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 > Your search for posts made by 'CJM1973' found 25 matches.

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RE: MIA - Mexico

He PM'd me about 6 days ago regarding some advice on DC to DC 12 volt charging via an alternator.
CJM1973 11/15/19 05:04pm General RVing Issues
RE: Tow Vehicle Battery and Alternator

One last question regarding my new AGM battery bank. What are the ideal charging parameters to set my AC to DC converter at? Bulk, absorption, and float. I think temperature has a play in the equation. Considering the money spent on these AGM batteries, I would like to have them around for awhile and avoid any overcharging scenario. We usually camp in fair weather temps (60-80*F). From my understanding, our trip to Alaska will have such a broad range of temps. I'm coming out of flooded GC2 batteries.
CJM1973 11/11/19 05:40am Tech Issues
RE: Tow Vehicle Battery and Alternator

Well...Learn something new every day.....Looking at Renogy Install Manual "When selecting a location for the DCDC, make sure that the unit is as close as possible to the battery you will be charging (auxiliary battery). " I had read on a few other sites to put it close to the main battery.....Don't trust everything you read on the internet.. :-) Yeah, I learned early on that there are a bunch of liars on it...except for maybe RV .net. ;) I bought a water proof tongue box that I will install it in along with my 3 AGM 100 AH batteries. Between the new battery bank and this new DCDC charger, I our Alaska trip will be less reliant on firing up the old inverter generator. I'm bringing one just to be safe.
CJM1973 11/10/19 08:13pm Tech Issues
RE: Tow Vehicle Battery and Alternator

Looks like there is loads of miss information on this thread....About hooking a DC to DC directly to the Alternator....NO About mounting the DC to DC at the trailer... I don't think so Check out this excellent video of realtime testing of Renogy DC to DC https://youtu.be/EcVjPap9dkY https://youtu.be/EcVjPap9dkY Thanks. Seen the video. Everywhere I've read says to mount the dcdc charger closest to the house batteries. Haven't read otherwise.
CJM1973 11/10/19 07:32pm Tech Issues
RE: Tow Vehicle Battery and Alternator

Sorry - late to the party.... Personally, I prefer external regulation/control on non ecu controlled vehicles. Check the link for info...this is one source. https://alternatorparts.com/quicktifier-external-bridge-rectifier.html details of how this works has been detailed by Mexicowanderer here many times. Interesting. I will investigate.
CJM1973 11/07/19 03:09pm Tech Issues
RE: Tow Vehicle Battery and Alternator

I'm going to purchase and install the 40 amp DC to DC charger. Couple questions though. A signal control (ignition line) is required to activate this device. Considering the application is a tow behind trailer, can I use the 7 pin trailer harness to tap into for a 12 volt source instead of running a separate line all the way back to the TV's ignition circuit? It would either be the #4 pin (aux) or #3 pin (tail/running lights). I think the tail lights would be a better option as I could control the unit's power via the headlight switch. Thoughts? Most newer trucks switch off power to the plug with key off. With that said you would need to disconnect or install a diode to keep the trailer from back feeding and causing the charger to stay on. Any 12 volt circuit that would turn off when you want it to will work. Also, the Renogy wiring diagram shows both positive and negative lines running from the starter battery to the DCDC charger. Is it possible to just wire in a negative line to the chassis of the TV (near the hitch) and run that along side the positive line from the starter battery? I would use a dual pole plug & socket like the Tectran recommended earlier in the thread. I would not have an issue with using the frame as a ground.(just make sure battery to frame cable is adequate.) Also, I would wire in a fuse or breaker on the positive feed near the starter battery. Is a 60 amp ok for 6 AWG wire? What is preferred, breaker or fuse? If you used a breaker, you would not need to carry a spare. Either will work. Finally, there are dip switches on the charger that customize the charging profile of the battery bank. Considering I'm using flooded GC2 6 volt batteries, what is the recommended absorption and float "end-of-charge" voltages for my configuration? If it were me 14.7 and 13.2(you could bump up to 13.5 or 13.8 if you are using a lot of power. Thanks a bunch. AWG cable, breaker, plug ends, and DCDC charger are on their way. Hopefully, the weather holds out so I can get this project behind me before thanksgiving.
CJM1973 11/07/19 01:38pm Tech Issues
RE: Tow Vehicle Battery and Alternator

I have the Renolgy 40 amp DC to DC charger. It has 3 stage charging and is adjustable. The truck input was 50 amps and the output as advertised. That was at 14.0 volts truck and 14.7 volts output. The charger has a trigger that you hook to the ignition switch. Hook to the battery. Do not use any less then 6awg wire (I used 4awg at 20 feet) I had a solar controller issue. Idled the truck for 1 TO 1 1/2 hr, and was able to run anything I wanted,including a 12 cup drip coffee maker. But to be fair, I had installed a 2P4S Lifep04 battery on this trip.(I wish that I had not waited so long to go LFP) What a difference! Good luck with your adventure! I'm going to purchase and install the 40 amp DC to DC charger. Couple questions though. A signal control (ignition line) is required to activate this device. Considering the application is a tow behind trailer, can I use the 7 pin trailer harness to tap into for a 12 volt source instead of running a separate line all the way back to the TV's ignition circuit? It would either be the #4 pin (aux) or #3 pin (tail/running lights). I think the tail lights would be a better option as I could control the unit's power via the headlight switch. Thoughts? Also, the Renogy wiring diagram shows both positive and negative lines running from the starter battery to the DCDC charger. Is it possible to just wire in a negative line to the chassis of the TV (near the hitch) and run that along side the positive line from the starter battery? I would use a dual pole plug & socket like the Tectran recommended earlier in the thread. Also, I would wire in a fuse or breaker on the positive feed near the starter battery. Is a 60 amp ok for 6 AWG wire? What is preferred, breaker or fuse? Finally, there are dip switches on the charger that customize the charging profile of the battery bank. Considering I'm using flooded GC2 6 volt batteries, what is the recommended absorption and float "end-of-charge" voltages for my configuration? From Renogy's instruction manual: https://i.imgur.com/GipRZ7Nl.jpg
CJM1973 11/07/19 01:22am Tech Issues
RE: Tow Vehicle Battery and Alternator

CJM, Without knowing the specifics of the TV and TT, I fear you are headed for a disappointment. Even if the the TT house bank is on the tongue, we are talking a long run of cable. Remember, to make this work right, you will not be able to count on the frame of anything as a conductor. With the entire life of a Lead/Acid battery between 12.0 and 12.6, and peak charging limited to 14.4 (or .6), there is no room for voltage drop. So a huge alternator will be a lost cause even if you run welding cable from the alternator to the house bank. A Renogy charger will be a big help, but you are still stuck with the recharge time being limited by the battery chemistry. Even AGMs, though will charge faster, still have limits. They just get to 90% a lot faster if you can feed them juice. You do not say what the installed converter is in the TT, but if it is not a modern 3 or 4 stage unit like Progressive Dynamics or Iota (there are others now) that does a boost, bulk and float, I suggest you replace it first. Then, go an buy an inexpensive little genset. Try not to buy a "Contractor" unit because they are designed to cover up the noise of hammers and Skilsaws. There are more than a few on the market. Then, you will also have the portable for other uses. (You will find some.) I know of a guy that boondocks with a long cab TV and a TT that ties his generator down in the bed and runs it when underway. He just runs the shore power cable to it. (With some duck tape for control.) This will all be more simple and reliable than the alternatives, you will just have to put up with some noise some times. Thanks for all the insight first. Details I hadn't mentioned: 1. I replaced the OEM WFCO converter last year after I installed both GC2 batteries. It's now a 55amp Powermax 3 stage converter. Seems to be better at keeping the bank topped off when on shore power. 2. I'm preparing for an Alaska trip with the family next summer and am looking for a viable (and practical) solution to keep the batteries near 80-90% SOC when we arrive at each destination. The plan is to boon dock at least 3 out of 4 days during the 8 week trip. 3. I have a budget of around $2,000 for 'power' upgrades (per the wife). I would love to have a couple of LiFEP04 but pricing is just a bit out of touch for a non-fulltime expedition. 4. The trailer is a 35ft ultra lightweight model with a non-walkable roof. I'm leaning against a solar array as it would a daunting task to mount and maintain them on the 1/4" thick roof decking. I would consider a portable unit but how influential will it be under the northern Canadian and Alaskan skies? What's the cost benefit? 5. We will be bringing an inverter generator (Westinghouse 4500w/3800w) with us. I don't know how "generator friendly" the Alcan hwy is (or the waterfront campgrounds throughout Alaska). I would rather use it as seldom as possible. 6. I did install a pure sine power inverter (1500/3000 watt) in the passthrough storage bay. Don't know if it's just the brand, but it fails to run the 900 watt microwave. A new inverter may be required as the wife is insistent on that appliance for light meals for the kids. I've been reading that 6 volt golf cart batteries in series don't perform nice with large amp draws verses a similar amp hour 12 volt deep cycle bank wired in parallel. I'm also under the impression that flooded lead acid batteries have different discharging characteristics than AGM batteries. I'm considering an AGM upgrade even though my wet cell GC2s are only a year old. I'm trying to determine what electrical upgrades are most beneficial without breaking the bank. The DC to DC power charger is top on my list. I'm questioning the long run of cable from the front of the TV to the trailer's passthrough storage. Based on what I'm hearing, I'm going to hold off on the alternator upgrade. The TV's little 600 CCA battery could be changed out for a higher capacity battery. An AGM upgrade to the GC2s is a possibility too. Don't know how I can increase amp hours unless I move to Lithium. The task of defining which components to upgrade (or add) is becoming a challenge. Even though winter will keep the coach idle, June is approaching fast and I'll need solutions before the weather breaks.
CJM1973 11/05/19 11:04pm Tech Issues
RE: Tow Vehicle Battery and Alternator

I forgot to ask; if I do proceed with the DC to DC charger, do I wire it directly to the + battery terminal or + alternator lead? The renogy diagram shows multiple methods. Also, what type of connector is preferred from TV to trailer? Wire will be 4 or 6 awg.
CJM1973 11/04/19 11:46pm Tech Issues
RE: Tow Vehicle Battery and Alternator

I'd run dedicated wiring so at least your trailer battery gets nearly the same voltage as the engine battery. The voltage your engine battery gets is decided by the vehicle's voltage regulator, and none of these are programmed intending to quickly and fully recharge depleted batteries. Mostly they are designed to never overcharge, and as such, will drop to mid to high 13's relatively quickly, but all vehicles will vary in the max voltage and for how long it is held. Only if your alternator was incapable of meeting all the loads applied to it would increasing its rating prove beneficial, and likely only at higher rpm, not idling. Likewise a larger better starting battery is not going to assist trailer battery charging. I'd get the following 6awg harness or similar, and run it to alternator + and a - mounting bolt. Disconnect the connector manually when parked for any length of time so trailer cannot discharge engine starter battery. Thanks for the response. 2 follow up questions. If my DC to DC charger is rated at 40 amps (Renogy has one), would it be a bit taxing on the 150 amp OEM alternator? Any benefit to upgrading to a 220 amp alternator in this case? Secondly, do these dc to DC chargers act just like a conventional onboard RV multiphase converter? Bulk to absorption to float? From my understanding, with this setup, I would rarely get above 80% stage of charge after a 3 hour drive, right?
CJM1973 11/04/19 10:05pm Tech Issues
Tow Vehicle Battery and Alternator

My trucks alternator is rated at 150 amps. Its starting battery is your typical 600 CCA AC Delco variety. My goal is to increase charging capability through the 7 pin pigtail connector near the hitch. Is this possible via a larger TV battery or alternator? I recently upgraded from 1 group 24 battery in the TT to 2 GC2 6 volts in series. Current setup doesn't provide much charging when underway, even after 5-6 hours of driving. I know I can install a DC to DC charger in the trailer. I'd have to run a dedicated line from under the hood to the front passthrough storage compartment of the trailer. Just wondering if there was an easier route. Don't want to invest in solar as I wont utilize it much. An 8 week to Alaska next summer is really what I'm planning for. Otherwise, we rarely boondock. It would be nice to drive for 4-5 hours and have a "topped-off" battery bank for each leg of the trip. Any suggestions?
CJM1973 11/04/19 09:17pm Tech Issues
TPO roof adhesive

I have a small area (about 7 in × 8 in) on my coach's TPO roof that I need to re-adhere to the wood decking. I know Dicor offers a big can of their roll on adhesive (which I will never use up). What adhesive product is recommended for a small area, safe for a TPO membrane? I know to stay away from petroleum based agents. Just need a few ounces of product.
CJM1973 10/08/19 03:42am Tech Issues
RE: Bunkhouses similar to 272BHS with light hitch weight

Haven't read all the responses but I can give the OP my personal feelings on these Bullets. I own a 308BHS. They are tongue heavy coaches, especially with the big front passthrough, storage under the main bed, kitchen cabinets in front of the the axles, and the fresh water tank in front. As others have pointed out already, dry weights and towing capacities are fictitious numbers promoted by marketing teams to sell coaches. The real specs are GVWR (both trailer and TV), GCVWR, axle ratings, tire ratings, and the achilles heel of any 1/2 ton, payload capacity. We started out with a Yukon XL Denali which had plenty of pulling power. Our 7600# GVR trailer wasn't maxed but it very close. Hitch weight was nearly 1050 lbs. Our trucks payload was just under 1600 lbs. Between the weight of passengers, car seats, a few bags behind the 3rd row, and the WDH (about 100 lbs), we used up all the payload capacity. A couple white knuckle trips that first season had us upgrading to a Hensley Arrow and a more appropriate 3/4 ton tow vehicle by the start of the 2nd season. First rule of thumb for any trailer is always use the GVWR. Don't estimate anything based off how much one may or may not load into the trailer. Assume 15% TW. Don't know if there are kids in the equation but if there are, most like to bring toys, bikes, inflatables, camping gear, books, devices, etc etc. Stuff adds up very quickly. Tools, fishing gear, food, pots, pans, toiletries, bbq's, propane all need to be accounted for. There are 1/2 ton trucks with HD towing and heavy duty payload packages. Unfortunately, the full size SUVs of today aren't optioned with them. A truck's wheelbase is notably longer too, providing for more stability and control. Many of us have joined the "been there, done that" crowd either because we didn't know any better or just took the ill advice of who didn't either. It's an expensive lesson to learn especially as truck prices keep exponentially. Good luck and safe travels.
CJM1973 08/03/19 09:17pm Travel Trailers
RE: Old Milepost travel Planner

I just bought the 2019 version in preparation for our trip next summer, 2020. Didn't want to wait till next year when the next edition is released. I think it's in March when that happens. Hopefully, the '2019 edition will still be current.
CJM1973 07/31/19 12:25am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Towing with GM 1 ton extended passenger van (Savana/Express)

IF I could have gotten a 4wd 3500 extended van, I would have over a crew cab for my family of 6. I towed to the local mountains and used my TT as a ski hut more than I did in the summer months. So 4wd was a must to get thru the upwards of 3-5' of snow it snowed a few times over a weekend, getting stuck at pass as it was closed due to avalanche danger etc...... FOr what you are doing, a G80 rig is as dang near as equal as an open diff 4wd! There are a few things about 4wd that make it nicer, but having had multiple rwd G80 rigs, dang near unstoppable in there own right. I drive a work 9500gvwr vans with 14' boxes, bassically a 15 passenger version. I have a transit now, a Sprinter before. I'd take the sprinter with 5 years and 180+K miles over this POS transit I have now. The shorter wb makes it ride worst IMHO. Put a load in the back, you have many lbs taken off the FA, vs the longer WB of the sprinter was better. I think you will find a GM will ride much like the sprinter did from my standpoint. I would suggest one, but feel the 6.0/6 sp will be a better power/drivetrain than the 200/400 6 cyl diesel in the Sprinter. If you were towing a smaller trailer, say 6-8000 lbs, then yes, but it would be slower than the GM van. Marty That's good to hear about the G80 locker. I've had several tell me that it's a must if driving off the asphalt onto wet soggy turf or mud. Not that we'll be offroading on the van but I can see a scenario enroute to Alaska that we turn off the pavement and boondock on soil. A night rain could mush up the earth a bit and put a damper on the day with an open diff axle. I think these vans are hidden gems if practicality is the main objective.
CJM1973 07/31/19 12:19am Tow Vehicles
RE: Towing with GM 1 ton extended passenger van (Savana/Express)

Never towed with a long tail van but it’s probably not much different than a truck with a long hitch extension? If you are talking about the rear overhang, it’s pretty much exactly the same between the 12 passenger (regular wheelbase) and 15 passenger (long wheelbase). All of the extra length goes into the wheelbase. The Express/Savana will actually ride better loaded than not, that is my experience. The shock upgrade is a must. I also put Belsteins on our van and it rode much better loaded and not. If we weren’t going to be towing for extended times I would deflate the tires a considerable amount. I think I would reduce the rear from 80 to 50 PSI or less. We towed a 7200# gvwr 32’ trailer and the van did great. I don’t think I ever used anything less than 4th gear in the Northern Michigan Hills (Cadillac, Gaylord), so even in the mountains you should have plenty of gears to choose from. There was times the van was actually content towing in 6th gear, which was impressive considering my 2004 3/4 ton Suburban with the 3.73 couldn’t hold speed in 4th. Kind of proves that the 3.42 may actually be the right gear in the van. Good to know. Thanks for your input. From what ive read, the 6th speed tranny helped tremendously over the previous 4 speed. Thas why these vehicles can get away with the higher gearing. The shock thing will be the first mod I do. I've read a dozen different accounts on the benefit of the upgrade. Do you know which Bilstein shock you used? 5100? As far as the rear overhang, the wheelbase does increase by some 20 inches with GMs extended length vans. Ford's older E350s extended the rear cargo but left the axles in the same spot as the shorter 12 passenger vans. Read about instability issues when loaded up on the tail.
CJM1973 07/30/19 08:51pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Towing with GM 1 ton extended passenger van (Savana/Express)

Plus if you buy it right, it may not even cost “a few thousand” in depreciation. Unless you plan on putting on a bunch of miles. Just 10k or so for the trip will be virtually unnoticeable. That's what I was thinking. An alternative to this van was a NV3500 but I can't find them under $30K without high miles. We're looking at about 14K miles total for that trip as we originate from the midwest.
CJM1973 07/30/19 02:37pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Towing with GM 1 ton extended passenger van (Savana/Express)

Not trying to talk you out of your plan, but 145k miles really shouldn’t be a huge concern, especially if you have maintained the truck. If my plan didn't involve upgrading trucks in 1.5 years and if my children didn't grow like weeds, I think I wouldn't even consider it. But the lack of space behind the front seats is a concern for a 14,000 mile trip over 2 months. I think the storage capacity with the rear 2 rows removed (it's a 2-3-3-3-4 config) is the biggest plus. Will be able to bring a few more things with us and keep it all out of the elements. Just be aware that you will then find yourself hauling the Scouts, 4-H, band, drama, kids etc with this vehicle. It will make a great, one-day road trip vehicle to Grand Rapids. 5 couples can go, and you need only one designated driver. That's what I'm afraid of....the DW and I being the designated driver all the time. That’s easily cured. Just be the first one in the group to get snot slingin drunk and whip out the keys and yell “who want to go do some donuts in the parking lot!!” You’ll be absolved of that duty then.... (That’s what I do anyway. Works most of the time!) Sounds like my younger days! lol
CJM1973 07/30/19 02:33pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Towing with GM 1 ton extended passenger van (Savana/Express)

As I have yet to drive any distance in a 1 ton van, how do they ride over the long haul as compared to a 3/4 ton pickup truck? I'm confident the engine and trans will be more than adequate. I'm hoping the chassis and suspension won't be abusing to our bones over 14,000 miles.
CJM1973 07/30/19 06:52am Tow Vehicles
RE: Towing with GM 1 ton extended passenger van (Savana/Express)

Personally, if I were looking to get another truck in a year and half regardless, I'd put a cover/shell on the truck to solve the storage out of the elements problem and keep the existing truck provided it has been maintained well. If you check your local listings, you can probably find a good used one that is relatively inexpensive. If it is in good shape, no real reason it wouldn't make the trip just fine. I hear you but the shell would cost some $$ that I would not ever recover when I sell it, especially on high mileage truck. The more important reason I leaning towards a new tow vehicle is the reliability factor. Water pumps, fuel pumps, oil pumps, and starters are known to have a finite life a I don't want to spoil part of a bucket list vacation over a mechanical failure. Sure, an engine repair could present itself with a new van. But its much less likely. Finally, as stated before, the kids will be a year old next summer. A year older is a year taller/bigger. And, with the dog, it's beginning to become a little tight in the 2nd row. The van eliminates that obstacle. This is a welcomed plus. With the price I'd be buying the van for, even after putting on the miles and based on today's market residuals, resale would be just a few thousand dollars less than my purchase price. These vans are a niche, especially when equipped with to carry 15 passengers and be a "more than adequate" tow vehicle. I doubt I'll have any problem selling it.
CJM1973 07/30/19 06:48am Tow Vehicles
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