Roughing it at 146 Mbps

Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area is a reservoir in San Bernardino County, California. I had never heard of the place but it looked interesting after searching for state campsites with availability. And this week John and Omar joined us to celebrate John’s birthday!

The trip started with a provisions stop. I still haven’t got the temperature sensor to work quite like I want. And I learned there is a parameter I can change on the truck via the OBD port to enable ‘secure idle.’ This allows the truck to be on but it won’t shift out of park until I return with the passive entry key. This means I could leave the truck on to operate AC for Georgia without worrying someone could drive her away.

Georgia protects the car while we purchased supplies.

Georgia protects the car while we purchased supplies.


Driving into the lake, you transition from I-15 to a two lane windy and hilly road that tested the capabilities of the sway control hitch. Thankfully everything was fine. After driving up a steep hill you’re presented with a view of the reservoir before diving back down into the trees. The campsites were about 2 miles away from the lake by car, but we later found a walking path that was a bit shorter. Thankfully, the environment was much quieter and Georgia didn't as frequently feel the need to protect everyone.



The lake must be in an underused cell because the internet was faster than cable internet at home.

The week at the lake mostly encompassed eating grilled food, walking around the lake and slowing the pace of life. On John’s birthday we rented a pontoon boat and explored the water.

My favorite discovery was S.S. Relief, a floating toilet.


Georgia was surprisingly okay with the boat ride until the wind started to pickup. The ride back into the dock was a bit choppy.

We were able to confirm that Georgia still likes water too.

Tom Arthur Comment
Georgia adjusts to life on the road… or not.
Georgia being a happy cow.

Georgia being a happy cow.

It’s the end of our first week on the road. The location here in San Diego is beautiful. I also hear the city is beautiful. Unfortunately I didn’t really get a chance to explore much. Instead we focused on “Quiet” and “Look at me” Georgia’s two new commands.

Meet AlphaCow™

Meet AlphaCow™

While at the campsite or in the trailer, Georgia freaks out anytime she hears another dog. Barking, growling even lungling (with a wagging tail, strangely enough). When we walk around the campsite she is friendly and has no issues with other dogs.

I want her to be comfortable and I can’t leave her alone in this stress state. We tried a number of remedies this week:

  • Thundershirt

  • Chamomile calming treats

  • Benadryl

  • Jazz music

  • Extensive exercise

  • Kong with liquified cheese bacon treat inside

Nothing really solved the stress. The one thing that is working about 75% of the time is keeping treats nearby and distracting her when she starts to get agitated. She gets a treat for making eye contact with me “look at me” and listening to the command “quiet.” She can be completely asleep and will wake up to protect.

I haven’t been able to leave her unattended at all. Thankfully John came down to visit for a couple days. He baked cupcakes in the trailer and we filmed it for an application to a Netflix cooking show.

John bakes in the convection microwave.

John bakes in the convection microwave.



Not being able to leave the campsite without taking Georgia along, I started to do some modifications. I installed a LTE booster and permanently mounted the cellular modem. It’s kind of incredible how crappy the assembly work is by Forest River. Build em fast and cheap. I have also been troubleshooting issues with the tank sensors (cleaning them over and over) and haven’t had much luck getting that fixed.

By far the best part of this week was Georgia discovering she’s a lab and rushing into the bay to retrieve the ball. Georgia doesn’t like water and doesn’t like the car. Or didn’t like water. Now she does!

The next stop is Silverwood Lake.

Tom Arthur Comment
First stop, San Diego

Georgia and I left Burbank today to make another test trip. This is the first travel with just the two of us. The truck drives surprisingly well with the lift kit and re-gear, possibly even better than it did stock.


I tried placing Georgia’s bed on the floor of the truck, she still wasn’t particularly enthused.

Naturally, I had some problems getting into the site because of a vehicle parked in front of a trailer directly across. Thankfully another Tom (Tommy) and his son helped me get backed in.

Once we were situated, Georgia and I watched the sun set in San Diego and organized the trailer. Alexa, 3M Dual Lock and Command Strips provide a magical way to enjoy music . I am trying to decide if I should remove the television antenna and replace it with a cellular one. It wouldn’t be too hard to make the lights controllable by Alexa too…

One of the more exorbitant purchases, this is a dual LTE Cat 6 cellular router. I signed up for a dual carrier unlimited data plan from . They have been great to work with.

One of the more exorbitant purchases, this is a dual LTE Cat 6 cellular router. I signed up for a dual carrier unlimited data plan from They have been great to work with.


Cow Safety

I’ve also started working on a temperature and humidity sensor for both the truck and for the trailer to make sure Georgia is safe.

There are a number of companies selling temperature and humidity sensors that are cellular based with exorbitant fees and fancy apps. My version is using Particle Electron to report the data and Losant to display it. The SHT31 China Special™ sensor is not particularly reliable. I am planning to replace it with a more robust sensor.

We still have a long way to go.

We still have a long way to go.

Not a bad way to start things off.

Not a bad way to start things off.

Tom Arthur Comments