Thursday, August 25, 2011

Propane Low? RV Tips. Taxes. Leaky Window. Bulges. Compressed Air Clean-up. Oldies. Grooming. Drizzle!!

RV Educated? Calculating Propane Usage

"Did you ever plan an RV trip to a remote area and wonder how long the LP gas in your LP cylinders or LP tank would last? If so there is a way there is a way to roughly calculate propane usage.
The first piece of the puzzle is knowing how much propane is in your RV cylinders or tank when full. Remember an RV propane cylinder or tank is full at 80% of its capacity to allow for expansion. Wait until your cylinder or tank is nearly empty and the next time you have it filled ask the attendant how much it holds.
The next step is to multiply your propane container capacity using one of these formulas, (gallons or pounds), to determine the container BTU capacity.
BTUs per gallon equal 91,502.
BTUs per pound equal 21,548.
Now, divide your container BTU capacity by the total BTU demand of the LP gas appliances you plan to use. BTU appliance demand can normally be found on the appliance itself, or in the appliance owner’s manual.
This will give you an idea of how long you can expect your LP gas to last.
For example: If your RV propane container holds 14 gallons of LP gas when it’s full, you multiply 14 X 91,502. The result is 1,281,028. Now divide this figure by the total BTU demand of any LP gas appliances you will be using. Let’s say, for the sake of an example, the total BTU demand will be 43,800 BTUs. In this case you would have approximately 29 hours of use before running out of LP gas.
However, keep in mind that the amount of LP gas in the container and varying temperatures will affect these calculations too. This is especially true in cold weather. At temperatures below zero degrees the per hour container BTU capacity will be reduced by 50% or more.
Calculating propane usage can give you a general idea of how long you can use your LP gas fired appliances before needing to find a propane filling station. "

RVing Tips.
You can check to see how full your propane bottle is by doing a water test. Pour hot water down the outside of the propane bottle. Immediately run your hand down the bottle where you poured the water. You should be able to feel a change of temperature at the propane level.
Pay close attention to how many other cars you might be holding up behind you on a two-lane road. Pull over and let them by when convenient. Even though most of the motorists are too rude these days to even raise their hands to thank you, you will have done the right thing.
"Disposable washcloths are great in an RV. These are the kind made for medical patients or others who cannot get into a shower or bathtub. One brand is Attends. They are similar to baby wipes or wet wipes, but bigger and stronger. I use them for all sorts of things from a "sponge bath" to quick housekeeping tasks. If your RVing involves picnics or eating outside, they are better than napkins.
We travel with water and we do use our shower. But, if we are boondocking and want to be extra conservative with water, or if we are just in a hurry, the disposable wash cloths fill the bill."
"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 or cooler, helping to keep things there cold."
Turn your RV refrigerator into a message center and photo display. Replace the standard door panels with sheets of thin cork from regular bulletin boards. You can then use push pins to post photos, notes, reminder lists, etc.
Baskets attached to the wall provide handy storage for lightweight items.
Use a cleaning solution in a spray bottle when washing your hands to conserve water. Spritz your hands a couple of times to wet them, then rub them together, and rinse. Use a non-toxic cleaner (we use Watkins) and the rinsing time is minimal.
Keep a folder in your RV, or on your computer, where you put local information: campground map, area maps, brochures for tourist attractions, etc. When you move on, clear the folder so it is ready for the next stop.
If you have the type of lights in your RV that have two sections, put a brighter bulb in one side and a smaller watt light bulb in the other. Use one side for general room lighting and the other side for a night light. When you need brighter lights, such as for reading, use them both.

"Your Tax Domicile Doesn't Change Just Because Your Address and RV Registration Do. 
Your tax domicile might not be where you think it is. Tax expert CPA Martin Shenkman shows where changing your address, registering your RV, and registering to vote may not change your home state domicile."
More at:
Leaky RV Window Can Cause Structural Damage

"My husband and I own a 4-Winds Hurricane. When we first purchased it, pre-owned about five years ago, from an elderly neighborhood couple, we had not planned on it. It just kind of happened and we couldn't be happier. However, initially there was a little bubble in the fiberglass shell below the back bedroom windows. We were told that the windows were put in backwards and water had gotten in but the windows were corrected and no problems since. But over the last couple years, the bubbles have gotten bigger and where our pleated shade screws into the wall below the windows inside, they pulled loose. It is soft inside the holes and we fear we may have to replace the inside wall. What exactly is involved and what kind of money are we talking about? We love our RV and keep her immaculate. We want to keep her for many more years as she has given us such great memories. One mom died a couple years ago and I had the opportunity to take her camping and she loved it. She had never done anything like that in her life. So can it be fixed and can we save her? "   Angie L. (Trainer, PA)
"Angie, it was so nice that you got to take your Mom RVing! You can forever know the joy you brought to her on that trip.
I'm a little confused about having the windows installed backwards; that's really not possible. Upside down, maybe, which would definitely result in a water leak. In any case, it is apparent moisture has invaded the interior walls. If indeed the window leaks have been stopped, it's possible only relatively minor repairs are required. But it will take an expert RV service technician to fully inspect and assess the resulting damage.
Some of it may be hidden inside the wall. In minor cases, the delamination of the exterior surface will often cease once the leak is sealed. But if the interior paneling is weakened or rotted, the problem may be more severe. In most cases, the damage can be mitigated. How much it might cost is unknown until the inspection process is completed.
I would definitely find a qualified service tech to fully inspect the damaged area. I do have an experienced, Master Certified RV Technician in your area I can refer you to; contact: 
Ron Donachie, Ron’s Mobile RV Services, Inc. Serving Eastern Pennsylvania. 484-225-8211
He'll come to your door and perform the necessary inspections and to assure all leaks have been eliminated." Posted by RV Doctor

From Me:  Look for Bulges. 
If you look down the sides of an RV and see a bulge in the siding, you know something bad is going on inside the wall. 
If you are looking at it to buy it, offer the seller a lower price, or walk away from it. 
If it is your RV, feel for soft spots around that area inside, and have it inspected as soon as you can.
Bulges can turn into a major repair.
Compressed Air Clean-up,    Air compressor does double duty
"I carry a small portable air compressor. This is not the kind you plug into the cigarette lighter, but an actual 110 volt air compressor that can put out 120 lbs of pressure. Like many of my tools it does double duty. I primarily use it to keep the tires inflated and to annoy pesty neighbors, but I also use it to blow out our electronic equipment and appliances. Warning: Always use eye protection when using compressed air this way.

A word of caution, compressed air from an air compressor can contain small amounts of water condensation that can damage electronic components. You can filter the air or you can simply allow the electronic components time to completely dry after they have been blown out before turning them back on again."

Computers hate dust and are much happier when you blow the dust out.

"My friend Hector, A knowledgeable RV technician, told me that RV appliances should be periodically blown out with compressed air. He says that if you only use your RV part time then you should do it once a year, but a full-timer should do it every six months.
I use a blower attachment on my air hose that reduces the air flow to a small forceful stream. With this I am able to blow out the opening behind the refrigerator, the external heater orifice and the hot water heating tube orifice as shown. Simple maintenance like this will help keep your appliances working properly and will ensure that any foreign objects, like insect nests, dust and debris are removed.
Even if you cover these openings with wire mesh to prevent insects from gaining access, you still need to bow out the dust."
"Also at low pressure for clearing out water lines. Instead of antifreeze I blow out the water lines."
"Here's another use for a portable compressor capable of generating 100+ psi. We have a TrailAir hitch on our fifth wheel. To top it up to the proper pressure requires the trailer to be hooked to the truck. Maneuvering both truck and trailer near the air line at a service centre is usually impossible and its likely the pressure available is insufficient anyway. Using our compressor, I can top up anywhere and anytime."  From:
 From Me:  Craftsman compressor (Small)About Compressors.
Most RVers with big tires which require more PSI, recommend getting a compressor which will go up to 150 PSI.  It will also run some air tools.   I know because I have one. This is mine.
Even some of the 125 PSI won't cut it. This is what Howard had to say about the 125 PSI one he bought:
The 150 PSI ones are not always available at Sears, but they get more in stock, sooner or later.

Next time you don't have anything to do, or the TV is out, you can watch some oldies TV shows on your computer:
There are so many that it will keep you entertained for a long, long time!
When Mindi's dogs arrived the day before, I had put the kittens in a cage in the Middle Room, but I didn't feel right about them being locked up that long, when I found out that Mindi's dogs would be spending the night.  So I moved them into the big cage in my dining area, that way I could let them loose to play in the house some of the time, and not have them cooped up all the time.  I didn't trust the Yorkie around them, so wanted to keep them apart. 
I think of it as a hurricane cage, because the dining area and living room's air conditioner can be powered by my motor home's generator.  Been There, Done That, through 2 hurricanes!

As always, I was up early, drinking my coffee while doing stuff online from 6.00 – 8.00 AM.  Just as I was starting to get dressed ready to spend the morning in the grooming room, the phone rang.  It was Jay saying that his renter urgently needed a ride to work in Conroe to pick up the company's truck, as his car is still in the shop.  Jay is staying in his house with the non-paying renter now, as Claudia finally stuck to her guns and made Jay move out of her house. 

I should have said no, but then they would have bothered Claudia, and she was in no shape to take the renter that early.  The anti-rejection meds that she has to take make her feel bad and she goes back to bed until 11.00 AM.  I quickly finished dressing, fed the animals, and took the dogs out for their second pottie break of the day.  It seems as soon as they eat, they have to go out again.  So I grudgingly went down there and picked up Jay and his renter.  Anytime I get called away from a grooming assignment it stresses me, as I know I need to 'git 'er done'.

The renter needed to be on the west side of Conroe, but anything that I needed was in a different direction.  We stopped at the west side Kroger's as a branch of Jay's bank is there, and he needed to withdraw some money.  I had to buy some more canned cat food, not that Kroger's has any that I usually feed my cats, but I had to get something for the kittens.  They are hungry little critters.  I rushed around getting what I could, and made one more quick stop in town, as I hadn't been shopping for a week, and didn't know when I would be back in Conroe.

By the time we got back and I had dropped off Jay, it was nearly 11.00 AM, so I took the dogs out again.   But it was too close to lunchtime to start bathing and drying dogs.  Especially as they can't go out again until their feet are clipped.

Mindi had left a message saying that she would be in my town again at 7.00 PM, and would pick up the dogs then.  That gave me time to settle down, and eat a leisurely early lunch.

It is so much easier to groom in the mornings when I am fresh, but I knuckled down, bathed, dried them, and had done most of their finish work, when Mindi called again.  She would be here at 4.30!  So I was pushed into rushing again.  I was getting tired by then.  She had to wait while I cut their nails, but now the dogs are gone.

At 6.30PM, there was thunder and a short power cut. 
Rain all around us, but no rain here.
Doppler Radar
This morning I awoke to 15 minutes of light drizzle, not enough to give a blade of grass a drink.

This summer has been the hottest, and broke the 1980 record number of over 100° days.

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