Pueblos Mágicos – Day Two…

Little things we normally take for granted – like air conditioning!

Today from Palm Springs, CA to Ajo, AZ, it was a good 93° on the highway. It wasn’t a long day – a medium day. The heat wasn’t too bad inside. And there’s a story behind the aircon.

This bus came from Louisiana where it -had- a huge air conditioning unit. It was engine driven and was big and noisy. It also took up room inside, and room outside where I now have the holding tanks. So I ripped it out. I did put in an RV aircon unit, but they work off of 110v, not the engine. Meaning that it works while parked and plugged into shore power, not on the road.

The aircon only uses about 1200w of power and I had a 2000w inverter to power it – or so I thought. The brand I have is rated is VA and not watts. So that 2000 on the model – nope. More like 1600w. BUT… that’s the rating at 70°. Who needs aircon at 70°? As the ambient temperature goes up, the rating for the inverter goes down. So when the temps reach the 90’s or 100’s, the inverter won’t power the aircon.

So… I bought a larger inverter – a 3k. I had tried it off and on to make sure that it would work, but never -really- stressed it.

The other issue I had was that my batteries would only power the aircon for 2-3 hours. That wouldn’t work for long trips through the desert, so I connected it to the alternator on the engine. That worked for a while, until the engine computer complained of low voltage during high draw situation – I was drawing too much current from the old 135amp alternator.

So, a month ago, I replaced the alternator with a 200amp one.

So this combination of the aircon running off of my inverter powered by the batteries, solar, and the engine works great. It’s not -cold-, but it isn’t hot/uncomfortable either.

In mobile environments with limited resources, we learn how to conserve. I closed the dividing curtain and am just cooling the cab/kitchen area and not the back of the bus.

After five hours and 300 miles on the road in 90° temps outside, the inside is in the high 70’s to low 80’s.

Unrelated, I also put new tires on it a couple of months ago at $800 apiece I was hoping for a quieter, smoother ride – and I got it. It’s still a big truck chassis, and not a town car, but hey…

To combat the noise, I have a pair of noise cancelling earbuds. Things are good…

So where am I?

I’m in a little town just 40 miles north of the US-Mexican border called Ajo – Spanish for garlic. But they don’t grow garlic here. It’s possible it was named after the Tohono O’odaham word oʼoho meaning red paint or red tint. Ajo is rich in minerals and is home to the first copper mine in the state of Arizona. It’s interesting to see a satellite picture of it.

Ajo is also close to Saguaro National Park. And the saguaros are in bloom. Beautiful majestic cacti. a keystone species in the Sonoran desert.

Tomorrow my friend catches up to me and we will cross the border into Mexico. Puerto Peñasco is our first stop.

2 thoughts on “Pueblos Mágicos – Day Two…

  1. Love to see a close-up of a blooming saguaro!!
    Let me get this straight…. You left a week later, but have to wait for you partner to catch up? ….. There’s a tale right at the start, lol! Enjoy, mi amigo!!


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