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  • Birthday November 12

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    Napa, California
  • Interests
    Touring the country, Travelling to National Parks, camping, hiking, science fiction, new movies, games of skill, deep conversations, Cuban cigars, most desserts, and few women... soon to be traveling with a new Golden Retriever (if I can find one)
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  1. I've replaced my Zamp controller with a Victron
  2. After further review, decided to remove the tray to make room for 4 Battle Born 100Ah to replace the current flooded bank. My service guy says doing so results in enough room for 8-10 total of these, and he can easily place these in a secured way. New Li's arriving at service center tomorrow, excited to complete the process (install of Victron 712 Voltmeter w/Bluetooth, and Victron 100/50 Controller). Once completed, will review adding 2 more solar panels (current 480W / 3), though it seems I have enough capacity to leave well enough alone. Figure 30A/day for power needs, have a 2K Inverter/charger, Li capable.
  3. Thanks, Richard5933... learned this one early on. New controller will handle up to 100A, a target I'm certain I will never reach, unless I can find - and afford - a 100 foot RV!
  4. Had a conversation with a tech at BB this morning, and learned they have a few new entries on the calendar... not out yet, but soon to be introduced is a 250 Ah version, and a bit further down the road are low temp versions they're very excited about... these, I'm told, are designed to accomodate those who spend time on the ice, like ice fishing. Im also told that they chose 250 Ah design because this was closest to the average number of batteries people tend to acquire. Exciting stuff!
  5. Well, my MH is in the shop to have a new Victron 712 Voltmeter installed, along with a new Victron 100/50 Solar Controller. Lithium batteries (4 Battle Born 100Ah) should arrive by end of week. According to my service guy, we'll have to remove the battery tray to fit them in, but according to him, it's not necessary, leaves bunches of room for additional batteries (did he say up to 10 in all? He said it was a waste of good usable space!), and is easy to secure them from unwanted movement. All this is in preparation for anticipated dry camping which, fortuitously, is NOW planned for 2021 and beyond... I'm estimating my power needs at 30A, which includes some wiggle room for unanticipated energy needs, and it would seem I have enough solar capacity (480W on the roof, and one portable 120W) to handle my charging needs, but I'm still considering adding some wattage... Solar's pretty affordable per Watt, and I have plenty of room up top, but it's probably my ego driving this. More capacity could mean greater opportunities... naw... it's probably the ego thing... but if you have a different theory, I'd be obliged to hear it by bringing you fuel if you ever run out!
  6. As an alternative, I suggest you research Lithium batteries... most expensive battery of all, but features, long life, 10 year warranty, quick recharge, and up to 90% DOD work very well, especially if you do much dry camping or boondocking. Check out Battle Born, GreenLife, and LifeBlue, to name a few...
  7. I've run into a dilemma... I was planning to change out my four 6V flooded batteries for Lithium's, and found a low temperature option from LiFeBlue Batteries - they offer 100 Ah, 200 Ah, and 300 Ah, and I was considering two 200 Ah Li's... Measuring the tray (10.5" X 30"), it would seem I do not have room for any version of this battery. It would appear some modification of the tray would be necessary to accommodate the batteries by extending the tray another 8-10". Has anyone done this kind of modification?
  8. Perhaps rescuing a damsel in distress... I should have noted the 140 degree high side but that was discharge only...
  9. As I continue my research on batteries, charge controllers, additional solar and how it all comes together, LifeBlue Lithium batteries were suggested, ns upon review, it appears these are specially constructed to operate and charge at lower than 32 F. This seems to be the most advanced version of Li's, for the charging range is from -4 to 119, according to the data sheet on the site... If this is accurate, seems to me this is the ideal battery for RV's... Wondering if anyone has experience with the brand, and, of course, the charging issue at below freezing temps... think this is accurate? LifeBlue Li 200Ah low temp version
  10. I'm curious, as I have the Verizon Jetpack, too, and have 10G of bandwidth... but I have no idea if that's enough, too much, or just right... if I needed to increase, I assume I can increase that? I haven't had occasion yet to use it, so still unfamiliar...
  11. As I work through the process of upgrading batteries, either a 4-jar bank of Lithium 100Ah 12V, one 300Ah + a 100 Ah, or two 200 Ah, I'm also researching the addition of more solar panels to the roof of my Class A. My boondocking plans in the years to come require a more serious look at power needs and requirements.Currently, I have 3 - 160W solar panels - 26.1 amps total output, fixed to the roof, a 30A PWM Controller, and have room for up to 4-5 more panels, depending on configuration. Of course, will need a new Controller if I do so. For the solar wattage I'm considering, some sites have suggested an 80A MPPT Controller. I initially thought a 60A would do the trick, but I was basing that on the total amp output of all panels. I also have a 120W, 5.6A portable.I'm thinking I might be better off using portable panels. As a practical matter, at 100-120W per portable panel, I'd need at least 3, probably 4 to reach my goal of 40-50A between all.It might make sense to have some of my charging capacity in panels I can move around when shade impedes. I understand some can be hooked together, but then, there's the inconvenience of having to store, set up, and take down 4 folding portable panels. Space is, after all, at a premium... Perhaps just two?I understand each person will have different needs and requirements, but is this a balance some strike, where solar is concerned? Or are there 'druthers out there who swear by one way or the other? Further thought makes me wonder about adjustable tilting panels that DON'T require me to climb up on the roof twice each trip! Too old for that...there must be a creative person out there who's come up with a method of adjusting the roof panels from ground level... an engineering type that loves to tinker...? As an aside, I have a Trav'ler II mounted to my roof, but have considered picking up a portable sat dish - again, when I find myself in the trees...
  12. As part of an overall system upgrade, and an anticipated change to Lithium batteries, I'm thinking it would be wise to upgrade to an MPPT Controller from the current Zamp Solar 30A PWM. Current solar is 3 - 160 W panels (480 W), 26.1A. I'm considering adding another 340W (2@170W), thus the need to upgrade the controller. While I will also be installing a Victron 712 meter to more accurately display amp and volt readings, some have recommended I go with a Victron controller for the sake of consistency. My problem - if it even is one - is that there is no display on the controller itself (it's huge compared to what it will replace), as it is all via Bluetooth and a smartphone. Though I like the idea of Bluetooth, I'd planned to install the controller in place of the previous model, and it appears to be about 3X the size! Further, I prefer something with a display on the controller for convenience... but I suppose it's not absolutely necessary the unit have a display, seems to me it would also be convenient... Curious about others doing the same, and wondered what type/brand of controller others were using, and why...
  13. I'm thinking there's a peace-of-mind aspect to this as well... True, Li's are more expensive on the front side. But they're worry free, need no maintenance, weigh in about 1/3 of typical lead-acid batteries, and can be drained up to 90%, perhaps more, without damaging or impacting lifespan. Further, they recharge in only a few hours, and for most I've read about, are drop-in ready. As for lifespan, Li appears to have a longer potential.
  14. My current battery system is this: 4 - 6V batteries, 115 min @ 75 Amps, 450Ah total available (225 Ah @ 20Hr); Assume batteries are 4 years old (3 years since I purchased the MH, could have sat on the lot a while, so...). I have 480W of roof-mounted solar (3-160W panels @ 8.7A peak output per panel, a 30A Zamp controller, plus a 120W single, portable panel. I have room for 3-5 additional panels on the roof. It's mounted on a 2017 Newmar Ventana LE Because my plans include a fair amount of boondocking, the move to Lithium seemed prudent, and, over time, more cost effective. What I've found is that most Li batteries for RV's tend to be rated at 100Ah, so I would need a minimum of 2 Li batteries. I'm thinking 3 LI batteries woud be wise, as the reserve gives me peace of mind should the need arise, and circumstances require. Could even consider adding another Li to the bank, since I'd have room for 4... Cost is always an issue, of course, but I'm willing to invest for the long-term here, be it personal use or eventual sale, but for now, I'm most interested in the practicality of the Li option I'm pretty much a novice on the electrical side of things, and usually have to read things 3-4 times before it starts to sink in. Still, have tried to read and learn as much as I can, complimented by the astute advice and observations I read here... thanks for your input!
  15. As a relative newbie to the lifestyle, I'm now retired, and looking forward to some travelling... and it occurs to me there are far too many places to see, roads to travel, mountains to cross, it boggles the mind to think I must plan each step, each mile, according to plan... and that's not especially appealing to me... wherever the wind blows is more like it... so, here's my query... If you've RV'd over a long period, to many varied places, did you plan each step (RV Wizard?), or simply start the engine, and follow the wind? What was your experience, what was harder than you expected, and easier than you'd hoped? Did you semi-plan a route, allowing for diversions? Was it difficult finding a place to camp? Thanks... about to start the adventure...
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