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 > Your search for posts made by 'silversand' found 337 matches.

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RE: EXPIRED PASSPORT NORTHBOUND

This is a guarantee in the US Constitution. If that was not the case what would happen if you were in Europe and got your passport stolen? Would you then have to live in Europe for the rest of your life because you don't have the proper papers to reenter the USA? IF your passport is stolen abroad, and you try and board a plane back to North America, you will be refused (at pre-boarding). If your passport is stolen abroad, you proceed directly to the closest US Consulate (, or, if you are lucky, to the Embassy, if you are in a Capital city), where you apply for a TEMP passport. Then, you can board your plane home. Same for ground travel: if stolen, go directly to closest Consulate, and get your TEMP passport. The above is for a stolen passport. It makes things easier if you have a good quality photocopy of your passport (and, photocopy your entry visa or stamp IF gotten at port of entry). Above is also the procedure for a Canadian stolen passport situation.
silversand 04/04/15 09:59am RVing in Mexico and South America
RE: Min overall height for soft side

Our Outfitter Caribou 8 pop-up is 8 foot 2 inches tall (nothing on roof but 2 roof vents) sittin' on the following: 2004 Silverado 2500HD long bed, 4x4, with original OEM sized tires: 245 75 R16. Truck has no lift. We have a 1/2 inch thick rubber truck bed protector. We now have tires that are about 2 inches taller, so we would now be 8 foot 4 inches + the beefed-up 1/2 inch thick tub floor I installed last summer = 8 foot 4.5 inches. Absolutely no way to get truck loaded on camper into our 8 foot opening garage (unless you let out almost all the air from tires to ride 1 inch from rims-- not something I would EVER do potentially jeapordizing my $340+ tax @ tires). An F250/F350 I believe is taller. Dodge? Unknown height bed to ground. I think Outfitter makes a much less tall camper with full-sized shell and tub, and a roof and cabover profile that looks like a 4 Wheel camper (perhaps 4~5 iches less tall than a traditional Caribou). But all this does nothing for you, because you still have a 7 foot tall garage. Good luck, S-
silversand 04/04/15 07:10am Truck Campers
RE: Fire Ants Kill Winter Texan in the RGV

....oh, one more thing: "Fire ant colonies have been found inside automobiles, trucks and recreation vehicles (Collins et al. 1993). Traffic accidents have been caused by fire ants stinging the drivers of automobiles." Collins, H.L., T.C. Lockley and D.J. Adams. 1993. Red imported fire ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) infestation of motorized vehicles. Fla. Entomol. 76(3): 515­516. Also, fire ant colonies are OFTEN found inside the walls of houses, businesses and farm structures and rotten logs, where it is often completely unknown by the occupants of their existence therein...they are also found under concrete foundations and under house slabs and roads. When the huge nests eventually "subside" under the concrete footings and/or slab, the structure is permanently wrecked (requiring demolition, or complete basement replacement, costing ~$10 grand or much more).
silversand 04/01/15 06:44am Snowbirds
RE: Fire Ants Kill Winter Texan in the RGV

....I hate to break it to ya, but nearly half the United States from coast-to-coast, has already been invaded by fire ants (including up to Maine coast, and into Coastal British Columbia): http://www.ars.usda.gov/sp2UserFiles/Place/66151015/ifarange/us_expansion_map00.gif http://www.ars.usda.gov/sp2UserFiles/Place/66151015/ifarange/us_expansion_legend01.jpg The *potential* for fire ant expansion to more than 50% of the USA is a virtual certainty. Also, notice that Colorado and Utah fire ant data are conspicuously "missing". This is not because they don't exist there! The eco and spatial climatic conditions are perfect for fire ant existence in both of these states.
silversand 04/01/15 05:51am Snowbirds
RE: Gold Mining!!

Sounds like you'll be doing some recreational prospecting. The only time I had ever seen a prospecting operation in progress was in Honduras at a very remote river system. It was a chap from Colorado, who had been prospecting on the same river for over 20 years (not continuously). Unfortunately, selling the "raw" gold (full of impurities) only yielded about ~60% of the price of bullion in Central America (the measurement of weight the indians used, is called a penneke). The unknown is assaying your gold (no matter where you prospect); hown much will you really get ? I could see the fun in recreational panning; getting out into the outdoors, and the anticipation. But like Wayne wrote, gold prospecting will probably only ever yield a defecit as a business venture. One thing I did try my hand at was opal mining (in the mountains of Honduras, near El Salvador border region). This was grueling work, looking for and mining into seams. The yield was terrible (compared with the security downside issues/stress: I had to be armed, or hire off-duty on leave soldiers), but the learning experience was precious ! Good luck; but most importantly, have fun out there :B
silversand 03/31/15 08:02am Truck Campers
RE: Migration north

I think this is much too narrow of logic. The polar ice caps are still melting at an alarming rate. This is changing the salinity of the oceans, thus the air currents. We are in transition, nothing will be normal for a long time. For those that snowbird, they will have to change their patterns and locations just like all the other birds will. This is evidently what is going on. The Arctic "air mass" is breaking into pieces (the polar atmospheric waves {Rossby Waves} are detaching huge blobs the size of half continents) which drift down unfortunately over North America (some meteorologists are popularizing these massive cold air detachments as "....polar vortices..." ). There is A polar vortex; it used to be a single large-scale cyclone circling both the Arctic (2 low pressure centers) and Antarctic (a single low pressure center). However, it (the northern vortex) has now broken apart into 4, 5, 6, 7+ pieces as the Arctic region warms alarmingly. Haave you seen the northern Alaska temperatures in winter over the past several years? (one detachment of which seems persistent over North America during winter). North America (the US territory) I think, only makes up ~3% of the Earth's total area. So, in light of this, who cares if the US is experiencing exceptionally cold winters ? Statistically, the US land mass experiencing this exceptional cold is so miniscule, in the grand scheme things, it wouldn't contribute much to the sum-total land mass warming/cooling. Science: All science (every discipline: medicine, astrophysics, biology, climatology, etc, etc) research is always open to new discovery (ie. old theories fall as new are proven...). You publish reasearch showing x, someone else, 3, 20 years later publishes research showing y. The only constant in scientific research is change over time ;) Brutal cold for past several days up here. Yesterday 3F/16F; this morning 11F. Anyone returning to the Northeast before May must be very, very desperate :p
silversand 03/29/15 05:23am Snowbirds
RE: Migration north

The MASSIVE continent-sized pool of Siberia-like frigid air stretches this moment from Saskatoon, SK (Canada) all the way down to just north of Jacksonville, Florida, and out just past the Atlantic Coasline of North America. I'm afraid this will be the climate regime for roughly this same region up till mid April. Though, the extent south of this massive pool of Arctic air will probably only reach ~~North Carolina during the next several Arctic invasion-weeks. Looking at the long-term experimental (which has been absolutely correct for this entire winter, by the way, climate-casting at the continental scale, remember; not at the meso-scale!), the enormous air mass (along with the northern branch jet) will abruptly retreat far north somewhere from April 8th to April 15th, where we will abruptly warm up into summer-like conditions (extremes: the norm for the rest of our lives)...
silversand 03/28/15 05:12am Snowbirds
RE: Outfitter Pop-up Truck Camper

Looks really nice. This looks like the new series camper. Great looking interior cabinetry, too.
silversand 03/28/15 04:53am Truck Campers
RE: Trip Report: April in the California Coast Ranges

Thank you for showing us a region we have only seen small parts of! This would make a great trip route for a future trek up the West Coast. A broken ankle can be a tricky son of a gun to heal. I hope you get back "on your feet" soon ! Cheers, S-
silversand 03/27/15 01:10pm Truck Campers
RE: America’s Wildflowers, On the Road in a Truck Camper Pt 2

joerg68: Those berries look like a desert evergreen berry of some kind (like juniper berries, but not juniper berries)...perhaps a cedar berry?
silversand 03/27/15 09:23am Truck Campers
RE: Outfitter Pop-up Truck Camper

Yah. A pic would be nice (especially in the New Mexico setting!)... Standing by...
silversand 03/27/15 09:17am Truck Campers
RE: Soft vs. hard side TC

Just a couple of observation I have made using a pop-up, with an insulated Weblon soft-wall: -we have camped in extreme winds during tropical storms (Norfolk, VA area: 45 to 55+ MPH) and in desert windstorms (Island in The Sky, Utah: 50 to 60 MPH) a) we eventually put the top down at the Utah site to lower our wind profile (the truck was moving like a yacht in 30 inch broadside waves), but were pretty comfortable with the top up for ~8 hours; some dust did get in around the Weblon soft-wall stitching, the Weblon soft-wall barely moved at all during these extreme winds. b) the TS we went through at Norfolk was an extreme one (Norfolk streets were very flooded, as were the roads through Currituck area). We spent the night ~120 feet from the beach, and had horizontal rain blasting us broadside for most of the night. Slight streamers of water was coming in around a few sections of stitching at 4 of our windows, but were easy to dry up with rolled up dish drying towels. The soft-walls barely moved in the wind. By morning, the water was up to the bottom of the differential pumpkin, so I brought the roof down and we waded out (with rafting sandals) to the truck, and headed down to the OBX. So, for us, there were a few negatives riding out such storms, but we would probably continue to occupy camper with roof up in similar situations in the future. No biggie. ...oh, in winter (winter starts for us around October 5th, with our 1st snows), before we store the camper away, we usually get 3 or 4 good snows. The camper is always set up (24/7) when parked on our property (I use it as an office 5 days a week) right up to the day it goes into heated storage (about Oct 28th). I have absolutely NO problem heating "my office" with a small space heater (900 to 1100 watts) to ~64F ~ 71F with the camper covered in snow. Especially since the Weblon soft-walls have insulation sandwiched between 2 layers a very robust reinforced polyester, guaranteed not to stretch beyond about 0.5% About ~1.5 hours before the TS hit: http://i131.photobucket.com/albums/p318/isladelcisne/P1000505Medium.jpg Near Elizabeth City (on route to OBX): http://i131.photobucket.com/albums/p318/isladelcisne/DSC03212Medium.jpg Boondocking at Overland Expo East near Asheville, NC last October (at 27F): http://i131.photobucket.com/albums/p318/isladelcisne/OEeast3_zpsab3e6cf2.jpg I like the idea of a hard top if I want to stealth camp at a rest stop or Walmart. I would like to know if is possible to use the soft side while the top is down, access to head, refrig. And can you sleep on the dinette with the top down? We've boondocked in several towns in Maine-- one of them was Freeport, several times, mid ~September ("LL Bean" has an RV parking section down on the lower part of town). We both (wife and I) easily sleep on our dinette bed while boondocking. Read, sleep and eat, too, all with roof down. Our camper has 100% blackout curtains. We also have a large electric flush toilet (full height) installed in our Outfitter closet (a Thetford Curve: 4 gallons fresh; 5.5 gallons black). Quite expensive, but worth it. The fridge runs on propane. Full access with roof down. My wife can almost stand up in our camper with roof down (I have to stoop down, and walk around). Both of us can very comfortable operate at our dinette when the bed is made up (we both work with the laptops when roof is down; prepare food; everything)... Anyhow....that's my story with our pop-up.
silversand 03/27/15 08:58am Truck Campers
RE: Outfitter Pop-up Truck Camper

Sleepy: We don't have outside shower nor hot water heater in our Caribou. I'm not sure where the heater would be installed; I'm guessing: under the kitchen counter? I think you need to find the aluminum frame (hidden under the fiberglass laminated sandwich making up the camper walls) to determine where to cut through, to mount water heater frame properly. However, the only way to know for sure, is to contact Outfitter with your unit's serial number. The best way to identify where the aluminum framing is located: on a summer/fall morning when there is a heavy condensation early AM, the outline of the aluminum frame will be VERY evident (the condensate will adhere to the outside camper shell mirroring the frame). You could then use a marking device to lightly mark the framing members, then create a CAD drawing of the entire camper shell framing structure using measuring tools. Same principal discovering aluminum roof framing (both outside and inside). Good luck.
silversand 03/24/15 04:45am Truck Campers
RE: Fire Ants Kill Winter Texan in the RGV

BTW: fire ants are not only found in the Southern US. They are found all along the Maine coast, and are now invading Southern British Columbia, Canada. The specie is European fire ant (Myrmica rubra). They sting in the same way as the fire ants found down south: leaving a huge inflamation (up to 4 inch diameter welt) and excruciating pain for up to several hours. The Maine colonies have been found at least once about 20 miles inland, and the inland colonies can survive 2 northeast winters (these things can handle brutal cold, for at least several winters). Remember, coastal Maine is much more temperate than its interior over winter (same as coastal British Columbia, but a bit colder). When I worked (and, lived) in Honduras in a region called The Mosquito Coast, we had ants called "bullet ants", about 1 inch long (Paraponera clavata). These things carry poneratoxin. Getting stung by one is so painful, it is often compared with getting shot with a 9mm (on a scale of pain 1-10, it is about 9.8). Your entire body will wreath in pain for at least 24 hours, often you will lose consciousness. I used to get them in my tent often, when out mapping in the vast jungles of this region.
silversand 03/23/15 03:05pm Snowbirds
RE: Outfitter Pop-up Truck Camper

And all frames will leak any water getting into the cargo compartments into the camper interior at their inner lower edges... Interesting. I sealed all 8 cargo containment "seams" and battery/propane cylinder anchors with unbroken maximum bead size ProFlex. I did not seal the top 4 edges/seams, because I estimate that water can't climb that high up the containment boxes. Now, when water gets into the containment boxes, what doesn't get soaked up by the towels just accumulates (harmlessly) as a swimming pool (to be dried up later, at my convenience)...I had to remove the propane tank and battery of course, to accomplish this. I mounted a mirror inside the containment boxes to see the hidden back of the hatch frames seams, and used contortions to flip the caulking gun 180 degrees to caulk those hidden seams (not easy; but with advance preparation, relatively easier than working blind)...
silversand 03/23/15 12:00pm Truck Campers
RE: Outfitter Pop-up Truck Camper

Moose: We bought one of their early models (2005 Caribou 8, set up for a long bed). Roofing: Originally, the Outfitter pop-ups came with TPO roofing membrane (we like our roofing a lot; even after almost 10 years of ownership). I wish we hadn't bought the PolarAire roof vent option now. PolarAire is no longer on the market (after Sureflo stopped carying the vent), and the cut-out L,W is not correct to fit any of the current models of power roof vents. After almost 10 years, the PolarAire vent cover is visibly deteriorating, so luckily, I managed to fing a very unusually shaped Maxx air style cover in Asheville, NC, which I test fit in Asheville before buying. I'll install it this summer. There is no way of course that Outfitter could ever imagine that PolarAire would be completely off the market in 8 years, so not their fault. Just remember to buy roof vents (and other camper accouterments) from large well-established manufacturers. Outfitter is willing to install virtually enything you spec out. Roof vinyl compression seal: on the older Outfitters (up till they came out with a composite roof?), there is a vinyl compression seal mated to the roof flange, which when clamped down is supposed to form a waterproof gasket between roof and camper sidewalls. Our "seal" has been pretty good (only water intrusion once, a small flood onto the rear Corian countertop vanity (killed all my appliance manuals!), when we had not stored the camper absolutely level). This is the only thing keeping water out of the Weblon pleat when the camper roof is closed and clamped down. If you buy a used unit (again, I think Outfitter did away with this compression gasket on their composite roof models after 2010; can anyone confirm?), make sure the the seal integrity is good all the way around the camper, when the roof is clamped down (you'll need and L-shaped piece of plastic, and an articulating flashlight head to probe and visualize this). Camper shell: We have had chronic leaking all around our propane hatch and rear battery compartment hatch (probably since new). This allowed water (over the years) to slowly leak into the containment boxes, and find its way onto the hidden side of our camper wings (many of Outfitter's pop-ups have plywood wings and plywood tub sides and raw un-clad lauan (a thin Philippine mahogany veneer) under the tub (the surface that rests on your pick-up bed). This rotted out several very large sections of under-wing (which I replaced and repaired myself, last summer: see link below). My theory here (after months of post-mortem with/between another long-time Caribou owner (Testudo) is that the hatch locations (both, located in the negative pressure zone immediately behind our forward driver-side jack; and the other in the negative pressure zone immediately behind our rear passenger-side jack) are indeed right in a negative pressure zone, whereby during rains while driving, the vents suck air and rain misted up from the truck, into the poorly-sealed hatch frame. I have looked at other Outfitters, and ours seems unique in the locations of our hatch doors. So, this situation may not affect many other Outfitters (ie. may affect only a small cohort). Other than tearing off the 2 offending hatches, and installing marine "hatch plates" that cinch-down with a twisk lock, I have to pack towels in there at all times (even after my large repair job replacing all the rotted wings), because even when the camper sits outside parked, water STILL floods into the compartments during rain. I now tape large plastic skirts over the hatches when camper is stationary. I tested this situation when driving: with hatch dry, I toweled up the inside of the compartments, then drove in rain...water indeed got in. Towels will be permanent in those hatches until I can find proper cinch-down marine campartment doors. Link to our Caribou repair / refurbish here--> FRP fiberglass: In 2005, we were lucky enough to get the new thicker non-wood backed fiberglass cladding on the camper exterior. This has worked very well for us. We have not had any delamination whatsoever (after again, almost 10 years, living in one of the rainiest places in North America). The only issue we ever had was last winter. We stored our camper outdoors for the 1st time ever since new. Last year, we had temperatures almost as cold as this one (-30s to -40s for weeks on end). On inspection of camper in spring, I noticed about 6 craters in the white fiberglass cladding: look like small (about 3mm diameter) volcanic craters of fiberglass had "exploded" (or, popped, like a bubble), leaving the underlying porus chopped-strand base exposed. Hmmm? After doing research (at the FRP manufacturer's website), this apparent is common when the underlying glue used to bond the fiberglass to the camper's XPS foam and aluminum framing, is contaminated with water (small droplets, or moisture IN the adhesive glue itself), and under extreme freezing (like we get here in the East for 3~4 months straight every winter), the moisture expands, and blows off the protective gelcoat (resembling a small blister). This is easy enough to repair (I repaired our ~6 blisters last summer). But, I will not ever take this chance again, and we nor store our camper in heated facilities over the 7 months of winter here. I don't think blistering can happen with the benighn cold you get in the US (I'm not talking Alaska!). Of all the Outfitter owners I've ever talked to (probably ~60+ owners), I've only had feedback from 2 who had blistering the same as we (one owner located on North East Coast; the other mid West: both have extremely cold winters; both store their campers outside over winter). So, concluding, the only wisdom I can impart to future owners, is: -make sure you have Outfitter build your tub and wings with a rot-resistant material like Coosa composite board (or, I believe that Outfitter offers some models with a 100% fiberglass tub and wing set now); -make sure that you have Outfitter install the absolute best marine hatch system out there on the market (ie. pass on the typical RV industry sub standard camper hatches); -make sure that ALL your appliances are from very long-established appliance, vent, fridge, furnace, water heater, electric systems manufacturers, so you don't find yourself orphaned by a non-standard or odd-ball manufactured item(s). All in all, luckily I have the time to address the weaknesses in our camper myself, and have fortified our unit to what I consider pretty well bullet-proof (this taking nearly 10 years of ownership). I can say that our Caribou has been pretty rock-solid structurally after my repairs, and would be very hard pressed to ever sell it (I get nightmares just thinking of buying another camper (whatever the brand or genre of camper), and having to go through the fortification/strengthening and repair upgrading rigamarole again :B Anyhow, without generalizing, this is our particular experience. Your model, year and build may differ significantly from ours, so bear this in mind. Outfitter is very willing to build a very customized camper (structure, appliances, layout, etc), so apply this strategy when you order yours :)
silversand 03/22/15 08:51am Truck Campers
RE: Dragoon Mtns and Picacho Peak

EXCELLENT photos (you really understand light, your terrain, and the limits of your camera in the shadows) ! Tremendous trip (mini expedition) report! Silver-
silversand 03/22/15 07:36am Truck Campers
RE: America’s Wildflowers, On the Road in a Truck Camper Pt 2

Brian: I think you nailed it with golden columbine. I looked up western columbine, however the golden seems to fit. This particular flower wasn't fully developed, it seems. Good call.
silversand 03/21/15 08:32pm Truck Campers
RE: Paradise trip to Sanibel/Ft Myers... Our camping report

Nice! We were down part of January and all of February (about about 1/4er of our winter. It really helps; even if our temps in Florida were in the 30s, 40s and 50s (with 1 or 2 days in the 70s); we were north of your region :B
silversand 03/21/15 10:00am Truck Campers
RE: America’s Wildflowers, On the Road in a Truck Camper Pt 2

Close to Shiprock, NM (2002); cropped, but at full frame ratio http://i131.photobucket.com/albums/p318/isladelcisne/ShiprockArea_zpsznjwy7by.jpg Up "The Narrows", Zion National Park (taken in May 2006); original dimension, but resampled for the Forum http://i131.photobucket.com/albums/p318/isladelcisne/DeepInZionCanyon_zpsw8vu2pgr.jpg ...these are fairly common; can someone ID them? Cheers, Sand & Dunes
silversand 03/21/15 09:35am Truck Campers
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