Thursday, May 17, 2012

RV Tips. Boondocking. Boosting Inverters. Watergate.

For “tRaVersing or RV Day”:

Boondocking = RVing without water or electric hook-ups.

Use common sense--and a few tricks--to become a happy boondocker

“Boondocking is not brain surgery. Anyone can camp overnight without hookups. Two or three days takes a little effort--no, not effort--but, common sense in the use of your resources.
What resources? Electricity and how fast you deplete it from your batteries, drinking water and how much you waste, and that resultant waste water filling up your gray water tank. Filling the black tank is usually not a restricting factor.
Where boondocking requires a bit more effort, more creative thinking, more conservation, and more planning--the art and skill of boondocking--is in extending your boondocking days. Getting as many days "out there" as you can squeeze in between having to pack up camp and drive off to replenish electricity (charging your batteries), fill your water tank, and dump your waste tanks. Staying out longer, and doing it comfortable, is what makes a boondocker happy.

It also takes experience. Every time you boondock, you learn a new trick or two to extend your stay. Simple, common sense acts--that with experience become second nature--like not letting your faucets run, taking Navy showers, re-using the water you run when waiting for hot water to come, reducing the amount of waste water you let flow into your gray tank, turning off lights and TV when not being used--this bag of tricks--are what makes boondocking a successful  and fun way to camp.
Look at it this way. If you were just as comfortable without hookups as you were with them, where would you rather camp. With neighbors within 15 or feet on either side of you, or would you choose campsites where your nearest neighbors were 50 or 100 feet away. Or you had no neighbors at all.
That's the beauty of boondocking. Once you learn the tips and tricks, your options are endless--from a crowded LTVA at Quartzsite to a solitary campsite with sweeping vistas and no sign of civilization in sight.” By Bob Difley


“A night light that doesn't drain batteries
”Boondockers just don't like any battery drains that are unnecessary. This makes use of nightlights problematic, since they will pull juice -- not much, admittedly -- from your battery all night long. To stop the drain completely, pick up a garden or pathway solar light, the kind with the stake on the bottom and the solar panel on top. During the day, leave it outside in the sun to charge, and at night stick it into a potted plant in the hall or bathroom (you do, of course, keep one there) and have a night light that lasts all night with no electrical drain.” Boondocking tips with Bob Difley


Take care with battery wiring
”Many RVers see the advantage of multiple batteries. But when making connections in your battery bank, be sure to use a heavy gauge wiring between batteries. All too often we see RVers who use small gauge wire when connecting batteries in parallel (two 12 volters for example) or in series (two 6 volters). The gauge of the wire should be at least as large as the wiring provided by the rig manufacturer for the original "single battery" installation. Make sure your connections are clean and tight.” By Russ and Tina De Maris


Generator etiquette
”If you plan on boondocking in one of the BLM's Long Term Visitor Areas (LTVA) this winter, be especially sensitive to your neighbors when you set up camp. If you plan on running your generator a lot (because you don't have solar panels or a wind turbine) park far enough away from others so the frequent running of the generator doesn't impact their solitude. Many boondockers like peace and quiet, and not the drone of a generator. Or look for others who have their generators running and park near them since a running generator will be less offensive to those who are already running theirs.” Boondocking tips with Bob Difley

Extend the time between dumping your tanks
”Many state, county, public utility and Corps of Engineers campgrounds provide water and electricity but not a sewer hookup. You can extend the time between dumping your gray water tank by putting less into it. Do this by: using a campground's bathroom facilities whenever possible; draining the gray tank into a portable waste tank (sometimes called a "Blue Boy") and then dumping that, and by not letting water run when brushing teeth or rinsing dishes (use a dishpan of water). If you have children, teach them about water conservation.”  Bob Difley    (Also use dish water to flush the loo)


Turn off the water heater at night
”Campsite etiquette is not only important in campgrounds where your neighbors are within hearing distance of the noise you create, but also when boondocking in crowded places like Quartzsite or at RV rallies. A good neighbor will turn off his water heater at night so it doesn't recycle on and off, annoying nearby campers not accustomed to the sound. It will also save propane. Relight the water heater in the morning. It only takes about ten minutes to bring the temperature back up.”


How these wandering technology nomads could change your concepts of electricity, By Bob Difley

technomadia_Chris_and_Cherie“Things change, in fact they have changed a lot–especially in the technological products available for RVers–since I first started RVing more than 40 years ago. I struggled in my early days of RVing with keeping my batteries charged, the annoying drone of what at the time seemed to be the endless running of my generator trying to re-charge those batteries, and still find electricity to be somewhat mystical.

So I was interested when I discovered Chris Dunphy & Cherie Ve Ard, a couple wandering America in their 1961 bus conversion. On their website, titled Technomads: Technology Enabled Nomads, they describe their current state as “exploring the confluence of full-time travel, technology, career, and community; all while embracing nomadic serendipity”.

It could be said that all of us boondockers and fulltimers are seeking “nomadic serendipity” but Chris and Cherie are putting together their version in large part with the help of combining standard technology with cutting edge technology developments to create and operate the best, most efficient, resource and environment friendly electrical system possible for their bus. And they write with clarity and knowledge about their efforts along with real time examples of their efforts.

I was especially fascinated with what they had to say about “boosting inverters”.     Article at:


On This Day:

Televised Watergate hearings begin, May 17, 1973:

“In Washington, D.C., the Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities, headed by Senator Sam Ervin of North Carolina, begins televised hearings on the escalating Watergate affair. One week later, Harvard law professor Archibald Cox was sworn in as special Watergate prosecutor.

On June 17, 1972, five men were arrested for breaking into and illegally wiretapping the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C. One of the suspects, James W. McCord Jr., was revealed to be the salaried security coordinator for President Richard Nixon's reelection committee. Two other men with White House ties were later implicated in the break-in: E. Howard Hunt, Jr., a former White House aide, and G. Gordon Liddy, finance counsel for the Committee for the Re-election of the President. Journalists and the Select Committee discovered a higher-echelon conspiracy surrounding the incident, and a political scandal of unprecedented magnitude erupted.

In May 1973, the special Senate committee began televised proceedings on the Watergate affair. During the Senate hearings, former White House legal counsel John Dean testified that the Watergate break-in had been approved by former Attorney General John Mitchell with the knowledge of chief White House advisers John Ehrlichman and H.R. Haldeman, and that President Nixon had been aware of the cover-up. Meanwhile, Watergate prosecutor Cox and his staff began to uncover widespread evidence of political espionage by the Nixon reelection committee, illegal wiretapping of thousands of citizens by the administration, and contributions to the Republican Party in return for political favors.

In July, the existence of what were to be called the Watergate tapes--official recordings of White House conversations between Nixon and his staff--was revealed during the Senate hearings. Cox subpoenaed these tapes, and after three months of delay President Nixon agreed to send summaries of the recordings. Cox rejected the summaries, and Nixon fired him. His successor as special prosecutor, Leon Jaworski, leveled indictments against several high-ranking administration officials, including Mitchell and Dean, who were duly convicted.

Public confidence in the president rapidly waned, and by the end of July 1974 the House Judiciary Committee had adopted three articles of impeachment against President Nixon: obstruction of justice, abuse of presidential powers, and hindrance of the impeachment process. On July 30, under coercion from the Supreme Court, Nixon finally released the Watergate tapes. On August 5, transcripts of the recordings were released, including a segment in which the president was heard instructing Haldeman to order the FBI to halt the Watergate investigation. Four days later, Nixon became the first president in U.S. history to resign. On September 8, his successor, President Gerald Ford, pardoned him from any criminal charges.”



When I first turned on my computer, I knew something had struck me.  Some silly sod had got into my email addresses and sent them spam.  I am so sorry if you were one of the recipients. I immediately ran Malwarebytes and changed my password.  What do they gain from that, as no one is going to click on their advertisements?

Misty and I went to pick up Jay and his trap containing two feral kittens.  That’s 800,000 cats we saved from being born in the next ten years, as one cat produces over 400,000 cats in that time.  It is so important for cats and dogs to be vaccinated and fixed.  With no ‘parents’ to house them or get them vaccinated, these kittens would have died from some nasty cat diseases, starvation, hookworms, heat or from being run over. I called the local Animal Control so they picked up the trap, as they are in here nearly every day picking up strays. Being in the country and only 4 miles from town, we get a lot of ‘dumpees’.

The weekender who has the little house behind Jay’s was getting rid of some short unused pieces of 1x6 treated lumber, and that is what I have for skirting on the back of the house.  It was screwed vertically, with no gaps, to keep the north wind out.  Some of the boards had got a bit ratty over the years, so Jay did the installing, and I did the sawing with the chop saw.   With the chop saw on a piece of plywood across the back of the little red black wagon, it can be wheeled it out there with the rest of the tools and screws.  Then we have a rolling work shop.  It was a great day to be outside.

Then I was told that, finally, for the first time in 3 years, a potential adopter wants to meet Prime, my foster cat, when she is at Adoption Day on Saturday.

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