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Archive for June, 2013

PostHeaderIcon Awesome Harbor Freight Deals And Painting The RV

I heard about the driveway alarm you can get cheap and use for my chickens. Found one at HF and took a ride out to get one. I found some nice deals while I was there. I am stepping up the RV work to get it done asap. I want to finish the RV and get on to other projects right away.

When I move into the RV I want to improve my water collection system. I want to have pressurized water from the tanks in the meadow, feeding into the RV. I also want to have the ability to take a nice, hot shower. That would be awesome. Winter will be here soon so I need to get a fireplace going for the RV. I also have an idea for an oil burning stove that burns waste veggie oil or motor oil I can get for free. Cold food storage is important before the harvest. And A solar oven and food dryer need to be made asap. Although the sun does not shine much here, it will be helpful. And there are many more projects in The Off Grid Project to be finished.

I went to Harbor Freight to get a driveway alarm to protect my chickens. Someone posted in my comments that you can find them pretty cheap. I had found only expensive ones but HF has them under $20. When I was there I also found the perfect windmill frame. It is a mole chaser that is supposed to spin in the breeze and vibrate the ground to keep moles out. I dont care about that, or its claims, but its the perfect set of windmill blades. All I have to do is add a motor and let it produce power for me. If this works, I will get a couple more of them. If you look for windmill blades on ebay, you can pay about $80 or more for them. This was on sale for only $10.

The driveway alarm I put out by the chickens to warn me if an animal approaches them at night. It is a wireless sender and receiver pair. The sensor goes out by the birds and the receiver stays inside my camper. When something approaches, a very loud alarm goes off, which would wake me up and alert me to the danger.

I got a package from my youtube friend “douglasfi2re”. He knows that the mosquitoes are very bad here and we had been talking about a bug zapper. I cannot find a cheap one around here so he sent me one. Thank you douglasfi2re again for your help out here.

I amped up the RV work to get it finished faster. The heat has slowed me down a bit and I am behind schedule. I worked on the bedroom area on the bed side. Where the wheel well is, I fixed the hole in the fender cover and then used spray foam and rigid styrofoam insulation to fill in the areas better. I have some old 2 inch thigh foam insulation laying around that fit perfectly around the wheel well. This was an uninsulated area before. After putting in the solid foam insulation, I then used spray foam to fill in the gaps perfectly and then put the water tank back in place and connect it.

Sadly while putting the water tank in place, I shorted out my new cigarette lighter socket and blew a fuse. It sticks out just a tiny bit too far and hits the water tank. I did not foresee this when I put it in there. Stupid planning on my part.

I was able to get the while bed put back together now. The foam has been sitting in the sun for a while on both sides to kill any bacteria and freshen it in the clean air. It does not smell at all. This was the clean mattress. The mattress cover will be washed and sanitized carefully and then also set out in the sun to clean it well.

The bedroom is coming along very well now. Well, half of it at least.

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Join me every Monday night for a live chat show. You only need a computer and internet to join. Go to www.aroundthecabin.com

PostHeaderIcon Long Night Awake Fighting Raccoons And Making Electric Fence

Thursday night around 2:30 am the raccoon came back again to attack my chickens. Friday I spent the day reinforcing my chicken tractor and started to make an electric fence to protect my birds.

Thursday evening my chickens were terrified at bedtime and it took me two hours to coax them into bed. They made the most horrible noises I ever heard. They were so scared. I built up the chicken coop in the rain to make it stronger for the night. After I finally got the birds into bed I stuffed the house openings with boards to block them in securely for the night.

About 2:30 am I was awakened by my security light coming on. This time I had it pointing into my camper window so that the bright light would wake me up, and it did. The raccoon was back. I sat up for an hour watching as the light kept coming on and going off as he moved around. The problem is in the forest at night it is pitch black out. You cannot just go running off after a wild animal in the dark without danger to yourself or the possibility of just never seeing the animal at all.

So I sat there trying to locate it. About 3:30 am the door on the trap was sprung. That was out of the range of the security light. And the light kept coming on. So I waited for a perfect moment, tensed up by the door of my camper with shoes on. When the light flashed on again, I charged through the door to see if I could surprise the raccoon. There was one in the trap and at least one more wandering around and triggering the security light. I never did see it though.

I went to Tractor Supply in the morning to see about getting an electric fence, but they want $100 just for the DC powered controller. That is out of my price range. I spent the day working on the chicken tractor some more and started planning a homemade electric fence.

I got that old junk chain saw out of the woods and pulled out the ignition coil. This will be the main part of my electric fence. I need to make a circuit to pulse DC power from a battery into the coil. This will be connected to a wire around the edge of the chicken tractor. Because the chicken tractor is mobile, I will have to use the chicken wire itself as the ground and another wire suspended outside the chicken tractor as the hot wire.

I am still working on the circuit for it. I got rained out by a thunderstorm so I could not finish the outside work yesterday.

In a break in the rain I got out my old Homelite chain saw and put my brand new chain on it. That old saw fires up and runs well. Now I can finally start cutting up some firewood for winter.

I got a couple packages in the mail yesterday. One from 2012solarful, from youtube. It contained some zip ties, cables with alligator clip ends, a package of test leads and alligator clips and – best of all – a brand new digital multimeter. Mine just went bad a couple days ago. The timing of this could not have been better. Thank you very much 2012solarful.

I received another package from fellow youtuber SaundersActs2618. This box contained a bumper sticker that says “Real Men Love Jesus”, some packages of Folgers instant coffee. This is nice because each box contains 7 individual servings of instant coffee. This is perfect for back packing, hiking or survival. Or when you just run out of coffee. He also sent a stack of Christian leaflets for me and my church to hand out. Thank you SaundersActs2618.

Another thunder storm cut my day short so that was the end of my outdoor work.

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Join me every Monday night for a live chat show. You only need a computer and internet to join. Go to www.aroundthecabin.com

PostHeaderIcon Survival Essentials Survival Seed Vault Review

I first met Survival Essentials about a year ago when I bought my first survival seed vault from them. After three months of research on the best survival seed company on ebay, I finally chose Survival Essentials. I later called Lynn, the owner and we have since became friends. Lynn was kind enough to send me a couple of their newest products.

This is not a paid commercial, but rather me stating my opinions about a product that I like.

Survival Essentials sent me their two newest products. I got the 100 variety seed vault and the 125 variety survival seed vault. They are both packaged in a glass container which is guaranteed for life. That in itself is amazing and unique in survival seed sellers. The glass jar is better because it will not rust, breathe or corrode with time. When properly sealed the jar will keep your seeds safe and dry for years to come.

Both of the survival seed vaults contain only non GMO, non hybrid, heirloom seeds. The company is a licensed seed dealer in the state of Oklahoma and can back up their statements.

As I mentioned, I first spent three months last year looking for the best survival seed vault company on the internet. Ebay seemed to have the best prices. I read the full listing pages and kept coming back to Survival Essentials ebay shop. It looked like the most professional shop and they had the best guaranty.

The 100 seed vault contains four of their top selling seed packages, sealed with a silica gel desiccant pack in an air tight glass jar. They recommend keeping all of the packaging materials to better protect your survival seed vault. You can find the full listing of the seeds in this package on their ebay shop:
Survival Essentials Ebay Shop

The 125 seed vault contains all of the above plus another one of their best selling 25 seed packs. Each of the five packages contains 25 varieties of seeds. This seed vault comes with a bonus of rare heirloom tomato seeds for free.

Survival Essentials recommends keeping your seeds stored in the freezer for longer shelf life. If kept sealed in the original glass jar and frozen, your seeds will have a higher germination rate for many years to come. Shelf life for seeds varies between varieties of plant, so no specific shelf life can be given, but freezing prolongs the life of your seeds.

Most large countries have their own survival seed vaults in case of war or catastrophe. The world seed vault is located near the North Pole where the permafrost keeps the seeds below the freezing temperature.

Survival seed banks are not only for preppers and survivalists.

It is highly recommended for every family to have their own survival seed vault in case of disaster, war or loss of income. In such a case a family could continue to provide their own food for years to come.

These two products are on sale 50% off through mid July 2013.

You can find them here:
Survival Essentials Survival Seed Vaults

PostHeaderIcon Raccoon Got My Chickens The Battle Is Back On

Last night a raccoon got three of my chickens. Two of my favorites were the victims. I had to work today in the office, but when I got home, I spent the whole time reinforcing the chicken tractor. The battle is back on.

Yesterday I had heat exhaustion again, so I must have slept very deeply. That is rare for me because I normally hear a mouse moving and jump awake. Chickens do not die quietly and the birds in the chicken coop would have been making a ton of noise. I cannot believe that I did not hear anything at all last night. My windows were open too and the birds are not that far away. It must have been the heat.

When I got up this morning to feed the chickens, they were acting strange. Not the normal happy birds jumping over each other to get to the food first. Then I went around the front of the chicken tractor and found feathers scattered all over. Some were bloody. I lost my black silkie rooster, my tiny little white miniature bantam with the fluffy cheeks and my favorite off all, the one that looks like a hawk in the face.

The raccoon had dragged my favorite bird off into the woods and simply killed her and left her there. Maybe for another meal tonight. I dont know.

I am very sad. I love all of my chickens and hand raised them all. They are all special breeds.

After work today I spent the whole afternoon and evening reinforcing the chicken tractor. I can see where the raccoon had been pulling and working at the chicken wire all around the chicken tractor looking for a weak point. He finally found one. He worked at the door until he worked it loose on its hinges enough to pull downwards. He somehow squeezed in and stole three birds in the night, out through that little crack in the door.

I stapled some more chicken wire around the door halfway down and inside the door. That way he cannot squeeze through anymore. I also put some more wire on top of the door and draped it down and fastened it with rubber straps. I laid an old pallet against the door so he cannot pry it outwards. I also reinforced some of the chicken wire on top of the cage so he cannot get inside if he gets on top.

The chickens were terrified tonight at bed time and were making the worst noises I ever heard. They were so afraid to go to bed. I talked to them and coaxed them into the house and them blocked off the doorways with boards for the night.

I also set up the live trap with the body of my favorite chicken as bait. I figure the raccoon will be back for her later tonight.

I put all of my security lights out by the chicken coop tonight and facing my window. I will sleep light tonight and watch for the raccoon to return.

It rained in the middle of my work this afternoon while Baby cat and I were outside. I was working on the chicken tractor and the cat was chasing chipmunks. The rain come on fast and hard. We both got soaked. Baby did not like that at all. I had to laugh while she ran in circles trying to get out of the rain. Cats do not like water!

On a positive note, a package arrived today from a fellow youtuber named “NYCamper62”. He sent me a brand new chain for my old Homelite chain saw. He also sent two quarts of chain oil and two bottles of 2 cycle oil. Baby cat got a 12 pack of special food and a brand new box. NYCamper62 also sent me some Clorox sanitizing wipes for my cleaning jobs and a brand new paint brush for my renovation work.

I cant wait to get out and finally cut some firewood the right way. Time is flying and it will be cold again before you know it.

Thank you very much NYCamper62

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Join me every Monday night for a live chat show. You only need a computer and internet to join. Go to www.aroundthecabin.com

Here is today’s video:

PostHeaderIcon Vehicle Work RV Work And More

On Saturday I was working on my truck at a friend’s place and got my lift bed going. It looks so awesome. The truck looks like a show truck now. I was painting my RV and working on my off grid air conditioning system.

Saturday I was repairing my front brakes on the old truck and fixing some wiring issues. I also finally got my lift bed going. The truck looks like it belongs in a show now with the lift bed. I think I will paint it up nicely and take it to shows. It is so cool.

87 GMC Pickup Truck With Dump Bed
click for larger image

I painted the bedroom wall of my RV with the darker green color and I am happy with the results. It is a darker color for sleeping but not too dark. I still need to do the second coat of paint, but it is looking very good now.

Today it was 92 degrees and humid out. After months of cold weather, having it turn hot like this is hard on the system. I am not used to the heat. It has been in the 40s and 50s at night and 50s and 60s by day. Suddenly we went up to high 60s and 70s at night and 90s by day. I worked on the wiring in my old camper to get the air conditioning hooked up.

I got it wired and fired up the old generator but the wire I was using got very hot to touch. So I replaced it with a 15 amp plug and it worked fine. The air conditioner works well. But the only problem is that the generator kept shutting off the AC line every few minutes. I am not sure why. It may have been the extreme heat causing it to trip off. I will have to look at it.

When the AC did run, it made the temperature in my old camper tolerable. Even my cat showed signs of life. She has been laying around sprawled out all day in the heat until I got the air conditioner going. Sadly it did not last long due to the generator kicking off.

I spent a lot of time today inside working on the computer. I got a bit more caught up on my messages and video comments. My Wilson Electronics phone amplifier works so well. I am very pleased with its performance. It boosts my phone power and internet speed. I have 4G internet in the middle of the forest. Now that is cool.

I wired up a cigarette lighter socket in the RV today under the bed. I want more power outlets in the RV. There is only one single cigarette lighter socket in the whole motorhome and that is up by the driver. It does not even work either.

I got a cigarette lighter socket at the auto parts store today and mounted it into the frame under the bed. I used the wires that go to the heater blower motor under the bed. That fused line should be powerful enough to handle anything I will ever plug into the socket. After cutting a hole through the wall and mounting the socket, it almost looks like it was installed by the manufacturer. I can now plug my phone in to charge while I work in the RV.

Today I patched up the screw holes in the bedroom wall of the RV to prepare for the final coat of paint. I was not sure if I wanted to fill the holes or not, but decided to make the bedroom look brand new. I filled the holes with wood filler. After painting you will not see them anymore.

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