Posted on October 15th, 2016 by Brenda.B
We are getting set to say “So Long, See Ya Later” to our friends here at Southwoods RV Resort in Byron, NY.
Everything is packed away for the winter and we are set to pull out of here in a couple days.
So what does one do to say Good-bye to friends? Well, most would get together one last time, whether it be for dinner or drinks around the campfire. Well we do something a little different and throw a “Bott-Lott” CampJam.
What’s a CampJam you ask? Well….we gathered some of our friends and family and threw a party, on our site of course, where we have live music and others can come in a play some. It’s all in great fun.
So the Jello shots were made. The campfire was masterfully tended to by our friend Mark… Thanks Mark!
Making sure everyone stayed nice and toasty with the campfire and the Jello shots :)
The band played for hours. Everyone had a great time. David had a blast joining the band playing his Cajon. He’s really talented at it and loves the opportunities that he has found to play around the country.
This was a great way to say “So Long, See Ya Later” to all our friends.
We’ve been parked here all Summer while I was recovering from back surgery and we helped, along with all of David’s sisters and family, David’s parents move to a new place and sell their home. So it was a busy and long Summer. We hope next year will hold health and happiness and some shorter trips to explore some more.
The next day, the only proof that something amazing had happened here…
One lonely cup left over from the Jello shots. Just precariously sitting on the empty stage/patio.
A great time had by all.
And that’s all that we could ask for.
So safe travels to all our friends out there.
And let me leave you with one last thing…
This video of our good time.
3+ hours edited down to 26 minutes.
Here’s hoping you can join us in Quartzsite for another good time.
So long friends….
See you on the road.
And our Southwoods friends…
See ya next year!
Posted on October 9th, 2016 by David.B
As you may know, but if you do not here you go, one of the larger causes of coach fires is the engine. You would think in this day and age that engines would not be such an issue. After all, our cars are not just starting on fire out of nowhere for the most part. But for some reason, looking over photos and videos on-line of coach and bus fires, it sure does seem that the fires start in the rear engine compartment.
The biggest cause of this is the high-pressure fuel lines that can rupture or leak and then you have fuel coming out at a high rate of speed that can come out as a vapor. If that hits the heat of the exhaust system that could be currently purging the emissions system, poof! Fire erupts and in an RV or coach WILL spread VERY quickly.
So we have done a few fire tips here in the past like Adding Smoke Detectors to the Cargo Bay, Suggest using FOAM extinguishers, and sadly, an RV fire that where we helped save a dog. So with all that in mind, I have wanted for a long time to add a automatic foam fire suppression system to the coach. Why now? Well we did just have a high pressure relief value go bad (no leak thankfully) and that got us thinking of the high pressure fuel line leak we DID have with our old coach. Engine lights lit up that there was an issue. So we pulled over and was shocked to discover the entire engine covered in fuel to the point that even the tow car was wet with fuel past the windshield! So again… why now? Well, because I was reminded of it from our friends Jim and Beverly.
What had stopped me in the past was I was told that there was not enough room in the compartment to put in a system as it could go off based on the engine heat, seeing that there is not a lot of room. (Yeah, no kidding that there is no room,) In fact, when we first got this coach we did have it looked at by a guy in the RV industry that sells these systems. He had the installer he uses come over and take a look when we were at the FMCA Indio Rally. He said it would be very hard to do.
Well, after it was put back into my mind I thought… Hummm… What’s so hard? After some research into the various systems, I was NOT concerned over them going off due to engine heat, as the heads need to reach 286 degrees to deploy. 286 degrees is A LOT of heat to the point where you really would need a flame to make that happen in an area that has moving air. So, in other words, an actual fire in the compartment.
So I set out to make an easy install of it so that others could also do it if they wanted. Now understand, this is how I did in for our 2014 Tiffin Allegro Bus 45LP. However if you own a 2013 or newer Phaeton or Allegro Bus, there is a good chance the mounting would be the same. There is also a good chance that it would be an easy install for other coaches as well.
Now I say easy. Buy that I mean, I in no way wanted to mount the heads in a way that would require me to remove the engine hatch to get to it and then work upside down dropping things along the way. So I needed a plan, a simple plan and so I came up with one after looking it over.
I have NO IDEA why someone has not come up with this idea before. If they had, I surely have not seen it and even the installer, who does these all the time, did not even think of it. That being, a simple aluminum C channel or angle to make a mount that could hold the head and fasten into the back end of the coach. Based on how the coach rear engine compartment is laid out, I only needed the supports to be about 10 or 11 inches long. As such, not a lot of “lever” force to worry about. And the heads are very light. Very. So again, we are not talking about a lot of weight.
So here you have it. With some parts from a Lowes or Home Depot, you too can install a fire suppression system for that “just in case” moment that may never happen but you would be glad you had one if it ever did.
First we needed to mount the tank and on the Allegro Bus it has the PERFECT spot.
Then setup the foam canister with the needed line connections.
Now with the 286-degree heads attached to the mounting bracket you made, it is as easy as connecting the lines to the heads, and sliding it back into place. Once you check and recheck the position, mount it to the back wall.
There are also smaller systems but for these larger coach engines, you surely want the 4 liter dual head. There are smaller ones for like the generator and even one for the battery compartment that uses Halon.
Now remember, mileage will greatly very as to how you may install one if you so choose for your coach. This is in no way a how to that will cover every coach. It is meant as a way to show you a way you maybe could mount the heads that would surely make it much easier to install if you can use a slide back bracket.
Now have we gone overboard doing this? I would have to think that some of you will say “Yup you have!”. So sure, this might be over the top to install such a system. But considering we did have a cracked high pressure fuel line that could have ended badly, and then on this coach a high pressure relief valve fail, to us $500 is something that makes us feel better. And the way that I installed it, it would be easy to remove and put into another coach when/if that time comes.
So do with this information, as you will. It was not meant to scare you. It was meant to show you that such systems do exist. And get this…you can purchase it off Amazon!
I did a quick video talking about it…
Posted on September 23rd, 2016 by David.B
Well, it is now time to talk about a dirty subject…Gray and Black Tanks! “Oh what joy!” Yea, I know! I am super excited about it also. (hummmm….)
Now many people asked about this and this usually means they are new to RVing and just do not really know. We have all been at that point of not knowing how this should be done and seeing we get asked at least three times a month, well, we are over due at making a post and a video that we can point people to. But this also gave me a great chance to put in a new sewer hose system that uses a totally different fitting that does not leak, with a MUCH more industrial hose that would take a lot to hurt it. It’s called the Waste Master. Waste Master was designed and tested for years by Drain Master and then it was sold to LCI as they had a much larger distribution network. (Thus the like names) However the Drain Master company is still involved. (Ok, that was more than you needed to know, but thought I would mention it as you may find it on either site and the names are, well, the same but different.)
So, black and gray tanks. I will make this quick and easy as their really is not much to understanding the use of the tanks. (Ok, after writing the blog post it was not a quick post after all. Who knew their was so much to write on the topic?) Now I KNOW that people WILL HAVE AN OPINION on this. But this is how WE do it and the logic as to why we do it the way we do. And after all, we are the ones being asked. :) But of course, please feel free to comment and help others.
The “Black” tank is used to store your digestive waste. This comes from the thought that the waste is much darker in color. I guess it could have been called the “brown” tank seeing the “Gray” tank is used to store used water such as sinks and showers and as such the way it actually looks is gray when it comes out. But oh well that is the way it is. (Guessing that maybe early on the tanks themselves were actually black and gray in color and so it stuck. Today they are usually the same color…black.)
RULE: Dump black tank first and then the gray tank right after it so it will flush out the tube. So what this also means is that if you are one to leave the gray tank open all the time…BE SURE to close the gray tank so you can build up liquid in it of at least 30% before you dump the black tank. You NEED to flush out the tube after you dump the black tank. So, when black gets to about 50%, close the gray tank and by the time you are needing to dump the black, you will have enough gray water for the tube flush out.
BLACK TANK – Leave this CLOSED all the time until it is time to empty it. “But Dave, I have full hookups and so I am connected to a sewer.” Well great! But leave it closed! “But why Dave?” Well, your “solid” waste has no way of being able to flow out of the tank without being pulled out by all the liquid waste and flush water that is allowed to build up when you have it closed. So if you leave the tank open, your solid waste would just go “Plunk” down into the tank and would just stay there while the flush water and “#1” would just run out. (That is until the outgoing opening gets plugged from to much solid build up then you are in for some bad times.) So leaving it closed allows for all the flush water and “#1” to build up and up and up. You dump the tank when it gets to be above 70% (Give or take.) This way you would have built up enough liquids that when you open the tank it would create a “whoosh” and a suction effect that would then pull the solids out with it.
Then if your RV has a tank rinse, you turn that on when the meter gets down to about 20% left and let it run some. This will help to knock things down the walls and also help to push some of the solids towards the opening. After a few minutes I then close the black tank and let the rinse run some to put some liquid into the tank to start it off. Again, I do not want solids to just go “plunk” into the tank and stick there. Having liquid already in the tank will help with it not sticking so it can be pulled out.
GRAY TANK – Ok, this is the touchy one. I think we can all agree that the black tank stays closed until needed to dump for the reason stated. But the Gray Tank can go either way…open or closed when hooked up to a sewer line. So what is one to do? Well, like the black tank, the gray tank can also have solids in it from rinsing plates etc. But what is worse, the grease or oils that can and do go down the drain no matter how you may try not to. They can and will build up on the side walls and even the bottom of the tank making a “mucky paste” of ick!
To prove this in the video you will see that I added a clear drain extension and left the gray tank OPEN for a month. You will see that over time an oil and grease sludge built up on the side of the clear tube that the gray tank was on. So what this means is if you leave the tank open all the time, you WILL get a build up in your tank as these will stick to the sides and grow in thickness. If however you leave it closed, then just like the black tank, you will then be able to have a lot of it pulled out when dumped at about 70% (give or take) as most will be floating on top of the water and thus be pulled out.
Now that is not to say that you can not leave the gray tank open, and a lot of people do. But that does mean you should be using something like Happy Campers Holding Tank Treatment to help treat the tank to dissolve it the best you can. We do this when we travel by having at least 50% in the gray tank and adding Happy Campers to it when we travel. As we drive it will slosh around and when we arrive, we will then dump the tank, thus clearing it out the best we can. We do try to wait at least 8 hours (say 4 hours of driving and then another 4 hours. Or better yet, letting it sit overnight after the drive and then dumping in the morning. (Gray tank only…If doing it on the black tank, dump right away as it will all be mixed up thus not having time to skink to the bottom.)
So…Do we leave ours open or closed? Well, that changes for us. If we know we will be doing laundry all day we will open the tank and thus we will not have a quick build up of gray water. However, for the most part, we keep the gray closed and open as needed. Yes, of course you then tend to need to dump the tank more often then just when the black is full. This is one reason in the future I will be adding electronic dump valves so we can do it right from our bathroom. :)
“So Dave, why now make this post?” That is because I just got a new hose system that needed to be installed and thought I would do it all at the same time. Tank talk and tube talk.
You see, I have grown frustrated with the darn hoses because the one I used to use, the RhinoFlex by Camco, has gotten really bad in manufacturing IMHO. I went through two of them in three months because the hoses would split at the spine. In the past I had used them for years without issue. Then we bought the new coach and I wanted a nice new hose. Well it seems that they changed the plastic or something and I had two bad experiences due to cracks. So then I looked for another solution and I found the gray Viper hose by Valterra that was looking to be great! Well not so fast. While I like it a lot better than the RhinoFlex, I did end up getting a hole in it that I needed to seal with Emergency Tape and I did not like the fact it would not stay in place as the rubbery tube will not stay coiled when used. As such, even if you are 5 feet from the sewer, all of the 20 feet of hose will be out and uncoiled.
I then came across the Waste Master hose system. After being stung to many times, I was fearful of the price as I hated to spend more only to have more expensive issues. Also, it was different. And by that, I mean that it does not use the bayonet locks that are on almost all RV’s, it uses a CAM lock system. Unlike the bayonet locks that seem to be used ONLY in the RV industry for liquid. CAM locks are used across the world as a secure, leak free, easy to use hose linkage system. Ever see a fuel tanker truck hooking up to unload fuel to a gas station tank? If so, you had seen CAM locks in use. They are used industry wide from fire trucks to tankers and even fueling jets. So why is it that the RV industry choose long ago to use a bayonet flitting vs a proven positive locking system for dumping waste? NO CLUE! I can only guess to make after market products that are only used for RV’s, thus being able to make more income. HOWEVER, they still could have used a system that THE ENTIRE WORLD uses just as easy and still made their own hoses etc.
So…After researching and actually talking to the guy that came up with the CAM lock hose system for RV use, I was willing to modify our coach to use CAM locks and thus allowing me to use an industrial, patented, drainage hose! (Do you know how hard it is to patent a hose? Lets just say it is as hard as one would think, a hose is a hose is a hose. Nope.)
But when I say modify the coach it may sound worse than it is. It actually takes under 10 minutes to do and can be done by anyone. (Well, almost. I asked Brenda to and she said no.) It just involved cutting off the four tabs that the bayonet uses on the bottom of the “Y” pipe and then glueing on the new CAM fitting to the end of the “Y” pipe. POOF! New industrial fitting that uses a hose that seems to really be something that would take a lot, and I mean A LOT, to hurt. Also when you have it in place where you want it…It says in place. It will not uncoil like the gray hose did.
I did mentioned the higher price of the system. However what I did not mention is I did spend more in three months on replacement hoses than the system costed me. So, in theory, this should be the last hose system I should ever have to buy. Also, when we change coaches some day, I will simply buy a new “Y” pipe and replace the one I put the CAM fitting on thus allowing me to take my totally awesome new waste drainage system with me. (Well, as totally awesome as sewer waste goes.)
TIP: If you choose to also go with the Waste Master system, be sure to get the “Back to Bayonet Adaptor” also. Why? Say you are dry camping somewhere and they offer pump out service, then they will likely come with a bayonet fitting to attached to your RV. (Because that is what they would expect you would have of course.) So you then can pop in the adaptor and have the correct fitting so you can then dump. You can also get a 20 foot extension hose for those times when you just can’t reach.
After using this new system for a short time I will already go on record to say, I truly think that this is the best waste draining system hands down! From the correct type fitting, IMHO, to the totally great industrial hose, right on down to the “business” end having a shut off.
Attn RV Industry: Please be so kind to switch to a proven system that just works and does not leak. And by that I mean going to a CAM lock fitting that is simple to use, does not bind up, and does not leak.
So I made a video. (Of course) In the video I talk about the the tank usage, then go on to talk about hoses which gets me to the Waste Master, and then I do the install of the Waste Master and dump our tanks. Seeing the entire thing is 35 minutes long, in the beginning of the video I tell the starting time of each section. As such, you can jump to the part that interests you. Enjoy our waste.
Posted on September 14th, 2016 by Brenda.B
Whether you have been full timing for a while like us, are new to full timing or are still in the research phase, the following video, we feel may be relevant to all. While most people think about the travel and the adventure and visiting places on your bucket list, there is another side to full timing that is most often not talked about and ignored. By that I mean the disconnection you may feel from your family, friends and a community. A disconnection that can sometimes lead to depression.
For us, we did not consider this when we were looking to travel full time. We both grew up in one area of the country. Most of our family is in this one area of the country. Our friends we grew up with are all in this one area. When we left this area to travel full time, to get “Outside Our Bubble”, we were good for a while. Seeing new things and experiencing new things. New cultures, new foods, meeting new people.
I won’t go into to much detail here because I feel what David says in the video says it all. I did not know he was making this video but once I saw it, we both knew it had to go online and be said publicly. He wears his heart on his sleeve and I love him for that. He is honest and a good man and I am glad that we found each other 22+ years ago. We have both been there for each other in good times and hard times and I could not have picked a better partner to travel down the road with and have our various adventures.
We wanted to put this video out there to show that traveling full time is not all hearts and rainbows. Cupcakes and puppy dogs. Unicorns and, hummm, whatever. There is another side to full timing. The “disconnect” that some of us may feel. We hope this video helps paint a larger, more complete picture of the full timing lifestyle by mentioning something you may have not thought about if looking to go full-time.
Thank You for watching.
Posted on September 6th, 2016 by Brenda.B
OK….So I am really excited to tell you about this! David ordered this Instant Pot DUO 60 in Amazon Prime Day about a month ago and we have been really enjoying it.
Now, let me tell you first of all how this all came about. I knew nothing about pressure cookers, knew no one that had a pressure cooker. So when David said that he wanted to get this and try it out, I was, to say the least, a little skeptical and very intimidated. I mean….a pressure cooker? Are you crazy! We could blow ourselves up!
Umm…..not so fast. First of all, not only is this an electric pressure cooker but it’s also is a slow cooker, rice cooker, stew cooker, meat cooker, soup maker, saute’er and yes, you can even make yogurt with this thing! I’m sure I’ve even left a few things out that this appliance can also do. There’s just so much it can do and think about how many appliances you could get rid of with just using this one thing. We all know space is limited in a motor home/rv. How great would it be to get rid of all those things and replace it with just this one item!
Now, unlike like the older stove top pressure cookers were you have heard the horror stories about how they could blow up if you were not careful or if you walked away and were not paying attention to it or if you didn’t seal it properly or what ever the case may be. Hopefully you were not one of those stories. These types of stories are what fed my apprehension.
So when David said that he wanted to get this thing, I was not too sure.
So when the box came in, here is were David and I differ. I open it up and first thing I do is get the manual out and start reading about all the does and don’ts. David on the other hand, gets the Instant Pot (IP) out, washes it, plugs it in, throws some rice and water in it, seals the lid, pushes the rice button and declares, “Well, we’ll see what happens. Will we or won’t we get rice?”
Umm….the manual says we should do a water test first to make sure it seals properly and comes to pressure properly. Then, and only then, does it say we can start cooking in it. Oh well…too late for that now. The rice was already in. The pressure was already building. This thing, I mean, this Instant Pot, seemed to be working. We sat there patiently (well, some of us were inpatient, I will leave that for you to decide whom that was) while the rice cooked away. Once the pot came to pressure and sealed, we sat there. Waiting and waiting. Watching the count down. Wondering if we would have something edible. Yes, we watched it the entire time. Fascinated by it, the noises it made, then the eerie silence after it built up the pressure and “clicked”. Then it sat, just cooking away.
A little while later, low and behold, the IP beeped and told us it was done. We released the pressure and opened the lid, after I read in the manual on how to do this of course.
We had rice! Oh my! This thing actually worked and we had rice. And it was good. And cooked thoroughly. And we didn’t heat up the kitchen with our rice cooker steaming away. Creating all sorts of heat and steam in the motor home. This IP thing just sealed, cooked rice and wallah! No heat builds up. I may like this thing after all. (TIP: Yes, when you release the pressure steam does poor out and surely would be in the RV. However, David moved it over to under the microwave fan intake vent port and turn the fan on. All the steam, well most, was sucked up and out of the coach. So if your microwave is vented…consider this a good tip and be sure to thank David.)
The next matter of business was to look in our fridge and freezer and figure out what we could make for dinner. Or rather, what David could make. I was still very intimidated by this new fangled thing in my kitchen. Besides, I wasn’t done reading the manual yet. Although, I have to admit, it was growing on me. I could see some possibilities and usefulness to this.
So we had this rice thing down. We figured well…let’s start off small. So David did some more rice and added some spices to it to make a Mexican style rice. I on the other hand got out my electric skillet and made a stir-fry. Yes, I still needed time to, umm, bond with this pressure cooker.
OK….so fast forward a few weeks and we both have been cooking up a storm. I have discovered a FaceBook community about all things Instant Pot. Recipes, do’s and don’ts and the most important thing…accessories. Yes, their are a bunch of accessories that you can decide on whether you really want/need them or not. You can of course cook in the IP without any such accessories. However, some accessories do make things easier.
You can use the IP for steaming veggies, pot stickers or pierogies, all of which we have done and all take only a couple minutes. Literally 2 minutes if not less (once it’s up to pressure). I found this bamboo streamer tray that works well for these types of foods that fits perfectly, with its lid and everything, into the IP.
If I don’t want to use the bamboo trays I bought, at Walmart, a simple silicone steamer basket that works well for veggies and potatoes for potato salad.
Oh yes…making potato salad is a breeze now. No more boiling a big pot of water for the potatoes and another for the eggs, building up heat and steam in your rig. Oh no, now I peel and cut up the potatoes and put them in my steamer basket in the IP, lay the eggs right from the fridge on top of the potatoes and in 4 minutes on high pressure, I have perfectly cooked potatoes and hard-boiled eggs for potato salad. Yes, you read that right. 4 minutes. Perfectly cooked potatoes and hard-boiled eggs. I won’t try to explain the pressure and heat and everything behind it. I couldn’t even begin to tell you. It’s science people. Just trust me in knowing that it works perfectly every time.
One of the things I learned while reading posts up on the Instant Pot Community FaceBook page is that no matter how much you clean it, the silicone sealing ring can leave a smell to it. Or God for bid, you have guests coming over for dinner and you find out that you have used your IP silicone rings to death and they are splitting apart or are no longer holding a seal or have just completely broken in half. After a while, these things can happen. However, IP says that you should get at least a good year out of them. Time will tell though. So, having some extra rings around will help in those situations but it will also help in keeping the savory things savory and sweet things sweet. You really don’t want to make something sweet and find out when you bite into it that it has a slight onion taste to it. So these blue and red silicone rings are really easy to keep the sweet and savory separated.
Believe it or not, but you should believe it because I am showing you, is one of the big things to make in the IP is cheesecake!!! Yes….you read that right…you can bake in this thing too! However finding a springform, or any pan, to fit into the IP was a harder issue. The typical ones you find at the stores are usually 9 inches round. That would be too big. So the people up on the community had found this 7 inch springform pan that fits perfectly inside the 6qt pot.
So yes people…I made my first ever, not just in the IP but also ever in my life, cheesecake. With the help of my friend Trish, we both attempted our first cheesecakes ever. She made a peanut butter cup one and I made a black raspberry one. It was so simple and turned out so perfect that David asked when I was making the next one. Umm….I don’t think we want to make a habit of making cheesecake all the time. However it is a great size to share with friends and not have a ton of left over cheesecake that is calling your name at 2 in the morning. Not that I know anything about that.
So yes, this Instant Pot is great for RVing. It’s super easy to learn and makes some great food. I won’t bore you with everything that we have made, but some of what we have made has been… meatloaf with potatoes and carrots, all in one pot at the same time, of course the ever talked about potato salad, cheesecake, because who doesn’t love cheesecake. Well, I guess if you’re lactose intolerant then you wouldn’t.
But I’ve also made a great banana bread that was incredibly moist. Usually when I made this in my oven it would be dry. Not so with the IP. The pressure-cooking really keeps the moisture in, so your baking that you may do will turn out amazing with how moist it is.
Just to name a few things…pasta and meatballs, all in one pot. Cook time is half the time listed on box for pasta. So, 4 minutes and you have perfectly cooked pasta and meatballs. Sausage and peppers mixed with pasta (which I did cook separately because the pasta would have been moosh. Honey Garlic Chicken, also one pot. Tex-Mex Chili Mac (one pot), Sweet Corn on the Cob (3 minutes), a whole chicken, meatloaf, pierogies, pot stickers, macaroni and cheese. So much more. I don’t want you drooling on your computer so I’ll stop there.
This has really made life so much easier. In the sense that:
1: It doesn’t heat up your kitchen. So when it’s 95 degrees out and you don’t want to cook because it’ll heat up your rv even more, this won’t. Plus the added bonus of no steam build up in the rv based on my smart husbands above tip in venting it.
2: Very versatile. You can pressure cook, slow cook (so you can still use your slow cook recipes on slow cook or convert them to pressure cook time), rice cooker, saute meats, steam pot stickers, make corn on the cob all with 1 cup of water! Anything.
Well….I shouldn’t say anything. There are some things that I will not make in the IP. Like baby back ribs. Yes, lots of people do it. Just look up on the FB community. However, David and I prefer to slow cook ours on our Kamado grill all day. Steaks and hamburgers are another thing I will not cook in the IP. Yes, people do, but why? Some things are just better on the grill.
So I had to tell you all about this great pressure cooker thingy called the Instant Pot. It’s great for the rv and traveling. You can have home cooked meals with a lot less effort. However, one thing to keep in mind is that it is not indeed “instant”. Yes, it cooks fast. Pasta in half the time on the box. Corn on the cob in 3 minutes. Potatoes and eggs in 4 minutes. However, it still has to come up to pressure. Which doesn’t really take that long. However it can be a while if you put frozen meat in it. Yes, you can indeed cook right from frozen in this. So keep that in mind when planning your meals. What may take just as long as the traditional way that you make it (my friend’s cheesecake took 50 minutes, mine 25), it still saves you time in effort, watching the oven, getting out and dirtying multiple pots and pans, heating up your whole place, etc.
So in my eyes it is totally worth it. We are both enjoying coming up with new dishes to try as well as converting our usual dishes to work in the pressure cooker mode. I highly recommend the Instant Pot for your home, rv or where ever. And for those of you that have a larger family or like a lot of leftovers for lunches, and trust me, you will have lots of left overs, they make an 8qt Instant Pot also. For you techies out there, they even have a Bluetooth enabled one! I’m shocked that David didn’t get that one being the techie that he is but I am sure if it was Wi-Fi and not Bluetooth he would have. :) There’s an Instant Pot to suit whatever your needs. For that I am sure.
(Wow! Who would have thought I would have said that!)
Posted on August 26th, 2016 by David.B
Ok, this has been talked about A LOT by others, and by that I mean the product WeBoost Drive 4G-X. But we get asked often, as you may guess, about how “WE” are doing phone and data on the road and if we have made any changes over the years. The answer is YES we have now made a big change.
So after all the things I have seen and read on the WeBoost Drive 4G-X, I had to get my hands on one and see what all the fuss was about. Now let me say this upfront, it is not inexpensive. It is quite a hit in the wallet actually. Especially when you consider to get the best performance you would also want an outside mounted antenna and that new WeBoost 4G antenna alone is not cheap. The Drive 4G-X comes in two kits, the WeBoost Drive 4G-X and the Drive 4G-X OTR. The OTR comes with the new, powerful, 4G antenna and is the way to buy it if you want both, as the kit is less expensive than buying the Drive 4G-X and new antenna separately. Even though it is not inexpensive, if you require the best chance at cell and data coverage and speed, as we do, then it surely will cost you. But is it worth the price?
Now I will say we still believe that there is a place for the less expensive Drive 4G-S Sleek if you do not require multi user. We have used the Sleek for many years for our data needs, as we would place our phone or JetPack in the cradle and have increased performance. It has serviced us very well and is much less expensive, as it is meant to be used by one device. It is also 50% less powerful then the Drive 4G-X, which has the most power output, allowed by the FCC. If you already have the Sleek and are happy…Great!!! However…You will want the new 4G-OTR Cellular Antenna to replace the old one. The old one in the 2100Mhz frequency bands actually hurt your signal as it reduced it. The new one now does what it should and boosts it in that frequency band. (4G LTE lives in that band as it can be from 700-2100 Mhz depending on your provider.)
But now our needs have changed, as well as technology, and as such we have now changed right along with it. The Drive 4G-X offers us multi device connections, as well as greater power and thus reach than we have ever had before. This comes off as better cell coverage with less drops and increased data speeds, especially on the uploads. So to us…YES…It is worth the price of admission.
IMPORTANT NOTE: NO BOOSTER, none, nada, zippo, will do you any good in a poor signal area. In order to boost something, you need something to boost. If you have no signal, or very poor signal, their is nothing to be boosted. This is why a larger gain antenna is important as the antenna is used to bring that signal in from further away as well as transmit out over longer distances. I mention this as sometimes, ok a lot of times, someone says it does not work without understanding HOW it works. “It did nothing for me. I had no signal and I still have no signal.” Well, hello, yeah! So you get this important fact…right? Hope so.
As far as where or how to mount it…That’s your call! :) But for us I removed the older Wilson Trucker antenna I had mounted to the roof and replaced it, in the same place and with the same mount plate, with the new WeBoost 4G antenna. NOTE…The cable is attached directly to the antenna, no clue why they would do this, so you cannot use the existing cable that you may have already run. (Grrrrrr) So I clipped off the cable from the old antenna and was able to pull the new antenna cable wire through using the old cable. Behind the front cab cabinets is A LOT of space. So getting into that area to get the cable is not an issue. And seeing we chose to mount it all up in the front, I did not need to run the cables anywhere else. Yippee!!!!
You see, the WeBoost Drive 4G-X uses an inside Plate/Patch/Directional antenna that is good for about 3 maybe 4 feet away from it. So seeing we sit in the front of the coach, it actually does provide us with improved service from the driver and co-pilot seat. But more important is that the JetPack is located right next to it! As such, it gets all the performance it needs!!! (Which is very important to us.)
I made a video talk about the WeBoost 4G-X which is about 11 minutes long. I talk about what it does, some things you need to be aware of, but also, I show On/Off demos on the gains you receive not only in the signal, but also in download and upload speeds. Yes, others have done this for this product. But hey…you asked. Well maybe not “you” per say…but whatever.
So please watch the video and then you can decide if the WeBoost Drive 4G-X is right for you. I hope this helps and I am sorry in advance if I once again cost you money. ;)