Bending Season

I live outside, on the porch of a travel trailer, underneath an awning and hemmed by colorful tarps.

The dirt is always beneath my feet and the weather on my skin. Insects go about their quotidian, treating me like just so much terrain. I observe their passage and their limitless diversity. I witness their entrances and exits on the stage of seasons.

Now is the season of the caterpillar. Little inchworms bend their way through space. Contract and expand, contract and expand. When observed at close distance, it is they who tug the earth through its travels.

They dangle from the live oaks on their silken threads, trapeze artists alight on the breeze, and then march together in all directions, following the arrows of anarchy to natural order. They are legion. They cover me by the dozens. My tender attempts at relocating them sometimes end in bloodshed. They are not willingly pried from their purchase.

The chickens feast during bender season. They pick away at the legion, taking out swaths, but the legion remains legion. Soon enough, they will disappear entirely, through no act of chicken, to be replaced by tiny white moths. A swarm replaces the horde, still legion either way.

They die quickly, leaving papery wings as memento of their moment. Little parchments mark the end of bending season. Punctuated ephemera.

May Your Buses Be Thick and Heavy

We use 2/0 wire and heavy bus bars for battery and inverter connections.

Before, the wire grounding the battery to the trailer chassis was 12 gauge and separated from its ring terminator.

A  four post negative bus bar, 200 amp circuit breaker, battery cutoff switch, and 4 post positive bus bar with plastic cover are arranged left-to-right on and secured to a piece of plywood. Heavy 2/0 wires run between them. Red positive wires run to and from the breaker, cuttoff switch, and positive bus bar. Black negative wires run to the negative bus bar.
A four post negative bus bar, 200 amp circuit breaker, battery cutoff switch, and 4 post positive bus bar with plastic cover are arranged left-to-right on and secured to a piece of plywood. Thick, heavy 2/0 wires run between them. Red positive wires run to and from the breaker, cuttoff switch, and positive bus bar. Black negative wires run to the negative bus bar.
The plywood board with breaker, cutoff, and bus bars is mounted vertically in the electrical compartment of the Casita next to a 160aH Renogy battery. A black 2/0 wire runs from the negative battery terminal to the negative bus bar. A red 2/0 wire runs from the positive battery terminal (out of frame) to the circuit breaker. Spare wires lie in the compartment waiting to be attached to the inverter+charger+transfer switch (not in photo).
The plywood board with breaker, cutoff, and bus bars is mounted vertically in the electrical compartment of the Casita next to a 160ah Renogy battery. A black 2/0 wire runs from the negative battery terminal to the negative bus bar. A red 2/0 wire runs from the positive battery terminal (out of frame) to the circuit breaker. Spare wires lie in the compartment waiting to be attached to the trailer frame and the inverter+charger+transfer switch (not in photo).

New Water Pump

Here’s the original water pump in our 1990 Casita. It served well for many years, but, by the time it got to us, it was a little leaky and a lot loud.

Zoomed out view of old Shurflo water pump showing electrical and plumbing connections
Zoomed in view of old Shurflo water pump showing the dusty label. Manufactured 4/90.

We replaced it with a Shurflo 4008-101-E65 3.0 fitted with a couple elbow adapters and a pipe strainer. We mated the new pump to the stiff PEX tubing of the Casita’s plumbing with flexible, braided, nylon tubing to aid vibration damping. The noise and vibration reduction between old and new is significant. I can’t hear the pump over the sound of water flowing from the kitchen tap. Even without the sink flowing, the whirring beneath the bed is subtle enough that we might forget to flip the switch off (it shut offs automatically when the taps are closed, but I like to flip the switch off too).

New Shurflo water pump with electrical and plumbing connections
Zoomed out view of new Shurflo water pump showing electrical and plumbing connections and intake strainer

This was a straightforward swap. There are four connections to make. Inflow, outflow, hot, and neutral. I made the 10 year old do much of the work while I supervised from repose.

Don’t forget to drain the water tank and shut off any city water connection before disconnecting the old pump. Keep buckets and towels handy. (IME, you can’t have too many buckets, towels, tarps, or clamps.)