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Smitty77_7

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About Smitty77_7

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  1. Solar & portable heater questions

    While a heater run on low or medium, should be supported by 14ga, I'd never run it for any length of time on high. If buying new extension cords, go with contractor grade 10/3 cord for the long run. If you want to put a splitter into it at the RV for two lines, it would support 15A combined usage. You could use shorter 12/3 cords in the RV for the short runs. High draws can overheat and become dangerous, so oversizing the extension is better then undersizing cords. If this is going to be a permanent storage location. You might add a dedicated 20A circuit, and run per your area's billing codes cords to the area. Then just plug in your 30/50A shore power cord. I have a 20A that I use while in storage, and can even run one roof AC as needed. Best of luck to you, Smitty
  2. Solar panel real world output

    And with the price of Solar Panel's dropped to where they are now, adding more then you think you need is always nice. Better to have too much, then not enough, within reason. I spent ~$575 more when we did our project to have five 240W panels vs the three that would have probably covered us. (Of course now, GT 300W panels are available too.). Best of luck to you, Smitty
  3. Still having b attery problems

    Super thread, of fellow Escapees all sharing their knowledge. I like the basics of first making sure everything is properly installed wiring wise. The understanding 'baseline' tests of current battery capacity and battery health that Al's testing. I may have missed it in the posts of this thread, but I'd also double check the charger program settings, to ensure that the charge parameters are properly set for the specific brand of AGM in the rig. (A simple statement here is that Lifeline's use a slightly different charge settings then almost all other AGM's.) One other tip on trying to reduce parasitic draw. Read and ask questions on your specific rig on an owner's forum. As many rigs have 'uniqueness' in wiring and system's, and the 'collective' of other owner's will probably have others that have chased down these parasitic draws before:)! Best to you, and all, Smitty
  4. Tire Question

    Load Range E, is targeted to a various weight level. From my research 10-12 years ago with a 16" wheel, Load Range E was the highest Load Range available. The sad reality is, that many manufactures build RV's (A general statement, not just targeted to Class C.), that are basically 'at' capacity, or very close to 'capacity' when they leave the factory. And shame on DOT for letting these roll out as certified ... A few, have had front end's overweight as they rolled off the factory floor. (More Class A's then C's - from what I understand(?). Evidenced by some recalling units and upgrading front ends.). Anyway's, you did the right thing by getting an actual Four Corner's Weight. Now you need to look at what you can do. -Move weight around to shift more to the front -Go on a diet? (Class C wise:)!) -Get PSI up to the max level's for your specific tire and rim combo And as other's provide more input. If you, or they, do find that higher Load Ratings of tires are available in an appropriate size for you unit, great. But, as Kirk pointed out, it's more then just the weight that tires can hold - it's a total engineered package. Looking into suspension modifications for the problem Rear Area, may also be prudent. Be safe, have fun, and good luck, Smitty
  5. Lots of unknowns ahead, say 10-15 years out. -What will property values be in a location a person maybe interested in coming off the road to? -Or, what will rents be, same location? -How will investments grow? And what could inflation do? -How hard is it to get financing for a mortgage, in retirement? And what will rates be down the road? These are just a few of the considerations. So far, we've kept both our rental home as well as our residence (Now our 'vacation' home, with MIL living in it.) in Southern California. Doubt we'll want to make either of these our 'forever' home. So as we travel, we keep looking at areas with the thought of 'Would we enjoy living in this location?'. We've a short list of cities and towns that have made out list so far. We do like what I've coined 'Smart Debt' to my wife and family. Which in my vocabulary is a mortgage at low interest rates, and then paying off a mortgage with inflation adjusted dollars. While a the sometime retaining our funds in mostly tax free investments. So as we move along one these next 10+ or so years, we may go ahead and sell one of the Southern California Properties, roll the portion of the Capital Gains not covered by our one time $500K exemption, back into a property as a down payment (Avoid paying taxes on the portion GT $500K, and then taking out a mortgage at that time.) We can then either keep this location as our new 'vacation home', and or turn it into a rental until we're read to actually come off the road. These are our current thoughts. And a Shout Out to the members, current and former, of Escapees - many times when researching for retirement. The need to have an Exit Strategy in place, was highly recommended... Great group of people, sharing their knowledge!! Best to all, Smitty
  6. Drop KOA Value club Membership

    We do not go out of our way for KOA's to stay, or to avoid:)! We've found some of their parks to be top notch, and priced accordingly (But to be fair, everything in some area's of high demand are 'priced accordingly'.) For example, we spent two nice days at the KOA outside of West Glacier, as we were 'jockeying' for position to nab a site in Apgar. Anther two KOA's we've had good luck with, is the Richfield, UT location, where new owner's took over and opened many of the sites up gear specifically for ATV'er's. As well as added more cabins. And the on the I50 going thru Nevada, we found the Ely KOA to a good place to stay too. As with many parks, some are better then other's. And KOA's are no exception. We do not automatically renew our membership. We look at our planned travels for the year, and if we feel we'll stay in at least two parks that year, we'll renew as either go to the first park, or make our reservation for the first park. Best to all, travel safe, Smitty
  7. Water pump mystery

    Electrical is one issue, and follow the advise given. Pump cycling is a second issue, and if no signs of leaking anywhere, agree good chance it's a back pressure check valve allowing back flow into the water tank. Good luck!!! And please post back what you find out, as it could help other's researching problems in the future. Smitty
  8. Lifeline Float Value Changes

    Hi Al - We kind of think a like about this.... > When in travel mode, we have our MidNite Classic 150 sending juice to the batteries. And I have the float set to 13.4V (May drop that to 13.3V, or not...). > When not traveling and plugged into Shore Power for a few months at a time. I turn set the Classic 150 to Off mode, and no juice from the Solar (Due to only 2 solid hours of sun where it is parked, I found it maintained the batteries pretty well, without shore power. But we now keep the Samsung on all of the time, where as before we'd turn off the Norcold while in non travel mode. And after a few days of clouds, I'd spot check and we'd be down to 85% SOC in the early AM, and only reach ~90-92% SOC by evening time. Thus we now plug the coach into a 20A outlet. > I'm going to change the MS2812 over to custom values, and use the 13.3V Float Lifeline recommends. Only a little over 1.5% increase going 13.1 to 13.3V. Even considered just use the Magnum AGM2 setting, which is 13.5V float, just under 1.5% over the new 13.3V recommendation from Lifeline. I suspect the X's 4 L16's would have also been just as happing with 13.5V float... as we're not talking large variations in Float here. And I'd rather be a bit on the high side, vs being a bit on the low side of a happy Float value for the Lifeline's. But, will use he 13.3V and monitor how things go. (I did on this years travel, have LBCO kick in while boon docking and during the coffee pots brewing, for the first time. It happened twice to me. (Posted about that here for input.) I did change my LBCO to a bit lower value, as within 30 mins of resting after the LBCO kicked in - the voltage readings were indicating that my SOC level's were still above 70%. I set the LBCO lower after checking SOC in the AM, before brewing the coffee. Then set it back once the brew process is over. When I talked with Lifeline about this, they said it sound like perhaps my bank were 'walking down' to a new 'norm' level thinking they were fully charged. I did go ahead and due my first ever Conditioning of these about 5 year old batteries. And perhaps that is why the LBCO had started to kick in, where in the past it never had under similar conditions. I was surprised the Lifeline Tech I talked to, did not mention the new Float values to me at that time... This was in late summer when I had the LBCO events.) Best to you, and all, Smitty (Note: I did find a good thread under the Entegra owner group titled Lifeline AGM Battery Settings. Good input from Don on this thread. If anyone wants to read up on the Float change, and specifically Magnum inverter/chargers, which the Entegra's use.)
  9. Lifeline Float Value Changes

    I have not talked with Lifeline. Speculation on the Boating Forum, was the batteries were not reaching 100% SOC, and thus gradually starting to walk down. (Again, many dissenting opinions on this - as most thought it would take multiple charges to the 87.5-92.5% SOC range, before the batteries would start walking back capacity to that new 'norm'. As Float is usually to 'Maintain', but if plugged in and on Float for a longer period of time (Like in storage between trips.) - the concern was it would also slowly lower the level of charge downwards too. Best, Smitty
  10. When I heard that Lifeline had changed their recommended Float voltage value from 13.1 to 13.3V, I decided to wait until we finished this years travels to make changes in our system. I believe Lifeline made this change in their February of 2017 Tech Revision update. I called Magnum yesterday, and asked if the MS2812 Default AGM1 (Lifeline - AGM2 = other AGM manufactures.) would be updating their AGM1 default values for Float. And, I was curious if their was away to update this via on my system. If I understood the answer correctly, yes, they believe they will be updating their Float value in the future (Tech was not sure when.). He said that by swapping out the MS2812 control board, it would then have this change to AGM1 setting. (I'm not planning to swapping out the control board, on my dime, just for this one change. May look closer to see if any other features have been added to the new released control boards, but the Float change would not trigger my purchase!) So I will just go in and use the Magnum Custom profiles to set the phases of battery voltage. I was reading on one of the boating community forums, the opinion that this minor increase in Float Voltage, was to help prevent 'battery walk down' from consistent undercharging to Full. (The thread had lots of 'opinion's' on this subject. With most feeling it was probably the main reason why Lifeline made the increase of Float values, but also most felt over the life of a properly maintained Lifeline, minimal to no real impact occurred with 13.1 vs 13.3V Float.) And that is the reason for my post. This gang has some member's I look to as real experts on all things batteries:)! And wanted opinions on if you feel a 13.1 vs 13.3V Float would have a 'walk down effect' on a bank of Lifeline's? Best to all, have fun, be safe, Smitty
  11. Air Conditioning Not Working in Auto Mode

    Thanks for closing the loop back on this:)! Good luck, Smitty
  12. Air Conditioning Not Working in Auto Mode

    Admit I'm not real familiar with your set up. Our coach, an 04 model built in 03, has two Domestic 15K Penguin AC units. The connection between the Thermostat Control, and the AC units, have RJ45 jacks in the loop. We had a problem from the moisture, then mold, crowing within the connections of the mail to female connections. Took them apart, cleaned them well with electric cleaner, and then air dried via the can air. Added Dielectric Grease, and hooked the connections back up. All good after that. Have added a year maintenance of dropping the AC return grill, unplugging and cleaning all RJ45 connections... If this helps you - GREAT! If not, it may help someone in the future, and best of luck to you! Smitty 04 Country Coach Allure
  13. Stacking Equipment

    I was in one persons trailer about 1 year or so ago, and they had used curtain rods (three of them) to slide a light weight music DAC up above their DVR. About 2" gap from the DVR to the bottom of the DAC. They also drilled I think it was 3 1" holes toward the top of the cabinet, into the cabinet next to it, so that more of the heat from the electronics would disperse. He said he'd been monitoring temps, and would have added a small pancake computer fan to help suck the air out of the electronics cabinet, but that he did not feel it was needed. He also said that only after one stretch along Destruction Bay area on the way to Alaska, did he find the DAC (And the three curtain rods.) had shook down on top of the DVR. He added a hunk of thick tape (Believe it was the double sided tape, that is a bit thicker then most.) below the ends of the curtain rods, has never vibrated down since then. Best of luck to you, Smitty
  14. Had a lucky, and timely as far as my questions about how to keep the micro-inverters online during a power outage, opportunity yesterday:)! A total of 5 different trucks pulled up to my neighbors home yesterday at 7:30AM. He had a Tesla Powerwall 2 installed. He had Solar Panels with Enphase Micro-inverters (an easier version that handled lower panel wattage then the S-280's, but still functions the same). I talked with the lead gent on the install of the Powerwall 2. Yes, they have automatic cutoff to the grid in case of a power failure. But he said they also have the ability for the grid to turn back on the Powerwall 2 to the grid. If say during a power outage where the lines were not compromised, the idea is the utilities would tap into homes Power Storage (In this case the Powerwall 2, and allow power to say hospitals. (I have not researched this in anyway, just passing on what he said. Assume it has to be an authorized connection, with homeowner consent to allow the access to their power storage. And also assume this is more a future world where more power supplies and or solar power is available to the total grid...). Otherwise the new gear basically acts the way I had researched things. Except where as I wanted to do a 'manual' disconnect back to the grid (Turn off the main house breakers.) before sending power back into the panel upstream of the main house breakers. This would be the power needed to be seen from the micro-inverters, for them to kick on and start allowing solar power back into the house panel. And yes, his Powerwall 2 is all permitted and per utilizes and local building codes. Again, I'm not doing anything until I determine which of the homes we're going to retain. May even pay to move out ~8K of LG panels over to the other house, if we elect to keep it. (The gent I work with said about $4K to do this, with permits and all that it entails too...). One other interesting info we found out in the last few days. Both of the property taxes for next year game in the last few days. The house with out solar, went up about 1.2%. The house with solar, went up 3.8%. (I called and talked to the county tax department to ask why two homes side by side, had such a difference in tax increase - it was the 'solar' that bumped up our tax rate higher.) I talked with my Sister about this, a retired local San Diego Gas & Electric employee. And she said that many states, and or counties within some states, have exemptions from increasing the value of the taxable amount on a home from adding 'passive power'. Our state/county does not have that exemption... So this will now delay my total payback I estimate to about 8-9 years, from the 4.5-6.5 years I had first calculated... (We have an amortized first full year of usage electric credit of $117 per month.) All of this thread was just me thinking things out, and doing some longer term planning for possible next steps here on one of these two homes... Best to all, Smitty
  15. Thanks Lou! And yes, my intent is to keep this both legal, and permitted... And I'd 'assume' this would not b reinvention of the wheel:)!. It just amazed me to have the gent I'd worked with as I installed the current Solar Panels, look me in the eye and say: Off Grid, is for sure different and less administratively less restrictive then 'Grid Tied' - at least in California:)! And frankly, that amazed me. Why have all of these different groups pushing for 'Solar or Wind' power... When unless you're Off Grid you can't use in our case almost 8K Watts of solar power? The usage of which, could be the difference on extend power outages for an individual... I'm for sure all about, and will personally pay more if needed, to ensure safety for all... The 'Tech' solutions exists, why are not(?) the regulatory aspects also in place... Slow, but I hope steady, on this one... Best, Smitty
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