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 > Your search for posts made by 'westend' found 94 matches.

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RE: Check your batteries

Thank you. It is good to know that you are well too. You are right. Batteries are the one disposable part of our systems. The best that you can do is know your needs and make the best choices in battery type, capacity, A charge controller that has user defined settings with TC and enough solar to replace what you use on a daily basis at the very least. Taking the time to maintain them is key. Thanks Jim, I hope you and yours are doing well, also. I also hope you've moved beyond that hulking truck battery I remember you using. Oof da, what a load to lift! Yes, purpose of this thread is to alert users to look at their batteries and maybe save replacement costs. FWIW, the Morningstar solar controller I have is configurable through the Morningstar software and offers a lot of variability. I also use temperature compensation so the charging values change with the seasons as the battery temperature changes. It is all pretty much overkill for my small system but I wanted to have in place a sophisticated solar charging system to see how nuances of solar work and what to expect should I decide to upgrade the system. At that, I'm going to qualify it as a success. One of my next upgrades is going to be installing a bigger inverter I have and installing a small air conditioner. My rig is insulated to the point that a small AC is going to do the trick. I remember you, Jim, using a small window AC with your solar so I'm basically following your lead. Thanks for leading!
westend 10/03/19 11:16pm Travel Trailers
RE: Check your batteries

How are you and the Polish princess doing? Sorry about not answering you, right away Jim. Me and Her Majesty are still hanging in there. I think we're on yr 38 or so. There have been no royal edicts this week as I repair Her castle and Her transportation. Good to hear from you. About the charging, gassing, and batteries: Nearly every battery has a charging voltage it's happy with and this can be seen if observation allows in its use and measurements are taken. Known beforehand is that batteries do have a finite lifetime, amount of use and charging discipline make the most difference. Batteries like to be immediately charged when depleted and ideally, a float charge is constant. A battery will always produce gas when charged. Even an AGM gasses but the gas is reintroduced inside the battery. I try to keep my batteries fully charged and solar makes this easy, it does the charging better than I could with manual chargers. Yes, electrolyte is lost but filling a battery is easy. The trick is to do it often, not wait until plates are exposed or about to be exposed.
westend 10/03/19 12:47am Travel Trailers
RE: Check your batteries

Two flooded batteries inside the TT. How are they vented?The batteries are in a sealed box with a vent to the outside. I did a fair bit of research on gas volumes and the amount of hydrogen produced when charging, just to size the vent. So far, I haven't had any problems, going 6 yrs. with the vented box. I also have three AGM batteries inside. The batteries are split in distribution to two banks. In use, they are typically switched to run together since the requirements for charging are so close. The little Morningstar solar charge controller is very variable and settings can be manipulated easily. I'm pretty happy with the batteries but want to add more, of course. I just need to figure out weight balances to see where any additions can be added,
westend 10/01/19 05:28pm Travel Trailers
Check your batteries

It's a good time of the year to check out your batteries for good,clean connections that haven't loosened and the electrolyte level in flooded acid batteries. Also, replacing small cell batteries in battery powered detectors may be necessary. FWIW, last night, my Son alerted me that there was beeping coming from inside the TT. A battery powered CO detector needed battery replacement and was alarming to alert me. While I was inside I checked the electrolyte level in two 6V batteries located inside the TT. Both were very low. Water was added and, if I hadn't checked them, in a few days the plates would have been exposed. I need to adjust my maintenance schedule for batteries because I have solar charging them daily. The solar is a great helper but it results in faster electrolyte loss than typical use with occasional charging. Hope this reminds someone to check their batteries. Maintenance is cheaper than replacement.:)
westend 10/01/19 02:37pm Travel Trailers
RE: Storage Compartment Theft

A steel flat bar across the compartment door with 2 padlocks attached to hasps on either side will probably deter the wandering thief. He'll just choose another trailer for what he wants. It occurs to me that you could move the items you typically store in the compartments to the inside. Leaving a compartment bare is a good indicator to the crack head that you have removed any easily accessible items. If a thief is determined there is no stopping them. FWIW, I contracted in a local petro facility. Of course, the refinery is fenced and the usual security is in place. Overnight, thieves came in and removed 1/4 mile of large copper electrical cable. It was powered while they removed it and fastened to a walkway leading down to the river. A lot of work to accomplish just for copper wire but compulsion to steal overrides most reasoning, I guess. Good luck with the security upgrades. Keep it visible and remove valuables would be my suggestion.
westend 10/01/19 02:21pm Travel Trailers
RE: solar update

Thanks for the update. Solar and RVing are like peanut butter and jelly. They just are made for each other. One big benefit if you have a charge controller that will float charge, is that your batteries will always be charged when you decide to move from the storage location.
westend 09/08/19 04:24am General RVing Issues
RE: Best wax for lazy people?

I've used Parfe liquid wax (no need to wipe it down after spraying on) with very good results. It is a very hard wax and leaves a decent shine. Building a deep shine needs buffing and many coats, including polishes. The Parfe is a good substitute. Available here:Parfe wax
westend 09/08/19 04:15am General RVing Issues
RE: Water heater problems

The horizontal button is probably the valve for the pilot when lighting. Turn your temperature knob all the way down, try the horizontal button. If it is seized, you may get it to move by introducing a penetrating oil (like Rust Blaster or similar) and minimally moving or tapping on the button. Be careful not to break the plastic. If that happens or you are unable to move it, a new gas valve is the solution.
westend 09/08/19 03:07am Travel Trailers
RE: Hotwater Heater

Typical RV water heater size tanks are 6 gallon, 10 gallon, and bigger for larger coaches. My standing pilot 6 gallon water heater takes about 10 minutes to fully heat the water.
westend 09/08/19 02:50am Travel Trailers
RE: Hurricane advise?

I've read where some owners use ground-attached anchors to keep their rig upright. I believe those anchors are current building code in certain areas of Florida.
westend 08/29/19 01:22pm Travel Trailers
RE: Roof Issue

Ice and Water adhesive membranes need to be covered for UV protection. If it was mine, I wouldn't remove it. FWIW, when I reroofed the sticks and bricks, I installed a full covering using GAF Weatherwatch, adhesive membrane. Part of the roof was not covered with shingles for about three weeks. I haven't experienced any damage to the membrane.
westend 08/29/19 01:18pm Travel Trailers
RE: Electric cooler off of 12 volts

How do you close up the outside fridge vent panel? For me, I will want it 100% weather sealed, then insulated like the walls are insulated. I replaced the formed vent with a solid panel. An owner can cover the inside of the vented panel with a solid panel, add in the requisite insulation and have exactly what you desire. When installing insulation, opt for extruded foam board. It is a much superior insulator than fiberglass batt and won't suffer from condensation as much as the spun stuff.
westend 08/28/19 07:57pm General RVing Issues
RE: question about battery

Even with the disconnect switch on the off position, you will still have a small load...That is not always true. When I turn my disconnect switch off, everything is off; there are zero loads connected.Even the emergency battery powered brake system? That is the most important thing to have powered and should always be powered even with a disconnect switch interrupting any power to the trailer. It will draw no current when in the standard, non operating, position so isn't a drain on the battery(s). If the emergency brake switch on the trailer tongue is not powered, add a wire, a fuse, and the correct terminals from the switch to the battery, bypassing the disconnect switch. The reason this is best practice is that it makes the emergency brake system operable, even with operator error of forgetting the switch before traveling.
westend 08/27/19 05:39pm Travel Trailers
RE: Need Flat Panel TV mounting advice

Using a backer board that is glued and screwed to the wall is a great idea, using "T" nuts to mount the bracket to the board is the best way to go. Two drill bits are required for mounting the nuts, a std bit for the thru hole the threaded nipple goes in and a forstner bit to counter sink the head. Now on to the bolts to use for added holding power for the backer board, my suggestion is to use Jack nuts. They are specifically designed for thin material and your walls are most likely 1/10" thick and they come in various lengths. As mentioned, Toggle Bolts(not wing nut bolt) are not really a great idea, they can fall into the wall and they require a much larger hole for installation. Molly bolts are available for installation in thin material, but are not as good as jack nuts and not as strong. They look very similar and work the same. In some cases you need a special tool for installation, I have installed 1/4"-20 jack nuts using a long cap screw and a nut instead of the special tool. Here is a link to a mfg. You will find YouTube videos on the use of the jack nuts. When I am doing a similar installation I countersink the flange on the back side of the board just like I do for the "T" nuts. I use forstner bits because they make flat bottom holes and not tapered. I mounted a 32" LCD to a backer board in my trailer. I chose to drill holes in the board, make recesses in the holes on the back of the board, lead bolts in from the back, and bolt the TV mount to the backer board. It worked slick.
westend 08/02/19 09:12pm Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: 1982 Coachmen 15' rebuild

I restored a 19' Starcraft. The link is in my signature line. Photobucket has captured my pics and is ransoming them. Images can be sent on demand. You will need to either move the waste tank or keep the toilet close to its present location. I moved mine about three feet, the limit to use the same tank location. Good luck with the restoration. Make crude layout plans and schedule the work involved. Even a simple plan is better than no plan.
westend 07/02/19 10:02am Travel Trailers
RE: A/C on 20 amp

We don't know how long the total circuit is from distribution box to trailer inlet so advice on cord length and gauge is problematic. One of the better things you can buy for your RV'ing (and other household use) is a Kill-a-watt device. One side is connected to the power source and the KAW has a receptacle for the device needing power. Mine will measure amperage, voltage, and watts consumed. Handy thing to have around when there is a question of amounts of power needed and what is happening inside the copper wires. FWIW, I power a table saw with a longer cord. I bought a length of 8 AWG and attached an industrial male plug to the cord. I've never measured the power consumed since it has never tripped a breaker or sagged under the biggest loads. I mention it as an example of how larger wire gauges can bring reliability to the application.
westend 06/29/19 12:54am Travel Trailers
RE: Terrible factory splices in brake wiring

What you've done is a series connection. You have both drums in series on one side and have two drums in series from one end of axle to the other. A Star pattern typically has each drum having it's own pair of wires. The power can be distributed by a series wire connection to the source of power or, as I did, through a distribution block so that each brake assembly has its own pair of wires. I pulled it through heavy plastic flex-conduit and plastic boxes located against the frame. There are still two splices near the drums to power the magnets. I soldered mine and covered with heatshrink. The 12 ga you used is definitely an improvement and you should notice better braking, immediately.Thanks for the clarification. What did you use for a distribution block? Does it have a watertight cover? I had a multi-terminal block laying around. It has about 20 terminals. It resides inside a box that I added to the trailer tongue. I split the (-) and (+) leads on the block, the trailer umbilical and emergency braking leads are apportioned to the block with jumpers between terminals. On the same distribution block, I have the light connections. There are sealed distribution blocks if you feel the need. FWIW, at one time, I worked on a fleet of trailers and trucks. The trailers, which were continually abused, were a pain to diagnose electrical problems. I learned from that experience and added the 12V distribution block on my travel trailer. If I experience a potential brake or light problem, diagnosis of the electrical part is easy. Good luck on the brake electrical. Your renovation to 12 ga may be all that you need to get operation at a reliable level.
westend 06/26/19 04:01am Travel Trailers
RE: Terrible factory splices in brake wiring

What you've done is a series connection. You have both drums in series on one side and have two drums in series from one end of axle to the other. A Star pattern typically has each drum having it's own pair of wires. The power can be distributed by a series wire connection to the source of power or, as I did, through a distribution block so that each brake assembly has its own pair of wires. I pulled it through heavy plastic flex-conduit and plastic boxes located against the frame. There are still two splices near the drums to power the magnets. I soldered mine and covered with heatshrink. The 12 ga you used is definitely an improvement and you should notice better braking, immediately.
westend 06/24/19 01:05pm Travel Trailers
RE: Figuring this power stuff has my head spinning

Running A/C--You need 3000W of generator power. Break it down any way you want. Running cell phones, TV's, laptop chargers, lights, water pump, and furnace--You need sufficient 12V power to accomplish it. Add up the draw of all your 12V devices and size battery bank/charging potential accordingly.
westend 06/08/19 11:22pm Tech Issues
RE: Residential Fridges

I use a 120V fridge. It is small and draws 80W, when running. As Pianotuna states, there is a duty cycle. Mine is 1:4. I have solar and many batteries but two 6V and a small charging source would provide a day of two for fridge power (depending on door interval openings). On the road, your truck powering through a 1000W inverter, will handle the load.
westend 06/08/19 11:01pm Tech Issues
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