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RE: Compartment latches and locks

Many camlocks break easily which is the complaint of the OP. Sure you can buy better locks or locks with keys other than 751. But why bother? Most storage compartments can be easily popped open with a screwdriver so the quality of the locks or the different keys do little or nothing to improve security. Personally I just bought a supply of standard 751 camlocks. It only takes a couple of minutes and a couple of dollars to replace a broken or sticking camlock. I keep a bunch of spares and spare parts in my RV.
JimK-NY 04/06/22 08:21am Tech Issues
RE: 12 vdc fridge

We have one in our current unit. Draws about 50w when operating, so worst case is 1200w-hr per day but assuming you don't camp in Arizona in the summer, 50% duty cycle would be more typical, so about 600w-hr/day...... With my unit, I don't have to be in Arizona heat to see a huge increase in energy consumption. At about 60 degrees, my unit runs less than 1/3 of the time. In the low 70s that increases to about 50%. In the mid 80 degree range, my units runs pretty much full time. I have camped in the low 90s and at that point the refrigerator cannot maintain proper temperature. I need to turn down the thermostat so it can try to get extra cool during the night and that helps it coast during the day. But by doing that I guarantee it will run constantly even at night. For me the numbers would be about 15-20 AH/day in cool weather, about 25 AH/day for medium temps and 55 AH/day in hot summer weather. Again, my unit is small at about 4 cuft. Most RVs will have units about twice that size with twice the power consumption.
JimK-NY 04/03/22 12:23pm General RVing Issues
RE: truck camper sitting in a wet truck bed

My truck has a liner and drain holes in the front corners of the bed. Anyway, no water ever gets into this area. My camper overhangs the sides of the truck bed rails by several inches and the gap between the camper and rails is only a couple of inches. I store extra boots, clothing and paper goods between the camper and the truck. No water or dampness ever in years of doing this.
JimK-NY 04/03/22 11:45am Truck Campers
RE: 12 vdc fridge

A 50 watt panel will generate up to about 25 AH/day. That maximum is only possible on a clear day with no obstructions and in mid Summer with the sun directly overhead on the panel. I have a small (4 cuft), efficient Nova Kool compressor refrigerator. It pulls about 2.3 amps when running. At roughly 70 degrees it runs a minimum of about 10 hours a day for 23 AH. If the ambient temps are higher, or the refrigerator is opened numerous times, or if you add any items that need to be cooled down, the compressor is going to run much longer and can easily eat up 40 or more AH/day. I would recommend at least 200-300 watts of solar in order to generate sufficient power for the refrigerator, lights, water pump, and minimal use of a furnace. The rule of thumb also requires roughly 200-300 AHs of battery bank. I have 270 watts and still need to use a generator for cloudy days, when not parked in direct sun, and for Fall-Spring use when the sun is lower in the sky and less intense.
JimK-NY 04/03/22 06:04am General RVing Issues
RE: Battery operated fan quesiton ?

Amazon has fans that run on 120v or D cell batteries. We actually picked up one that someone else threw away. According to Amazon it will run for 50+ hours on low speed and 20 some on high speed. It takes 6 D cell batteries. You could use rechargeable batteries but I doubt that you would be able to recharge them in only 2 or 3 hours.
JimK-NY 03/30/22 09:18pm General RVing Issues
RE: Furnace using too much propane

The OP's profile shows a 36' Forest River Sandpiper with 3 slides. That should be considered more of a 3 season RV and it is not surprising that it is going to use lots of propane with night time temps dropping to 30 degrees. The furnace for that unit is 35000 BTU so it will burn through about 0.4 gallons of propane per hour. A 30# tank is typically filled to about 7 gallons giving roughly 17.5 hours of burn time. That is about 70% operation. That is probably about what it is going to take to keep that RV at 65 degrees. I would not be surprised if the furnace is running almost constantly at night. Maybe the burner is a bit out of adjustment or you have a heat leak but the propane use is not way off of expected. There is a simple solution. Turn the heat off at night. For temps down to freezing I can get by with little propane and little electric use for the blower. At night I turn the heat off entirely. I have some really good fleece blankets which keep me plenty warm. In the morning the RV temps are likely to be only about 10 degrees or so warmer than outside. Maybe 40-45 degrees. I put the heat on and the RV warms up pretty quickly. Then I turn it off while I am out for the day. So I am heating for an hour or so in the morning and maybe 3 hours of so in the evening. Don't forget about propane used for hot water. It takes a lot of heat to warm up ice cold water. The typical RV water heater will pull up to about 10,000 btu when running. You might also want to check on the fill level of the tanks. Places that have a flat charge for filling or which do exchanges often substantially underfill tanks.
JimK-NY 03/29/22 05:17pm Tech Issues
RE: Tires

The age is pushing it. If you are going to be even close to the maximum load rating, I would replace them. Way short and you might give them another year or so.
JimK-NY 03/29/22 02:44pm Tech Issues
RE: Tire Load/Inflation Calculation

If you have a TPMS, you might want to try an experiment. Wait for a hot Summer day with the sun beating down on the pavement. Watch what happens to the tire pressures when you start out at the cold pressure corresponding to the maximum load rating. After the tires cool, try the same experiment starting out at the maximum inflation pressure. You will likely see the roughly the same final operating pressure and may even see operating pressures higher for the tires that started out with lower pressure. Tire manufacturers already know pressure goes up on a hot day and hard drive. They allow for that when setting the max pressure for the tire. I agree, but that is not the issue. The tire that starts out with less pressure is going to flex a lot more. All that flexing is hard on the tire. It will generate heat that will raise the pressure. The pressure could end up even higher than a tire that started out at a higher level of inflation. Again, it is not the pressure that is the issue. It is the flexing and the heat build up. After a highway run with a load on a hot day, go touch your tires. You will quickly feel why heat build up is a concern. If you start out with more pressure the tires will flex less and generate less heat.
JimK-NY 03/29/22 01:35pm General RVing Issues
RE: Butt splice connector to join 10 gauge to 12 gauge wire?

Agree, but if a person has no special crimping tools, soldering gun or heat gun a simple wire nut will be more than good. A wire nut can work, but.... You need to be sure that the two wires are well twisted. That can be difficult if one wire is solid and the other multistranded. You need to be sure the nut is of the appropriate size. The wires will come out of the nut pointing in the same direction. If you need a 180 degree orientation, leave plenty of slack to avoid pulling on the wires. For an RV subject to lots of vibration, consider using plenty of electrician's tape to secure the nut.
JimK-NY 03/29/22 09:21am Tech Issues
RE: Tire Load/Inflation Calculation

If you have a TPMS, you might want to try an experiment. Wait for a hot Summer day with the sun beating down on the pavement. Watch what happens to the tire pressures when you start out at the cold pressure corresponding to the maximum load rating. After the tires cool, try the same experiment starting out at the maximum inflation pressure. You will likely see the roughly the same final operating pressure and may even see operating pressures higher for the tires that started out with lower pressure.
JimK-NY 03/29/22 09:10am General RVing Issues
RE: Tire Load/Inflation Calculation

Why would Goodyear print a table for PSI if lowering the PSI damages your tires? Note, the table is for maximum load ratings at various pressures. Most of us have had or seen tire failures and want to run at less than the maximum allowed load.
JimK-NY 03/28/22 08:45pm General RVing Issues
RE: Tire Load/Inflation Calculation

They are designed for a maximum load of 2040# @ 65 psi. That is where I would run them. I have heard of and seen lots of tire failures due to underinflation. At worse running at higher than necessary pressures will give you a bit of excessive tire wear but with a much lower risk of a failure. Odds are you will replace the tires due to age way before wearing them out.
JimK-NY 03/28/22 04:31pm General RVing Issues
RE: Butt splice connector to join 10 gauge to 12 gauge wire?

The OP asked about joining 10 and 12 gauge wire. With 12 volt RV wiring we often face even bigger challenges. I rewired a small NovaKool compressor refrigerator. The wiring run was pretty big so I needed 6 gauge. I just finished replacing my old Elixir charger/converter. I needed to work with 8 gauge wiring. I could not find any suitable connectors at my local Lowes or Home Depot so I ended up using gigantic wiring nuts which were marginal for joining single strand to multistrand. I suppose now would be a good time to look on Amazon or elsewhere for better connectors. I could redo some of my past work and be ready for the next project or repair.
JimK-NY 03/27/22 10:38am Tech Issues
RE: Butt splice connector to join 10 gauge to 12 gauge wire?

I don't trust wire nuts to hold. This is especially true when joining multistrand to single strand, but can occur for any type of wire connection. I always use electricians tape to be sure the nut holds both initially and will continue to hold with years of vibration in an RV. Of course this looks like cr+p and is still not dirt or waterproof. There are several styles of more modern connectors that work better, last longer, are waterproof if needed and look more professional.
JimK-NY 03/27/22 07:59am Tech Issues
RE: Is it common to remove your truck camper at your camp spot?

A post like this seems to attract those who have removed their campers while camping. In spite of the responses, I would say removing the camper is rare. I spent 2 years camping full time in the National Parks in the western US. I can only remember seeing this happen once. In any case what others do does not need to change your plans.
JimK-NY 03/25/22 07:13am Truck Campers
RE: Is it common to remove your truck camper at your camp spot?

I avoid taking mine off. First the clearance on mine is really tight and reloading can take a while. Second, I use the space in front of the wheel wells between the camper and the truck. It is great for storing extra paper good, a long extension cord, space heater, boots, shoes, dirty laundry, etc. Third, I really enjoy having the conveniences of the camper with me at all times. That includes being able to prepare decent food, a cup of coffee, use the facilities and even take a mid-afternoon nap. There have been a few places were removing the camper would have been great. Goin to the Sun Road was mentioned. I just took the free bus instead.
JimK-NY 03/24/22 03:09pm Truck Campers
RE: Jackery 500 versus my RV battery

Your numbers are off. The 40 AH @12 v is conservative but correct for your current battery. To compare the Jackery you need to convert 500 Watt hour divided by 12 v = 41.6 AH. They have close to identical useable power. You laptop charger will pull 90 watts divided by 12 v = 7.5 amps. That seems excessive. I would check that number. That is only roughly 5 hours of charging for either the house battery or the Jackery. Of course, 5 hours of charging is not 5 hours of laptop use. Charging should take well less than an hour and should give you many hours of use off of the laptop battery. Clearly buying conventional batteries costs much less. Battery banks work best when all of the batteries are identical and of the same age. If you want more capacity and your existing battery is a few years old, then it makes sense to buy at least 2 new batteries. There is another common misconception that 6 v batteries will give you more amp hours. Remember to equate the AH of a 6 v battery to 12v, you need to divide the 6 v AH by 2. You will pay roughly the same and have batteries of equivalent size and weight when buying either 6 v or 12 v batteries. 6 v batteries, especially "golf cart" batteries are built for deep discharge. You can also buy deep discharge 12 v batteries. The typical car battery is optimized for quick cranking power. They work in an RV. They are not ideal but are readily available and often relatively low cost.
JimK-NY 03/20/22 06:16am Tech Issues
RE: agm battery charge issue

What is the distance between the charger and the batteries? What is the wire gauge?
JimK-NY 03/18/22 12:07pm Tech Issues
RE: Truck modifications

*The need to replace OEM shocks might depend on the truck. I am happy with the OEM shocks on my 2018 Ram 3500. The ride might be slightly on the soft side but is secure enough and comfortable. I had Rancho shocks on my 2010 Ram 2500 and cranked them up to compensate for weaker springs. The ride was harsh to the point where my wife complained it seriously hurt her old whiplash injury. *With a camper on the heavy side, almost any 3/4 or 1 ton SWD truck is going to benefit from some suspension help. I have tried 3 options. AIRBAGS. These seem to work for some rigs but definitely not on mine. Regardless of the pressure, the ride was horrible with some much sway the rig was unsafe. I worked with my RV dealer, the RV manufacturer, and experimented on my own. They just did not work. SUPERSPRINGS. These worked really well on my Ram 2500. They leveled the ride, and gave a firmer ride allowing me to drop the Rancho settings for a comfortable ride. They are relatively inexpensive, easy to install yourself, and are to some extent adjustable. TIMBRENS. These are working well on my Ram 3500. They helped with the sag and headlight alignment and improved the overall feeling and ride. They seem expensive for what you get, but they work and they also do not change the suspension when driving the truck without the camper. I would not hesitate to use both Supersprings and Timbrens.
JimK-NY 03/15/22 06:03am Truck Campers
RE: What size inverter do I need?

Most hair clippers are now cordless. Problem solved for about $35.
JimK-NY 03/14/22 06:29am Tech Issues
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