All Tales From The Road since the beginning of time:
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SENSORPUSH REVIEW: MONITOR YOUR VAN (OR RV) TEMPERATURE AND HUMIDITY REMOTELY
In our latest data acquisition project (here we go again!), we wanted to plot a graph of the “Maximum Interior Temperature VS Exterior Temperature” that the Webasto / Propex are able to achieve. We went product-hunting and stumbled upon the SensorPush system.
The SensorPush are Bluetooth sensors that allow to monitor and track the temperature and humidity from your smartphone (you can monitor them in real time as long as you’re within sensors range).
The optional Wifi Gateway pick up data from the sensors and upload it into the cloud, making it possible to monitor the sensors in real-time from anywhere in the world!
You can add as many sensors as you want, and you can set alarms to be notified if the temperature or humidity goes out of your desired range. We think it’s pretty neat for:
- PET OWNERS: Keep your pet safe while you are away.
- WINTER ADVENTURERS: Protect your plumbing or prevent your booze from exploding!
- LITHIUM (LiFePo4) BATTERY OWNERS: These can’t be charged below 32F… don’t get caught off guards!
- EVERYONE: Make sure your fridge stays within an acceptable range, prevent high humidity (and molds), check outside temperature, etc.
VanLife Actual Cost
March 2019TOTAL FOR TWO PERSONS
Auto Insurance $215
Gas and Fuel $453
Craft Beer & Wine $216
Travel Medical Insurance $0
(not needed at home!)
(lift tickets, bike shuttle, music shows, etc)
(we stayed with friends that visited us 🙂 )
Van Maintenance $0
(oil change, tires, brakes, etc)
Everything Else $292
(Cell, Internet, Netflix, Pharmacy, etc.)
We had our first “real” use of snow chains when trying to get to Hankin Evelyn Backcountry Skiing Rec Area near Smithers, BC. The video below is our second attempt at climbing that hill. It doesn’t look that steep in the video, but it is relatively steep and the condition is a thin layer of compacted snow on top of blue ice…
In our first attempt (no chains, TCS turned off), we made it to about 30%, then the van lost its momentum. I activated the 4×4 (slammed the brakes…), but the van just started sliding all the way down. Trying to steer (in reverse) a 8850 lbs sliding object is not a good feeling! Pumping the brakes to regain control wasn’t very useful, so the van just followed the “fall line”; fortunately we didn’t go off the road. With the chains on, there was no wheel slip at all.
This place is literally in the middle of nowhere: no cell signal, 30 minutes drive from the main road, and there’s pretty much no one coming here during the week. So that’s a pretty good testimony of why we categorize the snow chains as “Safety Gear”…
FOOD FOR THOUGHTS:
Knowing the van started sliding down after I slammed the brakes (4 wheels blocked on pure ice), would a 4×4 have made it all the way up without chains? Honest question. Keep in mind that speeding up before the hill is not really an option as there is a big dip. Our opinion is that a 4×4 would have make it like 60% (instead of 30%), then would have started sliding down gaining even more speed and more momentum on its way down…
Hitting a new low: -30°C (-22F) in Jasper
We get asked a lot if we used both the Webasto + Propex simultaneously, which we normally answer by a firm “no”.
When we woke up that morning, the it was -30°C (-22F) outside and 14°C (57F) inside. The Webasto ran full-speed all night, so for the first time we needed to join forces: the Propex started flawlessly and the temperature went up to a more comfortable level.
While we rarely use the Propex, it’s really comforting to know that we have a backup if the Webasto fails and extra power for those really REALLY cold mornings (not that we enjoy that cold, but it’s sometimes inevitable…).
(And by the way, the van never failed to start despite that cold. Awesome!)
Tales From The Road
March 2019 Interactive Map:
This is it, we're BC residents!!
Moving to British Columbia is a life goal we always had, long before this vanlife thing. From back home, BC sounded like the perfect place on earth for us: it’s wild, it’s big and the riding (mtb + snow) is suppose to be the best. But really, is it?
Finding the place we love was one of the goal of this present trip. We wanted to see as many places as possible because, you know, maybe there’s better somewhere?
While we’re still not sure where exactly we’ll end up, we know for a fact it will be somewhere in BC. IT IS our promised land after all. We love it here.
We still fully enjoy being nomad and we don’t feel the need to settle yet. Living in a van is definitely re-shaping our perspective on what is “home”. What is home, exactly? Does it have to be permanent? We still don’t have the answer, but that’s OK; we’ll go with the flow.
We've never been lucky with weather in Revelstoke, so we're really hoping for a big dump this time.
No dump! We're snow snobs, so we'll skip the resort and go explore "The Fingers" on our splitboards.
(You can spot the resort in the background at the end of the video)
We spent the week skiing and staying here in Rogers Pass. With the stable snowpack and good visibility, we were able to push a little further than usual and unlock new zones. 🤩 While it hasn’t snow in a while, there are still plenty of first tracks to be made outside the popular runs. What an amazing place… ❤️
Really, it's hard to find a better place to ski & stay...
But you got to earn your turns (and enjoy this views on the way up)
Transitioning from ski-mode (climb) to snowboard-mode (descent).
Ready to drop in!
(Highway 93N from Lake Louise to Jasper)
(About 45 minutes drive from Smithers, BC)
OK. that was a long drive!
But then, we get this to ourselves...
Oscar Peak (1920m ascension)
Meet Lili, the dog that shred!
We finally got lucky with big dump! What a relief!
As usual we got too excited to take pictures of us riding the powder, so here's a picture of isabelle making scones instead.
After the storm, we were hit with hot temperatures and that triggered a big natural avalanche cycle.
In the backcountry, one must pay attention to the subtle signs and clues the terrain sends over time. The message today was clear: “Stay the **** out of there!”.
We witnessed a size 3 avalanche and several size 2. The temps recently increased to above 5C and the sun came out; pretty much anything facing south went down. We also observed a few size 1.5 on north facing slopes (triggered remotely by someone near a ridge).
A beautiful and powerful spectacle to watch (from afar)!
With these warm temperatures, we're like...
Drum roll.......... NO LEAKS! 🥳🎉🎈🙏
The very back of the garage (especially near the floor) can sometime freeze during winter, so we shut-off and carefully drained the Eccotemp shower, the bike wash and all the pipes in the garage. We didn’t add any antifreeze, hoping we drained all the water properly… looks like it worked! 🤗
I guess we officially made it through our second winter in the van!
More info about our garage: faroutride.com/garage
Ski and bike. Gotta love the coastal climate 🙂
We're totally bike-minded now, so we're about to migrate south to start the mountain biking season. But before, let's drive a little north...
That's it for now! To be continued...
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