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 > Your search for posts made by 'pnichols' found 722 matches.

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RE: Off grid camp setup

Summer in TX with limited AC ability? 1 word: shade. (and I sure could camp there! beautiful) Summer trips out there will be limited but when we do go the Honda easily takes care of the AC. It's West Texas and the tallest tree is about 10 feet high! Not much shade out there unfortunately. We briefly visited the Texas Panhandle during August, once, in our small motorhome when rockhounding. For lunch in the RV, we had to run both the rooftop AC (generator running) and cab AC (engine idling) ... in order to get and keep the rig cool enough to eat. It was remote and beautiful ... but boy plenty of AC should be available for RV camping out there. But then again, IMHO "any self respecting" RV should have good air conditioning capability - just in case.
pnichols 11/20/19 12:51pm General RVing Issues
RE: Yes boys and girls, you REALLY need to carry a spare...

Good points Phil... We all hope to never need help but all too often an injury, even a minor one can spell disaster. I carry a serious first aid kit and have been trained in its use {the same medical kit I carried when doing extended offshore boating trips modified slightly for the RV environment}. From a suture kit to serious pain meds, I am prepared to deal with burns, fractures and bleeding. Often we are either beyond cell phone coverage or at its outer limits where help can be hours {or more} away. I also have the GS emergency travel assist but admit to some trepidation as to how effective it will ultimately be. Since we often are riding our motorcycle the possibility of even a minor accident could render us less than able to get ourselves and the rig home. Yep, plan for the worst and hope for the best, once a Boy Scout always a Boy Scout... Be Prepared! :CThis is a good point (albeit a bit off the OP's subject). We camp in the desert, oftentimes a long ways from "help", and we engage in relatively dangerous pastimes (ATVs, motorcycles, PWC, etc.) I have always carried a small first aid kit, but the reality is that those are really of limited use; more for comforting kids than anything serious. Then, a few years ago, my son's fiance broke her neck way out in the dunes. After a $100,000 helicopter ride, she thankfully has made a full recovery, but it made me realize that I needed something more serious than a few band-aids. I now carry a large trauma kit in the RV that can address things like heavy bleeding, broken bones, neck/spinal injuries, burns, etc. Although I hope to never need most of the items in it, I am comforted a bit knowing that it's there. I'm curious ... was that $100,000 helicopter ride covered by air medivac insurance? I guess a takeaway might be: If a remote area RV'er does have the insurance or personal money for air medivac, they probably should have a way of calling for air medivac when cell phones can't get out.
pnichols 11/20/19 12:16pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Yes boys and girls, you REALLY need to carry a spare...

This post is almost carbon copy of what I recently experienced. Now I would add that you should check or have checked, the mounting of your spare tire. On mine, the turnbuckle was rusted and we had to unmount the spare tire carrier to be able to drop the tire. I was pulling my side by side on a 12 foot trailer so we threw the damaged tire on there. Once home I updated the mounting hardware and lubed all necessary parts. The spare tire carrier got whacked a few times by who knows what and was slightly bent as well. Just as a reminder regarding the obvious: For those of you who do carry a spare for your RV, make sure you check and maintain proper pressure in it!
pnichols 11/19/19 10:07am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Alternator

Once we started traveling in scorching heat after camping and the alternator voltage read only around 12.9 volts ... which I interpreted as A) the ECU throttling the alternator to keep it from getting too hot, or B) the ECU throttling the alternator to keep it from boiling the coach batteries.This is why the DC/DC charger can work so well. Even with sagging voltage directed by the computer you can have 14+ volts on the trailer battery. When traveling in our RV with it's alternator topping up the coach batteries after camping ... if the ambient air temperatures are high ... I want the alternator charging voltage to be adjusted lower in accordance with battery charging curves that show the dependence of charging voltage to use versus the ambient air temperature surrounding the coach batteries. What the curves show is that higher ambient air temperatures require lower float, bulk, and boost battery charging voltages for lead acid based batteries - regardless of whether the batteries are liquid type or dry (AGM) type. So far, the above seems to be pretty much what our Ford E450 alternator seems to be doing - probably under ECU computer and/or sensor control of it.
pnichols 11/18/19 07:38pm Tech Issues
RE: Off grid camp setup

Just wanted to circle back for those that helped out earlier in the year. Here is what our camp setup looks like now. We have a 100 gallon water tank, an on demand water pump that I run the trailer off anytime the generator is on (also the hose), and a shed to run the generator in bad weather. Also helps to keep the noise down even though the honda is pretty quiet. I have a 65 gallon leg tank that I haul water out in anytime we need to top off the 100 gallon tank. First 4 day weekend we only used one tank of gas on the Honda the entire trip which is pretty great. https://i.ibb.co/SP6bhJz/22-DEABCF-C531-4722-BA5-F-4-C9-D974-FDB93.jpg https://i.ibb.co/3WzFNms/8446-AEE0-4-DB6-48-BD-AF0-A-DFF655-BE9166.jpg https://i.ibb.co/B4wsPS6/C9-D12-DE7-3-B7-E-49-FF-B310-38153-D87-B0-AB.jpg https://i.ibb.co/GFDWDpC/8704-EC0-E-7708-475-B-ABC3-C77227-B8-AF8-D.jpg https://i.ibb.co/WDccQT5/929-F58-DC-9-D31-4021-839-B-EEE779-DB596-D.jpg https://i.ibb.co/TrSGBw3/48-A7-C669-660-E-4296-A87-D-E7343-A94-C192.jpg Here are some of our views off the back side of the camp. https://i.ibb.co/2NVVGVG/F712-C808-8-E2-C-49-F9-BC44-934-DD5-FEB619.jpg https://i.ibb.co/2M9KR9B/98-DA5-E22-A3-B8-4-E79-B37-C-6-E3-DFCF163-D4.jpg Looking at that plastic water tank on a platform: When it's nearly empty of water before you top it up ... if strong winds come up is it going to stay put?
pnichols 11/18/19 06:16pm General RVing Issues
RE: A Question Are you limited to life on pavement

pnichols, that's too perfect. I would've kept it a secret. Don't mention the name. Willie ... thanks for the encouragement to keep it's name and location under wraps ... I will! I posted about it A) as proof that "getting out in real nature" is indeed possible without having to backpack or tent camp (which we have done plenty of), and B) as proof to CA-bashers that one doesn't have to leave CA in order to experience spectacular places to get away from it all without having to make reservations. By the way the last time we went this past June, we fired up a generator and used an electric deep fat frier to cook some of our large trout fillets, along with potatoe slices, so as to have Fish and Chips for dinner right there in the campsite next to the lake where the trout came from that day.
pnichols 11/18/19 01:54pm General RVing Issues
RE: A Question Are you limited to life on pavement

I camp next to the BWCA wilderness area. Notice I say next to not in. Hard core nature lovers get a limited number entry permit and camp using a tent and canoe carrying in and out all their supplies. I stay in my RV with HVAC and gel memory foam mattress. I take the pontoon boat out on the lake that permit motorized boats not a canoe. The difference no man-made structures and limited number of people allowed to enter into the wilderness area and no motorized vehicles permitted. BWCA is over one million acres in size along the Canadian border for a hundred and fifty miles and adjacent to Canada's Quetico Provincial Park. FWIW, the state and/or the NFS have set a great example by doing it right at our favorite Northern CA lake to RV camp at: - Three beautiful campgrounds in the trees with no hookups (just centralized water faucets) and all sites are blacktop surfaced ... there is one centralized shower building shared by the three campgrounds for tenters or RV'ers who don't want to shower in their rigs. - Campsites are well spaced apart for a wide open feeling when camping. - Two of the three campgrounds are on the shore ... where you can leave your boat pulled up right on the beach for easy access day after day. - A couple of boat ramps. - Motorized boats permitted, but speeds must be kept slow. - No water skiing or other water sports permitted ... sightseeing and fishing only. - A beautiful pristine forested shoreline with no developments permitted on or near the shoreline anywhere. - A lot of bird life everywhere along the the shores. - Several little coves along the shoreline to anchor in and fish or just sit in the boat and enjoy. - A beautiful mountain view in the skyline opposite the campgrounds. - Fishing is carefully groomed and maintained to be for trophy trout ... my most recent catch while trolling in our small boat included a trout of over 22 inches. - The lake's altitude is not too high or too low at just under 6K feet ... this provides mild temps combined with clear air and deep blue skies. - The surroundings are super quiet on the lake and around the lake. The lake and it's setting may be unique in the state - or in several states at least with respect to RV camping use ... the camp hosts know of no lake in CA with this unique set of characteristics.
pnichols 11/17/19 11:45pm General RVing Issues
RE: Yes boys and girls, you REALLY need to carry a spare...

This pic does not show it but the the tire split right down to the rim and scattered tread for about 50 yards: https://i.imgur.com/MNRaxlRl.jpg https://i.imgur.com/VVWK5bUl.jpg Left last Tuesday for a week on the Colorado River at Ehrenburg. On Monday {as is my habit before every trip} I took the Class C into Discount Tire to have the tires checked and aired up to my specs - 65 on the front and 75 on the rears}. "You are good to go, tires look fine and are aired up as per your request." We were towing our Polaris Rzr in the 10' cargo trailer and running pretty close to our GVWR of 11,500#. We were 107 miles west of the River when my left rear {outside} Michelin grenades. Now the shoulder of Interstate 10 west of phoenix is no place e you want to spend any time but spend time we did. I got us completely off of the pavement and called Coach Net {for the first time in 10+ years}. They got a guy out to us in about an hour. In the mean time I placed three emergency triangles at 25, 50 and 75 yards behind our rig and my bride and I got as far away from the coach well back from the shoulder and waited. The guy from the towing company was driving a half ton pick up but had all of the requisite tools. Said he would have us gone in ten minutes... 45 minutes later we were on our way. When the tread separated it ripped the mudflap nearly off and wedged it between the two tires and bent the mudflow steel support frame. I thanked him profusely and tipped him a twenty. Yesterday I called the nearest Discount Tire store {In Yuma} and made an appointment for 1030 this morning. The tire that exploded had a DOT Code of 50/13 making it about 5.5 years old... yep, my bad, should have replaced it sooner even though it looked great. Found two others that also looked fine {same DOT Codes} and replaced all three and my spare returned to its mount under the rear of the coach {Thank you Nexus for the outstanding custom mount they installed 4.5 years ago. Bottom line... without a spare ready to deploy we would have been up the proverbial creek and would have spent considerably more time in "The Dead Zone - aptly named, on the shoulder of one of the busiest interstates in the country. Without a spare they would have had to dispatch a full on tow truck equipped to install a new tire on the old rim and I shudder to think what that tire would have cost {assuming they had one available}. I carry all of the tools needed to change a tire but I will be 68 next month and really had no desire {and not much ability} to crawl under the rig and make it happen. For the record 3 new tires, installed and I was out the door {in an hour} for a little over $700. Discount has the highest prices of any major chain but their customer service is excellent and they are almost everywhere. I was in no position to shop the tires so bottom line... problem solved and I drove home once again a happy camper. Seriously folks... get yourself a spare! :S This is off topic, but slightly related ... how about ERS for our bodies? This is probably higher priority than help if our RVs ever are "in trouble". We carry a satellite device along with us in the RV and the necessary insurance for it - such that by pushing an SOS button on it - you can get medivac service from your GPS location in case your body or someone elses along with you is ever in dire need. In addition to the device's medivac insurance policy - for additional insurance just in case - I've also added Good Sam's Premier TravelAssist insurance program: https://www.goodsamtravelassist.com/findaplan/ We hope we never need any of the above - but you know how it goes ... "Plan for the worst, and hope for the best."
pnichols 11/16/19 02:59pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: A Question Are you limited to life on pavement

How many Americans and others ,how many RVers have not touched a blade of grass, went fishing or hunting or exploring or gotten more than 200 ft from the pavement, sidewalk etc, or tourist spot. How many have ventured beyond the noise of the road and the airport, flight paths and the train and heard and experienced only themselves and nature? Our daily lives do not involve much except from our Rvs to Wal Mart and restaurants and life in our vehicles. The only recreation available to many is jumping i the car and to the store, stop at fast food ,or restaurant and back home or to the RV. When I was young and Dad's Cousins families in Va now live life such that the house is a place to get out of the rain and snow, sometimes, a place to sleep sometimes..The out of doors was for living not inside under the tv or in the car to and from a store, since there are few parks, in the urban landscape or cityscape, or even in the country today. THIS IS NO WAY TO LIVE, limited by ho much money can we sped to recreate. .... And then there's us strange folks who I guess must have an entirely different chemical makeup. i.e. I think it's ultra-rewarding fun and enjoyment to be able to get a fully self-contained RV out there on the far side of beyond (depending upon the RV) so as to be there with all the comforts of home along, such as: 1. A good air conditioning setup. 2. A good heating setup. 3. A good leak free stay-out-of-the-rain/snow setup. 4. A good sleeping setup. 5. A good toilet setup. 6. A good showering setup. 7. A good food refrigeration setup. 8. A good indoor cooking and baking setup. 9. A good evening movie setup. 10. A good evening reading setup. 11. A good evening board games setup. 12. A good evening propane firepit setup. 13. Plenty of good clothing and proper equipment along for - hiking, photography, fishing, bird watching, rock hounding, sitting outside and napping out of or in the sun, etc. - during the days. A few years ago when I used to backpack, sometimes I'd look out from our campsite at beautiful nature settings and think "boy, I sure wish I could get our RV to this spot so as to completely enjoy it"!! However for those of us who still want to do some of the above with our RVs ... I'm afraid the relentless Population Bomb is going to make it more and more difficult for us.
pnichols 11/15/19 07:43pm General RVing Issues
RE: Alternator

To a certain extent, your chassis alternator output (voltage and current) is dependent on the current state of charge of your chassis battery(s) and the loads placed on the alternator by the VEHICLES electrical system. If your chassis battery is fully charged, expect the alternator output to be a fraction of it's maximum rated capacity until the existing loads drop the charge in the chassis battery. Ford engineers designed their charging system that way to improve fuel mileage and to prevent people from doing what they want to do . . . . . charge the batteries in their camper with the chassis alternator. Chum lee I not talking about a pickup truck here ... but with respect to our small Class C motorhome on an E450 V10 chassis with "only" a 130 amp alternator: The V10 engine battery I have installed is an overkill Ford OEM battery model intended for their diesel trucks. The coach has two 115 AH Group 31 AGM batteries wired in balanced parallel. Whenever the V10 is running, the two coach batteries and one engine battery are all connected together in direct parallel via a high amperage continuous duty 12V solenoid. I know this because I have an engine battery readout voltmeter mounted on the dash and a coach battery readout voltmeter also mounted on the dash - and they both read nearly the same all the time - which means that all three batteries are connected in direct parallel when the engine is running. There appears to be no isolation diodes involved between the engine battery and coach batteries. I've also mounted on the dash an ammeter that reads the current going into, or out of, the coach batteries. After drycamping a bit, whenever the coach batteries are down to around 50% (12.0-12.1V reading on their dash voltmeter), I sometimes start up the V10 and idle it for an hour or so to conveniently and very quietly to partially top up the two coach batteries. The coach battery ammeter (on the dash) will sometimes spike to as high as 80 amps at first (V10 idling), and then gradually taper down as the coach batteries are being boost and bulk charged via the 130 amp Ford alternator. The voltage output of the alternator (as indicated by the voltmeter on the dash) will start out at 14.X volts at first, and then gradually taper down as the coach batteries charge up. So the bottom line is ... yes, some stock engine alternator systems can indeed be used to charge camper battery systems just fine. As a sidenote, the performance curve for our V10's 130 amp Ford alternator indicates that it can indeed output around 70-80 amps at engine idle RPM speeds, so it's performing as expected ... at least in our 2005 E450 based motorhome. Even though the engine itself may be idling at only 550-650 RPM, the pulley system powering the alternator spins it a lot faster. In order for an engine alternator to output high currents at low engine speeds, the engine merely has to be able to delivery enough horsepower at idle so as to spin the alternator at whatever RPM the alternator's power vs RPM curve requires for the desired amperage output in the application. It may be difficult to locate the power-vs-rpm graphs for many alternators, however. Yes, my '99 F53 (V10) does the same thing and on some mornings I often run the engine at idle to put a little charge (little is the key word) in the house batteries. As theoldwizard1 mentioned, the newer vehicles are more sensitive to charging conditions. The problem is, when idling with the alternator putting out close to the maximum voltage/current, even though the alternator is over driven, the cooling fan on the alternator needs to be able to dissipate the additional heat generated with the engine at idle. Since the idle is stabilized, available horsepower isn't the issue, . . . . IMO, cooling is. I'm not saying that it will fail overnight, it just gets hotter. Heat kills, . . . . . more heat kills more quickly. Chum lee Of course the control computer in my 2005 may be more advanced than your '99 - just guessing. Are you saying that perhaps my 2005 Ford's engine/system control unit doesn't know alternator temperature and back off it's output voltage (and hence output current) accordingly, so as to keep alternator heat from being detrimental? I do know that my alternator's output voltage digital readout that I've installed on the dash does show nicely tapering down of alternator output voltage if, and as, outside temperatures rise Once we started traveling in scorching heat after camping and the alternator voltage read only around 12.9 volts ... which I interpreted as A) the ECU throttling the alternator to keep it from getting too hot, or B) the ECU throttling the alternator to keep it from boiling the coach batteries.
pnichols 11/14/19 09:40pm Tech Issues
RE: Yes boys and girls, you REALLY need to carry a spare...

When taking a long trip in any vehicle, it's a good idea to be prepared. The old saying, "Ya never know", comes to mind. This past summer, we embarked on a 5000+ mile trip that took us to Texas to Key West. On the way home, our Greyhawk developed a shimmy after a short patch of rough road. Shortly thereafter, I discovered a flat left-side inner drive tire, not a blowout, just flat. From what I could tell, I was a valve-stem. At least the tire would still be salvageable. Fortunately, I had brought everything I needed to change it myself. We do have AAA but I didn't see the point in waiting when I could do it myself. Less than an hour later, we were back on the road. The next day, over more rough road, I felt the RV shimmy again. Pulled into a rest area and found that the spare, which I had mounted on the outside, had spun a belt. A quick consultation with google told me there was a tire shop 8 miles up the road. I parked in the lot of the tire shop plaza and took the tire with the bad valve stem in to be repaired. The shop had it done in short order and we were once again on our way. It could have been a lot worse. Our good luck had us in nice dry weather on flat ground. The inconvenience to our trip was negligible. The peace of mind that comes from being prepared, though, is priceless. If I understand your second situation ... you drove about 8 miles with only one tire supporting all of the weight on the one rear corner of the one dually set with the bad tire in it? If so, that in itself is a tricky/dangerous situation and at the very least seriously over-stresses the one good tire and could permanently compromise it internally. We did that for 5 miles once due to a flat tire in one of the rear dual sets and it was "scary". Driving that way made the rear of our small Class C feel very unstable and "squishy".
pnichols 11/14/19 11:26am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Alternator

To a certain extent, your chassis alternator output (voltage and current) is dependent on the current state of charge of your chassis battery(s) and the loads placed on the alternator by the VEHICLES electrical system. If your chassis battery is fully charged, expect the alternator output to be a fraction of it's maximum rated capacity until the existing loads drop the charge in the chassis battery. Ford engineers designed their charging system that way to improve fuel mileage and to prevent people from doing what they want to do . . . . . charge the batteries in their camper with the chassis alternator. Chum lee I not talking about a pickup truck here ... but with respect to our small Class C motorhome on an E450 V10 chassis with "only" a 130 amp alternator: The V10 engine battery I have installed is an overkill Ford OEM battery model intended for their diesel trucks. The coach has two 115 AH Group 31 AGM batteries wired in balanced parallel. Whenever the V10 is running, the two coach batteries and one engine battery are all connected together in direct parallel via a high amperage continuous duty 12V solenoid. I know this because I have an engine battery readout voltmeter mounted on the dash and a coach battery readout voltmeter also mounted on the dash - and they both read nearly the same all the time - which means that all three batteries are connected in direct parallel when the engine is running. There appears to be no isolation diodes involved between the engine battery and coach batteries. I've also mounted on the dash an ammeter that reads the current going into, or out of, the coach batteries. After drycamping a bit, whenever the coach batteries are down to around 50% (12.0-12.1V reading on their dash voltmeter), I sometimes start up the V10 and idle it for an hour or so to conveniently and very quietly to partially top up the two coach batteries. The coach battery ammeter (on the dash) will sometimes spike to as high as 80 amps at first (V10 idling), and then gradually taper down as the coach batteries are being boost and bulk charged via the 130 amp Ford alternator. The voltage output of the alternator (as indicated by the voltmeter on the dash) will start out at 14.X volts at first, and then gradually taper down as the coach batteries charge up. So the bottom line is ... yes, some stock engine alternator systems can indeed be used to charge camper battery systems just fine. As a sidenote, the performance curve for our V10's 130 amp Ford alternator indicates that it can indeed output around 70-80 amps at engine idle RPM speeds, so it's performing as expected ... at least in our 2005 E450 based motorhome. Even though the engine itself may be idling at only 550-650 RPM, the pulley system powering the alternator spins it a lot faster. In order for an engine alternator to output high currents at low engine speeds, the engine merely has to be able to delivery enough horsepower at idle so as to spin the alternator at whatever RPM the alternator's power vs RPM curve requires for the desired amperage output in the application. It may be difficult to locate the power-vs-rpm graphs for many alternators, however.
pnichols 11/14/19 11:12am Tech Issues
RE: Looking for recommendation for Electric Bikes...

I agree we’re in the Model T phase of laws and light enforcement. As popularity grows and the number of bikes multiply and trails start to get more crowded and a few extreme riders cause issues THEN enforcement starts. Follow California laws. They usually pave the way for the rest of the country. Florida is regulating by watts that I know of but by speed. If it goes over 20 it’s not legal on bike paths or sidewalks. I’m going to end up with two. A 750 Watt beater and probably A Motan Addmotor 1000W Bafang mid drive. Fat tires 100 mm adjustable dampened fork 1500w peak Rated for 350 pounds. It’s a beast. I have the 1000 watt Bafang with a 52 volt battery pack and it gets up and fly's, you can upgrade the 30 amp controller to 50 amp and it will get up to 45 mph, seen it done however it will over heat the motor, the wattage law on electric bikes is not the issue on bike paths and such its the speed you drive, you can just hold back your speed when people/police are around and when its clear just let her rip. My next bike will be 5000 watts, it can do 60+ mph.. :E https://i.imgur.com/9JQViFal.jpg]https://i.imgur.com/9JQViFal.jpg old people ride 250 watt slow lame bikes :p Well ... I'm an "old people" ... but still wish I could afford a side-oiler 427 Shelby Cobra. I would like an ultra-high wattage ebike to take along on RV trips - but not for high bike speeds. What a monster lithium battery pack on an ebike would provide with low bike speeds is an ultra-long time between charges. I'd even like one limited by design to 20-25 MPH, but with a range as far above 100 miles as possible. ;)
pnichols 11/11/19 07:10pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Water Usage

For dry camping in comfort freshwater capacity & battery capacity is king. Unfortunately RV builders seem to think that everyone camps in FHU CGs these days. Residential fridges are common. Room for batteries is extremely limited. Grey water tankage is inadequate. Fresh water tankage is way inadequate. Many large class A MOHOs have adequate tankage & house battery capacity but you seldom see these units in dry camping areas. They are too big for most of these CGs & maybe the owners want all of the comforts of home. 5ers typically have loads of unused space under their floors & in their basements for larger tanks & more battery space but this space is seldom used or underused. Some of us actually like to dry camp in comfort. A TC or TT simply cannot provide the tankage needed to do so. Doug ... great comments and how right you are! We're kindof right in between a TC and a Class A with our E450 24 foot Class C, so we have "moderate" tank sizes, battery compartment size, and storage areas. We can drycamp or FHU camp - whatever is best for what we're interested in or where we are, at the time. Also, our grey and black tanks are electrically warmed for travel and drycamping in cold weather. Some time ago I installed 0.5 GPM water restrictors on our coach faucets, which has really helped cut down FW consumption. Use of paper plates and bowls and bathing with pre-moistened wipes helps conserve FW, too. For drycamping electrical power in all kinds of conditions we have 3 non-solar ways to top up our batteries. We do occasionally boondock camp well off paved roads, just as if we were in a TC. If one is well enough informed ahead of an RV purchase, they can find units that are better designed for drycamping ... in which other considerations are king instead of floor plan.
pnichols 11/11/19 11:26am RV Lifestyle
RE: NOISEY GENERATOR

Wow. Lwiddis and MDKMDK- you guys are really a lot of help for someone looking for information. Yeah ... you get solar fanatics chiming in all over in the RV forums. For sunny RV drycamping in mild enough weather, of course one can get by with solar - even "only solar" if combined with large enough batteries and pure sine wave inverters. But for intentional RV shade drycamping and intentional or unintentional RV hot weather drycamping in the sun or in the shade, a truly self-contained setup must have adequate generator capability along. We like our RV "to be ready for anything at any time", which requires a convenient generator arrangement that is quiet enough inside and outside ... whether running for short or extended times when drycamping.
pnichols 11/10/19 11:21am Tech Issues
RE: Water Usage

As I've shared on these forums many times, we use our camper(s) almost full time all year round. If not camping at a park, we are still in the camper at home in the driveway. I run water exclusively off the fresh tank and water pump. At home, and unless on full hook-up sites, dump our tanks via a 32 gallon blue tote (at home, directly into the septic tank). After we purchased our current 5er, we started washing dishes in the kitchen all the time. The previous TT had an outside small kitchen with sink, and we almost always dumped dish water on the ground or a fire pit. We really never knew how much water we were actually using that way. Especially just rinsing with hose. Not so with the 5er. No outside kitchen. So, that means all dishes are washed inside and the 2nd grey tank gets use all the time now. After a year of owning this camper, I've been able to monitor our water use, mostly because of the blue tote, so as not to overfill it. And here is how our water usage breaks down. 66 gallon fresh water tank 39 gallon black tank 39 gallon grey Kitchen 39 gallon grey Bathroom I'm dumping into a 32 gallon blue tote on a regular basis. Here's the observation: 17% of water usage is the toilet (black tank) 33% of water usage is shower and bathroom sink (grey #1 tank) (2 people) 50% of water usage is the kitchen sink (grey #2 tank) That translates to one tank of fresh water: 11 gallons for black (toilet) 22 gallons for shower and bathroom sink (Navy showers, almost always) 33 gallons for dishwashing With my tote, I always dump black and grey (shower) at the same time. Timing it right, it never overspills. Grey (kitchen) is always dumped by itself, as it usually almost always fill the tote (but does not spill over.) Once dumped, I fill the fresh water again. I suppose there is no real point to this post, except to say, I've pretty much validated our highest water usage is for washing dishes. And to think, most folks think it's the shower! (well, maybe for some it is). You might want to consider adding flow restrictors onto your RV's sink faucets. I installed 0.5 GPM restrictors on our RV's faucets. We don't notice any difference in effectiveness at the lower flow rate - but it sure cuts down on fresh water usage ... especially for washing dishes. The restrictors are not expensive and they just screw onto the end of each faucet. BTW, we are heavy users of disposable paper plates and bowls when camping with the RV so as to minimize washing of dishes. Trash receptacles are easier to find than tank filling and dumping places.
pnichols 11/10/19 01:17am RV Lifestyle
RE: Be careful out there. There are some bad people

Don't overthink it. Just practice a lot in order to get good at fast-draw. Then, know that: * The Glock 19 9mm is easier to shoot well than the .40 caliber pistol. While recoil energy may be calculated, the easiest way is to calculate power factor. ... 9mm defense loads rate 13 to 14, the .40 runs to 17 and over. The 230-grain .45 is at 20; the .45 ACP 185-grain standard load is at about 17. It seems like a snubnosed .44 magnum with good grips might be the best to carry in the rig. (Ya might want to hold it with two hands, though.) ;)
pnichols 11/09/19 09:23am General RVing Issues
RE: Full-time in the Arizona heat

A lot of these hot weather recommendations include putting something in the roof vents. Why is this necessary if you have vent covers over the vents? Vent covers prevent the sun from heating the vents themselves and also provide a layer of air insulation between the vent cover and the vent. Our vents do not introduce heat into the interior of the coach in hot weather, but they do have vent covers permanently mounted on the roof over them to keep the sun, rain, snow, sleet, and hail off the vents. I wouldn't have an RV without vent covers over it's vents. Our vent covers allow the vents themselves to be completely open for ventilation in any kind of weather conditions.
pnichols 11/06/19 12:07am Full-time RVing
RE: Orange County Calif., Loses Another Large Storage Lot

California doesn't want RVs or anything that burns gas (or diesel). It's going to be tough to get anyone outside of the RV world to care about the loss of storage spots. I'd be surprised if RVs are even legal in that state in 10 years. Well ... if good old CA "outlaws" fossil fuel powered/towed RVs but allows electric powered/towed RVs ... then CA better get it's grid-power-outages-due-to-fires problems solved beforehand!! Electric powered vehicles (whether it be SUV/PU/RV/motorcycles/big rigs) is gonna need reliable and high capacity grid power day after day to keep the vehicle lithiums full, and of course this will apply all over the U.S. in order for EVs to reach prime time nationally. EVs only appear to be a somewhat workable solution at this time because there are so few of them.
pnichols 11/05/19 02:15pm Tech Issues
RE: Yes boys and girls, you REALLY need to carry a spare...

We live 20 miles west of Chicago. Ever since the introduction of 5G, our cell coverage has been horrible all around us. We live with one bar of cell strength, 2 bars max. But sometimes it vanishes right where we stand. Our AT&T service has become disasterous. And this is with our Samsung S7 and S9 phones. Ron ... I know it's not "intentional" on the cellular providers part ... but 5G could wind up being kindof a misunderstanding con job on the unsuspecting public regarding any "improved" coverage in areas other than around populated areas. 5G is of course using higher frequency carrier waves in order to provide the faster and larger amount of information it was created for - and the higher the frequency, the shorter distance radio waves will travel in air. The bottom line is, 5G will require a lot more network points in order to make it available over large and/or remote areas. I'll try to stay with 4G as long as possible on our phones in order to give us every possible connection advantage when traveling - while relying on our inReach satellite device for the ultimate way to stay connected for emergency use anywhere.
pnichols 11/03/19 07:46pm Class C Motorhomes
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