode. The same thing had happened before we left Flagstaff, and I had to get it replaced under warranty. Not so easy now. And all of a sudden we had no water and no A/C electricity.  When it rains, it pours.

No inverter means we can’t charge our computer battery. I knew we should have gotten a 12v power cord before we left. If we don’t update for a couple of days, it means our computer is dead. We hope to find a new inverter in Cabo San Lucas.

We made our way the next day down to Bahia de los Angeles, where I started the evening by repairing the water system. Once we get to Cabo, we’ll be replacing all of the crappy Sure-Flo valves with something a little more robust.

On the way to Bahia de los Angeles we stopped near Catavina and hiked around the rocks. The deserts of Baja are beautiful, and have unique flora not found in the Southwestern USA.

Unfortunately, due to our battery situation, I can’t spend too much time on this update. We’re off to Bahia Concepcion, which has fantastic snorkeling and paddleboarding potential. We’ll do some fishing as well. I hope to get the inverter fixed soon and be back to normal updates.

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  1. Nikki

    No bueno!! Sorry to hear you’ve run into problems already!
    When you get to Cabo, there’s a place called “La Officina” on the beach that has amazing breakfast and a wonderful alcoholic beverage known as a “Conga”. Maybe you guys can check it out! Good luck getting things fixed!! :)

    Comment by Nikki on January 12, 2012 at 7:04 pm

  2. Tony Stahl

    Well at least you have a gear review to write on Sure-Flo Valves…they sure do Flow!

    Thanks for the update.


    Comment by Tony Stahl on January 12, 2012 at 7:32 pm

  3. Mom

    So sorry about your travails! If you are reading this, that means you probably have fixed your inverter. Just letting you know I AM reading every single blog as they come in. I am excited to hear about your adventures. Love you both, and am sooooo proud of you. Mom

    Comment by Mom on January 12, 2012 at 7:38 pm

  4. Spike

    Good sources for “plumbing” info are sailors. Boats can’t do well with leaks. My son is in LaPaz aboard his sailing vessel “Timepiece” if you get there and need any advice. (or any other sailors along the way)
    Anchors aweigh and all that jazz……….Spike

    Comment by Spike on January 12, 2012 at 7:49 pm

  5. Gary & Pat Van Orden

    Hope things get better… Wild and crazy times behind and ahead of you guys. Stay safe, and we also love hearing from you. Love reading of your travels. You have a way with words. We now have a skype account and look forward to when we can get together on that.

    Love you both
    Dad and Pat

    Comment by Gary & Pat Van Orden on January 12, 2012 at 7:49 pm

  6. Ernie Wieber

    It was nice to see you guys today too bad about the sound problems, seems to go with the rest of your tech problems. No worries it will all come together. You should get a 12volt plug in for you computer, got to keep that baby up and running, maybe even a extra battery. Let me know when we can try talking again. Love you guys stay safe.

    Comment by Ernie Wieber on January 12, 2012 at 8:48 pm

  7. do Sure Flo valves make for good firewood? dang some thangs.

    Comment by gnome on January 12, 2012 at 9:08 pm

  8. Dad

    most people who drive the roads of Baja in highly modified desert terrain vehicles have their “Own Pitt Crew” for emergency repairs!

    Comment by Dad on January 13, 2012 at 1:50 am

  9. Cindy & Harper Johnson

    I can’t think of a better time than early in the trip to have the problems exposed and repaired, or a better place to work on system improvements than on a Mexican beach — with a cold cerveza. In any case, may these be the last problems you encounter!

    Comment by Cindy & Harper Johnson on January 13, 2012 at 5:48 pm

  10. Geoffrey

    We always carry one of those batteries with jumper cables. They are invaluable for – jump starting- but also have a 12v outlet and ours has a small capacity air pump.
    They recharge on either 120 or 12v.
    Just another thing, I know, but it also came in useful during a 3 day power outage we had at home, for cell phones and iPad.
    Great blog, thanks.

    Comment by Geoffrey on January 13, 2012 at 8:06 pm

  11. mikey in Scotland

    Reading here in the North of Scotland – good luck – and best wishes. Will watch your progress with interest as one of those who wishes he had the hutspa to do something similar……

    And shout when you head up this way (maybe 2014??)

    Comment by mikey in Scotland on January 14, 2012 at 12:42 am

  12. Just came across your blog via the Vanagon.com mailing list. Good stuff here. Glad to see you’ve got a copy of Bentley’s on your bookshelf. Best of luck to you both and to Nacho. ;)

    Comment by Jarrett Kupcinski on January 14, 2012 at 2:52 pm

  13. Thanks for all of the encouragement, people! The water system has been working excellently since we repaired it, but we still don’t have an inverter. Currently checking emails from a cafe in Loreto. I hope to get some time in the next day or two for a new blog update. Still working through the bugs, it seems!

    Comment by Brad on January 14, 2012 at 6:40 pm

  14. Good luck to you both – from one set of Vanagon-living hobos to another… We’re eight months in to our travels, and way way way behind our intended schedule. There’s just so much to see and do in the world!

    Comment by Adrian & Ellie on January 16, 2012 at 1:10 pm

  15. Anne

    Earlier this afternoon I started googling pop up campers on a complete whim. Hours later and I am thrilled to say that I am hooked on your blog! Im starting at the beginning so it will be awhile before I catch up, but I can’t wait to read what comes next.

    Comment by Anne on August 3, 2018 at 10:17 am

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