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IL_Travelers

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Everything posted by IL_Travelers

  1. Hello Everyone, Finally, I have arrived at my first Harvest Hosts overnight! Diamond A Cattle Co., Pukwana, SD, is a great spot if you are traveling west on I-90. Kudos to my host, Crystal, who met me at the road and led me to her nice, flat pasture. There were two other campers boondocking; however, there was still oodles of room. What an exhausting drive; I counted 11 semi-tractor trailers blown over on their sides due to the storms and ferocious winds between Sioux Falls and Mitchell, SD. I was in a windstorm reminiscent of the Dust Bowl. If Oliver every wants a testimonial for wind-handling performance, that was it! Let's get to the real purpose of this note: TONIGHT'S UPDATE ON STARLINK With my Sheridan, Wyoming trip in mind, yesterday I signed up for Starlink "Portability," even though experience has shown that Dishy works fine in areas other than my local service area. For the extra dollars per month, it just seems to me the safer bet. Besides, Portability itself can be canceled for the months it is not needed. When I arrived at my HH spot tonight, I immediately went to work on Starlink. I set Dishy up on the rear street side and snaked the router cable in through the basement, through the door into the cabin, and then plugged it into the Starlink router. (NOTE: Coating the rubber seal on the router cables with silicone grease makes them much easier to plug and unplug.) I plugged the router power cord into the router and then into the outlet above the bed and within one minute I had my Internet WiFi network running in R-Villa. Running the Starlink speed test: 101 Mbps down, 21 Mbps up Ookla speed test: 123 Mbps down, 26.4 Mbps up Fast enough for all my purposes! The photo shows "Dishy" next to the red Andersen block. You can see the router cable running into the basement door.
  2. Yes, I did speed tests with both Starlink (see attached screen shot) and Ookla; both similar. The speeds were not blisteringly fast; however, I was in a location where coverage was not even supposed to exist! When I get to Wyoming in a couple of weeks, I will give it a more thorough workout in a robust coverage area and report back.
  3. UPDATE ON OUR STARLINK: Our package from Elon Musk arrived yesterday, 04-28-22. As I previously stated, I ordered the kit to be shipped to our home in Morton, Illinois with a service address of Sheridan, Wyoming, where we will be camping in a couple of weeks. I was eager to try out the system, since I have learned that most of the Starlink kits that are being shipped are equipped with roaming capabilities. I checked the Starlink map on the website and searching my localities. It is a simple task; there is a small icon in the upper left corner to click, and a world map opens showing light and dark green shading where coverage exists. I found that Morton, IL, had coverage; however, Tremont, IL, where R-Villa is in storage, was just outside the coverage area. I decided to drive the six miles to Tremont, set it up, and take a chance! I had learned from my research on Facebook Starlink groups that the coverage is sometimes better than the map indicates. It took me all of ten minutes to set up the "Dishy." The instructions are super easy. I used a Jackery Explorer 300 Solar Generator as a power source, placed the Dishy on the roof of my truck, and powered up. Even though I was not in my service area and the map said there was no coverage, Dishy immediately started searching and locked onto the satellites immediately. Within minutes, I had a Wi-Fi network set up! (I did turn off the snow melt feature, as it is a power consumer.) I entered the Ollie, turned on the Visio, and set the TV to the new Wi-Fi network I had just set up. Voilá, I'm streaming Netflix! This is a game changer!
  4. Our Starlink kit now has an "Estimated Ship Date" of April 24 - May 4, 2022. Perhaps we will receive it in time for our departure. Initially, I plan to just set it up on the ground and temporarlly run the cable in through a window or something. I would welcome suggestions; Oliver Service may need to get involved at some point as I am not comfortable drilling through the hull.
  5. To clarify; I set our "service address" on our Starlink order as the campground's address in Sheridan, WY; however, everything is being shipped to our new home in Morton, IL. That is allowed. Neat, huh!
  6. Yes, I have been conspicuously absent for awhile. We sold our home of nearly 40 years in late November after a 12-hour listing. Since then we have been consumed with a "frame-off" renovation of our new digs. We are moving to our church-owned Independent Living / Retirement Community where I was Administrator & CEO for 30 years. I often commented that "It is a nice place, but I'd never live there;" however, it just goes to show Never Say Never! My leather shop will command the garage! Several months ago, I signed up for the Starlink (SL) waiting list. A few days ago, I decided to check into SL service coverage in the Sheridan, WY area. To my delight, I found it was available! Although we will still be living in Morton, IL, we are planning a trip to the Rocky Mountain Leather Trade Show in Sheridan in mid-may. I immediately pulled the trigger on SL, and right now my order is confirmed, and I am waiting for a shipping confirmation in hopes of obtaining my Dishy in time for the show. I set up my service location as Sheridan, WY. I have joined several FB Starlink groups and spent some time on YouTube perusing what the "experts" have to say. It appears it is relatively easy to change one's service address "after the fact." In other words, upon leaving Sheridan and arriving at a new location, I think I will be able to search to see if SL has service there and simply change my service address at that time. There is also a service map one can check ahead, but you can search how to do that on your own. Also, the roaming SL service is in Beta, so it may just work anyhow. This whole enchilada is changing so fast, and the reports are sooooo good, that I am PUMPED! I sure welcome more comments and suggestions. Yeehaw!
  7. Some drawer fronts would look fabulous with the tops you made for us, Foy! Are you doing the nightstand, too?
  8. On our return home from delivery, I had to jackknife the trailer sharply to make it into our driveway. The next morning I noticed the $600 dent in the bumper of our brand-new 2021 GMC Denali HD's bumper. It has been repaired, and the basket is now sitting in storage; we do not miss it.
  9. SeaDawg, Thank you for your excellent insight. Perhaps I will do some more research!
  10. Thank you everyone for these suggestions about Advanced RV! We are currently camping at Wild West Campground & Corral near Amherst, WI. I just now saw your messages and am overjoyed to think we could get this done in Ohio. That would certainly be a doable trip from Illinois. Although I must say that we are sort of getting accustomed to the jet plane loudness, we have not yet faced any long-term use during seriously hot weather. Like many of you, we lean toward trips in the cooler climes. Still, we like to be prepared and think Advanced RV will probably be the path we take. We appreciate everyone and their expertise. This forum is so cool.
  11. Townesw: We are in central Wisconsin camping right now and just saw your text. Let me know if this photo is what you are looking for. We are all set up, unhooked, and will be here for a week. I can send you more pics when we are ready to depart. Drag files here to attach, or choose files... Other Media UPLOADED IMAGES
  12. I would love to swap out our Dometic AC for the Houghton on our 2021 LE II; however, I would need it to pay a service company to get the job done. Does anyone know of a full-service company anywhere that would safely and professionally exchange the units? Have Ollie, will travel.
  13. Nice flaps, Patriot! It is always good to see what accessories others are using. This was a major concern for us, too, before we took delivery of our Oliver. After we placed our order it took some time to find what was right for us to protect our investment. We ordered and installed this "Rockstar Full Width Tow Flap" prior to delivery of R-Villa on May 17 this year. Now, after towing with it for 4,500 miles, we are thoroughly satisfied and would purchase this flap again. The fact that it affords protection across the full width of the truck is a big plus for us. The ease with which it can be mounted and dismounted cannot be overstated. The most difficult part of the job is getting down on my 71 year-old knees! Seriously, it takes about 30 seconds to remove the flap by removing the two lynchpins (on either side of the receiver) and lifting the flap slightly up and rearward off the mounting brackets. The flap will fit in the bed of my truck with one end low and one end high; we now have an ARE truck cap installed which is not shown in the photo. (The flap is about one inch too long to lay flat in the bed!) If we are camping with the trailer parked for awhile, I can easily remove this flap to save fuel mileage while we are exploring. When we are ready to hit the road with the Ollie, it is a snap to put it back on. Available at: www.agricover.com
  14. John E. Davies et al, Thank you for your uplifting remarks. The normal rate for this space was $275/month. My agreed upon rate, paid in advance for a year, is $250/month or $3,000. Actually, that is a fair rate for our area. For us, the convenience and protection makes it worth the cost. As I mentioned, we will be renegotiating for a longer period. There will be a clause which will allow early release of the contract. So far as working with a closed overhead door, this facility also provides a side door with a combination lock! I have a Surefire Stiletto flashlight in my EDC gear, so if the lights fail, I can easily find the door. The interior measures a full 18' x 40'. I am a huge fan of LED headlamps, which I use extensively in my side business. If they are not adequate, I will go to Plan B.
  15. It has been almost impossible to find good indoor storage for our Ollie near where we live. A few weeks ago we inquired about availability at a storage facility in an adjacent village only 6 miles from our home but were told it was completely full. We did get on their waiting list in case something opened up. At that time I told them we would be willing to pay a year in advance. Two days later, I received a phone call stating that someone had "backed out" of one of the three units that had just been constructed. We were subsequently offered that brand-new 18' x 40' unit, electricity included. Did our paying in advance move us up on the list? I wonder. Today we were at the storage unit prepping for our upcoming trip to Door County, WI. The owner of the facility was there working and asked if I might be interested in an even longer lease period for a more favorable rate. He also agreed to split the cost of a powered garage door opener with the longer lease. It appears we are going to be there awhile! We don't mind the drive, R-Villa is out of the weather, and she might have some company; I have some other toys!
  16. Thank you, SeaDawg, for posting the video! (I need to learn how to do that.) I'm sure you are correct about the high price of these units. However, if the price : value relationship holds true, I am betting the Truma AC will please me just as much as the Truma hot water heater does that I ordered in R-Villa. For now, we will continue using our noise-canceling headphones as we eagerly await Aventa's arrival.
  17. Tonight I was watching “Traveling Robert” on his YouTube channel. (He has some interesting trips on his show IMHO.) In this episode he took delivery of his new Winnebago TT, “Minitini III.” I suspect Winnebago may be supplying the trailer gratis for marketing purposes; however, that is totally unsubstantiated. The exciting thing to me about this program is that he had Truma representatives inside the new RV showcasing their new Aventa eco RV air conditioner. Robert was video recording the show while standing right next to the unit as it was running, and AC noise was not noticeable in the recording! The Truma Aventa eco is a 13,500 btu unit, according to the Truma website. They are available only on select coaches now, but it appears they will be made available as an after market item at some point. I want one!
  18. A few weeks ago, after a service call in Hohenwald, we camped overnight at the Starkville KOA as we were enroute to Laurel, MS. That was my first encounter with Starkville in nearly 71 years.
  19. That is most helpful information. I spent a good part of the day messing around in our new storage garage, greasing the Dexters, and getting better acquainted with the Xantrex Bluetooth app. Although this is hard to admit, I had earlier (and obviously without having enough coffee) "returned all settings back to the original factory." I immediately realized that was a major faux pas. With sweat dripping down my brow, I went about searching, then finding the hopefully correct settings to which I re-reset the Xantrex controller. Time will tell if I got the settings all back where they should be.
  20. Thanks, Galway Girl, for a most helpful attachment!
  21. We are getting to this thread a little late; sorry! When we placed our order, I asked Anita if Service could install two grommets in the floor of the attic for our two CPAP hoses. My wife and I each have ResMed units. Anita said that had been done before. Long story short...it works perfectly. We simply unplug the television at bedtime and plug both CPAPs into that 110v outlet. That works on shore power or the inverter. The hoses fit right through the floor, and they are plenty long enough. I also use a short, "mini" bungee cord, which I wrap around the attic door latch and hook each end to the top of opening to keep the door somewhat ajar for ventilation. (I just don't like the door hanging down over my head.)
  22. Jordan, I recently had R-Villa ceramic coated. The work was done locally by an auto detailer / son of a friend. He normally works only on cars and trucks, but did the Ollie as a favor to us. The ceramic finish cost $1,400. The cost to buff it first was $600. Total = $2,000. I must say, his work was spectacular. I thought the Oliver had a great finish right from the factory; it was amazing how much better it looked after this treatment! We just got back from a trip from Illinois to Hohenwald, Laura, Ms, and then back home to IL; the Ollie was really dirty from nearly constant rain. It was amazing how easy it was to wash and especially how the bugs did not stick to the front! Some may say that is a lot of $$$. To me it was well worth it. At age 70, I am not interested in climbing on the roof, making it MORE SLIPPERY, and then trying to get down without injury.
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