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RE: Fan Speed Control

For reference the 'classic' Fantastic Fan model 4000R draws ~ 3A on high, 2.3A on medium and 1.9A on low. Using a PWM controller, dialed in for what appears/sounds to be about the same speeds medium and low I am seeing 1.6 and 0.9A, so a saving of about 0.7A on medium and 1A on low. I use about 30 - 50Ah a day, so if I were to run the fan overnight on low using my PWM controller, the reduction of ~10Ah would be a noticeable saving. With a PWM frequency around 20KHz or so there is nor ringing or noticeable increase in noise. There is no output filtering on any of these PWM controllers (the inductance and inertia of the motor takes care of that) and on full on there are no 'conversion losses' when the controller is at full speed. Many of us have been using PWM fan drivers for years, so clearly they and withstand the current spikes from field collapse, maybe they have a fly-back diode across the output.
FWC 08/28/21 08:51am Tech Issues
RE: Just experienced our first Non-refundable campground

It is funny how these contracts are seen as a one way street. Folks are indignant when a park has a clearly stated no-cancelation policy, and expect that the park should accommodate their change in plans. Yet the same folks would be apoplectic if the same park cancelled their reservation (say because someone else were willing to pay more for the same spot). You knew the policy, the reason you are cancelling doesn't matter at all, it is not on the park to eat the cost of your change.
FWC 08/13/21 01:39pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Dashboard Alternator light

As others have stated, I don't think you actually have a problem, or need to change anything to fix it. The alternator light is coming on, because the 12V bus voltage does not agree with what the ECU expects from the alternator. As you know that this higher than specified voltage is coming form your house batteries, and not from a fault in your alternator, you can safely ignore the light.
FWC 08/01/21 09:16am Tech Issues
RE: Best weatherproof MPPT solar charge controller

The Victron MPPT 100/20 is the 'best' MPPT Charge controller for your application. It IP43 rated, so fine for spray and splashes, but I would still put it in some kind of enclosure. Maybe a small Pelican box so you can easily open the lid for ventilation when it is working hard.
FWC 07/30/21 08:08am Tech Issues
RE: America the beautiful

They could be Liberians!
FWC 07/23/21 06:11pm General RVing Issues
RE: AGM battery question for the experts.

You have a bad connection somewhere inside the battery, that has very high resistance. When you are measuring the voltage with the meter, you aren't drawing any current, so there is no voltage drop across this bad connection. As soon as you load the battery, it is pulling current so there is voltage drop, which is why you see the voltage at the terminals drop to near zero. This is probably not recoverable.
FWC 07/23/21 05:44pm Tech Issues
RE: Iron air battery -- too heavy for RVs, but interesting

This is quite different from a Nickel Iron battery, as it uses air (oxygen) as the cathode. It is great to see the dramatic leaps we are seeing in batteries and energy storage technology. The other emerging technology that is more directly relevant to EVs and RVs are Solid State Lithium Metal Batteries . These will have a higher energy density, charge faster and last even longer than lithium-ion batteries.
FWC 07/23/21 01:17pm General RVing Issues
RE: TR: where did all the water go?

Great pictures. Lake Powell is drying up. The bureau of reclamations expect the water level to drop another 50' this summer, and could drop 75' which would put it only a few feet above dead pool. They have already started draining Flaming Gorge, Blue Mesa and Navajo reservoirs in CO and WY in order to stop Powell going to dead pool. Both Powell and Mead will hit their lowest level ever since they were filled, this year. How many years of drought do we need in a row to accept that this is the new normal? Maybe we should stop trying to grow alfalfa in the desert.
FWC 07/21/21 03:25pm Truck Campers
RE: Pay or No Pay?

When you workamp you are on site. No commute needed. You are there to walk your dog, to make a better lunch than a sandwich, to be at your home should you need something or if something goes wrong. To many people that is a valuable benefit of workamping. A workamper position is basically unskilled labor. If you have special skills and training that commands high pay good for you. Doctors, lawyers, hedge fund managers and Fortune 500 CEOs make huge wages, but that doesn’t matter to a park hiring workers. That $500 an hour lawyer will only get $10 an hour as a workamper if that is what the going rate for workampers is. It seems that most of these gigs pay $10 - $15 an hour without benefits, which in many places is close to minimum wage. I am not suggesting they pay more than that for what is essentially unskilled labor, particularly if they can fill the spots. What I am suggesting is that if this is a straight financial decision (ie you are workamping for the income and/or site fees) then you should also consider other forms of income that maybe be more lucrative and stimulating and just pay for the campsite. In the current environment, there are a lot of jobs that can be done remotely so you can still work from your campsite for a week or two a month and come out ahead. This is not for everyone, if you are a carpenter or real estate agent, then remote work would be hard, but for many professionals this could be an option to consider. I think there is a tendency to get distracted by 'free campsite' and not do a thorough analysis as to whether it is fair compensation, or the business owner is taking advantage of you.
FWC 07/21/21 07:40am Workamping Forum
RE: How best to improve a primitive RV site to rent it out?

Quite frankly, I think you would do better positioning these as 'glamping' locations for tent campers than RV sites. Assuming you live in the 'daks I am sure you know that all the DEC areas are completely full and that even dispersed and backcounty camping is really hard to come by. Folks coming up for a long weekend would pay a premium to know they have a reserved, private, 'wilderness' campsite. Market these as 'wilderness lite', maybe install a small platform with some sort of rain cover, or a lean to, a fire pit (hole in the ground with some rocks) with a few Adirondack chairs and a latrine. Take some over saturated photos at dusk (photoshop out the black flies) with bearded 30 somethings sitting in the Adirondack chairs around the fire with Woolrich and Rumpl blankets, drinking Saranac or a Moscow Mule. All up, it would be a few thousand dollars to improve each site, then I would think you could get $200 per weekend night with the hipster down state crowd. Most folks would probably only stay 2-3 nights, but you could make your investment back in one season. It would all be about the marketing.
FWC 07/20/21 01:55pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Pay or No Pay?

See if working for Walmart gets you a free place to park with full hookups. I bet at that Walmart job you won’t have the ability to roll out of bed and be to work in 60 seconds. Seldom are the Walmart’s of the world located near national parks and other tourist destinations. I bet the work schedules aren’t as flexible and the jobs not as easy as most Workcamper positions. But if you attach no value to those points Workcamping is a bad deal. Agreed. But for many of us the choice is not between work camping or working at Walmart. My point was that I am not willing to work for less than market rate in order to increase someone else's profit margin. If the idea is just to cover living expenses, then I will spend a week a month working remotely at my real job, and have the other 3 weeks free to do what I want. However if the opportunity is fulfilling in some other way, say volunteering at a National Park then I am happy to straight volunteer, and if they give a free campsite, all the better.
FWC 07/20/21 11:02am Workamping Forum
RE: Pay or No Pay?

I think a type B gig would be OK if it is for a good cause, like supporting public lands by volunteering for the USFS, NPS, BLM etc. There is no way I would take a type B gig (or a type A gig for that matter) for a private for profit entity. If the goal is to be paid for work, then there are much more lucrative and stimulating opportunities than working in a campground.
FWC 07/20/21 10:18am Workamping Forum
RE: Thoughts on a weird/unique way to empty holding tanks.

Maybe this is a dumb question, but why not just use the pit toilet as it is designed - you sit on it and do your business. No tanks, hoses or dodgy behavior. If I saw you doing what you are proposing, I would say something.
FWC 07/12/21 02:01pm Tech Issues
RE: lifepo4 and maxxfan

ordering a 20A/300W buck converter step-down unit. Hoping that unit is large enough I can just wire it in before my distribution fuse box and filter both the battery and converter for the entire camper (maxxfan, propane furnace, 3 LED lights, USB power outlet, and 12v/propane refrigerator). If not, I can use it for just the fan/light circuit and buy additional units for other circuits if needed, it was only $15. on hold for well over an hour this morning with airxcel to see if they will warranty this (less than one year since purchase, just installed it a month or so ago). Had to drop off and opted for the callback feature on their phone system. I am wondering if they either have a very limited staff, or just so many issues their customer support department cannot keep up... Definitely report back on this. I have feeling that it won't work. Typically a buck converter (particularly a cheap one) need the input voltage to be 2-3V above the output voltage. So if you are planning on regulating at typical lead acid battery voltages (12 - 13V) it may work when the converter is on (14.6v down to 12V), but once the converter is off and the battery drops to 13.2V, the converter will drop out. I think the real solution is to return the existing fan, and get one that works at actual RV voltages. This is not a converter/lithium problem but is a fan problem. Most lead acid batteries need to be charged up to 14.7V every now and then as well, so the fan is apt to burn out in that scenario as well. While you are at it, it may be good to return the converter as well and get one that actually works with lithium.
FWC 07/12/21 09:55am Tech Issues
RE: Benchmark atlases or ???? Hiking trails on something else?

Gaia has property ownership as well. I would also agree that alltrails is marginal for navigation, but can be useful for finding a trail description ahead of time.
FWC 07/11/21 10:08am Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Benchmark atlases or ???? Hiking trails on something else?

What sort of hiking trails are you looking for? Benchmarks do mark some of the larger trails, however there is insufficient detail on the map at scale of 1:200,000 to actually use them to hike. National Geographic Trails illustrated maps are a better resource for hiking. They are also available through the GaiaGPS app, which is probably the best digital resource for backcountry travel.
FWC 07/11/21 07:47am Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Griz kills women outside Glacier

It is important to remember that the reason bear attacks make the news is that they are so incredibly rare. The statistics are kind of hard to decipher, but Yellowstone is a good case study, where they explain the chances of a bear attack while backcountry camping are about 1 in 1,700,000. In the 150 years that Yellowstone has been around their have been 8 bear fatalities, out of how many tens or hundreds of million visitors? Far more people have died from traffic accidents and falling in geothermal features. Yes you should be smart about camping in bear country, and this woman's death is tragic. But having spent hundreds of nights in tents in the northern rockies, you also need to realize that the drive to the trailhead is likely more dangerous than your hike.
FWC 07/10/21 08:27am Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: No shots...not getting in.

I agree with the posters above that I don't think there is going to be a flood of people crossing the border with faked vaccination documents. But this is going to be an increasingly a requirement for travel, just like Yellow Fever vaccines are required for many parts of the world, and thus it is worthwhile to get out in front of the problem and figure out some universal way to demonstrate you are vaccinated. The fact that there already appears to be a market for fake vaccine cards, does seem to indicate that people are planning on using them.
FWC 07/09/21 08:51am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: No shots...not getting in.

The decision may have been made for political reasons, but it is entirely consistent with the science. The efficacy of vaccines is well understood and they are widely available. The scientific community is unanimous in recommending the vaccine. There is no question that requiring a vaccine for entry to Canada reduces the transmission of COVID into Canada. Now if they decide to remove this requirement because it is unpopular, that would be a political decision that goes against the science. Lets hope they don't do that, but for now this decision as well as the one to reduce quarantine requirements for vaccinated Canadians seems to be quite popular.
FWC 07/09/21 08:42am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: No shots...not getting in.

The problem I see with this, is how does the Canadian Border Service Agency, or any other foreign government access these databases? In the US each state maintains a database containing name, date of first shot, date of second shot, name of manufacturer, and lot number. This how the million dollar lottery has confirmed winners. The same could be used at borders to verify shot cards.
FWC 07/08/21 09:53pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
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