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About kinseypw

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    Senior Member
  • Birthday 07/15/1951

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    fulltime living, solar power, internet
  1. I also have the Garmin 760RV LMT. I love it, my wife hates it and never use it and prefers paper maps. That might be the source of some of the negative reviews youve seen. I love the display of actual speed and speed limit and use that more than my speedometer. I have it set up to tell me time and distance to destination which I also find very useful. Mine is 4 year old and i wouldnt change it for the world.
  2. We also use 24v panels and have no problem. The only drawback is needing an MPPT controller rather than a PWM type. MPPT controller are quite a bit more expensive. OTOH you get much more of the power that hits your panel to go into your battery. We use 200watt panels that are only slightly bigger than the 160 watt 12 volt panel we started out with on our garage. They are Hanwha and are much more solidly built and stronger than the 12v panel. Not sure if that is a generalization or just those particular panels. I think they would go on the roof just fine but we have them free standing so we can catch the "summer" sun in Canada. Really need to maximize your solar inout since we have many more cloudy/partially cloudy days than our winters in arizona.
  3. You can get flat "pancake" type bulbs that plug in directly and they are available with a lumen output equivalent to flat panels. The panels come with double sided tape to hold them to the top of the fixture and it can become unstuck. Not a problem for light, just looks odd. You can find suppliers on ebay that specify lumen output - you want over 200 to match typical bulbs and you want a color temp about 4000k to match warm white incandescent bulb light.
  4. I have my Chev 3500 diesel oil changed at Walmart in Yuma and its about $50. No problems so far and its the second year I've used them.
  5. One I've used a lot but didn't really expect to is my Dremel. Used it to cut metal parts, repair dentures and sharpen my chain saw among other things
  6. Our fridge has worked fine in temps as low as -7celsius. I understand what Kirk was saying but we have never had a problem in spite of numerous times our overnight got below 32 F. Not sure what is different about our setup (Cougar 32ft 5er)
  7. Might also look at a champion 75531i 3100 Watt generator. Will run my air conditioner and it is as quiet as the equivalent Honda. Had one for 2 yrs and it still starts first pull
  8. Our total income last year was under $20K and we lived happily. Many "Could this get any better?" moments, many many more than when I worked fulltime and spent most nights watching TV. Money does bring security, Its nice to know that a truck problem can be fixed right now and you wont have to eat Ramen noodles for 6 months to pay for it. Problem is that many of us make/have made huge sacrifices in our happiness to get a small amount of security. Security that can disappear in a moment in the current economic climate. I'm working on having a lifestyle that doesnt use much in the way of resources and so doesnt need as much security so I dont have to work so hard to get it. Solar is a must along with boondocking all the time. Plus you get to meet such nice people!!
  9. Just a couple of thoughts. A fellow camper here in Yuma is also having problems with charging and asked me to have a look. First problem is his panels are flat on the roof of his RV and so he doesnt get close to 200W. Panels output is strongly affected by the angle to the sun especially in winter when the sun is low. Second problem was the wiring from his charge controller to the batteries - looked to be about 16 gauge wire and a long 15-20ft run. Losses in the wire meant that even tho the charge controller said it was putting out 13.6v he was only measuring about 12.6 at the battery. I use 4 gauge from controller to battery and the run is only 2ft. One other thing I found out the hard way was that the car battery charger has a significant current draw when it is connected to battery but turned off from shore power. I left the battery clamps connected one time on my 420 amphour battery bank and voltage was down to 11.9v 2 days later
  10. Thanks for all the help, everyone. I'll check into PD and see what I can come up with. We boondock 90% of the time so the converter doesn't usually get a lot of use and we can wait 6 months in the Winter since we boondock all the time.
  11. The converter in my Cougar just bit the dust and I need a replacement.Looking on Amazon and Ebay I see Powermax converters at about $40-50 less than the WF-9855 that came with the trailer. Local dealer in Yuma said they never install anything but Iota that are more expensive than the WFCO. Anybody have experience with the Powermax? Are they decent quality and do they last?
  12. Sorry for the confusion. Downloading between 400-1000 kilobytes/sec (new data). Plan is their unlimited plan, $70/mo
  13. If he means stand-alone generators like this one then yes, they will work with all RVs. Question would be how do you power the fridge when generator is not running e.g. overnight. You will need a major battery bank and that can be a problem with some RVs due to space limitations.
  14. Went to Cricket in Helena and tried to activate on my old rooted Galaxy S3 - no luck. They suggested a factory reset of the phone but I didnt want to lose data. So I picked up their cheapest option, a ZTE Overture 2 for $20. Signed up and off I went. I quickly found out that tethering is disabled on all cricket phones sold with the unlimited plan and tho there are work arounds, they do need a bit of tech savvy. I found I can do most anything on the phone however and have been very happy with the outcome. We only have 2-3 bars outside Yuma on BLM land but I still DL at 800kb/sec.Data use in the first 10 days is 27Gb. The unlimited talk and text to Canada has been well used and I love that I can still use the phone when I go back in the summer. So far its really hitting the spot for me and the up-front cost was minimal. Next challenge is to find a way to mirror the screen on my TV so I can watch TED Talks on a larger format.
  15. I looked at getting a phone from them and they list some as "hot spot compatible" and specify its OK with either $50 or $60 plan on further research they say not with $70 plan but how would they know??