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 > Your search for posts made by 'StirCrazy' found 663 matches.

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RE: where to stop for the night

Proud Canuck -- I have never camped in Canada, so forgive me if you think this is a weird question. Are there any provinces in Canada which would allow a person towing or driving an RV long distances to just pull into a rest area, truck stop, visitor's center, forest service road, etc to overnight rather than drive tired on the road without sleep? We have even asked managers' at Wal-Marts here in the US because it was late and given permission to overnight in their parking lot rather than risk an accident on the road. I have a few Canadian friends, and they are the type who would be compassionate and even allow me to overnight in their driveway if it were necessary. most of them. road siade pull outs, truck stops, even walmart parking lots. althought some walmarts put up signs saying you can't but most I have seen you still can. costco parking lots are a good option also. when I go to alberta a lot I leave after supper and stop for the night in hinton in a parking lot all the time. there are also a lot of free campsites around that are not to far off the road. problem is just figuring out what is out there that matches your plans. Steve
StirCrazy 10/05/21 09:52am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: where to stop for the night

One place I have seen where there are places to stop is off Hwy 93 heading from Lake Louise towards Jasper. If you head north at the Sask Crossing turnoff there are a number of places where you can overnight including a few Government CGs. Not sure on their closing times though. A lot depends on how far you will go in 1 day too. Parks Canada Rangers will stop and ask you to move on if they find you overnighting anywhere but in a campground. All campgrounds north of Saskatchewan Crossing are already closed for the winter. At Jasper, the Wapiti campground is open till Oct 11. Whistlers is open till then also. one of the tunnel mountian villages (I think 2) is going to be open all winter with power sites available this year as a trial. Steve
StirCrazy 10/05/21 09:49am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: $135k for a very basic camper?

I was thinking the same thing, wow thats a lot. but go to the actual website read ablut it. the fram is all large format alumum "c channel that is fully welded, the outer skin is thick fully welded alumium plate, not thin siding. they achieved a "true" R16 insulation so it is better inslulated than older houses. the design focused on aero dynamics to reduce parasidic drag when driving and get better milage. this one is built with the intention of you never having to replace it in your life time, so is it worth more nonty that the ones that cost 50K and are having issues within 5 years and most people font keep more than 6 years? personaly 135Cdn is a little expensive for me, but if it was a 10 to 11 foot model maybe sell the 40 foot 5th wheel now that the kids are gone and just have a indestructible well insulated true 4 season camper..... its somthing to think about anyways. especialy when we have no issue paying 50000.00 for junk.... I will admidt I do like the fact that you can use the normal door, or lift the whole back wall like a suv hatch back if it is nice in the summer and use your tailgate as extra space. Steve
StirCrazy 10/05/21 09:37am Truck Campers
RE: What did you do to your Camper Today?

Hmm, not today but a couple days ago I replaced all the seals in the water lines, and made a custom suction line with a two way valve so I can use my pump to winterize now. Still have to put a bypass kit on the hot water heater but I'll do that when I have to winterize as I have to take the lines off then anyways. Steve
StirCrazy 10/05/21 09:25am Truck Campers
RE: Lithium Batteries

before you do anything get the book out for your set up and see what the specs are. maybe you have one that all you have to do is "switch" it to a lithium setting. I know personaly if I were you, 9 out of 10 times I would change out the charging section of your converter if it is the one that came with the trailer because they are normaly junk and just kill batteries if you leave them pluged in during the off season like I do. if not like mentioned above they will work kinda, is it optimal for the battery , nope. would I leave it pluged in for months on end , nope but you can make it work lots of people do. Steve
StirCrazy 10/05/21 09:17am Fifth-Wheels
RE: Adding more Solar and DC-DC charger

I like your plan. if you have the room increasing your solar to 800 watts will definatly get you better charging even in low light and on a normal day you will be charged alot faster. One thing to concider is the type of panels your using, if you can upgrade to 24V split cell panels would highly sugest that. to give you an example of the difference in my 5th wheel I have 480 watts of 12V panels with a PWM controler and ya in the summer I never have to worry about power, but once furnace season starts I have to be very carfull and some times plug in. in the fall before say 9am it puts out nothing. In my truck camper I have a single 325 watt 24V splitt cell panel and it puts out more amps than my 5th wheel, and starts producing power when it is barley sun up. last week at 7:30am it was already putting out 0.5 amp, not a lot but it was pretty much still dark and thats is an extra 1-2 AH back in the battery before the 5th wheel even starts putting out a charge. Myself I am putting another panel on the camper to take it to 650 and a larger battery and Ill be good to go. I am also looking at the DC to DC charger for while I drive or an emergency. I do like the idea of the DC to DC charger, some one mentioned you could buy a lot of propane, but the ultimate goal for me would be not to have to have a generator and the DC to DC would only be a emergency charging source. with a 280 AH LFP, I am assuming your built your own? if so the only other thing I would add to this plan is another one for more capacity. not right now but later down the road if you need it. Steve
StirCrazy 10/04/21 06:36am Truck Campers
RE: where to stop for the night

We re headed Salmon Arm to Calgary on Friday. Hiway fully open 8 Oct at noon to 12 Oct at noon MST. Just saw that, was hoping it would have opened first thing friday morning.. might have to go to jasper first and come home that way. Steve
StirCrazy 10/03/21 10:21pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
where to stop for the night

Ok so for thanksgiving weekend we decided to leave the 5th wheel at home and do a three day loop from kamloops, to banff, to jasper then home with the truck camper. so my question is between Kamloops and banff is there any good spots you can pull over for the evening besides truck stops and such. we are leaving thursday about supper time and I was intending on knocking two or three hours of driving off then stoping for the night, but I noticed 90% of the campgrounds have already shut down for the winter. Steve
StirCrazy 10/03/21 06:49am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: New shore service tripled energy bill

I added 50 amy service for my 5th wheel, we leave the fridge going all summer and use it for guests and such also. I have never even noticed an increase that is worth mentioning in my power bill.. Steve
StirCrazy 10/03/21 06:39am Tech Issues
RE: Camping in sub freezing weather

Hello all, I'm new to RVing. Just bought a 5th wheel. I'm going to take it to Angel Fire NM this January and go snow skiing. I've been skiing in NM for almost 20 years and the temperature routinely can get to 20 or 30 degrees BELOW freezing. My unit has a fully enclosed ducted/heated underbelly, heated basement, and heated storage tanks. I know I need to protect my water hose (if the resort has their city water turned on). I will turn on my tank heaters and plan to run my furnace while driving if I we encounter sub freezing temps during our drive. I will only plan on placing my sewer hose out when dumping and return to heated basement after use. Can anyone who's been camping in sub freezing temperatures provide me with any advice? I'm trying to avoid common rookie mistakes encountered while camping in very cold weather. Thank you in advance. so by 20 to 30 degrees below freezing I am assuming you mean 0F(-17.8C) if this is the case depending what you are camping in you may be fine. My 5th wheel is good to go at -7.6F (-22C) as it has the polar package. of course our going to use a lot more propane at -18C I was only getting 2 to 3 nights off a 30lb propane bottle. depending how long your going to be there for there are several things you can do to make it warmer and decrease your propane usage. if you have power you can put a few heat lamps under the trailer and use something to insulate it all around, like an insulated skirt, straw bales, foam boards......you can also use electric heaters inside to help the furnace. I have a couple friends that full time in there rv's and they employ these kind of things and live pretty comfterably. for a short stay if you have some sort of skirt or material that you can put on to stop the air from blowing under the unit that will help. Steve
StirCrazy 10/02/21 09:30am Beginning RVing
RE: Battery Question

I don't understand these arguments at all... If you have a LiFePo4 battery and camp in extreme cold weather, move the battery to inside the camper. Problem solved... Take it out of storage at -37 and let me know how that works for you. It is fine if one were full time. I'm still waiting for FWC to describe the power system he uses. If I were to take mine out of storage at -37, assuming the batteries had some % of charge remaining, I would: 1. Shut off/disconnect any charging devices - solar, shore power, DC-DC charger, no genny running. 2. Start the furnace. My 2 BB batteries are inside the conditioned space and have a heat duct discharge adjacent to the batteries. Let the furnace run for 24 hrs. while monitoring the battery temp via my Victron BM712 and an external digital thermostat next to the batts. My external digital thermo switch, serves a double duty as my Victron DC/DC charger generates considerable heat, so I installed 2 small 4" fans which are set to come on at 30C. My BB batts do not have built in heaters which are available. 3. Once I'm confident the internal battery temp is above 32F/0C, I'd start charging them. Note: If attempting to charge cold batteries, according Tony discussions with BB, the BB internal battery monitor will disconnect at 25F to prevent damage to the batteries. To reset the internal BM, just disconnect/reconnect the negative battery cable. On a side note, the coldest I've ever experienced was during an extended business trip to Prince Albert, SK. I'm not sure I'd personally want to camp in that weather but with adequate preparation, it should be possible. if you bought quality LFP you wouldn't need to disconect the sources of power as the BMS would have already done that internaly. most have a internal reset, dont know for sure why battle born went with one that needs a total reset of the BMS... maybe when they started it was all there was.. the one I have ordered disconects at what ever I set it at so I could put it at -3C and set the reconect at 0C so when it hits -3 it will automaticly shut off charging ability and when it warms up to 0 it alows charging again. there are newer ones you can buy that have heaters built into the battery case and the BMS will automaticly shut off charging of the battery but reroute the power supply to the heaters untill they hit a spicifc temp then start charging the batteries. so if you have solar, in the morning when the sun starts coming out and you have 0.5amps of power, this could be warming the battery for an hour then when the real Amps start flowing you charging. for a truck camer who boondocks in the winter I like this setup if you dont want to move the batteries inside the conditiond space. just do some nice foam insulation around the batteries to mak the warming more efficient and I dont think it would ever be to cold to camp. Steve
StirCrazy 10/02/21 09:02am Truck Campers
RE: Battery Question

Take it out of storage at -37 and let me know how that works for you. I sure would like to know your routine after you take your camper out of storage at -37 to warm the interior up to a reasonable temperature , with what heat source , and how long it takes . he has a motorhome, lots of room and payload capability for batteries, probably just starts the furnace while he drives. the weight and spae limitations of a camper mean nothing to him. Steve
StirCrazy 10/02/21 08:51am Truck Campers
RE: Battery Question

Or to put it another way, they still don’t charge in the cold. Doesn’t matter if it’s -100 if you keep them warm. Then they’re not in the cold. Thank you for finally using your words! I hate it when people post statments like they dont charge in the cold. if you are camping and using your batteries you have obviously made it so the battery is kept warm, no matter what the weather is like outside. so they will act just like a normal battery and you can forget about them, which people seam to forget. the beauty about LiFePo4 is they are a zero off gass any position battery so you can tuck them anywhere. and if you make your own you can make them a wide viriaty of shape with out hurting preformance. this enables you to put them in places you couldnt put a normal battery. I think part of the issue has been becuse they do have limit of cold charging, it was always asumed they have a hrd limit on cold dischare and if that was the case then yes Pianotuna would be right for extreem cold camping SIO2 were better, even though they are more expensive now.. but now that we have discovered that they will dischardw at much lower temps, the playing field has shifted back in favor of the LiFePO4. in fact at -30 they have less of a capacity restriction than SIO2 (60% capacity for SIO2 &0% capacity for LiFePO4. granted this will only be an issue for thr LFP when first starting a heating unit to warm up the batteries then they will be back at 100% capacity, the SIO2 sitting outside will still only have 60% capacity) so as long as you can mount the LFP batteries where they will be kept warm for charging purposes, then at a lot less weight, and much smaller for the same usable AH, and cheeper. its a no brainer Steve
StirCrazy 09/30/21 11:12am Truck Campers
RE: Battery Question

There is no physical reason that LiFePO4 batteries can't be discharged below -20C. I don't pre-warm them in any way, just use them. They are generally rated for -20, because they only test to -20C because 99.9% of their customers don't care about performance below -20C. However, some manufacturers do test down to lower temperatures and while they loose capacity at low temperatures, it is not nearly as bad as many battery chemistries: http://www.arhservices.co.uk/GoldenMotor/LiFePO4DischargecapacityVstemperature.JPG width=640 interesting, at -30 they have more capacity available than SIO2 (80% Vs 60%) first time I have seen a chart that shows preformance below -20. is there a corasponding chart that shows if there is a impact on cycle life when used at these temps or if the amprage (flow) is impared? Nevermind, I just saw that was at a 9 amp discharge. more than enough to run a furnace....... Steve
StirCrazy 09/29/21 07:43am Truck Campers
RE: How to build a LiFePo4 battery bank.

I plan on minimal compression with two zip-ties around the box. The straps are temporary to hold the cells in place to fit the bus bars. If using ratchet straps I would re-thread them to eliminate the hooks. ok perfect, I dont think with that size of a bank your going to get anywhere near the charging rate that would require more compression anyways haha I decided to skip the separators. They are wrapped nicely in the standard blue vinyl. Easy to overthink everything. Have not really read any issues with skipping the separators even though some insist something is needed. Not intended to be a bulletproof off-pavement design. ya the only reason I ask, is a lot of people have been putting something thin in that will prevent that vinal from getting scratched or worn off exposing the metal under it and a possible short, but I don't know how tough that vinal coating is and if it is nessasary The box wall next to the fuses is floating (movable). There will also be heat pads, one per cell, on the outside controlled with a thermostat. They are 15w silicone pads. I will run two in series for maybe 4 watts each, 64 watts for the entire block. Member Pianotuna will be pleased to see my battery wiring will finally get balanced ;) that looks almost exactly like mine is set up haha. so I imaging you are self powering the pads from the battery bank? I was thinking of doing some sort of heating pads but make them so I could power them directly from the solar controler (load termanals I believe, have to read up and see how that works) so as I am driving the batteries will be kept warm. I am also going to move them into the empty space under the stairs of the 5th. right now the cold air returns for the furnace are in the steps so the warmed air will always flow through there and there is room for 4 battery packs under there easy. do you have a link to the heating pads your using? Steve
StirCrazy 09/28/21 07:57am Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: Battery Question

Or more accurately, even though "you" personally want your rig "camp-able" at -30 deg and colder, LiFe's still have issues below freezing and you can't just "turn on he furnace" as one person suggested, although they will still "work" to discharge, IE provide power down to well below freezing (Not -30, someone can look it up though ). It's charging when the batteries themselves are around or below freezing. Bottom line, they are a great option for lightweight, and duty cycle for warm weather campers. Not worth fiddling with if one is winter camping. Although it appears some folks (on rvnet here anyway) really enjoy engineering and maintaining "off grid" solutions. I wonder if the "maintenance free" aspect of LiFe's is lost on the added $ and effort to make them work though. Why would you not be able to turn on the furnace at -30? PS, I winter camp extensively with my LiFePO4 batteries and have used LiFePO4 batteries well below -30 (just not in my camper). because there only rated for discharge to -20C. but if you had a way to warm the battery up first you would have no problem. but thats interesting how are you prewarming your bateries or are you? Steve
StirCrazy 09/28/21 07:38am Truck Campers
RE: How to build a LiFePo4 battery bank.

I put the 2x Overkill BMS and some fuses on a small shelf in the box. This is actually two separate batteries. Each has 2 cells in parallel and 4 in series so 8 cells per battery. I expect to get this into my front compartment next weekend. https://i.imgur.com/a51UfJ9l.jpg I like that setup. only questions I have is the use of the rachet strap and the potential for the hooks to damage the side of the battery cell. and I cant see any isolater between the cells. if the rachet strap is temporary how do you plan on compressing the cells to get better life out of them or are you, not worring about it as the charge rater will be lower than .25C and no risk of any heat? Steve
StirCrazy 09/27/21 09:19am Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: How to build a LiFePo4 battery bank.

Overkill BMS's seem to have a very good rep; however, to my knowledge they don't make BMS's larger than 120a. For those who have 2000-3000w inverters with 200-300a current requirements what options do they have? Daly makes a few 150-250a models, but they have a somewhat sketchy rep. I suppose one could parallel multiple Overkill 100-120a BMS's and LifePo4 battery packs. Running several in parallel is not a bad idea, it would be the same as running several drop in batteries in parallel. It spreads the load (and heat) across multiple devices, and provides redundancy as well. On the down side, you would need to look at several screens on the app to see what each pack is doing, but that is not a huge deal. If you are handy you could also merge the data from each BMS into one stream as the protocol is open source. To give credit where credit is due - these are not Overkill Solar's BMS, they are just retailing/rebranding LLT powers BMS. yup and if you go to there site you can get a 200amp version. https://www.lithiumbatterypcb.com/product/3s-12-6v-4s-16-8v-or-4s-14-6v-lifepo4-battery-bms-with-120a-to-200a-constant-discharge-current-for-12v-converter-power-ups/ Steve
StirCrazy 09/27/21 09:14am Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: Solar install so far

I would cut smaller chunks of the angle you used and put it on the short side of the panels also. it will stiffen up your total brackets and also let you put a mount on each end of the panel which will prevent flexing while your driving. Steve
StirCrazy 09/27/21 08:55am Tech Issues
RE: Lithium cost keep dropping!

the reason they are getting cheeper is more manufactures are moving to prismatic cells which are way faster and less labour to build as your putting 4 cells togeather as aposed to 100 cells. also shipping has been consistantly getting cheeper over the last two years, and third, battle born is extramly overpriced as they were the only name in the game for a while now there trying to make people think because they are expensive they are better but even they have been dropping there prices laitly. Steve
StirCrazy 09/27/21 08:52am Tech Issues
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