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About RandyA

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    Major Contributor

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    Mechanicsville, VA - Souix Falls, SD or whever we park.
  • Interests
    Fast cars, electronics, big trucks, RV's, boating and my family.

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  1. RandyA

    BlueFire scanner

    Looks like a nice unit. Just for the record, I am still running my Silverleaf VMSpc on my Volvo D12 into a netbook on the dash. It has worked flawlessly for 5+ years. I can design my own gauges and select from virtually any truck or motorhome engine ever built. The number of gauges displayed is dependent on your wishes and screen space available.
  2. What type of "battery tender" you choose will depend on what the draw is on your battery bank when the truck is sitting in addition to the number of batteries you have and the temperatures (both extreme heat and/or cold) you expect to encounter. Speaking in "general terms" for a truck with 4 batteries you would want to allow about 1 amp per battery from a "smart" charger for periodic boost voltage to achieve desulfation and longer term float charging. Some of the crew here disconnect the EECM fuse or the ground to the entire battery array during storage which lowers the discharge of the batteries considerably, to the expected "sitting" discharge rate of rate of no more than .3 volts per month. In that case you might be able to get by with a 1 or 2 amp microprocessor tender if you do not expect extremely low or high temperatures (median on a FLA battery is about 80 degrees F - anything over or under reduces battery efficiency). Keep in mind a "tender" is not designed to recharge a dead battery and any batteries placed on a tender need to be fully charged beforehand. While Harbor Freight products often get a bad rap on here they do have a microprocessor controlled 4 amp charger that I have found does an excellent job for a relatively small investment. It is often on sale for as little as $25. It has consistently done a good job for me on both AGM and FLA batteries . This is not a product endorsement, only sharing my experiences - I now own six of these that I use on my tractor, mowers, boats and vehicle batteries. While I do not have Geico insurance I do like saving money on basically equivalent products over a branded name 😀. On my Volvo with 4-1000CCA batteries I have a RV converter/charger similar to the one NeverEasy referenced built into the truck. I keep it plugged in whenever possible since I like to keep the the 120 VAC refrigerator cold. When shore power is not available I depend on a 50 watt solar panel connected to an inexpensive PWM controller (4 stage microprocessor) to keep my battery charge fresh.
  3. Nancy and I are in. Please be sure we can participate in a tasting as well as a tour.
  4. Carl, I think you answered your own question . IMHO, yes, we are a more cautious breed - at least that is the impression I get from hanging out with my mud bogging son and staying at the Windrock Campground when we go to visit my mother. Windrock is populated with said equipment. My GMC 3500 dually has an easily removed10,000 pound winch. Receivers in both the back and front. The short cable is connected directly to the battery and there are two more cables - one reaches the back of the truck, the other the front. No, I do not have a disaster fuse. I should, but my cables are well mounted away from hot exhaust manifolds and sharp objects. But, on the camper and Volvo anything and everything I've added (inverter, charger, winch, power lead to the back, lighting, amplifier, radios and more) have a fuse. I have 2500# electric winches on three of my boats and my flat bed trailer has a 4500#. I do not have a fuse in the power cables. While I believe it to be a good idea to have a fuse, I don't. I think, "If some idiot hits my truck in the driver side or some other metal bending and crushing takes place with enough force to damage a cable and set the positive to ground it is almost inevitable that a short may occur and a fire result." I am less concerned with the 2500# winches on the boat trailers. Yes, I believe we are a more careful group with our trucks. As my Dad used to tell me, " Don't do as I do, do as I say." Just watching the News/weather on the Telly. It is going to be COLD tonight at 49F and the high tomorrow is expected to only reach 62F. Even colder tomorrow night. Florida isn't always warm but it is better than 22F back in Virginia.
  5. Carl, I believe Sehc adequately answered your question. Remember, the purpose is DISASTER protection. You do not want a fuse that will be blowing all the time when your winch reaches its normal expected maximum load. If you never pull over 200 amps what you have is fine. But, if you are constantly popping fuses you need to re-evaluate. Actually, we can eliminate the "fuse" all together for disaster protection. Just put a 3" piece of #10 AWG copper wire from the battery to your #2 AWG winch wire where you would normally install a fuse. This method was popular a few years back for high amperage protection in the automotive world as a "fusable link". I hope the mention of a fuseable link does not open another can of worms 😎.
  6. Al, your fuse is a DISASTER fuse. It is there to protect your batteries and parts of your truck from meltdown should a short develop between positive and ground. It is not being used as a current overload device to protect the winch but must exceed the maximum current of the winch to be of any benefit. The type is really insignificant as the time factor for melting the element in the fuse and opening the circuit is basically equal among fuses unless it is specifically noted to be a time delay or slow blow fuse or perhaps fast acting which you do not want or need. An example of an inexpensive and effective ANL fuse and holder are shown here as advertised on Amazon. Don't lose sleep over this - just be sure some sort of disaster fuse is used.
  7. RandyA


    Ray, that is a rather healthy price tag! As long as the transfer switch wires up and the controller is compatible the one above should be fine. You might want to shop around other brands with a lower price. A lot has changed in 20 years and Xantrex is not necessarily the best buy for your application. BTW - at 20 years your first look inside the Xantrex for for a repairable component(s) would be the electrolytic capacitors. 20 years is about right for their life expectancy.
  8. Fuse close to the batteries. Can be in either - or + cable but + is more common arrangement. Knowing the intermittent use and the curve for amperage in the cable you should be able to use #2 AWG pure copper for your 12' of cable with no voltage drop concerns. Again, considerably longer cable or longer duration of maximum current draw will necessitate larger gauge wire. Look forward to seeing your set-up at the ECR, well, looking forward to seeing you too. 😄
  9. RandyA


    I have received one of the NOS Eaton inverter/chargers from the eBay vendor. Extremely nice unit includes (short) cables and the remote control switch. Cable ends will need current plugs cut off for generic install. Good buy for what you get. It will be going in the Volvo very soon.
  10. 3M makes a heavy duty outdoor double stick tape that will attach your relay/control box to your cab without screws (flat surface). In my area the home stores and Walmart carry it. It is black in color and has a red film on one side. If you clean the cab side real good with acetone and/or alcohol pads to remove any wax and the same to the box it will stick like crazy. Use several strips. The gray colored outside tape is also good but has a lesser weight rating. Do this on WARM metal. Doesn't work too good on cold days. Adhesive will take a few hours to reach maximum strength. I use this stuff all the time. If you wait until the ECR I will have a big roll with me. https://www.amazon.com/Scotch-Extreme-Mounting-1-inch-60-inches/dp/B009NP1JQC/ref=sr_1_26?crid=1MCBEEWOCPXGD&keywords=3m+outdoor+double+sided+tape+heavy+duty&qid=1579138300&sprefix=3m+heavy+duty+double+sided+outdoor%2Caps%2C298&sr=8-26 or https://www.amazon.com/Scotch-Outdoor-Mounting-60-inches-411P/dp/B0083K36KA/ref=sr_1_6?crid=1MCBEEWOCPXGD&keywords=3m+outdoor+double+sided+tape+heavy+duty&qid=1579138508&sprefix=3m+heavy+duty+double+sided+outdoor%2Caps%2C298&sr=8-6
  11. Alan, I'm glad Roger jumped in with the difference between actual load and rated load. The winch is most likely rated for 4,000 lbs when all the cable is spooled off to the last level. As the cable winds up on the spool and increases diameter it is equal to adding a larger diameter pulley to the motor end and rating goes down. The 4,000 pounds is also for a rolling load on a flat surface. When pulling on an incline everything changes. I only load a golf cart but I also like the snatch block and double line. But, a double line could present some more difficult designs for the cable roll over device Carl showed. I do use a 4K rated Chinese built winch for my golf cart. Another consideration is the voltage provided to the winch motor. The motor hp is rated at 13.5 volts. If there is a voltage drop in too small of a gauge cable you will lose power - which is why most all electric winch manufactures advise to only use the winch with the engine alternator working (engine running). Yes to Anderson connectors with 200 amp or more rating. If you pull power from the truck batteries and the winch is on the driver side your cable run will be reasonably short. #2AWG stranded copper welding cable would be the minimum size for such a cable run. Longer cable runs may put you into the #0 AWG cable class ($$$). If you give me the length I can return to you the best cable size to avoid a harmful voltage drop at the full load rating of your winch. Remember with DC and a return cable to negative we need to compute total wire length by adding together both cables. You may need to have a good marine or HDT shop make up the cables to the crimp connectors or invest in a hydraulic crimping tool. The hammer and anvil method is not a good idea. Make sure your cables are pure copper, not copper clad aluminum and are AMERICAN wire gauge and not some size made up in China. Your fuse in the power cables is really a disaster fuse in case something causes the positive cable to short to ground. I have a preference for ANL fuses as disaster fuses placed in a quality holder with a cover rather than the garden variety Chinese circuit breakers due to the size of the power studs on most all of the marine type circuit breakers being (in my opinion) too small. I want at least a 3/8" stud on a 200 -300 amp fuse, not a 1/4" or 7mm stud. Wireless remote controls often have a delay compared to wired remotes. I use the wireless on my electric boat trailer winches to keep my feet dry but would hesitate to use one for loading onto a truck bed. I have found that when you push STOP on some wireless controls there may be a second or two delay before the winch actually stops. I offer no advice as to winch mounting - I will leave that to the guys that are actually loading a Smart. As always, be reminded these are just my suggestions. It is OK for anyone to disagree.
  12. OK - I have copied all of this discussion and forwarded it to a time capsule server that will release it again for public view in 2070 (provided there is an Internet still around). It will be interesting for some youngster to see how much comes true - but it won't be me. AKA Dick Tracy and the Jetsons? Remember Robin Williams in the movie RV attempted the self driving concept and really screwed up. A good movie to re-watch if you are that bored. BTW Vern, if you are in Arizona why do you care? Doesn't Arizona allow something similar to a AU Road Train? Just tie all the cars together with a rope and hit the highway! 😁
  13. RandyA

    Trailer Batteries

    Jay, I did not intend to imply 3-4 stage chargers were not a superior advancement to constant voltage brute force chargers. But, a vehicle alternator supplies 14-15 volts at whatever current the battery requires at any given time that the alternator can supply. Therefore, starting batteries like the group 31 referenced are built to withstand this constant higher voltage better than deep cycle batteries (without boiling dry). Actually, starting batteries that are not allowed to reach 14-15 volts will "sulfate" quickly returning a shorter lifespan. When not used in a vehicle they need that 4th stage of bulk charging - even 3 stage may not reach a sufficiently high voltage. Almost 20 years from your boat starting battery? Wow - I want one of those!
  14. RandyA

    Trailer Batteries

    Follow Jim's advice about golf cart batteries unless you want to switch to AGM or Lithium. The group 31 may not really be cheaper as suppliers I have bought them from require a group 31 core or pay a very high core charge. If you are going with a single 12V lead acid battery get a group 27 or 29 deep cycle. Walmart and Costco both have acceptable products at affordable prices. Starting batteries are a poor investment since allowing them to drop below 10.5 volts several times typically spells reduced output or an early death. They really do not perform well with 3 or 4 stage "smart" chargers as their design is for recharge with high current 14 to 15 volt output from a vehicle alternator. Bottom line....... you won't save any money with a group 31 starting battery.
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