AuthorTopic: RE Gets a Stealth Van!  (Read 58202 times)

Offline Surly1

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Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!: Seeking a Trailer for SaVannah
« Reply #45 on: June 18, 2017, 05:44:11 AM »

Things I like about the Anchorage trailer

1- It's practically new.  The guy who bought it bought it straight off the lot to drive shit up here and has no room for it.  What's not to like about new?

2- It's HUGE.  I could pack my whole supply of preps into this trailer.  You could run any number of commercial biznesses with it too.
RE

At least you know how to drive towing one of these things.
Not my money, but you'll never run out of room and kick yourself for not buying the Anchorage trailer.
Preps are a gas: they expand to fill all available space.
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Offline RE

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Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!: Seeking a Trailer for SaVannah
« Reply #46 on: June 18, 2017, 07:15:05 AM »

Things I like about the Anchorage trailer

1- It's practically new.  The guy who bought it bought it straight off the lot to drive shit up here and has no room for it.  What's not to like about new?

2- It's HUGE.  I could pack my whole supply of preps into this trailer.  You could run any number of commercial biznesses with it too.
RE

At least you know how to drive towing one of these things.
Not my money, but you'll never run out of room and kick yourself for not buying the Anchorage trailer.
Preps are a gas: they expand to fill all available space.

Pulling the trailer doesn't worry me at all.  Hooking and Unhooking it does.  Cranking the trailer up and off the ball hitch takes a certain amount of muscle power I am not sure I got enough of these days.  However, I could use a hydraulic jack if necessary to raise it up of the ball joint.  Those take little muscle power, just a lot of lever pumping.  I wouldn't be doing that much hitching/unhitching though.  Once hooked for a Journey it pretty much will stay hooked.

Preps do indeed expand to your available space, and I would in fact still have to do triage even with the big trailer so it isn't so cluttered I can't get in and out of it to get things.  My digs are currently stuffed with more shit than I will ever need, duplicates of many things.  I could probably pack everything into it, but it would be packed tight and the only accessible stuff being right at the doors.  For moving purposes I might do that, then once I get there take 3/4s of it and put it in a storage unit.  I have a big one in MO.  The way I will lay it out for typical travel purposes is a set of center shelves accessible from either the side door or rear doors with about 4 feet empty space in the rear where the Ewz will go along with cooking gear and fuel of various types (kerosene, propane and spare gas can).  Up at the far front, another set of heavy duty shelves with my 12V Electrics gear, generator etc.  Shit Bucket/Porta-Potty accessible from the side door.  Food, clothing, additional shelters (tents, folding gazebo & screen house) stored on the center shelves.

On the big trailer, it really depends if I can Jew him down.  I'm NOT going to spend more for the trailer than I spent for the van.  It doesn't even have a motor or a tranny for crying out loud!  I won't go over $5000 for it.  I'll only go that high because it's brand spanking new, just broken in on one drive on the Al-Can.  If he doesn't sell at $5000, it's No Deal and I'll wait for another one.  These cargo trailers sell all the time up here.

RE
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Offline RE

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Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
« Reply #47 on: June 18, 2017, 07:35:09 AM »
RE those horse trailers tend to be very heavy for their cargo room as you would expect for something that pulls half a tonne of prized pet.  The cargo trailers have similar tow capability but only the trailer is built heavy the box is fairly light.  As to the bilge blowers that is 2.5 amps at 12 volts not the 120 ac of the other ones.

Oh that's right!  2.5A at 12V is only 36W, that's even more efficient plus no loss through the inverter.  If I go with a permanent installation I'll definitely go with those.  I figured out where to install them also without cutting through the sheet metal of SaVannah herself.  I'll have them installed  at the back of the raised roof, which is fiberglass.  That cutout job is EZ.  It's pretty vertical with a lip also to keep rain off the openings also, although I will have some kind of louvres to close the openings as well in cold weather.  That is ideal location as well since it will pull the hot air out from the top and pull an airflow all the way from front to rear.  I'd estimate that installation job at $500.  For now though I'll see how well the jury rigged system works.

Far as trailer weight goes, I think it would be close to the same because the new trailer is so much bigger than the older one.  Profile wise, it's slimmer and less bulky in the rear which makes for easier towing.  Its age and interior volume are the downsides, but it's a big price differential and I really don't need a behemoth just for travelling around.  I could run my Mobile Restaurant out of it though.

RE
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Offline Eddie

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Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
« Reply #48 on: June 18, 2017, 10:20:58 AM »
 Your van tranny, if marginal now, would surely crap out pulling either one of those behemoths. Go to the tranny shop and get it checked before you spend money on  a trailer.
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Offline Nearingsfault

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Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
« Reply #49 on: June 18, 2017, 10:23:52 AM »
Flushed, filter changed, radiator installed if it does not have one or changed if it's ancient.  I did all that on my explorer it made a lot of difference in the smoothness of the tranny.
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Offline RE

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Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
« Reply #50 on: June 18, 2017, 11:59:54 AM »
Got call backs on both trailers, and I'll go look at them on Tue after I see the Pro from Dover.  Big ass trailer in Anchorage first, Horse trailer in Eagle River on the way back to the digs.  I'll give both of them low-ball offers and won't buy on the spot.  I'm not desperate to buy at the moment.  I'll schedule getting the tranny on SaVannah looked at, and also having a second set of leaf springs installed on the rear axle.  The van is set up for that but doesn't have them installed because the guy who owned it only pulled a lightweight open trailer with a 4-wheeler on it.  You want the extra springs for a big trailer.   Also go over to my storage unit guy and see how much he will charge me to store another 14' of trailer on the property.

Then I'll go over to the RV place and see what they will charge me to install the exhaust fans in the roof of Savannah.

This is a fun project!  :icon_sunny:

RE
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Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
« Reply #51 on: June 19, 2017, 07:59:54 PM »
I did a bunch of errands today for sprucing up SaVannah and turning her into the ultimate Road Warrior vehicle.  :icon_sunny:

First stop was at Roger's Garage which is right across the road from my digs.  It's one of those old time mechanic's shops with junk cars in the lot, but I got a good recommendation from somebody at my old job and he has done OK work on both the Ford and Mazda, although I haven't needed anything major done on either one since I moved over to this side of town.  I used to use Fishhook Tire & Auto, which was just a 1/4 mile up the road from my old digs.  That's a much nicer and more professional looking place, with several bays and full time desk staff and a waiting room, etc.

Anyhow, I wanted to get a Price Quote for a few of the things we talked about.  Per DBs advice, I want a quote for a flush & fill of the tranny fluid and installation of a tranny radiator.  Then I want the more Beefy tow package installed, which entails adding another set of leaf springs to the rear and the hook-ups for electric trailer brakes.  All it currently has is the hookups for the lights on the trailer.  No way will I pull a trailer through the mountains of the Yukon Territory without trailer brakes!!!  Then I wanted a price quote on a custom installation of the exhaust fan system I mentioned.

The last one was out, they don't do this type of interior customization, they are strictly the mechanical end of things.  Only 3 people work at the place, the old mechanic Roger in his late 50s maybe 60s, his wife who does the desk and paperwork and a younger guy 30s or so.

On the other two jobs, they will do those but for an accurate estimate I had to make an appointment so Roger could have a look-see on the jobs, and put it up on the lift.  Just getting the estimate costs $85.  ::)  I will however bring it in for this, because these jobs are necessary to make this a fully fledged Road Warrior vehicle capable of handling the Al-Can, the Rockies and the Appalachians, which actually have steeper grades than the other two.  The Appalachians are NASTY.  I had a full load of 20 tons of beer once I took a short cut to do off the interstate on a road I thought I could handle.  I was, to put it mildly absolutely TERRIFIED the whole way down.  My knuckles weren't just white, they were transparent.  The brakes were SMOKIN' not even halfway down the slope.  That stupidity was in my first year with Schneider National.  It was one mistake I never repeated.

So for the Exhaust Fan job I headed over to Valley RV to see if they would do it, and for how much? ???  :icon_scratch:  After spending some time talking to their chief mechanic, he said they could do the job, but it would probably take around 6 hours at an even higher hourly rate than the auto shop of $115/hr.  This is getting into Doctor, Dentist & Lawyer territory!  Just to get some air moving through the cabin would cost me $1000 including the parts!  That Dog won't Hunt either.

So I am going with DBs solution of the Bilge Blower, I ordered one online from Amazon.  I can run the hose right out the back sliding windows, and it will be masked from view by the bug screen.  There will be little to no noise since the fan motor itself is located well inside away from the window.  I'll start with one and see how that does, I suspect it will do fine based on how much air it pushes, about 120 cu-ft/minute.  That would mean for the size volume of the interior of this van, it would take about 10 minutes to completely exchange the air supply inside on startup.   After that  it's just maintenance.  If it's not enough, I'll buy a second one for the other side.  They're only $30 including the shipping.

I forgot to ask the RV PfD what it would cost to have my solar panels mounted on the roof.  That should be a relatively standard job and not too pricy (I hope  ::) ).  I also looked at RV/Wind Turbine units online, and I can get a 400W one for $450 if I catch one ON SALE.  :icon_sunny:  Together with the 250W of solar panels, that should keep me quite well charged, and with 2 deep cycle marine batts boosting a 1000W inverter, I can probably even run the A/C during the hottest part of the day for an hour or two.  If the wind turbine is running, I could rewire 3 of the panels for 36V and directly charge the Ewz in under 2 hours!

Finally, I made a stop on the way home at Wally World to pick up ANOTHER AC-DC transformer dedicated to SaVannah.  I measured inside the engine compartment and found a space just big enough to permanently mount this transformer.  It pushes 8A when plugged in right into the batt.  I ran the AC cord out the front grill so just the plug is showing, and the DC side cables over to the batt where I have them semi-permanently clamped to the batt.  Any time I am parked within a reasonable range of an AC outlet I can keep a steady flow of 12V/8A/96W of current flowing into the Batt.  None of my DC operated shit pulls anywhere NEAR that kind of draw.  When I say "reasonable range", I am talking a football field here, because I have 2 100' extension cords, 2 50' ones, and 2 more reel in 25 footers.  Then some 8'-12' ones besides that.  However, I never expect to be parking more than 100' from an outlet.  In Stealth/Pirating Mode, less than that, I'll want to be right up on the outlet so there isn't a lot of cord showing.  max there is the 25' reel ups.  8A transformed from 12V to 36V gives me 2.666  :icon_mrgreen: Amps, which should charge the Ewz in about 3 hours.  I definitely will have ZERO problem with electricity as long as I am parked either in a legit for pay RV camping spot or at a fellow Diner's Doomstead.

On the batts without the AC running, I figure even with no sun and no wind, the two Deep Cycle Marines are good for two weeks, although not with running the Ewz every day.

I hope to have the full electric and ventilation system set up by the end of summer.  Meanwhile, I will keep taking the test runs with SaVannah up here.  I am now confident I could handle at least 5 hours a day behind the wheel, half speed of trucking.   Like riding a bicycle, there are some things you never forget once you learned them.

RE
« Last Edit: June 19, 2017, 09:19:54 PM by RE »
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Offline RE

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Solstice 2017 (reprint from Medicine & Health)
« Reply #52 on: June 21, 2017, 09:11:52 AM »

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Published on The Doomstead Diner June 21, 2017

Discuss this article at the Medicine & Health Table inside the Diner

Back home in the digs after a hellishly long, exhausting and frustrating day. I'm was going to just write a couple of posts Inside the Diner on this, one in the Stealth Van thread on the Trailer Purchase issues and then another one for the RE is Dying thread (Diners Only!), but after writing the first couple of paragraphs I realized this was Blog Length material and should be up for the Blog Lurkers to read as well. So, ater a nap on the return home, I knocked this one out in one night. It covers one horrific day in the life of a cripple at the end of the Age of Oil and Industrial Civilization

The issues began early with the trip in. I woke up around 5AM with the itches, even though I set my alarm for 6:30. I killed some time on the net and scratched and rubbed, then changed into more respectable clothing for meeting doctors and trailer sellers. Then around 6:30 I felt drowsy again and went to take a Power Nap with the intention of getting on the road at 7:30 which would give me comfortable time to make the 8:45 appointment. I overslept and woke up at 7:45, and it takes me 5 minutes to get out the door and get rolling even if everything is all packed in SaVannah. So to be on time I had to put the pedal to the metal, exceed the speed limit and hope for no traffic. The weather was not cooperating either, it was pouring rain. However, I did pull in to the parking lot at precisely 8:45, but making it from the parking lot to the Pro from Dover's Suite was a real trial in the pouring rain. I had the Ewz with me in SaVannah which I had intended to use for this part of the Journey. However, with the rain pouring down, I would have been soaked to the bone before I even finished getting her out of the van, and besides that takes more time and would have made me later. I had the forethought to bring an umbrella with me, so I hoofed it with the Brolly over my head. It took me 10 minutes to cover the maybe 200 yards total and my calf muscles were SCREAMING in pain. On the upside, they took me right in. Unsurprisingly when they took my vitals for this one, BP was high at 140/90.

After the intake nurse left, another very short wait and a NEW Physician's Assistant comes in to discuss the case. Once again, I am not talking directly to the Great Man himself. So I go through a brief recap of my itching etiology and history, and then ask her if she knows what Notalgia Paresthetica is. Nope. This is a PA who is specialized in neurosurgery. Not very encouraging. So then I explain it to her and hand her the 10 page Research Booklet I have put together to educate dim-witted and overpaid medical professionals on Notalgia Paresthetica. Then she asks ME what I would like to do about the problem! Roll Eyes This is what Medicaid is paying $600 for. True Professionals assisting you with you Health Care needs. So I list what I would like done here:

1- Referral to the Brain Center in the Valley (maybe somebody there has heard of Notalgia Parasthetica?)

2- Referral to an Accupuncture Clinic so maybe Medicaid will pay for it.

3- Possible scrip for cortico-steroids.

4- New imaging to look at not only my neck but also the rest of the spine.

Notalgia paresthetica is a chronic sensory neuropathy characterized by pruritus of the upper to middle back, typically below the left shoulder blade. Symptoms may include pain, hyperesthesia, paresthesia, and hyperpigmentation of the affected area.

http://jaoa.org/data/Journals/JAOA/932101/605fig.jpeg

Note: Credit to Diner JDW on researching and locating the condition of Notalgia Paresthetica

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/21/Sabaoth_icon_%28Russia%2C_19_c.%29_2.jpeg/220px-Sabaoth_icon_%28Russia%2C_19_c.%29_2.jpeg PA says this all seems reasonable, and disappears for around 30 minutes. Finally returning, guess who is with her? THE GREAT MAN HIMSELF! It was like being in the presence of God, he has a big white beard and he's an older white guy. He even had the White Flowing Robes! OK, it was a Lab Coat. lol. Now, surely a well experienced M.D. who has been practing Neurosurgery for 30 years and is Board Certified would know what Notalgia Paresthetica is, right? WRONG! He's never heard of it either. Isn't God supposed to be Omnicient? icon_scratch This is a condition described in the medical literature since at least 2011, that's the oldest date I have on it anyhow. According to the literature, about 10% of people with spinal problems end up with this at some point. He's never had a single case of it in 30 years?

In any case, after chatting with him for a full 10 minutes of his valuable time, he does agree to all four of the suggestions I made for a further treatment plan. I should have been a Doctor. Roll Eyes It remains to be seen if Medicaid will approve either the Accupunture or the 2 new expensive MRIs. The cortico-steroids I expect they will approve. It also remains to be seen if his referral gets me in to consult with the Neurologist at the Brain Center who rejected the first referral from the NP Bimbo as not being a neurological diagnosis. Any bets on whether this medical professional has ever heard of Notalgia Parasthetica?

Apointment #1 for the day now finished at around 10AM and my next appointment with the Vascular Pro from Dover is not until noon. My plan was to go look at the Anchorage trailer, the huge practically new one to fill in the gap in time. So I shuffle my way back to the van a lot slower than earlier so it is not as pain inducing. The rain has also calmed down to an intermittent drizzle. Once in the driver's seat, I drop in the address for the Anchorage trailer and listen to the directions from the smart phone. I am about halfway into this drive when I realize it's not taking me to another location in Anchorage, it's taking me to the Eagle River trailer location! Somehow, I managed to transpose the addresses and phone numbers of thes two trailers when I wrote them down. RE's screw up there. It was too late to turn around so I finished the drive there even though I knew the seller wouldn't be there. The trailer was though and out in the front yard too so EZ to take a look at. Not going to buy that one. It's a little too small, mainly because of its configuration not its length. Also, even with a new pro paint job and new wheels and tires, it just isn't up to SaVannah's standards, it would make her look cheap. So, hopefully, the Anchorage trailer will be better, and I will go look at that after the consult with the Vascular Pro from Dover.

I arrive at his office suite, which is actually in a separate building and is a consortium of docs called Imaging Associates. Radiologists and Heart docs. It's around 11:15 now and the appointment isn't until Noon. I stay in the van to snooze in the driver's seat, I didn't go in the bunk for this. At 11:45 I shuffle into the offices, fortunately a much shorter shuffle than from the hospital parking lot to the neurosurgeon's offices. Walking up to the receptionist, I tell her my name and I have an appointment with Dr. Arteries & Veins. She looks in the computer and finds no such appointment, which I had just made on the phone the prior day. Then she goes in the back to find out what's up? Turns out, the appointment they made for me was at their offices in the Valley, where I live! They neglected to tell me this when I made the appointment. Then she tells me they will squeeze me in, don't worry. OK. So I sit down and wait, not too long maybe 15 minutes so we are still more or less on time. Intake nurse comes in to take my vitals, and then getting ready to leave tells me, "TJ will be in to see you in a couple of minutes". TJ is the PA for Dr. A&V. I don't WANT to see the PA! I came in to see the Great Man himself! I am not impressed with the knowledge base of all the PAs I have seen in my medical adventures, and Medicaid is not paying good taxpayer money for me to see PAs! This is when she tells me that Dr. A&V is out in the Valley today!

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/75/22/84/7522842748cc9eddd630e08f43663702.jpg Now I am getting just a little HOT under the collar along with being itchy. Nurse goes out of the exam room to discuss problem with the Office Manager, and comes back to tell me I can see Dr. A&V back up in the Valley at 3PM. I tell her I can't make it by 3 because of other appointments (although as it turns out I could have). We negotiate for a 4PM time. For my trouble and aggravation, she gets me a $15 Visa Gift Card to make me feel better.

Now done with this appointment but with another new one for the day scheduled for 4PM, it's time to head over to the Anchorage address and once again I program the smart phone to get me there. This time the right address. Strangely however, it gives me a transit time of around 30 minutes? Anchorage is not that big and generally you can get from one end of the town to the other in 20 minutes, tops as long as there is no traffic, and around 1PM is low traffic. I begin the drive, and around 3/4 in I realize why the transit time is so long.

There is only a relatively small patch of flat land at the mouth of the Knik River that is geographically good for setting up the kind of Towns/Cities that we are used to. All surrounding that to the South, East and North are Mountains, big, steep and rugged ones, no gentle slopes there. Where this guy's digs are is RIGHT on the edge of Chugach State Park. The only road that gets out of Anchorage to the North and South is Alaska 1, the Glenn Highway. To the south it runs along the arm of the Turnagin Glacier, to the north along the arm of the Knik Glacier. You don't find any other real good flat land building locations until you get to Soldotna in the south and Palmer-Wasilla in the north. Eagle River has some good spots, but its still pretty mountainous terrain.

http://s.zefirka.net/images/2014-12-25/villa-lejkkrest-na-beregu-ozera/villa-lejkkrest-na-beregu-ozera-21.jpg Where this guy has his digs is RIGHT at the border at the edge of the municipality of Anchorage with Chugach State Park, and it is the foothills of those mountains. As foothills go though, these are pretty serious ones with some VERY steep grades, some that I hit on the way there exceeded 10% even on the paved portions. Even in the Rockies and Appalachia I never hit grades in the double digits, except on some off ramps for short stretches. Yet people built their McMansions in this location, some quite magnificent ones since rich fucks love the beautiful views from their glass enclosed living rooms. Honestly though, I can't imagine driving back and forth to work in downtown Anchorage every day on these roads in winter, even with 4WD. EZ enough to get stuck on flat land in icy conditions, I can't see how these folks get in and out of some of their driveways, which some of them look to me like a 20% grade. Maybe they winch themselves up in the morning?

Anyhow, I stuck with it determined to see this other trailer. At least I did until the road I was on turned into a dirt road and had a warning sign of 15% Grades! Still, I soldiered on and went off the road with Savannah to see, even though she is NOT a 4WD vehicle, not to mention fairly large as 4 wheelers go. I went about 1/4 mile down the dirt road, wondering if I would be able to:

1- Turn around, or would I have to back up to GTFO of there?

2- Would SaVannah be able to hold traction to make the climb back out on only 2WD? Engine power was enough, but traction was an issue since the road was still wet from the morning rain.

http://www.greenbookblog.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/DangerWillRobinson.jpg As I came around the first bend in the dirt road about 200 yards ahead of me I saw a big increase in the downslope AND a tight switchback at the end of it. My Trucker Safety ALARM SIREN went off. "DANGER! WARNING WILL ROBINSON!" NO! I will not do this road! "There's a Signpost Up Ahead. You have reached…The Death Zone". At least this time I wasn't driving 75' of Tractor-Trailer.

http://www.dennismansfield.com/.a/6a00d834530c9c69e20120a628de06970b-pi There was a McMansion to my left with a big 2 car garage and leveled land for the driveway. I pulled into that driveway, turned Savannah around and GTFO of Dodge and back to the paved roads, and worked my way back down to the Flatland of downtown Anchorage. So I never even looked at the big ass nearly brand new trailer.

What boggles my mind is that the idiot who is selling this trailer actually drove it down this stretch of dirt road fully loaded. This guy definitely has more courage than brains. If he wants to sell it, he needs to drag it back out of there and put it on consignment at a used car dealer in Anchorage. He must be driving one fucking monster of a tow vehicle too, a Ford 350 or something like that. Even with that, I can't imagine taking the hairpin turn I was looking at with that trailer.

Anyhow, working my way back out, I still had time on my hands to make a stop for lunch in downtown Anchorage before driving back to the Valley for the last appointment of the day with Dr. A&V. I had planned to hit a Top 10 restaurant in Anchorage Simon & Seafort's Saloon for dinner and then spend the night in SaVannah in a Stealth Van Living experiment, but since I had to head back to the Valley for the last appointment that plan had to be cancelled. I opted instead for lunch at S&S. I programmed the smart phone once again to guide me there, where it is right across the street from Cap'n Cook and the Crow's Nest Restaurant, which I was avoiding because I wasn't happy with my last meal there last year. This is the pricy area of downtown Anchorage where the Oil Tycoons meet & eat, so the hotels are expensive and so are the restaurants.

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-tEmafHO71n0/ToCg7Jv2ElI/AAAAAAAAECQ/KviFaWqhHRQ/w1200-h630-p-k-no-nu/child+peeing+all+over.jpg Upon arrival at the location, I pulled into the public parking lot and bought my ticket for 2 hours or less for a cool $10. Then as I dropped it on the windshield I got another one of those untimely Calls of Nature, this time just to piss. The walk over to S&S is just too far, I know I won't make it without pissing my pants. So I go into Savannah to use my piss jar, but it has slid under the back seat and I can't get to it. In the end, I got back out of Savannah and pissed in between her and the car parked next to her, a brand new Hummer. I pissed all over the driver's side tire.

Now relieved and SaVannah legally paid and parked, I took the long shuffle over to S&S and got seated promptly at a nice table for 1 or 2 with a view of the ocean, although it's not really much to see, just water. I ordered the Halibut lunch special, which featured two cuts of Halibut, filet stuffed with Alaska Crab and Halibut Medallions encrusted with an Asiago Cheese breading. Supposedly according to the waiter the medallions have a consistency closer to Scallops which I still like (as much as I like any food eating these days anyhow), but I don't agree with that after sampling them. The meal was accompanied also by Mashed Yukon Gold Alaska Potatoes and briefly steamed heirloom broccoli. I also ordered a glass of Pinot Grigio to wash it down with. No Red Wines on the Wine List, and I am not a big fan of White Wine. It's a Fish place of course, and you're not supposed to have Red Wine with Fish if you are an epicure.

My hope was that eating an expensive and well prepared meal it would encourage me to eat more of it, but this didn't work on this occasion. The Crab Stuffed Fillet was the best, I had 3 bites of that. 2 Bites of the Asiago encrusted Halibut medallions. 2 forkfulls of the Alaska Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes. One forkful of the al dente broccoli which I couldn't chew, if I finish it I will need to steam it some more. All the rest went in a Doggie Bag, about 2/3rd of the meal now in my fridge as leftovers. I'll see what I can work through of that tomorrow. This meal cost $50, but $15 of it was paid for by the Gift Card I got at Dr. A&V's office. icon_sunny

Now it is back on the road for the final leg of this journey, the trip back home to the Valley which was uneventful except for the fact I found myself nodding off from exhaustion and became worried I would fall asleep at the wheel. I kept jarring myself back to wakefulness each time I drifted off looking around the road though, and made it to the offices in one piece. After checking in at the desk, I sat down in one of the chairs and immediately fell asleep, but not sure how long, maybe 20 minutes.

On shuffling my way to the back to the exam room, the intake nurse wanted to do ANOTHER set of vitals on me. That would have been my 3rd for the day. I recused myself from this and told her to call the Anchorage office, they had done them 3 hours earlier. She was amenable to that.

https://i.imgflip.com/3vtg9.jpg Finally the Great Man arrived to discuss the problems and what to do about them. Unlike the Notalgia Paresthetica, I have no firm idea of the cause of the edema in my legs and neither does the Pro from Dover. With no idea what is causing it, all that he can suggest is to treat the symptom, but none of the treatments thus far have done jack shit. The cardiac workup came out OK, the Blood workup OK and the latest imaging on my leg veins also OK, in that it doesn't look likely to be a cause of the edema. So in this consult he is referring me to a physical therapy center here in the valley that does massages and the like to push the fluid around and hopefully remove some of the discomfort from having legs that look like watermelons. Another one I do not know if Medicaid will pay for. Medicaid don't pay, I don't go.

In terms of possible causes, the most likely one that came up in the discussion was POOR NUTRITION, specifically lack of protein in the diet which sometimes cause edema. This is a good possibility since my nutrition is positively atrocious, but in terms of eating real food I don't see a lot I can do about it. I simply can't stomach much food. I will go out tomorrow and buy some Protein Shakes and see if I can stomach that stuff better.

In terms of solutions, I brought up the possibility of amputation of the lower portion of my legs below the knee. He was very against this, saying it would put me in a wheel chair. I am going to be in a wheel chair soon enough anyhow. At least this way it gets rid of some of the pain and discomfort. We won't be going down this route anytime too soon though. When I start showing up for consults in a wheel chair anyhow though, he will have less of a convincing argument.

Final stop of the day before returning to the digs was at the gas pump, to refill SaVannah and get the first accurate assessment of her gas mileage. After the trip to Talkeetna, local driving there then local driving back here in the Valley, then the drive to Anchorage and local driving there, the tank was down to just over the 1/4 full mark and the odometer at 323 miles. The odometer is NOT linear, it goes down faster once below the halfway mark. After doing the fillup in came out to a little less than 23 gallons, working out to an average around 15mpg, what I expected. A BIG IMPROVEMENT over the Tioga though!

Once back home, I sat down at the keyboard to write a couple of posts, but found I was too fatigued to do it and so went to take a nap. Instead of the posts, you got a nice long winded RE style blog, 3500 words worth in about 3.5 hours. That is averaging 1000 words/hour. icon_sunny All written in 1 draft, stream of consciousness. No outline. No edits except for typos. How many writers can pull off that stunt? Hope you enjoyed it as much as I didn't enjoy the day that inspired it.

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Offline RE

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RE Gets a Stealth Van!: SaVannah Ventilation Solution
« Reply #53 on: June 22, 2017, 01:36:53 AM »
As regular readers of this thread are aware, I have been looking for good solutions to getting the HOT AIR out of SaVannah when in enviroments where the SUN is shining down on the van and turning it into a rolling GREENHOUSE due to the vast expanse of glass on this vehicle.  Converted to a real greenhouse once parked permanently due to lack of gas, with hydroponics it could probably supply half your daily needs for nourishment. lol.  Of course, given that I am inhabiting the van, getting rid of the HOT AIR is a BIG JOB! lol.

Several ideas/suggestions have already been proposed, and with the exception of one of my own ideas of having a Custom Installation done of exhaust fans in the rear of the roof, I am experimenting with all of them.  I eliminated the custom installation from the list after visiting with the RV pros at Valley RV to get an estimate on this, which comes near $1000.  That Dog won't Hunt.  I am NOT going to pay $1000 just to move air through the cabin!

Other suggestions have been made, notably DBs suggestion to use a marine bilge blower rather than a straight fan to exhaust the hot air.  That one is on order and shipped, according to tracking from UPS, so should get here in the next couple of days.

Arriving today however was a new 12V DC Fan, 12" in Diameter, aka a Full FOOT.  How much air a fan can push is proportional to the square of its diameter or radius, for a given rpm (fan blade design also matters, but not that much, they are mostly optimized for the given speed the fan runs at).  The Bilge Blower fan is 3" in diameter.  So this fan given the same rpm will push 16X as much air as the 3" one in the bilge blower will, but it doesn't operate at the same rpm, it's slower.  I am not sure how much slower, but it's not 16X slower that is for sure.  Runs on the same type of electric motor.  I would bet on half the speed.

So, upon arrival I did a temporary install of the new fan in the Passenger side window.  Simple proceedure of rolling down the window, then rolling back up until the fan was jammed into place.  Turning on the fan, it moves a SHIT LOAD of air through the small cabin of the van, and this is without sealing the rest of the window, which I need to cut out a cardboard surround for.


I have experience with this, when my ex-wife and I first got married, we were sharing a house in Larchmont, NY with a couple of other 20-somethings and we had the Attic Room as our personal space in the house.  By far the biggest, much bigger than the two bedrooms on the floor below, but of course can be HOT if not well ventilated.  Nicely though, this attic was floor through, with windows on either end.  We installed the biggest fan that would fit on one window as an exhaust fan pointing OUT, and sealing it tight surrounding it.  Open up the window on the other side of the attic, you have an INSTANT 5-10mph breeze coming through the attic.  It was plenty comfortable through most days in summer in Larchmont, since we were not usually actually in the room during the day.  On the days we were, we had an air condiioner I could drop in the window and cool it down that way.

The limitation on using this method is that it is NOT by any means "Stealth".  A big ass fan in the passenger side window running at night is a pretty good indicator somebody is sleeping in the van to the local Gestapo of course. lol.  However, in MOST circumstances I would use it in such as in Truckstops and Rest Areas and FREE Parking day campsites, no problem.  EZ and fast to set up and get running, less than 5 minutes there.

I will of course have the Bilge Blower as a Stealth Backup.  That will be completely invisible from the exterior, and mostly silent from outside as well.

The whole ventilation plan is now coming in at around $100.

I am now moving on to getting the Solar Panels installed instead of spending money on ventilation.  Mechanical upgrade to the tranny and tow package and suspension estimate to come on Friday.  Also looking at RV Wind Turbines for more supplemental electrical generation.

RE
« Last Edit: June 22, 2017, 01:38:52 AM by RE »
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Offline Nearingsfault

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Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
« Reply #54 on: June 22, 2017, 08:56:34 AM »
Bigger panel, bigger battery, and a better charge controller are probably  better investments then  wind. The charge controller alone can give you a 30 percent increase in production especially on a flat roof mount.
If its important then try something, fail, disect, learn from it, try again, and again and again until it kills you or you succeed.

Offline Eddie

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Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
« Reply #55 on: June 22, 2017, 10:42:21 AM »
These people are the best I've ever found for RV kits. Lots of good info on their site.

https://www.solar-electric.com/learning-center/mobile-marine-rv/rv-solar-electric-systems-information
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline RE

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Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
« Reply #56 on: June 22, 2017, 02:12:50 PM »
Quote from: DavidB
Bigger panel, bigger battery, and a better charge controller are probably  better investments then  wind. The charge controller alone can give you a 30 percent increase in production especially on a flat roof mount.

Not if you are parked somewhere it is cloudy and windy.  Where I live, we get a lot more wind than we do sun.

I'm going to have them mounted on hinges to tilt up when parked.  I'll look inot a better charge controller.  Which one would you recommend?  My panels are, sadly, 12V.  If I had it to do over again I would have bought 48V panels.

These people are the best I've ever found for RV kits. Lots of good info on their site.

https://www.solar-electric.com/learning-center/mobile-marine-rv/rv-solar-electric-systems-information

I'll check them out, but even if they aren't the best, I am not going to buy new panels even though I am sure there are better ones on the market now.  What I got is what I got.

RE
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Offline Eddie

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Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
« Reply #57 on: June 22, 2017, 04:35:28 PM »
Just get an MPPT charge controller, and make sure the low voltage side has big enough wire to prevent a serious voltage drop. I wouldn't trust just anybody to mount solar panels on my van either, if they're going to be permanently mounted. Tricky job. And get a voltmeter for the battery bank.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline RE

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Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
« Reply #58 on: June 22, 2017, 04:47:38 PM »
Just get an MPPT charge controller, and make sure the low voltage side has big enough wire to prevent a serious voltage drop. I wouldn't trust just anybody to mount solar panels on my van either, if they're going to be permanently mounted. Tricky job. And get a voltmeter for the battery bank.

They aren't "just anybody".  It's Valley RV, which is the biggest RV repair place in the Mat-Su Valley, and there are a LOT of RVs up here.  They are 5 weeks out in making appointments this time of year.  At $115/hour, I certainly hope they know what they are doing.  Price doesn't work with doctors though, so no sure thing there.  You got an alternative plan?

RE
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Offline Eddie

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Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
« Reply #59 on: June 22, 2017, 05:02:19 PM »
Sounds like they're pros. Good.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

 

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