Billy the Bus's Blog

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Big Billy Trip 16 - Munstertal to nr. Stollhoffen, Baden, via Titisee

Route – Munstertal to nr. Stollhoffen, Baden, via Titisee
Distance - 176km (3385km total)

I'm having a problem with Germany. I find the language too funny. I can't stop seeing words and pronouncing them to myself in a cod-German voice, slightly high pitched and urgent, and making myself giggle. Maybe it's too much Allo Allo as a kid. Add to that unfortunate sexual double entendre (such as the place I visited today, called Titisee) and I find I'm just walking around laughing at my host country. Not good.

My other observation so far is that the 'working leisure' hair cut is alive and well in Germany, as is the rat tail. Rock on.

(Oh, and the word for exit is Ausfart. Tee hee. Ahem)

IMG_2358.JPGI drove around the Black Forest today, taking lots of photos and stuff. I had intended to drive to several little Black Forest villages, to really suck up the atmosphere, but the driving was so arduous (Billy doesn't really like hills) that I only went to Titisee, then headed for the motorway. It was 3pm by then, so it was the right thing to do.

IMG_2364.JPGIt's all fairly picture postcard, but also all has the feel of being quite tacky. I'm certain that's unfair, and that we've taken the heritage of this place and plastered it across so many things for the last 100 Christmases, that its our fault not theirs, but it does leave a lasting impression. In fact, a lot of Titisee did just make me feel Christmassy – maybe it was the wooden toys and things for sale, it as all very 'visiting German craft market'. All I bought was some shnitzel (tee hee) and some little bottles of booze to try. Might buy some of the Kirschwasser tomorrow, cause it tastes pretty good with coke.

OK geeky campervanny bit now, turn off if you're not interested. I'm having real problems with my leisure battery. I bought it anew before the trip, because the last one had karked it (or had it, I now wonder?). It is 75aH, so plenty big enough for an evening of DVD watching or accessory charging, I thought. I have a 300W power invertor, so I can plug in mains powered devices – I have a DVD player, a 14” screen, and a socket for charging this laptop and other things. The invertor has a cut-off alarm, to stop you flattening your battery, and it starts beeping when the battery reads 10.5V. At the moment, it is doing this after about 90 minutes usage, which is a bit shit. By my calculations, I'd have had to be drawing 50A for the battery to be flat in this time (which obviously I haven't been; there's a 25A fuse!). So I'm a bit confused.

My dad has suggested there's perhaps a voltage drop-off between the battery and the Invertor, causing it to read 10.5V before that's actually the case. I will do some investigating along these lines when I get home, but my voltmeter at the fusebox also reads 10.5V, and anyway I wouldn't expect to be losing so many volts from long wiring and poor connections. Even with the TV (5A) and DVD (2A) on, and the laptop charging (2A), I would expect the battery to last at least 8 hours. Maybe my idea of alive and the invertor's (10.5V = dead) are different?

The other thing that's weird is that after the invertor has beeped at me, I turn it off, and the voltmeter starts to slowly creep back up. Before long, it's at 12.5V again, but as soon as I turn the invertor back on it slowly falls back down to 10.5V over about three minutes. Is this normal?

One thing I think I will definitely invest it for 'next time' is a mains voltage hookup kit. Not to charge the battery necessarily, but just so I can run a cable into the van to run mains-powered devices. I could even have it plug into the cupboard that contains the invertor, and have a bypass switch so my devices get their power from the outside source instead.

IMG_2399.JPGOK, geeky campervan bit over now. Tomorrow I'm going to drive North and West, into the bit of Germany that borders Luxembourg. Think I'll spend one more night in Germany, before heading to Lux the day after. Night night!


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