Trials and Tribulations: Dry campng with our Solar Panel - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-20-2008, 11:55 AM   #15
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Lynne,
Questions which come to mind:
Is this an example of every day life with Peter? Continuous lectures on energy sources which morph into literary masterpieces? And does he leave you hanging to wait for the next installment?
There must be a definite lack of boredom around the old homestead! Do you sometimes sense a need to retaliate? Just a tiny bit?
Or are we to wait, with bated breath, for a full-blown sequel from the distaff side?

Peter,
Your serial's next edition is generating anxiety amongst your FGRV followers, and we're hanging on, right along with everyone else!


Kurt & Ann K.

PS,
Are you perhaps relating a little of your personal example of "The Peter Principle" at work?
We can all relate when things go slightly awry!
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Old 09-20-2008, 02:08 PM   #16
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Lynne,
Questions which come to mind:
Is this an example of every day life with Peter? Continuous lectures on energy sources which morph into literary masterpieces? And does he leave you hanging to wait for the next installment?
There must be a definite lack of boredom around the old homestead! Do you sometimes sense a need to retaliate? Just a tiny bit?
Hi Kurt,

Twelve years ago when Peter proposed to me , he cautioned: "I never promise that life with me will be easy, only that it will always be interesting."

Not every day is "interesting", thank goodness. But our married life together has certainly taken some unexpected twists and turns. On this trip we spent two weeks being together 24x7 and wished that the trip could have gone on longer. What more could I ask for in a marriage partner? I'm a happy camper [pun intended] and watch with bemusement as he puzzles out the various issues with the Scamp setup.

I'm not hanging in wait on each installment (I already know how this particular tale ends) but I still enjoy reading the segments to see how this little adventure gets relayed in story form.

--Lynne

p.s. Retaliation? I'm his wife, I have my ways!
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Old 09-20-2008, 02:28 PM   #17
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It wasn't even one in the morning when Lynne needed to get up for a bathroom break. While she was up she enjoyed a moment to look at the warm glow coming from the ceramic heater, but as she watched the pilot light on the heater sputtered and the flame front across the ceramic element rippled in a most uncharacteristic way.

Then it went out.
Mankind did not "invent" fire. Fire is a part of the natural world, and it's been around since mankind first stood upright and walked. Early man idolized fire, and worshiped or feared both fire gods and fire demons throughout his history.

Fire is a natural part of Yellowstone National Park, too. In 1988, following a damp and rainy spring season that fostered lots of early season plant growth, Yellowstone was in the grip of a drought, the driest summer in the region's recorded history, but there was nothing to indicate that this particular summer would be any different from the last 125 summer seasons since the park's inception.

By mid-June, 20 fires with natural origins had started in Yellowstone National Park. In keeping with park policy, all of them were allowed to burn and follow their natural course. More than half of these fires ran their course and burned themselves out, and the remaining nine were being closely monitored.

Then, on June 15 the storms came. Dry lightning ignited dozens of spot fires within the park's borders. The abundant, now dry vegetation was ready to burn and within a single week the number of acres burned within Yellowstone increased one-hundred fold, and the fires did not go out. Fanned by high winds, the fires expanded and the largest and most expensive fire fighting effort in the history of mankind began. Yet mankind's efforts and energy were no match for the flames nature had started. They continued to burn. August 20th was the worst day of the fire. High winds whipped the fire into a frenzy that consumed 120,000 acres of Yellowstone park, and the park continued to burn until more than a third of the park, 800,000 acres went up.

All man's efforts were puny in the face of Nature's fury. She started this fire and only she would put it out. On September 11th it rained.

It is September 9th, twenty years after the great fire and it is 1:00 AM . The sky over Yellowstone is dry and clear, and my ancient, long dead ancestors are laughing at me. All of them. Even the dour one who barely crack a smile when someone slips on a banana peel.

They laugh because sitting before them, naked on his haunches in a camper-trailer, their descendant and pinnacle of their combined evolutionary effort is trying to make fire in Yellowstone Park. Despite having tools they never dreamed of like matches, push-button ignition, and "Aim-n-Flame" trigger-pull butane lighters, things are not going well.

I have no idea why the Portable Buddy heater is acting up this way. It doesn't act like there's a lack of oxygen for the flame to burn with. If that were the case my ancestors would probably laugh uproariously, high-five one another and welcome me to the party, but just to be sure I've opened a window so that lots of fresh, oxygen-rich, twenty degree air can rush into the trailer.

"Go outside! You have wood!" they laugh.

It's an odd problem. I can light the heater's pilot, but instead of burning a demur little pilot-light flame, the pilot ignites a furious jet of propane that doesn't even start to burn until it's half an inch past the thermocouple that controls the flow of gas to the heater.

A thermocouple is a device that makes electricity when it gets hot. All gas heaters with pilot lights have thermocouples as part of their safety system. It works like this: a demur little pilot light flame heats the thermocouple, which makes electricity that keeps the gas valve open so gas can flow to the demure little pilot light flame. So the thermocouple is part of a safety system that makes sure the propane the heater puts out is actually being burned, not venting into the air and creating an explosive fire hazard.

The usual lighting sequence for the Portable Buddy goes like this: You rotate the control knob to the "Pilot" position and push it down to start the flow of gas, then push the ignition button. The pilot light then glows demurely, heats the thermocouple and after a few seconds you can release the control knob and the pilot will stay lit. My problem right now is the flame isn't getting the thermocouple hot, so when I release the control valve, the pilot torch goes out.

The really maddening thing is the heater was working earlier that evening. It turned out that this was to be a chronic problem: The heater would ignite normally, then after an hour or two of making lovely heat for the trailer, it would go out. I can only speculate that something inside the heater that starts out cool gets warmed by the heater, then somehow starts blasting propane through the pilot jet. Once this happens the jet of propane is blowing too hard to burn in its customary location, and ignites well past the thermocouple. The thermocouple cools, and the gas shuts off.

The really important thing right now is I haven't figured this pattern of behavior out yet. So, after twenty-degree air has been spilling through an open window for twenty minutes both I and the heater have cooled down a bit, and the pilot light finally ignites and stays lit. It is at this point that the primitive, naked man rises from his creation of fire and raises his fist in celebration. I may have made goose-flesh in the 20-degree breeze, but I have been rewarded. I have made fire.

A warm, cheery red glow emanates from the Portable Buddy heater as I head back to bed, heedless of the chuckling sound my dour old ancestor seems to be making. Everyone else in the gallery is rolling on the floor.
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Old 09-20-2008, 02:34 PM   #18
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I'm not hanging in wait on each installment (I already know how this particular tale ends) but I still enjoy reading the segments to see how this little adventure gets relayed in story form.
Yup, Lynne already knows how this ends. This is one story that doesn't have to be embellished, just told like it is. Or was.

I'm glad you're all enjoying my story. I have to get some real work done now, but will get the last chapter or two written by Sunday or Monday night.


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Old 09-20-2008, 05:05 PM   #19
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Now you have us waiting too for the next installment. Get on with the story or we will roaste a peep in your honor at the NOG. Your story is keeping us amused while we work down here in California.
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Old 09-20-2008, 08:43 PM   #20
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can't wait to have the time to read this thread....Lloyd
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Old 09-20-2008, 09:09 PM   #21
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Having just bought a Mr. Buddy Portable to heat my home while Im at work. Im at work 15-18 or so hours a day. (thats what happens when you own a biz). My home is as big as a large Egg, 12x16 w/4" thick wood walls.

I am disapointed to hear that on the low setting the Mr. Buddy Portable uses so much gas. How many portable bottles is in a typical b.Q tank?

Was hoping to use Mr. Buddy Portable to keep things just warm enough to not freeze my water when its 32deg. outside. Still debating how to heat things when I am home. Not really enough room for a wood stove unless I can find something that would go under my cabin. It sits on a Mobile Home Chasis so I could put something under it and cut out the floor .

Sorry... dont want to take away from your elequint story.

Back to the Tale.
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Old 09-20-2008, 09:46 PM   #22
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Quote:
Having just bought a Mr. Buddy Portable to heat my home while Im at work. Im at work 15-18 or so hours a day. (thats what happens when you own a biz). My home is as big as a large Egg, 12x16 w/4" thick wood walls.

I am disapointed to hear that on the low setting the Mr. Buddy Portable uses so much gas. How many portable bottles is in a typical b.Q tank?

Was hoping to use Mr. Buddy Portable to keep things just warm enough to not freeze my water when its 32deg. outside. Still debating how to heat things when I am home. Not really enough room for a wood stove unless I can find something that would go under my cabin. It sits on a Mobile Home Chasis so I could put something under it and cut out the floor .

Sorry... dont want to take away from your elequint story.

Back to the Tale.
Typical portable tank is one pound. A 20 lb. tank is . . . 20 lbs. One pound tanks are not an economical way to power any appliance. I use them for convenience only. My Q runs on a 10 lb. tank, which lasts several trips. I use the one pound tank for the Coleman lantern so it doesn't fall over.

My Coleman catalytic heater would last almost until morning in the tent trailer, keeping the temp in the tolerable range. Didn't die from carbon monoxide poisoning, but that's only because the trailer was so full of air leakage, and I opened a flap when using it.

I have a tiny 400 watt oil-filled radiator that I used last time we took the Escape out. I don't know how efficient it is since I wasn't paying for the electricity and Keath had his window open all night. If power comes with your site you may want to look into an electric heater. Safer too.

bags
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Old 09-22-2008, 12:50 AM   #23
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Typical portable tank is one pound. A 20 lb. tank is . . . 20 lbs. One pound tanks are not an economical way to power any appliance. I use them for convenience only. My Q runs on a 10 lb. tank, which lasts several trips. I use the one pound tank for the Coleman lantern so it doesn't fall over.

My Coleman catalytic heater would last almost until morning in the tent trailer, keeping the temp in the tolerable range. Didn't die from carbon monoxide poisoning, but that's only because the trailer was so full of air leakage, and I opened a flap when using it.

I have a tiny 400 watt oil-filled radiator that I used last time we took the Escape out. I don't know how efficient it is since I wasn't paying for the electricity and Keath had his window open all night. If power comes with your site you may want to look into an electric heater. Safer too.

bags

This might work for your small house..........(click link)

http://www.boatownersworld.com/dickinsonma...laces_p9000.htm
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Old 09-23-2008, 06:41 PM   #24
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Peterh,
Where are you? Can't wait for the next installment!
Pamela
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Old 09-23-2008, 11:43 PM   #25
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"Twelve years ago when Peter proposed to me flowers.gif, he cautioned: "I never promise that life with me will be easy, only that it will always be interesting.""

I wish I'd thought to tell my ex-wife that when I proposed -- Things may have turned out differently! It was usually interesting, however!

George, the Coleman cats and the Buddy heaters don't produce carbon monoxide, however they do use oxygen which is why they have O2 depletion systems and require a number of square inches of ventilation (the Coleman Black Cat, 3000 Btu, requires 10 square inches of opening when running; it will run for 7-8 hours on one cannister of LP, according to Coleman).

When heating, I keep the window in the door and the window over the range both open a little bit which provides cross-ventilation.

Personally, I don't like any burning appliance to be running at night, so I should my Empire unvented LP-ODS heater off when I go to bed and rely on good sleeping bags rather than blankets, etc. When I get up in the morning, I fire up the Empire and start making coffee on the LP range, which heats the place up quickly (Scamp 13' doesn't have much volume to heat up!).

I consider the sleeping bag as a piece of survival equipment that is not subject to running out of fuel or electricity (and it has artificial insulation, not down, so it will even work when wet).

Since I don't have a hot water heater or a fridge, the only LP I use is for the heater and the range -- A ten-pound tank lasts a long time for me, with a steak-saver and a couple of cannisters as backup. Since the only electric I use is the lights, my single battery lasts a long time (I have actually gone more than a month several times without recharging it -- That's not good for the battery, however).
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Old 09-24-2008, 10:30 AM   #26
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Everyone else in the gallery is rolling on the floor.
Wait a minute...you ARE talking about our dearly beloved fiberglass trailers, aren't you? Where is the room that you are talking about for everyone to roll on the floor?? (sorry...I am a details person...)

Do you write for the soaps? We are still on night two!!! Can we have some more please? (taken from Oliver twist, holding out his bowl...I took writers privilege and changed the line to plural, as I think I speak for many...)

Pam
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Old 09-24-2008, 09:36 PM   #27
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we're waiting!!!!
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Old 09-24-2008, 11:07 PM   #28
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I'm sorry. I got a tummy bug Sunday night and was feeling quite sick earlier this week. There are places in my house where there's a place to sit, but no where to put a laptop. I've started the next chapter and should finish it this evening or tomorrow afternoon.

--Peter
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