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About mptjelgin

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  • Location
    Medina, Texas and on the road.
  • Interests
    Birding, Photography, Hiking, Disc Golf

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  1. We not only use our inverter for boondocking, but also as an uninterruptible power supply to keep things running when the power drops unexpectedly. For this reason we prefer the sub-panel, as we don't want our electric water heater element or air conditioner on the inverter circuits.
  2. If I read your signature correctly you have a total of seven people and two large dogs in your trailer. I may be difficult to shed that kind of heat and humidity especially if there are a lot of electronics running (adding heat) or in-and-out the doors. I am not aware of standard RV A/C units any bigger than 15K. You could always add a small window unit if you have an appropriate window opening.
  3. The number of turns depends on the length of the awning and how far away from the wall it is when you wind it. I've done this one time and will say that you need to be very careful and know what you are doing before you start. The spring will injure you badly it it gets away from you. It is easiest to wind it slightly away from the coach wall as it is under less (but still significant) tension and will give you a bit of wiggle room for moving it in or out to align pins, bolts, etc. The guidelines for 2 feet out from the coach wall are: up to 12 ft long awning = 8 turns13-14 ft = 9 turns15-16 ft = 10 turns16.5 - 18ft. = 12 turns19 ft-up = 13 turns. The spring is prewound in a direction that places the awning under tension when retracted, and then tensions further as the awning is deployed. Dometic sells a tool to assist with winding the spring, but you can do it using "other" tools. Again, please be very cautious. These things bite hard!
  4. The published procedure for testing the motor is to apply 12V power directly to it. Obviously you would disconnect it if things max out or stall. Not rocket science.
  5. Yes, applying 12V directly to the motor is the simplest way to test the motor. If it retracts without issue your problem is elsewhere.
  6. The Manual notes that the unit contains a battery monitoring system that can be set to Low, Medium, or High. Set on "High" the unit shuts off at 11.8 volts which is pretty sensitive. "Medium" shuts off at 11.4 volts and "Low" shuts off at 10.1 volts. Do you know what setting your battery monitor is on? If on "High" I would try it on "Medium" and see it things work better. If on "Medium" you could try "Low", but I would not advise drawing a battery down to 10.1 volts as a normal operation. From what you've described your battery monitor is turning the unit off due to low voltage. It could be that the "High" setting is unnecessarily sensitive, or as has been mentioned previously, your 12V plugs are not adequate for the load and a voltage drop within your system is causing a problem.
  7. It looks like this compressor powered unit is rated to draw almost ten amps, which isn't trivial especially when pulled continuously. Many cigarette style plugs in trailers are rated for 3 - 5 amps. They are sized for things like phone chargers and other low-draw items. When I had a small inverter in my last trailer I wired in a special, heavy duty 12 volt plug with much heavier wire connected directly to the battery to handle the load. I would suggest that you consider a more direct, heavier gauge connection from your batteries to the cooler.
  8. Here is an example scenario. It is made up, but should illustrate peak vs. average: Say that you have one busy hour in the evening where your A/C's are running, electric skillet is on, water heater is heating, etc. That all totals 5000 watts and it happens for a solid hour. So you would use 5000 watt-hours during that hour (5000 watts for one hour). The rest of your day is up and down, but you average 775 watts for the remaining hours. Your usage for the day would total 22,825 watt hours, which averages out to your 951 "watts per hour" figure. But as you can see, your peak usage would be 5000 watts and that would control how your power system is scaled. The numbers are certainly more variable and complex than my example, but I think you can see that average over the day is not an indicator of peak.
  9. The systems with internal probes are notorious for failing early and often. There are various protocols to clean the sensors but they will stop working again sooner or later (usually sooner). There is an entirely different type of system available from Garnet Industries called the SeeLevel Tank Monitor system. It uses sensors attached on the outside of the tanks and is both reliable and accurate. However it is not a simple retrofit unless you have access to at least one side of your tanks, which most RV's do not offer. After having RV's both with the old style system and now the SeeLevel system I very much prefer knowing what my actual levels are. SeeLevel Monitor System
  10. You are attempting to stay in one of the most expensive areas in the county and campgrounds in those areas can be rough. For many folks they are the only affordable option and so you are finding not "RV'ers" as much as you are folks who are just hanging on. What you are describing hasn't been our experience at all, but we tend toward rural situations. If it works for you, I recommend getting well away from any significant population centers and seeing what you can find. Frankly, anywhere other than where you are currently is likely to be less expensive and give you more options.
  11. "Hung Out To Dry" and "outrageously misrepresented" are pretty strong descriptions, especially for multiple places. I recall that you are just getting started on your full-time journey and were not satisfied with your first arrangement either. Perhaps your expectations are unrealistic? Your language indicates that you are taking this personally and getting upset. Things that the full-time RV lifestyle requires more than anything else are flexibility and tolerance. Bucolic campgrounds with wonderful neighbors, excellent sites, lots of open space, etc. are not common, and those that exist can be very popular and/or expensive. And, a campground that is excellent one year can be very different the next depending on clientele, ownership, etc. We use Campground Reviews (formerly RV Park Reviews) and have had decent luck with it, especially parks that have multiple reviews. But you need to first decide what region you want to be in, and then dig into the reviews and try to find what appeals to you. For us, KOA's are fine for overnight or two-night stops, but generally are geared toward families and children and that can make them loud and busy, especially on weekends and during the summer. State Parks can be great during the week, but have become impossible for us to access on weekends, and can be chaotic. You may be better off trying to find a small, Mom-and-Pop campground with a limited number of sites and few amenities to attract travelers. But be realistic about what is available and be as flexible as you can be. I doubt that many campground owners are out to deceive you or to intentionally misrepresent their parks to you. But you may be looking for something that doesn't exist or is rare.
  12. I installed the ARP product a few years ago and it made a significant difference in the performance of our fridge. I suspect that the original fan had given up the ghost but it was unaccessable without pulling out the unit. When I put in the ARP unit, I mounted one fan on the lower cover blowing in, and the second on the upper cover exhausting out. I had a lot of open space between my lower outside cover and the condenser so I used some light balsa sheet to build a simple duct to direct the air right to the condenser area. Works great!
  13. Because it is a service and it costs money to provide the service? Even the "free" places where you get your money are charging you to do so, it is just buried in their other business costs. Much like cash-back credit cards. The costs of items go up across the board to cover the "cash" that is being returned to the customers. Businesses are not charities and "free" services don't exist. Free services are simply a marketing tool that you pay for elsewhere.
  14. We've been using it for a while, but not to replace the "normal" Dawn for full dish washing. We use it if we only have plate or two, or if the bottom of the pan is particularly greasy we'll use it to "pre-scrub". It is very convenient for quick little things where you just need a bit. Also a quick spritz to clean a greasy stove top or counter.
  15. What you are seeking is the holy grail among RV'ers. The problem with recommendations from individuals is that plans come and go in the blink of an eye. What many (most?) people have that gives them unlimited (or close to it) is often a plan that was short-lived and no longer available. But it never hurts to ask. I won't share the plan that I am currently using as it went away a couple of years ago and is no longer available. These folks: Mobile Internet Resource Center provide up to date information on the various plans best suited to RV'ers. Much of their content is free on the site, and they have premium content as well for a subscription. While I am not familiar with the particular seller that you have mentioned (Unlimited LTE Advance) they are likely a reseller of services. These folks can also come and go, and can be shut down on short notice for violating terms of service from the providers. Many of us have had such plans at one time or another, and some have disappeared on short notice.
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