Which heater is best: Forced air, ceramic or catalytic?

By Greg Illes We were up on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, boondocking out in the Kaibab Forest at around 8,500 feet elevation. It was October, and the nights were regularly dropping into the 30s (F). Our stock cabin heater, a standard Suburban 30,000 BTU fan-driven beast, had long since been sidelined in favor of a small propane…

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Why would you want a composting toilet?

By Greg Illes We’re now three years with a composting toilet. In that span of time, we’ve used the toilet continuously for anywhere from 3-4 weeks to 4-5 months. Total usage in three years was for a total of about 9-10 months, so I feel that we can speak reasonably authoritatively about it. Our original motivation was to “do without”…

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How about a desert sea serpent? But wait, there’s more…

By Greg Illes Sprawled across the back lots of Borrego Springs, California, are dinosaurs. And prehistoric camels. Miners, farm workers, battling bighorn sheep and, yes, a monstrous sea serpent – well, to be more precise, a desert serpent. The brown rust of the iron sculptures doesn’t glint in the sun, in fact it blends gently into the desert until you…

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Why would you want a lithium battery pack?

By Greg Illes Lithium batteries have truly extraordinary advantages for certain types of RV life — but they have their “dark side” as well. You need to be very well informed to make the “lithium decision.” First off, NO, they won’t catch fire There are literally dozens of lithium battery chemistries extant, and the one used in vehicles is lithium-iron-phosphate.…

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Solar Basics – Know how to determine your solar system

By Greg Illes Books can be written (and have been) about all the nuances of solar power. For your RV, this article is meant to be a “thousand-foot view,” a way to see the entire landscape of solar power, without getting bogged down (yet) in too many details. I’ve tried to cover a lot of factors, and not too deep,…

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RV mods: Give your galley a stainless-steel makeover

By Greg Illes For many years, we lived with our factory Formica countertop. It was — well, serviceable is about the best I can say. Drab-to-ugly is more honest. We thought about Corian and some other products, but either expense or weight were big obstacles. Finally, I “bit the bullet” for a somewhat challenging job: resurface the counter in stainless…

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Why filter perfectly good water?

  By Greg Illes Why filter perfectly good water? The answer to that question is another question: How good is “perfectly good”? Many RVers use the water that the RV park supplies, straight from the tap. After all, that water comes from treated sources and should have no problems. Right? Well — maybe. Yes, it’s reasonable to assume that a…

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