Posts Tagged ‘doomsday preppers’

PostHeaderIcon Making LED Lights And Finish Gutting The RV

It rained very hard all day again yesterday, so it was a good day for indoor work. I made up some LED lights for my RV and finished the demolition inside my new motorhome.

The first thing I did in the morning was to pour some of the rain water from my 50 gallon tank into my large 275 gallon tank because it was raining very hard and not supposed to let up at all for three days. Now I have about 100 gallons in the large tank.

Then I made up some LED lights for my new RV. I had some cheap LED lights that I got off ebay last year and never used because I got the wrong socket with them. The lights in the RV are bayonet type auto light bulbs using about 15 watts each. That equals just over an amp per light bulb. When you have a bunch of lights on in your RV this can quickly burn up all of your reserve energy in the battery bank.

The LED lights I am using consume only about a watt per unit. That is only a fraction of an amp. You can use about 15 of these and only burn as much energy as a single incandescent light bulb that came with the RV.

For those who are not electronics experts, here is a bit of a run down on amps, watts and volts.

The formula is W = I x V

Watts = Amps x Volts. For some reason they use (I) for Amps.

So in our example above the original light bulb burns 15 watts. At 12 volts this means we are using 1.25 amps per light bulb. 15 W / 12 V = 1.25 I (amps)

The LED light bulb uses about 1 watt. Using our formula this gives us 1 W / 12 V = .083 I (amps)

So we can use a lot more LED light bulbs and get just about the same amount of light per bulb but use way less power.

I had also purchased the proper light bulb sockets from ebay last year so all I had to do was solder the LED bulb to the socket and I have some new RV lights, which I did. Compared side by side, the LED lights look like fluorescent lights next to the standard incandescent light bulbs. But I dont mind the color of the light at all. What is important to me is that they get the job done. The LED lights give off just a little bit less light than the original bulbs. Again, I do not mind so much because I can basically turn on all the lights in the RV and still not burn as much as one of the original bulbs.

I was itching to try out my new Harley Davidson AGM batteries so I brought one inside and hooked it up to my Bedini SSG to restore it. The batteries have been sitting for years unused so they will be badly sulfated inside. They will not be able to be charged with a conventional charger and would normally be junk. The Bedini SSG radiant energy charger can convert the sulfation on the plates back into lead and acid, making the battery usable again.

But when I hooked it up to the SSG, the neon bulb started to flicker. This is sort of a visual fuse and warning. If the neon bulb glows then you are burning up your transistor. When you try to run the SSG without a battery on the output the massive amount of radiant energy has nowhere to go and the transistor will burn up.

This all meant that my new AGM batteries were too badly sulfated for my SSG to recognize and they appeared to be a dead short. So I did the old trick people use when trying to charge a dead battery and grabbed a good battery and connected it in parallel with the dead one. Then the Bedini motor spun up happily. I will leave them on together for a while until the old sulfated battery has been recovered enough to be charged on its own.

I went out to the RV and installed the new LED light bulbs and was satisfied with their performance. They light up the RV well enough for demolition work, which I then started.

I finished ripping out all the carpeting in the motorhome. The toilet was giving me trouble so I gave it a few good, solid kicks and it loosened up for me. Even the retaining nut came loose and I was able to easily remove it by hand. I had to remove the toilet in order to get the carpet out. And I will not be using a standard toilet in the RV. There is nowhere to dump your black water tank in the woods, so I will use a composting toilet from now on.

My neighbor Ed came over to help out a bit. He started stripping off all the window shades, lamps and anything else attached to the walls. He also removed the fresh water tank that stores under the bed. I found mouse filth under the tank and wanted to get it cleaned out. After the tank was out, I saw that there was a supporting board underneath and under that was a crawl space for mice. So we pulled out the entire supporting frame for the water tank. I am very happy we did. There is a huge mouse nest under there. It is about 8 inches x 8 inches x 2.5 feet long of solid mouse mansion. Fortunately there was nobody home.

I have never seen such huge mouse nests in my life. This RV has a lot of extremes in it.

While Ed continued removing all the wall fixtures I scraped off the glued on paneling on the water damaged walls to prepare them for restoration.

By dinner time Ed had to leave me and suddenly ManOfMany Thingz appeared to help out. That was perfect timing. He (Milton) continued stripping off the wall fixtures where Ed had left off. We worked until nearly 10pm. But we got it all pretty much gutted out as far as I want it.

Now it is time for cleaning, sterilizing and washing every surface in the whole RV. I will wash the wood surfaces with vinegar and water. The hard surfaces such as stove and sink will be washed with bleach and water. The hard to reach places such as under the bed areas and around the wires will be sprayed with a bleach and water mixture to sterilize everything. Then I will try my best to wipe everything with a rag.

Without all the help from friends, this project would probably take me months to complete. It is good to have friends, even in the forest.

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PostHeaderIcon Gutting My Off Grid RV And Vehicle Maintenance

Today a bunch of friends came over for a vehicle maintenance day and to help on the off grid property. It finally stopped raining for a day, although the sun never did show itself. We got a lot done today though. In all there were 6 of us working on our vehicles and on the property.

To start the day off, we all had some auto work to do. One had to do an emergency repair on his broken brake lines, another some body repair and myself some electrical work. We had the cars mostly finished by lunch time and then we moved on to some projects on the property.

We worked in the garden a bit and put up better supports for the tomatoes. We also got some more seeds planted today.

But the most exciting thing is that the carpet and foam padding are mostly all torn out of the old motorhome. That was a whole day job in itself and we were not done with it until about 7pm this evening. The TV stand, couch and slide out drawer underneath had to be removed in order to get the carpeting out. There were some other things that had to be pulled out as well.

This old RV was built very well though. Everything is mounted in very strongly with 3 inch long screws. This makes taking it apart a very tough job. The sofa was held down by two 3 inch bolts and two 6 inch long bolts. There were 3 seat belts for the couch as well. That is sort of cool. This means that 5 passengers could safely ride in the motorhome with seat belts.

After working hard all day, we never did get all the carpeting removed, but got a lot of it done. Tearing apart a solidly built motorhome is quite a job. Most of the carpet is gone except for a little bit in the living room and a bit under the toilet in the bathroom. I will have to remove the toilet in order to get that piece of carpet out.

Backing up to Friday, I did not get much done at all. I offered to help a friend out on a “3 hour drive” to see a vehicle he wanted to purchase. This “3 hour drive” turned out to be almost 12 hours total round trip. What a nightmare. We hit traffic in New Jersey which made our trip down turn into over 4 hours one way. I could go on, but just know that driving through NYC and NJ can be quite an adventure.

This meant that all I got done on Friday was to put about 20 gallons of water into my old camper and another 10 gallons of water into the new RV tanks. I had filled the camper water tank in the morning before we left and when we got back, the rain had filled the water barrel back up again. Then my friend helped me get the ten gallons into the motorhome in the pouring rain at about 10pm at night. He sort of felt bad for the trip we had gone through. Anyway, by morning, this too had been replenished by the heavy rain.

The bad news is that when we tried to run the RV water pump, it ran and ran and ran until I shut it off and realized something was wrong. I discovered that I had pumped about 5 gallons of water into the floor of the RV between the water tank and the wall, under the bed. It ran outside though gaps in the motorhome but this means that a mouse must have eaten through a water line. This in turn means that I will have to repair it in order to get any water running in there.

Last night on the way home from our adventure, I hit the hardware store just as they were closing and found some mis-tint paints on deep discount. They had a gallon of dark green, a quart of light green and a quart of yellow. I got all three for only $5. When the lady rang it all up, it came up showing about $86 worth of paint, total. That is an incredible deal getting that much paint for only $5 total.

So, I guess my color scheme for the RV has been chosen for me. Who could pass that deal up?

I plan to paint the living room walls white and the cabinets and cupboards a light green. The bedroom will be painted with the dark green paint. Inside all the cabinets I will use a white color to brighten them up better. The yellow may be used to paint the accent trim flowers engraved into the doors of all the cabinets

I will show everyone the paints when I get a chance. I will also do a test paint on the old TV cabinet I removed from the motorhome.

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PostHeaderIcon RV Maintenance And Pulling Out Junk

It has cooled off again recently after three very hot and humid days last week. This week we have had highs in the 60s and lows in the 40s. I am happy that I still have my fireplace hooked up. I have spent most of my free time cleaning out the new RV and removing junk. I am also lubricating all moving parts on the windows, door and locks, trying to get all the old access panels opened and cleaned out.

Nights have been better for sleeping with lows in the 40s and waking up to 50 degree mornings inside the off grid camper. The days have been cooler as well and more tolerable.

I am working on a demolition job this week so the cooler temperatures are a very welcome change.

The garden is growing very nicely. After all the rain we have had, the plants are all growing fast. Especially the potatoes are growing faster then I can keep the plants covered. I have only pulled a total of three weeds out of my raised bed gardens so far. That is an advantage of using pure compost. There are no weed seeds and the only thing that grows in it is what you plant yourself.

I cleaned out the glove box and storage compartments above the drivers area in the cab looking for an owners manual for the RV. No luck, but I did find a GM manual for the motor and chassis. That is a bonus at least.

I finally got the large outside storage compartment opened up right outside the main door of the RV. Inside I found a lot of propane hoses and connectors. I also found a nice antique Coleman propane camp stove that will probably still work.

A package arrived from fellow youtuber “darfirst”. Inside was a special hand washer for laundry. This is a professional hand laundry washer with vacuum action. This thing is supposed to clean laundry even better than a washing machine if used correctly. He also sent me a propane gauge to tell me how much propane is left in my fridge. And a nice package of chocolate almonds. I love both chocolate and almonds, so that is a very nice treat. Thank you “darfirst”.

Since I am working in demolition this week, I am not getting very much done on the off grid homestead, but I will keep plugging away at it.

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PostHeaderIcon Another Hot Day Working On A Generator Trying To Get AC

Today was a hot one again. After months of cold and running my fireplace every night, it is a shock to the system to have such heat suddenly. So I am working on an old generator I got cheap a year ago and trying to get air conditioning going in my off grid camper in the forest.

Last night was a bit cooler so I did not sleep too bad, but it was very short. After answering comments on youtube until nearly 1am, I went to bed. I was awake at 4 am and up just after 5 am to start the day. I wanted to get a head start before the heat set in again.

It was supposed to be a rare sunny day so I took my laundry down to the creek to wash in the cooler morning hours. Since I am hand washing with a plunger and bucket, it is a bit of a workout.

I also washed out my swimming pool filter housing that I found in the forest. I am going to make a drinking water filter out of it.

I got to hang my clothes on my new outdoor clothes hanger. I am impressed how rugged it actually is. It holds a lot of clothes as well. You could dry clothes for a whole family on it easily. Since I have not washed my clothes in a few weeks, I had quite a load myself. It has been raining almost every day so I never got my clothes washed until today.

After hanging my clothes, I set up my old Coleman camp stove on an old Coleman folding camp table frame and cooked my breakfast outside. It was too hot in the camper already at 10 am to cook inside. I had a nice breakfast of turkey, eggs and cheese. I get deli meat and cheese ends for $1.99 a pound. It makes a nice breakfast with some eggs. I cooked it all in my cast iron frying pan. I love my cast iron cookware.

This morning I went “shopping” in my forest shopping mall and found some nice goodies. I got a small cast iron skillet which I will use for open fire cooking. I dont like to use my good indoor cast iron on an open fire. I got a couple heavy hammers, some antique augers and some old files. I also found some old hatchet heads laying around. I pay my landlady for the scrap price and we are both happy. Since she slowly takes stuff into the scrap yard, it would be stealing to just take stuff, so I buy what I find off of her. This applies only to usable metal stuff. She has piles of stuff she hopes to sell at garage sales one day. Any junk that was tossed in the junk pile in the forest if fair game, on the other hand.

I also found a nice frame for an outdoor work bench. There were two metal frames for a work table. I will use some pallet wood and make myself a nice work bench for cutting wood or repairing small engines.

Speaking of small engines. I wanted to get a generator going to run my camper air conditioner. It is so hot out and I get a headache from the heat. So I spent the better part of the day working on my old generator. I attacked the job with all my strength. I actually got the old generator running – sort of. The gas tank was full of some strange sludge, rust, gas and water. I had to drain it and then wash it out well with water.

This left me with the problem of getting the water out of the tank. I put it in the sun and placed a satellite tv dish in front of it to concentrate the suns rays on the tank. I had coated the dish with aluminum foil to reflect the sunlight better. This worked pretty well and in a few hours I had a good, clean gas tank for my generator.

While the tank was drying I was working on the old generator carburetor. The whole machine had been badly treated and neglected. I also had to tie down the engine mounts which were broken. I added an inline fuel filter to protect my newly cleaned carburetor.

Then I poured gas into the fuel line to try the generator out and it ran. I was excited.

When the gas tank was back on the machine, it fired right up and ran. But the choke is loose and flops around. I will have to fix that later.

In the late afternoon a sudden thunderstorm came up and I had to run like a mad man and take down all my half dried clothes and put away my tools and the generator. It was a mess and I literally ran around the place getting stuff inside. I started pouring rain just as I finished. Not too long after though it stopped and I was able to work on the generator some more.

The carburetor was leaking gas, so I had to pull it back apart and adjust the float level so it would stop flooding. This is no easy task on a rusty old carb that is partly siezed up inside. The retaining pin for the float is frozen in place so I had to carefully try to bend the float with it in the carb.

I also made a carburetor fuel bowl gasket out of a cardboard box to keep dirt out and the gas in. This needs to be replaced with a better gasket later when I find something. But it works for now.

When the generator was running well, I ran into town to get some gas and an air filter. After filling the tank the generator ran well. Except for the floppy choke, that is. But I will fix that.

I ran a cable from the generator into my camper and tried to get my air conditioner working but had no luck. I am not sure which AC wire goes to the air conditioner. It got dark out so I had to call it a night and put things away for today.

Hopefully soon I will have AC out in the forest on hot days.

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PostHeaderIcon Killer Heat Fighting Ants And Working On Engines

Today was very hot again. In the sun it felt like an oven. Even the garden plants were wilting from the heat. After a long afternoon nap, I worked on engines a bit this evening, when it got a bit cooler. The ants are coming again and taking over. The battle is on.

It was already 80 out by 11 this morning. The temperature was climbing inside as well, and fast. By noon, it was about 85 inside and outside. It got up close to 90 inside in the heat of the day.

My garden plants were wilting in the extreme heat of the sun. It was intense and beating down. There is something wrong with the weather this year. It has been cold all along and I have run my fireplace until two days ago. Now its an oven outside. I think it is hard on the plants too.

I took an example from my cat today and took a nap in the heat of the day. I was getting a headache and dizzy from the heat. I drank a gallon of water by noon, so it was not dehydration. Just pure heat.

I have to correct my statements from yesterday. I was only using about 60 watts according to my Kill A Watt meter. I was looking at the wrong scale on the meter. Today I was using 89 watts with my dual fan running and my LED TV connected to my laptop. The laptop and three other fans were running on DC power and I still have no way to measure that.

At 11 am, after only two hours of sun, my solar batteries were topped off and I was pulling almost 500 watts of power. The batteries were on absorption mode already. I need more batteries to soak up more solar energy.

Later in the evening I started to work on my little chain saw again. This is the one I started on the day it was raining so hard. Well, this thing is a nightmare. It is tiny and stupidly engineered. I had to literally take it all apart. I had to remove the handle, pull starter, case, fuel tank, hoses, linkages and more. I even had to remove the coil to get to the carburetor. The carb was dirty from neglect and had to be cleaned.

After getting it all nicely cleaned up and using half a can of carburetor cleaner, I could not get the stupid thing back together again. It is engineered in such a way that I could not get the carb linkage and fuel line connected and get it back inside the case. I could get one or the other but not both. Finally I gave up and tossed the whole mess in the trash.

I pulled out my old Homelite chain saw and started to work on that. Now, this old thing is a breath of fresh air in comparison to the little Mcculloch chain saw. You remove the air filter and there is the carb.

I actually had the old Homelite chain saw buzzing away in no time. It runs. It runs well. It starts right on the first pull and runs well. Now all I need is a chain for this old beast.

I have to get some wood cut for winter. I should be cutting wood all summer to stock up. Winter is no time to go out and cut wood.

I installed my new Wilson Electronics cell phone booster today. I pulled out a screw on the frame of the kitchen window above the sink and pushed the antenna wire through the gap. I put the antenna on the roof and plugged it all in.

My phone was getting anywhere from 0 to 2 bars before and I kept dropping phone calls. Now I have about 4 bars and good, clear phone calls. I am currently uploading a video and it is super fast. My video tonight is a bit shorter but it is uploading very fast.

I might need to play around with the location of the antenna for best performance but I am already very happy with the ability to have a phone conversation without interruption. And the possibility to work online without loosing signal all the time. Sometimes it took me 4 – 5 hours to get a video uploaded due to lost signal.

Thank you Wilson Electronics. You can visit their site here: www.WilsonElectronics.com

Actually last night was very late due to the intense heat. My cell phone went into thermal shut down mode. I never even knew that existed. It beeped and said that due to extreme heat it will go into thermal protective mode and started counting down. All I could do was watch it shut itself down as I was trying to upload a video.

I put the phone in the freezer for a while and pulled it out and it worked again. But the battery was now down and I had to recharge it for a while before I could finish my video.

Sorry for being so late last night.

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