Frugal RVing In South States - Ebooks

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sleepless in Senator's Wash

I found a lot of non-sleeping time last night, and we had an unusual amount of clouds that kept the night relatively warm, and added a bit of mystery to the starscape.

I glanced out the window by the bed and just had to get up to try to capture the view. It was around 5 am, and I still am dealing with the cybershot 5.0 sony camera, but I figured it was worth a try. In the digital world, if it doesn't work, just delete. What a useful button.

So I took a shot on the normal "let the camera do the thinking" settings and got one shot before the battery died.

I came in and switched the battery, and fiddled with the settings and found a night setting.

So I went out to give it a try. I figured that the shutter would likely be left open longer to accommodate the darkness, so I set the camera on a fence post and took 2 shots.

It worked quite well, but missed the orangey hue. On the other hand, the normal setting shot captured the orangeness, but missed the cloudy detail.

Between the series of shots, I think you can at least get the gist of the beauty I beheld last night.

For now I will bid you,


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Some Other Models By Ken

More in the guy zone, Ken thought I should show some of his finished models so that you can have a better idea of his varied works.

I have therefore pulled from the archive of shots, 3 different models that he has made:

Hayes Heavy Duty Logging Truck

1910 Buick McLauglin

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

With this last one, Ken didn't have any plans or schematics to work from, so he still framed the movie, took a couple still pictures from it, and then made the model based on the photographs.

It has a straight 6 engine that pulls out, and has pistons, crank shaft, clutch plates, pressure plates, fly wheel, etc. It also has the dash and gear shift levers, and emergency brake. In general, it is quite detailed.

Anyway, for now, and until a bit of progress is made on the 58 Mack, I will leave this topic as, " To be continued..."

But for now, I bid you


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Saturday, November 28, 2009

To Build a Wooden Truck

For the guys, as requested by Coal, I bring you a few more shots of Ken's model truck.

However, I must tell you, he has taken it back a few steps as it has been bumped around a bit in our travels over the last year. I thought it might give me a chance to show you the detail of his works.

The left is with the truck upside down, the cab and front axle disassembled. The right is assorted bits including the headache rack, the hood, fenders and such, and of course, tools and sundry for the process.

This shot dominates on the cab. One of the exhaust pipes is just at the base of the vice (and of course, more tools).

Needless to say, the finalizing of the project is a bit of time away. Ken is a details minded fellow. It is a pleasure to watch the transformation!

Well, I think that covers the current progressions, so again I bid you,


Another Before and After Testimonial - The Burnt on Pot

They're at the post! And they're off!!!

... sorry, I couldn't resist. It seems I have had several small postable thoughts today.

This afternoon, Ken and I entered a joint effort on lunch, then both proceeded to get diverted, and a pot of cream of mushroom soup, in a vengeful effort to repay its abandonment, became somewhat of a volcanic overflowing disaster.

The before shot is actually (as is my normal process) a part way through, "Gee, I should do a before and after shot" consideration. Where you see black, cover the whole bottom, and about a quarter up the sides to complete the full before affect.

(... and the crowd simultaneously declared, "Ewwwwww!!!!!")

But wait!! All is not lost (I know, the before shot rather spoiled the finale, but pretend to be surprised, I would hate to loose an audience on account of a minor error... I digress...)

The Great Power of Creation, being all knowing of the beginning, and the end .... and middle - you know, the part where I am cooking, .... created a powerful cleaning agent just primed for this age of environmental friendliness, and as an extra zing, placed such an agent in ample abundance on this very location!!! (Astounding, isn't it??!!!)

So, do tell, you say. What is this miraculous agent that removes once thick creamy, but now hard charcoalized thick residue from the surface of this tragically abused stainless steel pot????

Would you believe sand?

I took a small handful of sand (unsifted from a few minute pebbles) and water, took a rag and with gentle circular scrubbing for a mere 5 minutes, the resulting clean can only be described as amazing!!

See for yourself...

What can I say, cheap, and efficient!

Well, to avoid repeating the process, I must focus on dinner, so I bid you


Honey Express Bike

Okay, I have been meaning to go with the proverbial "picture is worth a thousand words" adage, but have continually forgotten about taking a picture until the chore was complete.

And so without further adieu (in other words, before I post anything else) I have finally taken the picture of the fully hitched and ready to run "Honey Express Bike" AKA Winnie the Poo Bear - er. (Sorry, I inherited my humour from my father, I couldn't help myself - I digress...)

Presenting .... Winnie the Poo Bear -er

Okay, we now return you to our regularly scheduled programming.

Today the wind is roaring enough to put white caps on the little lake we hold so near and dear. Not a day for the rookie kayaker, to be sure.

I was going to run the washer today, but I wasn't wanting to run the dryer, and quite frankly, I think I would be challenged to get the items washed on the line before they were blown over to Squaw Lake for an extra rinse!! I am therefore postponing that chore for tomorrow.

The fluffies are enjoying the slow and people populated day we are having, so are soaking up the attention contentedly.

In spite of the wind, the solar panels are secure, and amazingly enough, of no concern at this time. We have been assured that they are quite capable of holding their own in winds up to 80 mph. I would be loathed to test the full extent of that, but am nonetheless, comforted by the detail.

Part of today's meandering includes finding homes for the raft of scores we made in our "quick shopping" yesterday. Of particular distraction was an outlet known as Harbor Freight Tools (Dad calls it the candy store) and it unassumingly consumed a good 2 hours of our day. Not bad for a shop whose whole customer friendly floor space could not have occupied more than about 2,000 square feet - quite small compared to the now popular warehouse style shopping centres. We were greatly appreciative of its contribution to our home.

One thing we have been told about and now experienced is that Black Friday, or the Friday following the American Thanksgiving is bargain day. It is also said in the commerce world, that if you have not made it into the proverbial Black in your book keeping world by this date, you can safely say that this year you will not make it out of the red ergo, the title of Black Friday.

One prize was something that I refer to as a babushka toolbox set.

This durable plastic set has 4 toolboxes that nest inside each other when empty, and will greatly aid in organizing Ken's woodworking hobby tools. Not bad for just $24.99. Most of the other treasures would best be placed inside said ensemble.

Well, it is getting hungry out as it is past noon and then some, so I will break for a feed, and bid you


Glory's Training Revisited

In an earlier post ( ) or 2 ( ),I mentioned the toilet training of Glory. Due to various stressors in her world at the time, we regressed, and went back to the litter box. Life has now resettled, and I decided to reinstate the training.

(For some reason, the hyperlinking button is malfunctioning on blogger, and it inserts the link over the words instead of creating a link on the words so I have bracketed the links instead for this post. To the blogger monitors at Google, I would love a solution in the comments as I don't like the messiness of the method I had to employ, but I digress....)

It has gone well. I gave her 3 days with the litter box on the toilet (with no slip mats to keep it from sliding off and scaring her) and then 2 days of putting a small handful of her flushable pine pellet litter into the upper plateau of the toilet bowl. She willingly accepted peeing thusly, but I was concerned about possible protests on the other deposits, shall we say.

I therefore would close her into the bathroom when I expected she was due for a deposit, and let her out with treats when she accomplished the task.

Yesterday was a town day followed by and evening at my parents, so I had to trust her to conform, unsupervised. She met the challenge and delighted her Mom most acceptably.

I will now continue with the pellets for another week, then slowly remove them from the formula, but I can again happily state that the litterbox is not required in our indoor cat's list of possessions.

I shall have other matters covered in later posts, but I know there was a particular reader that found the topic of interest, and I wanted to give an update for the benefit of those interested in this pursuit. Goodness knows, space is always at a premium in RV living, and any reduction in space users is welcome advice, I find.

Having covered this brief topic, where this post is concerned, I will bid you


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wind and Down Time

We live on Hurricane Ridge, so naturally it follows that when the wind blows, it takes itself rather seriously. We have had a couple windy days, but the temperature is quite acceptable.

Yesterday was a town trip day, and we got several items we were running low on, or needed for my contribution to the Thanksgiving Potluck. There are actually 2 of these that are going on in this area. One is for Senator's Wash, and it is down at the gravel pit.

However, there seems to be a more local event that is for the Ridgers, and I understand all will be attending, bringing the head count to somewhere between 45 and 50. We have casually met a good portion of our neighbours, and they are all great people.

I have been doing a bit of house pottering, but one of the nice things about this rig, as mentioned in an earlier post ( ), is that it is big enough that Ken can do some works in the kitchen without creating a bottleneck for movement.

With the wind kicked up as it is right now, the parts would be everywhere were he to try working outside.

As you can see, there is a lot of minute detailing in his works. At some point, he would love to find a market for selling his pieces, but needless to say, these models are a bit more than cut chunks of wood resembling reality. The steering works, there are moving parts, and other than hinges and in this case, part of the steering mechanism, it is all assembled by dowel.

If requested, I will take closer detailed shots of this truck. I marvel at his craftsmanship. (Sorry, I can't help myself - It does impress me so, but I digress...)

I think I have bent your ear, or rather focused your eye long enough, so I will bid you


Monday, November 23, 2009

Around the Wash

I am attaching some shots of the last few days, but unfortunately, although we did go out on the kayaks - no, really - it's true!! - I can't prove it as we opted to omit cameras on the inaugural run due to the need to ensure stability and, shall we say, ensure the safety of the electronics.

The outing was successful, and we went from the launch a bit toward the south end, then back to the launch to adjust the fit, and back out to the north end. We were only out for about an hour, but as we need to work on our comfort settings, and Ken's back was a bit tight that day, we considered it to be enough for a first go round.

Yesterday my Mother and Aunty popped out for a visit, and after lunch, we decided to drive around the lake to see the other side. It was really beautiful on the far side, and we even saw some well chewed down green grass. I suspect the grooming of the greenery was courtesy of the local burros.

The trail was a bit jagged and rough, and a lot of sharp stones, and gravelled in washouts were needed to cross. I would recommend 4 wheel drive, but the car did splendidly in spite of itself.

I suspect the next time we venture to the other side, we will do it by kayak. It was about 4.8 miles from our site to the far side of the wash.

Also, the water was let out for irrigation, and our big island became a peninsula for a couple days. It has now been restored to its full grandness. I think one of our kayak outings we will explore the big island.

Back to Burros, we had our first daytime sighting of them about 4 or 5 days ago, and I did take pictures, but hadn't gotten them downloaded until now, so I am also attaching a short or 2 of them. :-)

The second shot is actually right outside our door - you can see the frame in the lower left.

I think that about covers it for now, and the laundry needs hanging, so I bid you,


Photos of Solar

(left) 3 130 Watt solar panels - 1 set doubled up and the other as a single (right) solar monitor and remote shut off (the white is just the standard furnace /ac controller that was always there)

(left) 1500 Watt inverter with breaker (just over the orange & black pack) (right) 6 X 6 Volt deep cycle batteries

We are still learning, but doing fairly well. One thing we learned today is that when the washer is running, nothing else can. (we forgot it was on and went to warm some soup. Minorly big oops. We are still in the process of getting the inverter to reset. The genny is now finishing the wash.) We never run the dryer as there is a public umbrella style clothes line, and we don't lack for quick dry au naturalle.

(BTW, the double panel looks smaller than it is because it is at a different angle than the single, but they are all 3 the same size)

I will be doing another post separately as I wanted this one dedicated.

So briefly, I bid you


editor note:
The problem was that we blew the 30 amp fuse that protects the 1500 watt inverter. It was a $30 lesson.... Always be aware of what are heavy drawers, and know what items can't be used together.
Because the washer runs for so long and we forget when it is on, Ken and I have decided that the washer will only be run on full shore power, or on the generator.
All is well, so I bid you further


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Considerations on Solar Cost

Apparently, the solar issue is causing a bit of interest in the blog readers.

I had a further thought that I wanted to put in out of the comments as not everyone reads comments.

I know some full timers that have use the home improvement grant or tax rebate thing that Canada has to do fix-ups on their rigs. As it is your home, it does apparently qualify. I don't know a lot about the grant or tax rebate or whatever it is, but keep your receipts if you modify a full time home, be it stationary, or mobile.

I am not sure if ours qualifies since it was done down here as I think the program is supposed to stimulate local employment, but decreasing our "carbon footprint" should be worth something, so we will see if it is claimable.

Eventually, I will look into federal programs to see what qualifies. Bug me about it in a month or so if I don't mention it shortly.

Anyway, another beautiful day beckons, so I will bid you


Friday, November 20, 2009

Doing the Wash @ The Wash

We had our first solar based night, and it went well. We were able to watch a movie before the power dropped down to 12.20 on the meter, which is the stop point for evening usage.

Once we turned the tv and dvd player off, it bounced back to 12.25. Ken had the boondocker's soak, sud, rinse and out shower, and when the pump was running it dipped back as low as 12.20. In the morning before the panels were working again, the meter had raised to 12.65 range, and by about 9:30 it was climbing well, and by 10:30 or 11, the light was flashing which means we are on "free time" as the batteries are full.

Because the batteries are new, Doug (the installer) recommended we have a couple gentle use days to establish a good charge base on the batteries. "Make them good and fat" as he put it.

However, I was in need of doing some laundry, and so I ran a load through using the generator as power. There is an umbrella clothes line that one of the neighbours has, and lets others use, so I will hang laundry whenever possible. In a week, I will be content to start laundry once the charge is topped in the morning, and there is enough day to restore any drain before the set of the sun.

The lake is down right now as it is connected to a dam which was released for irrigation. It should be restored in a couple days, but it sure looks like low tide right now. :-)

Once the laundry is out, I will try to coax Ken into a kayak run either today or tomorrow.

So far, so good with the new set up. We are content.

Also, for now, until we master lower usage methods, we appear to have used about 15 gallons of water between showering, dishes, hand washing, and black water output in one day, so it will be a daily chore to do a "honey run" until we fine tune that. On laundry days I will run the grey on its own on a separate trip.

The load is nearly done, so I will bid you


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Solar is In !!

I will write a real post tomorrow, but for now, we are back in place and enjoying that the panels have been installed.

Stay tuned as we rookie our way through this new learn curve.

For now I bid you


Solar is In !!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Defining How We Accommodate Our Boondocking

By request, I am now posting details about how we are accommodating our boondock season.

As way of clarifying, we are full timers, but that is because we like to move around. That is not to say we are fans of roughing it.

That being said, where we are currently placed, with a bit of extra work, we are able to maintain a predominantly smoother form of roughing it. We are going to be here until early April to save on monthly pad and power costs.

If we leave our system as is, we can do all that needs to be done, but we will use a fair lot of diesel to maintain AC power when needed. To lighten that expense and using what would have been our afore mentioned monthly costs, we are investing in a solar set-up which can be used long term. It can provide a greater amount of flexibility even when back in Canada.

This is how we work the required resources such as water in, sewer out, and power:

Sewer is going to be the biggest challenge, as our blue boy is only 15 gallons. That being said, we wouldn't want to have one much bigger than that because the weight would be challenging to haul. Right now, I tow it behind the moped, using a heavy duty carabiner clip to attach the tow bar to its luggage rack. We have to get pneumatic tires to replace the plastic ones as the current ones can only handle a walking pace and the dump station is about 3 city blocks away.

Water in comes in 2 forms. First, at self serve water dispenser units all over Yuma, you can fill a 5 gallon jug for 50 cents (You have to be careful, as some are $1 so you need to get the right booths) For the holding tank, we have the rare fortune of picking a site that is close enough to a solitary tap that we can string out an extremely long line of hoses and top up every 3-4 days. Our tank holds about 89 gallons.

As for power, we are running 3 12 V batteries, and the 7500 W diesel generator. The generator is efficient on fuel, but it still runs into a lot of diesel over the season. We are therefore using the money we would have used on pad fees and power and some of the fuel budget to set up the rig for solar panels.

With that system, we will be able to keep the batteries, and with the aid of a good inverter (part of the package) provide our own portable AC power. It should be powerful enough to run small scale things in the evening without running the batteries down.

We also have propane which runs the water heater, the fridge and the furnace.

We will do a weekly run to Yuma for fuel and food, but other than that and an occasional outing, we hope to keep within this region for our explorations.

Well, I think that sums up our boondock processes, so I will bid you,


Sunday, November 15, 2009

More Shots of the Senator's Wash

We had a quiet day due to the wind, but I decide to learn a bit more about my camera phone.

I am attaching 3 more shots. The panorama shot was a feature of the camera where it has you take a series of 5 shots which it guides when you are aligned for the next shot, then it compiles it into a single shot. It is actually a 180 (half circle) arc. Too cool!!

The shot with the sun beams is using an intellishot feature (or some term like that) that lets the camera think its way through the features and highlights of the shot and bring out its best prospective.

The last shot is just looking from one side of our set up across to the lake and mountains flanking the other side.

Anyway, we are about to settle down for a movie courtesy of the genset, so I will bid you


Settling in at the Wash

We have passed one night in our new site. It is a beautiful location and the quietness was broken during the night by the sounds of braying burros and baying coyotes.

Yesterday around sunset, I went down the road a small step (2 minutes by moped) and shot the phone toward the rig. I engaged the flash as I was shooting right into the sun, and by flashing the camera, you compensate for the flood of light from the sun.

When I downloaded from the camera mini card I discovered that it was an even cooler shot than I thought. If you look closely, you will see the sun to the right, the moon to the left within the sun's aura, and nestled between them is a rectangular lump representing our rig. - I had no idea that the moon was visible at the same time because the sun's brightness engulfed my view with the naked eye. I love photography!!

Around 5 this morning a very strong wind kicked up, but we are really liking it here.

I am going to step out and explore the area, so for now I will bid you,


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Quick Post on the Way to Senator Wash

We went, we saw, we liked.

Our month at this location is not up until the 25th, so if we go now and decide it isn't working, there is still time to reconsider. We are chomping at the bit and eager to give it a try.

The $75 fee is actually rather like a parks Canada fee, if you want to do frequent day trips and such. The fee for long term boondocking from Sept 15 to Apr 15 is $180. Still better than monthly pad and power. (You don't have to pay the $75 if you are doing the $180)

Stay tuned...

For now I bid you


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Senator's Wash, California

So far this adventure into the states has been an interesting series of events. We have managed to find a few interesting places to go, but I have to say that yesterday was a really wonderful and unexpected day.

Most of the day was just hanging out with my parents, which I haven't had a lot of chance to do in the past 3 years, they living between Yuma and their costal BC home, and we being in Alberta most of the time. It was a fantastic and relaxing day.

However, just when most people would be hitting the winding down of their day, my Mom suggested we go look at some of the lakes in the area.

For some reason which utterly escapes me, even though we stopped at the rig to pick up Midnight, I completely forgot to grab a camera (!!???!) .... I know - going to sightsee and not bring a camera, - what was SHE thinking!!! But fear not my disappointed friends all was not lost, I remembered my back up.

We decided while down here to get cell phones that would become our permanent new voice communication units, and the ones we chose were the LG en Touch which just happens to have a 3.2 megapixel camera, and with a bit of accessorizing with a $14 memory card that holds 4 Gs of shots, I was all set to use it as a downloadable alternate source of digital photography. (Although my laptop doesn't, our brother printer has card reading slots , so I use it to transfer the shots to my computer). I digress....

Somewhere past Mittry Lake, I did recall that the phone would also take pictures, so I though, what the heck, better than nothing. So I starting shooting and what a reward!

(Not bad for a cell phone, don't you think??)

Senator's Wash is just across the California border, but only about 20 minutes from Yuma. - About the same distance as Oliver is from Penticton, as last year taught us.

(The other shots from the link are as we are leaving through the Yuma Proving Grounds)

What we really liked, as you can see from the pictures, it is a beautiful area. It has an annual fee of $75, about 4 sani-dump stations, water refill station, bathroom and shower facility, and no traffic noise.

Backing up somewhat, the lake viewing outing was inspired by the knowledge that I still have this insatiable desire to actually sit in our kayaks while placed upon a calm source of water bigger than a bathtub.....

Ken and I are not generally inclined to boondocking long term, but you just can't beat the price or view. Where we are now, it is a really nice area and with friendly neighbours. The rent is inexpensive for the area, but we are RIGHT beside highway 8 and beside E South Frontage Road, and the traffic roar is quite extensive.

We are going to be making a decision about where we will spend the rest of the winter. Where we are now, it is only $260 per month plus power, but as with most places that reads the metres on their own sites and don't charge a power company hook-up fee, the rate is somewhat - shall we say, magnified?? - I believe it is going to be around 15 cents per Kwh.

One thing I have notice which has gone unnoticed by us up until now. When we connected upon our arrival, we used the 50 amp. The metre seemed to be moving rather like a hamster on a wheel. I decided since we were on 30 amp all summer, and the weather is supposed to look a whole lot kinder than last year, I would try switching to the 30 amp hook-up plug. BIG difference. The metre's wheel slowed right down.

So the new lesson is that unless your power is included, if possible, use 30 amp, you will save a lot of money on power bills. I think it might have to do with the converter that is charging the house batteries, because nothing else was different, and the change was instant.

Now, where was I....

Senator's Wash is a dry campground that overlooks a beautiful lake. What can I say, it is tempting. However, we have to consider carefully. Where we are they generally have a 5 month commitment. If we leave, we can't come back this year, and if the boondocking doesn't pan out, the other sites, if there can be vacancy found, will be closer to the $500 range for equal services.

If we do go, some of the savings can be directed toward solar panels that will help to keep the batteries charged, we brought the blue boy and would therefore have reasonable access to the sani-dumps without up-rooting the rig every few days. Drinking water is only 50 cents for 5 gallons at self-serve station around Yuma, and we can haul the rest for the holding tank. It is a bit more work, but what else are we doing besides site seeing? I can use my parents' washer and clothes line for laundry.

What can I say, decisions loom. However, we have to the 26th of the month to decide. Tomorrow we are planning to make a day of Senator's Wash and see if a little digging can reveal to us how to lean on the choice looming.

Stay tuned, but for now I bid you,


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Picasa - It's working again :-)

I did a bit of figuring and looking about, I discovered that I was overdue for updating my software for Picasa. Now that I have downloaded and installed the updates, it is functioning very well, and as an added bonus, it went through all my pictures and helped me to tag my people. Too cool!!

For security sake, very few of my people shots are included in this post, but for anyone not using a web album, this is a neat way to organize.

Tags are an organizing tool that lets you use a search rather than manual scan to find a theme in your shots. Folders are a good start, but for example, if I have tagged properly (which is a bit of work at the start when you already have a lot of untagged shots to go through - but worth it) I can do a search for pictures of Aunt Bertha in Calamazoo and it will narrow the shots I need to look at to those only tagged with Aunt Bertha, and with a geotag of Calamazoo.

Anyway, since my up and downloads are now working properly, I am inserting a few shots of what I referred in my last post to pre-desert and one shot of the blimp.

Anyway, we are off to greet the day, so I will update you as I go. For now, I bid you


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Day trip to Quartzsite

We decide to go on a day trip yesterday. We went for a change of scenery. We were also hopeful that we would, by chance find our Oliver neighbours in the area as we knew that it was their destination before we lost track of them.

We did also get to see the Yuma Blimp which is used, among other things, for border surveillance. You can actually see it to the north of our park site.

I didn't take any pictures as it was a fairly continuous scene of what I would call pre-desert landscape. (When I picture desert, I picture no foliage, and sand dunes) There was plenty of plant life in the area, of the arid friendly persuasion - cacti, mesquite trees, and scrub brush.

We didn't see our friends motorhome, but we did stop to see some of the stalls and shops in what I would consider to be the tourist district of Quartzsite.

What we did find out is where you can go if you are extremely tight budgeted and want to do snowbirding. You would have to be set up as boondock friendly as there are no hook-ups, but for $40 short term, and $180 for a season, you can land in the middle of nowhere with several thousand of your closest friends. The site just south of Quartzsite on highway 95 on the left side is the only landing area with a dumping station and water refill that is included in the fee. (I think it is the second host station on the left, but it is the one that also has a host station across the highway on the right). It is called La Posa.

The town is appropriately named as it is the region that harvests a wide range of beautiful stones and rocks which when polished radiate a beauty worthy of jewelry.

Unfortunately, I am not much for jewelry, and having very limited space, I would have nowhere to put any treasures.

I am also still experiencing great difficulties with my Picasa web photo program, and am therefore limited in my ability to download and upload. (I am hoping that my archived posts are not experiencing problems because of it.)

Anyway, for now, I am going to head out on another day to see what it holds.

So I will bid you


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Update on Genset - by request.

My post entitled "On The Road" has brought a reminder that I was going to give an update on our new genset, the DP7500RDS.

We have had several opportunities to use it since our purchase of it, not least of which being when Ken's daughter's home town had a blow-up of their college's independent power station (upon whose grid they were attached).

In that situation, we drove the truck over and cranked it over (a simple turn of the inserted key and turn it starts) and then in her case, we simply plugged a regular extension cord in to cool their fridge back down, and restore a bit of order to the more vital low power items in the house.

It ran steadily for 4 - 6 hours, and still only used about 1/2 a tank. (If memory serves me correctly)

I wouldn't call it a whisper noise level, still, for a diesel it is acceptably quiet, being no worse in my estimation than your average gas model.

We have also used it to power the rig on 30 amp service when in Bellevue where our site of choice is without power on site. It was able to run as much as we normally can on 30 amp - microwave can't run with heaters, for example.

The third use we have had for it was to run Ken's welders when working on various projects and repairs. Again it has preformed as hoped and expected.

All with the great fuel economy that you can expect from a diesel, and with the lower maintenance level that is also common with diesel engines.

I would definitely give it a great score and would not reconsider our purchase, in retrospect.

Ken is running it using synthetic oil as he finds it improves performance and increases the fuel economy.

(Coal, I hope this answers your questions. Let me know if I can give other details.)

With that, I bid you,