Archive for July, 2011

Swan Lake Wildlife Study Area

Just north of Reno 1800+ acres have been set aside in the Lemmon Valley Basin as a wildlife study area. It is a favorite birding area and now there is a gazebo at the end of planked walkways through the marsh. It is the backyard of several large industrial warehouses at Military and Lear near the Stead Airport.

There are a lot of signs to explain what you can see. See the photo galleries linked at our Swan Lake Wildlife Area page.

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Digging out from winter

The news now is that Lake Tahoe is about full and won’t be rising any more this year. It was only a couple of months ago that folks were digging out from the reason why the lakes and rivers are so full now. Rich and Barbara have a good photo-essay on what they were up against last winter.

See the photo gallery!

Just a few short months .., maybe the pictures will help you feel cooler!

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Boca Reservoir

Right near the Nevada Border between Reno and Truckee is Boca Reservoir on the Little Truckee river. There are a number of campgrounds there just off I80 exit 194.

The SierraNevadaAirstreams Destinations page for Boca Reservoir has links to photo galleries of the townsite, the Boca Rest campground at the upper end of the lake, and the Boca Springs campground up in the trees above the lake. There are also links to photo galleries for SNU Rallies from 2003 to 2011.

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RB energy supply considerations: Sean replaces his batteries and considers the issues

Sean has a bank of eight 8D sized batteries that he is replacing. That’s 22 kilowatt hours of total energy storage weighing more than 1300 pounds. His blog post takes a look at costs and options.

When all is said and done, there is not a single one-size-fits-all answer for the right balance among batteries, inverters, generators, solar, and power-pole usage for all RVers. Our set of choices is almost the right balance for us. If I were in the market for a generator today, I would buy a 6.5 kW as opposed to the 15+ kW unit we have now (and which came with the bus). But I would definitely not trade in my large battery bank, and the flexibility it buys us, even though it costs us about a grand a year.

His post takes a look at cycle life considerations, charge cost effectiveness, use profile variations and its implications, and what it really costs. It provides a good basis for looking at your options for meeting your RV household energy needs.

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Automotive tech: they don’t build them like they used to.

Popular Mechanics lists 23 Ways Your Car Is Better Than Your Dad’s – Auto Industry News – Popular Mechanics and Wired lists ten examples of Hidden Tech That Makes Modern Driving Better. A lot of these items increase comfort and reduce fatigue and are in tow vehicles as well as the everyday automobile.

Active noise canceling systems and acoustic glass help make for a quieter ride. Direct and minutely controlled fuel injection along with turbo charging systems provide more power for less engine at better fuel efficiencies. Integrated GPS is being used to determine sun angle and adjust climate control. Magnetorheological dampers adapt the suspension for driving conditions. Security is improved making vehicles a more difficult target for thieves. Sound systems make the stereo of yesteryear, even the home ones, look rather anemic and low-fi.

The reliability is also a target. Engine alternators are producing 1.6 kw and fan belt driven pumps are moving to electrical. Tires get better traction, are less prone to damage from road hazards, and last longer. Engines and drive trains often come with warranties up to five times (or more) as long as they did in the past.

They don’t build them like they used to and much of the improvement is behind the scenes and stuff we take for granted.

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SNU July Newsletter

SNU Folks,

The July 2011 Newsletter has been posted. See link to the newsletter, photo galleries and additional information mentioned in articles in the newsletter.

Topics in the July newsletter

New Rally Location for July -}- Review of the June rally at Sweetwater -|- Notes from the Prez -|- SNU business meeting -|- Wally Byam tribute -|- SNU Anniversary rally & Lake Tahoe museum -|- 2012 dues -|- Don & Gail’s travels -|- Welcome to Dan Randall

Rally at Hickison Petroglyphs

details online — Hickison is about 20 miles East of Austin, NV just off Hwy 50.  Rally dates are Thursday July 21 to Sunday July 24, 2011. This is a BLM campground in a grove of Juniper and pinon pine trees. We’ll be parking in individual sites. There are 16 sites. Where you park will be on a first come basis and will also depend on what other campers may already be there.

Get the details on the September SNU Anniversary rally Don’t miss out. RSVP today!

For the latest on the Sierra Nevada Unit, check the organization homepage:

Check Zephyrs and find out what else is new on


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