Jd Stratton

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since Apr 10, 2016
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Recent posts by Jd Stratton

How many folks would be interested in learning how to use radio to communicate in rural (actually...in any) areas?

I can guide the uninitiated in the common sense way to connect people, homes and vehicles with reliable communications all super-inexpensive.

(This is not HAM radio. No testing required.)

I am trying to get a feel for what people need. I can tailor the info based on this input.

BTW, I do not sell anything or make any money off it in any way.

4 years ago
I suggest speaking to a <shiver> l-l-l-l-laaawyer. There, I forced myself to spit the nasty term out.

"Camping" complete with daily rates, changes the entire scenario.
They do not have the same rights as a tenant and can be instantly evicted for any reason at any time.

Cottages by the shore use this to have the law toss out baddies @ 12AM on a wednesday morning.

Not sure about your state though. Make sure it works where you are.

4 years ago
We traveled with 4 dogs for 6 months in our RV.
(3 Shelties and a Rotty...a 100 pound, VERY energetic Rotty.)
They sell "kennels" that are sections of chain link fence bolted together.
These are pretty easy to attach to an RV.
If you use chicken wire to go around the bottom of the RV, you make the underneath an instant, cool spot for them.

The only thing I worried about was when gone, having a fire.
Building a "Habitrail" out of fence so they can get 30 feet away from the RV, but still be retained.
You can get two 10X10 enclosures and enough fence to make a very secure setup for the pup friends.
Leaving the RV door wide open with a sheet hanging with weights sewn into the bottom prevents bugs...and lets the pups inside whenever they want.
If you bury the bottom and get creative with a few bags of concrete...you just made a wonderful enclosure you can actually attach a tarp to the top of for shade (it works in the AZ desert...) for under 500 dollars.
Putting a padlock on the enclosure gate keeps the RV every bit as secure as the factory door does. (They are all very easy to break into for a thief...)

Don't give up. You have a good idea there.

BTW, in the summer, some milk crates placed on the roof and a tarp on top of them makes a hot RV instantly cool.
(You have to keep at least a 12 inch separation between the roof and the tarp. Milk crates work really well.)
4 years ago

Dale Hodgins wrote:I like that, and have seen a similar thing done.

Sell the tent when you are done with it.

A year after putting that thing up in AZ, there will not be anything left to sell but a frame.
The sun KILLS those out West. They get brittle and tear in the wind.

The steel tube will last permanently.

The condensation should not be an issue in most of AZ.
4 years ago

frank li wrote:
They are inadequate and potentially unsafe.

Well now that qualifies as a "scuff" if not a full "scoff."

(Lets put this in perspective.)
       Sleeping in a shack out in the woods is potentially unsafe.  Sharing breathing space with a wet cell battery is potentially unsafe. Not having a 911 approved address is potentially unsafe. Not using zoning-approved toilet facilities is potentially unsafe.

If someone has an old A/C switch hanging around with a box on it, like we have all seen 20 times, I would rather see them use that than what I often see controlling the lighting in off grid installs...
(...an alligator clip with no fuse, taped to speaker wire from an old CJ-7, stapled to the wall in between open splices.)

Running less than 15 feet of wire on micro loads using proper fusing, I can assure anyone it will be a lot safer than the alligator clip.
In fact, I bet there are members here who control their lighting that way...even have their kids doing it...when an AC switch would be a much safer option.

4 years ago
For the roof...a donor RV is not worthwhile.
If you need windows, doors, stove, sink, lights cushions...
It could get worthwhile really quickly.
Hope you show us pictures of what you get done.
If the cabin has a floor, why not dig a small hole (VENTED) and put those batteries under the floor?
They need to be away from you but they will not freeze under a heated cabin. (Besides, if you dig a bit, you are really making a mini-earth ship for your batts

Same thing for the freezer. We put ours outside in the winter. No point using all that solar to fight the wood stove.
You can also vent the fridge through the wall with a small fan, so in the cold the temp will be from the outside temp and not your sun power.

We used these in the 10watt variety. Great for path lighting. VERY weather proof.

We ran them on a regular 120V light switch...even though some will scoff at that. In the lower amperage, you will be fine to use the 120VAC stuff to switch 12V/24V lighting.
A simple inline fuse of the proper is all you need. The fancy ones cost a lot but they don't make your rig any more safe.
We used the .99 cent plastic fuze holders with some super sensitive fuses that I cannot find at the moment...sorry!

That system you have there is a great size and you have enough batteries if those are group 24 sized.
We have three 330 watt panels that actually max out our charge controller. We get 60 Amps into the batteries anytime from 10AM to 4PM-ish if needed.
We have found that using the sun power direct after the batts are topped off (They top off for us by 11AM) helps with large loads.
We have a small Xantrex inverter. This one: https://www.ebay.com/p/Xantrex-Prowatt-SW2000-806-1220-2000-Watt-True-Sinewave-Inverter/1900002456?iid=352095945891
When using our microwave, it is tapped out to the max. (It works, but at its max.) If we are using it for more than warming a cup of tea, we usually do so during the "peak solar charge" time.

Not sure what you are going to use to wire your inverter, but the wires that some people use make problems.
I used "0" gauge welding cable, (double plus the size of average jumper cables) and it made a huge difference.

4 years ago
Trapping air between two layers of plastic inside that shack will warm it a lot compared to bare wood.