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 > Your search for posts made by 'Almot' found 55 matches.

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RE: Solar and Lifeline

Dropping to Float at 96% means not getting down to .5a/100AH at 14.4v, so you are undercharging. Must go to proper full every so often, however you can arrange to do that. One way is to split the bank 300AH bank. Controller is set to terminate the Absorption at 1.5A or in 2 hours, whichever comes sooner. In the middle of the day very often there are no loads, except 0.8A fridge draw when it's cycling, so 1.5A is what I see. Must be more than 96% then. I don't use a battery monitor, couldn't justify the cost or need. Could do bank-splitting, yes.
Almot 05/12/19 02:45pm Tech Issues
RE: Solar and Lifeline

So it is ok to do several 50-90s in a row with AGMs, then go home and recharge to full (.5a/100AH) at the specified 14.x level for that model AGM, and then go to float voltage until the next trip? No need for a 20% recharge in that case? Dangerous to interpret when noise to signal ratio is high, isn't it... I don't think this is ok. Better not to run 50-90 for prolonged time. Especially if solar is all you have. Scenario: 300AH bank on 490W solar is 80-85% before sunrise, goes into Float around noon when current drops to preset value (AGM at 95-96% at this point?), and then stays in Float for 6-8 hours. Sort of a standby service. Generator-shmackerator...
Almot 05/12/19 01:32pm Tech Issues
RE: Solar and Lifeline

Camping with AGM for three weeks and let them fully recover later is fine, if you take care not to discharge them dead flat. Familiarize yourself with your particular AGM voltage curve. They tend to have higher voltages than flooded, 12.7V no-load is not usually Full. Offgrid solar home doesn't necessarily mean the batteries are never allowed to be properly and fully charged. One needs to know his energy limits. Controller profile and programmability are important too.
Almot 05/12/19 01:10pm Tech Issues
RE: Solar and Lifeline

Thanks for all the help guys. I’m coming to the rude awakening that my hopes of having a plug and play system using my solar panels and good batteries is just a pipe dream. It’s becoming more and more evident that to get close to what I wanted flooded deep cycle marine batteries are the way to go. Negative, on both your conclusions. Flooded marine batteries are not really deep cycle - but you do want deep cycle, yes. Solar is plug and play if you stay within its performance. If you can't, then get a generator, though from what you;re saying about your loads, I think you can. Your Lifelines were not properly and/or fully charged. Most people know about high current requirements of this brand, this was one of the reasons why I didn't buy it. Get Dekka or Full River AGM, they won't be frustrated with 10-15A charging current. Probably cheaper in the long run than getting a questionable off-brand generator, not to mention the hassle. Your loads are low. People who have to run a generator (in addition to 400W solar) either camp in constantly bad weather with much forest like PNW or BC, or they need an air conditioner or they have installed a house-size 120V fridge. You should be able to get away with 3*12V, total 300 AH bank. And there are other things that you can do, to make it work. Shut the inverter down when not in use, run a cat heater instead of furnace (some people here will disagree with the last one). 160W is too high draw for a TV, these days. If you spend a lot of time watching it, consider getting more energy-efficient model that draws 30-40W.
Almot 05/11/19 11:30pm Tech Issues
RE: A Tip For Folks Who Are Trying To Help Others With Batteries

OPs sometimes complain they don't want to learn the technical side. I realize that responding to what appears to be another rant is not productive, but, - it is "can't learn", not "don't want to". Last time I checked, no chapters of physics were mandatory in US and Canadian high schools. You can't learn without understanding the basics first. (now I recall my answer to a similar rant several months ago on how to ask questions: OPs don't know how to properly ask because they don't know, period).
Almot 04/30/19 04:38pm Tech Issues
RE: VCR....its maddness

Bought a used Sherwood RV-5050 years ago for $50 with (so-so) speakers. This box is impressive. No DVD in, only CD - it was made before DVD. This thing can be used as a space heater :). Huge, too big for most RVs. Though modern Sony receivers @ $200 are same big.
Almot 04/29/19 01:31am Tech Issues
RE: VCR....its maddness

I really don't miss having to run down to the local VCR rental store to get a movie to keep the kids entertained on a weekend or having to return it before getting stuck with a late charge, having to make sure it was rewound or having to rent a machine. When DVD first came up, it was like a magic to be able to jump to any chapter with a click of a button. Without rewinding the tape back or forward. And nice artwork in the background when you open the main menu. Now with MP4 I can jump to any timestamp within any episode, all the episode thumbs for a season are on one screen, can choose my own background artwork ("fanart") - or to have none at all. Last time I tried DVD, it felt odd with a slow response when you stop/play/pause or go to another chapter - disc spinning, machine whirring for a second or two. I'm missing DVD simplicity though. Had to do minor fixes to video library recently when the primary HDD began to fail without me knowing. DVD player either works or doesn't. Though disc can get physically damaged/scratched. The biggest problem with DVD/CD library in RV is that it takes too much space. Soundbar... if I find one that is not too big and doesn't sound too bad, given it's small size, I might do this. My impression had been that many soundbars are not better than $150 2.0 receiver paired with $30 Dayton 652 speakers, only cost more. Maybe I'm wrong.
Almot 04/28/19 12:20pm Tech Issues
RE: VCR....its maddness

Upconverting VCR to 4K picture will be a fake 4K. Noise filters and other corrections will try to re-create pixels missing on VCR, but they can only do so much. At the very best, they will make VCR tolerable on 4K screen. There is also a matter of convenience. Even DVD remote feels sluggish, limited functionality and lame menus, compared to watching files on HDD. VCR is one yet step below. When I open some show on HDD, it opens the list of thumbs-seasons, click on the season opens list of thumbs-episodes. Same with music - click on Classic opens the gallery with thumbs of composers, click on composer opens list of album thumbs. With DVD/CD you have to open the shelf and find what you need, shows and movies in fine print on the narrow 1/4 edges. TV speakers suck, all of them. Sound worse than in $4 earbuds. I tried to find half-decent compact speakers for RV, something smaller than B652, to hang on the wall. Polk S10 at 6"x5" front looks small enough. Now need to convince myself that 6 times the cost is worth it.
Almot 04/27/19 11:38pm Tech Issues
RE: VCR....its maddness

Difficult to watch anything on tape. X2 X3. DVD is more convenient and MUCH better picture quality than VCR. But, once you've tried MP4 videos on HDD media player with a 10ft interface, you won't go back. The same for CD. Rip it, scan to Kodi or whatever off-line interface you are using, - done. I can't sell my perfectly working DVD with MP3 capability, coaxial out, 5.1 surround etc etc for 2 months now. $CAD 15, nobody wants. For-pay streaming services are a substitute for TV, kind of. For when you like to be fed seemingly unlimited random programming (of random quality, too). Having your own off-line video and audio library is convenient and doesn't cost much. Doesn't need data connection, either. Backup on the 2nd HDD is a must.
Almot 04/27/19 06:06pm Tech Issues
RE: Semi-permanent parking

Underground is better. 2 ft under, with vertical rise (preferably in conduit) where it ends near the trailer. You can do it yourself, or hire some low-cost electrician for a piece of mind. You need a conduit only for a rise, not for undeground. One cable all the way, no 2*50 cords. To determine the cable gauge that you need, run the numbers for anticipated loads (i.e. maximum amps) on 100ft distance. If A/C is not planned, microwave will draw up to 12A, other loads are minor, you total current will be under 30A then. You might need a junction box near trailer to go from a beefy undeground cable to a thinner wire that you would terminate with RV plug, but this is only if undeground is really thick - I don't remember max diameter that fits RV plug, is it #6 or smaller. Home Depot have aluminum cable suitable for underground works with gauge up to #0, but you won't need it that beefy.
Almot 04/27/19 05:34pm Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: Burning smell from electrical panel

I disconnected it upon advice that it would drain the electro lights while hooked up to shore. ? There is usually nothing contained in the lights that could be drained.
Almot 04/23/19 10:05pm Tech Issues
RE: Everchill 12 volt refrigerator

110V AC/propane RV fridge will last forever (almost), on the common 220AH battery bank. Boondocking with less than 200AH isn't smart. 10-12 AH daily draw of a propane fridge is not much. Though in a minimalist setup this is often the biggest item of energy budget. 100-200W solar will take care of it just fine, together with other minor draws. With 10cf compressor fridge, even if you try conserving energy on all other items, you either need a huge battery bank or +300W solar. Or run a generator daily. To gather a bigger audience, bump the post up, instead of duplicating it.
Almot 04/23/19 04:43pm Tech Issues
RE: Flexible Solar panel performance

Scratches develope from dirt, weather, leaves, tree branches, scrub brushes and just about anything else. They also degrade from UV and will eventually look like they are fogged over. Chuck Yes. This is clear plastic cover, not a glass like on rigid panels. When there are no leaves and branches, like in desert, there is a lot of dust accumulation. Sand particles can be abrasive. IMO, there is rarely a scenario in RVs where a rigid panel could not be installed.
Almot 04/23/19 02:58pm Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: Going To Use 18 watt LED Spotlights To Illuminate Shoulder

People don't drive in Mexico in the night unless they absolutely have to. Or - when they are drunk. Potholes, crumbled or missing shoulders, cows on the road. Good news is that many cars there are ancient, with incandescent bulbs. New cars with bright LED are terrible when oncoming, yes.
Almot 04/22/19 01:54pm Tech Issues
RE: minimum amount of solar

Right, heated mattress. What was I thinking? The cold comes from below. My mattress is on lift-platform of the front through-storage where temperature is lower than in the trailer. A fixed solar for me.
Almot 04/21/19 11:53am Tech Issues
RE: minimum amount of solar

100W solar suitcases like Renogy is an easy way to get a little solar but the cost is not so little. 200W permanent install on the roof will cost less than Renogy. Imitation suitcases I won't comment on. Renogy have an "acceptable" quality controller, not a top notch but Ok. There are some benefits to portable method, like possibility (read - necessity) to tilt it to the sun, thus increasing the output. Though, 200W flat array without tilting would harvest more than 100W with tilting. Larger 500W array would generate a notable current even in a light rain or partial shade. Another benefit of portable is that you can attach a long wire and place it out the sun if you happen to park in the shade. OTH, flat solar on the roof would often remain in the sun while the ground is shaded with trees and other obstacles. Depends on the area. I tried the "comforter way" and found it working in a narrow range of temperatures only. Thin duvet needs another layer/blanket when temps drop just before dawn, and a thick duvet is heavy and doesn't conform to your body well. Besides, the usual problem of wintering in the South - it gets dark at 6pm and immediately it gets colder. It takes a lot of warm clothes to feel comfortable when you're not working or exercising. Propane heater (not a furnace) works better for me. Some day I will try an electric blanket, I recall Pianotuna was satisfied with them (to certain point of course, given his unbelievably cold area).
Almot 04/21/19 01:21am Tech Issues
RE: minimum amount of solar

Solar is "all or nothing" affair. They could get away with 100W if this is summer, sky is clear and they are not parked in partial shade. Too many "ifs". 500 watts is not an overkill. It can get rainy, cloudy, they will watch TV for 6 hours because have nothing else to do. With retirement approaching, there is a good chance that they will want to travel South in winter - in low winter sun 500W will work like 300W.
Almot 04/20/19 07:30pm Tech Issues
RE: minimum amount of solar

All of our lights have been replaced with LEDs, we take short showers, and do not use the furnace. The two fantastic fans are the biggest power users we have. For those of you with a similar setup, can I get by with one 100 watt panel to just keep the batteries up or is that just a dream? We do not normally dry camp when it is too hot and the small inverter we have is just to watch tv maybe an hour a day. 100W might work in summer. When you retire and want to extend the season, possibly going further South in winter, and stay a week or two, you will find that it is warm but not always sunny. In such conditions 400-450W flat array is the minimum that would let you stay indefinitely, in any kind of weather, without a generator. This is - with your minimal energy needs. 2*250W panels and MPPT controller is a no-brainer, easy #10 cable with standard MC4 fittings. Roughly $500 parts cost. Also, consider catalytic Olympian heater. I installed mine permanently on the wall and run it before bedtime (when it's cold) with either screen door or window slightly open, so there are no issues with venting. Silent, hot (I got 5,000 BTU version, should've bought smaller 3,000 model), and very easy on propane. Fridge and showers eat more propane. If I were the OP, I'd set a budget--and then buy the greatest number of watts of panels with a temperature compensated charge controller that has enough capacity to allow me to expand the solar harvest. x2. There is no such thing as too much solar. One suggestion - instead of planning to expand, I would just install as much as I would fit safely. It is easier this way.
Almot 04/20/19 03:10pm Tech Issues
RE: LED Dome Lights

Get dome lights with milky covers. Those that look like white paper, when turned off. Without clear "window" or any pattern. Milky cover eliminates all the weird light refraction effects of lens and doesn't create sharp shadows. Most dome lights are transparent like yours, but there are some with milky covers too. LED color temperature the closest to "old" bulbs is 2700-3000. Called warm white or soft white. Higher numbers are more blue-ish, the higher is the number, the more blue-ish. Some cheesy-chinesy LEDs of higher color temps have pink shade, too.
Almot 04/19/19 10:16pm Tech Issues
RE: Harbor freight 1.5 solar battery maintainer

1.5 watts? That's an absurdly ridiculous do nothing piece of equipment. 1.5 amps? That's probably useful for barely maintaining a battery with no load on it. I think 1.5 watts. Useful for maintaining one small chassis battery with no load on it, i.e. battery must be completely disconnected. Harmless, will maintain 13.x volt forever, without overcharging. Things like this are sold on Amazon for $20-25, brand doesn't matter, it's just a solar panel with night diode and wires. In his climate in winter I would get 10-15W panel with controller.
Almot 04/19/19 10:03pm Tech Issues
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