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RE: Installing Solar

Mine are screwed into 3/8 plywood thru a 6 inch long aluminum angle 2x2 with 5200 sealant/adhesive to glue down and seal fastener holes. Wires were attached to roof with eterna-bond tape ( no screw required) No plans to ever remove them! Not until you have to when trouble shooting the wiring some day! It can happen the trouble is underneath by the junctions that you can't get at with the panel in place.
BFL13 01/22/21 09:10pm Tech Issues
RE: Honeywell thermostat to replace duotherm thermostat

What is your RV fitted with for heating and air conditioning by equipment model? Not clear why you chose heat pump instead of gas. I have the RTH111 but only for the furnace in the Class C, no air conditioner. Just have one tstat wire in W and the other in R, jumper left in. Which exact Duotherm wires (say colour too) did you put in which exact RTH111 connections? Might be a mis-wiring.
BFL13 01/22/21 08:59pm Tech Issues
RE: S&S camper lacks grey tank

Not sure with that camper, but EG, in our last two older ones, no grey tank either. Idea was dump the grey into a ditch with a hose, or put it in the black tank till you dumped that. Our camper is long enough that it hangs out the back of the 8ft truck box. I got one of those blue tote sani-tanks and hung it upside down there supported underneath by a ball hitch with no ball, out of the hitch receiver. I cut a hole in the bottom (now on top) and have a short hose that runs from the sani-cap with the hose connection to it, to the tote. The hose has to be fat enough to let water out as fast as your sink pours it in, or it will come up from the shower drain. Ours has a grey tank valve, but the OP would have to add the valve somehow so he can isolate the black and dump the grey. Just leave it all open so when you use water in the RV sinks, it goes down into the blue tote (spray painted to the truck's colour) When you can, as in your yard at home (or whenever you can get away with it), to dump the grey tote tank, just put a bucket under it and undo the main screw top, now on the bottom. If you do that on a rainy day, the rain washes it all away so there is no smell. :)
BFL13 01/21/21 06:28pm Truck Campers
RE: Calling on Solar Techies

I like the Bluetooth aspect of the Kinverch inverter I can live with that. While were at it can we talk MPPT VS PWM Controller The system I am looking at is only up-gradable to 500 watts with a 40a PWM controller. From what I have read the PWM controller is preferred to smaller systems and the MPPT is preferred for the larger systems? Any thoughts. For what you are planning, IMO you will not need more than that 400w flat on the roof. Very like what we do, so should work about the same. Doesn't matter much whether it is PWM or MPPT for amps to the battery. The weather is so variable, you just take what Mother Nature offers that day; you won't notice whether you could have got a few more AH with MPPT on any particular day. Keep the gen handy the way the weatherman lies about his so-called forecasts! I have used both PWM and MPPT and posted lots of numbers over the years for what I got at various times including PWM vs MPPT. Not going to repeat all that info again here. Comes down to not much diff with 12v panels, and you must have MPPT with 24v panels so the buck converter can bring it down to 12v. ( PWM is only 12-12 or 24-24---no buck converter) You should toss those 12v batts for the four 6s, but can get by this summer with solar with the 12s if out in the open. Before camping in the woods next Fall, IMO have the 6s. In the longer run, don't forget you can add solar if needed by having the new solar with its own controller and just put both controllers on the same battery bank set to the same voltage so they add their amps ok. EG, I saved solar from previous RVs and crammed it all onto this Class C, so it was three controllers--two MPPT and one PWM. I have since moved one set to the TC (255w single panel and a 20 amp MPPT Tracer) So now in the C there is a 275w panel with a 20 amp Eco-Worthy MPPT and three 12v 100w panels with a 30 amp PWM for 575w total. It is more solar than we really need in the summer so your 400 ought to be enough since you indicate you will use fewer AH per day than we usually do.
BFL13 01/21/21 05:55pm Tech Issues
RE: Calling on Solar Techies

A MW is named for its output cooking power, but it sucks way more than that for input power (the inverter has to supply that) Look at the label on the back for what your input watts is. Eg, a 700w will want 1050w in. An 1100 will want about 1500 in. There are many inverter brands and some have a bad reputation. Price is not everything for quality either. I would choose a known good one even if it costs a bit more. Some that cost more are not the good ones. Sorry can't help with choices. I can say the PowerMax one is good based on using it for a couple years now, but it does not have the remote display you want. (I don't know what good that would be in real life if you already have a Trimetric monitor) A remote on/off switch is very good to have though.
BFL13 01/20/21 06:44pm Tech Issues
RE: Helping a very new TC owner with a truck decision

These weight debates are always the same. There are always guys who say never mind the GVWR etc etc. If you try to do it right, they say you RV like a girl! :) Yes you will be close to the ratings with the camper and that truck. The Diesel and its heavier tranny ( over 700 lbs more) plus 4x 4 (350lbs more than 2x2) eat up GVWR that could be for the camper. It does not matter where the extra weight is front or back as long as you are under the ratings. Note how the GVWR is less than the total ratings of the front and back. Our 2003 Chev 2500HD gasser has GVWR 9200 and weighs around 6000 on the scales with the box empty. That gives us 3200 for a camper but the back tires can take 6084 so would be over a bit with that much camper. If we had the Diesel version of the same exact truck, it would weigh more like 7000 with nothing in the box, leaving us 2200 for the camper. Another thing with Chevs anyway, is they have a Cargo Weight Rating for what should be the weight limit in the box. That would be their camper weight idea too. That is to allow something for passengers in the cab--150 lbs per seat, so ours is 700 lbs off the total. Our CWR is 2770 , add 700 and we should be able to carry 3470lbs. Truck mods come off that first--belly bars, heavier wheels and tires, running boards, anything. Minus the tail gate though--could be a wash there for mods. It seems like they say you can swipe some of that 700 for the cab and use it in the box, even if that puts you over your CWR. It can also seem like you should not do that for balance or centre of gravity. You will not get a straight answer from GM--I tried. :( They just keep saying not to go over any of the ratings. (Bunch of girls! :) ) The newer trucks are stronger, but also heavier to make them stronger so it is not all just extra GVWR you can use. So you have to go by their ratings but you still need to weigh it all on the scales to know what you are actually doing. For your intended driving locations, you could get 4x4 with the gas truck and be close enough ? while not getting stuck somewhere.
BFL13 01/20/21 06:17pm Truck Campers
RE: Calling on Solar Techies

A 2000w inverter will be much better than a 1500w. You will be able to run a "1000w" MW but with the 1500 would be maxed out. The 2000 would not be working as hard, would therefore last longer, and if something else on like a TV, it has the margin to do that. IMO you will not be happy with a 1500. Rest of plan looks right.
BFL13 01/20/21 05:30pm Tech Issues
RE: Converting my old Magnetek 6332 to deck style

You now have two pos wires from the converter-red and blue to the fuse panel. The new converter will have one pos wire to the fuse panel. So jumper the two pos connection points on the fuse panel (on the back usually ) and attach the one pos wire from the new converter to one of those pos connection points. The lug with the set-screw same as where the battery wire comes in allows for fatter wire from the converter.
BFL13 01/20/21 05:17pm Tech Issues
RE: Helping a very new TC owner with a truck decision

IMO get a gas instead of a Diesel and 2 x2 unless you really need 4x4 as this will save maybe 1,100 lbs or more of truck ( My numbers are out of date on that--confirm with newer trucks) weight that you can now use for more camper weight. OTOH the reasons given above for Diesel might apply to you. Depends. What jacks are on that camper? If you got a dually truck, you need dually jack mountings if not there now. Get a truck with a back seat not a regular cab. You need space to carry more stuff than the camper will hold. Besides the weight on the back tires and all that to consider, if you overload the truck, it will be hard to stop and keep the speed down when going down steep hills. Not fun! A mechanical inspection before buying is well worth it. Low miles does not mean it hasn't been worked hard. EG, watch out for shavings in the rear differential. You can get a "kit" for that, but it costs some. That's just one thing for the inspection to do for you. If the truck already has a towing package, you get the 7-pin for the camper's lights. Maybe a transmission cooler too. Compare the bed rail height with your camper box height--you might need some 2x 4s in the bed to sit the camper on and longer chains to the belly bars. (You have to get those put on the truck)
BFL13 01/20/21 02:28pm Truck Campers
RE: Relocating propane detector?

Most likely propane issue is a stove top burner on or the oven, not lit. The other appliances have their propanes outside, so not very detectable by the inside detector. So best place for the inside one is low down near the stove. Exact location not critical. Some older stoves have tricky oven knob markings that you think you turned it off but it's not. Bad design.
BFL13 01/20/21 01:41pm Tech Issues
RE: solar

jshupe, Do you have a picture of the panels? What controller are you using? SiO2 can manage c/4 (25 amps per 100 amp-hours). They don't have to be fully recharged each cycle. Of course, that is no match for the charging rate on Li chemistries, but it is double that of regular flooded. PT, you know regular RV FLAs can be recharged at 25% charging rate too, no harm. SiO2 "advantage" is only when amps taper with FLA and amps are still at Bulk Stage with the SiO2. In my example you saw, a 50-80 would be at the same amps/same time, but if you go on to 90, the 80-90 part takes longer with the FLA due to tapering amps. So it is scenario dependent how much "faster" it would be with SiO2 and whether that amount of time saved has value wrt the price.
BFL13 01/20/21 11:21am Tech Issues
RE: solar

You can do more amps with a Power Factor corrected charger (if you can find one--there are a few) with the same VA sized gen, but you still have limits on gen size in an RV set-up. With the 5er we could carry the Honda 3000 in the truck. No room for it in the Class C (with no built-in gen) so 2200 gen is our limit. Before buying a bunch of LFPs, just be sure you can carry what's needed to charge at 200 amps or whatever. How many know how to calculate what's needed? :( Another thing I don't understand is where they advertise how great LFP is with solar for "fast charging". You have all day to do a recharge, so what's the hurry? With FLAs now you can be "full" by just after lunch. AND where are you going to carry the solar panels to produce the high amps to do it faster anyway? 800w of panels flat on the roof will do maybe 50 amps at noon and less the rest of the day. 50 amps is peanuts. That's why solar takes all day. Where is the LFP fast charging advantage? It is really about carrying more usable AH in the same small space in a RV that is weight limited, but IMO the fast charging claim is not realistic.
BFL13 01/20/21 07:41am Tech Issues
RE: solar

Yes, that is correct. In my case, the max size gen we can carry is the 2200 and it runs max at 1700VA which is what the 75 amper wants, so 75 amps is our max amps no way around it. (In the woods, no solar to add more amps) There is not a single advantage to get LFP in our situation. No weight issue, got enough AH , Gen time is ok. What we have works, no problem for our situation. There can be situations where an RVer can take advantage of LFP for weight, space, usable AH, etc, but "faster charging" is too easy to be misleading. An RVer must use some actual numbers for his comparison with what "speed" of charging he would get anyway using ordinary batteries, so he is not fooled by the advertising. He may find that like us, he is gen size limited to a charger size that means no "faster charging" by enough time that makes his life better.
BFL13 01/19/21 10:57pm Tech Issues
RE: solar

An electric only fridge is a poor choice for dry camping. It will take 300AH of battery capacity and 300W of solar panel production at a minimum. With lead acid batteries the 300AH will provide only 150AH for the fridge and everything else in the RV as going below 50% SOC will greatly decrease their useful life and increase the time it takes to recharge them. For an electric only fridge the best solution is to invest in lithium phosphate batteries that can take a 80% discharge without damage and that can be recharged at 4 times the rate of lead acid batteries so the generator run time will be greatly reduced and solar charging will be more effective during the limited hours of daylight. I don't think you have done the calculations for that. You keep seeing this claim about faster charging with LFP, but nobody explains how to do that. EG this "4 times the rate" claim that will reduce gen time. To me that must mean restoring four times the AH in the same time that it would take with FLAs . Or same AH in 1/4 the time. If you now have four 6s at 460AH and a 75 amp charger powered by a 2200w gen (like my set-up), that means you can do a "50-90" (184AH) in about 3 hours. To do that in 1/4 the time- 45 minutes-that means charging at 245 amps. (184 x 60/45) So first you need a 245 amp charger or combination of chargers, and a generator to run that. I doubt that is what was meant! So how about some realistic numbers with a realistic RV set-up for chargers and gen sizes and the LFP bank vs the four 6s, a 75 amper, and a 2200w gen? EDIT--ok, say I had the same set-up only with LFP so no amps tapering. It all gets done at 75 amps. 184/75 is 2 hrs , 27 min. so I would save 33 minutes (from 3 hours) of gen time. Not quite the same as "four times faster" is it? How about I do a 50-80 with my four 6s? Now it all gets done at 75 amps where amps start to taper at 80% SOC. 150AH in two hours. Swap to LFP and--oops--still 150AH in two hours.
BFL13 01/19/21 06:53pm Tech Issues
RE: New Thermostat Question

You are asking for the fan to run but not have the gas/ignition sequence to follow. I suppose you could run parallel (? a second set anyway) wires to just the fan part, by-passing the circuit board etc, with a switch on those wires so just the fan would run. Can't you run the A/C fan now without turning on the A/C? ISTR that is available to just circulate the air.
BFL13 01/18/21 09:32am Tech Issues
RE: Calling on Solar Techies

"It is good to listen to time2roll and BFL13." Actually it is good to listen to everybody. Everyone adds something to learn from. In my case, I am just Dr. time2roll's "creature", from his lab, where he taught me about multiple chargers adding their amps. He only had MSW at the time he zapped me to life, so I went out of his control since, but he is the Master. (He now has PSW.) So who is Igor? There are several candidates for being Igor----
BFL13 01/17/21 06:57pm Tech Issues
RE: Calling on Solar Techies

The OP wants to RV pretty much like we do, in the woods no solar in the dark half of the year and out in the open with solar in the sunny half of the year. Our "lifestyle" in the RV does not change between seasons and it is all off- grid. See my Profile for what we have to do that. It is all based on the 2000w inverter doing the 120v stuff, which means MW, Toaster, and Kettle for the high draws and TV/DVD etc for the low draws. Converter/charger to recharge the batts in the dark half and mostly solar in the sunny half. Trimetric monitor to make sure we don't screw up. Just plug the shore power cord into the inverter or else the gen when you haul that out. No need for any kind of transfer switch. Fridge and WH on gas (not auto) and converter off (no "loop") The 2000w gen will run a 60 amp charger at the most, so you will need to use maybe 3 hours to recharge the batts 50-90 in the dark half, once a day if it is cold with lots of furnace--same as you do now. No change there. So--get an equipment list something like in our Class C to do the similar job in the dark half, and get the 6s to go with it--toss those 12s. For the sunny half, something around 400 or so watts flat on the roof will do it so there is not much gen time needed. Kits are a rip-off if you are the least bit handy and get the parts yourself. Panels where you can pick them up yourself and not pay shipping too. Get them on an Rving trip so you are going by there anyway.
BFL13 01/17/21 05:27pm Tech Issues
RE: Group 27 deep cycle battery + 2000W inverter

Running time on the one battery will be short as everyone noted. Another thing is with the inverter, you have the low voltage alarm and shut off, which could be triggered by the fridge when it cycles. You need short fat wires from inverter to battery, and a decent size battery in AH (or one of the new ones that allow high amp draws and keep their voltages up) to handle the fridge's starting surge. So you could have what seems like lots of battery left in the 27, but the inverter kicks out anyway.
BFL13 01/17/21 09:24am Tech Issues
RE: Lifepo4 battery in 1990 Lance?

Yes, I forgot you can have a weight issue with a 5er, especially if you have a Diesel truck with 4x4! We had no problem with the gas truck 2x2 and our 28.5 ft 5er for what we can carry in the box. The new trucks are even stronger than our 2003, which was a jump from before that. Good thing! Anyway, the whole point is to do some serious calculations for your own scenario and not just get caught up in the fashion of the times. Nobody else is in a position to tell you what to do. Not clear if we answered the OP's question for his situation. At least he has some factors to mull over that ought to help.
BFL13 01/15/21 07:05pm Tech Issues
RE: Lifepo4 battery in 1990 Lance?

The Prosine 100amp charger part is PF corrected ISTR, so the 2200 could run that going full out at 14.6 at 100 amps AFAIK. Itinerant does not charge at 14.6, but at 14.1 with his LFPs so that does help when using a smaller gen too. Our Class C has no gen (it was an option the original owner did not choose it seems). A 2200 goes in the gen compt, but not the 3000 we had, so am using a 75 amp charger-max non-PF corrected the 1700 running VA rated 2200 can do. So that's where I got the gen size limit. If we could have room for the 3000, we could run 150 amps like we did with the 5er we had--the gen went in the truck bed with the 5er. Where do you carry the 2200? We have no room in the TC to carry any gen, and the truck is full of dog crates. The gen smells of gas anyway, so no good in the truck. As it is we don't need a gen for how long the TC is ever off-grid. Long off-grid time means use the Class C.
BFL13 01/15/21 09:36am Tech Issues
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