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State of Affairs

Back in the 60’s and 70’s,  if the sticker on an item said it was Made In Japan that meant it was junk.  Most likely.  Now adays, if it says Made in China; same same.  Most likely.   The problem present day is we don’t make anything in America any more.  If other countries didn’t pick up the slack and make what we need we would do without.  Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

006You all know I think a Progressive Industries EMS is a must have piece of equipment if you own a recreational vehicle.  Some of you folks are gonna click that Amazon link and say “Pshaw!!  I ain’t about to pay that much when I can get a good surge guard for a third the price!” Well, I would have to spout off and say you are dead wrong. Period.   You are comparing a Rolex to a chicken.  Not even close to being the same thing.  If a big ol’ electric surge heads down the wires at ya, the surge guard might, just might save your TV, fridge, microwave, RV converter/charger and all the jimcracks you got plugged in on the counter. Might.   On the other hand, the Progressive EMS is going to handle the surge.  It is also going to protect your goods if a pedestal is wired wrong and putting out 240 volts straight which happens all too often. It is going to protect you if the voltage regulator on your generator goes haywire in the middle of the night and starts feeding your RV 165 volts of pure mayhem.  That happened to me.  Without the EMS, I would have been toast.   The EMS protects you against high voltage, low voltage, frequency problems and other things too.   Let me get real crystal clear on this  –it is just not us folks down here in the Puckerbrush living close to the bone that need this protection. Anyone who owns an RV needs this little item whether you are a fulltimer or just a weekend warrior.  You need it and you need to use it every time you plug it in!  Bonus points for Progressive being a small family owned company still making quality products HERE!

Fenix LD22 flashlight

Fenix LD22 flashlight

I have two 30 amp Progressive Industries EMS’ on the No Princess Palace because I feed her with two service lines.  I suck a prodigious amount of electricity out of a generator winter and summer to keep the inside comfy.  I was hanging out 2 weeks ago when everything just went dark and quiet all a sudden and I said “WTF?” as I reached for the Fenix LD22 215 Lumen LED Flashlight I always keep handy in the junk box on top of the dinette.  215 lumens folks means it is one bright rascal in a small package!  I whore up pretty bad on flashlights and knives; just sayin’    Some women get off on shoes.  I like my  man toys.

I was pretty sure I had a bad EMS since half the Palace still had power and that is exactly what I found.  I emailed Progressive the next AM and got a quick reply which requested me to call them.   A few minutes on the phone and I had authorization to send it back in for repair.  No hoops to jump through, no receipts to rummage through all the drawers for,  just a simple ironclad warranty that says if it doesn’t work, we will fix it.  This particular unit had been in for repairs 3 years previously as well.   You have to understand being hooked to a generator 24/7 for years on end out in this harsh South Texas environment is a severe torture test for any piece of equipment.

9 days from sending my EMS back to Progressive, I had it back in my hands.  I looked at the invoice to see what repairs were made and it said “Sent customer a PT30 recon unit” .   No problem.  No hassle.  Progressive does what it says it is going to do,  What if all businesses conducted themselves with such integrity and purpose?   Yeah, don’t hold your breath on that one.

I had a Fantastic Fan unit in the hallway of the Old Girl that stayed on exhaust 24/7 for years.  I don’t know how many years it had run previously before I acquired her. The motor finally started to sputter and jerk and I went to Google to do some research.  I quickly found out that Fantastic Fan  had a stellar rep for supporting their products.  One no hassle phone call and a new fan motor was on its’ way to Texas.  But you need to hear the rest of this story.  Some time after my dealings with Fantastic Fan they were bought out by another company.  Almost immediately the rumblings started on the various internet recreational vehicle forums.  The new people changed their warranty policy and were now requiring proof of purchase and enforcing the one year terms to the letter.  I wonder which smart fella came up with THAT bright idea?  They took a decade of building up an impeccable word of mouth reputation and flushed it down the toilet in 90 days.  Back in the day,  if you asked on an RV forum what the best vent fan was to purchase, 9.5 folks out of ten would say Fantastic Fan and the respondent always mentioned how well they stood behind their product. Christ on a cracker!  I bet they lost 40% of their market share in a very short time and I doubt they ever get it back.

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Tuco the Dog pointing mice

Tuco the Dog pointing mice

I mentioned several weeks ago that I had upgraded to a pricey (Buy once, Cry once) Dakota Break Beam Alert because I needed an infallible driveway alarm with a loud alert tone.  At the time I was happy to report the Dakota Alert was 100% accurate and I was well pleased.  It even caught the sneakers trying to walk up on me. I am still happy – for the most part.

It has been hot and dry here in South Texas with very low humidity.  I am next to a busy county road and the caliche rock has been ground into a fine powder; as fine as talc.   If the wind is out of the south and a vac truck rolls by hellbent for who knows where the dust cloud blows right across the Dakota Alert beam and it goes off.  Not all the time but enough to be occasionally aggravating.   I can’t fault the Dakota Alert.  The dust cloud that rolls across here is impenetrable.   I would still not hesitate to recommend it to someone looking for a premium driveway alert system.

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One last thing and I will turn y’all loose.  Every Fall when it turns cool the mice start looking for a place to nest up.  Tuco the Dog started pointing the Big Ass Suburban two days ago and I have learned not to question her nose.   I put a trap under the hood on the wheel well and another on the left rear leaf spring and baited both with a smear of peanut butter.  Peanut butter is mice crack I am thinking.  Both traps had victims in them this morning.

Just a word of caution here.  If you have pets and use a poison like D-Con, it don’t matter how good you get it up out of the way of the pets.  Those poison mice are gonna crawl off to die and if your pet eats one of them they get the poison too.   Be careful!

End note:  That Dawg Don’t Hunt by Slim Bawb from the Ghost Dog album.

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6 comments to State of Affairs

  • Joel

    We’re up to 7.4 MWh on our Chinese-made solar panels for the first 15 months. No problems, all weather. So far, so good.

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  • Ken

    You can keep the mice out of the hood on the big ass suburban by leaving the hood up about 6 inches. You know the dust will coat it anyway, but the mice and cottontail rabbits like it dark. (my cuz had rabbits chew up two tractors and a pickup) Mouse traps went empty even though they had peanut butter.

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    • Andrew

      Thanks Ken.

      I may do that. The hood is cracked anyway because I run a battery maintainer on it.

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  • Wallace

    I’ve also used mousetraps with great success. Only problem: I was gone for 5 days; when I returned… yeah. The smell, oi. Be sure to service those traps on a daily basis.

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  • Pat

    “You all know I think a Progressive Industries EMS is a must have piece of equipment if you own a recreational vehicle.” Some of you folks are gonna click that Amazon link and say “Pshaw!! I ain’t about to pay that much when I can get a good surge guard for a third the price!”

    I have to agree with you on that one, the Progresive Industries has saved our RV Eectrical system more than once. We do not leave home with out it.

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