Category Archives: Camper Upgrades

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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Trailer Tongue Weight Voodoo

Almost three years ago I wrote a 3-part series titled, How Much Trailer Can You Tow? 

You can read them here:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3 contains the information on Weight Distribution Hitches (WDH)

I have received many inquiries from trailer owners about Weight Distribution Hitches and there is a lot of confusion out there in trailer land. I have always advocated weighing your tow vehicle and trailer periodically to ensure everything is within specifications, and herein lays the confusion. People try to interpret the scale readings and assume a WDH will subtract weight from the tow vehicle’s rear axle and add it to the front axle; that is: the front axle of the tow vehicle will weigh more with the trailer hitched. We do not want this to happen. After completing my yearly maintenance on Monday, I loaded everything up, to include full water tanks and temporarily filled the refrigerator and headed over to the local CAT scale. I’ll use those measurements to hopefully explain how to weigh your set up, what weights you should be looking at, and how to interpret them.

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My Favorite Camping Gear of All Time

gear article PUBackpacker 05-01-2013

It is common for backpacking bloggers to publish their favorite gear for the year. I have done this every year since 2012, and there has only been one change to my favorite gear in four years as documented in my favorite backpacking gear for 2015. This is different than most backpackers, who seem to have new favorite gear each year, which leads me to believe that their focus is gear-centric and not walking-centric. This begs the question, why do so many backpackers constantly buy new gear? Is it consumerism or do they not focus on skills instead of magic equipment to keep them safe in the backcountry? I’ll let you, the reader, sort out that conundrum.

I have never posted a list of my favorite camping gear. I have been camping for over 50 years and for the past 25 years it has included a camper. The previous 25 years I camped with a tent. In 2003 I refined my camping equipment and little has changed since then, other than we have bought two larger campers over the past 10 years.

So instead of presenting my favorite camping gear for 2015, I will share my favorite 3 of all time.

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