Last week we both went camping in the truck. We spent one night in a campground with power. We had dinner outside the truck since the temperature was pleasant. The wind started blowing during the evening and blew all night and all day the next day. There is a warm wind that blows from the Pacific over Chile and over the Andes. It can raise the temperature quite a bit in a short time. Here it is called the zonda and it is very similar to the Chinook of Alberta in Canada. We could not have breakfast outside due to the blowing dust so we cook and ate our breakfast in the truck. We washed ourselves and brushed our teeth inside too. It was a good test of living entirely in the truck, though we haven’t tested the chemical toilet yet. After a lazy start we went for a nice hike 10 km up the highway from Potrerillos, where we had camped. The hike lead us to a nice waterfall. In the valley we were sheltered somewhat from the wind. We met a group of lady tourists from the U.S. hiking with a local young guide. By the time we were back to the truck it was already lunch time. We drove back to Potrerillos and found a spot by the lake under trees to be sheltered from the strong wind. Again we had to cook and eat inside the truck. Now we know it requires preparation but it is very doable. Even though at times the wind was blowing so strong that we were in a dust storm with very limited visibility, we felt safe and comfortable in the camper. It was a good test before the trip to Patagonia where high winds are common. After doing the dishes and cleaning up we drove back home, satisfied.
During the night in the truck one of the inflatable mattresses blew! I had repaired the valve that was plugged by loose down feathers, but the same mattress gave up completely. They were both fairly old, so not a big surprise. I had originally designed the truck so that the seat foam cushions would convert into our bed mattress. Well … we had to go get foam cut now to replace the inflatable mattresses and return to the original plan. We had looked at fabric to make covers, so we have now ordered that. This weekend we also pickup our 48-litre refrigerator. It is a solid-state Peltier system that does not use a compressor, which makes it very silent and perfect for our small quarters. I am also installing a 220V battery charger to recharge the camper battery when we are in campgrounds with power. We now have to do a full test of the electrical system with fridge running and cross our fingers that everything behaves as planned. We are planning another overnight camping trip this week to test the fridge and all the charging system. If all goes well the following trip will be to a remote high-altitude spot in the mountains south of Mendoza where there is absolutely no services. Stay tuned!