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RE: Love my Mr Heater Hunting Buddy

I've been using a Mr. Buddy "Little Buddy" heater for years. No smell, works great in small spaces. It actually fits inside a 5 gallon bucket, with a couple of propane bottles, for storage. Available on Amazon (affiliate link): https://amzn.to/2tFNI8N http://www.2manytoyz.com/hardware/heater/dscn3200.jpg height=480 http://www.2manytoyz.com/hardware/heater/dscn3195.jpg height=480
2manytoyz 01/21/20 07:23am Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: Amorphous solar panels

A visual demonstration of what has already been said. When I was getting started in solar power at my home, I initially purchased amorphous panels (Harbor Freight 15W, and Northern Tool 15W). I then added silicon Kyocera panels. http://2manytoyz.com/hardware/solar/130wvs15w.jpg width=640 The silicon type panel on the left is 130 Watts. The Amorphous panel on the right is only 15 Watts. If space is premium, silicon panels are the way to go. It would take nine panels on the right to equal the one on the left. http://2manytoyz.com/hardware/solar/kyocera5-6/dscn6193.jpg width=640 Four 15W Harbor Freight panels, followed by three 15W Northern Tool panels, then four 130W Kyocera panels, and two 135W Kyocera panels. About 5 years, the amorphous panels started dying. I only have one still functional. All the silicon panels are still supplying at least 100% of their rated capacity, and carry a 25 year performance warranty. My current setup: http://2manytoyz.com/kyocera135mi.html Prices have come way down on silicon panels. Don't waste your money on amorphous. A good deal in the past was $5/watt. Now you can get quality panels for $1/watt or less.
2manytoyz 01/21/20 07:10am Tech Issues
RE: Jeep Wrangler JL

Don't forget to connect the charge wire from the motorhome to your Jeep. This will prevent the brake controller from eventually draining the Jeep's battery. I have a Roadmaster setup. I ran a wire from Pin 2 (center pin) through a 15A fuse, and connected it to the Jeep's battery. http://www.2manytoyz.com/328TS/jeeptow/roadmaster-connector.jpg width=640 While I currently have a TJ era Jeep, I will be adding a JL version soon (Unlimited Wrangler Rubicon with Eco-diesel).
2manytoyz 01/21/20 06:59am Dinghy Towing
RE: Refrigerator question for you class A campers

Our Class A came with a very large residential fridge/freezer. It's wonderful! Cools quickly, is very quiet, has a ton of capacity, and self defrosts, unlike my previous RV with an absorption style fridge. Even makes ice. http://www.2manytoyz.com/328TS/IMG_4603.JPG width=640 This rig also came with a Xantrex 1800W inverter, and 4 house batteries. That will keep it operating for a day without shore power, running the engine, or the generator. If we are planning on dry camping for an extended period, I'll bring the Engel MR040F-U1 40 Qt AC/DC Portable Tri-Voltage Fridge/Freezer. https://amzn.to/36Yp0id https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71MdgXTayQL._AC_SL1500_.jpg height=480 It sips power, and will run a very long time from a 12V battery bank. It can be used as a fridge, freezer, or deep freezer, depending on how cold the thermostat is set. The only upgrade I've done to our is to build an external digital thermostat. The stock analog dial gives no indication of what temperature "#3" setting represents! Here's the thermostat build: http://2manytoyz.com/engel-thermostat.html http://2manytoyz.com/Engel-fridge/img_4281.jpg width=640 The Engel doubles as an emergency fridge during extended power outages at our house in hurricane prone Florida. It got some use last year!
2manytoyz 12/19/19 02:03pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Tailgate Step Suggestions?

The Amp Research Bed Step looks like a decent unit. I was fortunate with my 2010 F150. It came with the max tow package, bed side steps, and the tailgate with an integrated handle and step. While you can't add these items to your stock tailgate, the side steps should bolt on. I find these as handy as the tailgate step. http://www.2manytoyz.com/truck/f1510_pg_045_acc_full.jpg width=640 http://www.2manytoyz.com/truck/dscn5360.jpg width=640 That said, my setup had two issues. I couldn't drop the tailgate when hitched to the travel trailer. It would hit the Jack. My fix was to move the jack further back. And the step couldn't be used when hitched for obvious reasons. Before: http://2manytoyz.com/rockwood/tonguejack/dscn9373.jpg width=640 During: Test fit with tailgate down, trailer hitched. http://2manytoyz.com/rockwood/tonguejack/dscn9375.jpg width=640 After: http://2manytoyz.com/rockwood/tonguejack/dscn9384.jpg width=640
2manytoyz 12/03/19 11:12am Tow Vehicles
RE: campsite photos

Honestly, it can be a **** shoot, even if you've been to that campground before. We stayed at Fort Wilderness (Disney) and they were in the process of modifying the sites and the landscaping. Looked like a post apocalyptic movie. http://www.2manytoyz.com/camp/fw/fwcampsite.jpg width=640 http://www.2manytoyz.com/camp/fw/neighborcampsite1.jpg width=640 At least the FL State Parks will often put a statement on the campground's main webpage saying if work is being done. Short of calling an asking before the reservation... you just never really know.
2manytoyz 11/13/19 09:32am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Wanna bring a golf cart and a Jeep towed

Buy a Jeep Gladiator (truck bed Wrangler), and a Cricket golf cart. The Cricket is very compact compared to a standard golf cart for transporting. It expands to a usable size when deployed. Weighs only 303 pounds! Folds down to 28" high! And it's only 32" Wide! https://www.jeep.com/content/dam/fca-brands/na/jeep/en_us/2020/gladiator/vlp/capability/hero/2020-Jeep-Gladiator-Capability-Hero-Desktop.jpg.image.1440.jpg width=640 https://horizonsrv.com/wp-content/uploads/photo-gallery/cricket-cart-outside.jpg width=640 OR, get a Wrangler, and use a rear hitch mount for the Cricket. https://horizonsrv.com/wp-content/uploads/photo-gallery/cricket-cart-closeup.jpg width=640 FWIW, I did take my full sized golf cart (900 lbs.) with us when we had a travel trailer. It just fit the 6.5' bed. The tailgate had to be removed otherwise it could have impact the trailer in a tight turn. http://www.2manytoyz.com/camp/fw2013/933908_10202020363776622_1413704772_n.jpg width=640
2manytoyz 11/13/19 09:24am Class A Motorhomes
RE: New coffee maker

We've been using a Keuring at home, work, and when RVing. We bought a smaller single cup version, which takes up little room. I tested mine with a Kill-A-Watt meter as well, here's what I measured. http://www.2manytoyz.com/hardware/keurig-mini/dscn4948.jpg http://www.2manytoyz.com/hardware/keurig-mini/dscn4951.jpg http://www.2manytoyz.com/hardware/keurig-mini/dscn4959.jpg http://www.2manytoyz.com/hardware/keurig-mini/dscn4954.jpg http://www.2manytoyz.com/hardware/keurig-mini/dscn4957.jpg http://www.2manytoyz.com/hardware/keurig-mini/dscn4958.jpg We bought the optional carry bag, which has enough room for the coffee pot and a box of coffee pods. Unlike the full sized model, it does not have a water reservior. Pour a cup of cold water in the top, put in the coffee (tea, or even hot chocolate) pod, push the button. A minute and a half later, it's done. Unplug it, no parasitic load. Total power to brew a cup, 0.02 KWH, or 20 WH. 20 WH / 12V = 1.67 AH. This works fine from an inverter. My wife would take it from work to bring camping each time we'd go. When we bought the Class A, we bought a dedicated coffee maker for it. The new version is even smaller than the previous one, and has cord storage in the back. It fits nicely in a pantry drawer. https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71soRqbVe2L._AC_SL1500_.jpg height=480 https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71h6Aj86cSL._AC_SL1500_.jpg height=480 $63 on Amazon (affiliate link): https://amzn.to/31WYAKD
2manytoyz 10/30/19 07:28am General RVing Issues
RE: Jeep towed discharged when towing. This is new.

While your Jeep might not require the key in the ignition, it DOES require a charge cable to the battery! The auxiliary braking system has an onboard compressor that cycles every time the brakes need to be applied on the TOAD. That will drain your battery on a single trip. I learned this first hand, which is why I added the charge wire to mine. Sounds like you found the issue. I would definitely trace that wire back to the battery, and add a 15A fuse close to the battery. This will prevent any meltdown due to a shorted wire.
2manytoyz 10/30/19 07:08am Dinghy Towing
RE: How cold can you go?

http://www.2manytoyz.com/camp/snow2.jpg This was late May near Mount Rushmore. Weren't expecting snow! Our A/C had a heat strip, and we used a propane heater too. Zero insulation on a Popup, but inside temp was in the 50s. In the mid 20s at night. No outside tanks or plumbing, so that wasn't a factor. We had a porta-potti, and used the campground facilities. Nice thing was there were plenty of campsites to choose! Our last TT had exposed tanks, and I ordered it with tank heater pads. Basically a peel and stick product. It's wired into 12V, and is rated for the temps you mentioned. http://www.2manytoyz.com/rockwood/tankheaters/th9m.jpg width=640 We did take this to North Georgia, and had freezing temps overnight. The campground required all water hoses to be disconnected before sundown. The truck had frost the next morning. http://www.2manytoyz.com/camp/northgeorgia13/dscn9053.jpg width=640 While we had no problem with the tanks, my propane regulator quit at 0 dark thirty. The camper was cold inside, we could see our breath. But I always plan for contingencies. I plugged in the 1500W ceramic heater and we went back to sleep. That had no problem keeping the camper warm. Turns out the first propane tank emptied due to using the furnace, and the shuttle valve stuck halfway when switching to the other tank. Couldn't use either tank, didn't have a spare regulator. But as luck would have it, there was a Camping World not far away. Picked one up that day, good to go. http://www.2manytoyz.com/camp/northgeorgia13/dscn9058.jpg Our current motorhome has tanks inside the belly of the rig. It uses air from the furnace to warm the tanks, and has the same sort of heating pads as shown on the travel trailer. Hoping we make a cold weather trip sometime soon. "Cold" is a relative term to those of us in FL.
2manytoyz 10/25/19 09:47am Travel Trailers
RE: Really scary incident tonight - almost lost my tow!

I have a Roadmaster setup. These cables are rated for 8000 lbs. Gross Trailer Weight (GTW), and are LESS expensive than the ones on Amazon. Link: https://www.etrailer.com/Safety-Chains-and-Cables/Roadmaster/RM-645.html http://2manytoyz.com/328TS/jeeptow/safety-cable.jpg Each of these cables appears to be the same size as the 8000 lb winch hanging on the front of the Jeep. No worries of them breaking.
2manytoyz 10/21/19 12:54pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Voltage Spikes as Gen Runs out of Fuel?

With a conventional generator, the change in RPMs will cause the frequency to shift, and the voltage to vary. Since the RPMs won't increase drastically, I wouldn't expect the voltage to spike high very much. Not so much an issue with an inverter type generator. The waveform is created electronically, and the engine speed varies to meet load demands anyway. I'm not too worried about this. Most RVs with generators have a conventional type, and they quit under load for a multitude of problems. I've been the RV community for a very long time, I've yet to read a post where someone had damage due to a generator unexpectedly shutdown. I have had damage due to a massive power spike (fallen power line) at a campground, but that's a different topic!
2manytoyz 10/21/19 12:42pm Tech Issues
RE: Jeep towed discharged when towing. This is new.

Robert. Sorry for the confusion. Are you saying at the connector on the front of the Jeep I should be getting power readings with a multimeter? I picked one up today at Walmart, first time ever using one. I messed around with it a bit to get a feel for it. Tested the Jeep battery, with the Jeep off and got readings of 12.6, running 13.8 or so. I then tested the receptacle on the front of the Jeep, with it off and then running. Nothing. I also don't see a fuse anywhere in the engine compartment that's been added on. I haven't checked the MH yet, its in a storage facility a few miles away. Probably Sunday as tomorrow we're gonna get rain from a tropical storm moving up through the Gulf. Thanks, Bob Yes, you should have voltage at the connector on the front of the Jeep. If not, likely a bad fuse between the connector and the battery. That said, I didn't have a charge wire on mine. I had to add one to the center conductor (Pin 2). Very easy to do. I did take a little time to use split loom, and route the wire with existing cables. All looks stock. http://2manytoyz.com/328TS/jeeptow/IMG_8368.jpg Slide the boot off the back of the connector on the Jeep, this is what it looks like: http://2manytoyz.com/328TS/jeeptow/boot.jpg width=640 Look at the pins on the back of that connector. Look at the CENTER pin, it sticks out a little further than the rest: http://2manytoyz.com/328TS/jeeptow/pins.jpg width=640 If there's no wire, that's the problem. You need to add a wire from here, to the Jeep battery. Be sure to put a fuse near the battery. Here's a video showing both sides of the connector. This is also where I captured the images above: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYpS1WN73yo
2manytoyz 10/21/19 12:29pm Dinghy Towing
RE: Lock for generator

Though I have a different brand of generator, I lock mine in place when in use. I'm using a Masterlock Python model. I drilled a hole through the frame plate since it was all too easy to remove on bolt to slip the lock off the handle. Details here: http://2manytoyz.com/genlock.html http://www.2manytoyz.com/hurricane/genlock/lock2681.jpg http://www.2manytoyz.com/hurricane/genlock/lock2683.jpg http://www.2manytoyz.com/hurricane/genlock/lock2686.jpg https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61w77aimjuL._AC_SL1000_.jpg height=480 Affiliate link here: https://amzn.to/2BrbHsP
2manytoyz 10/21/19 08:54am Travel Trailers
RE: Jeep towed discharged when towing. This is new.

Definitely not being charged by the motorhome. For troubleshooting, this is a quick and dirty way to check the wiring. Start the motorhome. With the cable disconnected, check the voltage between Pins 1 and 4 as shown in the diagram below. Should read ~13.5 volts. If not, there should be a fuse inside the motorhome engine compartment fuse block identified as "towing" or similar. https://www.ajtnt.com/portals/ajstruckandtrailer/7-Way-RV-Style-Trailer-Plug-Wiring-Diagram-1.png If so, then the problem isn't on the motorhome end. If you're using a Roadmaster 6 pin connector, here's how it is wired: http://2manytoyz.com/328TS/jeeptow/roadmaster-connector.jpg width=640 At the connector on the Jeep, check between Pins 2 and 5. You should read about 12.6 Volts. If not, there should be a fuse inside the engine compartment near the battery going to the Roadmaster connector. If both of these are fine, check the wiring on the cable that connects the motorhome to the Jeep. FWIW, I just recently added the charging wiring to our Jeep. The Roadmaster EvenBrake 9400 would drain the Jeep's battery after a few hours. Now after driving 10+ hours, no issues at all. I put the fuse right at the battery, and identified it with a label. Good luck!
2manytoyz 10/15/19 08:53am Dinghy Towing
RE: generator stalls when converter tries to charge battery

Sounds like a couple of things are going on. I think the power factor is an issue, and your generator is probably starving for fuel. Power Factor: the ratio of the actual electrical power dissipated by an AC circuit to the product of the r.m.s. values of current and voltage. The difference between the two is caused by reactance in the circuit and represents power that does no useful work. In an ideal world, the power going into a charger would equate to the power coming out. In the pics below, I have an Iota 75A 12V charger connected to my solar battery bank. Power = Voltage x Current. 75A x 12V = 900 Watts. On the supply side, power should be close to the same 900W/120VAC = 7.5A. But here are my actual readings: http://2manytoyz.com/hardware/alt/powerpanel/dscn7174.jpg width=640 http://www.2manytoyz.com/hardware/iota/maxcharge.jpg width=640 The charger is supplying almost the full rated 75A, but instead of drawing 7.5 Amps from the generator, it's drawing 13.56 Amps! 13.56A x 120VAC = 1627.2 Watts being supplied by the generator! A lot of wasted energy from a poor Power Factor. These chargers usually have a high start up current/charge rate, but tapers off quickly unless the batteries are very dead. That may be enough to stall or trip the overload circuit on a generator. I have a Yamaha EF2400iS, and while it grunted a little, it had enough power to continue charging. ALL of these small generators (Honda, Yamaha, etc.) that have variable speed engines, have very small jets in them. There's no fine fuel filter inline. Any speck of grit in the fuel can cause issues. If the fuel demand exceeds the available fuel flow, the motor will stall. Here's how I cleaned my carburetor and added a fuel filter: http://2manytoyz.com/carbfix.html FWIW, I tried Seafoam. That works on a carburetor that has stale fuel that has become sticky/gummy, but doesn't help with a piece of grit in a jet. These carbs are not difficult to work on. Amazing how well the generators work after a proper cleaning.
2manytoyz 10/10/19 07:15am Fifth-Wheels
RE: Bronco (to be) Re-Introduced (and with Hybrid version)

This has been teased a couple of years ago. I like the look, but the 4 banger or hybrid model does nothing for me. If they offer it with a 5.0L, I'd likely buy it. If Jeep puts a hemi in their Gladiator, I might be interested in it too. I don't like little screaming engines. I've owned them before, and driven newer ones. Not for me. I'm sure they'll sell plenty to the mall crawler crowds. In the meantime, I'll just keep my 2010 F150 with a V8.
2manytoyz 10/07/19 12:23pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Advice on handheld electric drill for jacks

I've used an 18V Dewalt (non-impact) drill for the jacks on our previous travel trailer for years. Worked perfectly. We recently sold the trailer to our niece. We met them for their maiden voyage, and they didn't bring a drill. I only had my Milwaukee 12V (M12 series) drill with me. It did deploy the jacks, but lacked enough power to lift the corner of the camper to make the jacks really effective. So... I'd say get an 18V or more non-impact type drill. Keep in mind, these drills have enough torque to damage your wrist if not careful. I use two hands, and keep the palm of the hand not holding the drill, against the bottom of the grip to prevent the drill from moving.
2manytoyz 10/02/19 10:48am Beginning RVing
RE: 3d printed box for Amdro Liquid Ant bait - prevent spills

Very cool, we had one spill not to long ago ... now I have a question. I do not have a 3d printer and see many for sale on craigslist for pretty reasonable prices.... anything I should look out for, either positive of negative ? I have several at work, and a couple at home. Not long ago, $2500 got you a decent printer. Now for a fraction of that, you can get a BETTER printer! Two of the most popular ones are the Creality CR-10S filament type printer, and the Elegoo Mars resin type printer. I own both, each have their pros/cons. For general use, it's really hard to beat the CR-10S. It can make things up to roughly 12"x12"x16". Runs about $459 new with warranty. https://amzn.to/2nYjs64 The Elegoo Mars resin printer is ideal for smaller projects, and is currently $289. https://amzn.to/2mpqosk The build volume is much smaller, but can make much more detailed items. I wouldn't recommend this as a "general use" type 3D printer. But if you get into craft/hobby type projects, this one really shines. I'm making scale items for my RC hobby. Here are a few things I've designed for RV: Magnetic Utility Hatch Tactical Flashlight Wall Mount RV 12V Outlet Receptacle Housing Engel Fridge Digital Temperature Controller There are many forums, Facebook groups, YouTube videos, etc., all dedicated to these printers. "I" wouldn't buy a used one. A new one comes with a warranty, and support from the manufacturer. I'm experienced enough at this point to troubleshoot/repair/rebuild 3D printers, but I have several years experience using these, and work as an aerospace eng tech. Getting a used one from a questionable source, without some background knowledge, can lead to a lot of frustration! If you have any specific questions, please feel free to PM me, or contact me at [email protected]
2manytoyz 09/30/19 06:48pm Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: 3d printed box for Amdro Liquid Ant bait - prevent spills

I like the small liquid ant bait containers from Amdro, as they do the job, but the problem is they are so easy to spill. I created a little (near) spill proof container that had magnets to prevent it from falling off a shelf or countertop. If any spills out of the Amdro packaging, it is held inside the box - but there is no restrictions for the ants entering the box. If you have a 3d printer you can make this yourself. See here. Very nice, thanks. I've added it to my list of things to print!
2manytoyz 09/30/19 06:25pm Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
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