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 > Your search for posts made by 'SJ-Chris' found 191 matches.

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RE: Can you name that sound (squeaking)?

Interesting update.....OP here.... Well, it's been raining so much here in California that I haven't bothered to investigate this squeak any further yet. I was planning on checking the brakes to continue looking for the issue. It has been sitting now for about 2 months. I decided today I would take it out for a drive just to make sure it is still squeaking. I was surprised to discover that there was no longer any squeaking! I was able to get up to 40-45mph without any squeak. Stopped. Started. Accelerated. Coasted. Couldn't hear any squeak...it was gone. I guess I will have to wait for a few more days and then try it again. Hasn't rained in about 5 days. I know problems don't usually cure themselves, so I'll be planning/expecting it to show up again sometime... -Chris
SJ-Chris 01/24/23 10:47pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: cheap solar panels

If anyone tries it (with caution) please let us know. Seems like a scam to me. An alternative for getting "cheap solar panels" is to buy quality USED solar panels. Just test them before you buy (voltage and current) and you should be good to go. On my RVs, I installed multiple 250w used panels that I got for $35 each and they are producing great. No moving parts on solar panels, so they should last for years and years. If you worry about max efficiency issues with these used panels, buy one extra and put it up and you'll have more solar than you originally intended (...assuming you have the space). Good luck! Chris
SJ-Chris 01/07/23 05:51pm Tech Issues
RE: Buying a Former Rental Class C. How many of us out there?

This is a somewhat off the wall request but ... Does anyone know of an extending lift/hoist that would fit in the rear storage compartment of a 28a? I need to lift a 75lb folding power chair in and out of the RV and I'm reaching the age where a dead lift of that size (especially given the less than optimal shape) is getting to be problematic. I was envisioning something like an extending arm with a hoist so that I could pull it out, hook up the chair, lift it and push it into the storage bay and lower it onto the floor. Thanks Derek Would something like this be helpful? https://discovermymobility.com/store/scooter-lifts/planet/vulcan/index.html -Chris
SJ-Chris 12/29/22 08:54pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: 12 volt fridges and boondocking?

12v refrigerators will likely use 30-60AH/day. Your propane refrigerator does use some 12v power, but let's assume it is small enough compared to the amount the 12v refrigerator uses and you can ignore it. Your two 100AH lithium batteries gives you probably 20-30 extra useable AHs compared to your two 6V batteries. The 600w of solar gives you 120w more than you have now. In a sunny environment that will give you 25-35AH/day more than you had. From the above, it seems like it is about a wash and if you were okay before with your battery life/use you will probably be ok with this new rig. If the new rig has a generator, then you've always got that as a backup. My suggestion would be to try it out and see if you are satisfied. If needed, you can always add one more 100AH lithium down the road and another solar panel or two. Good luck! Chris
SJ-Chris 12/23/22 12:21pm Tech Issues
RE: House Batteries not being charged by engine.

I suspect (and after re-reading I think you also mentioned) that the cylindrical item in the lower left is your solenoid for charging your house batteries while driving. Those do go bad pretty regularly (I've changed a few). Good news is they are inexpensive and that looks like a very easy location to swap it out for a new one. -Chris
SJ-Chris 12/18/22 01:21pm Tech Issues
RE: House Batteries not being charged by engine.

Can you crawl underneath and trace any red battery cable running back towards the chassis? With everything off (no generator or shore power), measure the voltage on your chassis. Then measure your voltage on your house batteries. They (in your case) should be different. Then measure the voltage on some of those wires to the left of your house batteries. and see which ones match your house battery voltage and which match your chassis voltage. This will tell you if you have a chassis fed battery cable back in your house battery location (...a clue at least). You can also do these measurements/tests with the engine on. Your chassis battery will likely be somewhere between 13.5-14.3v. Then you can probe those battery cable wires near your house batteries and see if you find a matching voltage. At least this way, you will know if you have your chassis 12v cable in the area near your coach batteries. Then you can probably identify the solenoid that is supposed to charge your house batteries while driving. Good luck! Chris
SJ-Chris 12/18/22 01:18pm Tech Issues
RE: absorption refrigerator out of level, boiler temp control

I have received and bench tested the thermostat I purchased for this mod so that I know how it works. Haven't played with the bonus app yet, but that should be fun. https://www.amazon.com/Temperature-Controller-99%C2%B0C-999%C2%B0C-One-Channel-Thermocouple/dp/B09TT7VWCK Pretty straightforward once I figured things out. This thermostat operates a relay. I will ultimately run the 12v power going to the refrigerator control board from the "on/off" button control inside the RV through the relay. This should cover either AC or propane operation (they both require the 12v supply to the refrigerator control board). That same 12v line will supply power to this thermostat device, so it will only be on when the refrigerator is on (no power draw while in storage). I can set a high "turn off" temperature and will likely have that at 200*C (392*F) (assuming that "normal/level" steady boiler temperature is ~180*C (356*F)...I will test this once it is installed). My understanding is the primary goal of this, or similar, device is to simply keep the internal water in the cooling unit from boiling (220-225*C...428*F-437*F...and higher). (side note: If you are wondering WHY the water boiling point is so high inside the cooling unit it is because the system is under a lot of pressure during operation.) If the boiler hits 200*C (perhaps by being out of level), the 12v power to the refrigerator will be killed (which will be sort of equivalent to turning the refrigerator off at the main "on/off" button) until the temperature drops down to some set point and then it will turn back on automatically (nice...this is what we want). I'm not sure what temp I should set this drop down temperature to. Any thoughts? If it turns off at 200*C, do I want it turning back on once it drops down to 180*C? 150*C? 70*C? Unless someone explains otherwise, I think I'll have it turn back on once the boiler cools down to 170*C (338*F). That would be a 30*C cooling off period (from 200*C) which I'm guessing would take 10-20 minutes (??? I'll try to do a test to find out once I install it). Then the refrigerator would turn on again and try again. If the conditions were still present that was causing it to start overheating in the first place (ie. being too far out of level), then the boiler temperature would slowly rise up to 200*C and then bounce back and forth between 200*C and 170*C. Any harm in this?? Or would it be better to have the boiler temperature bounce between 200*C and 180*C such that refrigerator interior cooling can hopefully still be taking place and the interior of the refrigerator can get to its desired temps and then the regular refrigerator controls would shut down the refrigerator until it needs to cycle on again naturally? I'm guessing it probably doesn't matter too much if the "turn back on" temperature is 180*C, 170*C, 150*C, etc. The main purpose/function is to simply limit the overheating such that it never gets above 220*C (428*F). I'm still pretty stunned to know that Norcold and Dometic find it okay to let the boiler temp get all the way up to 750-800*F before their kill fuse blows (at which time, correct me if I am wrong, the fuse will need to be physically replaced before your refrigerator will work again). With my ~$25 mod it will cut the power if it gets just 36*F above normal operating temps and then turn itself back on once the boiler temp gets back down to normal. Above, otrfun posted their refrigerator boiler temp data from a 2 year period where they made no efforts to keep their fridge level during operation. It rose above their normal boiler temp range a max of 7-12*C (21*F max) so it seems like in general these boilers hold a pretty constant max temperature. (Thanks for the data otrfun!) I have some family in town for Christmas so the install will likely have to wait until early January. -Chris
SJ-Chris 12/17/22 03:37pm Tech Issues
RE: absorption refrigerator out of level, boiler temp control

I have received and bench tested the thermostat I purchased for this mod so that I know how it works. Haven't played with the bonus app yet, but that should be fun. https://www.amazon.com/Temperature-Controller-99%C2%B0C-999%C2%B0C-One-Channel-Thermocouple/dp/B09TT7VWCK Pretty straightforward once I figured things out. This thermostat operates a relay. I will ultimately run the 12v power going to the refrigerator control board from the "on/off" button control inside the RV through the relay. This should cover either AC or propane operation (they both require the 12v supply to the refrigerator control board). That same 12v line will supply power to this thermostat device, so it will only be on when the refrigerator is on (no power draw while in storage). I can set a high "turn off" temperature and will likely have that at 200*C (392*F) (assuming that "normal/level" steady boiler temperature is ~180*C (356*F)...I will test this once it is installed). My understanding is the primary goal of this, or similar, device is to simply keep the internal water in the cooling unit from boiling (220-225*C...428*F-437*F...and higher). (side note: If you are wondering WHY the water boiling point is so high inside the cooling unit it is because the system is under a lot of pressure during operation.) If the boiler hits 200*C (perhaps by being out of level), the 12v power to the refrigerator will be killed (which will be sort of equivalent to turning the refrigerator off at the main "on/off" button) until the temperature drops down to some set point and then it will turn back on automatically (nice...this is what we want). I'm not sure what temp I should set this drop down temperature to. Any thoughts? If it turns off at 200*C, do I want it turning back on once it drops down to 180*C? 150*C? 70*C? Unless someone explains otherwise, I think I'll have it turn back on once the boiler cools down to 170*C (338*F). That would be a 30*C cooling off period (from 200*C) which I'm guessing would take 10-20 minutes (??? I'll try to do a test to find out once I install it). Then the refrigerator would turn on again and try again. If the conditions were still present that was causing it to start overheating in the first place (ie. being too far out of level), then the boiler temperature would slowly rise up to 200*C and then bounce back and forth between 200*C and 170*C. Any harm in this?? Or would it be better to have the boiler temperature bounce between 200*C and 180*C such that refrigerator interior cooling can hopefully still be taking place and the interior of the refrigerator can get to its desired temps and then the regular refrigerator controls would shut down the refrigerator until it needs to cycle on again naturally? I'm guessing it probably doesn't matter too much if the "turn back on" temperature is 180*C, 170*C, 150*C, etc. The main purpose/function is to simply limit the overheating such that it never gets above 220*C (428*F). I'm still pretty stunned to know that Norcold and Dometic find it okay to let the boiler temp get all the way up to 750-800*F before their kill fuse blows (at which time, correct me if I am wrong, the fuse will need to be physically replaced before your refrigerator will work again). With my ~$25 mod it will cut the power if it gets just 36*F above normal operating temps and then turn itself back on once the boiler temp gets back down to normal. I have some family in town for Christmas so the install will likely have to wait until early January. -Chris
SJ-Chris 12/17/22 03:23pm Tech Issues
RE: Suggestions for using "wasted" solar power?

Grit dog, Ah but that depends on your point of view. If his rv storage was near home, he could, if nothing else, reduce his bill at not much cost. Or he could do net metering with the excess power. If my RVs were stored at my home I would likely try to figure out how to tap into that excess solar. But my RVs are stored in a yard 1/2 mile away. Currently my solar keeps my coach batteries and chassis battery topped off (easy as there is very little draw), and powers an alarm system on my RV (motion sensor inside RV, motion sensor pointing at my cable wrapped catalytic converter, and motion sensor in the large rear storage compartment). But all of that can probably be powered by ~30-50w of solar, and my RVs have 500w of solar. Hence this post...looking for anything useful to use the rest of that potential solar power while in storage. -Chris
SJ-Chris 12/16/22 06:31pm Tech Issues
RE: Stops Catalytic Converter thefts! (inexpensive method)

Sorry if this was covered, but didn't read every page. Cable cutters pictured look like they are for copper or aluminum electrical cable. Steel will make them forever useless. Don't bolt cutters work on stranded cable? Very 1st post covers this... The cutters in the picture could not cut the cable. Needed much larger cutters specific for cables. That is what I used to cut the cables to length/etc. Bolt cutter could probably also do it. Large cutters could also be used by a thief if they are trying to steal my now-protected CC. But instead of just 2 quick cordless sawsall cuts (which they are used to), they will spend a lot more time underneath with their sawsall and cable cutters (which they are unlikely to have) trying to cut the 6-7 places where the cable is connected to the frame of the RV (some up high in very hard to reach places). And if that wasn't good enough, there's also a motion sensor alarm that will be triggered blasting at 110dB the whole time. Overall, a relatively inexpensive mod to reduce the chance that my CC will get stolen again (covered by insurance, but causing huge inconvenience and weeks/months out of commission). Can't stop a dedicated thief, but I like my chances. Stay safe! Chris
SJ-Chris 12/09/22 08:06pm Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: Need battery for house and gen starting?

This one is less expensive AND better designed to be a coach/house battery: https://www.walmart.com/ip/EverStart-Lead-Acid-Marine-RV-Deep-Cycle-Battery-Group-Size-29DC-12V-845-MCA/20531543?athbdg=L1600 Good luck! Chris
SJ-Chris 12/08/22 09:52pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Suggestions for using "wasted" solar power?

This is an expensive idea but might fit your uses. Buy a few so called solar batteries and swap them out to be used other places on a regular bases. I have 4kw of those batteries for use during short power outages at home. I just charge them from the wall but if I had a motor home with a bunch of solar sitting in the back yard I would store them there and swap them into the shop to use the power. My process now for longer power outages is to charge them with a generator so I don't have the generator running all the time. I have thought abut picking up some solar panels to recharge them but they are still on the maybe list. Thanks for the suggestion. Thankfully, I do not have power outages at my home except on very rare occasions so I don't really have the need for backup batteries for that. In the event that my power was out for any annoying length of time, I can always bring my RV home and run the generator and extension cord to the house to power a few items. -Chris
SJ-Chris 12/07/22 07:20pm Tech Issues
RE: Suggestions for using "wasted" solar power?

I love the *idea* of ultrasonic pest repellents. As I have been thinking about how to use this wasted power, this might be on the top of my list (along with a fan). I could put two in each RV, they are inexpensive, and they draw very little power. But...Do they work??? Many many internet google reviews and youtube videos seem to indicate that such devices do not work (or help very little). But if I look to buy online, like here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0BFPM5BF7 I see 13,865 reviews/ratings and 93% of them (...almost 13,000 people) gave it 4 or 5 stars out of 5. Are there that many fake review bots on amazon to boost so many 4-5 star reviews? I guess the bottom line might be...they are cheap enough and draw such little power so why not? -Chris
SJ-Chris 12/07/22 02:01pm Tech Issues
RE: Suggestions for using "wasted" solar power?

Hi Chris, The circulating fan would equalize temperatures inside the RV. I think that might be of use. I'm sure you meant a dehumidifier not a humidifier. Unfortunately dehumidifiers that actually work generally draw 1200 to 1500 watts. More than you have "spare". The ultrasonic pest units draw milliamps. Less than you have "spare". It may also be the reason they are not effective. Yes, I meant dehumidifier. -Chris
SJ-Chris 12/06/22 11:09pm Tech Issues
RE: Picture Posting Test Thread

Looks like the photo posting site got suspended. Usually means someone didn't pay for a renewal. Anyone know if it is coming back? Anyone know of a similar easy site for photo posting that doesn't require creating an account? -Chris
SJ-Chris 12/06/22 08:21pm Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: Buying a Former Rental Class C. How many of us out there?

Add me to the list. Just picked up our 2018 Thor Majestic 28A from CA yesterday. Now it's in the driveway, getting cleaned out of all the little things that got put behind drawers, in "inaccessible" locations, etc. Can't wait to take our first trip in her to Yuma in 2 weeks. This thread was very helpful in making the decision to go forward in the buying process. Thanks IAMICHABOD!! -Marshall Welcome Marshall! Was that from the Newark location? Just curious. I bought two 2015 28a units from them a couple years ago and they have been working out pretty good. Let us know if you have any questions. -Chris
SJ-Chris 12/06/22 08:18pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Suggestions for using "wasted" solar power?

I don't know why you want to add a 2nd inverter - just turn your existing one on but turn off any high draw items. There are a few reasons.... As mentioned, this is for when the RVs are in STORAGE. The 2000w PSW inverter has a standby draw (...with NOTHING connected to it) of over 2 amps. That means 24+ amp hours per day that would be used by the 2000w inverter doing nothing, and the solar panels would need to put that back into the batteries each day. That's ~12% of the battery capacity and I wouldn't want the batteries discharging/charging back and forth EVERY day. I don't want to use the BATTERIES. I want to use the excess solar capacity. The solar charge controller has a "Load" output/connection. This is separate from the output that goes to the coach batteries. My understanding is that this "Load" output will draw ONLY from the solar charge controller (power from the solar) and NOT from the batteries. So, when the sun is shining and there is excess power coming from the solar panels, then the extra 300w inverter will have power and whatever is plugged in will have power. Then, when the sun goes down the 300w inverter will power off. It is this power I am trying to take advantage of. -Chris
SJ-Chris 12/06/22 07:35pm Tech Issues
Suggestions for using "wasted" solar power?

Looking for suggestions... How would you use ~150-250w of power for 8-10hrs per day so it's not just "wasted"? I've got multiple RVs (Class C) and they each have 500w of solar panels, and 200AH of lead batteries. Most of the time, especially in the off-season, they are just sitting in uncovered storage (getting plenty of sunlight year-round). While in storage, the solar is on and the batteries are easily maintained at 100% by the solar (my RV standby draw with everything "off" is only about 0.3amps). The output from the solar charge controller goes to my batteries and a 2000w PSW inverter (which is always off unless needed while camping as it draws ~2amps in standby when on). The solar charge controller also has terminals for a load (pos/neg) such that the solar charge controller could power something else (in addition to maintaining the coach batteries) while it is collecting sunlight. In order to maintain the coach batteries at 100% it probably only uses ~20w worth of the 500w of solar. Of course we all know it is next to impossible to actually get 500w out of 500w worth of solar panels, especially in the off-season. But certainly my 500w worth of panels must be generating 200-350w worth of power during off-season sunlight hours (I live in CA so most days even in winter are sunny). It got me to thinking the other day... It sure would be nice if that "extra" solar power (not battery power) could be actually DOING something instead of just holding the batteries fully charged WHILE IN STORAGE. There is a load terminal (pos/neg) coming off the solar charge controller and I'm thinking about getting an inexpensive 300w inverter to connect to it. My understanding is it would only have power when it is coming from the solar panels, and NOT getting power from the batteries. So it is a way to harvest/use this "extra" solar power from my panels for probably 8-10hrs per day. The question then becomes, "What to do with this power?" The RVs are not stored near my home, so there is no way to use the power on my home. A couple ideas that come to mind, but just not sure if they are needed/worthwhile... - Power a circulating fan. This would move air around in the RV to hopefully keep things fresh and dry. Not sure it is needed though (I haven't had any problems with smells, mold). - Power a humidifier. This might help to keep moisture down inside the RV. I haven't had a problem with this, but seems like it couldn't hurt. - Power a couple Ultrasonic pest (mice/rat/squirrel) plug-in repellents. I haven't had an issue with mice/rats/squirrel, but prevention is always a good idea. I did have one mouse about 3 years ago. Thankfully, there are a few outdoor cats near where I store my RVs. Any suggestions on how you would use ~150-250w of power for 8-10hrs per day so it's not just "wasted"? Thought some of you might have some creative ideas. Thanks! Chris
SJ-Chris 12/06/22 01:46pm Tech Issues
RE: Chassis Ear

SJ-Chris: Will followup and let you know what I find out. Just thinking that shop rates can easily be $150+/hr, an investment in a chassis ear can easily be recovered. I'm also thinking of using this tool for those irritating squeaks and rattles that appear in all rvs. By the way there is also a similar tool called "engine ears". ...and as you point out, having the shop try to "figure out" stuff is always VERY expensive! Rates in the CA Bay Area are ~$200/hr. Even when I drop off an RV with a reasonable idea as to what a problem is, I usually get, "Well, we'll need to spend an hour or two to diagnose the problem"... I do my best to do most of the repairs myself. This forum has been VERY helpful for that!
SJ-Chris 12/04/22 07:07pm Tech Issues
RE: Chassis Ear

SJ-Chris: Will followup and let you know what I find out. Just thinking that shop rates can easily be $150+/hr, an investment in a chassis ear can easily be recovered. I'm also thinking of using this tool for those irritating squeaks and rattles that appear in all rvs. By the way there is also a similar tool called "engine ears". Hmmm....how do these things work?? I've got a couple RV squeaks...not engine or brake or transmission related....just "behind me somewhere in the RV while I'm driving" squeaks. Would a tool like this help to isolate/identify WHERE the noise is coming from? I have no idea how this tool works... -Chris
SJ-Chris 12/04/22 07:05pm Tech Issues
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