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Al F

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    Photography, Scenic traveling & camping.

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  1. It is easy to list the negatives about something. In general the negatives you list for lithium are correct. I think it would be very helpful to everyone if you would give us the details on how you, in your RV, with about 600AH of golf cart batteries manage to "heavily use" and "not abuse" your batteries. Quoting your statement: Let me list what I consider heavy usage: -- With 600AH of battery, a person would use 200-300 Amp Hours most days for 10-21 days or more in a row w/o connecting to shore power. -- Additionally this extensive use period would occur 3 to 5 or many more times each year of ownership. The details I would be looking for include the following: -- How do you manage to get your battery pack back to 100% full on a regular basis? -- Putting 200-300AH back into the battery is not a simple matter of running a generator of an hour or two. -- Having 600-1200 watts of solar panels (for those who have the space on the roof) would really help. -- How do you deal with 3-4 days of pretty heavy cloud cover and still get your batteries up to 90-95% full. Not abusing batteries so that you do get 6 years of use does mean you get your batteries back to 100% full every 5-7 days. More frequently getting to 100% is better. On the other hand, many or most RV'ers only dry camp for a few days, maybe as long as 5-6 days and then back on shore power so their batteries easily get back to 100% full. They may only do this 2-5 times a year, or maybe just be w/o shore power for 2-3 days several times a year. The RV'ers who do dry camp this limited amount will find that their lead acid battery pack will easily last for 6 years and have little reason to switch to Lithium. This is also assuming they properly maintain the batter pack while the RV is in storage or not being used.
  2. Be sure to compare the dry weight to the gross vehicle weight on these small rigs with 3 slides. You will probably find you have very little cargo carrying capacity. Maybe a little as 500 pounds. A Kirk suggested, take the rig and get it weighed. There are truck stops all over the place with "CAT" scales. You just drive on to the scale push the call button and tell them you want to be weighed, then go in and pay about $15 for your weight ticket. Do an internet search for "CAT Scales" and find the locations.
  3. I have been extensively using my 130 pound, 400AH lithium battery pack for what will be 4 years in the spring of 2020. The 400AH of lithium is more than equivalent to six golf cart or Trojan 6V batteries weighting in at about 400 to 450 pounds total with a total of about 700AH of capacity. The really nice part is not needing to keep the batteries at 100% charge or being concerned about going below 50% charge. I can continuously operate the batteries between 30% charge and 80-90% charged. Which we did on our 4 1/2 month Alaska trip in 2016 when we went for the 4 1/2 months and only ran our generator for about 1.5 hours once to charge the batteries due to several days of heavy cloud cover. We also only spent 2 nights in an RV Park w/elect hookups. We have 650 watts of solar to keep the batteries charged. Yes they are expensive initially, but the freedom to not needing electric hookups is priceless. We do operate our microwave, TV and satellite TV dish with receiver, toaster, CPAP every night, and charging an electric powered wheel chair as needed.
  4. There are now some openings for volunteers at Carlsbad Caverns NP for January 18-25, 2020. This involves picking lint in the Big Room in the caverns for about 4-5 hour a day. This is an Escapees Hangout event. Details here: https://www.escapees.com/event/carlsbad-caverns-hangout/?fbclid=IwAR3MQEAogT3ri2jKcdc3k3By2JN6x5BMQKxMo3kbXupjN1HCiL96DBgVgn0 Several people who previously committed have had to drop out.
  5. My wife had cataract surgery on both eyes about 5-6 years ago. I thought it would be straight forward, just remove the lens and drop in an new one, all covered by medicare. Well, actually it was that simple. However dealing with the doctor and their office pushing hard for us to do add on's for $$$ above what medicare would pay for. That is cataract replacements that would eliminate astigmatism and a couple of other options, I don't remember now. They insisted we would be most unsatisfied if we didn't take the options. Well the plain old lens replacement worked just fine. She still has to wear glasses to correct the astigmatism and for close up work, but she has worn glasses all her life, so nothing new there.
  6. We had a foggy window repaired at ProRV in Dallas (actually near Grapevine). https://www.prorv.com/fog-window-repair/ We were passing though the Dallas area, spent the night at Walmart just a couple miles north of ProRV. We had an appointment for the next morning and pulled in a few minutes after 8am and were out that afternoon. We just stayed in the RV while they did the work. Or we could have left for the day. The cost was $300 for the big window in the entrance door next to the passenger chair at the front of the RV. There are RV parks in the area if you don't like spending the night at WM
  7. Be sure to go online to medicare and go to the section to compare plans: http:// https://www.medicare.gov/plan-compare/#/?lang=en The "Plan-Compare" area allows you to compare, in great detail, the different medicare supplement plans Kirk mentioned. You also get good info on the costs and your out of pocket expenses. The same goes for Medicare plan D for prescriptions. Be sure to enter each Rx your husband takes. With the Rx's entered you will see a detailed price list including costs for each month of the year. Lots and lots of info. I would suggest having or buying an inexpensive laser printer($90-$100) and a ream (500 sheets) of paper and print out each of the options that look the best for you. I find it very difficult to compare plans looking at a computer screen.
  8. A new card is free if you have the old senior pass. In August 2019, the gate keeper at the south entrance to Yellowstone NP asked if we wanted a new card and we said sure. Within 2 minutes we had a brand new card. No charge.
  9. If you travel by yourself in your RV to other places, Big Bend isn't that much different and probably safer than traveling through cities. For an easy and comfortable drive: go from Houston to San Antonio, stay a few days. On to Del Rio for a couple of days. From Del Rio an easy drive to Sanderson and stay at http://www.campgroundreviews.com/regions/texas/sanderson/canyons-rv-park-8188. Be sure to stop a the TX Hwy visitor center in Langtry. Not much in Sanderson but a good place to spend the night to break up the drive. Or go on to Marathon to the RV Park there. Then on down into the park for a couple of weeks. Great dry camping inside the park at Rio Grande Village and at Cottonwood CG's.
  10. As you are doing, I very much prefer to do things online or via email instead of phone call. With email, or online you usually have a verifiable record of what you or others did or attempted to do. So when things go wrong you, most of the time, don't have the "she said he said" problem. Or the "you must have misunderstood the customer service person". Additionally you usually have a email or confirmation screen when ordering something.
  11. About the furnace sending warm air to the water tanks: The fresh water tank is hanging out in the open air in a medal enclosed frame. I don't think it has any way for warm air to get to the tank. The rest of my tanks are internal and have warm air to them. Yes, draining the tanks and having no running water for the time is the safest option. Rather not to have to do that. If we were going to be here for many weeks or a few months I would insulate the outside water hose, etc, etc. But not going to be there that long. We may be forced into the no running water option IF it gets cold enough. I like the idea of putting whiskey in the tank. Hate to run it down the toilet or sink though.
  12. We have a 2006 Journey, 36G with the 90 gallon fresh water tank located in the lower center of the RV between the front and rear axles. This tank is housed in a medal frame mostly exposed to the outside air.We are planning a trip this winter to spend 7-9 days, where we have a chance to be in well below freezing temps for 24-48 hours. Chances are we won't be exposed to this cold of temperatures for this long, but there is still a chance.Questions:-- Is there any insulation between the water tank and the medal frame?-- Does anyone have any experience a RV with this kind of exposed water tank.I know 90 gallons of water is not going to freeze to the point of damage in just 4-6 hours of 15* temps. But if the temps hover between 30* and 15* for 24-36 hours I am not sure what will happen.As far as the water pipes in the storage compartments and living areas, I am prepared to take care of them to keep them from freezing.
  13. Dealers (salesman???) have been known to "tell" buyers most anything the buyer may want to hear. Most any sales man would respond to a buyers question about checking out the rig with something like the quote above. It would be very difficult to verify that the dealer actually did spend a week going through the trailer. That is not to say the dealer didn't have a tech spend 20-30 minutes looking through the rig for any glaring problems and/or having a non technical worker(s) clean the rig so it looks pretty. Another thought is: With a walk through, it is likely the slides were not actually brought all the way in, or maybe not even a little way in. Probably, "here is the button you press to bring the slide all the way in or out". Unless the buyer insisted the slides be operated all the way in and out, maybe even several times, chances are the slides were not operated during the walk through.
  14. Did anyone else get a PM from member "natash223" not wanted a reply via PM, just via email. No question from her to answer, just wanted a reply. Also no member content in the member info area. I am wondering if she is phishing for email addresses? I did "report" the PM.
  15. From my experience over the last 7 years, the "hold mail" is local to your post office and mail carrier. When you go online and submit your hold mail request someone prints out a 8x11 sheet of paper to put where your carrier picks up your mail. If that doesn't happen then your carrier doesn't know you submitted a hold mail request. About mail forwarding. The yellow sticker with your new address gets put on your mail at one of the automated mail sorting facilities close to the origin point of the mailing. I believe there is an exception when mail originates in the same local area and doesn't get to an automated sorting facility. Then it would get to your local post office.
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