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  Subject Author Date Posted Forum
RE: Life of AC?

One MachIII in my small trailer is 16 years old and still working fine. One Mach III in my big trailer is now 10 years old and doing fine. I would expect 20 years of life or more.
ktmrfs 07/10/20 09:51pm Travel Trailers
RE: What's up with the DEF Delete?

It's not clear to me at all why deleting DEF would improve mileage or HP. And my duramax with DEF and more HP gets better highway mpg unloaded by several mpg than the one I had w/o DEF. DEF just injects urea into the exhaust stream to change NOx into N2 and O2. It's a process that has been used for decades with little problem in stationary power plants to clean up exhaust. I'll keep mine intact.
ktmrfs 07/10/20 09:49pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Propane Regulation

on my blackstone, there was an accessory to use with a regulated propane as well as the standard attachment for use with a 1lb bottle or unregulated propane. When I got mine, blackstone sold the low pressure accessory.
ktmrfs 07/09/20 09:59pm Tech Issues
RE: Locked out of RV

I recall this being a problem on on brand of locks, and there was a recall on the locks. Just before the recall, I had mine fail, luckily it was on a cargo trailer with a drop down rear door.
ktmrfs 07/09/20 09:56pm Tech Issues
RE: Who do you use for Insurance?

I am I wrong or is everyone else. The insurance on your trailer is not in effect when it is hooked to your truck! Your auto policy covers it. The insurance on your camper covers it when parked or stored. The trailer policy covers in storage or use. Theft fire trees fallin hail,pretty much anything that occurs when it stand alone. Am I wrong, This was always my assumption! may depend on the insurance company. In my case when hooked to the TV the TV insurance covers property damange, liability etc that may be caused by the trailer or towing combo. I'm not sure if damage to the trailer is covered when connected or if that relys on a trailer specific policy. When unhooked that insurance goes away and you rely on a trailer policy to cover damage liability etc. But again, check with your insurance company to determine exact coverage.
ktmrfs 07/03/20 11:32am Beginning RVing
RE: Any Trailers for Tall Adults and Tall Kids?

We’re trying to get back in the travel trailer game, and it’s just not working out. My wife and I need a queen with 80” length, or a clear walkway at the end of the bed. I’m 6’-5” and need the length or room. My son is a big boy at 6’-4”, and my daughter is 6’-0”. No bunks seem to fit, and although laying crosswise on a 74” bunk may help, they all seem to have the ceiling or bed above right at your face making you feel like you’re in a coffin with no air. Then, every trailer with a big dinette has only a useless jackknife sofa. Does any RV manufacturer think that maybe by some chance four adults would like to camp together? Even if my kids bail in a few years, we still have friends that would like to go. Is everyone supposed to buy an F-550 and a toyhauler just to camp? Someone ou't there has got to have found a way without adding a tent. Any wizards out there? I’d appreciate the input. you think you have trouble. Some friends that have camped with us have: Dad 6'6", Son 1 6'11" mom 6'4", several daughters over 6'5", 5th grade boy is pushing 5' 6" even cars are a problem. They use a tent, and don't come in the trailer unless they have to. A 5th wheel is likely the only option. many have 8' or so ceilings.
ktmrfs 07/02/20 10:15pm Travel Trailers
RE: Mach 15 a/c not cooling well

we have a 33ft double slide trailer with a MachIII 13.5K BTU AC. really should have two AC units. As it came from the factory cooling was definitely sub optimal. However with a few fixes it now will keep the trailer in the mid 70's with outside temps in the 90's as long as the AC comes on when temps inside hit 72/74. No way it will cool down the trailer with those outside temps. My mods: 1) took off the inside AC cover and closed up all the leaks in air gaps with metal tape. 2) removed all the ducted vent outlets and again, sealed up the gaps with metal tape. 3) they put a minimal number of air vents, but typically run the plenum to the end of the trailer. So, I added a second vent in the bedroom, a vent to the bathroom on the same run, and 3 more on the living area plenum. 4) replaced all the factory celing vents with an areo vent which is much easier to adjust and blows the air horizontally in a circle rather than straight down. All these changes made a huge improvement. Still is marginal but as long as the AC comes on at 72-74 it will keep the temps in that range with daytime highs in the mid 90's. Now we are in western oregon so we don't get high temps till afternoon. If I was somewhere that had temps in the 90's by mid morning, not sure it could keep up.
ktmrfs 07/01/20 10:30pm Travel Trailers
RE: Who do you use for Insurance?

State Farm, the same people that insure everything else I have. Bill x2 on State Farm. IMHO the best choice is to use ONE insurance company for all your insurance needs. that way no overlap or gap's in coverage or arguements on who covers. Yes it is. Unfortunately, State Farm, nor Farmers Insurance wont cover my Farm. Ironic, eh? Very few insurance companies have insurance for properties with a barn and equipment riders. All my autos are under Gieco which made a huge difference in prices. It would have cost more to insure the one trailer than 2 trucks and a car combined. my trailer insured with state farm (along with my other vehicles) costs $102/yr for liability, comp, collision, etc. with a $1,000 deductible. my cargo trailer with same coverage is $29/yr.
ktmrfs 07/01/20 10:21pm Beginning RVing
RE: Who do you use for Insurance?

State Farm, the same people that insure everything else I have. Bill x2 on State Farm. IMHO the best choice is to use ONE insurance company for all your insurance needs. that way no overlap or gap's in coverage or arguements on who covers.
ktmrfs 07/01/20 07:07pm Beginning RVing
RE: Suburban oven pilot will not stay lit

there should be a rod that sits in the pilot flame. that rod is a thermoelectric pile. when it gets hot it is a electric source. the output of the thermoelectric pile keeps the gas valve open. So. 1) make sure the thermopile is in the flame. 2) make sure the pilot is burning well. these have a small orifice so any dust, dirt, spider webs, rust can result in a low flame pilot. 3) those thermopiles do fail, not often but the do. usually the failure mode is reduced voltage output which will result in the pilot extenquising. if it fails with no output, you can't keep the pilot buring w/o holding in the pilot switch.
ktmrfs 07/01/20 07:03pm Tech Issues
RE: Fighting zoning ordinances that hurt RV owners

I guess I'm the "odd man out", but we purposely chose a neighborhood with an HOA that prohibits RV, MH, boat, trailer etc. parking visible from the street, along with comercial vehicles. The HOA has a huge lot gated, locked, and barbed wire fencing for RV, boat, MH trailer storage with a storage cost/year of $35. No reason to not use the RV lot and neighborhood is lots nicer than some around and house values reflect that. When looking to buy why some people don't bother to read the CC&R's and county parking regulations and then complain is strange.
ktmrfs 06/27/20 11:07pm Beginning RVing
RE: RV fridge not getting cold on propane, but freezer works?

I've had occasional problems like the OP mentioned with freezer cooling, but fridge not or little. In each case a quick look showed a flame that was yellow or very small. A blast of air in the tube to the flame and taking the propane orifice off and cleaning fixed everything. The flame for a fridge is very small, and a very small orifice, so it doesn't take much debris, rust, spider web, etc. to plug it up. My "spring cleaning" each year is to take the orifice off, clean it out, and use compressed air to clean out the tube for the flame.
ktmrfs 06/27/20 10:09am Tech Issues
RE: Eye Opening Solar Cell Efficiency Numbers

This is about double what current solar cell efficiency is. Definitely a big improvement. Now for the downside. The thin film technologies rely on some rather exotic, rare, and non eco friendly III-V materials, such as GaAs, InGaP, etc. Most of these are toxic and all of them are "rare"/expensive. And the technology to mfg them is not as widespread and as understood as Silcon. The good thing with multi-junction cells is that the different layers can each be optimized to capture different parts of the spectrum. Since Si is completely transparent in the infrared, you can add backing to reflect the light back through the wafer and a Si3N4 layer to try to trap the photons. So for many applications it may be what is more important, cost/Watt or space/watt? In the case of space exploration, space/watt wins. For large scale use??? This technology does seem to offer a 2x improvement in space/watt, which is good. A friend of mine has spent decades in the solar cell development/mfg with several large solar companies. There has been lots of research on efficiency improvements, but in most cases big improvements came at the cost of mfg efficiency, use of rare/expensive/toxic materials etc. that didn't come to fruition based on available mfg technologies, processes, and material issues. So improvement in large volume applications so far have been incremental, and the high efficiency cells religated to space exploration and a few other cases where cost isn't an issue but weight and size are extremely important. it will be interesting to watch and see how this technique plays out.
ktmrfs 06/21/20 04:58pm Tech Issues
RE: inverter to AC outlet!!

A transfer switch will work. But consider using it with a sub panel so that the fridge, water heater, and converter are not going to be powered. I think that I'd want a larger inverter than 700 watts if I went with the sub panel and transfer switch. The "work around" is to manually switch these items. If the batteries are hungry and the converter is left on, the fuse for the inverter will blow. Similarly for the water heater. That is why I prefer the idea of dedicated outlets when the choice is a small wattage inverter. I deliberately added a dedicated inverter outlet in the kitchen area. As I have a large inverter, it gives me extra power when on shore power and means I can tun the induction cooker, and another high wattage device. With just the 700 watts, my coffee maker could be run. we are on the same page. I'd rather rely on my sub panel to control what is powered than my absent minded brain.! In my case the microwave and two 120V outlet circuits are on the subpanel from the inverter, keeps me from trying to run AC, have the fridge on AC accidentally, HWH etc. etc.
ktmrfs 06/14/20 10:16pm Travel Trailers
RE: Which cell phone provider do you use in the US?

our truck has ATT, our phones are verizon. In general verizon has better coverage, but there are places where NEITHER gives us service, and others where one or the other gives us coverage. In most cases both give coverage.
ktmrfs 06/14/20 10:11pm Beginning RVing
RE: Max Depth of discharge

One of the reasons I so like GC-2 Golf Car batteries is they are DEEP CYCLE (note I used all caps) Recommended maximum depth of discharge is 50% Now MARINE/deep cycle (notice how the Deep cycle went lower case) should be run down not more than about 25%. some say 20.. Also DEEP CYCLE do a better job of recovering from an "OH @#[email protected]#" discharge. Trojan lists cycle life vs. depth of discharge. For most RV users, 6V GC2 cycle life at even 75% DOD is higher than many will experience in a decade. IIRC cycle life is over 500 cycles at 75% DOD. 50% DOD yields 1,000 ish cycles. Now, even Trojan true deep discharge 12V have a much lower life. about 500 cycles at 50% DOD
ktmrfs 06/14/20 10:08pm General RVing Issues
RE: inverter to AC outlet!!

transfer switch is IMHO one of the better if not the best solution. In fact if you have the (in)famous WFCO charger system, there is a transfer switch made to attach to the back of it. then put a subpanel next to the switch for the outlets to run off shore and transfer power. Did that in my trailer and have it set so that only the microwave, and the outlets run off the transfer switch. That way can't accidentally try to run the fridge, charger, AC etc. off the battery bank inverter. Inverter is in the pass through close to the batteries and a remote power switch for the inverter is in the trailer for easy access to power on/off. I did need to run power cable from the inverter up to the power panel in the trailer to the transfer switch.
ktmrfs 06/13/20 10:00am Travel Trailers
RE: Solar Controllers PWM MPPT Temperature Performance

now that panel prices have come down, and efficiency up so panels are less expensive and smaller for many cases PWM makes sense given the price. There is at least one case I often encounter where MPPT and series connected panels pays off vs. PWM or parallel MPPT I have 3 175ish W portable panels. In a few cases when we camp the only location that gives reasonable sunshine is located 100-150 ft from the trailer. For cabling I made up a bunch of cables using 30A RV cables with anderson connectors and paralling the ground with on of the other two wires. So basically I have a cable with one wire #8 and one wire #10. Now stuff 30ish+ amps down that cable with 3 panels in parallel vs 10A in series with an MPPT controller at the batteries. MPPT wins in the series with about a 10% current gain vs parallel. As far as my experience with MPPT vs PWM, the experiments I did for comparison did show an advantage to MPPT even with short cables, but not as high as one might think. Many MPPT controllers are most efficient with series connected panels with voltage near the max rated for the controller and least efficient with 12V parallel connected panels. That was born out in my experiments with the 12V parallel connected panels have more output than my PWM controller but on the order of 5%. while the series connected setup with 3 series 12V panels had better performance. I have the data archived somewhere. In any event, IMHO with todays prices if you have room spending the money on and extra panel and PWM controller will get you more AMPS than spending the money on a MPPT controller.
ktmrfs 06/10/20 12:42pm Tech Issues
RE: Out of state license and storage.

it may depend on state of residence and compliance with MT. requirements. When our daughter was in college in MT, we lived in Oregon and (1) not being a MT permanent resident (nor eligible to become one since she was a student) she couldn't register her car in MT nor get a MT drivers license. and (2) Since she was an oregon resident she was required to renew plates in oregon even though the vehicle was located in montana for 4 years and insurance showed it in MT.To avoid bringing the car back every year, (stayed with my folks in MT in the summer) We filled out DEQ exemption forms every registration to show it's primary use and location was out of state and the state of use didn't require DEQ testing.
ktmrfs 06/09/20 08:35pm Beginning RVing
RE: To buy or not to buy insurance?

I would absolutely have insurance on anything that valuable. When I had insurance on my truck camper it was less than $200 a year. I don't remember what it was on my travel trailer many years ago but it came in handy when a storm ripped the awning off the trailer. The insurance paid to have it put back on minus a couple hundred deductible. "Valuable" AND "RV" do not belong in the same sentence. That $30K "RV" lost nearly 1/3 of its "value" the second the OP put signature to paper.. Absolutely no insurance co will give you 100% for a RV if totaled or stolen, it will be devalued. Insurance co is betting that they will win the upper hand and end up making tons of money on your item. That is how insurance works. Big difference here is OP paid cash, not a loan on it, extra insurance in this case is optional. If it was done on a loan the OP would have been forced to buy insurance to cover losses that would have needed paid for to cover said loan. In this case, it is a "feel good" thing, if OP is nervous about potential loss then by all means get some insurance coverage. IF OP is fine with no coverage (IE SELF INSURANCE) then don't bother with extra insurance. There are somethings in life where some insurance may make sense and some do not. As the unit ages out, in 5 yrs it will be worth less than $10K, another 5 yrs and might be lucky to get $5K and another 5 yrs $1K.. The insurance policy however won't go down in cost, it will go up and they will pay less.. It isn't just replacement value you are insuring. It's the liability protection for YOU when the trailer is unhooked.
ktmrfs 06/06/20 09:26am Travel Trailers
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