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About mptjelgin

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    Senior Member
  • Birthday 05/18/1960

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  • Location
    Medina, Texas and on the road.
  • Interests
    Birding, Photography, Hiking, Disc Golf

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  1. We stayed here several years ago and it worked out great for visiting both the National and State Parks.
  2. I would be really careful relying on a friend with "engineering software" to determine the load carrying limits of a hitch. I am a structural engineer and can tell you that in a dynamic environment like a vehicle on a roadway, loads are accelerating up and down continuously and that leads to significantly higher dynamic loading and fatigue issues. And as noted by Greg above the load limit on the hitch may very well be governed by the frame elsewhere.
  3. Not really. What most manufacturers of larger units have done is wired them for 50 amp service (which actually offers two 50 amp legs, so more than 3 times the available power of the older 30 amp service). That is becoming more and more common, and does away with the issues of needing an EMS to manage loads. What it doesn't do is solve the issue of having a 50 amp service hooked up to a 30 amp service. There may be 50 amp RV's out there with an EMS to help you manage for lower amperage hookups, but I've not seen one.
  4. We got all of our hoses from the RV Water Filter Store (linked above). They make very high quality hoses with machined brass or stainless steel fittings. The hose material is rated for 200 psi and we've used ours for the 7+ years we've been full time with no smell, tastes, or other issues. They are a little more pricey than box store hoses, but they sure last!
  5. While it is more convenient for us to have 50 amps (we don't have to turn anything off...) we've spent our past two summers in volunteer jobs that only had 30 amp service. We leave the refrigerator on electric and turn off the A/C or heat pump when we use the microwave/convection oven. We usually switch the water heater over to propane and just forget about it, but if I'm in the mood so save propane I'll use it on electric and turn it on and off as others have described. Managing on 30 amps just takes an awareness of which appliances draw large amounts of power, and accounting for it.
  6. We have been several places and worked with a single volunteer. Typically they have been larger programs where perhaps the odds just favor finding a single in among the couples. Some places require additional hours from the single, the most common I've seen is USFWS sites requiring 32 hours/week from a single vs. 24 hours/week from each member of a couple. And we know two couples where the husband volunteers and works the necessary hours but the wife does no volunteer hours. We've run across sites now that ask a total number of hours for a site, without caring how the hours are accomplished. And we have been to places where the requirement is 24 hours per person, whether the site is occupied by a single or a couple. I just looked at Volunteer.Gov under FWS listings and scanned the first 5 entries for resident RV volunteers. All of them listed provisions for a single, or at least didn't require a couple. Some ask for the 32 hours, others 24.
  7. I have been a bridge designer for over 35 years, and one of the initiatives over the past 20 years has been to use "plastic". In reality there are hundreds of different plastic formulations, and if you add in the various composites out there the number gets even larger. The fact is that few of those plastics are useful in a structural sense, and even those that are have challenging properties that must be accounted for. For instance, many plastics change properties dramatically with changes in temperature, and sustained loads on plastics can cause what is called "creep", which is increasing deflection under a constant load. Steel, aluminum, and even wood are easier to design with in most cases. And these were engineering properties of carefully controlled, virgin material. The concept of using recycled plastic (those billions of water bottles) is very attractive but proved impossible in my field because the properties were just too variable. Recycled plastic seems best used in very low-demand applications. Even things like outdoor decking boards have a checkered history as many of the early attempts showed terrible sagging over time and required much tighter joist spacing to perform acceptably. So while it might seem simple to suggest substituting in plastic for various RV components, it really isn't a trivial thing.
  8. The conversion kits include a thermostat and necessary wiring. I know several people who have added them to their "propane only" water heaters so that they could use campground electricity to heat water. One common version (Camco 11673) runs about $80 and uses a 425 watt element. I would hesitate to spend much on a 19 year old water heater, but if the propane system is not working and the OP has electricity available, this wouldn't be a bad way to go.
  9. I have replaced all of the G-4 halogen bulbs in my trailer (12 fixtures total) with LED's and find the quality and quantity of light to be very similar. And I love the elimination of the intense heat that the halogen bulbs create. They are dimmable to some degree, but not as dimmable as the original halogen bulbs. I've had mine in for a few years now, but think that this is the link:
  10. I too dislike the new format. I hope that the oh-so-helpful "announcements" go away quickly. Like right now. Immediately...
  11. If you are looking to purchase the unit I would (strongly) suggest that you find an RV tech or at least someone who is very familiar with RV's to help you go through it. There are so many systems and components that need to be checked on any RV, let alone one that is ten years old!!
  12. I got my materials from the "Dirty Blind Man": He has lots of choices for re-stringing kits from just the string (in many colors), to replacement grommets, springs, etc. I got one of his "Parts Packs" which includes a large spool of string, 50 nylon grommets, and some of the retainers that screw to the wall. I've re-strung 4-5 of my blinds and needed to replace at least a couple of grommets on each one so the kit has been handy, and I've got material left for many more. You can also purchase materials for just a single blind if you'd prefer. The kits come with good instructions and it is really pretty easy once you've done one. Even the large 4-string shades can be done in 30 minutes or so by one person.
  13. Got it! Those valves at the bottom do look like the waste valves. In fact, it looks like they may be labeled "gray tank" and "black tank". Can you confirm? Those are probably cable-operated valves, which means that there is a cable connected to the valves which opens and closes them. Sometimes the cables get sticky or difficult to operate. Hopefully yours will work well.
  14. The picture that you have attached is the fresh water hookup area, which has nothing to do with dumping your waste tanks. If you are talking about emptying your waste tanks (gray water and black water) you should be looking for T-shaped handles on the underside of the trailer somewhere. Those are the most common. It is possible (though unlikely) that you have electric waste valves, and in that case you would be looking for switches which should be labeled. As far as your wastewater lines, one is likely for black water (toilet) and the other is for gray water (shower, bathroom and kitchen sink). Typical practice is to let the black water tank get nearly full (75%) before you dump it so make certain that you carry all of the solid waste out of the tank. Leaving that valve open will lead to problems as the fluids drain out, leaving the solids behind to build up in the tank. The gray water can be left open as there are normally few solids in that tank. Some folks choose to keep the gray water closed and flush it just like the black water tank. When you are ready to dump your black water it is nice to have some gray water stored as you can use it to flush out your drain hose after dealing with the black water tank. At this point it sounds like the keys are for you to find the two wastewater valves, and figure out which is which. If you let us know the brand and model of your RV someone may be able to tell you exactly where the valves are and which is which.
  15. We took LP 345 around El Paso about two weeks ago and it was great. No more IH-10 for us!!