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RE: Keeping cool

We keep all rooftop vents and windows closely tight during hot weather travel in our 24 foot E450 Class C. We then keep the dash air flow and dash air conditioning system set to Max A/C so interior air is merely reciculated over and over - hence the Ford air conditioning system does not have to continuously cool new hot air from the outside - it just has to keep the already cooled interior air cool ... which is a way more efficient way to use the dash air's cooling capacity. What we wind up with is an entire coach interior that can be kept cool using only the Ford A/C system ... because it's so powerful and we're using it in the most efficient way. Our rooftop A/C system never is needed when traveling in even the very hottest outside temperatures. As a bonus, the interior of the coach stays dust-free much longer because there is no constant flow of outside air coming into it from the cab air flow set to constantly get new outside air ... which then flows throughout the coach and out any open vents or windows in the coach ... depositing dust inside while this is going on as we travel down the road. If we ever need to leave the roof vents open for some reason when traveling, they're protected from being ripped off via vent covers we've installed over them which still allow the vents to remain open. With vent covers, we can also leave the vents themselves open for fresh air ventilation when it's raining or snowing while camped.
pnichols 07/14/19 09:12pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: No Spare tire correct

Our main concern is ... not needing a spare because ERS can usually bail you out without one ... but what if you can't get enough bars on your phone to get ERS? Our Winnebago Itasca came with a full spare and the one time that we could - and were able - to call ERS to change a flat of course they did not have a spare along and could not have repaired our tire on the spot either ... so the spare from our RV was quickly installed by the ERS technician and off we went. BUT, BUT, BUT ... what about the situation somewhere on the open road - or worse yet off the open road - in which your cell phone cannot "get out"? You might want to have your own spare (and the equipment) along then ... and be able to somehow carefully and slowly struggle to change it yourself or have a non-ERS good Samaritan magically come along to help install your own spare. ;)
pnichols 07/14/19 01:37pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Generator Obsrevations.

So far in 13 years of ownership, our built-in Onan has offered us no grief, however ... - I run it with a load on it for awhile each month whenever it's in the back yard between trips. - I use Mobil 1 EP synthetic oil in it. - I use an E3 spark plug in it. - I had it's fuel filter changed after owning it 12 years. - I wipe off it's access cover once a year. It's been a great generator so far -> quiet too when running - both inside and outside. The DW loves it for it's convenience. I love it too for it's constant low humming sound that doesn't go up and down in pitch or volume as loads on it come and go.
pnichols 07/14/19 01:11am General RVing Issues
RE: "Best" RV GPS Nav Systems

Our smart phones offer up-to-date navigation where cell coverage exists. We bring an old outdated GPS navigation devise to fill in the voids as needed, but our primary backup is a paper Rand McNally Atlas. I am not sure we would bring a GPS navigation devise if we had not already owned an old one. GPS navigators require expensive updates or subscriptions, a big turn-off for me because the updates can over-load and then drag down the performance of an older devise. I kind of like that our radio does not have an integrated GPS because outdated electronic gadgets irritate me. I like that the disease is not built into our rig. Well put, Ron! Just the right amount of electronics in one's life is a balancing act. Our 3550LM Garmin navigator has free lifetime map updates and plenty of built-in memory. Like you, we back it up with several atlas books - one entire large format Benchmark book for each state. Only the DW has a smartphone but we do not use it for navigation ... partially because of the in and out of cell tower signals as we travel. Also FWIW, I don't trust Google to be "helping" me with anything that's "free" - they probably always get something back in return -> "data on us".
pnichols 07/13/19 09:54am Class C Motorhomes
RE: TR: Mendocino Coast Camping, May 2019

Wow Dan .... that link to your 2011 trip to Mattole Beach and the Redwoods was superb. Way to go! I'll bet you and yours may hold some kind of a record on exploring more of remote CA in a TT than any other living soul. Congrats. Years ago I had to backpack to places that look like where you have towed a TT to and been able to camp way more comfortable than I did. P.S. It sure is too bad about the pot growing. We have waited all our lives to retire and be fancy-free in our RV so we could go to beautiful places on the West Coast ... only to have them now taken over by @#$%&s.
pnichols 07/12/19 11:03pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Generator Obsrevations.

I can safely say that based on the Internet's calls that the Honda EU2000 is "whisper quiet" that I had lofty expectations. Running full bore to run the A/C, it was obnoxiously loud. Even running 2 of them in parallel was surprisingly louder than I expected. Now that I've changed rigs, I feel like my built-in Onan 5500 is way quieter. Right you are regarding Honda inverter generator noise being really irritating whenever one of them is called upon to delivery real non-idle-speed power! Whenever the inverter Hondas have to power microwaves or air conditioners be prepared for an ear-shock outside your rig. It must be that owners think that their Hondas are quiet because most of the time their owners are using them for relatively low power output? I'll take my built-in Onan any day over a rev'd up Honda for hour after hour of RV air conditioning power. Properly built-in Onans within their cabinets, and with factory installed resonators, produce a much lower-pitched and non-mechanical sound inside or outside an RV. Onboard Onan compared to a Honda eu2000?!? Apple to oranges. ... or it could be comparing constant-3600 RPM built-in noise to rev'd-up-4500 RPM out in the open noise. ;) https://hondanews.com/power-equipment/channels/generators/releases/honda-eu2200i-super-quiet-series-generator-technical-specifications
pnichols 07/12/19 08:52pm General RVing Issues
RE: TR: Mendocino Coast Camping, May 2019

Dan, your great photo-TR reminded me of another coastal area in Northern CA that I've wondered about for some drycamping opportunities ... the so-called "Lost Coast" of CA. Have you ever got into that area with your TT?
pnichols 07/12/19 01:55pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: "Best" RV GPS Nav Systems

We have a Garmin Nuvi Nav system' but are interested in an RV oriented Nav System that contains useful lists and info about points of interest, BLM , state and county camp grounds and commercial RV parks as well as road construction ,RV friendly routes, low overhangs, weather, traffic alerts and turn by turn guidance. Also interested in free and frequent updates. and good support and ease of use for around $300 Looked for a sticky on this but didn't find one. Any advice appreciated. There are several Garmin "Nuvi" models that are not discontinued and hence still supported by Garmin. As an example - we RV navigate using a Garmim Nuvi 3550LM. We have around 1/2 million Points of Interest loaded into it and it has plenty of storage memory left for even more. Of course no cellular signal is needed to use our Nuvi to the fullest. If an RV'er doesn't care to be hooked into the vicious circle of a smartphone dominated life ... and as such doesn't want all their eggs in the cell signal availability basket ... then a high end stand-alone Garmin navigator packed full of all kinds of locations is still a great independent way to go. We can even download (via satellite) audio books into our 3550LM and listen to them through the Garmin when on the open road.
pnichols 07/11/19 06:32pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Generator Obsrevations.

I can safely say that based on the Internet's calls that the Honda EU2000 is "whisper quiet" that I had lofty expectations. Running full bore to run the A/C, it was obnoxiously loud. Even running 2 of them in parallel was surprisingly louder than I expected. Now that I've changed rigs, I feel like my built-in Onan 5500 is way quieter. Right you are regarding Honda inverter generator noise being really irritating whenever one of them is called upon to delivery real non-idle-speed power! Whenever the inverter Hondas have to power microwaves or air conditioners be prepared for an ear-shock outside your rig. It must be that owners think that their Hondas are quiet because most of the time their owners are using them for relatively low power output? I'll take my built-in Onan any day over a rev'd up Honda for hour after hour of RV air conditioning power. Properly built-in Onans within their cabinets, and with factory installed resonators, produce a much lower-pitched and non-mechanical sound inside or outside an RV.
pnichols 07/11/19 10:55am General RVing Issues
RE: Generator Obsrevations.

What ever happened to Ford's "Camper Special" pickup version of years ago? Their Camper Special gas pickups had a generator built-in/mounted right under the hood that was fed from the main gasoline fuel tank. The sound was nicely muffled to the outside and hardly heard inside. It seems like adding this option back into the Ford, Chevy, and Ram pickup truck option choices would be a real hit these days - especially if the built-in generator was an inverter model that could run at far less than full throttle most of the time. :h
pnichols 07/10/19 09:39pm General RVing Issues
RE: Impossible List of Requirement?

The RVs in Robert's two photos are the same construction style as the Tiger motorhome - with a coach area similar to that of a truck camper, but unlike a TC the coach is permanent and built right onto the the truck's frame. Years ago those used to be called a "chassis mount" RV. Here's a 1969 2WD Chinook model built on a GMC 3500 that we had way back as our first RV: https://i.imgur.com/gLPaeP2l.jpg
pnichols 07/10/19 08:18pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: The Best Quality 200-Amp Solenoid I Have Yet Seen

This one? Trombetta Bear at Amazon 225 amp rating, cont. duty, made in USA. I like the plastic guard between the terminals, prevent excitement when working with live cables. Yep ... that Trombetta 114-1211-020 model is what I installed in our Class C motorhome to switch it's battery bank into, or out of, the motorhome's 12 volt electrical system. It's the solenoid in the 2nd line down of the chart in this .pdf. Mine is the silver contact version, which I think the "020" designates in the part number. Note it's 225 amp carry ("continuous") current spec and 600 amp peak inductive inrush current spec: https://www.trombetta.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/bear-family.pdf
pnichols 07/10/19 07:34pm Tech Issues
RE: Impossible List of Requirement?

Four wheel drive Cs are aftermarket only...because they would make lousy off road vehicles...too low, too heavy, underpowered, too high, too wide etc. I disagree too, with caveats ... as Class C off road capability depends upon 1) what one means by "off road", and 2) what type and construction quality of Class C one is talking about. Most standard/classical Class C motorhomes (with an overhead cab queen bed) need to be converted to 4WD by an aftermarket shop, and it's best done on the Ford and Chevy chassis used for these kind of Class C motorhomes. The Tiger motorhome is somewhat of a different type motorhome from the "standard/classical Class C" that most folks have in mind. Since it's built starting out on a pickup truck frame, it can be built onto OEM 4X4 setups from Ram, Chevy, or Ford by Provan Industries at construction time. As such, a Tiger motorhome built on one of these rugged OEM pickup chassis can make a very capable off-highway motorhome (superior to a truck camper, IMHO) - but their models probably are somewhat small from what the OP seems to have in mind (especially bunk beds in the back). We take our small 24 foot overhead queen bed + rear queen bed Class C off-highway as needed for our exploring and drycamping rockhound hobby - but it does not have bunk beds in the rear like the OP prefers. We have great ground clearance with it's over-kill E450 Ford chassis with no low hanging generator parts, no low hanging tanks, no low hanging plumbing, no low hanging compartments, and no low hanging step mechanisms. Our coach's exterior wall edges in the rear are also up-swept starting right from the rear duals on towards the back bumper, so it's departure angle is a bit improved over that of most Class C motorhomes - for situations such as crossing of mild road washouts. All of the coach's heavy items are down low at chassis frame height for a low overall center of gravity even though the motorhome looks "overall tall" (but combined with the E450's wide rear stance for good lateral stability), most interior doors have double catches, all drawers have gravity locks, and we keep padding in between cabinet contents, and we do not have slides so as to maintain good wall structure strength (aluminum wall framing). We even some time ago changed out the stock tires for larger ones to provide more ground clearance. Here's a couple of photos of our rig out in the desert boondocks - one camped, and one with us following our friend's Class C ahead of us: https://i.imgur.com/QbZWCkpl.jpg https://i.imgur.com/kpFhhb7l.jpg
pnichols 07/10/19 02:26pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Lion Safari UT - new tech battery, not cheap

The yellow top NEVER lived up to its claims The yellow top is not the blue top nor the red top The yellow top was the costliest and made ridiculous claims about how cyclable it was. Sailors had me running in Mexico from sailboat to sailboat. The issue was about capacity loss after six months of ownership. If you think even the best AGM battery has a capacity loss after sub-par charging minimum amperage and incomplete recharge. The Optima is king of the world. By far. A daily driver yellow top is like hiring Charles Atlas to haul groceries. It had BETTER last as long as your battery has. The world's champion failure was a Delco Voyager. Half of them on the Costo shelves already had RED eyes David .... huuuuh? I'm wondering if I'm dense today regarding what you're saying? My Group 31 12V Yellow Top Optima of the Gylling Group in Scandinavia, made in Aurora Colorado, 1100 CCA, 90 AH C/20, 192 minutes reserve capacity - that sailors or anyone else could no longer buy a few months after it's release - is lasting a LONG LONG time regardless of any claims. Maybe I was an extreme early bird who got an extremely good worm?
pnichols 07/07/19 03:43pm Tech Issues
RE: Lion Safari UT - new tech battery, not cheap

AFAIC a great heads up for brand new technology products. It needs consumer proofing to learn it's quirks. The Optima battery is a perfect example. When released upon the public 99% of Optima claims went up in smoke. I would recommend patience then look for a thousand five star reviews. I call this THE OXY-CLEAN REALITY. BS claims adjustment. Like STP, the JC Penny battery, miracle teflon coatings. David ... I have one example of Optima living fully up to it's "claims": My 12-14 year old Optima Group 31 large Yellow Top AGM battery that I purchased early in it's release (soon pulled off the market because the U.S. military purchased exclusive rights) still holds it's charge month after month in the trunk of our daily driver sedan. I carry it in the trunk of our car kept fully charged up so I don't have to call ERS for a jump start if ever needed. A self-jump-start is way quicker and less hassle. ;)
pnichols 07/07/19 02:49pm Tech Issues
RE: Lion Safari UT - new tech battery, not cheap

Also ... Group 24 is too small. Where's their Group 29 and Group 31 offerings?? BTW, isn't a Lifetime Warranty more for the younger crowd?
pnichols 07/07/19 12:32am Tech Issues
RE: Winnebago Navion/View vs. Leisure Travel Van

Greetings: Considering "rightsizing" from a Thor Chateau 31E to a +/- 25' MH on a Sprinter chassis. The Winnebago Navion/View (24V) and Leisure Unity FX are our top contenders. We simply don’t need sleeping space for “10” now that an empty nest is looming in our future. Would be interested in feedback from both viewpoints, specifically on fuel economy, housing the occasional “guest”, maneuverability (specifically within the National Parks System), dry and of course “stealth” camping. Thanks! A 25' Class B, or Class B+, or Class C MH probably isn't going to be very much of a "true stealth camping" RV, per se. It seems to me that a camper van or truck camper would come closer to providing that. I guess it depends upon what you mean by "stealth". We have a 24 foot Class C and have over-nighted - in a church parking lot, in a bakery's parking lot, in trucker gas stations, in a Port of Entry parking lot, along the curb in front of a friend's house, out by the barn at a private farm, in a Cebela's parking lot, in a Cracker Barrel parking lot, out in the field at a private ranch, in a Walmart parking lot, in the parking lot behind a Mom & Pop restaurant, in the parking lot of a medical clinic, in the parking lot outside the gate of a closed public park, etc. I wouldn't call the above situations "true" stealth camping because it is obvious what our Class C is, and what we were probably doing in it at the time. For what it's worth, here is one of my (nicely affordable when new) current top choices in a small Class C for "intimate" fully self-contained camping - a Minnie Winnie in the 22R floorplan: https://winnebagoind.com/products/class-c/2019/minnie-winnie/floorplans WHAT ENGINE IS IN THAT? Are they available w/ Ford diesels? The Winnebago 22M and 22R Class C rigs are available built on either the Ford E350 or E450 chassis ... both with the V10 engine. If you can tolerate a slide ... note the large black and grey storage tanks on the 22M model as compared to the 22R model. The 22M and 22R have the same size water heater, propane tank, gas tank, and fresh water tank. I would recommend choosing the E450 chassis over the E350 for either model. They are not available with a diesel engine, only the V10 gas engine.
pnichols 07/07/19 12:15am Class C Motorhomes
RE: BLM considering restrictions on dispersed camping in Utah

..... And to think that during 1967-1971 I served in the AF in Utah - the DW and myself were backpackers, fisherpersons, hikers - and we NEVER visited the Southern or Central parts of Utah at all when it was really wide open and pristine. What a missed opportunity for the both of us. :( However ... there is one way to still get away from the crowds if you have the right RV systems and can get used to the conditions: Boondock camp in the U.S. deserts in the summer. Few folks can or will tolerate hot camping. We have done some rockhounding in the extreme heat - during which we had pristine places and their heat to ourselves. You don't experience many tour buses, ATVs, motorcycles, or hikers from around 95 degrees on up. Our Onan generator, rooftop A/C, and great 12V fans are priceless. We also keep a light colored umbrella over our heads when outside looking!
pnichols 07/05/19 11:49pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: You know your in the Australian Outback

Well in the Aussie outback so-called reality shows I've seen so far (Outback gold mining and Outback trucking) ... a lot of the Outback roads are at least way more level (albeit covered in thick clay/mud at times) than where we've traveled in Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho, and Nevada. We also carry a satellite communication device with us cuz the good old Internet is indeed not available everywhere in the U.S.. As far as traveling "fast" on washboard roads in the Outback -> that's probably due to vehicles carrying on business out there and time is money. Here in the U.S. - other than maybe out in the gas well fields where we have explored in our MH - it's mostly folks out there recreating, so they're not ripping it up on our remote washboarded road surfaces. Moseying along when out and about in the U.S. so as to enjoy the views and not destroy one's non-expedition RV ... so far still works well.
pnichols 07/05/19 09:03pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: House battery charging issue

No, once the starter battery is full charging rates go down to more or less a trickle charge. That is just what the 'brains' of the charging system do. That is, unless the starter battery is in bad shape. Don ... above is a clip from an earlier post of yours in this thread. My (Winnebago) Itasca 24V's coach and chassis battery systems do not act this way: The engine battery can be charged right up to full, but if the coach batteries are low the alternator will still dump large charging currrents into the coach batteries. I've seen up to ~71 amps so far going into the coach batteries when they started out being about 50% discharged and I had the V10 engine idling. I'm not sure how this is being accomplished, but I "think" that all 3 batteries (one engine 12V, plus two coach 12V) are all connected together in direct parallel by the solenoid whenever the ignition switch is on. This solenoid is probably the same one that is also switched on by the boost rocker switch on the cab's dash.
pnichols 07/05/19 08:32pm Class C Motorhomes
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