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1711  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Conserving Battery Reserves Without Shore Power on: October 10, 2012, 02:35:42 pm
Recently someone asked me some details about the Black & Decker charger I bought at Walmart.  It appears they no longer offer it.  I did a search on the internet and see that Black & Decker changed the charger styling, but having the same general functionality.  The new design HERE seems to take less storage space than ours.  Sears On-line offers it with free shipping for $106.02 as SEEN HERE.

My charger looks like this one

Here is the new 40/20/10/4 amp style (appears to be more compact)

I also wanted to mention that my B&D charger had something go wrong earlier this year.  It has a high velocity cooling fan, a small version of the type used in computers.  The fan locked up on me for no good reason.  I was able to find a replacement here where I work.  With a little modification to the replacement fan, soldering the two wires, and insulating them with shrink tubing, all is well again.  That fan should not have failed considering the limited use of the charger and how well I kept it.  Hopefully the newer charger design has a better cooling fan inside.
1712  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: The new Xantrex Pro Inverter - how does it work? on: October 08, 2012, 07:39:38 pm
Barry, you are correct.  The microwave is not affected as I had stated.  I edited out those inaccuracies of mine.  I had a senior moment there.
1713  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: The new Xantrex Pro Inverter - how does it work? on: October 08, 2012, 05:36:36 pm
Also keep in mind that the TV's, DVD players etc. always have some current draw while they are plugged in even though you may not be watching them.  That will draw down your batteries while using the inverter as well.  I always keep the TV's and DVD player unplugged until I use them.  Hope that helps some.
Our older Tripp-lite inverter installed in earlier model years, has a documented 12 amp current draw all by itself when sitting idle while generating 110v for any need no matter how small.  Like the TV and DVD player and GFI outlet require some minor amount of 110v.  This keeps the inverter inverting 110v, drawing that 12 amps.  The inverter never gets a chance to go into standby mode which would then draw only 1 amp.

I leave the TV and such plugged in, but kill the inverter using the switch on the inverter itself.  That is the only way to be assured of no battery drain, yet allowing 12v opperations to continue.  Killing the inverter using the kill-all switch by the entry door kills both 110v and 12v which shuts down the fridge which is a very bad thing while on a trip.

I wish the Tripp-Lite control panel was a kill-all switch.  When the control jack is unplugged from the backside of the panel, the best it will do is place the inverter into the 1 amp mode.  That is much better than leaving it to eat 12 amps, but not as dead as flipping the switch on the inverter itself.  Of coarse when the inverter is off-line, the programed TV & radio stations all go bye bye.

CLICK HERE to go to my detailed article on the Tripp-Lite subject matter.  Maybe something will apply to the Xantrex.
1714  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Pads for slide out rollers on: October 08, 2012, 12:10:20 pm
How wide are the rollers?
1715  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Pads for slide out rollers on: October 07, 2012, 08:47:48 pm
I wonder if my old style window shade tention reinforcements would be an alternate choice.  They are designed for high-impact, marketed to protect walls from door knobs.  They even have tapered edges for the rollers to ride up.  Maybe they are ideal, and then maybe a flop.  I don't have a slide to test them on.

From My Main "Tips & Tricks/Enhancement" Article
5) Window Shade String Reinforcements
I reinforced the shade tensioners that hold the shade strings at the bottom.  No more issues with those things pulling out of the wall when bumped hard, and bumping them is very easy by the dinette and bed.  The solution looks nice too.  Write-up, pictures & drill template available.  Provide your email address.
Cost Of Project $3 per window
1716  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: New Cabinet behind driver's seat in our 2910 on: October 07, 2012, 08:41:47 pm
This is cool.  Very nice George.

I love this forum.
1717  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: America the Beautiful Senior Pass on: October 03, 2012, 08:48:21 am
We were envious of the senior pass when we had a young family.  We really struggled financially (really really struggled) traveling in our early years with young children.  It was the only affordable vacationing we could do, and we did it bare bones.  There were many times we elected to camp where there were none or minimal fees like in near by national forests and BLMs.  But today, even they have notable camping fees.

We are now 8 years away from age 62 and hope our day will come to benefit.  But with the condition of our economy and it's projected future, we wonder if the various senior benefits will continue.  The only thing we can count on is a senior coffee at McDonalds, and we are just a year away from that.
1718  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Flat Tow a Smart Car on: October 02, 2012, 05:05:51 pm
A drive shaft disconnect would be useful when there is a drive shaft.  Such vehicles are rear wheel drive.  Front wheel drive cars wouldn't have a drive shaft.

I heard every front wheel drive Saturn car (not sure about Saturn SUVs), automatic or stick shift, were all approved for 4-wheel-down (flat) towing.  That is why they were so popular as a tow vehicle for so many years.  But they are dropping off the "Popularity List" as they age and are no longer made.
1719  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Flat Tow a Smart Car on: September 29, 2012, 10:37:28 am
The same rules of the Smart applied for towing our 2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder as is with many other vehicles.
Stick Shift Transmission - YES
Automatic Transmission - NO

The selection for flat towing a vehicle with an automatic transmission is not that abundant.  Also, some auto trans vehicles allow for towing, but with stipulations like special 500 mile procedures.

BTW: Not all stick shift transmissions are allowed either.  Selecting a tow vehicle does take some research.

1720  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Dead starter battery on: September 27, 2012, 05:39:31 pm
Anne and Bob,

You ask some interesting questions that I have only a few answers for.

You are right, I was wrong concerning running the generator.  If you are plugged into 110V shore power, then you are all set to jumper to the front underhood chassis battery.  I assumed you were not hooked up to shore power.

It is a mystery why the chassis battery drains so quickly.  I do wonder if the newer 2009-2013 Ford chassis has more stand-by features like for example the built-in dash board GPS, wireless key fobs, alarm systems and such, features that have a small current draw even when everything is turned off.

PC owners do find their chassis door step lights on when they thought they were off.  Just be sure those little lights at the steps of the two front Ford doors are off when you leave.  If they are on, turn them off using the headlight dash board dimmer switch.

I think the entry door step does not draw power either way, but not 100% sure.

Hopefully someone else will chime in and provide better information than I have here.
1721  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Roof lamination on: September 26, 2012, 05:17:15 pm
To help clarify, I do have the same fiberglass sheathing condition as Greg in a small flat area or two on my own roof, but it has not caused any type of problem.  No buckling, rippling or any other issue.  Regardless it has always been a bit concerning to me too.  I should also include that mine doesn't seem to be getting worse over the years which keeps my worries way down.
1722  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Dead starter battery on: September 26, 2012, 04:32:11 pm
Since you have two fully charged coach batteries sitting in a slideout tray on the same side of the rig as the chassis battery, I would carry extra long jumper cables.  Start the generator, hook up the cables, wait 15 minutes, and you are likely good to go.  If not, just wait a little longer.

The long cables could also come in handy throughout your trip if your tow vehicle needs a jump, or even a neighboring camper.
Walmart on-line sells a 4-gauge 20-footer in a nice case, EverStart for $37.00  SEE IT HERE
Walmart also sell a professional 2-gauge 25 footer (not sure about a case) for $89.00  SEE IT HERE
1723  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Sani-Con Nozzle Issues on: September 26, 2012, 04:09:55 pm
How about taking a coat hanger, cutting out about 12", bending it into a U. Turn the U over the hose near the end and push it into the ground to hold the hose in place. simple, light weight and easy to store.
I like your very inexpensive, quick solution idea.  A "helpful" for Tom.
1724  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Sani-Con Nozzle Issues on: September 26, 2012, 04:03:39 pm
I found a "twist on dump valve" that just, yes, twists on to the end where the cap sits, then attach the cap to that twist-on valve.  So far works like a charm, it is attached very snugly, so far it seems like it won't accidentally detach.
George, I never heard of it until your comment.  Though I don't need one myself, that is worthy for your first "Helpful".  Thanks for sharing that one.

For the record, this is what George was describing.  It installs in seconds and is very affordable for around $20 for those who need one last barrier of protection when twisting off the end cap.

1725  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Dead starter battery on: September 25, 2012, 04:49:07 pm
Anne & Bob,

Sorry to hear of your troubles, but you have learned it is best to disconnect the ground cable on the starting battery while in storage.  So welcome to the "I Killed My Battery Doing Nothing" club.

You might want to consider carrying extended length jumper cables to bridge between your coach and starter batteries.  Or do what I do and carry a 4/10/20/40 amp battery charger and extension cord that will run off the generator.

FWIW, my 2007 E350 chassis starting battery seems to drain down every-other month like yours did, but 5 years running, and all is still well after that mishap.  Hey, it's better than my Corvette which will drain down after 4 to 5 weeks.
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