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 > Your search for posts made by 'pnichols' found 557 matches.

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RE: RV for Central America Trip

Being in Central American countries from Mexico to Panama via cruise ship shore excursions and similar, I would think twice about driving from the USA to Panama. I would be concerned for our safety. Americans in a motor home with USA plates, will stick out like a ripe piece of fruit on the vine. There is a steady stream of illegal migrants walking north on major roads. Most people are good, but there are some really bad apples too. People in hard times can get desperate. It's not much different as buying a brand new Corvette convertible, put the top down, have $100 bills sticking out from my hat, crank up the stereo, and drive through the worst of neighborhoods in Chicago in the summertime. It's the perfect way to commit suicide without voiding my life insurance. Also, like others here mentioned, repairs will surface often, resources for replacement parts will be few, and reputable service centers less yet. Pending the type of repair and location, you could find yourself stranded for months. As much as I would love to RV all the way to the southern tip of South America, I will never take our motor home south of the border. Call me paranoid. I agree somewhat with Ron above - in that "If you're not paranoid, then you're not paying attention." That being said, I have read some articles on how over-landers travel in 2nd/3rd-world countries and remote places all over the world. They are usually doing it with no children, or with one or two children at most. They usually have a small rig that is popular and somewhat common - or manufactured in - the part of the world where they plan on traveling ... for both ease of parts availability and knowledge by the locals on how to get parts quickly and repair the chassis using those parts. Usually their rigs are diesel - as that appears to be the most common fuel used for vehicles in other than the U.S.. I get the impression that "gasoline" is more of a U.S. type of fuel. BTW ... have you considered, instead, a long tour of the U.S. with your family in a U.S. built Class C motorhome? We have toured the U.S. on both a 9000 mile trip and a 10,000 mile trip. We concentrated on the back roads and out-of-the-way obscure places and things to see. We camped in our Class C in campgrounds of all types and also boondocked in remote places on these trips. There is a lot to see in the U.S. if you get off the beaten path, for example: - How about drycamping in a field next to, and enjoying the music of a Blue Grass festival in the Eastern U.S. hill country? - How about drycamping at a farm way out in the countryside? - How about drycamping in the boondocks along the Salmon river in Idaho? - How about stopping to see dinosaur prints out in the middle of nowhere and being the only people there? - How about canoeing in the morning on a pristine and sparkling lake in Maine to photograph moose grazing along the shore? - How about boondock camping way out there in Death Valley and eating popcorn around the evening fire? - How about shopping for handmade goods on family farms in the Amish countryside? - How about drycamping on an island in the Great Salt Lake and watching the buffalo graze? - How about shopping, eating, and overnight camping your way along the world's longest garage sale (100+ plus miles long)? - How about standing on the shore and looking out at the water where Blackbeard's ship sank just off shore? - How about visiting with biologists as they release Condors into the wild and then camping out there in the boondocks? Don't sell the good old U.S. short. In my opinion - do it first before you visit other countries.
pnichols 01/25/20 11:37am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Get your Dometic Toldo - A real kick in the teeth.

I thought that part of "Make America Great Again" was to stop this transfer of manufacturing to other counties? It looks like nothing is changing relative to this. :( P.S. Where does Dometic manufacture their RV refrigerators?
pnichols 01/25/20 10:34am Tech Issues
RE: MIA - Mexico

Mex did not say how he was. Don, just curious ... is David at least monitoring these forums so that he is aware of our concerns?
pnichols 01/25/20 10:24am General RVing Issues
RE: Residential Refrigerator – Good or avoid?

I've read a lot in these forums on residential versus RV refrigerators. It seems that the main unhappiness with RV refrigerators occurs in the larger cubit foot size ones - that are in large motorhomes, TTs, and 5'ers. Our small motorhome has only a 6.3 cf Norcold RV refrigerator in it, with 5 coldest settings. It does just fine in the hottest weather set on only 3 or 4, out of it's 5 coldness levels. We can easily get by 2-3 weeks before having to reshop for refrigerated food.
pnichols 01/25/20 10:21am General RVing Issues
RE: good Sam VS AARP.

Now .... with respect to camping discounts ... the most worthless campng membership we have is Passport America. RARELY do commecial campgrounds honor their supposed 50% discount - there's always some excuse at campgrounds as to why our Passport America isn't honored. What a waste. :( total nonsense. but I always suggest to folks that they check the web site for locations/conditions/etc. If you can't save the pittance to sign up with PA which is about 2 nights use, you just aren't trying or it is not right for you. bumpy We're signed up with PA on a multi-year membership. HOWEVER, we don't "search intentionally" for PA campgrounds ... we choose camping spots based on where we are at the time (... and BTW we're not into "resort campgrounds", either). It's just that usually the campgrounds that we pick either wind up not being a PA CG ... or are a PA CG, but for a variety of excuses don't happen to honor the PA discount "at that time". Baloney!! PA needs to modify their contracts with campgrounds (and charge more for memberships if that'll help their business model) such that when you pull into a PA campground, you can COUNT ON getting the discount ... regardless of the day or season. Now that I could get excited about!
pnichols 01/25/20 09:59am General RVing Issues
RE: Full Hook-ups or no?

When we're out and about in 24 foot Class C RV we like to be ready for any type of camping, with FHU or drycamping not being a factor: - We don't have solar for power because it's not universal enough ... too restrictive on adequate sun availability. - We have ultra-low flow restrictors on both sink faucets ... so fresh water is just sipped when we drycamp . - Our small(er) grey tank can be off loaded into the larg(er) black tank if the grey tank fills faster than the black tank. - We regularly navy shower in our RV - including washing the dog in the shower. - We have a fairly quiet running 4000 watt built-in generator - fed from the main 55 gallon fuel tank, which can supply the generator for days if needed for full power needs as if we were on full hookups. - We have an ultra quiet 650 watt Honda portable generator, which can be used for slow battery charging. - We can idle the main chassis engine - that for all practical purposes "cannot be heard" or felt - for fast battery charging. - Our refrigerator is propane/electirc - and it keeps ice cream hard and the refrigerator section around 35-37 degrees on only it's medium setting in hot weather. - Our propane tank is a generous (for a small RV) 18 gallons, so use of the 25,000 BTU furnace to keep the interior of our small motorhome toasty for days is no problem. - The built-in generator can fully heat the interior using electric heaters if the propane furnace should ever fail. - With the main engine idling, the cab air-conditioning and heating system can heat or cool the entire interior of our small motorhome should the air conditioner, the furnace, or the built-in genertor ... ever fail. We figure that RV's cost too much for them to not be fully self-contained - and as necessary or desired -> used that way.
pnichols 01/24/20 09:17pm General RVing Issues
RE: good Sam VS AARP.

Since this is an RV forum, I assume that the "AARP membership" being talked about is in relation to camping discounts. From another perspective, we have had AARP's (most comprehensive plans allowed in our state) health insurance supplement coverage for years in addition to our Medicare coverage. Whatever medical care the DW or myself require - we walk out of doctor's offices and hospitals owing $ZERO - due to Medicare plus AARP insurance coverage in combination. We are AARP fans because of their excellent supplemental health insurance offerings. Now .... with respect to camping discounts ... the most worthless campng membership we have is Passport America. RARELY do commecial campgrounds honor their supposed 50% discount - there's always some excuse at campgrounds as to why our Passport America isn't honored. What a waste. :(
pnichols 01/24/20 07:14pm General RVing Issues
RE: Too big for a T/C ?

Off the TC topic, but ... I'm 6'2" at only a measly 220 lbs. ... and I need every internal cubic inch of our V10 E450 24 ft. Class C to be comfortable in - along with my DW. FWIW, we take it off highway on back country roads (most places where a TC could go), we shower in it, and I sleep in the overhead cab queen bed. P.S. We can both use the dinette at the same time, along with two others if needed.
pnichols 01/10/20 02:18pm Truck Campers
RE: Odd thing happening.

Would not surprise me. We have an Amazon smart plug that loses it's wifi connection when the microwave is on and my laptop looses it's internet connection as well. They all operate on the same (or close to) frequency so the microwave must leak enough to disrupt the signal. Maybe your light is interpreting the wave as movement. It may be possible to stop your interference: If your WiFi router and laptop can operate on the 5 GHz WiFi band instead of the common (and often default band when you get them) 2.4 GHz WiFi band ... then switch your router and laptop over to the 5 GHz WiFi band. The 2.4 GHz WiFi band is used by a lot of inhome WiFi "gadgets", so get off this band as much as you can for any and all WiFi equipment in your home - if your equipment and router are new enough to have 5 GHz capability.
pnichols 01/09/20 09:58pm Tech Issues
RE: 2020 Class'C' E-450 Ford V10 lacks power?

The only car I have had a K&N filter on was a 1965 Shelby AC Cobra that really needed to breathe. A 1965 Shelby AC Cobra is not a "car". As you know, it's the most simultaneously beautiful and wicked Demon to ever travel a road on Earth. P.S. I recently saw the new movie "Ford versus Ferrari" and it really brought back memories, such as: 1. I could have bought a new 427 Cobra roadster in the 1960's for around $6k. 2. I drove a 289 ci slab-sided Cobra roadster once - 110 MPH in 2nd gear before I gave up in fear. 3. I saw Carol Shelby in person up close way back when. 4. I saw some of the actual famous driver characters in the movie race Cobras in SCCA events at Laguna Seca decades ago. In one race, the winning Cobra roadster was an entire lap ahead of the rest of the field (which included many struggling Corvettes).
pnichols 01/09/20 11:58am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Norcold 641 Moisture Reduction Heater Question

Low Ambient Heater is for 'cold/freezing' camping It is a heated wire that is thread up/attached to cooling coils to keep the 'coolant' warm so fridge will operate in sub 32*F temps The .3 in your model (N641.3R) indicates a DC Heater (30A) The 'R'-----haven't a clue Well ... how often are the interiors of RVs at those low temperatures such that their absorption refrigerators are also exposed to those kind of low interior temperatures surrounding them? I have a good old Norcold 611 in our Class C and it even helps to keep the cabinet around itself warm from to it's system electric or propane heaters whenever it is cycling/operating. I can see an absorption refrigerator having problems operating in cold temperatures in, say, a shed out in the backyard in winter ... but inside an RV that is normally kept warm enough for us humans?
pnichols 01/09/20 10:54am Tech Issues
RE: Requesting solution from knowledgeable RV.NET collective

Yes, they are. And you can mount them upside down if you want. Try that with your "wets". :B Guess what happens if you forget to recharge them to 0.5a/100AH at 14.x volts until amps taper that low. (see that guide and the other brands' guides, same thing.) You need an ammeter and a charger that will hold 14.x volts for as long as needed to get that done, which many chargers/converters can't do. Also AGMs can be mounted sideways but not upside down. Hmm ... we've been over some of what you say above, before. Keeping lead acid (liquid or AGM) batteries as close to fully charged as much as possible is what makes them serviceable for the longest possible time. I've seen nothing in print from the experts as to why voltages above 14 are required - if one has the time to let them fully charge up using less than 14 volts. My 2nd set of AGM RV batteries in 14 years is doing as fine as the 1st set did (for their first 8 or 9 years) using only the stock 13.6-13.8 volt converter in the RV and the engine alternator when traveling to charge them. While in storage both sets of AGM batteries were/are continuously hooked up to the converter, since the RV is plugged in all the time during storage. I'm still looking for my first technical paper detailing the reasons why voltages greater than 14 are required to fully charge lead acid batteries - assuming that an ammeter shows the batteries have reached the low 0.5 amp fully charged current acceptance rate at whatever charging voltage was used.
pnichols 01/09/20 10:39am Tech Issues
RE: Off again off again, jiggedy jig...

Gary ... Is that a boat rack that I still see up on top? If so, when is there going to be a boat tied down up there just before you unload it at some remote lake where only a 6X6 Class C go? (Just giving you a hard time, but really ... a great rig like you have shouldn't find itself anywhere near a city.) P.S. We're about to head out for AZ to do some exploring and rock hunting.
pnichols 01/07/20 10:14am General RVing Issues
RE: Now up to 715 campsites

Finished my 5 months of 2019 ramblin' in early Nov. Tallied up my new campsites and found I'm now up to 715 total for 14 years of ramblin'. You can see the map here. Hope you can find a new place to camp from it. Safe travels and good camping in 2020! RR, do you have a .csv version of your 2019 camping spots? (I'm old school and still use a Garmin navigator in our RV - and it sure does work well with custom POI .csv files loaded into it ... no Internet access required, either.)
pnichols 01/06/20 11:26pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: LifePO4 video

here he opens one up https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5E30u-66VI Man Oh Man ... look at all those little batteries and all those inter-connections that have to be made, and stay made, year after year ... or else. There is a whole corner of science concerned with the reliability of complex systems - one type of which is a system with only simple inter-connects but a lot of them. When or when are Group XX sized vehicle lithium batteries going to consist of something like maybe 5 or 6 or 7 individual large cells - so system complexity can be greatly reduced? (In addition, there is a fairly "complex" BMS system required to take care of all those little cells!) When an RV'er is out and about on the far side of beyond, reliability of the RV systems becomes ultra important - whether it be exploring in the Western U.S. outback or over-landing in Siberia. I'll think I'll wait until lithium RV batteries become both cheaper and much simpler inside.
pnichols 01/06/20 11:14pm Tech Issues
RE: Rt 99 Thru Bakersfield

That can’t be true as California has the highest taxes and fuel pricing just to keep the roads in perfect condition.... Hmmm .... then I must be getting what I deserve when driving on our CA potholes. :S (My property taxes are in the basement thanks to Prop 13, and I don't pay any CA income tax. Those two savings easily swamp out our high gas prices.)
pnichols 01/04/20 11:57pm General RVing Issues
RE: Neat little fresh water in an ABS pipe idea

A good garden sprayer painted black is a great shower in the rough and needs very little water to do a GI shower. That's an outstanding Quick-And-Clean minimalist showering solution!! Most garden sprayers are in the 3 to 5 gallon range. A 4 or 5 gallon model might be good for at least 2 hot showers. (But to get around that I donated our camper van away years ago and went the small motorhome route ... and have been clean ever since. ;) )
pnichols 01/01/20 04:01pm Tech Issues
RE: Heated Mattress Pad

Over many years I have tried out various 12v appliances From bottle warmers to instant water heaters, to defroster / heaters Fans and radios and tv worked Everything that produced heat was a big Flop I know there are travel blankets and such things And some people have had good experience with them But not me I'll stick with 120vac items on an inverter They use more power and there is conversion losses But they do the job As I understand it, an electric blanket consumes around 80 watts. This equates to only around 7 amps at 12 volts (when it's "on" ... but they cycle continuously, so AH draw averages less). What this means is that a 12 volt electric blanket (and mattress pad) should work far better than the 12 volt appliances you are referring to that require far greater 12 volt currents in an attempt to match the wattages of similar 120V AC powered household appliances. A 12 volt powered electric blanket/mattress pad should functiton as good in an RV as a 40-50 watt TV functions in an RV. Inverter losses would thus be eliminated when using them night after night in an RV for comfortable drycamp sleeping so as to be able to maintain lower coach interior air temperatures ... and thus saving overall energy.
pnichols 12/30/19 04:25pm General RVing Issues
RE: Down a truly rough road in my class C?

BTW, I have a theory regarding how a washboard road surface comes about: Maaaaaaybe from folks down through the years before the washboard existed driving too fast on the road surface. Perhaps related to the torque on drive axles being applied via a series of pulses from an internal combustion engine's up and down piston motion? I'll bet that roads didn't get "washboarded" in the good old horse-and-buggy days. The engine vibration has nothing to do with washboarding; it's at a wildly different frequency (at least a few octaves higher). According to the very quick "research" I've done, the main contributors seem to be the speed of traffic--below maybe 5 mph or so it doesn't occur at all--the amount of traffic, and the susceptibility of the road material to be moved about by wheels going over it, which in turn depends on its makeup and the general climatic conditions: whether it's muddy, dusty, etc. It was likely a far less prevalent problem in horse-and-buggy days due to the slower speed of travel. That does not mean the roads were not rough, of course; horse shoes and skinny iron-bound wheels can tear up dirt pretty well under the right (wrong?) conditions. I wasn't referring to engine vibration. The (heavy) engine flywheel notwithstanding, what I had in mind was the diameter of the drive tires - versus vehicle speed - versus crankshaft RPM - versus piston up/down motion causing their power pushes to make the crankshaft torque come in a bunch of "rapid spurts" ... all this interacting together to cause the drive tires to kindof "hop" down the road and hence eventually carve out a series of lateral ripples in a flat and soft road surface that originally was smooth. As time goes on, the lateral ripples only get worse as drive tires continue to hop more violently and dig out the ripples deeper and deeper. I've scene how vehicles rip down those desert roads trying to "smooth out" the washboarding -> washboarding that maybe was itself originally started by vehicles ripping too fast down those roads when they were smooth, long ago. There's always an excuse to drive fast everywhere and always an eventual price to be paid, IMHO. :S
pnichols 12/30/19 04:11pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Small George Foreman Grill on Inverter

Got one of these as a gift to use in MH but dubious about electrical draw off-grid to cook something. Anybody have any experience with these? (This is about battery draw, but also cooking times, to get expected AH, so not in cooking forum.) https://www.walmart.ca/en/ip/george-foreman-2-serving-classic-plate-electric-indoor-grill-and-panini-press/6000100424115 So far, I put it on inverter in MH, Kill-A-Watt, and Trimetric to show what it does, not cooking anything. Before voltage 117.8, after starting the grill got: 116v, 5.78a, 670w, PF 1.0, and DC draw 65 amps. Took about two minutes to heat up, light went out and amps dropped to 1.8a draw. Sat like that for a while then light came back on, amps back to 65 amps. Only stayed on briefly, then back off for a time, repeating. Most of the time it was off between short hits of power. After approx. 10 minutes AH 4.64. I watched a couple of youttubes and they said more like 15 minutes being typical to cook something. So it cycles but might act different (more time power on?) with food in it? Anybody know what to expect there? BTW, it has that grease drip tray, but then what to do with the grease/water in that while RVing? I am thinking have an empty jam bottle (with a lid) to pour it in, and then when that fills up, put the bottle in the garbage? Hmmm ... that great appliance gift you received sounds like a start-up-the-genny-briefly appliance to me ... just like with a microwave! (Just kidding -> I realize that you have a large battery bank and inverter setup in your rig for off-grid and off-generator camping.) BTW, I use a little propane Weber grill when we're camping and so far have paid no attention to what happens to any grease from it. There's no grease under it on the table after using it ... I wonder where the grease has been going all these years?
pnichols 12/29/19 02:36pm Tech Issues
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