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 > Your search for posts made by 'profdant139' found 168 matches.

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RE: The "Milky Way" test of a boondocking site

After posting, I just clicked on the "full size image" button, and the photo looks somewhat brighter in full size.
profdant139 05/20/22 07:44pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: The "Milky Way" test of a boondocking site

First "Milky Way" post in a long time. This was taken early this month just east of the Eastern Sierra, between Mammoth and Bridgeport, Calif. The bright star field is the galactic center of the Milky Way. With the help of a 20 second exposure, the galaxy lit up the snowy peaks: "border=0" For Full-Size Image.
profdant139 05/20/22 07:37pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Where to Stay in Mammoth, CA?

Silver Lake is OK but sites are very tight. Bishop and Mammoth are not that close -- about 40 minutes each way. We like Highlander in Bishop -- nothing fancy, but well managed. If you are heading up 395, Mono Vista RV in Lee Vining is good, too. If you want to go to Bristlecone (highly recommended), stay in Bishop and take your truck.
profdant139 05/20/22 01:37pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Hemet, CA to Klamath River RV Park, CA

If you really want to see the GG Bridge, I'd recommend staying at the Petaluma KOA and then parking near the foot of the bridge for a day trip. Then walk out to the middle of the bridge. Stand there a good while, and chances are that a ship will pass underneath. My kids still remember that trip, and it was 30 years ago! Bring sweatshirts -- it's often chilly and windy.
profdant139 05/01/22 05:11pm Roads and Routes
RE: A Bad Day mechanically

Quick fix for the check engine light: duct tape. Just tape it over the light and keep driving. ;) I bet those turkeys are going to be delicious.
profdant139 04/29/22 09:42am Tech Issues
RE: Best Route Recommendations Quartzsite to Redwood Nat'l Park

I would agree with the advice to avoid Calif gas prices, except for the fact that US 395 along the Eastern Sierra is so spectacular. I guess it depends on whether scenery is more important than economy. Choosing a Nevada route would be a lot cheaper -- I bet that you could come up with a pretty good estimate of the probable savings. I know that the gas situation could change by April of 2023, but the difference in gas prices will probably remain about the same.
profdant139 04/28/22 12:47pm Roads and Routes
RE: Battery tender & storage

Gjac, that is very insightful -- unless the fraud is easily discovered (for example, where a disgruntled whistleblower produces "smoking gun" emails), some types of deceptive conduct will never see the light of day. Having said all of that, I still have no reason to think that the Batteryminder is a fraud. I've been using one for many years, with great results.
profdant139 04/20/22 03:35pm Tech Issues
RE: Battery tender & storage

As mentioned, the BatteryMinder Plus is automatic -- set it and forget it. During the charging phase, a little light turns green. When the battery is fully charged, the little light starts to blink, which means that the device has begun its desulphation pulse phase. Here is their website: BatteryMinder Plus website I must add that some very knowledgeable folks (like MexicoWanderer, who used to maintain the batteries on submarines) have doubts about the BatteryMinder's claim that it prevents sulphation of the battery by virtue of its pulsing action. So although I personally have had great success with this device, be aware that not everyone is a fan. Having said that, my professional opinion (as a former lawyer and law professor) is that if the BatteryMinder folks were falsely claiming that their product prevents sulphation, they would have been sued for fraud in a class action and would have been driven out of business. They have not been sued (I have checked!), and they are still in business after many years. For both good and ill, class action lawyers stand at the ready, eagerly awaiting the chance to bring suit against manufacturers of phony products. The lack of a class action in this case is what lawyers sometimes call an "eloquent silence."
profdant139 04/19/22 09:58am Tech Issues
RE: Battery tender & storage

I did some research and found that many experts say keep 'em charged because they self-discharge. But like all internet research, the answer you get depends on the question you ask. So now I don't know what to believe. I will say this: although anecdotes are not evidence, the real-life testimonials from folks who use lots of batteries all the time are pretty persuasive. So, if someone says "we have a fleet of farm vehicles and we never keep the batteries on chargers during the winter," that's an opinion worth taking seriously.
profdant139 04/15/22 05:27pm Tech Issues
RE: Ideas for Vancouver, Whistler & Washington

Mt. Baker is a lot of fun -- great hikes, wildflowers, wild blueberries. The whole North Cascades area looks like this: "border=0" For Full-Size Image.
profdant139 04/14/22 12:46pm Roads and Routes
RE: Utah State Hwy 14 from Cedar City East to Utah 89

For what it is worth, we took I-15 to 20 to 89 -- smooth sailing. I avoided 14 because it was icy at the time we were traveling.
profdant139 04/12/22 07:45pm Roads and Routes
RE: Battery tender & storage

Oh. I misunderstood. To quote the late lamented Emily Litella, "Never mind!" ;)
profdant139 04/11/22 12:01pm Tech Issues
RE: Battery tender & storage

Well, that may be true of some folks -- but Veebyes is a very reliable and credible poster. I happen to disagree with his viewpoint on this issue -- speaking from painful experience, when I was a newbie, I did disconnect a fully charged battery, let it sit for almost four months, came back, it was flat, and it would no longer hold a charge. Sixteen years later, my BatteryMinder Plus is still going strong, and my flooded batteries tend to last about five years before they need replacement. But just because I disagree with him on one point does not mean that his opinion is without value. He is very experienced and knowledgeable, judging by his many posts over a very long period of time.
profdant139 04/11/22 11:23am Tech Issues
RE: Battery tender & storage

Someone suggested just leaving the battery to sit, not on a tender. I respectfully disagree -- a battery will self-discharge over time and will go flat, which can damage the battery. FWIW, I use a BatteryMinder Plus -- set it and forget it. I do check the water every month or so, but I almost never have to add any.
profdant139 04/10/22 09:47am Tech Issues
RE: Break-even point between cable length and voltage drop?

The only thing worse than humble pie is when it comes with a side order of crow. Don't ask how I learned this.
profdant139 04/07/22 04:23pm Tech Issues
RE: Break-even point between cable length and voltage drop?

Very clever -- just bypass the controller and use another controller near the battery! I'm not sure I will do that -- depends on the cost and my lack of skill -- but that is definitely thinking outside the box. It's interesting (in a 30,000 foot way) to see myself as a captive of my own assumptions, for example: "Well, the controller is permanently attached, so I guess I am stuck with it." It is very hard to force myself to think in a non-linear way: what if we ignore the existing controller?? Once someone else points out the obvious alternative (usually DW), I feel humbled. It is not a pleasant sensation.
profdant139 04/07/22 12:21pm Tech Issues
RE: Break-even point between cable length and voltage drop?

OP here. Very interesting discussions!! I will take another hard look at my controller -- I am pretty sure it is molded onto the back of the panels with plastic -- not designed to be removed. It would take a lot of courage for me to cut it out and move it to the battery. What if I mess it up? These suitcase panels are not cheap. I think I understand, though, why the manufacturer designed a less-efficient "all in one" system. The goal is a consumer-friendly "plug and play" portable solar panel -- nothing to do but just hook up the cable. The more complex the system, the greater the sales resistance. I know that my 12.7 daily reading is not a full 12.8, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating, as they say. We routinely boondock for a week at a time, using the solar panel to top up the battery to 12.7 every day. We have never lacked for power. (Admittedly, we are very frugal.) So the panel is providing us with more than mere maintenance -- the power system does just what we need it to do. If it were doing nothing more than maintaining the battery at its then-current charge, we'd gradually run out of power during the week. We don't. I like the idea of chopping up my cable into pieces and attaching as many segments as needed. But I'd still have to transport all of the pieces.
profdant139 04/06/22 08:11pm Tech Issues
RE: Available Battery Charger(s)

The OP recommended fully charging the battery as soon as you get home -- good advice! But at the risk of stating the obvious, you then have to maintain the charge until the next camping trip. For whatever it's worth, I use a BatteryMinder Plus as my trickle charger. But it sounds to me like the OP may know more about batteries than I do -- I get about five years out of my group 31 batteries (with about 70 nights a year of camping), and he gets 8 years out of his.
profdant139 04/06/22 11:15am Tech Issues
RE: Break-even point between cable length and voltage drop?

A lot of thought-provoking discussion!! To start with Steve's comment, our trailer is so small that there is very little room on the roof for permanent panels. That fact, plus the "very shady campsite" factor, means that for now we will stay with a portable panel. The big take-away from the earlier posts is that I have some more homework to do. I will have to test the cables with a semi-depleted battery, instead of a fully charged battery. And I will have to test not only the voltage but also the amperage. (I wrote myself a "non-expert's cheat-sheet" on how to use my multi-meter as an ammeter -- if anyone is interested in that cheat sheet, just say so and I will post it.) I am surprised to hear that 13.5 volts won't even charge a semi-depleted battery -- we have found, after much real-life experience, that my 40 foot cable will do a fine job of charging a battery at around 13.9 volts. I know this for a fact because we test our battery (at rest) with a voltmeter almost every evening, after the sun goes down. It's almost always at 12.7 volts. Even on a bad day (some clouds or partial shade), it's at 12.5. By contrast, in the morning, it tests out at about 12.3 or so. The obvious solution to all of this is to bring both cables but then to deploy the 70 footer only if needed -- otherwise, the 40 footer will be preferable. The problem, though, is that the 70 footer is very bulky and heavy, and storage room is at a premium. So if it causes a significant voltage drop, and will not do a very good job of recharging the battery, then I'm better off without it.
profdant139 04/06/22 11:06am Tech Issues
RE: Break-even point between cable length and voltage drop?

BFL, that is valuable info! The battery was full when I did this test, so that may explain why the voltage drop was so slight. I should deplete the battery to a 50 percent state of charge (around 12.1 volts) and then re-try my side by side comparison of the two cables. I suspect that the drop will be more than two percent. And LittleBill, that's a good idea, but the controller is built in to the portable panel and can't be removed.
profdant139 04/05/22 07:47pm Tech Issues
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