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 > Your search for posts made by 'BFL13' found 1257 matches.

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RE: Charging battery with Sunforce Solar Controller

With 2 hours per day you do NOT want a battery tender. Use the converter, or use the biggest meanest battery charger you can find. ATM I only have a Battery Tender Jr.... I will use the available 120v to charge the house battery while I am there. Sometime in the future I will get a better charger. What's the matter with the converter? Also have you tried using the converter and battery tender at the same time to see if they add their amps at all? Plus any solar. ( You need a low battery to do such testing so it will be sure to accept all the amps you might get in various combinations of chargers)
BFL13 01/16/18 11:25am Tech Issues
RE: Alternator to House Battery Charging Test Results

Did the test on start up with me on meter at the starting batt and DW on ignition key. Voltage went: 12.71, turn key 10.64, then ignition 14.81, then 14.60 etc. All very quickly. I didn't have a second assistant to watch the amps to house battery, but I am assuming the 37 amps seen briefly yesterday "went with" the brief moment it hit 14.81 volts in today's test. Certainly amps to the house battery reflect voltage at the engine battery as it changes--see OP results over time for that. From the replies it seems "it is what it is" --IE, not going to get much better for amps without an extraordinary bunch of (expensive and PITA) modifications. I will learn from more experience with the Class C in various scenarios whether it would be worth trying to improve the alternator charging to the house battery bank.
BFL13 01/16/18 11:15am Tech Issues
RE: Alternator to House Battery Charging Test Results

is there a way to enable a high idle on the MH? something on the order of 1200 rpm or so. If so, you may be able to get more out of the alternator, higher voltage and more current. Alternators are rated for max output at a fairly high rpm, well above engine idle. 1200 rpm should sufficient for close to maximum output. Buy a clamp style meter like this one Clamp it on the output wire of the alternator, then turn on all the lights, wipers, etc. and see what it reads. Check the voltage at engine battery. Check the voltage at the house battery. I guarantee you the voltage at the house battery is NOT higher than the engine battery and that is probably INADEQUATE to fully recharge the hose battery, even after hours of driving. Just to clarify, for me any alternator charging however much, is just to get us by for an extra day or two off grid with no gen and poor solar intake. If needed at all. 20AH a day from alternator charging for five days is 100AH, so that is like having two more batteries at 100AH each drawn down to 50%. Proper battery recharging to True Full then happens once back home after the five days, where shore power and lots of time to get it all done right exist. Another scenario is to do a bit of alternator charging in the morning and then let solar do the rest, where there isn't enough solar time to get it all done that day according to the forecast. So alternator charging in the Class C is more like having a very small generator with a 5er and being able to get at least something done but not much. Scenario is everything of course. EDIT--BTW I have posted details of using an inverter on the truck battery to run a battery charger where you can have long 120v wire and short fat 12v wire. You do hit a limit on charger amps out when the truck voltage starts to fall off from 14ish. That tells you what you can do. Of course the inverter has to be big enough to run that battery charger. It does work. BTDT. (See posts from 2011 when I did that and reported here how it went) Only good for when parked of course, no good while driving around :)
BFL13 01/15/18 06:54pm Tech Issues
RE: Alternator to House Battery Charging Test Results

Mex, what accounts for the initial 37 amps I saw and the quick taper to 28? Starting (chassis) battery voltage only got measured at 14.59v after the quick decline. Was starting battery voltage higher at first and I missed that? If so, I can set up a test on that but I will need an assistant ( such as DW in the driver's seat with me at the battery)
BFL13 01/15/18 06:32pm Tech Issues
RE: Alternator to House Battery Charging Test Results

is there a way to enable a high idle on the MH? something on the order of 1200 rpm or so. If so, you may be able to get more out of the alternator, higher voltage and more current. Alternators are rated for max output at a fairly high rpm, well above engine idle. Still not an ideal way to charge batteries, but does make a difference. All I got from a higher idle was fewer amps to the house battery. I think the engine stuff then needed more of what the alternator supplied, so the house sucks hind tit. I do see that alternators including the Ford 3G ones, have a higher amps rating for when revved up. "find 3Gs in pick-your-parts boneyards that put out 90-100 amps at idle and up to 160 amps at highway operating speed." My 2G is apparently rated around 60-75 amps, so that 37 amps I got at first seems decent? No idea really as to what is "normal" with these things.
BFL13 01/15/18 05:53pm Tech Issues
RE: Alternator to House Battery Charging Test Results

Thanks for posting. I have a similar issue with my setup. When my 2 6 V GC batteries are at 50% SOC I am only seeing 8.7 amps at the batteries from my 180 amp alternator. Wiring is original from the OEM alternator, which I think was 85 or 110 amps. I have a cheap Chinese volt/ammeter that I don't know how accurate it is but I expected to see more amps going into the batteries also. That seems low amps even so. Mine has original #10 wire for miles of pos path and the frame for the neg path. Still got around 20 amps on a low battery. Perhaps there is a loose connection or two adding to your path resistance. You can do a couple of easy things where you can see it all by the engine. Where it goes alternator/starter relay/battery post/isolator/CB/wire back to house, you can : A. Move the wire from battery post to isolator and make it fatter and now run from starter relay to isolator. B. Cut the wire from CB to where it goes out of sight through the firewall if it is long enough to make this worthwhile and replace it with fatter wire. In fact on mine I made that fatter wire go from the isolator to near the firewall and used the CB as a connector between the fatter wire and the original wire (to which I added a ring terminal where I had cut the wire) Back at the house battery area, find the pos wire coming from up front and fatten the part that you can get at from there to the battery (should be another CB at that end of the wire so there is a "fuse" at each end protecting the wire where it is out of sight between the front and the house batts) That is about all you can do with the pos path without getting complicated, routing a fatter wire all the way. C. Check the neg path frame connections for corrosion if you can find them. That might even be the real problem with the low amps on yours. If you have long jumper cables, you can by- pass the pos and neg paths individually to see if amps jump higher with one or the other path by-passed. If so, then you know where to look.
BFL13 01/15/18 05:40pm Tech Issues
RE: Alternator to House Battery Charging Test Results

Yes some fatter wiring would be better for the long ways between the front and middle of the MH. This test shows how it is now. Gives me a "baseline" for any improvements. I was surprised revving did not make the amps go up any. Actually went down a bit compared with idling. I thought alternator voltage would drop to 13.8ish fairly quickly, but nope. Huge PITA to improve that wiring any more than done already at the easy access parts, so have to decide if the extra amps would be worth it for any scenario that has alternator charging being important. Not at all clear that getting say 35 amps is any better than 25 amps for an hour of idling. 10AH is peanuts. Another thing with way higher amps is whether the battery bank would even be low enough to accept that many. Depends on the scenario, and how many times a year for each scenario when calculating "worth it".
BFL13 01/15/18 01:16pm Tech Issues
RE: Upgrading my converter ?

I have a 25 amp Magnetek controler in my TC I'm replacing with a new one from Best. My question is the only difference in the 35W and 45W is the input wattage 550W as apposed to 725W. What's the difference in more wattage input, what are the benefits of higher input wattage. You mean 35a and 45a. You mean converter not controller (which is for solar) Higher input watts mean more is required from a generator. But the generator supplies VA not watts. Most converters have about 0.7 power factor, so that 725 is really 1036 VA, which means a "1000W" generator will not be enough. (Honda 1000 actually is rated at 900VA) The 35a converter at 550 would need 786 VA so that generator would run it ok.
BFL13 01/15/18 12:59pm Tech Issues
Alternator to House Battery Charging Test Results

This is for my rig with its particular wiring (some changes to original done by me). Has the dreaded Ford 2G alternator. Testing on a pair of 6s starting at about 55% SOC and 12.2v (so can accept lots of amps--more than from my alternator charging so not a bottleneck for the test) Used Trimetric for house battery voltage and amps, and multimeter for engine battery voltage. Engine was idling for the test except as noted. Engine hood up, so a bit longer to warm up maybe. Started test at 0925 0925- Cranked engine--immediate 37 amps but tapering fast. 0927- 28 amps/13.3v Engine batt 14.59 volts 0930- 26a/13.3v --14.40v 0935- 24.4a/13.2v--14.35v 0940- 23.0a/13.2v--14.29v Revving made amps go down by about 1 amp 0945- 21.9a/13.2v--14.26v Closed hood to see if more heat matters 0950- 19.1a/13.2v--14.18v engine is warmed up to "normal" Stopped. Restored 10.7 AH on Trimetric in the 25 minute test.
BFL13 01/15/18 12:09pm Tech Issues
RE: Charging battery with Sunforce Solar Controller

Thanks for the info! No it does not also charge the chassis battery. I will be staying in a spot that is mostly covered and only gets 1/2 hour of sunlight a day and will only have access to 120v electrical for a hour or two a day, so I'd like to try and keep my house battery charged as much as possible. Thanks again! When the 120v is available (even if only 15a) you would get more amps to the battery using the Rv's own converter than with the battery tender jr. You also have alternator charging and according to the brochure on that rig, an Onan gen. All of that works ok with the solar still connected.
BFL13 01/15/18 08:12am Tech Issues
RE: house battery install, basic

I found this thread helpful in understanding how my 1991 "alternator charging" works and how to improve the under-hood set-up. I have changed a few things on mine accordingly.
BFL13 01/15/18 08:06am Tech Issues
RE: Advice on deep cycle setup?

I have been using, and am pleased with, a pair of these-- only the "121" version, not this new style 125 version, for a year now, as a "house" battery bank. http://www.wegosolar.com/products.php?product=SKR%252d125AGM-Stark-AGM-12V-Solar-Battery-Sealed-125A Last year we had discussions showing that these were the same battery (according to their specs) as the 121s that UPG in Texas was selling. The Starks come in a box that says, "Made in China" if that matters I see now that Randy at bestconverters is selling these: http://www.bestconverter.com/UB121000-100-AH-Deep-Cycle-_p_293.html#.WlwNYVKWxLM Which are the same as the Texas UPG 121s that are the same as my Stark 121s (100AH at the 20 hr rate) I can recommend these as house batteries for sure. I don't know how well they would do as starting batts if used in a dual role. ( I have been thinking about that based on LY's posts)
BFL13 01/14/18 07:08pm Tech Issues
RE: ford 460 power loss

I can't say if there was a power loss up till then, not having a "before and after" drive. Got the rig in October and did some "before" but no "after" drives yet. We had that over-heating catalytic converter issue mentioned earlier in the thread. Nasty! Went for the straight pipe replacement, which is allowed here, so no more cat issues in future including any power loss from a clogged cat. "Diagnostics first" sounds good in theory, but perhaps only for those who can do their own work. Our garage tells me that a pressure test on the cat would be about two hours work (at $100 an hour). So IMO, if you have a 1991 or whatever rig and not sure about the cat, just get rid of it, since you probably will need to anyway. BTW in our 1991 the O2 is before the cat so there was no issue going straight pipe wrt engine dash warning lights or fuel mix etc as happens with O2 after the cat situations.
BFL13 01/12/18 07:22pm Tech Issues
RE: Chassis?Starter Grp 31 AGM. CROWN1 AGM?

I have right side up AGM house batteries (transferred from the truck camper) for one of the two house battery banks in the Class C, but in this case it is for mounting them inside the rig where gassing would be a problem with Flooded batts. (Not enough room in outside compartments for all the batts needed) One advantage of having batts inside (which must be AGMs or else Flooded in a special vented sealed box) is that in winter, they stay warm and do not lose a bunch of AH capacity out in the cold. This can mean you don't need so many batteries in cold weather. Depends on the math of the scenario whether you come out more even on the money side by being able to get away with fewer AGMs inside where it is warm than with more Floodeds outside in the cold. I have not got to the point of considering having deep cycle starting batts. My Flooded bank (transferred from the 5er) is getting near the end of its life and the starting batt is an unknown (got this rig in October) so I am reading LY's posts and thinking hmmmm.
BFL13 01/12/18 06:13pm Tech Issues
RE: 12V Power for Schwintek compartment

Not trying to be silly here, these actually work BTDT. https://www.walmart.com/ip/Light-Switch-Night-Light/38759770
BFL13 01/10/18 05:21pm Tech Issues
RE: Solar performance #s

Good info! Not easy to relate to solar requirements for a "long-weekend warrior", but very interesting. Scenario is everything as usual. :) On heat etc, I always note if it is too cold you can put on more clothes to keep warm; when it is too hot, after you are naked you can't take any more clothes off.
BFL13 01/09/18 06:44pm Tech Issues
RE: Replace Fire Hazard Ford 2-G Alternator With Better 3-G

This too: http://www.fourwheeler.com/how-to/electrical/1612-ford-alternator-upgrade-for-more-battery-charging-power/ Not clear on the voltage regulator. It says the 3G has an internal regulator so only needs the one wire instead of the fire- prone plug. The other info seems to say you still need the voltage regulator plug going to a 3G (or I got mixed up?)
BFL13 01/09/18 05:48pm Tech Issues
RE: Solar Power

Just got into the Class C thing after doing 5er for years. Got solar which is useless in forested camp sites. No generator (yet?) Thing is, Class Cs have the magic of alternator charging AND you can use the smaller ones (our 28 is as big as you can go for this IMO) to also drive around in like we used to with the truck while leaving the 5er on site. All that driving around in the truck did nothing for the 5er, but it does replace some AH in the Class C. Plus you are not then under the trees either, so you get some solar if the weatherman permits. The other thing is to carry more batteries. Once again it is all about scenarios. You need about a battery per day off- grid, so if you want to stay five days and you only have two batts, you need to make up the diff of three batts by recharging. BUT--if you have four batts, now you only need to make up one batt's worth over the five days. Now you can apply a little alternator charging and any solar and get it done. Say you get 20 amps (a modest amount) then in one hour of driving around each day for five, that's 100AH --ie the size of one battery. If you are short two batteries with only two in the RV and your stay is four days, now you can still manage, but have to drive around two hours a day, or be getting 40 amps from the alternator, so you can do it with still the one hour a day driving. (You can also just idle for a while) We are still learning how to do all this kind of thing with the Class C, but it is not like the 5er at all. Also you can just move to the campground parking lot during the day and get some solar time, while still being in the park. Go back to your site for supper and back to the parking lot after breakfast. Whatever. Might still need a generator depending on scenario, but a Class C means you have some interesting options not available with a trailer.
BFL13 01/08/18 12:25pm Tech Issues
RE: Questions about running generator in back of truck

http://i65.tinypic.com/4i0ccn.jpg Using BBQ cover as tarp. Expose only the gen exhaust if it is raining. Note- higher rails on newer trucks than this long box 2003 Chev. No issues with exhaust heat here. Tool box had to go down off the rails or 5er front corners would hit it. Gen is higher so must go forward of hitch to not get snagged under the 5er. (So no tool box with a short bed truck )
BFL13 01/08/18 09:58am Tech Issues
RE: Half Baked Survey / Battery Management Panel Meters

Trimetric AHM for everything in and out of house battery bank. Solar controller displays solar amps upstream of Trimetric (so can see that not all solar amps reach the battery bank eg) Have set up the Class C with two separate battery banks, each with its own converter and each with its own solar set. One (AGMs) does only the inverter for all 120v off-grid work. The other (Wets) does all the usual 12v stuff-(that bank also gets any alternator charging.) I can swap over the single Trimetric as needed. (Have two shunts so just swap the display wiring with quick connect plugs) Normally the Tri goes on the house 12v bank. Only use it on the inverter's AGM bank when recharging the AGMs to true full with the Tri set to amps. Have a couple other battery voltage readouts plus the DVM that also can do 10 DC amps (as fused--got tired of frying non-fused DVMs by accident)
BFL13 01/07/18 09:04pm Tech Issues
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