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Saturday, February 24, 2018

Things that work, things that don't



Okay . . . now that my lovely wife and I have been on road for a number of weeks, I have a few more observations.

I've already gone into some detail about my dissatisfaction with the thermoelectric cooler. It's fine if there's plenty of grid power, but too power hungry for off-grid use.

The Straight Talk hotspot works, and works in places with marginal cell phone coverage. That's the good part. The bad part is that it's nearly impossible to know how much data you are using. The cell phone app is nearly useless. The minutes aren't cheap either.

Right now one of my big pet peeves is with the Windows 10 operating system. When my back was turned, it did a massive update. That rendered the computer useless for hours, plus ate up a lot of my expensive data minutes. The icing on the cake is now my mouse doesn't quite work right. When I get some down time in Texas, I'm going to wipe Windows off the computer and install Linux.

My bike has been super useful and fun. The old Jamis Explorer is holding up. It got covered in road salt on the way down. The chain needed a lot of lube, plus the pedals started to squeak badly and also needed work. Now it's running well. Using it all the time.

One of my off-grid deep cycle batteries just failed. It's one that was badly abused, so I'm not too surprised. I had my doubts about it lasting when I loaded it up in the van.

The van itself is running Okay. I discovered the AC had failed when I got down here. That was annoying as I spent big bucks getting it fixed last summer.

The dehydrated foods have worked out well. Overall they've been pretty tasty. Often they've saved us having to make a trip into town for more food. Also, not needing refrigeration is nice since the cooler has been marginal.

The Sawyer water filter is working great. It really makes a big difference in the quality of our drinking water. Well worth the time and effort to filter all our drinking water.

The snorkel gear has been nice to have, especially when diving in the springs. I did not get a chance to use it down to Key Largo do to weather conditions, but the springs have been amazing.

Every year, after we've been on the road a number of weeks someone will make the assumption that we live in our van all time. I guess we do it well enough to look like full time gypsies.

-Sixbears

13 comments:

  1. WHYNOT STAY FULLTIMES GYPSIES?

    YOUR ALIEN BUDDY WILDFLOWER

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because the grandkids are too young -or so I've been told. Also, summer is beautiful at the lake.

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  2. Every trip has its ups and downs. Sounds like more ups than downs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Overall, it's been pretty darn good.

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  3. There's a free download called "Never10" you can find online that will stop any attempts to upgrade you. But of course you need to start with an older version of Windows. I got Windows 7 from Amazon pretty reasonably. FYI

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah there really is no way to prevent Windows 10 from doing the updates. However, you can fool the computer into thinking that you are on a metered connection and it will not update.

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    2. Ubuntu will do the job,once and for all.

      Delete
  4. If you have unlimited data on an android phone, you can get an inexpensive app, pda net; I use it via a usb cable anywhere I get a Sprint signal. Haven't triedd it roaming however.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Limited Data . . . oh well! At least it's a really really cheap plan.

      Delete
  5. We camped and lived out of our van in Wyoming three years ago. If we stayed too long in one place, people thought we were homeless. We got invites to dinner and job offers. Best post retirement trip we've ever had.

    ReplyDelete