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Everything posted by GAP

  1. I'm not surprised to hear about these problems being common. The overvoltage from an older generator may be able to be regulated if there is a manual throttle or by using an appropriately sized dimmer/rheostat in line. The former is easy if it already exists and the latter is pricey unless you already own. Undervoltage in areas at campgrounds is probably the norm. The further you push power through a line, the more power is lost. As I understand it, low gauge (thicker) wire offers less resistance and carriers electricity better and further but costs much more. Even a relatively simple multi meter can test for voltage and hertz. If shore power is supplied by a generator that is not well maintained, the hertz (60 cycles) can be off and delicate electronics hate that. Should be protected by the on board "surge protector" . If the power in a campground comes off the pole, over/under voltage, reversed polarity and/or open ground is easy enough to detect using the set up Mountainlover and John describe above but the Hertz should be fine. My plan is to test to allow moving to another site - if that is an option. There is always the chance that otherwise clean power can go awry after hooking up but that is where a good surge protector proves it's value. If using one at the pedestal (as opposed to an on-board, in-line model) it is worth noting that it offers auto shut off for all the maladies described above. They are pricey but can help avoid a story with a sad faced ending.
  2. After doing some additional research, we are taking your advice to heart on the extended warrantee stuff. Seems like it's better in this circumstance just to "self insure" especially considering the reasons you've listed above. Doing homework now on a policy to cover the Oliver. Have a couple of quotes but it's hard to find good suggestions as travel trailer insurance seems to be a different animal than typical RV insurance. Anyhoo, looking at Progressive, Good Sam and Farmers so just in going through the process, we should come up to speed. Of course, any/all suggestions are welcome. One thing we've come across are multiple suggestions that we get an additional roadside assistance policy even if one is offered by the insurance policy on the trailer. The thought is that the specialized roadside companies do that best and offer more complete coverage including potentially covering associated costs like having to stay in a hotel, rent a car, towing longer distances, etc... Seems like AAA may be the way to go there. Thanks for the input. Hope your maiden voyage next month goes well.
  3. Bill & JD, I concur! When working around electricity and expensive equipment, "anal tendencies" save the day. As Bill said, the on board surge protector should protect everything on board even when I'm not standing at the pedestal with a meter or tester (like to Sperry unit RB linked to above). The meter and/or tester will catch switched polarity or open ground but over/under voltage can happen anytime and not be caused by anything happening within the pedestal itself. If problems are caught early, it offers an opportunity to switch sites to one that has a clean feed.
  4. Hey Bill, Perhaps a silly question but considering that the on-board surge protector supposedly has built in protection including over/under voltage, reversed polarity, ground fault, etc... why is it worth it to go through the steps you described with your portable unit? I would have assumed that the trailer itself is well protected with the on-board unit acting as a stop gap for any questionable electrical situations. I habitually use a multi meter to quick check polarity and ground when working with an unknown source but would have that step would be redundant in this situation. Do I have it wrong?
  5. I checked out your link to level mounting instructions. As usual, they were very clear and nicely laid out. I'll bring the bits and pieces to do so on my maiden voyage at the beginning of December and do the mounting down south before coming back to the wicked frozen north. Thanks on that John.
  6. Really great info all around. Now I know the footprint of the lever(s) base. Super useful. If 6x6 has been working in a boondocky situation, that is awesome as it saves me the extra weight of super sizing to 8x8. As mentioned, the buckets seem like a great item but are not space efficient and wouldn't save much weight. I can use a few 2x boards to 1) build up the jack blocks as needed and/or 2) build up the leveling wedges as needed. A secondary benefit is avoiding having to buy more plastic stuff (leveling buckets, blocks). We feel good about avoiding where possible. Thanks for the input.
  7. Great info Bill. Especially helpful to know the height of the jacks when fully retracted. 6" seems like a small footprint if leveling on uneven ground while boondocking. In your experience, do you think it would be worth stepping up to 8x8s or considering the Camco buckets I was checking out for that application or do you think your style blocks with a little shovel work would be fine?
  8. I've been eyeballing a couple of these. Camco Stabilizer Jack Supports Seems like they will save some weight and work could be more stable boondocking on uneven ground better than slices of 8"x8" lumber but the opening in the top is quite wide. Does anyone use these and know if they speak well to the disc at the bottom of the stabilizer jacks? Was also considering using an 8x8 block for the front jack. For leveling the tires, I bought a set of Anderson wedges and was thinking of having a couple each of 2x8 in 12" length in case I need to come up more than 4". Would that wood fit between the tires on an E2? Pieces of rubber matt to prevent sliding between the wedges/wood/ground.
  9. BTW, does anyone happen to know the dimensions of the pads at the bottom of the three jacks? I bought a set of the Camco yellow Stabalizer Jack Supports and was surprised to see how big the open area in the center was. Huge items but would probably weigh less than constructing something similar from wood
  10. Jim, that is a big chunk of clarification. using the chocks on the non leveled side and, as Patriot does, using levelers that have a chock type aspect to them, like the Andersons, should do the trick. Thanks gents.
  11. Super interesting trip down the rabbit hole. Really useful information so thanks to all on that. It's great to know that it is possible to run the AC on a 2200i converted to work on propane. Whew! Really didn't want to travel with a spare gas can that speaks only to the gennie and not to any other component. I did a bit of research this AM. A few interesting points that seem to apply: - Propane regulators are supposedly "self regulating" so will adjust by their working nature to changes in altitude automatically adjust for pressure differential between atmosphere inside the tank and ambient atmosphere. - Propane is actually a mixture of propane and butane. That ratio is changed in areas that offer seasonal mixtures with the winter mix having less butane. It seems that the butane ignites poorly in high altitude as it requires more air to burn well. The suggestions I saw were to purchase propane local or make sure you have a winter mix when going into altitude. - Same applies to cold with butane not doing well in freezing temps so, if winter camping, the winter mix will burn more efficiently. - Maintenance related issues can rear their ugly heads in both cold weather and high altitude. From what I read, a side effect of burning propane is the production of water. Supposedly, jet nozzles can get partially plugged with bit of rust so while burning good in optimal conditions, can fail in cold/altitude where they may have done fine if serviced - I ran into a few folks that claim the adjust their regulators to perform better in altitude. Adjust back when in lower altitude. Does anyone have experience with this?
  12. I ask not just cause I'm not looking to have redundant gear. I'm having a hard time picturing how to use chocks on tires that are on levelers so not in contact with the ground. I guess the chocks could sit to either side of the levelers and do their job if things go south.
  13. I have a Honda 2200 inverter generator which I intend to use primarily with our new trailer for on board battery charging and running the AC. I'd was considering picking up the Hutch Mtn propane conversion kit which allows the option to run on either gas or propane with just the turn of a switch. Question is, does anyone have experience running the Elite 2 air conditioning with a 2200 generator fueled by propane? Propane is less efficient than gas so I'm wondering if that could prevent me from using the Honda. BTW, I did get the "soft start" for the AC unit.
  14. I have a set as well but do not yet have my trailer. Was wondering if these would effectively replace chocks or are they really about stabilization?
  15. Jim, That backcountry hut trip you did sounds right up my alley. Love that sort of stuff. Sooo, I just got off the horn with Nature's Head. The tech told me that if the toilet won't be used for a week or more, it is fine to just unplug the fan. They suggest it as best practice as otherwise, the solids get too dried out. As to smell, they said it is not a problem as long as the unit has not been used for a couple of days. In varying temps the breakdown of the medium either stalls or kicks back in but, either way, it should not cause a smell issue. WhatDa's comment on absorbing moisture sounds reasonable enough. Guess I'll follow the company's routine and inspect every few days to see how things go. On another front, while not suggesting there is a history of issues, the tech suggested that the toilet should be covered or curtained off to protect the electronics on the fan. I hate the aesthetics and feel of the shower curtain but it seems like lessor evil than covering the toilet with a garbage bag. Seems that some folks just let the water fly and have not had this issue.
  16. Following up here on an older thread. Couple of questions: - we ordered the NH composting toilet but not the shower curtain. Is there any chance theat shower water could short the electronics on the fan? - Not sure if anyone has this specific experience but we will be using our trailer on and off through the New England winter. Our trailer will be stored outdoors and not heated. The manufacturer suggests that it is fine to simply unplug and leave the partially composted poop to freeze. I'm wondering what the consequence would be if there were occasional days where the trailer gets warm? - As far as freezing damage goes, I'd assume that the poop/coconut material is too dry to freeze and expand and the pee bottle would be emptied so no chance of that cracking open. Sound right?
  17. In my previous "straight Job" I was what they call a gaffer: Lighting director on film productions. Had my best boy and the rest of the crew was called "electricians". We dealt with a lot of high voltage and one-off electrical situations daily but only had nuts and bolts, repetitive motion understanding of how power works. My crew was normally expected to know more gory details than myself but... When turning on most large draw items or multiple low draw units at the same time, there would be an energy spike. A 2000w light normally draws around 16.6 amps but may take up to 20 for a brief period when first turned on. Generators have two power ratings with the big one being advertised being the "start up" capacity and the actual "running" capacity being somewhat less. Hence the need on smaller generators to have the soft start feature for kicking on the air conditioner. Not sure about the applicability here but is it possible that the on-board surge protector has read clean shore power, that the spike caused by multiple systems turning on simultaneously could cause a fault? Also, spittballing here but couldn't that spike also cause the ground fault protected circuit to trip? In a similar note, I do know from experience that it can be probematic to have multiple layers of protection on a single circuit. They sometimes do not play well with each other. Seen it happen on shooting locations countless times. GFCI circuits being fed through a surge protector, running through a fuse protected board. We often would have to seek out non GFCI circuits for this reason. Some of our lights backfeed quite a bit of juice through the neuteral and often made for a sad faced GFCI experience. Forgive me if this is total babble but thought I'd give it a shot. You folks seems more knowledgable than myself for sure.
  18. Some of this electrical discussion is still above my pay grade but, is it possible to test 15a and GFCI circuits with a multi meter? What does the Sperry or Klein receptacle tester do that a multi meter wouldn't? I would guess that it has something to do with the black magic that happens in a GFCI circuit!?
  19. Lots of good info in those responses. Super helpful. I am 100% with you all on not using the fresh water tank for drinking/cooking. If it leaches a taste than it's either not BPA free and/or some of the rest of the system must not be drinking friendly. Either way, my plan was to carry a 5 gallon and a couple of loose (easier to handle in the trailer) single gallon bags that can fold up for storage. BPA free all around. My biggest concern is about traveling between camp spots in below freezing situations. I'm feeling iffy about travel with the on board propane heater doing it's thing. I'd also be reluctant to dump a full fresh water tank just for travel especially in winter where we will be staying often at camps with no hook ups. Will probably experiment with blowing lines out, drain the Truma, keepfresh water tank mostly full. Perhaps, in deep cold, will add antifreeze to everything but the port and line feeding the freshwater tank. Once at camp, I can turn on the heat and flush out lines.
  20. While we are on the subject of winterization procedures and options: Forgive the lack of sophistication on my part but I'll be a total novice when taking deliver in December. - Has anyone actually had first hand experience of damage after carefully blowing out lines and ports. I have seen it suggested that even a single drop of water can cause things to break but don't recall anyone stating they've actually suffered the consequence. - If going the anti freeze route, whether after blowing out or not, does the anti freeze left in the line end up in the fresh water tank when you wake things up? If so, assuming one has winterized with AF while traveling between camp locations, does that small amount of AF mixed in a mostly full tank of fresh, contaminate it to the point where it is innapropriate to use for none potable applications? - Is the hose included in the accessory kit supplied with the trailer BPA free? 25' or 50'? - Can't tell from videos or list sent by Anita if a Water Bandit (male threaded hose connection to a short tapered rubber hose meant to fit over a stripped spiget) or one of these Valterra Quick Fill w/Shut Off are included. There are some tiny included items shown in the prep videos that look like they may fit the bill. details, details, details
  21. I'd be interested for sure. I'm up for anytime in the spring. My kayak instructional business does a lot of work there. Mainiac is spot on that early May could be quite cold at night from mid coast to down east. If you are interested in Acadia/Mt Desert area without the crowds, Schoodic Woods State Campground is a fantastic spot. Bath buildings do not offer showers but very clean, well maintained, nicely wooded so sites are quite private, fantastic hiking/paddling/biking in the area, some good eateries and art galleries. There is a ferry that runs from Winter Harbor (town where campground is) to Bar Harbor or it's a 45 minute drive which = about 5 miles as the crow flies. Lots of shopping, eating and garden tour options there. Pretty far downeast so none too far from the Canadian border in Lubec.
  22. The one thing about negative 40ish (same for farenheit and celcius) is that it's a dry cold. Ha.
  23. Wow, wow, wow. When you made the first run at blowing the lines, were you level? Guess it makes sense to have everything drain towards the stern so as to get some assist from a little tilttilation. Where do you think all that water was hiding? I saw in one of the threads that someone had stated they were using a few gallons of AF to winterize. I couldn't understand why so much was needed. Wonder if the extra is to minimize the dilution? Thanks for sharing.
  24. Great to know on the water trapped in lines to be displaced. Having a compressor of some sort seems useful for many reasons so, given that input, makes sense to go ahead an blow out lines before adding antifreeze. Guess the alternative would be to flush through a lot more AF to cut the dilution by why waste the $?
  25. That is an awesome chunk of information and super reassuring. At the core of why we chose an Oliver. I am curious about your modifications but think I may have seen some of the details in previous winterizing posts. Great suggestion to leave spigots open and fill the traps. Seemed to me as well that the cost of the plug in heater did not justify itself. May find it's easier and pick one up but will without for a while. As to the Truma, I was told by a tech there that the current models only need to be thoroughly gravity drained = allowing 5-10 minutes. She suggested not even pulling the filter which, I think I would do cause, why not?
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