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 > Your search for posts made by 'pnichols' found 498 matches.

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RE: Full-time and don't/didn't like it?

The point is to be outside. Shirtsleeve weather. Some extra clothing to cover a variety of conditions. The pleasure of cooking inside or out. If my “ideal” was a lumbering, unstable 5’er to which I had to buy a commercial vehicle to drag it with, that sure takes the fun out of solo touring a region. Day trips. Same with a Moho. It’s flat funny seeing the “toad” that only two people will ever use. A big family group it makes some sense. But repairs and maintenance are a pain as little is DIY. Two drivetrains has to be justified. THE POINT is that many MAY NOT have made good choice when it came time to buy an RV. The extra work of “bigger” is a huge turnoff. If not today, then tomorrow. Highest reliability, longest-life and ease of travel were the priorities I learned as third generation owner of type. Set-up and take-down shouldn’t be a burden. There’s NEVER an end of things to do or see. A major city or an unknown region. Any budget. A life of television has stunted many of you. Most of whom you might meet. Throw it out, as it’s poison. No one had them until reasonably priced solid-state portables were available in the mid-late 1970s. Absolutely NO ONE missed them. Examine assumptions. The rut you prefer is still just that. The lifelong slave loves his collar too much to remove it. An RV is maybe last chance to wake up in an unfamiliar place . . and allow the unfamiliar part of you come forward. . Well, unless your profile isn't up to date .... your RV setup is a PU truck towing a fairly good sized TT or 5'er of some type .... which seems to me to be a bit limiting. It my opinion, the "RV'ing philosophy" of yours above seems to indicate this kind of a rig ;) : https://i.imgur.com/BLfo8B0l.jpg
pnichols 03/31/20 06:01pm General RVing Issues
RE: Battery Charging Problem ***UPDATE***

It appears that your motorhome has the voltage drop problem that DrewE was explaining. And has nothing to do with a "smart" charging system. Maybe you need a better battery isolation manager or combiner. LOG, I have dual charging paths with #8 wire (rating 50 amps) with dual solenoids, each rated at 200 amps continuous. I have manual control of the solenoids and charging from the alternator. Each charging path is protected by a 50 amp automatic circuit breaker. If the house batteries are "hungry", then I see more than 75 amps of charging. (my meter only reads to 75 amps). On occasion I've observed at least one of the circuit breakers flipping off and then on. On normal use, because my starting battery is given a maintenance charge when ever the sun is shining, I see little charging after the starter battery is full from the ecm's point of view. I can "force" charging of the house bank by using the inverter and running the 1400 watt water heater. However this does, after about 20 minutes, cause the starter battery to go down to 12.3 volts. At that point, I use my manual control to stop the charging, and I disconnect the water heater. The reason for doing so, is the 1/3:2/3 duty cycle on the alternator which I do not wish to burn out. After 40 minutes of highway driving, I can repeat the above process. The last hour of driving I use to return some charge to the house bank. I can "see" one of the breakers flipping in and out if I run the engine and use the microwave (170 amps draw) and the induction cooker (70 to 130 amps) at the same time. These observations are from 2013 when I had 8 identical marine jars, one of which was used as a starter battery, and the house banks were configured as 3 and 4. Both banks were wired in a balanced manner. The "house" bank was 875 amp-hours @ 12 volts. It appears that your motorhome is not the typical motorhome that one would expect to see in a later model motorhome with a "smart" charging system as was explained in one of the first post in this thread by Theoldwizard1. Would you provide an example of a newer motorhome that would not fully charge the house bank with the engine alternator. My older 2005 motorhome does not have that problem. I simply start the engine, drive to my destination, and when I arrive my engine battery and house bank are both fully charged, without my having done anything other than driving and listening to then radio. What you say is exactly what I find with our 2005 Itasca Class C motorhome. For traveling I have two (four place - xx.xx) voltmeters mounted on the cab dash right where I can watch them: One shows the chassis battery voltage, and the other other one shows the coach battery bank voltage (two 115AH 12V batteries in parallel). I also have an ammeter on the dash that gets it's input from a shunt in the main line of the coach battery bank right close to the coach battery bank. Both voltmeters read nearly the same whenever traveling down the road because a heavy duty solenoid connects the coach battery bank and the chassis battery together in direct parallel whenever the ignition key is turned on. After drycamping long enough to the draw the coach batteries down to around 50% discharged (a rest voltage of ~12.1 volts) and then hitting the road, the voltmeters at first read above 14 volts for awhile and then they slowly settle down to 13.X volts - depending upon the outside ambient temperature. At first the ammeter can spike up to as high as around 80 amps for a bit before beginning to taper. After driving 3-4 hours, the ammeter will taper down to 2 amps or less - indicating nearly full coach batteries. The original OEM Ford 130 amp alternator (a "G4" or "G5" or "GX" type?) has been charging all three batteries this way for about 14 years. The alternator is connected to the coach batteries (via the solenoid) by maybe 10 feet of 8 gauge cabling. Somehow the Ford alternator and it's regulator and/or or engine ECM are doing something just right - with no sophisticated circuitry (i.e. isolaton diodes, etc.) added by Winnebago that I know of - per the Winnebago wiring diagrams. The coach only has a good old Parallax 45 amp fixed voltage converter in it, and the coach batteries are deep cycle AGM with low internal resistance - which makes them charge much faster than liquid acid batteries - at all applied charging voltages. Lately when drycamped, I've been skipping long generator runs for charging via only this converter and instead merely idling the V10 engine for awhile to let the alternator do the heavy charging. All this seems to play very well together ... if and only if the solenoid that connects the chassis and coach batteries together works and has "no" resistance in it's contacts when they're closed. If the two voltmeters that I mention above are reading very close to the same, then this solenoid is OK and hence passing charging current to the coach batteries without loss of voltage across the solenoid's contacts due to corrosion.
pnichols 03/31/20 12:57am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Full-time and don't/didn't like it?

We love RV travel part-time in order to explore and experience brief periods of a change in scenery ... but could never give up having "roots" somewhere to be able to count on going back to. This is what keeping our home that - we bought and cleared the raw land for, we designed and built a lot of ourselves, we raised our children in - means to us and could never give up: - We're "used to it" ... after around 43 years of living in it. - The folks in our convenient grocery store know us by name and will stock some items per our request. - Our daughter lives on our property and could not afford any other arrangement. - Our son and his family lives in the area. - We know and like our neighbors. - It's in a beautiful setting with trees, wild animals to entertain us, and it has a view. - We have been going to the same Church for years. - The DW is a native of the area and I've been here in the area for around 58 years. - We have had the same doctors, eye doctors, and dentists for years and hence they know our issues well. RV'ing to us is a hobby only, and is for recreational puposes only. We have friends and relatives that we mainly RV together with, and feel real comfortable with, but we live various distances from them and so we really like getting together in an RV environment.
pnichols 03/27/20 06:57pm General RVing Issues
RE: Hand-powered chainsaw -- for emergency use

Well, plug-in models may be "old tech" ... but lithium batteries heat up, run down, and they lose capacity with age ... so they must be periodically $$$$ replaced (if you can afford them at the time or find the right size/type available easily when you want to replace them). Last year I bought a $$$ state-of-the-art lithium powered Makita weed trimmer. The batteries (it takes 2 batteries) would last about an hour of hard tall-grass use (not too bad, I thought). HOWEVER ... the trimmer would only run about one-half hour before protection circuitry stopped it ... for me to then wait for the batteries themselves (not the trimmer motor) to COOL DOWN. After 15-20 minutes of battery cool down, I could then proceed to trim for the last one-half hour of battery energy. IMHO, lithium powered tools are not quite ready for serious usage on acerage. Gas powered (or electric plug-in with a generator) tools are still the name of the game for doing hard work for hours.
pnichols 03/27/20 10:00am General RVing Issues
RE: Senior Citizens Speak Up

Here's some fairly current info about how states rank in Federal dependency.https://wallethub.com/edu/states-most-least-dependent-on-the-federal-government/2700/ A few different ways to figure but clearly California Federal taxpayers are subsidizing those in a majority of the other states. Strange how a state that is doing so much right can be the target of so many ignorant attacks. We've got some real bottom feeder states but we mostly feel sorry for the residents, not attack them. Not on topic, but neither are the tiresome digs about California. Well stated .... thanks for this! P.S. In addition to tax dollars, I believe that California supplies an awful lot of the nation's food.
pnichols 03/26/20 07:11pm General RVing Issues
RE: 12V heater run straight from solar panel

Is there a heater product that can run off the 12V that comes directly off my portable solar panel? This would have to be something that can handle unregulated power that might peak up during bright sun and drop very low when a cloud passes by. You might want to locate and buy one or more of these 120V 155 watt "personal heaters" that can keep one person per heater toasty if it's close to them and aimed right at them. It has 3 settings - one fan-only setting for cooling and low and high heat settings. It consumes about 155 watts on it's high heat setting. We use a couple of them at home to warm us when sitting so we don't need to have the house furnace set so high. On RV trips I take both of them along for emergency heat boosting in specific areas of the coach when on hookups. I have run one all night off a 300 watt pure sine wave inverter - fed by one Group 31 12V AGM battery - to heat the interior of my truck when sleeping in it overnight at a remote campsite. The two I have are several years old and have been super reliable. https://www.ebay.com/p/1524623641?iid=274188423300
pnichols 03/26/20 06:45pm Tech Issues
RE: Hand-powered chainsaw -- for emergency use

I once tried an electric chain saw but found it to be useless because of it's lack of power as compared to gas chain saws. How long ago was that? I have an electric pruning saw on a pole with an 8 inch bar, the thing cuts fast and effortlessly. I suspect that an electric pruning saw purpose-buillt to deal mostly with only 2-4 inch limbs takes considerably less torque than what I use my 16 inch gas chain saw for - tree limbs and tree trunks up to around 14 inches in diameter (... or larger if I circle around the trunk with the saw). The electric chain saw that I gave up on was 120V AC powered via an extension cord ... probably way more capable, torque-wise, than any lithium battery powered chain saw. The electric chain saw I tried could in no way deal with tree limbs and tree trunks up to 14 inches in diameter.
pnichols 03/23/20 08:05pm General RVing Issues
RE: Insanity in the grocery stores...

My local supermarket has signs at the registers advising people to consider their purchases because there are no returns of items purchased during certain dates.I believe are Walmart is not allowing returns on TP and hand sanitizer. Who'd want to return hand sanitizer? It's practically worth its weight in gold if you can find it. Fortunately, the place where I'm now living supplies TP. If that runs out, they also supply facial tissue. After that runs out it will be time to become inventive I assume that you know that facial tissue should not be used in toilets! All we need is plugged up sewage systems in times like this. More inventiveness should come into play after the TP runs out. :)
pnichols 03/23/20 12:24pm Around the Campfire
RE: Router speeds OUT of our router

As long as your Spectrum modem was placed in bridge mode by Spectrum, then the router should be working well, and you likely won't get 300 mbps, one never gets what they advertise, but you should be close. I get what Comcast advertises and beyond into our stick house. My plan is for 65mbps, but right at our smatphones, an iPad, and a laptop I measure 85-90mbps coming wirelessly from our router. However, I did have to buy a fairly expensive new router and replace it's four antennas with optional high gain antennas in order to get these speeds in my house and also nearly as fast to a trailer 100 feet from the router. My router does beam forming and it has two selectable bands. I put the trailer on the longer range band and our house on the shorter range band. 85-90mbps is fast enough for two TVs (one of them is a 4K TV), and all other devices to never experience any buffering with all running at once. I can't imagine any non-commercial use needing faster speeds than what we have measured right at our clients. We're even getting these faster speeds than our plan right now - with all the probable heavier use during the day from Comcast customers staying put in their homes.
pnichols 03/23/20 12:00am Technology Corner
RE: Insanity in the grocery stores...

All this TP talk got me thinking: Since virus testing is so spotty, if TP is allowed to be returned to stores from untested folks ... I wonder how much of it will have some virus bugs still on the outside of the packages such that the rest of us would definitely not want to very soon after buy TP becuz some of it may be from returns with the bug on it? :B
pnichols 03/21/20 10:07pm Around the Campfire
RE: Senior Citizens Speak Up

As for using a Recreational Vehicle for full-time living in, I'm not sure I'm a fan of using national tax or state tax park dollars to support this. What I do support is use of tax dollars to set aside special areas where folks could full-time live at using RVs (areas kept and maintained much, much better than the Slabs) ... such that maybe true recreational part-time RV'ers could find a spot when they are able to break free and take their RV out for a few days here and there. What makes your part-time RV use any more "recreational" than my full-time RV use? I worked over 50 years so I could retire and enjoy my remaining years traveling around the country in my RV seeing the sights I missed while working. Why should my 2 week stay at a state park be any different than your 2 week stay? The only difference is where we go home after our stays. If your stays are 14 days maximum before you leave and free up that beautiful and pristine spot ... then be my tax dollars guest - here and there. But ... to do it over and over again permanently I think I have a problem with because: Some others of us who may also have worked decades and paid taxes so we could retire and enjoy our remaining years part-time traveling here and there around the country in our RVs - more and more find that the most beautiful and pristine spots are taken up by too many full-time experts already living in them in 14-day chunks - such that they're rarely available for "part-time recreating in" by the rest of us.
pnichols 03/21/20 09:23pm General RVing Issues
RE: Senior Citizens Speak Up

As for using a Recreational Vehicle for full-time living in, I'm not sure I'm a fan of using national tax or state tax park dollars to support this. Well, that can go both ways. I may not be a fan of using national tax or state tax park dollars to support your part-time use either. There's no moral law that says one is right and the other is wrong. Well, to put it bluntly ... IMHO the parks were meant for recreating in here and there ... not for living in week after week on the cheap. Read up on some of the historic reasons why they were established and I'd be very surprised if the intent was to provide places to live at long term by any one person (other than certain park employees).
pnichols 03/21/20 08:45pm General RVing Issues
RE: Senior Citizens Speak Up

Hmmm ... as usual a lot of CA-bashing going on here ... or is it sour grapes talking! My DW is a CA native, and I left Michigan at age 19, moved to CA, and never looked back. Thanks to good old Prop 13, our CA property taxes are way lower than what they would be otherwise and way lower than what they would be in many other "better" states (based on tax comments that I read in these forums). In our situation we pay no (as in zero) state income taxes. We have no mosquitoes. Our average humidity never gets anywhere near 80% or higher, and our mild temperatures are legendary. And, FWIW, in our particular situation none of our stick house power or RV storage power comes from burning anything. California Prop 13 type laws should be passed in every state, IMHO, so that folks could stay in their stick houses long term if they just happened to want to, and be able to, otherwise. Regarding SS - ours and everybody else's does indeed get adjusted upwards any year whenever a certain inflation index dictates - so it's not "fixed". As for using a Recreational Vehicle for full-time living in, I'm not sure I'm a fan of using national tax or state tax park dollars to support this. What I do support is use of tax dollars to set aside special areas where folks could full-time live at using RVs (areas kept and maintained much, much better than the Slabs) ... such that maybe true recreational part-time RV'ers could find a spot when they are able to break free and take their RV out for a few days here and there.
pnichols 03/21/20 12:33pm General RVing Issues
RE: Hand-powered chainsaw -- for emergency use

We live on property with all kinds of trees which requires me to use various pruning tools, such as: Hand saws, extension hand saws, regular chain saws, extension chain saws. I once tried an electric chain saw but found it to be useless because of it's lack of power as compared to gas chain saws. I found a Corona hand saw to be the best hand saw for small to large tree limbs, and even sometimes use one around home instead of a chain saw. I carry a Corona hand saw in the motorhome just like the one use at home (mine have wooden handles, but new versions have composite handles): https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00221Q3GA?ie=UTF8&tag=bestcoverycom-20&linkCode=xm2
pnichols 03/21/20 11:34am General RVing Issues
RE: Something about having 4 wheel drive

https://i.imgur.com/f28W3TFl.jpg Trying to see if this photo uploads.......fish some interesting points/bars down in North Carolina and love the 4x4 to go where few can go :) Thanks for the link, Ron! John ... are you sure it was OK to leave your propane refrig running in that spot? ;)
pnichols 03/20/20 03:50pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Something about having 4 wheel drive

Still have it 15 years now......just can't ever figure out how to post a dang photo! John, I'm not absolutely sure ... but this may be your 4X4 Class C: (I thought I'd seen a photo of your great rig on the beach, but couldn't find it.) https://i.imgur.com/P9fQvx2l.jpg THIS is the photo (I think) of your rig that I like best: https://i.imgur.com/Vo7xFaTl.jpg
pnichols 03/19/20 09:46pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Something about having 4 wheel drive

Still have it 15 years now......just can't ever figure out how to post a dang photo! John, I'm not absolutely sure ... but this may be your 4X4 Class C: (I thought I'd seen a photo of your great rig on the beach, but couldn't find it.) https://i.imgur.com/P9fQvx2l.jpg
pnichols 03/19/20 09:40pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Question for those out on the road now

From what we are seeing here in FL - the Spring Break kids are NOT following any Social distancing guidelines. They seem to pride themselves in breaking them, actually. Hopefully the private RV parks will enforce the guidelines? Per today's news, the Florida governor has put the kibosh on the beach parties. Good for him!!
pnichols 03/19/20 06:18pm General RVing Issues
RE: Something about having 4 wheel drive

Would love to know how to post an image on this site......love seeing the photos. Didn't you used to also have a 4X4 Class C ... or is my memory off?
pnichols 03/19/20 05:12pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Florida State Parks CLOSED

I can't believe they close state parks. How much congregating goes on there? I know the answer, not much. Simply ridiculous.After a few weeks we're going to have to compromise on this between the economy and a disease. These measures are prudent for a few weeks, maybe, but the economy will collapse after months of it, and people will go nuts. It will happen automatically. Younger folks will refuse to give up their social , party lifestyles. And after they have dealt with a brief 3 or 4 day minor illness, they will press for the social scenes to reopen. And as demand increases, supply will step forward, seniors be damned. It's not their problem, they wont care. Allen ... unfortunately I'm afraid you're spot-on with what you say above. As a rule more often than not, self-centeredness usually wins out whenever humans are involved. I wish it weren't so.
pnichols 03/17/20 07:25pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
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