Don't forget to charge your appliance batteries.

OP
Wild Brambles
Nov 11, 2019
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Did they give you money back and ask you to leavešŸ¤£
Didn't you read my post? :)

I don't know why you guys are having a go at me. It seems you don't understand the challenges of the current retail market. It is especially difficult for restaurants as well. I'm in a town centre Costa, and they have revamped both floors of the customer area. Virtually all tables have double 13 amp and USB sockets, and this is to encourage people like me to use the place. Obviously Costa have paid a lot of money to enable them to provide customers with free electricity. It is unfortunate for them that I don't buy cakes, or eat processed meat, but at Ā£2 per cup for coffee, I suspect they are still making a profit from my custom,

An empty restaurant is bad for business for reasons other than the obvious. Some people are reluctant to enter an empty restaurant, and this is one reason that managers may offer free coffee to well behaved regulars. I started this thread in the belief that it may help people like me who are just starting a nomadic lifestyle in vans that may not have installed a full solar system yet.
 

EX51SSS

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Which is what Lidl's & Aldi's actively promote in many shops in the EU. =Motorhome parking.(y)
90 minutes at most of the Aldi and Lidl stores I've been to in the UK.

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Jan 2, 2017
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I don't know what solar system you are going to install, but you will be in the same situation anyway, I have over 300 Watts and get very little input from November to March, seems that you may want to rethink and visit a campsite with electric hookup once or twice a week, like I have to
 
OP
Wild Brambles
Nov 11, 2019
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Thanks for the suggestion, but campsites have no appeal to me. Organised meetings and vintage fairs are a different matter of course. Most of the restaurants I visit are pretty supportive and encouraging, and I always leave if the place starts to fill up, and people are looking for tables. I'm also a member of the public library system, and they are under threat at the moment, so they encourage people to use their facilities.

My greatest problem is parking, and a Convoy is about the largest vehicle you can park in a standard parking space. I also have to watch out for penalties. I'm in the centre of a market town, and I have free parking up until 10am, after that it starts to get expensive. If I arrive early enough, I can park in one of the industrial estates, and walk into the town, and sometimes I do this if I want to visit the museum, the library or the market. There is also free overnight parking for campers in a couple of the central car parks, but the wardens are there at 8am with their ticket machines.
 
Dec 24, 2014
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I do charge my 85amp leisure battery, ............ One has to be discrete though :)
How on earth can you carry an 85Ah battery and charger into McD's discretely? And then have to sit there for a couple of hours while it charged :rolleyes:

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OP
Wild Brambles
Nov 11, 2019
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You put it under the table, so that the manager can see it if he looks, but it isn't obvious to the customers. How many people spend more than two hours in the office? Using McD as an office gives you a more varied social life, if you go there when the business people use it. It also helps you to make some interesting contacts. Afternoons tend to be the screaming kids, and evenings are the destructive teens, but morning are the business hours if you visit the right McD
 
Dec 24, 2014
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Using McD as an office gives you a more varied social life, if you go there when the business people use it. It also helps you to make some interesting contacts.
You make it sound quite commonplace. It's not something I'm aware of, having never been in a McD's, or a KFC.
As an aside, the Operations Director for a 'bus company in the S. East told me that since free WiFi and USB charging sockets have been provided on the buses vandalism (graffiti, ripped seats, rowdyism etc.) has virtually ceased. It was previously a very big problem.
 
OP
Wild Brambles
Nov 11, 2019
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Teen vandalism is a big problem for McDonalds, and it may be one reason why I am encouraged in some places. I'm well behaved, and obviously able to provide evidence should they decide to prosecute vandals. They also uses the electricity supply to control some customers. I was in one McD when they turned off the supply to encourage rowdy teens to leave, and they all went to the Subway restaurant nearby. They apologised to me for doing it, and gave me a free coffee as compensation. Obviously they don't see me as a problem. That restaurant had replaced the seats with formica covered plywood one because of the damage that was being done to the vinyl ones.

I'm really enjoying life as a digital nomad, and the variety and varied social interaction is great, but it has taken me a while to learn how to optimise it. Using supermarket cafes gives one a chance to observe the end of day reductions, and the chance to experiment with exotic foods at very low cost is great. Yesterday I picked up 6 Cotswold legbar eggs for 10 pence for example. I appreciate that it is not a lifestyle that suits most people, but for me, it is a great change and experiment, and I love it. When I've improved my van a bit more, I want to attend a few camper van meetings, and exchange some experiences.

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Minxy Girl

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I have no wish to knock what you do, but the one thing that concerns me about you charging your 85ah battery is safety ... if for some reason it gasses and/or explodes in a public place I don't think McD's would be too happy! Some things are better NOT done in public.
 
OP
Wild Brambles
Nov 11, 2019
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I'm a Surrey boy, who spent most of his life in London, Oxford, and Winchester. That might be high society, but it isn't the Scottish Highlands. :)

I agree with the comment about charging the 85Ah battery in public, and I have only done it on two occasions. Also, I have seen people charge their starter batteries in McD, when they have not enough power to restart their cars. I think that is a really bad idea, and I carry heavy duty jump leads to help people in this situation. I did offer to use them on one occasion, but the guy said his alternator was faulty, and he needed to recharge his battery, so he sat there an bought a couple of burgers while it picked up a bit of charge. I expect he lost most of that when e started the car, so he should have taken me up on my offer, even after a bit of charging. You certainly see life on the road, and it is interesting to see the priorities of some people.

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OP
Wild Brambles
Nov 11, 2019
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I've always had a sneaking admiration for the Highlanders. I'm not sure about the skirts and the bagpipes, but I think a lot of their personality traits are admirable. As for tossing the caber, I'm not even sure I could pick it up, and if I did, I would probably drop it on my foot.

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Aug 18, 2014
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You make it sound quite commonplace. It's not something I'm aware of, having never been in a McD's,
Yes, very common in many McD's. Also have a look at Tesla supercharger points in service areas. You'll see the owners sitting there working surrounded by multiple laptops,tablets, phones all plugged in to the car which is on charge.All free
 
Aug 5, 2018
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if all these portable devices are Lithium ion based then keeping them charged is not best practice for longevity, they should be stored at 50% charge.
 
Dec 24, 2014
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Yes, very common in many McD's. Also have a look at Tesla supercharger points in service areas. You'll see the owners sitting there working surrounded by multiple laptops,tablets, phones all plugged in to the car which is on charge.All free
What an awful way to earn a living. I've noticed and felt sorry for lorry drivers that I've seen settling down for the night in busy noisy laybys on 'A' roads.
However, as the OP has already mentioned the nomadic subsistence lifestyle of FT's such as he wouldn't suit everyone. It certainly wouldn't suit me.

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OP
Wild Brambles
Nov 11, 2019
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I've owned and lived in a wide variety of properties, and I've done the London thing of waking up in strange beds after an evening in the wine bar. I've tried the living in a van, and now I want to convert it into a rural cottage on wheels
 

Northernraider

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Amazed how folks are more than happy to knock McDonalds at any opportunitiy but quite ok to use their electric :doh:
I'm quite happy to knock McDonald's and say their food is shit!

And they can keep their electricity šŸ˜

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Oct 29, 2016
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We made the mistake of going into McDonalds a few weeks back in a service area, the food was horrible, and over priced, everyone stood around on their mobiles killing time as you now have to key in your order on one of those self service machines, which I ignored and walked up to the counter!
As I was chewing down on this nondescript soggy mess of a burger, that is no bigger than the old original birds eye frozen ones, but tasted even worse.
A rye smile appeared on my face as I remembered this classic sketch.......
LES

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OP
Wild Brambles
Nov 11, 2019
218
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Van conversion
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2 years
Well here I am in the Portsmouth McD at 6am. I'm charging up my phone, and I've got 2 computers on my table. I'm going to tidy up my hosting accounts, and it's easier with 2 machines. I'm also looking at a Sennheiser sound deadening bluetooth headphone set - 55% off in ther Amazon black friday sale. I wonder if they will reduce them s bit more on cyber Monday. :)
 
Dec 24, 2014
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Well here I am in the Portsmouth McD at 6am. ..........looking at a Sennheiser sound deadening bluetooth headphone set - 55% off in ther Amazon black friday sale. I wonder if they will reduce them s bit more on cyber Monday. :)
Cuh! And here's me, wasting my time wondering whether to go to Lanzarote or La Gomera next week for a bit of winter sun.
 

ceejayt

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Travelling around America for 6 months, couldn't have done without Waterstones, MCDonalds etc. often would discover 50meg wifi at which point three phones, three iPads and three computers would be plugged in, charging and updating while we had coffee - they expect it there, just not a problem

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