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joelashley

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    Flyfishing, genealogy, photography, gardening, filbert farming, motor home travel.

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  1. Okay, I’ll try that. I note that for wet cells the diagram shows 1, 3, &4 on; but on my controller only #1 is on for the original wet cells. So if that’s the right foursome of dipswitches it’s not following the book. What you suggest puts them in agreement with the diagram’s AGM position, however. So you don’t think there is an EQ/FL switch? The “Temp Comp” switch I did see near the red foursome, but in my photo it’s hidden in the shadow of the black temp sensor wire connection component. But I have yet to run across an EQ/FL one. Joel
  2. Still no app after 3 years.
  3. Carl, Beaver had trouble well before 2007 and sold to SMC (Safari) in 1994 before Monaco bought SMC in 2002. Our ‘06 was one of the first years built in Coburg by Monaco instead of in Bend. Then Monaco went bankrupt, and the last of a few 2010 models were built in 2009. The Beaver name went through 2 more owners, Navistar in ‘09 and REV Group in 2013, before Beaver Coach Sales at the original home base in Bend bought the name a few years ago. I don’t like calling my dealer, BCS, in Bend about every issue I run into, as they are very busy, have provided a lot of help already over the years, and I’d rather not tie up their specialists’ time sans compensation. It is however a last resort if absolutely unavoidable. The great fellow members at the Beaver Ambassador Club Forum tried to help, but I’m still swingin’ in the wind, because the solar needs some sort of modification to its settings before more sunny weather, or we hit the road. I can’t have the inverter/charger shutting down just because it’s a nice day. The owners manuals, for both Monaco/Beaver and for the controller, imply a simple two micro switch change, but if no one here can offer curative knowledge of the HPV-30D I may have to disconnect the white ground panel wire from the controller, which hopefully would cut the solar panel out. There was supposed to be a fuse one could pull to stop arcing whenever a battery cable was removed, but in 14 years no one could ever find it on or near the solar controller. It’s like it’s not the controller it’s ID’d as. Joel
  4. No one on other forums has been able to help, and even AM Solar, the enheritor of Heliotrope, doesn't seem to know how. I put new Fullriver 6v AGMs in our 06 Beaver Monterey last month. After a bit, the Magnum MS2012 inverter balanced them out at 13.4 to 13.7 volts. Magnum had me set the Remote over the entry door to "AGM2". I intended to reset the solar controller dipswitches as per the Monterey manual and another document, where the only change for wet cell to AGM was moving #3 dipswitch down to off, and a so-called jumper switch from EQ to the non-EQ position to prevent equalization charge cycles. When I took the HPV-30D's cover off, I couldn't find those switches, and they weren't where the diagrams said they were, at the opposite end of the controller from the bank of main wire connectors. I still can't find them. AM Solar emailed a pdf of adjustment procedures for the Absorb and Float voltages, but that's not the same as finding and moving 2 simple tiny switches. When I tried the adjustments I wasn't sure of the potentiometers the document referred to for voltage changes, so after trying it I returned everything back to where it was. Last week we had our first really nice sunny day. When I went into the coach (parked "stored" by our house for 4 years) to check the Magnum Remote, it surprised me with "Backfeed fault", or something similar. I called Magnum again and as I suspected he said the Magnum had disconnected to protect itself, likely from an unusual solar input. The screen still shows 13.7 volts. The battery mains have been off and the coach unplugged since before any messing with the solar controller. And to avoid misunderstanding, I didn't mess with the controller until after the backfeed alert. AM Solar would just as soon I schedule a solar revamp 2+ months out and drive down to their facility in Springfield. I may well do that, but they stated also that only 2 of them remember much about what he called an HPV-30DR (mine has no "R"), and he still couldn't explain why my manuals' diagrams don't match what I'm seeing "under the controller's hood". Nor did he offer a description of the correct two potentiometers his adjustments instructions refer to, for adjusting voltages in Float and absorb. The issue is that there's a lot more than 2 potentiometers on that board, and from the awkward position I have to get into just to see it, it's very hard to read any writing on the board. Magnum said to just reset their Remote, and that it should be fine, and yes it could do it again on another sunny day. Assuming this is due to to the controller trying to cycle an equalizing charge, I'd just as soon reset things for AGMs as the Monaco/Beaver manual suggests. At least for the time being. Can't tell you how many times I've told others on Forums where to find those switches, only to now discover I may have been misinforming them! I sure could use more input from anyone familiar with that controller. If helpful, I could supply a photo of my controller, albeit with drainpipes, hoses, and wires in the way, and of the manuals and the adjustments instructions. I'm amazed at the online lack of info in this regard specific to that controller, given how many coaches must have had them installed. Joel
  5. Much to my chagrin, the supplier informed me that contrary to what others have said, and what I regrettably repeated on more than one site, US Battery’s AGM products are also made in China, not the USA. I ultimately chose to forego my lithium dreams, and have 4 Fullriver AGMs awaiting pickup when the weather here cooperates long enough for installation and tray renovation/painting. Top notch complete professional lithium installation went north of $9000, with less complete around $7K. Our “older” Magnum model 2012 inverter system , ca. 2006, turned out to be too low of a version (level 1?), requiring a costly software and/or hardware upgrade to use lithium’s. This was counter to what a respected tech told me, who’d indicated I could pretty much replace the wet cells with lithium’s straight across. His experience I have to assume was with more recent coaches and inverters at higher levels. Even without moving the batteries inside for temperature control or upgrading our solar system that’s nowadays comparatively minimalist, a self-install would go close to $5000. I just can’t fathom the value. So reverting to my still-respected tech’s AGM experience, I chose his first recommended Fullriver brand and their longer warranty. His second choice was US Battery, but the warranty is less and the price identical since my supplier offered the normally more expensive but regularly stocked Fullriver at the same price. Like it or not, mostly not, certain Chinese-made AGMs have better records/quality than those made elsewhere. Cost for 4 Fullriver 6v AGMs: $1136. A simple inverter remote programming change and one changed dipswitch on the solar controller is all else needed. Also I should note that in a prior post I’d stated that AGMs were quite heavy. What I’d read in that regard was mistaken. The author was ambiguously referencing a different and much heavier leaded model than what fits a normal 4 wet cell tray. The ~224 ah models weigh about the same as wet cell U2200/GC2 deep cycles, ~60-65lbs. So there is no concern regarding weight.
  6. Obiwan, what are you doing about keeping the lithium’s warm in cold weather? I’m getting conflicting info. AM Solar suggests LifeBlue low-temp lithium’s, an “alternator-friendly” isolator bypass Victron Cyrix Battery Combiner, a solar controller upgrade Victron SmartSolar MPPT 100/30 (30A), and a “level 4” inverter, which I’ve yet to determine if my 2006 Magnum is or isn’t. This seems to not mesh with what my respected tech in Bend suggested... that my existing setup would work fine as is. It just might not charge lithium’s quite as quickly as a specialized charger would. That does mesh with what you’ve been told. So I need to perhaps contact Magnum regarding my specific model’s lithium compatibility. But the expense still bothers me, and AM Solar’s varies with what all they do, such as adding a 200 watt panel to my 100w one. With labor the costs heads toward $7000+ and the Virus has their service dates 3-4 months out. This has me thinking back to AGM’s as a far simpler endeavor. Recommended was Centennial (I think), but I found it was foreign made by US Battery. Then I discovered the comparable American made model US Battery USAGM2224 Group GC2. As intriguing as lithium’s may be, $1200 for 4 AGMs vs. $4000-$7000 is hard to ignore. I nevertheless will remain tuned to this thread for further discussion.
  7. I was heading for AGM’s to replace my four 14 year old original Interstate flooded 6v U2200 (GC2’s). But then I read how heavy they are. And 2 new maintenance-free group 31 chassis, and 4 AGM GC2’s would run around $1500 at Batteries Plus Bulbs. I had read, last year, articles in Motorhome and the FMC magazine about lithiums, and 31 lbs. @ sounded better than the 160 lbs. I’d heard AGM GC2’s weigh. But Battle Borns 100ah are $950@, and that’s $2300 more than AGM’s plus the cost of the two maintenance-free chassis bats. The deal breaker was having to change inverter and solar setups. Nope, won’t do that. But then a couple months back I read someone said you don’t necessarily need to change anything if your setup can charge AGM’s, because you just need to not use equalizing charge on lithiums. Just set your dipswitches and/or inverter remote panel for AGM mode. Okay, bad back, 31 lbs we can handle... not 160. And I’m not sure the battery tray, built for 360 lbs., would like the extra 400 lbs the AGM house ones would add. Regarding that tray, the Battle Borns are 2 inches longer than GC2’s, but when I looked, the tray has only a 1” angle iron backstop, with 3” or 4” more to the very back of the tray; all I have to do is drill new bolt holes and move the angle iron backstop a couple inches back. So then I check into different brands of lithiums. Be forewarned that there are cheaper brands out there, including some that others touted a great Costco deal. But that brand, though some $200 @ less on sale... well you get what you pay for. Made in China, it’s lighter weight is due to a less stout structure. That means it may not hold up well to the vibrations it’s case and internal mountings and connections will encounter on highways; they are made for use in non-mobile mass assemblies in backcountry and off-grid home solar setups. Battle Borns are built differently than that, perhaps of some Chinese components, but designed and assembled here with highway use in mind. Yes, the 100aH vs ~220aH notion seems troubling, but as others here note, taking a flooded or AGM lower than 50% is more than what’s commonly advised, if not plain abusive. Lithiums are not harmed if drained to nearly 0%. And they’ll supply full voltage the whole way, behaving much like any lithium cordless tools you may own... it just keeps going until it suddenly stops. Battle Borns and some others have monitors to check on their status. And consider also that in the field you won’t need to run your genset as long because they charge back up faster. Does it come down to longevity and weight? My Interstates went 12 years before giving me serious charge-holding issues. Those that only get 3-4 years must be regularly dumping theirs below 50% (at 12 volts it’s half discharged). The cold weather thing is bothersome, but we’ve rarely found ourselves boondocking in subzero conditions, so that is a factor that members who do may want to explore. I understand there are devices or mats that some use to gently heat the lithium bank. Where the energy comes from for that is your guess. 200 or greater aH models may be available, but their power comes from being larger. Those of us with the more common class A diesels that have trays designed for four GC2 house batteries can find that there are, like in my case, very minimal tray modifications to make 100 aH Battle Borns fit. This probably sounds like I’m a Battle Born salesman, but I’m still edgy about the value factor. Will it add to the coach resale? Maybe, but you and I know it won’t be as much as we’d hope. Sure, there’s a brand that offers an FMCA discount, but the numbers I saw still doesn’t make them competitive. I merely came here to glean more opinions and see what others have done and experienced, and ended up posting this long-winded expose. My apologies. I just know that although I have no great issue with having to occasionally add water to wet cell golf cart batteries, I’m sure as heck tired of the corrosion on the metal tray parts and having to replace “melted“ hold-down strap buckles every couple months. The older a wet cell gets the more charging effort it requires, the hotter it gets, and the more gassing it emits, resulting in more frequent water replenishment and acid gas metal erosion. Decisions, decisions.
  8. One member of the Beaver Amb. Club is currently reporting a possible issue with a Fusion Energi (same or similar towability as a Hybrid) slipping into Park while towed.
  9. Newer K&N brand filters are designed differently. They no longer require re-oiling after washing, and use a deeper media that theoretically removes finer particles. Previous oiled models had larger pores for the oil to work, but many respected voices denegrated that because the pore size put expensive engines in jeopardy from fine dust, I assume either from particles not trapped by the oil or because owners failed to inadequately apply the oil. Some technicians in the know have no worries about using the current generation of washable filters, although I've yet to find an independent test of them. Existing tests are from a decade or so ago, show very poor results, and were on the old models, mostly those used in automobiles. We certainly could use a new independent analysis that includes washable filters available for large diesel vehicles. If anyone here knows of such an animal, please advise. If you insist on a standard filter, then know that Donaldson is often touted as the very best, and engine manufacturers like CAT don't make their own air filters anyway. If you go washable, then as I recall the entire assembly is replaced, housing and all, not just the media core we normally change out, though I could be wrong regarding some instances. Regardless, extreme care must be used during removal and reinstallation, as other posters advised previously; the assembly area and fittings must be thoroughly cleaned and thereafter inspected to prevent contaminant particles from entering the air intake anywhere.
  10. Try this option: http://rvpe.com/carefree_awning_anemometer.htm Joel
  11. After several months on the road this summer, and a couple more months to go hopefully, we are breaking the bank in the park fees department. In Nebraska we helped the situation by trying to stay in small cities' parks when we found them adequate to our coach size, and at least 30 amps for AC if it was hot (it usually was). But for the last 10 days or so we seem to be out $30-$40 a night, regardless of park amenities or quality, and the $40 one in Hardin, MT, was the biggest Good Sam turkey yet. Together with the cost of diesel, we will be paying off credit cards well into next year at this rate, esp. given all the $50 nights we've had to cough up earlier in the trip. If we can scout out a potential city park ahead of time, with either the toad or by way of the internet, we sometimes can locate parks on our route that work well at very reasonable cost, or even no cost. However a lot of towns don't have info out there about their RV amenities, if any. And sometimes driving a big rig around a small town trying to locate a park that may or may not exist, or no longer exists, or has run down, is a headache in the making. So we are soon to be heading south or southwest from Killam, Alberta, to see my cousin who lives in Calgary. The RV parks I've seen online around there are typical RV tourist hotspots with inflated rates for what they are, or for what little we really need. Even the govt. or municipal parks seem high compared to what they were when we were here some years ago, esp. into the National Parks to the west in the Rockies. Can anyone suggest more reasonable accomodations, such as small town city parks circumfering Calgary that could handle a 37' diesel coach. Don't have to have water or sewer, but at least 20 amps would be helpful. We may spend a little time on the Banff Parkway to reminisce visits over the decades, but I'd like to revisit childhood fishing memories as well around Kamloops before heading back toward Missoula in a couple weeks. To avoid cutting all that short, due to fixed-income retiree funds drying up too soon, we need cheaper digs along the way. We also took a rock in the windshield over in Saskatchewan last week, and no one has yet replied to my inquiries as to competent motor home windshield repair shops. So if you can offer a reference to one around Calgary, that would be helpful as well. Thanks for any suggestions. -Hafcanadian
  12. Hi We are traveling in Alberta, tonight at the town of Hanna, east of Calgary. Yesterday about 6 pm going past the town of Kyle in Saskatchewan, on our way to Rosetown, a passing truck sent us a gift rock that chipped our one piece windshield good. Unfortunately there are about 4 spider cracks around the chip, so I suspect the fix will require full replacement. We've had trouble with the glass being incorrectly placed in the mount at the Monaco factory, and this is therefore the second windshield. I'd like to avoid the original problem, and if a replacement is necessary, get a well-done job of it. Can someone familiar with businesses around either Hanna or Calgary offer me a windshield repair shop recommendation? Its a 2006 Beaver Monterey. Thanks, Joel
  13. I dunno what the deal was. One time I tried jiggling the wires under the dash with no results. A minute later (after pausing to scratch my head) the ignition worked just fine. Ever since we left eastern Nebraska and the high heat and humidity, we've had no more problems with either the ignition or the TV coming on by itself. I gotta figure it had something to do with the climate, but then how do motorhomers survive in places like Florida? It's still hot here in the Black Hills, but not a sauna like where we were a few weeks ago, tho Chadron, just south of here, was not all that comfortable, at least not for an Oregon Beaver. I even tried to buy a beaver pelt at the Museum of the Fur Trade there, but the biscuit burner would have none of that idea; "the poor dead thing... and where are you gonna put it"? "Well, gee, I dunno. It'd just be cool for a Beaver to have a beaver pelt in his Beaver Coach"! No sale. Oh well. Joel
  14. Update. Today when the ignition wouldn't work, I went back and flipped off the A/V breaker, but the ignition still wouldn't work. Hot under the collar, literally, from an hour of breaking camp after a month-long stay in Tekamah, and doing it in 90 degree super-humid conditions, my brain flashed the obvious thing I hadn't yet tried; I reached a sweaty hand under the dash and fumbled the ignition wire bundle while turning the key. Bingo. And the ignition has since worked several more times today without touching any wires. Apparently there is a poor wire connection at the ignition, just sensitive enough to work or fail by the slightest electrical system change, whether it be the nearby A/V circuit or park power post, much like a low quality GFCI is too sensitive to minor electric pulses. The heat and high humidity may have something to do with it. In a cooler moment I need to sneak a peek under the dash and examine closely the ignition configuration for a bad connection or perhaps a partially cut or broken wire that's not allowing full current all the time. Could be a bad splice or crimp. It probably won't cause the engine to falter or stop, because I think the start circuit is seperate from the run current. But I'd rather not have to more and more regularly reach under and jiggle wires to get the rig to start, and perhaps get to a point where even that won't work. It would be nice to know which ignition wire was which when I get under there, so perhaps my coach wiring diagrams spell that out by wire color. At least the switch is at the very bottom of the dash front and to the right of the steering column, so relatively easy to get at for once. Joel
  15. Thanks Rich. Haven't bought a Nebraska license, though sometimes think I should, just as a tribute to my father's childhood fishing efforts here on the Missouri in Decatur. Kinda spendy for out of staters, and I usually buy annual cuz I never know how long I'm gonna be in any one state. My older brother tells me Dad used to tell of catching catfish that had to be winched out of the river. The outlet that the refer's icemaker plugs into behind the fridge looks kinda like your device; kinda funny looking small box with two outlets, only one of which is actually real, and a 120v cable going in and one coming out, plus a large red and a black wire going to it that I assume are 12v. If that box is the cutoff device, then it likely cuts out the entire circuit and downstream outlets, like the TV and components plug into. The box doesn't have a white identifying label on it though. Yeah, others on our Beaver club forum agree, it shouldn't work in reverse, where the TV shuts off the ignition. But no one had another idea as to what was actually going on that would prevent the ignition "On" prestart sequence from getting power, or why playing with that circuit breaker or the park power breaker at the park post would turn it on. Joel
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