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Woot new new apartment

I have a new apartment at Riata in the works. I originally didn’t consider it because my coworkers had me believe it was super expensive, but after actually checking it out, it wasn’t bad at all.

I had put down an application fee at another property, and was quite excited about it, but eventually started having second thoughts. I’ve gotten quite used to taking my bike out into the neighborhood here for casual after work cycling, the new place is on top of a bigger hill with no neighborhood access. Riata is flat, has some neighborhood, easy access to Parmer, problem solved.

The new new place should work out pretty well for medium distance cycling too. Sunday afternoon I drove Parmer to see where it would take me. Turns out it takes me 25 miles north over gently rolling hills, with little traffic (once beyond 620) and wide shoulders to nearly Lake Georgetown. Taking it all the way up to RR 2338, then west takes me to a little community called Andice. There and back would be about 60 miles. I haven’t figured out a good route afterwards, since riding along 183 is out of the question, and Hwy 29 isn’t much better. Ideally I’d like to find a 120 mile route up north.

The mechanics finally gave up on my truck after two weeks in the shop. They couldn’t cause a leak and gave me blessing to put radiator sealant in. I picked up some sealant tablets (GM branded, too) from Champion Chevrolet and dropped them in. It’s interesting, because the main ingredients listed on the pack are crushed walnut shells and ginger root. It seems to be working, as I’ve driven almost 3,000 miles and the coolant level hasn’t budged at all. This is even with my 800 miles of 75+ MPH driving to Oklahoma a couple of weekends ago in 100+ F weather.

I finally decided on buying a travel trailer. I had toyed with the idea of buying one a few weeks ago when I needed to rent one for Burning Man. I went as far as going to Buda to a couple of lots and checking them out. I didn’t know what to do with it outside of Burning Man, then realized I could totally rent a spot for it in west Texas and have it as a weekend getaway.

I really like the idea of having a trailer to tinker on, such as lining the roof with solar panels and wiring it up for a wind turbine. I figure 360 W of photovoltaic + 100 W of wind production is clearly a solution looking for a problem. Unfortunately I don’t think it’s feasible to generate the 160 A at 12 VDC to run a 13,500 BTU air conditioner with this.

So settled on the Puma 19 FS, which is a 20′ trailer with a bunk sleeper in the rear. Brand new they seem to be going for $16k, but I found at least one of last year’s model in Corpus for $10k. I need to find out where I can get a loan for that. Interestingly, people totally finance these things for 10-20 years. I guess if you just bought a $100k coach, that might be feasible.

Of all the times I’ve mentioned my trailer idea, more than once somebody has asked me “why don’t you get a popup?” I don’t really know where this comes from. Pop-ups are a horrible idea for BM. They’re tiny, and you’ll be spending a good amount of time inside for a solid week. Not only that, they’re made of clear vinyl and plastic. That’s begging to be a sweltering solar oven in the desert sun. I experienced this firsthand while on the lot in Buda in the middle of a hot Texas afternoon. They were the hottest things on the lot! Oddly, the Airstream trailers were pretty toasty too compared to the traditional trailers and 5th wheels. I decided this would be a good test to see what’d they’d be like with no A/C and no vents open, since it doesn’t get much hotter than here.

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