A battery tender helps. I have a small solar powered one in the window of the garage plugged into the cigarette lighter socket that keeps me topped off.
Dual battery Silverado 2500HD here (non diesel). Our truck sits in storage for 7 to 8 months a year (this year an early spring, so only 6 months storage). I stopped using the battery minder probably, hmmm, 8 years ago. I now just disconnect my 2 batteries for storage (it takes me only ~2 minutes to disconnect them), and I disconnect them if we have no driving planned for more than a week. The truck is a 2004.5; and starter battery is still original. After 12 years, it is still like nearly new condition. I've only replaced the accessory battery; that was done last year (at 11 years old) LOL!
...OK, back to the program...
...another Outfitter owner here: Caribou 8 (long-bed configuration). We've had the Outfitter for almost 12 years now, and expect to have it for perhaps another decade+.
We have done several camper shell upgrades (all of which are illustrated in this Forum over the years). In fact, I am typing this response from the Outfitter now (when not camping in it, I use it as my office over the spring/summer/fall).
...if ya have any questions, just post :B
Have fun out there,
...but it does mean checking rv.net for new trip reports every few days so as not to miss new ones, and copying the URL into the Word document in the right place. Then about once per quarter editing the relevant sections of the sticky and doing a cut and paste into them from the latest copy of your Word document.
Hi Steve! I received an in-expedition photo you made via "Sleepy". Looks like blue skies for you up in Norway!
OK, back to the question. Steve pretty much nailed the process. When I was the TR admin, the "Sticky" resided inside my RVnet account; so, unless I wanted to share my password with the new Trip Reports admin (tantamount to giving the new TR administrator access to all my personal PMs), a new TR person will have to continue with TRs under their RVnet account.
Now, after pondering this, IF multiple TR administrators wanted to pool their efforts together (say, share/schedule the editing duties), perhaps a new account could be opened, and a shared password could be created for that specific project. However, when you think about the RVnet participant's responsibilities as "Forum citizens", having multiple participants on one account could be fraught with potential negatives (I'm playing the part of a corporate legal).
Anyhow, in my mind, the easiest transition, may include Steve's master text document to the new admin/editor; the new person could then ease into the role, then change the format eventually to personalize the TR....
The only open-pit mine I have been able to find in operating the TR, is the 100 edit limit to any individual Post (I think this is a CFM scripting thang; but I never pursued a "ticket" to the site Administrator to look into the matter).
Steve has been a most organized, tech-savvy, innovative and reliable Trip Reports admin. If I was head-hunting a Forum admin for a large corporate client, he would be the primary candidate. Thanks Steve for all your efforts!
Just checked them out on their French website. They manufacture fully customized camper shells; some quite sophisticated. They have pop-up roofs; one could have a roof pop-up on any side, or full 4 corner pop-up.
They have a digital CAD/CAM cutting machine where they feed the roof, and walls through to cut out for appliances. The camper shell itself appears to be removable (the customer can have any removal system installed they wanted).
Their gallery shows many units installed on Land Rover Defender pick-up (cutaway) trucks.
...the water treatment plant is still in place but has shutdown due to the evacuations
Yes. It appears now that the river water intake was not destroyed, and thank goodness for that.
It is an unknown for all facilities still standing (every facility has to be thoroughly checked, building by building even if fire hadn't apparently "touched" the buildings, by various engineering disciplines, to verify their fitness to operate (is the hospital HVAC still functioning? Are there burning embers still on the roofs? And many other issues)
The problem with "turning on the water soon" is: the hundreds of burned structures could free-flow water from broken pipes, unimpeded. The various neighborhoods have to be checked (house by house) and mains shut off till the main water pipes coming into all the affected homes and businesses are capped. I imagine that this would have to be done sector by sector. However, there may be shut offs for blocks of affected buildings/houses.
I think Florida is so crowded because of where folks are coming from - the heavily populated states north of Florida. Snowbirders seem to head straight south for the most part.
Yes. That's exactly right. From places as far away as Montreal, we can shoot down to north Florida in 2.2 days (if you have a trailer down there, you don't have to haul it, making a snap trip south very doable). Its the only "warm" climate available to the several hundred million east coasters in a last-second or, planned foray. If there is an emergency with a rental property or other issue up north, one can shoot home, remediate, and be back in Florida in under 5 days; costing only a few hundred in gas and a cooler full of food. Try that from the Southwest; it may take 4 days to book a flight on business-class, at several $thousand dollars for last minute return flight.
Even with our truck camper rig, we have driven to north Florida for a 2 week break in April....all the way from Quebec! Try doing that to the Southwest (you need 2 weeks with an RV rig to drive to get to and home from the Southwest). Waaaay too far.
The RGV would be perfect for a Central continent dweller or Tennessee to Colorado latitudinal transect dweller; the Southwest is a perfect and sane distance for a west-coaster. There are statistical outliers who do west coast to Florida; and east coast to Southwest (but this is the fringe cohort of Snowbirders).
We know a lot of Snowbirders that FLY to the Southwest from the East Coast to their condos/winter homes...but not many that drive it with an RV/rig.
This is the Fort McMurray Google Crisis Map, showing the neighborhoods that were destroyed by the fire (see the red polygons in the legend). The overlaid SkySat Terra Bella satellite image (Terra Bella is a Google subsidiary that shoots high-resolution video of Earth and do high resolution imagery from their space-based satellite). The SkySat imagery is very recent, and you can zoom in to your house to see if it is still existing: here-->
This isn't the absolute definitive authority on fire-affected areas, however it is as good as it get at this juncture.
We also have friends in the Daytona area but their weather hasn't been all that much warmer than our's in the past 2-3 years.
We would have loved to winter in Myrtle Beach area, however, friends of ours that have wintered there for ~15 years warned us that it snows fairly regularly (about once every 2 to 3 years). We checked the official records, and yes, since 1940, here are the snow falls on Myrtle Beach:
Myrtle Beach has had 45 snow-days from 1940 to 2014; for a total of 77 inches. The snow-day interval is about every 2.2 years; the standard deviation per snow-day event is 3 inches. They had 9 inches in Feb 1973; 7 inches in March 1983; a whopping 14 inch blizzard in December 1989. The mean number of snow events per year since 1940 is 0.25 (frequency). Unfortunately, all the snow events since 1940 have been surrounded by some pretty brutal cold snaps lasting several months. For us, the most miserable thing that could happen to us as snowbirds, is ice storms. Unfortunately, South Carolina (the Myrtle to Wilmington areas) have as many ice storms as snowfalls (a surprising number catastrophic ice storms it appears), to fill in the years when it isn't snowing: 46 ice storms. The frequency of severe ice storms is 1 every 9.7 years; the frequency of moderate ice storms is 1 every 2.1 years.
Lets compare this to the closest "snowbird destination" in North Florida (on the Atlantic coast):
It has snowed only twice; once in 1917 (2 inches), and once in 1951. Tampa even got a dusting in 1917. So, the chance of snow in St Augustine (let alone a Carolinas blizzard) is infinitesimally small compared with Myrtle Beach (Myrtle once every ~2.2 years). This being said, the continuous snows that do happen in Myrtle are only from 1 day to 4 days long. So, if you balance this with any compelling personal reasons to winter in Myrle (like majority of friends wintering there; etc; etc), some will take this chance.
I haven't done the statistics for temperatures in Myrtle to plunge below freezing from December till end of March yet...
For us, it is north Florida (St Augustine).
This is truly a a catastrophe on a human and environmental scale only approaching the level of a direct hit by a hurricane; the difference is that almost the entire city has been destroyed, along with the electric infrastructure, and natural gas feeds to all the houses, businesses, hospital, schools and government offices.
On edit: with the recent Terra Bella initiative satellite imagery available, preliminary assessments are showing that appx 80% of Fort McMurray structures are still standing. Appx 2200 ~~ 2400 buildings have been severely burned or destroyed; these numbers will change as more survey data comes in. The drinking water infrastructure appears to have been saved relatively intact (valiant efforts of employees during the fire). The gas availability to all buildings appears to be severely affected, and fluid situation continues as to gas feed availability to all structures.
Imagine if you will a city about the sized of Fort Collins, CO being nearly completely destroyed by a wildfire. And this thing is not even close to being over-- the wildfire(s) rage on; perhaps for weeks or months.
Quebec just sent over 4 water bombers, and a wildfire ground crew, however, I think a massive and much more comprehensive plan needs to be done (like an army of Canadian, and US firefighters and water bombers to be deployed). The problem seems to be that wildfires are springing up over BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and now, western Ontario. I have access to and monitor the VIIRS geostationary satellite several times a day, and I can' hardly comprehend how this (and other) wildfires are growing, by the hour. I think the damage is now up to 4, 5, or 7 $billion, and with the oil companies shutting down production, and the city destroyed, the unemployment situation is incomprehensible.
See edits above
We're always on the look-out for your trip reports.
What a different landscape you guys landed in! Stunning!
I really like the color, then black and white photos of the same landscape. Nice touch.
I'm typing this from the Outfitter (my office in the "forest"), on finally, a sunny day here in the Northeast :B
Thanks for putting together another "great one", with the two "Kidz" !!
Sand & Dunes
With all the Canadian snowbirds, isn't there a way for the Canadian government (and not RVnet readers) to provide a definitive answer once and for all so we can avoid this question every year.
....we're talking government immigration here. The "laws" may seem "clear", however, they are in reality, as clear as mud when border authorities are permitted to interpret said laws "as they see appropriate for the situation".
Actually, no laws anywhere on earth are clear. There are always fuzzy areas of interpretation. Take a look at the quantity of lawyers practicing, the court system clog ups, and immigration decisions (on both sides); you'll be amazed at how unclear the laws are....in practice.
The only thing I can say is: every time you get through a border (ANY border), just thank your lucky stars you were allowed to enter. Don't assume anything. Your "lucky clock" gets reset back to zero at every crossing you make, no matter what country.
....even if you exceed the absence limits your health care privileges are only suspended for three months once you return. You can purchase a bridge policy to cover that.
...that's my understanding, too.
...the guys were great and they all agreed on two things, the tank was doing what it was supposed to do and that kid at the gas station over filled it.
....same thing happened to me at a local gas station after the attendant filled the BBQ tank. Got the tank home, and as the day heated up, the tank started spewing white clouds. I immediately called the fire dept (located just down our street); thankfully, the tank hadn't been connected to BBQ, so I walked it to our large open lawn, and let it off-gas for ~~3 hours. We have the newer tanks.
The fire station asked what gas station I had it filled at. He said my complaint was the 23rd complaint from that station since summer started.
Now, I have the gas company itself (about 5 miles from us) fill our tanks. They have a very sophisticated computerized system, with digital read-out and commercial digital scale; and, they know what they are doing.
That's a pretty scary thought if that were to happen in a campground.
That could be a potential nightmare scenario: propane (large house-sized tank seen at numerous sites attached to seasonals) at campground explodes, setting off a fire that consumes a campground with units very close together...
If you feel a bit nevous take the jacks off and chuck them inside when you cross.
Truck camper owner here.
Even if you remove the jacks, the tie-down are so onerous (imposing), that anyone inspecting the rig could readily see that the camper isn't part of the truck.
I hear that some owners get in by using the on-line application for the TIP and it isn't checked when they cross the border.
...this would really worry me; banking only on the inspector/issuer not looking at the rig when you show up....playing the odds?
Following this closely as truck camper owners and future MX crossers...
Polyurethanes are interesting, however, also have a look at XPS grades in the 600 type VII to 1000 psi type V strength grade (no kidding; these panels are nearly like plywood). I think the Formular brand (Owens Corning?) are readily available. Do your due diligence with all the products out there.
*disclosure: I do not work for, nor own any position in any foam manufacturing industry
Beadboard (usually white, with little beads bound together) is EPS. Extruded polystyrene (blue, pink, etc) is XPS.
You need to do some serious research into using either EPS or XPS as a SIP (in this case, the structure is the wall/camper shell). There are very specific adhesives you can apply (with a paint roller, mop, or, via spray gun) to bond the EPS or XPS...some of the adhesives go on quite thick, and can bridge "bowing" in camper structure shells, but, if you press (roll the SIP assembly with the glue sandwich) or vacuum-bond the structural panel, the adhesive will ooze out along the wall's edge. Some of the adhesive used in making Our Outfitter Mfg XPS-to-FRP structural walls oozed out during the vacuum bonding stage, and dried a 1/4 inch thick (probably much thicker than a silicon bead!).
On the edit: i changed the word "bowling" to "bowing".
With what little I know about Honduras, a bodyguard there is a reality. TAD in Guatemala too. Same for Mexican towns along Guat border in Chiapas.
....I was quite shocked, too, at the rental prices for condos (and, stand-alone houses) in Mexico, from the hits I was getting on VRBO (and similar websites). Having lived in Mexico in the past, I concur with others in the Thread (who live and/or RV in Mexico today), that the best way to go about "finding" either a rental RV or a rental condo, would be to select an area of interest, then fly down, rent a vehicle, and intensively research the 'local" market first-hand.
Chiapas was one of my top 2 regions I loved in Mexico (the other, of course, is the state of Campeche). Its too bad that the areas along the Guatemala/Mexico border are perhaps a bit unstable. I spent a huge amount of time in the "Selva Lacandona".
I hear you. We are trying to cram as much US travel and RVing in as possible, before the hellacious Canadian travel health insurance rates catch us at 65+ !
We've been searching Mexico (fly down, rent condo) extensively over the past ~1.5 years. My fave. place is Campeche. Lots to do there (lots of theater, a huge university, archaeological expeditions, etc, etc, etc). I lived (and worked) in Campeche during the early '90s. Love the walled city.
Anyhow, all this talk of "renting a place" in Central, or Mexico brings back memories. I had the opportunity to rent a very beautiful hacienda (owned by a diplomat) in Honduras (inland, in the mountains), that was about 4500sq ft with 14-foot high+ ceilings, with o.5 hectares of cascading gardens down a terraced landscape and unobstructed view of distant mountains. The house came with live-in chef, house cleaner and gardener, several computers, unlimited internet, and if I wanted, a bodyguard trained by the Honduras Army (the bodyguard was extra). The price (per month) back in the day: $890 US a month (this included all the live-in help, but not personal bodyguard) LOL!