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 > Your search for posts made by 'ktmrfs' found 415 matches.

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RE: Best electric tongue jack?

Both my trailers have Barker ball screw jacks, 3500 series I believe. Ball screw jacks have way less frictional losses than the typical acme thread jacks, generally last longer, make less noise. Of course they generally cost more as well
ktmrfs 10/23/21 09:19am Travel Trailers
RE: Power "vampire" on coach batteries

I would disconnect the neg battery terminal and set your muti meter to 10 amps with one lead on the post and one lead on the cable. This will tell you what your parasitic draw is. If over a couple of amps something is left on . If you do this simple test first and post what your draw is you will solve your problem. As a data point my parasitic draw on my chassis battery is .4amps. If less than 1 amp I would check the cells in your battery. couple of amps is WAY to high. if everything is off, draw should be on the order of 0.01A or less. Even 0.4A is going to discharge a battery bank faster than you want. That's about 10Ah/day As I said in my post if you have a couple of amps draw something is left on. However I misplaced a decimal on my parasitic draw, it should read .04 amps or 40 milliamps. On a newer MH with radio, satellite ,GPS systems, Wifi and other electrical stuff the draw will be higher. For OP's batteries to go dead in 10 days something is left on or batteries are bad. If after you check the draw and find it more than an amp or two you can then go to your 12v fuse box and start pulling fuses one at a time to see which one reduces the draw. Lots of vehicles from the last 15 years or so will go through a shutdown process over around 20 minutes or so. But to get to that state it requires doors shut, ignition off, hood closed, no kefob nearby, etc. making it hard to actually measure standby current. But it will drop to the 10-40ma range.
ktmrfs 10/23/21 09:14am Tech Issues
RE: Power "vampire" on coach batteries

I would disconnect the neg battery terminal and set your muti meter to 10 amps with one lead on the post and one lead on the cable. This will tell you what your parasitic draw is. If over a couple of amps something is left on . If you do this simple test first and post what your draw is you will solve your problem. As a data point my parasitic draw on my chassis battery is .4amps. If less than 1 amp I would check the cells in your battery. couple of amps is WAY to high. if everything is off, draw should be on the order of 0.01A or less. Even 0.4A is going to discharge a battery bank faster than you want. That's about 10Ah/day
ktmrfs 10/22/21 10:17pm Tech Issues
RE: I want to run a microwave on an inverter

The problem with ANY lead acid battery is that the only time you will have a fully charged battery is on day one of a trip. This because LA batteries slow down on accepting charge as they get closer to full. To fully charge a LA battery takes a VERY long time, and it doesn't matter what the charging source is..... Even a DC to DC charger cannot do it. The solution is to change the batteries to Lifpo chemistry I'll disagree. it doesn't take very long to get to about 90% SOC with a good charger/generator and solar combo. then switch to solar only and another hour or so to top off to 100%. Charging starts at near 100-120A, and when it tapers to about 15A I switch generator off and let the solar finish. even using solar only we often end up at 100%SOC by afternoon and we aren't real energy concious. And run our panasonic true inverter microwave as needed off a 1000VA inverter. Batteries are 4 GC-2's
ktmrfs 10/22/21 12:58pm Tech Issues
RE: Power "vampire" on coach batteries

first thing I'd check is your audio system. Many of the radio's in RV's draw current in the "off" mode which is really standby. Enough to drain a single 12V in a few days, Also often the CO and propane detectors along with smoke detectors are wired to 12V. Check those out first. Now when you say you had the battery banks "shut off" if they truely were disconnected the only load is the battery self discharge which is very very low.
ktmrfs 10/21/21 08:44am Tech Issues
RE: Cold weather, generators, and campgrounds

" breaking the rules" when it ONLY affect the said person is one thing. E.G. parking partly on the grass when not allowed. "breaking the rules" when it affects others. E.G. running a generator after allowed hours, partying after quiet time, affecting others peace and quiet, sleep etc. is a completely different issue IMHO. It shows a complete disregard for others and a "I'm the important one screw you" attitude.
ktmrfs 10/19/21 10:20am General RVing Issues
RE: Cold weather, generators, and campgrounds

In my rig the furnace cycling would be much louder than any generator noise sourced from "many" surrounding camp sites with the RV buttoned up to keep out the cold. Gas water heaters are also very loud, especially at 3am. When they initially fire up it sounds like an explosion. I don't know why people leave them on all the time, or if they even know they're on. They must be deaf. I leave mine on because when I have to get up and pee at 3 am, washing my hands in cold water is excruciating due to my arthritis. And waiting for a pot of water to heat up at 3 am so I can wash my hands is just not conducive to getting back to sleep quickly. But I never run a furnace or a generator, I never leave lights on all night, I never have loud music or drunken parties or fights, etc. we always turn the WH off at night. even by morning the water n the WH is still hot enough that it still to hot to use directly w/o mixing with cold water.
ktmrfs 10/18/21 08:57pm General RVing Issues
RE: I want to run a microwave on an inverter

ok, there is an "easy peasy" way to run a microwave on a 1000W sine wave inverter. Been doing it for a decade or more. solution: Buy a panasonic true inverter microwave. rather than cycling between 0% and 100% power on reduced settings it runs continously but on lower power. the 50% power level easily runs on our 1000VA inverter, draws about 850W on that power level. At 50% power level things like heating water, cooking frozen veggies etc. takes about 25-30% longer than 100% power. Nice thing is we can use the microwave w/o having to go out and start the generator. Now for the downside. If your battery bank is a PAIR of GC-2's, likely the inverter won't like the voltage drop if the batteries are below about 80% SOC. four GC-2's and your good down to around 50% SOC. Here is where a pair or even one 12V outperforms the GC-2's. The 12V has WAY less internal resistance and hence voltage drop. and a pair of 12V wins even more with the batteries splitting the current.
ktmrfs 10/18/21 08:53pm Tech Issues
RE: Cold weather, generators, and campgrounds

My cartoon bubble: #1: Man did you hear all those generators last night cycling on and off? I hardly slept a wink. #2 Uhh, that was our furnace fan cycling on and off all night. yup furnace is noisy, that is why we have a setback thermostat, set to 50F at night, set to 70 at 6:30AM as our "alarm clock" in 30 minutes trailer is then reasonably warm. Quilt keeps us comfy. Personally I don't get a good nights sleep if the furnace is set to a temp that has it cycling during the night. Keeps waking me up. But the outside noise from a furnace (at least both of our trailer furnaces) is NOT very loud at all, hard to hear even 10ft away. But nearby generator definitely can be heard inside the trailer. IMHO in a designated campground running a generator at night is an extreme example of selfishness and inconsideration for others. It's an "I'm more important than you" message to me. Just plain rude. Boondocking with no one else around, go for it,
ktmrfs 10/18/21 02:53pm General RVing Issues
RE: Cold weather, generators, and campgrounds

regardless of allowed generator run times, If I'm camping anywhere near anyone else, I NEVER start the generator before around 10AM and ALWAYS havew it shut it off no later than 4pm. And I seldom need to run it for more than a hour or so. Even if it gets down well below freezing our trailer, which is NOT a 4 season trailer only needs the furnace to run for an hour or so during the night, a good quilt and we are comfy. Come prepared, doesn't take much. Rules are rules, they are clearly posted for virtually every campground, come prepared and abide by them. Same thing for those who seem to think only one vehicle allowed doesn't apply to them, or no parking on the grass doesn't apply to them. Only sympathy I have is for the authorities that have to deal with such arrogance.
ktmrfs 10/17/21 09:25pm General RVing Issues
RE: Cold weather, generators, and campgrounds

My wife and I were at Yellowstone the past few days at NPS campground Madison, which is run by Xanterra. It was pretty cold and snowy for several days, not extreme, but a little "rough" for mid-October. The campground rules are no generators btwn 8pm - 8am. There were many in the campground that ran their generators intermittently all through night. My question is this: Is this complete disregard for the rules and FELLOW CAMPERS acceptable in light of the conditions? IMHO NO!!! Those that are camping should have enough sense to make sure they have a battery bank good enough to last through the night. Throw on an extra quilt, turn the thermstat to 50F and most any battery will last through the night even if it dips below freezing.
ktmrfs 10/17/21 08:59am General RVing Issues
RE: Anderson connectors: if too small, is that a bottleneck?

(This question is an offshoot of my question about cables to portable solar panels -- but since the subject of Anderson connectors comes up in a variety of contexts, I thought it would be better to start a new thread.) Anderson connectors seem to be very useful for "plug and play" electrical power. I did a little research, and (of course) managed to confuse myself thoroughly. I see that they come in various sizes. To borrow a phrase, does size matter? For example, if I am using ten gauge wire to draw power from my portable solar panel, but I choose a too-small Anderson connector, have I created a bottleneck that defeats the purpose of the heavier wire? The obvious analogy is to a garden hose -- if you hitch a 3/4 inch hose to a half inch hose, you are going to be limited to the flow rate of the smaller hose. Does the same limitation apply to the Anderson connector? And if so, how do I choose the right connector for the job? Thanks in advance for your collective insights, bearing in mind that lots of us who read the Tech forum postings have little or no technical expertise. There are two different size Anderson connectors that would be applicable to what you want to do. First, this one. Second, this one. For what you are doing, I would use the second. The first (50 amp) will have a larger contact area, but unless you are very anal about getting every milliamp from your portable solar it is overkill. If you are going to use it in wet locations, and I am not talking about the occasional rain, the Anderson connectors are not what I would choose. I wouldn't use the Zamp (SAE) connector either. The problems with the SAE connector is one of gender, and they do not seal well. With the Anderson connectors, gender doesn't matter. With the SAE connector, if not wired with forethought, it can have power available on the exposed pin. I use all of these connectors at work, and for my personal stuff, I use the second link. They are available in 15, 30 and 45 amp versions, and it strictly depends on wire size, that is the only difference. one the sae connector problems is that the Zamp configuration is polarity reversed from the same connector used in many auto applications such as battery tenders. Don't pay attention and you can have a real mess on your hands. And I agree neither is good for wet locations. Damp yes, but not wet.
ktmrfs 10/14/21 08:38pm Tech Issues
RE: Anderson connectors: if too small, is that a bottleneck?

Ed, I am the OP, and I am again showing my ignorance here -- why would a 120 wat portable panel (like mine) be immune to a voltage drop? Is the drop worse for more powerful solar panels? Voltage drop is a direct application of Ohm's Law, V=IR. The voltage across a resistance will equal the current through it multiplied by it's resistance; and given any two of them, the third can be thusly computed. For a 12 gauge wire, for example, the resistance is (based on a quick web search) 1.588 ohms per 1000', or equivalently 1.588 milliohms per foot. A 50 foot length to the solar panel, with 100' total wire (50' for the positive and 50' for the negative), would have a resistance of roughly 0.16 ohms. The 120 watt panel nominally produces 10A at 12V, so the voltage drop would be 10A * 0.16 ohms = 1.6V worst case. A higher power system, say 480 watts, would produce more current (40A) and--ignoring the fact that this may well exceed the ampacity of the 12 gauge wire--the voltage drop would be correspondingly greater, at 6.4V. However, if the voltage were higher, and a controller or whatever at the far end of the wire converting it to whatever is appropriate, the current would be lower, and the voltage drop also lower, and the fraction of the loss much, much less. For what it's worth, an Anderson Powerpole connector for 12 gauge wire has a rated resistance of 0.6 milliohms per contact, or about the same as a few inches of wire. It will not contribute significantly to the voltage drop so long as it's properly installed, kept clean, and generally working properly. agree on Anderson connectors. Solar panel ratings are IMHO designed to confuse and give optimistic expectations. First the panel is rated at maximum ideal output with an incident solar radiation that is seldom found and at a panel temp around 70F. And panels near rated output are well above 70F. But the other real issue is a "12V" panel is really around an 18V panel so a typical 120w panel output is typically 1around 8V @ about 5.5A, not 10A. And if you are using a typical PWM controller the approx 0.8V drop at 5.5A will not affect charging current at all. (assuming the PWM controller is AT the battery, not panel) With a MPPT controller it will drop current slightly again assuming the controller is at the battery. Now if the controller is on the panel, unless the run is short voltage drop will have a Significant affect on charging current.
ktmrfs 10/14/21 01:06pm Tech Issues
RE: Anderson connectors: if too small, is that a bottleneck?

The Original Poster made referral to his 'Portable Panel. I doubt all the concerns over voltage drop through a connector for a 100 or 200W panel is going to be significant loss under any circumstances. Further, I stand behind my recommendation for not using Anderson Power Pole connectors for this situation. They are simply not that physically robust or weatherproof. The Zamp 2 pin connectors would be the better choice. the Zamp connectors are not very weatherproof either, nor are they that robust. They look weatherproof but they are not, at least when I tried them. if current is less 10 amps the Zamp wil probably work ok. By the time you start pushing even 10A through the Zamp connector it will start to get noticeably warm, indicating noticeable resistance. The anderson is way more physically robust, but I agree not weatherproof.
ktmrfs 10/13/21 09:33pm Tech Issues
RE: Anderson connectors: if too small, is that a bottleneck?

Anderson Power Pole connectors are available in different current sizes, to fit the appropriate gage wire. You should use the appropriate size for your projected maximum current. I use Anderson Power Poles all over for most of my 12VDC amateur radio connections. HOWEVER - I don't think they are quite physically robust to use for your described usage. Instead, I would use the connectors that Zamp solar uses.... which are nothing more than the standard two pin trailer plug readily available in hardware stores. I disagree, having used both. the Zamp connectors are a low current device, even 15A can overheat and deform the connector. The anderson is capable of 50A or more, insertion swipes and cleans the connector. I've used anderson connectors on our solar cables for a decade now, dozens of times/year and the have performed flawlessly. Now anderson does make several styles, but the larger ones are capable of 100+A and often used with winches etc. and at work the grounds crew had them on all the trucks along with jumper cable to do a quick jumper start on people who had run down batteries.
ktmrfs 10/13/21 11:38am Tech Issues
RE: Broken black water pipe

If the tank is black it is likely ABS, (most black/grey water tanks are ABS) Off white is usually polyethalene which needs spin welds. If it is ABS and the pipe is black ABS (likely) you may be able to cut and replace the broken section with ABS pipe from hardware stores. They use the same ABS pipe used in houses. And since the pipe isn't under pressure if it is a narrow crack grind up some section of ABS pipe, mix it with ABS cement, and fill the crack. it will set and harden quickly. if he crack is in the tank itself, if you can find a section of flat ABS you could use ABS cement to solvent weld it to the bottom of the tank for at least a temporary fix.
ktmrfs 10/12/21 10:08pm Travel Trailers
RE: Dicor self leveling lap sealant caused roof to ripple

Dicor on the info sheets will tell you that Dicor sealant on a EDPM roof WILL cause some " buckling" etc as the sealant cures and usually will go away. Part of the reason is the sealant has hydrocarbon solvents (naptha etc) that Dicor says will cause this to happen. That is why the say to never use such solvents to clean the membrane. I suspect the solvent in the dicor is controlled and designed to not cause damage but to aid in adhesion.
ktmrfs 10/12/21 10:49am Travel Trailers
RE: Need advice on 50 ft cable to portable solar panel

Very interesting points about moving the controller -- I will have to experiment with that to see how much difference it makes.Panel is probably 18 to 22 volts and is cut to 14.x at the controller. If the 18 volts drops to 15 through the wire to the controller it may not matter much as the controller will still put 14.x on the battery. If the controller is at the panel you have 14.x going through the long wire and limiting power to the battery. for a PWM controller at the battery, as long as voltage drop doesn't get down to below around 15V drop will have almost no effect on charging current. For a MPPT controller output may drop some due to the power loss in the cable that the MPPT controller normally could use. Worst case MPPT controller will end up delivering the same power as a PWM controller when the voltage drop gets big enough.
ktmrfs 10/12/21 10:46am Tech Issues
RE: Solar Question

easy peasy way to get them oriented for max power it to take an old tP tube, put stand it up on the panel and orient the panel for minimum (zero) shadow. Now optimum placement will vary during the day, but the above done at a reasonable hour will get you oriented for pretty good all day orientation. Where you are will have a big impact on the angle. But in all cases you will want the panel facing roughly south if you want the panels working all day w/o constant attention of direction.
ktmrfs 10/12/21 10:39am Tech Issues
RE: Need advice on 50 ft cable to portable solar panel

buy a 12Ga 3 wire extension cord, cut the ends off it and solder the green wire to either the black or white on one end do the same at the other end soldering to the same color you did at the first end. you now have a cable with 1 conductor 12ga and the other 10ga. total resistance will be about 0.13 ohms. voltage drop with 5A will be about 0.6V and an easy way to do a group of cables is to use anderson connectors on both ends. that way you could make the 50ft two 25ft real easy and plug and play to go to whatever length you want. BTW the 0.6V drop won't have much of an effect. Or the big kanuna option is to get 30ft of 30A trailer cords and do the same trick. but now you have one conductor at 10 ga and the other at 8Ga for each 30ft section you would have only a 1/4V drop not enough to worry about. I have close to 120ft of cable made this way with anderson connectors to string whatever length I need. FWIW I have three 160 W portable panels going to an MPPT controller and using the 30A cords wired as described. Usually panels in series to minimize drop. a 100W panel would be no problem. NOW THE BIG THING YOU MUST PAY ATTENTION TO. The controller MUST be at the battery end, NOT at the panel end!. Otherwise the controller will output a voltage it expects the battery to see and the voltage drop will mess up the charging rate big time. And NOT in the direction you want. Charging current will drop like a rock, even 1/4V will really drop the charging rate. If the controller is on the panel, remove it, make a panel board or some way to place it even temporarily within a few feet of the battery so the cable goes from the panel to the controller, not from controller to battery.
ktmrfs 10/11/21 08:50pm Tech Issues
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