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Thursday, August 19, 2021

USFS Porcupine Campground in the Big Horn National Forest

 This is a video drive through of the older Porcupine Campground in the Big Horn NF in Wyoming, it has a few bigger sites but most are for smaller campers.


For a full size video go here

Porcupine Campground

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Monday, August 16, 2021

Don't neglect your awning or AC from lack of use.

 We have all seen awnings that look like they are shredded when rolled up, that is because they are always exposed to the sun on the top edge of the roll and it degrades over time. Here are a few tips to prolong your awnings life.

Tip one Your awning gets water in it every time it rains and it is rolled up, unroll it periodically to dry it out preventing mold.

Tip two the top edge of the roll will develop pin holes from the sun beating on it and damaging the fabric. Cover it up if you can.

 We neglected ours 

We don't use are awning much because we live and camp in a windy area where you put it out during the day only to put it back up every night due to the wind coming up. So we found out the hard way about the pin holes when we unrolled our awning after a long period of no use. There were pin holes from one end to the other. If you don't take steps now to repair it it will just get worse.

Our repair

First I cleaned the awning top and bottom with a small amount of simple green and water (we did this while we were camping)

Second we always carry both white and black Gorilla tape with us and I taped over the holes on the bottom side with the white tape.

Third we also always carry two rolls of Eternabound tape with us for roof repairs, I used 4" tape along with their spay glue on the top side of the awning providing a thick cover over the edge that takes the worst beating from the sun.

RV AC

Don't neglect your AC if you are like us we don't use ours often but when you really need it, you want it to work.

Tip one Start your AC periodically to help keep it in running shape and let it run for while.

Tip two  If running off a generator start the AC on fan first and let the generator pick up the load then turn on the AC.

We didn't use our AC for about a year and a half to two years and when we needed it it didn't want to cooperate it tripped the breaker two or three times even starting with the fan first but I keep after it and it finally kept going, this is because I have neglected it since we don't use it much. I will now start it at the start of spring and off an on on 110 while plugged in during the season.

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Saturday, August 14, 2021

Staying cooler while camping on hot summer days.

 This year we are forced to stay in the lower areas when we get to go camping since I won't get much time off and it is a new learning curve for us, we never camp in the heat we have always headed to the high country in the heat of summer where it is always cooler.

On our 4th of July camping trip this year we went out and did some rockhounding on a 94 degree day and came back over heated to a trailer with only the crank out windows open for ventilation so it was very hot inside. We fired up the generator and the tried starting a AC unit that we haven't used in about a year and a half (more on this later) once we had the AC up it had the task of cooling a 90 degree trailer and to hot people down and even with our box fan going it struggled but we got through it.

Day two in the heat- time to rethink how we camp. My tips

First remember that RV AC units are only able to lower the inside temp by about 20 degrees they won't do much more so 90 deg outside 70 deg inside.

Second keep the curtains closed to keep the sun out, less radiant heat.

Third close your windows before the outside air gets hot.

Fourth use fans as many as you can run, air blowing on you and your face will make you feel cooler even if the air it is blowing is warm.

Fifth stay hydrated, keep something cool to drink on hand at all times.

Sixth put your awning out to shade at least one side of the camper lowering its temperature. 

Seventh We have reflectix cut to fit almost all of our windows- we installed that and combined with the curtains closed the AC didn't have to work as hard to keep up. You lose your view but it is about staying cool.

Eighth  Close your roof vents after starting your AC and pushing out what heat is inside, also if you have roof vent pads for cool weather camping put them in, this will help keep the cool air in.

Ninth  Start your AC earlier try not to let it get as warm inside before starting it. 

Tenth Try to camp where there is shade a shady area is always at least 10 degrees cooler or more. Where we camp lower down there is no such thing as shade.

Other ideas to stay cooler  Go for a drive when it is hot and return when it is cooler.

We have not tried it yet but we will, but before there was AC or even fans in the southwest they would hang wet burlap bags over window openings so it would block the sun and any air blowing through would be cooled by the wet burlap. We will try this when we can and let you know how it worked.

Also in the 80's and 90's there where smaller portable table top water coolers (swamp coolers) that you set in front of a window, they were 110 and only had a small fan & pump to run so not much power draw and we had two and the did work, if we see one again we will buy it.



 


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Thursday, August 12, 2021

Portable battery bank

 In my last post I said we have been having a lot of power outages at home so I decided we need back up power with out getting out the generator. Luckily I have some parts left over from when we got the fifth wheel a Centennial deep cycle battery group 24   75 amp hours and the battery box it was in. I had a cabinet door pull I used for a handle and a double 12v cigarette lighter plug in I had left from another project and a SAE solar panel plug in I added to recharge the battery and I spent $10 on a 100 watt inverter that I added on top.

Here it is powering the O2cool fan.


This was a simple project and I did it and started on one with two battery's and spent about 4 hrs doing it. This will stay charged up with a Battery Tender solar powered charger that I had left over.


This will power a fan when we need to stay cool and we could even take it camping with us if we wanted to.


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Sunday, August 8, 2021

O2Cool 10" battery operated fan review

 We have been having a lot of power outages at home lately and we have not had enough battery lights and battery or 12 volt fans to keep cool. I wanted to pick up things that would work for at home and for camping to. We went to walmart and bought this battery operated fan a O2Cool 10" fan that runs on 6 D cell batteries.



First what I like about this fan:

It folds up and doesn't use a lot of space.

It can run on alkaline batteries or rechargeable s.

Air flow is pretty good.

What I don't like:

It is AC adapter compatible, but doesn't come with the adapter you have to find one that works with it.

The back where the battery's go attaches with two lock screws that you turn and to me the whole set up is flimsy and won't last with changing the battery's out .



Luckily for me changing the battery's out won't be a issue as I tend to keep adapters and not throw them away and I have a cigarette lighter adapter that I can power the fan from.

Would I recommend the fan to others: No I would not it is to flimsy in the battery compartment area.

I would look for another type of fan if I needed a battery fan again.

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Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Trimetric SC-2030 solar charger and Trimetric TM-2030-RV batery monitor review

 Well we have been using our Trimetric solar charger and battery monitor for over a year now and it is time to review it's performance.

First would I do it over again, the answer to that is-absolutely.

Was it easy- no it was not.

Was it worth it- absolutely

The install-- First I am no electrician but I was able to figure the install out by looking at pictures and the directions provided were good enough.

Learning how to use the SC-2030 solar charger- That part was simple

Learning to use the TM-2030-RV battery monitor- not easy this took awhile and I had to make many programming changes and had to keep reading the manual, but I got it figured out.

What do I like best about the set up ? The two are connected by a phone cord and talk to each other and make monitoring the volts,amp & percent of charge very easy.

I can not only monitor the charge coming in through the SC-2030 solar charger, but also the charge coming through the Renogy solar charger I have installed plus I can easily add a third charger and with the way I have the system set up it will monitor that too.

If you are not the type to maintain the batteries then go with another simple charger with built in monitor it will be easier.

But if you are willing to do the maintenance work and may want to add to the system for more solar power later, then the Trimetric system is well worth it and hard to beat.

The Trimetric TM-2030-RV


The Trimetric SC-2030 solar charger 30 amps


My system




 


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Saturday, July 31, 2021

New overnight spot in Billings MT

 There is a new overnight spot in Billings Mt it is next to Canyon Creek Brewing at 3060 Gabel rd and may belong to them and I have been seeing a lot of use in it. This now gives overnighters  5 spots with easy access for overnighting, this spot, Cracker Barrel, Cabela's and the Pilot and Flying J truck stops.

 


 

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Monday, July 26, 2021

Lake Creek Campground Shoshone NF in Wyoming

 Here is a drive through video of the small Lake Creek Campground off the Chief Joseph Highway 

(US Hwy 296) in the Shoshone National Forest in Wyoming.

This is a older campground the sites are few and small.


Or click here for the full size version

Lake creek campground

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Sunday, July 25, 2021

Custom campers

 I spotted this camper in a storage yard on the way home from work, is it custom or homemade ? Either way it is pretty cool.




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Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Cottonwood Creek BLM Campground drive through

 I have pictures here on this site of Cottonwood Creek Campground off Us Hwy 14A outside Lovell WY but I wanted to add a video so you can see the 5 mile dirt/gravel road you travel to get there including the 1/4 stretch of bentonite clay road you drive through which is super slick when wet ( I recommend 4wd in the wet season). But it is a great campground but small, also remember to put your awning away at night as it can get extremely windy there.

 


And a full size version on my Youtube channel

Cottonwood Creek Campground

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