I think that the one month rule of thumb is for wet cell batteries and my understanding is that AGM batteries can last longer in storage (i.e. AGM batteries have slower discharge).
Correct. When we store our camper for the winter in indoor heated storage (October till May), I completely disconnect our fully-charged AGMs........and don't do a thing till May. Just leave in the camper. Our AGMs hardly drops in charge at all over this long storage period. If you have the old lead/acid batteries, all bets are off...they'll be pretty well discharged after this length of storage without careful maintenance.
I've been doing this since 2007 (when I got rid of those pesky lead/acids), and replaced with AGM-- at 10 years old, they are still nearly as good as new.
I once had to do all that battery maintenance during storage with lead/acids, but none of that for me any more.
This is my experience; your mileage may vary with different AGM manufacturer/model.
Those two routes have been opened and closed at times depending on the water content and season.
Ya. For sure. The park Ranger registering your "4x4 back country permit" at Needles for Salt really grill you on your 4x4 prowess and recovery equipment before handing you the permit LOL! The towing starts around $1400 and can get to well over $2000 if you ruck up somewhere back there LOL!
We had some substantial under-body skid plates, but even with that, I was reaching under and grabbing twigs, handfuls of wet sand/muck, and all kinds of **** jammed into the wheels after exiting the swing-gate!
On edit: LOVE your photos from the '70s!!!! You're lucky you didn't get buried up to the windshield :B
How about driving in quicksand? Yep, I've been there but not for a long time and not again. Right down to the frame in 1970, Salt Creek, Canyonlands NP:
...gotta love Salt Creek, and this entire stretch into potentially oblivion! Salt Creek is one of our fave' Needles back-country 4x4 adventures. Gotta love the quicksand there :B Makes for an "on your toes" experience LOL!
Canyonlands says the following to unwary 4x4 'ers even thinking about it:
SALT CREEK & HORSE CANYON:
Permits required for day and overnight use. required for day and overnight use. Roads travel along canyon bottoms where deep sand, deep water and quicksand are common. Too sandy for mountain bikes.
Good luck to anyone contemplating this one LOL, but we'd do it again in a heart-beat. This is where ya really have to know how to drive in sand! A 4x4 pick-up behind us never even made it through the "tamarsik sand tunnel" to the creek (thank goodness we went first!). We "belly skid" the Tracker/Zuke in places at higer speeds. There is a photo of Nikki driving through Salt Creek (I jog out front in the water and soup to sus-out the quicksand!) in Mello Mike's interview of us on his web-site //
"Iron butt" LOL!
Incredibly detailed photo essay. I like the compressed perspective zoom photos, they really resolve the scale of the landscape.
I'm pretty far behind on your TRs; your TRs are like books, I read perhaps a dozen a year, so I have a lot of catching-up to do!
Wow; that tow boat was really flying; what with the apparent fast current in the lock, to keep from losing steering, it has to motor faster than the lock current, I believe.
Nice video; lots of detail! What video gear and software are you using?
...is that a pool of water surrounding your vent flange?
Good idea to store nose high, but when you are camping, you need to level the camper, and if that is a natural lake surrounding your vent (and air conditioner?) bezels / flanges, you'd better inspect and re-caulk those areas regularly :B
The entire roof on our pop-up camper (Outfitter) has a very nice dome to it, with the front and rear vents at the highest altitudes on that dome.
...I met Rory (and had a long chat) at the first Overland Expo East (a couple of years ago), and actually got into his new line of campers (it may have been the first one made). I was interested in the Truma combi furnace with integrated water heater he had installed in that line of campers. The camper was a very impressive build.
If I recall, I believe those campers are factory direct.
A real attention holding, and sometimes gripping (standing at the precipice of thousand foot? cliffs) story.
All the superlatives have already been expressed by others.
Sand & Dunes
Steve & Sally:
I went through your reports quickly (exceptional! love the sub tour, and Viking ship construction)...we will both read through at a proper rate later tonight.
The Timothy Taylor's (landlord) looks interesting. I'll try and find some locally (or, in a beer outlet in Vermont). I read: ....a classic ale, with caramel and toasted malt... :)
Anyone here using semi-flexible (not roll-up) solar panels? The OP may be amenable to this genre.
My future buy would be a ~~30% flexible panel in the ~120 to ~144 watt range around 4.7 LBS, with between ~22% and 23.x% efficiency. It looks like all the higher end "thin film technologies" these days are achieving in the 21% to 23.3% cell efficiencies (NREL; Solar Frontier; EMPA; Solibro; etc...). I would carry a solar panel backing made of 0.5 inch XPS insulation (weighing almost nothing). This would be a portable/movable panel of course...
...interesting. Just showed this to Dunes. She drove that 191 from Springerville to Morenci, and on to Safford, back in the late '90s. It was girl's 2 weeks off; her and a girlfriend did this in a rented Chevy Blazer. Then, they drove the East Border Rd from near the Cochise College airport, to Bisbee Junction (today, that road wouldn't be wise for 2 girls solo offroading LOL!)...
Until I wised up, stopped using the hardwall windows with the leaky screens, and instead used the softwall screens soaked in bug repellent. Much better
We haven't sprayed our screens with repellent yet. Thanks for the tip on the hard-wall screens (that probably includes the door screening)! Interesting.
When we used the Outfitter in the Southwest, we were out of gnat season and territory; so when we do, in the future, get back into that area and in gnat-dom, will make note use only the softwall screens. Waking up in the morning with hundreds of gnat bites wouldn't be my idea of fun.
Those gaiters that Jefe 4x4 wrote about: I got mine (full-length, with belt clip/snap) from Cabela's back in ~1995 (they are really the snake chaps, double as brush walkers), I used them in Central America in 120+ F and 80%+ humidity. So, in bone-dry 115F (or so) and 15% humidity or less, they would be like tropical linen pants LOL! :D
...I'm always cognizant of out-board weight at the end of axles **gross wheel weight** (the actual weight of the tire and wheel) that will really negatively affect performance/fuel mileage (if there are any Formula 1 racing engineers here, they could explain this better than I LOL!)...
...so, I look at OEM tire + rim weight, then play with any new tire/rim combo, to determine if they will be "heavier" or "lighter" than the OEM set-up...etc...etc.
The only way our set up could go south is if we were camping in a tunnel.
...there are a lot of ways to "make it work" for sure. This is often tempered by lifestyle, and world-view. We are taking the extreme cost-effective approach, we being minimalists.
One day, it would be nice to grab a portable light-weight 150w solar panel, throw it out the door, place it on a rack on the ground, and plug the laptop into it :B
I think that synthesizing down all the issues that impede long-term boondocking, the show-stopper constraint for us is: black water capacity. For us, this is appx 7 days "out", before one has to run back to "civilization" with tail between legs....to dump the black water tank.
So, the second biggest constraint for long term boondocking, is the food cooling situation. Given the above black water constraint, we need to have cooling for up to 7 days. We can achieve this with our large "Extreme cooler" at $25 CAD, which can easily take us 7 days. Overstock food that needs cooling goes in there (the cooler is kept out of the baking-hot truck cab and in the shade), and we use the ice and ice packs in our 3-way fridge for every-day next-in-line meals. We don't want to open our Extreme cooler till our 3-way fridge stock is depleted. No need to even turn on the 3-way fridge propane. However, it is there if we need it (a break-down way out in middle of nowhere). Also, we transfer some ice from the Extreme cooler into the 3-way fridge at about day 4 (around 1st line food depletion date).
Now, the next constraint is water: our toilet (the largest porta-potti on the market; with an AA battery pack flush system); PLENTY of water in the fresh-water side to do us 7 days. We also carry some jerry cans of water for dish-washing: plenty for 7 days boondocking (no need to run the 12V water pump). We have a D-cell electric shower for an outside shower, if need be (drawing from our dish-washing water reserve). We carry drinking water gallons for drinking (more than enough for 7 days).
....by this point, we haven't used nary 0.1 amp-hours of battery power....
OK...now, we need light at night: both outside and inside camper, we have LED lighting (I keep 1 incandescent bulb for ambiance lighting...used rarely). We need only 1 or 2 LED lights at night for reading....for max 1.5 hours. Our cell phones and hand-held radios get charged with a portable lithium power-pack if need be (good for 7 days at least). We have smart-phone music (plug in the head-phones). We never use the roof-top power vent....even when it was 107 in the desert (we sit in the shade outside under the awning; and at night the desert gets quite cool).
....by this point, our house AGM Group 27s are barely used (!). So, we may splurge, and charge a laptop from the house system. Still, nearly nothing used in the house 12V storage. So, between the truck batteries (we have 2 of those) and everything, we're drowning in excess 12V capacity....at 7 days. No solar. We can re-charge the house system as we drive at the finish of the 7-day period to empty the toilet black water (and, empty our 12 gallon portable gray water tank, too).
So, so far, solar would be a real luxury; something fun to tool around with for fun. I would only get a panel that I could move around (with small light-weight balsa-wood stand) to keep perfectly aligned with the sun very few hours, and toss it under the dinette seat cushions when we move...
I was also getting by fine with my 2 group 24's. That was until I recently added an inverter to run the coffee maker. Of course we got by for years using other methods but I like the convenience of my baby keurig.
...we just boil water, and pour it into our 1.2 liter bodum (French press), and we have a huge quantity of coffee...no electrics needed :D
I agree that you likely won't see a measurable increase in fuel mileage from the truck riding a couple inches higher or lower in the rear.
....I think that your proposed aerodynamics mitigation would probably be completely swamped by numerous other issues: driving style (good/bad); perfect tire inflation; perfect/terrible wheel alignment; perfectly/imperfectly tuned engine; weather conditions (extreme cold, strong headwinds, etc, etc, etc); terrain slope (flat/hilly/downright mountainous); and many, many other issues.
I think that it would be practically impossible to tease-out any canted rig aerodynamic benefits from all the above situations (unless you were testing in a 100% controlled environment).
IF you have the SurePower isolator/charge controller:
Model: 1314 (-B, BP-D) from serial# 09004545 to serial# 11002845, there is a recall on (overheating/potential fire).
There are 2 other SurePower separator models under recall, too. See their website for more details: here-->
Our particular model and serial# is not on recall: 040088xxxxxxx Ours was bought/installed way back in 2005.
...its under the dinette seat closest to the rear Caribou door (the space behind our electrical control system--- your camper may have a different locale).
Take a look at where the charge cable enters the rear wall (or, front wall) of your camper, and follow the wires to the separator. We have a SurePower...hold on, I'm in the camper checking.....its the model 1314. This is what Outfitter was installing from 2005 to...perhaps your camper's model year.