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  #431  
Old 05-03-2018
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sfedeli sfedeli is offline
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Andy,

I would change out most of the old gauges while you are into the "resto-mod" of the coach. Heat and Oil pressure are very important pieces of information to have. I used new VDO "Vision" gauges and new sending units for Oil, Water, Trans, Voltage and air pressure. This one should work great for you too- https://www.amazon.com/VDO-310-039D-.../dp/B00029XDSK

and here is the sending unit- https://www.amazon.com/VDO-323-421D-...9B8YWW14APJR4C
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  #432  
Old 05-03-2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badandy View Post
I'm just pissed that the gauge reads so high :P I didn't overheat anything, but the gauge sending unit is fried. It reads perfectly fine at first but the longer it would sit at 190 the more it would creep upwards. It was reading 40 degrees high in that photo!
In post 424 you said, "fan doesn't fire up" so I thought maybe that was an issue too. The didn't tell me much
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  #433  
Old 05-03-2018
badandy badandy is offline
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In post 424 you said, "fan doesn't fire up" so I thought maybe that was an issue too. The didn't tell me much
I was messing with you
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  #434  
Old 05-03-2018
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...I have 1200 watts of solar panels to get mounted, and on a day like today that will come close to balancing out one A/C running, but I don't think it will quite get there. I have an idea to mount more panels, but I don't know if it's worth the effort...
On this end, 1425 Watts & 1200-ish output midday. With that & a single 3,000 watt PS inverter, one MicoAir start equipped AC (little to no locked rotor compressor startup spike) demand is almost balanced out with solar output. More solar in our case is not cost effective nor needed. If I need two AC’s there’s always the Powertech. Of course, I can’t store 1.2 GIGAWATTS like some can
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  #435  
Old 05-04-2018
badandy badandy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfedeli View Post
Andy,

I would change out most of the old gauges while you are into the "resto-mod" of the coach. Heat and Oil pressure are very important pieces of information to have. I used new VDO "Vision" gauges and new sending units for Oil, Water, Trans, Voltage and air pressure. This one should work great for you too- https://www.amazon.com/VDO-310-039D-.../dp/B00029XDSK

and here is the sending unit- https://www.amazon.com/VDO-323-421D-...9B8YWW14APJR4C

I found a local guy who is selling tons of gauges on eBay and has way more in stock then I would have guessed, so I got to see a lot of them yesterday. My gauges are all seemingly in good shape and they all work, but some of the new stuff is so much more accurate. I would like to add oil temp, trans temp, and a boost gauge, too.


My temp sending unit is a 334R, which is a Stewart-Warner part. I installed the Horton fan switch last night, too.


Quote:
Originally Posted by NoGas View Post
On this end, 1425 Watts & 1200-ish output midday. With that & a single 3,000 watt PS inverter, one MicoAir start equipped AC (little to no locked rotor compressor startup spike) demand is almost balanced out with solar output. More solar in our case is not cost effective nor needed. If I need two AC’s there’s always the Powertech. Of course, I can’t store 1.2 GIGAWATTS like some can

But I can't go 88 mph, wouldn't that be something! I'm excited to get the panels up there, but I have to get all of the diamondplate off and I'm going to remount them all with rivet nuts, and I need to figure out how I'm going to mount the stuff to the roof. I am thinking some rivet nuts spread around would work. All the panels (6) will be mounted together on a tilting platform of sorts, so it will need a good mount.
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  #436  
Old 05-04-2018
DW SD DW SD is offline
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I used rivnuts on 2 or 3 sides to the goat rails with the 3 panels at the same height as the goat rails. The other corners were attached to the diamond plate also with rivnuts and a heavy aluminum post based on 3/16" x 2" x 2" angle, which is how I made the other mounts, too.

The panels are hidden unless you look close from down below since they are the same height as the goat rail.

Could you not build a steel or aluminum tube-framed platform that supports the panels' platform together to the goat rails through a series of rivnuts? My goat rails are very hefty.

industrial - grade hinges would work well between the platform and goat rail. Would seem quite tricky to get the panels to tilt both directions!

Then again, you don't seem short on clever ideas. I'm eager to see with what you come up.

Enjoy your trip!

Doug
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  #437  
Old 05-04-2018
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... I can't go 88 mph, wouldn't that be something!...
https://www.wanderlodgeownersgroup.c...t=25074&page=4 Post #33

Rivnuts work well even on aluminum. Flat mounted the panels, fixed and as close to the roof surface as possible. Most seem to favor an aircraft carrier flat-top appearance with their panels mounted way up in the air. I wanted a more streamlined appearance and had no desire to be climbing to adjust panel tilt. Briefly considered adding a set of linear actuators, but decided it wasn’t worth the trouble and expense. With panels so cheap, adding an extra to compensate for the lost watts caused by no tilt made better sense. In the winter output is sufficient for all coach needs, while summer means some serious excess.

Can easily hit 88 mph . Fed AGM’s lots of beer & alum cans; so far no luck
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  #438  
Old 05-05-2018
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So we're a few hours from home on the first trip of the year since the winter work. The temp gauge reads about 10F high now, but it's consistent. I feel like it runs the fan too much, but there's no issue with cooling for sure. The lower tank is almost cool to the touch and the engine is maintaining about 185 on the mechanical gauge. I tested the new 180 thermostats before installing and they do not open one tiny bit before 180 so this makes sense.

Adjusting the caster made a HUGE improvement. I was carving up the backroads without stress, and high speed driving in the wind we had yesterday (50mph gusts) was a one-handed affair. Before the caster change it was a constant seesaw back and forth and it was not fun on curves.

On the electrical side - we got lucky and it was cool yesterday so no aircon required. They are calling for mid 70's and dry today so we'll see what happens. We are not plugged into anything. All of the spots with hookups are filled here, but I think we are the only ones in the unhooked areas.

I also disconnected the lead acid charger and put a 4 amp, efficient, battery tender on and running without the DC/DC converter to see how it works. If I were running the Fantastic fans and other 12v things more I would need to switch on the DC/DC, but all 12v stuff is coming from the lead acids this weekend. At some point I'll have to switch the water heater on so that will take a good bit of battery. I should have run it with the gen on the drive up here, it holds a good amount of heat for 24 hours.

My idea for the solar array is to mount all 6 panels as one giant panel and tilt the whole thing on a central pivot. In a perfect world I could tilt it in any direction, but the world is not a perfect place. I might just do a left/right tilt and hope for pointing the bus east/west. It will be automated somehow because there's no way I'm climbing my fat butt up there to tilt panels.

When we get back I am going to start on the roof R&R. All the diamondplate is coming off and I'm going to remount them with rivnuts and stainless fasteners. I might drill holes through the diamondplate so I can gain direct access to the steel roof to mount the panel bracketry. The panels are heavier than I imagined from moving them around. I thought they were like 26 lbs each, but they felt like 40!
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  #439  
Old 05-07-2018
DW SD DW SD is offline
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what is the downside of leaving the DC/DC converter going? Does it constantly consume from your large battery bank?

Does your water heater not draw heat from the engine coolant loop when hot?

Having tested it now on several trips, my Webasto Thermo Top C unit works killer for heating the 10 gallon marine water tank. I have 140F to 150F water (from 80F) in 1 hour. Were I to make further mods, and if efficient heat were important, I'd probably extend a valved loop to include the bedroom chassis heat, so the unit could also heat the bedroom.

It sips diesel and draws 4 amps when running, including its attached coolant pump.

Interesting plan on your solar. Sounds like the platform will have to be built off the rooftop level substantially to afford sufficient throw on the tilt? That said, I'm confident you'll get it right and will be watching.

Hope your trip is going great!

Cheers, Doug
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  #440  
Old 05-07-2018
badandy badandy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DW SD View Post
what is the downside of leaving the DC/DC converter going? Does it constantly consume from your large battery bank?

Does your water heater not draw heat from the engine coolant loop when hot?

Having tested it now on several trips, my Webasto Thermo Top C unit works killer for heating the 10 gallon marine water tank. I have 140F to 150F water (from 80F) in 1 hour. Were I to make further mods, and if efficient heat were important, I'd probably extend a valved loop to include the bedroom chassis heat, so the unit could also heat the bedroom.

It sips diesel and draws 4 amps when running, including its attached coolant pump.

Interesting plan on your solar. Sounds like the platform will have to be built off the rooftop level substantially to afford sufficient throw on the tilt? That said, I'm confident you'll get it right and will be watching.

Hope your trip is going great!

Cheers, Doug
I have an electric-only water heater that doesn't have a loop from the engine (previous owner mod, I just haven't changed it). It is only 5 gallons, but it works out fine for showers and forces you to save water :-) I might replace it with something better down the road but it works nice and holds the hot water for quite a while, too.

So there are a few things to consider with the DC/DC - I was messing around testing the efficiency of this stuff. My regular lead acid charger is goofed up, I'm pretty sure of that, so I ran my battery tender on the lead acids (from the inverter) all weekend and also ran all the 12v loads from the lead acids for this trip. I could have run the DC/DC converters, but I wanted to see how this would work out. The small tender is rated at 4 amps and it was working pretty hard, but it did work and was much more efficient than the big charger for some reason. Jury is out on this.

We ran the fans quite a bit, but on low speed. Refer on LP and lights and water pump were going all day. The inverter was on the entire time including the night before we left to keep our gadget chargers and stuff going. Not the most efficient use of power, but it worked out. We ran two AC's on Saturday afternoon for a few hours because we were feeling lazy and it got hot and we worked the dogs pretty hard hiking and the derby was on. We baked some Cinnabons and a quiche in the convection (350 for 25 minutes), too. It was a really hard weekend. hahah.



The whole trip used up about 75% of the lithium battery capacity and we never plugged into anything and never started the generator. If the solar was installed we would have returned home with a fully charged lithium battery, no doubt.
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