Wednesday, September 17, 2014

DIY RV Project - Exterior Utilities Hook-up Light


Many times you will find yourself trying to hook up the utilities to your RV at dark thirty. Installing an exterior light on your RV will make the task a lot simpler. It doesn’t matter if you are boondocking or hooking up to a park space. You may find yourself in the dark and fumbling around with a flashlight. An exterior light will leave your hands free to make the process of getting things hooked up a lot easier.

Using a $10 light from the local tractor supply outlet and about 8 feet of two strand 12 volt wire is all you need to accomplish this RV mod. The cover for the power cord was removed and a wire was run from the 12 volt connections inside the RV.  A small hole was then made in the side of the RV for the wire after a suitable location for the light was determined. A piece of coat hanger wire was then snaked behind the siding of the RV until it came out at the side of the electrical cord cover opening. The wire was then hooked to the 12 volt electrical wire and pulled through the hole. It was then a simple process of hooking the wires to the light and mounting the base plate to the side of the RV and installing the light cover.





The light included an on/off switch and the cover was mounted with the switch in the down position. Even though the switch was water resistant, mounting it where it was on the bottom helps avoid rain hitting it directly.

It’s a quick and simple RV mod that can be done in less than an hour.

Got RV mod?

Staying above the water line!


Riverwalker

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Solar Garage Project


Pole-mounted Solar Panels

The conversion of my garage to solar power is completed and hopefully it will lower my utility bill. It took a while to get everything set up and working. My panels were pole mounted in order to make it easier to service the solar panels.


A total of four 100 watt solar panels were used to charge a battery bank of four 100 amp hour batteries. Two inverters were used to furnish power. A 100 watt pure sine wave inverter was used for lights and to power a small air compressor. An 1800 watt pure sine wave inverter was set up to furnish power for my power saws. This covers the majority of my power usage in the garage. I’ll also being running a fairly low wattage heat lamp for the chickens in the winter.



A solar panel kit from Grape Solar was used for this project and came with most of the necessary wiring, a charge controller and an inverter. There is additional information posted in my product review. A separate grounding rod was installed on the panels and the solar disconnect that was installed.

My grid-powered outlets are still functional and can be used if my solar power system goes down for some reason but won’t be used unless absolutely necessary. With the completion of this project, my storage shed, greenhouse and garage are now on solar power.

Part Two will show my battery bank, solar disconnect and charge controller set-up.

Got solar-powered garage?

Staying above the water line!

Riverwalker

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Hiking to Piedra Falls


Piedra Falls

Piedra Falls is located about 30 miles north of Pagasoa Springs, Colorado in the San Juan National Forest. It's a leisurely hike of about 3/4 mile to get to the falls and makes a very pleasant day hike through the forest and along the middle fork of the Piedra River.


Trailhead



Start of the trail in the San Juan National Forest.



Further along the trail it gets a little rocky.




Back into the woods again.



A little shade along the way.



Trail gets rocky again.



Trail runs along the side of the Piedra River as you get closer to the falls.



There's a narrow spot between the rocks as you approach the basin of the falls.



The basin of the falls at the end of the trail.

Got day hike?

Staying above the water line!

Riverwalker



Riverwalker's Wildlife Pics - Chipmunks and Ground Squirrel


Chipmunks and Ground Squirrel

Here's a pic of a couple of chipmunks and a ground squirrel. It was brought to my attention that I had erroneously labeled a ground squirrel as a chipmunk in my previous post. As you can see in the above picture there is a noticeable difference in size and markings.

Got wildlife?

Staying above the water line!

Riverwalker

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Riverwalker's Wildlife Pics - Ground Squirrel


Golden Manteled Ground Squirrel 

Got wildlife?

Staying above the water line!

Riverwalker

Friday, August 15, 2014

RW in Colorado - Close Encounters of the Bear Kind



I happened to cross paths with a black bear quite by accident on a recent trip to Colorado. It was quite sudden and totally unexpected on my part as I had just left the trail head for one of the trails in Black Canyon. Apparently the bear noticed us first and had already started moving away from my area. He quickly moved into a brushy area and was gone from sight. I did manage to get a couple of quick pictures as the bear moved away.



Black bears aren't normally aggressive and will leave your area quickly unless they are provoked, feel cornered or are protecting young. Fortunately, this bear was probably intent on his next meal of berries and only gave me a cursory glance before moving quickly out of the area. The bear went into a brushy area and disappeared from sight.

It’s a well known fact that Colorado is bear country and you should always be aware of this fact. A safe distance from predators such as bears, wolves, and cougars is normally about 100 yards (think the length of a football field). Any closer and you may be putting yourself at risk of a serious situation. You can normally approach other wildlife to within about 25 yards without any real concern. Most animals usually won’t allow you to get even that close. The exception is snakes who can normally strike from a distance equal to their length.

There is an excellent brochure in PDF format available at Colorado.gov that contains a lot of useful tips to help take adequate precautions when in bear country.

Here is a link to the brochure:


Got bears?

Staying above the water line!

Riverwalker



Thursday, August 14, 2014

Riverwalker's Pics - More High Places


More High Places

Got higher elevation?

Staying above the water line!

Riverwalker
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