So there's a great website where you can find non-ethanol filling stations. But I haven't been able to find anything similar regarding LPG filling stations.
My town has several gas stations with propane filling, but if I were to ever need it while on the road, it would be nice to have it come up on some sort of search. After all... there are websites to show which Wal-Marts allow camping. Why not this? Or does such a thing exist and I just haven't been able to find it?
I neglected to mention that I have already searched the internets far and wide with no luck. A few sites have a map feature, but have either none or very few of the actual locations listed in my area. I'm looking for some reasonable degree of accuracy.
Yeah, working heat, in winter, in The Great White North, is probably a good idea.
I hope "full time in the RV" was by choice and not necessity. That sure does sound good to me. I just sold a house for a guy that's going full time. His home base will be his son's place... but he won't be there much. He'll be hittin' the open road! Stoked for him!
Yeah, I can definitely see you have some propane issues to be concerned with there. If I had to guess, I'd say a third of our filling stations have propane filling including RV tanks, not to mention bottle exchanges at just about every grocery store. But that's like twice the dough, of course. I have no use for those.
The topic is regarding RV propane use... and probably, most relative to full-timers or long haulers vs. weekend campers like me. I mentioned domestic home use as the impetus for my recent thoughts on the subject.
I have no plans to convert the ol' Onan to propane, but I am happy to run the furnace and fridge with it. 'Course... along with low, parasitic draws, that's one of the benefits of the '86 vintage rig; My fridge is one model previous to the recalled units.
Pianotuna was one of the guys I was referring to. He's not a propane fan. His explanation as to why makes a lot of sense.
Also, MrWizard would prefer to fill gas tanks rather than propane. He converted to an electric fridge, but for good reason; if it wasn't already, his old one, perhaps should have been recalled... before it exploded on him.
Otherwise, a well-built propane fridge is an awesome appliance, IMO. Very efficient.
So I've always wondered why some of my friends on the boards here have such disdain for propane. I mean, I get it if you have a massive solar array and want to run your fridge with electricity, but...
See, I have a client who is selling a home with tons of off-grid capabilities. He has 2-500 gal propane tanks, but with a caveat. The local companies want a small fortune to deliver propane. So along with each, big, full tank, he has a pair of 10 gal tanks plumbed alongside. To save pennies, he keeps the big tanks full and runs the empty of the two 10 gallon tanks to town for a refill.
For my own purposes, I just crunched a few numbers. As it turns out, propane provides about 92,500 BTU/gal, while gasoline 125,000. But in my town, at least... gasoline costs about $3.50 a gallon presently, while propane only $2.20.
This means that propane provides about 74% of the energy, but costs only 63% of gasoline.
I get it that it's not always easy to find propane, but for full-timers who remain parked for extended periods, it seems more economical to run the toad into town and fill a few 10 gal bottles on occasion than 4 Jerry Cans of gasoline for the genny.
Now help me learn something.
...Clients question the shell casings rolling around the floor under their feet...
This is The United States of America, Jack! And Southern Oregon to boot! Shell casings on the floor are what we call Jefferson State Wind Chimes. No one moves HERE expecting peace signs and tofu! If you want some peace and solitude, come to town during huntin' season. Just don't expect many stores or restaurants to be open then.
Stranding my clients in the "projects," as it were... is simply a right of passage! If the ever-present and approaching sound of "Dueling Banjos" doesn't trigger an autonomic, squealing-like-pigs response, then I know they're gonna' be ALLLLright.
LMAO @ BFL!!!
No $h*t, I almost peed!!! And I'm not even old enough for prostrate trouble yet.
For a moment there I thought ol' BFL was pretty creative. Too bad he had to let the cat out of the bag with the truth behind that projection of his life onto mine.
Still... good story.
He's right about one thing; it's a real estate car that's as big and nice as I can afford. 2001 Toyota Avalon with over 100K. And I'm sure I'll have it for a good 200K more.
BTW... IIRC... Crown Vics are made in Canada. I wouldn't be caught dead in some crappy, Canuck, rattle trap. :)
Ever see an 80-year old clutch their chest?
If it were mine señor, the very next time you even think I would notice a sneeze of difference in cranking, I would be on my way to get another battery.
Many newer cars today use gear reduction starters that demand less than half the cranking amperage of the old fashioned direct drive starters.
Call it a gut-feeling KendallP but The End Is Near. Repent.
Forgive me Father MEX, for I have sinned! How many Rosaries are we talkin' here, Father... to get me right with the battery gods?
OK, I'm sure you're right. If it were my wife's rig, I would definitely pay serious heed. That's the rig we take to the snow and the one that she makes regular trips to Santa Cruz in with our little girls.
My rig rarely goes anywhere too cold or too far away from home base. But I'll pay close attention to that starter... if anything just so I don't stress it and force an unplanned trip to the shop.
What's your opinion on the weakest cell in the chain question?
So as I do every year going into winter, I tested, equalized and retested my sedan's starting battery. (Don't tell MEX that I drove with cloudy electrolyte yesterday after the equalization. I should have done it in the evening when it could rest overnight.)
After a charge and equalization with the Vector, I hammered the battery with the Harbor Freight beast with about 16.85V for 1 hour and 45 minutes. I'm pretty confident that I couldn't have done much more.
My efforts appear to have netted me about a 0.010 or ~6% gain Not stellar, but better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.
So adjusted for Temperature, my readings are...
Not terrible for a 5 year old starting battery in a car that makes a lot of 10 minute, short hauls to work and back, but I think it fair to say she's entering her golden years.
In 35 deg. F conditions, it pretty well fires the 3 liter V6 right up. Before the equalization, though, I did notice a little sluggishness in the morning starts which reminded me that it was time to equalize. It seems that a 6% gain made a subjectively measurable difference.
My question is this...
According to my best chart, 1.243 is about 87%, where 1.263 is nearly 100%. Of course this is ASSuming that the SG when new was also 1.263 or so. I don't recall what it was on this particular battery. I think I may have neglected to take an initial reading on this one.
Now if we average the cells, we get 1.258 for about 93%.
Some folks say that a battery is only as strong as it's weakest cell. Is that really true or do I have more like a 93% battery here?
It is what it is and it'll do what it'll do, but I'm just curious.
...Both (or all 18 :) )... will just drop out as the voltage meets or exceeds the set points.
Think if you had 18 chargers rated one amp each and voltages set at 12.5 to 14.1 at 0.1 volt intervals. You get 18 amps until battery voltage hits 12.5 and then 1 amp drops out. Then at each .1v another charger drops out until the last charger holds the battery at 14.1 volts. The other chargers just drop out of the process. And no harm to any as all these voltages are in spec.
Glad you were able to make good use of my "18" quote, there, SMK. :)
I guess I'll have to add my sarcasm emoticon from now on. Ol' MEX seems to get away with it. Perhaps I'm just not quite as skilled. Hope I don't need another 50 years to get that sarcastic!
The only problem that I see is the one that arises when you do successive 50-90% charges without topping.
Like I said, they get a daily charge to something close to 100% SOC. In daily cycling I'm typically in the 90-100% range, at least according to the TriMetric. Alas, I have not "topped" them above 14.7 (at least not until today).
Well if you have enough sunshine all year long or run the generator for several hours when you don't... and you never, ever fail to charge to 100% after each and every draw... and you never will... then the information I provided is of no value to you.
That's a nice looking setup you have there. :)
Sounds like a pretty sweet setup!
Yeah, AGMs are a little tough on we, the obsessive 12V geeks. But they definitely have their place. And with someone like you, who knows how to treat them, they should give you years and years of good service.
The only problem (besides price) that I see is the one that arises when you do successive 50-90% (or similar) charges without topping. Just like wet cells, the bank will lose capacity due to PCL (Progressive Capacity Loss.) This is likely due to sulfation and the only way (besides pulse tech) to remove it is with a (carefully) controlled overcharge (equalization.)
But what I'm MOST concerned with is the over use of "()" (parentheses) in my post.
If you charge back to 100% each time, then PCL is no factor.
So what kind of inverter use are you employing that takes advantage of the high current capabilities of AGMs?
KWH is sure a valuable feature. On a device as powerful as HF, it won't even take a week to see the first kilowatt-hour proudly flowing in :)
The "10A" HF charger has been clocked at 19A in the mid 13 volt range. That's about 250W. Your kWh is registered in that week minus about 6 days, 20 hours. :)
OK, I got the harmonics reference, Grandpapa. It just sounded funny.
BFL's stuff seems to keep going and going and going. Is it because they are all a Vector design with the same frequency, perhaps?
...It has to be pulse width modulated...
It's only putting out an Amp and a quarter. Visually, it looks more like classic tech.
Here's a photo...
http://batterytender.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/1000x1000/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/0/2/021-0128.jpg height=480 width=640
I think BFL13 used up to 5 chargers
Well there goes that boisterous, Canuck sense of humor again.
Thanks, PT. I think I had a pretty fair handle on BFL's MO. I may have exaggerated just a whisker. :)
Easy. Connect them ALL to the strongest in the herd. Monitor voltage over a period of a week. If it droops then you'll need to fall back five and punt.
Personally I do not like tandem-ing high frequency devices. Like coupling an oboe with a cello. Even though a waltz may start, pretty soon they both regress where they don't belong - into jazz, and you in a heap o trouble. If you are a technocrit you can try adding a .47 uf capacitor - sort of like a midget conductor to the symphony.
Good Lord, Mex! Is that some kind of broken Spanglish you're a' speakin' there??? Holy cow! ;)
PT makes a good point, but the OP says he already has the Battery Tender.
Again, BFL can testify to the well documented, successful use of multiple, high frequency chargers in parallel.
Is the Battery Tender Plus a high frequency charger?
I know that when using the Battery Tender Plus on the truck battery that it also sends a charge to the camper batteries, although not very effectively. Because of the battery separator, the Iota can not charge the truck battery, correct?
Personally, I don't know if this IS correct. I am pretty, old-rig centric and not up on your fancy-pantsed, new-fangled stuff. What your describing would basically require some kind of diode(s) to allow energy to pass only one way.
On my rig, the 2 banks are either tied together or they're not. It's a pretty good system. When the rig is running a switch can tie them in order to charge the house bank with the alternator. With the chassis engine off, the power to the solenoid is cut and the two are no longer tied, so you can't run down the chassis battery with house usage. However, you can override this with a spring-loaded switch in the cockpit. The idea here is to put the two banks together in order to start either the chassis engine or the generator if one bank or the other is weak.
But I digress...
Regardless... it doesn't matter. If your tender can send power from the chassis battery to the house bank, it can work in conjunction with the IOTA. The IOTA will virtually always be doing all the work, though.
I run a positive jumper between my two banks so the converter can keep the chassis battery floated. Works very well.
BFL sometimes runs like 17 or 18 (I think it is) chargers on one bank at a time, so we know it can be done. :)
You're on the right track. Your batteries are happiest when they're fully charged and with a float charger on them. A destratification stir now and then is a bonus.