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RE: fell victim to the scam

. . . for you guys who have bought your own cells where have you bought from . . . The 230ah and 280ah EVE cells sold at 18650batterystore.com (located in Atlanta GA and ship worldwide) would be my hands-down, first choice in terms of price, cell quality, and excellent after the sale support. Check-out the two threaded hole terminals on these cells. Larger contact area and much better mechanical support vs. the typical one-hole terminals used on the vast majority of cells.
otrfun 12/01/22 09:01am Tech Issues
RE: absorption refrigerator out of level, boiler temp control

. . . I'm a DIYer and I enjoy tinkering with modifications . . . I believe a simple high temp thermostat can easily accomplish this task, and they only cost $20. If I only had 1 RV I would probably still just buy a Fridge Defend. But I've got 3 RVs. So if I can implement this DIY fix it will save me 3x the money.Have you found a suitable 200c sensor and control board combination that operates on 12vdc? IMO realworld temperature accuracy and overall, proven reliability may potentially be the biggest hurdle. Who wouldn't love a reliable, low-cost alternative to the $200+ FD?! :)
otrfun 11/17/22 10:47am Tech Issues
RE: absorption refrigerator out of level, boiler temp control

. . . I would guess the Fridge Defend is designed such that you can adjust those temperature settings for detecting high temp . . . -ChrisThe Fridge Defend high-temp cut-off is adjustable (at least on v4 and v5). Instructions how to adjust it can be downloaded at the FD website. The FD logs the maximum boiler temp and number of times the high-temp cut-off has activated (since the last user reset). The boiler temps on our Dometic DM2663 typically hover between 185-190c/365f-374f (on propane, 120vac, and 12vdc). After a year or so of travel with zero effort to make sure our truck camper was level, the FD logged a max boiler temp of 207c/405f (we reset it). Just to be on the safe side we also reset/lowered the factory default high temp cut-off from 217c/423f to 202c/396f. After another two years of travel, max boiler temp has only risen as high as 197c/387f. Lastly, just to make sure all was well after all these resets, we manually heated the FD boiler sensor above the high-temp cut-off. The FD cut-off 12vdc power to the fridge control board and logged it.
otrfun 11/16/22 11:05am Tech Issues
RE: Power voltage to brakes??

Believe it or not, your IBC is much better over any of the current aftermarket controllers even with some of the short comings of it.Absolutely not true, if his Ram is like my '15 was from the factory. Someone at Ram decided that below 30 mph the trailer brakes would only need about 60% input. On the bigger brakes, 12" x 3" if memory served it was dangerous. More than one fellow reported rolling through an intersection. Ram did update the programming. My 2020 has very good trailer braking.Lot of discussion ref the shortcomings of the 2013-2016 Ram IBC a few years back. The IBC on our '16 Ram 3500 never provided more than 2.2a braking current at each wheel---even with every internal preset set for absolute heavy, maximum braking. Got a full 3a powering the trailer brakes directly via battery. The IBC worked reasonably well under normal conditions. However, for emergency braking---it was sorely lacking. Bypassed the IBC and installed a Tekonsha P3. Problem solved---3a at every wheel if/when needed.And once again, you CAN'T have AMPS without VOLTAGE. Part of the problem with not getting more than 2.2 AMPS is from WIRE RESISTANCE. RV manufacturers take the low road on wire size, using the smallest wire gauge they can get away with. Just because the wire gauge can handle the max current of the circuit doesn't always mean it is the best size to use. Even in 120V/240V AC circuits there is a wire size table that calculates to correct wire size for the distance. Once you pass a certain length the tables tell you to use a larger wire gauge.. It isn't done because the wire can't handle the current, it is done to reduce the voltage loss. The smaller wire size, the higher the resistance, higher the resistance the lower voltage you get at the end of the wire. This becomes even more of an issue with LONGER trailers where there is more wire involved which equals even more wire resistance. More wire resistance equals lower voltage present at the brake magnets. Lower voltage at the brake magnets equals LESS CURRENT DRAWN BY THE MAGNETS. This is BASIC DC ELECTRICITY 101. Some controllers may overcome SOME of the problem by being a bit more efficient electrically wise, but not ALL of the problem. Replacing the IBC with aftermarket is simply putting a bandaid on the real problem.. But if you like fixing everything with bandaids, then go for it. I would rather tackle the problem without resorting to bandaids. The problem is more on the TRAILER END than on the controller end and the ones that experienced not enough braking and fixed it with an aftermarket controller simply bandaided and hid the problem with the trailer wiring. RV manufacturers are known to be cheap, they tend to use whatever leftovers they have. I had one RV that had no less than three factory splices from the trailer tongue to the first axle.. And that was on a 20ft TT.. Talk about being cheap! They basically took the cut off scraps of wire to build that trailer.. When I got that trailer the brakes barely worked. That's when I discovered the ugly truth. Every single splice had severe corrosion.Just because I didn't mention voltage does not mean I did not measure voltage. You could have simply asked me what my voltage readings were and saved yourself all the time and energy elaborating on Basic Electricity 101. Since this seems to be a very sensitive issue with you I'll provide you with a bit more detail. I measured voltage (using a Fluke 7-600 VM) and current (using an Amprobe 320 DC clamp-on ammeter) 12" from the brake magnets, so nearly ALL the losses in the trailer wiring were taken into account with these readings. Voltage always remained >12.0v with the IBC, battery, and Tekonsha P3 in circuit with maximum braking current applied to 4 brake assemblies (~2.2a/8.8a, ~3a/12a, and ~3a/12a, respectively; source battery voltage for IBC, battery, and P3 was 12.5 - 12.7v). Clearly, the trailer's wiring was more than adequate and *not* an issue in this scenario. I might add this particular trailer had approx. 20 ft of 10 gauge wire running from the 7-pin connector to the axles (2 axles, 4 brakes), which kept voltage drop <=5%. In light of the above voltage and current readings, it is more than obvious the IBC was the limiting factor in terms of total braking current (~8.8a vs. ~12a), and *not* the trailer wiring.
otrfun 10/13/22 10:07am General RVing Issues
RE: Power voltage to brakes??

Believe it or not, your IBC is much better over any of the current aftermarket controllers even with some of the short comings of it.Absolutely not true, if his Ram is like my '15 was from the factory. Someone at Ram decided that below 30 mph the trailer brakes would only need about 60% input. On the bigger brakes, 12" x 3" if memory served it was dangerous. More than one fellow reported rolling through an intersection. Ram did update the programming. My 2020 has very good trailer braking.Lot of discussion ref the shortcomings of the 2013-2016 Ram IBC a few years back. The IBC on our '16 Ram 3500 never provided more than 2.2a braking current at each wheel---even with every internal preset set for absolute heavy, maximum braking. Got a full 3a powering the trailer brakes directly via battery. The IBC worked reasonably well under normal conditions. However, for emergency braking---it was sorely lacking. Bypassed the IBC and installed a Tekonsha P3. Problem solved---3a at every wheel if/when needed.
otrfun 10/09/22 09:45am General RVing Issues
RE: what size inverter.

For those who may dry-camp a lot, an inverter's parasitic/no-load current might also be worth considering in addition to output capacity. Some larger inverters (>1500w) can have parasitic/no-load current as high as 3-4a. 3-4a can go-through 72-96ah in 24 hours---it adds up. For what it's worth, we chose an Aims 2000w high-frequency inverter to power the microwave and a/c in our truck camper primarily because of its good inrush capability and low parasitic (and reasonable price). Aim rates the parasitic at .9a. We typically experience around .6 - .7a.
otrfun 10/05/22 08:32am Tech Issues
RE: Converter voltage drop

LiFePo4 batteries need >14 volts at the end of their charge cycle to assure proper cell balance. Whether 14.2, 14.4, or 14.6 really doesn't matter much and their BMS will actually shut off charging current when the voltage exceeds the manufacture's setting (14.7v on my Battleborn's). If one is boondocking and cycling the batteries regularly a converter that delivers a fixed voltage from 14.4-14.6 v will charge quickly, depending on battery bank capacity and output rating of converter. Once charged the generator is usually shut down and the battery starts another cycle. No harm done to batteries with the "fixed voltage" as the battery isn't held at this high voltage for an extended period (measured in weeks and months, not hours or days). When tied to shore power the recommendation is to just charge batteries to 100% and disconnect batteries, running only on Converter output which was sized by the manufacturer to run all 12v items without the need for a battery. If connected to shore power for months and months, Battleborn recommends to just switch batteries back online a recharge every 6 months. If one has a converter that won't deliver >14 volts long enough to top balance the cells of a LiFePo4 battery, one economical solution is to purchase a battery maintainer that has "Lithium" capability. A NOCO Genius 2 amp smart charger is only $49 on Amazon and can be directly connected to the battery when running the generator or connected to shore power for topping off and cell balancing. Don't even need to shut off the converter as once the battery voltage reaches the max of the converter, the converter will essentially stop delivering current to the battery. The "maintainer will take over until it's max voltage is reached when cells are balanced and battery is fully charged.All the monitoring, switching on and off of the converter (and generator) you've described, is necessary if you use single-stage converter/charger---especially if it's a 14.6v unit. If you purchase/use a multi-stage converter/charger (13.2/13.6/14.4 or 13.6/14.6) none of the monitoring or switching you've described would be necessary.
otrfun 06/24/22 10:56am Tech Issues
RE: Converter voltage drop

. . . I have 6g on an approx. 10' one way run between battery and converter. New converter will be a 45A model. A 1.5% drop will bring 14.6v down to 14.4v. Based on my limited knowledge, I'm thinking I'll have at least a 1.5% drop . . .Based on the voltage drop calculator I'm using, a 10 ft (one-way) run of 6 awg at 45a will result in a .36v, 2.47% drop at 14.6v. This is best case and assumes all connections and terminals are properly tightened and crimped. Everyone has their own personal preference in terms of an acceptable voltage drop. We typically strive for less than 2%. YMMV.
otrfun 06/23/22 03:27pm Tech Issues
RE: Harbor Freight Predator 3500

Has anyone been able to obtain parts for the HF Predator 3500 inverter generator (or one of its related cousins)? About 3-4 years ago was surprised to learn HF didn't sell any parts for it. All they offered was the optional one-time replacement warranty. All or nothing. From all accounts this appears to be an excellent generator for the money. However, it wouldn't be fun to have a $800 boat anchor all because you couldn't obtain a $5 part.I would rather have a $800 "boat anchor" than having a $1600 plus Honda that would cost well over $800 to repair.. Not sure you will find a Honda brand part for $5, perhaps you might get a Honda branded spark plug but I suspect even that would cost $20.. But the reality is even that cheaper $800 gen can often be "repaired" using generic Honda knock off parts which fit Hondas also.. Heck you can buy new Honda clone carbs for $15 and they do work as good as the Honda branded carb..Point taken. For me, best value is determined by individual wants, needs, and ultimately luck (or lack of).
otrfun 06/22/22 10:03am Tech Issues
RE: Harbor Freight Predator 3500

parts list for Predator 3500 predator 3500 parts listThanks for the link! Good to know they at least have a parts list. That's encouraging.
otrfun 06/22/22 09:44am Tech Issues
RE: New 2 stage PD lithium Converter charger yet?

Deleted. Just TMI for some--lol! Carry on :)
otrfun 06/21/22 10:18am Tech Issues
RE: RecPro RV A/C

. . . This gives me some confidence that my 2200 will be good at a higher elevation and higher ambient temperaturesSeriously doubt you'll have any issues with your 2200 at elevation. We've powered our 10k Dometic Penguin II a/c (with Micro Air installed) using our Honda EU2200i at 7k elevation a few times. Ambient was somewhere in the mid/high 80's. A/c typically pulls about 8-11a (11a with very high ambient temps). Zero issues.
otrfun 06/20/22 04:07pm Truck Campers
RE: Fifth Wheel Hitch - tried searcing

When we had our 5th wheel, we were going to purchase a nice B&W hitch. When we discovered how heavy and awkward they were to move we compromised. Not fond of the Anderson for various reasons, so we purchased a hitch similar to this. It's a two piece hitch that disassembles easily by just pulling a couple pins. The top and bottom assemblies each weigh about 40-45 lbs. each. Very manageable. To clear the mounting rails with your truck camper, you may consider using 1 or 2 sheets of plywood with portions cut-out to clear an opening for the mounting rails.
otrfun 06/20/22 03:37pm Truck Campers
RE: First big trip - Newbie questions

How important is it (for you) to flush the toilet or use the sink while you're on the road? If important, place just enough water in the FW tank to flush the toilet (or use the sink) a time or two. If not, you may want to leave it empty to save weight (if you're concerned about weight). As for the black-tank deodorant, you might consider following any directions noted on the deodorant container. We always place enough water in the black tank to "cover" any eventualities---regardless whether we use deodorant or not. Enjoy your first, big trip with your Palomino!
otrfun 06/20/22 03:15pm Truck Campers
RE: Harbor Freight Predator 3500

Has anyone been able to obtain parts for the HF Predator 3500 inverter generator (or one of its related cousins)? About 3-4 years ago was surprised to learn HF didn't sell any parts for it. All they offered was the optional one-time replacement warranty. All or nothing. From all accounts this appears to be an excellent generator for the money. However, it wouldn't be fun to have a $800 boat anchor all because you couldn't obtain a $5 part.
otrfun 06/20/22 02:48pm Tech Issues
RE: New 2 stage PD lithium Converter charger yet?

Lastly, lifepo4 cell/battery manufacturers ship their units with a 30-50% SOC for a reason. It's the ideal SOC for a lifepo4---for the short and long-term. Yes, 30%-50% may be an ideal SOC for long term storage but since April 1 2016 international regulations regarding air shipments of Lithium batteries restricts the SOC to 30% or less. FWIW, my solution to the storage issue is to just go camping regularly and since I primarily boondock, batteries are constantly being cycled. I just follow Battleborn's recommendation when I return from a trip. "Charge to 100%, disconnect, and just charge again after 6 months of inactivity" (which has yet to occur). With 200 ah of storage and a daily average consumption ~50 ah, I will complete a full charge cycle every 4 days. If I were to "Full Time Boondock that would amount to 91.25 full cycles per year. Battleborn advertises 3,000 to 5,000 cycles from their batteries. This amounts to 32 to 55 YEARS of battery life based on cycles alone. Most LiFePo4 batteries in RV's will most likely outlive their owners and possibly those who inherit the RV and batteries. Reality Check, LiFePo4 batteries are also subject to internal chemical degradation like Lead/Acid chemistry batteries. Even with the most careful charging practices they will most likely age out somewhere after 10-12 years which is why the best warranties max out in that range.Some of the discussion here is a somewhat, in-the-weeds debate about ways to maximize cycle life. Some of the SOC and charge voltage monitoring required to implement some of the charge profiles (for only a nominal increase in cycle life) is probably overkill for the average user. Only someone who places a higher priority on cycle life vs. usability would find it worth their time. I only mentioned the 30-50 cycle as an extreme example of how to maximize lifepo4 cycle life--just to make a point. Rather doubt it's worth anybody's time to actually implement it because it would reduce the ah capacity of the battery to a ridiculously low level. As for your comment about air shipment of lifepo4's at 30% or less SOC, I'm not sure how this fits into the current discussion. Maybe you can clarify. Bottom line, as I mentioned in an earlier post (and as you also somewhat alluded to), the average user can get by without having to resort to any special charge profile and still obtain many, many years of use from their lifepo4.
otrfun 06/19/22 11:58am Tech Issues
RE: New 2 stage PD lithium Converter charger yet?

Note that I am not advocating for leaving the LFP connected while on shore power with an active converter. I am commenting on how the converter makers see the problem, where they assume the converter will be on during shore power time ( nearly all the time for most RVers AFAIK), and they have to be sure a connected LFP won't be ruined during that time. (They do not imagine the RVer disconnecting the LFP) So their various attempts to make the converter "compatible". Guys on Tech Issues are not like most RVers? which means they are more likely to be willing to do a few things instead of being totally automatic and hands free? Just saying that so far IMO it seems the converter makers have not solved their problem of making their converters totally "compatible" with LFP (something of a moving goal post itself for what is needed?) I did say their converters are not totally compatible with FLA and AGM either, but the penalty in dollars for the RVer who treats them as such is low compared with the penalty cost of doing that with LFPs. The OP is trying to get as close as he can to hands free by maybe swapping out his converter, but it seems like he is as good as it gets now with his OEM converter, unless he wants to do more manually himself.Excellent questions! My take: The vast majority of converter/charger sales are to regular folks who generally have a set-it/forget-it mentality. There are always going to be folks who will leave their converter on 24/7/365 while connected to a lifepo4---for better or worse. Back in the day, it took manufacturers some time before they offered 3-stage units for lead-cell batteries to address long-term float needs. I believe manufacturers are going through the same learning process with lifepo4. Many of the lifepo4 converter/chargers currently on the market are single-stage 14.6v units---a less than ideal charge profile. Manufacturers are now transitioning to 2-stage units to address the potential overcharging risk posed by single-stage units. Lastly, lifepo4 cell/battery manufacturers ship their units with a 30-50% SOC for a reason. It's the ideal SOC for a lifepo4---for the short and long-term. I think it's just a matter of time before manufacturers eventually transition to 3-stage units to address this unique lifepo4 storage/float requirement. Until then, those set-it & forget-it folks (who may be striving for maximum lifepo4 cycle life) will just have to remember to turn-off their 1 and 2-stage lifepo4 converter/chargers when they're not camping.
otrfun 06/17/22 09:41am Tech Issues
RE: Insurance and RAM 5500

My understanding is that a truck camper is covered by your homeowner's policy when it is off the truck and sitting at your house, and covered by your vehicle's policy when it is on the truck. But if you take it off the truck anywhere else like a campground (if, for instance, you need to get some work done on your truck and they need to keep it overnight.) it's not covered by either policy.I've heard insurance agents say this to me and a couple of folks I know who have applied for insurance for their truck camper. I think they're referring to coverage for a "topper" or camper shell, typically worth no more than a couple thousand dollars. In many cases these are considered a truck accessory or personal item (homeowner's policy) and do qualify for some limited coverage. For those with truck campers worth $25k-$50k (especially if they're registered and titled) rather doubt a typical truck or homeowner's insurance policy is going to provide coverage---especially in the event of a total loss. Unless you have the truck camper's make, model and VIN listed somewhere on your truck or homeowner's policy, IMO coverage is very questionable.
otrfun 06/16/22 03:37pm Truck Campers
RE: New 2 stage PD lithium Converter charger yet?

Another factor (though widely overlooked…) that impacts longevity is determined during the manufacturing process via final testing, and suggest the cost difference between say a BattleBorn or an Aims (grade ‘A’ cells), versus the bargain brands . . . Agree, cell quality and testing is very important. However, there's another significant issue to consider when comparing a 12v 100ah Battleborn battery to other 12v 100ah lifepo4 batteries on the market. BB's 12v 100ah lifepo4 battery uses 100+ cylindrical lifepo4 cells in a parallel/series configuration. If a few cells go bad, weak, or unbalanced, there's minimal effect on the battery's total output because each cell is connected in parallel with 25-30 other cells. To my knowledge no other 12v 100ah lifepo4 battery manufacturer configures their battery in this manner. The typical 12v lifepo4 battery (found on Amazon and elsewhere) uses 4 prismatic cells, all wired in series. One bad, weak, or unbalanced prismatic cell in a series configuration has an equal and dramatic impact on the entire battery's output. A lot more eggs in one basket so-to-speak. Battleborn could have built a much lighter, smaller, and less expensive 12v 100ah battery using prismatic cells, but they chose not to in order to achieve maximum redundancy, reliability, and longevity.
otrfun 06/16/22 11:16am Tech Issues
RE: New 2 stage PD lithium Converter charger yet?

Good question. Depends on what you want from your lifepo4. Maximum usability? Maximum cycle life? Or, something in the middle? 14.6v nets you maximum ah's and minimal charge times at the expense of cycle life. You can charge a 12v lifepo4 with any voltage between say, ~13.15v and 14.6v with varying degrees of usability and cycle life. 14.6v nets you maximum ah's and minimal charge times at the expense of cycle life. ~13.15v nets you maximum cycle life with reduced ah availability and increased charge times. There is no one charge profile that provides both max usability and max cycle life. It's either one or the other, or a little of both. Pick your poison.Im not sure the way this part is worded is the best. and it could be leading to a lot of the confusion. I think it would be better to say "advertised cycle life" instead of "at the expence of cycle life" some one like BF13 or PT might interpret that as by charging to 14.6V we are only going to get 1800 cycles now. the max figures are what the cycles are based off so 14.6 charge 100 to 0 discharge, but yes like you say if you don't need all of your battery bank operating between say 80 and 20% would normaly take a 3000 cycle battery up to the 5000 cycle range and using less than 50% so 30 to 80 could take you up to 7000 cycles. so there is a big trade off, but generaly to get more life you have to spend more on batteries to let you use that smaller amount of capacity. Im trying to figure out how to set up my peramiters on my solar charger to stop charging at 90% right now, but I have 10x my daily use capacity so using 90% as my celing should gain me a tone of life that I probably won't live long enough to see anyways hahaI stand by my comment: "14.6v nets you maximum ah's and minimal charge times at the expense of cycle life". I'm not claiming it's a large, or a small amount, I'm simply claiming that there is a drop in cycle life, which is a true and correct statement. I purposely worded it this way because the amount of cycle drop cannot be quantified unless you're comparing cycle life at 14.6v vs. cycle life at a specific, lower charge voltage, which I did not do. If BFL13 or PT (or anyone else) want to assume I meant a large, small, or specific drop in cycle life, that's their right to do so. However, I only claimed there was a drop---nothing more, nothing less. On the flipside, I very much agree with your comment, " . . . using 90% as my celing should gain me a tone of life that I probably won't live long enough to see anyways haha". Most of this debate about the best charge profile, voltage, converter, or charger for a lifepo4 is probably a moot point for the vast majority of lifepo4 users. Even the use of a single-stage 14.6v lithium converter/charger, which is probably the worst charging device you can use to charge a lifepo4, will probably still net the average lifepo4 owner 10 years of use before capacity drops below 80%.
otrfun 06/16/22 08:37am Tech Issues
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