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 > Your search for posts made by 'pianotuna' found 3340 matches.

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RE: How to measure how much solar we need?

Hi, I prefer the flat panel style with adapters because more light is delivered to the RV vs the cob style.
pianotuna 11/23/14 12:53pm Tech Issues
RE: Dometic Fridge not cooling

Hi, If it is a cooling unit blockage I'd replace it with a residential compressor type fridge and add some solar panels.
pianotuna 11/23/14 12:00pm Tech Issues
RE: Winter camping trip planned Nov-30 to Dec-2 Concerns

Hi Mitch, There are at least two ways to protect the fridge. One is a kit from Norcold and the other is to restrict airflow adding a light bulb behind the exterior vent. Here is a great thread on winter camping with descriptions of each method: Sticky on Winter Camping Hi, Be sure to protect the fridge from freezing up. Well, dang, something else I never considered. If I'm using the fridge, what needs to be done?
pianotuna 11/23/14 11:39am General RVing Issues
RE: winterizing trailer but still using it in winter.

Hi, A different type of plastic for the water tank. A lot more water is required to flush out antifreeze from the tank compared to the lines. I prefer to use bottled water for drinking and cooking. Humm never put antifreeze in fresh tank but you put it in your water lines, it is all plastic. So what the difference? Just curious.
pianotuna 11/23/14 09:08am Beginning RVing
RE: Water Pump Too Loud?

Hi, Replace the mounting on the water pump with the type that will do some sound insulation. Consider adding a small accumulator tank or a pressure tank.
pianotuna 11/23/14 06:50am Tech Issues
RE: Heat in coach when driving?

Hi Jillhop, My solution to winter class C heating is to run the dash heat on defrost, and run the roof air conditioner on the fan only setting. Doing so requires medium size pure sine wave inverter. As a bonus I get to run my fridge on 120 volts. 1000 watts may be more than enough. I have an outlet in the shore power cord box that is powered by the inverter. I simply plug in the cord, turn off the converter, then turn on the inverter. Bestconverters has the Prowatt line from Xantrex which costs $355.00 for a 2000 watt pure sine wave inverter. I did replace the return air grill for the furnace with a dual window fan. That pushes a small amount of air through the duct work and keeps the fresh water system from freezing up.
pianotuna 11/23/14 06:35am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Should I Change My WFCO Converter?

Hi, Solar is under $2 per watt especially if you DIY. You need only about 350 watts maximum. It is a one time cost. The bare minimum for equalization would be about 140 watts. I have seen panels as low as 30 cents per watt. If I take it easy on my inverter use, I run out of water before I run out of power. If you want the cheapest solution, then add a battery charger capable of 14.8 volts. Be sure the generator outputs clean pure sine wave. If you want the "nearest thing to a free lunch" solution, then go solar. It would cost me about three to four tanks of fuel for my class C. We spend a lot of time off the grid, I would estimate approximately 50%, using a generator. Solar may be in our future but I can't afford it at this time.
pianotuna 11/23/14 06:24am Tech Issues
RE: How to measure how much solar we need?

Hi jrn, Make that a steam turbine. Yeah, a wood burning stove to melt the snow... to supply the water to turn the turbine... lol!
pianotuna 11/23/14 06:10am Tech Issues
Republic cell phone and data service

Hi, Has anyone tried this service? Coverage for voice looks good, data not quite in the same class. https://republicwireless.com/
pianotuna 11/22/14 09:45pm Technology Corner
RE: Should I Change My WFCO Converter?

Hi, How do you use the RV? If the existing converter works, I'd be tempted to just follow BFL's sage advice and use a battery charger from time to time. The PD 15 minutes every 21 hours is to stir the electrolyte. Not a true equalization, at all. Depending on your use I would consider a modest solar system with a top notch charge controller. That would take care more or less automatically of all the equalizing needs.
pianotuna 11/22/14 03:40pm Tech Issues
RE: Please help with prep for freezing weather

Hi, You may have to protect the fridge as well. I'd suggest reading the winter camping thread under full time rving.
pianotuna 11/22/14 03:35pm Tech Issues
RE: Where did you get your Electrical knowledge?

Hi, A kit that I was given as a gift as a child. At age 8 I built an electric motor starting from scratch and made all the parts myself. At 3 I was given a toy that plugged into the wall. Mom made Dad disconnect the plug leaving it non functional. About two weeks later she gave him the very old dickens because it was working again. Turns out, I took it apart and fixed it. Lots and lots of reading on the wobbly wide web.
pianotuna 11/22/14 03:13pm Tech Issues
RE: Need to replace SunRay Model 930 12V flourescent

Hi, Look for a warm white led.http://www.3drender.com/glossary/colortemp.jpg width=450
pianotuna 11/22/14 07:41am Fifth-Wheels
RE: can i keep my gas tank filled all winter

Hi, Fill it to the gills. It is far better to have it brim full.
pianotuna 11/22/14 07:17am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Affordable 300w poly panels

Hi Jim, Nice find.
pianotuna 11/22/14 07:14am Tech Issues
RE: Winter camping trip planned Nov-30 to Dec-2 Concerns

Hi, Be sure to protect the fridge from freezing up.
pianotuna 11/22/14 07:05am General RVing Issues
RE: How to measure how much solar we need?

Hi Almot, Wow, only 28 amp-hours from 1000 watts of panels? I'm floored. On Dec 21 I get about 17 amp-hours from 256 watts of panels. I agree that the first order of the day is to conserve. LED lighting at the prices we can get from Ebay is a no brainer. Next on the list is stopping both heat build up in summer and heat loss in the winter. I use vent and skyline "cushions" and have insulbright covers for the windows, door, and a way to block off the cab area. Doing so means I can heat 100% electrically in winter using about 19000 btu's (~6000 watts), while keeping the propane furnace as a "back up". Next stop is upgrading charging paths from the alternator. I added a second charging circuit, so I have twin #8 wire. This allows me to do 70 amps when needed. Even at highway speeds my system can not sustain 70 amps for long, so I've been known to limit the charging by turning off one wire, and also to shut down some of the loads. What I can run is the fridge and the fan for the roof air. Running the fan allows me to cool down the RV using the dash air. The Magnum inverter allows me to run what ever I wish from the batteries, but that energy has to be replaced. I have done experiments where I use 1300 watts to run the water heater. I watch the voltage on the chassis and use a duty cycle of five minutes on and ten minutes off. My "cut off" is 13 volts. If I see that I shut down some of the loads. There would be room for improvement on the alternator by adding a remote regulator to take the load off the internal diodes. Another more expensive route would be adding a second alternator, dedicated to the house batteries. One of the summer problems I still have is heat build up in the drive train. After I've driven for several hours it takes a heck of a long time to cool off--and of course that heat does rise and warms the RV considerably in the summer time. I've toyed with the idea of using a box fan under the rv to blow away the heat, but have not actually tried it. I'm still "on the fence" about upgrading the solar. What I have works well, more by luck than good planning. Upgrading to more wattage might not make the difference I hope for. Living off the grid entirely with solar for electrical power is the goal. I would snow bird from November until March each year. When I went to full time, I did purchase a Yamaha Sieb 3000 VA generator. I've since added remote start for that and combined with the hybrid inverter I can run everything I want to without fearing running down the battery bank. The combination of the hybrid inverter and battery bank allow me to use just 15 amp shore power while retaining the ability to run every item I wish to at the same time. Of course, I can't exceed the 3000 watt rating on the inverter, but it is miles better than having to load balance and agonize about tripping a shore power breaker that I don't necessarily have access to. If someone would make a truly flexible panel, I'd consider replacing the awning. That would be a wonderful way to have the best of both worlds. I.E. keeping the existing solar while adding a lot of capacity.
pianotuna 11/22/14 06:32am Tech Issues
RE: The big voltage rip off in my SUV

Hi jrnymn, You forgot the thermostat on the Platinum Cat--so if it is too warm, you can turn it down. Where I live it would not be nearly enough in mid winter.
pianotuna 11/21/14 02:05pm Tech Issues
RE: The big voltage rip off in my SUV

Hi jrnymn, I'd encourage you to consider the platinum cat instead. Yes, it is double the price. And safer, and has a thermostat, and has a chimney. Niner, Get an external regulator for the house bank. X3 on the solar while driving. Heck, mine even sends some amps to the chassis.
pianotuna 11/21/14 01:25pm Tech Issues
RE: How to measure how much solar we need?

Hi, Solar is also for maintenance charging in storage. I get about 17 amp-hours on December 21. That's more than enough to keep the battery bank happy. If I quintuple my system, I'd get enough to run the furnace on a 25% duty cycle, year round. I'd also have enough to run the fridge for over half the year and in the hot summer months I might just be able to run the air conditioner (but not much else).
pianotuna 11/21/14 01:19pm Tech Issues
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