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RE: Lithium Ion Batteries...Yikes

Do you know the brand/model of the jump pack that caught fire? The lithium polymer batteries used in these have extremely high energy densities and require respect. However, with careful engineering these can be safe. There are literally billions of these in cell phones, laptops etc, and while fires are not unheard off, they are uncommon. I do worry about the flood of very cheap and likely poorly engineered jump packs, phone power banks, and camping battery packs that are selling like hotcakes. I trust Apple, Dell and the like to engineer their products for safety, but who knows about the uber cheap box of battery type devices.
FWC 05/09/21 08:21am General RVing Issues
RE: 24 V Solar Panel(s)

Perry, You may want to look for panels that have by pass diodes between each and every cell. This is a wild goose chase. Almost no manufacturer does this, and for good reason, as we explained to you in the other thread about this.....
FWC 05/07/21 12:41pm Tech Issues
RE: Estes Park to Loveland

We aren't into the UTV's...yet...I do ogle them I must admit and I actually have considered the Mahindra Roxor even if it sort of crosses over. But, if you want that kind of experience then consider Montana. They are everywhere. I have a great set of trails within a couple of miles of my house and you can drive them on the roads up here. And IF I am not mistaken, if your UTV is considered street legal in one state and licensed, then other states through reciprocity have to allow you to use them on their roads... I've seen a few in National Parks must have been toweds on trailers or something. Not off road though. Use of an ATV/UTV on public roads is governed state by state. For instance in Colorado the use of ATVs on public roads (regardless of whether it is 'street legal' in your home state) is by default not allowed and there are no 'street legal' ATVs. There are a few limited exceptions in some towns. As for National Parks, they generally follow the same rules as interstate high ways - if your vehicle is not legal for an interstate (ie all ATVs/UTVs etc) then it cannot be driven on any road in a National Park regardless of state laws. If you saw ATVs in a National Park, they were most likely breaking the law.
FWC 05/07/21 08:27am Roads and Routes
RE: Estes Park to Loveland

If you like that sort of trail/back road riding, then ride the old Trail Ridge Road up to the visitor's center. It is narrow and crooked and dirt but interesting. One way going up so you have to figure and heading back by highway if you are in something like a Polaris. We saw a lot of wild life the last time we were that way a few years back. We were in a Honda Element so it is doable in a street type ride also. You are definitely NOT allowed to ride a ATVs/UTV/golf cart in the National Parks!
FWC 05/06/21 02:56pm Roads and Routes
RE: Budget temp sensors (data storing)

If you want something to that will log the temperature, then sensor push is the way to go. They work very well, provide the data in a very easy to use format and last a long time. Amazon: Sensor Push
FWC 05/06/21 12:16pm Tech Issues
RE: Charge wizard with Lithium upgrade to Converter charger?

Quite frankly I have very little confidence in either Renogy or PD. After the PD lithium converter debacle, I am not sure why anyone would trust them. Victron is a far better option in this application as they don't presume to know how you want to charge your battery and allow you to adjust the charge parameters to your parameters.
FWC 05/05/21 12:01pm Tech Issues
RE: Removing cigarette/cigar smoke residue, ozone machine?

As others have stated, ozone works well, and you can buy an ozone generator for cheap on Amazon. You absolutely don't want to be in the room when the ozone generator is running or for a few hours afterwards. Many have timers so you can set them and not reenter the room for the timer period plus a few hours longer for the ozone to decompose back to oxygen. Otherwise, run the ozonator on an extension cord from outside, and unplug it, wait a couple of hours then open the doors and windows. One other thing to be aware of, the ozone oxidizes organic molecules, which includes plastics, particularly soft plastics and elastomers. If you use too much ozone you can end up destroying rubber, elastics and even synthetic fabrics.
FWC 05/03/21 11:36am General RVing Issues
RE: Small (non-teardrop) Off-road travel trailer

A Casita or Scamp with the high clearance axel would be pretty close to what you want but without the outdoor kitchen. These are definitely more rugged than your average sticks, spit and kleenex built trailers. However, realize that you're really not going to be taking any trailer that is big enough to have an indoor bathroom on anything more than gravel forrest service roads. If you actually want to go somewhere that requires 4wd with a camper, you need to consider an 'expedition' oriented truck camper (eg Four Wheel Campers, Hallmark, Alaskan), 4wd van (eg Sportsmobile) or 4wd class C (eg Tiger, EarthRoamer, EarthCruiser).
FWC 05/02/21 09:05pm Travel Trailers
RE: Charge wizard with Lithium upgrade to Converter charger?

Even if the voltage is adjusted down to 14.3V, that is still WAY too high for floating the battery. The whole premise behind the converter is wrong.
FWC 05/02/21 01:15pm Tech Issues
RE: Charge wizard with Lithium upgrade to Converter charger?

That's my concern too about 14.6v continuously. With the original converter, I could charge the engine battery while at home and use the the bussman resetable fuse next to the engine battery to isolate it while driving and camping. then rest it while at home. There is no lithium battery that wants 14.6V constant all the time. Over the long term this will likely impact battery life. I wonder if you contacted Progressive Dynamics if they would either switch it out for their supposed new version which drops the voltage, or better yet, refund your money and you can buy a real configurable charger. It is totally irresponsible for them to be selling this thing as 'lithium specific' converter.
FWC 05/02/21 12:02pm Tech Issues
RE: Q: Epever/Tracer MPPT 30 programming

Just because a cable is physically an RJ45 cable does not mean it is an ethernet cable. In this case RS485 is a variety of 'serial port' interface, not ethernet. You need a USB to RS485 adapter and hope that it wasn't damaged by the ethernet adapter. Or you could cut your losses and get a quality MPPT controller like a Victron.
FWC 04/29/21 08:10pm Tech Issues
RE: Are lithium batteries worth the cost?

Maybe third time will be a charm for Progressive Dynamics?
FWC 04/28/21 07:46pm Truck Campers
RE: Are lithium batteries worth the cost?

Let me get this straight. Progressive Dynamics, a leader, designed a convertor for lithium batteries that isn't as good for lithium batteries as their non lithium convertor? What if I just unplug the convertor between trips, say three weeks? I do disconnect the battery during the off season. That is correct. It is not going to destroy your battery, but at minimum I wouldn't leave it on while you are not actively using the camper. LiFePO4 batteries don't need to be float charged at all, and certainly don't want to be float charged at the very top of their voltage range. Being a 'leader' an industry that is not exactly known for its technical prowess doesn't count for much.
FWC 04/28/21 02:43pm Truck Campers
RE: GM Spokesperson admits energy to charge cars comes from coal

I guess some cannot see the woods for the trees. Ethanol has been pushed on us and taxes to fund the EV debacle have been pushed on us. I think people should pay their own way and get out of the pockets of others. It is a bit odd that this view seems to only be selectively applied. EVs and renewable energy do appear to be winning the tax break/subsidy game at the moment. But fossil fuels and the ICE vehicle manufacturers have received similar incentives for almost a century now, which is part of the reason these industries are so entrenched in our society. To suddenly say 'no incentives for EVs or anyone else' is akin to having a 10km running race where one competitor gets to start at the beginning (EVs) and the other gets to start 5km into the race. Unfortunately this cat is well out of the bag. EVs are inevitable, and unless we want the US to be at a huge competitive disadvantage they need the same assistance that these other industries have/are receiving.
FWC 04/28/21 12:55pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Are lithium batteries worth the cost?

I installed a 100AH Battle Born battery and Progressive Dynamics Lithium Convertor in my trailer. No maintenance, no removing the battery during the winter, no battery tender during the off season. I don't obsess about SOC and all the other stuff in this thread. I just ignore the battery and expect to do so for the next ten years. So far, the battery meets all my needs. So, for me, the lithium conversion was worth it. If that means you are leaving it plugged in for long periods of time doing 14.4-14.6 after it has been fully charged, AFAIK, that would be against Battle Born's guidelines. Some say to isolate that PD Li converter from the LFPs soon after the batts are fully charged. You still want the converter on in the RV. That PD Li converter might have been a big mistake in their rush to have something to sell with "Li" written on it. Agreed, I have no idea why progressive dynamics thought a constant 14.6V output would be a good fit for a lithium battery. You want to shut this off after the battery is charged, or better yet just use their regular converter, which is better suited to lithium.
FWC 04/28/21 09:27am Truck Campers
RE: GM Spokesperson admits energy to charge cars comes from coal

I am curious about this. My understanding was that a certain fraction of fracking water is lost into the formation during fracking and that the frac flow back is often disposed of in a deep injection well (thus the earth quakes). What percentage of frac water is reused? Otherwise this seems like one of the very few processes on earth that actually removes water from the water cycle. Once it is injected below the water table (hopefully) it is essentially lost for good is it not? Most of the water used in producing fossil fuels goes into the air as water vapor, out of cooing towers. Same for power plants. Real nasty water is treated. We want those hydrocarbons back, we sell those. Salt saturated water, is about the only fraction wasted. Often that can be used in an oilfield water flood to produce more oil. Keeps the pressure up and displaces oil. You can take produced water, frac flowback and then use it in a water flood. That idea can get a nice bonus at work. Ask me how I know. Saves the company a lot of money, and the water does not count as waste, because it is not. We now use flowback from frac #1, to frac well #2 and so on. A little more chemistry progress and we might be able to use salt saturated water for fracs, then we can recycle to destruction. Ever seen a crop circle (center pivot irrigation) out West. I can frac about 20 plus wells with that amount of water. I'll buy the farmer alfalfa. Oh yea, do ya know you eat natural gas? About 5% of all the natural gas produced in the world goes into making fertilizer. In fact 50% of the nitrogen in the proteins in your body come from my natural gas. I just love telling this to people. See Haber Process
FWC 04/27/21 02:43pm Tow Vehicles
RE: GM Spokesperson admits energy to charge cars comes from coal

Oh, you're just being a hater and naysayer. Those problems will all be worked out, just ask the EV proponents, just don't expect specific answers. Rather, you'll hear "We've faced problems before and got through them", "Technology is progressing faster every year, those issues will be solved too", "If you constantly nitpick, you'll never get anywhere". :) Not a naysayer or hater, just asking difficult questions. And if my questions have no answers, then that is important to know: EV smart people have no answers. I am not sure I understand the logic here. We can also 'follow the money" on fossil fuels, and there isn't the situation 'we know it is bad, we just don't want to change'. EVs are not perfect by any stretch, but it is at least a step in the right direction and allows flexibility in energy sourcing. If you don't think they are the best solution, what would you suggest? I think we are all aware of the evils of fossil fuels. What I am challenging are the obvious potential evils of EV (period). BTW, framing the debate by suggesting: "yes EV's are evil, but IC's are worse" is a strawman argument. As a avid conservationist (as in leave no trace), I am appalled of the official recommendations to combat EV fires: Pour 3,000-32,000 gallons of water or let it burn out. There are farmlands in central California that sitting idle do to water rationing. Methinks there are better solutions than creating a product that requires massive water usage. But like I said, follow the money--that is the path to the real game. I am not sure how this is a straw man? Transportation uses energy and resources, EVs allow us to use less energy and from a larger variety of sources. Again they are not perfect, but propose a better solution if you have? As for the EV battery fires, that is a straw man argument. How many EV battery fires do you expect to have in a year? Unless you think there will be a need to extinguish tens of millions of EV fires every year, a move to EVs and renewable energy will decrease water requirements as opposed to drilling for and refining gasoline.
FWC 04/27/21 12:23pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Are lithium batteries worth the cost?

Nice spec sheet but I don't see anything on internal cell type and how there configured..Battleborn makes a deal about there cylindrical cells and discharging to 0% and stated some other types cannot do that..Just another interesting point other companies don't discuss... This is not really important to the end user - just that the battery meets its specifications.
FWC 04/27/21 12:17pm Truck Campers
RE: Are lithium batteries worth the cost?

I think the actual test data in the paper is probably more telling. There they charge/discharge LiFePO4 cells at 1C, 1000 times at various temperatures. Even after brutal test like this, the battery that was cycled at -5C had only slightly worse degradation than the room temperature batteries. To me that makes it pretty clear that an occasional charge cycle at -5C (or even lower) at a less than 1C rate of charge is not something to be worried about. Cycling at very high temperatures was actually far worse for the battery. It is up to the user to decide what their requirements are, but for my use I am never going to need 2000+ 100% DOD cycles out of my batteries. In a good year, I am at about 100 nights of use, and most of those are at < 50% DOD, so even if I only get 20% of the rated cycles from my LiFePO4 battery, it will outlast my use. So in my case I don't sweat charging at -10C. Now if this was an EV where the goal was to have a 200,000 mile lifetime, then the calculus would be different. I think the most important thing to realize is that there are no black and white rules or limits. You can charge below freezing, you can run down to 0% SOC, you can cycle at high temperatures, it is all a trade off between usability and lifetime.
FWC 04/27/21 12:15pm Truck Campers
RE: GM Spokesperson admits energy to charge cars comes from coal

Moral of the story: Follow the money, as "alternative energy" is a nothing but con game. Replacing bad with "not so bad, we hope". I am not sure I understand the logic here. We can also 'follow the money" on fossil fuels, and there isn't the situation 'we know it is bad, we just don't want to change'. EVs are not perfect by any stretch, but it is at least a step in the right direction and allows flexibility in energy sourcing. If you don't think they are the best solution, what would you suggest?
FWC 04/27/21 10:21am Tow Vehicles
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