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Old 08-13-2019, 06:37 AM   #5961
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Maggie, didnít you have one of those magnetic mesh doors on your other Interstate? If so, did you put one on your new one? I am looking to do this for ours and wanted to hear more about your experience with these things.

Thanks, John
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Old 08-13-2019, 06:45 AM   #5962
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Hi, John.

I had one of those removable patio screens on the other, held up with a tension rod, and it worked just fine for the $25 or so that it cost.

This one has a custom made, drop down screen that is attached on the inside over the doorway, and has Velcro fasteners.

Neither will keep out noseeums, but are very effective for flies, mosquitoes, bees, etc.

Anything is better than nothing, in my experience.

We need that side door open for ventilation.

Maggie
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Old 08-17-2019, 10:42 AM   #5963
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We have spent this past week with a couple nights here, and couple there, in western Pennsylvania COEís and NF sites, opting for electricity because my almost-new coach battery does not seem to be charging.

I pulled into a campground yesterday, having been plugged in for two days and so planning for a non-electric site for the night and there was not enough power in the coach battery to run the water pump for a few dishes as well as keep the frig on.

My frig runs on propane when not plugged in to electric, but needs the battery to light it, if that sounds right.

Iím, of course, not near a town of any size but did find a mechanic at a local garage this morning who tested the coach battery and pronounced it carrying almost no charge.

A visit to my owners manual , and lengthy diagnostic conversation with a very helpful man in Jamestown, NY leads me to believe the problem is with my ďpower inventorĒ.

Monday we will try the local places he recommended.

Itís always something needing fixed.


We were in a COE a few nights ago with a man about my age, who had built himself the cutest little travel trailer out of a small cargo trailer.

Wired for electricity, he had a little frig in there, a platform bed, two windows with curtains, cabinets, a sink and a shower he had set up to use outside with a pull around curtain.

I was impressed, and left him a potholder Iíd made that coordinated with his interior colors.

Iíve been seeing more and more people in little set-ups of cargo trailers, vans, and vehicles...people traveling or living full time in free or very inexpensive federal sites, particularly the non electric NF campgrounds often full or nearly so of people who look to be out there for the long haul.

Iím not sure what this says about of the state of our country, that more and more people find conventional housing unaffordable and are turning to living in vehicles, and I think it is a problem which will get worse before it gets better.

Sigh.


So, we will hopefully find someone on Monday who can take a look at my ďpower invertorĒ.

Itís possible my battery is bad, but itís a good Interstate so seems unlikely.

Going to meet up with Cheryl again this next week, and make her a couple of hats, then on to darling daughterís for the holiday weekend.

Maggie
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Old 08-17-2019, 03:39 PM   #5964
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Not sure what a "power invertor" might be. Beware of folks who speak technobabble and know not what they're doing.

There is an inverter, which takes away power from the battery to make 120 volt AC for things like TV sets and other small AC appliances when boon docking. If one of those is left on, it will discharge a battery. They are hungry little critters where battery capacity is concerned. Do you have any 120 v. outlets that work when not on shore power or running the generator? If so, you've got an inverter. it should be turned on when you need it and off when you don't.

Then, there is a converter which takes 120 volt AC from shore power or the generator and makes 12 volt DC power to charge the battery and power lights, furnace, fridge controls, etc. All RV's have one. Have your technician measure the battery voltage when your rig is plugged in to shore power. If the converter is working, it should measure somewhere above 13 volts.

So, either an inverter is running when it is not needed and sucking down your battery, or the converter isn't putting out enough to keep the battery charged. They are two different components and work on different sides of the system.

As I remember, that is a nearly new battery. Wasn't it installed just before you came here last winter? If it's not a sealed battery, have your tech check the acid level in the cells and the specific gravity of that acid with a hydrometer. A battery that's allowed to go dry is ruined in a hurry.

BTW, your fridge needs 12 v. DC to run the control board that tells it when to cool and when not to. It's also used to relight the gas flame, should it go out. Gas for refrigeration and 12 volt to keep its brain working.
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Old 08-17-2019, 03:47 PM   #5965
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Thanks for all that information, Mimi...I almost called you this morning.

The battery is almost completely depleted, and it was new in October. It got run pretty much out while I was at Bodie, and has never completely recovered, tho I’ve been able to go an overnight without electricity without a problem.

Not any longer.

I have no 120 volt outlets like you describe.

This is a Marine/RV battery, and water is not added to it to my knowledge.

I have two names of places near where I am, not open again until Monday, so am hoping one of them can look at it and fix it.

Until then, I need to stay where I have electricity.

It’s beyond me, that is for certain.

Thanks, Mimi.

Maggie
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Old 08-17-2019, 03:51 PM   #5966
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Originally Posted by mimiandrews View Post
Then, there is a converter which takes 120 volt AC from shore power or the generator and makes 12 volt DC power to charge the battery and power lights, furnace, fridge controls, etc. All RV's have one. Have your technician measure the battery voltage when your rig is plugged in to shore power. If the converter is working, it should measure somewhere above 13 volts.

Maggie

Yup, sounds like your converter is not charging your house battery.

Dan
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Old 08-17-2019, 04:08 PM   #5967
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Definitely needs attention from someone who knows...

He mentioned fuses, but I don’t see anything at the fuse box marked invertor, convertor, or anything similar, and the red “use” light is on, so...???

I do have spare fuses.


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Old 08-17-2019, 05:06 PM   #5968
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Do you have an AC circuit breaker panel--like in your house, only smaller? Your converter should be powered from one of those breakers. However, it's likely not the only unit on that circuit, so if one of those breakers were tripped, you'd notice other stuff not working.

If you have a choice, get an RV tech to look at it instead of a car mechanic. Cars don't have converters, so it would be outside that guy's experience. Although a car mech could probably measure battery voltage for you. Have him measure with

the engine not running,

your rig plugged in to shore power (doesn't have to be a full 30 amp circuit--15 amp through a dogbone connector would be enough for this).

If the converter is working, he should see more than 13 volts across the battery terminals. 12.7 volts is about max for a fully charged, good battery.

Have him test the battery. If there's an Interstate Battery dealer in the area, they should test it for you for free. There is such a thing as a manufacturing defect, and some batteries are bad even though new.

Also, look at that battery wire that was giving you trouble a while back. That could have found a way to un-fix itself.

Also, when you can, find out if you have a multi-stage converter. The old single-stage kind keep on charging even when the battery is full. This can ruin a battery.

And, call me if you need to. Always glad to help.
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Old 08-17-2019, 05:10 PM   #5969
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Thanks, Mimi.

No blown circuit breaker, he had me check, and the guy this morning checked the battery with the engine off.

We had to remove the plate to do that, and everything was still connected.

More on Monday...

Maggie
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Old 08-19-2019, 09:00 AM   #5970
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My third stop, but with each reference and by 9am I had found a one man, RV dealer and fixer who has diagnosed the problem as a bad battery.

Not taking a charge, and acid spilled on it, unknown from what, it might have a bad cell, but he is removing it and a new battery can be procured from a nearby NAPA store.

Wherever you are, when stuff needs fixed, you put on your brightest smile and beg for help.

And, if youíre lucky, you find it.

Maggie
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Old 08-19-2019, 01:40 PM   #5971
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.

Wherever you are, when stuff needs fixed, you put on your brightest smile and beg for help.



And, if youíre lucky, you find it.



Maggie

Donít forget the fresh baked pastries just hand half to manager and other half to tech.
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Old 08-20-2019, 06:41 AM   #5972
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The acid came from within the battery itself. Batteries work by a chemical reaction between sulfuric acid and lead.

The outside case is made of plastic, and they can crack and leak.
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Old 08-21-2019, 12:03 PM   #5973
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Hi, Gary!

I didn’t take goodies, tho if I’d known in advance I would find help and who that would be, I might have.

Turned out the moisture was condensation on the surface, tho the fixer took the battery box out and cleaned it.

Also, the demise of this 10 month old battery was almost certainly my running it nearly to ground at Bodie, and it never recovered.

I have had less and less residual charge in the battery this trip, to now almost nothing, and he said running it down like I did without fully charging again quickly is deadly to a battery.

We were able to get another battery from NAPA, and the fixer also replaced a wire on my hot water heater which had not been working the past couple of months.

Everything is now up and running, more lessons learned.

If I am going to do this HistoriCorps work, I’m going to need to add solar panels to my roof or plan to use the generator to recharge and just go get more propane if needed.

I’ll think about solar panels next year, as I’ve just bought train tickets to Glacier for myself and the grands next June.

In a campground with no signal since Monday and til the am, making hats and a cowl for Cheryl, then back on the road.

Lots of rain out here.

Maggie
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Old 08-21-2019, 12:54 PM   #5974
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Glacier with the grandkids next summer yeah! Making memories of a lifetime. That will be fun to follow along with.
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Old 08-21-2019, 02:00 PM   #5975
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The Power converters are awful for the T1N AI.
I had to replace mine, I left it plugged in for a couple of months and it cooked the house battery.
Fortunately there are alternatives that are not that expensive, and maybe 2-3 hours to replace (easiest to remove the floor of the closet).

I added a solar panel to my 2006- the brackets I found make it a lot easier (fit just right on the factory Ďrackí). It did take some doing with wiring, controller etc. For one or two panels I believe those fancy MMP controllers are just a waste of money- a simple shunt puts out full power with very little loss and super low power operation Ďcostsí. Now if you have a number of panels, then those make sense (running higher voltages).
There really is not much room on the roof, unless you raise them up over the AC (like IB did). I didnít want to reduce my clearance anymore, plus the single panel has been just fine for my use.

Just my thoughts/opinion of course, there are most certainly other approaches.

Oh yeah, from my experience, taking a battery all the way down just about does it in. Sometimes you can get more life out of it, but it is never the same.
Mark
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Old 08-21-2019, 02:22 PM   #5976
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Hi, Gary!

I didnít take goodies, tho if Iíd known in advance I would find help and who that would be, I might have.

Turned out the moisture was condensation on the surface, tho the fixer took the battery box out and cleaned it.

Also, the demise of this 10 month old battery was almost certainly my running it nearly to ground at Bodie, and it never recovered.

I have had less and less residual charge in the battery this trip, to now almost nothing, and he said running it down like I did without fully charging again quickly is deadly to a battery.

We were able to get another battery from NAPA, and the fixer also replaced a wire on my hot water heater which had not been working the past couple of months.

Everything is now up and running, more lessons learned.

If I am going to do this HistoriCorps work, Iím going to need to add solar panels to my roof or plan to use the generator to recharge and just go get more propane if needed.

Iíll think about solar panels next year, as Iíve just bought train tickets to Glacier for myself and the grands next June.

In a campground with no signal since Monday and til the am, making hats and a cowl for Cheryl, then back on the road.

Lots of rain out here.

Maggie


I know that thereís not a lot of storage in an Interstate, but solar suitcase is very easy to use. Open it up, aim it to the sun and hook 2 alligator clips to the battery. One advantage is that you can be in shade while the panels are in the sun.
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Old 08-22-2019, 08:59 AM   #5977
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Thank you, Hittenstiehl, and to Lotus54 and sb55 for the suggestions.

I’m going to have to do something, as most HistoriCorps sites are without anything, and probably the most cost efficient would be to use the already-present generator, rather than purchasing something new.

I’ll think on it.

I choked a bit, purchasing the train tickets , but given the ages of the grands and that I’m not getting any younger , the Glacier trip may be the last big adventure we have together.

They want to go with me, I want to take them...we’re going to do it.


Having been without connection the past few days, am sitting in a parking lot in Bradford, PA, responding to emails and catching up on the news.

I have a subscription to the Washington Post, and always read the advice columns, because whyever not, frequently some tidbits that articulate well something in my own life.

Today’s columns especially jumped out at me, so thought I would share...

From Amy Dickinson, to a woman dallying with a married man...

You are consciously and deliberately interfering in someone else’s marriage, and that is unethical.

Thank you, for so clearly defining the old fashioned impropriety of straying outside a marriage or long term relationship.

Something has changed since I was last in the single-maybe-dating world...the mid 1980’s, actually... in that there seem to be a lot of fluid relationship boundaries, which may or may not be especially present with people my age.

I don’t know, I haven’t done a poll nor taken a survey, but it’s there, without going into specifics.

I am not interested in other women’s men, be that married men or men in long term relationships.

No being the other woman, nor casual hook-ups, thank you very much. NO.

There, I said it... and I mean it, and Amy Dickinson agrees with me.


Miss Manners addressed those who try to deflect as simply holding to their own “truth” their abominably rude behavior under the guise of being true to themselves...selfish, arrogant, rude, incredibly inconsiderate actions/inactions passed off as respecting their own “truth”, which of course the recipient of said abominable behavior is to just accept as “their truth” and go on.

Manners exist to avoid the inevitable consequences, namely that being oneself too often involves ignoring others.


Thank you, Miss Manners.


Always try to do the right thing, consider yourself a work in progress, try to be better, and work at it.

Sigh...small rant over.

Maggie
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Old 08-23-2019, 06:36 AM   #5978
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I have been trying to learn about batteries and it has not been easy!!! I highly recommend this article which of all the ones I've read helped me understand things better and also think outside the box a bit. It's from Australia so keep that in mind. https://www.caravansplus.com.au/guid...o-be-a-44.html
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:30 AM   #5979
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That’s a good article, and thank you.

I have some parasitic draws on my coach battery that were part of the problem, too, and which I need to resolve, and was using a long cord in my 12 volt outlet in the rear to charge my IPad for reading in the evenings.

I didn’t realize that the longer the cord, the more power it draws, which seems fairly common-sense...tho not to me.

I should have just used the generator, which thinking about this more may just be what I do, since I already have the generator.

Seems nonsensical to spend a lot of money on solar panels, when the generator is not only there but seldom used, right?

When I refilled my propane after leaving Bodie, after 2 full weeks without electricity, I was only down 2.5 gallons, so that was another learning experience re how much propane just for the frig for that period of time.

I had plenty of propane to spare, as it was.

Maggie
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Old 08-24-2019, 06:38 AM   #5980
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When I started reading your thread a year ago, I was wondering how you were charging your battery!!! Haha. Yeah, its good to learn what you're actually using in battery and propane. Nice to know that propane goes slowly! The battery goes way too quickly!!!

As I boondock mostly and only have one 80 ah battery, 80 w solar panel and camp under trees, I have been trying to reduce my load. I got this battery charger for my iPad and iPhone and its great! https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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