...but we didnt mind.
My buddy Eric invited me and Mike (the guy who bought the same camper as me) to his lake lot for the weekend. Eric has an older camper permanently on his lot but he has plenty of room for two more campers, and has electric on the lot. Sounded like a good, last-minute thing to do on Memorial Day. He did say that his lot neighbor called him last december to tell him he had a limb down on his lot. No biggie, we just need to do a little limb removal first. HAH!
This is what greeted us. Not a limb, but the whole freaking tree.
That was right where I needed to park my camper. The lot was also very overgrown with weeds and ankle deep in leaves. I came THISCLOSE to not staying, but there were 6 adults and 3 teenagers, we figured we could make a dent in it if we all chipped in. 3 hours later, the tree was gone, all the brush and leaves was cleaned up and piled off deep in the back woods. The lot was mowed and raked. The fire pit was rebuilt, and all 3 campers were set up. Almost Miller Time
Now just to plug them in and get the A/C working. I asked where the plug in is. Oh... Its only about 100 feet away. ?!?! Good thing I brought a 10 gauge cord. Turns out he had a 100 amp 240 service, but only two 20 amp breakers and two 15 amp duplex GFI recepticles. Not enough to run 2 campers, much less 3. I guess he doesn't understand electricity. He thinks if there is an open plug, there is a infinite source of electricity that can come out of it. He asked me if there was anything we could do. I said yea, if I had three 30 amp breakers and three 30 amp recepticles, I could make it work, but as we are in the geograpic center of Nowhere, our option were pretty limited.
He says, let's run up to the store at the entrance to the lake. I express my severe doubts that a little quick-store type place would have what we need, but Eric insisted. To my shock, the store was half 7-11, half salvage yard. It had a complete electrical area, with boxes and bins full of new and used stuff. I found three 30 amp square-d breakers right away. Found weatherproof housings for the recepticles, but he didnt have any 30 amp recepticles. He had a box full of 20 amp single recepticles. We snag 3 of those, and a few feet of 10 gauge, some conduit and assorted fittings. Total cost, $37. I swear if you asked the guy if he had a brass choke plate for a 1938 Thrashwell-Snailby Speed Twin motorcyle, he would came back with two.
Back to the lot, and I rip out everything and start rebuilding. Ive know Mike for years, but I've not know Eric too long, so he didnt have any idea that I am an electrical engineer. I overhear him (very quietly) ask Mike, "does he have any idea what he is doing?". Mike just says "oh yeah..."
When I was done, we had three 20 amp recepticles, each wired to its own 30 amp breaker with 10 ga. wire. Not the ideal setup, but not too shabby for MacGyvering up something at the last minute. Plug in each camper, flip the breakers on, and sho-nuf, everything worked. And worked all weekend long. I didnt know if running on 20 amp recepticles would pose any problems, but there were no issues. Even with the 15k A/C's and running that long of a distance from the outlet.
After that was all sorted out, the weekend was phenominal. My poor Margarita blender had its little tounge hanging out, we worked it so hard. We swam in the lake, ate WAAAaay too much food. Drank all weekend long (and we're not real big drinkers) and generally had a fantastic time. It was well worth the couple hours of helping a buddy. I'm now searching for a lot of my own down there.