People often ask me about all sorts of stuff regarding the RV…here’s a list of things that I’ve found to be pretty much ESSENTIAL to our way of life and happiness while on the road.

FYI, all of these links are to Amazon, where I purchased everything. I earn a small commission if you use my links and order either these products or anything else from Amazon within 2 days or so after clicking through my links. Plus, Amazon just has really good deals on stuff and I spent MANY MANY HOURS scouring/researching for these products that I use. So if you buy using these links, you’ll be helping us out with gas money! Thanks!

Solar:

* 200 watts of solar (and EVERYTHING you need to get started) for under $300 – Renogy 200 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit
* I used to have a PWM controller but I got this more efficient MPPT one a couple months back – EPEVER MPPT 30A Solar Charge Controller

Electrical:

* I added two additional 6v batteries to my system; I can’t imagine life without the additional power – VMAX V6-225 6 Volt 225Ah
* 1500 watt pure sine inverter for turning DC into AC power while off grid – GoWISE Power PS1005 Pure SINE Wave Inverter 1500W Cont/3000W Peak
* A smaller 600 watt pure since inverter for the bedroom hardwired into the 12 volt system – GoWISE Power PS1001 Pure SINE Wave Inverter
* I used to have a fancy ammeter until it died…so now I have this, and it’s WAY better! – DC 12V Car Digital Voltmeter
* I replaced ALL my light fixtures with LED – MICTUNING 12V LED RV Ceiling Double Dome Light Fixture
* Inexpensive yet good vent fans – Hengs Industiries Heng’s 90046-CR Vortex II Fan
* 100 feet of black and red 8 AWG wire for misc wiring – 100 ft 8 AWG Wire
* I drive a LOT at night, so good LED headlights – OPT7 FluxBeam X V2 H1 LED Headlight Bulbs
* In fact, I even have a cheap 52″ lightbar that is AMAZING. I can’t stop fast, so I need to see far! Especially when I’m in the middle of nowhere – Nilight 52Inch 300W Spot Flood Combo LED
* Having lots of USB ports to charge various things is super handy. I hardwired this into the bedroom 12 volt system – 50W/10A 6-Ports USB Car Charger Adapter

Entertainment:

* I pulled out the old TVs and put in inexpensive smart LED tv’s that use FAR less power – 43″ Samsung LED TV and a 24 inch in the bedroom.
* We listen to a LOT of music and watch movies…good sound is a must have and we do not regret buying this one bit – Samsung HW-Q60R Harman Kardon 5.1 Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer

Plumbing:

* We only have 33 gallons of fresh water, we gotta make every drop count – Oxygenics Fury Hand Held Sprayer
* Because of our small fresh water tank, I carry two of these in the trailer as well…it’s enough water to get us through in a pinch! – Reliance Products Desert Patrol 3 Gallon Rigid Water Container
* Pressure accumulator so my water pump cycles less and uses less power and lives longer – SHURFLO Black 182-200 Accumulator Tank
* Hybrid Electric Water Heater so I don’t burn up tons of propane for hot water when I’m plugged into power – Camco Hot Water Hybrid Heat Kit

Misc:

* When parked in neighborhoods or anything, wifi can be hard…this gives me the ability to connect to wifi much further away and have my own network onboard – ALFA Network WiFi CampPro 2 Universal WiFi
* I SWEAR these are the best trailer tires, even rated for 81mph! – Carlisle Radial Trail HD Trailer Tire
* Super sweet folding rocking chair. Seriously – GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker Portable Folding Rocking Chair
* My dash cam runs 24/7 and gives me MUCH peace of mind – Transcend DrivePro 230 Dash Camera
* I’ve had to change tires in the dark and this is a great cheap worklight. Rechargable too! – STANLEY Rechargeable 1200 Lumen Lith-Ion LED Spotlight
* If you have the room to carry one, I’ve found this to be one of the best things; I buy gas at a cheap station and fill up later with it. – DuraMax Flo n’ Go 14-Gallon Rolling Gas Can

That about sums up the things I’ve found to be the most important! Thanks for reading and I hope these links help!

Here’s my wishlist of things that I really want for future upgrades as well: 4theriders Amazon Wish List

rvlife off grid

Please follow and like us:

So, I’ve had a number of people ask me about my solar setup on the RV. Frankly, it’s not all that extravagant, but it’s probably the single best modification I’ve done to my RV so far. Not just bang-for-the-buck, but all out best thing I think anyone can do for their RV.

I had purchased 6v batteries for the RV, but I didn’t want to waste the two 12v batteries that the coach came with. They’re only 80ah batteries each, but they were brand new when we got the RV…and I’m a waste-not, want-not kinda guy…so I’ve still got the 12v batteries in there, nearly a year later.

Brianna and I spend most of our time off-grid and not plugged into power. In the last 9 months that we’ve had solar, we’ve put approximately 50 hours on the generator. 10 or 11 of those hours were over a 2 day span mid summer when we wanted AC and had no access to shore power.

We do normal things while on battery. We have lights on at night, listen to music ALL the time on the surround sound system, or we’ll watch movies and such. We run the blender for smoothies. We have vent fans and a stand alone 12v fan. You know, normal stuff.

I installed energy efficient EVERYTHING into the RV. The lights are all LED. Even both smart TVs are LED. One is even 40″…So we’ve got that going for us. I check the voltage very regularly, as I’m pretty OCD about stuff being charged…we usually end a night sitting right around 12 to 12.2 volts. We usually wake up to 14 to 14.3 volts.

Solar. Solar was the best thing we’ve done to the coach so far.

I spent $339 on a kit from Renology on Amazon. It had two 100 watt solar panels, the mounting hardware, screws, all the connectors and 10AWG wiring necessary, and a 30amp PWM solar controller.

renology 200w solar self install kit
Read More →

Please follow and like us:

I’ve decided to try a photo group ride for the public. I’ve done many in the past for manufacturers and magazines and shootouts and the likes, but I’ve never previously offered one to the public. I’m only offering around a dozen spots though. I don’t want it to be too crowded or chaotic. Safety is still third. ;)

When: Saturday Oct 27th, 2018, 10am, ready to go.
Where: Meeting at the Chevron on main street Chevron: 2370 Main St, Red Bluff, CA 96080 to ride Highway 36, stopping at 5-6 various locations for professional action photos. There will be something for EVERYBODY.
Cost: $40
Sign up: Click here to sign up with paypal
What you get: at the day’s end, after an amazing day of riding some of the best twisties in California, I’ll email you your link to download all your high res photos from the ride!
Who: ALL motos welcome! If you don’t have a huge love for ALLLLL two wheels, then you’re missing out. Sportbikes, ADV, cruisers, and even scooters! Let’s do it! <3





Here’s the basic route where most of the photos will take place:

Here’s a few images from the last photo group ride I shot with the Busa Stampede on hwy 36:

The famous “twisties for 140 miles” sign
140 miles twisties hwy 36 red bluff
Read More →

Please follow and like us:

While flying my Karma today using follow me mode in mimic, my Karma had a mid air malfunction, causing it to crash. Nearly everything was destroyed. It had never been crashed prior and had been problem free.

I was riding my motorcycle at approximately 25-27 miles per hour with a passenger who was observing the video (making sure it wasn’t going to fly into the mountain, etc), holding the controller in her hand but not giving any input to the controller (unless necessary, however none were necessary as it had a clear flight path).

The Karma was oriented on my left, slightly ahead of me, as we went into a corner. As we passed underneath the Karma, it suddenly flipped itself upside down from roughly 60ft in height, completely unobstructed, and flew itself into the ground mostly upside down the entire time. I happened to be looking at the screen at the very moment it errored and saw “Camera Disconnected” suddenly flash across the screen while watching it’s last moments in the air before impact. After the crash, I stopped a few feet later, looked for mini quad, and looked back at the screen. It was prompting me to locate the Karma now or later. I selected “now” and found it 64ft (according to the controller) to the right of the road (north), upside down. I took a picture of it in it’s resting place before I picked it up. Best fpv goggles 2019 are like a remote controller often fixed on the eye, where you can view the visual surrounding of your flying object.

Photo link (with full EXIF data): https://photos.smugmug.com/Other/Blog-stuff/n-f3hQL/i-VR6fzv2/0/f2f26ae0/5K/i-VR6fzv2-5K.jpg

crashed gopro karma drone
Read More →

Please follow and like us:

This last week has been a weird one, but ultimately a pretty fun one. We’d been staying in the greater Phoenix area for the last 3 weeks as we had a YCRS school that we were working at on Jan 6th and 7th…rather than leave and spend a bunch of money on fuel, we opted to hang out locally.

I made my first big “boo boo” while emptying out our holding tanks…I wrote about it on Facebook:

Jan 4th, 11:22pm
I made such a rookie move tonight while dumping holding tanks in the RV…
I didn’t secure the poop-shoot-tube into the dookie-hole in the ground properly… I popped the valve and EXPLOSION! Hahaha!
I flew backwards like a bandit in a western after catching both barrels to the chest, then ninja-cartwheeled back towards the valve and snapped it shut with only about 3-4 gallons on the deck.
Somehow, some way, nothing splashed on me and I didn’t even step in it.
I cleaned it all up with a nearby hose, flushed my tanks, topped off my water, then slunk off, knowing 100% of that was captured on CCTV and I’m gonna get laughed at tomorrow. #lifeontheroad

There are zero pics or video for proof…except the video the RV place probably has since saved and posted to youtube by now. Haha!

So anyways, we’ve been “Wallydocking” about 50% of the time so far… It’s a term I’ve heard being used to describe staying overnight in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Haha! It seems as tho they have a mostly nationwide policy to allow RV’s to stay in their lots overnight. It’s actually pretty convenient!

While walking Bijou, the @TinyTinaTurnerDog the other night, I came across an entirely new sight that brings my faith in humanity to an all time high. ;)

catheter bag at walmart wal-mart wallydocking

I mean, why not, right? Bleh.
Read More →

Please follow and like us:

So, as you guys may have read in a previous blog of mine, I did a 12 Step “how to” to replace your FJ09/FZ09/MT09/Tracer oil pan after you crater your shit. If not, you can read it here:

The 12 Step How to Replace the FJ09 Oil Pan

Well, so, yeah…I smashed another oil pan the other day. Luckily, it wasn’t nearly as bad as shearing off the entire bottom of the oil pan like I did last time. This time, I simply put a small hole in it while parking for an epic photo. Yes, while parking. I was doing approximately half a mile an hour. *sigh* I was so livid that I didn’t even get the shot I wanted.

fj09 oil pan cracked fz09 oil pan mt09 oil pan
Read More →

Please follow and like us:

I originally wrote this as an email to Yamaha. It was sent off to Yamaha over a week ago, and I haven’t heard a single peep in reply. So, on behalf of myself, and anyone else who’s experienced this issue with their FZ/MT/FJ09 motorcycle who also agrees with me…here’s an open letter to Yamaha:

———————————————————-

I’m pretty disappointed with Yamaha right now. This is only the second motorcycle I’ve EVER purchased brand new, the first was also a Yamaha.

Long story short, I was riding a fun little section of twisties with my girlfriend, Kinsy, on the back of my new FJ09. I was plodding along around 35-40mph as I crossed a small bridge over a creek. There was a build up of slurry/tar on the transition from road to bridge. Definitely a bump, but nothing so bad to cause for much concern. Until I hit it. And the bike completely bottomed out on the drain plug, shearing off the bottom of my oil pan spraying oil all over my rear tire, saddle bags, undertail, and even all over the backpack Kinsy was wearing.

I didn’t crash. I have lots of experience on two wheels, dirt, track, and street. It was certainly a 500ft death slide afterwards, but I managed to keep it upright in the end.

I’m disappointed because after this happened, I go to research a new oil pan for the bike, I see that I’m not the first person to have this experience. In fact, SO many people have had this happen to them (some in the most trivial of ways), that Yamaha has redesigned the pan and updated their part number to supersede the original design. The originally FLAWED design.

They say recalls are for safety reasons. Like the new 2015 R1, for example. The transmission locks up and causes the rider to crash, as has happened with one of my friends already. Or the o ring on the oil filter assembly does seat correctly, causing oil to spray from the engine, possibly causing someone to crash, as has also happened to another friend of mine.

Well, having the lowest point of contact be the drain plug on a motorcycle isn’t very safe. Decking it out on the ground at 40mph with your loved one on the back, instantly saturating your rear tire with synthetic oil, IS NOT SAFE.

I’m upset because Yamaha has acknowledged that there is an issue without even saying “there is an issue with our original design.” They simply redesigned it and quietly updated their part number to patch over an issue that many of us with the FZ/FJ/MT09 line of motorbikes is having. AND MAKING US PAY FOR IT.

The fortunate ones, such as myself, who don’t actually crash because talent, scenario, or pure dumb luck was on their side are simply left with a:

– $202 bill for an oil pan
– $18 for a new gasket
– shop labor of 2 hours @ $95 per hour
– roughly $400 for a new set of tires (oil was all over both of my tires)
– plus mount and balance fees of $80
– $35 for a new set of rear brake pads
– and 5 hours of their time cleaning up the mess out of the back of their truck they had to tow the bike home with as well as the bike itself.

And sadly, my newly updated how-it-should-have-been-in-the-first-place design of an oil pan DIDN’T EVEN COME WITH A NOTE SAYING “SORRY THAT HAPPENED. HERE’S YOUR FREE OIL PAN CAUSE WE GOT IT WRONG THE FIRST TIME”

I should have waited to buy the Africa Twin.

Sincerely,

Joe Salas
4theriders.com

Please follow and like us:

So, as some of you guys know already, I cratered the oil pan on my FJ09 while riding two up with Kinsy on Carmel Valley Road over xmas. All 3 quarts of yummy synthetic 10w 40 splooged everywhere. On rear tire, the undercarriage, the saddle bags, and even on the backpack Kinsy was wearing. Everywhere. Instant slip-n-slide-deathride.

dead fj09 tracer

So I recently fixed the bike and I took pics throughout the process.

EDIT// here’s the FJ09 FZ09 MT09 updated oil pan part number: B56-13400-00-00

Step 1) Stare at the bike for an incredibly long time, hoping that it will somehow fix itself, only to realize that it will not. And be dissapointed by this fact.

fj09 mt09 tracer oil pan broken
Read More →

Please follow and like us:

It was May, 2008. I was hosting the 3rd annual Com3 Death Ride. Only Paulo, Matt, and myself were partaking in said ride, but none the less, it was the Death Ride.

The rules were simple: Go fast and don’t die, else be left behind at the mercy of the native Sierra Nevada wildlife.

Rules were broken that day. Paulo ended up in a tree, mostly upright. Matt likey ran over a critter, I don’t fully recall, but for the story’s sake, we’ll go with that…and I…well, I crashed pretty hard. So hard in fact, I was left with a fractured vertebrae, some ribs, some soft bits were mangled, there was blood and all that other fun stuff that happens when you fall down at high-ish rates of speed and your bike decides to exact it’s revenge upon you for treating it so harshly.

Matt stopped for me. I mean, he kinda HAD to, as I’d done the deed right in front of him. Actually, I was in the process of crashing as I was along side Matt, before finishing up just in front of him. Matt, you broke the rules, buddy. ;) Thanks again for not running me over.

I was life flighted off the mountain. I crashed. It was entirely my own fault. I had no one to blame but myself.

As I lay on the gurney in the Level 1 Trauma center, nearly naked from having my leathers cut off and still strapped to the backboard that was designed for someone several inches smaller than myself, quietly crying—more-so emotional rather than the pain, which was really intense—my then wife and 2 year old son came into the room. The look on their faces as I strained my eyeballs to the side to see them (as my head was strapped in still) said it all; I’d made a series of poor choices.

At that moment, I vowed to quit riding on the street. I was too stupid. Too irresponsible. But mostly just too dumb. I cheated death that day and I was lucky to still be amongst the living.

So, what the hell does ANY of that have to do with the mighty FJ09?
Read More →

Please follow and like us:

Recently, I was asked to review a backpack for my moto adventures… The Fly Racing Back Country Backpack. I’m a total stickler for backpacks. I own several of them, and each has it’s own function. Normally, you’ll find me in the woods wearing a NorthFace arctic expedition, seal-clubbing, dynamite-carrying, bull-riding adventure pack with all sorts of strappy things and loopy loops and pockety stuff that works flawlessly for what I do when I’m out mashing in the woods at death-defying speeds.

So, being offered a proper back country backpack made by a moto company, Fly Racing, I was totally stoked to give it a whirl!

The day after I received it in the mail, Kevin and myself went on a moto-camping adventure for the weekend. No better time than then!

fly racing back country backpack ttr
merp face!
Read More →

Please follow and like us: