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Author Topic: Touching base again  (Read 2954 times)

Offline ClydesdaleKevin

  • 14 year member
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  • Posts: 4607
  • Member since: 2005
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1995
  • Make: Itasca
  • Model: Suncruiser G34RQ
  • Chassis: Oshkosh
  • Engine: Cummings Turbo Diesel
Touching base again
« on: September 07, 2011, 10:35 PM »
Hey guys!  Just a quick update.  We are all alive and well, and in Tuxedo, NY doing the Renaissance Faire.  We made it through the hurricane just fine...we moved the rig out to the big patron parking lot and waited out the storm where no trees could fall on us.  Good thing too, since a big tree fell where we were parked!  Then the campsite was too wet and muddy to pull in to, so we sat boondocking for 4 days until it was dry enough to pull the rig back in.  But time wasn't wasted...I finally managed to coat the roof with 7 thick coats of Kool Seal, and even found enough time to mask off and repaint the front stripes on the nose of the Nautilus. 

This past weekend was super busy, and thus we are super busy building a vast number of catapults. 

But we had an epiphone!  We have decided to have an adventure in the off season this winter.  Instead of sitting in one campground this winter and then finally drive out to AZ, we are going to leave on our journey right after Thanksgiving, and meander our way out to AZ, boondocking and staying in State Parks and BLM lands all the way out, taking our time and finally enjoying the best parts of our fulltimer lifestyle! 

So our focus now is to get the rig in tip top and top notch boondocking shape.  The mechanicals are simple:  Tune up the rig, replace the air bags in the front, and the rear rubber shear springs in the back.  And have the Genny tuned up professionally.

We still need to get a solar panel trickle charger for the Jeep, since the Brake Buddy drains the battery on long trips, but that should solve the problem  We are even thinking of freight shipping our workshop tools ahead of us to Arizona, so the Jeep can be empty and usable for our adventure...depends on the cost though.  If I crate them up and its less the 300 bucks, I'll ship them.

The coach systems to be addressed are mainly battery related.  Instead of the 2 cheap Walmart deep cycles, we are going to convert over to 4 golf cart deep cycles, wired to make it 12 volts.  I'll need a better battery charger, since the one I have is old and crusty.  We already have a solar panel to trickle charge the batteries, but we can run the genny to charge a good battery bank for most applications, except air, microwave, bread machine, toaster oven, etc...but the genny can be run for those.

Water system is a concern.  Our 89 freshwater tank can only be filled with a pressurized hose...so I'm going to get a new water pump for the freshwater, and then take the old one, wire it in to its own toggle switch, and convert the outlet side to take a short hose, and the inlet side a length of tubing to stick in a bucket of water...voila!  I can then fill my freshwater tank with either a hose, or a bucket of water!

I just ordered 2 Maxxair2 vent covers, and 2 Maxxair window louvers for the bedroom windows so at least we can ventilate the rig in the rain.  The ideal plan, when we can afford it, is to get the louvers for all the window, but they ain't cheap!  Long term plans also call for window awnings all around, a screened in awning room, and a fully stainless marine grill that mounts to the RV...but these are probably going to happen next year.

Anyhow, I plan to check in with you all and share our adventures more regularly.

On a personal note, my health is fine, and the business is going well, despite the horrid weather.  Patti is fighting her rumatioid arthritis, and if this wet weather ever ends she may find relief.  Keep her in your thoughts and prayers, as the cold damp really hurts her.  All in all she is doing great, and very happy...just in some pain.

The dogs and cat are doing well!  Barnabas had to be neutered...a prostate thing, but at 8 years old, I guess it was time.  Sheba has an incontinence issue and has to wear doggie diapers in the house.  I finally bought them raincoats!  Very important when you live fulltime with 2 big dogs in an RV!  Why didn't I think of it before?  No more wet doggies in the house in the rain!  Strider has a new home in KY, as he turned out to be a horrible road dog (ie Escape Artist), but its a great home and he gets to run every day.  Sampson the cat still rules the campgrounds with an iron fist...I mean paw...lol! 

I hope everyone had a blast at the Jamboree!  We miss you guys so much, more and more every year we can't attend.  Its always the first week of August, which is the opening of the New York faire...ah well.

We love you all and hope that life is great, love is paramount, and joy fills your hearts to overflowing.

Kev, Patti, the furry kids, and The Nautilus.
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Kev and Patti, the furry kids, our 1981 Ford F-100 Custom tow vehicle, and our 1995 Itasca Suncruiser Diesel Pusher.

Offline DaveVA78Chieftain

  • 16 year member
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  • Posts: 3581
  • Member since: 2003
  • I own: I don't own one but I'm a vintage RV enthusiast!
  • Year: 1978
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: Dodge M400
  • Engine: 440-3
Re: Touching base again
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2011, 02:34 PM »
Rather than spending close to $70 on another battery charger, just upgrade to a PD9245 or PD9260 Converter / 3 stage charger ($115 - $150) .   Also get the remote pendant for monitoring charging state.

If your concerned about being able to also charge the house battery then either wire up a external switch that will turn on the isolation solinoid or convert to one of the auto sensing solinoid style installations.
http://www.aopec.cn/fac/en/htm-products/?class_id=2
http://www.aopec.cn/fac/en/htm-products/pro-show.asp?pro_id=703
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/AOPEC-DUAL-BATTERY-KIT-/120765791002?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item1c1e33bb1a

If the R12140 was wired up in reverse of their drawing, then it would allow the converter to maintain the charge on the starting battery.

The R12140C is the best option.  It has "dual sensing" (detect a "charge state" from either direction) and the remote feature would allow "Battery Boost" funtionality.   As long as there is a 13.8VDC or greater charging voltage on either side of the relay (Alternator, Generator, Solar Array, Converter/Charger, Inverter/Charger, etc.) then it will latch the relay.  The R12140E has a built in alarm that provides low battery warnig as well as high charging current warning with automatic shut off ability.

These devices are basically what many refer to as a BIRD controller (http://dave78chieftain.zxq.net/ConverterInfo.html#Modern) used on newer/fancy rigs but at half the price.

Dave
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Offline ClydesdaleKevin

  • 14 year member
  • *
  • Posts: 4607
  • Member since: 2005
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1995
  • Make: Itasca
  • Model: Suncruiser G34RQ
  • Chassis: Oshkosh
  • Engine: Cummings Turbo Diesel
Re: Touching base again
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2011, 09:31 PM »
Its wet wet wet!  Not staying dry at all...grrrrrrrrrr!  Its so wet that the roof coating is bubbling all over...it had 3 days to cure...but its rained so hard and been so wet...not sure if I'll have to redo the whole thing or not.  I'll have see what it looks like when it finally dries out enough.

Thanks Dave!  I'll check into those charging options.  My onboard converter has a built in smart charger, but I like to hook up an external charger when the genny is running...just to make sure...I don't trust technology as much as the kids do...lol!

Catapults are almost done, so I only have a couple hours of work tomorrow....its our 9th anniverary, so I'll get to spend time with Patti!  9 years and she hasn't killed me yet...woohoooo!

Love to all,

Kev and Patti et al
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Kev and Patti, the furry kids, our 1981 Ford F-100 Custom tow vehicle, and our 1995 Itasca Suncruiser Diesel Pusher.

 

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