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 > Your search for posts made by 'Matt_Colie' found 253 matches.

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  Subject Author Date Posted Forum
RE: Battery

Ron, Without knowing what the converter is, this question cannot get an accurate answer. While disconnecting is safe in the short term, the bank will still self-discharge at some rate that is greater for older jars. No matter how short you expect your absence to be, it can happen that it is longer. I one time did a full winterize of a client's boat and was not called back to put it back in service for three years. Matt
Matt_Colie 11/17/19 07:38am Tech Issues
RE: 20 year old hoses

Roland, The coach is old and very nice, it has been stored inside and all, but let me tell you about the space suit problem.... After the Mercury and Gemini programs, the suits were obsoleted. So, NASA offered them to museums with the case that they be kept in controlled cabinets. They were, but a couple of years ago, conservators and curators saw that they were coming apart and panicked. They believed that their "controlled atmosphere" just might not be. It was not that. Investigation revealed that the adhesives that they used were aging out. There was nothing that could be done. It turns out to be the case with most all elastomers (rubber stuff). If just ages out without any help from the outside at all. This is true of lots of stuff like tires and belts and brake hoses and window seals. Trust me, with a coach the age of mine, it has taken a toll. Matt
Matt_Colie 11/14/19 06:24pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Do you think a front cargo rack is too dangerous?

Naio, As another engineer, I can tell you why he was concerned. We are educated to always envision a worst case. Let me tell you, with the geniuses that are out there, this is not a bad assumption. The fact is that unless you load that front box with bowling balls, it will not be all that heavy, and I bet you have had it over a scale too. Locking in to the frame like NRALIFR is also a very good idea as that will prevent it from initiating and unstable situation. Thinking can prevent many problems. Matt
Matt_Colie 11/14/19 06:09pm Tech Issues
RE: Alternator

I have an insulated(from underhood air/windflow) temp sensor on the alternator casing/stator of my externally regulated alternator, and I spin a potentiometer on the dashboard to control that regulator's maximum allowed voltage which of course controls the field current and ultimately alternator amperage output. At 65mph, with alternator maxed out in the 120 amp range, the stator will not exceed 140f. I added more insulation to protect thermocouple from airflow, as I found this number to be too low, yet it remained nearly exactly the same. At hot Idle, with ~50 amp maximum output, stator temperature will climb to over 200F in about 4 minutes and likely keep rising, but I lower the voltage, thus amperage into the well depleted battery, or shut off the engine as I do not like Idling excessively for any reason, not even testing. Obviously rectifier temperature will be different, as will each vehicle at different speeds and alternator outputs. the point is heat does kill, and idling at maxoutput makes much more heat than at highway speeds. On My vehicle, speeds under 25mph a yield little difference in temperature, than Idling parked. The voltage regulator seeking to bring system voltage to 14.7v is asking the alternator which is charging depleted batteries,to work much harder for much longer than simply maintaining 13.6v. I spin a dial on my dash and can watch voltage and amperage change in accordance with my wishes. My observations usually irritate people who have an incomplete understanding of the relationship between voltage and amperage when charging batteries. It's sad, yet amusing, that such people give advice and present themselves as authorities. I'm referring to people on Automotive based forums, not necessarily this one, so nobody get their panties all bunched up someplace unpleasant. Land, The alternator temperature sounds like an interesting instrument to have. I have to think about that more. I had some interesting times that you would understand. The coach has a main engine that is a 455 and an 80 amp rated Delco 27SI alternator. The original house bank was very near to the main engine, but it was originally a Grp 27. Later a grp31 and finally a 4D when I purchased it. After any cold night on our own, the belt would squeal for a minute or more and they never lasted very long and were a bear to change. From the electric upgrades that I used to do for performance cruisers, I knew that the functional limit for a single automotive V belt was about 100 amp, but hey, it's only an 80amp machine.... Finally, after replacing the belt again, I did an experiment. I got out my current probe and meter and set the display where I could see it and fired up the main engine. The current to the house bank was 95amps! That didn't include that for the main engine battery. No F~king wonder I was cooking belts. Even tough the 27SI is remote sensing, there is no easy way to make in back off. If it was a Balmar with a programmable regulator, that would be easy. I did consider that, but that kit would be about 600$us (then). A new belt routing, pair of new belts and a double sheave was a whole lot less. I now have a real battery monitor (I didn't then) and that is good because I wouldn't want to leave the current probe and meter in the rig. And yes, when I do the cold start after a cold night boondocking, it gets up there. The belts now last and the house bank has been a pair of T105s (GC2s) for a while. Those are WAY easier to manage than a single 4D. I still might consider putting a thermocouple in the alternator. But I don't know what I could do if I did not like what I saw. Matt
Matt_Colie 11/14/19 05:49pm Tech Issues
RE: Loss of 12v power when shore power is disconnected

David, Your scenario describes so many possible failures that nobody reading will be able to do more than maybe tell you where to start. The fact that you loose 12V system when not AC powered means that the house bank has a problem like a bad connection. The house battery bank should never be 18 volts. The most converter fans do not run full time, only as required. The fast voltage loss when loaded by the inverter says that the pair(?) of GC2s are not charged to full density. You changed out the house bank? Are you sure you got it all put back together correctly? If you can start the APU and run the jacks, then the house bank can't be that dead. Can you get a real schematic from Forest River? Do you have a buddy that is juice smart? Offer to buy him dinner if he brings his meter. Matt
Matt_Colie 11/13/19 10:44am Tech Issues
RE: Alternator

Frank, I just have to ask why you care? If you are hoping to use it to recover the battery in a TT or other, this is usually a lost cause because of the required cable length and weight. If you hope to use it to supply power when stationary, that is an all around bad idea for so many reasons. Matt
Matt_Colie 11/13/19 10:06am Tech Issues
RE: 2020 planning

Doug, I'm a planner too. Right now I am putting together getting to Patterson LA in the spring and Rapid City SD for the fall rallies and then what comes between?? I am going to suggest that you look at picking up Skyline Drive in Front Royal VA and run that to the Blue Ridge Parkway. This will take some planning as there are some low clearance tunnels on the BRP. I don't remember them because I only need 9' to be good. BRP will end in Cherokee NC. From there, it is about a full day (~300 road miles) to the head of the Natchez Trace. You can take that to Natchez(Duh?) and have a stop along the way to tour Vicksburg. There really is an historical marked about every other mile along the Trace. You need to find the book. From Natchez you can do a river crawl as far south as you like and then head back along the gulf coast. I can't even remember all the museums, but Mobile and Pensacola Naval Air are a given. There is enough else to do between there and Maryland that I am sure that you can find something to do on the backhaul. Matt
Matt_Colie 11/11/19 07:25pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Club Memberships

You already have some good information, but nobody answered you about Harvest Hosts. They, like some others, promise only a flat place. It may be a vineyard, a farm, a museum (and now golf courses not with my membership). I still think it is worth the price. You may feel like you need to buy something from the host (at a vineyard?) but that is not in the contract. Are you sure you want to go real boondocking? That means that the only thing available is a sort of flat place and fresh air. There are lots of resources, take your time to find them and talk to others. Matt
Matt_Colie 11/11/19 06:10pm Beginning RVing
RE: first bike ride today with my new 1x12 mountain bike

Have you seen the pictures of the new chainless shifter? I do not believe that it is in production, and I will wait to see how well it works out in real life? Matt
Matt_Colie 11/07/19 06:44am Around the Campfire
RE: Tow Vehicle Battery and Alternator

Thanks for all the insight first. Details I hadn't mentioned: {SNIP} 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. CJM, You are doing this correctly, thinking is THE MOST cost effective thing to do right now. I do not know about the ALCAN, but most places that do not offer shore power will tolerate a generator outside of posted quiet times. I have done installations with 2eaGC2s for a microwave and they all worked. If yours won't, then check the supply voltage at the inverter when under load. If it is low, either move it closer to the house bank or buy more copper. I had to use welding cable. It did work and pretty well. Asking the GC2s for 150 amps is a little tough, but most will do it. The good thing is she is not baking a casserole. The good thing about copper is that you only have to buy it once. Welding cable is good for this because it is so flexible. Best of luck Matt
Matt_Colie 11/06/19 08:19am 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.
Matt_Colie 11/05/19 09:03am Tech Issues
RE: Home Storage

Another Michigan here, and I am surprised that nobody else has said this. What will happen if the power goes out for a day or two? Yes, do a very complete winterize and be sure about the flush water valve in the toilet. They freeze easily and both a pain and expensive to replace. Matt - next to DTW
Matt_Colie 11/03/19 07:14am Beginning RVing
RE: Sewer drain is lower than the dump drain.

This is a problem that all owners of coaches like mine face. (once 12K+ now only about 9K after 40+ years) Many have installed macerator pumps and dealt with the reliability that is way lower than gravity. I thought about carrying a portable macerator of some kind, but without any external storage, I would not know where to keep it. Most of the better campgrounds have the dump at grade, so they are no problem. If we are at a campground (we rarely are) and they have the pipe sticks up, I look for another slip to go to. In short, I don't have any good answer for you. Matt
Matt_Colie 11/02/19 10:20am General RVing Issues
RE: A Very Quiet Halloween

During last nights weather, the lady scored today for a 1 out of 5. I think she was being optimistic. It is 38° an raining. Even the dogs don't want to go out, but pressures will build and they will have to before bed time. We have no local kids to come by, and the Truck or Treats are due for tomorrow evening at a lot in our town. Neither of us are interested. Matt
Matt_Colie 10/31/19 06:36pm Around the Campfire
RE: manual

BP, As a Class B is basically a camper built inside a van shell, the dome lights may OR may not be OE. That much is just a crapshoot. If you can get that manual, it may indicate where the wiring is/was supposed to run. Don't count on it. If it is shorted, it is blowing fuses. If this is true, I suggest that you connect test leads to a light bulb and watch it as you take apart every bit of the system you can fine. When that light goes out, you located the problem. I had an issue like this that an owner asked me to look at. The above method was no help at all. So, I got out a wire tracker that puts a signal on the wire and you follow it with a hand held receiver. First I tracked from the power end and put a piece of tape where I lost the signal. Then the same from the nearest fixure.... Between those two was a hook that someone had screwed in. When it was removed, so was the short. They had nailed the wire. Matt
Matt_Colie 10/28/19 02:09pm Beginning RVing
RE: Need your thoughts

Suprz, It might just need a spark plug or the carburetor cleaned. Find a local small engine shop and get them to look at it. Onan engines are used all over the place, and the can probably supply aftermarket parts that Mr. Cummins is not so proud of. Matt
Matt_Colie 10/25/19 01:23pm Tech Issues
RE: dometic thermo prob

Aurcor, If you cut through the "RJ" cable with a single cut, it is almost certain that you blew a fuse back in the unit. Matt
Matt_Colie 10/23/19 08:56am Tech Issues
RE: Truckers Atlas ~ Best ~ most preferred

~~ Thanks ~~ REALLY MISS my Streets & Trips AND all my other OBSOLETE soft ware. Why do they mess up the good stuff ?? Yeah I still have S&T 2012 installed on my computer, but don't use it much anymore. We generally use Street Atlas 2015 but I like the navigation on S&T better. You can import data from RVTW into SA with a little fiddling and also you can send it to googlemaps and excel among others. As for why did the become extinct? People stoped buying it preferring to squint at their 5 inch phone screens instead of the 15 or 18 inch notebook screen. I've had people see the notebook open in the truck with the nav screen up and they are amazed that you can do that. Heh. I had such great hope when I heard that Garmin bought Delorme.... SMASH - - - - I was actually talking to Garmin guy about a defective device, and he said that they think "Base Camp" is as good. I asked if he had used both and laughed as I hung up..... Matt
Matt_Colie 10/13/19 04:22pm Roads and Routes
RE: House Batteries are fully charged but acts like they are not

Dow12, What you are seeing is classic for a bad terminal . The best way I know of to find this is with a test light. This would be a very small (low drain/current) bulb with two wire leads. Attach one to the battery terminal and then walk the other away from then bank until it glows. You problem can easily be as much in the positive side as the negative. Just leave the house lights on until they go dim and then start searching. Best of Luck and good hunting. Matt
Matt_Colie 10/13/19 04:17pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: RULER reading???

I do a lot of metal work. Those pins are usually undersize buy just a little. I would drill the 5/8 and give it a try. In AZ rust won't be an issue, so go tight and it will rattle less. Matt
Matt_Colie 10/12/19 09:08am Tech Issues
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