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Beginner Tips, fresh from my Newb Brain ;)
#41
See, the Wizards Apparated/BeamedDown! Thanks guys! Smile

If my understanding is correct, to get Watt-hours, you just multiply Amp-hours by Voltage, so...
19Ah x 12 volt = 228 Watt hours
That's not bad! That's more than I had last summer. Smile

Riot, ya got it, so it's always worth trying it, particularly in The Beginning. Smile
Thanks for the word-description+pics+etc.

The bad news is it sounds like there's no easy way to hook that up to a solar panel, though now that The Wizards are here, they may come up with a kludge. Smile

What is that cord coming out of the bottom left side of the 2nd picture? If that's in your unit, please post a closeup of the end (your 1st pic is very useful - shows exactly what it is).

As you stated, yes, try using it with some of your equipment, and see how long it lasts for real, then see how long it takes to recharge it. Don't worry about fully discharging it, for now. You're trying to understand its limits, so unless the manual warns of Doom & Gloom, it's worth doing a full discharge (I've done at least 3 with my wee unit).

The handy news is that on The Road, you can take your unit into places like Libraries and fast food restaurants to recharge it. I regularly did that with my little portable power pack. It took me a while to try it with my folding solar panel on my dash, which is a lot less stressful for me (Noise is my Kryptonite).

While you can buy an inverter with a car charger (I did research that for me), I'm very nervous about using my starter battery for anything other than very light, very occasional loads. Some reliable people do that, however I'd rather err on the side of caution. Everyone's risk profile is different. Smile
The cool thing about your first week long trip is that it's Close To Stuff and you're going with other people, so that is an excellent multi-layered Safety Net, so it's a good time to take some gentle risks. Smile
I hope Jewell Ann will have a similar opportunity! Smile

Riot, I definitely recommend you monitor your gadget usage for about a week, then post a list.
It's ok to include ranges.
Something like "phone: N full recharges/week; laptop: 1-4 hours/day; TV 1-3 hr/day" etc.

P.S. To truly grok the word "kludge", please read John Varley's science fiction novella "Press Enter".
If you like SF, you'll thank me! Wink
"Cause how you get there is the worthier part." Shephard Book to Kaylee, Firefly
[Image: dobby.png]

2019-Dec update:
I've escaped Winter!
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#42
Kaylee's Pakled Mistake of the Month:
Always check the Weather forecast for at least the next two weeks.
Always.

While planning my recent trip to the Mark Twain NF, I checked the weather.
While planning my recent trip to SW WI, I checked the weather.

Last week, while planning my current trip to NW WI, I failed to check the weather.
A few days ago, MN C Van mentioned very cold weather in MN, so last night I finally checked... tomorrow mid-30s high and 1-3" snow (in NW WI).
I'm a Northerner (House Stark FTW), so shoulda known better.

That's not "terrible" weather, but is worth avoiding travel for a few days.
Fortunately, I had a few schedule items with much fuzziness, so don't have any firm must-be-there commitments, and it's easy to work around. It would have been a major bummer to be heading even farther North & hit the snow with zero warning. Sad
Remember my Twit Moment!
"Cause how you get there is the worthier part." Shephard Book to Kaylee, Firefly
[Image: dobby.png]

2019-Dec update:
I've escaped Winter!
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#43
OH yeah solar hookup kludge info.
"Magic crystal ball on the wall , what's the easiest place of all ?"
The battery.
or
Any port on the thing that is 12volts output probably is a good place to plug in the "to Battery" output of a solar controller.
Yeah , sometimes it IS that easy....


The line of cold air moves slowly north in the spring and the south just sits there and heats up.
Vehicles move north at a slightly different pace , follow the temperature , then the compass.
Slow down , ya move too fast ! (OMG , i just quoted lyrics from a lame song i learned in chorus class ......19%$)
Stay Tuned
rvpopeye



Weirdo Overlord  YARC 
ROOIRIA  
15 "Stinkin'Badges"  a "Full Monty Badge" 2 "Just Ignore Me" clusters  10 "Pine Cone" clusters  , one "Stinkin' Badger" and 8 of the coveted "Flying Manure Spreader"awards
(What a "Stinkin' " honor !)
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#44
Yup, I'd rather snear at a bit of snow than be in 100F AZ heat.

Riot's solar potential:
In one of the marketing pics, it looks like that power pack has a car charger input, so she'd need an adapter between it and the solar panel. I've got one in my bits&pieces bin, and I'm only-an-egg, so they must be easy to source. Smile

Riot, do you have links to the solar panel systems you're considering?
TheWizards are hovering. Wink
"Cause how you get there is the worthier part." Shephard Book to Kaylee, Firefly
[Image: dobby.png]

2019-Dec update:
I've escaped Winter!
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#45
Temp doesn't have to be either or/
It's possible to always be comfortable whatever your temp prefs are.
Just by moving to follow it , a bit at a time...
In some states that have a lot of elevation change , sometimes not far at all.
But sometime too far if you go too far .

Yet I still seem to be found at both extremes from time to time , sometimes more time ,,,when I have the time ???

Getting confused ? Me too...
I simplify , find someplace that is warm enough for you in winter and go from there....but remember about too far.
It gets easier after you have been back and forth a few times ..
Stay Tuned
rvpopeye



Weirdo Overlord  YARC 
ROOIRIA  
15 "Stinkin'Badges"  a "Full Monty Badge" 2 "Just Ignore Me" clusters  10 "Pine Cone" clusters  , one "Stinkin' Badger" and 8 of the coveted "Flying Manure Spreader"awards
(What a "Stinkin' " honor !)
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#46
(04-26-2019, 07:00 PM)Kaylee Wrote: Riot, do you have links to the solar panel systems you're considering?

I still have no idea. I'm thinking of going the route of use-what-I-have then purchase as needed.
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.

― Henry Ford
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#47
I keep trying to upload pics but constantly get a time out error
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.

― Henry Ford
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#48
How big are the pics? That may be the problem. Can you shrink them?
You have my permission to email them to me, and I can crop & resize & post them for you.
I just generated a new email address to help folks like you with pictures:
kaylee_pictures_kz8ntwq8@PitaFree.com

What would be most helpful is if you took one pic of all the bits & pieces that came with it.

Your Plan is a good one.
During your one week group trip, you'll get a much better idea of what you really need, what stuff really bugs you, and what is merely a want. Smile

If it won't stress you out, do some gentle research into what's available. You almost certainly will need solar, but don't have to rush into it.
The cool thing is that solar is gradually dropping in price, and more options are becoming available.

Of the people you're going with, will they have a variety of equipment, so you can watch and/or borrow items? People love to do show & tell. Smile
"Cause how you get there is the worthier part." Shephard Book to Kaylee, Firefly
[Image: dobby.png]

2019-Dec update:
I've escaped Winter!
Reply
#49
Here’s my tip for newbs.

When going to a new destination, always know where the tire shop is. Don’t try to get your tire pressure done at a gas station , pita.
Go to a place that sells and installs tires, Firestone, Les Schwab, Big O, etc.
check the tire pressure every month or so. Get rotations done regularly, spring/fall or summer/winter.
Your tires will be very important, take care of them!

Pro Tip: If it’s Sunday and the tire shop is closed, go to the auto center at Walmart, open seven days a week.

Look for tomorrow’s tip for newbs. The poop bucket, perfected.


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[-] The following 2 users say Thank You to waldenbound for this post:
  • Kaylee (04-28-2019), Texjbird (04-29-2019)
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#50
The Poop Bucket, Perfected

Ok, so after a couple of episodes with “poop pyramid” or “poo mountain”, along with a looooooooottttt of advice on how to deal with it, I have decided I’d rather have my faithful poop bucket.

I did some experimenting on the best poop bucket set up. I’ve just had the plain 5 gallon bucket and trash bag with cedar shavings. Didn’t like it. But I was trying to use it for several days, and as one can imagine, that gets nasty. Yeah gross.

Then I tried kitty litter, like a human litter box. Problem is, a human will pee a lot more than a cat, so the amount urine was overwhelming the system. Didn’t like it.

I tried the “Crystal Vanner modified separating toilet”. It has a wire separating solid section from the space where you can place a jar for capturing liquids. That was a disaster, shit all over the place. Ok, we won’t talk about that again.

Finally, I worked out something that I do really like. Disclaimer, I haven’t solved the issue with separating the liquid from solids. The standard pee jar works better for that.

The Poop Bucket Perfected

Items needed

5 gallons bucket
2 gallon bucket
Luggable Loo seat
Toilet paper
4 gallon trash bags
Cedar shavings

The key to this is you nest the two gallon bucket into the 5 gallon bucket. You can use the bottom of the 5 gallon bucket as storage for the tp and 4 gallon trash bags. This brings the 2 gallon bucket up to just under the lip of the 5 gallon bucket.

Then, use the 4 gallon trash bags to line the 2 gallon bucket. Add cedar shavings. The 2 gallon is getting the waste, while the 5 gallon is providing both storage and overall structure to the whole toilet.
I’ve found it keeps everything nice and compact, critical for van dwelling. I also put toilet paper in the 2 gallon bucket throughout the day, but the key is I empty it every day. It’s only being used one day, then bag it up and add it to the trash.

Now, I know, but your putting human waste on the trash !!!!!!
Ok, I have a cat and a dog. So that’s dog shit, cat shit, and my shit. At the end of the day, it’s all shit.

Pro tip: there’s a devil in the details about cedar shavings. Find kiln-dried shavings. It’s more absorbent. It won’t smell as cedar-y, but you want the absorbency. Kiln dried cedar shavings can be found at a Tractor Supply type feed store in the pet section, or order from Amazon. The company is American Wood Products.
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[-] The following 3 users say Thank You to waldenbound for this post:
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