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RE: Minnie Winnie 25B

Have a used 25b. We use a stool at the foot of the bed. The basement area is big which is a plus. I have mostly lightweight camping gear. We take the family and don’t worry much about weight with the 350. I’m agile enough to make the bed but others use sleeping bag type bedding. We also can sleep one on the couch. There is a large empty area under the jackknife to store a single bed foam. And the dinette is big enough to sleep an adult crosswise. The biggest shortcoming is lack of kitchen counter space. I use a roll up drainer over the sink and installed a stove top cover and a shelf under the kitchen cabinet to help compensate. I’m going to replace the main tv arm. It’s barely long enough to come out past the cabinet and does not tilt so we have been using a tv I put in the second location at the rear bed. I’m getting new shocks and helliwig sway bar and my rear brakes need to be replaced. I like that the steps inside are low enough the electric steps are not needed. I just installed 360 watts of solar with 210ah lithium batteries, a new charger, a 3000 watt inverter, etc. get Victron equipment and you can put it all on WiFi with a cerbo from them. I didn’t get their charger or inverter but still use the cerbo. I’ve read that many class A drivers miss the height and the clearer view if they switch to a C with a cab over and regular pickup truck height.
EMD360 10/03/21 07:22am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Solar install so far

Thanks that’s very cool. I have a niece with an Airstream. I’ll let her know. Thanks.
EMD360 09/28/21 08:52am Tech Issues
RE: Solar install so far

I will still buy their mounts. Great resource thanks. I looked at the mounts. They look similar to the mounts I used. I didn’t understand the rocking mounts. One thing I was happy about is that the roof racks did not make noise as we drive. I do have a roll of the 3m tape. I thought I would use it under the furniture legs but I have not yet. I was concerned about the screws in the roof though I know many people use the tape and screws. I like that the holes are at the side rails. I think they will be easier to remove when the time comes.
EMD360 09/28/21 12:35am Tech Issues
RE: Solar install so far

PS: Isn't solar addictive?? YES! I had read and even commented on your post while I was planning for solar. It was very helpful. Thanks. I finally finished my mounting system and wiring and camped last weekend in a very quiet campground. We were not the only ones not using a generator! It was sweet to use the inverter for morning coffee and toast bread for lunch sandwiches. I experimented running the refrigerator on the inverter before we left and I only got 8 hours overnight so we used gas for that. At most we used about 25% of our 200 amps overnight before the sun was charging them again. I mounted the panels behind the air conditioner bonnet. I didn’t really have enough room further forward. We backed into a north-south facing site. The trees didn’t shade the panels. I’m thrilled that they work so well.
EMD360 09/28/21 12:25am Tech Issues
RE: Solar install so far

I finished bolting the panel racks today. I could tell I hit something solid behind the trim. I used double sided Eternabond behind the holes to waterproof. The photo shows the adjustable furniture legs I’m using to make the racks sturdier. I plan to bolt the legs onto the racks. I ended up just cutting the refrigerator vent panel off at the rear. What is left still covers the vent fully. I also further configured the Cerbo GX to read data through the mifi. When I did it earlier I didn’t reboot and the change was lost. This was the morning after running the equipment and the fantastic fan overnight. The AC info will never populate unless I replaced my generator and charger with Victron products. Today was the best solar generation although if was a bit cloudy. The graph from the Cerbo can tell when I plugged in the RV and ran the charger even though I don’t get that info on the display. It’s a cool tool but has limited usefulness for the cost.
EMD360 09/20/21 11:00pm Tech Issues
RE: Solar install so far

I also had less trouble getting the wires out of the refrigerator compartment than I feared. There were two layers of plywood with about an inch of styrofoam in between but enough space behind the water tank to move the wires. I pulled them out with a back scratcher. I could not find a wire hanger! I stuffed stainless steel wool around the wires and sealed with foam.
EMD360 09/18/21 05:46pm Tech Issues
RE: Solar install so far

I thought I was keeping the wires as short as possible but I just realized I should have cut them shorter on the controller end. Maybe later. Have to redo the butt joints if I do. I got the panels wired but still have not bolted them on. The holes even on the edges make me nervous. Yesterday I got the Midnight Solar baby box and solar controller wired and mounted. I chose to use 8 gauge solar wire from the panel connections on the roof and #2 wire to the batteries. I had to make a lot of butt joints to make the connections in the box. The larger wires could not pass two through the strain relief nuts. So I drilled two extra holes on the side of the cover. Then I had to use some more flexible pigtail wire to get to the circuit breaker clamps. All this finagling took me most of the day. With all the difficulties I forgot I wanted short wires.I had to draw the connections to the circuit breakers for them to make sense to me. Additionally the breakers have a ++ side which just means that the bigger load goes on that side so the batteries on the 45 amp breaker and the panels on the 15 amp breaker. Today I installed the remote device to view the data from the house. I’m impressed with the Victron reporting tools. The battery monitor and MPPT charger are both Victron so they share a Bluetooth connection. I added a mifi router to my phone account for an additional $10 per month and financed the internet mifi device for $14 a month. I can have it turned off if not using it. So to see the status of the battery and solar charge remotely, (but not the battery temperature from the BMV. Need a separate sensor!) I added a $300 Cerbo GX. Of course it took me some time to wire an additional device to the batteries and figure out how to set it up. I didn’t see the WiFi settings in the menu and I think I had to set up WiFi with the QR code. The WiFi password on the label did not work for me when I just typed it. Then I was able to see the WiFi list in the remote console settings and switch to the mifi. I can see the data if the RV is on Mifi and I’m on my home network. Lots of wiring in this water compartment. Nice that it is easy to get to. Here is the mounted Cerbo GX. I received the furniture legs and L brackets today so maybe tomorrow I’ll mount the racks. Maybe I will reconsider the placement too.
EMD360 09/18/21 05:29pm Tech Issues
RE: Solar install so far

Yes shade could be a problem. I tried putting one set in front of the air conditioner but I needed extension wires to wire them. I could have just bought extension wires too. They are monocrystaline panels with PERC technology for high efficiency and that is one of the reasons I chose these from Northern Az Sun and Wind. A great company by the way. Also why I’m wiring them in parallel. I could consider cross pieces. Maybe straight bar to bolt them together. Thanks for the idea.
EMD360 09/17/21 09:01am Tech Issues
RE: Solar install so far

I’m trying two solutions for support. Thanks for the idea. I bought some cheap adjustable stainless furniture legs from A and I bought the same L brackets and some 3m double sided tape. That kind of defeats the purpose of having the panels be removable but it will just be more bolts to remove and I won’t put screws in the roof.
EMD360 09/17/21 07:43am Tech Issues
RE: Solar install so far

It’s possible they will get caught. I wondered about that too. With the brackets on the roof though it’s essentially gluing and screwing them to a thin sheet of plywood. I may be creating a problem where none existed but I hope to keep this RV at least a decade and in that time likely upgrade the panels.
EMD360 09/17/21 07:39am Tech Issues
Solar install so far

When I replaced the vent fan in the bathroom I saw the skimpy roof build first hand. I couldn’t see how drilling into a thin layer of fiberglass and luan then into styrofoam would be a good mount for my panels so I bolted them to 8’ galvanized angle iron instead and will screw the t-brackets to the edge above the gutters on each side. The t-brackets I’m using were the thickest I could find but I think I will need some reinforcement under the angles to help support the weight. I think adhesive will be ok for that. I mounted the panels first then got them up on the roof. My plan was to use y mc4 connectors and parallel the two panels. I tried to take the wires through the back side of the grate but I could not bend them to get them down the shaft. So I ended up sealing the holes with eternabond and the vent grill with more Eternabond around the wires sticking through. Of course I got the wires tangled so had to unhook them to lay them straight. The wires are routed through the refrigerator vent. I found that the vent cover was too large to fit over the rail. So I turned it around so it fit on one side then cut it to slip over the rail. I figure it’s not crucial to have the cover slant into the wind. I was able to get the wires into the refrigerator compartment but now I think I have to drill a hole in the bottom and hope I don’t hit the water tank and then fish them through the small slot between the tank and the basement area where I’m mounting the baby box and the controller. I’m going to take advantage of the edge beams to secure the angles. I also think it will be easier to remove the panels to clean the roof etc. plus they have some ventilation. Seems like the air conditioner will help block road wind too. Here is what it looks like so far. If anyone has any advice especially on how to get the wires into the basement area I’d really appreciate it.
EMD360 09/16/21 09:07pm Tech Issues
RE: Koni or Bilstein?

I’m waiting for parts now. Brought the RV home in the meantime. Will need the rear brakes and alignment. Optional is the shocks. They said KONI and Bilstein were about the same price which leads me to believe they are ordering the Bilstein. I decided against the helper springs. Very expensive and not sure if the other upgrades will help the ride enough. But the heavy duty Helwig sway bar was only about $500 with labor so I’m having that installed. A little over $5000 for all. It may be expensive but I know they do good work.
EMD360 09/16/21 08:08pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: HarvestHost......anyone using it?

I just heard about boondockers welcome and wondered if it we would like to host. The Terms of Use are somewhat formidable but probably similar to something like Airbnb. I like that it’s a free night or two for travelers. Our town approved Airbnb so it’s probably legal. I’m wondering if it’s asking for trouble from people who carry and think guns are a solution to being unhappy or angry with someone or have annoying dogs they don’t clean up after. We could provide 15 amp service but not enough to run air conditioning etc. Boondockers would have to run generators at least part of the time. Would our neighbors hate the idea? Would you? We have about 2 acres and our neighbors have at least an acre lot and it’s semi rural.
EMD360 09/14/21 11:21pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Koni or Bilstein?

Hopefully the entire suspension will be checked. Shop advice was try the sumo springs first as pulling the leaf springs to add another is expensive. I’m not very DIY when it’s automotive.
EMD360 09/13/21 10:39pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Koni or Bilstein?

Not sure our Winnie 25b would be considered light weight. While it’s in the shop I’m also having an alignment and having the tires checked for wear.
EMD360 09/13/21 04:05pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Koni or Bilstein?

Should I add Sumo springs?
EMD360 09/13/21 01:46pm Class C Motorhomes
Koni or Bilstein?

We had a heavier than normal load last weekend and I rode in the back where the bouncing and rattling and sway were very uncomfortable. Even without the load I think the ride is too rough I’m thinking of having the shocks replaced with top of the line versions. I’ve read that both Koni and Bilstein are great. As you know parts are hard to get right now. Should I get whatever they can get of these two or specify?
EMD360 09/13/21 01:28pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Confusing readings on Victron SmartBMB and Smart Solar

Might as well follow up as there may be someone who experiences odd behavior on the Victron BMV 712. It appears to be working although I still get 100% when I’m connected to shore power but the battery is only showing 13.27 volts. I’m assuming like the light meter on the rv panel it assumes the battery is running at full power so the dial reads 100% when plugged in.
EMD360 09/13/21 12:54pm Tech Issues
RE: Confusing readings on Victron SmartBMB and Smart Solar

More research. Found the exact settings for the Lion batteries. Also a post from someone with the same odd performance although the secret there was upping his charged voltage. Mine was already high. I lowered it to 13.9. Advice was to charge completely and reset at night with no solar input. But that doesn’t really apply. I reset this morning after charging g to at least 14.04. He seems to have fixed the BMV readings though. This AMsolar video when the meter reads 100% charge and battery voltage is down then there could be an issue with wiring. I know all my negatives are on the shunt but I will check them all tomorrow.
EMD360 09/08/21 09:27pm Tech Issues
RE: Confusing readings on Victron SmartBMB and Smart Solar

Interesting. I can’t really figure this out. Charged all night then turned off the battery power switch and tested voltage,13.49v. BMV reads 99% so I think I have some mistake in the settings. So I unplug and start engine to use DC to DC charger hoping I can get 100% and re-synchronize. I check voltage and it is of course reading 14.34. 14.4 is set as 100%. I turn off the engine and disconnect batteries and get a 14.35 reading on the multimeter. So I re-set the BMV to 100%. The outcome I expect is that further charging from the PD will still be necessary. So now with the engine off but the charger running the isolated batteries read 14.5 instead of 13.49. Charging now at the higher rate but while disconnected? But when I disconnect the batteries and unplug the RV I’m getting 14.04. I don’t understand how that little time on the DC charger could up the voltage by that much. And when I turn the battery switch back on without charging the voltage drips precipitously. I’m thinking it might stabilize at the original 13.49v but although it slows down it still shows about 3 min of time left for each minute that passes! And I guess the SOC does not reflect this change. Maybe because it needs 10 min averaging. But I still think I’ve made a logic error in the settings. I switched from 200ah to 210ah. Full charge voltage is reset to 14.5. So if the battery is depleted at 11.5 volts I have 3 volts of battery power. 13.5 is about a third depleted. So I reset the SOC manually to 65%. After about 30 min of battery use I’m showing 13.27v. 64% SOC and an astounding 1 day left of battery power! Under the same load that gave me only 7 hours last I checked. So what happens if I plug the PD charger back in? It starts sending a good amount of charge into the batteries. Hopefully up to 14.4 or 5. This is still under the fan load. And I would expect exactly this behavior. Charge going in SOC increasing. But I’m not seeing the opposite except when I left the application for 30 min. SOC stays at 100% even thought I’m using battery power at what is being calculated at a quick pace. Original problem was BMV read 100% at ~13.5 volts. Reset SOC to higher voltage using DC to DC charger following advice here. Charged only briefly voltage multimeter reading increased about half a volt. Running load for about 15 min decreased voltage quickly. Verified with multimeter. No decrease in SOC. Reset parameters in application. I had 90% depletion floor but I changed that to 20%. Thinking it meant percentage left not percentage used. Retested and it appears SOC is responding to actual depletion. Just checked again and SOC is 100%. But not showing the fan load! Reset the battery switch and now it’s showing the ongoing load and a drop to 14.1v. And again dropping fast. This is so weird. So something is wrong here or this BMV takes a long time to get set correctly. What am I missing? Is it time to call Victron?
EMD360 09/08/21 01:23pm Tech Issues
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