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 > Your search for posts made by 'Microlite Mike' found 57 matches.

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RE: Where have all the members gone on this forum?

IMO, overly aggressive and poor moderation are tops for killing forum participation. Sure there will always be some argumentative and opinionated participants but that well meaning moderation/censorship is worse and can kill a forum. Couldn't agree more and I've watched "over-moderation" kill off some really great forums. On some it seems like the "moderators" have formed their own clique and if you don't agree with them you can't join. Kind of like High School.
Microlite Mike 07/03/22 10:54am General RVing Issues
RE: Why do I need a W/D or sway control

A Weight Distribution Hitch may be required in order to meet the load ratings of for the receiver attached to the tow vehicle's frame. Look at the receiver and note the load ratings on the labels. Usually two ratings, one without WDH and one With. Without is often far lower than With. As for sway control, proper loading and tire pressures (on both trailer AND Tow Vehicle are often the best methods of sway control. A Friction type sway control is all I use on my 6300# trailer and sometimes I even leave it off with no sway issues.
Microlite Mike 07/03/22 10:19am Towing
RE: More on LFP Charging

My EVE LF280N cells are rated at 3500 cycles from full charge to 2.5 volt cut off and that is at 1.C in a compression fixture. I am not to worried about charging them up to 100% SOC and using the full capacity. From what I understand if you draw your battery down 20% and then charge it back to 100% that is only 20% of a battery cycle. At 3500 cycles I think for most users they will age out before cycling out, I think there are many more factors that will affect cell life more than using the manufacturer stated capacity. https://i.imgur.com/QOUDoyyl.jpg The bold part is something to really consider with LifePo4 batteries. I think too many people who have converted to LiFePo4 batteries from Lead/Acid chemistries are still hung up on a lot of the "rules" that applied to them. I'm pretty sure that 10-15 years from now my batteries will me a lot more alive than me.:B As for discharging to 100%, my deepest discharge in 4 seasons was 81% (2x 100ah Battleborns). To me that says my battery bank is "right sized". If one is regularly seeing 100% DOD then I'd suggest adding more solar, running generator more often, or reduce power use if possible. That can come at an inopportune time. Best to always have some "cushion", not for the sake of the batteries but for my personal comfort.
Microlite Mike 07/01/22 06:03pm Tech Issues
RE: Fuel cost in your area

Just paid this 1 hour ago ... regular...4.29 at my closest local gazz station diesel...5.12 at the same station. red diesel....4.79 at same station. gasbuddy was off 10 cents to 37 cents in said station. Poor big oil companies and especially their CEOs must have it bad now. They certainly had it bad in 2020. In 2021, Exxon Mobil made a record profit of $23 billion. But the profits gained came after it lost $22.4 billion in 2020 because of the pandemic. https://www.newsnationnow.com/business/at-a-glance-oil-companies-see-record-profits-in-2021/ Another factor is the possibility of shortages as Oil Companies are pressured by Shareholders (If you have a 401K it's possible "you are one of them") to pass on profits rather than investing in drilling and more production. Gas prices around me have dropped slightly but if demand keeps rising, and no more production comes to market, as the old saying goes "We ain't seen nuthin yet". Want to get a real shock? Check out these predictions: (Warning- Be sure you are wearing your Depends before reading the price projections starting 3 years from now. There's a good reason Gas Stations are now changing their pumps so they can show more than $9.999/gallon prices.) https://priceprediction.net/en/price-prediction/gas All I can say is that at least one of my vehicles is a Plug-in Hybrid and my annual gas purchases for it have averaged <5 gallons per year since I bought it. Sadly, it can't tow my trailer but at least I can save up enough to buy gas for a few local camping trips a year when prices hit 2025 projections.
Microlite Mike 07/01/22 05:33pm General RVing Issues
RE: Camping Safety

Gangs are not driving into Yellowstone commiting drive by shootings against each other, so the risk of a stray bullet hitting a camper is negligable. Someone stopping overnight in a Walmart parking lot in a bad neighborhood is putting themselves at risk - just like 40 years ago - is the risk greater? Possibly. But the risk was big enough then to stop people from doing it. Like everything else in life, common sense goes a long way. I believe the risk is greater today due to the paradigm shift in law enforcement and prosecution of offenders. Criminals are more emboldened due to the lack of consequences. Times have really changed in my almost 8 decades.
Microlite Mike 06/30/22 08:25pm RV Lifestyle
RE: Camping Safety

We've been doing this for a long time and I think you just have to use common sense and not expose yourself to potential dangerous situations. I do not stay at rest stops, Walmarts or places that might not be safe. I also always have the ability to protect myself if I need to. Those that don't have a means to protect themselves sadly often become victims. If worried about safety where you camp then only camp in safe areas --------- like RV Campgrounds with security cameras etc. I prefer to boondock and am prepared to provide my own security from "man or beast".
Microlite Mike 06/30/22 08:22pm RV Lifestyle
RE: Can trailer tires be patched?

I've had a lot of tire plugs in my life. My local mechanic says that the insurance won't let him use them anymore. Too bad. Then the right circumstance they would work fine. But, the picture of the tire with the big bolt in it is not something I would do. It's to big of a hole. A nail is fine but, a bolt is to large of a hole for me to feel good about it. To each their own. Have a nice day. Plugs are probably OK in ATV and other off road vehicles where the tires are sometimes impossible to dismount unless you have special equipment, even in a tire shop. For a highway tire at the speeds driven, with weights carried, they are just a liability waiting to bite one in the posterior. Even retreads have almost totally disappeared from auto and light truck use due to the high failure rate. Commercial tires are often built with retreading/re-grooving planned in their future and the tire "carcass" is a lot stronger.
Microlite Mike 06/30/22 08:12pm Travel Trailers
RE: Can trailer tires be patched?

In the early days working at a gas station we used rubber plugs, then they came out with a mushroom plug you put in a device that inserted it into the tire. Kind of like what they use today with the exception of dismounting the tire and installing it from the inside. The rag type came into play and shown good results. For every story there will be someone that had a failure, my guess is the successful plug repair outnumbers the failures. HAven't seen any accident reports with the headlines "plugged tire grenades and kills many..." So...for those old schoolers that grew up scraping' and savin' and doing whatever it took continue with what you know works. for the others..... ... saying a driver would be fired on the spot caught with a tire plug kit..:R Those old rubber plugs (that looked more like a rivet) were nothing like what tires are repaired with today. There was nothing holding them in place other than air pressure on the inside and also nothing to actually keep air from migrating into the tire's cord body and cause separations. Today's "Plug Patch" Combination units have the pre-cured rubber coated with a chemical vulcanized compound that hot only holds the patch unit in place but forms a barrier to air attempting to infiltrate the cord body. Tire manufacturers and tire chains that offered warranties started to exclude any tire repaired with a plug from warranty consideration. All based on testing by the tire industry's association testing and data gathering. Ever since the Firestone 500/Ford Explorer fiasco tire companies became far more risk averse than they were prior to that. As for firing a driver because they carry a plug kit, the story related is a perfect example of why. Rather than waiting for a proper repair, the driver decided he knew better and ended up destroying a tire that could cost the owner up to $600 or more.
Microlite Mike 06/30/22 08:00pm Travel Trailers
RE: What size generator to run AC??

Additionally, you get nailed on the price of propane in small portable cylinders since in small cylinders they sell it by the pounds. I haven't purchased Propane in my travels (West of Rockies mostly) where my "portable" tanks were filled by weight. The person filling just connected hose to tank, pumped in propane, then gave me a ticket with meter reading written on it for cashier. Truck Stops, Propane Distributors, Campgrounds, Gas Stations, and even places like Tractor Supply and Convenience Stores, all BY THE GALLON. In my State any scale used for "Commerce" has to be tested and certified by our State Dept of Agriculture weights and measures division. The meters are easier for them to test, certify, and seal, than a scale which could be "altered" once the inspector's vehicle is out of sight. I also haven't had to remove my tanks from the tongue of my Trailer for decades. I stop my Trailer where it can be reached by the hose and they're filled in place. As for my 3500W Inverter Dual Fuel, I run propane when I need the A/C overnight. I get 6-7 hours on a tank of gasoline with A/C running and I can get twice that from a 20# tank of propane (which I carry two of in my truck). For me it's a matter of not having to interrupt my sleep to tend to the generator's fuel when it's hot and muggy all night.
Microlite Mike 06/29/22 05:17pm Travel Trailers
RE: More on LFP Charging

One needs to realize that while there are hundreds of manufacturers (if not hundreds, it certainly seems like it) there are really only two "Types" of LiFePo4 batteries widely used in RV's. One is based on "Prismatic" cells which are rectangular cells connected in series and "Cylindrical" cells which as their name implies, built from numerous cylindrical cells connected in series/parallel configuration. C-Rate can be influenced greatly in the above types by their ability to dissipate heat during charging. Battleborn uses Cylindrical cells, others use Prismatic. Instructions for one type may not be appropriate for another type. Since I have Battleborn batteries (2x 100ah) I charge at the max output of my PD9160L Converter (57 amp avg) until charge current drops to <0.3 amp and shut off converter (I use the shutoff module PD sells for their 9100 series charger with TCMS "port"). Since most of the time I boondock and use my solar panels with Victron Smart MPPT controller, it charges to 14.4 volts then drops to 13.5 volts after an adaptive absorption charge (@14.4v). Controller decides how long the absorption charge needs to last based on DOD and it's calculated need for cell balance. Some absorption times can run up to an hour and some as little as 2 minutes, all depending on DOD. I think that since LiFePo4 batteries are relatively new, and a total change from what we've all been used to with the 150 year old Lead/Acid tech, many think they're fragile and need to be babied. I think that in reality they're a lot more durable than people believe and the quality batteries have a quality BMS that takes most of the worry out of the equation. I charge mine then go camping. They get charged daily as needed (solar of generator) and when not camping I recharge when I get home then shut batteries off. Switch on charging while preparing for next trip and they charge from my Tow Vehicle via a DC-DC charger. No more worry about corrosion, sulfation, low electrolyte levels, and since they're mounted inside they don't get cold when camping and needing recharging (no need to charge while in storage). Battleborn's are in their 4th season and I wouldn't be surprised to see them still going strong when my time on this planet is up. I also own a Plug-In Hybrid (Volt) and it just stays plugged in when I'm not driving it. It's on it's 6th year and battery capacity shows no measurable loss of capacity yet.
Microlite Mike 06/28/22 08:31pm Tech Issues
RE: Can trailer tires be patched?

First trip out in our last camper we picked up a 1/2 inch bolt. Discount patched it up and it worked fine. https://i.imgur.com/fQj6H5Al.jpg FWIW, if the hole was greater than 1/4" then the "repair" was not in accordance with Industry Standards for a highway tire. Under some exceptions, repairs can be made on punctures up to 3/8" ( LT Steel Cord Body) tires. Of all the tire stores out there, Discount Tire has had the reputation of playing fast and loose with tire repair guidelines. For years they use "rope type" tire plugs from the outside for almost all there puncture repairs. Here's a link to the Tire Industry Association and their guide for PROPER tire repair: Tire Repair/Tire Industry Association
Microlite Mike 06/28/22 07:51pm Travel Trailers
RE: Can trailer tires be patched?

A gentleman who spent 40 years with a major tire manufacturer told me that they can be patched (not plugged) - but, for safety, it reduces the load rating by one letter; e.g., if it's a load range E tire, patched it becomes a load range D tire. Rob I think I would need to know what positions that gentleman had in the tire industry. Lifetime I have used a lot of tires though few where ST. I have never reduced the load I carried because of patch. If the tire got a hole in the first tread I would plug from inside then patch. When due for 2nd re-cap I would trade the patched carcass let somebody else take the chance. Tire engineer/designer. He sure knew his chemistry, too. Rob It's generally accepted that a tire can be repaired as long as the puncture is not in the shoulder or sidewall area. Ideally with a "Stem Repair" NOT PLUG. The stem's are cured rubber coated with a chemical vulcanizing material that will bond with the tire. Stem, once placed in hole is then cut off flush with the inside liner and covered with a patch. Many times, if hole is straight through tread, the shop will use a Stem/Patch combination repair where both are in a single unit and can be installed in a single operation. A repair like this will restore the tire to it's original load rating but NOT SPEED RATING. It's recommended by all tire Mfr's that a repaired tire be downrated one SPEED rating, not load rating. A proper repair on any tire, car, Light Truck, Semi, or ST trailer tire will last for the remaining life of the tire. FWIW, I spend 17 years of my career teaching proper tire repair to employees of a 500+ store tire "chain". We used the training and materials of Tech Inc. a large tire repair material manufacturer.
Microlite Mike 06/28/22 07:42pm Travel Trailers
RE: Harbor Freight Predator 3500

Has anyone been able to obtain parts for the HF Predator 3500 inverter generator (or one of its related cousins)? About 3-4 years ago was surprised to learn HF didn't sell any parts for it. All they offered was the optional one-time replacement warranty. All or nothing. From all accounts this appears to be an excellent generator for the money. However, it wouldn't be fun to have a $800 boat anchor all because you couldn't obtain a $5 part. I would rather have a $800 "boat anchor" than having a $1600 plus Honda that would cost well over $800 to repair.. Not sure you will find a Honda brand part for $5, perhaps you might get a Honda branded spark plug but I suspect even that would cost $20.. Not that bad for Honda OEM parts. They sell a $3 NGK spark plug (OEM for their generators) for only $6. The HF Predator has a lot of followers and has been pretty reliable from what I've heard. For me, I prefer Champion for a couple reasons. First off, Champion provides far better Customer Service on their products with a network of service providers and parts stocked in the USA (no having to wait 3 months for China Post to deliver). Second is I don't have to deal with Harbor Freight. But the reality is even that cheaper $800 gen can often be "repaired" using generic Honda knock off parts which fit Hondas also.. Heck you can buy new Honda clone carbs for $15 and they do work as good as the Honda branded carb..
Microlite Mike 06/24/22 10:41am Tech Issues
RE: Converter voltage drop

By the time the charger gets the battery to 14.4 volts, amps will have tapered down so there will be little voltage drop. Standard PD converters do 14.4 not 14.6, so you want a standard PD converter (NOT their LFP model!!!) in the 45 amp range. Make sure it has the Charge Wizard or built in version of that so you can pick and choose between 14.4 and 13.6 yourself. It is a good idea to have a battery monitor so you can see amps as well as voltage and see AH count so you know where you are at, and not hit the 13.6 button too soon. I have a Renogy 500A one that does the job nicely and is not expensive, eg. It seems there is no one correct 14.6v that applies to all LFPs, so you are right to look carefully. It is like "AGM" voltage settings that are lower than for Flooded batts--except there are AGMs that specify 14.7v for charging. However, if Battleborn says to use 14.6 on theirs, I don't know why anybody would choose not to if they have BB LFPs, and use 14.X instead. Up to the individual LFP owner I guess. LiFePo4 batteries need >14 volts at the end of their charge cycle to assure proper cell balance. Whether 14.2, 14.4, or 14.6 really doesn't matter much and their BMS will actually shut off charging current when the voltage exceeds the manufacture's setting (14.7v on my Battleborn's). If one is boondocking and cycling the batteries regularly a converter that delivers a fixed voltage from 14.4-14.6 v will charge quickly, depending on battery bank capacity and output rating of converter. Once charged the generator is usually shut down and the battery starts another cycle. No harm done to batteries with the "fixed voltage" as the battery isn't held at this high voltage for an extended period (measured in weeks and months, not hours or days). When tied to shore power the recommendation is to just charge batteries to 100% and disconnect batteries, running only on Converter output which was sized by the manufacturer to run all 12v items without the need for a battery. If connected to shore power for months and months, Battleborn recommends to just switch batteries back online a recharge every 6 months. If one has a converter that won't deliver >14 volts long enough to top balance the cells of a LiFePo4 battery, one economical solution is to purchase a battery maintainer that has "Lithium" capability. A NOCO Genius 2 amp smart charger is only $49 on Amazon and can be directly connected to the battery when running the generator or connected to shore power for topping off and cell balancing. Don't even need to shut off the converter as once the battery voltage reaches the max of the converter, the converter will essentially stop delivering current to the battery. The "maintainer will take over until it's max voltage is reached when cells are balanced and battery is fully charged.
Microlite Mike 06/24/22 10:00am Tech Issues
RE: What should I do if my EPDM roof turns black

When EPDM roof material starts to turn black it means the top coating is failing and washing off. You can paint on all kinds of roof coverings that CLAIM to restore the EPDM but in reality very few will actually stick to the black membrane once the white coating is gone. Maybe RV Armor which uses a glue-like primer but expensive. Replacement is the only real, dependable/durable option. Unless you like peeling coatings that need replacing every couple of years. Went down that road, thinking it was just mold but the more I cleaned, the blacker the roof got. Then I learned.
Microlite Mike 06/24/22 09:36am Travel Trailers
RE: Warm Fridge - Dometic DM2882

I had a similar issue when camping in warm, sunny places. Added a Titan Fan system to the top of the vent chimney. It has a controller that turns the two fans on and controls the speed depending on the temperature of air in the chimney. Cooling totally depends on how much heat can be removed from the rear "coils" of the refrigerator and with the constricted space, normal convection is often not enough. I also added a couple small computer fans at the back of the refrigerator compartment with a switch that allows me to use one or both fans to circulate air inside. Average Freezer temps on days approaching 100 degrees run 0-+5 F and refrigerator temps 33-38 F https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81WEryHVXOS._AC_SL1500_.jpg width=640 https://www.amazon.com/Ventilation-Cooling-Refrigerator-Controller-TTC-SC22/dp/B077TJCL3F The fan assembly can be installed at lower vent to blow air into the "chimney" or at the top (Under the vent cap) to suck air out. I found the top to be best for my setup. Moderator edit to re-size picture to forum recommended limit of 640px maximum width.
Microlite Mike 06/24/22 09:31am Travel Trailers
RE: Back before cellphones

Remember the rows of pay phones campgrounds had near the office? Phone calls when you changed campgrounds and periodically so people back home could get in touch if they had to. It was nothing to be out of touch for days if you were out west. This came up last night as some neighbors complained about the lack of cell coverage in the campground and how “dangerous” it was to be unreachable. Before cell phones I had to carry a pager and then find a phone booth when it went off. Campground booths and those near retail stores weren't bad but most of them on City Streets became too foul to use. Seems like too many thought they were also Urinals. The campgrounds I prefer don't have either pay phones OR cell phone coverage. If any family emergency arises I can be reached through my Garmin InReach Mini. Takes some training on how to send the message but it's really nice as I get absolutely no Spam or Telemarketer calls. Any emergency on my end is handled by pushing the SOS button.
Microlite Mike 06/21/22 09:49am RV Lifestyle
RE: Nubs on stabilizer rod worn down. Can these be replaced?

If you have enough thread there, screw on 2 nuts, then jam them together. Work same as welding, but if you need to take it apart you can Shaft has acme threads on it. Standard nuts won't fit however oversized nut s can be welded on.
Microlite Mike 06/21/22 09:24am Travel Trailers
RE: New 2 stage PD lithium Converter charger yet?

Lastly, lifepo4 cell/battery manufacturers ship their units with a 30-50% SOC for a reason. It's the ideal SOC for a lifepo4---for the short and long-term. Yes, 30%-50% may be an ideal SOC for long term storage but since April 1 2016 international regulations regarding air shipments of Lithium batteries restricts the SOC to 30% or less. FWIW, my solution to the storage issue is to just go camping regularly and since I primarily boondock, batteries are constantly being cycled. I just follow Battleborn's recommendation when I return from a trip. "Charge to 100%, disconnect, and just charge again after 6 months of inactivity" (which has yet to occur). With 200 ah of storage and a daily average consumption ~50 ah, I will complete a full charge cycle every 4 days. If I were to "Full Time Boondock that would amount to 91.25 full cycles per year. Battleborn advertises 3,000 to 5,000 cycles from their batteries. This amounts to 32 to 55 YEARS of battery life based on cycles alone. Most LiFePo4 batteries in RV's will most likely outlive their owners and possibly those who inherit the RV and batteries. Reality Check, LiFePo4 batteries are also subject to internal chemical degradation like Lead/Acid chemistry batteries. Even with the most careful charging practices they will most likely age out somewhere after 10-12 years which is why the best warranties max out in that range.Some of the discussion here is a somewhat, in-the-weeds debate about ways to maximize cycle life. Some of the SOC and charge voltage monitoring required to implement some of the charge profiles (for only a nominal increase in cycle life) is probably overkill for the average user. Only someone who places a higher priority on cycle life vs. usability would find it worth their time. I only mentioned the 30-50 cycle as an extreme example of how to maximize lifepo4 cycle life--just to make a point. Rather doubt it's worth anybody's time to actually implement it because it would reduce the ah capacity of the battery to a ridiculously low level. As for your comment about air shipment of lifepo4's at 30% or less SOC, I'm not sure how this fits into the current discussion. Maybe you can clarify. Bottom line, as I mentioned in an earlier post (and as you also somewhat alluded to), the average user can get by without having to resort to any special charge profile and still obtain many, many years of use from their lifepo4. My comment about air shipment was merely in response to your opening sentence. They ship them with the 30% SOC due to regulations rather than ideal storage SOC. Prior to the regulation Lithium batteries often left the factory at 100% SOC (or close to it).
Microlite Mike 06/20/22 08:51am Tech Issues
RE: Costco 100W 18V solar blanket: which controller to use?

Costco has a hundred watt foldable solar panel that supposedly puts out 18V. On a dollars per watt basis, it is not a great deal, but it is very easy to store and deploy, so I am willing to put up with the cost. (I already have a 120 W suitcase panel -- this new panel is for emergency use at home, as well as extra juice while camping.) My question, of course, is that I want to use this panel to charge a 12V battery. There has to be an after-market controller that will do the job. Given the specs of the panel (see link below), which controller do you recommend? Thanks in advance for your wisdom. Costco panel Any PWM controller will work. Pick one for a simple setup like this, probably the least expensive one will work. Amazon has them as low as $10. A controller from a well known Mfr (Renogy) can be had for less than $20.
Microlite Mike 06/20/22 08:31am Tech Issues
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