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RE: JC refrigeration AC or DC upgrade?

Why I asked about a modified inverter is that I already have one. I want to know if it will run ok on it. Directly from the product page: Converts your existing fridge to a residential fridge (which eliminates your LP gas). This cooling unit is built with a compressor system and not only do you get to keep your same fridge and controls you are used to, but there is no need to remove the windshield or window to get the old fridge out and the new in – nor the hassle of cutting or redoing the cabinets to make a new fridge fit. Also there is no need to have the coach perfectly level for the fridge. It pulls less than 1 Amp and will run off a 600W inverter (does not require pure sine wave). This unit is coated with a corrosion/rust preventive paint, and is very user-friendly to work on in the field should it ever need repair in the future. It is designed to withstand hot/humid temps and will keep your ice-cream hard. Comes with a 3-year warranty. See our easy DIY install video or have it factory installed. For questions like this, why not just reach out to them (or look at their site)?
jshupe 02/08/21 12:19pm Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: How dependable are newer trucks with higher mileage?

Don't buy a 2019 or newer Ram (new or used). The trucks are substandard at zero miles and the only way to expose the problems is by driving them. They can pull heavy trailers, have great exhaust brakes, and are quiet on the highway when towing. But, the rest of the truck has too many problems. Unfortunately, the typical long time dodge/fiat/ram owner only cares if the truck can pull a heavy trailer. So, the manufacture produces a substandard truck knowing they can get away with it. Maybe you can elaborate. ONLY issue and it's rare is they went to the CP4 injection pump for 2019 and 2020. The 2021 RAM's now have gone back to the CP3 pump. For those with the 19 and 20's you have a 5 year 100k powertrain. IF something happens it WILL be taken care of. So please tell us about all these "substandard" issues. Radio doesn't work properly and even though it's under warranty, Ram hasn't been able to fix it yet. Two issues: 1. It randomly shuts off and reboots. 2. The second issue isn't a big deal but it exists. The service/help button does not connect to Ram when you place a call. But, it will connect to Sirius or Emergency road side service. Ram is aware of this issue and there isn't a fix planned. ... The only issue I've had with my 2019 was a squeaky serpentine belt that they replaced, and replaced the idler pulley for, under warranty. I've been satisfied with the AC performance in all conditions, experienced no issues with the radio or transmission, beat the hell out of the front suspension off the pavement with a 500lb winch/bumper combo on the front, and haven't experienced the clunk you describe. Never had any surging or anything of the sort. It has over 25K miles on it, over half of that towing 16K+, a couple thousand of that with a 6K truck camper in the bed, and much of it off pavement. Seems like a solid truck to me. It sounds like you've had some bad experiences with your specific truck and that you might have a lemon, but I think your assumptions that those issues are widespread throughout Ram trucks are a bit grandiose. Edit: my last truck, a LML Duramax, was an emissions nightmare to the point where I deleted it. I sold it with fewer miles than I have on this truck.
jshupe 02/04/21 10:40am Tow Vehicles
RE: JC refrigeration AC or DC upgrade?

I think that's true if the inverter only has the losses when the compressor is running, but there is a dead load to the inverter even when it's doing nothing. I admit I haven't ran the numbers, but I've got to believe that unless you're turning the inverter off when the refer doesn't need it and on when it does, it's got to use more power over the course of a day. Of course, but we haven't turned off our inverters except for firmware updates. Our systems (and I guess I should be abundantly clear that this is in no way unique to us) are designed around 24/7 operation in both rigs. If you don't have such a system, then DC makes more sense. Most of the full-timers we know with moderate to large investments in solar have their inverters on 24/7 and never turn them off except to perform maintenance.
jshupe 02/04/21 09:11am Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: JC refrigeration AC or DC upgrade?

I'm late to the thread, as it looks like you've already made your purchase. I have the 120V version in my truck camper, which uses 1.0-1.3kWh per day. I chose it because I have a native 48V bank, so it's being converted one way or the other, and I wanted the slightly extra cooling capacity. The following is directly from their FAQ: Q. what is the duty cycle (run time) A in our testing @ 80F the AC compressor will run approx. 56% and the DC approx. 64%, that is not opening and closing the doors. So, this will vary some according to your usage Q. which is most the power efficient 120V or 12V A. on paper the 12V is the most efficient @ 7.5A 90W, but it runs some slower than the 120V, so in the end they are practically the same. But if no inverter is on board then the 12V is still much faster than your gas/elect. Our compressor pulls 90W on the AC side (not 96W). At the 56% duty cycle mentioned above, that works out to 1.209kWh/day, which is in line with what we've observed. The DC compressor is advertised to pull 90W. At the mentioned 64% duty cycle, that's 1.382kWh/day. By those numbers, the AC version is 13% more efficient. Inverter losses are usually a little under 10%. That indicates the AC version may actually be more efficient overall, even accounting for the inverter, but just like their FAQ says, it's more or less a wash.
jshupe 02/04/21 08:37am Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: Truck Camper with Built in Genset?

Our AF1140 has a built-in Onan QG 2500 LP genset. It was loud and obnoxious in factory trim, so I purchased sound deadening material, vibration dampening mats, and a tractor muffler, and redid the installation to my standards. It's notably quieter and shakes the camper far less now. With the mods, it sounds more like the QG 5500 LP in our fifth wheel. I abhor generators and try to run off solar/battery as much as possible, but like onboard generators because I can tie them into my Victron GX devices for automatic operation based on a variety of parameters. I want to be able to leave for the day and know that if for some reason our batteries don't make it the entire time we're gone, the generator will kick on and charge them. Especially when running air conditioning for the dogs (note: we do have environmental monitoring that sends SMS alerts of power failures, temperature anomalies, etc for our pet's safety).
jshupe 02/03/21 11:22am Truck Campers
RE: Victron BMS 712 ?

You won't get definite clarification as the testing in lower temperatures in all likelihood simply hasn't been performed. It would most likely be fine. I'd be far more worried about other equipment in subzero temperatures than anything in a BMV-712.
jshupe 01/27/21 03:26pm Truck Campers
RE: Victron BMS 712 ?

Components are only tested to specific temperature ranges, and will likely continue to work for a reasonable amount of skew outside of those ranges. Since the BMV-712 is a solid state device, it would likely continue to monitor far below that threshold. I would expect that the display and control buttons would be the first things to fail as temperatures fall. At some point, of course, the entire device would cease to work. In my anecdotal experience, displays don't always come back from subzero temperatures, but most other solid state components will once warmed up. The more important question here is what part of the BMV-712 is going to be exposed to such temps? The shunt, I imagine, would function perfectly fine well into the negative temperatures, which is the part that needs to be located near your batteries. The display could be located inside the camper, where additional insulation and the fact that it might be heated comes into play. In that case, I'd be much more worried about your television ceasing to work than I'd be of the BMV. And finally, it's worth mentioning that if your batteries are inside a bay door of the camper, it's likely a little warmer than the outside temperature in there.
jshupe 01/27/21 01:19pm Truck Campers
RE: mobile LTE modem question

Anyone know a really good unlimited plan with great coverage in the Southeast? A Grandfathered Enterprise Unlimited plan from a reseller. They're difficult to come by and expensive, but are the best. We pay $250/mo for AT&T and VZ plans packaged together, and use 600GB-1TB/mo. There are lists of resellers on the respective provider's pages at
jshupe 01/27/21 10:11am Travel Trailers
RE: Installing Solar

Mine are screwed into 3/8 plywood thru a 6 inch long aluminum angle 2x2 with 5200 sealant/adhesive to glue down and seal fastener holes. Wires were attached to roof with eterna-bond tape ( no screw required) No plans to ever remove them! Not until you have to when trouble shooting the wiring some day! It can happen the trouble is underneath by the junctions that you can't get at with the panel in place. Again, I was taking a jab at the 3M 5200 that Jay58 used. It's a permanent bond that would tear apart the rubber roof and plywood before it would ever give. It's mostly used for bonding under the water line on boats and will rip apart a fiberglass hull before it fails. I used plenty of it on my offshore boat.
jshupe 01/22/21 09:14pm Tech Issues
RE: Installing Solar

Jshupe, Mine are aluminum angle screwed to the roof. I used just 3 screws per side. They are still in place. No issue with that. I've used 2x2 aluminum angle screwed to the roof (with sealant, as I'm sure you're using) as well. Did I miss something - why are you telling me specifically? Edit - if it was due to my quoting Jay58, I was referencing his use of 3M 5200. It forms a permanent bond that will tear the rubber and plys apart before it gives. Wonderful stuff - for use under the waterline on a boat.
jshupe 01/22/21 08:19pm Tech Issues
RE: Installing Solar

Mine are screwed into 3/8 plywood thru a 6 inch long aluminum angle 2x2 with 5200 sealant/adhesive to glue down and seal fastener holes. Wires were attached to roof with eterna-bond tape ( no screw required) No plans to ever remove them!
jshupe 01/22/21 03:45pm Tech Issues
RE: Installing Solar

You will be fine screwing into 3/8" ply. The usual procedure for a 3/8" ply with a rubber membrane is to use 3M 4200, Chemlink M1, or Dicor between the roof and the Z bracket, use #14-1" stainless pan head screws, glob some sealant on top of the screws, and not worry about them going anywhere.
jshupe 01/22/21 08:42am Tech Issues
RE: solar

jshupe, Do you have a picture of the panels? What controller are you using? SiO2 can manage c/4 (25 amps per 100 amp-hours). They don't have to be fully recharged each cycle. Of course, that is no match for the charging rate on Li chemistries, but it is double that of regular flooded. Fifth wheel: width=800 9x 325W panels, 3x strings of 3 in series, Victron SmartSolar MPPT 150/35 controllers Depending on how much time we spend in the fifth wheel moving forward, we may pull up all the panels and build a raised rack that holds twelve. We've been spending more time in the truck camper lately. Truck camper: width=800 width=800 5x 360W panels, 1x string of 5 in series, Victron SmartSolar MPPT 250/60 controller. Truck camper has a Coleman Mach 11 AC unit and we haven't been able to test it in the summer yet. There are no easy provisions for a mini-split in the rig, though I'm still scheming.
jshupe 01/20/21 10:54am Tech Issues
RE: solar

... It is really about carrying more usable AH in the same small space in a RV that is weight limited, but IMO the fast charging claim is not realistic. The charging speed becomes much more important as you scale it up. It doesn't make a lot of difference if you have a small setup with four GC2s or two BattleBorns, but if you have several thousand watts, tens of thousands of Wh of storage, and a load that can draw the bank down significantly overnight, it becomes quite important. For our 2925W array we can usually harvest around 18kWh of energy per day in AZ in summer. We have a 22.8kWh bank in that rig. In 100F temps, we'll consume right around 22kWh per day keeping the rig at 72F. That leaves us with a deficit of around 4kWh, that we want to cram into the bank as quickly as possible, in the middle of the day so we're not having to listen to it during the evening. It's not unusual to run the genset around lunch time and when the AC compressor kicks off, push 3800W from the generator and 2500W from the solar array to the bank at the same time. 525A of charging if it were a 12V system (it's 48V). A bank of 16 225AH GC2s has a max charge rate (C/3) of [email protected], a recommended charging rate (C/10) of [email protected], and an absorb stage that substantially tapers the charge above 85-90%. They also need to be routinely charged to full to retain that ability. We'd either trash the batteries in short order, never make it to full, or more than likely, some combination of both. By contrast, the recommended charge rate (C/2) for our LFP bank is [email protected], so we easily make it to full each day and never have to worry about it. We are far from the only people with setups like this.
jshupe 01/20/21 10:03am Tech Issues

+1 for Zero-G
jshupe 01/19/21 08:25pm Tech Issues
RE: solar

... 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. The "4x faster" component comes from the C rates the batteries are rated for. Most GC2 batteries are rated for C/3 charging while LiFePO4 1C or above. That's three times the speed - not accounting for the "aboves". They also don't have a slow absorption stage at the end (as you alluded to in your edit). If you have the chargers/generators to support the charge rates, they do charge that much faster. If you want the most life out of your lead acid batteries, most manufacturers say not to charge at more than C/10. That means for optimal life, you should be charging your bank of four GC15s at only 46A. In practical application, you can buy larger chargers (or parallel them), larger generators, and charge off your solar array at the same time - so you can get closer to those theoretical limits. I've seen as much 6.3kW going into the LiFePO4 bank in my fifth wheel from multiple sources - that's a charge rate of over 500A in 12V terms. If I had a bigger genset, I could add more chargers or swap out my current ones to charge faster. A lot of people who upgrade to Lithium also upgrade their chargers at the same time, to take at least partial advantage of this.
jshupe 01/19/21 07:47pm Tech Issues
RE: mobile LTE modem question

Single Cat18 - and you will see differences on some towers. Sometimes speeds, but usually with availability. I've found multiple sites where I couldn't get anything with a Cradlepoint Cat6 2x2 modem but could get usable internet with a Cradlepoint Cat18 4x4 modem. I have both AT&T and VZ SIMs.
jshupe 01/19/21 05:45pm Travel Trailers
RE: solar

Start with an energy audit. Decide how much reserve capacity you want. From that design the battery bank. Build a solar panel system that will recharge the battery bank.This is the proper way to go about it.I prefer to max out the solar and deal with the consequences. Solar is so inexpensive today there is no reason to aim for the minimum. See my sig - I will counter though, that batteries are heavy, expensive, or both when in large quantities.
jshupe 01/19/21 05:31pm Tech Issues
RE: solar

Start with an energy audit. Decide how much reserve capacity you want. From that design the battery bank. Build a solar panel system that will recharge the battery bank. This is the proper way to go about it. If you refuse to do an audit or don't have the ability to do so for some reason, most 18-22cf residential refrigerators use around 2kWh/day, which will need to be added to your assumed base load.
jshupe 01/19/21 05:21pm Tech Issues
RE: Converting to 12v fridge Canada question

Why not convert your fridge using a JC Refrigeration kit? Only issue is you would have to buy it from the US and have it imported, and I don't know what that entails. We just converted the Norcold in our truck camper and it works great. width=640 We went with the 120V compressor for slightly faster cooling and because we had plenty of solar/battery to cover the inverter losses, but they make a 12V version. Seems to use 1.1-1.3kWh/day for an 8cu ft unit. Edit - saw that you are looking to increase the size of your fridge. But this is still useful information for people looking at this thread, so I'll leave it. Moderator edit to re-size picture to forum recommended limit of 640px maximum width.
jshupe 01/16/21 06:39pm Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
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