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Jim Gell

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About Jim Gell

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    We began full timing on December 1st 2014.

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  1. My wife and I were just gifted a new Apple iPad Mini 4 Wi-Fi model. I went on the Apple website and, as per the specs, it appears to lack a GPS. To get GPS we would need to take it to an Apple Store and pay the difference ($130) to upgrade it for the Wi-Fi and Cellular model. We have a Grandfathered Verizon Unlimited Data plan and the AT&T Unlimited Data Plan on a Mobley, so we don't think we need to sign up for a third cellular data plan just for the iPad. We have no experience using Apple products. We have two Android smart phones and a tablet that is similarly sized to the iPad. We also have two Windows 10 laptops. The tablet and laptops seem to either have built in GPS, or get data from the Wi-Fi connection to enable them to pinpoint our location in Google Maps, etc. I don't feel we need the Apple iPad, but I may not know what we are missing? My questions for those more familiar with the iPad Mini 4 are: 1) As a full time RV'r, given our existing devices that seem to be serving our needs fine, what would we gain by keeping the iPad rather than selling it new in box on eBay? 2) If we keep it, would it be worth $130 to upgrade it to the Cellular version that has GPS? Or should we upgrade to a completely different Apple device? 3) How likely will adding a 3rd operating system to our arsenal of devices just confuse us and/or cause compatibility issues? (We are mediocre in our computer tech skills.) Thank you in advance for your advice. Jim
  2. We installed what was probably one of the last LFP battery systems that Balqon sold before they went out of business in 2015. We have used the 9 kWh battery pack (700 amp hours) for over 3 years. I installed it, out of sight behind drawer fronts, in the bedroom above the Magnum Hybrid Inverter located in our 5th wheel basement. About a year after installation, we had one cell sensor in the BMS go bad. I was able to identify the manufacturer and replace it. Now I carry spares, but have not needed them. Generally, our travels avoid real cold temps and we have rarely been where the outside temps drop below 20 F. I don't have hard data, but I doubt our bedroom, or battery, has ever been below 40 F. When it has been really cold outside, it has been at night when our 1060 watts of solar charging is idle. It may have been stated already, but the advisory is not to CHARGE the battery below 32 F. We have not, but I think we could use the power in the battery overnight if the battery were colder than that. But in our case, we can't imaging our bedroom ever getting below freezing unless there were something really unusual going on, in which case we would not charge the battery. Ask me again in 5, 10, 15 years, if we still like our lithium system, but so far, it seems to have been the right choice for us due to weight, physical space, capacity, charging properties, and probably cost. It's that last one, cost, that time will tell about. If projected life of our battery pack holds true, it should save us money in the long run. We did our research and don't worry about our battery's chemistry "running away" or causing a fire. It may be safer than lead acid. I am very careful with wrenches around the terminals and have developed a method to tighten lugs, once or twice a year, that guards against shorting the battery.
  3. Jim Gell

    Magnum ME2012 not charging

    David, would it be just as effective to reset the control panel by removing the other end of the phone cable at the inverter end? I never had to do that, but in my case if I did, that would be easier to get to that taking the display off the wall. Jim
  4. Jim Gell

    Water tanks full or empty

    Thanks Kirk! Your answer was better worded than my question. Your algae statement reminds me.... I am thinking that after one fill with bad water, all bets would be off. I didn't want to muddy my original question, so I didn't include this information, but I installed a UV sanitizer under our kitchen sink. I did that because I don't think I would know when I picked up a bad water fill. How would I know when that happens? I have seen real good tasting well water test unsafe to drink with a pretty high count for e. coli /coli-form bacteria. I did not install my UV system to protect all taps and it's not currently wired to our inverted circuits, so it is only powered when we are on shore power. I need to decide what to do with that. It would be nice to have it sanitize all my RV water, but more important to work when we are boondocked. I think it's drawing 25 watts 24/7, rather than just "on demand". As long as the sun was out during the day to recharge my battery with solar, that should be OK, but during those periods when the sun does not shine much, I would need to fire up the generator that much sooner. I may see you at the Escapade in March as we will be "wintering" in Tucson. That would be nice. However, we are thinking of leaving before the Escapade. Jim
  5. Jim Gell

    Water tanks full or empty

    We run our fill water through a particulate and a carbon filter. The carbon filter should remove most, if not all, the chlorine when we fill with municipal water. I have two questions that relate to how this might change some answers provided to OP and other readers if they use a carbon filter, and for my own knowledge of course. 1) Assuming potable tank was properly sanitized and flushed with chlorine recently, how long would carbon filtered water be safe to drink? 2) When removing the chlorine every time the tank is filled, how often should the chlorine flush procedure be done to assure the water stays safe?
  6. I think you should be fine with the X-Chocks and your stabilizers.
  7. I am not an engineer or physicist, but I think that your X-Chocks should be adequate to keep your wheels from rolling. Without them rolling, the force on the fine gravel, under the wheels and jacks etc, should be straight down. I don't think you need to worry about it rolling or sliding down that slope.
  8. Jim Gell

    South Dakota or Florida

    I would not depend on generalized beliefs on this. I suggest you actually consult the specific States involved. For example, I was a long time resident of NY before we went full time and became domiciled in SD. I had a pickup truck I wanted (and have)to leave at my FIL's in Ohio. I use it a few weeks a year mostly for hunting in Ohio and NY. I thought, based on the advice I had read on this forum that because it was "garaged" in Ohio, I needed to register it in Ohio. Ohio BMV didn't think so. In fact, I went to two different BMV offices in Ohio and tried to register it. Supervisors at each told me that as a non-resident, I was not allowed to register it in Ohio.
  9. Jim Gell


    Cathy and I would be interested in planning to attend on our way to Alaska. A 40 ft. fifth wheel probably would not be considered a "small painting job" for Rita, but what about just the end caps? 😁 Jim
  10. Jim Gell

    MyDakotaAddress.com is shutting the doors

    Cathy and I are weighing our options. Does anyone domiciled in SD, and uses the Escapees mail forwarding service in Livingston TX, have any pros or cons to share? Jim
  11. Jim Gell

    HDT Members On The Road, Including Their Current Locations

    Willard, OH It's about midway between Sandusky and Mansfield,
  12. Jim Gell

    HDT Members On The Road, Including Their Current Locations

    Cathy and I are parked in her father's backyard in Ohio. Besides seeing family and friends, we are working on clearing out 2 rented storage sheds, or more likely, getting rid of enough stuff to fit what's left into one shed. We are not sure how long we will be here or where we are headed next.
  13. Jim Gell

    Anyone planning a trip to Alaska next year

    Cathy and I are talking about going. Our general plan would be spend couple weeks in the Icefield Parkways on the way up in May and arrive AK about first of June. Once in AK, likely spend most of our time in the Kenai and probably stay in a Seward for a few weeks surrounding their Fourth in July festivities. Would like to finish somewhere northern to catch the Aurora’s before heading south. It sounds like a too good a plan not to copy it, Jim and Wilma!
  14. Jim Gell

    Brake controller

    Yes, the manual air brake lever works with the Hayes. I have a used one I would sell, but I must say that I took it out because I found it difficult to adjust . But then I am challenged when it comes to following written instructions. I may have just been been turning the knob the wrong way. It was not intuitive for me. If you still want to buy my used one, PM me. Jim