Originally Posted by Online_17
Wow! Some great advise! Most I wouldn't have even thought of.
1 thing- don't get the part about the extension cords. Is there a plug in the rig that runs off the batteries?
We do have one inverter in the motorhome that we can use to power up 120V electronics when running on battery power. Our inverter is in the bedroom, so when the genny is not running, we can run extension cords from the bedroom to the front/living space to power up our laptops as well as the entire tv/media center. You can see some photos of our inverter, as well as my mods to it here http://www.ourrvjourney.com/a-few-mo...ended-journey/
I have the front TV, wireless router, vonage router and dvd player plugged into a power strip. When we are on shore power or generator power, I leave the power strip plugged into the 110V outlet. When we are on battery power, I unplug the strip from 110V and plug it into an extension cord that I leave in the overhead compartment - then I just connect that cord to a separate cord that runs from the inverter in the bedroom.
Eventually we'll get another inverter(s) so that we don't have to string cords across the floor, but it works good enough for now.
And yes, I said Vonage router. When we are traveling in the motorhome, we bring our home/office phone with us. We have a WifiRanger router in the motorhome that connects our entire motorhome network (3 laptops, wireless printer, vonage phone). The DW and I also each have Verizon Android Smartphones. So while we are traveling down the road, or at our campsite, we fire up one and/or the other phone, activate the FoxFire wifi router on the phone(s) and then our WifiRanger uses this as an internet connection. This then gives our laptops and vonage router a connection to the internet. This has worked great for us in both 3G and 4G areas, and we've seen a big ramp up of 4G coverage when we travel. Some of our speeds over 4G (through our SmartPhones) is better than our cable internet connection at home.
We also use our Smartphones to connect to our Slingboxes at home. If you're not sure of what a Slingbox is, here is some info
Basically the slingbox sits between your cable box and your TV. It has a network connection on your home internet that allows you to connect to and watch your TV at home from ANYWHERE - streaming the signal that comes out of your cable box. All you need to watch your TV remotely is a computer with an internet connection, or a SmartPhone/iPhone with the Slingbox app. You get full control over your cable box to change channels, set and view DVR recordings - it's just like using your remote when at home. The DW and I each have our own slingbox, so we can each watch our own programs and our Android SmartPhone also have HDMI out ports, so we don't have to just watch our home TV on our laptop or SmartPhone, we can use the HDMI cable to output to our 42" overhead TV or the 19" TV in the bedroom. While it can be a little noticeable (pixelated sometimes) on 3G, when we are in 4G coverage, the picture is just as clear as being at home. This works great for us when there is nothing to watch on the OTR Digital Antenna, or we just want to watch our favorite cable TV shows while on the road.
For now, this setup has enabled us to save some $$ by not having to install a satellite dish with multiple boxes and the associated service. And we're currently have unlimited data service plans for our Verizon SmartPhones - we got them a few months before Verizon changed their plans to tiered service.
Back to the cords ....
The other extension cords are for the outside and power up/plug into the 110V outlets in our basement storage bay. This bay has a weatherproof plug that lets up drop the cords out of the bottom of the bay. We use this outlet to power up all our outside lights that we string across the canopy. We also use these outlets (and cords) to power up things like the blender and ice maker when we're hanging out outside.
Another thing we also carry is a dozen solar "yard" lights that we put around the motorhome and car trailer. This makes it easier to find the motorhome at night when we are walking the dogs, as well as just lighting up our space.
Just because ... here's some photos
Our typical outside lighting with 110V lights that we string up under our canopy and pop-up tent along with the some of the solar lights placed on the trailer.
Our WiFiRanger Router installed in our overhead compartment. The Vonage router velcro's in right next to it. We gained a huge amount of space up here when we took out the tube TV and put in an LCD. You can also see the end of the extension cord that I plug into when I need to run all the front electronics on battery power.
The WiFiRanger Boost Module/Antenna installed on the Batwing TV antenna. This enables us to connect to WiFi networks nearly a mile away
Our camping spot at Loudon last year. We took our office with us for a few weeks last summer and spent about a month on the road. We went to the last race before the Chase at Richmond 2 weeks earlier, visited some family in between, and then spent a week camping at New Hampshire. It was a great finish to the summer for us. You can see the extension cord on the table that gets connected to the inverter in the bedroom. Typically if we don't need to run the genny while boondocking, we will run off of battery - then fire up the genny when we need to charge the batteries, or need to use the appliances like the microwave or rooftop a/c. While I've calculated that we only burn a little over 1/2 gallon of fuel per hour on generator, it's still a fuel savings when we are not running it.
And this photos shows our former Verizon MiFi router on the desk. We used these as well for internet access and to feed internet to our WiFiRanger. We had these before we had SmartPhones and were running the contract out after we got our SmartPhones. Figured as long as we were paying for them every month, we would use up the included bandwidth.