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RE: Rearview camera hardwired on fifth wheel

I installed a hardwire setup on my previous travel trailer. Details here: In a vehicle that didn't have a backup monitor, I added an aftermarket clip-on mirror/monitor. What you're seeing in the mirror is actually the video feed from behind the travel trailer. I also tried a dedicated monitor on the center console: height=480 But the monitor on the mirror was much easier to use while driving. When I traded in that tow vehicle for an F150, it had a monitor in the mirror, albeit very small, it did work. Same idea, the image is behind the trailer. I modified the tailgate camera connector on my truck. I can now disconnect the stock camera, and plug in the trailer camera. I found the wiring diagram on an F150 forum. Pic of it here:
2manytoyz 01/27/20 10:52am Fifth-Wheels
RE: Surveillance Camera Setups on your RV

Our RV came with a rear camera, and turn-signal cameras. I modified the multiplexer to add outputs. I took one of my older CCTV DVRs, and put it in the RV, bought a DC-DC converter to power it, and ran video cables to the DVR. It now records on the 3 stock cameras, and I've added a dash camera. Even if the power is disconnected, it will continue to run on 12V power until all 4 golf cart batteries are exhausted. This not only documents any theft while at home, or while traveling, but it also documents bad drivers that may potentially cause a wreck. I had most of the necessary parts. Had to buy the DC-DC converter, and some video cables. I've had a Pop-Up camper stolen, and I can tell you first hand, going through the insurance was a major pain. I lost money, and it was never recovered. If I had video, probably could have found who did it. Our house also has a video camera system for the same reason. It also watches the RV, and the RV watches the house. One of our videos was used to arrest a vandal in our previous neighborhood. width=640 width=640 width=640 The cameras never sleep. They see almost as well at night. Disconnecting the power does nothing. Since I used the existing cameras, and an old DVR, my cost was about $100.
2manytoyz 01/27/20 10:32am Tech Issues
RE: Mount “ditch spots” on tow hooks? / legality / clamps?

If they are "Off Road Lights" they must be covered when on the road or you risk the chance of being fined. That is why the old "K.C. Lights" on the roll bars had covers on them. Might be true in your area, but certainly not here in FL. LED auxiliary lighting is incredibly popular here. I've never seen any covers in my 39 years of living here. The two I have on the front of our Jeep only are used when there's no other traffic. I have them canted outwards, to illuminate the ditches. Lots of deer here, hiding on the sides of the roads until the last minute. width=640 width=640 width=640 width=640
2manytoyz 01/27/20 10:10am General RVing Issues
RE: Onan marquis 5500 generator

It should bog a little when a heavy load is first applied, but once the A/C is running, it should stay stable. If it is continuing to bog afterwards, most likely a dirty carburetor. It's starving for fuel under load. You might get lucky, and find that it's just a dirty fuel filter. While this is a very popular generator, no rebuild kit is available that I could ever find. Ultimately, I replaced the carb on mine. Not overly complicated. Runs perfectly once again. Here's a video of the job: Source of parts: Onan carburetor: Onan air filter: Onan fuel filter: Onan fuel pump: Onan oil filter:
2manytoyz 01/24/20 06:55am Tech Issues
RE: Onan marquis 5500 generator

Deleted - double post
2manytoyz 01/24/20 06:53am Tech Issues
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): height=480 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. 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. 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: 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. 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. 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. 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: 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. width=640 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: width=640 During: Test fit with tailgate down, trailer hitched. width=640 After: 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. width=640 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! width=640 width=640 OR, get a Wrangler, and use a rear hitch mount for the Cricket. 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. 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. 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. height=480 height=480 $63 on Amazon (affiliate link):
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? 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. 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. 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. 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: 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. Slide the boot off the back of the connector on the Jeep, this is what it looks like: 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: 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:
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: height=480 Affiliate link here:
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. 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: 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
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