I've heard a lot of made up stories when having 20# bottles filled or exchanged. Stuff like having to have a special permit to carry propane bottles in an open pickup bed, having to be DOT certified to do a bottle exchange (not fill), and so on. Usually the truth is that the employee is just too lazy to get off their butt and open a padlock to a rack outside, much less reach for the propane pump fill pipe.
I can see that. It takes preparation to camp in NoDak starting in July, and one mistake, and you have no water until spring/summer, or have to leave because the camper becomes uninhabitable.
Even with a "four seasons" rig, it will still require skirting, heat tape, heat pads for the propane tank, and many other items to keep all the plumbing above the freezing mark.
There is an oil boom here in Texas as well. It may not have as many openings, but dealing with occasional sub-freezing lows is a lot easier in a RV here.
No mini Superfund site if a LED bulb breaks, as opposed to a thin glass fluorescent tube with mercury in it?
The difference going between CFLs or tubes and LEDs isn't as great as from incandescent bulbs to LEDs, but it does help, and LEDs tend to last longer. This is nice, as I've had some fluorescent bulb fixtures take some finesse to replace the bulb without breaking it.
I wonder if there is a place like David's Permanent Coatings near the OP's place. Replacing the rubber roof will be expensive, but it might be cheaper to have it done at a place like rvroof.com which not just uses epoxy spray to replace the roof, but it also does away with the need to caulk around skylights and such. It won't be cheap, especially if you have skylights and such replaced (might as well, as they are not that expensive, and they will eventually crack in a few years), but it will keep the rig dry for a long time, barring tears/punctures by branches.
Disclaimer: I've not used these guys, but everyone whom I've encountered who has had their roof done by them has had very positive reviews.
My two cents:
Here in Texas, schools are watched closely. Someone going -near- a school property will be intercepted by an armed LEO once they set foot on the grounds. Someone plugging in, if they were not challenged in seconds would have police called on by others the second they plugged in. So, this in itself is a criminal trespass charge.
Right now, people plugging to charge vehicles is not really a nuisance, but multiply that by ten, a hundred, a thousand, perhaps ten thousand? Then, it becomes a significant issue and a major cost for facilities.
After energy usage comes infrastructure. One Leaf gets the plug, but who is to say someone who comes up can unplug the other guy and plug in? Outdoor electrical systems are made to handle the occasional appliance, perhaps a speaker system, not high amperage charging. The added amperage needed is very expensive.
I don't think an arrest should have been made for the theft of electricity. The trespass, possibly. Instead, there should have been a citation made. However, the arrest did get something that will become a very real, widespread problem to the front pages.
I wonder if the solar panel issue can be fixed with thermal fuses. If a cell gets too hot, the connection melts.
No energy generation technology is 100%, but solar is as idiot-resistant as it gets. Even wind power has issues of losing the dump load and the blades possibly spinning into oblivion unless the turbine is designed to face away from the wind.
I live in Texas, and trailers vanishing is not unheard of (they will never see the road again after the first move, either turning into squatter housing, hunting lodges or meth labs.)
From what I was told, tongue locks are a deterrent at best. If the local city uses a trailer with a generator, once it is in place, it gets secured on both sides, and the wheels have locking lug nuts.
To the OP: I know none of this consolation to the loss. I hope the Florida LEOs find your trailer.
On the extreme side, I've seen some people get the bottom of the vehicle cleaned, then an epoxy bedliner (Line-X for example) sprayed on. If applied correctly, it will stop rust, even if salt sprays directly on it... but if there are any gaps or holes, the water would have a pocket that would allow for rust to happen out of sight.
This is debatable -- a quick search shows people happy with this method, others not.
I live in Texas. With A/C bills and such, if you have a south facing surface, or almost anywhere with access to sunlight, it is just wise to either have a grid-tie system to help with peak usage, or an off-grid system that supplies power to a circuit for the computers or other electronic doodads. This way, one guarantees the computers clean power without having to have an enterprise online UPS.
Rather than try to link all the pictures, I'll point out this thread on another forum.
An example picture:
I think the cargo carrier puts its weight on the hitch receiver, and the hinge pins are used for support.
For a shorter "B" like a PW Ascent or a RT SS Agile, this would provide additional useful room, but yet remain detachable when the space isn't needed.
What I don't understand is why Ford and Chrysler don't offer a 4x4 option. The US still has a lot of terrain where this would be useful, especially for a "B".
I'm sort of hoping Sportsmobile and Quigley have 4x4 retrofit options for the Transit, but everything is up in the air until it comes out next summer.
I've seen some PEX crimping tools which have a cutting blade. In theory, if the tool was there to cut the clamp, it can go back in to crimp it... but one might have better luck with a cordless Dremel to grind off the crimped part, pop the ring off, then replace it with a stainless steel band, or if one is replacing a cracked fitting, perhaps use a Flair-It fitting.
I've read good things about the Flair-It fittings. No tools needed, and I've yet to read a complaint about leaks, which says something.
The ARP is a device that is something manufacturers should have in their units.
Long term, the best thing would be to move to propane fuel cells (even Truma has one on the market) and electric compressor fridges. This provides the same ability to dry camp and have the fridge keep cool, without having to worry about being level or having a crack in the boiler cause a fire.
I think M-B is starting to feel heat from Ford and Fiat. The 2014 Sprinter is still top dog when it comes to features, but having AWD in the 2015 models would make it the best "B" chassis out there by far, just because it would not just allow for better off-road driving, but a little bit of higher ground clearance so a bump would be less likely to tear off a generator, tank, oil pan, or other low hanging item.
I use a poop battery, which is a spare deep cycle battery that sits around and is trickle charged, then brought out for use. This way, the macerator pump is independent of the charger, and 20-40 amps needed to start and run the pump are easily available.
You have my props... getting that tent enclosure on your caravan in minus 30 degree (centigrate) weather is definitely not easy, especially having to shovel the snow from underneath to firmly tie it down.
Euro rigs tend to be built to a higher quality standard, and have a distinct look, but they generally don't have slide-outs and tend to be smaller so they might be cramped compared to an American rig.
They also tend to have cassette toilets over black tanks, which make sense across the pond as CGs tend to be more primitive and less of a resort style.
Another thought. Since you have the Generator. Hook it to your house. Then you can run the fridge, and save your food, and you may be able to run the furnace, or heat pump. You would then be able to use your bathroom as well. Most here wire them to the house. It will be more comfortable for your family
You may not be able to use everything at once. But enough to stay safe, and somewhat warm
This is a good suggestion, but let me correct it: Let a licensed electrician hook it to the house using techniques up to code in the area. This usually is done by three ways, either a circuit breaker interlock, a manual transfer switch, or an automatic transfer switch. I personally prefer a manual transfer switch because it is more idiot-proof, but a circuit breaker interlock is the most flexible... and all three methods will ensure no backfeeding, and no suicide cords needed.
When I was on a trip, I saw a light that went directly from green to red. No yellow. Of course, it had a red light camera on it.
If this were deliberate, this is pretty nefarious. It would make good money to have the yellow just not operate every 1% of the time at random, and there is no way it will ever be caught (the camera will show the red light and the person through it 100% of the time) unless the victim has a drivecam which was recording the light's actions, and there is some iron-clad proof that the drivecam's time was accurate.