Which Casita would be best for heavy computer use? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV
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Old 04-16-2015, 06:36 AM   #21
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Name: Casey
Trailer: Escape
FT Travel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dougtuck View Post
If you add a sine wave inverter to your trailer you won't need the APC UPS. In a power outage the house battery and sine wave inverter will keep your computer running without interruption. All the UPS is is a (small) battery and inverter.

I'm a software developer and run a macbook pro + Monitor, router, WiFi booster, cellular booster, NAS drive and Apple TV. I run them boondocking (charged off solar) as well as plugged in at campsites.

One item I would recommend would be an RV Surge Suppressor. I use this one when plugged into a campground power: Portable Surge Guard with LCD Display, 30 Amp - TRC 34830 - Surge Protectors - Camping World

-Doug
How long can you run your setup before the battery runs out? And what size battery do you have in your rig?
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Old 04-16-2015, 07:17 AM   #22
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Thumbs up wall

can you mount the mac on the wall like a tv in the dinnite swivel out when working redo the table amake it bigger under the mac fold out to 30 inch. that gives you more room for your big chair fold it all up when not in use ?
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Old 04-21-2015, 03:46 PM   #23
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Name: Doug
Trailer: Casita
California
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I personally wouldn't consider mounting a computer to the wall of a Casita, especially if its an iMac. The Casita bangs around a lot on the road, the computer would probably be too heavy.

I have a 24" Samsung HD Monitor/TV mounted to the wall of my Liberty. The Samsung is light weight and has excellent clarity connected to my Macbook Pro. Its mounted to the side of the cabinet above the refrigerator. I removed the carpeting inside the cabinet, reinforced the wall with 2x4s, and laid the carpet back over the wood. I glued the wood to the fiberglass plus added screws with caps to further brace the fiberglass. The Monitor is mounted on an articulating arm. I removed one of the vents to the cabinet and installed a cable port hatch (from camping world) so I could use the cabinet for power cables and other gear. I sometimes (when I don't need dual monitors) put my Macbook Pro 15" inside the cabinet cabled to the monitor and sit at the table using a bluetooth keyboard and touchpad.

Its traveled 700 miles so far without problems. Since I've installed the Shock Kit on the Casita the items inside seem to travel much easier (no cushions on the floor, cabinets stay shut, things I put on the seats stay on the seats during travel, etc).

Attached are 2 photos one shows the TV mounted and the other is a shot of the cable port installed where one of the vents were. Note that the articulating arm comes with a removable mount. I can take the Monitor out if I choose to.

-Doug
Attached Thumbnails
TvOnWall.jpg   TvCablePort.jpg  

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Old 04-21-2015, 04:32 PM   #24
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Name: K
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Originally Posted by dougtuck View Post
Since I've installed the Shock Kit on the Casita the items inside seem to travel much easier
Is the "Shock Kit" the stuff you built by hand, or is it a commercial add-on for the Casita?
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Old 04-21-2015, 06:19 PM   #25
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A lot of people (myself included) take WiFi and internet access for granted. When you are on the road it is not as accessible as you might think. If you can find free access it is usually painfully slow and the campgrounds that offer it usually charge a premium for it. The other option is you cell phone so you might want to consider how much data you will be using and how much it will cost.
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Old 04-21-2015, 07:46 PM   #26
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Name: Doug
Trailer: Casita
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The Shock Kit I was referring to is from Perfect Casita (Casita Shock Absorber Kit).

Internet on the road is something I've had to spend a lot of effort and $$ on. Its rarely a certainty that you'll get decent (or any) signal/speed from any one source depending on where you travel. I have an iPhone on ATT with a hotspot plan, a MiFi with a Verizon pay as you go plan, a Wilson weBoost Drive M (Amazon.com: weBoost Drive 4G-M Cell Phone Booster Kit: Cell Phones & Accessories) cellular booster, and a Pepwave Surf for WiFi boosting. I'd also recommend external high gain antennas. Most of the time I can get very good internet. My fallback is to drive my tow vehicle to a coffee shop, but I haven't had to since I've had my current collection of systems together.

I prefer more rustic settings, State Parks and Thousand Trails preserves. Finding internet at these campsites is more difficult than if you stay the more commercial RV Parks. I can usually get either ATT or Verizon data signal through the booster. Most of the time you'll get Verizon at these parks, but some times you'll get ATT and not Verizon. RV Park internet is my least favorite but good when needed. RV Park networks are generally unreliable, and almost always slow and intermittent. They're also very insecure, so use a WiFi Bridge/firewall like the Pepwave if you must connect. The Thousand Trails parks I've been to have had pretty good WiFi but its always limited range within and right outside the Activity Centers. The Pepwave with external high gain antenna can sometimes pull it in at the site I park in. Try to select a site as close to the activity center as is comfortable.

A good source of information for boosters and antennas is 3GStore (3Gstore.com, 3G/4G Routers, 3G/4G Antennas, 3G/4G Amplifiers & Boosters, Data Cards, WiFi, Data, IP Switch & CloudCam).

-Doug
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Old 04-21-2015, 09:20 PM   #27
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Name: Doug
Trailer: Casita
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Fridaynext, Sorry I missed your question on my power setup. Its still a work in progress, I need more power....

Power, like the internet, can't be take for granted while on the road. It takes planning and discipline to make sure you have enough in all conditions. Replacing the light bulbs that come with a Casita with LED bulbs is a must. If you stay at RV Parks that have Power Hookups, I highly recommend using a Surge Protector like (Portable Surge Guard with LCD Display, 30 Amp - TRC 34830 - Surge Protectors - Camping World). I've run into low voltage conditions at several parks that could have damaged my electronics or appliances. In the summer especially, when all those rigs with dual ACs start up, the power can dip to 90 volts or less in some sites. All my computer gear is always run off the battery+inverter to protect them, the surge protector protects my appliances and converter.

Right now I have a single Optima T31 Yellow Top AGM battery, two 30 watt GoPower Flex solar panels glued to the roof (Solar Flex Kits and Modules (Flat, bendable solar) | Go Power!), a Xantrex 600 watt PureSine inverter, and two 32 Watt folding backpacking solar panels (32.2W Blue Nylon Folding Solar Panel, Our Most Popular Panel) I can move to where the best sun angle is. The backpacking panels fold up small enough to be easy to carry in the Casita closet floor. I've had these for several years (before the Casita) and seemed a good fit for the Casita.

I also use a GoalZero Yeti 400 battery (with its own 30w solar panel) to run the Cell Booster and a few other small gadgets. The T31 battery needs to run the "house" systems in the Casita (refrigerator on gas, LED lights, water pump) so I offload to the GoalZero to make sure I have enough in the T31 to run the "house" systems. (I'm a huge GoalZero fan and have several of their products, Portable Power Packs - Extreme Portable Power Backup - Goal Zero)

I haven't boondocked in my Casita enough yet to really test the capacity, but by my calculations I need to add at least one more T31 to cover for over cast or stormy days. So far I've been able to run my laptop and monitor all day usually 8-10 plus keep my cell phone, iPad, and MiFi charged. This requires that I have sun for 4-5 hours a day to replenish the battery and provide a little extra power during the day. Right now I need to schedule my peak energy use to when the sun is shining. I know I need more power to cover the times when the weather isn't clear and sunny.

I'm in the process of planning for a second T31 battery and a GoPower folding 120w portable solar panel (Portable Solar Kits (120, 80 & 40 watts) | Go Power!). I'm debating where to mount the additional T31. My current thinking is to mount it in the cabinet under the kitchen sink. I don't have the heater option in my Liberty so I have room there. The trailer tongue isn't an option for me and I prefer to not hang anything heavy past the rear bumper. The 2nd T31 should eliminate the need for the GoalZero 400, plus double my external solar panel capacity. I like the GoalZero 400 a lot and will always travel with it.

I travel with a Honda 2000 Companion generator in the bed of my truck for times when there isn't enough sun/solar to keep things charged. Also you can't run the air conditioner off the battery/solar. So far I've only used the generator when I want to run the air conditioner. But I'm currently traveling in northern Oregon and the forecast is clouds and rain for the next few days. It doesn't matter how many watts of solar you travel with, if you don't have sun you need another option to charge the battery(s).

Sorry for the long post. There's a lot more to cover on this topic but this should give you some ideas.


-Doug
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Old 04-22-2015, 04:59 AM   #28
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Mifi

I'm in rural Vermont. Our only source for Internet access is a Verizon Mfi hot spot. Same is true for most of the area. In town hard wired internet is easy to get but not on the back roads. At $10/gig it's not cheap. We avoid all video. It's very fast if you are the only one using it but Verizon has sold it with out concern to capacity. When every kid in the back of the bus decides to talk to every kid in the front of the bus you'll think you're on dial up. Raz
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Old 04-22-2015, 06:06 AM   #29
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Doug,
You and I should put our heads together. I have put as much effort into my power system as you have your ability to get connect ability to the internet. I also have a Casita Liberty and have a system that will meet my electrical power needs. The heart of the system is 2 Trojan T-105 6 volt batteries wired in series to provide 12 volts. I charge them with 5 solar panels arranged in a fixed array mounted on the roof in a way that allows me to collect the sun rays in all directions. At any time I am only collecting on 2 or 3 panels but I don't have to worry about orientation to the sun. I charge and monitor the batteries with Bogart Engineering Trimetric controller and monitor (I highly recommend). The system has been laid out to minimize cable lengths and I am an advocate of large gage wire to connect components. I use 2 inverters. One small 350 watt modified sine wave for the small consuming appliances that don't need pure sine wave and a 1500 watt Magnum Pure Sine wave inverter for the things that require the pure sine watts. The batteries are located in the stock location. To do that I replaced the battery box with one that would hold the Trojans and vented them basically the same as the stock location. Everything is properly fused to protect the 12 volt side of my system. I mounted my Honda 2000I on the tongue under a modified propane cover to protect it. I located it on the tongue to offset the additional weight of the batteries in the back. I disconnected the POS converter because it was not designed to properly charge my batteries so I have two electrical systems (12 volt and 120 volt) The 120 volt system is protected by a Progressive dynamics surge suppressor that protects my sensitive electronics from voltage variations (high and low) and reversed polarity. I have been using this system for over a year and it has performed flawlessly including 9 weeks on the road this last winter with 50% of the time boon docking. Actually we now prefer dry camping in remote locations and we don't feel deprived of the appliances and electronics that consume electricity. Now my biggest concern is water - my next project...
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Old 04-22-2015, 06:17 AM   #30
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if i may add something to what's been said already...once you've decided on a "connection strategy" , i'd suggest you pay some attention to the seating situation. if you're gonna spend a lot of time in front of the one eyed monster proper seating is a must. my spirit deluxe leaves a lot to be desired in the comfortable seating department. i've tried with some success to improve the situation but, i'm not there yet.

p@
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Old 04-27-2015, 01:54 PM   #31
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I don't know if this is remotely what you have in mind of doing but I saw this on Fiberglass RVs 4 sale and thought of you: 2013 Casita Freedom Deluxe | Mississippi Gulf Coast. | Fiberglass RV's For Sale I thought the owner had done a nice job of setting up that table.
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