Mobile Traveler since 1961

Discussion in 'Camping/Outdoor Living' started by Camper_Bob, May 7, 2014.

  1. Camper_Bob

    Camper_Bob Member

    I did have woodstove in my steppy that a previous owner had installed, I did use it a couple of times, but found my kerosene heater to be so much more convenient.

    With 2 x 7 gallon jugs of kerosene thats 3+ months of heat, cooking, lights, etc. Can you imagine how much wood it would take for that same 3 months?

    If you were camping where you cut wood as needed, maybe I could see it, but wood takes up a lot of space and is heavy too.
  2. Camper_Bob

    Camper_Bob Member

    Safe travels my friend, and remember to never drive faster than your guardian angel can fly! :sultan:
  3. ♥ ♣ :sunny: OldWolf... It's GREAT To SEE You *POPPING* In More Often! :daisy: ♥ I Rejoined Hip Forums In January 2014, After Being Away For A Few Years! ♣ I Used To Interact With You A Lot Here In The Early Days {Daze} Of The Horrific Warmongering George W. Bush Presidency {Obama Is Just As BAD!} ♣ In Those Days Hip Forums Was Extremely Active & Had Many Truly Mystical Wise Beings ~ Such As Your Wonderful & Wise Sublime SELF! ♣ The Old Hippies Group Was Then *Buzzing* With Lots Of Wizdom & Interaction Daily ~ You Were A Main Profound Blessing There! ALL Of The Groups & Forums Had In Depth Communication & Quality People! ♣ Now, No One Posts In The Old Hippies Group... I Have Posted A Few Times There Since I Rejoined Under This New Name ... But, That Old Hippies Group Is Non~Active! ♣ Things Have Really Changed Since The Wonderfully Active Goode Olde Days Here! I Miss A Lot Of The Truly *Wise Ones!* Of Loving~Kindness! ♣ But, Now People Become An Official FULL MEMBER Of Hip Forums & Have More Options & Features ~ After Posting Just 20 Posts!!! ♣ Requesting & Accepting Friend Invites! Posting On Profiles! Sending & Receiving PM's! Joining Groups Etc! ♣ That A Good Thing In Most Cases, I Believe! ♥ :grouphug: ♥ Hot Apple Pie! ~ ENJOY! :pie: ♣ ♥

  4. oldwolf

    oldwolf Waysharing-not moderating Super Moderator

    Yes, much has changed.
    The net offers a reflection to the world.
    It has not been a positive statement.
    Too many have isolated themselves, and think that striking the keyboard is the same a Doing. Almost as bad a thinking that talking is the same as Doing - aye ? Looking in the mirror often shows one how to laugh at oneself.
    Doing is the living of your Life in such a Way as you Become the Being you Know in your heart you are capable of Being
    May we all strive to Open ourSelfs the More

    Blessings along your Way (often the lesson we learn from - which means we act from that knowledge)

    Namaste (my spirit bows to your spirit)
  5. sassypickins

    sassypickins Guest

    Hi Camper Bob ~ I think you are the same person I read and enjoyed on another site and I am glad to have found you again. I am starting my van build and would appreciate knowing a little more about your dc house system, which as I recall is dc and fairly minimal. I'm hoping you are the one who has the small generator you built that quick charges your house battery, is that right? If true, does that mean you only do the first stage of charging and call it good? This got me thinking maybe there are two ways to go with getting a house battery - Buy a new spendy one that requires a lot of monitoring and maintaining to fully charge and really get my money's worth out of, or buy a used one cheap that could be quick-charged until it dies for real -- and would I be a tiny bit green by milking the last bit of life out of an already used and previously discarded battery? I don't know the average difference in cost of used vs new, so maybe I am way off track.

  6. mtran2000

    mtran2000 Guest


    Can you tell me more about disaster relief jobs and how to obtain one? I would like to travel and work in that field. I wanted to send you private message but not sure how to.
  7. dcw7

    dcw7 Guest


    This is a cool thread, thanks. I have a few questions about cargo vs. window vans.

    - Can you explain the difference in safety features?
    - Can you explain why they drive better, quieter, and get better gas mileage?
  8. Camper_Bob

    Camper_Bob Member


    I'm not sure I'm the guy you're looking for, but like most old timers, I do indeed have a 12v DC gas powered generator.

    I've been using $20 recycled type batteries. I think my current house battery is about 5 years old now, so the price may have gone up some.

    It takes about 15-30 minutes, once per week to recharge my house battery with my generator. As far as I know, this is a full charge.

    When I bought a set of batteries from a battery exchange type place, I told the fellow what I was doing, and he recommended getting battery cut-off's for both my house & starting batteries. These prevent the batteries from being discharged below 11.8 volts. This could be why the recharge time is relatively short.

    At a Rimrock Ramblers gathering at the end of April, I met up with some other old timers who are now charging their house batteries with a simple lighter plug to lighter plug jumper cable system. I decided to give that a try, and so far I haven't needed to run my generator at all to keep my house battery charged. Even so, I highly recommend having a 12v DC generator anyway.

    If you already have a house battery, use it till it drops, no sense on wasting money on a new one until you need to.

    The general consensus of the old timers is that your house battery(s) should last at least a week between charges. I agree. With my system, a single battery is sufficient, but I also use very little power, mainly just my laptop. Depending in your usage, you might need more than one battery.

    Here's some links to help you build a generator:"]How To Make a 12v Generator power source - YouTube

    Between those you should be able to pick up all of the neccessary parts and/or knowledge to successfully build a 12v DC generator to charge your battery(s).

    Here's a quickie about how to build a handy 12v battery box."]Build a portable power pack for $25 - YouTube

    These boxes can be bought ready made on ebay or amazon, look for "trolling motor battery box".

    There are many ways to charge your battery. The easiest and cheapest is to charge it while you're driving, by plugging in a lighter to lighter jumper cable.

    Here's some pics of a store bought 12v generator, a home built one, my battery box, and the jumper cable.
  9. Camper_Bob

    Camper_Bob Member


    Probably the best way to get current information is to google it:

    We did hurricane relief, tornado relief, flood relief, sometimes support services for the fire fighters at forest or wild fires. The jobs range from physical labor, to more mental labor and everywhere in between.

    Once you're in, if you need something different, they seem to be very accommodating, and will try very hard to keep you if they can. I never had to worry about job security.

    I really enjoyed it, helping people in need just gives you an inner satisfaction, that is really great, and the work never got tiring to me.

    Good luck, and I hope you can join the ranks of some of our non-miltary and often unrecognized heroes.
  10. +-Freedom-+

    +-Freedom-+ Member

    Hey CamperBob, awesome thread! Did you work with a specific disaster relief company? Like FEMA or UNICEF? Sorry if you already stated earlier I did not catch it. I am looking into doing a similar thing but with a more rv looking camper van.
  11. sassypickins

    sassypickins Guest

    Hi again CamperBob - Thanks for the reply about used batteries and homemade 12v generators. You helped out up in Oso, didn't you?
  12. Camper_Bob

    Camper_Bob Member

    When I joined it was called the Disaster Corps, but it has since changed to AmeriCorps and The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).

    Here's a link:
  13. Camper_Bob

    Camper_Bob Member

    No, I'm retired now, but I'm sure I probably know some of the people who did.

    You might be talking about David Shadow, he is a kind of well known long time van dweller that volunteers at many disasters. He had just come down from Oso for a van gathering I attended. He's quite a character, he regularly puts on demo's at van shows on how to build a camper van in just a few hours, then auctions off the camper vans to raise money for charity.

    I think I saw some posts from him a while back on Bob Well's site. I'm not sure whether he might be lurking here or not. I think he was headed south for tornado or flood relief work last I heard.

    David Shadow was one of the best of the best volunteers I ever had the pleasure of working with. He was a "Jack Of All Trades", and willing to help in literally any capacity needed. We could have used 100 more like him. I tried to get him signed on officially once, but he turned it down, said he didn't need to get paid to do what he enjoyed.

    David was the one who taught me how to create my 12v system, build a generator, and gave many of us the gift of 12v Air Conditioning. The last thing he taught us was how to not need the generator hardly at all. He gave every single van dweller and RVer who worked disaster relief a much better life style through his teachings.

    I can only hope to inspire a small fraction of the people he has helped over the years.
  14. Camper_Bob

    Camper_Bob Member

    Passenger vehicles have to meet certain safety standards that commercial vehicles don't.

    Nobody cares if a cargo van driver is comfortable. The cargo vans drive more like a truck. A tin can going down the road. Passenger vans are designed to give the driver and passengers a comfortable and safe ride.

    Cargo vans are usually geared lower because they are used on city streets with possibly heavy loads. The lower gearing translates into lower gas mileage. Passenger vans are geared for both city and highway driving, so will usually get much better gas mileage, especially on road trips.

    I met a fellow at a rally one time, that had made a cabin out of his cargo van which had the same engine as mine. He asked me about my MPG and I told him 15/18 and he told me he only got 6/10. He traded out his rear end for a passenger model, and his MPG increased to similar to mine.

    Cargo vans are frequently beat to death too, rode hard and put away wet. Passenger vans have usually had much better care and maintenance, and have fewer miles on them as well.
  15. sassypickins

    sassypickins Guest

    CamperBob, I believe you're right that I thought you were David Shadow and now I know why you sounded like him, since he taught you about the 12v system! He was a wealth of information, but he hasn't posted on the other site for a while. I hope to run across him again.

    Your latest post about cargo vs passenger vans is interesting. I didn't know about the gearing difference and I recently bought a 2002 Ford E-350 extended base cargo van with a hi-top. It was advised I leave the overdrive on all the time, which I do in town or flat highway. What's your advice on that? Thanks!
  16. Camper_Bob

    Camper_Bob Member

    I'm no expert on overdrives, but I have heard that leaving them on all of the time can lead to big problems.

    I think I would seek advice from a mechanic at a ford dealership.

    Next time I run into David, I'll let him know you miss him, and invite him to join in here, as I would love to have him as a regular myself.

    Safe travels my friend, and keep us advised of your build. The more the merrier I always say!
  17. +-Freedom-+

    +-Freedom-+ Member

    Am I behind the loop? What is a 12 volt air conditioner.. If there is a way to have solar powered a/c in a small van or motorhome that is unbelievable!
  18. Camper_Bob

    Camper_Bob Member

    12v Air conditioning is easy enough to accomplish, solar panels are questionable at best. Most old timers have totally abandoned trying to get solar panel systems to work, and have opted for gas powered 12v DC generators for backup power, and charging while driving most of the time.

    With the A/C you can use just water, or add ice. A big block of ice will last almost a week.

    Running the generator once per week for 20-30 minutes to keep your house battery charged will use under 1 gallon of gas per month.

    Also see post #48 in this thread.

    Holler if you need more.
  19. +-Freedom-+

    +-Freedom-+ Member

    Thanks! That is awesome they are hiring in my area, but it says they help with paying for housing and for school. How did you support yourself without getting paid because this seems like something I would love to do.
  20. Camper_Bob

    Camper_Bob Member

    I don't really know what their current pay scheme is, when I retired I was on a $2500 a month salary. When I started I think it was per hour when working, and sometimes I would take temp jobs in between stuff.

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