Archive for October, 2009

Thermostatically controlled outlet for freeze protection

Fall is here and the cold fronts are making their way through the Great Basin. That means taking precautions to avoid freeze damage. Generally, your RV won’t suffer freezing problems with most of these storms even if the overnight temperatures get down to near 20F. That is because the temperatures aren’t that low very long and the inside of your RV has some residual heat built up during the day. Even so, precautions need to be taken.

The long term solution is to run RV potable antifreeze in the lines to make sure the faucents, pump, and pipes all have the pink stuff in them rather than water.

A short term solution is a device like the Thermo Cube. This costs a bit under $20. It plugs into an outlet and you plug an electric heater into it. It powers up whatever is plugged into it when it gets down to 35F and turns off when it gets back up to 45F. # Maximum Rating: 1800 Watts, 15 Amps, 120VC (to be used with GFCI outlets).

The Thermo Cube can be used with several different devices to help save electricity and wear & tear on your equipment. We recommend the following devices to be used with the Thermo Cube – Self Regulating Heat Tape, Heat Lamps, Stock Tank Heaters, Pond De-icer, Engine Block Heater and Outdoor Pet Heating Pads. [Cozy Winters]

The Water Garden has it for $15. Gun Dog Supply is another source. It has also been found at local hardware and building supply stores.

A device like this coupled with an inexpensive fan type electrical space heater placed in the bathroom of your RV can provide just a bit of heat with some air circulation that will help prevent freezing until winter really sets in.

Comments off

Take care about combustion fumes

The story at PhysOrg is about a report on genset fumes. For safer emergencies, give your power generator some space (w/ Video). The topic is the use of gensets near houses after disasters and provide a warning that should also apply to RV genset use.

New research from the National Institute of Standards and Technology shows that to prevent potentially dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, users may need to keep generators farther from the house than previously believed—perhaps as much as 25 feet.

Up to half of the incidents of non-fatal carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning reported in the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons involved generators run within 7 feet of the home, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The message is that you need to make sure there is good ventilation when you use a genset, that you keep your CO alarms in good shape, and that you don’t use them when you might not notice the effects of CO poisoning.

Gensets are not the only CO producing devices in use near RV’s. Anything that burns fuel needs due consideration not only for risks of fire but also for risks from noxious gases. Take Care!

Comments off

Fall photography

PopPhoto has a set of tips for How To Take Great Fall Photographs. The Great Basin and Sierra Nevada can provide many opportunities for color and contrast that make for great fall pictures. Stan Trzoniec’s tips include getting the classic shots as well as a few technical tips to enhance an image and also suggestions for seeing what you might not notice. It’s time for the season’s opportunities!

Comments off