Jump to content


Validated Members
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About sushidog

  • Rank
    Senior Member
  • Birthday 07/31/1956

Optional Fields

  • SKP#
  • Lifetime Member

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Wherver the road takes me.
  • Interests
    1999 National Tropical

Recent Profile Visitors

6,183 profile views
  1. I was reading my Generac manual the other day and I remember seeing that it had a 2,000 hr (or 3 yr) warranty, so it's curious that someone is recommending them be rebuilt before they are even out of warranty. Maybe different models have different levels of durability. Mine is a Q-55G. It has about 1450 hrs but it still starts runs great, other than having to manually choke it. Chip
  2. Good info. I never get a receipt, but after hearing that story I will from now on. Don't you have to swipe your card for the pump to work? I didn't think you could get away with pumping gas and not paying since they authorize your card first, before you pump. Maybe thieves know something I don't. I haven't seen a gas station that lets you fill-up and pay afterward in a long time. I'll tell you what I have started to see since traveling in California that was not a practice 16 years ago when I lived there. Many if not most gas stations charge 10 cents more per gallon for credit card purchases. Their sign out front has one price per gallon (the cash price) while the pump rings up 10 cents a gallon higher when you put in your card. I didn't think they could legally do that. Chip
  3. Thanks for all your replies! I have another card, a credit only card, but I only use it in emergencies - like when the bank suspects fraud seeing charges in different states and turns my debit card off (this happened to me a couple times, even though I went into my bank and explained to them exactly what I was doing before I started my full-time lifestyle.) A phone call gets it reactivated but this usually takes a couple hours. I prefer to use my debit card linked to my checking account. I have another debit card with another bank, but have depleted all the money from this account as my paycheck is no longer direct deposited into it (I have 3 monthly direct deposits into another account, but no more paychecks since retirement.) I've found that most gas stations block a second transaction from the same card (swiped at the pump), saying the transaction is denied. I guess I'll go inside from now on and do as some of you suggest. I didn't realize that there was a difference between activating the pump from inside the store, or outside at the pump. I can always use the walk anyway after driving for a few hours. Chip
  4. I've only been full-timing since February, but I've run into a problem when I pay at the gas pump with my credit/debit card. The station limits how much gas I can pump into my RV to either $100 or sometimes only $75 before it shuts off. With gas prices well over $4 a gallon where I'm at now in California, this only buys about 1/2 a tank of gas in my motorhome. What does everyone here do to get around this problem? Carry lots of cash? Thanks for your help! Chip
  5. I just did a little trig and the angle of the 40" wide solar panel will only be at 17.5 degrees, a gentle slope indeed. It might also improve solar efficiency slightly if the rv is pointed south. It certainly wouldn't hinger it even at a random angle to the sun, cause you never know which way you might have to orient your rig. I could even mount both the first 2 panels on the same gentle angle of 8.63 degrees to ease the airflow over the others, leaving the other 6 panels for the 48v system flat at 13" off the roof. Decisions, decisions..... Chip
  6. Thanks for the replies. A few years ago I saw a bus with a round metal rack up top about a foot or so off the roof, with about 1/2 of the roof covered in solar panels, so I know it can be done. I couldn't see the details of how he did it but it looked like it was all welded together. I first was thinking of building a rack out of aluminum angle. I was at Slab City about 2 weeks ago and spoke with Solar Mike, who does a lot of RV solar installations. He told me that he recently mounted 4 large panels, similar to the ones I'm looking at, about a foot off the roof of a motorhome using aluminum angle racking which was heavily cross-braced. They make rectangular aluminum rails for mounting panels, but they are typically used in fixed installations. Two inch square aluminum sounds much more sturdy. I sure don't want them blowing off the roof or causing undue handling issues in cross winds and such, so I was seeing if anyone else has racked 2,500 watts or more of solar on their roof and exactly how they accomplished it safely. Where there's a will, there's a way. I could block off the front with a piece of plywood or plastic at a 45 degree angle to prevent wind getting under and lifting the panels while going down the road. This might actually help in the MPG department too as the roof has lots of things jutting out like to disturb the airflow and cause drag. A smooth wind deflector might just be the ticket. I could even drop the front of the leading panel at an angle so as to bring it within an inch or so off the roof to deflect the wind over the other 7 panels. Now you've got me thinking - perhaps a dangerous thing. Chip
  7. I am in the process of installing 2 solar systems on my Class A MH. The first is a small 12v system and in a couple years I will be installing a bigger 48v system. I plan on using large high voltage panels and racking them slightly above my AC shrouds from front to rear utilizing almost my entire roof. The reason I plan to go high is that I have no choice. I have 2 roof AC units, 3 covered vents, a new style disk shaped over the air TV antenna and a shower skylight, a fridge vent, air horns and a radio antenna on my roof. My current height is 11' 9" and I plan to keep it under 12 ft. Now to my question, has anyone done this before and if so, how have they done it? I am considering using 2" furniture grade (UV protected, guaranteed for 15 years of direct sun exposure) plastic pipe to build a simple rack to mount my panels right down the center of the RV, about 13" off the roof. The panels would all be perpendicular to the length of the RV. Has anyone used this material before in this application? Thanks for your replies! Chip
  8. Yeah, I guess it's pricey to get someone else to design and install a system. This is what I'm planning to add to my MH in a couple months. It's the first phase of a 2 part solar mod. The second phase will be completed in a couple years, and is a large 48v solar project designed for off grid air conditioning and ample inverted a/c power. But here's part #1: 2 - 320 watt solar panels from Northern Arizona wind and solar - $384 I'll be picking them up so no freight. 1- KRXNY 50 Amp MPPT Solar Charge Controller - $152.00 CC to Battery Wire #4awg multi stranded Lowes 12ft - $12.24 #6 awg multi strand down wire 40 ft - $37.20 Mounting brackets, cable ends, etc. $55.00 60 a circuit breaker and isolation switch $23.00 Total $663.44 I just bought 2 deep cycle 220a GC-2 batteries from Battery plus for $129 ea. I already have a small 400 watt inverter to power my TV and computer, but If i had to purchase say a 1000 watt pure sine inverter charger on e-bay - $399 https://www.renogy.com/renogy-1000w-pure-sine-wave-inverter-charger/_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=GW7ZVFBYQD1XH125TW9Q If you need these things it adds up to $428 more. So for a total of around $1,350 you could have a 640 watt system with 220ah of batteries. Double your batteries if needed for $258 more (plus say $50 more for wire and core if you don't have old batteries to trade in. So for under $1,650 in parts you could build a much more robust one than they are offering. Let's say it takes a full 8 hr day to install it, which I doubt, at $100/hr (I'm sure you could easily find someone to do it for $50/hr.) That's $2,450 total, say $3,000 if I left out a few minor things, like junction boxes, dicor or eternabond, you wanted different batteries, etc. That $7k is way out of line, IMHO. Unless of course they are quoting you a system based on super expensive lithium batteries, then it doesn't sound bad at all. Chip
  9. I have been rving for many rears, but I just started fulltiming the first of the year. I budgeted $375/month for my RV site with another $90/mo for electric and $10 for the occasional dump fee - making my total camping budget of $475/mo. So far I have come well under this and haven't paid the cheaper monthly rates yet. As a disclaimer it helps if you have a America the Beautiful golden age passport (one of you must be 62+) and are a Passport America member for shorter stays. I started out in two beautiful Louisiana state parks moving every 2 weeks between the two which were only about 10 miles apart. It cost me $364/month which includes electric, free wifi, free use of washer and dryer, reserve america booking fees, etc. I've stayed a couple weeks at a free army COE park with no hookups but on a beautiful lake, so figure maybe $6 a day for generator gas to keep my batteries charged and about $3 in propane to cook food, keep the fridge cool and ice in my drinks and to stay warm. $9/day for 2 weeks is $126. If I had sufficient solar it would have saved me $6/day, bring down my cost to only $42 for 2 weeks. I stayed a couple nights in nice roadside rest areas while driving up to western NC, where I'll be visiting my son for a couple weeks. I am staying at a county RV park again on a nice lake for $100/wk with full hookups, electricity included. so I'm running electric heat, (like I was at the first 2 places I stayed that had free electricity) cutting my propane cost to less than a dollar a day. Unfortunately I must pay for my own laundry here at a cost of about $14-15/wk. Still $115/wk for 2 weeks is $230 + $126 for my previous 2 weeks = $356/mo. When I leave here I'll spend a couple days at a nice RV park in the smokies (1/2 price or $22/night with Passport America) followed by 2 days of free boondocking as I head to a nice $9/day COE park in Arkansas for a 2 wk stay - strategically placed to allow us to do a little mining at Crater of Diamonds SP. Then it's a couple free nights at rest areas (and my first ever, in all my years of camping at a Walmart) as we head out west for some very inexpensive rv parks and free boondocking. So it appears we are actually averaging well under $400/mo and haven't enjoyed the cheaper monthly rates yet. YMMV. Chip
  10. I am in a similar situation. Those pleated day/night shades are totally unusable. I'm considering blinds on two small windows and shades on the 2 large windows in my living room slide. Any suggestions?
  11. I am planning a trip to Florida in my MH and toad to visit family and google wanted to route me over 2 bridges with tolls totaling $26 + a $2.50 fee each for mailing us the toll bill. Thankfully it alerted us to the tolls, but not the rate, which was available online. Needless to say I rerouted my trip to one of about the same mileage but about a half hour longer, saving both tolls. Since our time in retirement is no longer worth $62 an hour for us both, the reroute was a no brainer. I wonder what would happen if one had a dirty license plate, perhaps inadvertently splashed with mud, where the camera might find it impossible to read all the numbers on the plate? How would they know who to bill? I'm just saying...that would indeed be unfortunate. Chip
  12. Wow, that's sweet. I would have never thought of a fold-up antenna. I like the way you secured it when down. Very professional looking installation. Do you have to get up on a ladder to release the clamp when you put her up? I wonder if there is a company that makes a power antenna like the one I had on a 1980's model car I used to have. You turned the radio on and the antenna went up on its own. Turn it off and it went down. Of course it would have to be a little larger diameter than a car radio antenna for the WiFi antenna to piggy back on as it went up and down. So far mine is giving me excellent reception compared to the little linksys computer antenna I was using, enabling me to quickly and easily type and post this reply. Chip
  13. Thanks for helping out a noob! Chip
  14. Thanks for the info, Chuck. I thought that I was online because they had me open my web browser and either type wificamppro2.myalfasetup.com or into the address bar. They also had me connect a short Ethernet RJ-45 cable from my PC to the router, so I guess I'm communicating to the router via a LAN cable. Good deal, it explains why the Ethernet cable is need. Do you use a directional antenna, Chuck, to pick up that 2 mile signal, or will an omni get you that kind of range? Also do you mount your antenna just above your RV like I do (attaching it to my ladder) or do you run a pole up for your antenna after you stop? I'm trying to keep my set-up as simple and easy to use as possible and still be able to pick up a sufficiently strong wifi signal at a typical campground. I hope those two parameters aren't mutually exclusive. Chip
  15. I just purchased and installed a Camp Pro 2. I was having problems receiving a decent, reliable wifi signal at a couple CGs I frequent on my bedroom PC at the rear of my motorhome. This device has a 9b gain omnidirectional antenna that I mounted on the ladder at the rear of my RV. It connects to a small router which rebroadcasts the signal inside the rv so my DW can also access the internet via her tablet - something she could not do at all before. The provided USB cable was just long enough to reach. After installation you must go online and set up your password and what hot-spot CG signal you would like to receive and boost. You will obviously have to do this whenever you move, selecting the signal you want to use. I just installed it yesterday and it all went smoothly. The signal is much stronger than before and the throughput appears to be twice improved from before. I like the online software that gives you the signal strength from all available sources, as some campgrounds (like the one I'm currently at) have multiple wifi signals you can access depending on your location in the park. Bottom line, if you are having problems accessing campground wifi, or the speed is super slow, this will fix it on the cheap, compared to other solutions out there. I have no financial or other interests in the company that makes it other than as a new customer. For me, it was $135 well spent (they are available from multiple vendors on the internet). Your mileage may vary. BTW, you can also get it with a directional antenna with a little more gain, but I like not having to worry about finding the tower, climbing the ladder, locating the CG router antenna and pointing my antenna every time I stop. Chip
  • Create New...