• 12 Volt Refrigerators
    We run a 12-volt only Isotherm refrigerator/freezer and love it. It only uses 5 amp hours when it’s compressor running. Also check out Indel Webasto products and snoop around boating websites and/or blogs and see what boaters are using because many long range cruisers are solar dependent for their power needs.

    We are very stingy with our electrical use as we mostly boondock, but we’re not stingy with our camping lifestyle. I suspect most of our community’s challenges with power usage comes from an unrealistic expectation that our RVs be “just like home”, power hungry appliance and all. With a little bit of knowledge and a rig that is energy efficient, it’s fairly easy to unplug or at the very least, use a lot less power.
  • Starlink Satellite Dish Internet
    Please allow me a second to provide an alternative voice on “being connected”.

    My wife and I get out about six months of the year in one or two month spurts. We boondock 95% of the time, mostly in the western US. We’ve also been retired four years after long careers in government and business.

    During the past five years or so society has gone through a massive upheaval, in my opinion caused by drama fomented by a manipulative media and social networks that we have unwittingly participated in like a drug user.

    My wife and I have chosen to drop out of the digital world for the most part. There is no TV in our rig and if we are boondocked where there is no cell signal, we read books and enjoy nature. Our connected gizmos are used to check email from the grandkids and to plan trips. There is no BookFace, no Twitter, no Instagram.

    Our lives are much more rewarding, we have very little stress, and we really don’t care about anybody’s political beliefs, thank you. Rather than inviting Starlink into your RV, why don’t you consider unplugging Internet social applications first? Try it, you might like it!
  • Anyone ever use to locate cell towers?
    I use the OpenSignal app to do the same thing. It works for both wifi and 4G depending on what you have enabled on your device at the time you’re using it. But remember, the signal finding app is limited to the signal that your cell phone or tablet is getting at the time you’re using the app, not the possible signal that a cell phone booster might find for you. In other words, there might be a usable signal out there but your ground situated device might not see it.

    Perhaps you could look into some of the cellular boosters on the market and combine it with yagi (directional) antenna.
  • Best RV GPS?
    I use my gps enabled iPad mounted on a MyGoFlight holder that sits between the front seats and below the dash and use Avenza maps. I’m a bit different, I know what route I am going to take, I don’t need or want a fussy voice doing my navigating for me. But I do want to know where I am at any given time.

    The nice thing about the Avenza maps, they are the official map vendor for the US government and there is a huge catalog of FREE motor vehicle use maps (MVUM) that show me dirt roads and boondock sites on national forest land. And by using the Avenza maps in my iPad, my location is always in the middle of the large screen and can use my fingers on the touch screen to expand the map and see what is miles and miles ahead of me.

    Around town, Google maps on my iPhone is perfect for finding the address of a business, but on the road....Avenza maps on the iPad is the bees knees.
  • Puzzler on our Furnace
    Gosh, not unlike the problem I had develop with my in-home furnace a few years ago with the same symptoms, shutoff after a short run time. The code thrown indicated that a vacuum sensor on the intake side was tripping. The tech did two things to solve the problem. He made the furnace intake more efficient by replacing the older registers with a more efficient design and he replaced the restrictive paper filter with one that is washable, reusable and allows for a more efficient flow of air. He said because of the fire prevention features (vacuum and back pressure sensors) that the key to a happy furnace is unrestricted air flow, both in and out.
  • 12 volt water pump
    Those of you who boondock, don’t be in a hurry to replace your noisy water pump with a quieter one.

    We can carry 40 gallons of fresh water. When we boondock we try and remember to turn off the water pump switch when we’re not using water. Luckily the switch is close to the sink.

    One night we were sleeping and were awakened by the “noisy” pump running. Seems that a water fitting in the bowels of the truck broke and my precious fresh water was being pumped out of the tank. We caught it fairly quickly and before my precious fresh water disappeared into the desert sand.

    So consider your noisy fresh water pump to be a friendly reminder of how much water you’re using and one day it could be the proverbial canary in the coal mine if a break develops in your fresh water system.
  • Floor Mat Question for Ray
    FYI, Cabelas sells floor mats that seem to be Cabela-branded WeatherTechs at a much more responsible price. I’ve had them in my Suburban for over ten years. They are excellent and with the upturned sides they will contain water/mud/snow and keep it from running into the carpet. They also made a similar mat that cover the rear cargo area of many SUVs.
  • Hauling a camper on bad roads?
    Towing a trailer on a rough road is an exercise in patience. In our experience, about half of the bad roads out there have bad stretches, but once you’re past the nasty stuff the road will usually get better. I figure a bad road is a filter anyway. The badder the road, the fewer campers will be at the end. Yes, we love boondocking by ourselves. After long careers dealing with people we now prefer wild animals and dark skies.
  • Dehumidifier
    Thanks Ray. We’re looking for something to use in the cold, too.
  • Dehumidifier
    I went to the ECOR website and checked out the stats. The machine looks well built but I noticed that the gizmo gets rid of your high humidity by venting humid waste air outside of your rig. That venting process results in a 15% air loss and a slightly negative air pressure inside your rig. Outside air will then be sucked into your rig to equalize the vacuum created by the venting process. If it’s cold outside, you’ll be sucking cold air into your rig which means you’ll have to heat that cold air.

    To me, that sounds inefficient.

    In my mind it’s better to have a dehumidifier that simply processes the existing air that is already in your rig. The difference is that the ECOR is automatic and a traditional closed loop dehumidifier requires the owner to manually dump the collected water on occasion.
  • Big Cargo Ship Across from the RV Park
    Ray, if you like to know more about a particular ship, download the MarineTraffic app. Simply click on the magnifying glass icon and enter the ship’s name, then select the ship from the list. In this case, the Oldendorff originated in Yokohama 22 Oct carrying general cargo.

    When a particular ship is underway, if you click on the Track icon, it will show you the ships path of travel.

    MarineTraffic relies on the AIS and VHF radio systems for accurate updates, so there are times that a particular ship may not show up on MarineTraffic. For example, when my son’s oil tanker is in transit between Alaska and Washington, it won’t show up on MarineTraffic while it’s off SW Alaska and northern BC. Military ships and small boats without AIS equipment don’t show up on MarineTraffic at all.

    I’d encourage people to download MarineTraffic app then minimize the display screen to show world-wide ship traffic and be prepared to be amazed at the number of ships at sea.

    Another interesting app is Flightradar24. If you want to know where that airplane overhead is headed, what airline, what flight, how high and how fast they are moving, open Flightradar24 and take a look.

    Both apps are free.
  • Traveling with multiple dogs
    Good morning Catie! As a life long dog owner and lover, I respect owners who have control of their dogs, both physical control and barking control. That being said, unfortunately there are dog owners out there who think their barking dog is cute and do nothing to deter barking. And there are the dog owners who allow their dogs to wander, off-leash, in the camping area or on the trail.

    If you want to be a good camping neighbor, don’t be that kind of dog owner. Be like Ray. His beagles were always on-leash and respectfully quiet.
  • Living on "High" when the temp is low!!!!
    Love that spray insulation! That’s the key. Did you consider an Espar or Webasto diesel fired forced air/water heater? We absolutely love our Webasto air/water heater. Running heater ducts would have been a no-brainer in the construction phase.
  • Was a Great Beagle and Best Friend
    After my mother passed away at 92, we inherited her beagle Ally. Imagine a spoiled, soft living, elderly lady’s “house beagle” traveling her final two years to exotic off-road locations in a 4x4 camper! She literally saw and smelled most of the mountain west.

    Ally was a terrific traveling companion. Underway she slept under the dinette table. And I mean slept! In camp she patrolled the perimeter for threats, then retreated to the shade under the truck and circled until she made a nice little sleeping spot.

    She was a great gal and is missed.
  • Wyoming!
    Greg, we love Wyoming, too. But on our terms. There is a reason so few people live in Wyoming, despite its natural wonders. The winters and the wind can be brutal. That being said, we spent a couple of weeks there last February which included camping in Yellowstone (we have a four season capable rig) and we’ll be back in mid-October to trace the Oregon Trail.
  • Health Insurance
    Greg, be careful what you wish for. A universal system like Canada’s only serves to give the same low bar of medical care to everybody. Excellent care is hard to find with universal coverage and lines for specialized treatment are long. That’s why so many Canadians come down to the states for cancer treatment.

    Dunno about you but I’m a big believer in the free market system. I honestly think you are in the sweet spot for insurance...a catastrophic plan. You get to shop and select the doctors you want and you negotiate the price you pay, while the downside of a catastrophic medical misadventure is covered by insurance.
  • RV Foam Mattress Review - Thomas Payne from LCI
    You don’t have to settle for an over the counter mattress! The queen sized mattress that came with our RV really sucked. So we started looking for an RV specific mattress maker.

    Luckily we live in San Diego and are blessed with the Hernandez Brothers who own Mattress Makers. Not only do they make their own mattresses but they specialized in boats and RVs. Their showroom is very tidy and clean but it’s not in a shopping center. It’s tucked into a corner of an industrial park. There they have all of their various mattresses for you to try. It’s very low key, there’s no pressure.

    The wife and I like different firmnesses, so they made two singles for us and we cover them with queen sheets. Since the bed platform is oddly shaped, the head of the bed has cut corners, Pablo took a roll of butcher paper and literally made a jig of our bed platform. A week later we had our awesome mattresses.

    If you hate your mattress don’t give up and don’t necessarily settle for chain stores. Do your research, if you live near a custom RV or boat mattress maker, stop by and check out what they offer. You won’t be disappointed. And if you’re passing through San Diego anytime in the future, check out Mattress Makers.
  • LCI Flow Max Stainless Faucet Install + New Sink
    I also have an LCI kitchen spigot in my truck. FYI, the little handle is threaded and has a bad habit of backing out. I put a little teflon tape on the threads to hold it in place. If you lose that little handle down the sink will have quite a job on your hands trying to find it.
  • Baptism by Fire
    Nice backing job Greg F and RVSolar, I was so impressed by your 1,000 watts of solar power on the roof that I didn’t even notice you were stuck!!
  • Cougar Fifth wheel front cap de-oxidizing?
    Annnnnd RVsolar posts a photo that makes me want to grab my camera, get in my rig, and go CAMPING!!!