Category Archives: Our Gear

Is that light at the end or just another train?

Always interesting to discover if its a light at the end of the tunnel or another train coming.

We are in the position of asking the question again.

While not well known to many but a few close friends and family. We have had one hell of a time with our first adventure into RV ownership. I’ll spare the details for face to face conversations, in short, we bought one trailer, have a second now and are hoping the two months of repairs on the second will net us the trailer we hoped to have bought more than two years ago.

Its been a long journey.

“Rv’s are hand built and bounce down the road, expect there will be problems”, – Rob Church 2014

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Glamping Defined

GLAMPING  – Shorthand for glamorous camping; luxury camping. – Urban Dictionary.com

“I ain’t sleepin’ in no tent! For real, I’m goin’glamping!”

We started camping more than a year ago and a statement were hear from many people is that we are ‘glamping’. Initially I thought, sure, the trailer is nice, spacious and has many awesome amenities. Of course, it’s a trailer as long as a city apartment, indeed it’s got many comforts; running water, flush toilet, shower, hot water, microwave, air conditioning, TV and a fireplace. We love the fireplace in the winter! Okay the fireplace is electric, but the fake flames are pretty convincing.

But are we glamping?

With a little research, I found we are not glamping, we are RV’ing, glamping is a whole other world. For more information, check out this website who’s author states “it’s high time for an official, designated glamping weekend. And who else to decree it but the woman (moi) who pioneered the concept?”.

 [pe2-image src=”http://lh5.ggpht.com/-AZ4pwtSWOlI/U8wwr4Lhj9I/AAAAAAAAB5k/g-jkbj4FWxs/s144-c-o/IGW-button.png” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/105339013868907141437/RandomStuff#6038254730770223058″ caption=”” type=”image” alt=”IGW-button.png” ] Click the image to read more about the international glamping weekends and the lady who claims to have coined the phrase.

Equally as interesting is a link to an Airstream Restoration Project. Not technically detailed but has great pictures and information on the restoration and ultimate birth of a glamp star.

Packing the fridge for travel

 

One of the challenges faced when moving an RV is how to keep stuff from moving when the RV bounces down the road.

We have used extra towels to pack between the dishes, which works pretty well at keeping the glass items from rattling and breaking. Also have used the little $5 blankets from IKEA shoved into drawers to stop items, chairs and other things from having too much movement.

The one remaining item that blankets and towels do not make much sense is the refrigerator. When heading out for a trip it is not much of a problem since we almost always over pack the food. But when the weekend / trip is over and its time to pack up again, it seems that the fridge needs some extra attention. We have used fruit, empty Tupper-ware and extra beer cans (full) to fill the gap. Essentially trying to stop items in the fridge from bouncing around and damaging the inside.

Tripped across Suction Bungee while browsing the Pinterest Happy Camper & RV – Inside Storage & Tips. It’s a set of bungee cords with suction cups. Seems like a reasonable way to hold things tight while traveling and would be convenient since they can be shoved in a drawer when not in use.

[pe2-image src=”http://lh4.ggpht.com/-E9BcLJdEcBE/U8X3mx03ShI/AAAAAAAAB38/gkNKvJLxabI/s144-c-o/SuctionCupBungees.JPG” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/105339013868907141437/RandomStuff#6036503121142172178″ caption=”Suction Cup Bungees” type=”image” alt=”SuctionCupBungees.JPG” ]

May be worth trying one day, not 100% certain that it will hold up to the rigors of RV travel but for a few bucks it may be worth trying.

Hard to start air conditioners

Trying to prepare for dry-camping and wanting use the A/C as required. Seems that unless you are willing to spend a significant amount of money on a large generator, and an equally huge amount of weight, you may not be able to run an A/C with a lower end generator.

Most RV A/C units are 13,500 BTU but the unit in our trailer is a 15,000 BTU. BTU in this case really refers to how much cooling is produced, the bigger the number the more capacity for cooling an of course, the more power generally required to start and run the A/C.

Earlier we purchased a generator to provide power while we dry camped. Essentially I never wanted to get caught with a dead battery and no way to drag the slides in. Our trailer has one slide that you can hand crank but the other slide requires the motors to be manually disconnected, pushed in by hand (it weighs more than 500lbs), and then the motors must be reconnected so the slide does not fall out while driving. We found the generator is just not big enough to run the A/C, but knew there were people actually doing so. So rather than looking to buy a bigger generator or just give up on dry camping we went looking for alternative methods.

Found this informative article on using a capacitor to start your unit with a smaller generator. Installing a Air Conditioner Hard Start Capacitor.

For the all in cost of $20-30 and the promise of being able to install this myself I ordered the SPP6E from Amazon.

Fingers crossed we will be dry camping and running an A/C if required. I’m certain there will be more posts to follow on this topic.

[pe2-image src=”http://lh3.ggpht.com/-oDlCPQe1waQ/U8Ggcnh7iOI/AAAAAAAAB3Q/PKXUAx1zTco/s144-c-o/ItsThatHot.png” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/105339013868907141437/RandomStuff#6035281389161253090″ caption=”Its that hot.” type=”image” alt=”ItsThatHot.gif” ]

BD High Flow Max Manifold

The first mod made to our 2004 Duramax was a manifold. Essentially GMC/Chevrolet designed the exhaust manifold (one side only) with a serious restriction. You could see that they intended to route some mechanical part close to the manifold but in the actual shipping version of the vehicle there is no reason for this restriction.

All engines need to breathe both in and out, any restriction will have an impact on engine power output. Within the diesel platform, this balanced flow of exhaust should also reduce  engine gas temperature (EGT), this is a good thing.

The following images show the simple change.

[pe2-image src=”http://lh6.ggpht.com/-SsQRelVraG4/U7zOok2H2uI/AAAAAAAAB2A/75OOdzrN3Ms/s144-c-o/Manifold_Duramax_Compare.jpg” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/105339013868907141437/TruckStuff#6033924797250394850″ caption=”” type=”image” alt=”Manifold_Duramax_Compare.jpg” ]