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  Subject Author Date Posted Forum
RE: What brands of Travel Trailers are NEW & Quality

I'm in the Northwood/ORV camp. If I was going to upgrade from my little CreekSide, I would first look to ORV, then Northwood. If for one reason or another I didn't find what I like I'd look to Lance. My Brother has a Lance and it is a beautifully finished rig with lots of standard bells and whistles. I do think Northwood/ORV is a tougher rig when it comes to bombing off the road. I've also heard of Lance frames/rigs starting to sag at the slide due to Lance's frame being of lighter material than the I-Beam/H-Beam material that Northwood uses to construct their frames. Regarding Lance, I think this is related to how long the coach is and where the slide is in relationship to the axles. One thing to recognize for sure: A Factory can put all the right stuff and plans out there on the assembly line and have all the right inspectors and QA/QC checks in place and all it takes is one person in that mix to have a bad day, miss something, or..........just be a sucky employee that has not been vetted to cause us a problem with an otherwise well designed coach.
Vintage465 11/21/19 06:55am Travel Trailers
RE: Upgraded Solar

Great looking work. Similar to my plans for new trailer on order (should have been here now; dealer/manufacturer messed up order, arrived with incorrect options: second is on order). Where did you source the switch/circuit breakers. I'd like to use them. Thanks, Doug I got the switch type breakers off E-Bay. Amazon has them too.
Vintage465 11/19/19 07:50pm Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
Upgraded Solar

So Here is what I've done with my solar: Added a third panel, moved the passengers side panel to the edge to free up room in the middle of the roof for things like the combiner box and a Fantastic Fan(when I get around to it). I got the combiner box off Ebay. Exterior UV tolerant and all that stuff. Put a positive and a negative post at opposing corners to gather up the PV conductors. Fused each positive from the panels, though some say not necessary and some say yes. Put a 40a switch type breaker in the middle so I can shut off the power. Couldn't find a straight up switch that fit as well as that one does. Used all heat shrink type crimp connectors mainly for stability and longevity These little goodies came from AM Solar. They fit a special #10 Duplex conductor that is UV Rated. This is the #10 Duplex. Good for 300 volts if I recall. It's a real nice product and is real flexible for winding around in the combiner box. My controller is a 30a Samlex PWM surface mount type. I moved it from over the bed to the pass thru on the drivers side. I made a housing of plexi-glass to fit it into. I drilled some holes to ventilate it. I had to do some heating, forging and filing to get the #4 copper connectors into the housing to get to the controller terminals. I came down from the combiner with #4. Out of the controller with #2 to the batteries(actually #4 to the breaker, then #2 to the batteries. Same with the way was #2 going get into that little 30a PWM. This is what it came out looking like under the pass thru. I put a switch to shut off the PV Line and the 30a breaker is also a switch. This is the conductor that came from the existing Zamp Combiner. The installer just coiled up the 8' piece it came with to go 2'to the controller.(the controller was in the cabinet over the bed) Then ORV used 22' of #8 wire to get to the batteies. I now have 15' of #4 welding cable from the combiner to the Controller now in the pass thru. Then about 6' of #2 to the batteries We are heading to the desert for Thanksgiving and hope to give it a good boon docking trial. We've always made it a week in the past with our various setups, but I think we'll be real good now. 450w Solar 4-6v GC batteries-465ah
Vintage465 11/17/19 08:00pm Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: Battery Monitors

A shunt is just another device to get corroded and cause a bad connections. Meters with hall effect sensors are the way to go for monitoring batteries now days. All the goodies Richard So, with one of these, does the sensor need to go near or at the battery? I suppose if there was an online manual I could get all this info. Thinking that the Victron and the Morning Star are the "standards" for reliability and accuracy, how do these measure up? I like the idea of not needing to cut a shunt in but that's not really a deal breaker in my book. Most of my blanks in my mind are the location of sensors, the location of the read out, and what connects them together. It looks like the base station and the sensor goes near or at the battery and the read out goes........wherever?
Vintage465 11/17/19 08:21am Tech Issues
Battery Monitors

I've nearly completed my upgrade to my Solar System(Pics coming when I'm done). Thinking(after the fact of course)that I should have considered a Battery Monitor in the upgrade, or at least preparations for such an install. I know very little about battery monitors except that most experienced boon dockers with solar recommend them. I don't see any reason to try and take a low rent route to get this done and end up with an iffy unit that works her and there or not at all. I hear the Morning Star unit is kind of the standard. I also hear some pretty good things about Victron. So: 1. I assume a shunt needs to be installed some where on the positive near the battery bank. I am "Parroting" this term "shunt" , as I really don't know what the term "Shunt" means. I've seen the pic's of one and it looks pretty straight forward to install. Is the shunt the only thing that needs to be installed for the monitor to gather info? How would I size the shunt? We only use 12v. No inverters. The only high draw item we have is the furnace. How close or far from the batteries is acceptable to install the shunt. Should it be very easily accessible? Meaning, is there a reason to view it regularly? 2. I have Samlex PWM 30a controller, will a Victron or Morning Star work with that controller? I looked in some installation info and reading material and that info doesn't seem be very forthwith as of course they are hoping one uses their charge controller. 3. In order to have Bluetooth connectability for monitoring does there have to be a "base unit hardwired somewhere that the iPhone can snag the signal? Is that what I'd be doing by installing a shunt with the wiring going to the hard wired battery monitor? 4. Maybe there is a good link to send me to that has "battery monitors 101"? Thanks!
Vintage465 11/16/19 08:17am Tech Issues
RE: Is a fuse a fuse?

Not sure I understand why one would fuse a solar panel. What rating fuse would you use? ...the solar panel is simply incapable of sourcing higher current than its maximum output.....a fuse could never blow. The other end is not a current source assuming it is a charge controller, so nothing that could provide current to blow a fuse there, either..... am I missing something? Some people recommend fusing them. Some don't. Renogy recommends(or shall I say I saw in of their solar "101" info write-ups) fusing each panel. Samlex doesn't mention fusing at the panels. I don't have any issue from a technical perspective about fusing, whether or not it should be. Only from a "does it still charge as well" perspective.
Vintage465 11/10/19 10:47am Tech Issues
RE: Is a fuse a fuse?

You have more than two panels in parallel? What are the panel ratings? link? If you are using MC4 why even have a combiner box? MC4 combiner is fine and you can get #8 MC4 down to the controller if you need it. Otherwise yes any 12v fuse is fine. I have a couple reasons for a combiner box. First, it came with a Zamp combiner box that was rather butchered up when the dealer installed the existing Solar. There was MC-4 cable wrapped round and round in circles on the roof and in the attic. When I yank the the butchered Zamp box, something needs to go back in it's place and since I'm adding a third panel, that something might as well be a combiner box to tidy up the roof wiring. And I'm not really using any MC-4 Connections. Was going to use an MC-4 Fuse holder but they don't fit in the combiner box and I'm trying to keep all connections in the box.
Vintage465 11/10/19 07:39am Tech Issues
Is a fuse a fuse?

I'm fusing my solar panels individually in the combiner box before they are combined. Initially, I purchased the 15a MC-4 fuse holder and the connectors. This came out to about 6-1/2" long. Too long for my combiner box with all the other hardware in there. So, can I use any automotive inline type fuse and fuse holder so long as the the fuse size is right and the wire size(10ga) is the same? The reason I ask is the conductor/fuse is real small on an automotive 15a and I always concern my self with not carrying as much juice cause of the small fuse link compared to the 10ga wire? Meaning, is there a "special" solar fuse that carries more juice? Thanks,
Vintage465 11/09/19 09:29pm Tech Issues
RE: Battery storage

Instead of powering up the converter and any parasitic loads, I disconnect the battery and use a Battery Tender for a few days a month. It could be left on indefinitely, but I have other uses for it. With the trailer plugged in it is exposed to any electrical glitches in the power system. Cold will not harm a fully charged battery, in fact cooler temperatures are better for it. My Brother does a similar set up as you do but he set up a timer so it cycles on and off a couple times a month.
Vintage465 11/08/19 07:25am Travel Trailers
RE: Battery storage

Our camper is plugged in continually when at home. Never had any problems with batteries. I used to do this and found that it shot my energy bill up substantially. Didn't realize what caused it til I sold that trailer and it left. Then my Electric bill went from $120.00 to $60.00-$80.00. That was running a converter.
Vintage465 11/08/19 07:24am Travel Trailers
Repair and epdm roof

I'm moving a solar panel on my roof and that is going leave some screw holes in the epdm roofing. Hopefully that's the right acronym....anyway, it's rubber and not the TPO. What is the best repair tape and process? I'm finding gentle heat gun and putty knife does a pretty good job of getting the goop up. Thanks!
Vintage465 11/06/19 08:01pm Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: Circuit Breaker on Solar

Not sure what you are asking. CBs are normally rated for amps. DC however is much more subject to contact arcing than AC. Panel wires typically connect to the solar controller input and the controller output connects to the battery. The controller may require a disconnect on both input and output. I used a 240V dual switch (typical AC switch for A/Cs) on my solar panel wires which carry 9A at 90V+. I used a 80A DC CB for the battery side. What I'm asking is this: All Circuit breaker have a "line" or "in" and and a "load" or "out". In any normal use of a circuit breaker the "line" or "in" post would be from the battery. On the circuit breaker the input post says "Battery". The "load" side says "Aux" and that is what goes out to what ever it is that puts load on the breaker. In a solar application....I see the Solar as the "Line" and the battery as the "Load". So I'd be running the solar into the "battery" side of the breaker and then out the Aux side of the breaker to the battery, as I see the battery as putting the load on the circuit.....
Vintage465 11/05/19 08:51pm Tech Issues
Circuit Breaker on Solar

I'm putting in some circuit breakers on my solar upgrade. Question is...on the breaker one side is Battery and one side is Auxiliary. My thought would be that the "input" or solar side would go on the "battery" post side of the breaker and the Auxiliary would then be hooked up to the side that goes to the battery. Now this is backward to the actual, "this is the battery and this is battery post". My thought is the power or higher amount is coming from the solar and it seems to me like that should get the "battery" post on the breaker. What are your thoughts?
Vintage465 11/05/19 08:01pm Tech Issues
RE: Replacing 12-volt batteries with 6-volt

Generally speaking this starts the debate regarding the possibility of one of the 6v batteries kicking the bucket and being hosed till you can replace both of them, which is a possibility. I have 4 each 6v batteries and like the set up a lot. I've read that the 12v's work better with large inverter draw and that would be something to consider. I really do like the idea of someday going to 4 each 6v AGM's. But that is several years and modifications down the road. Too many other things to work on now that cost money.
Vintage465 11/04/19 08:10am Tech Issues
RE: Sour Dough Biscuits

We made these in the dutch oven this past weekend. Hopefully the "Cookie" AKA "biscuit boy" took a couple pics I can post later today. They came out perfect.
Vintage465 11/04/19 07:55am Camp Cooks and Connoisseurs
RE: Country Ham

Your best bet is go to They have all the country ham type products you're craving. I get their biscuit slices and their bacon. All arrives un-refrigerated and perfectly safe. I love country ham and no one out east of Oklahoma even knows what it is. Waffle House is my first stop when one comes in to sight...............
Vintage465 11/03/19 07:23pm Camp Cooks and Connoisseurs
RE: Hey Smokers! (meat, that is)

Since we boondock almost exclusively and even if we're in a campground or park there is usually no hook ups. I use a Vector Smoke Hollow propane/wood smoker. 2 burners for the "heat" and one burner that addresses the wood chip tray. I can make as ribs and pulled pork just as good on that as on anything I've used. The only draw back is it is good for 2 baby back or St. Louis style. Prolly one full untrimmed spare rib rack. It'll take two tri-tips easily, maybe three. Bout a 6 pound pork roast for pulled pork. Very adjustable for heat. Good little unit for smoking. Not really that great for grilling.
Vintage465 10/29/19 07:50pm Camp Cooks and Connoisseurs
RE: Sour Dough Biscuits

Cover that with sausage gravy and I'd eat the whole pan! Oh man! that would be so amazing! I cooked sausage patties this morning and had them with the biscuits. So good.
Vintage465 10/29/19 12:54pm Camp Cooks and Connoisseurs
RE: Sour Dough Biscuits

Here are the biscuits with from the recipe above. Made it just like the recipe says except not in a dutch oven. Regular oven at 375 degrees for 20 minutes They came out perfect. Can't wait to make them in the dutch oven this week end. I think I will up the salt from 1/2 tspn to 1 tspn, though that could affect how much it will rise as salt stifles yeast activity.
Vintage465 10/29/19 08:35am Camp Cooks and Connoisseurs
RE: Sour Dough Biscuits

This is the recipe for the biscuits. The sour dough starter is 2-1/2 cups of flower with a teaspoon of sugar mixed in, 2-1/2 cups of 100-105 degree water. One packet of yeast and proof it in the water then mix it into a slurry and cover with a towel at room temp for 24 hrs. After 24hrs remove towel and cover loosely with plastic wrap and observe it for 4-5 days, stirring and mixing in the bubbles daily. Should be ready at the end of the previously mentioned 4-5 day period. Mine is starting to smell nice and tangy. They say what ever you take out of the mixture, say 1 cup like I think the recipe below calls for, you just mix up a cup of flour and water in a slurry and put back in the starter to replenish and keep it going. No added yeast for the replenishing. I'm thinking I'll just do a "domestic" run of this recipe this weekend and see how they come out. Then plan for the Dutch Oven on the 2nd.
Vintage465 10/27/19 02:11pm Camp Cooks and Connoisseurs
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