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RE: Travelling from Nevada to Alaska in the Middle of Winter

We just had to provide the required documentation (no quarantine required) at the border and received what I called our "Scarlet Letter" that was placed on the dash for the entire transit (the reflection in the windshield was a hazard in itself), and were restricted to 5 days to cross. We did it in 3 long days crossing back into the US at 11:00pm So what do they do if you don't make it in time?? Turn you around and send you back to see if you make better time on the return trip? LOL look at the reasons why, issue a fine if you did somthing you shouldnt have. doesnt sound like a big deal but inadmisability to canada can go with that which means you cant drive home. Steve
StirCrazy 01/20/21 05:55am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: solar

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. you can charge at a 1C rate with LFP, so if you have a 486 ah battery bank and you are setting up your system to be compatable with a generator why wouldnt you get a larger charger? aside from they get ecpensive above a point but relisticly a 150 amp charger wouldnet be out of the question if you were setting up for Li in the first place, so 150 in one hour. or if you have money to spend you could set that bank up with a 300 watt charger and 150 in 30 min. that is the big advantage of LFP, you build to pound the amps in when you have them available. so hugly oversized solar, or chargers and so on. not saying most people do this so in 80% of the cases your example may be right, the LA may have some aceptance limitations but for the most part it will be close. Steve
StirCrazy 01/20/21 05:50am Tech Issues
RE: 1977 Sunline Truck Camper FULL BUILD

Led acid batteries vents light gas, so vent only on the top is needed. I think the idea of using a vented battery box is that you dont need to power vent it then, reducing electrical loads. Steve
StirCrazy 01/20/21 05:36am Truck Campers
RE: Helping a very new TC owner with a truck decision

are you stuck on a 2500/250? why not get a 3500/350 and nt wory about how close you are or do any other modifications. I have a 2300 lb camper (dry weight) on my F350 and I dont feel I need to do nything to the truck. Steve
StirCrazy 01/20/21 05:33am Truck Campers
RE: Just a little road trip....

Have a good trip Gary - sounds like fun. Oh and make sure not to cross various lines on a map - according to politicians license plates begin shedding virus’s’z immediately upon leaving um town? or is it health region? Or is it province? Anyway it begins immediately... The gov't request is to not cross provincial boundaries, so we are within BC's lines. Gary actualy they requested no unnessasary travel outside of your region. guess its to lait for that ;) Steve
StirCrazy 01/19/21 08:31am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Travelling from Nevada to Alaska in the Middle of Winter

Hopefully you don’t have a specific date and a “ time allowance “ that you gave yourself for this trip, as road conditions and weather can add days to you journey “possibly” If you watch the weather, watch road conditions ( black ice ) and especially “take your time” you will be fine. unfortunatly due to Covid and boarder rules, they will have a time restriction, and they are watching it now due to people being caught saying they were traveling strait to alaska and being found on the island or in banff... Steve
StirCrazy 01/19/21 08:30am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: 1977 Sunline Truck Camper FULL BUILD

DIY BATTERY VENTILATION - Truck Camper Build Part 29 height=360 width=640 I would recomend against anyone venting a battery like this. what you have done by venting into your propane compartment is allowed a potential propane leake into the camper any time your fan is not running. since you have it hooked up to only run when you are pluged in and the batteries are charging any other time propane can travel into your camper, especialy if you are using an interior fan which would put your camper into a negitive perssure. Steve
StirCrazy 01/17/21 10:54am Truck Campers
RE: Lifepo4 battery in 1990 Lance?

Lots of calculations can be made. One thing to remember is that with a 5er you can carry lots of batteries and a big portable gen to run a big amp charger, so you can take advantage of Li charging amps. (But then I would say since you can carry all those FLAs why spend all that $ on LFP? Seems silly to me.) ( few reasons, that are simular to reasons in the TC. Weight being a big one, at 80 lbs each I would been 6 to get the same usable output, which I am thinking of doing... but at almost 90lbs for a rolls surett thats puts over 500lbs at the front of my 5th only 5 feet behind the pin. how much extra tounge weight do you think that adds compared to 80lbs that I could put say 10 feet behind the pin. huge difference in load on the truck. also at about 300 bucks per battery (I dont buy cheep lead acid batteries, I learnd my lesson from doing that), I am at 1800 bucks for lead acid, hmm I think I was at around 2000.00 to build two 280 ah li banks.. plus instead or 800 cycles I can get up to 7000. LiFePo4 are probably now the cheepest per usable AH in the market now, this want the case a couple years ago, then when you look at the longer life they become even cheeper over time. also if I wanted a Generator I would have never put solar on, personaly I hate camping when there is some one with a generator around, I go out for peace and quiet and enjoying nature, not to listen to the power fist generator hammering away all morning because some one couldnt have spent a few extra bucks on the 80K trailer to put solare and decent batteries in... Steve
StirCrazy 01/15/21 05:36pm Tech Issues
RE: SeeLevel tank monitors

Has anyone upgraded to Seelevel tank monitors. Link. Our coach has the 4 light system, which drives me nuts. Read very good reviews about the Seelevel system, but haven't heard from any actual people that upgraded. (I don't totally trust most reviews posted on the web. thanks Not yet but I am buying a set up for the truck camper as it haevel indications for the three tanks whats so ever. I have hear nothing but good things about them though, but other than that Im in the same boat as you. Steve
StirCrazy 01/15/21 05:22pm General RVing Issues
RE: Lifepo4 battery in 1990 Lance?

Some gen time advantage with SiO2 over regular AGMs is between 80-90 % where they stay constant amps before tapering around 90%, and that you can start the high rate constant amps from 20% instead of 50% (LFP can do that too) so no wasted gen time while amps taper if doing a "20-90" except with the LFP batteries you can do that from empty to full and a lot higher current than SiO2 even. the curent charging restriction is why I am not concidering them, well and the price. I think that even with normal GC batteries if you have a big or multiple charge sources you can charge faster than SiO2, with a 25amp limitied charger that is all you can dump into it then of course it will charge faster than my LA, but if I am dumping 75 amp into my GC then I think Ill win the race. for me this is why the Li are more attractive. I can dump 150 amps into them from empty to full if you have that kind of charging. so realisticly say you have 75 am converter and a 30 amp solar set up you could fill a 280ah li back from empty in under around 2.5 hours. or for the people with gennys using for the 2 hour allowed time they could totaly fill there bank in that alotted time and not use the evening genny time. to me i think the capacity size and speed of refill are the teo morst important factors , well life also and Li blowes anything else out of the water for all three. even cost for Li is now the cheepest if you build it your self per/usable capacity. Steve Steve
StirCrazy 01/14/21 05:29pm Tech Issues
RE: Lifepo4 battery in 1990 Lance?

Understand the "density" point. BUT--we are talking about "space" for one battery in the battery compartment. The SiO2 27 is a 27. You can run it down to a low SOC no problems so you can have more AH in the same 27 space, which is what the OP wants. I don't know the true story about Li charging, but I suspect others will want to comment on using a 6300 converter for that. Should be interesting! :) and the same ah in LiFeO4 is about 1/3 the size. so for a limited battery space the Li is the better choice. also a lot lighter for the same AH capacity. Steve Must be a typo or something there? A Walmart G27 is 12.65 x 6.9 x 8.94 inches and 49 lbs A Relion 100AH LFP is 13 x 6.8 x 8.9 and 32 lbs A Trillium 111AH LFP is 12.07 x 6.57 x 8.63 and 30lbs A Stark 105AH AGM is 12.9 x 6.8 x 8.7 and 66 lbs An SiO2 100AH is 12.28 x 6.72 x 8.6 and 60 lbs Another thing about battery compartments in RVs is their odd shapes and any pipes or whatever in them, so battery orientation could determine how many you can get in. Some you can put end up or not, or just on their sides, but none upside down Allowance for wiring needed too--stiff wires can't be bent in much--it all depends. LFP "roll your own" needs a box and keep the cells tight so no vibration, lots of wires and a BMS. I dont know what that takes for volume or shape as to what would fit in the OP's battery compartment--he would have to figure that out. Also he needs room for the heat pads and whatever wiring they take with LFP. On that 6300--I would toss that whatever kind of battery. In the MH I kept the 6300 panels and swapped out the charger for a PowerMax modern type. The TC original charger was gone and the prev. owner used a portable charger. I tossed that and use a deck mount PowerMax converter in there. The OP has a 32 amper for the TC which is ok for a 100AH batt, but if he gets more AH, more amps of a charger would be good. Depends on the battery charging spec. 30% charging rate is max for AGMs and SiO2s, eg. LFP can take way more. You have to juggle the charger size in amps with the size of the portable gen you can take along to run the charger. That is my limit in the Class C. Can't carry a 3000w gen, but can carry a 2200, so 75 amps is my limit for a charger. The OP has to figure that all out for his own rig as to what is possible. ya, its kinda hard to use "standard" battery sizes and 100ah li. they build the box for a standard look. when you look at a bigger cell say I put one togeatyher that was 280 or 300 ah. they will be almost the same size and only 2-5lbs more in weight. give or take as I am just pulling the numbers out of my &^% this morning in a hurry. so when your talking about 280-300 ah thats about 240 available so now your looking at a comparison to four 235ah 6V batteries at around 68-80ish lbs each so going from 240 lbs to about say 50 lbs is a huge difference and about the footprint of one of thoes 6V instead of 4. buying premade Li doesnt offer you the saize savings realy but does cut the weight a lot. and making your own boc and adding a BMS is something that from what I see quite a few people on here are quite capable of. Steve Steve
StirCrazy 01/13/21 06:06am Tech Issues
RE: 60a DC-to-DC Charger Powered by 220a Alternator

Also, a major wiring upgrade will be needed. This is how I did it I VEHEMNTLY DISAGREE ! The whole point of a DC-DC charger is to NOT require oversized charging cables ! It boost the voltage at the RV battery to the correct voltage to charge the battery using the standard vehicle/trailer wiring ! Even with your large gauge wire, you should check the voltage at your campers battery after about 10 minutes of driving and at high idle. If the battery is say 80% SOC, the voltage at the camper battery should be >14.0V. I think some of your info is not accurate, you keep talking in these threads about smart charging and the ECM controlling voltage and now engine RPM. You have been stating that you can’t use vehicle charging effectively because the charging system will lower the voltage after a few minutes to 13 volts or so, now I will state here I don’t know about Ford or Dodge/Ram but all of my Chevrolet HD trucks since 2003 do not do this, the alternator keeps voltage steady all the time, I can drive for hours and it never changes. My ford will, but only if the batteries are topped off, if there is a draw on the batteries the voltage will stay up untill the battery is charged. this type of system was not on the fords untill .. I want to say around 2011ish, probably be simular with the gm. I dont see the battery guage move inside the truck as they are just an idiot guage, but if I watch the multimeter in the driveway after a while it will drop off to cover just the accessories you have running and a trickel to the batteries to keep them topped off. makes batteries last longer I guess. Steve
StirCrazy 01/13/21 05:56am Tech Issues
RE: How much weight could be eliminated?

I think your making a mistake trying to eliminate the propane system. keep the stove fridge and furnace and tanks, they dont add up to much but they are the most convenient way to do things with out having to plug in. I guess you could look at using a diesel espar type heater, dont know about the weight savings but it would be a litle more efficent power wise. going to lithium batteries would be your biggest single shot weight reduction I would think. is there a certian amount of weight you need to lose, you could also make sure your utility trailer is loaded so only 10% of the total weight is on the hitch to minimize what your putting on the truck.. Steve
StirCrazy 01/13/21 05:37am Truck Campers
RE: Lifepo4 battery in 1990 Lance?

Will putting a 100ah Lifepo4 battery in a 1990 Lance with a single battery compartment work right?(picture below of converter/charger)It would basically double my house capacity from my currant Group 27 lead acid.. Will this work and charge completely..I think the answer to charging is it will not charge completely, but I am asking.. What issues would I have or would I? Would I be better to use it as a standalone battery with a charger for Lifepo4 batteries? height=640 width=440 Recommendations? first thing is you will have to upgrade your power centre, are you handy? I did this in my 1991 slumber queen, went from the old glass fuses to a moderen intelli power power centre that has a jumper for Li batteries. I did go the lead acid bateries as I counverted the storage compartment into a battery compartment and was able to fit two GC batteries. if I would have realized how cheel the LiFePo4 cells have gotten I would have ordered 8 280ah cells and a BMS and put togeather my own 560AH battery for the camper that would have fit in the original battery box. but if your not handy that way battle born type set up is the next best option for saving size and weight. with the cell advancment these days you could probably get a much higher ah capacity than 100 to fit in there. Steve
StirCrazy 01/12/21 05:56am Tech Issues
RE: Lifepo4 battery in 1990 Lance?

Understand the "density" point. BUT--we are talking about "space" for one battery in the battery compartment. The SiO2 27 is a 27. You can run it down to a low SOC no problems so you can have more AH in the same 27 space, which is what the OP wants. I don't know the true story about Li charging, but I suspect others will want to comment on using a 6300 converter for that. Should be interesting! :) and the same ah in LiFeO4 is about 1/3 the size. so for a limited battery space the Li is the better choice. also a lot lighter for the same AH capacity. Steve
StirCrazy 01/12/21 05:50am Tech Issues
RE: Smartplug Converstion

IMO, the threaded locking ring problem with the STS twistlock plugs is the result of operator error. As we all know, overtime nonmetalic devices (plastic, pvc, vinyl, etc--all the things we have in our RVs) gradually gain resistance overtime and require a good cleaning and an occasional lube (spray silicone) to function properlty. The locking ring issues do not persuade me either way, rather it is all about safety (which includes avoiding potential future calamities). If all the naysayers (it is not standard, not NEMA, not RV, no UL label on package...) take a breath for a moment and use our noggin, I think smarter heads can agree the problem with almost all plug failures are the result of one or both of the following: 1. Bad connection between the wire and the wired device. 2. Corrosion on the metal blades or contacts. When it comes to terminal connection for plugs/receptacles, there are several varieties: Most common is the direct screw connection (wrap/loop wire clockwise behind the screw and tighten), and the less common terminal screw with lug (slip wire into locking lug and tighten terminal screw). Can we agree the best option for 30/50 amp connection is terminal screw with lug? Why? Could it be the locking lugs provide greater amount of metal surface contact between wire and terminal. OK, many of the circa 1938 twistlock plugs and all Smartplugs employ terminal screws with lug connection. So if I select the correct twistlock plug (with locking lugs), then Smartplug holds zero advantage. Both are winners on this test. Now, we come to the metal blades of the two plugs. Which has greater metal surface contact? The circa 1938 twistlock plug has tiny dimples to make electrical contact with a total surface area of 6.63 sq mm. Back of pin contact 1.3mm x 2.7mm = 3.51 sq mm, front of pin contact 1.3mm x 2.4mm = 3.12 sq mm. Smartplug has a larger total contact area of 190.4 sq mm. Back of pin contact 16.4mm X 8.5mm = 139.4 sq mm, front of pin contact 6mm X 8.5mm = 51 sq mm. Ok, 30 amp Smartplug has just over 183 sq mm greater surface area compared to circa 1938 twistlock, which I calculate to be about 27 times greater surface area (not 20 times). So, now you have it; to reduce the chance of having bad blade contact and bad wiring, shouldn't one select the device having terminal screws with locking lugs and blades that have adequate metal surface to make electrical contact? Or should we be sheeple, and do what the other guy does and ignore progress (circa 2008 vs circa 1938). LOL, it is not a solution in search of a problem--rather a multifaceted problem in search of a simple, single solution. I don't want bugs or critters walking up the power cord and nesting inside my TT (replace nondetachable cord with detachable cord). I don't want problems others are experiencing, burned out twistlock 30 amp plugs on their detachable cords (replace power inlet with Smartplug style). Almost sounds like your trying to convince your self. surface area is great but there becomes a point where you have enough and then its just redundant. like I said, get rid of that non detachable cord they do suck and not only for the bugs that can get in but just for the way they are stored. I have had to undo some good knots in my time.... hopefully you get your order figured out.. Steve
StirCrazy 01/12/21 05:39am Travel Trailers
RE: Smartplug Converstion

You see, we live in Willamette Valley and this past summer I watched hornets walk up the cord and into the cubby hole. So, absolutely, it is time to seal that point of entry. Which means the conversion from nondetachable to detachable power cord is the best solution, which means I must perform a "power inlet conversion" (period). Reason for failure is: corrosion on the metal blades or contacts (plug and/or receptacle) didn't want to repost all the pictures and stuff for no reason.. so yes as I said getting rid of that permanat cord is reason enough to change cords, since you re starting from new get what you want. dont think the smart cord is any more resistant to corosion though. I spent the norning on the boating forums and everyone started switching to smart cord, now there are just as many smartcord or smart plug (what ever there called) failure pics. in the rv world the failures are not as frequent with either style of plug but the boating world (especialy ocean areas) there are tones of failures and whats the main cause corosion in conjunction with high amprage draw. and that is just a lack of spending the time taking care of issues when they pop up. you can get sprays that prevent corosion nd every time you hook up or unhook you should be doing a visual inspection. Dont think getting a smart plug will exempt you of thing work, it wont. but it would be easier to plug in and out. Steve
StirCrazy 01/09/21 10:31am Travel Trailers
RE: Renogy Controller w/BT

Guess I wasn't very clear? Controller works fine! Problem is the BT-1 bluetooth module is not working. It has no power. It was working fine then all of a sudden no power. I have reset the controller, didnt fix it. I dont know what else to try. Thanks! I cant remember off hand, is there a light on the modual to indacate power? I installed mine in a closet and cant remember off hand. I know if the batteries are disconected from the controler it wont power the bluetooth, other than that I would guess it is defective as was mentioned. Steve
StirCrazy 01/08/21 07:29pm Tech Issues
RE: 4' LED Shop Lights In Costco?

I have 12 of them in my shop for lighting. work awsome, more light than the 9 150 watt incadecent bulbs I have in there at a fraction of the power. they are "white" and colors are repersented pretty good. I have had them in there for about 3 or 4 years now when they first brought them in. Steve
StirCrazy 01/08/21 07:14pm Tech Issues
RE: Smartplug Converstion

tions. #1 Replace the nondetachable power cord with one that can be plugged and removed. Don't like bugs and critters crawling in my castle and the insulation in the cord storage hole is "economical" at best. You can feel the cold air drafting. #2 Replace the RV plug (it was getting rather warm to the touch while plugged in) which means inefficient electric contacts. My TT was manufactured in 2000, so lets just assume both the cord and molded plug are probably "tired". We usually dry camp (seldom visit RV parks with hookups) and since 1995 (when we started RVing) never been ripped off or had any of my gear walk off--save some firewood, but we had lots. so I agree with wanting a detachable cord, since I have one I love it, tuck it away and your done. you have to define warm. anything electrical drawing power will produce heat. , the plug could be worn out but as was mentioned its more likely the pedistal thats work out. also, what are you running in the camper when you say it is warm? the higher amprage draw the more heat your going to get and thats why electrical parts are only rated to a spicific amprage rating. if they get to hot it can break down the insulation and then all kinds of fun stuff happens. but if you have 30 amp service and your running a bunch of stuff your darn right its going to get warm no matter what plug system you have. the last issue if you usaly dry camp.... why are you worried about it? evey 5 years this smart plug thing pops up then dissapears, its a nich product that I have never actualy seen in use in the boating areas on the island or inland. maybe they are big in the US? Steve
StirCrazy 01/08/21 07:05pm Travel Trailers
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