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About sushidog

  • Birthday 07/31/1956

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    Wherver the road takes me.
  • Interests
    1999 National Tropical

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  1. I told the shop to put a winch on the front of my Jeep. I guess they misheard me. "having done a lot with 4X4’s, wenches for the most part are just dead weight. but when you need it, nothing else works." Ain't that the truth! 😁 Chip
  2. Would you rather pay more money to use your credit/debit card?
  3. I have Capital One but have a hard time finding their ATMs, especially out west. The RV park I'm staying at now in SC is only $300/mo including elec, cable, tax etc. but it must be in cash or they have a 3% service charge (they say it's what their bank charges them.) Instead of paying the extra $9 (OK, Im cheap) I went to the only local bank ATM but had to pay them $2 to get my money anyway. Oh well, I still saved $7 (minus the $1 in gas to go to the ATM). It's not much savings, but it's the principle. Sometimes I think I'm becoming my father. Lately I've found if I use a credit card for gas rather than a debit card or cash they charge as much as 10 cents more/gallon. Chip
  4. Since I was a Louisiana resident before I went full-time I chose to remain a LA resident. For my situation it made financial sense. Registration is super low. I just renewed my MH registration for 2 years and it was only $50 or $25 a year! My car renewal was also super cheap at only $34 for 2 years. Unfortunately LA has some of the highest insurance rates in the nation, but it's still not enough to offset the high registration renewals of some other states. LA does have a state income tax, but it favors seniors, exempting social security and most pension income. Though I must file LA income taxes every year, I could earn quite a bit more than I do and still not have to pay anything to the state in taxes. There are other pluses and minuses of course, such as high sales tax - which Amazon and other large online retailers must now collect on all LA residents, even though the product ordered never enters the state of Louisiana. Smaller online retailers are exempt from this requirement, so when I have a choice, I give them my online shopping business instead. Many things that are not strictly financial have to be taken into account too, such as ease of finding a reliable mail forwarding service. The one I was using last year went out of business, costing me a lot of aggravation, time and money to find another and change all my addresses on everything to my new domicile address. Sadly, Escapees doesn't offer a mail forwarding service in Louisiana, so I chose to use iPostal1 instead. Another advantage of LA from my perspective is a lack of snow and mild weather in the winter, making south LA a good choice to winter over, though I chose the southernmost tip of TX last year. The tip of FL would be another good choice for wintering over (and a good domicile state) if it weren't for the pricey RV parks along the coast. How often you will be returning to your domicile state for DL and registration renewals (every 4 years in LA) can be more expensive if you need to make a special trip there just to take care of business at the DMV. Also some Parishes there require smog checks, while others don't. I chose one that saves me the hassle and expense of passing a smog check on a 20+ yr old vehicle. Texas also has similar requirements, where some counties require smog checks while others don't. While I don't believe in driving a gross polluting vehicle, there are many reasons to fail a smog check that has nothing to do with a vehicle's emissions, such as a having a custom engine/transmission tune, intake/exhaust modifications, or a CEL that remains on for a known inconsequential, but expensive to fix reason, which will cause you to fail a smog check right out the gate regardless of the cause (I have several factors.) My main point is not to entice anyone to choose LA or any other state for their domicile, just to mention that everyone's situation is unique and selecting a domicile is definitely not a one size fits all solution.
  5. I'm still riding the roller coaster. I rode it down and am riding it back up but still have a ways to go, as I'm heavily in the energy sector (about 1/3 of my portfolio 🙁). The indices are catching up, especially the NASDAQ, giving me hope. I still have about 2 years before I need to take some out, so I think I'll be OK. Who knows what will happen by then, but I think there's still opportunity there. No? Time will tell. Chip
  6. I was with FMCA but switched to Escapees this year due to FMCA's huge price increase, making Escapees a much better deal since they are near identical Safe-Ride plans. I will not discontinue my FMCA membership, as both clubs offer unique benefits, such as the FMCA Sprint hotspot plan I use. Fortunately, I have not used either plan, but with a 20 yr old (though well maintained) MH I'm sure it's only a matter of time. Chip
  7. It was certainly worth it for me to have a wisdom tooth extracted in Mexico. I had it done February, just before this Covid-19 craziness hit. It was impacted pretty good. It took the doctor over a half hour to get it out. The total cost with a couple anesthetic injections, out the door (completo) was only $80. Prescription drugs are so cheap there it's almost unbelievable. The cheapest I've found my albuterol inhalers here is $50 per inhaler at Walmart, as I don't have insurance coverage. A couple years ago when I had insurance my copay for it was $35. I recently got a pack of 10 inhalers there (an entire year's supply) for $17.95. That's only $1.80 each - same brand and packaging as here too! Plus there was no sales tax and no prescription required, so I saved the cost and hassle of a trip to the doctor and the technicality of renewing my subscription which hasn't changed for decades. That's a savings of over $500 a year on this one medicine alone. Another med I take cost 28 cents a pill there, and $4.20 a pill here - not a knock off, but the exact same brand, packaging and dosage of medication. Then there's the tequila - 1/2 gallon of Jose Cuervo Gold is only $13.95 there and over $40 here, just as an example.
  8. I agree with you Agesilaus, and I would never risk getting stuck going in to a campsite. If the road is that bad one simply shouldn't go. However, never having been at the location before, it's sometimes hard to tell what the road will look like after you are already in a spot that was relatively easy to get to before a heavy rainfall. But what do you do when you must leave because your 14 day BLM or forest service limit is reached and the roads have turned to mud? Wait it out, I guess. If the ranger says something just explain the situation telling him you'll leave just as soon as it dries up a bit and you think it's safe o do so. What can he say? Thanks for the link, Lou. Of course the drive wheels on a motorhome are deeply dished, like the rear axle of a dually pick-up. The rear bracket would need to stick out about 13-14" before the spool is attached to clear the body of the RV. The front guide wheels are not as recessed and would only need to protrude about 7-8" to clear the body. Naturally the rope would need to be much, much stronger too, as my motorhome is about 7 times heavier than the vehicles they were recovering in the videos. If they designed one for a dually pick-up it might work, but it would have to be 4 times stronger though. Going out so far from the wheels hub would put a lot of load on the wheel studs too. Great concept though, but it would definitely be a do it yourself project that I'm not willing to undertake. I wonder why no one makes a practical solution (other than calling a wrecker) to recover a barely stuck motorhome? I surely can't be the first person to recognize the need to recover a stuck motorhome due to a rapid, unanticipated change of weather. I guess the only solution is to wait for as long as it takes for the ground to dry after a heavy rainfall before chancing a move, whether that be a couple days or a few weeks. All the more reason to have plenty of food and water onboard when boondocking, cause you never know how long you'll end up being marooned there.
  9. Thanks for the advice folks. It sounds like the receiver is a good attachment point for a winch or come-along. I have a roadside assistance service, if needed. I used to have it with FMCA (though I never had to use their service) as they were the cheapest. Recently, however, they had a steep price increase from $69/yr to $159/yr! So I switched to the Escapee roadside assistance program (since it's only $99/yr and I'm a member of both clubs.) They will pull you out if you get stuck within 100 ft of a "maintained road." I assume a graded forest road qualifies, and it doesn't have to be a blacktop highway. Chip
  10. Now that you've heard all the virtues of AGM batteries you have to ask yourself "If I could have twice the battery capacity for the same price would it be worth it to go to flooded lead acid batteries?" But if you thinking goes something like, "I can afford to go with the best, so I want low maintenance, super low discharge rate so I can store it all winter without checking and batteries that be used on their side, don't gas at all, charge in half the time of either FLAs or AGMs, produce lots of power in a small footprint at 1/3rd the weight, then you want lithiums. I'd look at Battle Borns as they are a drop in and don't need a special converter. AGMs are just low maintenance lead acid batteries at 3 times the price. Lithiums are on a whole nother level, but at 10 times the price. But they last 5 times as long, so at cost per KWH hr produced they are much cheaper than AGMs and almost as cheap as FLAs. Their up front cost will give you sticker shock though.
  11. I'm in Los Indios, TX near Brownsville, right by the MX border. I'll stay here one more month as the RV park owners have allowed everyone who wintered over with them to stay next month for free due to the virus. It goes without saying we must pay for the electricity we use. It's not like it is expensive here anyway, at only $190 for a 1 month stay. Still it's a nice sentiment. They charge $180/mo if you stay from 2-4 months and $170 for a 5 month stay. If you stay for 6, like we did, (not by choice as our reservations in LA and NC were cancelled) it's only $160/mo. We'll be staying for 7, so it will average only $137/mo.. Not bad for a 50a FHU site in a nice, friendly park. You can't beat that with a stick. The weather was perfect down here this winter - warm with very little rain. I don't think I put a jacket on once. Of course it's topping out near 100 degrees now. Time to move on if the virus would let us. Like John Muir said, "The mountains are calling and I must go!"
  12. Have you decided not to use an inverter charger, or is it so big it will only work on a 30+ amp hook-up? Most inverter chargers have adjustable charge rates, so if you choose one that has say a 60 amp max charge rate at 48v (that needs 30 amps input at 120v) you can just turn it down to charge at 30 amps if all you have is 15 amps DC available. Most can be adjusted from 20-100% of their rated capacity. Chip
  13. If the fuse blew there's no reason to think the panel is trash. Check the polarity of the wiring to make sure it's not wired backwards. If not check the continuity on the socket in the trailer to make sure there is not a dead short on the hot wire with a VOM. Of course you need to replace the fuse in the electrical box. I'll bet the trailer and solar panel wiring is reversed. Chip
  14. I use Sprint. Here's a thread where I post about the unlimited $50 a month FMCA plan that I use.
  15. I just use regular coat hangers and have never had a coat hanger come off the rod, nor any clothes fall off the hanger while traveling, and my closet is in the very rear of my MH - even going down bumpy and washboarded roads while boondocking. I have a gas motorhome. A diesel MH with airbags has an even smoother ride. Maybe someone with a fiver could report their experience.
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