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JimK

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Everything posted by JimK

  1. When it comes to shower water, I follow Sandsys's protocol. I set an egg timer for the length of time needed to heat water for a shower. I heat the water so I can take a shower without adding cold or needing to adjust the temperature. For dishes, I heat a kettle of water.
  2. You will quickly find this is not the forum for small and light. Small, light to me means a van conversion or truck camper. I am partial to truck campers for a couple of reasons. One is simply resale. Pickup trucks have really good resale value especially compared with the high depreciation of an RV. Either one means you can park in a standard parking spot. You can pull into a campground or rest stop, spend the night and leave without any sort of fuss or set up/take down. Both will do well with fuel economy and maintenance costs. I am not sure about van conversion but there are plenty of choices for truck campers that are really well made. I have a Northstar Igloo which is 17 years old and in like new condition with minimal repairs and maintenance needed over the years of heavy or full time use. If you want something small, I recommend you do lots of research and decision making before visiting a dealer. RV dealers seem adept at upselling big and heavy.
  3. Anyway, back to the original question. If you want to handle up to 30 amps with a 20' extension cord, you need a minimum of 10 gauge. I am puzzled how you plan to run air conditioners, refrigerators and lights off of one short extension cord.
  4. You have stated you plans and decision on buying an RV. Do you have any questions or need additional information?
  5. I have full timed in a truck camper. No way would I want to spend more than a long weekend in the "camper" you have. If you are determined to stay in an RV, I recommend you consider starting over with a different rig.
  6. I think this is the main issue. If you read RV forums you will see every issue, every problem, every repair that ever happened. Odds are you will see few or none of those issues. I bought an extended warranty when I got my truck. I don't plan on doing any repair work myself. I also pay to have oil changes and other maintenance done in the shop. Again, for the RV we had only one repair in two years of full time use. I had Camping World replace the solar controller. With additional years of part time use, we have had some other repairs. I replaced the water pump. That was about a 10 minute job with a couple of screws, a snap on electrical connection and two hoses that connect without the need for tools. The CO/propane detector died twice. The first time I had a dealer replace it. The second time I did it myself. Again that was a 10 minute job with two screws and two electric wires to connect. I also had to replace the $15 ignitor for the water heater. The other maintenance/repair issue is checking for water leaks. I have had two and should have been more careful checking the seals on every square inch every year. A little caulk fixed both issues. If you list out all of the issues and repairs for a house, I am sure there will be many more. In less time than I have owned an RV, I have spent thousands on tree trimming and removal, over $20K on a new roof, and lots of minor repairs. Maybe you will feel better if you stop reading the horror stories on the RV forums.
  7. First I see nothing wrong with the wife taking a lead on RV issues. Second, what sorts of maintenance and repairs are you concerned about? We bought a 5 year old RV, had solar added and made some minor upgrades. That was about it for our 2 years of full time RV travel. In 60K miles, we had numerous oil changes, a couple of minor truck repairs and not much else. All of that was handled by the Dodge dealers in the area. We replaced tires at Sears. Again, that was done for us. We also had the solar controller burn out. We had to visit Camping World for the part and I had them do the install. There should not be a lot of maintenance or repairs needed. Just don't buy a piece of junk that needs work. Don't buy an overly complex, overly large unit. There should be very little that you need to do outside of simple things like periodically sanitizing the fresh water system and dumping the waste tanks. There is typically way, way more work to do with upkeep on a house or condo.
  8. Almost every RV is set up to use antifreeze. For my RV it takes well less than a gallon and less than 5 minutes. It takes just about the same time to dewinterize. My system is not set up for blowing out the lines. On top of that I would be concerned that the blowout would not totally empty all areas of the plumbing. Ten minutes once a year is OK with me. Especially since it takes hours to sanitize the system for use and this year I also had to descale the HW tank with gallons of vinegar.
  9. Be careful about the post office mail forwarding to begin with! Weeks and even months after setting up mail forwarding, the post office still delivered some of our mail to the old address. One important piece of mail was completely lost and it included a check for several thousand dollars. Instead of relying on the post office request address changes with every place that sends you first class mail.
  10. When I was full timing, the average was 30K miles a year. Now I only take part time trips of about 4 months duration. The trip always involves driving from the East coast to the Western States and is typically about 15K miles. A lot of my driving is done in spurts. I am old, tired and lazy, but I can still drive through the Midwest at 600 miles a day. It is easy with a truck camper. I typically drive about 2 hours in the morning, make a pit stop and drive another couple of hours. Then I stop for at least an hour. I jump in the camper, fix a hot meal and take a nap for up to an hour. I drive 4 more hours and repeat. Then I drive 4 more hours before landing at a Walmart or rest stop for the evening.
  11. I doubt this will help the OP, but a few years ago I decided to try carpet over the original sheet flooring. I went to Lowes and got a piece of indoor/outdoor carpeting which I cut to fit. I did not need to fasten it or finish the edges. The rubber backing keeps it from sliding. When it starts to get dirty, I just pull it out, hang it over a rope and beat on it like olden days. Once a year I wash it with Lysol and water. It still looks like new and I could easily replace it for $50 and an hour of work. After a day of hiking, I enjoy being able to walk around the camper with no shoes. Even on cold night, a midnight trip to the bathroom with no shoes works well.
  12. I am having a hard time understanding the forum guidelines, but it seems this was a personal attack. I have no interest in questioning the OP's choices. At one time or another, many of us visit friends/relatives or otherwise stay in densely populated areas. For that reason this seems to be an important topic. For those situations, it seems important that we understand our rights and understand and comply with the laws. It also seems important to avoid confrontations and understand how to deal with any potential confrontation. Again, I conclude that sort of information does not fall within the forum guidelines and needs to be researched elsewhere.
  13. There are all sorts of misunderstandings about vagrancy laws and the ability to park and sleep in an RV in populated areas. I tried to give a brief explanation of the legalities...without any sort of political overtunes...but it appears a moderator did not approve and deleted the post. It seems to me this is an important issue for anyone parking an RV in populated areas but apparently I cannot help. I suggest you try to research this issue using other sources.
  14. The original issue was about buying an RV for extended use and then reselling that same RV and returning home. A great many foreign visits do this even for relatively short trips. It can be way cheaper to buy and sell as opposed to the high rental costs. Some RV rental companies, such as Cruise America, handle the logistics and make this easy for a foreign visitor. You might pay a bit more but the logistics will be easy for both buying and reselling.
  15. I took a look at the Keystone manual. I think it is excellent and covers all of the basic operation, upkeep and maintenance issues thoroughly. You don't need a more specific manual just read the manual and ignore any items that do not pertain to your model. You should be able to read the manual in a couple of hours and have a good idea of what needs to be done and how to do it and there is a summary to make it easy.
  16. My wife and I bought an RV. It sat in our driveway for months while we downsized, sold the house and I retired. When all the plans were done, we got in it and drove off as full timers for the next couple of years. We had no issues. YouTube can help with virtually any issue or repair and what is needed for full time RV living. This is not rocket science. If you are jumping into full time, then the biggest issues are about getting a mailing address, reestablishing residency in that State, changing insurances and transitioning as much as possible away from any snail mail to electronic. A couple of hours of Google searching should clarify the choices and procedures.
  17. There are lots and lots of choices for quality, cost, size, features. This is even worse than asking what car to buy. You really need to be more specific, narrow your choices and then look at each of those choices. If you ask others, they will typically promote what they bought and often have little experience with different choices.
  18. Could we also say that taking a hike and getting lost could also earn a Darwin Award?
  19. I think you mean triple slide camper. They are heavy and usually not useable without the slides extended which means you cannot park anywhere, certainly not in a regular parking spot or street side parking and they are certainly not stealthy. On top of that you need a seriously heavy duty truck, certainly at least a 1 ton or greater dually.
  20. Casinos have varied ways of dealing with RVs. Some charge and operate RV parks. Others allow free parking in the lot. Some will not permit overnight RV parking. In one case I had to go into the casino get free chips and an overnight parking pass. I guess they expected me to play since I was given a few dollars of free chips.
  21. And the National Parks cover some of the most scenic and interesting areas of the United States. They also include over 5000 miles of paved roads and 10000 plus miles of improved trails including many that are paved or consist of boardways. How much more development in the National Parks do we really need before they cease to be special places?
  22. Do we really need a lot of improved facilities? Our parks are heavily used and crowded already. Let us leave at least some natural, wild and undeveloped areas or at least try to minimize the impact of the crowds.
  23. My older RV has a single stage charger fixed at 13.4 volts. Whether I used shore power or a generator, that was way less than recommended. It shortened the life of my batteries, but even worse it took hours upon hours to charge the batteries. I also had a solar system with a fixed 13.6 volts of charging. Again this was too low for optimum battery life and prolonged with length of time needed to charge. Replacing the solar controller was quick and easy with just simple electrical connections. Finally I realized I needed to replace the built in 110 v charger. That was built into my electrical system and seemed to be a bigger job than I wanted. Instead I just added an additional charger capable of maintaining 14.4 volts. I use it for my generator instead of the built in charger. As I remember each of the charger upgrades was about $200 or less. Again, I recommend you download and review the manual for your batteries. You will be able to verify 2 key points. First you do not want to routine draw your batteries down to less than 50% of capacity. Routine operation in the 50-70% range will greatly extend battery life. Second it is important to properly charge your batteries and to do so at roughly 14.3 volts for an extended period of time until the rate of charging (amperage) drops to a level equivalent to 0.5% of the battery bank rated amp hours. Once you have made the upgrades, I would recommend upgrading your batteries. Consider deep cycle AGM batteries that will need no maintenance and are likely to last at least 7-10 years if properly maintained.
  24. By your argument, perhaps it would make sense to pave the hiking trail so others unable to hike could enjoy the area. If not a highway, then for sure an improvement trail, preferably paved and available to those with wheel chairs.
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