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Old 07-13-2011, 06:59 PM   #15
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[QUOTE=DEITZ645;1017555]The main reason I upgraded was to get the reversible motor. I don't understand why Airstream didn't put that model vent in our Classic in '06.

You could have accomplished that with a new switch - and I think Fantastic Fan will send you one for free.
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:33 PM   #16
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I'd put the money you'd spend on a battery monitor towards a marine battery isolator switch and a generator. You'll end up spending more money (on the generator), but you won't have to worry about how much charge is left in your batteries anymore. I think most of the battery monitors are only flashing lights to impress people touring your Airstream. When it comes down to measuring how much charge is left, the inverter alarm screaming because it is about to shut down is a pretty good indicator that there isn't much left.

I wasn't sure how much we'd use the generator (mainly got two Hondas to run the air conditioner, which is a must in the southwest, especially if you do any boondocking). However, I found even in cooler weather, we use one for about an hour in the morning and evening to run appliances at mealtime; and that keeps the batteries charged up.

By the way, thanks DEITZ645, for the FantasticFan contact info.
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:50 PM   #17
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As to battery monitors, there are a variety - I've never seen a good solar charge controller that didn't include one ... but for just assessing battery condition, it's hard to beat a plain old (but quality) digital voltmeter. My AM Solar charge controller always agrees to +- 0.01 volt with my Fluke DVM, so I think either is pretty much spot-on. Then there are state-of-charge chats out there on the Internet that will give you a pretty close equivalence between battery voltage and percentage of charge. Won't give you amp-hours of course, but you probably don't really need that, though it's a ncie feature to have.
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Old 07-14-2011, 07:46 AM   #18
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We use a Yamaha 3000 generator to top off the batteries when we're boondocking and I have a FLUKE DVM so I guess we're set. Thanks for the advice.
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Old 07-15-2011, 04:32 PM   #19
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Inverter? What's that?

For my uses - frequent boondocking for 2-3 days with no TV or microwave in a vintage trailer with no parasitic loads - the Trimetric battery monitor is great. It gives lots of detailed information about how many amp-hrs I've consumed and battery status.

I have zero interest in hauling around a generator. Different strokes, especially if you need to run air (but I don't have air either)...

Tom
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