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BlueLghtning

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About BlueLghtning

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    Major Contributor
  • Birthday 09/02/1975

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    www.bluelghtning.smugmug.com

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    Male
  • Location
    Peachtree City, GA
  • Interests
    Motorcycling, Traveling, Camping

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  1. BTW, it's worth a visit to the Yuma Territorial Prison while you are Yuma - http://www.yumaprison.org/.
  2. There's a SKP park in Yuma. I've never been there though. http://www.kofako-op.com/ I usually boondock out at American Girl Mine so I haven't stayed at any parks in Yuma. Los Algodones is where people go across to get dental work done. Lots of options for dental. Some of the better ones require appointments, others are just walk ins. Some friends just had some dental work done. $30-$40 for regular cleaning. A bit more if you need a deep cleaning. You park in a parking lot on the US side and walk across. Try to go early and get back early or lines can be long coming back.
  3. BlueLghtning

    Upgrading Battery Monitor Or...?

    It's actually very easy to install the Victron Battery monitor and I highly recommend it. It will come with a shunt that will go on your neg battery post between and wires that go out to a load in the battery. Basically, you'll need one small piece of wire with lugs to connect to one side of the shunt and the battery and move all the other wires leaving the battery to the other side of the shunt. There is one very small power wire to run from the shunt to a positive connection on the battery, and finally an RJ-11 cord that comes with it that will run from the shunt to where ever you put the battery monitor. If you get the bluetooth version (BMV-712), the battery monitor screen can be anywhere. This battery monitor is really the only way to know the SOC (state of charge) of your batteries and know when you get them to 50% and charged back up to 100%. It's well worth the investment to protect your batteries.
  4. BlueLghtning

    BLM Fees?

    I've been boondocking almost exclusively for over a year now and really enjoy it. As posted above LTVA areas are exceptions when you pay for a permit and can stay much longer. Most BLM areas you are allowed 14 days dispersed camping for free and then you are supposed to leave. There's a lot of areas this obviously isn't enforced, but I try not to be part of the problem and move on after 2 weeks. Besides at 2 weeks, that's usually time to dump & fill and I'd rather go to a new location then come back to where I was. Technically for most BLM camping, you are supposed to have a free permit from either a camp host or local Forest Service office. Again, in most places this isn't enforced, but you can find it and very popular areas where maybe people have abused the privilege. I ran into this outside Escalante where permits were definitely enforced by a "volunteer". Another option in AZ is State Trust Land. You have to buy a permit ($15/singe $20/couple). It's good for 2 weeks on state trust land. I recently did this for the first time outside Lake Havasu City, AZ. My top resources for finding well established dispersed camping are Campendium.com and freecampsites.net
  5. BlueLghtning

    Solar controller recommendation

    Well, you certainly will have a much better solar setup. Depending on how it's currently wired, that 50watt panel could be bringing all the other panels down to its level? Do you have multiple controllers now? I could have sworn I posted this yesterday, but maybe not? How come no battery monitor? 6 6v battery is a decent investment in batteries. I'm running 6 6v myself at 690ah. A battery monitor is the only way to know the true DOD (Depth of Discharge) of your batteries and truly know when they get back to 100%. Voltage is very misleading when the batteries are under load or being charged. Lead Acid batteries like to be kept at 100% and some people say don't take them below 50%. The difference in voltage between being down 75-100ah and charge isn't much.
  6. BlueLghtning

    Solar controller recommendation

    One reason the Victron is so much more is it has bluetooth built in so you can see all your data on your phone in their app and it integrates with a lot of their other products including their battery monitor? What battery monitor were you going to use? The other charge controllers probably show stuff on their screen, but if you want to see like history and stuff, you probably need to add an accessory display controller. I looked and the Outback has a $400+ MATE system display and controller you need. I'm not sure about the midnight solar, but I would imagine it's similar and requires some sort of add on display. The Victron does this all in their app. That's where some of the price difference comes from. The Victron battery monitor and the Victron Charge controller can talk to each other also and join a "BT network". Do you ever plan to expand? the 150/85 gives you room to expand, but the 150/70 would work just fine and it's price of $589 is more in line with the midnight solar at the expense of not quite as much charging capability. However, from the info old John gave you, you would never see that with your setup. Even if you got 950 watts out of the 1060, at 13.6v, that's just 69.85 amps. And by the time you get to absorb, the watts are falling way off anyways. 950 watts at 14.4v = 65.97 amps. The 150/70 however doesn't leave you any room to expand unless you just want to be way overpanled as frater Jason explained. Some of the others may leave you room to expand especially the midnight solar 150 SL If you don't care about the BT you could step down to the Blue Solar 150/70 for $539.75. (https://www.amazon.com/Victron-BlueSolar-MPPT-Charge-Controller/dp/B01E3W6KPE/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?keywords=victron+blue+solar+150%2F70&qid=1549908534&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmr0) You can buy the BT dongle for about $50 which is where the price difference comes in between the blue solar and smart solar. (https://www.amazon.com/Victron-Energy-ASS030536010-VE-Direct-Bluetooth/dp/B01CGFF8Q2/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=victron+by+dongle&qid=1549908597&s=gateway&sr=8-1) I have no experience with the midnight solar or out back, but the Outback has been around a long time.
  7. BlueLghtning

    Solar controller recommendation

    Good read, thanks for sharing!
  8. BlueLghtning

    Solar controller recommendation

    Don't worry about a specific wattage because you'll never see 100% efficiency and most times on the wattage side, that's just an estimate. The more important number to worry about is the input voltage. You want to make sure even if you add up the short circuit voltage, you stay under that. Of course arranging panels in series vs parallel can help vary the voltage or amps depending on how you wire them. I'm feeding 800w into the Victron 100/50 which is rated at 700w and no issues. In fact I've even seen more than 700w from it and 47amps charging. If you max out on watts, it will just bleed off the extra. I like the Victron controllers myself. The Victron 150/70. It looks like though you'd be slightly over 150v with the short circuit voltage if you went strictly series, so would probably need to go 2S2P panels or 4p panels. - https://www.amazon.com/Victron-SmartSolar-Charge-Controller-150V/dp/B07B4K62LN/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_2?keywords=victron+smart+solar+150%2F70&qid=1549852630&s=gateway&sr=8-2-fkmrnull There is the Victron 150/85 which gives you a bit better charging amps and more capacity although I really doubt you'll see the extra. You are still limited to the 150v though.
  9. BlueLghtning

    To use multiple inveters or large inveter

    I have a friend Justin Ford that runs a DIY solar page that did 6 battle borns and dual Victron hybrid inverter installs on his 5th wheel. He has a video on the setup I'll share below. There is lost of good info on the solar groups on FB. Rob Kenny runs another one and he's done some impressive work with his setup and currently hes working on making the solar the primary source of power. So even if hes' hooked up to shore power, he only draws power from the pole if he gets below a certain threshold. The RV solar page Justin runs - https://www.facebook.com/groups/RVSolarDIY/ This is the Solar page Rob Kenny Runs - https://www.facebook.com/groups/2589581644599315/ This is a link Rob has on his Solar/Inverter setup using ESS - https://www.facebook.com/groups/2589581644599315/permalink/2728162940741184/ Another question. Have you looked into a 48v mini split so you aren't having to run that through such a large inverter and it would be more efficient? My buddy Michael built his own RV in a cargo trailer around a 48v system specifically for his mini split. I don't think he's written up anything on it, but this is his solar section. - https://rvtrek.org/solar/ Justin's Video -
  10. BlueLghtning

    International hdt

    Correct, the MaxForce engine had lots of issues with their emissions. I don't know if they still make them or got better at some point, but they seriously struggled and hence why the very cheap price. Supposedly if you delete them, they aren't bad motors, but that opens up another whole can of worms. Their resale definitely has taken a hit because of that motor.
  11. BlueLghtning

    International hdt

    International is fine as long as you have like a Cummins motor in it.
  12. That's awesome news! I'm sure we'll still be somewhere in AZ in Feb, so give me a buzz and we'll catch up.
  13. BlueLghtning

    Verizon Unlimited Data Plan for Jetpacks

    For sure. 720p isn't bad on TV's of that size or smaller. I've been on the fence about picking up this plan as I'm pretty well set, but it's very tempting.
  14. BlueLghtning

    RV survey

    His post was very helpful to those of us on the forum because it explained exactly why many people might find this e-mail in their spam folder and the reason why it would have gotten flagged as spam. Yes if someone at Escapees needs to know and they don't regularly review this forum, it could be reported to them, in fact anyone can report it, but I'm sure there are folks on the forums that know the right people at Escapees and drop them a note and say, hey you may want to check this out for future reference.
  15. BlueLghtning

    Running the AC (and more) with Battery and Solar

    Thanks for sharing your setup Loki. I like seeing the non traditional systems people have put in and how they are working for them. It's always cool to get new ideas. It's also just as easy on a forum post like this to skip over the post that may have no interest to you instead of feeling like you need to comment on it to share your opinion on what type of post someone should share on the forum. These types of Lithium battery setups (especially EV batteries) are interesting more and more RV'ers as Lithium batteries become more popular and all of us that are interested in learning more about using Lithium appreciate when others share how they setup their RV.
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