Tip of the day-using a garden liquid sprayer to fill your large lead wet cell battery bank!
June 2, 2020
--------------------Tip of the day!----------------------------
Using a garden liquid sprayer to fill your large lead wet cell battery bank.
You can use a small garden sprayer for filling your batteries by removing the nozzle tip turning the sprayer into a portable watering hose for your battery's distilled water.
This is a big deal for those that have very large battery banks, and need to fill multiple batteries.
The plus is you can put the tip back on and use the sprayer to spray off the batteries after you clean them with baking soda water.
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Recovered the valances & curtains
May 20, 2020
We took down all the valances & curtains in our 5er and put new, brighter material on them. We also did the seat cushions & headboard. Not hard to do, just a PIA. We like how they look now that we've got them back up. Problem is they now make the walls look dull!
The Covid-19 Thing, idle hands......................
May 17, 2020
This Covid-19 "Stay at home" thing, (What ever that means for a fulltiming "Off-grid" family) has made my creative juices flow.
About two months ago I found this old style headache rack for $50.00 at the local steel recycling yard...... well I bought it and just got to work.
All this you see was done with a 5500 champion generator, 140-amp Lincoln /115-volt welder with 0.35 flux core wire, and several grinders (7.5" & 4.5", ect.)
I still need to weld some to the tread plate, and the "D" rings for tie-downs. Also need to run wiring for lights, and paint, paint, paint, a lot!
By the way, did I mention we are "Off-Grid" 16 miles up a dirt road with no one for miles. This project is for sure a "Mobile Homestead" original!
Starting new solar system
May 9, 2020
Hi All, Hope all is well with you!
I thought I would document the new power system on our 5th wheel as I am starting from scratch. This will be a somewhat extended process waiting for parts, avoiding the heat and not in any hurry due to the virus lockdown.
I started by removing the storage partitions in the basement to check access for installing a Hughes EMS and GoPower transfer switch. I found some unused space and decided to do the battery, inverter, chargers install in the basement rather than the front compartment. I should be able to house all my gear for solar etc. and increase the cargo bay at the same time! The basement is ducted for heat and should be better conditions for our lithium battery bank. This will also leave the front compartment available for large bulky stuff like shade canopies, tables, dead bodies etc..
Here is what it looks like from the factory.
With the walls removed. Blue tape is where walls were.
Approximate location of new walls to be installed. I removed the stock converter/charger as it won't be needed and relocated the 120v outlet out of the way.
The area under the stairs made a great spot to install the Battery bank. I did need to remove a stair support leg but a plywood header will make this stronger than stock.I am going to reconfigure these cells for a 24v battery bank this time. That will make this a 300ah battery @24v
That's all for now. I have more parts coming and will update this thread as progress continues.
How to torch a RV
September 21, 2019
I recently returned from a two and a half month trip to the mid-west and almost had a disaster.
As you can see from the attached photos, my electrical connector had an arcing problem and burnt the receptacle and plug severely. This could have easily started a fire and destroyed the whole rig.
I had just gotten home and pulled onto my parking pad. I quickly grabbed my power cord, plugged it into the RV and my garage outlet. I turned on the AC and started unloading the RV (upper 90's in South Carolina). I took several days to unload the essentials and empty the fridge etc. My wife and I smelled an odd smell but it did not smell electrical nor really burnt. It was sort of a plastic type smell. We searched around for the source but could not pin point anything. Turned off the fridge and the AC.
While doing the unloading, I had been prepping for cleaning my tanks, I worked on sanitizing my fresh water tank, then ran that water into my grey tank after dumping in a bunch of gel automatic dish washer detergent. (a tip to clean the sensors that I had heard but hadn't used yet). Added cleaner to my black tank and filled it also. The tanks then set for a few days to stew and I was planning to take the rig to a free dump station and see if that helped my tanks.
When I was unhooking to go to the dump station, I noticed that I had not properly connected my twist lock connector. I had just plugged it in and did not twist it and did not secure the threaded ring.
It was drooped down with at least a 1/4 inch gap at the top and when I gave it a pull, nothing happened. I smelled the strange odor again and immediately went and unplugged the other end of the cord.
I took some twisting and pulling but I got the plug out (pulling the hot fitting out of the receptacle at the same time).
I did my dump station run and replaced and repaired the wiring and used new outlets. One thing to watch is that heat travels up the conductor and will melt the inner insulation while the jacket looks good. You need to cut the wire back enough to get to good insulation or replace the wire.
I'm speculation that the sloppy plug in job left a poor connection on the hot line and it was over-heating and arcing internally and was slowly burning the connectors (thus the funny smell).
I have researched the arc detecting breakers to see if they would help with this problem but apparently they only protect downstream from the breaker. (I will replace my outlet circuit but that will only help at home.) With the state of most campground outlets, it will be a cold day when they have these outlets. Though I did have one park that had GFI on the main breaker, that was a first.
Anyone have any ideas or thoughts on what to do to help with this? I though about making an exterior panel box with an arc detector that would be used like the surge protector devices (I have one but did not use it at home) But I was looking for a cleaner solution. Of course the best thing is to NEVER make a mistake!
Arc-faults cause most electrical fires, not short circuits. My 30 amp breaker never tripped!
Thanks and everyone be careful.
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