Friday, October 2, 2009


We arrived in Eugene yesterday for our 11 am appointment at Carrier & Sons to find and solve the problems we were experiencing with our 12 v. system.  While awaiting the news and still blissfully ignorant, we drove Jules over to take a look at a new campground on the north side of Eugene, Armitage County Park, run by Lane County (click here to read our review).  Green, spacious, quiet and conveniently located - we loved it! 

By noon, we got the word: our four 5-year old AGM “house” batteries were kaput.  Bad news!  We went into shock when we found out what AGM batteries cost these days - $100 more than when we purchased batteries 5 years ago, and we thought it was a lot back then!

Site 30, Armitage County ParkSetting aside a decision on the purchase of new batteries, we drove Scoopy from the repair shop to the campground and checked in to a beautiful site for the next several days.  We set up our camp, boo-hoo’ed over the diagnosis of the battery problems, and went for a therapeutic walk.

Recovered from the big shock, we decided to go ahead with the purchase, along with two new “chassis” batteries (they start the engine and generator) to replace the 7 year old original equipment.  The onset of much cooler weather reminded us that we’ve never had our furnace serviced (since 2003), so decided to get that done, too!  Might as well take advantage of Oregon’s lack of sales taxes.

What we HAD intended to purchase in Eugene was a new laptop computer to replace our four year old machine that is experiencing screen problems.  Guess what?  None available.  The computer retailers have let their stocks run down to zilch while they await shipments of computers with the new Windows 7 operating system in 3 weeks.  We found exactly what we wanted at Best Buy, only to be told that there were ZERO in stock and no more on the way.  So why don’t they take them off the display?? Sheesh.

With the credit card warming up for the batteries, we got inspired to replace some of our tired old house wares: 7 year old bathmats, faded wash clothes and dish towels… we even bought Luna a vinyl placement to go under her food plate instead of the ugly old towel we’ve used until now (she doesn’t appear to appreciate the difference). 

Calla Lillies at Eugene Farmers Market Pile of Carrots at Eugene Farmers Market Fab Flowers at Eugene Farmers Market

We’ve decided to kick back here in Eugene for a least a week, hoping the weather at Crater Lake will improve (dry out and warm up) so we can head that direction.  We’ll get the new batteries installed on Wednesday, then move to our favorite Eugene dry camping site for a couple of days to give them a workout.  Tomorrow is one of my favorite Eugene events, the wonderful weekly Farmer’s Market.  Think sunshine!


  1. Are you planning on sticking with AGMs? We're planning on installing 4 new Lifeline GPL-6CT, 300 amphr batteries this winter once we get down to Yuma. They are $300 each plus $100 to have them installed. Is that price about in-line with what you'll be paying?

  2. We've made some good deals by negotiating to buy the display model. You might want to try that for the computer you want.

    Linda Sand

  3. Hi, I enjoy reading your adventures. I recently bought a Toshiba mini-notebook online with Windows XP and it is wonderful. It was delivered in only 4 days.

    We spent the summer of 08 in Happy Camp on the Klamath River in Oregon, a beautiful, if isolated, place.
    We visited Crater Lake in June and it was covered in snow!

  4. JC, we are sticking with AGM's. Our battery compartment is designed in such as way as to make maintenance virtually impossible. Add that to the fact that we would hate doing it ANYWAY, and we just bite the bullet and pay the premium for our lack of desire to deal with lead acid batteries.

    Yes, the price we are paying is inline with what you quoted. If we didn't have concerns about our ability to make it to Yuma to deal with Larry Crutcher at Starlight Solar, that is where we would be headed... but we want to do some drycamping before we head south and don't want the worry of knowing whether or not our 12v. system is up to the job.

    Sometimes we spend more money than is absolutely necessary just to buy peace of mind and avoid spending undue time and effort to do more thorough research. We feel comfortable with Carrier and Sons, and we have the time right now to get this taken care of - that made the decision easier for us. I hate having to have repairs/upgrades made when we are under time pressure.

  5. Those carrots look so good I wanted to reach right into the computer and grab a bunch.

  6. We experienced Eugene's Farmers Market for the first time in July and found the sweetest blueberries while being serenaded by a street musician playing the violin, what a beautiful day.