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 > Your search for posts made by 'RonRN18' found 20 matches.

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RE: Battery maintenance

FLA 6V batteries will lose electrolyte during charging. I would suggest to start with a three month interval and observe levels within the cells. Usage and temperature dictates electrolyte loss so there is no standard interval. My 6V's tend to use up more electrolyte as they are charging off a solar panel each day. I check them about every three months for the correct level. Thanks. This is the nearest I’ve had to an answer. It is also close to what I was expecting, but wanted to hear it from someone with experience.
RonRN18 06/08/19 11:18pm General RVing Issues
RE: Battery maintenance

When we purchased the trailer, our dealer offered a standard 12V lead-acid battery or as an upgrade, two 6V GC2 deep-cycle lead-acid batteries. I went with the upgraded 6V batteries. I don't want the process to be so frequent it becomes a pain in the behind, nor do I want it to be so infrequent, I end up damaging the batteries. Too late now but you could have avoided this entire issue by investing in a pair of AGM batteries, whether 6 volt or 12 volt, and enjoyed not having to maintain them at all other than proper recharging of course. I could have also gotten a pair of Battle Born LiPO4 batteries too... had I wanted to spend more money. For the money, I knew there would be some maintenance, but for half the price, I get more battery, it only requires more maintenance. As I said, I'm new with RVing, my plan is to learn as much as possible over the next few years. Learn what I like, learn what I don't like. I research as much as possible but sometimes you just have to experience things. I use forums like this to gain some insight into others' experiences to answer questions I can't find through research and hopefully without wasting too much money. I ultimately plan on purchasing a bigger, nicer RV in 5-10 years, based on what I'm learning now. I will continue researching and keeping tabs on electrical technologies. I would love to buy some of those 100Ah LiPO4 batteries but I believe it would be a waste at this point. My goal in asking the initial question was is this something that needs to be inspected after a set period of time, regardless of use or after a certain number of operational hours/days. In my research, this is never addressed.
RonRN18 06/07/19 10:29pm General RVing Issues
RE: Battery maintenance

How many amps does you battery charger put out? Generally 45 mins on a genset is not enough time to fully charge your batteries after 2 days of dry camping. Does your charger or your monitor show you when the batteries are fully charged? Usually you will see the batteries accept a greater amount of amps when are somewhat discharged and will taper to 0 when fully charged. If memory serves, when charging, it dumps about 25 amps into the batteries and takes a few hours to top off the batteries.
RonRN18 06/07/19 10:11pm General RVing Issues
RE: Battery maintenance

Good luck on your new RV. Sounds like you are going camping at least every other week. Being a new camper you probably go in it at least once a week anyway to add things to it, so just check the batteries with a volt meter when you enter. You should read 12.6 + volts if they are fully charged. You will get an idea of how fast they will self discharge. Do you dry camp or go to FHU sites? If FHU they will charge when you plug in. If you dry camp fully charge them when you return home. Batteries will self discharge over time but new batteries like what you have will be fine if you have a battery disconnect switch and use it between your camping trips. I charge mine up in Nov and they sit over the winter with out a charger on them. They sit a month or so sometimes in the summer without a charge. If you post what charger you have you will get more detailed answers. Most batteries die from under charging and the plates get sulfated or overcharging and not checking the water levels. I happen to have a Victron BMV-712 battery monitor, so I can keep pretty close tabs on energy usage and status. I JUST came back from the trailer after initially asking my first question. I ran over to fix a problem I found last weekend. Last weekend's trip was an dry camping trip where we stayed for two nights. I plugged into a generator for about 45 minutes midway through the day between the nights; the batteries never dropped below 89% on the trip. I've found that the amount of charging when connected to the tow vehicle is extremely minimal. I did not have any time to top off the batteries after the trip and I'm unable to plug in while the trailer is in storage (at an RV storage lot). I noticed when I got to my trailer today, I forgot to disconnect the batteries last Sunday evening. The state of the batteries were down to 88% according to the VictronConnect app on my phone. I'd imagine that most of my camping will be at facilities that HAVE electricity hook-ups, but not all, like last weekend. I also have a generator, which I can use when dry camping. Unless I'm truly boondocking, most places have a curfew for generator use, so it will be episodic at best when dry-camping. Last weekend I was at a California State Park (Calaveras Big Trees SP). While I was there at my trailer, I took the water caps off the batteries and they appeared to be full... a slight concave curvature of the water at the base of each fill-port. The water appeared quite clear, seeing the lead panels inside fairly easily. I did not pull out a hydrometer (I haven't purchased one yet). When it comes to some maintenance, we plan on taking our trailer to the dealer we purchased it from yearly for an annual inspection. During this time, they do a multi-point inspection and repair of any little issue. This includes cleaning the refrigerator coils, the furnace, and the hot water heater. As it seldom gets to freezing here and if it does, only for a few hours in the night, combined with the insulation of the trailer (undercarriage is enclosed and insulated), I don't think I need to winterize it; I've asked many other RVers in the area and none winterize theirs.
RonRN18 06/07/19 04:41pm General RVing Issues
Battery maintenance

I am fairly new to RVing, having purchased my trailer a few months ago now. When we purchased the trailer, our dealer offered a standard 12V lead-acid battery or as an upgrade, two 6V GC2 deep-cycle lead-acid batteries. I went with the upgraded 6V batteries. Now, my question has to do with how frequently do I need to inspect the batteries and check the fluid level. At this point, they are two months old and have been on three camping trips, with two scheduled for next month. I've read all about HOW to perform the maintenance and how to check the fluid level in the batteries but in all the instructions on how to do it, none state how frequently they need to be checked. We are not full-time campers, but we are looking to get away whenever we can. I don't want the process to be so frequent it becomes a pain in the behind, nor do I want it to be so infrequent, I end up damaging the batteries. Is there any advice based on either calendar time or usage time for routine inspection and maintenance?
RonRN18 06/07/19 12:24pm General RVing Issues
RE: Gauge of extension cord

The reason I said I assume the power cord that came with my trailer is a 25-foot cable with 10-gauge wire inside is because my trailer is parked at a storage yard as I'm doing my research, but research shows that 25-foot, 10-gauge is fairly standard. I have installed a Progressive Industries EMS-HW30C in my trailer, so I do get a display of the voltage coming in, as well as the amperage being used (it also displays the frequency of the AC and an error code if something is wrong with the power, but that isn't at issue in this regard). I just had some concerns before spending the money for an extension cord. Where I plan on using the extension cord, I don't think I'll need the air conditioner there... I'll be in the shade and it rarely gets above 90 degrees. I might want to use the microwave though. Primarily, I'll just be using DC power for lights and my MaxxAir fan, and AC for battery charger, refrigerator and possibly water heater. The refrigerator can automatically switch between AC and gas while the water heater I have a switch for electricity and a switch for gas.
RonRN18 05/17/19 02:28pm Tech Issues
Gauge of extension cord

My trailer came with, what I believe to be, a 25-foot 30-amp power cord that connects to trailer with a round connector with locking ring... fairly standard for trailers from what I've seen. My question comes to the use of an extension cord with this cable. I've looked at extension cords that are 50-feet long, as there is a camping space where I know it will be around 75-feet or so away from the nearest I can park my trailer. I've looked up charts listing appropriate gauge wire for different length runs at single-leg standard voltage. For up to 50-feet, it recommends 10-gauge wire. For 75-feet, it recommends 8-gauge wire. For 100-feet, it recommends 6-gauge. My assumption is that the power cord for the trailer is 10-gauge. 50-foot RV extension cables are also 10-gauge. This jives with the chart I looked up... BUT... I'm plugging 25-feet into 50-feet, a total of 75-feet. At 75-feet, the recommendation is 8-gauge. I have not seen an 8-gauge, 50-foot extension, nor would it take into consideration the 25-feet of 10-gauge for the main trailer. Am I just over-thinking this? Is it an issue?
RonRN18 05/17/19 11:21am Tech Issues
Build-my-own 30-amp extension cord

My trailer came with an approximately 25-foot long power cord, which depending on where I am, maybe a bit short. I've been looking at extension cords and they all seem to be a bit overpriced for what they are. I see SOOW wire sold by the foot and both a male and female replacement ends for cheaper than the extension cords... provided I'm using the proper gauge. I'm debating on the actual length I am wanting to make my extension cord and trying to lookup gauge-distance-amps table to determine what gauge to use. I found one source that shows for 30-amps at 50 feet, to use 10-gauge wire. At 100 feet, it says 6-gauge. Could I then assume that 8-gauge would be the wire of choice for 75 feet? My thought is that if I'm over 100 feet, I'm just too far away; I should just break-out my generator if I have to be that far away. Should I be OK to build a 75-foot extension cord with 8/3 SOOW?
RonRN18 05/06/19 01:44pm Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
Trailer safety chain hooks and F150

I am having issues with connecting and disconnecting the safety chain hooks to the hitch mount of my 2016 F150 truck. It is very difficult to get just the proper angle to get them hooked. The gauge of the steel of the hitch mount holes, the size of the holes and the thickness of the hooks makes this very difficult. Has anyone else had a similar issue? Is there some type of fix that is safe to make connecting and disconnecting the safety chains easier?
RonRN18 04/28/19 06:45pm Travel Trailers
RE: Power Watchdog Smart Surge Protector with Auto Shutoff

I have the Progressive hardwired unit. I like that it has a display unit, but I wish the wire connection to the display unit were on the backside as opposed to the bottom of a unit that sticks out nearly an inch. I also wish that the Progressive had a wireless monitoring option. I have several Bluetooth-linked devices in my trailer, including my Victron BMV-712 battery monitoring system and my LogicBlue LevelMatePRO electronic level. These are great for monitoring different aspects remotely when setting up. I wish I knew what type of signal was being transmitted over that "phone" line cable... and make it interface with a Raspberry Pi to log details. I know I'm just a nerd, but I think that would be cool to see.
RonRN18 04/28/19 02:18pm Travel Trailers
RE: Equal-i-zer lubrication

I had read the manual, but I apparently had not seen the bit about "Sway Bracket Jackets." I ordered some last night and they are out for delivery from Amazon now. I'm at work at the moment... and I brought my trailer here so I could play while at work. I'll put the "jackets" on tonight. I have to take the trailer to the dealer I bought it all from in the morning for them to adjust the hitch... not enough weight distribution and for whatever reason, they did not give ME the extra spacer washers. I find it odd that they are an authorized Equal-i-zer dealer yet they don't carry any of their products other than the hitch, nor did they actually follow through with the proper adjustments prior to me driving off. I've been doing as much reading as possible during the past week about my hitch and other aspects of my new trailer.
RonRN18 04/24/19 11:59am Travel Trailers
Equal-i-zer lubrication

I am new to owning a trailer and I have an Equal-i-zer weight distribution hitch. I see they say to only use their brand of lubricant on the hitch. I can not find ANY store locally that has even heard of their brand of lubricant. I've heard different answers as to what else I can use. I've heard white lithium grease and I've heard DRY silicone spray. My gut tells me that white lithium grease would be good. On my first outing, I didn't have any lubricant and it was VERY loud. I ordered some Equal-i-zer brand lubricant which arrives while I'm out on my next trip. Anyone else out there have an Equal-i-zer WDS hitch? What do you use?
RonRN18 04/23/19 08:15pm Travel Trailers
"Open Ground" from generator

I picked up my new trailer today, a Mesa Ridge 2410RL. After playing with towing and backing of the trailer, I started my first modification, installing a Progressive Industries EMS-HW30C hardwired Electrical Management System. It turned out to be a little more complicated than I originally expected because one of the Romex cables for one circuit was too short, preventing me from pulling the circuit breaker/fuse box out very far (I'm guessing they must have wired it before the side walls were in). I ended up having to pull the grill off the furnace, which gave me access into the space behind the breaker/fuse box. Once I had everything secured, I wanted to test it out. I do not have a 30-amp circuit with an RV outlet at my house, but I had purchased a Champion Model #100524 3500 Watt dual-fuel generator from Sam's Club and got it up and running. I plugged the trailer into the generator and came inside. The EMS unit was reporting an "E2" for "Open Ground" in the wiring and would not power up the trailer. I then decided to pull out an extension cord to plug the trailer into a 15-amp house outlet with an adapter. It now showed "E0" for no errors and a second or so later, the trailer was powered. This tells me that the "Open Ground" is specific to the generator. I'm curious if anyone has any first-hand knowledge as to this issue. Could it be that the generator needs to be grounded? Do I need to get a copper spike and a ground strap attached to the generator?
RonRN18 04/18/19 11:01pm Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: Tracking miles of trailer?

Haven't done it, not sure Im worried about it. Don't see it impacting anything like resale value or anything, and not a question I would think to ask if I was buying a used one. What is the driving need? Mike My initial reason for thinking of it was when I was calling insurance to add the trailer to our policy. They wanted to know how many miles I'd be towing it a year. This is my first trailer and I work full-time, so it won't be a ton of miles but I was completely baffled as to how many miles I'll be putting on it. I asked the insurance guy what difference it made and he didn't know, especially when for much of the use, it is mostly under the tow vehicle's coverage when in motion. He didn't know why the question was on the list for a trailer. It did get me thinking though of usage and wear & tear on things like the tires. Thinking of insurance, how much does insurance generally cost most folks out there for their tow-behind travel trailer per year? I was quoted around $250/year with a $1000 deductible. Just curious if that is about par or if I'm being ripped off.
RonRN18 04/16/19 07:59pm Travel Trailers
RE: Tracking miles of trailer?

Does anyone know of anything else for tracking miles on the trailer? My 2018 F150 tracks trailer miles :) I have just purchased my 2016 F150 and have not yet hooked a trailer up to it... I think I can use my truck too. If so, an easy solution. Since you posted this, I looked it up and see that I have to manually tell the truck when I disconnect the trailer, but otherwise, it will track the miles. Cool.
RonRN18 04/16/19 06:18pm Travel Trailers
Tracking miles of trailer?

I take possession of my first travel trailer on Thursday and getting quite anxious about playing with everything. One thing that I've been thinking about for a while is whether there is any easy way to track miles of a trailer from an iPhone. I'm a real gadget person and have already purchased several devices to help in managing the trailer, including the BlueLogic LevelMatePro, Victron BMV-712 Smart Battery Monitoring system, and HaulGauge which communicate with my iPhone via Bluetooth. Unlike a motorhome, where the odometer of the motorhome will tell you miles traveled, the odometer of my truck tells me how far the truck has traveled, not how many miles the trailer has been towed. I've seen some "asset tracking" devices that send data via a cellular telephone network, but unfortunately, they all require a monthly service fee, which I am not interested in. I've seen some trailer hub odometers, but I only seem to see ones for semi-trailers, not travel trailers. Does anyone know of anything else for tracking miles on the trailer?
RonRN18 04/16/19 06:03pm Travel Trailers
RE: Extended Service Contract on new trailer?

The lifetime warranty is at no cost, provided I come in for an annual $199 inspection/preventative maintenance appointment. I'm told that during this annual event, they lubricate all the moving objects that need it, clean the furnace and water heater and inspect all the windows/seals and re-seal as needed. As this warranty does not cost any extra. What I'm really wanting to know is one that covers other items that are not "vital" but need fixing.
RonRN18 03/24/19 06:00pm Travel Trailers
Extended Service Contract on new trailer?

I am purchasing my first trailer, a 2019 Forest River Flagstaff 21FBRS. The dealer includes a lifetime warranty on the vital aspects of the trailer, beyond that of the manufacturer, but they are also offering an extended service contract that covers many other items. In order to get this, I need to decide before the purchase is final (my pick-up date is nearly a month away). I am trying to decide if this is a "suckers bet" or a good idea. Any advice? Another "upsell" item is a type of coating to both the inside and outside to make it easier to clean. I did something similar for a car, but it appears to be no different than without, making me think this is a waste of money. Any feedback for exterior/interior coating systems?
RonRN18 03/24/19 05:20pm Travel Trailers
RE: Weight of trailer and my tow vehicle

At this moment, I'm leaning towards a KZ Escape Mini 181SS, which has a GVWR of 3500. It says it has a dry axle weight of 2,538 and dry hitch weight of 310 pounds. I believe this should keep me in the safe range. If I end up with this, is there anything I should look for in a weight-distribution hitch system? Again, I'd rather hear things other than a salesman spiel, so I can have more of an informed opinion based on other people's experience who aren't making a commission. I got a fairly good vibe from the last salesman, but he is a salesman. He also mentioned that all of their RVs have a lifetime warranty, provided they are brought in for a $199 annual inspection. I'm just one that likes to do my own research; researching beyond most... trying to answer all the "what ifs" before I have even purchased anything.
RonRN18 03/19/19 01:48pm Travel Trailers
Weight of trailer and my tow vehicle

I have a 2013 Ford Explorer AWD LTD with factory towing package. It says that it is rated for 5000 pounds towing. When I've talked to different salespeople, I tend to get different answers as to this number. Some say that people routinely go over the weight stated and others have said you should limit it to not more than 85% of that value, reserving that last bit for safety. I'm hoping that by asking people with experience that are not trying to sell me anything will give me a different perspective. So far, I've seen a few trailers that I kind of like that encroach a dry weight of 4300, which is 85% of 5000 pounds. I really like my Explorer and it is fully paid off, so I enjoy that. Someday, when it is time to replace it, my plan is to go with a crew-cab 1-ton pickup. I just don't want that "someday" to be before buying the trailer.
RonRN18 03/18/19 10:09pm Travel Trailers
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