Check out my bestselling book on habits, Superhuman by Habit. .
Not sure if this forum is active still, but I'm selling my 1999 Rialta FD rigged with two solar panels (490W total), two Lifeline AGM batteries, Blue Sky charge controller + remote, 1000W inverter, Maxxfan, and new Norcold AC/DC refrigerator. My ebay auction is coming to an end soon: https://goo.gl/AmYXod
I realize the community forums aren't very active and a several Rialta folks are moving on to other living arrangements, but surely someone will find this helpful. On the topic of summer heat, I realize I could’ve relocated to another climate, but I love the community in Austin and decided to put my time, money, and energy into improving my living space over relocation costs plus building a new community elsewhere. Big ups out to Dave R. for proving the possibilities of solar-powered air-conditioning, out to J. Donna for all the enthusiasm, help, friendship, free tow, and new tires, and of course out to Tynan for sharing all kinds of fantastic hacks and leading us to RV life. Tynan, I don’t know where I’d be without a marine fridge, great find!
PM me for an album of the build
Yes, the new array reliably runs both runs the 5kbtu air conditioner and charges my batteries simultaneously from 10AM-5PM. I only having 4 golf cart batteries, so I usually shut off the A.C. after 5pm because my panels are permanently mounted flat (not tiltable towards a sunset) and I simply don't have the battery capacity to run it at night. Yamaha's 1000W ultra quiet generator runs up to 9-10 hours per gallon, so that's a likely upgrade I'll add in the old generator compartment to run it at night, though I really wish it had an electric start so it can be programmed to come on only when needed (anyone know of a similar 1000W high-efficiency, ultra-quiet, electric-start model or a hack to modify the Yamaha?). The four SunPower 435W panels are 20% efficient and outperformed my expectations (in clear direct sunlight, two panels can often put out over 600W and I’ve seen them peak over 700W!) causing me to add an additional MidNite Classic 150 charge controller (which do need networked to each other btw, otherwise they get confused when trying to change charge stages). Though the controller is $620, it was still more cost efficient for me over wiring the bank to 24V, then adding a big (big to start generator occasionally, otherwise 12V loads are relatively small) 24V-12V step-down converter, 2kW 24V pure sine inverter, and a 120VAC->24VDC charger for emergencies. Keeping the bank at 12V allows me to still use the van's alternator to charge the bank in an emergency, which I've had to do once when it was left in a shop unexposed to sun for a week for maintenance and I forgot to turn off the marine fridge, otherwise the solenoid is always disconnected. I found the new panels for $300 each a couple hours away on Craigslist and knew this was my best shot at an air-conditioned summer. Austin, Texas has had a abnormally mild & rainy summer so far, so it hasn't been tested in 100F heat yet; I really need to add a heavy insulation blanket between the van & coach, as well as insulating the bubble skylight. I did already add insulation to most of the non-moving upper sections of the cabin windows plus the entire rear window; naturally it's coldest on the bed. Currently in the central desk/kitchen area, it’s really never cold, just cool enough to not drown in sweat, and I do run two directional fans inside 24/7 (not the roof vent fan while A.C. is on obviously). Sealing up door gaskets and vents could help too. I’ll also note that the microwave and stock electric water heater are used regularly too, but never all at the same time (I have a Prowatt 2000 inverter wired into the breaker panel). Not pictured in the photo album is the hole cut in shelf where the intake ducting is ported into the air conditioner's enclosure.
I'll be in San Francisco the last week of May, and I was thinking it would be cool to meet some like-minded people that read Tynan's blog.
I was thinking about meeting up at the Yerba Buena Gardens location of Samovar on Wednesday, May 27th from 6-8pm.
If you guys have any other suggestions, feel free to met me know.
My wife and I lived out of our 1996 Winnebago Rialta last year quite a bit. We put solar panels, a charge controller, some decent AGM batteries, etc. in it. The transmission died, however, and we just don't have the cash on-hand to get it fixed.
It's stuck in a driveway in the Bay Area in California.
For $3k, you can have it, as long as you come and haul it off, or cover expenses to do so. The title is clean.
Full disclosure: we haven't officially determined that the problem is the transmission, though that's what people in the know have told us. The engine starts, but the car won't move forward or backwards.
We have endured a pretty cold Winter here on the East Coast. I think everyone is ready for the warm weather. There are a few things that I really love about my area in the Summer.
The first thing is juicy, delicious tomatoes. My area, like many, takes a lot of pride in our tomatoes. We like to think ours are the best in the world. They are especially nice after eating the tomatoes we get in the stores during the Winter that have NO flavor at all.
I am planting the seeds for my garden inside. I can't wait until everyday I can walk outside and pick my fresh vegetables for a healthy salad. For those of you that like to live frugal, this is the way to go.
I have one section of my garden that is simply a free garden and compost area. It is a variety of tomatoes and cherry tomato plants that come up all on there own each year. It looks that a jungle by July, but I trim out some plants and build a fence to let the plants climb. I always squeeze out a number of tomatoes to let more seeds go back into the ground.
A friend of mine takes potato peelings and plants them. Sure enough, he gets pounds of potatoes each year.
I've been playing around with different ideas and techniques for habit building over the years, and this is my most recent take on it (well, the short version):
Each month, I publish a list of the habits I’m currently trying to establish in my life on my blog (like “only do one cheat meal per week”) and document my day-to-day successes and failures via Google Docs. And then I punish myself for the latter ones… $10 for every single time I didn’t stick to a habit.
If you want to read about my process in more detail:
Since habit building is one of the main things Tynan talks about (that's why I started reading his blog in the first place) and since I imagine his readers to be pretty experienced with habit building strategies as well, I would be very interested in your feedback, to further optimize my process! Specifically:
There are various reasons for small businesses not succeeding. The first reason I would say is that they lack having a system oriented approach...like franchises. The small business usually doesn't have a policy manual to follow. They make decisions based on reacting to what is happening at the time. They don't have a training manual or procedure to keep focus on what everyone's responsibilities are.
1. Budgeting: There is rarely a money or budget system in place to manage expenses or plan out purchases. If money is available, they buy what they think will get them more money in the short term.
2. Disagreements and decision making: There are usually disagreements or fallouts among the business owners, managers and employees. When the business starts, no one wants to think of how to deal with disagreements because everyone is positive. When disagreements start, there is no format to follow for who has the power to make the final decision. And, there are some people that don't want to be the person blamed for making a bad decision, so they stay quiet, and wait for the opportunity to blame someone else.
3. Competition: There is always competition popping up. I once worked for a restaurant that was the first delivery Chinese food in our city. As soon as we got super busy, and the word got around, there was 7 new Chinese delivery restaurants within 2 miles of our establishment. Of course, most all of the restaurants failed because of over saturation of the market.
4. Changes in customer habits: There have been multitudes of businesses that failed due to customers changing their routines. When Wal-Mart came to town, they knocked out a lot of Mom and Pop stores who couldn't challenge Wal-Mart on price. We hardly have an independent grocery store in town. Only in the low income areas that other stores wouldn't locate a chain store in the neighborhood because of crime and poverty.
I like business ideas. I started watching the show "The Profit" with Marc Lemonis last year. It came on after Sharktank, which I also like that show. This guy, Marc Lemonis, is a pretty sharp character. I believe his main business is CampingWorld, or he has a majority interest. He was integral in getting that company to sponsor the NASCAR "CampingWorld" Truck Series.
Marc strolls into a financially struggling business and looks for a way to write a check to get the business the money it needs to get on the right track. He also takes a big share of ownership and takes 100% control of the People, Process and Products. It is usually a very humiliating time for the owner of the struggling business as Marc points out every little flaw about the person and their business. I admit, some of the owners needed a kick in the butt to get their head back into the game. There are other people that are so busy trying to keep their heads above water financially that they were unable to make any big changes.
I have read the book "The Magic of Thinking Big". Marc Lemonis has the thinking big in every situation. He has an episode with a woman that has a popcorn stand at an amusement park, and he immediately jumps into producing bags of popcorn to ship to stores across the USA. He does the same with a little candy shop that has been operating in a residential area.
It will be interesting to see how his partnerships materialize. This is only the 3rd year of the show, so the businesses Marc has invested in are still in the infancy of his changes. I would recommend the show to entrepreneurs. The show has a lot of good moments about business ideas, personal relationships in business, and budget/expense forecasting. The episodes are real people in real businesses.
I have never been able to hold a grudge or ill will towards others. I was always taught to forgive and release the anger from my heart. When things are happening bad to you, it is somewhat a reaction to want to invoke some type of revenge on the other party. If you over react, and do something harmful to the other person, you may face more trouble and/or continue the bad situation.
There is a saying "What comes around, goes around". And that statement has come true for me many times. You may hold the upper hand today, but you may not in the future. So, use your power cautiously.
One incident that greatly affected me occurred when I was 12 years old. I was pretty good at sports (not great, but not bad). I loved playing baseball, and practiced every moment I could. I was good enough to make the All Star team for my little league. I was so proud and excited when I made that team.
The coaches of that team were a few young guys (mid 20's) that had grown up playing in the little league. They were given their first chance to take over the All Star team, which was an honor for them since usually the coaches were the long time organizers of the little league. They were now given the reins and responsibility. I was only 12 years old, but I could see that these guys were big kids rather than mature adults. At first, I was kind of happy because I thought these guys wouldn't be so strict like the older coaches.
These young coaches started out very serious, but that didn't last long. We practiced everyday, and with each day they digressed into saying smart aleck, sarcastic comments all practice. They tried to get kids to start doing the same thing to other kids on the team to gang up on a particular kid. They were just a bunch of clowns that didn't know how to supervise kids. As you can imagine, the wise cracking got around to me as the victim at some point, and the fun of playing baseball abruptly ended for me. I quit the team because I wasn't going to allow them to harass me. This ended my friendships with several of my teammates permanently as they continued to talk about me after I quit. It was quite devastating at the time, as I was very upset and isolated. The further frustrating part was that my parents, nor any other people at the little league put a stop to this ridiculous behavior.
Great book Tynan, thanks for writing it!
One habit I'm trying to get into is making notes and mind maps of books that I find useful. Here are my summaries below: