Thursday, July 14, 2011

RV Battery Charger. Knees. 12v. Fridge? RV Fridges. Solar Vent. Cold Drinks. Tips. Passport America Rally. Shopping. White Bread. "Wild" Cat Food.

RV battery charging: Does your charger make a difference in longevity?
"An RV deep cycle “house” battery is an expensive proposition. We just tossed a couple of mid-range priced 6-volt batteries in our travel trailer and came away nearly $200 lighter in the wallet for the experience. For serious, energy-consuming boondockers who may have a bank of house batteries four times the number of ours, replacing the battery bank is a proposition calculated to bust the bank. Keeping our batteries alive and well as long as possible is a subject of importance.
Some time back we we approached the folks at PulseTech, an outfit that manufactures a line of battery chargers that goes beyond your grandfather’s “buzz box” style battery charger and adds a “pulse waveform” to the DC current pumped into a battery to recharge it. PulseTech says their technology will actually help prevent the build up of sulfates which will spell the demise of lead-acid batteries.
The PulseTech web site provides documentation from scientific studies to strengthen their claims, and the material makes an interesting read.
But for many of us, a “show me” is better than a windy dissertation from a university professor. We have a “show me” to share."  
See the pictures at:

Older Knees?
Kneeling Gets A Helping Hand
"We RVers spend a lot of time on our knees. Sometimes in prayer (depending on what brand of RV we have) but most of the time for doing things around the coach like connecting the utilities. The owner of this motorcoach had a great idea and installed an entry handle near his utility bay. Now when he needs to get up from hook-up duty he can pull himself erect by using this convenient handle. "Work smarter, not harder" is my motto."   Jim Twamley.

Can I Convert a 2-way RV Refrigerator to a 3-way?   Posted by RV Doctor

"We just replaced our Dometic refrigerator with a new one. On our old refrigerator we had an aftermarket 3-way switch put in (AC, DC, Propane). That way we could run our fridge on DC while we drove. Now I am told I can only use propane or electric and the fridge is off during travel. I can't believe stuff stays cold enough. We often travel for several hours at a time. What is the problem with using DC while driving? The batteries charge while driving. Is it possible to put in an inverter? " Edie T., (Kent, WA)

"Edie, indeed, the two major manufacturers of RV refrigerators produce both 2-way (120-volts AC and propane) and 3-way models, which includes a 12-volt heater for operation while the vehicle is in motion. The 12-volt DC mode of operation, however, is considered a “maintenance mode” only. Realistically, the refrigerator’s interior compartments must already be cooled down and the food chilled prior to setting the unit to the 12-volt mode. It would take too much out of a typical battery system to cool a warm refrigerator down from scratch on battery power alone. In other words, the drain on the system would be a greater load than most battery systems could provide before becoming depleted.
By the way, I’m not aware of an approved aftermarket kit for adding a 12-volt DC heating element to a standard 2-way refrigerator and would be quite hesitant about using one anyway. For correct absorption cooling operation, the sockets for the heating elements must be properly welded to the cooling core and this can only take place during manufacture.
Yes, you could add a dedicated inverter to power the refrigerator on 120-volt AC while driving, but that too, would require proper sizing of the battery bank. In my experience, simply getting the refrigerator (and the properly stowed food), as cold as possible on propane or shoreline power before heading out, and then avoiding opening the doors during the day, will usually keep everything cold enough until you can fire up one of the other modes once you stop for the night. The frozen T-bones and lobster tails should not defrost during that time. Of course, even a 2-way refrigerator is designed to be operated on propane while driving down the road if you are in that camp, (check out this related question).
If you really must have the refrigerator on while driving, but aren’t confident using propane while going down the road, then the addition of an inverter and a healthier battery bank might be the most economical option; certainly less than swapping out the refrigerator again for a 3-way unit. I'm curious as to why the dealer simply didn't sell you a 3-way model to begin with..."

Make sure your alternator is right for the extra load.

RV Absorption Refrigeration Basics   Posted by RV Doctor

"While the typical residential refrigerator is more like an air conditioner since a mechanical compressor is utilized, the RV absorption refrigerator remains a mystery to many. It is probably the most perplexing of all the LP-burning appliances found in the typical RV today. Understanding the theory of absorption and “absorbing” why it takes heat in order to make cold can be mysterious even for the most engineer-like amongst us. The usual result is to simply shake our head and grab another cool beverage from the fridge. But by grasping a basic view of the theory of absorption and understanding the importance of leveling, ventilation, and cleanliness, the RV refrigerator can provide many years of RVing enjoyment and independence. Let’s take a look at the absorption refrigerator by first examining the heart of the refrigerator, the cooling unit…."
Read the rest at:


RV Fridge Tips by Dawn & Mark Polk
"RV refrigerators are much different than the one in your house. They don't have compressors and they work off the principle of absorption. You should turn the RV refrigerator on several hours before putting food in it. It is best to leave it on overnight and put your food in it just prior to leaving. Always keep a small thermometer in your RV refrigerator so you can monitor the temperature. Food can begin to go bad at about 40 degrees. Some things that will affect the inside temperatures of your RV refrigerator are:
1) Putting warm food in the refrigerator. If at all possible put cold food in the refrigerator and freezer prior to leaving on a trip.
2) Packing the food to close or putting too much in the refrigerator. Air must be able to circulate around the food for the refrigerator to operate properly. Keep a couple of day's supply of food in the refrigerator and replenish as necessary.
3) Put a small battery operated fan in the refrigerator to assist with air circulation.
4) Continuously opening the refrigerator door and leaving it open for periods of time will affect the efficiency of the refrigerator.
5) The RV refrigerator must be close to level to operate properly.
The outside temperature will affect the operation of the refrigerator. In hot temperatures try to park the RV in shaded areas, especially on the side of the RV where the refrigerator is located. You can also install a thermostatically controlled refrigerator vent fan that will move the hot air out from behind the refrigerator and make it operate more efficiently."

There are solar fridge vent fans available, too.
"This universal Refrigerator Roof Vent for RVs will fit bases that typically come Norcold and Dometic refrigerators. There are multiple hole blanks which can be used to match holes in the various bases. It's made of UV stabilized polypropylene plastic for long life. White only."
For the DIY: $54.98

Fire Safety Tip   from Mac McCoy

"You should have three fire extinguishers for your coach -- one in the galley, one in the bedroom, and one outside of the coach in an unlocked compartment or in your tow vehicle. Make sure family members know how to use the extinguishers and understand which extinguishers are effective on various fires. "
"My goal is to try to get as many of these in RV refrigerator compartments as quickly as possible. I'd really hate to see another person lose their RV due to a refrigerator fire.  If you have an RV style refrigerator I hope you will seriously consider purchasing one of these extinguishers.  If you'd like to view the product in the online store, click here."
Learn more about Mac and fire safety.

RV and Other Tips

Cold Drinks…   Partially (about two-thirds) fill plastic bottles or glasses with tea, lemonade, coffee, or juice and freeze them. On travel days, take one from the freezer, finish filling it, and you have a cold beverage for much of the day. Sure beats buying cold drinks at convenience store prices. It also eliminates the need to open your refrigerator and let in warm air, especially important if you are traveling with it turned off.

Put cheap paper plates between casseroles dishes or other glass dishes that you stack in your RV cabinets. This helps keep them from bouncing against one another when you are on the move so they aren’t as likely to chip or crack.

FLEXIBLE VACUUM - To remove an item from a heat register or under the fridge, add an empty paper towel roll/ gift wrap roll to your vacuum. Flatten it to access narrow openings.

TO REDUCE STATIC CLING Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a clingy skirt or dress. Same tip works with slacks that cling when wearing panty hose. Place pin in seam of slacks and Static is gone.

MEASURING CUPS - Before pouring sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill with hot water. Dump out, but don't dry cup… Next, add ingredients, watch how easily it comes right out.

Time to make reservations:
August 16-19, 2011, Goshen/Elkhart, In Elkhart County Fairgrounds
Passport America's Fun Rally at Amishville
PA logo

"Let's all get together in Amish Country where we'll create an atmosphere for good times and fellowship. Word is Out... We Don't Compromise Great FOOD and FUN. RELAX in the "RV Capitol", the world's largest concentration of RV manufacturing and support industries. And you'll be in the heart of it all.

It's also Amish Country, including the nationally-recognized Heritage Trail and the Quilt Garden Tour. There are also Manufacturing Tours, RV/MH Museum, Shop Shipshewana, and nearby Casinos. Get in on the Horseshoe and Texas Hold'um tournaments or play Bingo for cash! Sign up for the golf Tournament Friday. So come on, we have plenty to offer. Delicious dinners Wednesday and Thursday evenings and an Amish breakfast Friday morning. If you have friends that you camp with, invite them along, they can learn more about PA if they wish. Having these optional tours along with a great impact Rally will make you glad you showed up.

We Look Forward to Seeing You There! "



It is as hot as blazes, and the humidity doesn't help matters.  Still no rain.  But Ray did a bit of touch-up painting in the cargo trailer.

Dizzy-Dick, who lives about 20 miles from me, has high-tailed it to cooler weather in PA:
I would love to be a "sunbird", but I don't like to drive very far by myself, not even the 12 miles into the next town, Conroe.

Being Wednesday, and the usual day for shopping in Conroe, Jay and I set off early.   I made sure my cell phone was on, so that my SPCA boss could tell me what time the lady wanted to take "possession" of my little foster cat "Pal".  In this heat, it is best to get shopping done as early as possible, even if it meant a second trip into town later.  There is no way I could go shopping with an animal in the van.  We put up the windshield sunshades at every stop, but it was still stifling.

We took a quick gander at several thrift shops, but all I bought was a pair of white shorts.  As our local store was out of small bags of "Taste of The Wild" cat food, I stopped at Tractor Supply and bought some there.  They had big signs saying that their prices could not be beat, so I made them match our store's price, which is a dollar cheaper!!
Finally, the call about Pal came, and I need to have him at Conroe Petco at 1.00PM today.

We stopped at Krogers for a few things, and I couldn't believe what Jay bought.  They had a well-known brand of white bread on a 'twofer' special, so he got two loaves.  I couldn't believe what they get for that trash, $2.79 a loaf!  Here he is with a diabetic, liver-transplanted mother, and is going to feed her that, no wonder they are both always feeling poorly. 
"The whiter the bread, the quicker you’re dead, as white bread is already 'dead' " – old saying. 
It's bleached and refined - eliminating the nutritional content of the grain and fiber.  It raises blood sugar levels and is very addictive as you're always hungry after eating it because your body becomes nutritionally starved. Just like eating white rice.

Many years ago I was put on a diabetic diet, but at least the doctor explained to me, no white foods, except cauliflower, onions and garlic.  No processed cheese, no processed foods, only the real thing.  Don't doctors tell their patients how to eat right any more? 
At first I thought my whole life had fallen apart, what was there left to eat?  But you soon learn that there is an abundance of real food out there, and it is a lot more tasty than the stuff that is processed and loaded with High Fructose Corn Syrup. Which is also in white bread.  (My blood sugars have since been fine, no medications required.)
There is no nutrition in white bread, just like white pasta, and also it is VERY bad for you: 
Enriched bread banned in Canada:

If it says "Enriched flour" in the ingredients, it is not real bread.
Also one has to be wary of brown breads, as sometimes they are just white bread with added molasses to make them look brown.  So there again it is not nutritional food.  Also some people are allergic to the sulfites in molasses:

Prime, my foster cat, allowed me to come in the front door, as I brought her "Taste of The Wild" cat food home with me.  She was getting so desperate that she stole some of Misty's "Taste of The Wild" dog food!!  But cat food has to have taurine in it, or they can get sick, or go blind, and eventually die.
The orphan kittens have two bowls of different food in the grooming room, but when I added a third with the "Wild" food, it was all gone in minutes. They haven't had any for a few days, and have been having to 'make do' with Exclusive cat food, and another brand.  My cats get at least two 'wet' meals a day, and the growing kittens get 3-4, as dry food should not be their sole diet.

Bobcat smelled the "Wild" food that Prime was eating, and even she ate some of it and wanted more today.

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