For “tRaVersing Thursday”, or RV Day:
Happy 40th Anniversary Clean Water Act!
The Clean Water Act protects bodies of water across the country, like those in our National Parks. Yellowstone National Park photo by Flickr user Jeff Gunn.
“This Thursday, we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act. This landmark act has ensured, and will continue to ensure, that America’s waters are fishable, swimmable, and drinkable. Since its inception, the Clean Water Act has logged numerous successes: it has prevented pollution by providing assistance to publicly-owned wastewater treatment facilities, and maintaining the integrity of wetlands.”
**Help us celebrate this milestone and tell everyone how important clean water is to you!** More at: http://blog.nwf.org/2012/10/happy-40th-anniversary-clean-water-act/ From Wildlife Promise
Failures in Outlet Testing, Posted by RV Doctor, By Mike Sokol
“I’ve done it…. You’ve done it… We’ve all done it…. plugged a simple 3-light tester into a home or campsite outlet and declared it safe. After all, these $5 testers are everywhere. And you can see from the diagram on top that if you get two amber lights and no red light, the outlet must be wired correctly. That’s WRONG!! Possibly DEAD WRONG!!! And here’s why.
A few months ago I was experimenting with electrical grounds and contemplating just how 3-light testers work. So I downloaded a schematic and took one apart. As I drew the diagram I noticed something very odd about its operation.
While the 3-light tester would be able to identify many circuit problems such as a missing Ground or swapped Hot and Neutral wires, there didn’t seem to be any way for it to identify a situation where the Ground and Neutral were both at 120 volts and the Hot wire was at ground. How does this error occur? Let’s say you have ungrounded power outlets in your home, office, or campsite that never had a safety ground wire originally. This was common in pre 1970’s wiring so it’s often found in old buildings. You want “grounded” outlets, so you pay an electrician to replace the old “ungrounded” outlets with new “grounded” outlet.
So far so good, but what to do with that green ground screw when there’s no ground wire in the cable. Well, many electricians would perform something called a Bootleg (or False) Ground. They ran a jumper wire from the Neutral to the Ground screw, and tested it with a 3-light tester. If the tester showed two amber lights and no red light, the outlet was deemed safe. While against the National Electrical Code, this quick fix has been done millions of times in America.
The entire electrical testing industry seems to be unaware or has forgotten this issue, so don't rely on old testing methods. See diagram.
So be safe. Test for RPBG conditions BEFORE you plug in your RV. And test your home outlets as well. You'll be surprised as to just how many RPBG outlets you'll find. Thanks Gary! Mike” Complete article at: http://www.rvdoctor.com/2001/07/friends-of-gary-mike.html
Dry Flush does away with holding tanks, smells, frozen plumbing
“Imagine an RV trip without having to dump black water. No fooling with holding tank treatments. No getting bowled over by "toilet stink" on hot days. All these benefits are yours, says a Connecticut company, if you install one of their new Dry Flush toilet systems in your RV.
Dry Flush takes away the holding tank and replaces it (inside the toilet) with a 'waste disposal system,' that wraps up the waste after every flush in what almost looks like aluminum foil. After 15 flushes the containerized waste is removed from the toilet, a new containment cartridge (if you will) installed, and the filled up system is tossed out in the trash. Kind of reminds us of those automatic cat litter-box systems where you never have to touch a litter scoop.”
From me: I have a Bio-Gel toilet, http://www.basspro.com/BIOGEL-Waste-Gelation-Powder-for-Portable-Toilets/product/23630/ , but it doesn’t fold the bag up for me, I have to do that myself!! A lot cheaper than this ‘Dry Flush’.
Full time RVing with a Toddler
“Many people worry about RVing with their children, especially full time. Well, I have been full time RVing for a while now. Started when I was 14, living with my father. Grew up, moved out, had a child, and something brought me back to it.
After having my daughter, finding out I was moving into an RV again, I was a little worried. We had so much stuff and toys I knew we would never be able to take it all! For the most part I managed to prove myself wrong.
People can still walk into our mini-casa and have no clue a child lives with us. Full time RVing with a toddler is all about organization and accessibility.” More at: http://www.rv-life-and-travel.com/full-time-rving-with-a-toddler.html
RV park and museum doing just fine charging $5 a night
The eight site campground. All pull thru sites.
WASTA, South Dakota -- “Along Interstate 90, about 10 miles west of the town of Wall and its mega tourist attraction Wall Drug, is Wasta, population 72, and its 24 Express Campground.
In an era when most RV parks along a highway routinely charge $30 to $50 a night, the 24 Express Campground charges $5. It's been in business for three years and is turning a profit.
The campground is also self service. Pay your $5 and then take a campsite. The dump station is free if you stay a night.
All eight campsites accommodate the largest RVs and offer water along with 20, 30 and 50 amps electric hookups. RVers can use the toilets in the gas station, but there are no showers. Only fully self-contained RVs are allowed in the park.
Small billboard along I-90
To keep costs down, the business has no employees. The property was cheap to buy and the overhead low. "Most RVers come in late in the evening and leave early in the morning," said Arley. "Maybe it costs us a dollar or two in electricity. We don't make much money on any one of the things we do individually, but when you add it up we do fine," he said.
The 24 Express campground, gas station and military museum are at exit 98 off I-90 west of Wall and east of Rapid City. Telephone first for museum hours, (605) 993-3007. The campground is open year round.
The Armed Forces Military Collection displays firearms, uniforms, a tank and two mint-condition Jeeps, plus posters, newspaper clippings and other miscellany from World War I through the present.” More at: http://www.rvnewsservice.com/2012/10/rv-park-doing-just-fine-charging-5-night.html
Thermal Insulation for Your Windows...It Works! For summer or winter.
“I had some experience with reflective/bubblewrap mylar coated thin insulation (a common brand name is REFLECTIX.) This stuff is amazing! I wanted something I could custom cut and install on all my windows.
Here's how you can make these custom covers for very little money and even less labor. First, measure all your windows both horizontal and vertical. Then add that all up and figure out how many feet you'll need of the material. I like the 4 foot by 25 foot roll. That should cover all the windows installed in most RVs. You'll also need a roll of DUCT tape.
Once complete, you'll have great window insulators that are easy to store, can be folded AND fit nicely on each of YOUR windows. All this, for a lot less money than a custom set would cost. I believe these should last a long time.” More at: http://www.thewanderman.com/2012/07/more-cool-tips-thermal-insulation-for.html
RV 101® What to do After the RV Trip?
“When you return from a trip and you’re not going to use the RV for a while you need to drain the entire water system to prevent it from getting stale and musty.
You can start by draining the water heater. If the water heater has an electric mode make sure it is in the “off’” position before you drain the water heater tank. It’s a good idea to turn the breaker for the water heater off, so the switch doesn’t accidentally get turned on with no water in the tank. Now go to the outside compartment where the water heater is located. The drain plug, or petcock is normally located in the bottom left hand corner or bottom center. Remove the plug and open the pressure relief valve on top of the water heater to assist in draining.” More at: http://blog.rv.net/2012/07/rv-101%C2%AE-what-to-do-after-the-rv-trip/
Refrigerating and Freezing Food on the Road
RV Food Storage Made Simple
“Most RVs have absorption refrigerators. They're a little smaller than your model at home, and they operate a little differently because they are engineered to use as little energy as possible, whether it's 12-volt DC, 110-volt AC or LP gas. Even though the refrigerators are different, many of the "rules" you follow for storing and freezing food at home are the same when you're traveling.
Here's a quick list of the most important things to remember to keep your food fresh and safe in an RV refrigerator:
- Cool the refrigerator before placing any food inside. A good way to do this is to turn the unit on the day before you're ready to pack.
- Never put hot food or drinks into the refrigerator; cool them first.
- Don't overpack. When the unit is full, it takes longer for temperatures to lower. An overcrowded fridge will take longer to make ice, and a heavy load may cause defrosting. It's better to buy food as you go than to throw out anything that may have spoiled or melted.
- Arrange all food in the unit to allow for free air circulation. If you've stuffed the fridge, the unit will have to work harder and will have higher cabinet temperatures.
- Don't place large storage containers or paper items on the shelves. This blocks circulation and will reduce the efficiency of your unit.
- To prevent frost buildup, which can reduce efficiency, wipe excess moisture off items being placed in the refrigerator freezer compartment.
- It is important that you do not leave the unit's door open any longer than necessary. This will reduce frost formation and increase the efficiency of your refrigerator.
- Keep all food and drink containers tightly covered. They'll be traveling, too.
- For older refrigerator models without covered crispers, be sure to cover your vegetables and lettuce to retain their crispness.
- If you're bringing along you favorite highly-flavored foods--like onions, garlic, certain cheeses, etc.-- be sure to store them in covered dishes, plastic wrap or aluminum foil. This will prevent food odors in the unit and the RV.” From: http://www.rv.com/refrigerating_and_freezing_food_on_the_road/?CategoryId=5
On This Day:
Mason and Dixon draw a line, Oct 18, 1767:
“On this day in 1767, Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon complete their survey of the boundary between the colonies of Pennsylvania and Maryland as well as areas that would eventually become the states of Delaware and West Virginia. The Penn and Calvert families had hired Mason and Dixon, English surveyors, to settle their dispute over the boundary between their two proprietary colonies, Pennsylvania and Maryland.
In 1760, tired of border violence between the colonies' settlers, the British crown demanded that the parties involved hold to an agreement reached in 1732. As part of Maryland and Pennsylvania's adherence to this royal command, Mason and Dixon were asked to determine the exact whereabouts of the boundary between the two colonies. Though both colonies claimed the area between the 39th and 40th parallel, what is now referred to as the Mason-Dixon line finally settled the boundary at a northern latitude of 39 degrees and 43 minutes. The line was marked using stones, with Pennsylvania's crest on one side and Maryland's on the other.
When Mason and Dixon began their endeavor in 1763, colonists were protesting the Proclamation of 1763, which was intended to prevent colonists from settling beyond the Appalachians and angering Native Americans. As the Britons concluded their survey in 1767, the colonies were engaged in a dispute with the Parliament over the Townshend Acts, which were designed to raise revenue for the empire by taxing common imports including tea.
Twenty years later, in late 1700s, the states south of the Mason-Dixon line would begin arguing for the perpetuation of slavery in the new United States while those north of line hoped to phase out the ownership of human chattel. This period, which historians consider the era of "The New Republic," drew to a close with the Missouri Compromise of 1820, which accepted the states south of the line as slave-holding and those north of the line as free. The compromise, along with those that followed it, eventually failed.
One hundred years after Mason and Dixon began their effort to chart the boundary, soldiers from opposite sides of the line let their blood stain the fields of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in the Southern states' final and fatal attempt to breach the Mason-Dixon line during the Civil War. One hundred and one years after the Britons completed their line, the United States finally admitted men of any complexion born within the nation to the rights of citizenship with the ratification of the 14th Amendment.”
U.S. takes control of Puerto Rico, Oct 18, 1898:
“Only one year after Spain granted Puerto Rico self-rule, American troops raise the U.S. flag over the Caribbean nation, formalizing U.S. authority over the island's one million inhabitants.
In July 1898, near the end of the Spanish-American War, U.S. forces launched an invasion of Puerto Rico, the 108-mile-long, 40-mile-wide island that was one of Spain's two principal possessions in the Caribbean. With little resistance and only seven American deaths, U.S. troops were able to secure the island by mid August. After the signing of an armistice with Spain, the island was turned over to the U.S forces on October 18. U.S. General John R. Brooke became military governor. In December, the Treaty of Paris was signed, ending the Spanish-American War and officially approving the cession of Puerto Rico to the United States.
In the first three decades of its rule, the U.S. government made efforts to Americanize its new possession, including granting full U.S. citizenship to Puerto Ricans in 1917 and considering a measure that would make English the island's official language. However, during the 1930s, a nationalist movement led by the Popular Democratic Party won widespread support across the island, and further U.S. assimilation was successfully opposed. Beginning in 1948, Puerto Ricans could elect their own governor, and in 1952 the U.S. Congress approved a new Puerto Rican constitution that made the island an autonomous U.S. commonwealth, with its citizens retaining American citizenship. The constitution was formally adopted by Puerto Rico on July 25, 1952.
Movements for Puerto Rican statehood, along with lesser movements for Puerto Rican independence, have won supporters on the island, but popular referendums in 1967 and 1993 demonstrated that the majority of Puerto Ricans still supported their special status as a U.S. commonwealth.”
Misty and I went to get Jay, but when we got there, he said that I really needed to groom Maddie, the little Yorkie. He had already bathed her the night before, as he had taken her somewhere on his ATV where she had got into some sand fleas. He said that I had his mother’s permission to cut her short this time, so that is what I did. I didn’t see any fleas on her.
When we took her back home, I took some 5% Sevin dust and Borax. I sprinkled Sevin all around her house, and Borax on her carpet. It was the only thing that I could think to do in a hurry. Claudia and I sat on their porch, while all Maddie’s blankies and bed were washing, and then Jay vacuumed up the Borax. He might be a drunk, but he is also a neatnik! So now I will have to shake some more around, as you have to rake the Borax, (or use diatomaceous earth), down into the carpet to kill the baby fleas as they hatch. As you have to wait at least 24 hours after the dog’s bath before applying the Revolution, I’ll do that today.