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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. 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.
  2. 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"?
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Vladimir

    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!!
  12. Vladimir

    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??
  13. Vladimir

    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.
  14. Vladimir

    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.
  15. 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.