Archive for April, 2012

Making coffee options: cold brew?

Coffee? It get’s people going whether they are into it as a connoisseur of just want something other than water to drink. For a start, see the TT Owner’s Guide chapter on Living: Coffee.

The classic manual method is the Melitta: Melitta Ready Set Joe/Mug 64010 Coffee Makers Speciality. That’s a filtration system to sit on a cup so all you do is to heat water and pour it through.

Another one for hot coffee that provides a concentrated or even Expresso result is AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker with zippered nylon tote bag and an Extra 350 Micro Filters (700 Total). The discussions on just how hot the water should be and the specifics of the technique get quite extensive on the forums for the AeroPress. It does a good job when all you need is a cup or two and is easy to clean up. The amount of coffee you get from it is rather small but quite strong. You can dillute to fill two mugs and come up with a decent cup.

If you are into iced coffee or like to have a concentrate in the fridge so you can microwave a cup of coffee anytime, a cold brew might do. You can go with a ‘make your own’ from a couple of drink glasses left over from your last fast food run: Cold Brewed Coffee on the Cheap. A commercial version of this is the Toddy T2N Cold Brew System.

The cold brew idea is interesting in that it is a room temperature coffee brewing over a long time, like 12 hours or so. That creates a concentrate suitable for 3:1 dillution that can be stored in the fridge for a week or two.

Note: Amazon affiliate links are used here supporting the website. No cost or obligation to you and a potential help with the web hosting bill here. And they do provide an illustration to help you see what is being discussed..

If you do coffee for your camp group, a 3 liter Thermos type pot as shown in the Owner’s Guide will keep coffee available for the morning depending up how many and how coffee driven your friends are that morning.

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LED Lighting

Those LED strips can be an interesting arts and crafts project. See LED lighting – DIY strip lights (below in the blog).
The 5 meter, 100 12v module, self stick circuit tape runs anywhere from
around $15 to $100 or more depending upon source and (somewhat) LED
type and waterproofing.

A PWM Dimming Controller For LED Lights or Ribbon, 12 Volt 8 Amp, 3301 allows trimming down light levels (and power draw) to just what
you need. It also provides some over-voltage protection. Use a
‘safety off’ with them, just in case. The dimmer board and pot can be pulled
from the supplied case and installed with stand-offs or double sided tape
in the fixture.

The LED strips work well for many of the lights in an older Airstream. The
originals are often 3 bulbs riveted to an aluminum flashing to serve as
a reflector for both heat and light. That reflector makes for a nice
mounting for the LED strips. The result replaced the 60 watt
incandescent with a 20 watt or less, as needed, dimmable LED.

For connections between strips there are some clips Available. Soldering some wire pulled from old CAT 5 ethernet patch cable or low
power speaker cable also works.

Watch out for sharp cut edges that can cause shorts. Lift the ends of the strips a tad off the flashing and put a dollop
of hot glue underneath. The  hot glue is also useful to help secure the
wiring.

There are three color strips with the fancy remote controls and dimmer that can be used for mood lighting. The 16.4
Ft RGB Color Changing Kit with LED Flexible Strip, Controller + Remote
and 12 Volt 4 Amp Power Supply By Ledwholesalers, 2034rgb Kit
~ $35 makes for a good way to experiment with ‘mood’ lighting options.

A photo gallery is being prepared – more here when it gets posted!

There are other options. An E-Bay search might bring up some bulb replacements that are under $5. These are 36 LED arrays with a set of common bulb bases. The light strips might require a bit more ‘arts and crafts’ effort and skill but the do allow for more options and for spreading the light out.

more, later ….

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Consumer Reports Trailer Tips

The weather is beginning to pull on those who have an RV (and aren’t winter sports nuts!). Consumer Reports has Trailer tips – How to get ready for the summer towing season to get you off to a good start.

“If you’re a first timer, have recently stepped up to a larger trailer, or just want a refresher, start with our towing guide for the basics. That has plenty of information about how to match your vehicle to the load. (Also read: “Pulling your weight.”)

And whether you’re an experienced trailer veteran or hitching up for the first time, take a few minutes to read the following tips.”

Flush out the pink stuff in the plumbing, sanitize the fresh water system, and make sure everything works like it is supposed to. Then you can get out and enjoy what the RV offers.

Another Consumer Reports item is about How to prepare for driving without a spare tire. Check the DOT dates on the tires, including the spare if you have one. Inspect the tires for cracks and other problems, Investigate any tire that seems to be losing air faster than the others. Be prepared and check your emergency equipment.

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SNU April Newsletter

SNU Folks,

The April Newsletter has been posted — Links to photo galleries and additional information mentioned in articles in this newsletter can also be found there, too.

Topics in the February newsletter: Notes from the Prez, Rally in Mason Valley -|- April at Pyramid Lake -|- Jerry’s GPS and Waypoints -|- Video Library -|- SNU Flags -|- SNU Shopping -|- The SNU Diorama

April at Pyramid Lake

Thursday April 26 to Sunday 29, 2012 the SNU rally will be at Pyramid Lake, Pelican Point To reach the campsite for the Sierra Nevada Unit rally drive past Sutcliff and turn right off off 445 at the boat ramp sign. Follow gravel road down to boat ramp area. Turn right (looks like parking area) drive through and around hill to the right. Can’t miss us. Trailers should be visible from hwy 445.

Check here for map to Pyramid Rally site and other info

Be sure and stop at the Ranger Station in Sutcliff to pay your camping fees before you head to the rally site or use their online system.

Bring firewood for campfires.

SNU 2012 Rally Schedule


SNU HQ

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