I Hope He’s Wrong – China Banging War Drum

FWIW, I’ve watched several of this guy’s videos over the last several years. Starting with his motorcycle tour videos of China and Viet Nam. He taught English in China for a few years, married a Chinese woman, has Chinese in-laws, and loves China. He also can not return, nor can his wife, as he is also pro freedom.

He has an interesting life story. Born into some wealth in South Africa. Lived through the rough times there. Left for China. Then abandoned China when The Authorities got too pissed at him. (A several hours of videos story in a few sentences doesn’t do it justice.) He has a long series of motorcycle ride videos around China and Viet Nam and loves the people and the countryside. But had to leave.

Lately some of his videos have taken a political turn as China moved from pro-democracy pro-west experimenting with capitalism growth country, and instead under current “leadership” China is returning to a hard Communist form of Socialism. Especially with the destruction of the Hong Kong democracy.

As he reads and interprets this article from China (published in an official source way…) he has a lot more “time on the ground” in China (years) and a huge cultural and linguistic advantage (speaking Chinese for years, and at home with his wife and kids). I have to trust that his interpretation is good.

That said, to me, a lot of this looks more like just a “Return to Maoism” and hard core Communism (ending the westernization that has lifted them from abject poverty to modernity, and centralizing all power under one dictator, eliminating the competitive centers of the rich billionaires of China). But I’ve never been to China, can’t speak any of it, and have not had a cultural immersion in either China or Communism, so I’m at a major disadvantage.

In any case, there are clear conclusions from this (This is just what I’m thinking about, for me only. None of this is financial advice to anyone else.):

1) ANY investment in China is likely to be confiscated by the New Peoples Republic. Likely soon.

2) Get out now. People, money, property, whatever. Just leave China and sell any assets related to China.

3) Sell stocks in any company heavily leveraged via China. Will the 1/3 of Disney Parks in China really help their annual report? Can they have a decent Theatrical Release with China owning AMC Theater Chain? Can Apple continue iPhone profit margins and volume as Foxconn in China is nationalized? BTW, I own stock in Disney so it isn’t like I’m pushing my position…

4) Stock up on things from markets dominated by China and critically important. Pharmaceuticals, for example, are heavily dependent on China for raw materials. Assure you have a year supply or so of things like any drugs you need with a Chinese tail.

5) Start prepping for a new Cold War, and thinking about your position in a new Hot War with China. I’d not live next to a military base in Alaska or Hawaii, for example. Might also want to avoid dependence on things using a lot of Rare Earth Minerals (mostly from China) or Taiwanese semiconductors as I expect China will start with a grab of Taiwan under a Biden faux-Presidency. As things get worse, have a bug out plan that takes you away from major industrial centers or cities. China is building several hundred new land based ICBM nuclear missile silos…

Is that OTT? (Over The Top)? I don’t think so. It’s in THE major CCP (Chinese Communist Party) propaganda paper. It is, then, official dogma. Communist Dictators don’t mind killing millions (the three top killers, in order of increasing millions, in the graph in the video are Hitler, Stalin, and Mao. At 11 minutes 35 seconds. Hitler a light weight at “only” 17 million for his National Socialist version. Stalin in second with International Communist Socialism at 22 million – but I think that’s light by several million, and Mao at 76 Million with Maoist Peoples Communism Socialist Paradise…). Current financial stresses inside China require an outlet for the present leadership to stay in power, plus the Chinese Wuhan Covid Plague needs to be laid off on The USA for the same reason.

When cornered, Dictators love nothing more than a Giant War to keep them in power, grant more power to them, keep The People oppressed and off fighting someone else, and a Wag The Dog excuse for failures. China is increasingly cornered.

But “We’ll see”. There could be a “Palace Coup” with a return to a western leaning, or Biden might just surrender us to China and invite them in… Hey, it would avoid a war… /snark;

With that said, Serpentza is of the POV that this is a tacit declaration of war on the USA along with a statement to The People of China that it’s time to go hard core Mao again and, BTW, every ill in China is due to the USA. Not good vibes from China in any interpretation.

Here’s the video and you decide (25 minutes):

862K subscribers
Chinese State Media has just released a document that states the USA is engaging in biological warfare and other transgressions against China, is this a declaration of War?
Here’s the Communist State Media document: Link:http: //www.news.cn/politics/2021-08/29/c_1127807097.htm

Me? Well, I did a test drive of a Newmar 37 foot Diesel Pusher RV yesterday. I suspect that what we will be doing is buying one (used though…) and while most of our “stuff” is in pods in storage or in transit, a lot will be loaded into an RV (along with 2 small dogs and a station wagon on a trailer) and then we’ll start a couple of months slow wander to Florida. Then we’ll be ready for any kind of “Bug Out” needs, be it hurricane or China launching stuff (at Taiwan or the USA).

It will also let us conveniently visit the kids and grandkids without a lot of housing bother, and tour the entire East Coast (which the spouse has never seen).

That’s the idea Du Jour; but who knows, tomorrow it may change entirely once again ;-)

I was surprised at how easy it was to drive, and I only was nervous when a semi-truck came at me (on a 2 lane country road) and I had the feeling our mirrors were going to be about 6 inches from each other ;-) It has everything we really need, and then some. (This one had a “bath and a 1/2” which is more than our present house! Plus a king size bed while ours is a queen sized…) But who knows. Give it a week and I might get over it ;-)

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
This entry was posted in Covid, Economics - Trading - and Money, Emergency Preparation and Risks, News Related, Nukes, Political Current Events. Bookmark the permalink.

45 Responses to I Hope He’s Wrong – China Banging War Drum

  1. Tonyb says:

    China, and the rest of the world, perceives that the US has stopped being the worlds policeman and ran from a bunch of afghani goat herders, leaving them with a huge weapons haul they will use themselves or sell on to failed states to create numerous terrorist possibilities?

    It will also perceive that your allies are angry about the lack of consultation.

    Therefore the western alliance is at its weakest in many decades and is in disarray

    The time to grab territory is upon us. More islands in the south china sea will be annexed. As for Taiwan none of us believes that the US will try to defend it.

    Perhaps they are already talking with china as to the nature of an annexation. 30 years of a hong kong style two nations formula?

    On the other hand a future president might show more balls than the current incumbent so it might be best just to annex Taiwan without any sort of deal.

    I just hope that waiting in the wings is a stronger president than Biden, buT I have no idea who it is.

  2. Tonyb says:

    Your last para.

    Over here we have many One lane country roads. I often wonder what would happen if two self driving cars met head on. Would one give way or not?

  3. Graeme No.3 says:

    Sabre rattling to distract the chinese populace as there is a squeeze on the chinese economy as western (& other countries) reorganise their supply chains against dependence on China, coupled with weakness (polite version) of the Biden Presidency.
    They’ve got involved in Afghanistan (now fundamentalist moslem), which might cause troubles in Xin Jiang among the Uyghurs.
    Xi jingping is 68 but Chinese leaders can last a (too) long time. Any setback in an attack on Taiwan is likely to shorten his life expectancy. They got their nose bloodied in Vietnam.

  4. H.R. says:

    @Tonyb – My guess is that both cars would take avoidance measure and both crash into trees and burst into flames.

    When things go wrong, they tend to go very wrong.

  5. Terry Jackson says:

    Newmar, eh? King Bed, Yeah! Washer/drier, such as Splendide Combo? Key livability issue. Jacks or air leveling? Air is a bit like living in a boat, but reliable. At least 2 8-D batteries, space for 4 or more if solar is a plan. Cummins 400 hp engine? In this application, torque is king. Side radiator? Avoid rear radiator as a service issue, the radiator is always in the way. Silverleaf? It can control the generator, run genny while driving to run AC in hot weather, and auto start to replenish batteries and still observe quiet hours (no generator allowed). times. Also provides digital readings for almost all engine and speed parameters. Inverter at about 3,000 watts for coffee and micro with some lights on. Hydro hot or similar for hot water and often for base board hydronic heating., Also interfaces with engine radiator, so useable to warm engine water in the am of have an endless HOT shower at end of driving day. Residential Fridge? They are so much nicer than the RV ones. Propane water heater? Run away and get the HydroHot (other names in use, same idea, diesel and electric, diesel for instant response. In my limited experience, 42′ has everything, you give up bits as you shrink, but gain some maneuverability as in shorter turn radius. Hydraulic slides are very nice and reliable. The target years are in the range of 2004 to 2007, as those are before the diesel emissions standards, and quality was still good. Florida may have used units from the rust belt. First pass look would be Oregon and Arizona due to rust and tax issues. Any Class A DP will have 4 or more stairs to enter or depart, but you can stay inside for a long time. Consider getting a Pacific Pride or a CFN fuel card from any local jobber. The stations are mostly cardlock, they are reasonable on price, and will bill your checking or credit card once a month on the 10th, a $3 service charge if you use the card that month. Truckstops are way more expensive. IRV2.com has sections devoted to various MH brands, plus engine specific sections.

    All are my opinions and observations over 100,000 miles of RV use over 15 years in most RV types, the last 5 in a DP with 40,000 miles and many consecutive months of residence. Best wishes on you new life.

  6. David A says:

    China? I think Hope ( yes, “ not a strategy “.) that China is economically thrilled with Trump gone (He was soundly beating them and dragging the world with him) they are pleased with their economic gain and progress, and want the bully reputation to coerce cooperation from other nations.

    The US does not do cost benefit analysis anymore, ( I think this was a formal declaration that for somethings, cost is irrelevant) yet I am certain China does. A real war would not be in their interest now that they have a green light globally, I think?

    The thing is that they likely hold Biden and many top politicians in blackmail, as we know and can destroy you publicly at any time, so cry threaten and complain, but only do these limited things when we take Taiwan, and etc…. ( It’s not like they can only use the blackmail card for one thing. They have Biden and the democrats fir 4 years, expect them to use this situation.

    ( oh crude, did I just argue against my “ hope” line of thought?

  7. “@Tonyb – My guess is that both cars would take avoidance measure and both crash into trees and burst into flames.

    When things go wrong, they tend to go very wrong.”

    Or would they carry out a balletic dance? Such cars have devices determined to keep you in the middle of the road which in a single lane doesn’t exist. So they would be head to head with nowhere to pass and locked into the centre of the lane. Probably their batteries would get hotter and hotter then just burst into flame

  8. E.M.Smith says:


    You have two adaptive systems with feedback loops. Missing is the data on time constant to response… Depending on that, you could have them both move to half off the road on each side and pass each other (if Just Right), or hit each other partly head on (if Too Slow), or off the road into a tree (if Too Fast). But…

    There’s also a time constant to the response to changes from the response… It is (admittedly somewhat unlikely) possible for there to be an oscillating feedback loop. Both cars head for the shoulder, each then notices the center is open now so heads back towards it, then sees the other car now more head on, so jerks back to the shoulder, but now has a BIG open road and jerks harder back to the road, and… Repeat until head on collision or tree whacking smacking or an accidentally timed near miss….

    You see a little of this in Cruise Control on a hill. Entering the hill you slow down a little, the throttle gets shoved at increasing pressure until you get back to set point speed, then it overshoots a little and slowly “hunts” back to set point. Good timing choices in the adaptive feedback loop do not drop too far from set point nor overshoot it by much, bad choices have more “hunting”. BUT that’s just a one loop pony… TWO of them, interacting, effectively have 1/2 the time constant (or 2 x the response to input) to their changes…

    @David A:

    China is calling the shots in D.C. as they own BIden (and a lot more of the DNC). Further, their computer breach data suckage gives them a LOT of leverage over a lot of other people. Don’t forget that a couple of years ago they sucked out the Federal Clearance Database. (I’m in it…) so they know things like my address, phone, kids, spouse, income, work history. Easy to then do a Credit Check and look for “Bribery needed or just intimidation?”…

    Expect to see Taiwan hit before Biden is out of office. A lot will just depend on their estimate of a Trump victory (they DO own the voting machine company now… so maybe his “chance” is zero…) and on their estimate of the permanence of their “grip” on D.C. and the DNC.

    As long as their “5th Generation non-kinetic” war on the USA is working (and looks likely to continue working), they will stick with it. As soon as it looks likely to fail, I’d expect them to go kinetic against smaller countries and goals.

  9. David A says:

    E.M., yep, as I said, “oh xxxx”.

    After the election theft I said the number one priority is to restore honest elections.
    We are currently on number 159 of “Audit results are in, and the cheat was massive, etc…

  10. E.M.Smith says:

    @Terry Jackson:

    Thanks for the input. We’re looking at a 2005 ;-) that has a “lift” installed. There’s also a 2001? that’s less interesting. Has a factory lift for wheel chairs and is laid out with wider isles but less “stuff” in the way of cabinets; and one big bath instead of bath and 1/2…

    We will not be going long distances per day (spousal limit) so my max monthly cost of fuel will be less than my present monthly utility bills… Still, a card lock system might be worth it. (I need to find out if Walmart / Costco / etc. cheap shops are “reasonable” or if I need to look at truck & RV oriented shops).

    Figure 50 miles / day average, 30 days, so 1500 miles / month. 10 MPG (maybe but easy math) so 150 gallons. $3 / gal average so about $450 / month fuel cost. I’m at about $350 for internet & PG&E… then add water…

    Question: When the brochure says the coach is 12 feet 10 inches (just an example) does that mean to roof surface or to top of A/C ? ( I know, measure it to be sure… but that’s when I HAVE a coach, now all I have is a brochure and a map book…)

    I’m also assuming that if, say, it has a “jackknife couch” and we want “recliners theater seating” that even in an old coach that can be changed by throwing money at an RV Dealer. IF that’s not true, disabuse me of the notion… Basically, getting a used coach at $70 k vs new at $370 k, I’m assuming things like hydronic water heater and recliners can be aftermarket upgrades… I hope… and fit well in just a few tens of $k… Though frankly I’m not all that hung up on hydronic water heat. We plan to be So.Cal to Florida and not in cold places much at all. Only going north in Summer to early Fall. I’m more worried about things like engine noise / vibrations setting off discomfortable reactions in sensitive passengers… (Spouse has ‘issues’ with some vehicles resonant frequencies).

    Basically, being in the used market, which is a thin market… we expect some of what we want will need to be added after the buy…

  11. H.R. says:

    @Terry Jackson – Thanks for your input from your 15 years of RV experience. I’ve found your recommendations and pro tips to be very helpful.

    With my old Ford V-10 and only a 29 gallon tank (what was Ford thinking?!?) I had frequent gas stops. Those are a time eater and you have to carefully pick your stops at places where you can get in … and back out again. I pulled into a couple of stations like that on our first trip – lucky to get back out – and learned to look places over before pulling in.

    Now I have the diesel and a 50 gallon tank. YAY! I’m not sure what my range will be through the mountains, but we only travel an average of 350 miles per day. On the flat-plus-rolling-hills of our maiden voyage, I was getting about 10mpg! I’m expecting to get around 7 – 8 mpg through the mountains (lose mpg going up, gain mpg going down). We’ll see. The new outfit will cut out 4 – 5 gas stops for sure on the way to Florida, which means 4 – 5 fewer headaches.

    I’m guessing that the diesel pushers have at least 100 gallons (more?) of fuel capacity. Is that pretty much the case?

  12. E.M.Smith says:


    The Newmar brochure I have in hand shows, for ALL models listed, a 100 Gallon tank.

    My experience with several Diesel cars (none towing) is that MPG is more or less a constant. Every loss up a hill is offset by gain down the hill. City about the same as highway (up to about 65 MPH… as you approach 85 mileage is notably lowering from V^3 air drag). So I’m pretty sure through the mountains the only issue will be average speed; not up / down changes.

    Why? Well, there is no throttle plate in the air intake. No “pumping losses” around it at lower throttle settings. Just air + fuel makes Energy. At idle it takes near nothing to keep the engine ‘ticking over’ so in city at stop lights and such is essentially ‘free’ compared to gas with huge pumping losses past a nearly closed throttle valve. In town it is number of stops / accelerates that use the fuel. On the freeway it is air drag. For a sedan those are roughly in balance up to about 65. For a giant air drag coach? Hmmm….. but it is also heavier to pull off a light…

    So my guess is that the 2 major fuel consumption changers will be:

    1) With coach vs without.
    2) At about 55 mph wind drag gets significant, every 5 to 10 mph over that, the V^3 drag really bites. I’d expect city / highway parity somewhere between 55 and 65 mph and degrading faster after that.

    Oh, and Diesel Torque on hills is a wonderful thing. Especially with a Turbo ;-) Engine sitting at about 2500 RPM and it just climbs…

  13. H.R. says:

    @E.M. re rig height issues – Our roughly 20-year old Garmin bit the dust this Spring. Garmin makes a. RV GPS, which we bought.

    You put in the height of you outfit and it will not send you down a road with a 10′ 8″ clearance when you have an 11’+ rig. It also lists, not just gas stops nearby, but RV friendly gas stops. I didn’t look, the Mrs. is the navigator, but I think you can put in fuel type and it further narrows down the suitable fuel stations.

    It also takes into consideration and warns of places where you might bottom out. We got one of those warnings just ahead of some up-down humpy RR tracks. I didn’t see the warning message. I don’t know if it’s ‘Warning’ on a maybe chance, and ‘WARNING!’ on a definite chance of bottoming out. But then, why would it ever put your route on a road with a definite steep hump in the first place?

    And I think it lists campgrounds with pull-through spaces. That’s a big deal if you are headed somewhere and just stopping for the night, then right back on the road again. That doesn’t sound like it’s going to be your travel style, though.

    The RV Garmin is worth it if you plan on going lots of different places. For now, we know our route and stops for the Florida trip. Other than a change in fuel stops for us, the RV Garmin is not a big help. But on our shakedown trip to a place we’d never been, the RV Garmin was great! And we plan to go to new places next year in the Summer.

    Next issue you will have to decide is the tow vehicle and method of towing. It’s rare, but some people use a car trailer and all 4 wheels are off the ground. Some use the two-wheel, front-wheels-up trailers, and most tow 4 wheels down. You must have a car that will tow 4 wheels down for that. Not all cars will tow 4 wheels down, but you knew that.

    I think most people go 4 wheels down because when you get to a destination, there’s often no place to keep your tow trailer, even the shorty 2-wheels up trailers. OTOH, I think the 2-wheels up trailers are the easiest to work with, from what I’ve read.

    There are advantages and disadvantages to each of those systems. You will have to make a decision.

  14. Ossqss says:

    @HR, make sure you do the database updates on that GPS as things change regularly. Neighbor had the same and found his usual route was now not the only one available upon some construction being completed. The inverse can happen also.

  15. EM Smith
    On many of our country lanes there is no centre, no half of the road each, there is no shoulder. The single lane country road is just wide enough for a single car to traverse along and that is then reduced in summer by the plants growing in the verges that hang over into the road.

    I think the hitech cars would have a fit and either explode in frustration or merely sit there jiggling a little.

  16. YMMV says:

    “two self-driving cars meet head-on on a one lane country road …”

    Is this possible with current self-driving cars, or do they need painted lane markers?
    How good are current self-driving cars at backing up for a quarter mile on a narrow country road with no shoulders or turnouts?

    In the future, maybe:

  17. H.R. says:

    @E.M. re speed – Speed rating is a ‘thing’ on trailer tires. A lot of them are only rated to 70 mph and quite a few still are only rated to 55 mph! Ever notice on a lot of Y’all Haul trailers the “Max speed 55 mph” stickers? Probably not, because they are whizzing by you at 80 mph 😜

    I’ve been trying to keep my speed at 65 mph when towing. It seems to work best for fuel mileage and tire safety. In Tennessee, they have a lot of 60 mph zones. I’m not sure what that’s all about; keeping actual speeds down to 70, maybe?

    I see 1/2-ton pickups towing travel trailers and wind resistance is definitely a ‘thing’ for them. You can tow a boat that weighs the same as a travel trailer, but the boat just slips through the air while the travel trailer will have a truck struggling. That’s why I bought the F-250, even though a lot of 1/2-ton trucks were rated to tow our 9,800 lb. max trailer. The wind resistance adds thousands of pounds at speed.

    Re mountains… it’s all uphill on day one for us and all downhill on day two. So the gas mileage will even out for the trip, but I may need one extra fuel stop on day one 😁

  18. Ed Forbes says:

    4 wheels down towing list
    I found the investment in a dinghy capable vehicle over using a trailer worthwhile


  19. philjourdan says:

    Lobbing a grenade ….


    Maybe we were not chased out of Afghanistan by a bunch of midlevel terrorists. Maybe that was step one in China’s war on the west?

  20. E.M.Smith says:

    @SDC Head On:

    It just sunk into my pea brain that TonyB said “ONE LANE”… Now that’s gonna be a problem…

    To the best of my knowledge, SDCs depend on paint markings a LOT. It would likely be able to figure paint vs plants on the edges, but when two meet, I think they would assume the shoulders are not drive-able and just slow to a stop staring at each other.

    @H.R. & Ed Forbes:

    The Garmin sounds like a real winner as everywhere we drive will be “new”. Still, the question remains:

    Manual says coach is 12 foot 10 inches. Does that mean I’m good for a 13.5 foot flat overhead and road, or does that mean I need 14 feet to clear the 1 foot tall AC Units over the 12’10” fiberglass layer?

    Per Towing:

    My “dilemma” is that the two favorite cars almost certain to be retained are the Mercedes E Class 4Matic Wagon that can NOT be towed. Trailer only. Or the Subaru Forester automatic that can only be towed if you disconnect the drive shaft and put plates over the places oil will flow out… so would be trailered. (Both of the other 2 wheel gas cars are automatics so trailer fodder, and the old mechanical transmission 240D can be towed 4-down, but has no hitch on the front nor do I particularly want it to be my “tow vehicle”…

    So my choices are really:

    1) Get a trailer and deal with it.
    2) Sell here, buy there.
    3) Sell here, buy tow car.
    4) Forget the whole thing, sell some, have others delivered, and just call uber if you need a local car / transport…

    MOST of the initial trip cross country is just a ‘getting there’ thing. Just going slow and seeing what we see along the way, whatever that is. Not a lot of planned “driving around” in places along the way. So “Walmart parking lot viewed from electric scooter basket thing” is fine… So is “I run in to Fast Food place and haul stuff back to the coach in the back lot on foot”. In Chicago, the Kids can come pick us up at the RV Park ;-)

    Where that will fail is AFTER we are in Florida and want to go exploring the East Coast sights. By then I might have a dedicated tow vehicle, who knows. Frankly, I’d be fine with a Pocket Bike in the basement ;-) but spouse not so much 8-0…

    It is something of an open issue (sell or not, transport or not, etc.).

    Spouse loves her 4matic and it is in great condition. A buy of similar in Florida would cost a bundle and is inviting rust issues. She does not drive manual transmission cars.

    I love my Forester… but they are cheap in Florida and a sell / buy is possible… however, I have the last year of the limited slip rear diff… and the 2001 era back east is rust bucket land I think. It is an automatic so wife can drive it, but a manual (swap/trade…) would be better for towing and reasonable. Maybe I ought to just trade it for a Jeep that’s towable…

    The 190 E is already in Florida and once we are there with another car will be sold. It has done a great job of being the Coast To Coast Flyer for several years and as a “fly in car already on location”, but I won’t need one anymore.

    The OLD 300 TE (rear drive gas wagon) may be sold, here, or there, or whatever. Destination unclear and not really a valuable car. Was replaced by the 4Matic wagon. Mostly just don’t want it crushed on the $1k Kill Kars program… So it goes away somehow in some State to someone… but not crushed.

    Which leaves my vintage 240D Manual 4 speed Diesel that I dearly love, eats anything for fuel, goes on Jeep Trails that are placarded with warning signs and ruts, and needs paint. It will get a bit of ‘restoration’ of paint and interior, then either sold here several months after we leave, or I fly in to drive it back… You just can not buy a Diesel Tank with ZERO smog check that eats kerosene or cooking oil anymore.

    But something’s got to go or we are buying a LOT of vehicle storage space…

    Which is why I was thinking “Trailer” over “Flat Tow car”… It at least gets one of the cars to Florida without driving it or paying for transport.

    How much more of a PITA is it to drive a 37 foot RV with 15-20 foot of trailer behind it? Would it be better to just figure on flying back to California from time to time (as various things finish up and I have to deal with them) and then drive a car to Florida each time? Not drag a trailer coast to coast?

  21. Terry Jackson says:

    @ E.M.
    The measurement is supposed to be with all factory installed equipment….. Just use 13′ vertical. Also, at slow speeds you can dump air and drop 3 or 4 inches if needed.

    Most any furniture can be removed and replaced. We removed a jackknife sofa for a smaller one and a rocker/recliner. If you have propane furnace and water heater, then using the shower involves a lot of get wet, shut off water at shower head, soap or whatever, turn on water and rinse. Most units are 6 gallon, but larger ones are now available. Not quite the Navy shower, but close, as the hot water supply is quite limited. You may be able to upgrade to a larger or quicker recovery unit if space allows.

    The nice part about cardlock is the locations are laid out for heavy trucks and they are in a lot of small towns far from the freeway. You can make places like Costco and others work, but you have to deal with the fact that they are laid out for cars and usually have heavy traffic.

    The two real livability items are a laundry and a 110V fridge. The Splendide is smallish and usually found in a cabinet or closet, it just needs water in/water out, a power source and a vent to the outside. Beats the trip to the laundromat. No big issue if you are only out for a week, but looms large as your time lengthens. Most DPs have a big enough fridge that replacing it with a 110V is quite doable, little or no trim and space adjustments needed.

    @ H.R.
    Most all of them are 100gal or more. Mine was 135, and some older Bluebirds were 250gal. You are also carrying generator fuel.

  22. Terry Jackson says:

    @ E.M.
    On the tow car, if you get the DP, trailer a car to Florida. No big issue towing, and you can back it up, and it will track very well. little or no corner cutting. One thing, CA has a special drivers license for heavier RVs. Check with your dealer, or get a Florida license. The U-Haul will have surge brakes, just need lights from the DP. You can make do without a towed car, and it is fine for a short trip. If you are exploring, get a Jeep of something with a transfer case that will go to neutral, and get it rigged for towing. Look around in Florida, I bet a lot of them come up for sale as folks either get out of it or upgrade, On a DP with air brakes there is a module “Air Force One” that works off the coach air to provide brake activation on the towed car.

  23. H.R. says:

    @Ossqss – We update our Garmin every year just before we head to Florida. We updated the new RV Garmin just before our shakedown trip.

    I’m not sure we’ll update it again this year. Our route is all Interstate. We just take the construction as it comes.

  24. E.M.Smith says:

    @Terry Jackson:

    THANKS! for all that! I lived on a 27 foot sailboat for a bit shy of 2 years, so talk about your limited shower… (The trek to the shower room on cold rainy winter days was not my favorite… but the onboard shower was about 2 gallons of hot. It WAS a “Navy shower” on a good day.)

    I saw one person who had made an outboard “Tankless heater” appliance. Was fairly simple, really. He put a couple of valves in to let it be in front of the tank when installed. Set beside the coach, and with a propane feed to it (forget if it was a BBQ 20 lb or a long hose from the BBQ on the coach) he could do Loooonng showers when in a hook-up RV park. So “there are ways” ;-)

    Frankly, if we check into a hotel every 3rd day for the OMG! shower that’s OK…

    VERY nice to know about the height being w/ all installed. I’ve rarely seen under 13 foot on the major roads, so I’m fine with 12′ 10″ then. Also will pre-plot all routes and I’m willing to just stop on the road and “Let ’em honk” while I work out what the deal is… (Pissing off a Yahoo is less of an issue than a new roof + AC+ Police report.)

    I already have a Florida Driver Licence ;-) (Courtesy of my living there on and off for about 8 years while working about 5 ;-)

    Also VERY nice to know about changing interior trim. We want recliners (OR theatre seating if it includes a foot rest…) and WILL install a washer / dryer for clothes. (Spouse does not deal well with ‘scent’ from crap tossed in the dryer at laundromats / shared washers & dryers; nor really do I but I “suffer in silence” better ;-)

    The rigs we’ve looked at have what look like slightly smaller residential refrigerators. I’ve had 3 way fridges (propane, 120 VAC, 12 VDC) and they are OK, but not great (trailer decades and decades ago…). OTOH, I’m usually using an ice chest in the car on my coast to coast trips so anything is a BIG upgrade ;-)

    You’ve convinced me on Card Lock. Sidebar on somewhere in … was it… Middle Texas?

    I pull off the interstate ( I-10?) in Bumf..k Nowhere looking for the cheap gas place that some app had identified. Find a CLOSED station that takes credit cards. UN-fortunately, my DEBIT cards had been racking up a $100 hold for ever $25 fill-up I’d done and despite having beaucoup cash, that was a problem as this station pump said it put a $150 hold on (trucks, you know…)

    Down the street was a Card Lock station with similar prices, but useless to me. Fuel is not Bingo, but isn’t great, and not enough to reach the next town. Aw Shit in progress… I really WANTED a Card Lock card at that moment…

    Driving around a several block radius, I found ONE gas station, also closed, but where the pump said I could choose debit or credit on my card. Knowing “credit” would take $25 and that there was more than that unencumbered on my card, I chose it and did the fill. And from that point on for 2 days (until prior holds expired and I reached El Paso and was able to write a check and deposit another several hundred to the Debit Card…) I just made sure to pay cash at open stations, my planned fuel stops be damned…

    I now make sure of 2 things when I leave town:

    1) I have enough cash in pocket to do the whole trip on cash only.
    2) I have at least 2 debit cards to do the whole trip, each, and with headroom for $75-100 fill up holds.

    I also, then, use one debit card for 3 days, then the other for 3 days, then revert to the first… Makes Card look look a whole lot more convenient doesn’t it?

    Nice to know the towing is easy. I can do the “backing up a spaghetti strand” thing, but easier is better-er ;-)

    Talked to the spouse. She’s OK with no car while in transit and using Uber, Lift, or a Taxi if needed, so may just avoid the whole “Trailer and pull through” thing for the long trip.

    Then, frankly, I’ve been watching a bunch of Off Road EewTubes… and I’m starting to get Jeep Envy. Yes, the little Subaru stands up to them really really well. But… I can’t put 32 inch tires on it and I can’t rock climb… or just put the transfer case in neutral and let ‘er roll…

    (Drove a Hay Truck with 5 speed and 3 range range splitter once. It was, um, “interesting”. Square cut gears for 1st in the truck – a VERY granny gear, and for the transfer case. But when in OMG low low it could crawl over anything in the field even with a full load of hay… )

    Well, we’ll see what comes of it. Spouse to do a test ride in an RV sometime next week and we’ll then start making actual decisions.

    We may still end up in a “she flies I just scoot fast in the wagon” coast to coast and pick up an RV in Florida. Sell the Subaru here and buy a jeep there… Convenience vs Adventure… Sigh.

  25. Terry Jackson says:

    @ E.M.\
    Consider a Rand McNally Truckers Atlas, large format, coated pages, about $85. The front section lists all vertical clearance issues by state. The maps show Go/NoGo on the actual routes. A lot easier to plot out a route. GPS is neat, but not perfected. A friend’s child was the port manager for the Alaska Ferry in a small town. Ferry pulled in, bloke got his car off and promptly drove down the boat ramp into to sea. Car totaled, pet dog drowned. The GPS said to turn here… Also lots of RV stories of being routed down ever narrowing roads and the 3 mile back-up to escape.

    Be wary of Jeep envy. My brother was big on Jeeps and had ’em all fitted out for the worst of the back country. BUT, my wife could not get in it, too high. She drives a 2012 Liberty with a 2″ lift and she and her 86 yo friends can get in and out with ease. A bit higher than a sedan, lower then a truck. Just sort of a lateral slide to enter or exit. It was the tow car for the DP. The Grand Cherokee of 2011 or newer may be a good fit. Mine had 168,000 miles on it when I got it a bit over a year ago. I figure it is good for over 300,000 and me, maybe 250,000. Just needs ongoing maintenance, like all things mechanical.

    When you do the spouse test ride….Half needs to be in the passenger seat, and half needs to be on the couch or whatever, and it needs to be on the highway at about 62mph. And she needs to attempt to get up and go aft and return. Figure an hour or more to sort this out. As we age, this becomes more than important. Don’t ask.

    Have fun with your move and new adventure

  26. H.R. says:

    @Terry J re GPS MIS-guidance.

    So far, we’ve not been the wander-about type with our trailer. I always look at a map before I go and depend on the GPS more for distinguishing between RH and LH exits or highway splits. I want to know where I’m going before I shut the door and buckle up.

    I have an excellent sense of dead reckoning and when I look at an aerial map of where we are staying, I pretty much know where things are. All that, and I’m very skeptical of the GPS in general.

    I do like it for finding eateries and fuel and we use it mostly, sans trailer, when we are toodling around the city where we are staying. I get a lot of “Recalculating” as I choose a different route
    from the one the GPS lady thinks I should be driving. I kinda get as perverse kick out of the several frantic “Turn left HERE”s as I ignore the attempts to get me to make a U-turn. She usually comes around to seeing things my way a few miles down the road. It takes her a while to figure it out. 😜

    But I like the trucker’s atlas suggestion for heights and will probably pick one up when we start wandering a bit more. I’d trust the RV Garmin on Interstates, which have no problems anyhow, and State Routes. But if you start getting into county roads, then I’d not be so trusting.

    I’ve never understood how someone could so blindly trust a GPS and not use their own eyes and brain. I’m a “Trust, but AFTER verifying” kinda guy.

  27. rhoda klapp says:

    At least the GPS lady will eventually change her mind. A warmware one will be reminding you about that missed turn for years.

  28. E.M.Smith says:

    About 1982? I was in a rental car in Texas that had early GPS maps in it. On one country road it had me on the frontage road when I was actually on the main road… (Texas has this strange thing where you get 2 roads going each direction… A big main road that has about 30 degree entrance / exit pavement stripes every so often to an adjacent road called a “frontage road” that has a lower speed limit and has connections to all the local roads and driveways…)

    I mostly found the GPS to be an annoying distraction. So the only GPS I have is a hand held one from about the same era. No maps in it, just Lat and Long and altitude and velocity.

    To this day I do not trust GPS to be correct. (The military can bugger the precision at will…)

    So I consider it to be like a “Back Seat Driver” at best. Annoying, but can sometimes point out something worth looking at… Mostly I use it like a book of maps. “Let me see the map of where I am and where I’m going, then I’ll consider your suggestions” (Florida Friend’s Mercedes had GPS maps in it and I drove it a few times.)

    Early in life Dad taught me to know directions. Went camping at about 4? 5?. Hike away from camp… Dad says “point at the camp”… IF I failed to get it right, we returned to camp and started over… Now I always know which direction is “home” or “camp”. (And north, south, east, west, etc.) At about 8 I was introduced to topo maps. I now love maps and have the AAA ones for most States and regions. Also the DeLorme books for Florida, Texas, California & Nevada. (about 10″ x 18″ with lots of detail in them down to dirt roads). I’ll likely get the Trucker’s Atlas “just because”… (I already have the Rand McNally world Atlas…)

    Per “Jeep Envy”: It’s minor at best. Mostly I like to watch Matt’s Winder Towing channel as he uses Jeep Cherokees to tow folks out of sand traps in Utah ;-) Learned a lot about how to drive on sand from him, and what not to do from the folks he rescues… Biggest issue for me is just that the Subaru can not get really big tires on it without body modifications; and big tires at 8 PSI work better in sand and mud. Rock Crawling only interests me to the extent I might find myself otherwise stuck somewhere by surprise and that’s the way out… In one video he crawls over some “small boulders” about 3 feet high next to a gate that’s locked so he can continue down the road to find a guy who’s stuck (rather than back out and go about an hour or three to the other end of the road). I’ve seen him do things I’d consider entirely impossible… (It is a combination of his custom rig and skills, so I’m thinking I’d likely be able to do 1 foot rocks ;-) The Forester is, IIRC, 9 inch clearance.

    So there’s a whole lot of interesting off road capable tires that just are not made in a small enough size for the Subaru. I looked. IIRC there were 3 that were available that were semi-interesting. Yokohama Geolander, General Grabber, and one other. Maybe I have tire envy more than Jeep envy ;-) Something like 235 / 75 – 15 was as big as you can go before it rubs on the shock struts. I don’t want to go nuts on the tires, I’d just like a 2nd set with a more mud friendly aggressive tread pattern and a bit bigger than “car tires”.

    FWIW, we’ll not be walking around in the coach when in motion. It will be short drives of under an hour at a time, then parking for any “move around the cabin” moments. Yes, it is big and will not stop if it drives over a VW… but I’m not willing to have a 50 mph human projectile if something harder and bigger gets in the way… If the spouse is not with me (if she flies, I drive) then I’ll do the 10 hour drives, but as I’m the only one in the coach, it still stops for ‘move about the cabin’)… The big issue is just “does it have sound / vibration profiles that cause her to feel ill?” as some vehicles do. (We tested a Ford Van and both of us were bothered by about a 25 Hz “wobba wobba” harmonic… that later I found was a design point for Ford & GM for resonances…)

  29. The True Nolan says:

    @EM: Topo maps? Love them! Sadly the current maps are all done from aerial photos these days and lack the detail and information of the older ones. The old ones were made from ground surveys and included springs, caves, quarries, cemeteries, mines, woods, clearings, ferries, roads, schools, individual homes and barns, creeks, and practically everything else except bird houses and deer trails.

    This site sells maps: https://maps.mytopo.com/mytopo/
    but if you poke around on it you can get copies of most of the old ones and look at them online.

  30. E.M.Smith says:

    In the title company office that my Dad used when he was a realtor: They had one wall that was the entire county ( I think ) as topo maps. Just taped them all together on the wall.

    Since, especially for rural land, they were always looking things up on the maps, they decided to just make it easy and make a wall out of them ;-)

    My DeLorme Atlas is basically Topo maps in book form. They, too, have things like mines and schools marked (they are about 15 to 20 years old too…) though not as many as the big topo maps I think…

    At the time I got them, they did not have all the States; or I’d have Arizona, New Mexico, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama too. As it is, my set of 3 across the south covers about 3/4 of the I-10 run from here to there.

    I started on the middle run with Nevada, but then didn’t continue with it (they had Utah, Colorado then skip to Tennessee and N. Carolina) Not having them all available annoyed me so I stopped buying them. Maybe I’ll check at a truck stop and see if they have all the States now.


    I decided to search on them… looks like Garmin, of all folks, sell them, and it looks like all the States are there:

    At about $25 a book, that’s about $1250 for the set (I’ve seen some at $19 so figured drop 2 States for the combined R.I & Connecticut + lower priced ones and it is likely close).

    Mine are priced at $17 to $25 for Texas (a much bigger book), but those are ‘way old’ prices… Checking on the Garmin site, Texas is still $25, and some States are $19, so maybe just about $1k out the door… Interesting: They put California all in one book now. Mine are two books, one north and one south.

    Looks like Amazon has them too:

  31. The True Nolan says:

    @EM: Speaking of DeLorme maps…

    I have two DeLorme books for Arkansas. The first, $19.95 copyright 2004 and 64 pages at a scale of 1 to 200,000. The second was $22.95, copyright 2015, and 128 pages at a scale of 1 to 125,000. If you have a choice for any particular state, the 1 to 125,000 is definitely better in my opinion. It has better detail and shows smaller, less traveled dirt roads

  32. YMMV says:

    “looks like Garmin, of all folks, sell them”

    Garmin bought DeLorme in early 2016, presumably mostly to get the inReach technology.

  33. H.R. says:

    @rhoda – 🤣🤣… yep.

    Want to know what left turn I missed in 1982? Ask Mrs. H.R. 😜

  34. E.M.Smith says:


    Oh, more concentration of ownership… Maps as proprietary can be annoying sometimes ;-)


    Here’s another video by the same guy about China. In this case, detailing the suppression / closing of English Language schools and teachers from outside China. He taught English there and coached folks on how to get jobs doing that and how to get along in the Chinese Culture (and with the government… including how to keep your “papers” in order and to expect to be harassed about them from time to time…) So this is personal for him.

    Basically says “The party is over” and not to go to China to teach.

  35. Compu Gator says:

    E.M.Smith commented on 5 September 2021 at 8:45 pm UTC [*]:

    A buy of similar in Florida would cost a bundle and is inviting rust issues.

    Riiight!  Salt is practically inescapable everywhere in this state. That’s because when Florida‘s frequent winter snowfalls cover roadways in the state, its state & county goverments dump salt on those roads, and that gets stirred into a salt mist by each passing vehicle. Not a good time to try to draft behind large vehicles.

    And beware of any vehicles previously owned by white terrorists from around the South who, possibly carrying firearms, spend sooo much of their summers driving up and down the few Florida beaches that still allow such threats to innocent sea turtle hatchlings. Or park on those beaches and read their Bibles or obsolete documents like the U.S. Constitution. As if words still had meanings in our “postmodern” times.

    Note * :  I suspect that after something like a month, many readers of Chiefio will no longer have a clue about where to find this long-running off-topic discussion again: :  https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2021/09/04/i-hope-hes-wrong-china-banging-war-drum/#comment-150010.

  36. E.M.Smith says:


    The rust issue in Florida is from Snow Birds selling their coaches in Florida AND from salt in the ocean air which can travel 20 to 40 miles inland (and since nowhere in Florida is much over 50 miles to ocean… and folks LOVE to take their RVs to the ocean…)

    There’s a place here in California, Santa Cruz, just over the hills from Silicon Valley and on the ocean. It is well known that used cars this side of the hill are basically rust free. Used cars from the other side? Inspect for rust issues… All from salt air / mist.

    Heck, just the fact that it is often humid causes increased rust issues. That’s the reason California & Arizona are something of a mecca for antique cars. Darned near no salt and humidity other than folks who live near the coastline.

    FWIW, my Banana Boat ( ’79 Mercedes wagon Grey Market 4 spd manual 4 cyl gas) had spots where the paint was chipped for about 15 years. No problem at all. Drove it to Florida for a Disney contract. Inside the year the paint chip spots were rust spots… I got a can of rustoleum yellow and some sand paper and the car developed measles ;-) as the color match was a bit off ;-)

    It is a VERY different propensity to rust in Florida.

  37. The True Nolan says:

    @EM: “That’s the reason California & Arizona are something of a mecca for antique cars. ”

    And also a good place to mothball airplanes.

  38. Ossqss says:

    I have lived in Florida for 35 years, 15 miles from the beach on the gulf side, and have never had any rust issues with vehicles. That said, those who live at or very near the beach, with no garage, can have issues.

  39. H.R. says:

    @Ossqss re rust near the beach. – I didn’t worry much about my old rust-bucket F250, but now that I have some bucks invested in the RAM 3500, and I intend for it to be the last truck I will buy, I was thinking about our Winter stays in a choice location….. near the beach.

    I didn’t notice any corrosion issues with our possessions kept at the site. I suppose the truck got some extra corrosion, but who could tell?

    Anyhow, I think that there are so many trees between us and the beach that we’re not really getting salt mist at that park. But, we love the beaches and go frequently to saltwater destinations.

    In your opinion and experience, do you think frequent freshwater sprays at the car wash will be reasonably effective at keeping rust at bay?

    I’m talking the pressure wand types. I don’t like doing the drive through washes too frequently because of the abrasion from the bristles, which additionally can have some abrasive contaminants.

    But there’s a DIY spray wash just across the street from the RV park and it would be no big deal to stop and spray down the truck after a day near the water… if it would help.

    What says the voice of experience? Will it make a noticeable difference or will it just make me feel better?

  40. Ossqss says:

    @HR, rinsing will certainly help, but if the car wash place is recycling the water, it may have higher levels of salt in it due to proximity to the beach also.

    The only thing I could think of that would be exposed to any corrosion would be bare metal that is not treated. I have used cold galvanizing spray on such things (bolts and nuts etc.) in the past with success. You don’t have breaking waves and spray where you are, so exposure will be limited. Either way, it will be less than the road salt exposure in Ohio during the winter :-)

  41. cdquarles says:

    Iron metal plus oxygen plus water with some kind of electrolyte in it = rust (iron oxide). Iron is a metal whose oxide does not stick to the surface and protect the bulk from further oxidation. Most other metal oxides do stick to the metal surface; and thus do some protection as long as they are not scratched. Thus, any coating on iron will help. I’d say the main help from the car wash would be drying the car after the wash.

  42. H.R. says:

    The rust issue is on my mind because my truck is at the dealer getting some sort of ceramic or nanofoofoo or orbital re-entry paint protective coating.

    I normally turn down any dealer addons. They’re a profit booster and of (really, really, mostly) questionable value. But because this is “the last truck I’ll ever own”, I opted for a 7-year mechanical extension to the 3-year factory warranty and a 7-year finish/paint warranty.

    I am liking this “out in farm country” dealership. They gave me $1,500 off in a seller’s market when everyone was charging retail. They answered all my questions, and I know the questions to ask. They have done everything they said they would do, in writing or orally (not much of that, mind you, but a couple of things).

    Anyhow, we got the truck in June and about a week ago, I get a call from them saying they didn’t put on the super-duper space age coating that was part of the extended exterior protection package.

    Now, if I didn’t say anything after all this time, I’d expect many or most dealers to keep quiet and if I ever brought it up, just say “Oops. Our bad. Bring it in.” But these people audited their sales and chased me down. “We didn’t do that” I’ve got the warranty, regardless of how well the coating works. I’ve read mixed reviews. But as cdq mentions above anything protecting the bare metal is a good thing.

    Oh, and they have the truck for two days. When they set up the time, they asked me if I needed another 3500 truck as a loaner. I’m guessing that’s because they were checking if I use it to make a living and it would cut into that. Very cool.

    The Dodge/RAM dealership’s owner also has a Chevy dealership 2 minutes away. I said I didn’t need a truck as a loaner, but I could go for a 2021 mid-engine Corvette. (Laughs all around, of course.)

    When I dropped off my truck this morning, outside the entry to Service, a white, 2021 Corvette was sitting there on the left, ready to go! I went in to fill out the paperwork and when we went out to the loaner car, well… it was a new Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk on the right. Dang! Ah well. I still give them high marks for giving me a brief moment of hope😁

  43. rherndon47 says:

    The video in “I hope he’s wrong” put into perspective some reporting I’ve seen in the last few days. These reports were basically saying that “China bans effeminate men”. This didn’t make sense to me at all (I read it and went on instead of researching). The news articles certainly didn’t provide any context to the story. They certainly didn’t make any allusions to Cultural Revolution 2.0. It kind of fits and yes it’s really scary. Time to get that sailboat!

  44. E.M.Smith says:

    Biggest gains against rust:

    Do NOT ignore paint chips. Keep that protective skin intact.
    DO get a good hard coating on the paint.
    Do get good undercoating (much better now than in the ’70s…) if it isn’t from the factory.
    After salt exposure, rinse the underside. Even a garden hose with nozzle is fine.
    Keep it dry if possible.
    Keep it garaged if possible.

    Note that my Banana Boat that got rust pimples in Florida:

    Had plenty of chips in the paint, ignored.
    Had zero paint maintenance in over 40 years. No wax, no nothing.
    Never had a rinse after anything. Even the 2 years it spent in Chicago on the street in winter.
    Was never dried.
    Was parked outside for at least 25? ish years that I know of.

    It looked a bit ugly but had no rust HOLES in anything at 40+ years… but 30 ish of them were spent in California…


    I expect to get a boat in Florida after we’re landed there. Next week we take the spouse for an RV test drive. Then we decide our course: RV and putter across the country vs. Her on a plane me Mad Max Station Wagon Road Warrior ;-)

    Hopefully I won’t need to buy a boat here and drive it there, as I’m figuring a sail from San Diego to Miami is a bit much when I’ve been out of a boat for 35 years… but whatever. Should it come to that, I’d likely recruit some crew with more recent experience ;-)

    I expect to have a “Pod” on site sometime in the coming week. (Was supposed to have one now, but their “online reservation” process ends in a “call this phone number” to finish and, well, stuff came up. OTOH, in a dozen days I can always just throw money at it. (The Spousal Twin landed at her new out of State home and her movers packed them up in 1/2 of a day…) Whatever. It happens by end of October in one way or another.

    In any case, having a 40 footer to “bug out” if the Feds go a bit more Bat Shit Crazy and staying on land is a No Go will be part of the plan. Or something like that.

    Per China:

    Yeah, the Anti-West CR-2.0 is banning the Soy Boy types from media. Promoting the Macho Man Soldier types. Holding that it’s a Western Corruption thing. Don’t see how the LGBTQetc left leaning crowd can support China under those conditions, but they do.

    China, IMHO, has already started a war with the USA (via cyber, social, and monetary… along with a politically bought coup) and we’re just waiting for the kinetic part. West Coast is likely not a good place to be when they start launching stuff. Florida about as far away as you can get ;-0

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