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RE: What's the Latest Solar Tech?

I was kidding about the battery fire, but some people worry on this forum about the most minute of things... Agree, you don't want to just imp by with ever decreasing battery charge. If you have batteries, get solar! It cost a few hundred up front, but power is free after that, and long-term much cheaper than a generator, gas and the hassles it brings. You said 30 watt TV. Amps is the critical number, not watts. If you have solar and start the evening off with charged batteries, then TV will not be any problem at all. I have two GC batts and run a big electric Danfoss compressor fridge/freezer and still have available power, and the fridge should be the biggest power consumption I ever use, though an inverter running something big will be a drain also. If you can get DC powered everything this is more efficient than using the inefficient inverter to turn DC into AC, and everything except lights and heaters will turn that AC back into DC anyway (your TV does). You laptop will be the only thing that prob does not have a DC way to charge... Also, with solar, use power early in the day so there is time to recharge before dark, if possible.
ajriding 05/27/20 05:43pm Tech Issues
RE: What's the Latest Solar Tech?

The battery is really the big thing in tech that has advanced. Yes, a little risky to mount lithium in camper cause you fear it will catch fire. Check out this full-timer's review of a couple of systems. He has a Jackery, which is a self contained power pack. A battery, controller and a small inverter in a box not much bigger than your existing battery, and it is lighter. It is portable, so you can take it out and use it, or store it wherever you want. Down2Mob videos If I was going to start from scratch I would consider this. The battery being a huge advantage in that it is light and you can discharge it a lot deeper than a GC battery and not damage it. Being able to discharge it deeper means you get more battery availability, so that one is now equal to two lead acid batts.
ajriding 05/26/20 06:39pm Tech Issues
RE: Costco/ Colman Solar set up?

In that link it shows a poly crystaline panel. That is the lesser compared to the mono. The poly uses chips (think OSB wood) instead of a whole piece of silicone solar stuff (think ply-wood). It is a slight difference. That panel is 4 squares across and 8 down. You can see two lines going vertical through each square. You are better to get a higher quality panel that will have 3 or 4 (or 5?) of these lines going through. They are more efficient. IDK what that charge controller is . If you plan to get a charger controller then get a MPPT. The PWMs are good, but not as good. The MPPT will do a better job and use more "stages" to charge and float the battery. Avoid the $18 ones, they might not even be real MPPTs. The chinese lie so much now about any and everything to sell you their junk it is not even funny. There is good stuff and there is bad stuff made in china.
ajriding 05/26/20 06:29pm General RVing Issues
RE: Costco/ Colman Solar set up?

ebay all that if you want a system. Panels are less than a dollar per watt (100 watts for around $80 shipped), and a good MPPT controller (well, decent controller) for around $50. That's $130 plus the wire and connectors you will use which Coleman may not include. The mono panels are slightly better than the poly panels, but both work fine. Glass is superior to the flexible ones , in quality, not because of the glass, but just of quality.
ajriding 05/26/20 10:10am General RVing Issues
RE: Mini Winnie needs major work

He is undergoing cancer treatment, so might be in a phase where he would want to give stuff away or see it go to some use as it is just stuff and means little to him. He has money so doesnt care about selling it, just does not want the extra stress in his life. I have a young friend that is building out his passenger van so is interested to take a look at what he can salvage out of it too, so we will go soon, and I will try to start it then also.
ajriding 05/26/20 10:03am Class C Motorhomes
RE: tax writeoffs for full timers who work from road

Being full-timers make it complicated. I used my RV almost exclusively for work related travel (to save on hotel cost, or to have a "home" while in places too remote to stay in a hotel). Everything I did in the RV was for work, so this was easy to assess for tax purposes. Because your Rv is your home, then you would live in it 365 anyway, so what days are left to write off anything there? None I imagine. But travel is travel, and you can write off cents per mile, or in a bad-mpg RV maybe write off actual gas expense and calculate other cost based on miles according to irs tax code. I was better writing off miles than actual cost. From the time you leave to go to that far-off work location to the time you get back there are things you can write off like meals, and that amt varies depending on where you are in the country, or parking fees (maybe campgrounds, since you likely are paying rent back home too), tolls, convention ticket prices, supplies for work, or things you know more about than us. To the guy that wrote off every expense.... That works until you get an audit, then you might be sorry. I tend to error on the side.favor/benefit of the irs, not on my side when in doubt about any write-off. Many things I could write off I do not because Im scared of those people. I drive 30,000 miles per year for work, so that is a huge write off by itself, so I don't need to go looking for iffy write-offs. Get an accountant .
ajriding 05/25/20 07:12pm Full-time RVing
RE: Confused and Frustrated

Full time means your motor or transmission or something related to the driving part will have to go into the shop at some point. Even mechanics cannot do many things "on the road" due to not having the tools or shop as if they were at their home garage... A trailer can be parked and then the tow vehicle, usually a truck, but suv also, can be driven like a regular person drives, or towed to the shop. A truck can be towed by any tow truck, and a trailer can be towed by any tow truck, and sometime the driver can use a flatbed for truck and tow the trailer behind the same tow truck (ask me how I know). A class C, even a small one, CAN be towed, but most large tow companies refuse it or have to bring in a very big truck, usually a big flatbed, and drag the motorhome up onto a 4 foot high platform and drive it to the shop. So, harder to get a tow truck for a motorhome than truck and trailer. I had to sit in a parking lot for two days trying to get a tow truck to pick me up once (I had a truck camper, which is a motorhome as far as towing is concerned). As others mentioned, being able to drop the trailer and go drive around, especially in some national parks, is a huge plus. Full timers will end up parking/staying in one spot for longer periods than vacationers, so likely you plan to have safe spots to be able to just leave the trailer and go shopping or driving without your home behind you. Vehicles, even motorhomes, lose value with age and lose value with every additional mile you rack up. Trailers hold value based on their condition, and age is a smaller factor. Another vote from me for a separate trailer. Towing a car behind a motor home means now you have two vehicles to keep up, two vehicles to insure, two vehicles to pay taxes on, and a car is heavy, even a small one so will ultimately put the motorhome into the shop sooner than later from the stress of towing it.... If you are towing the car on its own wheels then that car will rack up the miles even though it is not running, and those miles count the same to a buyer if it was driven or towed. Possible to put 100.000 miles on a car that has never been driven this way. Maybe some cars do not count miles if the vehicle is off, I do not know for sure... If towing the drive wheels on a tow dolly then you avoid this, but you cannot back up a tow dolly with a car on it more than a few feet. Total pain in the neck, and you do not want this full time. Another vote for truck and trailer, one vehicle. With a motorhome you can panic and drive away, but a trailer you have to get out to get in truck. If you want to live in RV, you can't be this sissy. Reality check, escape is not something to consider, it is just not something very high on the list of reality. If someone is after you then that glass drivers side window is not going to protect you either in he time it takes to start up and put it in gear. You can't always escape an attacker. Better to come up with self defense protection you can have from your bed. When the vehicle wears out and the trailer is still in great shape.... trade in truck for new truck and drive away with your old trailer.... Also, get the smallest trailer you can live with. Big giant 5th wheels is great for going to an rv park for a vacation, but the reality of driving with a trailer all the time is that a smaller one is easier to drive, fits in parking places easier, turns around easier, is easier to maintain on the outside, is lighter so less wear on truck, fits in places better (you will not always be in a campground, maybe a friends driveway and they will appreciate a small rig), is lighter so less wear on the trailer tires (less trailer tire expense), can be towed by said tow truck driver, and will give you better gas mileage so you feel more free to roam. Narrow is better than wide. 7 foot wide is better than 8 foot wide. mpg will benefit. Narrow is easier to see behind with mirrors too. Same goes for trailer height. I suggest a tow vehicle with a lot of storage. You can store stuff here, and store stuff that you can take with you if you do drop the trailer off and go drive without it for any reason. I have had, and traveled in a lot all of: one Class C, two truck campers, and 3 trailers. I vote for trailer.
ajriding 05/25/20 06:51pm Full-time RVing
RE: Mini Winnie needs major work

I imagine someone would buy it as is. Like I said, the entire left side will have to come off. I may advertise it as is. I kinda want the genny but rather have #3k
ajriding 05/25/20 11:01am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Battery Life?

I agree with two 6 volt golf cart batteries. This is the easiest route, and on the road you can maybe get a warranty depending where you buy them (lots os Autozones or Advanced Auto or similar all over the nation...). Golf cart batts are real deep cycle. Marine are not deep cycle!!! Marine batts are wrong for RVs IMHO. The Golf cart batts have thicker plates so can be discharged more than a marine battery before death. (i think marine can go 200 cycles, and deep batt can go 2,000??, a car starting battery maybe 2) Benefit of two 6 is that you run them in series so even if one is in bad shape it will not parasitically drain the other one to death. You can replace one 6 and pair with an old 6volt, but mixing a new and old 12 volt is death for the new one. Sounds like a good time for this upgrade.
ajriding 05/25/20 09:53am Tech Issues
RE: Mini Winnie needs major work

Thanks. O am now leaning to selling the chassis and vehicle as scrap. A low miles trans is desirable for someone wanting to rebuild one. Maybe the motor is good for a scrap yard and desirable for such little wear. I really don't want to attempt to get the vehicle running, too many issues, not counting needs 6 tires. I planto call some junk yards, not sure if they buy and come pick it up... I will likely salvage the rv stuff. It is all in great shape and might be worth a few bucks. Is there anything minor I should pull out? water pump fresh tank (not waste ick) AC heater boiler breaker box/charger sink shower faucet/wand shower pan? oven/range propane fittings and regulator gen hub caps door? windows? windows need new rubber table and parts? I think it has a folding couch which is worth $300 or so depending on the steel frame design fridge
ajriding 05/25/20 09:18am Class C Motorhomes
Mini Winnie needs major work

A friend has class C rv. Tryton V-10, less than 30k miles I think. Late 90's model year. He has not cranked it in over ten years. It did run and work perfect when he parked it. He said I can have it, he wants it gone. Major delamination on the drivers side, but I have experience doing those repairs. Probably a little in the roof, but it looked good. Some general cleaning up. The entire side panel will have to come off. it has a nice 2 cylinder Onan, that has not been cranked, but I am more confident in getting that back to life. Im sure the gas is all varnish. The interior is not bad. Im torn wether to take all the valuable RV stuff out to resell and try to sell the motor for parts with the chasis, or to get it running and sell for a little profit.
ajriding 05/24/20 08:28pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Trailer Braking Issue

2016Forest River Heritage Glen is a dual axle trailer. With two axles and 4 brakes, then you technically need half the brake rating on the drums since you have twice as many axles. Are there 4 drums or just 2 (which would be the front axle)? Yes, I could see them adding up the numbers of the rating of each drum to equal the required braking needed for the trailer. It may seem like a no-brainer that bigger brakes are better, but if the brakes are too over rated for that weight of trailer then they can be quite finiky I have expierencd. On my cargo trailer the brakes are really hard to dial in with an empty trailer. Brakes barely grab when set at the right setting for the weight, but barely grab is hard to control and quirky at best. No, I don't need brakes with a light empty trailer, but I still try to set it... Maybe your trailer does not have 4 powerful brakes for this or a similar reason.
ajriding 05/24/20 09:37am Travel Trailers
RE: no brake lites or hazard but turn signals flicker

This will happen if the lights are not getting the full 12 volts. Which is often a ground problem. LEDs will work as you described, some lights illuminate a little bit, maybe flicker, and others, like brake, will do nothing. A multi-meter will only tell you voltage, so checking all connections will not tell you if it is getting a good flow of that 12 volts, which is also called amps. Check from the vehicle that you get power to all the trailer plug connections. Check that your trailer plug is not corroded. The 7-pin plugs get a lot of green "rust-looking" mess on it. scrape that off. Use vinegar to help. Disconnect from the camper battery, then dip it in the vinegar, let sit, then use toothbrush or something to clean it. I prevent this corrosion to a large extent by using a circuit breaker so I can disconnect the 12V positive from the camper battery to the 7-pin plug. This way there is no electrical potential in the moist air around the plug. a 12v positive so close to a 12v negative.
ajriding 05/24/20 09:29am Tech Issues
RE: Battery wiring ???'s

Your picture is way too big and annoying to many readers as it makes the page wider than the screen. To edit your pic size, click "edit" post. at the end of the html gibberish, put a space then "width=350" just to the left of the brackets that contain the letters img and a slash. I cannot use those symbols or the forum will reject my post as bad html... Here is an image that has been sized to 300: brackets here https://photouploads.com/images/EUrP.jpg width=300 brackets here Black and white--black pos, white neg Red and black-- red pos, black neg Red and white--red pos , white neg This is good knowledge to keep around. Write it down in several places and put one copy in your DC elcetrical area. Sadly, most wires will not be paired up like this. RV manufacturers can get quite creative with their wiring colors. The trailer brake/reverse/running lights will not even match the vehicle side colors. That is something not fun to learn the hard way... All that I have seen do use white as the RV ground color, but this means nothing on a forum. Because a car is almost always and only black for ground this should have been the pattern to follow, but obviously early RV manufacturers did not work on cars, ever. Your best option is to get a multi-meter so you can test voltage. Ground one lead to the frame, anything metal that is likely grounded, and the other lead to what you think is a positive 12 volts . you cannot get it to work through paint, the contact will need to be scratched down to metal, or find a screw head for ground. If you get it backwards the voltage will show a negative, -12. If you think white is the ground wire then use that for the negative test lead, and touch all other wires to see if you get a 12 volt reading. Poor wiring, poor conductivity might give lower voltage, like 8 volts, or 2. This means battery is dead, or that the wiring or ground or something along the way is not conducting the electricity very well at all. This means the wiring is wired right and all looks good, but the wire or something is bad making it not work. Old trailer will get a lot of corrosion on contacts or where one wire is attached to another or to a block and that corrosion will inhibit the flow of power...
ajriding 05/24/20 09:16am Tech Issues
RE: Travel When Restrictions lifted

I was checking back. I was certain a previous poster was going to post up those thousands of document lies the left always talks about. I have looked, but cannot find those darn pesky things. Are there any? "this will all be over by April", was that a direct quote or a paraphrase, "this should/could/may be..." All of this should have been over in Feb. I know, what T knows and what many doctors know. We have a cure. It works within 5 hours for healthy patients to completely clear any virus from the system. I'm sure T felt sure that the medicine would get out there by April and it would be over. We have a cure. T is pretty careful when he speaks to not trap himself. The reason that this is not over is because the media. and many citizens have demonized the cure; medicine that has been safely used for 50 years. People will not take it. Left voting doctors will not prescribe it. Some left governors have banned it. Well, you ban the cure and guess what? The virus spreads. Do a little research and find that Dr Fauci was a key player in preventing the HIV treatment from going public. Millions died, mostly in Africa, because he played Leftist politics with their lives while he sat on HIV treatments. As fast as those little 63 cent pills could be mass produced and distributed to pharmacys this virus could end, BUT where is the profit in a 63 cent pill? People, please stop posting the same drivel the news media hypes up every day. We do not need the hear verbatem the same thing repeated. The news media says mask do not work and you criticize people for wearing them while the hospitals are short, then they say wear a mask and you criticize people for not wearing them. Now we learn mask are dangerous to wear, and nasty petri dishes, and people look stupid because they are followers. The virus will go through those cloth mask as easy as you walk through a doorway. If you must wear something, then wear gloves to protect yourself. The real danger is putting you infected finger in your mouth or nose.
ajriding 05/24/20 09:01am Travel Trailers
RE: Travel When Restrictions lifted

Remember how the Lower House Dims went immediately silent on the whole "DARPA" thing when Trump agreed to give them citizenship and nearly doubled the number of illegal's kids he was going to give it to from the number the dims were asking for? The news has hardly spoken of Darpa since then. What's the deal? Oh, yea, the Dims used these children as a weapon against a sitting president, and when they were done (when they saw it was no longer a weapon) they tossed the kids aside like yesterday's garbage. This virus agenda is all about the election, so by Nov 4th, with the election over, we can all get back to normal. The virus will still be around, like the flu, Sars and many other virus', but because the news ignores it you will not know about it, and so few will have complications from it that it will not be remembered. The mask are not going to help you. It is so unlikely that you breath in an airborne particle of spit that it is almost impossible to catch it through the air unless an infected person spits in your face (or sneeze or couch), which normal people would not do. If you put your finger on an infected surface then put your finger in your eyes, nose or mouth then you have a chance of catching the virus. Wash your hands often, and dont put your hands inside your openings. Most people will not even know it if they do catch it. The latest stats... There are more people over 100 years old dying of the virus than there are people under 50 dying of it. I did not know there were enough people over 100 to even establish any sort of statistic like this. The death does not come from the virus, it comes from being sick already, or unhealthy already, or overweight already, or diseased already etc, and then the virus can be a co-contributor of death. Some people on here are so gullible. The virus is a weapon meant to destroy the country, to prevent Trump rallies, to keep people apart (no govt protest), to kill, to take away freedoms, to control the population, to spread fear, and to defeat Trump come Nov 3 (Nov 4th for democrat voters). Don't let your country be taken from you. Wake up!
ajriding 05/20/20 12:20pm Travel Trailers
RE: Canada/US Border still shut...

"The United States has agreed to Canada's request to extend the mutual ban on non-essential cross-border travel until June 21." "The USMCA will enter into force on July 1, 2020" I think after USMCA begins the borders will be open, per the USMCA. We will see..
ajriding 05/19/20 12:58pm General RVing Issues
RE: Travel When Restrictions lifted

To the people who have lost. The shutdown is a hoax, the virus is real, shutting down is not saving any lives. The virus is real. The shutdown is the thing people are calling a hoax. The virus is real. I think everyone is saying there is a virus. At the same time the flu is still out there, and also other diseases, so just because a new virus is here is no reason to be sloppy. The virus is real. I think someone reading this still thinks I am saying that the virus is not real. I, and many others, are not sure how to explain this point, except to say, the virus is real. People get sick from virus'. Please stop being confused between a virus and the complete shut down of society. They are not the same. This is such a tired argument, and nobody is interested in hearing that the virus, that we have heard nothing else of non-stop since January, after the other hoax, the impeachment, ended. We all know there is a virus out there, even people who live under a rock. There is no need to try to let anyone know there is a virus. Everyone knows. We are tired of the hype. The numbers are fake. They are way over-blown and largely made up. The death rates are fake. So many lies. There is no reason to continue a shut down now. To the ones who have lost. Sorry you did not seek the cure, there is a cure that vanishes the virus within 5 hours. This all could have been a big nothing. If you get sick, take the medicine. The virus is real, dont be a fool. Please stop telling people who know the shutdown is not necessary that they are denying a virus exist. That makes no sense at all. Make sense or dont post, please...
ajriding 05/19/20 12:51pm Travel Trailers
RE: Oh Boy

not sure what that little truck is rated to tow. He was probably fine, but yes, wrong gearing, wrong rear end. It all comes down to duty cycle, lol. How far did he tow and how often? I had a 2500 diesel and know people that could tow 30,000 lbs all day long but with 410 gears. I would never do that to my truck, but it was nice knowing I could.
ajriding 05/18/20 05:59pm Towing
RE: Sagging springs on 2 yr old TT ??

During this intermission time... I am in an industry that sees steel from china, steel from Europe and from America... The china steel we see is horrible. It might be alloyed with anything. They buy scrap steel and have no idea what is already alloyed with it and melt it then use it. Spring steel is very specific mix of alloys, but put recycled-who-knows-what into a spring steel vat and you get... wait for it.... cheap china carp.. rap I am so thankful that the days of china influx garbage items will be slowing drastically in the future, I do hope so. Landfills are full of broken china junk. So, are your axles china?
ajriding 05/18/20 05:54pm Tech Issues
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