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RE: Best portable heater (30 amp) for my rv?

My furnace works fine. Hmmm ... so does mine. ;) But probably the OP was wanting advice for hookup camping. I sure wish I had the money to blow on enough lithium batteries and solar panels to keep an electric heater running while drycamping - since I really hate running around in small towns looking for a place that can/will refill my RV's built-in propane tank. :B
pnichols 09/19/20 12:29pm Tech Issues
RE: Best portable heater (30 amp) for my rv?

Would appreciate anyone who has a ceramic or other type portable heater to chime in and tell me what brand they have and if they feel it does a good job heating. My rig is a 32 feet Class C. thanks in advance, Jimbo Here's what we use in our RV. It's an outstanding combination electric heater that simultaneously puts out both radiant heat and warm air heat. We've had ours for years and have used it in our home and now use it in the RV. It's worth the wait until it becomes available again: https://www.kmart.com/holmes-quartz-tower-heater-hqh320/p-006W060046311312P
pnichols 09/18/20 08:17pm Tech Issues
RE: Lithium Batteries

3 tons, I'm wondering about your last sentence above. Doesn't your 9245 automatically drop back to a 13.XX volt float voltage at some point when it's charging batteries? I believe that LiFePo4 batteries have a recommended float voltage such that they can be left hooked up full time to a converter/charger that eventually settles at their float voltage, just like any other type of battery. For instance Battle Born LiFePo4 batteries can be floated at 13.6 volts or lower indefinitely according to their specifications, so you shouldn't have to disconnect them from your 9245 when it drops down to it's float voltage. As for when driving with the engine alternator hooked up to the batteries, after just a few minutes when things are warmed up, our RV's alternator settles in around to the mid-13's in voltage, anyway.
pnichols 09/18/20 10:54am Tech Issues
RE: 24 ft ClassC MH downsides

We had a 23 foot class C and before that a Dodge van conversion. I grew to hate having cardboard boxes in the aisle etc. and having to convert couches into beds and and back again. There was little space for storage and clutter became depressing on long trips or extended camping. Going from a 32 foot to a 24 foot RV will be a big change. Probably some small Class C motorhomes do much better on storage than what you describe. For example, our 24 foot Class C has: - The entire area under both dinette seats available for storage. - Large partitioned-off separate areas at the foot and head of the overhead cab bed available for storage that run the full width of the bed. - Overhead cabinets above the lounge chair, above the dinette area, and above the kitchen double sink area. - Two closets for storage of clothing. - Drawers and cabinets under the kitchen areas, under and over the bathroom sink, under the refrigerator, and under one of the closets. - Overhead cabinets above and around the corner of the rear corner bed area. - Seven outside storage bays, with two of them extending under the floor laterally across the width of the coach for storage of long items. - Two storage areas under each cab seat. We don't have to transport anything on the roof, on either bumper, or strapped to the roof-access ladder. The only thing "under foot" when we travel is the enclosed crate, seat-belted in a dinette seat, for the dog so that she can travel somewhat restrained and safe. ;)
pnichols 09/16/20 08:57pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Lithium Batteries

“ That sums it up pretty well, as a part time camper the dropin lfp cost doesn't offset the benefits for your needs.” If one’s looking for a Boogieman, they’ll tend to find one behind every tree... 3 tons Well ... there's a whole area of engineering that addresses reliability of complex systems ... and what makes up a "complex system" is a whole lot of separate components that all have to function or the whole system fails. ;)
pnichols 09/15/20 12:13pm Tech Issues
RE: Lithium Batteries

Well ... reading this clip below from the Azimuth Solar Products Si02 webpage https://azimuthsolarproducts.com/product/12v-108ah-ultra-long-life-battery/ under the "Additional Information" tab: --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Battery Type SiO2 Composite Electrolyte Battery Nominal Capacity (25°C/77°F) 108 Ah (1296 Wh) @ 20 Hour Nominal Voltage 12V Max Charge Current 27A Max Charge Voltage 14.7V Internal Resistance (25°C/77°F) =< 6 m? Max Discharge Current (25°C/77°F) 800A(5S) Depth of Discharge 100% DOD Operational Temperature -40?C to 65?C (-40?F to 149?F) Self Discharge < 1.6% per Month Life Cycle 3400 Cycles at 40% DOD; 1500 Cycles at 80% DOD; 620 Cycles at 100% DOD Dimensions 17.2 x 33 x 22 cm (6.77 x 13 x 8.66") Weight 31.5 kg (69.4 lbs) Manufacturer Soneil International Ltd. Warranty 2 Years Workmanship --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- It sure looks to me like their SiO2 batteries function in a far, far superior way as compared to good old regular lead acid (liquid or AGM) batteries. Crystals are not the same as liquid or liquid absorbed into mats. Note that the SiO2 batteries can even be discharged to "zero" about 620 times - which I would never think of doing even once, with any battery in my RV - no matter what the chemistry. (Excluding a capacitor battery of course!) BTW, that maximum charge current of 27A is perfect for us folks with only 130 alternators when underway, and for us drycamping RV folks with only stock converters and very small portable generators. The spec actually says discharged to 100% DOD (ie pull the full rated capacity out of the battery), not to zero (volts). As I pointed out this claim is not really substantially different from what deep cycle flooded battery manufacturers claim (see the graph I posted earlier with ~500 cycles to 100% DOD). I am not sure I believe either of these claims, just pointing out that the claims are about the same. Also note that Gell Cells have a sulfuric acid electrolyte solidified with SiO2 (silica), the difference is that these appear to have more SiO2, but the concept is the same. What spec do you think is far, far better? Note that I did not say zero with the word "volts" after it. I of course meant zero state of charge. SiO2 cycle life - as seen in the SOC graphs for it - sure seems quite superior to that of my current high-end deep cycle AGM batteries. Combined with SiO2 cold weather performance and their price - I'm wondering why continue with AGM when mine wear out, or mess with lithiums and their price for only part-time camping use. That sums it up pretty well, as a part time camper the dropin lfp cost doesn't offset the benefits for your needs. BTW, regarding drop-in size RV lithium batteries, take a look inside them to see all the inter-connections inside that gotta stay solid and corrosion-free year of year and vibration after vibration. The number of connections decreases reliability in any piece of electrical equipment or circuit. When are drop-in size lithium RV batteries going to have only three or six large cells? Most dropins are sealed batteries and you have to go out of your way to open one up which probably void any warranty it had. Connection, corrosion and vibrations could be a consideration but I think that's stretching it to worry about or why stop there, vehicles and rvs with electronic and computer components are in the same conditions and even more exposed. Nominal voltage of the cells are 3.2v which is why they are built 4 series combination for 12.8v nominal, 3 or 6 cells doesn't work out so well for voltage. Here's how at least one model of 100AH vehicle drop-in LiFePo4 lithium battery is constructed: https://www.lithiumion-batteries.com/uploads/files/15019/12V%20100AH%20Internal%20Design%20PDF.pdf That sure looks like a lot of "little batteries" hooked up together with a lot of inter-connections that may/can eventually fail. I don't know if Battle Born LiFePo4 lithium batteries are also built of a bunch of small cells - but I bet they are. We're not talking about printed circuit board or integrated solid state electronics here - but a bunch of physical cylinders that have to be kept in place with secure connections between them year after year. Plus how many of those little individual lithium cells have to fail before the entire battery can no longer function properly? Four (4) larger 3.2V 100AH LiFePo4 cells in series would make a 12.8V 100AH LiFePo4 battery ... with a lot less inter-connections - very similar in construction and fully charged voltage to good old vibration proof AGM batteries. However, I'm betting that the technology of LiFePo4 battery cells is such that a large pancake type design - like the plates in lead acid based batteries - is difficult or impossible or unsafe to produce for use in a commercial drop-in vehicle sized lithium based battery. Hence drop-in LiFePo4 vehicle batteries must be made up of a bunch of "kludged together" small cells.
pnichols 09/15/20 12:06pm Tech Issues
RE: Lithium Batteries

Well ... reading this clip below from the Azimuth Solar Products Si02 webpage https://azimuthsolarproducts.com/product/12v-108ah-ultra-long-life-battery/ under the "Additional Information" tab: --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Battery Type SiO2 Composite Electrolyte Battery Nominal Capacity (25°C/77°F) 108 Ah (1296 Wh) @ 20 Hour Nominal Voltage 12V Max Charge Current 27A Max Charge Voltage 14.7V Internal Resistance (25°C/77°F) =< 6 m? Max Discharge Current (25°C/77°F) 800A(5S) Depth of Discharge 100% DOD Operational Temperature -40?C to 65?C (-40?F to 149?F) Self Discharge < 1.6% per Month Life Cycle 3400 Cycles at 40% DOD; 1500 Cycles at 80% DOD; 620 Cycles at 100% DOD Dimensions 17.2 x 33 x 22 cm (6.77 x 13 x 8.66") Weight 31.5 kg (69.4 lbs) Manufacturer Soneil International Ltd. Warranty 2 Years Workmanship --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- It sure looks to me like their SiO2 batteries function in a far, far superior way as compared to good old regular lead acid (liquid or AGM) batteries. Crystals are not the same as liquid or liquid absorbed into mats. Note that the SiO2 batteries can even be discharged to "zero" about 620 times - which I would never think of doing even once, with any battery in my RV - no matter what the chemistry. (Excluding a capacitor battery of course!) BTW, that maximum charge current of 27A is perfect for us folks with only 130 alternators when underway, and for us drycamping RV folks with only stock converters and very small portable generators. The spec actually says discharged to 100% DOD (ie pull the full rated capacity out of the battery), not to zero (volts). As I pointed out this claim is not really substantially different from what deep cycle flooded battery manufacturers claim (see the graph I posted earlier with ~500 cycles to 100% DOD). I am not sure I believe either of these claims, just pointing out that the claims are about the same. Also note that Gell Cells have a sulfuric acid electrolyte solidified with SiO2 (silica), the difference is that these appear to have more SiO2, but the concept is the same. What spec do you think is far, far better? Note that I did not say zero with the word "volts" after it. I of course meant zero state of charge. SiO2 cycle life - as seen in the SOC graphs for it - sure seems quite superior to that of my current high-end deep cycle AGM batteries. Combined with SiO2 cold weather performance and their price - I'm wondering why continue with AGM when mine wear out, or mess with lithiums and their price for only part-time camping use. BTW, regarding drop-in size RV lithium batteries, take a look inside them to see all the inter-connections inside that gotta stay solid and corrosion-free year of year and vibration after vibration. The number of connections decreases reliability in any piece of electrical equipment or circuit. When are drop-in size lithium RV batteries going to have only three or six large cells?
pnichols 09/14/20 01:29pm Tech Issues
RE: Lithium Batteries

Just to be clear, I agree with you on the low temperature charging advantage of SiO2 batteries. However I would argue that there are other ways to deal with this. Which are list at $621 and are on sale for $558. LiON energy batteries are regularly on sale at Costco for ~$730 for 112Ah. . FWC you are referencing the Canadian dollar price for the SiO2 So make that about 440 usd. As I've repeatedly said, Li are excellent. They simply don't meet my needs. BTW there is at least one documented report of an LiFePo4 Pouch cell battery bank bricking itself from just one discharge to stone bone dead. Itinerant1, I will be doing a load capacity test to stone bone dead. But I think even once may kill of an Li. Very neat that you can monitor the temperature per cell. Are you doing anything about cooling in the summer time? My (limited) understanding is that, for best longevity Li prefers 40% to 90%. I lived for a lot of years with jars that preferred 80% to 100%. I am pretty sure I am looking at the USD page for the size that was closest to the LiONs they have for sale at Costco right now (112Ah vs 108Ah): https://www.azimuthsolarproducts.com/product/12v-108ah-ultra-long-life-battery/ Anyway, not a big deal, but the point was that it is not a huge difference in price between the two types of batteries. If you want to get the same (claimed) life out the batteries, the lithium comes out to be significantly cheaper as the cycle life is much longer. To get a similar life out of SiO2 to LiFePO4 at 100% DOD, you can only discharge the SiO2 to ~50% DOD, so you need twice as many batteries, at more than four times the weight. Also, if you are willing to assemble your own pack from LiFePO4 cells, then the lithium option comes out to be cheaper up front as well. I am not sure there are examples of folks killing lithiums in any number of creative ways. But the point still stands that you can pull the entire 100% capacity out of lithiums (until the BMS shuts them down) many thousands of times, which is a major advantage over all the forms of lead acid batteries. Again, LiFePO4 may not be the right choice for your application, and SiO2 may work better for thermal, upfront cost or other reasons. As I said before, my goal is to stress that SiO2 is not some amazing break through technology and shares most characteristics with other lead acid flavors. These are likely not the best choice for the average RVer as they don't offer the performance of lithium but still have a significant premium over other lead acid batteries. Well ... reading this clip below from the Azimuth Solar Products Si02 webpage https://azimuthsolarproducts.com/product/12v-108ah-ultra-long-life-battery/ under the "Additional Information" tab: --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Battery Type SiO2 Composite Electrolyte Battery Nominal Capacity (25°C/77°F) 108 Ah (1296 Wh) @ 20 Hour Nominal Voltage 12V Max Charge Current 27A Max Charge Voltage 14.7V Internal Resistance (25°C/77°F) =< 6 m? Max Discharge Current (25°C/77°F) 800A(5S) Depth of Discharge 100% DOD Operational Temperature -40?C to 65?C (-40?F to 149?F) Self Discharge < 1.6% per Month Life Cycle 3400 Cycles at 40% DOD; 1500 Cycles at 80% DOD; 620 Cycles at 100% DOD Dimensions 17.2 x 33 x 22 cm (6.77 x 13 x 8.66") Weight 31.5 kg (69.4 lbs) Manufacturer Soneil International Ltd. Warranty 2 Years Workmanship --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- It sure looks to me like their SiO2 batteries function in a far, far superior way as compared to good old regular lead acid (liquid or AGM) batteries. Crystals are not the same as liquid or liquid absorbed into mats. Note that the SiO2 batteries can even be discharged to "zero" about 620 times - which I would never think of doing even once, with any battery in my RV - no matter what the chemistry. (Excluding a capacitor battery of course!) BTW, that maximum charge current of 27A is perfect for us folks with only 130 alternators when underway, and for us drycamping RV folks with only stock converters and very small portable generators.
pnichols 09/14/20 12:03pm Tech Issues
RE: 24 ft ClassC MH downsides

With the tuning on modern engines being so much under electronic control, wouldn't it be super nice if there could be a switch on the dash to flip between "economy tune" and "premium tune"? What a wow that would be!!
pnichols 09/14/20 12:23am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Lithium Batteries

An integrating ammeter type battery monitor for an LiFePO4 based RV system can be an expensive kindof toy, like so many things that we think we need nowadays. These type ammeters need to be calibrated relative to the actual battery(ies) that you're expecting it to monitor SOC accurately, and they should be recalibrated every once in a while to maintain their SOC accuracy as the capacity of the battery bank declines over time. mine cost a whole 40 bucks cdn. it doesnt care about the voltage it reads amps in/out. the solar controler and the converter worry about the voltage. it will tell you the voltage also but the battery capacity is set by me when I first hook it up at full charge. Steve That sounds like a regular ammeter - I have one of those too, mounted permanently in the coach - that shows how much current is flowing INTO or OUT OF the coach batteries at any point in time. Since the current lithium RV batteries have an output voltage that sags so very little as they run down, it's very tricky knowing how low they're getting merely by taking a look at their output voltage - unlike lead acid batteries (AGM or wet acid) in which their output voltage declines enough so as to be a good indicator of when to charge them. What's needed is a meter that shows more than instantaneous amps going in or out of the batteries. An integrating ammeter keeps track of up all the amps that have left the battery over time since the last charge, and then indicates how many amp hours of storage are left in the batteries (assuming you keep the integrating ammeter calibrated periodically). That's the best way to tell when you need to charge the batteries without having to rely on estimating based on how much their output voltage has declined. I'm not sure I'd "trust" a true integrating ammeter to remain accurate or continue working over the years that cost only $40. I certainly wouldn't - considering what lithium RV batteries cost up front - I wouldn't risk it. That's one of the reasons (among other performance characteristics close to or exceeding lithium) why drop-in silicon dioxide (SiO2) batteries for RV use look good to me so far - their voltage sags enough as they discharge so as to not need to add a high quality integrating ammeter cost to their purchase cost.
pnichols 09/11/20 12:03pm Tech Issues
RE: 24 ft ClassC MH downsides

Never realized that short C's had handling issues with a WB/L ratio of .54 of 54%. Mine is 52% and I drive it like my car with one hand even with trucks passing me. I notice most of the C's I looked at were as high as my A. I wonder if the height to length has more affect because of the higher CG. Do shorter C's feel tippy when cornering than say longer C's on the same chassis? ............just not sure of the corner bed and getting up 3 times a night to go to the bathroom, but everything is a trade off.Any class C with a poor wheel base ratio (like we have) will not handle as well as one with a better ratio. Fortunately if your new rig has a "handling" problem, $1000-$3000 in aftermarket upgrades will get you satisfied. You should have a much better chance with a brand new E350/E450 today than I did back in 2007, to have the rig handle well without that additional investment. I read somewhere that Ford is installing some of the aftermarket "equivalent" upgrades into the RV package of their new 2021 chassis with 7.3L-V8 engine. They got with the program installing heavy duty front and rear stabilizer bars. You might still have to invest in a rear trac bar or heavy duty steering stabilizer, but you are at a much better starting point. You might even find your new rig to handle just fine without further investment.. Hi Ron, I must be missing something if you do the math a 24ft MH with a 158 in WB will have a WB/L ratio of .54 or 54% which is suppose to be good. So I don’t think poor handling of these shot MH’s is do to poor WB/L ratio. That is why I thought there must be something else causing poor handling like height to length or weight distribution or too much weight for the Ford chassis.Our rig is surely "tail heavy" which takes weight off the front axle, thanks in-part to the wheel base. Some time since, our specific rig became available on a Sprinter with a 170" wheel base. The Sprinter handled our model rig much better because of the longer wheel base that also distributed the weight better....more weight placed on the front axle. Ron, your 2350's floor plan is very similar to that of our 24 ft. 2005 Itasca 24V on it's 158" WB Ford chassis. However, I have never experienced the handling issues you had that you attribute to maybe not enough coach weight forward onto the front suspension of your chassis. From a weight distribution perspective ... where is your motorhome's generator and propane tank located? My Onan 4000 and 18 gallon propane tank are centered under our dinette. Those two relatively heavy items towards the front help to load the front suspension. Also, my spare tire is not way at the back above the bumper like yours is. My spare is down low between the frame members and slighlty further forward right up against the gas tank. The spare is fairly heavy, so maybe having it mounted both down low and sligthly further forward help with front loading and tail wagging a bit. These are just me thinking out loud on what could be going on. :h
pnichols 09/11/20 12:40am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Novice looking for an upgrade to Class C

I'm a bit of an outlier, I guess. Our E450 24ft Class C has handled just fine right from the time I drove it new off the dealer's lot. I've always attributed it to the chassis being well within it's specifications in carrying only the weight of a small Class C. It's cab floor has never been overly warm, but it does have heat shields underneath between the cab flooring and the engine exhaust pipes coming from each side of the V10. It used to ride rough in the rear, probably due to it's rear suspension having weight rated leaf springs and shocks well beyond what the loaded coach requires. I eliminated the rough ride in the rear by installing special rear shocks. I don't think of this issue as a "handling" problem, per se. Probably a stock Chevy 4500 chassis under a small Class C would also ride rough in the rear. I'm 6'2" and can still get by OK in the cab driving and when leaving the driver's seat to go into the coach. In other than with a Ford E450 or Chevy 4500 chassis, how does one find a heavy duty chassis under a small Class C in the U.S.? IMHO, the other chassis types now being used for small Class C motorhomes in the U.S. can be too close to their design maximums under certain conditions when in motion.
pnichols 09/09/20 01:35am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Lithium Batteries

What is the advantage to them over Lithium? Is it just cost? Do they provide as much power? As far as power goes 100 amp-hours is 100 amp-hours. However SiO2 may do larger discharge rates than LI. LI appear to be limited to about 1 C. Similar to LI in that partial charging is just fine--though best practise is to do a full charge on a monthly basis. advantages 1. can be used and charged at -40 2. can be run stone bone dead 620 times 3. can do 50% discharge 2800 times 4. no need to stop charging at 90% which LI prefer (for storage) 5. can do 80% discharge 1500 times disadvantages: 1. heavier and larger foot print than Li 2. charge rate 4/c however if one has 300 amp-hours that hardly matters as convert size may not be able to get to 75 amps--without upgrading. In addition to the silicon dioxide battery characteristics that Don lists above, they have one more advantage over lithium batteries that is important to me: Lithium RV batteries hold their output voltage "high" right to the end before recharging ... their output voltage does not taper off a bit as they discharge .... unlike what the output voltage of lead acid batteries and that of silicon dioxide batteries does. To me the output not tapering off - like lithiums do - as they discharge IS NOT preferred ... it's a "disadvantage". It's nice to know when you're getting near the point where recharging is necessary by merely periodically checking the voltage on your RV's battery powered circuit - when that voltage reads around 12 volts, recharge them. As I understand it, silicon dioxide RV batteries act about the same way ... making it very simple to know about when to recharge them. To get around this when switching to lithium RV batteries - in addition to their higher cost - you must spend even more money on what is technically known as an "integrating ammeter". This is a battery monitor that tracks how many amps are removed from the battery bank over time - thus showing how many amp hours have been used out of the battery bank. To me, the above is just another gadget to buy in addition to the high lithium battery initial cost. Why have to purchase an amp hour consumption monitor - when silicon dioxide RV batteries have just about the same performance characteristics (they weigh more than lithium, but they recharge and operate at lower temperatures than lithium) as lithium RV batteries. P.S. For example, I have a lot of lithium battery powered flashlights, remotes, and small tools ... AND IT'S VERY IRRITATING when they surprise you by suddenly dying with very little get-dim/slow-down type discharged warnings. Having a battery monitor "gadget" is an accurate way to monitor the SOC of any type of battery chemistry, including lead acid. Measuring with a volt meter is often misleading and very inaccurate, unless you let the battery sit for a hours at rest. But if you're really stuck on using this inaccurate method, the same can be done with LiFePO4 batteries.....they don't all of the sudden die as you describe. They discharge and have a voltage vs SOC curve just like any other battery. LiFePO4 batteries are a complete different chemistry from Li batteries in flashlights and such. How much personal experience do you have with LiFePO4 batteries in an RV? An integrating ammeter type battery monitor for an LiFePO4 based RV system can be an expensive kindof toy, like so many things that we think we need nowadays. These type ammeters need to be calibrated relative to the actual battery(ies) that you're expecting it to monitor SOC accurately, and they should be recalibrated every once in a while to maintain their SOC accuracy as the capacity of the battery bank declines over time. Lithium iron phosphate based RV/vehicle batteries are advertised to taper their output voltage less obviously than lead acid batteries -> and my lithium ion based small household batteries act that same way relative to the small amount that their output voltage tapers as they discharge and die on me. I know because I measure my lithium ion AA/AAA batteries with a four-place voltmeter. If one believes the performance curves published for LiFePO4 RV batteries, then my point was that this can be a very irritating characteristic because to know SOC one should add a special monitor to one's RV equipment in order to use LiFePO4 batteries in it. To me, it's just another thing to buy, install, and mess with. Regarding my "zero experience" with LiFePO4 RV batteries ... experience is not the only way for one to know all they need to about something. Sometimes all the necessary knowledge can be gained a lot less expensively through what others report on regarding their experimentation and experience. If my current bank of deep cycle Group 31 AGM RV batteries dies before I do, I'll seriously consider several factors before jumping on the hottest RV battery bandwagon. My rig currently has gobs of excess CCCC - so at this point in time based on published specifications only - the new silicon dioxide batteries in drop-in RV sizes read like they have real promise.
pnichols 09/08/20 01:10pm Tech Issues
RE: Question about exiting in an emergency

If you're in an RV and truly have flames licking your a$$ it's not going to matter if you can find the dead bolt or not. It will be too late by then. RV's go from on fire to fully engulfed very quickly. Now if your smoke detector goes off and you can't get through the window, a good swift kick of the door or a hard shoulder into it will get the door open. Those dead bolts aren't hard to get open. You have very little time in an RV if there's a fire. You get out by any means you can. It's not like the RV is going to be salvageable anyway so no need to worry about damaging anything. Yeah ... and I've always wondered about your "RV's go from on fire to fully engulfed very quickly" comment ... that seems to be true. Other than a steel propane tank and a motorhome's steel fuel tank (both of which probably don't catch fire initially or at all) and interior wood cabinetry, what is so flammable in an RV, anyway? Other than the above, our motorhome consists mostly of fiberglas, foam insulation, steel, and aluminum.
pnichols 09/07/20 11:51pm General RVing Issues
RE: Moving on up... to the mountains!

DC ... nice digs. Congrats! Now ... if only the garage or man cave were slightly taller so your "baby" could fit inside. ;) P.S. My "baby" has to sit outside too ... but some nearby trees help to keep the UV rays from ruining it too much.
pnichols 09/07/20 11:32pm General RVing Issues
RE: Lithium Batteries

Now that's funny comparing Lifepo4 batteries used in rvs to flashlight lithium. Who would of thought a battery holding its voltage to the end as a disadvantage. Lol I hope all this glamorizing of silicon dioxide batteries are as good as the reviews being put forward by folks that are reading manufacturer specs. ;) I suspect that lithium battery electro-chemisty basics are close to being the same whether we be talking about a lithium RV battery or a lithium flashlight battery. ;) I for one don't want an RV battery "surprise" by an abrupt running out of storage energy ... versus being able to monitor the charge level getting low gradually via mere slow tapering of output voltage ... instead of having to buy, install, and learn how to use an integrating ammeter based instrument that lithium batteries require for optimum RV applications. IMHO, silicon dioxide batteries for an RV look to be superior - other than their weight - for good old RV use. Their performance characteristics seem very similar to lithium - but their cost is far from similar. Why pay more for nearly the same usefulness? It seems to me that the K.I.S.S. principle includes minimizing the strain on one's wallet if there's little disadvantage in doing so.
pnichols 09/07/20 03:25pm Tech Issues
RE: Lithium Batteries

What is the advantage to them over Lithium? Is it just cost? Do they provide as much power? As far as power goes 100 amp-hours is 100 amp-hours. However SiO2 may do larger discharge rates than LI. LI appear to be limited to about 1 C. Similar to LI in that partial charging is just fine--though best practise is to do a full charge on a monthly basis. advantages 1. can be used and charged at -40 2. can be run stone bone dead 620 times 3. can do 50% discharge 2800 times 4. no need to stop charging at 90% which LI prefer (for storage) 5. can do 80% discharge 1500 times disadvantages: 1. heavier and larger foot print than Li 2. charge rate 4/c however if one has 300 amp-hours that hardly matters as convert size may not be able to get to 75 amps--without upgrading. In addition to the silicon dioxide battery characteristics that Don lists above, they have one more advantage over lithium batteries that is important to me: Lithium RV batteries hold their output voltage "high" right to the end before recharging ... their output voltage does not taper off a bit as they discharge .... unlike what the output voltage of lead acid batteries and that of silicon dioxide batteries does. To me the output not tapering off - like lithiums do - as they discharge IS NOT preferred ... it's a "disadvantage". It's nice to know when you're getting near the point where recharging is necessary by merely periodically checking the voltage on your RV's battery powered circuit - when that voltage reads around 12 volts, recharge them. As I understand it, silicon dioxide RV batteries act about the same way ... making it very simple to know about when to recharge them. To get around this when switching to lithium RV batteries - in addition to their higher cost - you must spend even more money on what is technically known as an "integrating ammeter". This is a battery monitor that tracks how many amps are removed from the battery bank over time - thus showing how many amp hours have been used out of the battery bank. To me, the above is just another gadget to buy in addition to the high lithium battery initial cost. Why have to purchase an amp hour consumption monitor - when silicon dioxide RV batteries have just about the same performance characteristics (they weigh more than lithium, but they recharge and operate at lower temperatures than lithium) as lithium RV batteries. P.S. For example, I have a lot of lithium battery powered flashlights, remotes, and small tools ... AND IT'S VERY IRRITATING when they surprise you by suddenly dying with very little get-dim/slow-down type discharged warnings.
pnichols 09/07/20 12:55pm Tech Issues
RE: Is a Gas 3/4 Truck and Pop-up Camper Safe in Colorado?

Hi all, this is my first post, so apologies if this is covering existing territory. I know the diesel vs gas question has been explored a lot here, but am curious if anyone has insight into the viability, and possibly specific model recommendations for a used gas 3/4 truck (roughly years 2013-2017 due to safety features) in Colorado hauling a pop-up camper like a Hallmark Cuchara or an equivalent Outfitter weighing in wet at about 2600lbs. From what I've seen, if I were on flat land, I'd go with a gas truck without question, but I have some concern, though no direct experience, about safety and handling in the mountains. Thanks so much for considering my question! You are seeming to emphasize safety and handling. From that perspective, in my earlier post I mentioned a dually pickup truck regardless of whether or not you need a 1 ton pickup for weight carrying capability. I've never owned a TC, but if I did and it was one of the somewhat tall ones - and especially heavy ones with a slide that I see on the roads - I would not consider using a pickup with only single rear tires if ultimate safety was high priority.
pnichols 09/06/20 02:16pm Truck Campers
RE: Lithium Batteries

Consider SiO2 chemistry--1/2 the price. I'm not sure of the dimensions. https://azimuthsolarproducts.com/product-category/batteries/ull/ I second the silicon dioxide battery technology recommendation that Don is making above. Here's a link to the 270 AH SiO2 battery - that is only 20.47 inches long - so it would probably fit in your space: https://azimuthsolarproducts.com/product/12v-270ah-sio2-battery/
pnichols 09/06/20 01:13am Tech Issues
RE: Is a Gas 3/4 Truck and Pop-up Camper Safe in Colorado?

Hi all, this is my first post, so apologies if this is covering existing territory. I know the diesel vs gas question has been explored a lot here, but am curious if anyone has insight into the viability, and possibly specific model recommendations for a used gas 3/4 truck (roughly years 2013-2017 due to safety features) in Colorado hauling a pop-up camper like a Hallmark Cuchara or an equivalent Outfitter weighing in wet at about 2600lbs. From what I've seen, if I were on flat land, I'd go with a gas truck without question, but I have some concern, though no direct experience, about safety and handling in the mountains. Thanks so much for considering my question! Probably a 3/4 ton truck (whether gas or diesel) would not be a dully? A dually is the safest due to great side-to-side stability on curves and in high cross winds from it's wide rear tire track-width. Also, dually rear tires are safer for another reason - if one of the rear tires should fail while traveling it has a "backup" tire right next to it so you can slow down or stop under good control - or even maybe travel several miles on the one tire left in the dually set where the failed tire is.
pnichols 09/05/20 03:14pm Truck Campers
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