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RE: Hand-powered chainsaw -- for emergency use

Dan, Like you, we sometimes encounter downed trees when driving on back roads. Most of the time, unless they are huge pines etc,they can be pulled out of the way with a long chain and a good 4x4 truck with out any cutting. Because much of our camping/ back packing over the years has been in cool/cold northern mountainous areas, having a daily fire was more than just ambiance. I always carried a Coghlans folding alumium saw that could cut up 6" snags quickly for fire wood. Most of the wood for fires is from softwoods but the saw also cuts through dense desert hard woods but it is slower work. This is a light, back pack saw that is extremely sharp if you replace blades every year depending on usage but it cannot cut large diameter rounds as well as a full sized bow saw. I know you said that you already have a bow saw for emergencies but like another poster mentioned, the wider the kerf, the tougher the work. A chainsaw blade is wide compared to the blade for my foldable saw and I think it will prove to be a lot of work unless it is used just for the odd times in an emergency. If you have the time, go for it. Dave
crosscheck 03/16/20 11:33am General RVing Issues
RE: Diesel Brothers

It happens a couple of times every year. Out on a back road with a group of up to 10 road riders, single file getting a good workout. We get passed by most often an older style Ram with a younger male driver, "Rollin coal" as he traverses our group. Nothing we can do but continue riding when as a cyclist, you take life as it unfolds when sharing the road with motor vehicles. I figure this type of person has a bit of an attitude and probably ,"Rolls Coal" often just because they think it,s funny. I am sure that this kind of person makes up only a small percentage of chipped diesel owners. Dave
crosscheck 03/16/20 10:55am Tow Vehicles
RE: HUGE Propane tanks on new Backcountry models from ORV

HUGE? I thought I was going to read about a couple permanent tanks like on a MH. 40 is just top of the normal range. Although as said 40 is getting a bit heavy to manhandle as the years pass. I would rather have 3+ 30# cylinders for extended use. On our present TT,I have 3x30# tanks, 2 on the tongue and 1 in the PU bed as a spare for the TT and also to use for our BBQ and also for a small gas campfire when we are in places where open wood fires are forbidden.We camp frequently when temperatures drop down below freezing overnight. Nice to have that extra bottle. Dave
crosscheck 02/19/20 06:09am Travel Trailers
RE: Moisture under mattress solutions please

We had TC's for many years and camped in cool/cold weather a lot. ( We are from Canada).Condensation under matress was an issue. The reason is there is a thin layer of insulation between the bottom of your mattress(warm, moist air) and outside cold air. This causes condensation. My solution was to put a sheet of 1" styro under the whole matress and along the sides which touch the exterior walls same height as mattress. Problems solved. Dave
crosscheck 02/01/20 07:57am Truck Campers
RE: Looking for revelstoke recommendations

Don,t forget Keystone Basin for MTB. Check out trail forks for trail head directions( all day trip). Spectacular scenery on a nice day. Lots of good short to intermediate hiking in the area.We are only 1.5 hours West and Revy is one of our favorite areas to bike/hike/paddle. Have fun. Dave
crosscheck 01/31/20 05:28pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Looking for revelstoke recommendations

I agree with Soup, but you could take a look at Williamson Lake, it's away from the trains, south of town, has hook-ups and boat rental on the small lake. Its close to the airfield but don't worry about that as it's not used much and then mainly by light planes. Trevor We have stayed here a number of times but without hookups. There is limited serviced sites and summer is a busy time. Lake is warm and great to swim/ canoe/kayak in. Dave
crosscheck 01/29/20 08:15am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Small flys/ gnats coming out of commode.

Last year was the first time ever in maybe 30 years of RVing that we had what we thought to be fruit flies all over the place. Next thing we noticed were translucent small flat larvae slithering up the sides of our toilet. Really creepy. Googled it and sewer flies was the answer. Bleach or very hot water poured down the toilet and drains. We decided on boiling hot water which did the trick. Killed the larvae,no more adults(flies). I had nightmares of sitting on the toilet and having giant, translucent, flesh eating worms crawling up the bowl from the black water tank looking for...... Dave
crosscheck 01/14/20 05:39pm Fifth-Wheels
RE: Thoughts on studded tires

Opinions on personal preferences regarding studded/non-studded snow tires are numerous judging by the replies. The one thing that can be agreed upon are the advances in true winter tires and studs over the years. We lived in snow/ice country for many years in north central BC and good traction on ice and snow was sometimes the difference between life and death. There always seemed not a day went by when you had to travel on steep driveways or icy roads while going to work or transporting kids to their tournaments to towns that were many hours drive away not to mention up the ski hill which steep grade roads were mainly hard packed snow and sometimes ice. I can remember the first time trying on a set of Blizzaks on our 4x4 Toyota van and being able to zip up our 16% driveway better than old style hard conpound snow tires with minimal problems. That was my first experience with soft rubber, true winter tires. The only down side was that because the winters were fairly long, you only got 2 seasons out of set of Blizzaks. We now live in the south to where there is less winter but still drive 4000' vertical from our house to the ski hill at least 6 days a week in the winter and many other trips over the mountain passes includding the "Coke" and Coquahalla connector sections of BC roads frequently driving on very icy/slippery sections at high speeds. Our tires of choice are true winter tires with studs on both our F350 4x4 and the AWD Rav4. Truck has Coopers with studs installed at the local dealer and Rav runs a set of Hakkapelitta 9's which has I think 9 rows of factory installed, 3 sided modern studs which provide less damage to roads and incredible grip in every winter condition. Dangerous winter driving conditions where there is potential for bad accidents includding injuries and death quite often do not include roads with a build up of snow. Most drivers slow down so if there are accidents they tend to be fender benders. Many serious winter accidents however are caused by black ice on a section of highway where motorists are travelling at least the posted speed which is fast for dangerous winter roads. You can't see the thin layer of black ice and the first time you realize that there is black ice on the road is when you start to lose control on a curve or downhill when going the speed limit. By this time it is too late. This is where modern studded snow tires out perform by a wide margin studless tires even with good winter tires. For my own safety and my families, I can put up with a bit of extra noise for much better handling on potentially hazardous winter roads. I learned a long time ago from the northern loggers who equiped their pick ups with studded snow tires for their daily drives to work on very treacheous, icy winter haul roads with very few accidents. "Better to have them and not need them, than need them and not have them". Dave
crosscheck 12/09/19 06:50pm Tow Vehicles
RE: 6 volt batteries and an inverter

If you are new to RVing then consider an alternate power source. If you only camp once per year then no biggie, batteries will die of old age before you can consume them, but using batteries to power up heaters, hair driers, ovens or other high power appliances will cost you a lot in batteries eventually. btw, discharge to 50% is not going from 12 volts down to 6 or 7, check the charts. Down to 11 volts is a dead dead battery and past 50% discharge. Inverters are dangerous in that they will run down your batteries quick. Batteries only have so many cycles of charge/discharge before they are no longer able to be charged back. GC batteries are superior to Marine Rv batteries and can take more cycles, but all will succumb to cycling to death. From more of a full-timer or part-timer RVer standpoint: A small 2,000 watt generator is little less than double the price of the two batteries, but should last forever. You just put gas into it. By comparison, If you charge your batteries off your alternator then you are still putting gas into having available power it just goes un-noticed. Solar can keep the batteries topped off, but will not provide enough power to run 2,000 watts (unless you have 2,000 watts of panels up there pointed directly into the sun). Solar recharges batteries, and assuming you use a little power here and a little there then 200 watts (not 2,000) solar can keep up, but if you use more than the panel is supplying (mayb on one 150 watts from a 200 watt panel) then u are still cycling the battery from charge to some level of discharge so using up the battery lifespan. By your reasoning,all golf carts should have gas engines because frequent cycling of batteries will over the years cause the batteries to die. But why do most carts run on batteries? More and more campgrounds are restricting Genny hours. Many of these true deep cycle batteries have 500 cycles which depending on how often you camp and charge your batteries, could last anywheres from 5 years to eight before replacement. At $200 for 2 6v GC2 over 5 years is only $40/ year. We dry camp most of the time without running the Genny and it is because of hard working, deep cycle batteries, an inverter, plenty of solar and some charging when driving. Dave
crosscheck 11/13/19 05:25pm Truck Campers
RE: 6 volt batteries and an inverter

I have 4 GC2s at 450 aH total and a 2000 watt MSW inverter and the microwave is iffy. I don't even try the hair dryer at 13 amps (AC) continuous. We have the same set up except a PSW inverter. Run a 1200w Micro and 950w hair dryer with ease( but not at the same time). Dave
crosscheck 11/13/19 04:52pm Truck Campers
RE: Microwaves on inverters.

The batteries are only half of the equation. What do you do so you can run the coffee maker and microwave the next day? And what about the times when the sun doesn't shine for 4 days? And what is the cost of that side of the equation? Just buy the generator and be done. We have a Honda i2000W inverter generator which we carry all the time. Might as well be a boat anchor. Never use it. Batteries are more than half the equation. They keep you going through the highs and lows of solar if you have enough AH. The inverter is the silent answer to the generator. Even in shade or cloudy conditions, we can harvest 4 A from the panels(high of 22A/hr). Our Micro in 4 minutes uses 12.5 AH which is around 3 hours of low sun. We have 450AH of available storage. If you are the type that dry camps or boondocks like they are at home, then you will be running your genny constantly and running out of water within a few days. If you camp like you are in a back country environment without the luxuries of home, then without giving up too many comforts, a few simple conservation choices for power and water will see you staying a lot longer in the bush without alot of genny noise complements of your hard working batteries, solar and your inverter. Dave.
crosscheck 11/12/19 09:43pm Tech Issues
RE: Microwaves on inverters.

Takes about 110a (12v) to power our microwave with 2 GC2 batteries using a Xantrex 2000w PSW inverter. We can power the microwave for almost 40 minutes before the batteries are down to 12.2v. Our inverter to battery cable run is almost 13 ft. so we used 4/0 cable. Even at 110 amps we only have a .15v (1.2%) drop. FWIW, the Xantrex low-voltage alarm activates when the load voltage drops below approx. 11.3v. We've had it down to almost 11.0v (with a 110a load) without it shutting down. Output voltage was down to 109vac at that point. The Xantrex has a very low no-load draw--approx. 700ma. Pretty pleased with the overall performance of everything. Would love to use 4 GC2's, but no room for 'em in our truck camper. Got any room under the dinette seating? we had 4 AGM batts under the seating in our TC for 5 years. The 4 batts in a square did not take up that much room. Dave
crosscheck 11/12/19 09:17pm Tech Issues
RE: Microwaves on inverters.

I have four Trojan T125 batteries and a 2000W inverter and often use our 1200W microwave to warm food for lunch or a cup of hot water, usually for no linger than four minutes at a time with no problems. Bill We have 4 GC-2, 450AH, 2000W PSW inverter, 490W solar, 1200W Micro. Average run time, no more than 3-4 minutes. Also, run a coffee machine if there is a lot of solar(but not at the same time as the micro.). Use a French press coffee maker if there is little solar. Toaster, hair dryer, magic bullet, curling iron etc. Mostly dry camp, no generator time. This is not with the heater fan running. We watch our battery AH consumption carefully. Have had this fairly similar set up for the last 8 years in 2 different RV's. Never a problem. Dave
crosscheck 11/12/19 06:24pm Tech Issues
RE: Did I forget anything? ordering a new Hallmark pop up camper

AC exterior plug Dave
crosscheck 10/12/19 10:44pm Truck Campers
RE: Did I forget anything? ordering a new Hallmark pop up camper

Far superior to LP in cooling especially in hot weather. DaveI'll admit, I've never camped in really HOT weather. High 90's afternoon temps, dry or humid is the hottest we've camped. Never noticed any lack of cooling ability with LP absorption, or AC mode. Beer was always frosty cold and ice cubes froze in the freezer for cocktails. At what temp does absorption fridge become an issue?When turned on, DC fridge has frost forming in the freezer in less than 30 minutes where as adsorbsion fridge takes forever to cool down. In hot weather(95F), temperatures are more consistent at least that is my experience. DaveMost of the 5-8 cf LP units we've used can sustain fridge temps of 40 deg. in 115 degree heat (S. CA/AZ). This assumes an LP fridg in good working order, installed to OEM specs (proper ventilation), operating with boiler temps in the 170-190 C range (level fridge with good LP/AC/DC heating). This is also assumes the fridge door is opened infrequently and reasonably cool temps inside the RV (a/c operating). We've also camped in 115 deg. temps with small 3-5 cf compressor units sitting outside in the shade. No doubt about it, they cool-down/recover much faster than an LP fridge. However, under these conditions the compressor has to run flat-out requiring a constant 2-3 amps of 120 vac. (or 20-30 amps of 12 vdc via an inverter). The NovaKool unit that the OP is looking at draws 4.4 A when cycling.That is 5 to 7 times less 12V power and double the size than your residential unit. Remember, these compressor fridges are much more efficient than the unit you were using and of course much more expensive. During 95F day, 65f night, the most electricity we used in a day was around 75AH.Your daily draw even using the lower number of 20A is around 500AH/day. Either your numbers are off or that fridge should be used for a boat anchor. Dave
crosscheck 10/01/19 01:44pm Truck Campers
RE: Did I forget anything? ordering a new Hallmark pop up camper

What is the 2K inverter for? Roof AC?? I know it's the batt charger also. Don,t want to speak for the OP but in our pop up and our current TT, we have a similar inverter. This is what we run off the inverter: Coffee grinder Coffee maker( if we have lots of solar) Magic bullet Blender Micro Toaster Hair dryer Curling iron Laptop charging DeWalt battery charger Waffle iron Camera battery charger Sometimes, we run a power cord to neighbors if they need power to charge small items so they don,t need to run Genny. We dry camp most of the time and do not run Genny Dave
crosscheck 10/01/19 10:36am Truck Campers
RE: Did I forget anything? ordering a new Hallmark pop up camper

Far superior to LP in cooling especially in hot weather. Dave I'll admit, I've never camped in really HOT weather. High 90's afternoon temps, dry or humid is the hottest we've camped. Never noticed any lack of cooling ability with LP absorption, or AC mode. Beer was always frosty cold and ice cubes froze in the freezer for cocktails. At what temp does absorption fridge become an issue? When turned on, DC fridge has frost forming in the freezer in less than 30 minutes where as adsorbsion fridge takes forever to cool down. In hot weather(95F), temperatures are more consistent at least that is my experience. Dave
crosscheck 10/01/19 10:23am Truck Campers
RE: Did I forget anything? ordering a new Hallmark pop up camper

Man, you are spending a lot of money for what you are getting. Thought about a Class B with 4 wheel drive? I only bring it up because you are going to lose a ton of money on all new if you find out you are wrong. Also, a Class B will allow you to go to sleep on the road without getting out of the vehicle and raising the roof. I seriously can’t imagine fulltiming in a popup TC if you will never use the truck separately and will never tow. Any way, I’d prefer a LP vs DC for the other fridge option. I’m not sure if 2 batteries will keep up with the fridge. All I’ve heard says DC isn’t very efficient for a fridge, but I’m sure others know more. Had the same fridge in a pop up for 5 years, excellent results. Far superior to LP in cooling especially in hot weather. We had less than half the solar proposed in this thread but had 4 6V AGM batteries which is very important.Dry camped most of the time, almost no Genny time. Dave
crosscheck 10/01/19 08:24am Truck Campers
RE: Clean Trucks? Electric Truck?

Just like to add a few observations about RVing in Europe after 12 trips spanning 3 weeks to 12 months starting in 1967. 1) TC's are almost unheard of. The few you see are Tacoma sized trucks with small TC's. Your unit would be pretty high, with A/C unit, compared to even the largest class "A" units which are much smaller than their American cousins. This and the width including jacks could be problematic in the narrow streets of eropean towns and cities for driving and parking. 2) Since my first time in 1967 until our last time in 2017, there has been quite a change from tenting to hard side RV's including trailers, vans, class "A" and "C"'s with lots more campsites that supply AC power, dumpsites etc. Hardside RV's are everywhere so buying one that suits you would not be a problem. 3) A/C and generators are almost unheard of. 220V and 12 V fans are used exstensively when the weather is hot. 4) Because of the restriction of space in many areas and the price of fuel, European RV designers are pretty good at packing a lot of conveniences into small spaces and keeping the weight down, their units are fairly fuel efficient. 5) If you are planning to be in Europe for an extended period, during the cooler times of the year, southern Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, Morocco, Greece ,Turkey are all fairly warm in the day and cool at night, no A/C required. Plus there are many year round campgrounds in these areas. During the summer, northern Europe has very pleasant temperatures so as long as you have the time and are mobile, you can pick what ever weather you desire. 6) In 1991, when on a world tour, we bought a small, used class C near London, toured around Europe for 4 months and came back to London, sold it in 4 days. Got almost what we paid for it. Only small glitch is that I had to get used to the steering wheel on the right when on the continent. There are lots of places to buy RV's on the continent, Germany, Netherlands etc. They all speak English. Just google them. 7) Our last 7 tours to Europe have been cycling with all of our gear. Stayed in campsites most of the time but the odd time, primitive camped. In Many places this is frowned on. Might be easier in the off season to stealth camp than during to busy times(July/August), when all of Europe and half of the world is visiting. Good luck no matter what you decide and have a good trip. Dave
crosscheck 08/23/19 10:57am Truck Campers
RE: A new trend in RV fridges?

great discussion, there are advantages to every system BUT the dealer we visited only had trailers with compressor fridges. all of his medium to large trailers(24 ft and up) had them no propane fridges I don't want to be limited to 120V hookups, generators or solar. I told the sales guy that, and he said that's where the industry is going(he likely doesn't have a clue!) Our camping style is "dry", 98% of the time. I try not to use the term "boondocking" because it means so many different things to so many RVers. No power pole, no water outlet, no sewer outlet. "Dry" camping. Pretty simple. We had a 7.5cuft NovaKool fridge/freezer, with Danfoss compressor for 5 years in our TC that when cycling, used 4.4A. This is not a "residential" unit and is similarily priced to the absorbsion fridges. If you dry camp for any length of time and have a normal battery bank of 2 X12V, you will have to replace the AH's you use by one method or another no matter what type of fridge you have. Before choising a compressor fridge in our TC, I read the stories of the RV campers who really do dry camp most of the time and have a bigger electrical footprint because of the all electric fridge and the way they all seem to have no problems with their "dry" camping style was to go solar, increase battery bank, decrease electrical consumption by LED's, changing over high electrical units like TV's to modern, low electronic consumption ones, very basic changes. We have a genny and have not run it in 5 years while keeping a "dry" camping style. Traditional RV fridges work. They will still be offered by manufacturers. But because of the changes in technology in the last 20 or so years regarding batteries, solar, LED lighting, generators etc, compressor fridges, which are used by almost 100% of the world for their fridge/freezer/cooling systems, are here to stay in the RV industry. Dave
crosscheck 08/04/19 09:36pm Tech Issues
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