Category Archives: Camper Upgrades

Reader Question: Can I Charge My RV Battery With An Inverter Connected To The Battery?

Ah, perpetual energy without solar panels or a generator!

Readers of this website normally can’t contact me, because there isn’t a “Comments” function, nor is there an “Email” button. But hey, this is the Internet Age, and it shouldn’t be too difficult to contact me if one really wants to. Then of course, it is more than likely I will ignore you. However, in this case, I recently received an interesting inquiry worth discussing.

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What Is A RV Awning/Patio Mat And Which One Is Best?

Reader Beware: this is a product review. After 20+ years of using this product it is safe to say it has been tested thoroughly and long enough.

When my kids were young we did a lot of tent camping and most trips were 1 – 2 weeks long. When they were 5 and 7 years old (in 1992) the tenting experience was becoming somewhat of a hassle and a small camper was an obvious solution. Owning a 4 cylinder Dodge Caravan, with a modest towing capacity, trailer choices were limited. And being 1992, the Internet as we know it today didn’t exist and neither did Yahoo or Google. Plus camping was such a simple thing to do, it didn’t dawn on me to check and see if there was such a thing as a trailer-based camping magazine – so I decided to purchase a trailer the old fashioned way… go look at campers and figure out own my own what was best without asking anyone for advice  — what a concept! After visiting several RV dealers I ended up buying a small Starcraft Meteorite tent trailer, which turned out to be an excellent decision. It was a great little trailer.

Anyway… let’s get back to the title of this post.

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Endless Breeze 12 Volt Fan, by Fan-Tastic Vent

There are some things in life we just don’t give much thought to.

An example is electricity. Our society is powered by electricity. We don’t think about it; we expect it to be there when needed. But when there is a power outage people freak out. When there is a large power outage, such as the entire Los Angeles or New York City metropolitan areas then it is a disaster.

One thing I don’t give much attention to or think about is the Endless Breeze fan that resides in our camper. As a matter of fact, in the nearly 700 posts and pages I have published over the past 4 plus years I don’t think I have ever mentioned it.

Given that I bought it 14 years ago (way back in 2003), it is probably time to do a proper review.

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Does A Weight Distribution Hitch Increase Tongue Weight?

The short answer is, No.


Often trying to find detailed information on trailer towing is difficult at best.

When we bought our current trailer and tow vehicle I knew that we would be close to the maximum capacity specifications for both. Most of the self-proclaimed or perceived experts would say buy a bigger tow vehicle if you are going to be close to the tow vehicle’s maximum specification for gross trailer weight and/or tongue weight. In other words, “buy a bigger gun.”

I am not a hunter and I have never hunted. But I know you don’t hunt elk with a pocket knife (too small) or a rocket propelled grenade (too big). You use a rifle with the correct caliber of bullet and other attributes that combined are a match for taking an elk. And so it is with our tow vehicle. The manufacturer (Ford) says we can safely tow a trailer that weighs up to 9,200 lbs fully loaded as long as the tongue weight is between 10% and 15% of the trailer’s weight and the tongue weight doesn’t exceed 920 lbs using a weight distribution hitch also known as a WDH, and at the same time the tow vehicle cannot exceed the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, or any Gross Axle Weight Ratings, and the Combined Gross Vehicle Weight.

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Solving RV Slow Fresh Water Tank Fill


It’s a pretty common complaint among RV owners — it takes forever to fill my fresh water tank and the water keeps “backing up” while filling.

This was a big problem for us. We have two 50 gallon fresh water tanks and it would take an hour to fill them. The Owner’s Manual warned of this and states to fill the tanks slowly with the water bib turned to a low volume. This was completely unacceptable.

I finally devised a solution that cost very little money and will not take much time for anyone to adopt.

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Money, Andrew Skurka, and Me

My Website Now Has Ads

adsJust got back from an extended camping trip in the desert in Nevada and my website had a bunch of “ping-backs” from this post by Andrew Skurka.

A ping-back is when another website refers a reader via a link. Andrew was very complementary about this website and Dave Chenault’s Bedrock and Paradox as blogs with some quality content, although not a lot of content, and both sites are not monetized; that is they do not generate income.

I want to clarify this and state again as I did on October 16th, that now incorporates affiliate marketing, which generates a small amount of income for me.

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How to Choose an Inverter for Your Camper

samlex-pst-2000-12vIf you’re reading this you probably know what an inverter is. Just in case that is not the case let’s quickly cover the subject. I have been using inverters for decades and through a lot of trial and error, research and tenacity, have learned much. By sharing this I might be able to assist you in making a good inverter decision and save you from the timely and often expensive option of learning through mistakes.

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Camping in 114F Temps and No Air Conditioner (sort of)

I have camped in the desert during summer without air conditioning many times. In our local deserts, temperatures do occasionally hit 120F and once in a while even higher. See this post where I re-packed our wheel bearings in 123F temperature. The rare occasions we patronize a campground with electrical hook-ups is usually when we take our inflatable boat to the lower Colorado River in the middle of summer.

Old Age is Creeping In.

Staying cool in the hot desert during the day is simple: just stay in the shade. But as I get older, it is getting more difficult for me to sleep when the nighttime temperatures are 90F or higher. This June we spent a couple of weeks at Lake Mead and most days were above 110F and a couple hit 114F. Anticipating this, and not willing to stay in a parking lot campground with hook-ups away from the lake and in civilization, I came up with an idea – a portable evaporative cooler (aka swamp cooler).

Now, I could buy a generator, which is expensive and more importantly noisy. So that was out based on principle and philosophy. Being familiar with evaporative coolers, I first needed to do some simple math.

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How to Change a Trailer Tire without a Jack!

Camco Trailer Aid

This is not a Gear Review

To properly review a product it needs to be put to extensive use over a period of time. Perhaps a couple of years. Twenty-five or forty-five years would be better such as my camping chairs or some of my older backpacking gear. Based on a limited test, I recommend it.

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