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 > Your search for posts made by 'Photomike' found 154 matches.

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RE: Sub-freezing Weather UPDATE --- We froze the pipes!

How often do you camp in freezing temps? Also what are the usual cold temps you are in? There is a lot that you can do but what you did this trip may be enough to deal with the once or twice a lifetime of hitting those temps if that is all it is. I have found that with all the tweaking that I have done over the years that for the real cold it is easier to just dump tanks and use antifreeze to flush the toilet.
Photomike 10/12/18 02:50pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: charging of 2 camper batteries with truck alternator?

I promise that this is my last post on the topic I started. I just went to my RV dealer, to their chief electrical person, who has also owned several truck campers. After telling him what we have all been talking about, and telling him that I am only running my furnace fan and LED lights when not plugged into shore power, he made several recommendations.( We don't run a 12v to 120v convertor for anything) 1. He said to get a 150-200 watt solar set up. He said the new systems and their controllers are far superior to the chargers of 10 years ago for maintaining a battery and helping while driving. I would look at 4 6V. 2. He also said, when I get to the end of my currently 3 year old batteries, to get 2, 6 volt batteries hooked up in series. The capacity would be greater. 3. The third thing was that the deep cycles we have, should not be on a too fast charging rate when depleted, but that they should charge fine with the truck charging system, but would take up to 24 hours to recharge. Slower, but would not harm the batteries. Since I run our 3 way refrigerator on gas when parked with no shore power, and on DC only when traveling, coupled with our fairly austere use of 12 volt power, what we have is now is probably adequate, but to take the steps in 6v and solar when we have the chance ($). Pretty much, don't worry, be happy, spend money when you have it to upgrade. A couple things, one he is right about a lot the only thing that would concern me on what he told you, and I mentioned in my first post, is that the solar in fall, winter and spring does not run very long with the shorter days. Your actual amount of power recharging from solar during the day will in no way fully charge your battery if it is really depleted especially on cloudy days. If you go with solar get extra batteries so you have more reserved to draw from and on sunny days you can top up more. Second keep your fridge on propane when driving, running it on 12V will use a lot of power and that will take away from your charging power.
Photomike 10/12/18 12:18pm Truck Campers
RE: charging of 2 camper batteries with truck alternator?

What a thread! Ready to grab some popcorn, sit back and enjoy the fireworks! Different strokes for different folks as they say... All kidding aside... the original poster's problem had to do with staying warm at night. There are a number of ways to solve that problem that doesn't necessarily involve running the heater all night. That said, the heaters in truck campers are woefully overkill thus causing many problems. They put out way too much heat too fast, use too much electricity and make too much noise to be used all night. Yes, it's nice that I can wake up to a cold camper, turn on the heater and be opening the windows 5 minutes later... What would be nice is if I had a small wall mounted vented heater that uses propane only, puts out just enough BTUs to keep the camper warm enough at night, doesn't require fans and is nearly silent. The boat industry actually has these types of solutions... I've toyed around with designing my own that is even smaller but I have too much on my plate. Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed the arguments over charging batteries, it made my work lunch rather entertaining! Why design one they are already available for campers in smaller sizes. You can buy one off the shelf.
Photomike 10/11/18 01:04pm Truck Campers
RE: LED Light Bar Install on TC or Truck, anyone do this

I bought this one but sold my truck as soon as I got it installed. My brother recommended this as he tried a lot of different ones. He settled on this make as they are brighter than even brand names. He has bought a lot for his personal vehicles, construction equipment and his trucking company and never had an issue. Light
Photomike 10/05/18 10:10pm Truck Campers
RE: charging of 2 camper batteries with truck alternator?

Charging while driving is a simple solution to almost free power. Every light duty auto manufacturer will disagree with you ! The reason for all of these "smart charging systems" is that they have multiple test that PROVE that smart charging systems IMPROVE fuel economy by limiting the amount of power the alternator makes. We are getting way off topic but: First - I don't think many RV's are built on anything light duty. My truck that I had for the truck camper ran a heavy duty alternator. The motor home is on a F350 chassis and from what I could learn before I bought it runs a heavy duty alternator. My van definitely has a heavy duty alternator and has lots of power to not only charge but to run the inverter, etc. The difference in mpg driving a loaded brick down the highway and charging a battery or driving a loaded brick down the highway and not charging a battery is hardly, if at all, noticeable. On that subject during the build of my vans electrical system I had the opportunity to talk to one of the suppliers of battery to battery charging systems. He gave me lots of information that I never knew but one point that he made is that many people operate on the wrong assumption that we are doing things outside of what a vehicle or a boat for that matter is designed to do with charging. In fact it is the opposite - a charging system is designed to charge and will do so as long as we do not do something stupid and it will do so with a number of batteries as all batteries will equalize in a system and charge from that point. The charging system does not know if you have 5 batteries at 12.5v or one, it will take longer to top up but it is doing the same thing as it was designed for. Consider it like operating your AC - it takes more power but we do not drive with the AC off as we are concerned that the alternator is not designed to power it - it is. Back to my point in my original post - I was not arguing the specs on any one alternator and if it can or cannot charge. My point was that it is smarter to use an alternator when driving as you are accomplishing more than just charging as opposed to having the vehicle idle parked to charge. It will cost more per amp/hr sitting still idling charging then to drive and charge.
Photomike 10/03/18 08:37pm Truck Campers
RE: TC Furnace & Basement Ducting Questions

What I have done at home that would work with your camper is I heat the basement and let the heat rise to heat the upper area. You could do this with some larger vents from the basement to the living area and then run all the heat ducts down. My question is why? If you are only out in the shoulder season then you do not need a lot of heat to stop things from freezing. All you need to do is keep it a little above and a little heat will do that. I have left campers without heat and with water in them when it is -10C outside and they have had ice crystals in the water but it never froze. Add just a little heat and the ice melts when the temps get to freezing. The biggest thing in the winter is to find dump places and to keep you valves thawed. It may be better to use a antifreeze to flush with then worry about full water service. As a side note having your water freeze does not do the damage as long as you leave taps open. The damage is done when the water starts to thaw but does not fully thaw, then you get blockages that do not release and when it refreezes the water cannot expand down the line so it must burst the pipe. If it is only slush it will never burst the pipe. As for the noise, I would love a furnace mounted in a closet that is silent!!!!! The worst thing is the starting and stopping noise all night. A quiet furnace would be GREAT!!!!
Photomike 10/03/18 12:21pm Truck Campers
RE: charging of 2 camper batteries with truck alternator?

So, in the same post, you said that charging off the engine was a bad idea and would’t work well, and that it works great and it’s what you do?? No what I said was that I would not leave my vehicle run JUST to charge the batteries. Charging while driving is a simple solution to almost free power. Leaving a vehicle sit and run a massive engine for a trickle charge is not wise.
Photomike 10/03/18 09:09am Truck Campers
RE: charging of 2 camper batteries with truck alternator?

You have a lot of good advice already but also some not so correct advice. Like others have said your PD 4000 Power Control Center charging system in the TCer only works when plugged in. You can use this when traveling but in my opinion it is more hassle than it is worth. What others have done, and this is done more often in a motor home, van or Unimog type build is to have an inverter convert 12v power to 110v ac and run your power cord to your charging system. This will then run your charging system as you drive - good points is that it will work as intended - bad points is that in my opinion you are killing a mosquito with a bazooka especially in a tcer. Running your truck to charge your batteries is again going to do the job BUT you are running a HUGE engine for a trickle charge at the best. Calculating the distance from the truck to the camper batteries the wire gauge that you will need to make this efficient and doable is overkill not to mention the fuel use to get a little charge from the engine. Large cables are a good idea in any case but not for what you want to do, just not going to get the amps you need in a reasonable time. There are a lot of other systems/ ideas but really you are overthinking this without looking at the simple fixes first. First figure out what you need for power. It may make more sense adding a different heating source like a vented cat furnace that takes less draw on the batteries. OR pick up a cheap generator and run that to charge using your power center, you may have to update/ enlarge the power center to charge faster so you can cut down on generator run time. If you are in an area that you are not going to tick off neighbors by running your truck half the night then you do not need the quietest generator. If you are close to being good with two batteries maybe switching to 4 6V or another 12V would do it. Solar may work BUT when you say you are running your furnace I figure that it is winter and your solar does not give you the most power during the winter so your actual charge this way may not be enough. Add more insulation to the camper, this will take less power to heat it and your savings are not only in the 12V you save but in the propane and the noise of the furnace running. If your batteries are exposed to the cold try moving them where it is a little warmer, this will help to give you some extra power. With my tcer I had two group 31 deep cycles and I could camp in -30C with a lot of power left over the next day. A couple hours driving would top them up pretty good - not full but enough that I could get another night out of them and still had a little remaining - usually by the third day I knew I was pushing another night if it did not warm up. If I was out for a long time in the real cold I would find a plugin during the day or a night every three nights and top up. Or I would take the generator and run that for a couple hours when making supper each night so I would not have to do a HUGE charge when I was desperate. Side note: Currently I have a small class C that has 4 6v and is well insulated. So far most winter nights I have had power to plug into (old = wimp) but I did notice the few nights I did not have power that the batteries were not that low the next day, insulation does sure help. It also helps as I have HUGE wires running from a heavy duty alternator to the camper batteries to charge when driving but I would still not run the RV motor to get that charge. My current Class B conversion has two 12 starter batteries and 1 12 deep cycle Group 31 running a Espar heater and used it the other night and the deep cycle battery was 95% full in the morning - was only -6C during the night but was happy with that. Started the van and in 30 minutes of driving the group 31 was full. Again the benefit of the larger cables, lower electrical needs so less time needed to get back to full charge.
Photomike 10/02/18 10:55pm Truck Campers
RE: Here's a new one. (tires)

It does make sense, just like aiming your headlights. But honestly who would if the camper is only part time on the truck.
Photomike 10/01/18 01:44pm Truck Campers
RE: Electric 120 volt heater

I use several heaters from the propane furnace, cat heater to the electric. IF I have plugins I use the electric 100% as long as it can keep up, in -40C it has issues :B Mine is like this one in looks (could not find the exact model) https://images.homedepot-static.com/productImages/ee314761-1f12-463e-a01e-d6c6c4f20410/svn/grays-spt-ceramic-heaters-sh-1508-64_1000.jpg width=640 I like it as it stands up and takes less space, it rotates to put air where I want it and it has a thermostat so set it and leave it.
Photomike 09/27/18 11:49am Truck Campers
RE: Bigfoot windows

Sometimes it is a simple solution but we are to close to the problem to see it, hopefully your is just that simple. I learned from watching my Dad to take a step back when you can to look at a problem, or get someones view point that is not involved. I pulled up one day to my Dad's house to look at his new to him VW Vanagon. He was standing behind it with a hammer about to smash out the rear window as the hatch would not close all the way. I managed to stop him and talk him down from smashing and helped to get the hatch open. We reset the lock and watch it close like it was suppose to. He was frustrated, caught up in the issue and unable to see it for what it was. A second opinion is what a forum like this is good for!
Photomike 09/26/18 09:21am Truck Campers
RE: Bigfoot windows

Have you checked to make sure that the drain holes are clear? That would be my first thing before I do any more.
Photomike 09/25/18 04:33pm Truck Campers
RE: wrong motorhome

Just make sure that you remember that when you go and buy parts! Embarrassing it be when you buy a part for a newer motor home than you have and it does not fit - at least that is what I have been told :B
Photomike 09/24/18 05:51pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Unlocks itself???

I had a truck and camper and the truck would start itself in the middle of the night and run till it shut off, I think it was 15 minutes. Found out it was a faulty transmitter for the remote start. They replaced the receiver and said that was it, then it did it again. So I pulled the batteries out of the transmitters and by the process of elimination found out which one it was. Only good part was that I parked by my bedroom window and I sleep with the window open so when it started and I was home I would hear it.
Photomike 09/20/18 03:03pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: The great slide vs no slide debate

For me I look at it like this - My units are more for traveling and for me less weight and things to go wrong the better. If I was parking for longer in one place and wanted it to be more like home I would have a slide or four. Are there more things to consider, honestly for me NOPE. Pretty black and white. Will any ones arguments, horror stories or whatever change my thinking - NOPE!
Photomike 09/03/18 06:54pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Draining the batteries

Interesting problem.... Have you tried unplugging the camper from the truck to see if the issue is in fact caused by the camper?? It doesn't make sense to me that the camper batteries are remaining fully charged and the truck is dead unless there is a wiring issue. If there is ignition relay that shuts the power off to the 7 pin connector there would only be one way I could imagine the camper draining the truck batteries without draining the camper batteries... Is there is a battery switch somewhere in the camper that is wired to allow the camper to use only the trucks power while the camper batteries are shut off?? If there is constant power to the 7 pin connector (with no ignition relay) the camper should draw from both systems and the 200 watts of solar should be more than enough to keep everything charged. Cannot see the camper draining the truck either. I also would say unplug truck and camper and let it sit and see what happens. Could be a huge phantom draw in the truck.
Photomike 09/03/18 04:32pm Truck Campers
RE: Airport Parking (Not Boondocking)?

Either the parking at the airport or an RV storage site close by. Check for security at each and decide from there.
Photomike 08/28/18 03:03pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Cold climate owners: what do you do with your RV in winter?

Winterize and leave outside. If they get a lot of snow where you are leaving it you may want to get someone to clear the roof. That is always scary as you can do more damage if not careful so having someone else do it can be worse than leaving the snow there.
Photomike 08/12/18 11:56am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Securing you rig from theft (truck and camper)

I had a guy tell me years ago that there is not a security device ever developed that a thief cannot get around. What a device does is to make your vehicle less desirable to break into than another one. What you really want to do is to stop someone from even wanting or trying to break in as the damage that is done is a pain to deal with. Having a camper on the back does a little to make a thief think twice as he does not know if anyone is back there. One of the best and cheapest things is a flashing red light on the dash as a thief thinks there is a alarm and without a brand name / type is makes them think twice. The club is also something that causes one to stop if they are thinking of stealing the unit as it takes time, maybe not a lot but enough. A kill switch is also another smart idea, does not have to be much just enough to slow them down (just make it so you can activate it without popping the hood as people do watch). I tell this a lot about my dad's VW van. A group was in the area and had stole a car and were driving down my dad's street when they saw his VW van. They decided to steal it, left the stolen car and took my dad's van. They pushed it down the street before starting it. Only problem was it was a diesel and they had no clue about glow plugs so while trying to start it they did not let the glow plugs warm up so never got it started. Not only did they leave the stolen car but they found my dad's van down the street. A simple thing is to clean up the cab of the truck and don't leave devices OR cords in the open. There may not be a device in view but three power cords mean that there was or is something. A sticker on the vehicle or the camper can help as well. Something like protected by Smith and Weston can make someone think twice, or beware of the dog. There are home security units that you can put in the camper and in the cab that will run off of 12V and will sound a siren or call a cell phone. A couple motion detectors inside will cover the entire unit. Finally if you can park in a high visibility area and preferably in a monitored space. Not a 100% guarantee but an extra help.
Photomike 07/29/18 10:41am Truck Campers
RE: Class C

Once you have narrowed down your research if you can rent one like or close to what you are looking for that is the best testing you can do.
Photomike 07/28/18 11:29am Class C Motorhomes
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