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RE: 6 volt batteries and an inverter

If you are new to RVing then consider an alternate power source. If you only camp once per year then no biggie, batteries will die of old age before you can consume them, but using batteries to power up heaters, hair driers, ovens or other high power appliances will cost you a lot in batteries eventually. btw, discharge to 50% is not going from 12 volts down to 6 or 7, check the charts. Down to 11 volts is a dead dead battery and past 50% discharge. Inverters are dangerous in that they will run down your batteries quick. Batteries only have so many cycles of charge/discharge before they are no longer able to be charged back. GC batteries are superior to Marine Rv batteries and can take more cycles, but all will succumb to cycling to death. From more of a full-timer or part-timer RVer standpoint: A small 2,000 watt generator is little less than double the price of the two batteries, but should last forever. You just put gas into it. By comparison, If you charge your batteries off your alternator then you are still putting gas into having available power it just goes un-noticed. Solar can keep the batteries topped off, but will not provide enough power to run 2,000 watts (unless you have 2,000 watts of panels up there pointed directly into the sun). Solar recharges batteries, and assuming you use a little power here and a little there then 200 watts (not 2,000) solar can keep up, but if you use more than the panel is supplying (mayb on one 150 watts from a 200 watt panel) then u are still cycling the battery from charge to some level of discharge so using up the battery lifespan. By your reasoning,all golf carts should have gas engines because frequent cycling of batteries will over the years cause the batteries to die. But why do most carts run on batteries? More and more campgrounds are restricting Genny hours. Many of these true deep cycle batteries have 500 cycles which depending on how often you camp and charge your batteries, could last anywheres from 5 years to eight before replacement. At $200 for 2 6v GC2 over 5 years is only $40/ year. We dry camp most of the time without running the Genny and it is because of hard working, deep cycle batteries, an inverter, plenty of solar and some charging when driving. Dave
crosscheck 11/13/19 05:25pm Truck Campers
RE: 6 volt batteries and an inverter

I have 4 GC2s at 450 aH total and a 2000 watt MSW inverter and the microwave is iffy. I don't even try the hair dryer at 13 amps (AC) continuous. We have the same set up except a PSW inverter. Run a 1200w Micro and 950w hair dryer with ease( but not at the same time). Dave
crosscheck 11/13/19 04:52pm Truck Campers
RE: Microwaves on inverters.

The batteries are only half of the equation. What do you do so you can run the coffee maker and microwave the next day? And what about the times when the sun doesn't shine for 4 days? And what is the cost of that side of the equation? Just buy the generator and be done. We have a Honda i2000W inverter generator which we carry all the time. Might as well be a boat anchor. Never use it. Batteries are more than half the equation. They keep you going through the highs and lows of solar if you have enough AH. The inverter is the silent answer to the generator. Even in shade or cloudy conditions, we can harvest 4 A from the panels(high of 22A/hr). Our Micro in 4 minutes uses 12.5 AH which is around 3 hours of low sun. We have 450AH of available storage. If you are the type that dry camps or boondocks like they are at home, then you will be running your genny constantly and running out of water within a few days. If you camp like you are in a back country environment without the luxuries of home, then without giving up too many comforts, a few simple conservation choices for power and water will see you staying a lot longer in the bush without alot of genny noise complements of your hard working batteries, solar and your inverter. Dave.
crosscheck 11/12/19 09:43pm Tech Issues
RE: Microwaves on inverters.

Takes about 110a (12v) to power our microwave with 2 GC2 batteries using a Xantrex 2000w PSW inverter. We can power the microwave for almost 40 minutes before the batteries are down to 12.2v. Our inverter to battery cable run is almost 13 ft. so we used 4/0 cable. Even at 110 amps we only have a .15v (1.2%) drop. FWIW, the Xantrex low-voltage alarm activates when the load voltage drops below approx. 11.3v. We've had it down to almost 11.0v (with a 110a load) without it shutting down. Output voltage was down to 109vac at that point. The Xantrex has a very low no-load draw--approx. 700ma. Pretty pleased with the overall performance of everything. Would love to use 4 GC2's, but no room for 'em in our truck camper. Got any room under the dinette seating? we had 4 AGM batts under the seating in our TC for 5 years. The 4 batts in a square did not take up that much room. Dave
crosscheck 11/12/19 09:17pm Tech Issues
RE: Microwaves on inverters.

I have four Trojan T125 batteries and a 2000W inverter and often use our 1200W microwave to warm food for lunch or a cup of hot water, usually for no linger than four minutes at a time with no problems. Bill We have 4 GC-2, 450AH, 2000W PSW inverter, 490W solar, 1200W Micro. Average run time, no more than 3-4 minutes. Also, run a coffee machine if there is a lot of solar(but not at the same time as the micro.). Use a French press coffee maker if there is little solar. Toaster, hair dryer, magic bullet, curling iron etc. Mostly dry camp, no generator time. This is not with the heater fan running. We watch our battery AH consumption carefully. Have had this fairly similar set up for the last 8 years in 2 different RV's. Never a problem. Dave
crosscheck 11/12/19 06:24pm Tech Issues
RE: Did I forget anything? ordering a new Hallmark pop up camper

AC exterior plug Dave
crosscheck 10/12/19 10:44pm Truck Campers
RE: Did I forget anything? ordering a new Hallmark pop up camper

Far superior to LP in cooling especially in hot weather. DaveI'll admit, I've never camped in really HOT weather. High 90's afternoon temps, dry or humid is the hottest we've camped. Never noticed any lack of cooling ability with LP absorption, or AC mode. Beer was always frosty cold and ice cubes froze in the freezer for cocktails. At what temp does absorption fridge become an issue?When turned on, DC fridge has frost forming in the freezer in less than 30 minutes where as adsorbsion fridge takes forever to cool down. In hot weather(95F), temperatures are more consistent at least that is my experience. DaveMost of the 5-8 cf LP units we've used can sustain fridge temps of 40 deg. in 115 degree heat (S. CA/AZ). This assumes an LP fridg in good working order, installed to OEM specs (proper ventilation), operating with boiler temps in the 170-190 C range (level fridge with good LP/AC/DC heating). This is also assumes the fridge door is opened infrequently and reasonably cool temps inside the RV (a/c operating). We've also camped in 115 deg. temps with small 3-5 cf compressor units sitting outside in the shade. No doubt about it, they cool-down/recover much faster than an LP fridge. However, under these conditions the compressor has to run flat-out requiring a constant 2-3 amps of 120 vac. (or 20-30 amps of 12 vdc via an inverter). The NovaKool unit that the OP is looking at draws 4.4 A when cycling.That is 5 to 7 times less 12V power and double the size than your residential unit. Remember, these compressor fridges are much more efficient than the unit you were using and of course much more expensive. During 95F day, 65f night, the most electricity we used in a day was around 75AH.Your daily draw even using the lower number of 20A is around 500AH/day. Either your numbers are off or that fridge should be used for a boat anchor. Dave
crosscheck 10/01/19 01:44pm Truck Campers
RE: Did I forget anything? ordering a new Hallmark pop up camper

What is the 2K inverter for? Roof AC?? I know it's the batt charger also. Don,t want to speak for the OP but in our pop up and our current TT, we have a similar inverter. This is what we run off the inverter: Coffee grinder Coffee maker( if we have lots of solar) Magic bullet Blender Micro Toaster Hair dryer Curling iron Laptop charging DeWalt battery charger Waffle iron Camera battery charger Sometimes, we run a power cord to neighbors if they need power to charge small items so they don,t need to run Genny. We dry camp most of the time and do not run Genny Dave
crosscheck 10/01/19 10:36am Truck Campers
RE: Did I forget anything? ordering a new Hallmark pop up camper

Far superior to LP in cooling especially in hot weather. Dave I'll admit, I've never camped in really HOT weather. High 90's afternoon temps, dry or humid is the hottest we've camped. Never noticed any lack of cooling ability with LP absorption, or AC mode. Beer was always frosty cold and ice cubes froze in the freezer for cocktails. At what temp does absorption fridge become an issue? When turned on, DC fridge has frost forming in the freezer in less than 30 minutes where as adsorbsion fridge takes forever to cool down. In hot weather(95F), temperatures are more consistent at least that is my experience. Dave
crosscheck 10/01/19 10:23am Truck Campers
RE: Did I forget anything? ordering a new Hallmark pop up camper

Man, you are spending a lot of money for what you are getting. Thought about a Class B with 4 wheel drive? I only bring it up because you are going to lose a ton of money on all new if you find out you are wrong. Also, a Class B will allow you to go to sleep on the road without getting out of the vehicle and raising the roof. I seriously can’t imagine fulltiming in a popup TC if you will never use the truck separately and will never tow. Any way, I’d prefer a LP vs DC for the other fridge option. I’m not sure if 2 batteries will keep up with the fridge. All I’ve heard says DC isn’t very efficient for a fridge, but I’m sure others know more. Had the same fridge in a pop up for 5 years, excellent results. Far superior to LP in cooling especially in hot weather. We had less than half the solar proposed in this thread but had 4 6V AGM batteries which is very important.Dry camped most of the time, almost no Genny time. Dave
crosscheck 10/01/19 08:24am Truck Campers
RE: Clean Trucks? Electric Truck?

Just like to add a few observations about RVing in Europe after 12 trips spanning 3 weeks to 12 months starting in 1967. 1) TC's are almost unheard of. The few you see are Tacoma sized trucks with small TC's. Your unit would be pretty high, with A/C unit, compared to even the largest class "A" units which are much smaller than their American cousins. This and the width including jacks could be problematic in the narrow streets of eropean towns and cities for driving and parking. 2) Since my first time in 1967 until our last time in 2017, there has been quite a change from tenting to hard side RV's including trailers, vans, class "A" and "C"'s with lots more campsites that supply AC power, dumpsites etc. Hardside RV's are everywhere so buying one that suits you would not be a problem. 3) A/C and generators are almost unheard of. 220V and 12 V fans are used exstensively when the weather is hot. 4) Because of the restriction of space in many areas and the price of fuel, European RV designers are pretty good at packing a lot of conveniences into small spaces and keeping the weight down, their units are fairly fuel efficient. 5) If you are planning to be in Europe for an extended period, during the cooler times of the year, southern Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, Morocco, Greece ,Turkey are all fairly warm in the day and cool at night, no A/C required. Plus there are many year round campgrounds in these areas. During the summer, northern Europe has very pleasant temperatures so as long as you have the time and are mobile, you can pick what ever weather you desire. 6) In 1991, when on a world tour, we bought a small, used class C near London, toured around Europe for 4 months and came back to London, sold it in 4 days. Got almost what we paid for it. Only small glitch is that I had to get used to the steering wheel on the right when on the continent. There are lots of places to buy RV's on the continent, Germany, Netherlands etc. They all speak English. Just google them. 7) Our last 7 tours to Europe have been cycling with all of our gear. Stayed in campsites most of the time but the odd time, primitive camped. In Many places this is frowned on. Might be easier in the off season to stealth camp than during to busy times(July/August), when all of Europe and half of the world is visiting. Good luck no matter what you decide and have a good trip. Dave
crosscheck 08/23/19 10:57am Truck Campers
RE: A new trend in RV fridges?

great discussion, there are advantages to every system BUT the dealer we visited only had trailers with compressor fridges. all of his medium to large trailers(24 ft and up) had them no propane fridges I don't want to be limited to 120V hookups, generators or solar. I told the sales guy that, and he said that's where the industry is going(he likely doesn't have a clue!) Our camping style is "dry", 98% of the time. I try not to use the term "boondocking" because it means so many different things to so many RVers. No power pole, no water outlet, no sewer outlet. "Dry" camping. Pretty simple. We had a 7.5cuft NovaKool fridge/freezer, with Danfoss compressor for 5 years in our TC that when cycling, used 4.4A. This is not a "residential" unit and is similarily priced to the absorbsion fridges. If you dry camp for any length of time and have a normal battery bank of 2 X12V, you will have to replace the AH's you use by one method or another no matter what type of fridge you have. Before choising a compressor fridge in our TC, I read the stories of the RV campers who really do dry camp most of the time and have a bigger electrical footprint because of the all electric fridge and the way they all seem to have no problems with their "dry" camping style was to go solar, increase battery bank, decrease electrical consumption by LED's, changing over high electrical units like TV's to modern, low electronic consumption ones, very basic changes. We have a genny and have not run it in 5 years while keeping a "dry" camping style. Traditional RV fridges work. They will still be offered by manufacturers. But because of the changes in technology in the last 20 or so years regarding batteries, solar, LED lighting, generators etc, compressor fridges, which are used by almost 100% of the world for their fridge/freezer/cooling systems, are here to stay in the RV industry. Dave
crosscheck 08/04/19 09:36pm Tech Issues
RE: TT Bike rack for truck with topper

I can put 4 mountain bikes under the truck canopy easily and still have room for other cargo and my box is 6.5' long. First bike goes in with wheel turned atright angle and other bikes follow suit. Have cushions from old lawn furniture that go in between the bikes to keep them from rubbing on rough roads. A strap attached to an anchor spot on the side of the box goes around the bikes to keep them from moving. Dave
crosscheck 04/16/19 09:39am Travel Trailers
RE: Front Bike Rack

https://i.imgur.com/4gGAarwl.jpg This is why I abandoned the idea. Headlight reflection off the rims messed up my night vision. The headlight reflection does not bother me on express ways, but does on back roads. Well you may think it doesn't bother you, but I am sure that your night vision down the road where counts is reduced by the bright light near you. We have an F350 which sits fairly high and our bikes come with black rims. Can't remember when we had shiny ones. Maybe thats why the headlights never bothered us. Dave
crosscheck 03/23/19 08:27am Tech Issues
RE: Front Bike Rack

If you want a real bike rack, something an experienced cyclist would use, then you want one that cradles the wheels and hold them down instead of these that have the bike frame hang on the rack. That Swaggared one is a poor imitation. Bicycle shops will have the good stuff. RV stores will have ones you can toss in the trash on the way out after being ripped off. Walmark will have junk. But if your bike is junky then no point having a nice rack. Kuat Saris Thulue and others It should be heavy because the good ones are. Sturdy folding and expensive. pay $400 or more. We used a Swagman that came off of a 4 runner that was situated in the rear and flopped down to open rear door. I adapted it to work in the front receiver when we had our TC's for over 8 years. Was made for 4 bikes but generally we just had 2 but sometimes there were 4. Our touring bikes hung by the top tube and since our MTB have a crazy angled top tube, we just picked up 2 Thule top tube adapters that could fit any bike and hung the MTB so they stayed level. Before this system, we had a custom welded front rack that carried 2 MTB, a road bike and 2 small kids bikes.(early 1980's) Bolted to the frame, no receiver. When not hauling bikes, put my 30HP Mariner on the rack for my Zodiac that was on top of the Bigfoot. Just make sure that no matter what rack you choose, the bikes do not move around if on rough roads. An experienced rider? Would 18,000 KM touring in Europe with all your gear over the high passes qualify. How about last 8 years MTB in the some of North Americas finest riding areas. How about touring in Mexico, Cuba, Northern BC, Hawaii? There is not one rack that fits all. We happened to use a very strong rack that we had and adapted it to the situation.(Swagman) We also have a newer rack for our Rav that is a Thule which cradles the wheels. Also a good unit. Dave
crosscheck 03/22/19 08:43pm Tech Issues
RE: How are Novacool fridges? w/ Danfoss compressor / RFS7501

We had the exact same fridge in our TC for 5 years. I have photos of us parking our truck on quite the angle for over 6 hours as we went on a hike and never any problems. Much of our boondocking was on unlevel ground. One very nice thing about the compressor fridges vs absorption is that for the same outside dimensions, they have 1/3 more volume. We had no issues with this unit. Our camping was 99% dry and as long as you have enough battery storage and solar( we had 4 AGM 6V batts and 330W solar), we didn't even run the genny. Turn it on and within 1/2 hour, the freezer is frosty. If our 6cuft absorption fridge conks out in our trailer, I would replace it with a NovaKool 9cuft fridge( same outside dimension) in a heart beat Check out our trip reports on our blog, 2011-2016. Dave .
crosscheck 03/11/19 08:50am Truck Campers
RE: Battery Box for two 6v GC2's?

I bought a century plastics battery box to hold 4 GC2's a few years ago. Drilled a couple of holes in the bottom to let any water out and put a locking cable around it. One guy painted his black to match the propane cover. You can get them for 2 GC2's also. Dave
crosscheck 02/27/19 10:12am Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: Tire chains: ok to cut off extra links at end points?

My plow truck has all 4 wheels chained up and all have extra Link's which are secured to the opposite side of the chain by good bungee cords. Have been doing this for 11 years. You might want to sell them somedayto someone who has slightly bigger tires. I have 4 extra Link's on all 4 tires Leave the extra links. Dave
crosscheck 02/26/19 10:15am Tech Issues
RE: question about camping with a pittbull

A TC pulled up next to us at the Sister's Creekside municipal CG with 2 small dogs (their own) and a big Pit( their sons), which was a rescue. While registering at the office outside beside a 5th wheel, there was the sound of a violent dog fight. Next thing,a young guy doing some construction work at the CG came running up and asked for a bucket and water.Filled it up and ran off. My wife who was walking to the showers,saw everything. The Pit from the TC was being walked on a leash when another camper with a young shepherd on a leash came together for a sniff. Pit lunged, grabbed the other dog by the throat and 4 men could not break his hold of the shepherd. Only when the bucket of water was dumped on the Pit did it disengage. Police from Bend K9 arrived as did the SPCA. Pit was put in a vehicle and police talked to the guy in the TC who's hand required medical attention. Never saw the Pit again, TC folks left soon after. According to the CG manager, Pit has a record of other attacks. He said that as a municipal CG, they can't exclude any dog as long as the owners follow the rules. Talked to the Shepherd's owner who said he and the dog were both traumatized as well as my wife who witnessed the whole scene. Interesting that a bucket of water on the Pit was more effective releasing the Pits bite than 4 grown males. Dave
crosscheck 02/24/19 10:28am RV Pet Stop
RE: How is this for a power system? Solar vs battery balance?

Compressor fridge? Yes plan to max out the roof with solar.Nope. I do fine with my existing solar and two 100AH batteries powering my Tundra compressor fridge.OK how many watts solar and what fridge model is it? I have 220W of solar and it's a Tundra T42 refrigerator. In use since about 2007. http://www.marinespecialists.com/Tundra/frige.html I owned a NovaKool 7500 fridge/freezer for 5 years dry camping almost exclusively without a generator on 330w solar, 4 6v AGM batteries. No problems. Check out the history on our blog. Dave
crosscheck 02/19/19 09:14am Truck Campers
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