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Old 11-06-2012, 08:17 PM   #161
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...topic so much, I'm going to suggest a project for anyone interested this winter: make a fire piston. I thought of this from your remark, Don, about starting a fire sans incendiaries.

Search for "fire piston" on YouTube and you'll soon be intrigued, I think. I was. There are at least a half dozen videos about how to make one. I made two attempts late last winter--dismal failures, both--and finally stumbled across one available commercially (SparxGear - Outfitting The Extreme). But making one yourself is such a Macho Guy thing to do that I might give it another go this year.

That was cool. As an old Boy Scout, I had never heard or read about such a device. I understood pretty quickly how it worked. (Just touch the bottom of a bicycle pump after a few pumps of air in a tire.).

I may give it a shot.

It happens that this weekend, I finally made use of my magnesium firestarter to start our campfire. (I bought it 5 or 6 months ago at Harbor Freight and never used it.). It was great to see that it worked really well.
I have to agree, it made me feel really macho.
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:27 PM   #162
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Interesting. I'm no Grizzly Adams but I've certainly spent more than my fair share of time in the bush, and I've never even heard of one of those before.
I doubt I'll be retiring my flammenwerfer anytime soon but that does look darned intriguing.
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:03 AM   #163
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I too had never hear of fire pistons. My scouting years included starting a fire with the bow-and-stick method, but we were never shown anything more exotic than that. I also have a magnesium fire starter but haven't been able to actually get one lit using it. So I'm looking forward to trying the fire piston on actual combustibles next year. I made char cloth like shown on some YouTube videos, and I used the SparxGear device to ignite it, but that was while standing in the bathroom (in case I needed water fast), so rather than set the shower curtain on fire I let the embers go out.

Yesterday while scouting around on YouTube I ran across a bunch of videos about making alcohol stoves out of pop cans. Those look interesting too.

Don, is that an authentic Black Forest flammenwerfer?
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:32 AM   #164
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Search for "fire piston" on YouTube and you'll soon be intrigued, I think. I was. There are at least a half dozen videos about how to make one. I made two attempts late last winter--dismal failures, both--and finally stumbled across one available commercially (SparxGear - Outfitting The Extreme). But making one yourself is such a Macho Guy thing to do that I might give it another go this year.
This is my first time to see a fire piston, it looks solid/compact and a must have tool for us campers when we separate from our rig. I was thinking what I use to start a camp fire, yes it is one of the fire starter I have in my rig, one for the grill and the other for the stove inside; I wish they have made those appliances with a fire starter, I keep misplacing those lighters.

For those who had their rig stored outside last winter, how much snow can our A-frame handle? Should I just leave them on and let it melt? I remember a winter where my front yard was covered with snow, about 5ft high. Can our A-frame handle that much snow?
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Old 11-08-2012, 07:00 PM   #165
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Lee, I've been wracking my brain trying to think of something amusing to carry with the flammenwerfer idea -and I got nothing. I turn over my king, sir.
With regards to pop can stoves...if we're spending 10K+ on R/Vs do we really need to be making stoves out of pop cans?
Now beer can stoves...that's a different matter...

ko777 - last winter due to a combination of laziness and more laziness, I stopped rushing out to the storage site to brush off my A-Liner A-Lite every time it snowed. So it would have accumulated a good 2 feet of snow on it by winter's end.
It seemed none the worse for wear come spring, but bear in mind an A-lite is only 5' by 7' and has no skylights on the roof.
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Old 11-08-2012, 07:52 PM   #166
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Given the burst of near-total silence that accompanied my attempted humor earlier this thread (you and ko excepted), I'm out of bon mots myself. Call it a draw.
You're right that pop can stoves would be beneath us; beer can stoves, though, give us a reason to keep up the serious work of emptying them: helping the chilly and hot-waterless of the world! Noble work for the truly selfless.
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Old 11-09-2012, 11:42 PM   #167
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ko777 - last winter due to a combination of laziness and more laziness, I stopped rushing out to the storage site to brush off my A-Liner A-Lite every time it snowed. So it would have accumulated a good 2 feet of snow on it by winter's end.
It seemed none the worse for wear come spring, but bear in mind an A-lite is only 5' by 7' and has no skylights on the roof.
I think I'll do the same, be lazy removing the snow accumulating and let mother nature take care of it. Since I jacked up my tires the extra snow weight won't be an issue. But I'm not sure how much the bubble window could take the extra snow/freezing rain weight.
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:43 AM   #168
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Given the burst of near-total silence that accompanied my attempted humor earlier this thread (you and ko excepted), I'm out of bon mots myself. Call it a draw.
You're right that pop can stoves would be beneath us; beer can stoves, though, give us a reason to keep up the serious work of emptying them: helping the chilly and hot-waterless of the world! Noble work for the truly selfless.
Lol on the humor you started in this thread. This is always good when we read stuff in this forum and make us lol.

Since Don and you suggested to me in this thread to meet some day, maybe next season after we remove our rig's cover with no surprises. When you plan to drop by Canada give us a heads up and if possible we'll meet in one of our beautiful provincial park. Here is the link:https://reservations.ontarioparks.com/Home.aspx

I still have to renew my passport, just my luck they are upgrading the quality of our Canadian passports with higher fees. But we will have an option good for 10 years worth, can you imagine how we look like after 10 years....
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:27 AM   #169
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Thanks, ko, for the suggestion about next spring. I'm ready to go now! Evidently 75 days of camping this summer weren't enough. We'll have to see if we can still afford to go anywhere next summer, we were pretty efficient at shoveling $$ out the door during our Alaska trip.

About the snow load on our A-frames. I know that a small-area load of 155 pounds--70+ Kg--doesn't hurt the roof, because that's what I weigh and I was crawling on the roof on my hands and knees last June to wax it before our trip. My weight was concentrated on just four contact points as i moved around but there were no dents, cracks, or other signs that I'd ever been up there. So I think a well-distributed snow load should be OK. If it gets too bad you could always take a garage broom and shove the worst of it off.

Whether the snow load would overstress the suspension, though, I couldn't say. Ill be in a position to tell you that next spring, because I didn't jack my camper up. In any case, you've already taken steps to prevent that problem on your unit.

The bubble window is very strong. I watched a YouTube video of a FR dealer banging his fists on the bubble window to show how damage-resistant it is. He gave it some good whacks. I winced every time he did it. The window deformed slightly and bounced back without chipping or cracking. I don't think a snow load will be a problem for it.

A question: did you wrap any kind of protective cover around the trailer connector to cut down on the possible corrosion? It just dangles out there now and it'll get buried in the snow during the winter. I think I'll go out and tuck it away, maybe tape a Baggie over it.
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:34 AM   #170
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A question: did you wrap any kind of protective cover around the trailer connector to cut down on the possible corrosion? It just dangles out there now and it'll get buried in the snow during the winter. I think I'll go out and tuck it away, maybe tape a Baggie over it.
You have that hard cover for the propane tanks so do I, I placed the whole cable connector in it, fits nicely in there.
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