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RE: Inverter

Our Class A has 4 house batteries, and a separate battery for the chassis. I used to only run the inverter while driving. Now I leave it on anytime the residential fridge is running. This way the power doesn't bump on/off when running on the generator, or shore power. Furthermore, with this pandemic, I'm using the fridge to store additional food while it is parked next to the house. Even though it's connected to shore power, the inverter stays on in case the grid power goes down. The inverter doesn't care. The inverter in the RV is a Xantrex Prowatt SW2000 model. Same one I have at home, used with my solar setup. This one has been running 24/7/365 since 2011, and powers my office, and workshop. I replaced the GFCI once, but no other issues. This is why I have no concerns about leaving the one in the RV powered when needed.
2manytoyz 06/04/20 11:24am Tech Issues
RE: jeep wrangler - where attach safety cables??

All aftermarket bumpers are not created equal. Mine is made from 3/16" steel, and bolted to the frame rails in multiple places, with grade 8 hardware. The hitch will likely tear free from the motorhome before the Jeep bumper comes off. I had considered drilling two holes on the bumper bottom lip, and using shackles. But I decided to use the fairlead roller on the winch to mount the safety cables. This is also 3/16" steel, and uses 4 grade 8 bolts. http://www.2manytoyz.com/328TS/jeeptow/IMG_4682.jpg width=640 Take a look at where the safety cables/chains attach to the MH tow hitch. There's the weak link in my case. YMMV!
2manytoyz 03/10/20 09:51am Dinghy Towing
RE: RV Loan and Insurance Info

It's very difficult to get a loan for a used RV. Ours was 3 years old, and wanted to finance less than $70K. We own our home, have an excellent retirement 401K, cash in the bank, and a credit score of 825. I had been with this credit union since 1985. I was informed that all lenders have the same issue with used motorhomes. The older they are, the harder it is to get a loan. But they let me know if I wanted to buy a new diesel pusher, they'd be willing to loan money immediately. After some discussion with the regional loan officer, they agreed and the loan was approved. PITA. As for insurance, I went with Progressive. They are VERY easy to deal with, and know how to do RV insurance. State Farm, on the other hand, was scratching their heads. Good luck!
2manytoyz 02/27/20 08:27am Full-time RVing
RE: Inverter questions

Higher voltage beats fat wire. Twice the voltage, half the current to do the same work. Very true, but that also comes at a cost. The battery bank would have to be configured for a higher combined voltage, but most RVs are 12V. 12V PSW inverters are cheap and very common. 24V and 48V are less common, and typically cost more. I put a 48V inverter in my golf cart, which uses a 48V battery bank. Thin wire by comparison (1500W inverter, using 6 ga). I still have to use a DC-DC converter to take 48V and make 12V for the lighting and accessories. As my other recent post mentioned the cost of the fat wire is $51 total. Deduct the cost of thinner wire required for a higher voltage inverter. Now take $352 for the Xantrex PSW 2KW inverter, and compare the cost to a higher voltage inverter. Is there a cost savings? Higher voltage is more efficient, but not necessarily cheaper or easier. But different strokes for different folks.
2manytoyz 02/21/20 08:40am Tech Issues
RE: Inverter questions

4/0 wire at 6 ft is crazy IMO. I saw that table from Xantrex. They appear to want too small a voltage drop. If you're not FULLY loading the inverter, then the wire requirement is less. But if you want to be able to supply a full 2KW from this inverter, then it NEEDS fat wire. Here's a pic from the 2000 Watt load test I did with my Xantrex: http://2manytoyz.com/hardware/inverter/xantrex2kw/Xantrex-full-load-test.jpg That's almost 208 Amps! A fully charged battery bank is 12.7V at rest. Under a heavy load, even fully charged, the voltage drops. A less than 1V drop causes the inverter to shutdown. Furthermore, as the voltage drops, the current requirement to do the same work goes UP. All wire has a voltage drop too. Thinner wire loses more voltage per foot. This topic has come up a lot on the solar forums. It's also comes up in the inverter reviews on Amazon. People claiming their inverter won't supply the rated capacity. The two things that will cause this is undersized wire, and too small of a battery bank. That's not crazy, it's science. Same thing as hooking a garden hose to a fire hydrant. Fine for watering flowers, but if you need to use the higher flow for fighting a fire... you're hosed. :p So what kind of expense is properly sized wire? I buy 4/0 welding cable (very flexible - 2054 strands) from Wesbell: https://wesbellwireandcable.com/Welding/Welding4_0.html It's $4.26/ft. 6' of black + 6' of red = 12ft x $4.26. $51.12 total. Go cheap, limit your inverter capacity. Spend $51, use it as advertised. Your choice.
2manytoyz 02/21/20 08:20am Tech Issues
RE: Replacing a WFCO 9855, Options?

Robert, Nice work and nice photos too. I'm going to be replacing my WFCO converter eventually. I like your tip to make it a plug in unit. Thanks, good luck on your project!
2manytoyz 02/20/20 01:13pm Tech Issues
RE: Inverter questions

Most likely will work fine. That's a resistive (heater for example) load, rather than inductive (motor for example). Inductive loads are more difficult on an inverter, and often have a high current spike during startup. Here's the testing I've done on several coffee makers. http://www.2manytoyz.com/coffee.html This is so I know what I can run when the power goes off at home. I have solar panels, batteries, an inverter, and a couple of generators. My Keurig mini peaks at 661W, and takes 1.5 minutes to brew. Make sure you use heavy gauge wire between the inverter and batteries. Xantrex requires a 4/0 cable for their 1800W inverter. The actual run time is very short when brewing coffee. Two batteries should be fine. I have a friend who's got a single battery and 1500W inverter in the covered bed of his truck. They often make their own coffee at rest stops. He's using a Keurig mini and a 1500W inverter.
2manytoyz 02/20/20 01:01pm Tech Issues
RE: 12v portable fridge/freezer

Guys in the Australian outback have been using Engel refrigerators for many years. They only have 1 moving part inside. Incredibly power efficient. Will easily go from refrigerator to freezer with the turn of a dial. I bought one to use in our Jeep while cruising trails. No worries of it draining the battery. It has also been used for keeping our food cool during a recent hurricane in Florida. I built a digital thermostat control for mine. Details here: http://2manytoyz.com/engel-thermostat.html http://2manytoyz.com/Engel-fridge/img_4280.jpg width=640 Here's the testing done over 27 hours: http://2manytoyz.com/Engel-fridge/engel-test-2-temp-graph.jpg width=640 It used 18AH in 27 hours: http://2manytoyz.com/Engel-fridge/IMG_4304.jpg width=640 The magic is the swing compressor. You can read about it here: http://www.roadtrucker.com/engel/engel-12-volt-fridge-freezer-technical.htm There are many other less expensive brands, but you do get what you pay for. If you need very low power cooling for off-grid usage, you won't find a better/more efficient brand. Oh, and FWIW, I've given away several thermoelectric coolers that were given to me. 5A draw constantly, only cooling 20F below ambient (not the 30F as advertised). No bueno when it's 95F here. 75F beer? Blah!
2manytoyz 02/20/20 10:28am Truck Campers
RE: Planning a trip Yellowstone, Mt Rushmore, Deadwood Etc.

Went in May, many years ago. Stayed at the Mt. Rushmore KOA: https://koa.com/campgrounds/mount-rushmore/ What we weren't expecting was freezing weather and snow in May! The week prior to our trip was much worse. The snow plowed off the main roads was higher than our full sized van. Snow was starting to melt during the day, and still hovering around freezing at night. Campground was almost empty. We had a popup. I used the heatstrip in the A/C, and a space heater to stay "comfortable". http://www.2manytoyz.com/camp/snow2.jpg width=640 June or later would likely be better. This was a decent campground if you find camping at the parks full.
2manytoyz 02/20/20 10:08am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Inverter/Battery needs for Residential refrige

Our RV came with residential appliances, an 1800W inverter, and 4 golf cart (GC2) 6V batteries. The engine has it's own dedicated battery and is isolated with the key off. I have solar power at home, and I've been using a Xantrex Prowatt SW2000 Inverter 24/7/365 for almost 8 years to power a portion of my home. The power is cleaner than grid power. Screen shot of my inverter's output: http://www.2manytoyz.com/hardware/inverter/xantrex2kw/dscn4933.jpg width=640 Keep in mind this inverter needs to be fairly close to the battery bank, and fed with 4/0 cables. Power in, equals power out (minus losses). A 1000W load at 120V is 1000/120 = 8.3A But to do the same work with an inverter, using 1/10th the supplied voltage, takes 10 times the current.. 1000W load at 12V is 1000/12 = 83.3A This is why the cables need to be so large. Here's what I'm feeding each of my inverters: http://2manytoyz.com/hardware/alt/powerpanel/dscn7124.jpg width=640 Here's the recommended cable size per Xantrex: http://www.2manytoyz.com/hardware/inverter/xantrex2kw/dscn5725.jpg width=640 Refrigerators have a small compressor. That's not the issue. It's the defrost cycle that puts a large demand on the inverter and batteries. Worse yet, many fridges immediately go into the defrost cycle when power is first supplied. Here's the data from the two house fridges at had at the time of testing: Refrigerator in garage: Not running but on: 0 Watts. Compressor running: 114-140 Watts. Total per day: 1.15 KW, 47.92 Watts per hour average. Refrigerator in house: Compressor running: 146 Watts. Defrost: 572 Watts. Total per day 2.15 KW, 89.58 Watts per hour average. It just so happens that the RV came with the exact inverter I have at home. Consequently, it works flawlessly, just as the other one I'm using. It's always good to have more inverter than you currently need. If you decide to put anything else on it, overloading will be less of an issue. Prices have also come down on these, so not a huge difference in price between power ratings. You can see all the specs on Amazon: Xantrex PROWatt 2000 Inverter
2manytoyz 02/20/20 10:02am Tech Issues
RE: Replacing a WFCO 9855, Options?

I replaced the WFCO converter in our previous travel trailer (now owned by our niece). I opted to use an IOTA 55A with the Q-Smart module. Very clean power, and keeps the battery properly charged without overcharging - a problem with the WFCO. It took very little modification to make it fit. Disconnected all power, took the panel off, and the WFCO converter was visible at the bottom. A few screws, and it was removed. http://2manytoyz.com/rockwood/converter/dscn8364.jpg width=640 http://2manytoyz.com/rockwood/converter/dscn8365.jpg width=640 With the converter removed: http://2manytoyz.com/rockwood/converter/dscn8367.jpg width=640 A quick fit check of the new IOTA charger: http://2manytoyz.com/rockwood/converter/dscn8379.jpg width=640 The original converter was hardwired to the breaker. I used a 12 gauge short cord to a female power plug instead. This allows a quick swap of the converter if it ever needs to be replaced again, and eliminates the need to chop the cord on the new converter: http://2manytoyz.com/rockwood/converter/dscn8381.jpg width=640 The IQ4 module also fit nicely inside the compartment. http://2manytoyz.com/rockwood/converter/dscn8386.jpg width=640 http://2manytoyz.com/rockwood/converter/dscn8388.jpg width=640 Charger on Amazon: Iota 55A IQ4 Module on Amazon: Smart Module. From the manufacturer: The IQ controller allows the battery charge r to operate as an automatic 3-stage "smart charger". This gives the user the benefit of bulk, absorption, and float stage charging, decreases charge times, insures proper and safe battery charging , and minimizes over-charging. The IQ monitors the battery at all times. If the DLS voltage remains in the long term float stage for more than seven days, the IQ Smart Charger will automatically deliver a boost charge for a predetermined time, then return to the normal float stage. DLS units are also available with the IQ Smart Charger internally installed within the unit. I also use an Iota charger with my home solar setup. It's been in service over a decade, in a hot garage, in central FL. These really are good products. http://www.2manytoyz.com/hardware/AGM/img_3116.jpg height=480
2manytoyz 02/20/20 09:27am Tech Issues
RE: Dinghy Towing guide

I've been on this forum for 18 years, Remco's been around longer than that. I've never seen a single post of anyone having any issues with their products, or their advice. So if it does happen, I guess we'll both see what happens... ;) so you haven't seen anything in this forum. So I guess it never happened. bumpy I don't feed trolls. You've not added anything to this thread. Simply eristic. A really neat feature of this forum is the ability to block some people. Congratulations, you're the second one in all these years. Respond if you like, I'll never see it...
2manytoyz 02/12/20 08:03pm Dinghy Towing
RE: Dinghy Towing guide

This is from the company that makes vehicles towable for a living, knowing they could be liable for damage or accidents. sure, when you follow remco's advice and your tranny blows up, just send them the bill and see what happens. bumpy I've been on this forum for 18 years, Remco's been around longer than that. I've never seen a single post of anyone having any issues with their products, or their advice. So if it does happen, I guess we'll both see what happens... ;)
2manytoyz 02/12/20 02:48pm Dinghy Towing
RE: Disney world in July

It's only a 1 hour drive there for us. Consequently, we've been there a "few times". Going again in May. Yes, it will be hot. Dress appropriately, stay hydrated, use suntan lotion. You'll be fine, just like the other million people in the park who take these simple precautions. Fort Wilderness is a very nice place to stay. Your Jeep will be great for driving off the resort into Orlando if you so desire. You won't need it for going anywhere Disney related. I copied the following from their website, and keep a copy on my phone. Makes travel easy. Fort Wilderness Transportation In keeping with the wilderness theme, motorized vehicle transportation within the grounds is prohibited unless entering or leaving the resort. Alternatives are bicycles, golf carts, the internal bus system or walking. Supply is limited, but golf carts can be reserved up to one year in advance by calling the Cart Reservations at (407) 824-2742. The two internal buses are called Chip and Dale. The external bus routes are the Crockett and Boone. To get to: Magic Kingdom - take an internal bus to the marina and take the Magic Kingdom boat Epcot - take an internal bus to the Outpost bus depot, and take the bus to Epcot. Disney Hollywood Studios - take an internal bus to the Outpost bus depot, and take the bus to Disney's Hollywood Studios. Disney's Animal Kingdom/Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park - take an internal bus to the Outpost bus depot and take the Disney's Animal Kingdom/Disney's Blizzard Beach bus. The Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue is a dinner/show within Fort Wilderness. Fun for the family, but if you've been to it once or twice, the show doesn't change. Make reservations early for this too. Hope you have a wonderful trip!
2manytoyz 02/10/20 11:50am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Florida trip

Don't come to FL June, July, or August. Hot, humid, bugs. Spring break, the weather is nice, but places like Disney get PACKED. We have the Disney silver pass, and that's part of the block-out dates, due to the number of visitors they get. IMHO, late Fall is the best time to visit. Temperature/humidity are better, less bugs, less crowds. If you are thinking about staying at Fort Wilderness, make sure you have reservations as many months in advance as possible. Fills up quickly.
2manytoyz 02/10/20 11:33am Roads and Routes
RE: black tank chemicals

I live in hot FL. If you leave raw sewage in the tank for a few days between dumping/flushing, it will produce a very foul odor! Unlike a septic tank, this is not an anaerobic environment. Folks up North have less issue most of the year due to the milder temperatures. I've tried many different ones on the market. One works better than all the rest. Thetford Aqua-Kem. *Deodorizer - Formulated to work in any weather condition, Aqua-Kem is packing the most powerful odor control available on the market. *Waste liquefier - Clogging is no longer an issue, as Aqua-Kem breaks down solid materials, liquifying waste and toilet tissue fast and efficient. *Detergent - The third component of the 3-in-1 formula is the detergent, which cleans the tank walls and drain lines, maintaining the tank and lines in top shape. *SAFETY: The 100% biodegradable waste holding tank treatment is safe even for septic tanks. *FUNCTIONALITY: Formulated as a 3-in-1 product, the formula holds a powerful deodorant, a waste liquefier, and detergent, eliminating odors, breaking down waste and cleaning the tank. I've been using this product since the late 80s. I've dumped my tank into our septic tank on many occasions. Zero issues. No stink from the RV. Try anything else first if you wish. Just keep this one in mind if they don't work for you. $21 for a gallon on Amazon. https://amzn.to/2Hc8foF http://2manytoyz.com/camp/thetford.jpg
2manytoyz 02/10/20 11:22am Tech Issues
RE: Dinghy Towing guide

Thanks, I'm a former ASE certified master technician. I am aware many newer vehicles have internal pumps, but thanks for pointing that out anyway. I'm not a FCA fan and don't want one. I've specifically zeroed in on the Acadia and hope other members who have one will respond. If you would have checked out the Remco link, you would have seen the following: 2019 Acadia AWD with I-4 (2.5L): Must be towed using a trailer 2019 Acadia AWD with V6 (3.6L): It is not recommended to tow this vehicle over 65MPH Follow prescribed towing procedures outlined in your Owner's Manual. Run the engine at the beginning of each day and at each RV fuel stop for 5 minutes. Use of a shield mounted in front of vehicle grille could restrict airflow and cause damage to the transmission. This is from the company that makes vehicles towable for a living, knowing they could be liable for damage or accidents. Hopefully others with that specific model will chime in. If not, I'd recommend creating a new topic, with that model in the title.
2manytoyz 02/06/20 01:47pm Dinghy Towing
RE: Dinghy Towing guide

Newer transmissions tend to have lubrication pumps. The older/crude transmissions used a splash gear to sling oil. Towing a newer vehicle can cause damage due to lack of fluid circulation. Also, pay CLOSE attention to those vehicles that can be flat towed. MOST have limitations on speed, and distance. Very common to see "under 50 MPH, and no further than 50 miles". There is another option. Check with Remco Industries. They've been around a LONG time, and offer solutions for many vehicles. They can add driveshaft or CV joint disconnect, or an auxiliary transmission fluid pump. Obviously the pump would be a much cheaper/easier option. No affiliation with them, but I've looked into their services before buying the Jeep. http://www.remcotowing.com/Towing/Store.php What's unique about the Jeep is it has a true transfer case. To tow the vehicle, the transfer case is put in neutral, and the A/T in park. No miles are recorded on the odometer. I do have to leave (an unchipped) key in the ignition to unlock the steering - newer models don't have a locking column. Good luck!
2manytoyz 02/06/20 01:25pm Dinghy Towing
RE: 2005 F150 tow rating

You can use the online VIN decoder. This is what was recommended on a Ford forum for retrieving the axle ratio: http://www.etis.ford.com/vehicleSelection.do
2manytoyz 02/06/20 01:09pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Dual Fuel Generators

We live in Central FL. Hurricanes and tropical storms are all too common here. For years, I've used a Yamaha EF2400iS to power our travel trailer while boondocking, and run essential equipment at the house when the grid goes down. A couple of years ago, we added a Champion 7500W dual fuel generator. I also added a 10 circuit transfer switch to our home. Now powering essential equipment is a flip of a switch. http://www.2manytoyz.com/hardware/transferswitch/img_8321.jpg height=480 http://www.2manytoyz.com/hardware/transferswitch/img_6723.jpg Here are details of the transfer switch installation (DIY): http://www.2manytoyz.com/manualtransfersw.html http://www.2manytoyz.com/hardware/generators/champion7500w/img_6556.jpg width=640 Most people are aware that stored gasoline degrades over time, even with additives. Propane doesn't. My plan of use is to run the generator on the two 100 lb propane tanks that were purchased just for this reason, then move to the multiple 20 lb tanks we have. All else fails, we'll run it on gas, and thoroughly drain the carb and bowl after the storm has passed. A quick overview of how I'm using the large tanks with the generator, and how I change the oil on this heavy machine: https://youtu.be/wM_mMlQsOuM Here's how I added a 15' propane hose, with a quick-disconnect, to the generator: https://youtu.be/XLCl4qDagBg Sources of parts: Brass fittings: https://gashosesandregulators.com/ 15 foot propane hose: https://amzn.to/2PiPEe0 Propane quick disconnect: https://amzn.to/2IuKBqn Teflon tape: https://amzn.to/2GhxXHF Pipe thread sealant: https://amzn.to/2GqrGKR Champion 7500W Dual Fuel Generator: https://amzn.to/2UDPGTz Champion generator cover: https://amzn.to/2XjZCOV Propane Tank Adapters - LP Tank POL Service Valve: https://amzn.to/2DjJ6qu Worthington 100-Pound Steel Propane Cylinder: https://amzn.to/2VPP2yG VELCRO Brand - ONE-WRAP Roll, Double-Sided: https://amzn.to/2Xk0Mdf Creality CR-10S 3D Printer: https://amzn.to/2XhzTXq Propane Tank Cap - Free 3D design: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1621938 Won't be long before hurricane season is here once again!
2manytoyz 01/27/20 11:14am Tech Issues
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