Jump to content


Validated Members
  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by oldjohnt

  1. Solar Panel Questions

    I found That's the same thing I found (NOT saying there aren't some out there) which is why for ease and availability and price and possibly less shading concerns subject to roof real estate and possibly less heat problems and less weight per panel, if I had to have 400 watts Id at least consider using TWO 200 Watt probably 24 volt probably wired in parallel Panels. They are so readily available at less then a dollar per watt. I'm running three of the 24 volt 235's in parallel now on my small 29 foot Class C and have room for even one more. Study your roof layout shop around and do your homework and I'm sure you will do fine John T
  2. Solar Panel Questions

    Kevin, good questions I pretty much agree with Dave's good response, here's my own take: 1) A 400 watt SINGLE panel would be one fairly big unit. My 245 Watt panels are 39 x 64. If you cant find a single 400 watt panel to suit your needs and fit your roof ???? you may be left with the use of MULTIPLE PANELS like it or not. 2) A SINGLE panel (if you can get a single 400 watt that fits on your roof) means less wiring connections and less mounting problems. 3) Multiple panels wired in parallel may (subject to location) reduce some shading problems.. 4) Without any idea of your available roof space and what if any roof restrictions you may have (AC units and vents etc etc) the use of a couple say 200 + Watt 24 Volt panels wired in parallel may be an easy straight forward approach versus a single huge panel. I CANT SAY WITHOUT KNOWING YOUR ROOF. 5) I would shop around to see if you can get a single 400 watt that will fit correctly ???? but if not consider two 200+ watt units which Id prefer versus say FOUR 100 watt units JUST TOO MANY WIRES AND CONNECTIONS. EITHER WAY WILL WORK Id say the answer depends on your roof space John T Long retired electrical engineer and NOT a solar expert so do as they say not me
  3. Drinking Water System Questions

    AMEN to that and moreso even water sources labeled as "potable" in many Natl Forest and BLM or other remote locations even if the RV has its own onboard filters and purification devices, but I support those who make the choice to trust and rely on filtration and purification devices TO EACH THEIR OWN CHOICES........... John T
  4. Drinking Water System Questions

    Having RV'd across the country for 47 years in public and private and remote parks and all sorts of so called "potable" ????? water sources and even with any sort or sediment and carbon filters or expensive purification systems WE CHOOSE TO DRINK (including coffer or tea etc) BOTTLED (including gallon jugs and the machines outside stores) WATER. I just trust their water and purification and filtration methods versus well or municipal sources across the country, ESPECIALLY in remote sources. Ever see some of the supposed "potable" water supplies in Natl Forest Camps out west lol, I go with bottled water versus any of those even if I hade my own "filters" and "purifiers". In addition, as compared to the total cost of RV travel, drinking water, is hardly a "drop in the bucket" PUN INTENDED lol Of course, this is another one of those personal free choice decisions regardless if a person chooses an expensive filtration system or a cheap system or strictly bottled water, whatever works for them is fine with me, no arguments.... John T
  5. Kathy & David, here's the conflict you face which it sounds like you're very familiar with. If you place a load on the non running toad battery over long enough time (time subject to current draw) periods it obviously eventually discharges if no charging method is utilized WELL DUH However "Ford" to cover themselves has to advise against it, so what's a person to do???????? What I do (NO Warranty and I'm NOT saying void your warranty or disobey Ford lol) is to run a properly protected at BOTH ends remote charge wire so when driving the motorhome provides at least "some degree" of charge to the toad battery. Its of course ONLY in place and in use when the motorhome is physically plugged to the toad via the cord and plug so there's no other isolation issues. Since BOTH the motorhome and toad battery provide "some degree" of buffering and stability (in a way like a huge capacitor) and can possibly reduce spike or surge problems I PERSONALLY to date haven't had any problems with spikes or surges harming my toads electronics BUT I CANT SAY WHAT YOU MAY EXPERIENCE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How much and what quality of charge the motorhome when driving may actually net deliver to the toads battery DEPENDS on the length of wire and wire gauge and resistance of plugs and receptacles etc etc but in my experience it doesn't take much to maintain the toads battery ALL SUBJECT TO TOADS LOADS. While I ran a charge wire via plug and outlet (NO isolation problems) and it works great I cant say what you should do THATS YOUR CALL John T
  6. Vortex II Upgrade Kit

    Chalkie, I have two of those in my RV and they have performed great (and easy to clean) but weren't quite as easy to install as the sales literature may lead one to believe. As noted they are NOT up to the CFM and quietness of a Fantastic Fan but for the much lower price especially for bathroom use Id go for it............ John T
  7. CPAP

    INDEED if you can use 12 volt CPAP's to avoid inverter use inefficiency and a couple 6 volt true deep cycle golf cart type batteries in series (versus a single 12 volt semi deep cycle RV/Marine battery) as always subject to actual loads you may well get by just fine..........Sure a high enough rated ??? single 12 volt battery may also get you by, but if you plan to do much dry boondocking I still suggest the use of true deep cycle battery or batteries.........My CPAP like others has variable temperature and humidity settings and pressure so actual use can still vary even with the same machine. John T (Love my CPAP as it improves my rest and sleep and health sooooooooooo much)
  8. CPAP

    Tom, FYI VA= Watts/Power Factor. If the load is pure resistive with a unity one power factor then watts = same as VA. However if its an inductive load (like a motor) and if the PF is say 80% then VA = Watts/.8 Are you sure a CPAP draw is 1 VA ???? That's small. Id be more apt to believe like 1 amp at 120 volts which equals 120 watts ??????????????????? BUT I DONT KNOW THE ACTUAL LOAD SO THIS MAY BE WRONG AS RAIN NO WARRANTY ND, of course the ONLY way to provide a half way decent answer is to know the actual current draw of the CPAP machines. That being said however again HOW MANY 12 volt deep cycle batteries you need depends on their amp hour storage capacity. Without knowing your battery type or capacity or the CPAP requirements I will still offer a few very broad and general tips if you plan to do very much dry camping. 1) For a lot of extended dry camping (running two CPAP's plus other typical loads) I suggest the use of true deep cycle batteries versus any so called RV/Marine 12 volt "semi" deep cycle units like sold at Walmart. The very MINIMUM I'd consider would be say two Trojan T-105 6 volt True Deep Cycle Golf Cart batteries (or equivalents like Sams or Interstate or Costco etc etc) or even AGM in series giving you around 225 amp hours of energy storage while four such units wired in series parallel for 450 Amp Hours would be better. NOTE sure the twelves will "work" SUBJECT TO TYPE AND DESIGN AND SIZE and Id want at least two of them in parallel (Again all subject to size and type and actual loads) . 2) For two CPAP's and other typical dry camping loads if you go ahead and get say a 1000 watt PSW Inverter you should have plenty of capacity and room for expansion EVEN THOUGH sure a 400 to 600 or so watt "may" suffice SUBJECT TO CPAPS AND OTHER ACTUAL LOADS 3) If you can get 12 VDC powered CPAP's that would be more efficient then using an inverter SUMMARY AND ROUGH APPROXIMATIONS not knowing actual loads SO DONT GET EXCITED ANYONE !!!!!!!!! Id take a pure guess and still recommend at the very MINIMUM you start with at least 200 amp hours of battery energy storage (be they 6 or 12 volt) and Id prefer 400 amp hours,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,At the very MINIMUM Id start with a 500 to 600 watt and Id prefer a PSW versus a MSW Inverter and even consider a huge 1000 watt to allow for future expansion..........Subject to actual loads I don't envision a single 12 volt RV/Marine semi deep cycle battery as getting you by nor a 300 watt Inverter for two CPAP's BUT I DONT KNOW YOUR ACTUAL REQUIREMENTS so no freaking warranty ONCE YOU KNOW THE ACTUAL LOADS AND RUN AN ENERGY AUDIT I could provide better advice, this is ONLY a rough pure guess remember. I run a 120 VAC CPAP plus furnace when cold and a small 120 VAC fridge 24/7 and lights and fans and water pumps etc and I do fine with 450 battery amp hours (Four Trojans) but I have a 3000 Watt PSW Inverter which is wayyyyyyyyyy more then you likely need. Best wishes and God Bless John T
  9. If you're only gonna be gone 9 weeks I wouldn't mess with battery maintainers or trickle chargers etc and leaving any electrical devices plugged in. If just prior to leaving they are fully charged and topped off with electrolyte and totally disconnected, unless there are internal battery problems, they should be fine when you return. Now if it was gonna be 6 to 8 or more months, the answer might be different John T
  10. Sizing battery banks

    Mornin Al, for the record I HATE BROCOLI lol but support those who do like it SUCH AS MY FIRST WIFE Keep warm its been a bit nippy here in central Florida brrrrrrrrrrrrr PS I'm Not a fan of spinach either lol and my own "personal choice" (while respecting other choices) is that batteries be located in places OTHER THEN living space air/environment, but feel free to put them any darn place is fine by me...........Heck just because I wouldn't "choose" to put house batteries (any type) under my bed don't mean that may not be the absolute safest place (which I seriously doubt) possible ????????? Thanks Al, nice chatting with you John T NOT a broccoli or spinach or cauliflower or brussel sprouts or tofu or humus eater either lol NOT saying its good or bad however
  11. Sizing battery banks

    Al, as many here know I support a persons free choice to do as they please in their own RV, but Lithium batteries under my bed would NOT be my choice. I'm not saying good or bad, I'm ONLY saying that's not where I would install them. John T
  12. Sizing battery banks

    I don't think too large a bank is so much of a problem HOWEVER if there's inadequate charging capacity, be it solar or otherwise, such that the bank remains in a discharged state for long periods, that can be harmful to the batteries. John T
  13. Sizing battery banks

    Good questions even, here are my thoughts: As long as the cables have adequate ampacity and there's short circuit and overcurrent protection I don't see you need other precautions. Sure if one bank is at a higher voltage then the other some degree (depends on voltages and cable resistance) of charging current can flow until such time voltages equalize but proper overcurrent protection and cable ampacity should handle it. A sufficient amperage in line diode can assure current flows in only one direction, but it creates a voltage drop and resistance. As long as the amount of current doesn't exceed charging including time and current and voltage limits into the deep cycle batteries, I don't see they are harmed. BOTTOM LINE If you consider a battery charger may operate at say 13 up to 14 + volts (in order to charge a 12.6 volt battery) while a full charged battery at rest and stabilized is only around 12.6 volts UNLESS one of the two banks is severely depleted and based on cable resistance, I don't envision any HUGE current flows one way or the other you need to worry about. You could size the overcurrent protection devices (perhaps auto resetting breakers) at each bank conservatively which will prevent excess current concerns. REGARDLESS if one bank is full charged at rest and is at 12.6 volts and the other is severely depleted maybe even 12 volts DUE TO CABLE RESISTANCE AND SUCH A SMALL POTENTIAL DIFFERENCE I DONT ENVISION ANY EXCESS CURRENT PROBLEMS (compared to what a 50 or more amp 14 volt charger or alternator might deliver) BUT IF SO PROTECTIVE DEVICES WILL HANDLE IT......... The use of relays and diodes and/or switches can allow manual controls over charging problems from one bank to another if you're still concerned, but they need to have sufficient current rating and 100% duty cycle rating. One other concern is for charging balance where its best if ALL batteries and banks etc are the same design and type and size and even age but if you try to charge (via alternator or solar or charger) multiple connected batteries, say deep cycles versus starting batteries, they may NOT receive equal charge. John T
  14. Safe charge current

    Sure a 240 volt genset will work to power your 240 volt tools and appliances. In typical distribution its the branch circuit that feeds RECEPTACLES or other such loads that has overcurrent protection (fuses or circuit breakers) although you do find some PLUGS with fuses built in for protection. Sounds like you have it all under control no problems Nice chatting with you John T
  15. Safe charge current

    Chris, ifffffffff ????? a genset has BOTH 120 and 240 volt outlets I'm in Lou's camp (see his post above) on this one. A 240 volt output winding can possibly be tapped in the dead center such that it's only one-half or 120 volts from EITHER L1 or L2 outer legs to the center tap Neutral. Then if the genset has a floating Neutral its NOT bonded but bonded otherwise. The NEC as I recall (no warranty) allows the use of a portable genset to feed cord and plug connected tools strictly fed from onboard receptacles with no connection to a grounding electrode. I agree with Yarome's concept that a 5000 watt 240 volt genset would have in theory a 5000/240 = 20.83 amp rating. John T Live from the Florida Flywheelers Antique Tractor Show in Ft Meade Florida
  16. 50 amp power management

    Good afternoon ms, An HACR breaker "may" help allow one to start if another is running BUT THERES A MUCH BETTER CHANCE IF ONE WERE AT THE RV PEDESTAL PLUS THE RV PANEL. If only in the RV panel that may prevent IT from tripping in cases where the RV pedestal breaker might just let the surge pass (or it might not). It depends on the make and model and type and design and even age as to how sensitive any particular breaker is to short term surges HOWEVER in general an HACR is more forgiving to allow a short term surge to pass through and that's by design. But to answer your question an HACR in ONLY the RV panel may not help whatsoever BUT IT WONT HURT THE CHANCES LOL Always fun chattin with you John T
  17. Propane Regulator Adjustment

    AMEN to that. If in doubt or inexperienced hire a competent professional. John T
  18. Propane Regulator Adjustment

    For no more then the cost I advise purchase of a new and adjustable pressure regulator. For a good read on the pressure and system click here: http://www.rvdoctor.com/2002/01/what-pros-do-propane-system.html John T
  19. 6v vs 12v

    Chris, I'm just a "small fry" as compared to the behemoths many others here operate. I have a 29 Ft Class C cabover van style motorhome, 13,000+ lbs., reason being we are quite mobile and do a lot of Natl Forest and Natl Park (some with length restrictions) and BLM camping and dry boondock camping and on narrow steep tight mountain roads out west our smaller rig is just easier to maneuver and park, yet still just big enough to live in months on end. John T
  20. 6v vs 12v

    YES still SINGLE PHASE Chris, the technical jargon for residential home service is 120/240 Volt Single Phase Three Wire. The "three" wires are L1, L2 and Neutral (center tap of 240 volt transformer). Where used the Bare/Green is the "Safety Equipment GroundING Conductor" normally bonded to Neutral in the main service entrance panel in cases of non floating systems. Its primary purpose is to provide a dedicated low resistance return current path ONLY FOR FAULT CURTRENT, NEVER normal return current, that's the job of the Neutral. Its 240 L1 to L2 but half that or 120 L1 OR L2 to Neutral. YES some (not me) have huge RV's but you could handle it, come on over Nuff said before I "cornfuse" you further lol John T
  21. 6v vs 12v

    Chris, NOPE its NOT a silly question. I've never been to the UK but are aware you use a lot of 220/240 VAC where we commonly use 120 VAC for small and medium sized electrical devices. Actually, if 240 volts (versus 120) is used for the same load the current is only half so there may be less (subject to conductor resistance) wasted I Squared R energy loss in the feeder conductors. Our typical 120/240 VAC single phase three wire service uses a transformer LV Secondary that's 240 VAC line to line BUT we tap that transformers winding in the middle (Neutral) so its only half or 120 VAC from EITHER line L1 or L2 to the center tap. Then we use both legs of 120 VAC in the home PLUS we have 240 VAC available for larger like HVAC, Clothes Dryers and Hot water heaters etc. As mentioned above particular plug and outlet configurations are used to match the line and loads appropriately to avoid accidents and confusion. For the most part our RV's use 120 VAC versus 240 while the larger 50 amp rigs simply utilize BOTH legs of 120 VAC. Come over the pond and visit us, take an RV tour of our National Parks, Americas greatest idea.............. John T
  22. 6v vs 12v

    Sehc, I agree and you raise a good point. "Meltdown safety" is indeed a different issue then "voltage drop". Some time back I advised gents NOT to plug their 30 amp RV power cords into a 50 to 30 amp dogbone adapter (plugged into a 50 amp RV pedestal outlet) that didn't have (maybe they do ??? if so great) some sort of a fusible link or other 30 amp (the rating of 30 amp RV cords so as to avoid insulation meltdown) overcurrent protection because certain resistive or intermittent types of fault although NOT severe enough to trip the 50 amp pedestal breaker COULD STILL MELT THE INSULATION (what you refer to as "Meltdown Safety"). If that were the case an exposed no longer insulated RV cord often laying in water or gravel or run over by bikes or golf carts etc where your barefoot grandchild was playing COULD CAUSE ELECTROCUTION and/or start a fire in certain situations and enclosures. Of course as many posted the risk was small and/or they had used such for years and never had a problem. AS ALWAYS I SUPPORT A PERSONS FREE CHOICE AND THEIR RIGHT TO ASSUME OR AVOID ANY RISKS WHATSOEVER Of course the risk is in the RV cord FROM the dogbone adapter TO the RV panel main breaker since circuits downstream of an AFTER the 30 amp breaker are properly protected HOWEVER that rubber cord laying in water or sharp gravel or under rugs or ran over by golf carts etc is where the electrical or fire hazard can be !!!!!!!!!!!!!! FYI Sehc I just happened to run across an article by Mike Sokol of the NoShockZone website that agrees with the good point you raised and have copied and pasted a portion of it for you. His response in its entirety can be found at: http://rvtravel.com/rv-electricity-overloaded-wires/ "While I can quote code chapter and verse from the code book all day long about current ratings, and even produce my own videos showing an intentional overload, that may not be enough to convince some of you. But as I like to say, seeing is believing. So here are two recent pictures sent to me that demonstrate EXACTLY what can happen if you make a wire carry more current than it’s rated for. Current overload can be caused by things like additive neutral currents from a bootleg 240-volt outlet, or using a dog-bone adapter to step from a 50-amp pedestal outlet to a 16-gauge extension cord, or simply by plugging too many portable space heaters onto a circuit. However it happens, overloaded wiring is really dangerous since the insulation itself can burn and catch anything around it on fire. To review amperage capacity, a 10-gauge wire is only rated to carry 30 amperes of current. So if you ask it to pass 50 amps, then it will begin to overheat. Now this will take more than just a few minutes to reach the level of burning insulation you see above, but it could easily happen within a few hours of this level of overload. So the takeaway is NEVER put more current through a wire than it’s rated for. Let’s play safe out there…. Mike Sokol is an electrical and professional sound expert with 40 years in the industry. Visit NoShockZone.org for more electrical safety tips. His excellent book RV Electrical Safety is available at Amazon.com. For more info on Mike’s qualifications as an electrical expert, click here" GOOD CATCH SEHC You are correct, Meltdown safety is indeed a different issue then voltage drop. Take care, best wishes and God Bless John T
  23. dumping, macerator or not.

    Good Morning Pack, Indeed when that "dude" I know "accidentally" discharges a bit of grey water perhaps in a reasonably safe remote area away from others etc., its sort of a "don't ask don't tell" situation lol Of course my advice is NOT to do it. I shop at CW now then mostly because they have things for sale you cant find elsewhere. I often find items on Amazon or E Bay etc. or Adventure RV etc. at a lower price. I don't own a CW or other brand of Macerator, but having a 3 KW PSW Inverter plus an onboard genset I'm gonna research a modified 120 VAC home garbage disposal system macerator "believing" it may be more powerful and efficient then the small 12 volt units sold at CW (I'm NOT saying they don't work fine !!!). Even with that I would use lots of water and fill n flush a few times to help clean the black tank. Some folks dump ice into the black tank and then drive a few miles in hopes the sloshing of the cubes helps clean the tank. Nice chatting with you, take care John T
  24. dumping, macerator or not.

    Mornin TX, I was in your great state until the first of December, had a good time EXCEPT Austin Traffic is baddddddddddddd. Thanks for the info, Yep I knew the Macerator pumper under some pressure but still slower then the 3 inch gravity method was my "thinking" ?? I saw an interesting do it yourself macerator which used the 3 inch gravity feed that dumped into the top of a traditional under sink garbage disposal and then pumped under pressure out a 1 inch discharge hose. Just looking it seems it may do a better job then the macerators sold at Camping World which are much smaller lighter and Id bet far less horsepower ANY THOUGHTS ON THAT ?? Regardless of the method, 3 inch gravity or a powered macerator, I still think good maintenance, plenty of water and frequent flush outs is satisfactory. Since we sometime dry camp for extended periods with no access to a dump station I went with a Thetford Electra Magic 80 Marine Recirculating system and for two we can get by maybe 12 to 14 days before we need to dump. However a week is usually long enough and we may run short on fresh water by then and ready to move on down the road....... Best wishes, fun chattin with you... John T ARGO, I knew this "dude" who if camped over thick grass or sand etc might have an accident and a bit of gray (Never black) water accidentally leaks out lol John T
  25. dumping, macerator or not.

    Its my non plumbers opinion a 3 inch dump will evacuate an RV holding tank better then a (ifffffffffff too slow ??) 1 inch or less dump. HOWEVER that's NOT to say use of a lot of water and occasional good flushings CANT STILL WORK FINE NO PROBLEMS EVER. Its one of those things and personal choices of ease and convenience with no right or wrong answer in my opinion, but I still believe a three inch dump has to be better in theory then a (iffffffff too slow ??) 3/4 or one inch discharge.........I do recall when plumbing my home the slope is critical because if its too steep liquids pass by the solids versus if sloped correctly less the solids are carried out better along with the liquid, so perhaps a slower dump could potentially have some advantage ?????.......Cold on the right hot on the left and ______ flows downhill lol I'm NOT going to advise anyone to use a macerator dump or a full flow dump THATS YOUR CALL Lots of water has to be a critical factor Anytime I'm hooked permanent like at an RV park I fill n flush n fill n flush n fill n flush at least three times and use lotsssssssss of water. When dry camping I fill n flush less but as soon as I get to an RV park or a dump station I do like above John T NOT a plumber