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Randyretired

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About Randyretired

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    http://community.webshots.com/album/551722734LdfaWZ
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  • Location
    Colorado
  • Interests
    RVing boating

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  1. Randyretired

    DRV 5th Wheel Water Intrusion

    Some friends bought a new Mobile Suite a few years ago. From day one there were problems. The kitchen sink fell into the cabinet. The Lipert never lube bearings failed on an a wheel. The wheel came off and the damage was massive. Some of the trim just fell off on the outside. The water tank was never secured and it shifted flooding everything. There was a number of smaller issues that I don't remember. They traded after 4 years and were happier to see it go than when they bought it! I don't know if this is common with some DRV products or a limited experience but they would never consider another one and I can't imagine buying one.
  2. Randyretired

    Is 260K Miles too much to buy used?

    At that many miles it would seem the next problem is just around the corner. Only you know what you are willing to pay but I would try to find a vehicle with less miles. This may cost more but hopefully it will be less trouble. In any case a road side assistance policy and a financial reserve for trouble, probably should be included in your plan. Our 5th wheel is nearly 20 years old and I have rebuilt and updated it extensively but there are still miscellaneous problems now and again. That is pretty common with most RV's but major problems can be very expensive.
  3. Randyretired

    Colorado here we come!

    Link came up without signing in. Nice home!
  4. Randyretired

    Solar controller recommendation

    Jack Mayer and Zulu, your wiring and breakers are nice! Since I already have #2 from the roof to the controller I just purchased a 4 to 1 MC4 connector to connect my 4 panels. Not near as nice as yours but I think it will be useable. Hopefully the 12" or so of #10 out of the MC4 won't cause a significant loss before the #2 wire. I will have a fuse into and out of the controller.
  5. Randyretired

    Solar controller recommendation

    Thank you for replying. I was just looking at the data available with the Outback and it seems pretty complete. The comparable Victron is $200+ more am I am wondering if it is worth it?
  6. Randyretired

    Solar controller recommendation

    We are not heavy power users. The existing system has mostly met our needs with only occasional generator use. We currently have 4 batteries. These batteries are 10 years old now and need to be replaced. If we reach anywhere near 50% SOC I run the generator the next morning while doing coffee. This usually allows the batteries to be fully charged by noon. All of our lights are LED and other than coffee and a little TV, there isn't much. A system about 1/2 the size would probably have worked but the panels were cheap. I just bought enough to cover the simple to use spots on the roof. After this summer I don't know how much boon docking we may be doing but we seldom stay in a campground. We bought 140 acres in the Colorado mountains and we are preparing to build a house on it. We have septic and will do a well but the county will not let us have electricity until we actually start building. Thus the solar. This summer I will finish some fencing and a couple of cattle guards. Then an outbuilding and road improvement. Not much time to use power. That old 50 watt panel has been on 3 rigs but has only spent a little more than half of its life outdoors. When not in use we keep our 5er and HDT garaged. The biggest problem with our existing system is the voltages on these panels we picked up over the years vary a little. A couple of the panels are dragging down the rest. The differences in controllers over the years is night and day. Our first system used a relay controller with on/off. On at about 12.6 and off about 13.8 but we were the talk of the campground as very few had solar. Back then most of our camping was just a few days then once home the batteries received a full charge. Our current controller is an older Blue Sky MPPT but it throttles at 13.9v. Better than the first couple of controllers but still requires a lot of attention with the generator to keep from going to long without a full charge. I am used to watching battery voltage and adding the generator when needed but I am hoping the new system won't require much. I sure appreciate everyone's help and I will monitor this thread for a week or 2 before I purchase a controller.
  7. Randyretired

    Solar controller recommendation

    I wasn't planning on a battery monitor. This system is replacing a 400 watt "colection" of panels I have accumulated over many years. In fact, the first 50 watt panel I bought about 32 years ago is up there. Anyhow I have kinda of learned to keep track of my batteries by voltage readings. I have updated the spelling of Outback. Sorry for the error.
  8. Randyretired

    Solar controller recommendation

    Your responses have been great and I really appreciate your help. I have narrowed my choices down to 3. Victron 150 85 @$687 Midnight Solar 150 SL 96A@ $575 Outback Flex Max @ $459 All 3 seem to do about the same thing but there is a significant price difference. Many have suggested the Victron but is it that much better? I got these panels for $.35 a watt and I am trying to keep the overall cost down. On the other hand we will probably boondock all summer and I don't want any problems. For simplicity and shading I was going to wire all 4 panels in parallel. The feed to the controller is 12' of #2 copper so voltage loss is minimal. Each panel will be wired to the combine box with #10 copper.
  9. I just purchased 4 solar panels and I am looking for a controller for these. Pmax 1000V 265 W* (0%, +5%) 30.96 V 8.56 A 38.14 V 9.1 A 16.21% -0.33% /ºC +0.058% /ºC -0.43% /ºC These will charge 6 GC2 6 volt batteries wired for 12 volts. Originally I was looking at an Outback 80 amp controller but that controller is limited to 1,000 watts. These panels are 1,060 watts. I was thinking of this https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F262594343468. but I am open to suggestions.
  10. Randyretired

    Info on cleaning toilet ball valve

    It is good your problem is going away. This is an ongoing problem that is made worse by hard water like what is often found in the Southwest.
  11. Randyretired

    Honda EU2000i Generator

    Finding ground faults can be difficult but if it always pops a ground fault when the RV is plugged into one there is a problem. My 50 amp power source at my house is a ground fault protected circuit and occasionally when friends come by we find a problem. The fault is usually caused by the ground crossed with the neutral. Often times we find the electric water heater element has a fault but other things can cause it. Some just ignore the problem since it works without ground fault but I don't do that. My method of locating the problem is to disconnect all of the neutral wires in the RV breaker box and put them back one at a time. The bad circuit should trip the ground fault when it is connected. A load is required to make the ground fault trip so start with a breaker with something on and all of the rest off. This is somewhat technical and if you are not comfortable working on electric circuits you may want to hire it out. Another method is using a volt/ohm meter.
  12. Randyretired

    Info on cleaning toilet ball valve

    When mine starts leaking down I spray a bunch of liquid Bar keepers Friend in and let it soak. Then clean with a toilet brush including twisting the brush down the opening. Usually holds for awhile. If the water is really hard may have to repeat more often.
  13. Randyretired

    Getting my ducks in a row

    My RZR also ends right at the end of the bed but of course our HDT setup is different. I thought I would share some of our setup to see if any of it might be useful to you. At one side of the bed we installed 2 half circle stops that the front tires of the RZR fit into. These have side braces and curve over the tires. We bolted a ratchet to the bed even with the front of the RZR. The strap from this ratchet hooks to a mount that the bolts holding the front axle pass through. This mount was built by drilling a flat plate for the bolts to pass through and welding another piece of steel with a hole in it that is vertical and sticks down about an inch. The hook on the end of a strap hooks through that and feeds into the ratchet. I use a wrench to tighten it. This pulls the RZR at an angle down and forward into the stops. This secures the RZR from moving forward or backwards and secures the front. Then we use 2 vertical ratchet straps crossed to secure the back. This process is quick and very secure but to make sure the RZR stays there we have a chain welded to the bed and it is fastened to the RZR with a lock.
  14. Randyretired

    Getting my ducks in a row

    A HDT is heavy duty truck. Ours is a class 8 or what may be called a semi. We have a RZR 800 which is 102" long. We carry it across the bed as it is the maximum legal width in most places. Our bed is bigger than many and we also carry a Subaru Forester at an angle over the top of the RZR with the roll bar removed. We reside in Colorado where there are hundreds of miles of trails limited to 50" wide or less so the small RZR at 50" wide is what we need. Weighing your truck with the RZR is a good thing as it it easy to overload the rear axle or the maximum GCWR. I also have an older F250 4x4 diesel and with the RZR, ramps and gas cans on it there isn't a lot of capacity remaining. Touring around in an overloaded vehicle is not fun and of course not safe. I have found that keeping below the maximum capacity makes driving easier and more enjoyable. It may be necessary to step up to a 1 ton dually depending on the loaded weights. We frequently boondock so we also carry extra supplies and water which adds more weight.
  15. Randyretired

    Unloading front axel?

    Double post
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