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    Mechanicsville, VA - Souix Falls, SD or whever we park.
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    Fast cars, electronics, big trucks, RV's, boating and my family.

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RandyA's Achievements

  1. No, no no. With all personal respect for your vision and no flames or seemingly nasty retorts from me - you are still a long way from the knowledge base I have acquired concerning electricity and and the energy sources needed to produce it. I wasn't kidding about advancing the technology to capture a lightning bolt as an electrical energy source. It is so easy to accept the advertising hype about how environmentally sane it would be to quit using gasoline and diesel fuel in our automobiles and trucks, put up a few solar panels and just plug in. It is not as easy as putting in more charging stations unless we have the power to hook them up. Never-the-less, I admire your vision. Yes, we have made tremendous progress over the past 4 decades and we will continue to do so - political agendas aside. I well remember how angry my (then - now gone) wife became in the late '70's when I frivolously spent part of my hard earned income on a microwave oven and a kit to build an Ohio Scientific OS1 microcomputer. By the time I bought a Motorola bag cell phone she was still ranting and raving about how I wasted money and time on "fad" items that would never do anything. I am so glad I did not fall victim to that narrow way of thinking. Those frivolous actions quickly paid back many times their original cost as it put me way ahead of the curve professionally. I do believe electric automobiles will someday be common place and we will develop the methods to convert alternate forms of energy into the needed electricity to recharge the batteries in electric automobiles. It is a shame that Honda's project to to directly convert hydrogen into electricity was restricted to a few vehicles in California and never allowed to develop nationally. Politics again got in the way. CO2 from burning fossil fuels has undoubtedly impacted global warming and must be reigned back if mankind and many animals are to survive. But electric cars will not solve that problem unless dependable clean sources of energy are used at the generating end and we have a reliable method of delivering that energy. So, what comes first? The chicken or the egg? I personally believe it should be the Chicken (my analogy). Keep your imagination alive, but please do not overlook the realities and cost of getting there. I foresee something akin to the long gas lines after the Arab oil embargo of '73-'74 as communities via for the additional electrical energy that will be needed for a rapid influx of electric vehicles. That is, unless we can rapidly expand our source of electrical energy and methods of delivering it to the needed point of use. We just aren't there yet and have no real plan on how it will be accomplished. πŸ€• Enough said - I'm bowing out of this discussion.
  2. Boy, did you ever miss the mark for what I wrote. The Department of Energy and the Green New Deal are two different things. I never mentioned the Department of Energy, which, by the way, doesn't have a plan either. Yea, it will happen but so does a dump cake. Trying to keep my comments non-political. There is much more I can add - but won't on this thread. We HAVE started and yes it will not happen overnight. Strange you have yet to address where all the electrical energy needed will come from. I hope your imagination works. And yes, I would like to own a Tesla model X - it would be fun with awesome acceleration and I could gloat to my cohorts about owing one, but it would not even come close to my current vehicle needs.
  3. Battery technology beyond lead-acid has leaped light years during our lifetime - mostly in the past 15 years with lithium-ion. Electric motors are considerably more efficient in converting electrical energy into kinetic energy rather than heat. Like the old cigarette commercial for Virginia Slims, "We've come a long way, baby." But......... As a retired Electrical Engineer I am of the opinion we are doing what my ancestors called "Putting the cart before the horse." Or as some might say today, "Read, Shoot, Aim." You can neither create or destroy energy. You can ONLY convert it from one form to another. The energy to charge newer technology batteries has to come from some other source. Solar and wind are not enough. Hydro-electric in many locations is in trouble due to well over-age dams and declining water tables. Nuclear is a great choice for clean energy but people are afraid of it and we still do not have a reliable way to safely store the spent nuclear fuel (forever). Most of our electricity is produced by burning fossil fuels to run turbine generators. Thank goodness coal is no longer the main source of fossil fuel for generators in the USA. Recharging an electric car is like turning on your 240 volt 50 amp electric oven overnight. Anyone want to venture what would happen to our power grid if everyone were to do that tonight? Maybe if not tonight, when the temperatures are hoovering above 90F or below 10F and air conditioners or electric heat is in tremendous demand? I'm all for electric cars but the hype without knowing facts is driving us to an electrical power supply disaster. THERE IS NO PLAN (Seems I've heard that recently on another matter). We hear a lot of talk about "The Green Energy Plan", but the group responsible for the plan are not knowledgeable engineers. Some folks want to spend trillions of dollars on infrastructure but have no idea what infrastructure is and keep slicing it up to include items that have nothing with infrastructure. We are living in a time when roads, bridges, dams, electric distribution, sewers and sewage treatment plants, clean water and more are falling into disrepair or falling apart while we build more but fail to properly maintain and replace what we currently have. I'm sorry if I am busting anybody's bubble, but we absolutely must have the additional electrical energy at the point of use, the ability to produce it without more of the same and the "power grid" (power lines, transformers, towers, switching networks and even in many cases larger service cables to homes with larger service entrance boxes and circuity). We don't have it now, we don't have a comprehensive plan how to build it at a cost we can afford, and even if we did it would take decades to put it in place. Yes, we can power "a few" electric cars with what we have. But, not an entire nation full. BTW - does anyone know how many cars & trucks would need replacing? Does 280,000,000 sound about right?
  4. Referencing Josef Goebbels made me chuckle. Yea, you are using your head for something other than a ball cap holder. πŸ˜„
  5. It shouldn't have taken much to pick up on that. Yes, I am sick and tired of media reporting that thrives on misinformation and inaccurate reporting with the prime objective to excite their readers/watchers or listeners enough to read their paper so that their ratings will go up and they can set a higher price for advertising. Same for TV and commercials. There is also the issue of simply being clueless or stupid not to mention political bias and fear that reporting the truth will bring unwanted repercussions - a road I will not go down. Having been a college professor and Dean of Education at one institution I am extremely intimate with the higher education mix, I would discourage you from wasting your time and money auditing any of the courses above. You see, most of those "liberal" courses are content driven by "opinion" rather than fact. Both by the institution and professor. While textbooks do not dictate a specific curriculum their content is typically driven by institutional bias that leaves out the basic concept of critical thinking as an individual. Or, as you apparently possess - the what, why and how of any communication along with the simple test of "Does it make sense?" Any inaccuracy or ignorance of the facts in a report tell me that person has no business writing the article, their editor is also ignorant of the subject and therefore the entire publication is open to question. This is getting way off topic. But you asked the question and in truth my answer is part opinion and part fact in itself differing only in that I am not selling anything. Anyway, it is fun and a good exercise in observation, fact checking and critical thinking to try and analyze what might have happened in the reported accident based on the short description and photographs. While the individuals gathered on this thread have consistently shown that they are smarter than the average observer, many lesser acute readers will not go that far in their thinking and possibly surmise that the accident and highway shutdown were totally the fault of the "18-wheeler" (which includes those pulling "motor homes") and leave with the feeling that such vehicles are inherently deadly and should be banned from the 4-wheeler's highways. πŸ™‚ Some of the most "clueless" people I know have college educations. Don't sell yourself short by using that yardstick. College educations can easily "backfire" and create a bias that snuffs out critical thinking or even acquiring new knowledge beyond their major. I've seen it happen way too often - indoctrination in a specific subject or curriculum can leave one with an extremely narrow view of the real world. You know the definition of an "expert": an ex is a has-been and a spurt is just a little more than a drip. Sandsys's question below is what I would hope individuals might ask upon seeing the photograph (among others previously posted).
  6. "18-Wheeler towing a Motor Home". Apparently the article author has no clue. The tractor is NOT an 18 wheeler and a 5th wheel trailer is NOT a Motor Home. Additionally the term "Semi" applied to our HDT's is totally wrong. "Semi" means "half" and refers only to the trailer since it is not self supporting with wheels in the front and back. (Any vehicle - even a car - pulling a non-self supporting trailer is a "Semi" trailer combination.) I feel for the owner/passengers and hope he (she) and any others involved are OK. But it always rattles my craw when people, especially reporters, think that the ONLY RV is a Motor Home and all HDT's are "18 wheelers" or Semi's and can't tell the difference between a TT, fifth wheel or Motor Home. Geez, if you are a reporter learn to do your research if you don't know what it is and report it correctly. Like Rick, I spent 30 years as a volunteer EMS provider and worked my fair share of vehicle accidents. It was a rare event when the newspaper or TV reported an accident's details correctly. They often had to "embellish" the article so it would catch the reader or listener's eye and either left out or added to the story to make it more appealing. Looking at the second link pic I agree the fiver is too far forward indicating damage to the pin or hitch moving the trailer forward as can happen in a abrupt stop of the tow vehicle without enough time or distance to properly engage magnetic trailer drum brakes. I've seen this happen on PU trucks with devastating results as the fiver crashed into the truck cab. I noted a flat right front tire and damage that looks to me like the HDT was hit at the front of the passenger door with force moving forward. Perhaps the HDT was sideswiped by a faster moving vehicle? I strongly suspect a second vehicle is involved but not shown or mentioned. Bringing in a helicopter to do a medical evacuation would shut down all traffic if it had to land on the roadway as pictured - but that's usually only for the period of time it takes to do the evacuation. On most occasions we would place our rescue vehicles and fire engines so as to intentionally block or reroute traffic away from personnel for our safety while we worked to remove the accident victims and road debris. This often completely shut down a highway unless there was a paved shoulder to safely bypass on and a contingent of law enforcement to direct traffic. Actually, we were not allowed to direct traffic - that was a LEO responsibility. Thus, we typically blocked traffic if the accident vehicle(s) were on the road which effectively closed it down. For this accident it is probable that a second vehicle was in the adjacent lane which makes traffic flow literally impossible while maintaining first responder safety. Just guessing from what clues I can see.
  7. Mr. Cob, several things I have encountered in my 75 year lifetime. One example, my daughter totaled her 6 year old car - at least according to the insurance company (cost of body-shop repair exceeded the value of the car). They said they would pay her NADA private party seller value which was about 8K. I asked the insurance company what it would cost to buy back the car rather than give it to them. They left the car with me and sent a check for $600 less than the insurance value. They did not even mess with the title. Armed with an armada of tools, I went to one of those pick-and-pay salvage yards and found several cars identical to hers. I ended up buying a hood, headlight assembly, front fender, door and rear quarter all for less than $200. Over a period of a couple of weeks, I replaced the damaged sheet metal with my salvage parts. Everything but the rear quarter was nut and bolt. We repainted the car outdoors with base coat/clear coat, fine sanded out the bugs that got in the paint, buffed and it looked like a new car. All total parts and materials to restore the car were right at $1400, the rest of the insurance check when in my pocket. Case two, my son's 26' Salem camper was flipped on it's side by a mini tornado that came through this area. Insurance totaled the camper. I got him to buy back the camper. He got something like $23K for the camper, I paid him the $850 buy back (only the registered owner can buy-back in an insurance loss - no 2nd party sales allowed). I then fixed the right side of the camper with new aluminum siding and a used awning and door along with some inside work for about $500 is select used parts, put it in my front yard with a For Sale sign and sold it the next day for $18K. Yes, I am handy with tools and actually enjoy doing that type of work (as a hobby) and not everyone has a place or desire to undertake such a project. I mentioned stripping out our Cedar Creek after the fire that burned the front and ruined the interior from smoke damage. Without ever looking at the camper there was a "deal" in place with CoParts to buy totaled campers for a fixed salvage price sight unseen. So, the appraiser knowing this, told us to take what we wanted before they came to pick it up. This is not at all unusual. If we had not been in Florida but near home I would have kept the entire totaled fiver. Me and and a group of friends worked our tails off removing salvageable personal items and parts from the trailer. My son came down to Florida in his PU and we rented a U-Haul trailer, packed it full and he took the stuff back to VA. Even with all this I came out thousands of dollars ahead in parts. What needs to happen is the totaled vehicle must to be in your possession, not in a storage yard of a wrecker company. In those cases I had the damaged vehicle brought to my home/shop - only then did I file a claim with the insurance company. Possession is 9/10 of the deal. If I wanted to keep it I could for the salvage value. If I didn't, pick-up by the recycler is usually several days. Plenty of time to strip out valuable upgrades, even swap out wheels and tires (if you can find old ones that will roll) unless you are laid up with injuries. Even then you can usually find a friend or sibling to strip it for you. Most insurance does not pay you for those added or new items anyway, if they do it is pennies on the dollar. When you do a buy-back deal it is imperative that you hold the title and NEVER let the insurance company touch it. But know if money is owed to a bank or finance company THEY usually hold the title and getting a clean non-salvage title become more difficult because the insurance company pays them first as the lien holder. In those cases, pay off the loan immediately if you can so you have the title BEFORE the insurance company gets involved. If the insurance company gets to the lien holder first you end up with a salvage title when you buy-back which causes all sorts of problems with registration and new insurance. In some cases the insurance company may NOT want the vehicle for salvage and are happy to leave it with you - less work and hassle for them to abandon the vehicle. Main reason I never buy from a salvage auction is the title issue, which is quite common unless the buy is strictly to obtain parts. It is all a game that needs to be played to your advantage. Few folks know what the rules of the game are. I live in a rural area with a nice chunk of land and distant neighbors so unlike a City dweller on a 1/4 acre lot or restrictive subdivision covenants I can do stuff like that. NEVER give a truck like yours or mine to an insurance company if you have items worth more than their salvage value. If you buy the vehicle back at salvage price once you pull the good parts off you can still sell what is left along with any parts you don't want to keep. Most any truck or camper is worth more for its parts and pieces than as an intact unit unless it is totally burned or massively messed up. Shucks, a busted up hood, radiator, grill, headlight and fender will total most of our trucks due to age and mileage. Those can be replaced by most everyone reading this with reasonable priced used parts. YOU have the legal right to buy-back or keep your vehicle for salvage. You do NOT have to turn it over to your insurance company.
  8. No agent - go directly to National General. Have Full Timer policy on trailer which provides better liability coverage and loss of contents is higher. When our old trailer caught fire they paid "NADA" value plus a nice negotiated increase for improvements and additions then told me to take what I wanted off/out of the burnt trailer before Coparts came to pick it up. Hydraulic pump, inverter, water pump, converter, batteries, awning frame, leveling controller, jacks, rear AC, furnace, dish washer, stove and more were removed and kept. I carry both comp and collision on the truck which is NADA value. If they totaled the 2004 Volvo I would buy it back or strip expensive equipment like seats, electronics, hitch, etc. out before letting it go. Different situation if you have an expensive bed. My premium on truck and trailer went DOWN this year. Our insurance coverage is based on NADA or book value for both truck and trailer.
  9. RandyA

    Hauling a Canoe

    The Porta Bote is an extremely nice looking alternative. I have seen a few strapped to the outside left side of a motor home and fifth wheel. I spent a lot of time studying one at Camping World and then again at the East Coast Rally this past April. There was one next to one of the cabins at Deer Run that caught my eye. I would caution you against purchasing a Sea Eagle until you have had a chance to compare to other inflatables. The Sea Eagle products I am familiar with are vinyl. I do not know if this is true for the entire line or not. The 12' inflatable we bought is 7 mil double coated PVC with 5 air chambers including the inflatable keel - the reason it weighs 121 pounds. It is also rated for up to a 25 hp outboard - we have a 15 hp and it will plane nicely and reach a GPS speed of 22 mph. Rowing it is not fun but very doable. Moving any distance with a paddle is difficult. We have used an electric trolling motor is some small lakes that do not allow gas outboards.
  10. RandyA

    Hauling a Canoe

    Nope - not Charlie. But, I guess it could be if he had a canoe. πŸ˜„ A few years back we were in Kearney Nebraska and went to Harold Warp's Pioneer Village museum/collection of "stuff". There was a boat on display that he had built that was sort of like what I described but it was hinged so the two sides folded on top of one another and made a closed box that fit on a little trailer. It was really neat. So was the car that had two propellers sticking out the back near the exhaust that could be a boat or a car. Now, that is something that would be neat to own. Mark's question has got me thinking again about our old canoe. I would like to be able to take it when we go to Florida so we could paddle around the marshes with the alligators. The idea of making it into a two piece canoe is appealing since I know it can be done. I have seen a rigid plastic kayak that can be taken apart in the middle but its method of joining is entirely different. Still a very doable project.
  11. RandyA

    Hauling a Canoe

    A friend of mine who is something between innovative and crazy solved his problem by sawing his canoe in half right across the center. This was one of those Old Town ABS canoes - not aluminum or poly like a Coleman. He then cut two identical pieces of 1/2" marine plywood for each of the now open center pieces. Once the plywood was glued in he covered them with fiberglass cloth and epoxy resin overlapping onto the canoe hull. This gave him two 8' pieces that he could easily load. Actually, he now had TWO short boats that could be used independently. When he got to his water site he joined the two halves with stainless steel nuts and bolts through pre-drilled holes in the plywood sleeved with copper tubing that had been flared out on the ends to completely seal the holes. The canoe performed as well as it did as a single piece. I also have a 16' canoe that I have seriously thought about making the same modification to along with a flat part on one end to serve as a transom for an electric trolling motor. But, I also own a 12' inflatable with insertable aluminum floor pieces and a 15 hp Mercury outboard. The deflated boat is heavy at 120 pounds but it can be folded over the transom and strapped into a nice package that fits on the bed or a trailer hitch carrier. The aluminum floor pieces go in the trailer behind the couch. The motor and 3 gallon fuel tank go into any available storage compartment. I have a very simple trailer that is only used for launching with our golf cart which we always carry on the back of the Volvo. The launching trailer disassembles. The inflatable has worked well other than a PITA assembling and disassembling.
  12. Thank you. PB Blaster is my go-to product but I am willing to give something new a try.
  13. Just wanted to see what they put up for me. Some are claps, others look like a leaf. Have no idea what they mean. Hope everyone is doing well and no Covid. PLEASE GET YOUR VACCINATION if you have not done so. Look for the Moderna 2-shot. Will be at home this summer since Nancy is having rotator cuff surgery on the 6th Rig will be sitting for awhile after that - at least until she can change a tire πŸ˜‰. I hope to get the blown gasket on #5 of the Volvo exhaust manifold fixed (myself) this summer. Scared of breaking studs!
  14. RandyA

    Need Mirror Back

    On the way home from the ECR we were stopped in traffic for a wreck up ahead when a truck pulling a trailer with a fiberglass swimming pool (wide load) scraped the edge of the pool against my passenger side mirror. I was pretty teed off and gave the guy a piece of my mind over the CB. Not thinking any damage was done I neglected to get his ID numbers. When we got to home base I noticed the outside cover was missing. The truck is a 2004 Volvo. The mirrors are the one piece style with the second mirror bolted underneath. The passenger side cover is gone. First question: Does anyone have a spare they would like to sell? Second question: Where is a good place to buy one other than Volvo or on Amazon? Third question: Does anyone happen to have the OEM part number they will share with me? Many thanks in advance for any help you may give.
  15. "IF" you were to build the pneumatic clutch system I did about 8 years ago you could just push a button on the side of the shift lever and the clutch will disengage. Then you would not need to concern yourself about shifting to neutral to ease your leg from the clutch pedal. I use this a lot when sitting at traffic lights as my clutch brake is toast. I still keep my foot on the clutch pedal in case something fails (which it has not) but do not need to apply pressure. I don't think it was ever put in the Resource Guide, but I do still have the pics and write-up.
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