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About Vladimir

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    Senior Member
  • Birthday 09/24/1950

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

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  1. Hmmm......I just upgraded two of my machines from Windows 2000 to XP!!! My everyday machines are all Windows 7. I just bought a "new" one for $300 that came with Windows 7. My wife has a 12 year old IMAC and a two month MacBook Air. All said, the differences between a Mac and a Windows machine are pretty minimal these days for most users. So minimal that the 12 year old IMAC has more issues with upgraded MIcrosoft software than the other machines. In fact, just yesterday Microsoft said forget it your operating system software is out of date. I have probably close to several thousand dollars in hobby software that runs on XP and 7, but not 10. You really think I am going to spend all that money for a hobby just to have the latest operating system??? I am shifting my internet browsing to a IPAD. It works better than a computer for in most connected applications. I will keep the computers running XP and Windows 7 for as long as I can which pretty much should be another couple of decades!! I remember using a computer before the internet in 1973!!! It worked great for the job at hand. Really, you don't need ONE machine to do everything. You really are better off having a computer, a tablet, chromebook, and a phone and take advantage of the capabilities of each.
  2. Vladimir

    Dog License

    Wow...a dog license!! What will they think of next...cat license?? Hamster license?? Goldfish license?? To follow up on previous comments....the dog is legally part of YOU. Get shots, keep them under control, etc. etc.
  3. Vladimir

    Co-op questions

    Never had an issue with storage through the summer. I suspect that your better off storing stuff in a well insulated, heat shielded Casita than storing stuff for a summer in a RV. We have done both. The only issue is do you want to belong to a co-op?? Here is my description of Park of the Sierra’s. Read the last part about belonging to a co-op. It works for some, it can work for most others and for some...well, you should never join a co-op. But I think if you stayed for a season in the co-op of your choice you would know by the end of a couple of months if you want to join. http://usbackroads.blogspot.com/2012/02/park-of-sierras-coarsegold-california.html
  4. Vladimir

    Inflatable Pontoon Boat

    The porta-note does NOT have a flat bottom. I was in one for only a short period of time and it was rather uncomfortable. Nice boat, however, I would definitely look into one IF they had a flat bottom. They are limited to lakes, the advantage of a good fishing pontoon boat is you can take it down some pretty knarly rivers.
  5. Vladimir

    Inflatable Pontoon Boat

    I have a pontoon boat. The one your looking at is fairly cheaply made and is sold by Costco for 299 each spring. This is the boat I own: http://www.outcastboats.com/pontoons/pac-900.asp It is more expensive, but you can take it down rivers. They are used by fly fishermen all the time. If you go to a lake that if frequented by fly fishers you will be able to see and try different brands. And get some good advice on using them. You do need waders or hip boots and fins to use them for fishing. They are great, both hands free and you maneuver by kicking with the fins. If you want to go somewhere fast use the oars. I outfitted mine with a small trolling motor and a small battery charged by a solar panel. On small lakes I do not bother with trolling motor. See the set up here: http://usbackroads.blogspot.com/2012/05/solar-powered-fishing-boat.html It is probably the safest craft for fishing. Very stable. Wind is the big issue, but read the blog. There are lots of companies that make good pontoon boats. Here are two in Idaho. http://www.outcastboats.com/..........click on shop to see the companies product line. https://bucksbags.com/ver193/fishing.html The boats store well for travel. Set-up time is usually about half hour or so if completely deflated. I just keep mine inflated all the time during fishing season and it travels on top of the truck boat rack. Strictly for fishing. I would buy a pontoon boat before any other type boat. Most of one person crafts. Like I said they are really popular with fly fishing folks since you have both hands free for fishing. I can answer any other questions that you might have.
  6. For RV'ers it is not the MOST pleasant days in the year.....but the best times to visit. I thought long and hard about this an did come up with the "perfect" answer. http://usbackroads.blogspot.com/2010/03/when-is-best-time-to-visit-national.html Oh, If I was trapped in one place for an entire year.....Central Coast of California.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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"?
  14. 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.
  15. 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.