I use VMs all the time. I also use Sandboxie. It is quite eye-opening how often a Web browser gets compromised and sandboxIE starts popping up warning messages about the browser trying to access services that it should never try using. With sandboxie, the damage is limited, and I can dump the Web browser, erase everything it has mucked up (all changes are redirected to the sandbox directory), and restart. If things get really hairy, I can dump the entire virtual machine to a known clean snapshot. As an added bonus, the virtual machine is locked behind a layer of network address translation, so it can't find other boxes to hack if it does get nailed.
I think I may just pony up for a Mac sooner or later. Since I rarely change desktops (my last machine lasted a decade until the USB controller went south), might as well get something decent, and with VMWare Fusion, I can run my Web stuff isolated from everything else.
Another pro for the Travato (and also the PW PM Lexor) -- they have a good resale value as a motorhome, not just a van chassis with some stuff tossed in. So, if the OP wants to move to a different unit, there will be someone out there willing to buy the Travato used... and "B"s keep their resale value better than any other type of RV.
If RV makers can fetch better prices for new units, maybe they might bump up the quality aspect, as that went to pot back in 2008 when RV makers had to go into survival mode.
I've not found any real reason to fly as of recent. Last few times, I've caught some bug and was out of commission a few days, and the trip is so unpleasant, it actually casts a pall on the entire vacation, the dread of the entire experience. In fact, unless I was flying internationally, why even bother... I don't have any destinations I have to get to that I'm in a hurry for... and with the post-flight sickness, I probably will be in better condition after the drive anyway.
Hard-wired is the way to go. It not just is a lot more theft resistant than a box hanging from a pedestal, but it is always on... no forgetting to grab the external one and plug it in.
Even with an EMS, I'd go with a surge suppressor just so that something relatively cheap takes the hit of a nasty spike.
As for securing it, one better method I have seen was just plugging the cord in at the pedestal, threading the cord under the rig, and placing the portable EMS there, on top of a board or block to keep it off the ground (chained to a wheel, of course.) Not 100% secure, but the key is both having a theft deterrent, as well as having it not visible to a would be "borrower" in the first place.
I wonder about sticking a shim in the middle, so the panels are sort of crowned, so they don't become mini-lakes.
Call me crazy, but I'd love a set of roll-up solar awnings, on both sides. That way, regardless of the way my rig faces, I have a relatively large surface available for the sun. An electric awning would be the best, so in the RV parks that pack one in like sardines, it can be extended out a foot or two for at least a tiny bit of sunlight.
Now, all we need is a nonsucking battery technology for better energy density than the lead acid jars we use now.
JMHO, Proper towing isn't rocket science. Tow chains have been around for decades, and would have prevented this tragedy, unless they were attached to something that tore off the van.
Trailer breaks are important. Maybe because I live in Austin with a lot of members of the "Anti-Destination League"... people who deliberately cause wrecks with bigger vehicles in hopes of an insurance jackpot. I don't see how someone can drive around an urban California area with such a big trailer without rear-ending another driver.
The worst thing is that if one allows people nearby to use a bathroom... you will get a line out your door in no short order.
When boondocking and my TT is winterized, I do #1 in the toilet. #2, I use a plastic grocery store bag that gets wrapped up and tossed afterwards (during use, it is secured with a carabiner, so there is little chance of it falling into the black tank.) No running water for most people usually means they look elsewhere for a bathroom.
Here are my rules:
If doing #2, please limit yourself to one TP roll per "session".
If doing #1, #2, or technicolor yawns, please use the toilet, and not the floor, shower or sink.
Anything else, especially cloth products for that time of the month go into the trash can that is by the toilet. Picking the contents of a tampon out of the blades of my macerator pump is not my idea of a good time.
Might look at Sportsmobile's prices to see what the approximate costs for a design your own layout costs.
If all you need is a bed, a place for a portable toilet and a table, with no water systems, a Dodge/RAM dealer could probably find you a work truck upfitter which could build that for you.
Biodiesel has some nice advantages, but with all the politics involved, its merits are pointless. It would be nice to have a pump with B0 and a pump with B100. If a vehicle can handle pure biodiesel and the different properties, biodiesel is useful, especially getting rid of kitchen grease, waste oils, and so on. However, most vehicles will have big issues with B20, much less anything greater... and diesels are not cheap to fix. A high pressure water pump can be $10,000. Diesel injectors are costly. A new DPF will be a few grand.
With diesel engines so costly, it would be nice to have fuel stations at least respect this and have more accurate posted stats of biodiesel.
I have been toying with the idea of using Line-X on the front of a toad (likely a Jeep Wrangler) just because it would be able to handle rock chips. The windshield is another story... so I'd just bite the bullet and buy a Protect-A-Tow kit as described above.
I would say that "burping" a fridge (turning it upside down for 24 hours, putting it back up for 3) can get some more use from it. However, it will fail eventually. But, it is cheaper than a new unit, so it might be something to try as a stopgap...
Disclaimer... do at your own risk.
I guesstimate a pound of propane per 24 hours.
My five notes about absorption fridges:
1: Level them. I use at less than 3 degrees from level as my guide. Otherwise the fridge will destroy itself over time.
2: Use a screen on the vents. Mud daubers and hornets love fridges to make their home in. Similar with spiders... they just love the smell of propane.
3: Use fridge fans. One can install some, but I use the cheapie Valterra fans that use two "D" batteries and last for 4-6 weeks. It isn't much air, but it makes a big difference in cooling. Similar in the flue. A "computer" fan in the right place can help a lot.
4: Check for recalls, and if one is needed, get it done, or chuck the fridge and buy a new one.
5: Since the freezer gets cold within a few hours, I like using hard-sided freezer packs. I keep a couple in the freezer, rotate them into the fridge every so often (around daily.) This keeps the fridge part cool, especially with a small fan mentioned in #3. As an added bonus when on the road for fairly short distances (2-4 hours), the freezer packs keep the fridge at a safe temperature without needing to use propane while on the road.
I wouldn't bother, because it means something else to store. Were I in a colder climate, I'd blow the lines out, run the RV antifreeze, then blow the lines out again, leaving a good amount in the traps and toilets.