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RE: First big trip - Newbie questions

1. Brand new camper = warranty. Call the dealer. The pump may be bad and they OWE you a replacement. You paid for it. 2. Here's a thought on the full water tank: TRY IT. It's WATER. If you find yourself unable to maintain control of the truck, or having scary moments getting the rig stopped because of the weight, or feel that its adversely affecting your fuel economy, you can just pull over and dump the water out. However, if you are so close to catastrophe that an empty/full water tank makes the difference, you've got bigger problems to solve. +1
mbloof 06/22/22 04:39pm Truck Campers
RE: Electrical Help pls

Amps x volts = watts. DC or AC works the same. Always use 12 volts when calculating because that is where the power is coming from. Otherwise need to plug into a 120v generator. The 12 Volt Side of Life This discussion has been eye-opening. !!! I ended up calculating the DVD/TV draw, and it meshes with what I saw on the Renogy screen, ~3A. Which seems crazy high to me, but I gotta start thinking in 12 volts, which is clearly difficult for me to wrap my pea-brain around. Thanks for the link. I will check it out. Your little inverter ought to be fine for the DVD player and TV. Keep in mind that DC power draw is DC power draw - depending on how much sun you get and how long you'll be 'out' away from plugging into another charge source it all adds up. I had a Renology solar charge controller that would not only report the voltage and power the panels were generating but what voltage the battery was at. The rule of thumb (off the top of my head, someone will correct me if I'm wrong): 10.5V = DEAD 11.5V = %50 - you should not discharge a flooded lead acid battery below this as it damages the battery/reduces the # of charge/discharge cycles you can use. - Mark0.
mbloof 06/20/22 10:45pm Truck Campers
RE: First big trip - Newbie questions

While it has happened only a handful of times over the years campground water&power can't always be counted on. I always carry my own water and in those cases I stayed to camp (sometimes getting a reduced rate) while others that did not carry their own water cut their stay short and left. - Mark0.
mbloof 06/20/22 07:16pm Truck Campers
RE: Electrical Help pls

Hi! I bought a 250 Watt Electric Heater to stave off the chill at night (the tag says it uses 2.1A). We have solar panels to charge our 200A battery (I don't think that matters, but just in case). Before the trip, I plugged the 250 Watt Heater into the 300 Watt inverter, and the inverter is plugged into the cigarette lighter in the camper. (The wire that runs from the cigarette lighter to the battery sized for 10A.) It worked fine. But now that my son and husband are on their trip, when they plug in the heater, the 10A fuse blows that is at the cigarette lighter. Twice. They are able to play a DVD and TV by plugging it into the inverter. So everything works for the DVD and TV. Nothing else is being charged or used on that inverter, nor at the cigarette lighter. Note: There is an electric fridge/cooler, and it's being powered by the same auxiliary battery, but it's not on the same fuse (if that makes sense; I know I am not using the correct terminology). My hubby just got to a campsite that has a power supply, and the heater works fine. So at least he is able to use it now without blowing fuses. Any suggestions as to where we can start looking for the issue(s)? TIA. No worries, a common misconception. Technical: P=I*E, 250W=2.1A*120VAC ok? The 'problem' here is to get 250W AC out of a inverter it may require 300W on the +12V side of things. (%80 efficient) which equates to: 300W/12V=25A - thereby blowing the 10A fuse on the cigarette lighter. So why did it work at home? (assuming at home you were plugged into shore power) With the additional current provided by the campers onboard converter charger the battery voltage would be higher than what it would be by itself. Consider if the battery voltage was 13.8V the current for 300W would be 21.7A and if the battery was @ 14.4V the current would be 20.8A. Since many converter chargers are designed to actually charge the onboard battery, I'd suspect your voltage while plugged in was ether 13.8V or 14.4V. - Mark0.
mbloof 06/20/22 07:12pm Truck Campers
RE: A Little Help With Weights

So as usual we went from the OP's question about axle weights to the weight police pulling someone over. The only one who has ever been pulled over is me. It happened in Fayetteville NC and I was pulled over buy the DOT police. He weighed each tire on a portable scale and gave me a 180 dollar ticket. He said you have to pay the ticket but all you have to do is have the truck registered from 13000 LBS to 15000 LBS, problem solved. Came back to Binghamton went to DMV and for 25 dollars they upped my weight on the spot. I even got a sticker for the door. It's amazing what money will do! I'll even put a smiley face as to not offend anyone! :) So in NC all they care about (if they actually care at all) is the weight your licensed for? LOL!! I've heard of other states doing that - allow drivers to pick the weight range (and FEE that goes along with it). BTW: Not trying to be 'weight police' just trying to understand where all these stories are coming from and if they have ANY basis in fact. I joined in 2001 and the 'stories' keep coming up like a bad lunch every few days for the last 21yrs!!! - Mark0.
mbloof 06/19/22 03:33pm Truck Campers
RE: TC and MPG

I have determined beyond the shadow of a doubt, that getting to where you're going, and staying put longer, with fewer separate destinations in between than originally planned, will unequivocally lower your fuel costs. +1 My own personal rule is that I need to spend at minimum 2x the time at any given place then the time it takes to get to/from place. Example: spend a day traveling to/from somewhere? Best stay there minimum 2 days. :) - Mark0.
mbloof 06/17/22 12:03pm Truck Campers
RE: A Little Help With Weights

Actually the whole 'more truck then what is needed' all depends on where one lives and travels. Lets face it, different parts of North America have different regulations. While discussing and attempting to debunk the whole weight thing on another forum we got this information for BC: "Here are two different documents that outline GVWR maximums in BC, specifically. Document #1 Document #2" The above comes with the mention of two popular tales: The first being that they regularly have 'weight road blocks' and weigh everyone. While its rather unlikely to happen in most/all USA (they can't do roadblocks for drunks on NewYears Eve for example). No evidence of this actually happening. The second is that at any accident it is standard practice to weigh all the vehicles involved and drop coverage on anyone that is over their GVWR. (no, I've not seen a actual insurance policy with this) While I'm told that Alberta cares about the GAWR I have not seen a actual document to support that. Where I live we have the following: https://www.oregon.gov/odot/MCT/Documents/weight_limits.pdf I don't have any specifics on GM or Dodge but when it comes to Ford: - F250/350SRW same axle (9700lbs) and breaks+pads - F350DRW Dana80 (11K lbs), slightly larger master cylinder then above but the same rotors and breaks+pads as 250/350 SRW - F450 Dana80 (11K lbs), IDK about master cylinder however larger rotor and pads (odd because BOTH DRW's 350/450 have same 14K GVWR). While many of us only care what the actual hardware is capable of and will factor in (or not!) our own personal margin of 'safety' I recall a conversation I had with a commercial truck driving friend (+50yrs experience and runs his own trucking company and builds/plays with race cars as a hobby) that he and any of his drivers would/could refuse to haul a load that had <1000lbs margin of safety per tire. (he was rather shocked that I clocked +40K miles with just a few 100lbs margin!) Lets face it, different people have different ideas/limits to what they consider 'safe'. - Mark0 you can throw thoes documents out the window. BC only cares about money. if your unit is over 10400lbs you have to get a special licence and they go by the GVWRnot the actual weight. and your truck registration fee is based off the GVWR as well as other factors. there has only been one over weight ticket issued to a rv that we can find and it was grosly overloaded, 1/2 tone with a camper hauling a fishing boat with a quad off some bracket on the back of the camper. in 40 years I have never seen a road stop, they are for comercial vehicles and the christmas and newyears ones are for drinking. if they see anything obvious they will take it and run, but police dont carry scales so you have to look unsafe not just overloaded befor they will stop you. So it looks like you live in BC and have actual knowledge of how things operate there. One respondent claimed that you paid for your registration AND insurance at the same place (Government insurance?) and that the policy would be canceled if you were 'over weight'. They went on to claim that 'weight' was the FIRST thing LEO's looked at after a accident. I think, just about anywhere you'll get stopped if you are visibly overweight and hence unsafe, even in Oregon. How does a Peace/Police Officer decide if a vehicle is unsafe? Peace/Police Officers will use visual cues to determine if a vehicle is obviously overloaded. These cues include vehicles: • that look unstable when moving • that have a front end higher than the back end (the vehicle is not level) • with tires that appear deflated - Mark0.
mbloof 06/17/22 11:57am Truck Campers
RE: A Little Help With Weights

- F450 Dana80 (11K lbs), IDK about master cylinder however larger rotor and pads (odd because BOTH DRW's 350/450 have same 14K GVWR). It's clear that the 14K GVWR on the pickup models compared to chassis models is a made up number. My 2010 F450 has a 14,500 GVWR. I like the truck, but I don't believe that newer lighter trucks are less capable. ;) My F450 is one with 19.5s. They had more room for larger brakes with the exception of a few years that had 17s. Fwiw, I've read here that the rear diffs are the same on F350 DRW and F450s for a few years. That would be something else to check. The chassis cabs have the same diffs as far as I know with a lot higher GVWR. That being said, I have no doubt my diesel F450 with 4.30s is very capable and could carry any truck camper or pull any fiver with ease. I probably could even carry a lighter popup. :D Seriously though, I bought it used a few years ago just in case I ever wanted a giant fiver. I've paid in fuel costs, but it stops with the TC on probably about as fast as my Mustang GT. The brakes make my wife extremely confident. There was one panic stop with her driving that convinced her that the truck is totally awesome. She never had that feeling with the previous truck. Actually for a number of years the F450 had a Dana110, I'm under the impression that for a few years it had a 16K GVWR as well. The problem that many of us have with GVWR is that it is not based on engineering. I pity the folks that live in jurisdictions where it is important. - Mark0.
mbloof 06/16/22 08:09pm Truck Campers
RE: A Little Help With Weights

Here is what I find confusing. It says leave your foot down and do not pump the brakes and the ABS will grab and release as required, but that is for coming to a stop. It does not seem to cover what happens on a long steep downhill run for keeping the brakes from overheating. Or does it? https://www.icbc.com/partners/driver-training/Documents/ts274w.pdf It's statements and questions like this that sometimes make me want to support those who just blatantly recommend more vehicle than needed for the job. In other words, it's 2022 and if you don't even conceptually understand how ABS works and could somehow conceive that it will help a person who is riding their brakes down a hill, then you're grossly uninformed. Which is scary considering you drive a RV in the mountains! Actually the whole 'more truck then what is needed' all depends on where one lives and travels. Lets face it, different parts of North America have different regulations. While discussing and attempting to debunk the whole weight thing on another forum we got this information for BC: "Here are two different documents that outline GVWR maximums in BC, specifically. Document #1 Document #2" The above comes with the mention of two popular tales: The first being that they regularly have 'weight road blocks' and weigh everyone. While its rather unlikely to happen in most/all USA (they can't do roadblocks for drunks on NewYears Eve for example). No evidence of this actually happening. The second is that at any accident it is standard practice to weigh all the vehicles involved and drop coverage on anyone that is over their GVWR. (no, I've not seen a actual insurance policy with this) While I'm told that Alberta cares about the GAWR I have not seen a actual document to support that. Where I live we have the following: https://www.oregon.gov/odot/MCT/Documents/weight_limits.pdf I don't have any specifics on GM or Dodge but when it comes to Ford: - F250/350SRW same axle (9700lbs) and breaks+pads - F350DRW Dana80 (11K lbs), slightly larger master cylinder then above but the same rotors and breaks+pads as 250/350 SRW - F450 Dana80 (11K lbs), IDK about master cylinder however larger rotor and pads (odd because BOTH DRW's 350/450 have same 14K GVWR). While many of us only care what the actual hardware is capable of and will factor in (or not!) our own personal margin of 'safety' I recall a conversation I had with a commercial truck driving friend (+50yrs experience and runs his own trucking company and builds/plays with race cars as a hobby) that he and any of his drivers would/could refuse to haul a load that had <1000lbs margin of safety per tire. (he was rather shocked that I clocked +40K miles with just a few 100lbs margin!) Lets face it, different people have different ideas/limits to what they consider 'safe'. - Mark0
mbloof 06/16/22 06:42pm Truck Campers
RE: TC and MPG

My camper 'lives' on my truck. Avg ~13MPG. Diesel is ~$6 around here these days. Seems like I'm always crossing a pass ether going, coming or both. - Mark0.
mbloof 06/16/22 06:05pm Truck Campers
RE: A Little Help With Weights

A single 1-ton has less RGAWR than a dually, but if it has the same stopping distance, how can that be related to the "axle" weight rate ratings? It has been my observation that the door jam posted RAWR is usually a derated value of the least (weakest link) of: axle (including breaks), OEM tires and rims. Unlike a SRW on a DRW the tires+rims are often not the weakest link. - Mark0.
mbloof 06/11/22 08:59pm Truck Campers
RE: A Little Help With Weights

^^^ load er up and go have fun and make some memories! Keep in mind that you should never overload your tires. A quick stop at the scales can give you ether some peace of mind or flag you to look for better tires. Hauling truck campers place a 'top heavy' weight in the bed. Some/many users add suspension upgrades/modifications to help with ether or both of 'squat' and 'sway'. Squat is from the weight of the camper+gear squishing your suspension. While most trucks rear end rides 'high' empty how much squat is to much depends on the user. Personally when oncoming traffic is flashing their lights at me while driving at night I consider that 'to much' and adjust the suspension accordingly. Sway is the truck/camper moving side to side. It could be in turns, strong breeze or passing trucks. How much is to much depends on the user. Swaybars (or heavier ones) and/or suspension upgrades/updates help with that. Have fun! - Mark0.
mbloof 06/10/22 12:22pm Truck Campers
RE: Anyone Cancelling Truck Camper Trips Due to Fuel Prices?

Not really. However then again I don't travel all that far on my trips. Given the two/three cost items: reservations, fuel and sometimes food/drink, how much extra costly do they have to be to avoid travel and/or abort/abandon a trip? Reservations? IDK about the rest of you, but I'm booked through September and they are already paid for. I mention "sometimes" food/drink as these are items that I'd be paying for anyway while staying home. While I may (or NOT!) get items on the road, eating in camp is surely less expensive then eating out. Unless I'm staying for long periods at expensive places, fuel is almost always the single biggest expense of a trip. However where/what exactly is the 'tipping point'? %25, %50, %100, %200? I suppose here it depends on how much was budgeted in the first place before the magnitude of the % increases are applied. - Mark0.
mbloof 06/01/22 10:23am Truck Campers
RE: General newb questions - Advice?

Humm.... lots of questions and some possible answers... (my oldest camper was a 2001, oldest RV is/was a 1966) - Power: most RV's don't have a 'inverter' but rather a converter/charger. This converts AC power to DC power to provide power to: lights, pump, furnace, jacks (if electric), fans, fridge (if there is a DC mode), exc.. Generally the output of these are in PARALLEL to the battery however a word of caution here: converter/chargers of this era were famous for over charging batteries! (there used to be modern replacements for them that can be bought that don't do that. Generally speaking anything that runs on DC power can be energized/powered by the battery and/or the converter/charger when plugged into AC power. Depending on your truck, the 7-pin pigtail going to your camper may (or NOT!) have power: all the time, when the engine is running or not at all. You will have to test/check that yourself. - Hot water: Older hot water heaters CAN/COULD be very basic units that required you to manually light a pilot light outside for it to work. Early GAS/AC units generally would have a switch inside the camper to turn on the heating element. Somewhat newer ones (like my 2001) had a switch on the outside that engaged a DSI system to light it and even more modern ones have switches for both GAS&AC inside next to each other - generally on a white rectangle. The idea on how to fill the HW tank is when your fresh water tank has at least 6gal in it and your pump is on, open a hot water faucet. (I won't go into if your HW is 'bypassed' or not here, I'll let others take a crack at that). Pumps operate on the lack of pressure. IE: the pump automatically turns off when your water system is presurized and open a tap (let water out) relieves pressure and the pump turns on. Close the tap - pressure builds until the pump turns itself off. - Mark0.
mbloof 05/28/22 04:00pm Truck Campers
RE: Host, Eagle Cap, Lance Suspension Requirements

We ordered the Host Everest. Due for delivery April 2022. For now, we will have the Torklift tie downs installed with stableloads. Drive home ( over Snoqualmie Pass ) and see if we need anything else. Our trips are mainly to the Tucannon area, the St Joe River in Idaho, and Babb, Montana. I see you bought already... some good points where made here: 1. Weight is weight. (it does not matter which brand it is) 2. Get the camper loaded and do a test drive FIRST before you spend any money on suspension aids as the test drive will tell you: A) Are your headlights pointing correctly? A camper will make most trucks 'squat' a few inches. How much is to much depends on the truck. IMHO: having oncoming traffic flash their headlights at you when you have the low beams on is to much. B) Do you have 'to much' sway? Having a top heavy load like a modern camper in the bed will induce sway. Some people can tolerate more than others. C) While loaded up ready for camping is the truck level side to side? Some campers place more weight on one side then the other. While there are many folks that simply add tie downs (and optional 7-pin in the bed) and drive their truck ASIS/ASWAS from the factory, others do all sorts of suspension aids to help solve issues A-C above. - Mark0.
mbloof 05/21/22 08:41pm Truck Campers
RE: Lance TC - lithium - DC-DC charger question

Another factor is to keep the input voltage high enough so the DC-DC buck/boost converter can maintain the set output amps and voltage to the camper battery. This is a separate issue from fusing the input side for its wire size, and having the input wire gauge match the input amps.I think your on the right track here. For camper applications, we have the wiring of the truck, then the connector(s), pigtail and then the wiring in the camper itself. I swear my 97 Ford had 18AWG wiring! I tapped the output of the alternator and ran to a solenoid (switched on with the engine running) and 6AWG to ~1' of the 7Pin and then spliced in as large of a AWG wire as I could fit. The ground went from the 7Pin to the trucks frame. At least Lances have 8AWG wire in their pigtails, a quick look at the wire sizes used in most 7Pin cables is 14AWG. :( My NL uses 10AWG to go to the battery. Lets face it, all wire has resistance and higher currents will create higher voltage drops. Depending on efficiency of the step up charger/converter itself (which BTW 'stepping up' a voltage is difficult to do with anything resembling 'efficient') it could be easily trying to draw 50-60A on the input. However, given the wiring in the camper itself (and the batteries state of charge) the battery may never see 40A of charge current. For example I recently viewed the charge current at the battery after a 2-day trip that the PD6045Li I have in my NL was providing when I got home. ~19A at the battery. :) Personally I'm debating getting a 20A or 40A model myself. I do know that some of them have a switch/configuration option to operate at 1/2 power. :) - Mark0NL used 15-20 ft. of 10 gauge wire for the battery to converter run on our 8-11, too. Like you we got less than 20a of charge current from our 45a PD converter. We replaced the 10 gauge with 2/0 (now get a full 45a). Used 2/0 'cause we sometimes quick charge our lifepo4 using both our 45a converter and 40a dc2dc charger at the same time (85a of total charge current). FWIW, we used a 25 ft run of 2 gauge cable from our truck's battery to the 40a dc2dc charger mounted inside the TC. 43.5a alternator/battery load with 40a of charge current. I've heard of others rewiring from the converter/charger to the batteries with similar results. Personally, I'm just looking for a 'fail safe' of sorts. If/when it might happen that I'm low on juice and digging the Yamaha out is not convenient, three button presses on the Trucks remote could not be easier. :) - Mark0.
mbloof 05/18/22 09:05pm Truck Campers
RE: Lance TC - lithium - DC-DC charger question

Another factor is to keep the input voltage high enough so the DC-DC buck/boost converter can maintain the set output amps and voltage to the camper battery. This is a separate issue from fusing the input side for its wire size, and having the input wire gauge match the input amps. I think your on the right track here. For camper applications, we have the wiring of the truck, then the connector(s), pigtail and then the wiring in the camper itself. I swear my 97 Ford had 18AWG wiring! I tapped the output of the alternator and ran to a solenoid (switched on with the engine running) and 6AWG to ~1' of the 7Pin and then spliced in as large of a AWG wire as I could fit. The ground went from the 7Pin to the trucks frame. At least Lances have 8AWG wire in their pigtails, a quick look at the wire sizes used in most 7Pin cables is 14AWG. :( My NL uses 10AWG to go to the battery. Lets face it, all wire has resistance and higher currents will create higher voltage drops. Depending on efficiency of the step up charger/converter itself (which BTW 'stepping up' a voltage is difficult to do with anything resembling 'efficient') it could be easily trying to draw 50-60A on the input. However, given the wiring in the camper itself (and the batteries state of charge) the battery may never see 40A of charge current. For example I recently viewed the charge current at the battery after a 2-day trip that the PD6045Li I have in my NL was providing when I got home. ~19A at the battery. :) Personally I'm debating getting a 20A or 40A model myself. I do know that some of them have a switch/configuration option to operate at 1/2 power. :) - Mark0
mbloof 05/15/22 11:20pm Truck Campers
RE: Lance TC - lithium - DC-DC charger question

+1 over thinking it. Back in the day, my buddy bought a Lance. Included in the installation was a 8AWG wire ran from the battery to a 50-100A solenoid (switched on/off with the ignition/engine running) a 40-50A fuse and 8AWG wire from the fuse to the Lance connector. He could easily run his fridge on DC and/or charge his house battery(s) with the truck running. Granted this setup won't charge the camper battery(s) all the way because of voltage drops/loss of the wiring+connectors. Keep in mind that for current to flow there needs to be a voltage difference. Fast forward to 2021 and LiFePo4 batteries are all the rage. While IMHO they are a better option then FLA batteries by all accounts, they do need/require a higher charge voltage then FLA batteries. While there are a number of options available to accomplish this a popular one is to employ a DC-DC charger. (there are a number of different OEM's that make them and each have a number of different models to choose from) - Mark0.
mbloof 05/14/22 11:45am Truck Campers
RE: Gas fridge on the move?

I have a 98 Lance and it has always had trouble running on gas if speed is over ~50 mph as the flame gets blown out causing the check light to come on, otherwise it works great on gas. May have been your problem with a cross wind as you say it worked before. If it is failing while stationary could be something else. I had to replace my dometic control board after only 4 years with a dinosaur board and never had another problem. It would just shut off the gas solenoid 5 minutes to 4 hours triggering the check light. Thermocouple voltage tested fine. Was a common problem with this vintage. I use the DC mode while on the high speed roads and am careful not to leave it on DC if the truck is not running. DC works fine on the road to maintain temperature if you have at least an 8 awg wire from truck to camper battery through a 40 amp circuit breaker and an isolator solenoid. Remember that it is not on continuously and cycles just like ac or gas mode. Always pre cool the frig a day before leaving on the trip. All good advice. :) Personally, while I generally precool my fridge and put already cold stuff in it and the freezer most of my destinations are < 3hrs away and I see no issue(s) with traveling with it off - things are not going to thaw out or get warm in the time it takes to travel and then get the fridge going/cooling again. It should be noted that (decades ago now) Lance recognized the problem with running the fridge in DC mode (and/or charging from the truck) and invented the "Lance connector" to solve/deal with the issue. Lance dealers would install 8AWG wire+solenoid+fuse connected to their 'special' 7-pin 'Lance connector' outfitted with 2x 8AWG wires and 5x 14AWG wires umbilical cord to the purchasers/owners Lance truck camper. Properly installed Lance campers have no issue running the refrige on DC or charging the house battery from the truck. - Mark0.
mbloof 05/12/22 10:15am Truck Campers
RE: To slide or not to slide. That is the question.

https://www.corvetteforum.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Cutest-Beating-Dead-Horse-GIF.gif
mbloof 05/10/22 10:33pm Truck Campers
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