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Lou Schneider

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  1. There's not much use in securing a child's car seat to the frame of a motorhome when the coach body itself disintegrates in a major crash.
  2. I've started using Walmart Pay on my smartphone because it offers 5% off on in-store purchases compared to 2% on the Walmart MasterCard it's linked to. At least for the next year. You load the Walmart app on your smart phone, then when you're in the checkout line you open the app, select Walmart Pay from a drop-down menu, enter a PIN and scan the QR image on the checkout card reader display. Overall it's slower and less convenient than swiping or inserting a credit card and I doubt I'll continue using it after the 5% cash back promo ends.
  3. I don't have estimated tax payments. I retired with a nice nest egg and live in a no income tax state. The Standard Deduction is more than my taxable income since I retired (investment income plus 50% Social Security). 😉
  4. I would never give anyone access to my bank accounts via a debit card. Instead I use three cash back credit cards. The first card is used exclusively to auto pay recurring expenses like my phone, Internet hotspot, health insurance, etc. I don't auto pay my car and RV insurance because I like to see what I'm charged before I pay the twice annual bills. If I had a car or RV payment it would also go on this card. The second card is used for online purchases and I use a third card for normal purchases. The third card is the only one I carry in my wallet while the other two remain hidden in my RV. If something happens to my daily card, I can use one of the other two in it's place until a replacement card reaches me. I review the monthly statements of all 3 cards online, then pay them in full using manually initiated electronic transfers from my checking account. This keeps the purchases isolated from my bank account. I've never found any discrepancies, if I did find a questionable charge I would dispute it and let the CC company work it out. For cash, I either get cash from Walmart on my normal purchase card or I make an ATM withdrawal ... a bank ATM is the only place where I use my debit card. This way I get the convenience of auto pay and cash back without giving anyone access to my bank accounts - the only links are the manual electronic transfers I initiate each month.
  5. Most of the time extremely large conductors are used to minimize voltage loss, not to provide current carrying capacity. A single #10 wire can carry 30 amps. A single #8 wire can carry 50 amps. The problem in low voltage applications usually isn't the wire's current capacity, it's the voltage loss along the wire dropping the voltage at the far end enough to restrict how much current the batteries can absorb. 20 ft. round trip (40 ft. total) of #8 AWG will lose 1.01 volts at 40 amps, so you'll have 11-13 volts at the far end under full load, depending on the alternator's charging voltage. This is enough loss to cause problems charging a battery directly but not enough to effect the Renogy's performance. According to the Renogy NG-DCC1212-40 manual it will work with input voltages as low as 8-10 volts so a single run of #8 wire is more than sufficient to feed it. (I'm not an electrical engineer, just a radio tech who knows how circuits work). 😉
  6. I just had an unbelievable "chat" with two different Visible representatives after missing 3 calls from my auto repair shop today. The shop reported getting "out of service" messages instead of the call going through or getting routed to voicemail. Both representatives confirmed this is normal behavior. I even waited through the Chat queue a second time to see if I got the same answer because this seems so preposterous. If the phone gets de-prioritized due to tower congestion Visible doesn't roll over incoming calls to voicemail, they just report the phone as unreachable. Both representatives said the same thing happens if your phone is off or outside the coverage area. In other words, voicemail is only active while your phone is connected to an uncongested tower. No notification is given about the missed calls, they just vanish into the ether. I've never experienced this from any other cell carrier, and IMO this is eliminates Visible as a viable provider. They only provide service when they feel like it? No thanks. Maybe I'll keep it strictly as a backup hotspot, but at twice the cost of my AT&T Mobley I'm not sure it's worth the hassle.
  7. Rainbow Parks, including Rainbows End in Livingston, have deeded 1/3 acre and smaller lots within the park. Most are already developed and you own them outright just like any other real estate.
  8. Indicator panels only work on motorhomes with a level gauge on their permanently mounted tank, not on the portable tanks used in trailers. That's why we're talking about an automatic switchover device and how to determine how much propane is in a trailer cylinder. When I was living in Santa Rosa 15 years ago my neighbors moved from an apartment into a new 5th wheel the dealer delivered to the site. No one explained the propane system to them and late on one 30 degree night I heard them banging on their propane tanks - both were empty and they had no heat. I gave them my spare tank to use since I had enough in the other one to last until morning.
  9. The vehicle wasn't an RV, it was a military 4x4 flatbed with 9 people crammed into the cab. Sad.
  10. AC means Alternating Current. This means voltages are varying from + to - 60 times a second (60 Hz). In order to get 240 volts from one hot leg to the other and 120 volts from each leg to neutral, the two hot legs have to be properly phased with each other. This means the two sources are running at the exact same frequency so that every time L1 is at + 120 volts, L2 is at - 120 volts, creating the 240 volt difference between the legs. This happens automatically when you're connected to a properly wired shore power because the socket is fed from a center tapped transformer. A pair of inverters need to be synchronized so they are at the exact same frequency and their outputs are phased so that the instant one is at +120 volts the other is at -120 volts. This means using inverters that can be connected together so their outputs remain properly phase locked to each other. Or a single inverter that's configured to provide a 120/240 volt output. If you have a pair of free running inverters, there's nothing to ensure they are phased to each other. You could get any range of voltages between the two hot legs depending on where each inverter is on the + to - phasing at any instant. In fact, you can have 0 volts from one leg to the other if both hot legs are in phase with the other. At the same instant one leg goes to +120 volts, so does the other. This happens if you feed both legs from the same 120 volt source so there's nothing but a piece of wire between the two legs in the power panel. There's 0 volts difference between them, but each will measure 120 volts to the neutral.
  11. And unlike a Jeep the Roxor isn't road legal.
  12. You could find bargains in Quartzsite 10-15 years ago when the vendors first noticed the large number of RVers flocking to the area to take advantage of the nice winter eather and free or low cost camping on the extensive BLM lands surrounding the town. The La Posa LTVAs alone offer 25 square miles of open space camping, or half as much area as the entire city of San Francisco. Then the town started seeing the winter tourists as a gold mine and hiked their sales tax rate and the fees they charge the seasonal venders. It's hard to find bargain prices when the first thing you face is a 10.1% sales tax. AZ has a baseline sales tax of 5.6% and local governments can add to that. In essence the town has to make it's annual operating budget in the space of a very short tourist season.
  13. Quartsite and the surrounding area has good coverage from all the major carriers, but they all get overwhelmed during the peak visitor weeks when the population swells by a factor of 100 or more. Voice and text are usually OK but data may slow to a crawl or be unavailable during the day when everyone's trying to use it. Evenings and overnight it should be usable.
  14. No catch, just overblown hype designed to reel in gullable people. I'm sure the package is exactly as described ... an over the air antenna that picks up local broadcast stations, the same as what you'd get using the Winegard antenna already on your RV. Plus a DVR that lets you record these broadcasts for later viewing. A quick Google search shows these are available starting at $36 from places like Walmart.com
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