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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. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Campground Integrity

    Those "hairy thieves" are wimps in most cases.In most cases, they are afraid of the noise made by beating pots and pans against each other. Then again, you might get one that is fearless. In any case, don't mess with the ones with small ears and a hump on the back. They are real cranky!!
  9. Campground Integrity

    So are you primarily visual or imaging?? I saw a modified Class C with a rear storage area at the eclipse site. Even had a "handicapped" lift that he was using to move his large DOB from the storage area. Rear of the storage area had all the telescopes and could be easily modified for a warm room. He was primarily visual. I have a dark site complete with cabin in Washington and our RV lot in Benson is fairly dark. So I usually just take a small scope with me for traveling. I found that my 12.5 Dob just did not get the use unless I was parked for a week or more. But then I had to put it together and take apart every time. You might want to look at getting on the wait list for one of the coop parks in Arizona or California. Most of those are very close to pretty dark skies and fairly inexpensive once you buy the lot. When are you going to start traveling??
  10. Can I make a wi-fi booster portable?

    I kept my wifi "capture" equipment. It does come in handy boosting the signal inside of parks. But these days, what I really end up using it for is boosting my cellular wifi hot spot. The cellular amplifier and antenna are all hooked up in the truck and the distance between the phone and the computer is close to 40 feet. So I just hook up my phone in the truck using a jumper battery to power both the phone and amplifier. That way I don't have to move anything but the jumper battery. I then hook up the wifi amplifier in the RV and use it laptop there.
  11. Campground Integrity

    In almost 50 years of working, camping and just plain running around on public lands. Two incidents. 1972, while working for the Forest Service in Idaho. Really out there, we saw ONE other rig in three months. There was another one out there because he stole our cooler and frozen food that was stashed in a snow bank several miles away while we were working. Since at that time the Forest Service did not have a law enforcement branch, the FBI came out of Spokane to investigate the crime. I provided crime scene photos to them. To this day it remains an unsolved crime. About ten years ago, on opening week of fishing season a group of local kids came buy and stole the cooler full of beer from the adjacent campers in the middle of the night. With your astronomy gear you would have been up and probably foiled the crime!! I have several telescopes that I take camping with me. Almost all the time I set up on the backside of the RV. Never know when somebody will camp next to you and leave their porch light on all night. Lots of city people out there that are afraid of the dark. I always leave the scope up, but take in my eyepieces and camera's. It is pretty difficult to move a set up telescope in the dark without somebody noticing it in the RV. Daytime, I just cover the scope with a Desert Storm cover so most people have no clue what it is. Given all that the quality of folks camping these days is dramatically down. Last few years I have witnessed some interesting behavior in camping areas. That said, my Forest Service law enforcement friends tell me that 85% of people camping on Forest Service managed lands are carrying a gun. Maybe that is why people are so polite camping?? Anyway, be aware of that. Alchohol and guns are a bad mix. In the Forest Service, that was enough to REQUIRE Forest Service employees to back out and call law enforcement to continue the discussion. Odds are you will be fine.
  12. For those interested in carrying guns for bear protection.....A classic research publication, worth reading. Published in 1983 in response to concerns about bears and Forest Service crews in the woods in Alaska. Before getting a gun for bear protection you need to read this. https://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/pubs/gtr152.pdf Title is: Safety in Bear Country: Protective Measures and Bullet Performance at Short Range.
  13. The Forest Service did a research publication on how much "gun" it takes to stop a grizzly bear. It was in response to a request on which guns to carry to protect timber crews in southeast Alaska. Interesting reading. I carry bear spray. The one time in my career where a bear tried to run me over....I was stunned at how fast he was moving and quite frankly a gun would not have been of much use. Great ideas on storage locker use and also getting rid of gun accessories when entering Canada. To that I would add camo clothes. My favorite jacket is camo given to me by Columbia Sportsware, my favorite hat was a camo hat given to me by Dave Smith Motors, and then I compounded the problem by buying camo polorized safety glasses (they were sold out of the regular kind) that I use for driving, fishing and hunting. I hit the border with that camo gear and my one-ton truck and the Canadians were sure that somewhere there was a gun!!! After that, the camo gear got put away. The o
  14. Houseboat rental?

    We got our "ski boat" free with the houseboat rental. Not sure the diffference between a runabout and a ski boat, but you need something that can handle decent waves. You can get four foot waves easily on Lake Powell. So you want something that can handle that, plus have enough speed to get you around the lake. Watch your gas situation. I ran out 20 feet from the gas dock on our "toad". Which I guess was the perfect time to run out of gas!! Another couple would be helpful just dealing with the boat. I was in my thirties and went with three woman. I could have used one big strong guy around. I don't fit that category. So some help dealing with the houseboat is handy. Also fly "google" and decide where you want to camp and visit before your trip. You do need a sandy beach with a quick drop-off to keep the houseboat prop out of the rocks. It was a great trip. One week is not enough!! I started looking for a trailerable houseboat when I retired, but at that time they were all made for east coast situations. That is fiberglass pontoons instead of aluminum. Great trip. Don't miss it. We went out of Bullfrog Marina, back in the early 1980's. I spent a year or so working for the NPS on the expansion of houseboats at Lakes Mohave and Mead. That was a interesting experience. Houseboats are pretty much fun. Drag some kids along for even a better time.
  15. Houseboat rental?

    All the advice is pretty good, so I won't repeat it. Except that Lake Powell is where you want to go for the best houseboating experience and you want to do it outside of peak season. After Labor Day is best. Go with other people, it is a lot more fun. Be sure to rent for the minimum of a week, it is a gas. We rented for a week in the spring before the rush. It was great, the water was cold unlike after Labor Day where the water is warm. We got a "free" ski boat with the rental. That was VERY worthwhile. It allowed us to explore the lake without moving the houseboat everyday. It isn't much different than a RV in take down. I would rent or borrow a ski boat to tow behind the houseboat. Think of it as a toad.