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About sushidog

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    Senior Member
  • Birthday 07/31/1956

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    Wherver the road takes me.
  • Interests
    1999 National Tropical

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  1. It was certainly worth it for me to have a wisdom tooth extracted in Mexico. I had it done February, just before this Covid-19 craziness hit. It was impacted pretty good. It took the doctor over a half hour to get it out. The total cost with a couple anesthetic injections, out the door (completo) was only $80. Prescription drugs are so cheap there it's almost unbelievable. The cheapest I've found my albuterol inhalers here is $50 per inhaler at Walmart, as I don't have insurance coverage. A couple years ago when I had insurance my copay for it was $35. I recently got a pack of 10 inhalers there (an entire year's supply) for $17.95. That's only $1.80 each - same brand and packaging as here too! Plus there was no sales tax and no prescription required, so I saved the cost and hassle of a trip to the doctor and the technicality of renewing my subscription which hasn't changed for decades. That's a savings of over $500 a year on this one medicine alone. Another med I take cost 28 cents a pill there, and $4.20 a pill here - not a knock off, but the exact same brand, packaging and dosage of medication. Then there's the tequila - 1/2 gallon of Jose Cuervo Gold is only $13.95 there and over $40 here, just as an example.
  2. I agree with you Agesilaus, and I would never risk getting stuck going in to a campsite. If the road is that bad one simply shouldn't go. However, never having been at the location before, it's sometimes hard to tell what the road will look like after you are already in a spot that was relatively easy to get to before a heavy rainfall. But what do you do when you must leave because your 14 day BLM or forest service limit is reached and the roads have turned to mud? Wait it out, I guess. If the ranger says something just explain the situation telling him you'll leave just as soon as it dries up a bit and you think it's safe o do so. What can he say? Thanks for the link, Lou. Of course the drive wheels on a motorhome are deeply dished, like the rear axle of a dually pick-up. The rear bracket would need to stick out about 13-14" before the spool is attached to clear the body of the RV. The front guide wheels are not as recessed and would only need to protrude about 7-8" to clear the body. Naturally the rope would need to be much, much stronger too, as my motorhome is about 7 times heavier than the vehicles they were recovering in the videos. If they designed one for a dually pick-up it might work, but it would have to be 4 times stronger though. Going out so far from the wheels hub would put a lot of load on the wheel studs too. Great concept though, but it would definitely be a do it yourself project that I'm not willing to undertake. I wonder why no one makes a practical solution (other than calling a wrecker) to recover a barely stuck motorhome? I surely can't be the first person to recognize the need to recover a stuck motorhome due to a rapid, unanticipated change of weather. I guess the only solution is to wait for as long as it takes for the ground to dry after a heavy rainfall before chancing a move, whether that be a couple days or a few weeks. All the more reason to have plenty of food and water onboard when boondocking, cause you never know how long you'll end up being marooned there.
  3. Thanks for the advice folks. It sounds like the receiver is a good attachment point for a winch or come-along. I have a roadside assistance service, if needed. I used to have it with FMCA (though I never had to use their service) as they were the cheapest. Recently, however, they had a steep price increase from $69/yr to $159/yr! So I switched to the Escapee roadside assistance program (since it's only $99/yr and I'm a member of both clubs.) They will pull you out if you get stuck within 100 ft of a "maintained road." I assume a graded forest road qualifies, and it doesn't have to be a blacktop highway. Chip
  4. Now that you've heard all the virtues of AGM batteries you have to ask yourself "If I could have twice the battery capacity for the same price would it be worth it to go to flooded lead acid batteries?" But if you thinking goes something like, "I can afford to go with the best, so I want low maintenance, super low discharge rate so I can store it all winter without checking and batteries that be used on their side, don't gas at all, charge in half the time of either FLAs or AGMs, produce lots of power in a small footprint at 1/3rd the weight, then you want lithiums. I'd look at Battle Borns as they are a drop in and don't need a special converter. AGMs are just low maintenance lead acid batteries at 3 times the price. Lithiums are on a whole nother level, but at 10 times the price. But they last 5 times as long, so at cost per KWH hr produced they are much cheaper than AGMs and almost as cheap as FLAs. Their up front cost will give you sticker shock though.
  5. I'm in Los Indios, TX near Brownsville, right by the MX border. I'll stay here one more month as the RV park owners have allowed everyone who wintered over with them to stay next month for free due to the virus. It goes without saying we must pay for the electricity we use. It's not like it is expensive here anyway, at only $190 for a 1 month stay. Still it's a nice sentiment. They charge $180/mo if you stay from 2-4 months and $170 for a 5 month stay. If you stay for 6, like we did, (not by choice as our reservations in LA and NC were cancelled) it's only $160/mo. We'll be staying for 7, so it will average only $137/mo.. Not bad for a 50a FHU site in a nice, friendly park. You can't beat that with a stick. The weather was perfect down here this winter - warm with very little rain. I don't think I put a jacket on once. Of course it's topping out near 100 degrees now. Time to move on if the virus would let us. Like John Muir said, "The mountains are calling and I must go!"
  6. Have you decided not to use an inverter charger, or is it so big it will only work on a 30+ amp hook-up? Most inverter chargers have adjustable charge rates, so if you choose one that has say a 60 amp max charge rate at 48v (that needs 30 amps input at 120v) you can just turn it down to charge at 30 amps if all you have is 15 amps DC available. Most can be adjusted from 20-100% of their rated capacity. Chip
  7. If the fuse blew there's no reason to think the panel is trash. Check the polarity of the wiring to make sure it's not wired backwards. If not check the continuity on the socket in the trailer to make sure there is not a dead short on the hot wire with a VOM. Of course you need to replace the fuse in the electrical box. I'll bet the trailer and solar panel wiring is reversed. Chip
  8. I use Sprint. Here's a thread where I post about the unlimited $50 a month FMCA plan that I use.
  9. I just use regular coat hangers and have never had a coat hanger come off the rod, nor any clothes fall off the hanger while traveling, and my closet is in the very rear of my MH - even going down bumpy and washboarded roads while boondocking. I have a gas motorhome. A diesel MH with airbags has an even smoother ride. Maybe someone with a fiver could report their experience.
  10. The same HEB station paid $1.82/gallon at last week was $1.71 today, falling 11 cents. The price is still dropping and will probably continue to do so till they lift the stay at home orders nationwide, creating more demand. More good news. I just got an E-mail from my insurance company, GEICO, saying they are going to lower my insurance premiums (auto and motorcycle policies. They never said anything about RVs) 15% through this crisis (for premiums between Apr. 8 and Oct. 7) because no one is driving much and getting into accidents because of the lower traffic. They are calling it "The GEICO Giveback." Chip
  11. I use "unit" also, though I use a different mail forwarding company, as I am domiciled in Louisiana. It's how it reads on my driver's license, credit card statements, bank statements, vehicle registrations, insurance, etc. I haven't had a problem with anyone. If an astute official, say a national forest ranger (trying to prove I live in my RV full time so he can boot me out) were to ever google the address, it would come up as a strip mall (I have checked, to get my story straight ahead of time.) If they say something like, "Hey, this is not a residence, but a shopping center." I would reply. "Yes, I live in the apartment complex right behind it, on Michael Ct., but our mailboxes are all at a mail center by the business office in the mall." That should satisfy any overly curious ranger. I don't have any FMCA, Escapee, US maps with the states visited colored in, or any other stickers on my RV indicating I might be a full-timer. I just don't want to be a target. I've had a conversation with them a few times. NP rangers are always super friendly, super polite and usually too busy to care. NF rangers are typically friendly, but more direct and business like. We'll wave and smile and 9 times out of 10 they will wave back and just drive on. If they stop and engage in chit chat, they are fishing. That is if you didn't give them a reason to stop, such as boondocking in a place you aren't supposed to be. We never have a campfire when boondocking, even if it's allowed. It's too dangerous in a NF, IMHO. YMMV When they stop, the conversation usually starts with. "So, where are you from?" I reply, "I'm from Louisiana and am having the time of my life vacationing in your beautiful state." (Trying to sound super excited.) Sometimes they will ask, "How long have you been away from home?" I will reply with, "Time flys, it's been over a month now, we've seen a lot." (Actually it's been over a year, but "over a month" is also true.) If they ask, "How long have you been here?" I'll tell the truth, as I never overstay the limit. He'll then say something like, "You know we have a 14 day camping limit here." I'll smile and say not a problem, I'll be gone before that. It's not that this isn't a beautiful here, (compliments don't hurt) but I've got lots to see and a little left time to see it." (Which is true and implies urgency to move on. Who knows when their RVing days are over, right?) I never had a problem after this (as I always keep a clean camp, so it looks like I might have just pulled up.) They generally end with something like "Have a great day; enjoy your stay." I've never had my home address questioned, or even been asked to show my DL, but I know what to say if I ever do. If I were ever asked directly, "Do you live in this motorhome full-time?" I might reply with, "You mean there are people who actually live in these things full time? Boy I wish. You don't know my wife." (Chuckle, chuckle.) I never lied. In fact I never answered their question, just misdirected it elsewhere. But so far, it's never come to that. Chip
  12. I paid $1.82/gallon at the HEB supermarket gas station where I bought groceries yesterday in Harlingen, TX (in the RGV.) It's $1.67 at a nearby Walmart, but I wasn't going to drive over there during this mess just to save a few pennies. Chip
  13. After using my Franklin hotspot reliably for about a year it quit working. I took it to a local Sprint store and they reprogrammed it for me for free. I works great again. I wish it had an external antenna jack though, to pull in signals from farther away when I'm in the middle of nowhere. I'm sure Sprint's 8000 MiFi hotspot (their version of Verizon's 8800l) is far better, but it should be for $240. I wouldn't want to buy one though as it will soon be obsolete when 5g comes out. I heard of problems with the FMCA Verizon plan that uses the 8800l hotspot. Several users reported it shut down frequently for no apparent reason and had to be rebooted. I actually called Verison about this known issue a little over a year ago and asked them about a solution. At that time they said they had none but were working on a software upgrade that would fix it. I asked them to call me when they did and I would sign up, as the Verizon is definitely faster and supposedly has better coverage. I can drop the Sprint plan any time as it is monthly with no commitment, unlike the 2 year commitment that Verizon required. They never called me and FMCA eventually dropped their Verizon plan. To be fair, I don't think this was a hot spot problem, but an issue with Verizon's software, as many others use this hotspot and it works great for them.
  14. I built a Kentucky long rifle when I was in college, back in the mid 70's. I browned the barrel myself and it came out far better than I expected, being my first attempt at browning. Remember, there was no internet back then to learn how to do any of this. Just be sure to remove any file marks and polish the metal with finer and finer grades of emery paper (wrapped around a file to keep it flat) - down to crocus cloth and the finish will be beautiful. I also built a Philadelphia derringer, but had the barrel professionally blued, more in keeping with style of the piece. Inletting the wood, bedding the barrel, etc. was easy compared to getting the trigger group to work on the derringer. Back then the "kits" were not made very well and several parts had to be redone for it to work reliably. Chip
  15. I don't know what size your IH 4700 takes, but if they are a 4 x 6 headlight, like most trucks use, I bought a set of 60w LED headlights similar to these last year for my MH and love them. https://www.amazon.com/COWONE-Rectangular-Headlights-Replacement-FREIGHTLINER/dp/B074TCM8LZ/ref=sr_1_10?keywords=4x6+60w+led+headlights&qid=1584981323&sr=8-10 They easily produce 3-4 times the light of sealed beams, and it's a bright white light, not yellowish like sealed beams. Low beam is 3,000 lm and high beam is 6,000lm - even brighter than HIDs. I haven't used these, but they make even more light: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VSNCZHT/ref=sspa_dk_detail_4?pd_rd_i=B07VSP8HLS&pd_rd_w=ZVkeu&pf_rd_p=48d372c1-f7e1-4b8b-9d02-4bd86f5158c5&pd_rd_wg=Fs1XU&pf_rd_r=XFVMVM19GANJMYCJR15V&pd_rd_r=9b1d02b7-b454-4d6d-8eeb-12317d6d6674&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUExUlNFU0dQWlJSWUdSJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwMDMwNTU5MVRYRTNZQjNDSjhDUyZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwMjk4MzA3M1MwSFA3S0FJWEJFUiZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2RldGFpbCZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU&th=1 Chip
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