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oldjohnt

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Everything posted by oldjohnt

  1. oldjohnt

    Techma toilet

    While this isn't to your question, it is related. Long term dry camping is something we do often, we only use our own bath facilities, so I wanted to maximize the amount of time before we had to dump our black tank. My solution was a Thetford Electra Magic 80 Marine Recirculating Toilet. The two of us in our small 29 ft. Class C can "go" from around say at least 9 up to 13+ days before we are "full of it" and have to dump lol . The difference being if were in a remote soil/sand/wooded area where the gray water from the bathroom lavatory sink can be discharged to the ground versus if it goes to the black tank. Best wishes John T Live now from Matagorda Bay Texas
  2. oldjohnt

    Converter as Charger

    Dewilso, I don't forsee any big problem using it as a "shop battery charger". After all its designed to take 120 VAC and charge/maintain a 12 VDC battery or supply loads RIGHT ??? HOWEVER in the event its a "dumb" non multi stage "smart" charger I would be hesitant to stick it on a battery and leave it unattended for hours on end as it could over charge a battery. Some of the early charger/converters were more of a fixed voltage power supply and could harm a battery if left on too long. I have an old one at home Ive used to charge batteries and it "worked" but it didn't have any regulation whatsoever. Good luck n best wishes John T Live dry camped in Magnolia Beach Texas headed to Matagorda Bay
  3. oldjohnt

    Checking Brake Fluid With A VOM Meter

    Just to clarfify something, the old brake fluid I spoke of (when I perform a flush n fill) that was discolored and contained some sort of visible "contaminants or foreign material" was that which came out at the wheel cylinders or calipers, not the up front reservoir. In addition to changing brake fluid (new/used vehicle and every few years thereafter) I also change coolant and flush n fill n change tranny fluid and filter around 50,000 or so miles. Id be surprised if EVERY manufacturers owners manual offered the very same suggestions when it comes to changing or never changing brake fluid, but due to over the year improved products and the "contaminants or foreign material" whatever it may or may not be, if harmless or not, I'm sticking with changing brake fluid along with coolant and tranny fluid etc. as part of periodic maintenance, but as always respect those who choose for whatever reason, scientifically justified or not, to change or never change any fluids anytime they wish lol Keep safe yall best wishes n God Bless John T Dry camped coming to you live from South Padre Island
  4. oldjohnt

    Checking Brake Fluid With A VOM Meter

    Hey, call me old fashion, call me a worry wart, call me a preventive maintenance nut, just don't call me late for supper lol But for me REGARDLESS of what any owners manual recommends,,,,,,,,REGARDLESS of what any voltage test indicates, anytime I buy a used vehicle and every few years of ownership thereafter I DRAIN AND FLUSH AND REFILL (then bleed of course) BRAKE FLUID and plan to continue to do so (I do likewise with coolant). I have changed it before and despite it being a closed system, and despite how well it may or may not be sealed THE OLD FLUID IS USUALLY DISCOLORED AND THERE APPEARS TO BE SOME SORT OF VISIBLE "CONTAMINATION" that I DO NOT see in the new fluid ??? even though I never had it analyzed. Heck it may be perfect or better then new, I don't really care as long as it is discolored and I can see some of what I describe, for lack of a better term "contamination", I'ma changing yayyyyyyyyyyy lol Ive NEVER had any problems doing that, owned RV's for 48 years... Now don't ask me to describe or analyze what I call "contamination" I'm saying the old never appears as clean and clear and totally free of "something" as does the new !!!!!!!!!!!!!! Is it rust?? Is it moisture?? Is it foreign material?? Its for sure "something" noticeable to the eye...……... That's my story and Ima stickin to it lol but to each their own choices be it justified or not. It would be a boring world if all us RVers had the same opinions...…….. Old fashion preventive maintenance kinda guy John T
  5. oldjohnt

    Checking Brake Fluid With A VOM Meter

    While I don't doubt the basic science involved, it just seems to me there are soooooooooo many variables (not even talking about meter accuracy at those levels) involved its hard to place one single "number" on what volts accurately indicates what's acceptable or not, but hey I haven't studied this at all so heck it may be right on ?? When I buy an RV and intend to use it for my own travels I typically drain and flush the entire system and replace the brake fluid all together REGARDLESS of what any voltage test might indicate. Its not all that hard or expensive. But that's just me and in my DNA lol to each their own ……..If this method works for you hey go for it..... John T
  6. oldjohnt

    Audio system recommendation

    I was somewhat of an audiophile wayyyyyyyyyyy back in college (EE school at Purdue) with huge heavy high power KT88 power tube amps, Wharfedale super heavy sand packed wall speaker cabinets, tuned bass reflex, Fisher, McIntosh, Marantz and my hand wired Dynaco Stereo 70 etc etc but my big surprise is how the modern compact lightweight even plastic enclosed Bose wave speakers SOUND AS GOOD AS ALL MY HUGE HEAVY ANTIQUE EQUIPMENT LOL Due to such small and acoustic unfriendly space in an RV I don't see any super expensive high quality system as providing as much "bang for the buck" as compared to the benefits derived if located in a large well designed residential home entertainment center. My study of acoustics indicated the physics, size, shape, walls and floors etc WAS AS IMPORTANT OR MORE THEN THE EQUIPMENT ??? IE for my money and my own personal choice Id opt for a good Bose based system but as always to each their own preference budget and choices. What type of an audio system is about like asking what brand of oil one should use lol Take care yall John T
  7. oldjohnt

    Circuit Boards

    So a while back I'm dry camped and in bed and the lil woman says the alarm/caution light on the fridge is on. I crawl out and see it works on AC but not on gas so I connect the fridge to inverter and battery power and go to sleep. Next morning I troubleshoot and see the circuit board is the problem so I go to a deep buried parts location bin and to my surprise (forgot I had one) theres a brand new in the box Dinosaur replacement board woooooooo hooooooooooooo fixed the problem...….. MORAL OF THE STORY if a person carries a replacement circuit board and an ignitor tip for say his furnace, fridge and water heater he can so often cure many (not all) problems. Imagine being dry camped way out in the boonies and you need a new board or ignitor. First find a dealer and he probably does not have a board and has to order it grrrrrrrrrrrrrr. I also found another board but forget if its the water heater or furnace. After this Im going to investigate and insure I have spare boards and ignitors for those three appliances. Sure those components may not be the problem but since it may be difficult and take time and driving to ever find one if needed I advise a person at least consider the idea of carrying spare parts. To each their own however...……. Take care be safe and be prepared Best wishes n God Bless yall John T Still in Austin Texas
  8. oldjohnt

    Circuit Boards

    Dutch, I've also seen OEM boards last that long or even longer (RV owner since 1970) but typically when I replace one its with a Dinosaur of which so far I've never had any go bad KNOCK ON WOOD LOL Once years ago I called them for tech support on a Saturday and was informed I was speaking to the owner and he sure knew his stuff. After recently having to replace my Fridge circuit board the furnace up and quit and it turned out to be a faulty limit switch (RV dealer in Buda Texas had one) but I'm currently the proud owner of a spare furnace and hot water board just in case...BE PREPARED was my scout and still motto...…..but to each their own choices As always love sparky chatting with you John T
  9. oldjohnt

    Circuit Boards

    Vern, GOOD ADVICE, it just so happens I carry a small battery charger and I don't think I've ever needed it, HOWEVER I know at least three times neighboring RVers have had to borrow it or my jumper cables for their RV or golf carts lol Once we pulled into a rest stop and three cute young things (damsels in distress) approached the RV asking if we had a quart of oil??? They said we thought you might lol They said they heard a clicking noise and checked oil and it was low NOTTTTTT I checked it and there wasn't any at all showing on the stick. The girl said her dad warned her to keep oil checked ??? I poured in 2 quarts for them (started and had pressure and no noise whewwwwwwww) and it showed so I told them go to the first gas station and add more etc. They were quite appreciative and I was glad to help. Yo Dutch, I also found another new spare board but forget if its a universal type or just what in the heck it is. I need to check that out and then label the boxes for any new ones I buy. Its Dinosaur shopping I'm going...……... Thanks yall, take care John T
  10. oldjohnt

    radiant heat for floors

    WOW Glenn, 10 x 350 or 3500 Watts now that's some serious solar which makes the concept of heating using solar energy feasible (subject to battery energy storage capacity) even if still not for those of us who have less solar capacity (I, like most even with decent solar capacity, go with with LP heating) . Believe it or not, the Amish in our area are running around 4000 to 5000 watts of Solar permanently tilted South to 47 degrees which some (not all) of their local Bishops approve and your 3500 watts should be plenty for an RV CONGRATULATIONS and Happy Thanksgiving Can I camp beside you and plug in ??? lol John T
  11. oldjohnt

    radiant heat for floors

    Glenn, that's (8 x 350 = 2800 watts) a good size solar system and that coupled with an adequate battery bank and plenty of sunshine could be used for electric heat for quite some...……. Happy Thanksgiving, fun chatting with you John T
  12. oldjohnt

    12 volt remote switch

    An E Bay search for "12 Volt remote controlled switch" yielded over 6000 results lol but that can easily be narrowed to find ones suitable for your application...……………. https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2380057.m570.l1311.R1.TR3.TRC2.A0.H0.X12+volt+remote+control+switch.TRS0&_nkw=12+volt+remote+control+switch&_sacat=0 John T
  13. oldjohnt

    radiant heat for floors

    Glen, regardless how good or bad any sort of electric resistance heat might be (If I recall correctly its 3.41 BTU per Watt) its my personal engineering opinion its NOT the best choice for extended dry camping (I use LP heat when dry camping). Sure, it can "work" but its gonna require one expensive heavy and hefty battery bank and hefty solar system. You see these gents with say 1000 to 2000 solar watts and say 1000 or more Amp Hours of battery energy storage and sure they may run a microwave or hair dryer or even limited AC but if you don't insist on using say AC or heavy heat loads you can get by with muchhhhhhhhhhh less solar and battery storage. I support ones choice and sure with enough solar and batteries it can work fine but its just NOT my engineers choice to use resistance (or even more efficient systems such as heat pumps or electric fired water heat etc etc) when dry camping but LP Gas instead. Your RV your money your choice NOT any of ours and again YES it can work with plenty of solar and batteries John T
  14. I've often seen Renogy Solar Panels, but does anyone have experience with their AGM batteries??? I have no idea if Deka or Johnson Controls or Exide or who might manufacture them ???? I often see Lifeline or FullRiver or even a few Optima AGM's in RV's. The Renogy unit is very similar in size and rating as Lifeline or FullRiver but I've just never seen any in RV's. John T Headed to Austin today
  15. Good Moring Chuck, thanks for your comments, of course I agree, you are EXACTLY CORRECT. Even though you already know all this just as FYI to others, HOWEVER I (as most others do) still use big Negative cables direct from my Inverter and Charger and Genset connected to the Batteries big main Negative Terminal/Buss VERSUS those currents returned SOLELY via the chassis/frame. I would never just run Positive Cables to my Charger and Inverter and DC panel and tie the other end to frame ground alone. Its just NOT in my Electrical Engineers DNA lol. I run BOTH Pos and Neg Cables to my main DC loads and to the Panel instead of using Chassis/Frame return. But HEY sure it would "work" (subject to connection integrity and resistances etc) if you ran ONLY the Pos cables to the Charger and Inverter etc and used Chassis/Frame as the return current path even though its NOT how I do it. The typically necessary Chassis/Frame Ground serves as a connection point for those smaller loads that actually use frame as a 12 VDC current path as typical in cars and trucks. That's not to mention how the RV Chassis/Frame is also bonded to the 120 VAC power distribution systems Equipment Ground. Fun chatting with you Chuck, take care be safe and Happy Thanksgiving John T
  16. Mesa, Thanks for the feedback. You may well already have it this way, but FYI if some don't, while I have my battery bank Negative frame grounded, the big main Negative cables from the Charger and Inverter and to the main DC Distribution Panel and Genset etc I HAVE CONNECTED DIRECT TO THE BATTERY NEGATIVE BUSS/TERMINAL IE I DO NOT use the frame as a current return for the main loads. Sufficient sized cables properly bonded and then sealed/protected against moisture and contamination goes a long way. NOTE I prefer my main frame/chassis ground bond be made at a large main frame iron structure with an adequate size cable NOT any thin wimpy sheet metal enclosure or box or accessory that happens to be metal. Happy Early Thanksgiving to yall John T Still live from SKP headquarters in Livingston, Texas headed to Austin soon
  17. Since the forties and fifties when it became standard in the automotive industry YES indeed the chassis/frame of vehicles was bonded to the battery NEGATIVE so I don't see that as your problem. Acid spill over and/or excessive overcharging yielding highly corrosive acidic fumes may settle in the battery holder area causing your problem. Keep an eye on electrolyte levels (Do NOT have battery over filled) and avoid overcharging and excessive outgassing can help ASSUMES YOU HAVE FLOODED LEAD ACID BATTERIES ??? A good thorough cleaning of the tray is in order followed by a good coating/treatment. On post top batteries I use the felt washers underneath followed by the red anti corrosive battery terminal spray. Of course a failing battery can be another problem. Most shops will test them for free, its worth a try if you're unsure of their condition ??? Clean everything up,,,,,,,,,,,,Maintain proper level but NOT overfilled electrolyte,,,,,,,,,,,,Insure your charger is NOT overcharging,,,,,,,,,,,Have batteries checked...…………. John T
  18. oldjohnt

    Atwood air commander

    THIS IS RELATED TO DALES POST ABOVE I have seen some "dual fuel" heat systems that utilize BOTH an electric heat pump PLUS auxiliary heat (like gas) have programmable thermostats where you can set/program at what outside temperature the heat pump is disabled and ONLY the auxiliary heat (like Gas) operates. Typical settings in my area are 30 or 35 or 40 degrees and if its below that the heat pump is disabled. Take a look at your manual and any adjustable T stat settings concerning outdoor temperature and heat pump (LOCK OUT) operation. ALSO I have seen dual fuel (heat pump & gas) systems where if you set the T stat OVER 2 or 3 degrees ABOVE room temperature the heat pump will disable and the gas ONLY come on. That control can be over ridden (allow heat pump to work) if you ONLY set the T stat to 1 or 2 degrees above room temp at a time and repeat that process. Once up to temperature then the setting of 30 or 35 or 40 etc will dictate when the heat pump is disabled and ONLY gas works. Try setting the T stat ONLY 1 or 2 degrees above room temp at a time and see if the heat pump works ??? If not see if your T Stat has an adjustment for heat pump lock out versus outside temperature NOTE this may or may NOT be relevant to YOUR unit, I'm ONLY saying I've seen "some" dual fuel systems work this way NOTE since yours is an existing gas furnace NOT a real true original factory DUAL FUEL system this may not apply HOWEVER perhaps the controls and t stat and dual fuel circuitry might perhaps apply and work in a similar fashion like a factory dual fuel control setup ?????????????? CONSULT ATWOOD AND THE CONTROL CIRCUITRY NOTTTTTTTTTTT ME LOL Perhaps your controls are NOT in any way related or tied together in which case NONE OF THIS APPLIES its ONLY for a true Dual Fuel control system that locks out the heat pump at certain temperatures John T NOT any HVAC expert so take this with a grain of salt, ask the HVAC experts
  19. CONGRATULATIONS to Daryl & Rita and you !!!!!!!!!!!!!! Simple things such as Wiring/Connections are so often the problem !!!!!!!!!!! Now you're a Happy Camper John T Live from SKP Headquarters in Livingston Texas
  20. oldjohnt

    Atwood air commander

    bashee, we discussed here recently how the color codes aren't well standardized in the RV industry, so I cant say what color wires mean what, but that being said, red and black for 115 VAC and the two blues for 12 VDC is NOT what I would expect although they may well be correct ??? If you're unsure, Id take a voltmeter and insure you indeed have 12 VDC at the correct polarity (the two blues) where required and likewise 120 VAC (red and black) is actual and correct. If not that could contribute to incorrect operation. As always in these RV troubleshooting steps, ITS SO OFTEN A BAD/LOOSE/RESISTIVE CONNECTION ESPECIALLY A GROUND that causes problems, check them while you're at it. John T Live from SKP Headquarters in Livingston Texas where it got down to like 29 last night brrrrrrrrrrrrr. I'm dry camped and it was rainy n cloudy all day yesterday but sun today yayyyyyyyyyyy my four solar panels charged my batteries to 100% SOC early this morning....
  21. A big THANKS to all who provided info above. I'm confident Lithium battery technology (like most technology) charging procedures/control and safety will continue to improve and costs will come down, and If I'm still alive then I may jump in and test the water, but I'm willing to get by with what I have for now. I have enjoyed this thread...………... Best wishes, good luck and thanks to the current Lithium users. John T
  22. Noteven, Indeed more precise/smart charging and temperature limitations can pose problems. However I bet over time and as technology improves and costs come down lithium will be more in the mainstream for us RV dry campers. Its just that this 'old school" lol engineer isn't quite ready to jump in the water yet, but I'm happy for and wish the best for those who have made the transition. I will be the first to seek their guidance and expertise. John T Coming to you live, RV parked in a church parking lot in Longview, Texas headed to Austin then Florida yayyyyyyyyyyy
  23. Its certainly possible lithium may well be the mainstream future of RV house batteries. For my choice, however, I'm willing to "get by" with AGM or Lead Acid in the short term and let the safety,,,,,,,,, design,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, reliability,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and COST of Lithium come down and improve before I jump on the bandwagon. Like most technologies, I bet they will improve in safety and reliability and the cost will come down as years pass by, so in the meantime I'm willing and actually glad to let others serve as the "guinea pigs" until the technology safety and reliability improves even more as I bet it will. John T To each their own choices, it would be boring if we all had the same opinions now lol
  24. oldjohnt

    RV Wire Color

    Wow Kirk, were very similar, my first RV was a (well lol) used truck camper I bought for $50 in 1970, mounted it on back of a 1966 Ford 4x4 and took it to Florida in 70 or 71. We have both come a longgggggggg way since huh and have had great careers in a field we truly enjoyed. I have enjoyed the electrical and electronic hobby and making repairs as well as working at it professionally (and RV repairs when I was a used dealer) since I hung out in TV shops in the late fifties early sixties bugging and asking questions of the service techs and saving money to buy my own Simpson 260 in High School lol. I still love those old trusty reliable analog meters...……….. I'm headed to your state soon, Marshall and Longview and Livingston Texas SKP Headquarters yayyyyyyyyyyyyy. As always fun chatting with you, tale care my friend. John T
  25. oldjohnt

    RV Wire Color

    All 48 years haven't been motorhomes lol. I've owned Trucks Campers,,,,,,,Trailers,,,,,,,,,,Class A, B, and C Motorhomes. Its hard to believe the factory would wire a converter wrong ??? Indeed a simple even cheap (sometimes free) Harbor Freight meter will tell the tale. If a battery is allowed to become discharged over 50% often and/or sits long in a discharged state they can indeed deteriorate fast. Nt so much nowadays but in years past the old cheap DUMB more like constant voltage Chargers would cook the batteries dry if left on and unattended for days n days on end. I buy some of the tiny panel volt meters that stay permanent on a battery so I can monitor their levels. Of course proper electrolyte levels (if on a wet cell) is a MUST Nice chattin with you John T
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