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Old 10-30-2015, 04:24 PM   #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenH View Post
Just heard from Ellen via e-mail and she's doing okay having moved to a more open site; her batteries are back up to a more normal range.
Good to hear Karen ! Even though I know Ellen will be fine . Pat
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Old 10-31-2015, 12:30 PM   #92
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OH, WOW, you guys, cannot tell you how touched I am by all the support!!! (Where's the darn heart symbol)

And KarenH, I love you!!! Karen came down yesterday from Bellingham to help -- wow, am overwhelmed by the support!

This was my first chance to get back to Starbucks and will report some interesting developments.

Before I even get to the solar, the refrigerator problem was not due to the solar but to a defective propane controller. Even though the triangle was green the day I switched tanks, when we looked at it yesterday, it was red. Karen suggested transferring tanks to determine whether the problem was the tank or the controller. It was the controller. As you all know, I never would have known to do that! So with that info, speaker phone call to Rease AGAIN (was it three times yesterday?) He advised to get a new controller (that can tend to happen) and send them a bill or call when I'm there and they can charge on a credit card to ETI. Switched to the good side and the refrigerator cooled down very quickly! So, that's settled.

The solar. First of all, after reading all the great reports of the system, was naive in believing it could handle the Pacific NW at this time of year. My first mistake was leaping without looking and grabbing the site with the awesome view without realizing how heavy the tree cover was. (Sure was an awesome view though! ) But as mentioned, hard to recover from a drain like that.

Yes, did move to a more open site the next day (after five days at the sun-less site). Swept off the pine needles. Batteries started to charge -- sweet. Only to realize that was because I was still connected to the Tahoe. Ohhhh, the learning curve of the newbie! Unplugged Tahoe and charge slowly started to decrease. The sun came out for about a half hour and there was some charge but then the clouds came again and the party was over.

Kept monitoring and by bed-time, was down to 11.6. Decided to connect to the Tahoe. Felt I would rather get my Tahoe batteries charged in the morning than to completely drain the 6 V's. Woke up this morning and holding my breath, tried to start the Tahoe. It started right up.

So, as I said, am at Starbucks now. It poured all last night, still lightly raining and not counting on much sun today. I'm guessing when I return to the site, it will be back to 11.6.

My plan had been to leave in the morning and stay in the lot of my friend's neighbor. I am taking your suggestions to heart and will find a place tonight where I can plug in and get fully charged before going to my friend's.

Just cannot thank you enough for your suggestions, information, encouragement, support. And Karen H -- no words -- where IS that darn heart sign?
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Old 10-31-2015, 12:30 PM   #93
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p.s. I don't know when I will have wifi access again so may not be able to read or respond to any posts.
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Old 10-31-2015, 12:45 PM   #94
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Kept monitoring and by bed-time, was down to 11.6. Decided to connect to the Tahoe. Felt I would rather get my Tahoe batteries charged in the morning than to completely drain the 6 V's. Woke up this morning and holding my breath, tried to start the Tahoe. It started right up.
Glad the issue is resolved. I don't want to sound rude or be a meanie but I have to say that's something I wouldn't have done. If I had very low trailer batteries and it was nighttime, I'd have turned off the master switch and made like a hard sided tent for the night. The Tahoe battery is your lifeboat. If you do that again and you're away from assistance and the Tahoe doesn't start then you've compounded your problem.

Hope the rest of your trip goes more smoothly.

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Old 10-31-2015, 01:16 PM   #95
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Most SUV's, trucks if they have the factory tow package the charging Line on the 7 pin is only hot if the ignition is on. First thing I check on a new tow vehicle with a multimeter to make sure it is not live when ignition is off. I like to hot stop on the hitch when traveling and not have to worry about taking the plug out of the tow vehicle overnight. Anyway, odds are that Ellen, left it plugged in to a dead line to the tow vehicle which is why it started in the morning with no issue. She'll need to find that info out on her setup so she knows if it is hot or not with the ignition off.
Glad she is getting sorted out, and big shout out to Karen for helping her get back on her feet.
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Old 10-31-2015, 01:18 PM   #96
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Two things learned here:

1.). Karen has spiked the Good Karma meter;

2.). Helen is now our resident expert on propane regulators and their relationship to Fridge performance.

You go girls!
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Old 10-31-2015, 01:30 PM   #97
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Thanks for the kudos, Ellen! Two things...as I mentioned, I don't think the defective propane controller had much to do with the refer problem as it would automatically switch from the defective (left) side to the good (right) side so the propane flow would be uninterrupted (as evidenced by you always having propane on the stove). I think just leaving the refer on for some time and not turning it on and off will help its performance. Also, both Reace and I had great concerns about plugging into your truck while it is not running. I know that your mechanic friend said that it would not hurt your truck battery, but I wonder if something got lost in the translation and he meant while the truck was running. At any rate, all seems to be better now and you can get on with your adventures.

It was so good to meet you and to hear of your plans. Good luck to you!

Edited: Regarding plugging in to the tow...or as Greg mentioned above about the hot line. I still drive a 23-year-old truck so was not aware of that feature although I do believe it has been mentioned on the forum. I'm joining Myron's club...
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Old 10-31-2015, 02:00 PM   #98
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Two more issues that added to my learning bank. I took my generator down to help get Ellen's batteries back up but could not get her trailer to "accept" a charge; I've never had a problem with my trailer but my batteries have never been that low. After a phone call to Reace where he suggested some fiddling with the surge protector, again to no avail, he thought that maybe her batteries were so low that the surge protector was cutting off my generator as it was only a 650-watt generator. He suggested one more thing to try but I had to head for home plus I was a little leary about monkeying around with the surge protector too much as I don't have one and know nothing about them.

The other issue was Ellen's fridge (the 3.0 CF). She said she had the "Auto" function turned off; I didn't realize one could do that. So I turned off her refer and then tried to turn it back on but it would not turn on unless I had the "Auto" function back on. Then it would turn on and default to propane. I could then turn the "Auto" button off (the "Auto" light would go out). My trailer is in storage so I don't have the refer manual. Now if her propane regulator were malfunctioning, would there be a very short period with little to no flow while the tanks were switching and her refer would shut down and not restart because the "Auto" button was not on? I didn't have time to play around with this idea but does anyone know something about this?
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Old 10-31-2015, 02:28 PM   #99
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I know that the Progressive EMS (surge protector) will shut things down if not enough battery and there would be an error message. If not plugged in, however, which was the case, it is not functioning as far as I know and should not enter into it. Maybe someone else can confirm that. Using the TV, however, don't know how that would affect it.

Also, can you guys say that if the TV is not running, there is no draw to the trailer, or are you drawing and can ruin your TV battery, as I had seen? I remember people saying that if they stopped for lunch, and did not disconnect, they could get a dead battery. Is that correct? We always have our trailer battery switch on for charging while driving. One would think the draw would be minimal to the detectors. But if something else were used in the trailer as might have been done here, that would change that.
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Old 10-31-2015, 02:49 PM   #100
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[QUOTE=Floating Cloud;116567]
Also, can you guys say that if the TV is not running, there is no draw to the trailer, or are you drawing and can ruin your TV battery, as I had seen?/QUOTE]

To clarify; all vehicles that came with a tow package do not have an automatic disconnect for the trailer power.

My late model Ranger came with a tow package but that didn't include an automatic disconnect for the trailer power. I have a manual switch.

So, unless you've information specific to your vehicle that the trailer power is off unless the vehicle ignition is on don't presume it is.

Ron
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