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 > Your search for posts made by 'pnichols' found 843 matches.

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RE: Inverter Generators

If someone is having repeated carb problems with a Honda EU2xxx which are rectified by cleaning, odds are they need to change their maintenance habits (to include fuel stabilizers, carb drain and/or run-dry with fuel cut-off). Without a change, the problem will continue regardless of make and model of generator. FWIW: I've never cleaned the carb on my 30 year old Honda EX650 that we take camping for battery charging. I use regular ethanol gas in it. It starts on 1st or 2nd pull after sitting "any amount of time" (is sat for ~2 years once, a few years ago, and still started right up). Sometimes I have Stabil in it's gas and sometimes I don't. I guess even Honda isn't making them like they used to.
pnichols 09/08/19 02:56pm Tech Issues
RE: Traveling with glass

Hi all, Many of the kitchen supplies we use at home come in glass containers. Think salsa, spaghetti sauce, and wine. I have found some substitutes we use for camping like spaghetti sauce in a can. But some things I haven’t been able to find in anything but glass. Do you bring any glass items in your RV/camper? If so, how do you ensure it doesn’t break while on the road? For example, do you have a special wine bottle storage container? Thanks. We carry several glass items. They all have rubber cloth either between them or wrapped around them. I've also installed double latches on all cabinet doors. We take our RV off-highway, so use of break-proof containers is absolutely necessary ... plus U.S. highways are pretty rough all over anyway.
pnichols 09/08/19 09:46am General RVing Issues
RE: Good Sam credit card fuel limits

That's why I carry two (different financial institutions') credit cards at all times! With two cards, I can pretty much be assured of being able to fill up our RV's 55 gallon tank anywhere, anytime, with no hassles. My first choice is always the card that gives me 5% (percent - not cents) off on all fuel purchases. The 2nd card is used for backup, but only gives the standard 1% credit on all fuel purchaes. Keeping life as hassle-free as possible is the name of the game.
pnichols 09/08/19 09:39am General RVing Issues
RE: Can't hear TV? ZVOX update!!

Posted earlier about my hearing issue and can't hear TV when a/c and generator are running. Assuming I'm not the only one out there with this issue. Well, just installed the ZVOX soundbar and I'm telling you this thing is AMAZING! Lost most of my hearing in one ear, so hearing and following conversations on TV/Movies is tough. Well, this system allows the user to raise the Voice Track only up to 6 different levels. And, the general volume is a separate item. Super easy setup and if you want it loud, this soundbar really booms out the 3D sound/theatre sound! It's at least 3 times louder than what my TV was doing. OMG....can't tell you how excited I am with the freedom of being able to solve this most annoying problem. If you do have similar issue, order the 6-level adjustment model ($199 on sale) because it really gives you control over the voice portion of the program you're watching. A big THANKS to pnichols for the link to this website and product! It's great that a ZVOX product is working out for you! We love our ZVOX 125 watt 770 sound base we have in our home with our big screen TV sitting right on top of it. It has 8 built-in speakers -> 3 mid range speakers, 1 left speaker, 1 right speaker and 3 woofers. It's so powerful that we set it's master volume at only around 15 or 16 out of a maximum setting of 30! The remote control for our 770 seems to be different from what you have. Here's what's on our ZVOX remote control: - Power On/Off - Input selection of 6 regular inputs, plus 1 Blu Tooth input - Accuvoice On/Off - 3 similated surround sound configurations - Output leveling On/Off - 10 levels of base - 8 levels of treble - Mute On/Off - 30 levels of volume The base response only goes down to around 32 Hz, but with 3 woofers producing the lows the lows are so powerful that we have the base control set to it's lowest level. We operate it with Accuvoice ON all the time so we can hear the voices, and Output Leveling ON all the time. Output Leveling makes all TV sound levels the same, such that commercials are the same volume as the program material (boy ... is this nice).
pnichols 09/06/19 12:03am Class C Motorhomes
RE: RV'ing 100 Years Ago

Is that a photo of Recreational Vehicle-ing ... or Living Vehicle-ing (aka "Full-Timing")? Folks tend to confuse RV use with LV use sometimes, and you see mixing of the two uses in the forums all the time. They are two entirely different ways of using a shelter on wheels.
pnichols 09/05/19 02:11pm General RVing Issues
RE: Incandescent bulbs work, LED do NOT work

Electroincs 102 LED stands for Light Emitting Diode.. When FORWARD biased they give off light. What does Forward Biased mean? A Diode is kind of like a check valve in a water line (You know what those are right. water only flows one way) Forward Biased means the voltage is applied in such a way as the current (or water in the plumbing example) flows. However ... quality LED bulbs do have circuitry driving them that doesn't care about the incomng 12 volt polarity. Read the answer to the 2nd FAQ question down from the top at the rvledlites.com website. RV Led Lites sells only high quality LED lites - many of which don't have many of the problems you get with cheap(er) LED lites: https://rvledlites.com/greggwilsondesigns/full-width/
pnichols 09/04/19 06:46pm Tech Issues
RE: Charging ?

David ... many times in your charging recommendation comments you unknowingly come real close to describing the long discontinued Parallax "T" line of RV converters. I sure wish I had one in our RV now!! Every time that they were turned on, the Parallax T converters output 14.4 volts for 4 hours, then automatically dropped to 13.6 volts for the remainder of the time that they were left turned on. What this made possible was - whenever your batteries needed charging - just quickly turn off the converter and turn it back on so as to get 4 hours of higher voltage charging before the 13.6 volt output began for normal converter use in the RV, plus continued battery charging at the lower voltage. This line of converters of course also were available in various amperage ratings. My AGM batteries would be perfect for a two-stage Parallax T charger in that they may be different than many AGMs - they like 14.X volts for boost charging and 13.5-13.8 volts for the remainder of charging and floating.
pnichols 09/04/19 11:43am Tech Issues
RE: Incandescent bulbs work, LED do NOT work

I've had LED lights in our motorhome since around 2008 - but not always the same LED lights. All LED lights ARE NOT the same, so you have to shop for them after doing your homework so as to know as much as possible before you buy. You CANNOT merely "price shop" if you want great LED service in your RV. I've gradually migrated to higher priced LED lights in several receptecles in our RV to get better performance. The latest one I just recently bought and installed was designed in the U.S. (but built overseas), and is not affected by the polarity of the RV's receptacle and is specially vented so that it will never fail from it's own internal heat. Here's what to watch for in an LED bulb: 1. Does it have the right socket on it to match your RV receptacle? 2. Is it insensitive to polarity so that is doesn't matter how your RV receptcles are wired polarity-wise? 3. Are it's electronics designed so as to not create static noise in radios, TV's, etc.. 4. Is it bright enough ... in other words, does it have a high enough lumen rating? (To duplicate a 40 watt incandescent bulb's brightness takes about a 430 lumen LED.) 5. How is it's light radiated so that you can aim it if necessary to better distribute it's light where you want it ... or does it's light merely shine in all directions - which makes it less bright where you want it. 6. What is the "temperature" of it's light? To duplicate the warm ambience of an incandescent bulb takes a WARM WHITE LED bulb. LED bulbs come in different types (temperatures) of the colors of their light, so you have to be careful to check this when you buy. We dislike the white/bluish or "natural daylight" type of light inside our RV, so all receptacles have warm white LED bulbs in them. For what it's worth, our RV's outside light by the door that lights up the entire area under the awning for awhile had a natural daylight LED bulb in it. I eventually grew to really dislike this sterile hospital-room type of light when outside doing things in the evening. I replaced it with a high power, aim-able, cool running, polarity indifferent, no static noise, 60,000 hour warm white color LED bulb and wow ... how nice!
pnichols 09/04/19 10:52am Tech Issues
RE: Low temperature LI battery

And yet folks and possibly even posters to this thread plug in laptops, phones, tablets and any other device that has some sort of lithium chemistry that is even more unstable than lfp in their homes, vehicles, rvs and not think twice to walk away while it charges. Uuuuuuhhh ... but aren't those LITTLE TINY, low-cell-count, or single cell lithium batteries ... with little tiny electronic circuits charging them ... with consequently only little tiny fires that might result from failure of those little tiny electronic circuits to not properly treat the lithium chemistry? Take a look inside this typical large RV lithium battery - notice all the cells with all those interconects between all those cells - and that good sized circuit board at the top that's probably loaded with intergrated circuits, capacitors, resistors, voltage regulators, temperature sensors, etc., etc.. You want to trust all this stuff to never go hay-wire inside an area where you're sleeping, or where you're pet is sleeping while you're gone? Not me: https://www.lithiumion-batteries.com/uploads/files/15019/12V%20100AH%20Internal%20Design%20PDF.pdf (I won't own an electric car quite yet, either, for the same reason. ;) )
pnichols 09/02/19 11:04pm Tech Issues
RE: Low temperature LI battery

GordonThree, It may be safe. But it is even safer if they are not in the living quarters. Right you are Don! Guess what it takes to control the electro-chemistry of those batteries ... electronics. Do electronics ever fail ... you bet ... Tesla technology notwithstanding. I vote for lithiums being kept out of the living compartment and in a place with sheet steel between it and the living area - just like the lead acid AGM batteries are and the big gas tank is - in our rig. :)
pnichols 09/02/19 07:48pm Tech Issues
RE: Louder TV??

Have a 19" TV (Sony I think) and has reasonably loud sound for the most part, however, if I run the generator and a/c unit, it's difficult to hear the words. I do a lot of "off grid" camping so it is quite often I run the generator and a/c. Secondly, lost most of my hearing in one ear due to a benign brain tumor, so I have slight trouble hearing words anyway (ie: that, cat, hat, bat, etc all sound the same so I lose the context of the conversation). Anyway, tried a bluetooth wireless speaker but wasn't even as loud as the built-in speaker on the TV, and having the sound behind me on each side of the couch was even worse for my limited hearing since I'm facing the TV but sound is from the side/rear. Was thinking of trying a sound bar next, but just wondering if anyone else has similar hearing issue and solved this problem in the RV. I suggest doing it up right and getting a ZVOX soundbar. They have special voice enhancement sound processing technology built-in that can be invoked with a simple buttion push on the soundbar's remote control. ZVOX is well known for this technology. One of their small soundbars should be just the thing for better voice recognition for the TV(s) in your RV. We have had their largest unit (their Sound Base 770) for our home TV for several years and their voice enhancement (and other speaker controls via their remote) has been a fantastic sound improvement over our TV's built-in speakers. Here's the link to the ZVOX website: https://zvox.com/collections/accuvoice
pnichols 09/02/19 04:18pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Newly converted...

Saw an Earthroamer in New York last month! Grossly overkill for urban life and I just didn't see much interior space. Impressive for the African safari adventure in the middle of no man lands....even if I had the $$ just not my type of expenditure. The 4x4 conversion on my standard rig was a bargain at $10k years ago and currently comes in close to $20k at Quigley 4x4. I pray everyday nothing happens to my rig cause replacement would be close to $90k and I'd like to stop working someday!! And, I don't have slides on mine and very thankful for it....I do think the movement on rough terrain could cause some seal/slide issues. That's resembles how I feel about our good old 24 ft 2005 slide-less Itasca in the photo above. It's got a lot of things "right about it" and can't be duplicated today new at any price (Ford E450 chassis plus it's specific floor plan, coach structure, and overall quality). It only has one thing kindof "wrong" with it ... it's only 2WD ... so we have to make sure any off-highway travel/camping is in dry weather. ;)
pnichols 09/02/19 09:41am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Yet another great mapping resource -- NFS topo PDFs

Dan, thanks much for the info and details. The DW and myself are well past our hiking and backpacking days, during which of course we used paper USGS maps, among others. But as far as RV exploring and camping at our level on off-highway dirt and gravel roads is concerned, so far the Garmin road map database has been quite detailed for backcountry travel. About our most remote travels have been some in Oregon, Utah, and in the Wyoming gas fields. The Garmin road map database seems to show numbered county dirt/gravel roads and otherwise locally named dirt/gravel roads fairly well. If my memory serves me correct, I even think it showed the 4X4 rock road we boondock camped off of in Death Valley a few years ago. If I get a smartphone this fall, it will be Android based. I hate texting too, but I do it some, reluctantly, using my flip phone. I wonder if there is an Android-based smartphone equivalent to that text-dictating iPhone app you mentioned? Probably cell phones will "never" operate eveywhere due to their high frequency bands being line-of-sight only (very little bouncing of their RF waves off things) and short range. 5G will be even more line-of-sight and even shorter range because it's based on even higher frequencies. Of course cellular signals routed from above via balloons and commercial aircraft could improve this in the future. For RV road travel - the Garmin Nuvi combined with the individual state-by-state Benchmark road atlases - make a pretty good combination. The Benchmark maps show a lot of detail and ... your RV passenger can hold them right in their lap while you're driving without cell tower access, satellite access, or a charged up battery required.
pnichols 09/01/19 12:14am Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: LP generators

Robert, I assume your Class A is a diesel pusher? You might be willing to use a gas genset if your motorhome's engine was gas, and hence fed by a large gas tank that also fueled the generator - like our Class C. ;) You do have a point. The quietest RV generator setup I've ever experienced was a Class A parked close to us once that was making only a slight very, very low level humming sound. I walked right up to within, maybe 5 feet of it, to find out what the quiet sound was - it was their amazing diesel generator. I assume it might have been a water-cooled generator and one of those diesel generators that turns at only a constant 1800 RPM, instead of 3600 RPM. Nice!
pnichols 08/31/19 04:12pm Tech Issues
RE: Yet another great mapping resource -- NFS topo PDFs

Dan, How good are Google maps regarding obscure roads out in the wilderness? AND Is it possible to download and store locally on one's smartphone the entire Google map database for the U.S. (including Alaska) and Canada? I have to soon give up my beloved 3G flip-phone and probably reluctantly replace it with a 4G (or 4G/5G) smartphone, so I'm hunting for reasons to somehow not hate a "smart"phone. :R
pnichols 08/31/19 04:01pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: What did you do to your Class C MH today???

That's a good idea! I'd need to install a reversible fan to try it out though. :) One other thing I read after the fact was to make sure the van HVAC is off or in recirc mode, and not in vent or outside air mode. I didn't think about that at the time either, and don't recall where it was set when setting off the CO alarm. I wanted the Genturi anyway for backup generator at home reasons, since the RV is right next to the house (generator exhaust facing house). This way I can run it as long as I want powering the home fridge without worry. Thanks for reminding of something I left out regarding maintaining pressure inside of one's Class C for fume-less generator runs: Yes you're correct ... the cab's dash air system should also be set to recirculation mode when trying to maintain coach interior air pressure. FWIW, keeping the cab's dash air system set to recirculation mode also helps keep the motorhome's interior free of exposure to cold outside air whenever camping in low outside temperatures. BTW, I think that the Ford cab dash air system requires the engine to be running in order to change the opening and closing of the flapper doors that control the routing of air flow in the cab area - because these flapper doors are activated via engine vacuum.
pnichols 08/31/19 03:45pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Newly converted...

Earthroamer seems a bit much on features to me. I don't need an overland vehicle as much as something that can go a bit off pavement or keep going in bad weather. I would probably drag some type of Jeep vehicle to explore a bit further. I agree 100% with that. ;) This discussion reminded me ... the DW informed me that in 2-3 weeks she'd like to check out the Dubinky Wells area again in our Class C ... nice!! Here's some of our off pavement RV roads from the past: https://i.imgur.com/UJU6tB3l.jpg https://i.imgur.com/rqjjOHvl.jpg https://i.imgur.com/yEhJLMGl.jpg
pnichols 08/31/19 03:34pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Yet another great mapping resource -- NFS topo PDFs

Dan, The GPS capability of a smartphone has been difficult for me to get the straight scoop on. Here's what makes me scratch my head on this: 1. Is built-in smartphone GPS capability as accurate and reliable as it is in purpose-built GPS navigation devices - like Garmin Nuvi devices? 2. If smartphone GPS capability is really that good, then why don't smartphone usage instructions make a big deal out of having the smartphone placed with a line-of-sight view to the sky like the Garmin Nuvi instructions do? 3. When maps are in the correct smartphone operating system format, do smartphones come with - or even offer as an option - enough internal memory to store what my Garmin Nuvi now does - detailed maps of all of North America (i.e. I like my Garmin to be ready at all times for extended travel without cell tower access required.). Plus within my navigator unit's storage capacity can be held hundreds of thousands of custom points of interest ... I currently have nearly 700,000 in my Garmin unit. For instance, one of my stored custom POI databases contains every body of fresh water in the U.S. - even those that dry up in the summer.
pnichols 08/31/19 10:53am Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Newly converted...

The Earthroamer HD comes "standard" with: 115 gallons of diesel fuel 250 gallons of fresh water 125 gallon capacity grey water 125 gallon capacity black water 2100 watts of solar power 20000 watt hour lithium battery bank It sports about a $1,500,000 price tag in order to live like a king out on the far side of beyond if and only if ... the rig doesn't tip over from it's height on canted travel surfaces and if the rig doesn't sink up to it's coach floor in a bog from it's weight. ;)
pnichols 08/31/19 10:19am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Newly converted...

I see 2017 Jayco's at $60,000. The conversion is probably 35,000. Brings it to 95,000...now take off 30% if the owner is from the US. Sure a lot less that the 250,000 for an Earthroamer. And, you get a full sized black water tank....not the 5 gallon cassette. Gary Gary ... what's the deal with those "cassettes" anyway? Isn't their advantage that they can be emptied into a hole you dig and then fill in - when camping out on the far side of beyond - without it being an International Poop Police Incident if you do it? And, isn't their disadvantage that they can create odors throughout the RV at times? Another IMHO-downside of the Earthroamer models is that they don't have a super quiet diesel generator on board - just in case the sun lets one down such that there is a risk of compromising the Ford diesel engine from too much idling! :B
pnichols 08/31/19 10:07am Class C Motorhomes
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