Different tip for RVers

If you’ve done RVing for a while, you probably have an LP gas system. LP gas is generally reserved for heating water, the stove or outside kitchens and running the refrigerator/freezer in some circumstances.

By the way, you know you are in a great park when this little guy can walk by without being made into deer ribs.

Anyway, I wanted to cite the use of LP gas in your portable grills. For example, we have a Weber Q 1200.

We also have a gas outlet for our outdoor kitchen. I bought a hose connecting our RV’s gas outlet to our Weber grill.

Sure, I could have used a small bottle of Coleman propane, but I know we are going to refill our RV’s 20 lb gas bottle this coming week. So why not use that bottle up instead of opening our small bottle of Coleman? The Coleman bottles are more expensive, and we only use them when there’s no choice.

We can use the hose for our gas lantern as well, because we have extension hoses. We only do that when boondocking. I purchased a solar string light from Harbor Freight, which is utterly better in almost all circumstances.

So that’s a little tip for using your gas system.

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Changing the Oil in Your Cummins equipped Ram 2500

Yesterday while I was changing the oil in my Ram 2500, I thought about many things. Chief among them is, why am I even doing this? Changing the oil in the Cummins-equipped x500 is a royal pain, mostly due to the placement of the oil filter:

Also is the fact you have 3 gallons of oil coming out of the vehicle, something that makes doing this prohibitive.

  1. So I did a little cost estimate: the dealer will do it for about $126. You get to drop your vehicle off, or wait for it on a Saturday. Expect to spend 2-3 hours waiting for it. Then you wonder what kind of oil you are getting. For the Ram, they supposedly use Valvoline, a good quality oil but it’s not on the same level as a Mobil 1, Amsoil or Shell Rotella (synthetic).

Changing oil at our on-base Auto Hobby Shop cost me $8 for a lift. I drained three gallons of old Shell Rotella and installed 3 gallons of new Shell Rotella, which cost me $63. I installed a new Fleetguard ($16) oil filter, which by the way, is a better filter than the Mopar filter which Ram will push. Fleetguard makes both of those filters. It took me less than an hour to drain the old oil, swap the filters, clean up (you cannot avoid spilling oil on the floor with the filter placement) and reset of the oil life gauge.

I’ve always had a thing when it comes to oil quality. My suspicions are, Amsoil & Mobil 1 are at the top. Chevron is another superb oil, Valvoline, Havoline, Castrol work well and Pennzoil is about Walmart quality. This list was ingrained when I started driving and had not changed over the past 35 years. This came about due to an experience I had where I took my vehicle in for an oil change, using oil I purchased. They took my oil  and put a different oil in my vehicle. If I can’t see them do it, they don’t get to do it.

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Thinking of RVing Full Time

I viewed the blog and noticed there are very few posts over the last year or so. The main reason why is RVing. It’s the only thing I’ve found interesting besides “Couples Court with the Cutlers.” It’s a show with some class but still has people revealing their trashy life situations. I digress.

RVing is consuming my life, even though we don’t “go” very often. We average about one outing per month. I have a full time job. We had a major family situation so we didn’t camp for over three months. We made a couple of boondocking trips in April but our next distance trip (200 miles) will be a full hookup trip. We are going with our RV club. I will cover our RV club in my next post.

Our travel trailer is small. We don’t have a lot of room, but I do want to keep it for a while. I’ve made a few modifications to it in order to make it more livable while we have it. I changed out the shower head in favor of an Oxygenics spa shower system. This is to save water and to get better water flow. It took maybe about 15 minutes to swap the shower heads so I’m wondering why I didn’t do it long before.

I also installed an electric power jack for the trailer. I selected this power jack due to customer comments and the reputation. It should make setting up camp easier. I’m excited to see it work when we go out on a trip.

I’ve bought a Samsung 32″ Smart TV for our bedroom. The vehicle has a space for a television in the bedroom, but I need to mount it. It is not an easy job, because it’s not possible to  determine the thickness of the wall studs. The RV dealer has been less than cooperative. I asked the service reps at the dealer if they would install a TV mount in the space. They said “sure, just ask (my service rep).” I asked my service rep and he said “no, can’t say for sure it would work.” I’ve not been certain I could do any kind of install there, but I’m going to give it a shot in the next couple of days.

I want to perform an upgrade to our RV; I want to do something to make the vehicle ride smoother. It’s like a mini-earthquake driving these RV’s down the road, so minimizing the shaking will keep items in the vehicle stable.

I’ll give a plug for a YouTube video channel called “Big Truck, Big RV.” The proprietor of this channel is an engineer, “J.D.” who provides no BS reviews of trucks, RV and truck/RV accessories. I’ve learned a great deal about trucks, RV’s and especially hitches from that channel. Towing vehicles, and especially RV’s is not an easy task. Most drivers don’t know what they can tow safely; all they know is their vehicles pull whatever they attach to it. Big Truck, Big RV makes it clear there are limits and they deserve our attention.

When I bought my RV, I thought “my truck (a Ram 1500) can tow 10,000 lbs and the RV is only 6500 lbs, so I’m good.” When I towed it, it felt like a giant brick behind me. The RV swayed a little and the front end of my truck lifted. Furthermore, my truck didn’t have 10,000 lbs worth of towing capacity; it was more like 8300 lbs. It was a huge factor I didn’t really pay attention to …. and the RV dealer didn’t bother mentioning it to me either. As I’ve said before, RV salesmen don’t care about what happens to you once you get the car off the lot.



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The Washington Capitals …

… Defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins, 2-1 in overtime of Game 6, and will play in the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 1997-98.

Goodbye, Pittsburgh! I think I found a team I like even less than the Denver Broncos. That truly is hard to believe.

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Long Time

Once again, I haven’t posted in a long time. Lots of family stuff happening. I’ll fix that shortly.

I do have to mention, politics is inundating the country. It’s difficult to write nowadays without bringing that crap into people’s lives.

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RV Water & Power Setup

Just wanted to show my RV water and power setup, for observation and comments.

The orange hose connects for the black tank flush. It’s an orange hose to distinguish it from a hose for drinking water. The power cable (30A) connects to the Progressive Industries box (below), keeping our power connection safe. Yes, that is a chain and a lock on the box. At $300, I can’t afford for it to go anywhere.

Our water setup is a little complicated. I connected almost everything for these photos, but the city water isn’t actually “on” in this instance.

We have a short hose connecting to the splitter (Y) for the tank flush, and for city water. The orange hose connects before the RV water intake, which I have filtered after the Y for this purpose. The orange hose normally has a back flow preventer, which I didn’t put on for the photo. In any case, I have the water filter, a superior water filter for the RV intake. The water filter canister is a Hydro Life. This item and the associated filter (C-2063) are pretty expensive but they make water taste great. We can actually drink the water from the tap, even though we rarely do so. We do wash our dishes with city water, meaning it must be filtered. The stand is to stabilize the water filter.

I recommend getting the best sewer hose you can get, meaning a heavy duty one — a Camco. We are using an old sewer hose because when it starts to leak, we can toss it. I have a heavy duty one, but it’s not going full ops until the old one gets a leak. I also recommend the metal folding stand for the sewer hose. It takes up about the same amount of room in storage while providing more stability.

We are having a cold snap now. That in mind, I drained the hot water heater. I also drained the fresh water tank. Not only that, I opened the back hoses … the ones at the lowest point in the vehicle … so I could drain all the water in the vehicle. I wanted to pump some antifreeze into the lines, but I didn’t have any at the moment. I’m actually not sure how to pump it into the lines.

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Black Sunday for Jack Del Rio

In Steve Corchran’s book, “Al Davis: Behind the Raiders Shield“, he makes note of Davis’ affinity to ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr’s draft guide over that of his own scouts.

Apparently, his son, Mark Davis has affinity for ESPN’s Jon Gruden.

Yesterday, after the Raiders lost their season finale against the Chargers, Mark Davis relieved Jack Del Rio of his coaching responsibilities. It was a move Del Rio earned with some questionable coaching decisions. At the end of the 2016 season, Del Rio did not bring back offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave, who had the Raiders 6th overall on offense. Instead, he promoted quarterbacks coach Todd Downing, who had never run an offense. The move Del Rio was expected to make, relieving Ken Norton Jr of his defensive coordinator’s role, did not occur. The Oakland defense was consistently among the worst in the league, with key players underperforming, until Norton was fired deep into the 2017 season. Del Rio, meanwhile blamed the players for poor play throughout the season, including Derek Carr, the quarterback responsible for winning 12 games in 2016.

Like many Raiders fans, I’ll question the apparent desire to bring back Jon Gruden. Gruden has been in the broadcast booth for almost a decade. Success for coaches brought back for a second tour of duty with a franchise is not good. Joe Gibbs is a Hall of Famer and his second stint with the Redskins was forgettable. There’s a feel that if this tour doesn’t go well, the Raiders will be stuck with Gruden for a long time. That is, if Gruden takes the job. The prevailing feeling is, Del Rio would not have been fired if Gruden hadn’t already agreed to take the job.

The one sticking point is Reggie McKenzie. The Raiders GM helped bring the Raiders back to respectability from a financial point of view, as well as selecting Raiders superstars Khalil Mack and Derek Carr. Raiders likely would not have been in position to make the Vegas move without restoration of financial well-being. Gruden apparently does not want to work with McKenzie, which had been an issue in prior Raiders appeals to Gruden. Gruden appears to want a rubber stamp in the front office. If push comes to shove, McKenzie will depart and Gruden will get his rubber stamp, but I think some accommodation will occur. Of note in Corchran’s book, Gruden didn’t want Charles Woodson. IIRC, Woodson’s a Hall of Famer. I don’t want Gruden in total control of the roster. He wanted Johnny Manziel over Khalil Mack. That’s why I remain leery of Gruden.

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