minimal size youtube videos

My previous approach to saving bandwidth on youtube videos was to request the lowest-resolution versions possible.

That is a simple approach but leaves some MB on the table.  The absolute lowest bandwidth video is achieved by picking the lowest bitrate audio and video even if they occur in separate files.

Consider this 42min video about the history of helicopters.

# request lowest resolution first
# youtube-dl -f '160/278/133/18/22' [url]
196940618 World_s_First_Helicopter_-_Prehistoric-JE1iOzDcibs.mp4
# youtube-dl -f 'worstaudio+worstvideo' [url]
 45369327 World_s_First_Helicopter_-_Prehistoric-JE1iOzDcibs.webm

192MB vs 44MB is a very real difference.

10 quarantine question challenge


Saw this on a Frugal RV Gal yt post.    I met her (And CW) at an RTR when she parked nearby.  Nice person.


1. How many rolls of TP do you have at this moment?

3.5 rolls.  I don’t use a lot of TP so I’m probably good through midyear.

2. What has been the biggest change since the lockdown?

My boondocking life is changed very little.  I masked up last time I went into town for provisions.    One water kiosk was closed, though I don’t know if this was Q-related.

3. Where are you currently parked/docked?

East of Zion NP on BLM land.

4. What have you gone without recently?

Nothing I can think of.  I almost ran out of bulk green tea but my Amazon package came through.

5. What are you most grateful for?

Public land, and the ability to live frugally on them.

6. What do you miss the most?

Having a craft beer at a bar, a dinner out.

7. How long has it been since you’ve been at a campsite?

I don’t know what this means.  A paid campsite?  I did that once in 2018 at Hueco Tanks state pack because I wanted to be onsite the next morning for a hike.   $12/night, and I gritted my teeth at even that!

8. What’s your favorite Quarantine food?

There is no difference between normal food and Q food for me.

9. How are you exercising/doing workouts?

Hiking daily with the wonderdog.

10. Who are you challenging next? Chose 5!

No one, because it’s stupid.


Quartzsite and that whining noise (Little House on the Road)

Dear yelling person:

Since you have turned off comments for your video I will address your concerns here.    First let’s address one of my concerns:   the yelling at the beginning and ending of each video is obnoxious.  You probably think it’s a clever way to “brand” your channel;  it’s really not.

Geographical concerns

  1. “You’ve got to buy water.”  — No, you don’t.  I filled up my tank for free at a rest stop on the way into Quartzsite and didn’t need any more for the 14-day period.  I did buy a few gallons of filtered water at the famous spot in Q to see how the dispensing worked.  If you have a truck with $300 tires perhaps carry some water in the bed?  I sense a game of “Yes, but…”
  2. “if you’re gonna stay in these areas for two or three weeks that means you’re actually gonna have to go out and get more food you can’t stock up on that much food living in a van or travel trailer you just can’t ”  — maybe you can’t, but I already did.  The legal stay at any given BLM spot there is 14 days;  I carried 21 days of provisions in my van.
  3. “slow internet” — Wow.  I ran all my devices off a 3g puck with no problem.  But then again I wasn’t uploading HD talking head videos that really should be in podcast audio format (about 100x smaller than HD video).  If you want to know how to make the best of slow internet then read this wiki article.
  4. “rough terrain could puncture your tires” —  there were people out there camping in Priuses and minivans.  My guess is your truck could handle desert gravel and dirt.  If you are paranoid about punctures get some offroad tires or camp in walmart parking lots.

Social concerns

    1. “it’s getting so big that people are happening kind of break off into smaller groups … here’s the problem with all the people in this area: slow internet…” — Breaking off into smaller groups is what people do.  Your home has wheels;  use them to get the amount of socializing/privacy you like.  And we already talked about slow internet.
    2. ” people are actually intruding on you so if you supposedly want to go and get some alone time apparently you can’t because people are just coming by and bothering you” — Go further out if you don’t want to interact with people.  The limiting factor is being further out means more walking back to the group areas if you wanted to attend RTR lectures, read the board, etc.  I am a hardcore loner and never felt intruded upon amount those 1000s of people.  Everyone was polite and respectful to me.
    3. “lines at the post office” — so have your mail delivered outside the area and pick it up on the way in/out.  I think you are looking for things to complain about.
    4. people moving in next to you — again, move further out.  Plus I promise you I will not encroach on your space.
    5. “apparently in edinburg they used to not have the two-week rule where you could only stay there for two week” — Incorrect.  The always had the rule, but it was not consistently enforced until Bob naively outed it on his channel.


RAM made a vandwelling video

It’s really quite good.  Very good to see a manufacturer addressing the segment.


I’d like to see a version where retirees who might otherwise buy a Class A/C build their own B.

RTR goals, seminar video

There are many reasons I wanted to physically attend the RTR.  Let’s see if I can put them in order during my first cuppa coffee:

  1. put the campervan a real multi-day off-grid wringer
  2. see many other builds for ideas
  3. take first vacation in many years
  4. meet jimindenver from CRVL
  5. meet a few people from youtube:  Crystal Vanner  & Ausia.
  6. burn off vacation hours from work before I lose them

It’s all going very well.  The only thing that hasn’t worked out Continue reading “RTR goals, seminar video”

Another Transit vs Promaster post

I wrote this on a YT video comment:

They are both good very good vans. Comes down to personal preference / needs for the most part.

Transit PRO:
* more engine choices
* more roof height choices (the medium roof is 6′ inside, an overlooked option for average and shorter folks)
* more popular = more peer knowledge, US aftermarket support, more used Transits for sale
* mechanical limited-slip differential option due to RWD
* better towing due to RWD

Transit CON:
* backup camera in the door so you can’t see if you are backing up with the doors open
* relatively short wheelbase for vehicle length
* least ground clearance of any fullsize cargo van
* costs more

Promaster PRO:
* very wide. 4″ wider at the bottom and more like 6″ at the top since it doesn’t narrow significantly up top.
* more cargo volume at every length
* better traction due to FWD
* lower cargo area due to FWD. This gives 10″ more headspace for a given roof height
* commodity engine and trans (3.6l pentastar, 62TE trans) easily sourceable
* .9″ more ground clearance than Transit
* better turning radius for each wheelbase
* costs less to buy and operate: my TCO calculations show the Transit costing 6.7% more over 5 years (including purchase, fuel for base engines, maintenance, insurance, etc)
* dominates European RV market = European aftermarket support (but can be expensive to import)

Promaster CON:
* only one gas engine option
* FWD, if you don’t like that
* some folks don’t like the bus-like driving ergos
* rebadged FIAT Ducato, if you base your buying decisions on memories of the 1970s

I bought the 159″ high roof Promaster and absolutely LOVE it.

Backchannel: descriptions with links

from this post:

mod edit, a video of a tent camp at Ehrenberg. please include a description with your links. I am getting tired of doing this and I will start just deleting posts with links and no description.

A better solution would be to change the rule; it’s wrongheaded.  I’ve already described how to get video (or just the audio stream) out of youtube with very little bandwidth.  I do it all the time on my Verizon 3g connection.