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RE: Switching from 12 volt to 6 volt batteries

Couple things to add, That 12v fridge is bad news for boondocking. They are very inefficient. Normally only find those in popup style rigs. But, I guess you're stuck with it. Get more battery. I like the Vmax line of 6vdc. And with those AGM, you do not need to put them in a battery box. They are safe in any orientation. That might allow you to get even more than 2 of them, but you do need pairs. Unless you look at the Vmax 12vdc AGM. I don't have the 12v, but I would trust the name. The cheap club store batteries will need to be in a box, and you'll likely end up replacing them sooner. Depending on how you maintain them. Might or might not be worth the savings to you. One of the main reasons I chose a Danfos compressor style 12V fridge /freezer was because the they are a favourite of the ultimate boondockers which are yachters. They can't use propane fridges because propane is heavier than air and could sink to the lower decks if there was a leak and could cause an explosion. Our camping style is 98% dry/boondock camping. For 5 years, we camped with a 7.5cuft NovaKool fridge/freezer which when cycling used 4.4A. They are more efficient than absorption fridges using 1/3 less energy. They cool much quicker, for the same outer dimensions, have 1/3 more volume, keep more consistant temperatures in hot ambient temperatures and are not a fire hazard. We almost never needed our 2000W genny as we had 4 6V AGM batteries and lots of solar. People who use the term"12V fridges are bad news for boondocking" have never had this kind of fridge. They are becoming much more popular for so many reasons as long as you figure in more electrical capacity(batteries, solar) if you don't want to run your genny. I have a 6 cuft absorption fridge in my TT which came with the new unit. If it gives up the ghost down the line, a 9 cuft NovaKool will fit exactly in the same opening and as I already have plenty of solar and 4 6V GC-2 batteries and more room for extra solar, this is the route I will go. Dave That does sound like an efficient 12v fridge. My concern as a boon docker is I hate.........did I say hate?.... Generators. I'll do most anything not to use a generator. And I like camping year round. That include weather that gets down in the teens. I'd need enough battery to run my furnace to heat the the belly of the coach to keep the tanks warm enough. I can keep up with my furnace pretty easily with my solar, but I think if you tagged another fairly high draw unit on the 4-6v's it'd get critical. Bottom line is you really have to prioritize your usage choice. I want a furnace, a C-pap, no genny and winter. Prolly nixes the 12v fridge...for my boon docking needs. Howdy, to another Creekside owner. Another neat plus for compressor fridges is that they can be operational without problems out of level for long periods of time.( Again, think of yachts). No question, the NovaKool was the largest single draw of battery power bar none.So if you had to choose, get rid of the OEM heater fan and put in a Cat heater. I have no experience with these but some say they work well. My absorption fridge works fine but I would replace it in a heart beat if it quit. Dave Problem with the CAT heater will not heat the belly in real cold weather. I personally am big fan of propane fridges. I don't see any reason to use anything different. I've also found, as I get older, that there are an alarming number of people that really don't care what my opinion is! Everyone will use what they need that fits their use needs.
Vintage465 07/08/20 12:56pm Travel Trailers
RE: Switching from 12 volt to 6 volt batteries

Couple things to add, That 12v fridge is bad news for boondocking. They are very inefficient. Normally only find those in popup style rigs. But, I guess you're stuck with it. Get more battery. I like the Vmax line of 6vdc. And with those AGM, you do not need to put them in a battery box. They are safe in any orientation. That might allow you to get even more than 2 of them, but you do need pairs. Unless you look at the Vmax 12vdc AGM. I don't have the 12v, but I would trust the name. The cheap club store batteries will need to be in a box, and you'll likely end up replacing them sooner. Depending on how you maintain them. Might or might not be worth the savings to you. One of the main reasons I chose a Danfos compressor style 12V fridge /freezer was because the they are a favourite of the ultimate boondockers which are yachters. They can't use propane fridges because propane is heavier than air and could sink to the lower decks if there was a leak and could cause an explosion. Our camping style is 98% dry/boondock camping. For 5 years, we camped with a 7.5cuft NovaKool fridge/freezer which when cycling used 4.4A. They are more efficient than absorption fridges using 1/3 less energy. They cool much quicker, for the same outer dimensions, have 1/3 more volume, keep more consistant temperatures in hot ambient temperatures and are not a fire hazard. We almost never needed our 2000W genny as we had 4 6V AGM batteries and lots of solar. People who use the term"12V fridges are bad news for boondocking" have never had this kind of fridge. They are becoming much more popular for so many reasons as long as you figure in more electrical capacity(batteries, solar) if you don't want to run your genny. I have a 6 cuft absorption fridge in my TT which came with the new unit. If it gives up the ghost down the line, a 9 cuft NovaKool will fit exactly in the same opening and as I already have plenty of solar and 4 6V GC-2 batteries and more room for extra solar, this is the route I will go. Dave That does sound like an efficient 12v fridge. My concern as a boon docker is I hate.........did I say hate?.... Generators. I'll do most anything not to use a generator. And I like camping year round. That include weather that gets down in the teens. I'd need enough battery to run my furnace to heat the the belly of the coach to keep the tanks warm enough. I can keep up with my furnace pretty easily with my solar, but I think if you tagged another fairly high draw unit on the 4-6v's it'd get critical. Bottom line is you really have to prioritize your usage choice. I want a furnace, a C-pap, no genny and winter. Prolly nixes the 12v fridge...for my boon docking needs.
Vintage465 07/07/20 08:25pm Travel Trailers
RE: Firman W02981- Any feedback?

Howdy all - Some friends of mine here in denver are borrowing their parents 5er. As with all novices, they are just starting out - and looking at a generator, and trying to do it on the cheap. They were looking at an open frame generator - and I've been a good RV friend, and told them that if they got one, I wouldn't be next to them! They started to look at Honda and Yamaha, and they are out of their price range. I know that many of us have Champions - but again, that seems to be out of their price range. They are now looking at the Firman W02981 from Costco. Does anybody have any history with this brand and in particular this model? At least buying from Costco - if it goes south, they can return it - but in a perfect world, it's a decent brand. Any thoughts or history would be greatly appreciated! thanks Josh I have a 3300/3000 unit inverter. Looks the same as this one. Can't think there is much difference. Starts every time real easy. I make sure it gets started once every couple months to make sure the battery stay up. Everytime I use it, it works fine. Have had it for four years.
Vintage465 07/04/20 09:14pm Tech Issues
RE: Switching from 12 volt to 6 volt batteries

You're gonna get a lot of opinions on this one. I like 6v cause you have a better chance of getting a true deep cycle battery with a 6v. It seems to me you can get 235 amp hours from 140 pounds of battery. With 12v you can get 200 amp hours but I think it'll be a few pounds heavier. There are true 12v deep cycle batteries are out there but they're not as easy to find. I'd never buy a 12v "deep cycle" from a local vendor unless they only sell batteries. Trojan are great. I think Deka's are great. Deka's are marketed under the Duracell name also. Duracell batteries are marketed thru various vendors, Batteries Plus Bulbs is the one I got mine from. Thinking I'm two years into them and still perfect. You'll need some kind of recharging ability in your coach if you plan to continue boon docking. I recommend as stout solar set up. I have yet to need to fire up my generator and I use what ever I want, whenever I want. I run 4-6v batteries.
Vintage465 07/04/20 08:57pm Travel Trailers
RE: Basic Questions on Solar Install

Well there are a lot more considerations and opinions on solar than I imagined. What I ultimately decided was to go with 4 175W panels. There will be 2 at the very back on each side of the vent. Then one in front of the vent situated perpendicular to the trailer. And then one more between the A/C and the vent in the middle of the trailer. These will be installed in parallel and running 8awg wire from the panels to the combiner box that is at the front. From the combiner box I'm going to go through the roof and straight down to the charge controller with 4awg. We use the trailer quite a bit in the winter so hopefully this will be enough to let us dry camp without the generator for 4 or 5 days. Right now we can go about 2 days in the winter without the generator. I'm 3-150w panels to the combiner with #10 then I ran #4 from the combiner to the controller in the pass thru then #2 from the controller to the 4-6v GC batteries. I camp for a week at a time in the dead of winter(18-24 degrees)run the furnace and a cpap. With good sun, some light clouds I'm topped up at 11:00 AM usually. We keep the trailer around 55-60 at night. You should be good
Vintage465 06/26/20 08:47pm Tech Issues
RE: Basic Questions on Solar Install

#8 is overkill for a series install. So If I go to an MPPT controller with mine and go series my #4 from the combiner to the controller will be serious overkill!:B
Vintage465 06/26/20 06:07pm Tech Issues
RE: dry docking and charging

new convertor/charger is needed And a real gauge, make sure you don't take your battery bank down lower than 60%. 12.6/7=100% 12.5=90% 12.4=80% 12.3=70% 12.2=60% If you went 5 day's that'd prolly be lower than 60%. There is a lot of info on this forum in different places for charging and good use practices. The options for charging types and battery banks are as wide as the world. Choosing what is best for you takes time and trials.
Vintage465 06/25/20 08:12pm Travel Trailers
RE: When I'm driving do I run my fridge on propane or electric?

I fought fires for 30 years and some of those fires were rv's that traveled with the frig on propane. and after saying so on this forum got a lot of static from the members that I didn't know what I was talking about. well, there is a gas station in this town that was rebuilt because of a frig propane fire mishap. and many rv frames sitting int he wrecking yards of propane fire mishaps. I point out that the RV Dr and mark at rv education 101 feel the same way I do and in their videos state not to travel with propane on to the fridge. I travel with small ice packs in the fridge to help keep the frig cold. when I park at night or reach my destination the ice packs go into the freezer to refreeze. I feel safer this way then pushing my luck with a fire going down the road or buying fuel in a gas station with an open flame in the back of the fridge. but it's your rv . you can push your own luck or travel safely. When we first opened our RV Shop in the early 70's motorhomes were burning down gas stations at a pretty alarming rate from people not shutting off the propane fridge when the filled up with gas. The story/theory is: The burner is drawing air, the fumes from the gas hose filling the rig, which happens to be adjacent to the fridge. Draws in the fume, makes the big bang and it's all over. It's not really much different now days, but I think since the "islands" have such higher canopies and things are spread out more it doesn't seem to happen as much. Driving down the road with the propane fridge on will have no affect on anything so long as everything is right and tight
Vintage465 06/25/20 06:25pm Travel Trailers
RE: Solar Controllers PWM MPPT Temperature Performance

All great info. Personally, I need the best charging when it's cold. I like to winter camp and the recharging in the morning when it's clear and cold is what I need. I think when It is hot thru the night I will have the fantastic fan on and the drain that it has will be overcome the following morning with the solar before it get's hot. That is why they say to add up your rated Vocs in a series string and then x 1.25 for margin for when it is cold out. If you go over the controller's Voc limit, it fries--no second chances! I think I'm not in danger of exceeding my Voc's.........but I'd be more sure if I knew what Voc's are. Not real into acronyms here. I'm under the wattage, amps and voltage for what my controller is rated for. All panels in parallel.
Vintage465 06/11/20 08:26pm Tech Issues
RE: Solar Controllers PWM MPPT Temperature Performance

All great info. Personally, I need the best charging when it's cold. I like to winter camp and the recharging in the morning when it's clear and cold is what I need. I think when It is hot thru the night I will have the fantastic fan on and the drain that it has will be overcome the following morning with the solar before it get's hot.
Vintage465 06/10/20 09:02pm Tech Issues
RE: Walkable TT roof

I think most of us that walk on our roofs are careful to make our step count and hit the truss with each step. Having said that I'm pretty careful about what kind of shoes I wear. If I'm going to be on my hands and knees, I'm careful that my toes(of my shoes) aren't digging into the roof. A little planning and set up you should be good. As for the ladder............well that could take some research.
Vintage465 06/09/20 07:24am Travel Trailers
Awning Fabric Replacement

I have 17' Dometic electric awning that needs a fabric replacement. Watching the videos, this really looks like a two to three person job and there is not two to three persons in my vicinity to do this. So repair shop it is. Question is fabric. I got five years and 35000 miles from mine before the front corner at the awning rail started to give-way. Thinking I want a better fabric. What have you guys/gals found for a better fabric? thanks,
Vintage465 06/06/20 07:52am Tech Issues
RE: first time sanitize fresh water tanks

OK, so I've not sanitized mine...........ever and I think it's time. What is the ratio of gallons of water Vs. chlorine or peroxide?
Vintage465 05/30/20 08:04pm Travel Trailers
RE: Trailer Reverse Lights

I did exactly the same thing with mine. Put two on the back then two on the sides for all the same reasons you did. My cousin did the same thing after I did mine and he one upped my by also tying the backup light circuit into the switch that is for the little power jack light. He can flip the switch on the tongue jack light and everything lights up. I may need to do that.
Vintage465 05/27/20 07:31pm Travel Trailers
RE: Hooking grill to onboard propane

I have this same grill. It is supposed to come with hose and regulator. You should be able to hook up a quick disconnect type set up and remove or not use the existing hose. There is no hard plumbed in or built in regulator on this bad boy. Set up a quick connect if you coach doesn't already have one and have the other end attached to the grill.
Vintage465 05/27/20 01:14pm Tech Issues
RE: What's the Latest Solar Tech?

There is all kinds of tech out there but 2 things don't change....put the controller, mppt or pwm as close to the battery as possible. If running parallel solar, run BIG wire. I have #4 conductor from the combiner to the controller(that is near the battery bank)and #2 from the controller to the battery bank. I have no inverter. Just my opinion
Vintage465 05/27/20 01:05pm Tech Issues
RE: Yet another reason to love trailering

This is the thread that will bring everyone together! We stop when we want to do what we want or need to do. It's the best ever! Tired of road side coffee? Make it in the rig!
Vintage465 04/16/20 08:53am Travel Trailers
RE: Amp hours

So I can help a little here. I had 2-6v GC batteries and 300w of solar for four years prior to my last upgrade to 4-6v GC batteries and 450w of solar. Assuming your 300w of solar is a poorly designed(yes I did say that)setup that has the controller somewhere in the living space of the coach and the batteries are solid, the only difference between what we do is the TV and Video stuff your kids are doing. I'd start by a Mr. Heater Buddy or Big Buddy to heat up the coach prior nigh, night(meme's), then turn it off. Then set your thermostat down to 55 degrees and blanket up. And as everyone has said, the furnace is the big draw, like 7-8 amps. The less it works the better you are. The Buddy will heat the coach up PDQ in the A.M. And usually you'll have the stove on making coffee that will heat up the coach too. Is the best way to know all this stuff to track it with an actual audit and a battery monitor....yes. Have I gotten that far? No. Will I? Yes, some day. Right now, trial and error, reading forums, then applying this knowledge to upgrading my solar and battery bank has made a huge difference in my boondocking comfort. We went to the Mojave desert and spent a week in the snow and the night temps were in the mid twenty's. Days were like 36 degrees. Holds up perfectly now with no generator. I would really do some reading about what a solid Solar System would look like and start there. The controller in the pass thru as close to the battery as possible is prolly the single most profitable thing you can do for your system.
Vintage465 04/13/20 09:17am Travel Trailers
RE: Batteries needed

If you got 7 and 10 years out of your current batteries I wouldn't change a thing. That is incredible service life. I have to agree ! I am a big fan of 6V golf cart batteries for non-starting applications. A pair of flooded 6V golf cart would cost less than a pair of "dual purpose" batteries and provide much more energy storage. Unfortunately, the only TRUE deep discharge AGM golf cart batteries I have been able to locates are made by Trojan (T105-AGM). You would have to order then through a golf cart distributor or solar power store and they would cost 200%-300% more than what you would pay for a golf cart battery at Costco or Sams Club. I believe that the AGMs made by Eastern Penn Mfg. are true deep cycle AGMs. I don't know that much about AGMs, but their 6v flooded GC batteries seem to be right with Trojan. Eastern Penn is the nations largest lead acid battery maker. https://www.eastpennmanufacturing.com/wp-content/uploads/Intimidator-Deep-Cycle-Flyer-1740.pdf
Vintage465 04/09/20 08:46pm Tech Issues
RE: Ford F350 7.3 Gas Pulling 15k

I know the diesel guys love their diesels but that is one hell of a gasser. 4.30 gears, 10 speeds from what looks like an amazing tranny and all that HP and torque. The speed management going downhill was very impressive (I know the hills weren't huge). Nice looking setup. Thanks Fish! Yup......them Diesel guys love their Diesels.......oops, that's me,.....just thinking out loud. Can't even visualize me without a Diesel now. But I am glad someone finally made a good big gasser.
Vintage465 04/08/20 08:44pm Tow Vehicles
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