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RE: What the ??

Wow ... you guys are right-on about being amazed at today's truck prices! I guess I'll keep our relatively small 24ft. Class C motorhome for a long time. It's built on a rugged Ford E450 chassis, has non-stock-size larger diameter M&S 10 ply tires on it for improved ground clearance and traction, 45 gal of FW, 39 gal of BW, 29 gal of GW, 18 gal of propane, 230AH of AGM batteries, and 4000W of built-in generator power - plus two permanent queen beds, one temporary full size bed, a dinette area, a lounge chair, an outside entertainment system, an outside shower, and a bunch of outside storage. We don't tow, park it just about anywhere at attractions and in towns, can camp in older small campgrounds and drycamp sites, and we take it gently offroad to explore and boondock camp in complete roomy comfort. We paid around $58K for it out the door (but oops -> that was in 2006). For hauling stuff I keep a good old GMC Z71 offroad 4X4 1/2 ton PU parked in the backyard.
pnichols 12/18/20 11:26am Truck Campers
RE: RVing in the winter

our two large AGM batteries have no problem running the furnace for only 15-20 minutes, total, out of each hour at those inside and outside temperatures Perhaps the key is a second battery. As I understand, the electric blower dragons out within a few short hours without connection to shore power or running the genny. I'll quote myself : ) The 19G manual states: HOW IT (FURNACE) OPERATES Use the wall thermostat to turn the furnace on. Air is heated by burning propane. A blower using 12-volt power from the auxiliary battery circulates the hot air through the motorhome. WARNING: If the auxiliary battery is not being charged via the chassis engine, a campground connection or the generator, the furnace blower will discharge it in two to three hours and then the furnace will shut off. If this happens, you may recharge the battery by running the chassis engine for about 45 minutes. That would take a very small single battery in an 19G to only run it's furnace for only "two to three" hours ... plus remember that the furnace should/will not run continuously under anything but EXTREMELY COLD conditions. Here again is my earlier answer to what you quoted for yourself above: ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- If the one battery is, say, a 100 amp hour battery and you start the evening and night with having, say, 80 amp hours of it's capacity left ... then you have about 40 amp hours max that you should run it down overnight. If your furnace is sized right, and your coach interior is "made night-time small enough" by blocking off some sections, then the furnace might only run about 1/3 of the time each hour. If the furnace blower and it's control circuitry only consumes about 6 amps when the furnace is running, then each hour it would drain about 2 amp hours (1/3 of 6) from the battery. If you run the furnace off the single battery for around 12 hours each evening and night, then 12 hours times 2 amps per hour means that you've used 24 amp hours out of the battery, come morning (not counting some other real low amperage draws from the battery during that time). Since you had about 40 usable amp hours in the battery at the beginning of the evening ... you should make it through the night on the single battey. The above analysis assumes that you start out with a battery in good condition and bring the battery back up to full capacity before each night - using some combination of solar plus generator or solar plus engine idling. The most worry-free solution for cold weather drycamping is to have as much good RV battery capacity on board as you can fit and afford. I consider our two 12V Group 31 deep cycle 115 amp hours each AGM batteries (for a total of 230 amp hours) as about the minimum capacity for my particular piece of mind. When drycamping I charge them up to around 90% about every other day using one of my five different non-solar ways to charge them.
pnichols 12/11/20 11:12pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: RVing in the winter

I recently read everything these folks wrote about winter drycamping in their 5'er, which also applies to motorhomes, and they have some excellent tips on how to do it (be sure to read their other cold weather camping articles high-lighted in blue): https://roadslesstraveled.us/how-to-stay-warm-in-an-rv-survival-tips-for-winter-rving/
pnichols 12/11/20 02:02pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Snow Emergency?

Snow is coming: Logic says we must buy bread and milk! Snowed a few minutes the other day but we had four slcies and some half and half Got by by skin of our teeth. Can't let that happen again We now have Walmart deliver 8-10 boxes of cereal, plus 18-24 quarts of non-refrigerated milk substitute delivered to our rural home evey few weeks now. Also, every couple of weeks we order all our food over the Internet and then drive to the grocery store at a scheduled time and have them bring the whole order out to the car and load it into the trunk. They have one of our credit cards on file so the whole process is quick and easy and ... we're all using masks and breathing safe air. It's so easy to keep stocked up this way on many household items that we'll probably keep this up after this whole pandemic thing is over with.
pnichols 12/09/20 12:00am Around the Campfire
RE: Great Movie

My 2 favorite genres are sci-fi and westerns, although some sci-fi films contain bad language, especially newer ones. Westerns don't appear to have that problem. Yeah ... and some recent movies are set in an older time period back in time and they still have the ultra-foul language being used by the characters ... when probably some of those words weren't widely used, if at all, back then! What especially irritates me is when they have women characters using certain ultra-foul words ... of which I NEVER encountered women using when I was younger way back in "an older time period"! I guess we now have gratuitous language - along with the other gratuitous stuff - to put up with in modern movies.
pnichols 12/08/20 11:46pm Around the Campfire
RE: and just like that...*poof*....gone

I read a article (unconfirmed) that said someone removed it on purpose because they didn't like the environmental destruction being caused by people going out to see it. Hmmm .... I wonder if the ones that put it out wanted it to be: 1. Never found, 2. or found, but not paid much attention to, 3. or found, and paid so much attention to that the hordes going out to see it would set attendance records. Usually "artists" are attention seekers regarding their handiwork - so I vote for Number 3. :R By the way - my laptop's Google Earth Pro software doesn't have quite high enough ulltimate zoom-in resolution so as to actually identify the monolith as something that doesn't belong there in the desert, per se. So how did folks locate and identify it when sitting in front of a computer screen? :S
pnichols 12/07/20 10:52pm General RVing Issues
RE: What's under the bed?

On my Coachmen (a '98 Santara 315QB), under the bed is the fresh water tank, some wiring, the water pump, and a little free space. The easiest way to get at those things is to remove the mattress from the bed and unscrew the OSB panel that forms the top of the bed itself and remove it. There was enough available space in there that I could (and did) add a handy little electronic safe, which I know is not very secure but does provide a convenient place to keep passports, petty cash, chocolate bars reserved for s'mores, etc. Under the bathroom floor I'd guess is the black and/or gray water tanks. I could be all wrong there. There does need to be some vertical space under the shower pan for the trap for its drain, but that doesn't apply to the toilet or bathroom sink (at least in terms of floor height). I've been wondering exactly where the gray and black tanks are. They are both 50 gallons, but may not be shaped the same as the fresh water tank. I'm not sure those gray and black tank capacities are correct. Here's a link showing their sizes: https://coachmenrv.com/class-c-motorhomes/freelander/21QB/54 However, 50 gallon fresh water tank capacity in a Class C that small is great!
pnichols 12/06/20 06:51pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: RVing in the winter

I just recall reading time and time again that people can only eek out 3-4 hours of furnace use off the battery (at least 19G owners). I don't recall seeing their set-ups though and whether or not they're partitioning areas. If I can get away with the partition, the window coverings, the screen door window cover (allow sun in during the day but keep air out), and the multiple rugs that would be great. I planned to run a propane line inside and use an unvented radiating heater with both a window and a vent cracked. There's a carbon monoxide detector in the cabin already, so I'm not concerned, and we'll be "manual venting" to be additionally safe(r). BUT I may still run it without any modification first to see if it's enough; however, I'm not just concerned about the electrical draw on the battery but also that I've read it drinks propane. Of course none of this is firsthand experience, so we will see firsthand and then likely go from there. An RV's propane furnace will not draw down a coach battery in only 3-4 hours of even constant running ... unless the battery is either in poor general shape or the battery is not charged up enough when turning the furnace on. If the propane furnace is using too much propane ... then probably the furnace is running constantly with no, or very little, ON/OFF cycling night after night - in combination with the propane tank(s) being kindof a too-small base capacity or not full enough when the cold temperatures set in. For me personally, I don't trust quick-disconnect flexible hose propane gas connections for a portable propane heater being made inside the coach interior or those little propane cylinders being screwed onto a portable propane heater for use inside the coach interior. However, I do realize that thousands of RV'ers are getting away with using the portable propane heaters inside. It's just a situation that me, my wife, and our dog do not ultimately trust.
pnichols 12/06/20 05:45pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: RVing in the winter

our two large AGM batteries have no problem running the furnace for only 15-20 minutes, total, out of each hour at those inside and outside temperatures Perhaps the key is a second battery. As I understand, the electric blower dragons out within a few short hours without connection to shore power or running the genny. If the one battery is, say, a 100 amp hour battery and you start the evening and night with having, say, 80 amp hours of it's capacity left ... then you have about 40 amp hours max that you should run it down overnight. If your furnace is sized right, and your coach interior is "made night-time small enough" by blocking off some sections, then the furnace might only run about 1/3 of the time each hour. If the furnace blower and it's control circuitry only consumes about 6 amps when the furnace is running, then each hour it would drain about 2 amp hours (1/3 of 6) from the battery. If you run the furnace off the single battery for around 12 hours each evening and night, then 12 hours times 2 amps per hour means that you've used 24 amp hours out of the battery, come morning (not counting some other real low amperage draws from the battery during that time). Since you had about 40 usable amp hours in the battery at the beginning of the evening ... you should make it through the night on the single battey. The above analysis assumes that you start out with a battery in good condition and bring the battery back up to full capacity before each night - using some combination of solar plus generator or solar plus engine idling. The most worry-free solution for cold weather drycamping is to have as much good RV battery capacity on board as you can fit and afford. I consider our two 12V Group 31 deep cycle 115 amp hours each AGM batteries (for a total of 230 amp hours) as about the minimum capacity for my particular piece of mind. When drycamping I charge them up to around 90% about every other day using one of my five different non-solar ways to charge them.
pnichols 12/06/20 10:53am Class C Motorhomes
RE: RVing in the winter

In our Class C we can block off with curtains the cab and the cab overhead bed area. With these two areas isolated from the rest of the interior, the 25,000 BTU propane furnace can easily keep the rest of the coach warm by only having to cycle On and Off about 3 times per hour. This helps cut down on propane use and coach battery draining when camping without hookups in cold temperatures. When setting up an RV for winter camping it helps to temporarily make the living area as small as possible that has to be kept warm. We're not into cold room sleeping, so we keep the interior of the coach at around 65 degrees, which makes it possible to sleep under light covers ... just like in our stick house. Can you make it through an evening (say 40F) at 65F with just the cab blocked off? Yes, sleeping with outside temps in the mid 30F's has presented no problems keeping the coach interior at 64-66 degrees. However in addition to blocking off areas of the coach interior with curtains: We have distributed heating ducts that can be aimed 360 degrees, we always carry along insulation for the insides of the windows, the propane tank is large (18 gallons) for the size of our 24 ft Class C, the furnace capacity is generous for the size of our RV, and our two large AGM batteries have no problem running the furnace for only 15-20 minutes, total, out of each hour at those inside and outside temperatures ... plus both the wife and myself use cool-air CPAP machines all night. Our small RV also has a couple of "ace in the holes" for at least moderate cold weather camping. 1) One of the 4" diameter heating duct tubes from the furnace runs right past the fresh water tank (which is in the interior under the bed) so as to keep both the freshwater tank and the underside of the bed at interior or higher than coach air temperatures. 2) The grey and black tanks have 12V tank warming pads on their bottoms, so we can hookup camp or drycamp at cold temperatures - even if it takes some generator run time each day for battery charging after each night whenever drycamping. On hookups the coach converter can keep up with the amperage needs of the the 12V heating pads. Another thing we never do is hookup camp with fresh water hoses (or drain hoses) hooked up. We use the RV tanks when on hookups - only filling them or draining them every few days just like when drycamping. The only thing we hookup is the electrical cable, so we have no freezing-of-the-freshwater-hose issues. The coach floors and walls are made up of 1.5-2 in. thick sandwich bonded foam interiors. The roof has a thicker sandwich bonded foam interior - maybe closer to 3 in.. Our Class C came with a so-called "winter package", but I have no idea what that includes.
pnichols 12/06/20 12:42am Class C Motorhomes
RE: RVing in the winter

In our Class C we can block off with curtains the cab and the cab overhead bed area. With these two areas isolated from the rest of the interior, the 25,000 BTU propane furnace can easily keep the rest of the coach warm by only having to cycle On and Off about 3 times per hour. This helps cut down on propane use and coach battery draining when camping without hookups in cold temperatures. When setting up an RV for winter camping it helps to temporarily make the living area as small as possible that has to be kept warm. We're not into cold room sleeping, so we keep the interior of the coach at around 65 degrees, which makes it possible to sleep under light covers ... just like in our stick house.
pnichols 12/04/20 07:35pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Best virus, spyware protection.

For a long time I used both Bitdefender and Malwarebytes. I recently dropped Bitdefender and figure I'll give Microsoft Defender a shot. I've been hearing that it's much improved. I also run the paid Malwarebytes. It's my understanding that the difference between free and paid Malwarebytes is the paid version runs in real time and stops the threat before it gets into the system, while the free version has to be initiated by you after the fact. If I'm wrong about this guys help me out. I haven't had an infection in years(knock on wood). I'm certainly no expert but my understanding is running two real time virus protection systems at the same time causes problems. Right you are .... especially regarding having more than one type of firewall protection running at the same time. That's a no-no. On my laptop, I disabled Windows firewall protection when I installed the McAfee computer protection suite.
pnichols 12/04/20 11:28am Technology Corner
RE: Best virus, spyware protection.

I use McAfee on my Windwos 10 laptop, two Android smartphones, one Apple iPad, and one Microsoft XP(!) desktop. McAfee is very reliable, has constant updates for new protections, and is very simple to use on all my devices. I have a multiple device autopay annual subscription for it. It rates high in all reviews I've read about it.
pnichols 12/02/20 11:52pm Technology Corner
RE: Has anyone seen this Monolith?

I located and pinned exactly where the monolith used to be on both of my laptop's digital maps - Google Earth and Microsoft Maps. I could probably even pinpoint it on my Garmin navigator unit. Some of the typical Utah desert dirt/dusty roads come fairly close to it's location. Maybe the last few hundred yards (miles?) would require a 4X4 pickup to haul it into where it was - in what looks like maybe a wide wash with rock formations ringing it. I couldn't be sure using the maximum non-blurred resolution available for both maps. "Probably in dry weather" our small 2WD MH could get within non-lethal hiking distance of the monolith's location to explore and camp way out there. Some years ago we actually drove our rig to Dubinky Well several miles north of the area. :)
pnichols 12/01/20 10:39am Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Has anyone seen this Monolith?

For those calculating the weight/value/portability - the monolith was made of riveted sheet metal. Description That's more like it ... solid any-metal would have been way too much weight to deal with!! Since they think it was placed there in the 2nd half of 2016, I wonder why it's taken so long to be discovered -> ... it may be because it was in a very remote place, and ... it must have taken a 4X4 truck to get it there in that remote place. A remote location combined with a truck being able to get there may mean that area is a pretty good place to boondock camp near. I wonder if our small motorhome with it's stock pickup truck type ground clearance could make it there in dry weather? :h and ;)
pnichols 11/30/20 06:51pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Has anyone seen this Monolith?

...and now it's gone! ?? Hmmmm ... if indeed it was stainless steel ... I wish they would publish a video on how they removed it!!! :h
pnichols 11/29/20 04:04pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Has anyone seen this Monolith?

There was a news story on tv about it recently that said it was made of stainless steel. Stainless steel = heavvvvyyyy!!! (Not to mention, still VERY EXPENSIVE.) Here's a clip from my earlier post in this thread: "Could a 1-ton dually 4X4 PU even carry 486 pounds and 12 onces - plus the crane - plus the backhoe - out there (unnoticed) so as to deal with setting that thing up vertically stable?"
pnichols 11/28/20 10:31am Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Long trips

Our 24 foot Class C drives like a van, so long trips in it are very restful and low stress. However from what I read in the forums, certain Class C motorhome setups don't handle well. Our longest trip as been around 7000 miles. There is a video on YouTube of a couple who full-time in a 24 foot Class C. We don't tow and can get around sightseeing and camping just about anywhere in it except for hardcore off-road travel ... but we do take if off-highway on gravel and dirt roads.
pnichols 11/26/20 02:40pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: New Ford 7.3l Godzilla V8

It has the displacement of a big block (445 cubic inches). I wonder if the center to center piston spacing is still small block, like the larger GM engines. It is pretty compact. I’m going to say it is quieter than my 2001 V10 class C, but it may just be that I like the sound. FWIW, I prefer as many cylinders as possible at as high an RPM as possible, so I guess that my V10 powered motorhome slightly feeds that preference. My rumbling, growling, thumbing, offroad 4X4 V8 GMC pickup definitely sounds way different. (I'lll never forget my ride in a friend's Ferrari - 12 cylinders probably at over 7000 RPM up through the gears - double wow!) P.S. Many feel that the greatest engine sound ever is that of the legendary BRM V16 at 12,000 RPM. :)
pnichols 11/26/20 11:00am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Long Road trip

We are going on a long road trip this spring and summer...about 4 to 6 weeks. DO you wish that you were driving a motorhome ? We did go in our motorhome on wonderfull 9 week and a 10 week road trips a few years ago, and have been going on shorter trips as much as possible ever since (which include a lot of drycamping). We camp in places like this with our 24ft Class C on it's overkill E450 chassis with non-stock good ground clearance, where I would never risk taking a TT or 5'er to: https://i.imgur.com/cmmhXEIl.jpg
pnichols 11/26/20 10:22am Fifth-Wheels
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