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 > Your search for posts made by 'DrewE' found 618 matches.

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RE: Small Class C with out tow car

One concern I do have with us taking our small Class C around to visit places is having to leave it parked too much off-level for long periods with it's absorption refrigerator turned on. The figures I've seen from the manufacturers are within 3 degrees front to back (the fridge's front and back) and six degrees side to side, if there's a specific recommendation rather than just "if you're comfortable using the RV." Three degrees is a noticeable incline; it's about a four to five inch height difference between the left and right wheels of the motorhome, or a five percent road grade. Most parking spaces are much closer to level than that.
DrewE 06/29/20 08:59pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: hauling trailer to Alaska

Thank you, lots of good info. Do most people who boondock run a generator? When I took my Alaska trip, I did not use the generator, generally speaking. It's worth noting that, with my class C motorhome, the house batteries charge completely with a day's driving and can then last for several days on a charge if a little bit of care is taken in electrical conservation. There's not a lot of need for using the inside lights in Alaska in the summer time, nor for air conditioning often in the evenings or nights. I don't recall hearing many generators running, as a rule, when camping in areas without electric hookups. There were times when I was glad to have the generator, though, mostly for the occasional microwaving of leftovers or for running my 120V compressor when a tire needed a bit of air to top it up.
DrewE 06/29/20 04:47pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Decent inexpensive modified sine wave inverter

A laptop uses a brick so why would an Apple care if were MSW? As I understand it, the laptop itself doesn't--it's just getting DC power from the power brick--but the active power factor correction circuitry in some power bricks (and some other switchmode power supplies) can behave badly when the input waveform is not at all sinusoidal, as they try like mad to adjust their current consumption within an AC cycle to be sinusoidal even though the applied voltage is anything but sinusoidal. Supposedly (some) Apple power supplies are rather notorious for self-destruction under those circumstances. Most switching power supplies, for sure any older/cheaper ones without active power factor correction, are perfectly happy with MSW power.
DrewE 06/29/20 09:34am Tech Issues
RE: Too Much A Novice To Ask This On Electronics forum

Do be aware that bluetooth adds some noticeable latency to the audio, so mixing a bluetooth subwoofer with non-bluetooth speakers is almost certainly not going to work out very well (and might not be very readily done with many computer operating systems), and similarly separate bluetooth connections to various different speaker systems might be problematic.
DrewE 06/28/20 04:57pm Tech Issues
RE: RV fridge not getting cold on propane, but freezer works?

Since the fridge works on electric power, the cooling unit is functional, and so the problem must be something with the propane burner or associated bits. My guess is something needs cleaning or adjusting in the burner. The air conditioner problem is entirely unrelated. You have a broken air conditioner (or maybe a broken wire from the thermostat, but that's not too likely), but you already know that much.
DrewE 06/26/20 07:39pm Tech Issues
RE: Toll roads or not

As a matter of principal as much as anything, I prefer to avoid toll roads if reasonably practical. Here in the northeast it is not always reasonably practical. EZPass is a debit system, but in some cases the discounts available vs. cash will more than make up for any amount you have left in the account and any initial setup fees even in a single trip. If you have a motorhome and are going on I-90 across New York, for instance, the motorhome discount plan will save you a good chunk of money (about half the toll vs. cash) if you request it with a New York state EZPass transciever. The different states and agencies in the EZPass consortium have somewhat different fee structures so it's worth checking a few out for the best deal: things like initial charges, monthly fees, etc. Paying by cash or by mail is certianly doable. Paying by credit/debit card rather than cash on roads that are not toll by mail is not always an available option.
DrewE 06/26/20 08:20am Roads and Routes
RE: Help identifying wires, please

Keep in mind that if the previous owner did any maintenance or repair on the wiring, then any wire color conventions that may have been there from the factory could well have gone out the window. Often one uses whatever color of wire is at hand and of a suitable gauge and type to do a repair, rather than driving to a store or ordering online and waithing for delivery of additional wire of a different color. To figure out what the wire is for, it's pretty much essential to figure out where it's going and what it's connecting to.
DrewE 06/26/20 08:12am Tech Issues
RE: Any good/cheap electric razor for camping?

My solution would be to (start to) grow a beard and moustache, and get rid of it when you get home. Perhaps that's a bit unhelpful, I realize. I haven't shaved for maybe fifteen years--just trimmed every now and again to keep things neat.
DrewE 06/26/20 08:07am RV Lifestyle
RE: Help finding this DC Outlet

If you have or know someone with a 3D printer, this is the sort of thing that would not be too hard to design and print out a pretty close fascimilie of. If a perfectly smooth surface finish is required, there is some additional effort in finishing (sanding/painting) since 3D printers leave visible little layer lines due to how they build things up.
DrewE 06/26/20 08:04am Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: hauling trailer to Alaska

There are some places to boondock, more the further north/northwest you get. There are also plenty of state and provinical/territorial/municipal campgrounds that typically have a fire ring and picnic table for $10-$20 per night, dropped in an iron ranger. Many do not have potable water or a dump station, though pit or vault toilets are generally available and quite often non-potable water. The Yukon provincial campgrounds offer free campfirewood as well. In the larger cities and bigger tourist destinations, it's somewhat harder to find really cheap or free camping, but there are options available in most places that are not too outlandishly expensive. Church's book ("Traveler's Guide to Alaskan Camping") is an excellent and thorough guide to camping accomodations. I would definitely suggest taking the trip, and reserving as much time as practical for it! Depending on exactly where you end up going, it may be rough on your trailer, but IMHO totally worth the wear and tear. It seems to me a bit of a truism that the very best camping experiences, at least in that part of the world, are on some of the least smooth roads.
DrewE 06/24/20 10:11pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: 220V circuit for electric dryer

I believe it would be harmless but if you connect to 30amp with an adapter, both hots on the 220v circuit in the camper will be connected to the same pole, so you would see zero voltage. Anyone correct me if I'm wrong about the safety aspect? It wouldn't be unsafe. Any 120V parts of the dryer (or whatever) would continue to operate, so the timer/controls and possibly drum rotation might (or might not) still work, but it would not heat up. However, none of that leads to any particular safety issues.
DrewE 06/24/20 11:16am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Moving fridge thermistor up = warmer??

Since the thermistor on the fins is measureing the air temp. the higher it is the hotter it is.. (ok so perhaps 1 degree hotter at most) so since it will report a higher temp to the control board the controller will try to make things COLDER. This may confuse some. The thermistor is mainly measuring the temperature of the fin, and not of the air. If it were sensing the air, then the fridge would not behave much differently if the thermistor were removed from the fin and placed elsewhere in the compartment, but that does indeed happen. (Indeed, if they were interested in measuring the air temperature in the fridge, it would make far more sense to not mount it on the cooling fin at all, but rather someplace more representative of the air temperature.) The fin temperature varies a little from top to bottom since the coolant flows downwards through the system at that point in the refrigeration cycle.
DrewE 06/23/20 07:30pm Tech Issues
RE: Week in Maine. Where would you go?

If I had a suitably small RV, I suspect I'd head somewhere in the North Maine Woods for solitude and natural beauty and dry camping. The maximum length is 28' for a single vehicle (motorhome), and 44' total length for tow vehicles and trailers. (It's a large private road system, maintained and used mostly by the lumber industry, and they set the restrictions and rules for public use of the private lands and roads.)
DrewE 06/23/20 08:19am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: slide vs no slide

For a newer class C, it's very nearly a moot point; you will get one one or more slides with the great majority of motorhomes available. There are not too many non-slide floorplans available, and those that are I suspect exist mainly to satisfy the rental market. Slides are not perfect and do occasionally fail, no doubt, but for the most part they must be pretty reliable or they wouldn't be so nearly ubiquitous. Plenty of other things in RVs can give bother now and again, too; generators and furnaces and air conditioners and roofs and doors also need maintenance and the occasional odd repair to work properly and reliably.
DrewE 06/23/20 08:01am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Battery interconnect logic

I do believe you're overthinking this. Multiple DC power sources (such as the alternator and solar controller) don't specifically have a hierarchy of which one supplies what power, but rather the system just reaches some point of equilibrium based on the attached load (including battery charging) and the current vs. voltage characteristics of the sources. For sources controlled by a computer or microcontroller, such as the solar charge controller or a modern vehicle's charge controller, those curves can change dynamically. At any rate, the solar controller will supply what power it can to the system. If you're driving and the solar doesn't happen to provide enough to run the fridge, the alternator would make up the excess. I don't know that there's a particularly easy way to get it to switch to propane at that point, nor does it really seem sensible to me to do so; switching momentarily to propane every time you drove under an overpass seems like a questionable thing to do. On the other hand, I think it's a mighty useful thing to have the alternator charge the house batteries while driving, and it doesn't noticeably affect fuel mileage (especially for a motorhome, where the fuel consumed powering the alternator is negligible compared to that consumed pushing a big square box through the air at highway speeds). As an aside, I gather you're running your RV fridge via an inverter. Do keep in the back of your mind that an RV absorption fridge uses a lot more electric power than a compressor style fridge; that's the price you pay for being able to run it on propane. If you're not able to keep up power with the solar installation, replacing it with a residential fridge might make good sense. I think most people run their RV fridges on propane when not hooked up to shore power or running a generator, rather than operating them through an inverter.
DrewE 06/22/20 11:08pm Tech Issues
RE: digital temperature controller

To answer the original question, most of those digital temperature controllers do have the ability to set the temperature differential between their turning on and turning off. The first one linked, for instance, apparently can set that to anywhere between 1 degree and 25 degrees.
DrewE 06/22/20 10:50pm Tech Issues
RE: The newest and shortest Interstate...

Try I390 in IL. It may not be he shortest, but it's the most with tolls! About every 2 miles!!! There is a I390 in Western NY also, do they reuse these spur numbers? Yes, they sometimes reuse the three-digit interstate numbers. If they didn't, there could only be five spurs and four bypasses anywhere along a given interstate highway, and for a long highway like I-90 that goes from one coast clear to the other that's hardly sufficient. There are four different I-190s, for example. However, in the specific case of I-390, there is only the one in New York. It seems dodge guy must have made a typo; I think maybe I-290 is actually the road in question.
DrewE 06/22/20 10:41pm General RVing Issues
RE: Battery interconnect logic

If the battery combiner relay is engaged when travelling, the solar is already being added to the alternator's power (as the two are combined), so there's no need to do anything additional for that particular use. There might be some circuit that senses somehow when the converter is running and/or possibly when the solar is charging and combines the two batteries at that point, too, to make sure the chassis battery stays charged. Typically that would be part of a larger charge control unit or a fancier relay generally termed a BIRD (which stands for bidirectional something something device, I think). A picture of the relay with the wires might be helpful. I can't think of any reason to have four control wires for this one relay. Usually there would be just the heavy wires on either side to either battery, a single control wire, and possibly a ground connection if it isn't grounded through its mount. The control wire, in one typical and relatively simple setup, goes to the emergency start button, which is a SPDT switch. The normally closed contact goes to the run circuit on the chassis, or something similar, and the normally open contact to the house 12V system somewhere (via a fuse, etc.). There are fair few possible variations; that said, what I've described is how my 1998 Coachmen is wired up.
DrewE 06/22/20 11:53am Tech Issues
RE: Why 30 amp and not 50 amp

That's half true; 50A service is 50A, 120/240V service, but it's not in any way a 100A circuit: you cannot connect a single 120V, 100A device to it should that odd need come up. It is correct that it provides a nominal 12 kW rather than 3.6 kW for the 120V, 30A service. Saying it's a 100A service is about like saying that a semi tractor pulling dual trailers is really travelling at 120 mph, because it's pulling two trailers traveling at 60 mph apiece. But, it is also true that a 50 amp trailer has access to 100 amps of power. You just have to use two circuits to access it. Sometimes, simplifying a subject can get the concept across even though the technical details are wrong. I think it is both simpler and more correct to use units of power when comparing power, rather than units of current--doubly so when one of the current values must be incorrectly stated for the comparison to work out. "Amps of power" is a nonsensical phrase, if taken at face value. In the context, it is a shorthand form (or a shorthand way of thinking) based on the assumption that the voltage is invariant, when in fact the different voltages are at the heart of the matter. Similarly, saying that a 50A circuit supplies 100A is also something of an absurdity, and is also forced by incorrect assumptions about the voltages. Comparing power using the proper units--watts or kilowatts--avoids all the confusion.
DrewE 06/22/20 12:29am General RVing Issues
RE: Moving fridge thermistor up = warmer??

I'd trust the sticker put there by the makers of the fridge over the opinion of some random guy (or gal) making a web page somewhere on the internet as to which direction to move the thermistor to achieve some particular end. For that matter, I'd trust the fridge maker's directions over anything suggested by a random poster possibly called DrewE on some RV related web forum, too, all other things being equal.
DrewE 06/21/20 07:12pm Tech Issues
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