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Old 07-31-2018, 06:24 PM   #131
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 94
Winch (Receiver hitch mount)

Warn Provantage 3500 S winch, wired to factory aux battery (like lights). Receiver hitch front and rear, with heavy duty wiring to both locations and switch (including power on/off separate from control in/out). There were several considerations when going with this. 1) I was not comfortable going with much more power for fear of torqueing frame (a problem I have faced in the past due to stupid user error armed with powerful winch). 2) I have pulley if I need to pull straight on, but this is mainly for getting moderately stuck in snow, sand or mud, not pulling myself over ledges or out of deep mud. 3) I don't have to endure the weight of a heavier winch, and I don't even have to endure the weight of this one all the time since I only bring it with me when I feel I might need it. 4) The wiring front and back allows me to pull either way if stuck in snow, sand mud (more versatile than a larger perm-mount winch on front). 5) I have a second adapter for my portable ViAIR which I imagine (untested) being able to leverage the convenient location of this heavy duty wiring (instead of wrangling connectors to battery and stretching to get to rear. Note the separate power on/off to avoid having this wiring hot all the time. External controls on winch still work too, but can control from inside if I want.
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Old 08-03-2018, 08:53 AM   #132
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Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 256
Looking good! Love the attention to detail.


GAR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2018, 01:42 PM   #133
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 94
sleeping in the loft rocks!

Recent trip to CO with daughter. Pic is camped overlooking valley outside Mission: Wolf (near Westcliffe, CO). She and I traded and I slept up top in the loft while she slept downstairs. LOVED IT! Now that I have slept up there, it is my new preferred place to sleep when in nature.


I have always been disappointed at the degree of audio blocking when sleeping in the main cabin, even with windows open. Just don't hear the critters, running water, wind through trees, (and wolves howling!), etc. If I have not already used this reference on this thread, I often divide RV'ers into a) those that view it as a poor hotel room; and those that view it as a fancy tent. I am in the later category, and welcome the sounds in particular that come through up top. It's also WAY bigger and feels pretty decadent. We were in the mid teens temperature wise most of the trip, with little wind (thankfully). No problem staying warm enough up there with the diesel heater on down below for my daughter, who slept on top of her bag under a comforter, btw. (Heater efficacy another thread.)

When crashing at truck stop or Walmart, I sleep down below and don't raise the top for the opposite effect (blocking out surrounding noise).
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Old 11-19-2018, 01:59 PM   #134
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 94
Potty talk

Recent music festival with wife and daughter (pic below).

Crowded! Literally inches between our van and the neighbors on either side.

Now add rain the last evening, and the corresponding mud fields.

Now imagine the inside of the porta potty, never mind the trip there.

Suffice it to say that having a bathroom in the van was really nice..

On a related note, VERY happy with the cassette toilet option too. We just dump into the porta potty, or in the past at a road-side bathroom or even our toilet at home. No dependency on dump stations, and no messing with black-water hoses or valves.

One note related to cassette toilet: I did have a problem at one point and broke a mechanism outside the cassette itself that opens/closes the top. This was easily resolved (better than new now), but not before I dropped the money on a new cassette which I am not sure I needed now. I think the mechanism is weak by design, and a slight misalignment on the open/close lever at the toilet at the time of inserting the cassette can cause it to break off without even knowing. The effect is that the toilet will not close after that. Thankfully, it was upon inserting an empty cassette, so the smell was not horrible.
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4x4, cassette, hydronic, penthouse, sprinter

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