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121  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Batteries - AGM, LFP, and Flooded Cell on: April 18, 2016, 08:54:26 am
I don't own these batteries, but just quoted the author of the article.
A quick search online showed there aren't an overwhelming number available yet apparently, but run in the range of $300-$400 or so each.  I don't know anything more about the batteries (positive or negative, no pun intended) than what I posted.  Just thought I'd share that in case others were thinking about replacements and/or possible better alternatives for their solar systems.  They do seem interesting.

  - Mike

122  Main Forum / General Discussion / Batteries - AGM, LFP, and Flooded Cell on: April 17, 2016, 02:34:49 am
There has been a lot of discussion about batteries, but I haven't heard about LFP type batteries until recently.  Here is an excerpt from RV'ers magazine:

Flooded cell This is the common wet cell battery that everybody loves and hates. Its cheap, messy, widely available. They have to be mounted in a well-ventilated area and must be kept right-side-up at all times. They can accept up to about 20 percent of their rated capacity when charging. High discharge rates will quickly drain them and shorten battery life. Normal life span is about 4-5 years or 500-1000 charging cycles.

AGM About 50 percent more expensive than wet cell, theres never an acid mess or need to replenish water. They can be mounted in a closed compartment and in any orientation. Charge acceptance, discharge, and life span are like wet cell.

LFP Nearly four times the cost of wet cell, but life span makes up for it: easily 8-10 years and 3000-5000 charging cycles. Fully sealed, any orientation, and about 1/3 the weight of wet cell or AGM. Perhaps most importantly for RV/solar applications, LFP will accept 3X its capacity in charge rate, which allows use of full solar capacity at all charge levels. They also can be discharged at very high rates without any penalty (I run my microwave on battery power). LFP batteries have been full-custom applications until recently, but there are now drop-in replacement LFP products for lead-acid batteries.

    - Mike
123  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: Utah - Zion and Bryce Canyon on: April 14, 2016, 08:32:06 pm
Thanks!  I'll do some digging and find out more about it.  We don't subscribe to Motorhome Mag and their May '16 issue isn't available online yet.

   - Mike
124  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Which Trip Planning software for 2016? on: April 08, 2016, 09:15:53 am

I think the DeLorme Street Atlas software is similar to the Microsoft Streets and Trips software.

We almost exclusively use Google Maps and Allstays for trip planning (along with our GPS to ensure the route doesn't  take us under low overpasses/bridges, etc). We like being able to easily switch between map view, satellite view and street view in Google Maps as well as easily see alternate routes.

Some others we've tried...

The Roadtrippers app does a pretty good job of showing lots of interesting things along your route, but not great for mapping and routing.

The Waze app does turn by turn nav, but it's big draw are the community-based aspects of the program, showing traffic, accidents, speed traps, good gas prices, etc that are reported by others in the area and on the road at the time.  It also provides alternate routes depending on traffic conditions.

I plan on trying out an interesting app called InRoute this week.  It looks to be more route-based (with alternate routing and multi-point waypoint routing).

I always keep an eye on the Technomadia site which is run by tech-savvy bloggers who have been full timing in RV's since around 2005 I think ( They usually list good RV-related software and apps for all kinds of things.

  - Mike
125  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: Utah - Zion and Bryce Canyon on: April 08, 2016, 08:34:29 am
We had planned on doing some of the ranger-guided tours, so it's good to know y'all recommend them as well.  We aren't the most avid hikers and would have a difficult time keeping up with lots of you, so we will pick and choose our hikes carefully.

I have a free pass similar to the senior's a disabled veteran access pass for parks run by:

Bureau of Land Management
Bureau of Reclamation
Fish and Wildlife Service
USDA Forest Service
National Park Service
US Corps of Engineers

I guess there aren't many avid fishermen (fisherpersons?) here.  Utah has some great trout fishing and I plan on using a guide/instructor to finally take the opportunity to learn fly fishing.
  - Mike
126  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: Utah - Zion and Bryce Canyon on: April 07, 2016, 09:10:57 am
Nice....thanks Ron!  Got me thinking of the autumn return trip to catch Canyonlands and Arches!

   -  Mike
127  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: Utah - Zion and Bryce Canyon on: April 06, 2016, 07:58:16 am
Thanks, Holly!  Great info.

We do plan on staying up near Bryce as well, but haven't decided yet whether to pick a place closer to Panguich Lake or to Kodachrome State Park.  Both are close enough to the Bryce entrance I think.

    - Mike
128  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Utah - Zion and Bryce Canyon on: April 05, 2016, 09:51:06 am
We are planning a quick trip (a few weeks) to Vegas and then on to Utah before the heat gets to be too much.  We've been to the Vegas area a number of times, but never to Utah.  Our main focus will be the obvious outdoor activities in the Zion and Bryce national parks, and will be back at some other time to check out Moab, etc. 

Aside from the hiking, biking and natural beauty are there any sights, stops, bars, restaurants, shops that you've found interesting around Zion or Bryce?  Also, has anyone done any fishing there? We plan on staying at Zion River Resort.

    - Mike
129  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Introduce Yourself! on: April 05, 2016, 09:31:27 am
Welcome to the forum!  At some point down the road we plan to do the full-timing thing, so are always tuned into these discussions.  Holly and John have been an excellent resource!

One thing to remember about the 3100....that back end sticks way out there and you'll need to be extra cognizant of that when pulling into and out of some places like gas stations, driveways, etc.

    - Mike
130  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Factory Visit and Stabilizer Question on: April 03, 2016, 08:06:41 am
I have a 2014 2552 with Safe-T-Plus and my experience is similar to Ron's and Bruce's....and Tom's comments are correct. 

While my experiences were definitely not 'white knuckle' without the unit installed, it was really nice to have on long trips with long periods of high wind conditions.

As Tom said, you should watch the videos on their website.  They also show what happens during a tire blowout with and without Safe-T-Plus installed.

    - Mike
131  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Finding out the hard way! on: March 29, 2016, 08:30:46 am
Nope, you aren't the only one, Paul.  I had forgotten to check the Xantrex switch once before putting up the rig for an extended storage period.  Did quite a number on the batteries.  pulling hair out

   - Mike
132  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Looking to purchase an 2006 or a newer 2551 on: March 27, 2016, 08:01:31 am
One other thing to look into would be the equipment included in each RV.  Since these units are highly (and generally) configurable/upgradable, one may have two a/c units and 50 amp service and the other may have one a/c unit and 30 amp service, for example.  Also, Kermit is always putting better equipment in these things every year, so generationally you'll get a better overall unit I would think.

    - Mike
133  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Electrical Converter Question on: March 23, 2016, 11:50:42 am
We have a 2552 (model year 2014) and it came standard with:

Xantrex PRO 1800 Watt Inverter


Parallax Power Supply Converter and Panelboard - Model 555 (Input: 130VAC, 975W  Output: 55A, 13.6VDC)

My limited understanding is that the Xantrex inverter does the charging in this setup.  I believe there are limited options available for setting charging parameters on the Xantrex PRO series, but the newer Xantrex Prosine 2 has quite a few user-definable settings for various options and battery types.

If the factory recently told you that the converter they are installing is a Parallax, I would assume that was what they are installing.  thinking
134  Main Forum / Links and Contacts / Re: Product Contacts on: March 18, 2016, 07:52:59 pm
Cherry Hill is a pretty cool place. Not very far from the Metro which brings you RIGHT into the heart of DC. The RV park has a large store, very nice pools, a small but adequate breakfast bar/lunch bar near the pool, some sites with nice outdoor furniture and paver patios, etc.  Probably the most unique thing, in my view, is the on-site 'bus stop' for public transit and Washington DC tour buses.  Very very convenient.  Tickets for tours and such can actually be purchased on site in the store as well.  Very short local drive to some nice stores and restaurants (and an RV repair/store, too)

Of course, when the time comes the locals (hey Holly/John, Tom, etc) will undoubtedly let everyone know how to get into and out of the area without going -through- DC.

   - Mike
135  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: PC on new Ford Transit 350 chassis? on: March 18, 2016, 07:25:09 pm
I've been following the trend and the only thing I could find regarding Ford's last official word on the Transit and what they have to say regarding motorhomes is this....

   - Mike
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