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About mptjelgin

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    Major Contributor
  • Birthday 05/18/1960

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    Medina, Texas and on the road.
  • Interests
    Birding, Photography, Hiking, Disc Golf

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  1. mptjelgin

    Caretakers for Summer 2019

    Yes, but they are asking for resumes to be e-mailed by applicants. And I imagine that those would need to be mailed by September, 10, 2018.
  2. Agree on the heavier use of campsites. We have had the unpleasant surprise of arriving at "favorite" Texas State Parks where we never needed reservations in past years, only to be turned away because the park is full. Even places way off the beaten path like Balmorhea State Park in far west Texas have been full-up the last two times we tried to get in. We're finding that the reality is that for many parks, at least during peak season, the idea of just dropping in without reservations is not as practical as it used to be. Or, that you'll be able to drop in on a early weekday, but you'll have to be out by either Thursday or Friday night as all sites will be reserved.
  3. mptjelgin

    Residential Refridgerator

    Most inverters have a significant surge rating which may be more than double the continuous rating. So they handle initial start-up pretty well. Do you have any documentation on your refrigerator, such as rated amp draw or wattage? That would be the best way to size an inverter. Lacking that, a device like a "Kill A Watt" should give you the information you need to properly size an inverter. Since you only want to put the refrigerator on the inverter that should be all the information you need.
  4. I wonder how common this actually is. The reservation systems that I've used in the past couple of years all required at least the first night's fee to be paid as essentially a non-refundable deposit. How many folks are willing to give up their reservation money to have several choices? Rather than RV'ers I'd say all campers. In the state parks that I'm familiar with folks are often making their reservations months in advance. As the weekend (or sometimes week) approaches things like weather, other activities, plans with friends falling through, etc. come up and they simply abandon the trip. The problem is that anyone else who tried to reserve those dates was out of luck, and by the time the first night passes with the site unoccupied most folks aren't in a position to quickly make alternate plans. And as noted previously, sometimes park personnel or campground hosts do not track the status of reserved sites, so they may remain reserved for several unoccupied days. As we traveled from Texas to Maine this spring we were pretty much unable to get sites in state parks on Friday or Saturday nights. But if we drove through those parks there were often empty sites.
  5. We have hosted at a few parks , stayed at many others, and have seen the issues you discuss with reservation systems. The most common problem is folks who decide to not use the site(s) they reserved (for whatever reason), but never cancel the reservation. In fact, the cancellation fee is often the same as the reservation fee (first nights camping fee), so there is no monetary reason to cancel. We have however seen parks that require the full amount to be paid in advance for all nights booked, and I wonder if folks are a little better about minding their reservations in those cases. All parks that I know of have a policy to at least hold the site for the first night, in case of a very late (or even early the next morning) arrival. If they don't show up after that it seems to be a crap shoot as to whether the sites are released or not. Some parks are pretty good about updating their systems, but many do not bother. And realistically, many park "lock-outs" are for Friday and Saturday nights. If the site is blocked for the Friday night there is little chance that it will be snapped up for the single remaining weekend night. As more folks enter the RV/camping world I think that parks in general are going to be more difficult to get in to. I would welcome any improvements to the current reservation systems, including "real time" updating of site availability. But I fear the biggest problem will continue to be too much demand and not enough supply, at least during peak season in popular areas.
  6. mptjelgin

    11# Propane Tank

    It is no problem finding the stands for 20 and 30 pound tanks (like the links Kirk posted) but I've not see a similar stand for the smaller 11 pound tanks If you have access to some plywood scraps perhaps a base could be fabricated from a 12ish inch square of 3/4" plywood with an interference fit circle at the bottom ring dimension cut into the center? Maybe even double the plywood up for an 1.5" base.
  7. mptjelgin

    State Inspection for RV & Tow.

    What sticker are you talking about? There is only one sticker, and that is the registration...
  8. mptjelgin

    State Inspection for RV & Tow.

    The wording stating "...you must complete a Texas vehicle inspection within three days of arrival at your home, duty station, or destination." has led to some interesting debate regarding exactly when the 3-day clock starts running. If you just keep traveling around inside of Texas without ever arriving "home", without a specific destination, do you still have to get an inspection? Asking for a friend...
  9. mptjelgin

    State Inspection for RV & Tow.

    No. There is a box to check at time of registration stating that the unit is out of state. They will issue the sticker without you returning to the state. Copied from "Two steps, One Sticker": Special Circumstances Out of State Motorists If your vehicle is currently out of state and you are unable to complete a Texas vehicle inspection in order to renew your registration, you may self-certify that the vehicle is out of state and will be permitted to register online, by mail, or in person. If you renew your vehicle registration using the out-of-state self-certification option, a remark will be placed on your vehicle record indicating that an inspection is still due. Once you return to the state, you must complete a Texas vehicle inspection within three days of arrival at your home, duty station, or destination. It is very important that you keep the VIR issued after completing your inspection in case you are stopped by law enforcement before the remark is removed from your vehicle record, which takes about 48 hours. The remark will be removed only upon payment of the state’s portion of the inspection fee and verification of inspection at your county tax office.
  10. I guess that you mean it is free to look at sites and see what is available? But to actually make a reservation you're going to get charged a fee. I made reservations at Louisiana and Pennsylvania state parks this spring as we traveled from Texas to Maine. The only way to make those reservations was through Reserve America, and we were charged a $6.00 "Reservation Fee" each time.
  11. mptjelgin

    5th wheel for a newbe?

    There is nothing particularly complicated about hooking up and towing a fifth wheel. And as far as being by yourself I think that a fifth wheel is easier to hitch than a travel trailer assuming that you can see your hitch from the drivers seat. I can in our extended cab truck, but understand that some folks with crew cabs may not be able to see the hitch. In that case there are simple methods (like back-up cameras) to assist. If you like the set-up of fifth wheels then don't let the fact that you are solo discourage you.
  12. For some reason I've found my Garmin GPS(s) particularly sensitive to the specific USB cable that I use. Many of my cables won't "connect". Do you have a couple of different cables you can try?
  13. mptjelgin

    Crossing into Canada since July 1, 2018?

    As noted above, we dealt with a border agent just two weeks ago that specifically stated her "understanding" that everyone in Texas owns guns, and then went on to say "You do own a gun, don't you?". And this was not our first experience with this line of questioning. Myth??
  14. mptjelgin

    Crossing into Canada since July 1, 2018?

    We visited New Brunswick two weeks ago in our Texas-plated truck (no trailer). The agent first asked if we had any guns (no.) She then stated that everyone in Texas owns guns. You do own a gun, don't you? (Yes, but we have no guns with us). Finally she asked if we were aware of the Canada laws regarding firearms (yes). After covering stun guns and pepper spray she waved us on through. The entire exchange took maybe 20 seconds, and is very similar to the questions we've been asked on numerous other crossings into Canada. In fact, I don't think we've ever not been asked about guns, with the comment that "everyone from Texas owns guns".