What I would recommend is using another 120 volt power plug from inside the house. The laundry room should be on it's own 120 volt circuit breaker, so is the dishwasher in many modern homes.
If you have a friend with a 30 amp 4 wire dryer, you can make an adapter from 30 amp dryer to 50 amp stove receptacle, both at Home Depot, it will be a lot more power than that 120 volt 15 amp receptacle will put out too. Just buy a 30 amp dryer cord (they come 4' long) and a surface mount 50 amp stove receptacle. Put them together, you have a adapter that will run both heat pumps, or 2 A/C units in your RV.
Remind me not to complain about the little bit of frost on my windshield a couple of days ago.
Glad that it only got down to 26 in Portland OR this past week. STill cold enough that I had to run the car about 4 minutes before the frost was clear, and I could drive to work.
GPS Is a great thing to have in the fog, it can help you look for the curves in the roads!
I was there from November 2-7 in 2006, and had a great time too. It was in the low 30's that year at night, and the restrooms had been shut down in case the water froze in the pipes, so I had to shower in the RV. The campground water was on at the dump station.
Driving around was nice, you can drive into the canyon that time of year, but must use the shuttle bus in other months.
Be sure to check weather.com and check the monthly average temps that time of year that you plan on visiting. It is very pretty any time of year. Much cooler than Las Vegas in April, and the drive up interstate 15 from Nevada into Utah was a lot of fun to look at.
Are you looking for a new truck or used? Since 2007 the emissions of diesel trucks has really increased their prices, so they are now up to $10,000 more than a gas truck with the same options.
I would rather have a gas truck because I do not go camping that many miles each year and getting 9 MPG while towing is not a big deal. Insurance always costs more per year than the gas for my motorhome. The only two exceptions to that are when I drove back east two years and put more than 6,500 miles on in one year.
The Ford 6.2L is the largest displacement truck now for towing a normal trailer. You can get the single rear wheel F-350, it is normally good for about 3,700 pounds of cargo. Don't think you need to carry 2 tons?
THe fifth wheel hitch is about 100- 150 pounds.
THe pin weight on that hitch with a 15,000 pound trailer can be between 2,500 and 3,000 pounds. You plan on carrying some cargo and passengers in the truck, so lets say you plan on having 500 pounds of passengers and stuff in the truck, 100 pound hitch, and 2,200 pounds of hitch weight. That all adds up to 2800 pounds. Should your trailer water tank be in the front compartment, and say it is 60 gallons (540 pounds) of water, that can add another 300 - 400 pounds of hitch weight to the truck.
If you are looking at used, look carefully at the GVWR. Make sure you are looking at trucks over 10,000 GVWR. SO if you are looking at 1990's trucks, you will require a dually, the single rear wheel trucks topped out at 9,900 pound GVWR until the 2005 F-350 came out and improved that number significantly.
You probably want to avoid the 2003 to 2010 Ford diesels because of the oil cooler and it's special needs. THere are lots of posts on that engine. THe 2011 seems to not have any problems, considering the million or so out there, only a fraction of them have had problems.
The 1990's GMC's had a more powerful engine than transmission. Same with the early Dodge trucks. By 2000, all three big trucks had much more powerful transmissions, and much more powerful diesel engines.
First thing to do is stop by your local Ford, Dodge and GMC dealerships and pick up a trailer towing guide. It will explain GVWR, GAWR, GCVWR, and towing needs in much more detail. Best thing to do is select a truck suitable for your needs. Don't buy a 3/4 ton because the salesman says "It will tow anything". It will not safely tow much, except for the largest bumper pull trailers (they are limited to about 1,200 pounds hitch weight, so a 3/4 ton can handle that much weight).
IF you don't mind dual rear wheels, then any brand will work fine. If you want to stick to the single rear wheels, and not have those extra wide fenders, then consider a Ford, it has the highest GVWR of all the F-350's with single rear wheels.
Many variacs say to not turn the dial with a load on it. I would not be turning the load down to 0 volts before shutting it off. Rather I would shut off the charger first, then with no load you can adjust the voltage.
I had been thinking of using a 10 amp variac to recharge a electric car project I have been thinking about. I would be recharging a 72 volt battery bank, and use the variac to control the input voltage to a home built rectifier.
2 amps at 110 volts is about 220 watts, while the charger input is around 150 watts with output being 10 amps at 13.4 volts. So you should have about 30% more capacity than the charger input. Yet be careful that nobody puts the charger on "Start" mode, even for a little while, that mode will have about 20 amps output at 15 volts or so, more than 300 watts output, so much more than 320 - 330 watts input. Still not enough to trip a 3 amp fuse on the Variac, so be careful.
Fill up someplace else.
But your tank is well over 20 years old. It can get some rust on the inside, and that can wear a tank thin, so pressurized tanks need to be inspected every once in a while. I think it is 20 year for DOT mounted tanks on a RV, while less time for the portable tanks.
When inspected, the tank will get stamped with a new inspection date, I think it is good for only 10 more years between inspections. They will use a instrument to measure the tank wall thickness in several places. If it has become to thin, they will mark it for destruction.
The tank must hold back over 250 PSI on a hot day, so it does need to be in good shape.
The battery stays in the "Loop". However it is not typically supplying power while plugged in or running the generator.
What happens is the converter/charger can put out up to about 45 amps (might be a 55 or 60 amp model?). If the battery is really low, it will accept most of that power. If you are running 10 amps of lights (about 9 of them) then the charger will supply all 10 amps + have about 10 more amps to run things like the refrigerator circuit board, furnace, water pump, ect, and still have another 25 - 45 amps available to recharge the battery. The battery might not be in the mood to accept all 25 amps. Once the battery voltage is around 14.0 volts, the amperage into it will drop a lot. So it is like a frog jumping 1/2 way to the end of a log. THe first steps are large ones, but get smaller as the frog is closer to the end. Charging a very dead battery, it will accept a lot of power quickly, but will slow it's charge amperage as it gets up to about 80% full, and might take 1 hour to put in 40 amp hours when 40% full, and take 3 hours to put in 40 amp hours when 85% full.
It is best to keep the battery as full as possible - at least in the 50% to 80% full range. At least once a month recharge by plugging into shore power, or run a generator for 4+ hours to get the capacity up above 95% full. Also check the water level every couple of months if you are using it regularly.
So no- the battery should not be supplying power while plugged in. However it can. Lets say you have a sudden need to run 30 lights, the furnace, and water pump. This 48 amp load is more than a 45 amp converter will supply, so the battery will supply the balance, about 3 amps in this case.
Flagstaff can get feet of snow. If you check weather.com and find feet of snow, avoid both routes. At least check them. You might be best off taking I25 south to I10, and going the really long way around, especially if you wanted to see Tucson anyway.
It all depends on the snow depth. If you don't mind a little snow, then any route will be fine. If the weather is clear, then either route will be fine. If there is snow in Flagstaff, check Payson, and it might have much less. Also check going to I10, it might be totally clear, as the highest elevations are
around 5,500' but near the Mexico border, so much further south.
I spend $95 a month for a 30' long space with a roof over it in Vancouver, on Padden Parkway, just west of the Costco.
Many of the places that I found where in the same price range, and not covered, and most RV parking facilities where full when I was looking for a30' space. If you measure the truck and trailer, the overall length will be in the 44' range, that is much longer than I am, and will cost a bit more. you might want to store the tow vehicle at home, and keep moving it to avoid benig fined.
You probably only have one circuit that is powered by the inverter. Try the receptacles closest to the TV plug in. Also the inverter sucks the battery dry fairly quickly, so normally it is left off until you need to run it, so you will have to manually turn on the inverter someplace. You might have a remote control, or might need to get into one of the storage compartments to turn it on there. The inverter when left on, and you are not using any power will use about 1 amp hour per hour. Even when powering a 20 watt laptop, the inverter is not 100% efficient, and likely will use the same 12 watts as when not powering anything and an additional 24 watts to provide the 20 watts to the computer. So effectively, you will be using 3 amps per hour from your battery to power a 20 watt load, via the inverter. Your battery should hande the load OK, because it is only a 3 amp load for about 3-4 hours, or less than 15 amp hours. Your battery total is probably 200 AH for a pair of batteries, and 400 amp hours if you have 4 batteries.
The lights will consume another 1.1 amps per hour they are on, while the furnace will be around 6-8 amp per hour.
When the power is restored, the converter will recharge the batteries in a couple of hours. If not then driving will top them off in about 5-7 hours.
So remember that most of your RV receptacles are not inverter powered, only a couple of them. Best to mark them now. Use a radio or small wattage portable lamp to quickly find the working lights.
My RV has a propane and CO detector, and along with the refrigerator, the load on the battery is 35 amp hours per day. THis is about what one 120 watt solar panel will put out in one day.
So I would suggest a 100 - 150 watt solar panel as a start. IF you like to watch TV or other large use of power, install a second or third panel. Make sure to check the area that you plan on installing the panels. Some 200 watt panels can not be installed on any RV roof, there is not enough space for the huge panels.
SunElec.com Look for 100 - 150 watt 12 volt nominal panels. Look for a PWM controller that is rated for a few more amps than the panel.
I am sorry how I asked my question. What I meant was can I plug my shore power directly into my 2000 watt inverter, The inverter does not have a charger. I have a 75 amp converter, but I would have to turn it off along with electric water heater and put frig on L.p. So my question is with all that said can I just plug shore power cord into my inverter
Yes you can install a 15 to 50 amp adapter to the output of the inverter, and HOPE that every time you have the inverter running that the converter will be off. However there is probably a better way.
One way is to install a transfer switch. You would have the inverter output go to some receptacles in the RV, such as the microwave, TV and other desired circuits. I installed something like this with a new sub-panel in a fifth wheel. The owner needed to power a CPAP in the bedroom, microwave, and other items. I installed a 4 circuit sub-panel, 30 amp transfer switch, 30 amp breaker in the old main panel to power the transfer switch and sub-panel from shore power.
The other way is to have a 50 amp receptacle in the same compartment as the shore power cord, and plug in the shore power to the 50 amp receptacle powered by the inverter By having your 75 amp converter plug in right next to the inverter plug, hopefully you will remember to unplug it each time you plug into the inverter. You still be at risk of dead batteries if you turn on the inverter while the converter charger is still plugged in to the inverter output.
The way I would recommend if you are the do it yourself type, is to put the 120 volt output of the inverter into a couple of extension cords. Run these up to the microwave area, near the TV set, and other places you might need power. Then use a power strip, or buy a cord with 3 outputs, and then plug in what you might need to run from that location. Change back to the shore power receptacle when the inverter is off. Or run it from the inverter even while on shore power, the converter will keep up with the inverter's needs.
Made the decision to go LT....after tons of research I decided on Bridgestone Duravis R250. So now the tire size question...
I have a 28 foot 5th wheel with dual 4400 pound axles (trailer GAWR rating is 8800 pounds. Unloaded weight is about 7500 pounds and max loaded is about 10K pounds. Pin weight unloaded is 1350, I suspect about 1800 laoded. Trailer usually comes with 15 inch wheels, this one has the optional 16 inch rims. Currently has 235/80/R16.
Looking at replacing with Bridgestone Duravis R250 225/75/R16. Load Range Index 116 (2496 Pounds).
1) Do you think I am good to go with this load range/size? Seems to me they should work just fine given the weights I am working with.
2) Wally World now has them for $214 a piece with free shipping to store (pretty great price). Will not be using the trailer for the next 5 months. Should I wait till spring or go for the good price that Wally World has on them? Will being installed and sitting for 5 months affect life of tires?
You are NOT looking at LT tires. You are looking at passenger tires. When not in passenger use, you must de-rate passenger tires by 10%, or a tire rated at 2496 in passenger car use is only good for 2190 in trailer or truck use. Because you have 4,400 pound axles, then if loaded to 100% of the axle rating then the tires will be overloaded.
LT tires start with LT in their size. Such as LT 235/60R16C. Lt tires have a "ply Rating" from 2 to 10, that also have letter grades. C is a 6 ply rating. D is 8 ply, E is 10 ply. Larger tires even go to F, G, H for 12, 14 and 16 ply ratings. Back in the 30's, light truck tires had actual cotton plys, leading to that rating. Nowdays a 8ply rating might only have 3 or 4 steel plys.
You might need to go with a 60 or 65 series tire to avoid the tire being taller and having problems with clearance between the forward and rear tires. By changing from a 235 mm wide to only 215 mm wide, then you can go to a taller 70 series, it will not be much taller overall than the 235.. that is 60% tall. By going to the skinny 215 mm wide and 70% tall, you get about the same overall diameter.
Yes tell them you will be checking the date codes, and not accepting older tires. Because the are to old at 7 years old overall (since date of manufacture) buying tires that are already 6 or 8 months old takes out that much of their life before they are even installed. So buying new ones in 6 months will save you some money by them being newer.
ABC did a news report on old tires. It seems one Sears store had the display tires under the covers in the display window, and kept them there for years. At 8 or 9 years old, they sold them to a reporter undercover.
Locking out overdrive when going down hills will help the transmission and engine provide about 25% of the braking effort. On a really steep hill, you might need to slow below 45 MPH at the top, and shift to 2 gear.
Also if the brake caliper pins are not properly lubricated, then they can stick to much to the left or right. Properly lubricated, once you release the brakes, then the caliper is centered, and will not overheat. Without the lubrication, the pad will still be stuck between the back side of the caliper and the disk, overheating.
I like the traffic feature of my Garmin. I turn it on every morning on the way to work, and each night going home. I know the way now (been working there for 2 months) yet it is nice to have the traffic updates, mostly to tell me how long I will be sitting on the freeway. If it is to long, I will drive down a country highway, and take a back route. The Garmin will always update me, try to get me back on the freeway, but finally gives up and takes me to a small town, then straight north to my house.
It is best to check Google Maps the day you plan on leaving. The distance is about equal, but there are three lanes on I15, only 2 lanes on most of I215. At the 215/60 interchange, it can have REALLY bad traffic from 6 am to 10 am, and most afternoons and Sunday afternoons.
You can also check google maps, change the time to "Tuesday" and it will give you an average traffic report for that day of the week, based on the time you also can select. The green lines are more than 45 MPH, yellow below 45, red below 25 and black dash red is 0-15 mph on the freeways.
PS: I would take I 15 from SD to Victorville.
Fill a 5 gallon bucket and time how long it takes, then fill your tank with the hose and do the math!
Actually I paid $400 to a well guy for that piece of info.:(
THAT is how they determined the output of my well. :S
Yes that "Certified" amount of water output can be given to the county to provide documentation to allow building a home there. Testing it yourself will not go over well with most building inspectors.
As for Bob's problem, you can measure the size, and compare to tanks sold here. Tank-Depot.com and see if any of your tanks match theirs, and what size they are.
Probably easier to just fill them with a gallon container, and when it is full write it down.
Back in my tent camping days in the 50s and 60s I made up some metal pipes hanging just above the camp fire then added a small water tank and routed the hot water hose to a modified car radiator sitting just inside the tent.
Worked like gang busters but you had to keep a bonfire going all the time... I never did get the temperature to be adjustable as it was always way too much heat hehe... Did work however...
The small hot water tank was just a holding thing for water. If I added a small water pump I could have adjusted the heat pretty easy. Was just using heat expansion to give me water flow thru the system. I used a DC fan to blow thru the radiator to move some heat around...
This was back in the days where you always brought a big bag full of D-CELLS along with you haha...
With todays toys this hydronic water heater layout for small trailers would work like gang busters in a tent setup...
It might work fine, with a couple of drawbacks. If you use a aluminum radiator, make sure it is not toxic, - no lead solder. If you use a used radiator, you are somewhat crazy for exposing lead solder in the radiator to the drinking water supply in your RV, even if the radiator did not have to much lead in it, any anti-freeze might have some in it, because most cars had lead in the radiators at some point. Afterall this is your drinking water tank, that you will be showering in, and washing dishes.
Also with a 8,800 Btu input, and probably 6,800 Btu output, you really don't have a lot of heat potential on a really cold night. Might work fine with temps in the 50's, but not much colder. Who wants to hear the roar of a water heater, and the 12 volt pump running to warm the RV all night?
Much better solution for heating a space is a Olympic Catalytic heater, 6,000 and 8,000 Btu input, puts almost as much heat output, glows red, and is somewhat free of carbon monoxide. No 12 volts is required.
I have answered many questions on Rv.Net, and one that I wanted to tell a lot of people about is not spending to much on LED lights. For the cost of changing 20 fixtures with $15 bulbs, you could have installed a large solar panel that can run the whole RV as well as supply power to the old lights.
Then I ran across the 24 LED panels. They have 5050 LED emmitters that put out a lot of light per small square (5.0X5.0mm). Each panel puts out about what one of the old 1156 bulbs did before conversion. They are only about 0.1 amps each. Cost is only about $2 each if you buy about 10 at a time. I recently bought 50 of them for $60, or $1.20 each. I installed some one a friend's house, all around the parameter, powered by a 26 amp hour wheelchair battery, and a pair of 45 watt solar panels that I removed from my motorhome.
So it can be less expensive to start replacing the bulbs with the LED panels. I installed two panels in each side of my bathroom light, so I run 4 of the panels, using 0.4 amps, and it lights up the bathroom really well.
The small indicator 12 volt lamp on my pump switch went out, so I could not tell if I had left the pump on or not. I used 12 LED panels on each pump switch to replace the 17 year old factory lights, and they light up the bathroom and living room (kitchen) where the switches are located, giving plenty of light to move around the RV at night, without being so bright to not wake anyone.
AliExpress.com Do a search for 5050 LED panels. THen look for 24 LED panels, and 12 LEDpanels if you like.
The 5050 panels are 5.0X5.0 mm LED emitters. The 3512 is 3.5X 1.2 mm. They are smaller and less bright. They are a little more blue than the incandescent light that is being replaced, I have gotten used to that color. My friend is showing off his LED lights that run for free to all his neighbors, and loves the look of his house now.
You can also search for LED flashlights, solar charge controllers, and many other products. Almost anything you can think of. My new favorite flashlight has a LED CREE T6 light, with a pair of rechargeable 18650 LiOn battery. It is 1600 lumens, and can shine brightly on the cement, in the sunlight.
Always remember that saving power is one way to extend your battery life. The other way is to install some solar panels. SunElec.com You can buy a 100 - 120 watt solar panels for around $150, and that will provide more power to the battery.
Good luck with your LED conversion.
I know a guy who was using "Home Heating Oil" in his new 1978 Cadillac. After a couple of years, the engine broke down, and he was sad to have used the wrong fuel and messed up the 5.7L diesel. Sure he saved a few cents per gallon, and never paid road tax on that fuel either.
As for electric cars, California now is in the process of taxing electric cars for their use of the roads, without paying the tax that a gas powered car would need to pay. My thought on that is the electric cars are not going to do nearly the damage to the roadways as a 3,000 pound gas car getting 30 MPG and paying only a cent or so per mile to drive the roads. It is the larger and heavier cars that do more damage, yet at the same time use more fuel, and thus pay more tax per mile. THe state is on one hand giving rebates to the electric car buyers, and now thinking that they must tax them to take care of the roadways.