Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Search
Open Roads Forum Already a member? Login here.   If not, Register Today!  |  Help

Newest  |  Active  |  Popular  |  RVing FAQ Forum Rules  |  Forum Posting Help and Support  |  Contact  



Open Roads Forum  >  Search the Forums

 > Your search for posts made by 'pnichols' found 168 matches.

Sort by:    Search within results:
Page of 9  
Prev  |  Next
  Subject Author Date Posted Forum
RE: Sad state of national parks and forests - II

One thing that the CA state parks don't offer, in contrast to their good upkeep resulting from maybe access to more state money and higher campsite rates, is ... spontaneous camping ... so we don't have to (almost always) "reserve sites" everytime we want to go camping in them!! FWIW, we just spent 10 spectacular days drycamping in a National Forest pine-forested campground in CA on a lake (with water and fish in it, BTW) in campsites that didn't require reservations. The sites, restrooms, and showers were clean and well maintained. Most sites were black-topped, had firepits and picnic tables, and were spaced well apart so we could even run generators without bothering the neighbors. How did/does the National Forest System pull this off?
pnichols 06/17/21 12:34pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Customizations / mods to the Freelander 21QB

Another tip for any RV that helps to extend coach battery life between charges when camping without hookups (that was also mentioned way earlier in this discussion) is to power as many electrical items as possible directly off 12V instead of using inverters to power electrical items off 120V AC ... as inverters are not 100% efficient - and hence waste coach battery energy. We now use such things as: 1. All 12V fans for warm weather ventilation. 2. A laptop that is charged using a 12V brick for it that plugs directly into cigarette lighter receptacles in the coach. 3. 12V brick chargers for our phones that plug directly into cigarette lighter receptacles in the coach. 4. A 12V brick charger for a CPAP machine that plugs directly into cigarette lighter receptacles in the coach. Checkout this website to get an idea of what appliances can be powered by 12 volts from the coach battery system in an RV when drycamping: https://www.12volt-travel.com/12-volt-appliances-c-88.html
pnichols 06/17/21 12:09pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: The importance of a TPMS Tire Pressure Monitoring System

I intentionally don't have a TPMS on our Class C, but here's some comments: 1. TPMS systems are just another level of complexity that can cause air leaks themselves, or eventually fail to accurately indicate, or otherwise let one down such as in forgetting to periodically replace their transmitter batteries. 2. I carry along a tire-fill air compressor and a trucker's nozzle for the compressor's hose so as to deal with the rear duals. 3. I carry along a rubber-head hammer to quickly check the inner tire of the rear dual sets for firmness whenever stopped. And probably most importantly, I can easily feel when one tire is low among the rear duallies because the motorhome's handling definitely feels "way off" - soft, squishy, wobbly, etc. - if a rear tire is low or flat. This is from experience, as I've had it happen once and it was obvious that something was wrong.
pnichols 06/17/21 11:34am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Must Have Boondocking Items?

I haven't read this whole discussion thread ... so maybe these have been mentioned: One's RV should have: 1. A built-in, or brought along - roof access ladder. AND 2. A roll of 4 inch wide Eternabond tape. ;)
pnichols 06/15/21 11:26pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Generators!! Yes YOU!

Jshupe Wrote: Regarding my fit, I don't want to hear any generators running, period. I understand occasional use but if you're out there using it daily, I'm going to be annoyed that you haven't bothered to invest in an appropriate solar setup for your usage. It's a different matter altogether if it's been raining and overcast for a few days, your panels are covered in snow, or it's simply too hot to survive without running air conditioning (which can be done on solar). I agree solar has changed the game. Those who feel they need to run gensets all day long need to invest in solar. Solar can now power your A/C and produce quiet power all day long. Hmmm - please explain how roof solar is going to power my 13.5K Btu air conditioner on our 24 ft. Class C motorhome ... with big ole' RVs, yes, roof square footage can be enough ... but on small go-anywhere RVs there is not enough roof area. Here's how to solar-power RV air conditioners if you don't have a big enough RV roof, or you don't want a bunch of additional screw holes in your RV's roof even if it does have enough square footage. :B : https://i.imgur.com/0oih8Yhl.jpg
pnichols 06/13/21 10:32am Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Class C RV cost in the Covid era...

Hey, I am willing to sell my garage-kept rig HERE with 38,750 miles for the lean low price of only $90,000. I just installed a brand new set of Alcoa wheels, 6 Michelin Agilis tires, had a fresh wheel alignment and brake system flush. I'll even throw in a transmission fluid & filter change, coolant change, oil change, and air filter change. It'll be good as new (better than new). ;) Hmmmm, Ron .... is that an indication that you guys are about to "throw in the RV'ing towel"? (Tell me it ain't so!) FWIW, our RV'ing friends park their 24 ft. Class C in front of their garage and get notes left on it asking if they want to sell it!!!!!!!!!! ;)
pnichols 06/12/21 10:28am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Generators!! Yes YOU!

Ramble, that's a great setup!! Two quick questions (not to hijack the thread). First, which brand of suitcase did you get? Second, with a 160 foot cable run, do you experience any significant voltage drop? And (to bring it back on topic after my borderline hijack), if I had a setup like yours, I would be more willing to leave my generator home!! ;) Profdant139 - I have a Renogy 200 watt. Open it is 36” high x 52” long. They have a lighter taller narrower one but it won’t fit in storage. I have a 2nd controller to locate near the batteries that I use for the 160’ run case since the 0.2 ohm estimated wire resistance implies a 2 volt drop. Most of the time I just use 40’ with the built in controller. I like to keep the setup flexible to use to charge the chassis battery or other batteries. Cold camping we run our gen before 10pm and crank the heat up so the furnace doesn’t kick in for a few hours. Ramble, your portable solar setup is real close to what I would/will add to our 2005 24ft. E450 Class C! I'll probably never use a portable with it's controller at the panel. I'd use an MPPT controller at the batteries permanently so that voltage loss between the panel and the coach batteries will be minimum at all times. The V10 idles so quietly, charges coach batteries so fast via the alternator, and only consumes about 0.7 gal of fuel per hour when idling ... that I've been doing that a lot lately and wondering if I even want to add any solar. Our camping style is usually only short stays at any one place, so the batteries get topped up when driving between locations.
pnichols 06/11/21 01:16pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Generators!! Yes YOU!

Since when did generators become an esential piece 0f camping equipment? Must I hear a dry campgound buzzing all day long because people and KIDS can’t unplug? Do people come out to camp anymore to enjoy the outdoors or do they come out to sit in their RV and run their generator ALL DAY so they can live the “at home” life while camping? So beautiful cheap campgrounds are ruined by the sounds of generators, lost are the sounds of the birds, groundhogs and geese surrounding the campground. And the Park Service is to blame as well, what is the point in “limiting” generator use to daytime hours? Running them during the day is just a annoying as I am awake and outside trying to enjoy the scenery. Some parks, very few…limit generator use to 2 hrs in the am and again in the pm, now that makes more sense. Please don’t try ahd justify your use with health reasons….those are few and far between. Boil water on the stove, pan heat your meals, feel the sun on your face, put the friggin electronics away, your CAMPING! Good luck without generators where we just came back from: 10 days of drycamping 90% SHADED with only small moving spots of sun in the woods along the shore of a beautiful lake in Northern California. Nights were cold (high 30's and low 40's) ... so heat was definitely needed evenings, during sleeping, and early mornings. We camped in adjoining drycamp sites with a large family group and we all needed to run generators for our battery charging, hair drying, microwaving, electric bike charging, and outdoor electric cooking (via a portable pellet cooker). Those of us with motorhomes also idled our motorhome engines for ultra-quiet and ultra-fast battery charging. We had a spectacular time together and it would not have been possible without our quiet motorhome built-in generators, idling of our main engines, and an ultra-quiet Honda EX650 suitcase generator (a legendary generator no longer available, new, for years). I would NEVER buy a motorhome without a built-in generator in it or leave home in a towable RV without a portable generator along. Complete self-contained RV camping requires that generators be included in one's electrical power mix. Generators make it possible to be ready for anywhere, anytime camping. Solar (especially portable solar with long extension cords) is nice - but only as an addition to well installed built-in or properly chosen portable generator capability.
pnichols 06/11/21 11:14am Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Dry as a bone,…again

One more question, then I quit, do you turn your water pump on while filling the tank? This will fill your 6 gal water heater, if you wait until you're finished filling the tank, Then turn on the pump, you're losing 6 gal from your tank. Don't bother asking how I know. :R Without intentionally draining the water heater by turning on it's drain valve, how can one wind up with an empty water heater due to an empty main water tank ... since the water heater is AFTER the water pump and the water pump can't force water into the water heater (and out a faucet) when the water pump can't take in any water from an empty main water tank?
pnichols 05/29/21 10:39am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Dry as a bone,…again

Have you checked the water level when you first arrive at your camping spot? We don’t have a TT but I’d fill the tank in our mh at home and depending on the length of the trip determined how much water was in the tank upon arrival. Seems due to a poor design a good bit of water will exit the tank via the overflow tube. I'm not quite sure our Class C's fresh water tank has an overflow tube. The fresh water tank has a filler cap that fits tight when we close it. No water can spill out anywhere that I can tell. :h
pnichols 05/28/21 12:34am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Wanderlust

Hmm,...interesting. Ok, after some examination, my previous RV, the Itasca Suncruiser, had actual wheels with lug nuts. The Augusta has hub caps that simulate chrome wheels. The valve stems are almost impossible to access and the edges to the opening are incredibly sharp. So, the idea is to remove the hubcaps. In looking at various online postings and videos it seems that many of these have two nuts that must be removed in order to pry off the hubcaps. These nuts are marked to make them identifiable. But, in looking at my hubcaps I see no nuts that are so marked. So,...do my hubcaps simply pry off, as they would on a car? My Itasca Class C has the chrome wheel covers with the two specially marked nuts (an indent in the side of two of the nuts) that must be unscrewed in order to just slide off each cover should I need to remove the wheel. However, I don't have to remove the covers to air up the tires. What I did have to do - especially to deal with the rear duals - is buy a regular truckers type air nozzle for my compressor. This makes it easy to add air to the tires while leaving the covers in place -> for the front tires and both tires in each rear dual set.
pnichols 05/27/21 12:23pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Time for some maintenance...

Mobile mechanics are a great way to have maintenance done on an RV. We've begun to use one for service of both our 4X4 pickup truck and our Class C motorhome chassis right here in the mountains in our backyard - and we may try another one for the coach part of our Class C RV. One is an expert on maintaining the Ford E450 chassis, and the other is an expert on maintaining trailers, mobile homes, and the coach portion of motorhomes. Moble service guys have to be good or they wouldn't last long ... plus when they come to where your RV is you have their whole attention just for your job. There's no need to have the RV setting somewhere waiting for someone - out of perhaps several mechanics of varying skills - to eventually get around to it. I'm all for the mobile service guys!
pnichols 05/26/21 06:29pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Dry as a bone,…again

Also put water flow restrictors on all inside faucets - a galley faucet and a bathroom sink faucet are what's most commonly available in RVs. We installed 0.5 gallons per minute restrictors on our faucets and notice no difference in useabiliy. The only difference is that at the end of each day we've used less water out of the fresh water tank than we used to.
pnichols 05/26/21 02:21pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Help! Onan 4K generator refuses to start and stay on

JaxDad, In most states 10% ethanol is also added to premium gas. Secondly, for vehicles calling for the use of 87 octane regular gas, using premium fuel absolutely will not increase your mileage. Premium fuel also is not any ‘cleaner’ than regular fuel that some believe. The only difference in the two fuels is the higher octane (anti-knock) rating and the approximately $0.60/gallon extra cost that you are just wasting using premium. I beg to differ sir, I have physically checked my mileage MANY times running both ethanol enriched and ethanol free gasoline. My mileage increases about 23% by running ethanol-free fuel. So here’s how that plays out in my case, round-trip to south Florida is about 3,000 miles. My rig gets 7.32 mpg on regular gasoline with ethanol in it. So that trip is 410 gallons. If it has 10% ethanol then it’s 41 gallons of ethanol and 369 gallons of gasoline. On ethanol-free premium my rig gets 9.0 mpg. That same trip then uses 334 gallons of only gasoline. If your $0.60 / gallon is close then that trip costs an ‘extra’ $200. Except I bought 76 less gallons of gas. If we use a $3 / gallon average price that is $228. So if I ‘waste’ $200 on premium but spend $228 LESS in fuel, it looks to me like I’m up $28....... and that’s before we get into the 35 gallons less gasoline and 41 gallons of ethanol I DIDN’T burn on top of the 334 gallons of ethanol free gas. The only thing the current ethanol-enriched gasoline is doing is wasting food, making corn industry folks richer and making social media folks feel good. What methodology do you use to locate premium gas with no methanol added ... on a long trip in any place at any time? And - I mean finding that without using all kinds of various cellphone apps such that you have to specially plan your route and/or travel timing around specific gas stations where it's sold? As far as I know, one can't just pull into any gas station and find it's premium doesn't have ethanol added to it - at least in the Western U.S.. This website lists a bunch of stations all over North America that sell ethanol free gasoline. Pure Gas Website I'm aware of that Pure Gas source for locating ethanol free gas ... and that is exactly what I'm not interested in messing with -> routing of my RV trips special so as to hit particular gas stations. My RV'ing time is too valuable for that. (My credit card gives me 5 per cent back in points from all gas money charged on it, so I use any station that's convenient.) FWIW, I'm really surprised that California, for example, even allows the sale of non-ethanol gasoline. In fact I used to think that it was a national clean air requirement that ethanol be added to all gasoline used in vehicles that travel on public roads.
pnichols 05/24/21 08:05pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Help! Onan 4K generator refuses to start and stay on

JaxDad, In most states 10% ethanol is also added to premium gas. Secondly, for vehicles calling for the use of 87 octane regular gas, using premium fuel absolutely will not increase your mileage. Premium fuel also is not any ‘cleaner’ than regular fuel that some believe. The only difference in the two fuels is the higher octane (anti-knock) rating and the approximately $0.60/gallon extra cost that you are just wasting using premium. I beg to differ sir, I have physically checked my mileage MANY times running both ethanol enriched and ethanol free gasoline. My mileage increases about 23% by running ethanol-free fuel. So here’s how that plays out in my case, round-trip to south Florida is about 3,000 miles. My rig gets 7.32 mpg on regular gasoline with ethanol in it. So that trip is 410 gallons. If it has 10% ethanol then it’s 41 gallons of ethanol and 369 gallons of gasoline. On ethanol-free premium my rig gets 9.0 mpg. That same trip then uses 334 gallons of only gasoline. If your $0.60 / gallon is close then that trip costs an ‘extra’ $200. Except I bought 76 less gallons of gas. If we use a $3 / gallon average price that is $228. So if I ‘waste’ $200 on premium but spend $228 LESS in fuel, it looks to me like I’m up $28....... and that’s before we get into the 35 gallons less gasoline and 41 gallons of ethanol I DIDN’T burn on top of the 334 gallons of ethanol free gas. The only thing the current ethanol-enriched gasoline is doing is wasting food, making corn industry folks richer and making social media folks feel good. What methodology do you use to locate premium gas with no methanol added ... on a long trip in any place at any time? And - I mean finding that without using all kinds of various cellphone apps such that you have to specially plan your route and/or travel timing around specific gas stations where it's sold? As far as I know, one can't just pull into any gas station and find it's premium doesn't have ethanol added to it - at least in the Western U.S..
pnichols 05/23/21 09:14pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: 2021 E450 dual alternator

Regarding lithium RV batteries being able to accept large charging currents for fast charging - certain top quality deep cycle AGM lead acid RV batteries are capable of that too, due to their very low internal resistance. In this link see page 20, the second paragraph down from the top - Lifeline AGM RV batteries are capable of short-term acceptance of 500 amps of charging current per 100 AH of battery capacity: https://321166-984045-raikfcquaxqncofqfm.stackpathdns.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/6-0101F-Lifeline-Technical-Manual-Final-5-06-19.pdf
pnichols 05/23/21 01:03am Class C Motorhomes
RE: 2021 E450 dual alternator

Large and reliable alternators will probably become more important as lithium coach batteries become more common in motorhomes. Supposedly lithium battery banks charge fast - but only if one has a charging method that can deliver the high currents that the batteries will accept. For dry camping - especially when many hours of enough solar aren't available - a large capacity alternator driven by an idling chassis engine might be very useful. First, I would not want to try a put more than 100A into ANY battery for more than a few seconds. Bad things can happen and at that rate they will happen fast ! Second, you really should have a multi-stage charger to do the job properly ! Third, no automotive alternator is going to put out more than 13V "are idle". Typically it takes 1500-2000 RPM to get 14V. Buy a DC-DC charger. I think that emergency service vehicles often have dual alternators. And that is the only reason why someone would purchase a vehicle with 2 alternators ! For years (both the coach and chassis of my E450 Class C were manufactured as 2005 models) my idling V10 has spun it's alternator fast enough to, for a bit initialy, put out up to 70-75 amps into my ~50% discharged AGM coach batteries (I use 2 deep cycle 12V AGM batteries in parallel). I watch coach battery in/out current flow rates on a shunt-based digital ammeter mounted on the driver's side cab dash. The voltage of the chassis 12V system reads above 14 volts initiallly for a bit, and thereafter for 2-3 hours - as the coach batteries come up to full charge - this chassis voltage remains in the high 13.X volts range. When traveling, after the coach batteries have become fully charged, the chassis voltage usually remains around or above 13.5-13.6 volts. I watch the above voltage levels on a couple of digital voltmeters mounted on the driver's side cab dash. One voltmeter shows chassis DC voltage and the other voltmeter shows coach DC voltage. Obviously, whenever the V10 is running, both voltages must at all times read very close to the same - if the chassis battery/coach battery interconnect solenoid is operating correclty and with no resistance in it's contacts. The pulley size for the stock 130 amp alternator is such that the V10 always overdrives the alternator RPM at about 1.72 times faster than the engine crankshaft RPM. The stock 130 amp alternator output versus it's RPM and engine RPM published performance curves support what I see happening on my ammeter and voltmeters mounted on the cab dash. There is one situation in which the alternator voltage applied simultaneously to the chassis and coach batteries reads in the low 13.X volts range ... that is when traveling in VERY HOT ambient air temperatures. It appears that the Ford systems are designed to provide just about perfect voltages to a lead acid based chassis battery versus ambient temperatures ... which winds up being also what the coach AGM batteries also require and get ... since both battery systems are connected together via the coach interconnect solenoid whenever the V10 is running. These systems are performing just as Ford and Winnebago designed them to play together. Only the three digital meters that I installed on the dash are non-stock ... so that I know what's going on with these 12V systems as we camp and travel.
pnichols 05/22/21 06:48pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: 2021 E450 dual alternator

It was the Ford dealer parts dept, they’ve historically been awful. I’m not concerned about warranty, the second alternator wouldn’t be integrated into factory electronics at all. I’ve modified everything I’ve ever owned. I’m going to run a 400 amp hour lithium battery setup. I want to be able to run the roof top AC off of the Victron inverter while driving (or just quickly recharge the batteries while driving). The plan is to run a 60 amp sterling B2B charger off of each alternator, for a combined 120 amps to the lithium battery bank. I don’t want to overwork/overheat a smaller single alternator asking too much from it, and this seems like the safest way to do it. A little overkill, sure. No, I don’t want to have to rely on the generator while I’m driving. In fact if the solar and alternator perform well enough the generator will come out. I regularly charge my E450 motorhome's 230 AH AGM coach battery bank by idling it's V10 to spin the stock 130 amp alternator. Since AGM batteries also charge faster than liquid acid batteries, this idling charge method only takes a relatively short time. HOWEVER - I do wish that I had dual alternators for critical equipment redundancy!
pnichols 05/22/21 11:31am Class C Motorhomes
RE: 2021 E450 dual alternator

Let me chime in here with some thoughts: 1. Large and reliable alternators will probably become more important as lithium coach batteries become more common in motorhomes. Supposedly lithium battery banks charge fast - but only if one has a charging method that can deliver the high currents that the batteries will accept. For dry camping - especially when many hours of enough solar aren't available - a large capacity alternator driven by an idling chassis engine might be very useful. 2. Since any vehicle's alternator is very important, having two on board - when one or the other is getting used a lot for high current lithium coach battery charging year after year - to me would be a necessity for equipment backup purposes should one or the other fail when drycamping. Always have a Plan B for critical Plan A failures! P.S. I think that emergency service vehicles often have dual alternators.
pnichols 05/22/21 11:16am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Help! Onan 4K generator refuses to start and stay on

Ron ... I'm wondering if the same aging gasoline chemistry issue that causes Onan carbs to gunk up can also cause Onan fuel pumps and filters to gunk up? People giggle when I fill up with premium gas, “You idiot, it only needs regular, you’re throwing away money!”. Maybe, but premium is ethanol free and neither of my Onan’s have given me a lick of problems in 10 (for one) and 15 (for the other) years despite not being started sometimes for a year at a time. No ethanol, no problems. Oh, BTW, it doesn’t cost more, my increased mileage more than covers the per gallon difference. Hmmm ... I wasn't aware that premium grade gasoline is exempt from requiring refiners to add ethanol to it in the states that require a certain percentage of ethanol be in gasoline in order to meet clean air environmental requirements. Is there a website where we can check ethanol in gasoline requirements for each state ... or are they now included in federal clean air regulations?
pnichols 05/21/21 07:12pm Class C Motorhomes
Sort by:    Search within results:
Page of 9  
Prev  |  Next


New posts No new posts
Closed, new posts Closed, no new posts
Moved, new posts Moved, no new posts

Adjust text size:




© 2022 CWI, Inc. © 2022 Good Sam Enterprises, LLC. All Rights Reserved.