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Old 07-10-2020, 04:05 PM   #1741
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REI is back open, which is a danger to my wallet. There’s no substitute for a brick-and-mortar product assessment.

GSI “deep plates”. Husband was like, “So we are going to eat out of dog dishes now?” And I said, “Yes absolutely - dog dishes.”

I need something that can do a better job of containing the stews and many other one-pot meals that I make while camping. A shallow plate balanced on the lap means I’m wearing the food before I’m finished eating it.

I would prefer a one-plate-fits-all, but it doesn’t exist. I’ll continue to carry the Corelle as well.

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Old 07-18-2020, 03:58 PM   #1742
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"Everything old is new again"

-OR-

"The things we do for love"

As we prepare to establish our own private leper colony (aka quarantine), I needed something to organize our wet bath more efficiently than it has ever been. We need to carry a multitude of sanitary supplies this time because, once north of Bangor, we won't be permitted to dump our black tank, nor will we be permitted to enter any public buildings, including restrooms. (In case you are wondering what inbound non-camper-van people are doing within the same context, I have it on good authority that large numbers of them are relieving themselves in the roadside ditches - ah, no thanks... I'll leave the ditch for my dog).

Once we GET to our beloved leper colony, we have those logistics taken care of. But that last day on the road requires special provisions, so that we do not have to exit the van for the entire day, nor use the black tank, which I would like to keep clean given that it will sit for weeks.

This is the bedside caddy that I bought almost 5 years ago and used next to our jack-knife sofas until I transitioned to magnetic organizers. It already had Velcro on the back, so I bought 2-inch sticky-back Velcro to attach it to the wet bath wall. That way, we can just pull apart the Velcro and remove it when we need to shower.

It holds my stash of wag bags, Travel Johns (it's important to know the difference between those two!), soap and numerous other supplies, and I finally have a place to put the first aid kit.

I almost feel like one of what I call "the alt-toilet people" now - the ones who use exotic cassettes, urine diverters, those things that work like Diaper Genies, and other fancy gizmos as I continue to plod forward with a good old fashioned 20th century gravity-drop commode.

If this organizer looks off-center, that's because the wet bath wall has a small diagonal jog on the right side. It's not flat there, so the organizer had to be pushed to the left.



Here's the same caddy 4 years ago, to the left of my computer. It really did not fit that space, so I took it out and it's been taking up space in our garage for years now. Better to be used as shown above.

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Old 07-18-2020, 04:22 PM   #1743
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The things you can learn online by paying attention.

I now DO know the difference between wag bags and travel johns. Thank you for the information.

Adding this in case you or others find it useful.
In my truck now with The Covid around, I keep in the door's cup holders a water bottle (Aquafina are a bit more rigid) with a trigger spray attached to it and water in the bottle. In the other cup holder, I took a second water bottle and cut the top half of the bottle off and have a small bar of soap in it. A smushed roll of paper towels next to both. Now I can actually wash my hands before getting in my car. Squirt water onto the hands, grab the soap and suds for 20 seconds, spray more water to rinse a bit and then towel off. I have sensitive skin and repeated applications of sanitizer were triggering my allergies. This is working great for me.
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Old 07-18-2020, 06:46 PM   #1744
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InterBlog View Post
. . .
. . . Husband was like, “So we are going to eat out of dog dishes now?” And I said, “Yes absolutely - dog dishes.”
. . .


Looking forward to John's "Tate's compass" take on this.



Great versatile SS dog dish! Weight 5.3 oz. -- link here. Thanks for the heads up.
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Old 07-18-2020, 06:50 PM   #1745
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I couldn't find a thread specific to this, thought it would be good to have a place where we can post finds especially suitable for our chosen life of small space travel.
. . .
Just noticed you are the OP of this great thread, Maggie, thanks!
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Old 07-19-2020, 05:27 AM   #1746
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Quote:
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The things you can learn online by paying attention.

I now DO know the difference between wag bags and travel johns. Thank you for the information.

....
LOL I did not realize the difference between the two until I actually purchased them. Then I looked at them and thought, "Oh, I get it..."



I would not have even known about wag bags if it hadn't been for the pilots on this forum who discussed them several years back. Back when I did NOT need to know, but I remembered it.

I mean, who even imagines that there IS such a product on the market? It's a Johari window 4 phenomenon - a total unknown area: I would not have thought to buy them because I would not have assumed such a thing had ever been manufactured for sale in the first place.

The pilots took an unknown area and converted into a more transitionable blind area by discussing the use of wag bags in the context of sub-zero travel - when the Interstate's water lines might be frozen and therefore the toilet cannot be flushed. But the same product might also be useful under certain quarantine restrictions, so for me, it's now an open area of knowledge, in Johari terms.

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Old 07-19-2020, 06:54 AM   #1747
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Thanks for the Johari Window info. I had not heard of that before. Nice to have a way to explain it. Probably useful to explain hidden/blind in collaborative work team settings.

Back to camping.
This spring when our campground was open but their bathrooms were not, we did the low-tech equivalent which is an 8 gallon trash bag and a toddler diaper in the AS toilet. Dispose of in trash.

We are "we're #1, not #2" campers.

It worked very well.

I also know that Len and Jeanne when they had their 16 with its single tank would do this same concept but with a different twist on it.
They wanted the ability to not use their tank at all.
They would layer up several of those 8 gallons trash bags ,and put craft store floral peat moss in the bag to be used. This for them would be absorbent enough for a few passes at #1, or a 1-2 combo. When done, remove the used bag and add peat to the next bag.
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Old 07-19-2020, 07:00 AM   #1748
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RE: "dog" dishes,

Any chance you have a dutch oven large enough for this to fit inside? Would make great pie or deep dish pizza/calzones. Just sayin'.
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Old 07-19-2020, 07:58 AM   #1749
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Thanks for the Johari Window info. I had not heard of that before. Nice to have a way to explain it. .....
Not to get too far off thread, but there's a big public debate right now about the damaging effects of social media, which some are declaring will lead to the next civil war. We have all seen inexcusable things transpire on the mainstream platforms such as Facebook. I myself have an old friend with a PhD who has regressed into such a state of tribal mindlessness that I literally ask him why he took the trouble and wasted those years getting his degrees if all he's going to offer to the world is jumping up and down and banging a mindless tribal drum.

I am of the opinion that those of us with advanced degrees have an ethical responsibility not to behave like that. Otherwise, what's the point?

So when my husband LB_3 and I have this debate about the corrosive effects of social media, what brings the whole discussion to a screeching halt is the question, "Where would we be without the GOOD social media forums? Air Forums? Sprinter Forum? Instagram? How would we have gotten all this knowledge?"

Answer: We just would not have. We wouldn't have the same lifestyle at all - there would be no path to the acquisition of knowledge that must underpin it.

These buttheads who constantly spread lies on mainstream platforms... they need to get a hobby and stick with it, and find themselves a true hive mind in which to contribute to the growth of knowledge and skills.
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Old 07-23-2020, 07:34 AM   #1750
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This bucket that was featured on this thread as a great small-space option... it is still the best silicone bucket on the market that I have found, BUT, the handle design could be better.

One of our two handles broke at the joinery. That's OK - we improvised a new one using picture hangers, paracord, and a short length of hose to create a comfortable grip.

However, in order to minimize the torque on the metal band that is embedded in the rim, we had to extend the picture hangers above the rim, which is unlike the original handle.

That, in turn, made for a more awkward hanging configuration on the wet bath wall.

First world problems once again, but with two weeks of off-grid quarantine looming, I need EVERY aspect of this van to function efficiently. No rummaging, no wasting energy, no screwing around with stuff that does not work. Everything in its place and a place for everything, no fuss. The bucket needs to hang on the wall, period.

I may attach a pad to the wet bath wall to prevent the now-extended hardware from scratching the surface. But it does hang proud of the surface either way, unlike its mate.

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Old 07-24-2020, 10:15 AM   #1751
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This is a true story, as sure as I am sitting here, and I think it’s interesting, so here goes.

I was working from our Interstate at a client facility the other day – this being one of my strategies to minimize potential COVID-19 exposures. I meet with people and access their facilities, but if I’m remaining for long periods to do work for them, I sit in their parking lot and thereby minimize the amount of breathing air we all exchange.

It was 95 degrees out with 100% humidity (Houston – July), and so I had the roof A/C running on the generator. Conditions inside the van were tolerable but not great, and so I was a bit more cranky and impatient than my normal baseline, which is already pretty high.

My phone rang and I immediately knew who it was from the caller ID – it was Moderna calling me for their vaccine trial here in Houston. I’m OLD and therefore a desirable study volunteer, and Houston is surging and therefore it’s a trial hot-spot (there is no use running vaccine trials in locations where the odds of contracting COVID-19 are too low to yield meaningful study results).

To receive this phone call was so exciting! Elated, I involuntarily leapt to my feet, slammed my huge mobile workstation down on the galley counter, and accidentally tipped over my full blue GSI silo due to the small space. My tea spilled everywhere – onto the computer, all over the galley, and then waterfalling onto the Interstate floor.

It was indeed Moderna on the line, but I told them we’d need to talk later. I hung up and set about cleaning up the mess, especially from my work computer.

We never did reconnect.

For want of a nail, a shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe, a horse was lost.
For want of a horse, a battle was lost.
For want of a battle, a war was lost.

If I end up dying of COVID-19, it might trace back to that moment when I DID NOT HAVE A CUP HOLDER ON THE GALLEY TOP THAT SHOULD HAVE PREVENTED SPILLAGE IN THE EVENT OF AN ACCIDENTAL SMACK.

So this morning I set about rectifying that potentially-fatal shortcoming, however indirect it may be. This is what I came up with.

A while back, I had bought two of these kitchen utensil holders because I thought they were absolutely beautiful. Steel with these random circles cut out... brilliant. I figured I would find a place to use them eventually.

I already had a bunch of over-the-door cabinetry hooks – I’ve used them in the Interstate for years.

By chance, one of the existing holes in the utensil holder lined up perfectly with the hole in the back side of the over-cabinetry-door hook. Once I figured this out, it was a simple matter to get a small nut, bolt, and washer, and attach them.

It is intentionally not permanent – I need to be able to lift this off to clean the counter and access the holding pin for the mini-blind. But from this 37-second vid, you can see that the cups can now get reasonably bumped or smacked around without tipping over and causing a catastrophe.

And Frank was, indeed, way ahead of his time in his thinking. He's very a propos of this post.

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Old 07-26-2020, 05:29 AM   #1752
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Lowes has some pretty good storage containers right now. With pandemic supply chain disruptions, specific items are hit or miss. Every retailer has some kind of storage containers in stock, but finding the RIGHT SIZE is another matter. Walmart currently has nothing like the size that I show below.

In 5 years, I have never had to buy anything like this for our rig, which with typical cargo is too small to accommodate bulky plastic bins. But when I moved my folding bike out and created a new closet shelf to make way for extra quarantine food and other supplies, I needed something to put that stuff in.

I didn't want a single deep container that I would be constantly rummaging through to get to the bottom. Two of these stacked make for much easier organization and fit the closet quite well.

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Old 07-26-2020, 12:36 PM   #1753
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I finally finished boxing in the extra storage I am building into the 3" of wasted space between the end of the GT galley and the partition by the garbage can. I tapped tight-fit plywood bottom and side and padded both with marine bunket padding.

As shown in the photo, the space will hold my window spray, Soft Scrub, and a couple of other cans that I don't like in my galley drawers.

I still need to install some ring screws and stretch some bungee cord across the opening to prevent items from shifting and blocking the drawer.

The red wire serves the outlet I installed in the front end of the galley. I also installed two cradles for my DW's wine. There is enough room on each side of the waste can for the wine.
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