Skip to main content


Whynter 12 Volt Refrigerator

It is a pleasure to experiment with an affordable, high-efficiency, 12 volt DC, compressor-driven refrigerator. Results so far have been good. These units match up well with an RV camper who camps away from electrical hookups. (Do not confuse a compressor-driven refrigerator with those small, cheapo thermoelectric jobs.)

The RV industry probably does the right thing in installing (Dometic or Norcold) ammonia/hydrogen-cycle refrigerators as standard equipment. They are versatile and satisfy a wide range of customers. Mine gave pretty good service for 9 years with only one expensive repair job. Its performance on propane was mediocre in the summer, though.

But when one of these standard RV frigs is old and needs to be replaced ($1500 or more) or is begging for several hundred dollars of repairs, it's worth looking at alternatives, especially considering how expensive propane has gotten. (This blog is aimed at non-hookup campers of course.)

In Praise of Generators

There are purists who aspire to going to heaven and sitting upon the right hand side of Thoreau and Gandhi; usually they proudly eschew generators on board their rigs. I think this is a mistake; more on that in a second.

Generators would have a much better public image if small, quiet units were paired with the right chargers and batteries, and only used to power appliances that make sense.

Camp Dead End

How many articles do you remember from glossy travel magazines? Believe it or not, I remember one. The title was "Camp Dead End." It was a warning against holing up permanently in an RV park, instead of 'chasing adventure out there on the open road'. The article was in harmony with the RV industry's economic self-interest, of course. But the article was still eloquent.

The Van Camping Sub-Culture

Relatively late in my RV career I discovered the van camping sub-culture in the blogosphere. They are especially fun when written by a young idealist. What is it that makes them so pleasing to read? Is it because, like the opening of a famous Dickens novel, they are wondering aloud whether they will be the hero of their own lives? Or is it that they see their life as a noble experiment? 

Happy With So Little

It's too early in the monsoon season in the Southwest to see flowers. Most of them are cautious and wait until September. These two were a real surprise. Keep in mind that there was a severe drought for nine months prior to this.

It's not good enough to just be pretty when you're in the flower biz. Something more dramatic and interesting is needed. First we must push away the Trivial and the Prittee-Poo, and dwell on the horribleness of the drought. We must be willing to stare into the Abyss. Some people won't do that because that would be "negative thinking." Too bad, because the real beauty isn't in the "positive", banal, and insipid color of flowers; it's in the violent contrast between Suffering and Rain.

It reminded me of RVing in Mexico. Sometimes I would sit out in the plaza and admire the pretty senoritas; schoolgirls actually. It surprised me that they were so attractive. But why? Must a country have material affluence to have pret…