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 > Your search for posts made by 'HMS Beagle' found 71 matches.

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RE: Generator start leads

Well, until someone else actually puts a meter on the start leads a similar Onan 2500 LP generator... Got everything back together, started the generator with the meter clamped on one of the start leads. Let it run about 15-20 minutes, then shut it down. Pulled it out, took the first pick, cleared the MAX hold, set it again, and about 15 minutes later, started it again. I'm still quite skeptical of the measurement. Even as a transient. I've measured a few small engine starters with equipment designed to record the transients and never seen anything that high. That meter was not designed to measure rapidly varying currents, and a starter motor, even when cranking at steady state has rapidly varying currents. Here is an example of the voltage and current starting my 1250cc BMW motorcycle (100 HP 4 cylinder). Current varies between about 160 and 60 amps with each compression stroke. Either your meter is wrong or your genset starter is seriously damaged. https://i.imgur.com/vUTQ4g9.jpg
HMS Beagle 10/15/21 06:36pm Truck Campers
RE: Generator start leads

I'm a bit surprised by your measurement of 375A - even momentary - to start a small genset. I wonder if is it an artifact of the sampling rate of the clamp ammeter. A Cummins 5.9L diesel draws only about 300A cranking, motorcycle engines in the 1000 - 1200cc range draw around 150A at stall and 100A cranking. These measured with a 100 KHz amp probe on a 1Ghz recording O'scope. Even if it peaks at 375A for a few milliseconds, that would not heat a thermal fuse enough to blow it. You might try shutting the fuel off or removing the spark wire from the genset, crank for several seconds and see what the starter really draws. 375A @ 12V = about 6 HP!
HMS Beagle 10/13/21 09:45am Truck Campers
RE: Putting some glide in the rideā€¦.

Good aftermarket shocks can help, but the only way to substantially affect the ride is to swap out the springs for air suspension. Air bag assists in some cases make the ride worse, as due to the very limited height of the bag it makes the effective spring rate stiffer.
HMS Beagle 10/10/21 09:23am Truck Campers
RE: Extended warranty experiences

The "extended warrantee" is definitely a for profit business, but much different than selling the truck or camper. There is many times the profit in selling the warrantee than in selling the truck. Many dealerships are happy to give you the truck at their true cost if you will just buy the warrantee. The proof of this is in how diligently and forcefully the sales people pursue the warrantee sale. Also, there are extended warrantees offered by the manufacturer and those offered by a third party. While both are overpriced, the 3rd party ones make it their business not to pay claims - after all, claims come right out of their bottom line. It is a little different for the manufacturer, as they have a brand and a customer to protect. I've bought only two 3rd party warrantees on products, both proved to be worthless when needed. Finally, if you pay the retail price for these you are paying 2x or 3x too much. For automobiles, the exact same manufacturers warrantee is often available from a different dealership for far less. I rarely buy these, but the repair costs on a new diesel truck where even small problems can result in a "cab off" repair are a consideration, so I bought the longest one offered. After negotiating with the dealer who sold me the truck, I got it down to around $5K. But I walked and purchased the same Ford warrantee from a dealer 3000 miles away for $1800. I'm sure they made money on it.
HMS Beagle 10/09/21 09:42am Truck Campers
RE: $135k for a very basic camper?

They are building these one off, basically a custom unit. If the quality of construction is decent, then the price is about what you are going to have to pay for the hours put in. Plan is not my cup to tea, but: If you are going to pay custom built prices, why not have one built the way you want it? The answer is that the people buying these have neither the imagination nor the experience to do so. Yeah that is a broad brush but I think generally the case. Campers do not lend themselves very well to mass production, or one might get decent quality for a reasonable price. They compete primarily on price, so the road to a competitive unit is to reduce the build cost, and that means cheaper materials and mainly, cheaper labor. The result is predicable and can be seen on any RV lot. So Kudos to them for finding a market for something different, but for $100K + I can have exactly what I want, built exactly how I want it. And the Loki isn't it.
HMS Beagle 10/03/21 07:44pm Truck Campers
RE: Solar install question

If the camper is pre-wired for solar the hard work is done. The arrays themselves are at most $2/watt, good mounts are $20-40 for each panel. I've found 200 watts to be more than enough for continuous living, in the sunny west. Not sunny or a lot of time in the shade, then more. The controller is anywhere from $50 for a cheap one - not really the place you want to save money - to $200 for one of the best. Most anyone can accomplish the install, but if you hire it out it the cost. will depend on the honesty and diligence of the installer.
HMS Beagle 09/17/21 06:33pm Truck Campers
RE: 2003 Bigfoot 10.5E Project

I had one of the front clearance lights leak, fortunately a lot so I caught it right away. The hole for the wiring was large and offset high, so only a tiny sliver of butyl sealing it. I've had one of the vents, the shower skylight, and fridge vent leak too, resealed them. I've also looked at replacing the Bigfoot with a custom that I would build myself, I'm thinking the budget for that is somewhere around $80-100K plus a year's work or so, probably not happening. Even then, you are stuck with RV appliances, windows, hatches, etc. which are built to a very competitive price and show it. Perfection is hard to achieve.
HMS Beagle 09/13/21 04:35pm Truck Campers
RE: 2003 Bigfoot 10.5E Project

Yeah, unfortunately it is a fiberglass camper with a lot of wood in it. The fiberglass shell would be a lot more waterproof if they didn't put in overtime drilling holes in it. The one I ordered from the factory I told them not to put anything on the roof - ladder, racks, antennas, awnings etc. - all of which add maybe 100 holes and potential leaks. Even the hatches and vents can be installed without screws, as have done with any I have resealed. Some joints, like the jack mounts or hand rail mount get worked a lot, you just have to pay attention to them and reseal when necessary.
HMS Beagle 09/11/21 01:48pm Truck Campers
RE: 2003 Bigfoot 10.5E Project

Glad you were able to work through all the problems! A big undertaking, but I think you will enjoy the camper. It is too bad that Bigfoot doesn't go that extra 5% in some of the problem areas. To be fair I think they have improved (for example, my 2008 camper already had SS screws on all exterior uses) but they still have room for improvement. And as I have said in the past, though the construction quality of Bigfoot sucks, it sucks a lot less than most other brands.
HMS Beagle 09/11/21 09:09am Truck Campers
RE: Propane gas lines that screw to the Tanks...

If you are concerned about the plastic nut, get some hoses with the older style external (left handed) thread. These are all brass.
HMS Beagle 09/04/21 09:55am Truck Campers
RE: Anyone with 12v Air Conditioning Experience?

Not sure I'd build a camper with a 24V system. On the boat there are many high current devices (AC, watermaker, 3 winches, windlass, inverter) so a lot of big cable. With 24V you get half the current and can withstand twice the voltage drop, so the difference in cable size is quite large. I'm curious HMS Beagle where you keep your boat up in the North Bay? My folks have a 47' Gulfstar Sail Master in Sausilito that they stay on 50% of the time. When I was in college at San Jose State I used to drive up there on a regular basis to visit. I'm now in Gilroy so I can't get up there that often but still try to visit on occasion. My dad is an active sailor (was a Merchant Marine for 30 years before retiring and buying the sailboat) and loves taking his boat out. He's also been sailing in the Master Mariners Regatta. Guessing you might be involved in some of the same circle of people as my Dad. The sailboat is now in Brickyard Cove at Pt. Richmond. It took us about 12 years to get there from Toronto where it was launched. I'm not tied into the local crowd that much, as I don't race or belong to a yacht club. I also keep a small trawler up in the PNW - had the sailboat there for 4 seasons but there is no wind there so I sailed it home. A lifetime of boat ownership has gained me a lot of experience in DC systems!
HMS Beagle 08/31/21 05:59pm Truck Campers
RE: Anyone with 12v Air Conditioning Experience?

Not sure I'd build a camper with a 24V system. On the boat there are many high current devices (AC, watermaker, 3 winches, windlass, inverter) so a lot of big cable. With 24V you get half the current and can withstand twice the voltage drop, so the difference in cable size is quite large.
HMS Beagle 08/31/21 09:32am Truck Campers
RE: Anyone with 12v Air Conditioning Experience?

Also why my boat was wired 24V for everything that possibly could be. I probably saved 300 lbs in wire just from that.
HMS Beagle 08/30/21 07:17pm Truck Campers
RE: Anyone with 12v Air Conditioning Experience?

I think the Chinese codes are suspect. 8 ga AWG wire has 0.62 ohms/1000 ft. if of good quality. 18" of wire therefore has only 0.0009 ohms which doesn't sound like much. At 400A that is still only 0.37V drop which also doesn't sound like much. But it will dissipate 149 watts which sounds like one hellava lot! In fact it will do that for only a very short few seconds before the insulation melts and it is red hot. Wires are often sized for voltage drop, as apparently here, but there are also ampacity specs based on insulation temperature ratings, and #8 is typically 80 amps unless a very special high temp insulation - but never 400 amps! So based on voltage drop of 3% - a typical metric for battery powered systems, #8 is fine because the run is so short, but based on ampacity you need at least 3/0, which is independent of run length.
HMS Beagle 08/30/21 03:50pm Truck Campers
RE: Anyone with 12v Air Conditioning Experience?

You'll need a very hefty set of cables to get 120 amps all the way up to the roof. The Dometic 2000 uses about 40A max, so still big cables but certainly manageable. #6 would be enough.
HMS Beagle 08/29/21 09:00am Truck Campers
RE: Anyone with 12v Air Conditioning Experience?

Here is an interesting test. Granted, it was done in ideal conditions but still quite impressive. The 100ah Victron LiFePo4 battery lasted for 2 hours and 40 minutes. They are supposedly going to do an outdoor test tomorrow. https://youtu.be/2LL7lE4wXvs Interesting test, even if they presenter is completely clueless on just about every aspect of it. Since it was in a closed room with the thermostat set below ambient, it would have run the whole time without cycling (and would be heating the room a bit). I doubt it would use much more outside in hot temps, the high side pressure will increase just a bit. If you added 400 watts of solar you could keep it going pretty much as long as the sun shines.
HMS Beagle 08/28/21 09:17am Truck Campers
RE: Dually swing out Jack not locking into position?

WD40 will ge gone in a couple of weeks. If you have it apart, clean it up and grease it with some heavy grease.
HMS Beagle 08/26/21 01:54pm Truck Campers
RE: What is your overall length with TC?

24' Ford F350 supercab 8' bed Bigfoot 10.4. Another 2.5 with the motorcycle on the front.
HMS Beagle 08/26/21 09:08am Truck Campers
RE: Do pass-through windows leak?

Bigfoot 10.4, made the pass through boot out of foam (no covering even) and never leaked.
HMS Beagle 08/25/21 09:48am Truck Campers
RE: Anyone with 12v Air Conditioning Experience?

Why not the Dometic RTX 2000? It is one large less than the Nomadic. Less current draw, less cooling too but probably enough for N. Ca. at 7K BTU. As far as the cost goes, if you don't already have a large capacity inverter (and it has to have enough surge capacity to start an AC compressor) then that gets added to the cost of the install. I've seen mini splits on RVs, but I've yet to see one that didn't look like the guy forgot and left his Walmart shopping on the bumper. The mini split market is homes, they take no pains to make it compact.
HMS Beagle 08/16/21 02:38pm Truck Campers
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