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RE: Battery (really solar panel) Disconnect Question

The only caveats in the ZS-30A controller manual concern not shorting the connections during installation. They do suggest covering the panels to turn them off during the install. Since it was factory installed, I assume they didn't short anything and had the panels somehow disabled (probably didn't plug them into the roof top combiner), as it all seems to work. " - Given sufficient light solar panels always generate energy even when they are disconnected. - Accidental ‘shorting’ of the terminals or wiring can result in sparks causing personal injury or a fire hazard. We recommend that you cover up the panel(s) with some sort of soft cloth so you can block all incoming light during the installation. This will ensure that no damage is caused to the Solar Panel or Battery if the wires are accidentally short circuited. - Always install a battery fuse on each circuit including the solar controller - Do not reverse connect the wires to the solar panel or battery " They also suggest adding a 40A fuse on the + wire runs, both in and out from the controller. Since I can't see them, I have to assume they were added at the factory. God help me if they ever pop.
MDKMDK 10/16/19 11:34am Tech Issues
RE: Battery (really solar panel) Disconnect Question

I just replaced my dying factory FLA batteries with 2 X 100Ah LiFePO4 units. To do this, I had to disconnect the batteries while the controller was up and running and it was a sunny day. I actually considered pulling the 3 rooftop panel connectors out of the 3 way combiner, but after consulting Winnebago Tech Support, they said no need. My system is a factory installed Zamp Solar setup, 3 X 100W panels and the ZS-30A PWM controller. When all was reconnected, everything is up and running with no apparent ill effects. So, I'm going to *assume* this charge controller doesn't care if you disconnect the batteries, either at the battery terminals manually, or with an added disconnect switch. Which I didn't add. Never ocurred to me to add one. Just in case you've got the same, or similar, setup.
MDKMDK 10/16/19 09:19am Tech Issues
RE: RV trip 14 nights itinerary help

OK, I might be crazy but I LOVED Whittier! I have a "thing" for small, seaside towns with harbors, especially working harbors. Can't explain it. Me neither. It just works for me.
MDKMDK 10/15/19 08:58pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: MaxxFan (Smoke with Remote Control) Best For Ventilation?

Thanks, J, did you not need a remote since you have a small van? Anybody have any other thoughts on the pros and cons of MaxxFans with or without Remote Control? I'm assuming the Airxcel employee was being honest, but I'd like to get some user feedback on if the Remote Control MaxxFans draw power or not when they're off, and not in use. I've never given it much thought, but if they do draw anything, it would be to maintain readiness to transmit/receive from the remote. I typically press any button on my remote to "wake" up the remote, then point it in the general direction of the fan to make adjustments. Mine is exhaust only (Winnebago cheapskates) and does a decent job drawing air out/in, with a window cracked. Temp/fan speed adjustment for auto operation is nice. It has what's supposed to be a rain proof powered raise/lower cover that operates based on temps but not actual rain. So far, no rain intrusion during some pretty heavy downpours. It must be a lesser model than the ones you're looking at.
MDKMDK 10/15/19 06:32am Tech Issues
RE: RV trip 14 nights itinerary help

A final couple of thoughts: - Hatcher Pass goes from the "Palmer Side" to the "Willow side": Independence Mine State Park (or State Historical Site or something like that) is road accessible from the Palmer Side ONLY if traveling in an RV. The road runs Palmer - Willow but from the Independence Mine area to Willow, it is at best a car road and works better in a 4WD SUV or pickup. If one is visiting Independence Mine with only an RV as a vehicle, there will be some backtracking to go to Wasilla / Palmer, up to Independence Mine, then back to Wasilla / Palmer before returning to Willow - Full disclosure: I've never been on the ATV tours around Knik. I fly over it all the time and in the summer regularly land the ol PA-12 on riverbars on the Knik River. That being said, an ATV tour of the Knik (based on reports from friends, seeing the trails from the air, and seeing the groups on the trails) seems to be about the best mix of accessibility, location, and activities available. Scenic country, even when raining. - If eating in the Noisy Goose: a) right now road work has the roads torn up. If not finished by next year, be very alert for the "Noisy Goose Access here" signs. They're not at the intuitive spots; b) when in the Noisy Goose (unless it changes in 2019 / 2020, I haven't been there since 2018), take the time to look at the various photos scattered about...just a touch of the "Alaska that was" outside of the usual tourist channels. We drove right by it on our way back in 2016, not knowing it was a decent eatery with nostalgia. Dang!:S We were too busy looking at the fair grounds on the other side of the road.
MDKMDK 10/14/19 12:25pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Quiet generators

Hnnnnnn, I wonder how many folks would know he difference if you put a Honda decal on a Predator. ;) Not many, I'd guess. I don't use a portable, but I've heard (or not) Predator generators demonstrated, and they're very quiet, in my opinion. "Honda-esque".
MDKMDK 10/14/19 06:34am Tech Issues
RE: Move to Motorhome

In something small, light, and aerodynamic, you might get around 10 MPG on the freeway on cruise control with no winds or hills, give or take. Some will say you'll get 10 or more, but that's questionable. Any situation that requires invoking the "legendary power" of the V10, will reduce the MPG to nearer 4 or lower as the RPMs increase to provide it. In our 2016 Sunstar (27' long bread box, ready to travel weight around 13,000 lbs) I figure we got around 6 MPG overall average, for the short time we owned it. We towed a 4500lb Wrangler to get those numbers. On one long trip.
MDKMDK 10/12/19 06:28pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Urgent Need of Advice re Winterizing!

Wow, a little cold weather plus a winterizing "emergency" sure gets the keyboards a hummin' on here.:B
MDKMDK 10/09/19 09:34pm Tech Issues
RE: Generator pros and cons

So, you believe the manufacturer's db numbers, and not your own ears? Oh sorry, I forget about the manufacturers telling lies about the db rating of their generators. Shame on me. Ooops, my bad. I forgot about them testing all those generators db levels for compliance, and scrapping the ones that don't pass the test, before they put them on the container ship from China.
MDKMDK 10/09/19 06:04am Tech Issues
RE: Generator pros and cons

.... I chose a Honda ( made in Thailand ) because I didn’t wanna give my $$$ to CHINA! ... in the deal I got RELIABILITY and when I sell I got RESALE VALUE..... China wants to rule the world; do you want that for your grandkids? I’ll support any country other than China & North Korea! I totally agree about supporting despotic states around the globe (starting with some of the UN Security Council members). If we fff up this next election, and our current idiot PM gets re-elected, you'll have a Canada, run by a China loving dictator, living on your northern border. Get ready for "Border Wall II - The Sequel" getting built along the 49th parallel, in a theatre near you.
MDKMDK 10/08/19 08:59pm Tech Issues
RE: Generator pros and cons

If 2000W to 4000W is all you need, and quiet is what you want, then these would be my choice. I saw a guy in the nearby casino parking lot last summer, and he just brought back 2 of them and the parallel kit. Before I knew that he was testing his generators, I approached the back end of his truck, to see what he was doing, I heard the faint sound of a generator running, and I was only about 20 feet away. They are quiet. https://www.harborfreight.com/engines-generators/gasoline-generators/2000-watt-super-quiet-inverter-generator-62523.html I wouldn't call the Predator all that quiet at 65db compared to the Champion at 53db. So, you believe the manufacturer's db numbers, and not your own ears? I couldn't hear the 2000W Predator running (albeit under no load) from about 20 feet away, in the guy's truck bed. That's Helen Keller quiet to me. Even compared to the "gold standard" Hondas.
MDKMDK 10/08/19 08:52pm Tech Issues
RE: Generator pros and cons

If 2000W to 4000W is all you need, and quiet is what you want, then these would be my choice. I saw a guy in the nearby casino parking lot last summer, and he just brought back 2 of them and the parallel kit. Before I knew that he was testing his generators, I approached the back end of his truck, to see what he was doing, I heard the faint sound of a generator running, and I was only about 20 feet away. They are quiet. https://www.harborfreight.com/engines-generators/gasoline-generators/2000-watt-super-quiet-inverter-generator-62523.html
MDKMDK 10/08/19 06:37pm Tech Issues
RE: RV trip 14 nights itinerary help

As I follow it the current itinerary is: Day 1 fly into Anchorage, pick up RV, get groceries then drive to Matanuska Glacier. – Glacier hike and zipline –micaguides.com Day 2 Drive to Talkeetna – shopping/lunch Day 3 Drive to Denali National Park – Denali Grizzy Bear Campgound- need reservations- ATV tour in the afternoon Day 4 Shuttle, bus or hike Day 5 Drive from Denali to Wasilla or Willow- snowhookadvenures.com (dog sledding) Day 6 Drive to Portage/Girwood – 26 glaciers boat tour Day 7 Drive to Seward - possible afternoon fishing trip? Day 8 Day cruise Kenai National Park Day 9 Seward to Homer Day 10 Alaskabearviewing.com in Katmai Day 11 Fishing trip/walk around town Day 12 Homer to Cooper Landing (Kanai Princess RV Park-need reservation and hike to Russian River falls to see salmon spawning upsteam and fishing with a license) Day 13 Cooper Landing back to Anchorage Thoughts from someone that drives to all of these places (full disclosure, I usually zip right by Cooper Landing) on a regular basis: - If the OP is at all physically active, I highly recommend that Matanuska Glacier hike: MICA (whom I've used enough to have a family discount :@) offers a 3-hour trip that's fairly basic but it's a hike on a glacier and particularly if the weather's good, great mountain scenery - it's an honest 2 hours from my house in South Anchorage to the MICA turn-off. I always plan 3 hours and if I have 4, I'll stop and see the sights along the way. ....and that's in a car. It might be a tight trip to pickup the RV, get groceries, drive to MICA...and get there early enough to do the Glacier Hike and the zipline (both are in different locations) - I'd figure 4 hours in an RV to drive from Matanuska to Talkeetna, possibly more (much more!) depending on Wasilla-area traffic and construction on the Parks Highway - Denali to Willow/Wasilla is a fairly easy drive..but planning the drive and an activity for the same day puts some stress on time. Not sure (for this day or others) that it's a good idea to book a significant drive AND an activity on the same day. Summer traffic and construction makes the driving time for many segments a **** shoot. -The 26 Glacier Cruise is out of Whittier, which is essentially at the Portage Turnoff but there's the tunnel factor which sets the critical path for timing. They recommend making the 10:30 tunnel opening for the 12:30 boat departure....it can be done by making the 11:30 tunnel opening, but I don't recommend that - Whittier - Seward: 2 hours or so. You'll exit the Whittier Tunnel (coming out) about 6:15 p.m. or so, depending if there's a train that interferes. I'd consider going to Seward that night. - The Kenai Fjords tour is great. - Depending, somewhat, on the time of year, a fishing trip from Homer is likely an all-day event. - Keep your eyes open in Homer: you might see the cast from "Alaska the Last Frontier" if they happen to drive (on the well-maintained all-season road) the 10-15 miles into town where they can buy groceries, supplies, etc just in time to hide those supplies from view while the show is being filmed. - Seward to Homer is a significant drive: If memory serves, 38 + 60 + 75 = 170-ish miles? When calculating trips through Alaska where there are small towns, rough roads, or tourist traffic, netting 50 miles per hour is a great target. - I don't get the attraction of Cooper Landing unless one is taking a drift boat on the Kenai or getting dropped off to fish reds. That being said, staying in Cooper Landing (assuming time works out) beats staying at an RV park in Los Anchorage. Some non-specific points: - With the caveat that I've been up close and personal with bears as much as I want and that I don't understand the general fascination with bear viewing, Katmai (that area in general) is THE place to go for bear viewing. The last time I looked for commercial flights (vs. going along with my buddy) I recall pricing from $800 - $1600 (from Anchorage, it will be cheaper, I think from Homer). Go with as expensive a trip as you can...they just work out better. - If the Katmai thing is important, that will drive the time of year you should schedule your trip....and along those lines, do the research and find the best trip you can afford and build your itinerary around that. By the way, NOW is not too soon to be booking for next summer, particularly if there's any interest in staying overnight in one of the high-end lodges at Katmai. - As the previous comments have said, this is a do-able but ambitious itinerary. My concern would be the number of days that are scheduled for a drive AND an activity in the same day. It might be worth considering a reduced set of activities to be put on the list for the next trip....jus' sayin'. Thanks for sharing your expertise and opinions. They matter.:)
MDKMDK 10/08/19 06:27pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Shaw Direct/Winegard

It was my understanding that the newer G1 satellite, which is supposed to carry most of the HD stuff now, casts a more northerly coverage shadow, than the old Anik F1/F2 birds. ShawD customers have been reporting that they can still receive programming south of the 49th, but that it's inconsistent. Anecdotally, I was shopping for a portable dish receiver system a few years back and was told by Winegard, that the Trav'ler full sized roof mounted dish would probably be the best bet to pick up anything in the US, going forward. They said the domed portable systems "paddle" dishes were probably too small to be effective in picking up signal. Maybe some ShawD customers in the deep south will add an update of where they are (approximately?) and what dish/systems they're using?
MDKMDK 10/08/19 07:04am Tech Issues
RE: Shaw Direct/Winegard

Have any of you Canadians had trouble with your Winegard automatic dish not being able to locate and hone in on the Shaw Direct satellites? In a nutshell, Winegard knew Shaw D was making changes on their satellite software, but couldn't adjust fast enough, and so their auto sat dishes couldn't find and lock onto the birds. Someone posted up a work around, but it might be weeks before it all works again as normal.
MDKMDK 10/07/19 06:02pm Tech Issues
RE: Shaw Direct/Winegard

Check the "shaw satellite" topic in the Snowbirds sub-forum on here. I can't get to it, but that's probably the prior one. I think there's one elsewhere, maybe on iRV2 or winnieowners, can't recall.
MDKMDK 10/07/19 04:02pm Tech Issues
RE: Shaw Direct/Winegard

There's a thread on here or somewhere on one of the other forums about that. I'm getting "site errors" when I try to search for it on here. It's either in the Tech section or the Canada Alaska sub forum. Have a look if you're still working.
MDKMDK 10/07/19 10:56am Tech Issues
RE: Water pump recommendations..

Something (relay? ) is sticking. So you tap or smack it, and it starts runnung. OK. So you turn on a faucet, and nothing happens? Then you smack/tap the water pump and it starts pumping? Never heard that one before. Weird. Usually, it's the other way around. No taps/faucets open, and pump won't stop running. At least you know your plumbing is tight.:B
MDKMDK 10/06/19 03:31pm Tech Issues
RE: Water pump recommendations..

Hello all, My water pump now needs a tap tap to get it started. Several times a day. Actually, like once an hour. Lol. Thinking about this comment, what do you mean once an hour? They aren't supposed to run continuously, unless you're leaking air/water. They only run when there's a demand for pressure. What are you doing that requires it to run once an hour?
MDKMDK 10/06/19 10:08am Tech Issues
RE: Water pump recommendations..

ShurFlo anything. They're bullet proof. Why not replace it with the same pump? Ever clean the screen/trap or determine why the pump needs help? Might be something simple like wiring.
MDKMDK 10/06/19 09:18am Tech Issues
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