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Collected words of wisdom


“[solar powered A/C is] not a lost cause.. we just seem to be at that frustrating cusp where it's technically possible with current technology, just not easy or cheap.” – thatswhatsup1)


“Three stage chargers are easier on your batteries, charge them faster, fuller and help you use less water.“ – handybob2)
“it behooves you to know how to keep the [AGM] princess supermodel working as hard as a thick ankled farmgirl.” – SternWake3)
“I don't think any battery is going to out cycle a 6v flooded golf cart battery. These are simply the most tolerant of the type of usage typically seen in this lifestyle.” – SternWake4)
“While AGMs are considered a no maintenance battery if they were a person… they would be considered high maintenance… and only with a surplus of everything they want could they be kept happy.” – SternWake5)
”[LiFePO4] batteries do not need to get back to 100% SOC, ever“ – MaineSail6)
“Generally, gel and AGM batteries have about 20% less capacity, cost about two times more, and have a shorter cycle life than comparable flooded lead acid batteries.” – Trojan7)
“Manufacturer recommendations are blanket recommendations basically to minimize warranty returns, not an optimized recommendation for a specific usage recharge regimen.” – SternWake8)
“Watching how many amps a charging battery is accepting at absorption voltage, is very indicative of state of charge, the less the amps the more charged.” – sternwake9)
“As long as… you cycle the battery daily, you could set float voltage to [Vabs] too without worry. Only when you stop cycling the battery do you need to return float voltage to more regular 13.2v levels.” – sternwake10)

consumer culture

“It's so weird, isn't it? We buy the bills of goods society tells us, we work hard, we save, pay our taxes, be good solid citizens; but as we age we look around ourselves and wonder why we did it, to what end. ” - Queen11)
“Intentionally reducing consumption is confusing and subversive…” – John61CT12)


Home is where your dog is. – Jora13)


I need to remember to stay on topic. It's like laying sod, “green side up, green side up…” – dusty9814)


“The best way to save anything is to not to waste what you have already.” - jimindenver15)
There is little doubt in my mind that it is possible to live the RV life on the income that you propose. On the other hand, the real question should be, “Can we live the fulltime RV life on $X/year.” Almost as important is the question, if we do choose to do this, will we be able to enjoy our life while doing so? - Kirk W16)

getting started

“I'd be leaving planning mode behind and get into doing mode ASAP” - rvpopeye17)


“One can only put so much inverter on so much battery… A lot of people will put a 2KW inverter, or larger, on a single 12v battery, but this can be compared to a 5 second drag car, which uses 5 gallons of gas to run the 1/4 mile, but then only having a 2 gallon gas tank.” – SternWake18)
“Inverters are excellent battery depleters.” – sternwake19)


“Downsizing daily.” – Roberta Garrett20)
”…trying to take the comfort level you had in a house into your mobile life [is] tough to do for a boondocker.“ – akrvbob21)
“Pack as if you're going out for only a week during the summer. Then add what you'd need if you were going out for only a week in winter. That should pretty much cover everything.” MrNoodly22)
“Take what you can't buy when you need it…leave the rest.” – uncledon23)
“I can't be prepared for everything I can possibly imagine, so I prepare for things that are most likely to happen.” – MrNoodly24)
“That little bed there pays for itself, a cooler, and a coleman stove on the first night. You just built yourself a significant pay raise. Congrats!” – Putts25)
You have to be ruthless. Follow the wisdom of the backpacker: “Bring what you need, and need what you bring”. – lenny flank26)


”…slow may be better in the end, because the most important time is the thinking time, and that's best not rushed.“ – MsNomer27)


“Check amps drawn over 24 hours, much more important when boondocking than purchase price.” – John62CT28)
Part of managing to lower food costs [without refrigeration] comes by figuring out how to plan meals so that you use up a container or fresh food before it has a chance to go bad. – Almost There29)
…I urban-camp almost exclusively, so I can let the supermarkets store all my groceries and just go pick up what I need as I use it – lenny flank30)


“The most important thing is to be careful, esp when you’re alone… If you can’t recognize danger when you see it, this is not the life for you.” – TrainChaser31)

shore power

”…most people think that to have “RV” type shore power you need those special 30/50 amp plugs. I have a 115v plug. The male end of an extension cord (heavy gauge) that I have cable tied to the inside of my receiver hitch so it’s hidden.“ – Captain_Dapper32)


“Any Solar is better than no solar, but having too much solar is difficult. The best solar systems are those which can keep the batteries the happiest. Happy batteries are those which are recharged quickly after depletion.” – SternWake33)
I'm not sure people always grasp the concept of “minimum” either; they tend to think it means “all that you really need” when it fact it means “the least you can get away with provided everything else goes right”. After all, the sun does not shine brightly every day. – Cariboocoot34)
“I'd say 500 watts is the minimum for the [Pacific Northwest] in winter and you would be better off with [750 watts] if you can get it on the roof.” akrvbob35)
“The difference in bright sunlight between the least efficient and the most is little. What a panel does in cloudy conditions can make or break your system.” – jimindenver36)
”…the person draining their batteries to the 50% range regularly would do much better with a 2 watts to 1Ah ratio, or even 3 to 1.“ – SternWake37)
“The advantage of “too much solar” is rainy day support. Most people use generators for that, but if your sun hours stack up, oversized arrays also works. – zoneblue38)
“With a isolator you would run the truck early to get a fair amount of the bulk charging done and let the solar finish it off the rest of the day.” – jimindenver39)
“If you want to see lots more amps coming out of the [charge controller], put on a 5-10A load and drop the battery to 50% depleted in the middle of a sunny day.” – John61CT40)
“It is cheaper and easier to use less power than it is to make more power.” – highdesertranger41)
The Shunted battery monitors are great, when they are wired up properly, set up properly, and rezeroed occassionally. The person who can do this well, can also make an accurate guess as to state of charge, if they are regularly looking at just a voltmeter and an ammeter. – sternwake42)


“So when your feeling lonely, sit back and eat a cookie and just imagine someone making you feel bad for eating that cookie and making you feel guilty, nag nag nag. Then smile and realize that you dont have to ask anyone or get anyones permission to do whatever you want. Enjoy your cookie!!!” – Durango Dave43)


“Don't do anything that attracts attention to either yourself or your vehicle. People cannot object to your presence if they do not notice that you are there.” – lennyflank44)


“Heat people, not places.”45)
“Fear of propane will be expensive.” – Sternwake46)


“You will know the true value of your time when you look back and see how much of it you have wasted.” jimindenver47)
“You can ALWAYS make more money, you can NEVER make more time.” akrvbob48)


“If you are towing and don't know the area, drop the trailer and look around.” jimindenver49)


“GET THERE in 2wd and GET BACK with 4wd if needed” -
“By far the best bang for your buck is a 12 volt air compressor and air down your tires. Just airing down your tires to 10 pounds will get you unstuck an amazing amount of times. It should be number one on your list for taking your van in rough country.” – akrvbob50)
“walk it before you drive it” - desert bruce51)
I turn off the traction control for steep hills or loose gravel to allow some tire spin without being hindered or slowed by the traction control kicking in, as momentum is better to maintain than 100% traction. – brownbear52)
In the end, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you are in any way unsure of the way ahead, stop the car and walk the route to determine grade, clearances, and firmness. – USExplorer53)


“You can live three weeks without food, three days without water, and three minutes without air.” – anonymous
“If you have water you have 1000 problems. If you don't have water you have 1 problem.” – anonymous
”…you really appreciate every drop of water if you have to schlep it.” – gcal54)
41) paraphrased
lifestyle/words_of_wisdom.txt · Last modified: 2019/10/08 10:13 by frater_secessus