First round of gear

So I’ve been shopping.  Yes, I know, very unlike me, but these are strange times.  Since I’ve decided I’m going on this AZ trip, it’s time to buy the equipment necessary to make life livable in a trailer shell.

Yesterday I wandered Walmart a bit, and I found they had an Aqua-Tainer bottle for about $15, ~3 cheaper than Amazon.  I bought it.  I also found a 5-gallon Coleman-branded water container for about $9, so I bought it too.  These water containers will be used for transporting and storing potable water for cooking, cleaning, showering, etc.  I think I’ll use gallon jugs of bottled water for at least the first couple days as these containers get rinsed through a few times.

Also from Walmart is a $6 folding chair.  It’s relatively comfortable, has it own carrying case with shoulder strap, and it was only $6!  I see RVers have these things all the time, so I grabbed one.

Since I’m going to have a variety of propane equipment in this version of the trailer, a carbon monoxide detector and a fire extinguisher seemed quite appropriate.  Walmart beat Amazon’s pricing on the fire extinguisher, so I picked that up yesterday as well.  Amazon beat Walmart on the carbon monoxide detector, so I ordered that from Amazon and it’ll be here soon.

Several items in this image: Porta-Pak deodorizers (for use with the upcoming portable toilet), 12v splitter with USB ports, and a Verizon JetPack with unlimited data.

The Porta-Pak deodorizers are supposed to be the best things ever, so I figured I’d give them a shot.  Since I’ll be in a dispersed camping situation for a couple weeks, a portable toilet was a must, so these may or may not be helpful.  We’ll see.

The 12v splitter will be particularly handy when traveling.  I can plug it into the truck and charge a whole bunch of things all at once: Phone, JetPack, Laptop, Bluetooth Speaker, iPad, etc.  Plus, if I get any backup cameras or other accessories, they’ll plug into this thing too.  I specifically chose this one because it has a voltage readout on it so I can see how the truck’s voltage is doing, and an actual on/off switch on the part that plugs into the truck.  That’s important so I don’t run the battery down while the truck isn’t running.  It’s power port is not linked to the ignition like all the other vehicles I’ve ever owned, so it would be a lot of wear-and-tear on both the truck’s power port and the device(s) I’d be plugging and unplugging all the time.

This Verizon JetPack is the key to my freedom.  This gives me unlimited mobile internet wherever there is Verizon signal.  I got this on eBay from a fellow named “vzw_unlimited“.  The price of the unit itself was ~$60 and the monthly service is $140/month.  Since those costs are essentially to running my business, they were business expenses, which was really nice.  I just got it out of my mailbox a couple hours ago, and it’s charging now.  It apparently has a huge battery capacity and can even serve as a charger for other phones and such, which is a nice feature as well.  I ran a couple speed tests on it and…

The speeds are fantastic!  This will of course depend on your location, network congestion, etc., etc., but I’ve been pretty impressed thus far.  I have my home comcast setup to run at 25Mbps down and around 9Mbps up, which is sufficient for my needs.  When the JetPack has good signal, it’s obviously that it’s more than capable of delivering what I need for bandwidth.

The ping times are a bit higher, but that’s to be expected with any cell-based connection.  They seem perfectly acceptable for now, and I’ll have a lot more experience with that after a couple weeks in AZ.

So that’s all the gear for today (and yesterday, technically), but I have more stuff coming in tomorrow!

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