Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 73 total)
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  • #33263
    Breathial
    Breathial
    Survivalist
    member3

    PRIVACY. In a cramped living arrangement, you don’t have any place to escape to if you have an argument with your spouse. The closed-in conditions and lack of “personal space” amplify every little annoying habit, until you’re looking at your spouse with growing anger (and she’s giving YOU that same look)… Everyone using a single bathroom to do their business means you’re hearing everything, at all times day and night. And my younger daughter, lovely little thing that she is, produces waste of such vileness that the CDC could use her as a weapon. You get to experience this on a frequent basis, which does nothing to enhance the situation.

    With no bathtub to clean the kids, my wife has to get in the shower with them both, and I “catch” them as they come out, get them dried and into clean undies and pajamas, set up their bed… it’s not a comfortable way to do it, but it’s the only effective way to make sure they stay clean. Some of the other people in the campground we’re at have to use the showers at on the grounds; it’s an option if you have nothing else, but we avoid them to bypass the possibility of getting weird fungal infections on their feet.

    Being in cramped quarters also means you’re constantly tripping over each other; the kids want to play with their toys on the wood floors of the motorhome, so you’re trying to step over them to get where you need to go, or abusing your bare feet as you step on a lost toy that magically appeared under your toes, with the pointy parts up. Cooking, relaxing, watching DVDs or TV (the latter only while we’re at the campgrounds) becomes problematic, as there are lots of things to be done, and we’re still crawling over each other to do what we have to do. This frustrates my wife and I, so when it’s time to sleep, we’re usually exhausted and unhappy.

    The kids do what all kids do- try to stay up as late as possible, wanting to play with each other, goof off…. generally, anything they can, to avoid sleeping. Staying to a rigid sleep schedule helps, but it’s no guarantee that you’ll have time to yourself. In the back room is a sliding door to isolate it from the bathroom, and so I put a simple hook-latch on the door, to prevent the kids from coming in, when we want privacy. It’s not perfect, but it serves its’ purpose. As it is, sometimes when we’re finally ready to sleep, we can hear the kids still awake up front, laughing or talking. The fatigue from being in close quarters generally knocks my wife out before the kids are asleep, and I’m the last one to sleep 2-3 hours later…

    Other privacy issues require coordination; if my wife needs to do something without being disturbed, I take the kids to the local playground, the museums (that have lots of play areas for little kids) or something like that, to give my wife at least a few hours to do whatever she likes… It doesn’t have to be an all-day thing, sometimes we just need a few hours alone to relax in peace and quiet, and then she’s ok. Myself, when I reach that point, I go to a local firing range with my rifle, and continue working on the “recipe” to get my reloaded ammunition to the level of accuracy I’m striving for.

    The back room not only is the “master bedroom” such as it is, but it’s also the place where the kids hang out during the day when we’re cooking, cleaning the rest of the RV, or any other time we need the kids to be physically out of the way for other work to be done. When one of my daughters is having a temper tantrum or otherwise needs to be alone (sick, being naughty), the back room also serves as the place where we (as kids) would “go sit in the corner,” if you get my meaning. Since my kids are VERY social in their nature, being forced to be alone for a while is severe punishment for them, and something they actively avoid. The takeaway? As I mentioned before, every inch of space is used throughout the day in different ways, depending on the need.

    CLEANLINESS; One of the biggest problems living in such a small space is trying to keep the place clean. With little ones, despite all of our efforts, we’re constantly fighting to keep the toys put away or at least out from under our feet. Another aspect is that wherever you happen to be is going to be dirty. Add in a little rain, and now we’re talking mud. And you can’t simply kick off your shoes outside the door, because they’ll get soaked. So you have to step in, strip off your shoes while standing on the stairs, and then come in. But the mud gets on the steps… which gets on the bottom of your socks…. and now you’re tracking dirt inside. This particular aspect drives my wife absolutely crazy, and we’re constantly cleaning/sweeping/vacuuming when it dries out even a little bit… Having an awning over the door doesn’t really help, because the rain never comes straight down, but at an angle which- no matter how carefully you plan- manages to still get everything outside wet.

    COOKING: Being in RV with limited space, having the barbecue like you find at Home Depot for $500, is simply unrealistic. It’s just too bloody big, so you have to get something small. We’ve been through a couple of different units (propane), but so far they suck. They work ok for the “occasional” cooking, but on a consistent basis??? No way… they start ok, but pretty soon one side is getting burned while the other side is still raw, or you discover you can’t adequately clean it, or something along those lines. I’ll be working on finding something better, in the next few weeks. Right now the point is moot, because it’s cold and wet outside.

    #33264
    Breathial
    Breathial
    Survivalist
    member3

    Tolik: My grandparents had one , they liked it , but got rid of it in favor of a trailer that hooked up to my grandfathers dually pick up . That way , they just dropped it , and had the truck to go places in . It was nice , like an RV , but at least they could ditch it at a camp site , then move around freely .

    Yes, this is VERY much an option. In my case, with three females, any trip in a car takes about twice as long as it should, because you’re constantly stopping for bathroom breaks. As well, the little ones can only sit for a few hours at the most, before they’re jumping out of their skins… such is the way with kids. A motorhome has a decided advantage in such a situation, in that I can drive 6-8 hours without stopping, while the kids and wife can get up, move around, go lay down on the bed, watch a DVD in the back, or anything else they want, while I concentrate on the driving duties. In a SHTF scenario, the last thing I want to do is keep stopping… So the motorhome got the nod.

    In your grandparents case, their choice was better; superior maneuverability and flexibility being the major advantages, from my viewpoint.

    #33265
    Breathial
    Breathial
    Survivalist
    member3

    <div class=”d4p-bbp-quote-title”>undeRGRönd wrote:</div>PS:<br>
    Very interested in your Solar addition, if you do it. It was something I was going to recommend, but you already mentioned it :D

    As I’d mentioned in a SHTF scenario, you’ll need reliable power, fuel, water and food. If you can get reliable power, it’ll also help out on the heating and cooling needs, depending on how you set up your RV. But like a house where you’re upgrading, you must make sure your foundation is well-built, before you start adding on… In my case, I retrofitted my RV with a 2.8kW Magnum invertor, with additional monitoring and programming equipment, off of Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002MWAATK/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1). The original 2kW invertor was not functioning, and was so old that there were no replacement parts available. The catch was that moving up 20% in maximum capacity required installing new DC cables to the battery bank, 4-0 wire that also required my purchase of crimpers, spades, and a new disconnect switch. the 4-0 wire was required because maximum current could reach 300 amps. I tied in the invertor with new gel-cell batteries giving 500 amp-hours of capacity, at 12V (https://www.1000bulbs.com/product/56335/BAT-UB8DGELL4.html?utm_source=SmartFeedGoogleBase&utm_medium=Shopping&utm_term=BAT-UB8DGELL4&utm_content=Solar+Batteries&utm_campaign=SmartFeedGoogleBaseShopping&gclid=CKXDru6S8cICFYlefgod_q8Acg).

    Now that the electrical system has been upgraded, I can say that the massive batteries and inverter work superbly; there have been a variety of little things to fix, but the electrical system is perfect. Future plans include using installing at least 1000 watts of solar panels, probably 1200. With limited roof space due to skylights, vents and fans, I have to go with smaller 100w panels, that I can fit to the available space and work around the various protrusions. I actually measured the entire roof, mapped the free space and worked out that I could install up to 16 100w panels. But that would leave no room to walk around on the roof if needed.

    Another aspect is that a thumb-rule for solar panels is that the wattage rating multiplied .33 yields the approximate amp-hours that would be charged into the battery on a relatively nice day. So, with batteries of 400 amp-hours (allowing 80% discharge), 1200w of solar arrays should be able to fully recharge the batteries. So the 12 panels are sized to the battery capacity, and we now have a matched system. The best deal I’ve found is at http://www.amazon.com/Monocrystalline-Photovoltaic-Battery-Charging-Off-Grid/dp/B00HQAUI3G/ref=sr_1_7?s=lawn-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1420059618&sr=1-7&keywords=renogy+solar+panels+6 Two kits like this will run ~$1800.

    The one catch is that to fully recharge the batteries requires a maximum charge-rate of ~100 amps. And most charge controllers don’t have that high of capacity. The answer is the charge controller from Midnite Solar (http://www.midnitesolar.com/pages/pages.php?article_ID=14). For $750 you have the final piece of the puzzle. Total cost of the complete system should be around $3k.

    #33266
    Profile photo of c
    c
    Newbie
    member7

    When we first moved to Kamloops, we lived in a 24ft trailer for two winters and one summer. It was a total of about 20 months while we built the warehouses and house. Our children were a bit younger than yours. (4 and 6)

    We found having an awning room enclosure gave a good inter-space between the trailer and the outside. (Of course, these structures are only good if you are not moving around.) The awning room enclosure was a place to remove boots, shoes and hang wet items including laundry. We covered the ground with astro-turf. It was also a good covered sitting area outside the trailer. The girls used to play in the area during bad weather.

    If I live like this again, I would build in a number of outdoor areas for privacy and fun activities such as: fire pit, barbecue area, sitting and eating area, portable sauna, plunge pool, etc. (Getting people comfortable living outside will make living in a smaller space more comfortable over the longer term.)

    #33271
    Profile photo of MountainBiker
    MountainBiker
    Survivalist
    member10

    Breathial,after reading your very thorough assessment, it is seeming like a motor home could really only work well as a bug out shelter if you had a fixed bug out location to travel too that included on-site storage for supplies. Also other improvements put in place pre-SHTF such as a well, out house etc.

    #33273
    Profile photo of undeRGRönd
    undeRGRönd
    Survivalist
    member8

    Breathial:

    I have a device that I replicated from free e-book plans that charged a whole table full of batteries (~500AH) for 60 watts input, it was in fact overcharging them! I am not pursuing this device, as it is already “open-source” but I am working on proving overunity (“free energy” if you will) with a vastly scaled up and improved version of the Relay Charger that produces excess USABLE electrical current with a similar effect.

    Here’s a link, but you will have to seek out the Relay Charger info in this vast file.

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCYQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.free-energy-info.com%2FPJKbook.pdf&ei=pJukVNq2NZL_yQTS2oBY&usg=AFQjCNEqdncbXA75StDaV_c-0zXSlq9mZQ&sig2=HviTQb3_22na8i0geqXyRg

    I’ll get you a page number…
    The Automotive Relay Battery Charger pages 601 and 602.

    I hooked this up similar to the last drawing, and it worked fantastically well ;)

    "ROGUE ELECTRICIAN" Hoping to be around to re-energize the New World.....

    Cogito, ergo armatus sum

    #33274
    Profile photo of 74
    74
    Survivalist
    rnews

    Mtb,
    I have the same accessment. In a verified bug out senerio hauling as much materials and supplies is a priority over living space. A smaller faster more agile vehicle could save your life. 14 foot cube van filled to the gills would suit me better. Bring a tent and camp.

    #33280
    Breathial
    Breathial
    Survivalist
    member3

    <div class=”d4p-bbp-quote-title”>MountainBiker wrote:</div>Breathial,after reading your very thorough assessment, it is seeming like a motor home could really only work well as a bug out shelter if you had a fixed bug out location to travel too that included on-site storage for supplies. Also other improvements put in place pre-SHTF such as a well, out house etc.

    Yeah, that’d be a fair statement. An RV is simply a “tiny house” on wheels, no more or less.

    This brings up the fact that I’ve come to the same conclusion as you; it can be your bugout location, BUT you’ll still have to have some supplies stationed at the destination.

    For power, a solar array would be sufficient for everything except running an air conditioner; the batteries in my RV would run it for maybe 3 hours before they’d be dead (though the inverter can handle the load). While the batteries have 500 amp-hours, I’d need 3x as many for that luxury.

    Food and fuel storage…. perhaps in a local storage facility, ready for access if needed, would do the trick.

    For water, either a shallow well that I can hook up a 12-volt diaphragm pump or a stream that I can occasionally visit to fill my internal tank, would be doable. Sewage…? Well, we could always do like Cousin Eddy did, in Christmas Vacation…. :-D

    #33287
    Breathial
    Breathial
    Survivalist
    member3

    undeRGRönd wrote:

    I have a device that I replicated from free e-book plans that charged a whole table full of batteries (~500AH) for 60 watts input, it was in fact overcharging them! I am not pursuing this device, as it is already “open-source” but I am working on proving overunity (“free energy” if you will) with a vastly scaled up and improved version of the Relay Charger that produces excess USABLE electrical current with a similar effect.

    I’ve heard of such claims. But one of my specialties is applied electrical engineering- design, construction, installation and operations. I’ll state up-front, there’s no such animal as “free energy,” no such thing as free anything. My wife had tried to convince me to engineer this project, and I refused. Eventually she figured out that if “free energy” was so simple to accomplish, it would already be built and marketed by enterprising people who could do the job. The fact that lots of plans are out there, but NOBODY is marketing a working model, pretty much demonstrates the point…

    Mathematics also prove that a 60-watt system is simply not useful for my application: 60 watts input on a 120-volt system works out to .5 amps. On a 12-volt battery bank, it’s only 5 amps per hour, which equals 120 amps over a 24-hour period . To recharge my battery bank with a solar system (assuming 80% depletion), I have to supply 400 amp-hours in a roughly 10-hour window of sunlight. Averaged out, that means 40 amps per hour. During peak it actually works out to about 90 amps per hour… but it’s doable. All of this, of course, 100% efficiency, so parasitic losses will decrease efficiency to somewhere around 75%. The POINT of all of these numbers, is that even if I believed “free” energy were feasible, the advertised capacity simply wouldn’t be enough.

    I have one of only two options for keeping the juice running in an off-grid situation: run my generator or install a solar array. I’m NOT a fan of solar; I think it’s a huge waste of money in a “normal” situation… but in a grid-down, SHTF situation….? The feasible options dwindle to those two, and no more.

    I appreciate the suggestion on the electrical, but believe me when I say that I’ve looked at this from a dozen different perspectives… And this is the path I’ve chosen as the most practical (for SHTF and for boon-docking) given all the limitations. So thanks for the idea.

    #33288
    Profile photo of undeRGRönd
    undeRGRönd
    Survivalist
    member8

    Well, you have to try it and see that it is amazing, but then again, EE’s are the hardest heads to convince. Let’s just say that my (classical) training and experience ALSO tells me “it can’t be done” but I have seen otherwise. The system produces high voltage, high frequency pulsed DC and that phenomenon produces excellent charging effects in batteries. Practically all any “EE” knows is a closed system circuit, and these are all open systems, with environmental through-put and outputs exceeding our inputs. If you had about 2 hours, I could explain it in common known electrical terms, but with new explanations to old unanswered questions. It involves counter-EMF and regauging magnetic fields without power consumption ;)

    An “F.E. Experimenter” buddy of mine calls it Field Juggling and that is precisely what it is. Think of the power factor stuff, and the “i” axis of imaginary numbers. Tapping the Aether and all of that. It all goes well beyond “Classical Electrodynamics” and pushing electrons. Fascinating stuff!

    "ROGUE ELECTRICIAN" Hoping to be around to re-energize the New World.....

    Cogito, ergo armatus sum

    #33289
    Profile photo of undeRGRönd
    undeRGRönd
    Survivalist
    member8

    PS: “Free Energy” is not my preferred terminology, by far. I just mentioned it as a point of reference. However, OverUnity is the proper technical term. Particle Physics and Quantum Mechanics have catalogued many natural occurrences of OverUnity, and we should be able to tap the same fields that nature does. Once we understand the mechanics and the timing of it. The device I showed above works very well, I estimate that it could charge 1000 to 2000 Amp-Hours of 12v batteries with the setup I had!

    Furthermore, I am a union trained electrician with 30 years professional experience, and I am usually the guy who gets asked to do the very difficult to the “impossible” for the average guy. Big Tesla Fan ;)
    This is a major extension of Counter EMF and Inductive Lag.
    ELI the ICE man, words to live by!

    "ROGUE ELECTRICIAN" Hoping to be around to re-energize the New World.....

    Cogito, ergo armatus sum

    #33290
    Profile photo of lonewolf
    lonewolf
    Survivalist
    member6

    surely in a bug out post SHTF situation, we would all be spending most of the time/daylight hours outside??

    British Survivalist.

    #33313
    Breathial
    Breathial
    Survivalist
    member3

    Yes. The winter weather is limiting the amount of time we can spend outdoors, though.

    #33318
    Profile photo of 74
    74
    Survivalist
    rnews

    To the issue of buging out and being outside, there are simply to many variables to make any generalizations. Weather extremes hot, cold or precipitation could require shelter for an extended period. Security issues might limit your movements or combinations of hazards. If you live in a colder climate and were forced to bugout in winter on foot you will need proper clothing and equipment to be outside for any reason.

    #33319
    Breathial
    Breathial
    Survivalist
    member3

    74 wrote: To the issue of buging out and being outside, there are simply to many variables to make any generalizations. Weather extremes hot, cold or precipitation could require shelter for an extended period. Security issues might limit your movements or combinations of hazards. If you live in a colder climate and were forced to bugout in winter on foot you will need proper clothing and equipment to be outside for any reason.

    Precisely. The idea that you can simply take off with a box-truck full of food/water/supplies seems sooooo simple. But with any kind of weather negates the usability of tents beyond a very short period of time. Can it be done? Yes. But fighting cold and rain at the same time, in a tent and sleeping bag, will quickly become a miserable experience, and such ideas (by my way of thinking) are simply unrealistic.

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