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RE: Did I forget anything? ordering a new Hallmark pop up camper

AC exterior plug Dave
crosscheck 10/12/19 10:44pm Truck Campers
RE: Did I forget anything? ordering a new Hallmark pop up camper

Far superior to LP in cooling especially in hot weather. DaveI'll admit, I've never camped in really HOT weather. High 90's afternoon temps, dry or humid is the hottest we've camped. Never noticed any lack of cooling ability with LP absorption, or AC mode. Beer was always frosty cold and ice cubes froze in the freezer for cocktails. At what temp does absorption fridge become an issue?When turned on, DC fridge has frost forming in the freezer in less than 30 minutes where as adsorbsion fridge takes forever to cool down. In hot weather(95F), temperatures are more consistent at least that is my experience. DaveMost of the 5-8 cf LP units we've used can sustain fridge temps of 40 deg. in 115 degree heat (S. CA/AZ). This assumes an LP fridg in good working order, installed to OEM specs (proper ventilation), operating with boiler temps in the 170-190 C range (level fridge with good LP/AC/DC heating). This is also assumes the fridge door is opened infrequently and reasonably cool temps inside the RV (a/c operating). We've also camped in 115 deg. temps with small 3-5 cf compressor units sitting outside in the shade. No doubt about it, they cool-down/recover much faster than an LP fridge. However, under these conditions the compressor has to run flat-out requiring a constant 2-3 amps of 120 vac. (or 20-30 amps of 12 vdc via an inverter). The NovaKool unit that the OP is looking at draws 4.4 A when cycling.That is 5 to 7 times less 12V power and double the size than your residential unit. Remember, these compressor fridges are much more efficient than the unit you were using and of course much more expensive. During 95F day, 65f night, the most electricity we used in a day was around 75AH.Your daily draw even using the lower number of 20A is around 500AH/day. Either your numbers are off or that fridge should be used for a boat anchor. Dave
crosscheck 10/01/19 01:44pm Truck Campers
RE: Did I forget anything? ordering a new Hallmark pop up camper

What is the 2K inverter for? Roof AC?? I know it's the batt charger also. Don,t want to speak for the OP but in our pop up and our current TT, we have a similar inverter. This is what we run off the inverter: Coffee grinder Coffee maker( if we have lots of solar) Magic bullet Blender Micro Toaster Hair dryer Curling iron Laptop charging DeWalt battery charger Waffle iron Camera battery charger Sometimes, we run a power cord to neighbors if they need power to charge small items so they don,t need to run Genny. We dry camp most of the time and do not run Genny Dave
crosscheck 10/01/19 10:36am Truck Campers
RE: Did I forget anything? ordering a new Hallmark pop up camper

Far superior to LP in cooling especially in hot weather. Dave I'll admit, I've never camped in really HOT weather. High 90's afternoon temps, dry or humid is the hottest we've camped. Never noticed any lack of cooling ability with LP absorption, or AC mode. Beer was always frosty cold and ice cubes froze in the freezer for cocktails. At what temp does absorption fridge become an issue? When turned on, DC fridge has frost forming in the freezer in less than 30 minutes where as adsorbsion fridge takes forever to cool down. In hot weather(95F), temperatures are more consistent at least that is my experience. Dave
crosscheck 10/01/19 10:23am Truck Campers
RE: Did I forget anything? ordering a new Hallmark pop up camper

Man, you are spending a lot of money for what you are getting. Thought about a Class B with 4 wheel drive? I only bring it up because you are going to lose a ton of money on all new if you find out you are wrong. Also, a Class B will allow you to go to sleep on the road without getting out of the vehicle and raising the roof. I seriously can’t imagine fulltiming in a popup TC if you will never use the truck separately and will never tow. Any way, I’d prefer a LP vs DC for the other fridge option. I’m not sure if 2 batteries will keep up with the fridge. All I’ve heard says DC isn’t very efficient for a fridge, but I’m sure others know more. Had the same fridge in a pop up for 5 years, excellent results. Far superior to LP in cooling especially in hot weather. We had less than half the solar proposed in this thread but had 4 6V AGM batteries which is very important.Dry camped most of the time, almost no Genny time. Dave
crosscheck 10/01/19 08:24am Truck Campers
RE: Clean Trucks? Electric Truck?

Just like to add a few observations about RVing in Europe after 12 trips spanning 3 weeks to 12 months starting in 1967. 1) TC's are almost unheard of. The few you see are Tacoma sized trucks with small TC's. Your unit would be pretty high, with A/C unit, compared to even the largest class "A" units which are much smaller than their American cousins. This and the width including jacks could be problematic in the narrow streets of eropean towns and cities for driving and parking. 2) Since my first time in 1967 until our last time in 2017, there has been quite a change from tenting to hard side RV's including trailers, vans, class "A" and "C"'s with lots more campsites that supply AC power, dumpsites etc. Hardside RV's are everywhere so buying one that suits you would not be a problem. 3) A/C and generators are almost unheard of. 220V and 12 V fans are used exstensively when the weather is hot. 4) Because of the restriction of space in many areas and the price of fuel, European RV designers are pretty good at packing a lot of conveniences into small spaces and keeping the weight down, their units are fairly fuel efficient. 5) If you are planning to be in Europe for an extended period, during the cooler times of the year, southern Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, Morocco, Greece ,Turkey are all fairly warm in the day and cool at night, no A/C required. Plus there are many year round campgrounds in these areas. During the summer, northern Europe has very pleasant temperatures so as long as you have the time and are mobile, you can pick what ever weather you desire. 6) In 1991, when on a world tour, we bought a small, used class C near London, toured around Europe for 4 months and came back to London, sold it in 4 days. Got almost what we paid for it. Only small glitch is that I had to get used to the steering wheel on the right when on the continent. There are lots of places to buy RV's on the continent, Germany, Netherlands etc. They all speak English. Just google them. 7) Our last 7 tours to Europe have been cycling with all of our gear. Stayed in campsites most of the time but the odd time, primitive camped. In Many places this is frowned on. Might be easier in the off season to stealth camp than during to busy times(July/August), when all of Europe and half of the world is visiting. Good luck no matter what you decide and have a good trip. Dave
crosscheck 08/23/19 10:57am Truck Campers
RE: A new trend in RV fridges?

great discussion, there are advantages to every system BUT the dealer we visited only had trailers with compressor fridges. all of his medium to large trailers(24 ft and up) had them no propane fridges I don't want to be limited to 120V hookups, generators or solar. I told the sales guy that, and he said that's where the industry is going(he likely doesn't have a clue!) Our camping style is "dry", 98% of the time. I try not to use the term "boondocking" because it means so many different things to so many RVers. No power pole, no water outlet, no sewer outlet. "Dry" camping. Pretty simple. We had a 7.5cuft NovaKool fridge/freezer, with Danfoss compressor for 5 years in our TC that when cycling, used 4.4A. This is not a "residential" unit and is similarily priced to the absorbsion fridges. If you dry camp for any length of time and have a normal battery bank of 2 X12V, you will have to replace the AH's you use by one method or another no matter what type of fridge you have. Before choising a compressor fridge in our TC, I read the stories of the RV campers who really do dry camp most of the time and have a bigger electrical footprint because of the all electric fridge and the way they all seem to have no problems with their "dry" camping style was to go solar, increase battery bank, decrease electrical consumption by LED's, changing over high electrical units like TV's to modern, low electronic consumption ones, very basic changes. We have a genny and have not run it in 5 years while keeping a "dry" camping style. Traditional RV fridges work. They will still be offered by manufacturers. But because of the changes in technology in the last 20 or so years regarding batteries, solar, LED lighting, generators etc, compressor fridges, which are used by almost 100% of the world for their fridge/freezer/cooling systems, are here to stay in the RV industry. Dave
crosscheck 08/04/19 09:36pm Tech Issues
RE: TT Bike rack for truck with topper

I can put 4 mountain bikes under the truck canopy easily and still have room for other cargo and my box is 6.5' long. First bike goes in with wheel turned atright angle and other bikes follow suit. Have cushions from old lawn furniture that go in between the bikes to keep them from rubbing on rough roads. A strap attached to an anchor spot on the side of the box goes around the bikes to keep them from moving. Dave
crosscheck 04/16/19 09:39am Travel Trailers
RE: Front Bike Rack This is why I abandoned the idea. Headlight reflection off the rims messed up my night vision. The headlight reflection does not bother me on express ways, but does on back roads. Well you may think it doesn't bother you, but I am sure that your night vision down the road where counts is reduced by the bright light near you. We have an F350 which sits fairly high and our bikes come with black rims. Can't remember when we had shiny ones. Maybe thats why the headlights never bothered us. Dave
crosscheck 03/23/19 08:27am Tech Issues
RE: Front Bike Rack

If you want a real bike rack, something an experienced cyclist would use, then you want one that cradles the wheels and hold them down instead of these that have the bike frame hang on the rack. That Swaggared one is a poor imitation. Bicycle shops will have the good stuff. RV stores will have ones you can toss in the trash on the way out after being ripped off. Walmark will have junk. But if your bike is junky then no point having a nice rack. Kuat Saris Thulue and others It should be heavy because the good ones are. Sturdy folding and expensive. pay $400 or more. We used a Swagman that came off of a 4 runner that was situated in the rear and flopped down to open rear door. I adapted it to work in the front receiver when we had our TC's for over 8 years. Was made for 4 bikes but generally we just had 2 but sometimes there were 4. Our touring bikes hung by the top tube and since our MTB have a crazy angled top tube, we just picked up 2 Thule top tube adapters that could fit any bike and hung the MTB so they stayed level. Before this system, we had a custom welded front rack that carried 2 MTB, a road bike and 2 small kids bikes.(early 1980's) Bolted to the frame, no receiver. When not hauling bikes, put my 30HP Mariner on the rack for my Zodiac that was on top of the Bigfoot. Just make sure that no matter what rack you choose, the bikes do not move around if on rough roads. An experienced rider? Would 18,000 KM touring in Europe with all your gear over the high passes qualify. How about last 8 years MTB in the some of North Americas finest riding areas. How about touring in Mexico, Cuba, Northern BC, Hawaii? There is not one rack that fits all. We happened to use a very strong rack that we had and adapted it to the situation.(Swagman) We also have a newer rack for our Rav that is a Thule which cradles the wheels. Also a good unit. Dave
crosscheck 03/22/19 08:43pm Tech Issues
RE: How are Novacool fridges? w/ Danfoss compressor / RFS7501

We had the exact same fridge in our TC for 5 years. I have photos of us parking our truck on quite the angle for over 6 hours as we went on a hike and never any problems. Much of our boondocking was on unlevel ground. One very nice thing about the compressor fridges vs absorption is that for the same outside dimensions, they have 1/3 more volume. We had no issues with this unit. Our camping was 99% dry and as long as you have enough battery storage and solar( we had 4 AGM 6V batts and 330W solar), we didn't even run the genny. Turn it on and within 1/2 hour, the freezer is frosty. If our 6cuft absorption fridge conks out in our trailer, I would replace it with a NovaKool 9cuft fridge( same outside dimension) in a heart beat Check out our trip reports on our blog, 2011-2016. Dave .
crosscheck 03/11/19 08:50am Truck Campers
RE: Battery Box for two 6v GC2's?

I bought a century plastics battery box to hold 4 GC2's a few years ago. Drilled a couple of holes in the bottom to let any water out and put a locking cable around it. One guy painted his black to match the propane cover. You can get them for 2 GC2's also. Dave
crosscheck 02/27/19 10:12am Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: Tire chains: ok to cut off extra links at end points?

My plow truck has all 4 wheels chained up and all have extra Link's which are secured to the opposite side of the chain by good bungee cords. Have been doing this for 11 years. You might want to sell them somedayto someone who has slightly bigger tires. I have 4 extra Link's on all 4 tires Leave the extra links. Dave
crosscheck 02/26/19 10:15am Tech Issues
RE: question about camping with a pittbull

A TC pulled up next to us at the Sister's Creekside municipal CG with 2 small dogs (their own) and a big Pit( their sons), which was a rescue. While registering at the office outside beside a 5th wheel, there was the sound of a violent dog fight. Next thing,a young guy doing some construction work at the CG came running up and asked for a bucket and water.Filled it up and ran off. My wife who was walking to the showers,saw everything. The Pit from the TC was being walked on a leash when another camper with a young shepherd on a leash came together for a sniff. Pit lunged, grabbed the other dog by the throat and 4 men could not break his hold of the shepherd. Only when the bucket of water was dumped on the Pit did it disengage. Police from Bend K9 arrived as did the SPCA. Pit was put in a vehicle and police talked to the guy in the TC who's hand required medical attention. Never saw the Pit again, TC folks left soon after. According to the CG manager, Pit has a record of other attacks. He said that as a municipal CG, they can't exclude any dog as long as the owners follow the rules. Talked to the Shepherd's owner who said he and the dog were both traumatized as well as my wife who witnessed the whole scene. Interesting that a bucket of water on the Pit was more effective releasing the Pits bite than 4 grown males. Dave
crosscheck 02/24/19 10:28am RV Pet Stop
RE: How is this for a power system? Solar vs battery balance?

Compressor fridge? Yes plan to max out the roof with solar.Nope. I do fine with my existing solar and two 100AH batteries powering my Tundra compressor fridge.OK how many watts solar and what fridge model is it? I have 220W of solar and it's a Tundra T42 refrigerator. In use since about 2007. I owned a NovaKool 7500 fridge/freezer for 5 years dry camping almost exclusively without a generator on 330w solar, 4 6v AGM batteries. No problems. Check out the history on our blog. Dave
crosscheck 02/19/19 09:14am Truck Campers
RE: How is this for a power system? Solar vs battery balance?

We dry camped with a compressor fridge for 5 years. 7.5 cuft NovaKool, great unit but we found 200w solar, 200AH batteries just for the fridge was required for 100% dry camping. The rest of our electrical needs were minor. Good luck. Dave
crosscheck 02/17/19 07:39am Truck Campers
RE: AC/DC Compressor Refrigerators

"I know when I'm traveling, and have to stop at a Walmart while enroute, there is no substitute for a propane fridge." The OP wanted to hear from anyone who"has" a AC/DC compressor fridge. A number of previous posters who have or had DC compressor fridges have mentioned the benefits of this type of fridge in an RV situation while dry/boondock or any kind of camping. I do not understand why stopping at Walmart would require a propane fridge only. Dave
crosscheck 01/26/19 09:37am Tech Issues
RE: 2 -6 volts or 4?

Go with 4 6V batteries. The extra 130lbs is nothing. For boondocking, adequate battery AH is probably one of the most important must have items. It,s the gas tank for your electrical system. One of the biggest reasons we can dry camp for 2 months without a genny is our 4 batteries for our modest electrical needs. Dave
crosscheck 01/21/19 08:38am General RVing Issues
RE: Solar panel and fridge

Reflex 439, I agree with you completely. A generator is far more effective for your style of camping. Dave
crosscheck 01/16/19 09:49pm Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: Solar panel and fridge

All the above, but also keep in mind for the solar panels to work well you need to always park in the sun. That creates a very hot box in which to live unless you stay in cooler climates. If you park in the shade to keep cool, even partially putting the solar panels in shade can drop the solar output by 90% or more. Solar is great to augment other power sources, but is very inefficient as a standalone source. If used with a small generator an hour or so a day, and or driving daily, they are great at helping keeping things topped off. But if in the shade, cloudy day, and no other power source, it will deplete the batteries rather quickly and could take more than a couple days to recover and top off the batteries. Most RV's don't have the roof space to put enough panels to really run all the electrical systems within them. But the solar panels put in enough to reduce the generator or driving time needed to fully recharge. If only running low draw items (USB, LED lighting, CO monitors, low voltage circuits in propane refrigerators, etc, a 100AH battery and a 100W solar with MPPT controller is more than adequate. As one other reference, I have a 100AH (maybe 110AH, don't remember), a supplemental Dometic CFX28 Danfoss refrigerator (top open cooler style), the factory 3 way refrig I run on propane, and LED lights, 12v TV/DVD, USB chargers, and small 600W invert I use for my laptop. I can regularly get a couple days on the 12V battery and solar setup. But the Danfoss refrig uses about 3-4amps on a 50% duty cycle where the 3 Way uses nearly 11amp at a higher duty cycle. The 3-way refrig on 12v is awful at regulating temperature to the point that I have to adjust the temp setting multiple times a day. At night it would freeze, and in the day wouldn't cool well enough. So you have to ride the temp setting lowing it when the temps drop, and raising it when the sun and temps start to heat up. The Dometic CFX28 is a set and forget, and will keep everything within a few degrees regardless of the outside temps, all while using far less energy. I use the 3way for cold drinks, produce, and other non-critical foods. Anything critical goes in the CFX28. I love having both as it also doubles my refrigerator capacity. Hope this info helps. The OP question was How much solar do I need to run this fridge? Answers were everything from 200W-600W, 2 batteries to 6 batteries. The OP will decide on what will work for them and go from there. Reflex 439, you have stated that solar does not do a very good job as a stand alone for taking care of the electrical wants of the modern RVer. I understand that everyones electrical needs are different but your own solar wattage of 100W and battery storage of 100AH is very different than many on this forum who have replaced generators completely or at least cut down operating times due to their descent sized solar/battery upgrades. And with portable solar, you can be in the trees and still harvest solar with a long enough cord and a portable unit. Since 2011, our camping style is 98% dry/boondocking and we have almost 100% eliminated generator times with solar and battery storage. Never need A/C as we avoid very hot places and use high efficient 12V fans at night when it is hot. On our previous RV, had 330W solar and 4 AGM 6V batteries and ran a 12V, 7.5cuft compressor fridge freezer. Almost never ran the genny. Now we have 490W and 4 6V GC2,s and a 2000W inverter and Micro and we have power to spare. 2 simple ways of lower running times or eliminating genny run times are using less power(LED's, more efficient TV's etc,) and increasing solar and battery storage. If we had to dry/boondock on your modest solar/battery set up, the genny would come out of retirement real quick. Dave
crosscheck 01/15/19 10:26pm Class B - Camping Van Conversions
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