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About Ron

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  1. I ran across this article today which gave me some new insights into how the new tax bill might influence and impact various companies. Also, some good ideas that might impact our own portfolio planning. I'm already implementing some of these ideas. https://seekingalpha.com/article/4133563-week-review-tax-reform-impact?ifp=0&app=1 Wishing you all a Blessed Christmas, Ron
  2. Most RV Parks in OC are quite expensive. IF you're just looking for something economical for a few days and IF you are an Elk you will find clubs with RV spots in both Fullerton and Garden Grove. Both are a pretty easy drive to the convention center.
  3. About 9 years ago I installed 1 single 120 W panel on the roof of our trailer. The attached graph was recorded at the SKP park near Congress, AZ on two successive days and not nearly when the sun would have been at its lowest angel. When tilted the panel was tilted directly to the south at a tilt angle that made it normal to the sun at noon. Hope this give you some idea of what to expect.
  4. The realized output depends greatly on the time of year, your latitude, and whether you tilt your panels. Of most concern is probably the total watts produced by the panel per day (i.e. amps x volts integrated over the period of a day).
  5. Depends somewhat on your situation. Review the IRS website below and see if it answers you question: https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/plan-participant-employee/retirement-topics-ira-contribution-limits
  6. Ron

    Anti-Sway bars

    "This video is the best one I've found that explains the design and theory behind both the weight distribution and anti-sway control. " Thanks, that video does explain that the only sway control feature incorporated into the design is the tilt of the head which causes a differential tension in the two tension bars when the truck and trailer are not alligned. Since this added tension would be nearly all in a vertical force vector I'm skeptical that it would really do much to correct the sway in a dynamic situation. And, I'm not sure why they think this feature is unique since all the hitches I'm familiar with have this tilted-head feature. They also sort of claim that if sway does does occur the fact that there is no friction feature in the tension bars allows the trailer to move back into alignment with the TV. Actually this happens with the friction-tension-bar systems also because the tilted head of , e.g., the Equal-i-zer and others, forces the bar on the "inside" of the "turn" to have much higher friction, and the bar on the "outside" of the "turn" to have much less tension, than when the system is in the normally aligned position. Anyway, I hope this system works out well for you.
  7. Ron

    DW wants an oven

    We have the Oster linked above by MrSeas. My wife loves to bake and uses it often for baking breads, cookies, cakes, pies etc. Also works great for pizza. The gas oven is only used for storage since she got this electric convection oven. In the summer we set it outside beside the door when using it so it doesn't heat up the trailer. In the winter she often uses it indoors and that works better than the gas oven did because it always required a lot of ventilation.
  8. Ron

    Anti-Sway bars

    Thanks for reporting back on your experience with the Blue Ox. As I said in a prior post on this thread I still can't see any design feature of that hitch that would work to mitigate sway. I tried to find a technical explanation of how/why it "eliminates sway", as they tout in the marketing literature, but I fail to see any explanation. I've been using the Equal-izer system for over 10 years and have never felt unsafe driving it in any wind conditions. I don't have specifics on winds and direction but about the only time I recall pulling off the road because of wind was a couple occasions when I saw commercial semi trucks doing the same. Regarding the 750# rating of the hitch; that just barely allows you to have 10% of the gross trailer weight on the hitch. If you intend to full-time with this trailer you might find yourself loading it to nearly its full capacity. In my experience you'll get better/safer handling with 12% to 15% of the weight on the hitch. I wouldn't doubt that the Hensley hitch is probably the best you can get but it is far more expensive than the Equal-izer and for the size/weight of our trailer I've never felt the need for anything better than the Equal-izer.
  9. Dutch & Al, Thanks for the very good information. Those data consumption issues with email never occurred to me. We use "mail" on a Mac to get our Gmail and Yahoo Mail - mostly because we just like to have the message traffic consolidated in one place but this is another very good reason to use a client. ---Ron
  10. How many of your clients took your advice - how many lost their "nerve" and sold near the bottom?
  11. Were you investing in stocks 30 years ago? Below comment is extracted from Eddie Elfenbein's weekly email: October 13, 2017 “In business, competition is never as healthy as total domination.” – Peter Lynch This Thursday will mark the 30th anniversary of the 1987 market crash, or “Meltdown Monday” as it’s come to be known. On October 19, 1987, the Dow plunged 508 points. In percentage terms, this was a loss of 22.61%. In today’s terms, that would be like a loss of more than 5,000 points! Three decades later, the 1987 crash sill ranks as the biggest one-day percentage loss in history. It’s nearly double the second-biggest loss, which came in October 1929. With the modern “circuit breakers,” this record may never be broken. If the S&P 500 falls by 20% nowadays, the exchanges shut down for the day. I often hear stock market “experts” predicting that another 1987 is about to come our way. I always think to myself, “oh, so you’re predicting another 1,000% return over the next 30 years.” Yes, that’s what the Wilshire 5000 did measuring from the market close on the day of the crash. And if we include dividends, then the index is up more than 2,000%. The fact is that the 1987 panic was a great time to buy.
  12. The Crown Royale was the top of the line Monaco in 1991 with lots of beautiful wood and leather. This is a lightly used, lovingly cared for, always garaged beautiful example of this vintage RV. It's located in Aguila, AZ about 35 miles from the Escapees North Ranch RV Park in Congress, AZ. A detailed description of the coach is shown below and photos can be found at Mileage: 104,884 4 Speed Allison Transmission 2 Speed Rear Axle PAC Exhaust Brake Engine: 250 hp Cummins Diesel C-Series (6CT8.3) Kohler Model 7CKM-22 RV Propane Generator Roadmaster Suspension (8 bags) Location: Aguila, Arizona Features: · Top of the line “Grand Old Lady” · Always indoor kept · Used only for vacations, never for full-time living · Solid walnut cabinetry throughout, with lots of storage · Corian counter surfaces throughout with matching galley sink and cook top inserts · Cockpit o Leather electric pilot and co-pilot seats o Built-in comfort fans for pilot and co-pilot o In-dash stereo radio/cassette o Built-in Cobra CB Radio o External Kenwood 10 disc CD auto changer o 19” Emerson color TV with HD converter o Datron DBS-3000 Mobile Satellite Television System o B&W Backup Monitor (Intec Car Vision System Model 9200) o Air Horns and Spot Lights o PressurePro Tire Monitoring System with extra sensors · Lounge o Sofa converts to queen sized bed o Two barrel chairs with pull-out Corian dining table (Chairs have custom made slip covers) o Lots of overhead storage plus storage cabinet under the dining table · Galley o Hardwood floor in galley o Lighted bar cabinet with full crystal service o Built-in icemaker, blender, and microwave/convection oven o Freshwater filter/purifier drinking water faucet o 2 burner Gaggenau cooktop o Country Coach-style beveled mirrored backsplash around galley range and on side of sink cabinet facing entry door o Double Door Dometic gas/electric refrigerator - Royale Designer Series RM3804 o Koolmatic attic fan in galley with thermostatic control · Bathroom o Large storage/linen cabinet that can be converted to additional wardrobe space o Two mirrored medicine cabinets o Large shower with sky-light, including removable snap-on sunscreen over skylight o Beautiful marble flooring o MaxxAir high performance ventilation fan in bathroom o Walnut sliding doors into bathroom and bedroom · Bedroom o Queen sized bed o Mirrored headboard o Ceiling fan o Two wardrobes o Lots of overhead cabinets o 13” Panasonic TV o Built-in AM/FM stereo cassette radio o Generator and rear air conditioning unit can be operated from bedside · Exterior o Full Carefree awnings o Exterior snap-on sun screen for cockpit windows o Lighted acrylic grab handle by entry door o Exterior power plug near entry door o Kwikee Electric Step with underneath storage o Three large basement storage compartments · Tires o Toyo M120Z 10R 22.5 Radials with Alcoa Wheels (DOT N33N 9WR 3905) o Purchased 4/14/2006 @ 72,850 miles. (Current odometer 104,884) o Always indoor kept o Extra tire included (no wheel) Bridgestone 10R 22.5 Radial (DOT V7 3N 3KJ 0100) · Maintenance o Oil and oil filter change 11/2010 @ 101,700 miles o · Other o Three point hydraulic leveling jack system o Dual Duo-Therm rooftop air conditioning units o Electric and propane heat o Factory window tint o Insulated removable sun protector inserts for windscreen and side windows o No slides · Full set of owner’s manuals · 30 and 50 amp power cords included along with sewer accessories and other extras · New Interstate House and Chassis Batteries January 2016 · Service and repair records available · Many Extras · Reason for sale: No longer RVing · Asking $31,500
  13. Even if you are diligent about keeping your S/W up to date and run the best threat protection software you are still likely vulnerable: " ...... In other words, sophisticated hackers today have moved beyond the average user's simplified picture of a computer: applications on top of an operating system on top of hardware. Instead, they're inserting themselves into the hidden corners of a computer's architecture that exist outside that picture. And anyone hoping to keep their computer truly secure will need to start looking into those corners, too. The full article is here: https://www.wired.com/story/critical-efi-code-in-millions-of-macs-is-not-getting-apple-updates?mbid=nl_092917_daily&CNDID=%%CUST_ID%%
  14. I’m not an expert but we’ve been towing a 23’ TT with a Chevy Avalanche 2500 for over 10 years and I’ve learned a lot about towing a trailer over that time. We’ve got over 100,000 mi on the trailer and over 180K miles on the truck. The Avalanche’s mechanical systems are about equivalent to a ¾ ton pickup except for the stiffness of the suspension and the design of the frame components. It has the tow package. If I were in your shoes I’d make every effort, if possible, to purchase the TT first, load it the way you intend to use it, borrow or rent a ½ ton truck like the one you favor, take the rig to a commercial scale, and weigh everything to verify you are within all of the truck’s specs, and calculate the margins for each spec. If you are satisfied, then take it for a drive and see how everything handles. Try pulling up a steep grade and see if you are satisfied with its performance. Go to a deserted rural road and try to make a “panic” stop and see if you are comfortable with the stopping distance and handling – IMO this is actually much more important than acceleration or speed climbing a grade. I very strongly suspect you will decide you don’t want a ¼ ton truck. If you reject the ¼ ton you could (should IMO) repeat the above exercise with a ¾ ton truck of your choice. If I, based on my experience, were going to full-time in a 30’ TT w/o doing the above testing I would get a single rear wheel 1-ton truck with 4wd. That’s because I would not want to risk spending so much money on what could very well be the “wrong” truck for the job. Our ¾ ton truck is VERY adequate for pulling our TT in nearly all respects except one. We are right at the max weight limit on the rear axle and rear tires. I would never have guessed this would be the case just going by the stated weights and ratings on the TT and truck. IMO it is much more difficult to determine the proper tow vehicle for a TT than for a fifth wheel trailer. The 5th wheel places a percentage of its weight on, or just slightly forward of, the rear axle and the rest on the trailer axles. You can easily measure this weight on a truck scale and those weights can be matched to the trucks specifications. Those weights are static weights and forces but they won’t vary much while you are towing. The geometry of a truck attached to a 5er usually makes sway a non-issue. A “bumper pull” trailer is a completely different situation. The static weights you take at a scale are only valid while you are parked. Under actual towing conditions the forces represented by those weights can change by a very large percentage. The forces distributed by the weight distribution hitch (WDH), while improving the static situation, can actually amplify the change in the forces in certain situations. For example consider what happens when you traverse a dip or hump in the road as when entering a filling station or parking area or even on an unimproved road in the boondocks. When the truck comes up out of a dip while the trailer is still going down into the dip the tension in the spring bars increases drastically – likewise when the truck has crossed a hump while the trailer is still going up the hump the spring bars will release much or all of their tension. Or consider the tremendous added dynamic forces put on the truck when driving down one of those highways with the expansion joints that cause the rig to “porpoise” in an oscillating motion. These dynamic changes in forces do not happen to a significant extent if towing a 5er. Some aspects of towing a trailer are not so obvious on first examination. For example, in my case, the trailer’s hitch weight is much higher than the spec sheet stated. In our case it’s impossible to get the weight distribution hitch (WDH) to transfer enough weight to the truck’s front axle to keep the truck from “squatting” to some extent. From my reading over the years many TT owners find this to be the case. When I hitch-up the WDH transfers some of the static “hitch weight” from the truck’s rear axle to the trailer axle and the truck’s front axle, but not enough, and to the extent that the front axle lifts above its unloaded height a lot of additional truck weight is transferred from the front axle to the rear axle. This is easy to visualize by drawing a simple “see-saw” where your truck frame represents the board and the rear axle/wheels/tires represent the fulcrum. A very simple stick diagram of the truck’s frame and rear axel, the trailer’s frame and axle(s), the point at which the frames are connected and pivot (the ball hitch), the location and length of the WDH (a second lever with the fulcrum at the ball, its point of pivot) and the WDH’s force application points, and you will be able to visualize the tremendous force the weight distribution arms would need to exert to transfer the required weight (force) to the truck’s front axle. You can also see the exaggerated downward force placed at the short end of the lever arm (i.e., at the hitch ball) that would be needed to raise all the weight of the truck that is forward of the rear axle by even a fraction of an inch because that end of the “lever arm” is much longer and has maybe 4 or 5 times the mechanical advantage. The weight applied to the ball and the weight removed from the front axle to raise it is all applied to the “fulcrum” (rear axle). When you examine the simple diagram of the “system” it becomes very clear that its geometry puts the WDH at a tremendous mechanical disadvantage as it tries to achieve the desired weight distribution. Note also that, as mentioned by someone else, trucks come in many configurations in terms of length and layout. With a travel trailer many of the weight distribution and handling issues can be influence greatly by the overall length of the truck and the rear axle’s distance from the hitch ball. These distances can also have a large impact what percentage of the trailer’s weight needs to be on the hitch to avoid sway and other handling problems. Often the changes required to achieve one goal is in conflict with achieving a different goal. Changing the hitch weight of the trailer by rearranging the contents of the trailer is usually not feasible to any meaningful extent since it’s largely driven by the placement of tanks, storage areas, position of the trailer axles, etc. This is just what determines the limiting factor on our set-up – yours may be different – the point is it will probably be something you haven’t thought of and could be difficult or impossible to quantify prior to testing. IMO, and experience, the towing aspects of TTs are far more complex than 5’ers in almost all respects. For all these reasons it is, IMO, much more difficult to select a TV for a TT than for a 5er and it’s also much more important to have more margin built into the key specifications due to the dynamic nature of the forces when towing.
  15. https://seekingalpha.com/article/4107853-warren-buffett-wins-1m-bet-made-decade-ago-s-and-p-500-stock-index-outperform-hedge-funds