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Messages - kitphantom
« on: April 14, 2017, 04:21:40 PM »
One of the biggest things with the IP is to realize that it is an electric pressure cooker, not a microwave. Cooking time is fast, but there is still time needed to reach pressure and reduce pressure. (For some foods you release the pressure immediately, some let it naturally release, others a combination of those.)
For instance, it takes me almost 3 hours to make posole (sort of pork stew with hominy/nixtamel) with the Instant Pot - that's still a great improvement over 5-6 hours, and with less pot watching.
« on: April 13, 2017, 09:45:26 PM »
We have two of the Instant Pots. I bought the 6 qt DUO on Amazon Prime day last July and the 8 qt Duo a month or so ago. So yes, you could say I've found them useful. They are an electric pressure cooker. I don't use them for slow cooking, I don't like most slow cooker meals; some like the feature, others not so much. There's a huge Facebook group.
Since we live at altitude, one of my main reasons for buying one was cooking dry beans, since our old stove top ones needed new gaskets. Little did I know how handy they would be for steel cut oats, cheesecake (!), hard cooked eggs, and even yogurt. (I swore I wasn't going to make it again all these years after doing so as a poor college student, but I am.)
Most of our camping is dry camping, so I doubt we'll take one of the IPs often. However, one of our trips with power should be in prime fresh corn season, near Durango, so even higher than at home in ABQ. We cooked corn on the cob in the IP last year and it was great.
« on: March 28, 2017, 12:23:22 PM »
Welcome from ABQ, too.
Our first popup was a 1984 Palomino, which we eventually did an extensive renovation on.
« on: October 18, 2016, 06:58:49 PM »
I had to drop our TT off for service today, the dealer had two of these in the showroom:http://www.sylvansport.com/
They had one in camping mode, the other hauling mode. I didn't look too closely, so the best I could say is that it would be camping off the ground - though once upon a time I would have jumped at a chance to look more closely.
« on: October 17, 2016, 08:24:51 PM »
It partly depends on what age they want, how much DIY they are willing to do, and what the budget is.
For instance, our first popup was a 6', one bunk end 1984 Palomino that was under 800#. Some of the Livin' Lite popups are pretty light, they have a Bimini-type top instead of any hard roof (at least the ones I've seen).
Years ago we looked at a fiberglass TT that was just a shell, it was tiny and light, but I don't remember the weight.
Campers designed to be pulled by motorcycles are very light, but also small and bare bones. Tear-drops may be light too, but as with everything else, they vary a lot. The Retro JR. 509 has a listed dry weight of 920# (riversidervs.net)
« on: July 26, 2016, 01:06:51 PM »
I think the idea is to provide extra floor space with seating during the day, but have a better sleeping surface than a convertible couch.
Our White Water Retro by Riverside has a full-time bed, in a 17' travel trailer; there is storage under the bed. They now have several floor plans, and two exteriors (one is the vintage look like ours, the other is more modern looking).Retro with quilt
by Andrea Vaughan
, on Flickr
« on: July 08, 2016, 07:07:37 PM »
There are all sorts of ideas to reduce the musty smell, including using vinegar in water to clean it up. If you can air and/or wash the cushions, or at least the covers (on gentle, air dry, use thin plastic to help get the foam back into the covers), as well as the curtains (if any), that will help.
I would suggest that you do a thorough inspection to eliminate the possibility of mold or mildew. On our first popup, there was still a funky odor, even after washing the cushion covers. A few years after we bought it (well used), we had to renovate it and found hidden old mildew under one of the dinette benches. Once we took care of that, it was good.
« on: July 06, 2016, 08:02:49 PM »
Get one with an auxiliary handle. I had to brace ours against my leg (I had to sit on a step stool to use it anyway) so that the drill raised the roof instead of spinning. We bought a Sears Craftsman 19.2 volt with a rechargeable battery. I had to learn to use the right speed and torque - I made it overheat and turn off due to thermal switch a couple of times. The drill has turned out to be a very handy addition to the tools we have, even if we're not using it for raising a roof.
For our 8' Coleman Cobalt, it worked OK, but I ended up not taking on trips. One charge was enough to raise it once, and we usually dry camp. Most of the time, I used it at home, when it was too hot to crank the roof up.
It probably delayed our needing to move to a TT by a little bit, but my deteriorating back made the move inevitable. I get the part about not wanting to get a new tow vehicle too. We towed the TT with a 2005 4Runner for a season and half, but finally bowed to reality and bought a truck. The 4Runner was our newer vehicle, the 20 year old car was going to need work soon, so one way or the other we needed another vehicle.
« on: June 13, 2016, 10:51:03 AM »
One reason we liked the tiny shower/toilet set-up in our Retro is that there is no bathroom sink. Two steps and I'm at the kitchen sink. Makes sense to me - one hand soap, one less faucet to winterize.
« on: June 13, 2016, 10:46:56 AM »
We put one in the under-bed storage in our Retro. Worked OK but the adhesive on that one did not hold up to lots of miles on the road. After a while, I needed a flashlight to find where the puck light had fallen. It was easy to forget to turn it off, too. Maybe we should try another tap light, but we realized the usually-forgotten under-counter light in our kitchen area shines pretty well into that space.
« on: June 10, 2016, 10:21:34 AM »
Our travel trailer came with one of those lift up shelves, not as large as yours. Yours is a bit handier, though. Ours lifts in front of the door, so partially blocks it. We can squeeze by, so the extra space is welcome.
Trying to figure out more work space has been interesting in each of our campers. We used part of the front bunk in our Cobalt pup, and now the end of our (island) bed, for space to set things down while working in the "kitchen". I made a table cloth to cover the area of the bed we use.
« on: June 10, 2016, 10:14:45 AM »
Not all campers come with a furnace. Even when they do, some people tend to use electric space heaters for a couple of reasons.
For some people, the furnace is just too noisy. It never bothered us, but we're used to having forced air at home; after a couple of cycles, we don't really hear it. For us, the electric space heater we had was more bothersome, especially when it was on the edge of the set temperature. On-off-on-off was worse than the furnace. The furnace in our second pop-up kept the temperature far better once we changed to a digital thermostat and relocated it to the counter (a few inches above the floor meant huge temperature swings).
Some prefer to use electric space heaters when they have power, figuring that they pay for the privilege of having power, so would rather use that than their LP.
« on: June 06, 2016, 02:29:58 PM »
What type of popup and what does it have? Bare bones, furnace, etc.? Do you camp with power or not?
We camped into the teens in both of our popups. The first did not have a furnace, so if we knew we would be in sub-freezing temps, we would find a campsite with power. Then we used an electric space heater and either electric mattress pad or blanket. (We camped into the upper 20s in our ground tent, but I got too old for that, I don't cope with being too cold well anymore.) Our second popup had a furnace, and we used it both dry camping and with utilities. We have solar panels, so those would recharge the battery each day while dry camping (at least in the places we camp)- camping in the Colorado mountains means we sometimes use heat even in summer.
Some people do use one of the "buddy" type heaters. We never did. For one thing, our pups were both small, and finding a safe location for one would have been difficult. We like the fact that the furnace has an outside air source and vents to the outside, too.
Heat retention measures are as important as heat producing ones. Pop-up Gizmos (PUGs) or other reflective covers on the bunk ends, rugs on the floor, inner bunk end liners (from PUGs) or fleece clipped up around the edges of the bunk, and often the door, are all very helpful. However, you do have to maintain air circulation to reduce or eliminate condensation inside. It often surprises people to have water collected on the roof (especially in the bunk end) or walls. We breathe and sweat (even at low temps) out a lot of water vapor, and it can also be produced by heating water, cooking or some heat devices. When it hits the cooler surfaces, it condenses.
« on: May 20, 2016, 08:28:14 PM »
Some of the motorcycle ones we've seen are similar, as are many of the vintage ones from the '70s and earlier. We never found them in person to look at (though we've seen them in campgrounds, sometimes pulled by smaller cars), they didn't seem like enough of a change from our collection of ground camping equipment for us to bother with.
I'm not sure how much set-up there is to the Jumping Jack (I think that's the name) type I've seen in big-box sports stores -they can be a tent trailer, or the tent taken off and used the base as a utility trailer. We once saw one set up along a 4WD road for hunting season.
« on: May 19, 2016, 10:31:49 AM »
Basic and/or light/small seems to be difficult to find in almost anything. I think there are actually more choices now than there were for a while in the late '90s, when we were looking for our first popup. We ended up with a 1984, tiny Palomino, since the only other things in the weight range we needed were motorcycle campers. We had a good collection of ground camping equipment (still do), but we wanted to be off the ground for some planned trips to wet areas.
We used the 6', one bunk pup for a while, it stood idle when the canvas disintegrated, until we renovated it and used it for 2 seasons. Moved to a slightly larger, 8' pup. By that point, 2011, there were a few more choices - Quicksilver among them. However, bigger, heavier and more bells and whistles seemed to be the way most manufacturers were going. We planned to keep the pop-up for many years, but back issues began to make it impossible for me to go solo. Trying to find a camper - A-frame, HTT and TT were all among those I shopped - within our weight, size and $$ was interesting, to say the least. We ended up with a 2015 White Water Retro TT, 17', made in Indiana. Yes, it has some things we had on our "don't need" list - flush toilet, water heater, 'fridge - but we've adjusted and use them all. (Though we'd have to be totally desperate to use the shower.) Our goal was to keep camping, camp in interesting places and still be as flexible as possible. We have been able to use many of the same campsites that we used with ground tents and the popups. It's also now easier to use the camper for traveling and visiting - that is, as a hotel room on wheels.
There are options out there, but it takes a lot of work to find some of them, and some seem to be niche products - such as the expedition-type popups and roof-top campers. In the TT field, there are a few more small ones, along with the increased interest in renovating vintage TTs, which tend to have fewer systems, especially the smaller ones.