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JimK

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  1. You might want to pay attention to the weight of the materials. It is easy to add significant weight with new flooring. I never thought I would do this but after years of use, I covered my existing RV flooring with carpet. It really adds to the warmth in the winter and in milder weather I like to get out of the hiking boots and walk around barefooted or in socks. I used indoor/outdoor carpeting from Lowe's. It was inexpensive and since my RV is small, I can pull out the carpeting and hose it down. I thought I would need to replace it frequently but it has done well for several years and months of use.
  2. Few people seem to understand tire dry rot. The sun is only one issue. I had a spare tire under my pickup that never was in the sun. After 4 years I decided to put it into rotation. Within a few weeks, I noticed deep cracks everywhere on the tire. I did some research and learned that tires need to be used regularly. The heat build up with cause chemicals in the tire to migrate to the surface and provide protection against oxidation. A tire that is used regularly can safely last about 7 years. Without use my tire did not make it past 4 years. There is some minimal data which indicates that Aerospace 303 protectant will help. To do so the tires must be clean and then coated on all surfaces or at least on both sidewalls. Tires should then be recoated every few months. Since my RV sits unused for many months of the year, I am trying this method.
  3. I disagree entirely when it comes to hand tools. I have craftsman tools from decades ago. I have filled in the missing tools and bought extras from Harbor Freight. I have never had any of them break or fail to work properly. I have read that the Harbor Freight electrical tools are junk. I cannot speak to that.
  4. I have been setting my water heater to bypass when sanitizing the water system. The last couple of times I did this the hot water had a nasty smell and I had to bleach the HW system. From now on I will automatically bleach the entire system including the HW tank.
  5. JimK

    Fresh Water

    Because it is not intended to determine water safety regarding sanitation. Many people use these meters to monitor pool water. High levels in drinking water can alter taste and very high levels might be harmful for those with renal failure. There are other reasons to avoid high TDS.
  6. JimK

    Fresh Water

    The meter is worth little if anything. A low reading does not mean the water is safe. A high reading does not mean the water is unsafe.
  7. JimK

    Fresh Water

    A TS meter is not a sufficient way to check for a contaminated water tank. It is absolutely amazing but after a few weeks of storage bacteria will grow in even highly purified reagent grade water. Regular use with chlorinated water will help to keep the tank sanitary almost indefinitely. If the tank sits for weeks on end with little or no use, I would sanitize it before use. There is another related issue. In many camping areas the water is pure but not chlorinated. Without chlorine, bacterial growth is going to occur even if the tank is in use.
  8. JimK

    Fresh Water

    There is no way to totally remove water from a hose. So a stored hose is going to be contaminated with bacterial growth. Running and dumping some fresh water will help but only partially. Another solution is to try to bleach the hose. It is all but impossible to evenly coat the interior of the hose with a bleach solution and allow it to soak for an hour but I attempt to do the best I can. If you want your water tank to have clean water the last thing you want to do is to seed the water with bacteria from a contaminated hose.
  9. JimK

    Fresh Water

    Pseudomonas bacteria growths readily in stored water tanks. It is likely to give off a grape like odor and will also appear as pink deposits. Water can take on different odors from other bacteria. I seems all but impossible to totally empty and dry the water tank, hot water heater and the rest of the fresh water plumbing. Even so I would not trust the system without sanitizing it. That is pretty simple. It only takes 1/4 cup of bleach for each 15 gallons of water. Most people wait longer but it takes a soak time of about an hour to completely disinfect the system.
  10. One of the things Escapes specializes in is training for RVers. I have never been but understand this can be extremely helpful. It would probably cost less to fly and attend a 3 day boot camp and I am sure your would learn much more.
  11. My wife and I bought an Rv and parked it in the driveway for a few months while we finished our jobs, finished downsizing, and got the house on the market and sold it. There was no time for some sort of test run. We did check out the appliances and systems, modified the storage and replaced the mattress. Other than that the only use was for a temporary home for the cats when the house was being checked out by prospective buyers. When the house sold, I retired and we took off in the RV. Learning to operate an RV is not rocket science. A great many things are similar to staying in a small house or apartment and the differences are easily mastered. Anyway I don't see much point in spending a few days getting used to a rental RV. If you are trying to decide if the RV lifestyle is for you, a few days are not likely to help. I think it took us about 3 months to get used to living in an RV full time. We traveled almost daily so it was disorienting to wake up in new locations, often new States.
  12. Watching TV is a step better than what I frequently see. There seem to be plenty of RVers who are content to "camp" a few feet from other big rigs, who love to play their music on outdoor speakers while sitting under an awning covered with Christmas tree lights. That is the nature of RV living for lots of people.
  13. Yup, we are all different. In two years of full time travel and several months per year a half dozen more years, I have never even checked to see if the TV works.
  14. For me going smaller and lighter and not needing hook ups opens up opportunities. I spend a lot of time in the boondocks boondocking. There are still a lot of beautiful areas that are not yet over run and covered with acres of campgrounds. Going small can even be more enjoyable and more comfortable. In the past I have used Yellowstone as an example. It can be difficult to get a big rig into Yellowstone without reservations many months in advance. If you need hook ups the choices are even more restricted. The big campgrounds at Mammoth, Madison and Canyon do not have them. Once visitors do find a place, either within the park or miles and miles away, there are still downsides to a big rig. Everyone comes to see Lamar and Haydn Valleys and the major thermals. That means a day trip, typically all day. With my truck camper, I have my rig with me. I can visit the Lamar, pull over for a hot lunch and a nap while watching the roadside scenery and wildlife. I have my own rest room facilities. The big riggers are in their toads with a sack lunch and at best a folding chair. Even worse they are stuck with the outhouses you can smell for a mile downwind. Late afternoon, I typically take it easy while all the toads head for the campgrounds at Fishing Bridge or maybe up the river towards Livingston. I am napped, fed and rested. I watch the sunset and the early evening wildlife crossing the roads. Not exactly dumpster diving.
  15. Personally I travel light and inexpensively with the emphasis on travel. I rarely stay in campgrounds or RV parks with hook ups and average well less than $10/night for camping. I spend about $10/month on propane and about the same for generator gas. By contrast lots of RVers want big rigs with all the comforts of home including a washer/dryer and even an onboard central vac. A big rig can easily cost $100-500 K and can depreciate by $25-50 K/year or more. Operating costs are often in the range of $1/mile or more for fuel, maintenance, tires, etc. I typically travel about 30K miles/year so if II had a big rig that could easily add up to another $30K. Then there are the campground fees. Those have gotten to be considerable for any place that is really attractive for example near a national park. In many places it is hard to find a campground with hook ups for under about $35/night. $50/night is probably closer to the norm for popular locations. Anyway fees could easily exceed $10-15 K/year. So total costs for big rig RV living can easily exceed $50-75 K/year or $200/day. That would be for a full timer. For part time use, daily costs would be much higher.
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