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About Vladimir

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    Senior Member
  • Birthday 09/24/1950

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    eastern Washington
  • Interests
    Camping, fly fishing, bird hunting, astronomy, photography, hiking, and everything else outdoors.

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  1. Those are not my political views. I just want people to know that it was NOT a Forest Service, BLM or National Park Service decision.
  2. I have never been a fan of the campground reservation system. These folks are optimistic things will get better, but as a cynic I think hope springs eternal. https://www.outsideonline.com/2330471/camping-reservations-app-access-land For folks that forgot their history....Al Gore is the "father" of the campground reservation system. Something I have never forgiven him for. It was a nightmare when I was working from the administrative side and remains a nightmare for the public.
  3. Vladimir

    RV size limits

    As far as I know these are the ONLY people that have measured each spur in a Forest Service campground. AND that includes the Forest Service! https://www.forestcamping.com I had a 30 foot 5th wheel and parked it in Arizona. Your mileage may vary with a 32 footer. It really depends on where you want to go....and it my case it was everywhere. Like you, I had tent trailers before retirement and hauled them everywhere. The 5th wheel was just to large to haul to those areas that I was interested in going. BUT, here are some tips on how to get around with that 32 foot 5th wheel on Forest Service managed lands. http://usbackroads.blogspot.com/2010/05/how-to-find-boondock-locations-part-2.html
  4. Vladimir

    Walmart vs. Amazon

    Correct. It is an insurance company requirement. But I found it was cheaper to get a years supply at one time by paying out of pocket. I am on the Federal Employees Health Plan and the benefits are not that good compared to many private plans. So your mileage may vary.
  5. Vladimir

    Walmart vs. Amazon

    Pharmacies will fill prescriptions for a full year if you get your doctor to write it that way. I do need to call Costco prior, to make sure they have enough pills to fill mine for a full year. You do have to pay for it out of pocket, but I find my pills (all generic) cost the same for one year out of pocket as filling every ninety days under my insurance. Wal-Mart and Amazon are about the same for on-line ordering. Wal-Mart is cheaper on many items.
  6. Vladimir

    Escapees survey of NPS improvements

    TCW's post is worth rereading. There needs to be a stable, funding mechanism for public lands. Doesn't have to fund the entire program, but just a stable base as Congress changes the overall picture due to national priorities. Washington state has a refund of the state gas tax to support recreational activities. The money is gas tax funds "burned" on public roads that are NOT supported by gas taxes. Primarily, state and federal roads accessing recreation areas. Here is an explanation of the program: https://www.rco.wa.gov/grants/nova.shtml. At the Federal level something similar can be done with the Federal gas tax with the money refunded to the Federal agencies with roads that are NOT funded with gas taxes. That would include the NPS, FS, BLM, USFWS, as well as COE (I think). The 10% tax on outdoor clothes and equipment is also needed. Still mad at REI and the industry for opposing the tax. On a related note. Having worked for the NPS, BLM and FS. I understand the focus on NPS, but the real need is on FS and BLM lands. Any fix to recreation funding for the Park Service needs to include the BLM, FS and other Federal land management agencies.
  7. Vladimir

    Boondocking in Seattle....

    Here is an article in the Seattle Times. https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/coming-soon-to-seattle-a-constitutional-right-to-camp/ Interesting. It might make boondocking in Seattle a real possibility. There are enough legal issues raised that could move the issue beyond just Seattle. Worth reading. So did you ever think that as a full-time RV'er your basically considered "homeless"?
  8. Vladimir

    Van or Truck Camper?

    When I did the AlCan a couple of years ago....there were a bunch of truck campers that were mounted on a trailer bed. One guy had a "deck" out back complete with lawn furniture as he went down the road!! I think a small trailer is probably the best idea as mentioned by several folks. However, a truck camper on a trailer bed looks like the best of both worlds. When you need a truck camper....put it on the truck. Otherwise use it as a trailer. I wonder if folks are afraid of a small trailer due to backing up and towing?? I would rather tow a trailer than have a heavy camper on a truck.
  9. Vladimir

    Couple of Questions for Experienced Boondockers

    Having 125 watt solar panel takes the edge of the battery drain. During the day I turn on lights, watch a small TV, use the water pump for showering and dishes, and the furnace fan if it is cold. At night, I run the generator for an hour or so while cooking dinner. The 125 watt panel does keep the battery from draining. A lot depends on your RV. I don't have ANY parasitic draws in either the 5th wheel or the Casita. I don't run the fridge off the battery...it runs on propane. It isn't a blanket size for a panel. Larger is better. I used a 125-watt panel for fall camping. Currently, with the Casita I use this 80-watt panel setup. It is easy to set-up: https://www.amazon.com/Go-Power-GP-PSK-80-Portable-Controller/dp/B009MIPH36/ref=pd_sbs_263_3?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B009MIPH36&pd_rd_r=WG5SDW6ZM8W4RWPPGMXF&pd_rd_w=lRrem&pd_rd_wg=0j5Uq&psc=1&refRID=WG5SDW6ZM8W4RWPPGMXF&dpID=519rcc0NEUL&preST=_SX300_QL70_&dpSrc=detail My point is that many people think the choice is between a generator and solar. I think you really need both to be comfortable. Also I hate generator noise so the solar does help minimize generator run-time particularly during the morning and day when it is most annoying. During hunting season we run three RV's off one Honda 2000 generator. It generally loafs along especially since all three RV's have LED lights. Only request is to tell the other folks when you are going to run the microwave.
  10. Vladimir

    Couple of Questions for Experienced Boondockers

    I believe everybody has answered the fridge question. The answer to solar or generator is BOTH. A 80-125 watt panel will keep your batteries charged enough for lights(LED), water pump, and other minor power draws. You need the generator for the microwave, TV, etc. and larger power draws. Solar panels are cheap. Get both. More info here: http://usbackroads.blogspot.com/2012/06/solar-or-generator-for-camping.html
  11. About two years ago my Lenovo laptops quit connecting to the hot spot on my 5S. It drove me nuts....and finally!!! I found the solution. Here are the instructions: Method 2: Disable the IP Helper service: a. Press "Windows" + R key. It will open run Window. Type "services.msc" (without the quotes) and press Enter. b. Scroll down to the IP Helper service, right click on it and select Properties c. In the dropdown box that says "Automatic" or "Manual", set it to Disabled and then click on "Apply" d. Then click on "Stop" to stop the service from running in the current session. Here is the link you have to scroll down for the IP Helper service. It needs to be Disabled.: https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_8-networking/unable-to-connect-my-iphone-5s-hotspot-to-my/326c07dc-45f2-4970-8019-7f6e37787c8c
  12. Vladimir

    Campgrounds near Seattle

    You want to be far enough from the pass to avoid the heavy, wet snow on your roof. You might be able to rent a site from a landowner that has a roof cover. Place an ad in the Cle Elum paper and Craig's list. However, I attended a conference up at Snoqualmie Pass and drove into downtown Seattle for a ball game. It was quick....well it wasn't rush hour. If your in Bellevue it will take less time to go from Cle Elum to Bellevue than Bellevue to Seattle. Lots of people do the commute. Years ago, people met at the Safeway parking lot in Cle Elum for ride sharing. It will definitely be a pain November through March...but the rest of the year wouldn't be bad. Particularly if you get into ride sharing.
  13. Vladimir

    Thoughts on Best 5th wheel brands

    Ask everybody about their 5th wheel!! The question I always ask....what did you find out AFTER you used the 5th wheel for awhile that was bad or didn't work as expected?? Then the follow up question....What did you find out AFTER you used the 5th wheel for awhile that was great?? Many times the stuff that makes a quality product isn't obvious until you have used it for a bit of time.
  14. Vladimir

    When to winterize

    I agree with Ray....I push it during hunting season and kept a thermometer in the bays. 25 degrees. That usually means the temperature drops below freezing for extended period of time. I get up and run the cold water during the night and below 25 I get slush that the water pump finally pushes through and opens the flow.
  15. Vladimir

    Cal.Hwy 58 to the I15

    I think he is asking about 58 from Bakersfield to I-5....the other direction. IF SO....there is a new stretch from Bakersfield west....I got confused and watched my GPS plow NEW ground!! I was heading east, so you might not have the signing problem coming from the east. It is a fine road. It does go through several small towns that will remind you of Mexico and other than the traffic and stop lights...no problem.