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 > Your search for posts made by 'rlw999' found 145 matches.

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RE: Stand Alone Charger

What is the best stand alone battery charger? I have had a couple of Shcumachers and I am really not impressed. Also, there seem to be several dozen Schumacher models, how the heck do you know which one to get, they all look pretty much the same? What are you using it for? Are you charging your RV's starter battery because you left the lights on all night, want a maintainer to keep your batteries charged in storage, or trying to charge your house battery bank as quickly as possible while you run the generator? My only charger is a 2A Battery Minder, which works fine, if slow. When I left my car headlights on all night and drained the battery so low that the dome lights were barely visible, I hooked up the Battery Minder for a couple days to charge the battery.
rlw999 02/24/21 11:11am Tech Issues
RE: Running a generator to exercise it when there's shore power?

Other than the reasons stated to run the generator there's also a great reason to run it regularly, experience. And by that I mean there were conditions we only caught with our data center generators because we exercised them weekly, like finding out that they don't like to start at -5F without a block heater and battery heater pad, or that in super humid conditions the slats in the vandal covers needed to open more or it ran like a poorly tuned truck. All of that tuning only happened because we excercised them regularly so when we actually need them we never had an issue. The only tuning I have on my generator is how long I push the "prime" button before I press the "start" button, and it's pretty much the same all year round.
rlw999 02/23/21 11:59pm General RVing Issues
RE: Using RV generator as backup for house?

Easiest is to run some extension cords. Safest is to run some extension cords. Best is to have electrician install an cut-off switch I think safest and best is to install a transfer switch. Otherwise you end up propping open a window/door (which can let generator exhaust in) to run extension cords to your furnace, 'fridge, and whatever else you want to keep running during a power outage. My brother-in-law tripped over his stairway extension cords in the dark, fortunately just sprained his wrist, but the last time you want to injure yourself is during a weather/power emergency. If your power regularly goes out, then it's safer and much more convenient to have a transfer switch and a generator inlet outside. Definitely more expensive, but so is going to the doctor because you tripped over a cord in the dark.
rlw999 02/23/21 02:42pm Tech Issues
RE: Ford Going All Electric in 2030 Too...

It's like no one here really reads the articles: Ford Motor Company invested $1 billion in an electric vehicle (EV) production facility in Cologne, Germany, to turn its entire passenger vehicle range in Europe “zero-emissions capable, all-electric or plug-in hybrid” Even ignoring that this is a European announcement, just like the GM announcement, this announcement is passenger cars only, so has no bearing on the heavy trucks and common RV platforms. And Ford left even more wiggle room than GM by saying that they'll still be making "plug-in hybrid" vehicles, I doubt anyone here would be unhappy with a hybrid powertrain. I think the biggest thing to worry about in the RV world over the next 3 or 4 decades is that as EV's become more popular, gas stations will become harder and harder to find. So RV owners won't be forced into going electric, they'll be asking for it.
rlw999 02/18/21 08:50pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Navigation

I use a Garmin 780RV for general navigation, I really like the routing and the UI to see what's ahead for gas, food, etc. The low bridge warning has warned me off some routes so that seems to be working well. Even though the Garmin does have traffic routing (it gets updates by linking with your phone), I found that Google Maps is much better for traffic, so I use both -- the Garmin GPS for general navigation, and Google Maps on my phone to look for traffic, especially when in/near cities.
rlw999 02/18/21 01:51pm Beginning RVing
RE: Cell Boosting Kits Sold on Ebay

If it were me, I'd stick with name brands like Wilson or WeBoost -- it's easy to make a booster that increases signal strength shown on your phone, but is so noisy that the signal is lower quality that without the booster. You could get lucky and find a cheap booster that's perfectly tuned and working well, or you could get a bad one and it's really hard to know how well it's really working without signal testing equipment. Plus, you're supposed to register the booster with your cellular company, and they may not agree to register an off brand. And finally if you're mostly interested in data connectivity rather than making celluar calls, you might be better off with a roof mounted hotspot since they'll use multiple antennas with MIMO to get faster bandwidth than you'll get through most boosters.
rlw999 02/18/21 10:51am Technology Corner
RE: Electrical question

This may do what you want: Programmable Traffic Light Controller It's got many modes of operation (including red-green flashing, which should work for your application) with programmable flash times up to 2 minutes. The outputs are rated up to 240VAC and 640W (probably @ 240V, so around 2.5A per contact, you might want to add output relays).
rlw999 02/17/21 02:46pm Tech Issues
RE: Electrical question

It's often useful to describe the entire problem you're trying to solve rather than just describing how you want to solve it -- someone may have a better way to do this than a power switch.
rlw999 02/17/21 01:40pm Tech Issues
RE: Using RV generator as backup for house?

3000 watts should run that house fine. Electrician will probably put the critical items on a 120v sub panel in addition to installing a switch and a power inlet to connect power. This is the switch that I had installed in my house for use with my 3K inverter generator. Works great and allows you to watch the wattage being drawn on each leg. Wow. $300 would buy a lot of heavy duty extension cords. A good quality 12 gauge 100 ft extension cord costs around $70, so you can't really buy a lot for $300. But if I had a power failure once a year or more, that $300 would be well worth it if it means I don't need to fumble around outside in the rain or snow to plug in the power cords, prop open the door to the house, then run power everywhere I need it (furnace, refrigerator and some lights + phone charger)
rlw999 02/17/21 12:18am Tech Issues
RE: Newbie boondockers left a mess in Eastern Sierra

Seems like the ignored the obvious solution: they escaped to an area assumed to be germ-free and serene, found area campgrounds closed, pitched their tents wherever and left a mess behind them I think most people (especially those not accustomed to camping) would prefer to stay in a campground. So if they want to prevent all of these damage due to dispersed campers not following (or even knowing the rules), then keep the campgrounds open. Or maybe even expand them if there's too much demand.
rlw999 02/16/21 06:31pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Drilling holes in trailer roof to install solar: worth it?

Some folks are using super strong 3M tape and say it works as well as screws That would depend on the type of roof, tape may hold on a solid fiberglass roof, but if you have a rubber roof membrane, you may find that your solar panels ripped off half your roof membrane when they were blown off after driving on the freeway. Even if the membrane is glued down that glue isn't meant to be structural.
rlw999 02/13/21 11:57am Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: Looking for a class A

PopsRV is an online broker. I considered an RV that they had listed, but they wouldn't talk about it through email. I had to call an agent, but he didn't really know anything about the RV besides what was in the listing, he was in an office far away and had never seen it himself. The way they explained it was that I had to extend a formal offer, and only then would I be able to see it in person, take it for a test drive, inspection, etc. I'd have a certain period of time when I could rescind my offer. If I accept the unit (perhaps asking for repairs, price reduction, etc), we'd proceed to closing and finalizing the purchase. It sounded pretty much like doing a private party sale, but with more steps. I opted not to proceed.
rlw999 02/12/21 07:06pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: New TV

We added a new TV. our old one had 3 HDMI plugs and the new one is only 2. Can’t figure out a way to hook it up to surround sound. Do we need to return this TV and buy one with 3 hdmi or is there another way? I believe that what you need to hook up your surround sound via HDMI is not just a regular HDMI port, but an "HDMI out port" (also called an ARC port). This is an output port that sends the audio to your surround sound system. So just having 3 (or more) HDMI ports doesn't guarantee that you can connect it this way. Sometimes the sound system has an HDMI passthrough -- you can plug the HDMI device into the surround sound system and then it will have an HDMI out port that goes to the TV. I've seen breakout boxes that you plug in between your HDMI source and the TV that will split out the audio signal as a digital output which you could plug into your sound system, but haven't seen any that split to an HDMI output. Or your TV may have a digital audio out port that you could plug into your surround sound system. But of course, those options require that your sound system support a separate audio connection.
rlw999 02/12/21 04:34pm Technology Corner
RE: Rear Bumper Mud Guards

This year however I'm going to be carrying a couple of bicycles on a receiver hitch and I'd like to try to keep the road dust and wet film build up down. You can buy bike covers that are meant to resolve this exact problem. I haven't used one so have no recommendations, when we travel in the rain, we usually just bring the bikes inside and put them on the otherwise unused cabover bunk.
rlw999 02/12/21 12:13pm General RVing Issues
RE: It might begin very soon

I would be curious how automation would deal with icy roads and heavy snow fall when the edges of the road cant be identified or sensors packed with snow and ice. I am sure they have a solution for this, but at times when you cant see the road and gps may not have road exactly laid out the way that it physically is, not sure how they automate that. How should a human respond? Program in that response. A self driving truck may have an option that a human doesn't: Stop and wait it out. After all the computer isn't going to freeze to death while it waits. And they have another option similar to what many humans do when the road is snowed over -- wait for a snowplow, then form a train behind it, each driverless vehicle watching the one in front of it to figure out where the lane is. If one vehicle gets into trouble (runs off the road, gets stuck on a patch of ice, whatever), it can tell everyone behind it to stop. Tesla autopilot already does some of this -- it tracks the car in front to help with lanekeeping, but I don't know if it does that on snowy roads where there are no lane lines visible at all.
rlw999 02/11/21 11:12am Tow Vehicles
RE: Wifi in remote areas

The problem with cell connections is distance. You can get an antenna that will dredge up a signal--perhaps even 2 or 3 bars. BUT the range is limited to about 25 miles. Anything farther away and the "hand shaking" times out. The other problem with cell service in remote areas is that if you're 20 miles from the nearest tower, that same tower is also serving a lot of other people, so you may get very limited bandwidth even if you have good signal strength. This is especially the case in campgrounds where the entire campground may be served by a single cell sector of a single tower, so everyone is sharing its limited bandwidth.
rlw999 02/10/21 02:39pm Tech Issues
RE: Wifi in remote areas

Starlink is open for beta and covers a lot of North America. 1 meter dish and $99 usd per month. First come first serve. https://www.starlink.com/ Better information here: https://www.satelliteinternet.com/providers/starlink/ Starlink, at least for now, is not meant for mobile use: Can I travel with Starlink, or move it to a different address? Starlink satellites are scheduled to send internet down to all users within a designated area on the ground. This designated area is referred to as a cell. Your Starlink is assigned to a single cell. If you move your Starlink outside of its assigned cell, a satellite will not be scheduled to serve your Starlink and you will not receive internet. This is constrained by geometry and is not arbitrary geofencing. The FAQ doesn't say anything about whether or not they'll eventually open it up to non fixed addresses. For now I think they want to have good control over how many customers are in each cell. The cells are estimated to be around 15 miles diagonal, so you'd have to be camping pretty close to home to stay in the same cell.
rlw999 02/10/21 02:24pm Tech Issues
RE: It might begin very soon

What happens when the road isn't where it is supposed to be? Like in a construction zone where the road was moved over a few feet. I know. The car runs into the guard rail. Seen it happen. Automated vehicles don't blindly follow a pre-mapped route down to the foot, they have cameras, radar and lidar to help them see. Might want to tell that to Telsa. I saw what happens when in a construction zone where the barrier is moved over 2 feet. Telsa upside down. Tesla's "autopilot", despite what their marketing says, is not a self-driving system. It's a driver assistance feature, but the driver still needs to pay attention to the road. Tesla also saved money by not using LIDAR to detect obstacles, while most of the truck based systems do use it (mostly because a $5000 LIDAR sensor is a lot more affordable on a $200K truck than a $50K car, especially when it's replacing a $75K/year driver)
rlw999 02/10/21 02:06pm Tow Vehicles
RE: It might begin very soon

Well ... there is one big and very important difference between a human truck driver and a technology truck driver: A human truck driver has an ultimately selfish reason to not want to get into, or cause, an accident involving what he's riding in. It's called self preservation. If that were the only motivation that humans have, that might be comforting. But that same driver is also under pressure to get the job done, even if he's tired or feeling ill, maybe he just drank half a bottle of cough medicine to help him finish the run. And when he's approaching his mandatory break, he may feel compelled to drive a little faster so he can get to the depot while he's still legally allowed to drive... or maybe he just wants to get home to his family faster. Driving 10% over the speed limit gets him home an hour earlier on a 10 hour drive. He's also prone to distraction, perhaps paying more attention to his MP3 player than to the road, or getting into an argument with his wife on the phone. Or maybe he's one of those drivers that thinks he can watch a movie while driving. And even humans are subject to malfunction, drivers have had accidents during medical incidents. It's much more expensive to have a redundant driver than to build redundancy into control systems. A self-driving car doesn't need to have a sense of self-preservation, it just needs to know how to stay on the road and avoid obstacles.
rlw999 02/10/21 12:03pm Tow Vehicles
RE: It might begin very soon

I doubt the warehouse/customer is going to spend millions of bucks setting up a system to handle drivers free trucks. They will when they own the warehouses and the trucks -- like Amazon, Walmart, etc. And when other warehouses have to pay a premium to send a human operated truck to Amazon's warehouses since their drivers get queued up behind a driverlesss truck that doesn't mind waiting for 10 hours to unload, they'll start to make accommodations for the driverless trucks. Which could be as simple as a parking area -- driverless trucks come in an park where it waits for a human driver to take over.
rlw999 02/09/21 01:27pm Tow Vehicles
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