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RE: I'm hooked!

Quick add on to this thread... Last week prior to our 3 night camping trip I bought a small 10" Ryobi 18V electric chainsaw. Most of the public state forrest land in PA you are not allowed to run a gas saw. Since I already had Ryobi 18V tools I figured I'd give it a shot. Worked out great! With less than an hour of work (kids dragging me logs and me cutting and stacking) we had more than enough wood for our 3 day trip including the 3rd night in the upper 30's. Really eats the battery so I need bigger than the 2 1.5AH batteries I have, but never the less it was a great investment. Hopefully it holds up!
kfp673 10/29/20 03:01pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Battery questions for boondocking

Yes I meant inverter generator. I use 2x 2000 w Champions with a parallel kit and a 50amp plug. Works great and is relatively quiet, but even still we dont like to run it for more than a few hours per day, and do not want to run it over night. When traveling long distances and stopping at walmart just to sleep I dont mind running them at all, but when we are in the woods we prefer the natural quiet. Thanks for the suggestions! Unless you are running the air/con, you should be able to operate a single 2000w generator to cover the battery charger. You likely won't get to 100% charge with 1-2hr of charging but you should be mostly full. The last 10% the batteries absorb very low amperage, so it takes a long time to hit 100%. But as long as it's just a weekend here and there, no issues. Just make sure to plug it in and fully charge the battery bank when you get home. Lead acid batteries like to be stored at 100% charge but if it's just over a long weekend where they top out at 80-90%, it's not an issue. Yes for sure. I think cold/cool weather for sure. I just do it out of habit. Also, I feel like running 2 in eco mode actually runs a little quieter. Sounds crazy but items like coffee maker will make 2 ramp up RPM and makes 1 scream. Radio, lights, water pump, etc. cause a single to go up and down where 2 run pretty consistent. Last weekend we camped 3 nights and I averaged running the gen 2-3 hours per day. the last night it dropped into the 30's and that's when my battery died over night. I think going 2 6V's and still brining 1 or 2 Gen's with me is the ticket.
kfp673 10/29/20 02:54pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Battery questions for boondocking

Sounds like Costco 6V batteries are the most popular. We are Costco regulars but my local store does not stock these, however they can order them. Costcos website does have mixed reviews on those batteries however but I suspect most is taking care of them. Not exactly sure what that means but that seems to be the reviews. Thanks again all. I think 2 6V batteries are in my future!
kfp673 10/28/20 05:11pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Battery questions for boondocking

When you say "portable inverter set" are you talking about a "portable inverter generator" that burns gasoline to generate 120vAC power or an inverter that takes 12v battery power and converts it to 120vAC power. Results in a totally different answer to your question but it sounds like you are talking about a generator. If it's a generator, a couple 6v deep cycle batteries and then run the generator in the afternoon for an hour or two to recharge them, should allow you near unlimited time away from shore power and should be plenty to run the furnace overnight. Just plug in the normal shore power cord and your onboard charger will take care of charging the batteries (don't use the 12v outlet on the generator, it's very low amperage (7-10amps vs 40-60amps) and it's unregulated). For 5-6 weekends per year, I wouldn't mess around with a solar system. If it's an inverter, you really need to consider what you are using it for. 120vAC items tend to use a lot of power and a battery bank to support it will be pretty big if you are using a lot of power. PS: Inverter Generators are a generator type that generates DC power and using a built in Inverter converts it to AC power. A traditional generator develops AC power as it's native output but requires the engine to run at a speed that corresponds to 60hz AC power. A couple of big advantages to inverter generators, they typically use high quality inverters that generate much cleaner AC power compared to old style generators and second, unlike old style generators, they can throttle back when loads are light to reduce fuel consumption and noise. The old style try to maintain an exact engine RPM that corresponds to 60hz...typically either 1800 or 3600rpm. Even with little demand, it takes more fuel to keep the RPM up, it makes a lot of noise running so fast and when you add a heavy load, the RPM sags resulting in poor quality power which can damage sensitive electronics. Yes I meant inverter generator. I use 2x 2000 w Champions with a parallel kit and a 50amp plug. Works great and is relatively quiet, but even still we dont like to run it for more than a few hours per day, and do not want to run it over night. When traveling long distances and stopping at walmart just to sleep I dont mind running them at all, but when we are in the woods we prefer the natural quiet. Thanks for the suggestions!
kfp673 10/28/20 05:07pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
Battery questions for boondocking

Hello all, Per my other posts, we started getting heavier into boondocking this year. As such, I quickly noticed the importance of good batteries. We always bring a portable inverter set but when we are deep in the woods we really prefer to use it as little as possible. This past weekend the nights got down to upper 30's and apparently the furnace fan eats a lot of battery because it was dead by morning. Currently we have the battery that came on our camper 2 years ago which is a single deep cycle. I have read many threads about batteries including 6v vs 12v, Optima / high end battery, etc etc. My question, specific to boondocking is bang for the buck. I'm not interested in spending $700 on batteries at this point. So would I be better off buying 2 12V batteries from Wal mart (or wherever)to replace my single, or a single "high end" battery such as Optima or similar? Or, is the 6v difference so big that it makes it worth it? My guess for next year is we will boondocks 5 or 6 weekends total (2 or 3 nights each time). With that said, what would you do keeping cost in mind? Not trying to find the literal cheapest way, rather I'm looking for "bang for the buck". Thanks!
kfp673 10/28/20 06:14am Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: TT Lengths

All that I have seen are Hitch to bumper. So when it says 35' that is hitch to bumper and you need to dig into the specs to find living space dimensions if it's mentioned at all. Maybe some are different but that has been my experience with anything we have ever looked at
kfp673 10/27/20 06:52pm Travel Trailers
RE: Fort Wilderness, Busy as usual..

Is every day sold out or just weekends? I have found that if you don't need a weekend you can usually get a spot. We like to come in on a Sunday and leave on a Thursday. Around the holidays every configuration of days that I checked is sold out including weekdays. Would be sooooo much easier if they would show the available days like most state parks and campground do. When we are serious about going we waste an insane amount of time checking 20-30 times the same dates when a simple availability calendar would make it simple.
kfp673 10/21/20 07:33pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: I'm hooked!

Boondocking is our preferred way to camp, followed by FS CG's. We use Campendium to find sites and Freecampsites.net. In our home state we often set out on day trips using our Jeep to scope out sites. We never break camp in a new area, but that is the rule of boondocking, to never do that. Always camp only in areas that have previously been camped in to preserve the terrain. We are blessed to have a lot of areas here. It's not hard to find boondocking sites when traveling to other states by using the resources out there on the internet, including this site. The reminded me of the actual rule number one of real boondocking: Do not take your RV down that unknown road unless you check it out first. Driving down a FS road to find a dead end in a place that you cannot turn around in, is to be avoided. Yes! Thankfully I thought this through. Earlier in the summer we were staying at a standard campground and learned that a collection of the PA FS dispersed sites were within 30 minutes of us. We took an afternoon and "scouted" about 15 sites. Good thing I did! With my trailer being 35', of those 15 I fit into maybe 5. Often it's not the site itself, it's the entrance into the site that is very tight. We did take a risk on one but not without having extensive conversation with a lady at the Forrest service. She was fantastic and emailed me a document that showed the exact dimensions of each site, and most importantly, how far off the access road. If it said 0 we know we are good. Keeping in mind these access roads are 1 lane stone roads and you are miles into the woods, we were fine with being "on the road". Can't say enough how helpful they have been at the FS. Very different than calling the state parks where they all seem short tempered and over worked (Likely rightfully so). Anyway, still learning about nw areas and looking forward to exploring more! Thanks all for the replies!
kfp673 10/21/20 11:34am Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
I'm hooked!

I grew up tent camping. Most times we tent camped at state parks, and while they were campgrounds they were rustic. Now it seems we spend most RV nights in campgrounds with hookups. Don't get me wrong, depending on the reason for visiting an area that can be great. Hookups were fantastic visiting the VA beaches in 95 degree heat in July so we could shower and have AC. That said, we learned of rustic boondock sites in the state forrest. While they are still camp sites, they were minimum 1/4 mile between each (some 1/2 mile) and very secluded and deep in the woods with nothing other than a table and fire ring. Went 2 weeks ago and loved every second. Dog did not see the leash the entire weekend and was the most relaxing camping we have had in many years! Going back for a long weekend this weekend and plan to make it a regular spot. I bring the generator along but use it sparingly. No real point to this post other than to say I am hooked on boondocking. Hope to find more areas like this fairly close to home!
kfp673 10/20/20 05:28pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
Fort Wilderness, Busy as usual..

Purely out of curiosity I searched Fort Wilderness for November through January and was surprised to see it sold out as usual. We were not really planning to go anyway, but I thought it might still be pretty open considering Disney is limiting numbers into the parks, but it does not appear that way. Sold out around all holidays and all surrounding weeks.
kfp673 10/20/20 05:14pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Rechargeable Spot Light

Thanks all! Appreciate the replies. I cant believe how powerful some of these are that I would consider a "flashlight" as opposed to a "spotlight". Amazing they can make some of these small lights over 1000 Lumens. Another one I have been looking at is the LED Ryobi. Just realized they have one that uses the same 18V battery as my drill which I always bring camping. Regarding spotting deer comment above, I am aware. This is really just to have a long throw spot light when we boondocks camp. Here in PA we are typically in thick woods when we camp so it's nice to have a true spotlight that can send a narrow beam a few hundred yards into the woods to see wildlife. Thanks again!
kfp673 10/20/20 05:56am Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
Rechargeable Spot Light

Any recommendations? Looking for a strong spot light we can use when boon docking just to spot deer and other critters around the camp site. When I was a kid we used to go out late at night spotting deer and I loved it. Back then everything was rated in candle power. Now with the shift to LED it's lumens. Anyone have one they really like? Thanks!
kfp673 10/18/20 08:29pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: How to tow travel trailer with 2 adults, 3 kids, and 2 dogs

We do the same on a regular basis minus one dog. We have a crew cab Ram with a fiberglass cap. Our Lab rides in her crate in the back. If it's really hot then we will bring her to the back floor, but otherwise she does not seem to mind riding in the back at all! Other than that, Van, Large SUV, or Motorhome I think are your only options This is great thank you! We looked at the GMC 2500HD today and the backseat is huge! I think we are going to do the same as you have suggested. Sure thing! Something I recommend if you go this way is to get a sliding front window in the fiberglass cap and not a solid window. This will allow you to slide that open and open the side windows and get PLENTY of airflow for the dog. I was skeptical but during our first trip I opened it up this way and was watching some tarps I had back there start blowing all around. Realized it was plenty of air flow and I needed to secure the tarps. Spring and fall when heat is not an issue I just open the side windows. I also love the bed rug we put in the bed. It gets messy from firewood but it makes the dog crate stay put and is awesome on your knees when you crawl up there. Good luck!
kfp673 10/11/20 07:31pm Travel Trailers
RE: How to tow travel trailer with 2 adults, 3 kids, and 2 dogs

We do the same on a regular basis minus one dog. We have a crew cab Ram with a fiberglass cap. Our Lab rides in her crate in the back. If it's really hot then we will bring her to the back floor, but otherwise she does not seem to mind riding in the back at all! Other than that, Van, Large SUV, or Motorhome I think are your only options
kfp673 10/10/20 06:34pm Travel Trailers
RE: Anyone try Road Armor suspension system?

Very surprised no one has used this. Looks like a pretty solid system from Lippert so I would have thought plenty were out there by now. Maybe that says something?? I don't know? I am really wanting to pull the trigger and try it since it will save me over $200 vs MorRyde 4000, but maybe the $200 is worth it if the product has not become popular.
kfp673 10/09/20 12:37pm Travel Trailers
Anyone try Road Armor suspension system?

Hello All, In researching ways to make my travel trailer ride smoother, I was pretty set on the MoRryde 3000 or 4000 system, but I wanted to research them a bit more. In doing so I discovered the Lippert Road Armor. It looks like a nice system but I cant find too much info or reviews on the system. There is a nice video on Youtube, but I'm curious if anyone here has installed and tried this system? It is $230 less than the MorRyde 4000 system and about $100 more than the 3000. I just want to make a choice, install it and be done, so please share if you have any experience. I would really like to save a few hundred dollars if possible, but not if the performance is not there. Thanks!
kfp673 10/06/20 08:51pm Travel Trailers
RE: What axle do I have?

Turns out I have 5200 lb axels. Did not realize I just had to look at a sticker on the axel. Trailer is a 2018 Outback 325BH. Looking at MoRyde 4000 series or Lippert Road Armor suspensions as a fall project. Still trying to decide which. Morryde is the most expensive by almost double but gets great reviews.
kfp673 09/29/20 11:20am General RVing Issues
RE: Help replacing pendant light globe

OK, so I figured out how to get the broken shade off. Pretty simple once I figured it out. Remounted the fixture itself and tested to be sure it still works, which it does. Now I just need help finding a matching shade. Anyone have any clue what brand these lights might be? I would think they are more of an RV specific thing because they are 12v but I don't know. Digging as much as I can on the web so if you guys happen to find it please let me know. Thanks again!
kfp673 09/27/20 06:38pm General RVing Issues
Help replacing pendant light globe

Hello All, Got home from a weekend trip today and found smashed glass all over the floor. One of the pendant lights over our kitchen island came loose from it's mount and was swinging. Must have hit the other or hit the refrigerator. I can't for the life of me figure out how to remove the broken globe. The light still works, and all that happened was a nut and bolt worked themselves loose. As you can see in the picture I removed the entire fixture from the ceiling to see if it would make it easier. Tried holding and turning multiple pieces to see if it would unscrew but can't figure it out. Any thoughts? Also any thoughts on where to buy a matching globe? Posted a second picture of the good light just so you can see how it looks intact. Thanks!!! https://i.imgur.com/hSGFjQJl.jpghttps://i.imgur.com/UqRnaGxl.jpg
kfp673 09/27/20 03:51pm General RVing Issues
RE: What axle do I have?

Thanks all!
kfp673 09/21/20 05:59am General RVing Issues
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