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  1. #11326
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    Quote Originally Posted by SchralphMacchio View Post
    FLA and AGM require venting but lithium does not, so it can be located in the cabin for a shorter (and fatter) wiring run to your converter and power center.
    AGM batteries do not HAVE to be vented. Some claim AGM batteries don't vent at all but I believe that is incorrect. They can vent Hydrogen, which is non-toxic, but flammable. My AGM is next to a small port door between my camper and my truck bed that I open to tighten the turn buckles (Four Wheel Campers have this setup). I could open that door to vent if I am really concerned but keep it closed so rodents don't come in. I guess I could put a screen door there to vent but All Terrain Camper (what I have a FWC rip off) has been building campers like this for decades and haven't heard about anyone exploding yet. To explode it would take sufficient hydrogen vented along with an ignition source.

  2. #11327
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    Nov 2017
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    Queen City
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    Quote Originally Posted by altasnob View Post
    I have no idea about the Amazon LiFePO4 for $300 but at that price, I might be willing to just give it a try and find out. A 100 ah AGM battery is in that $300 range and you only get 50 ah out of a 100 ah AGM where as you will get 100 ah out of the 100 ah LiFePO4.

    Your converter has a smart battery charger so it adjusts the voltage and amps of its charging depending on where the battery is in the bulk/absorption/float stage of charging. But it shouldn't take over 24 hours to charge up that AGM. My guess is that the "brand new" battery was not brand new or the previous owner (or you) depleted it down past 50% a few times, which could kill even a brand new battery.

    I would use this potentially bunk battery a few more times and if you think it is still not holding a charge, and fulfilling your needs, then it may be time for a new battery. I would say stick with AGM because your system doesn't seem sophisticated enough for LiFePO4. With that said, those LiFePO4 are getting so damn cheap these days I might just go with that. Why not?
    It lasted a couple of days at 20 degrees and it wasnít dead so Iíll probably just wait it out a bit until I use it more in the summer. I noticed this morning the charger dropped to 13.2V which is what it states for storage mode. It was still showing 3amps charging though.

    Battery is under a step to get to the cab over bed. Itís a vented area but kind of annoying to get to as you have to unscrew the floor.

    I just thought if I did have to replace it eventually and my new converter supports lithium the extra 50ah would be nice. Not sure about the existing wiring though. I use almost no power other than the furnace blower. Everything else is propane.

  3. #11328
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    Ya, just run that existing battery into the ground before you upgrade. Sounds like it might be starting to go bunk but is still serviceable. Now that you have a battery monitor never run it below 50% (so 50 ah if it is a 100 ah battery). It will probably last a few more years and by that point, Lithiums will be like $100.

  4. #11329
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    Mar 2007
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    Eugenio Oregůn
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    Ski RV's, who's sleeping in parking lots?

    Quote Originally Posted by altasnob View Post
    AGM batteries do not HAVE to be vented. Some claim AGM batteries don't vent at all but I believe that is incorrect. They can vent Hydrogen, which is non-toxic, but flammable.
    Right, no need to make a Hindenburg out of a dinette seat or under bed compartment (where Iíve seen people who donít care about such risks install AGM batteries) in case you couple it with a Swiss cheese failure like a spark from a 12V switch located at that compartment turning on a phone charger or something! I think itís most likely to vent if a converter overcharges it, so if a converter goes bad or tries to charge a cell that has a problem I could see some release of gases. Risk of internal shorts must be lower than with FLA, which can and do occasionally self destruct with ďnon-passive disassembly,Ē because Toyota is perfectly okay locating small capacity AGM 12V accessory/starter batteries inside the cargo area - directly behind rear seat passengers - in Toyota Priuses. I was curious about our Prius and discovered that they have a very elegant solution to the venting issue: the overpressure valve has a port for a 3/16Ē rubber hose that leads to a false plug below the spare tire and out to the ambient air - so any hydrogen gas released just goes right out under the vehicle and is dispersed/diluted. Gotta keep the hippies safe when they hotbox that shit while the alternator is charging the 12V batt!

    Quote Originally Posted by altasnob View Post
    Ya, just run that existing battery into the ground before you upgrade. Sounds like it might be starting to go bunk but is still serviceable.
    I agree, sounds like itís working for you.

    Iím actually posting right now from the RV lot at White Pass WA, have been here since Weds and leaving Tues. 6 nights Ö 55 gallon fresh tank for the win, I might give my 2 and 4 year olds an actual bath tomorrow! (2 year old is starting to get stinky, plus that little guy got sick and puked right into the middle of my winter boot liners on Thursday night, so now Iím using my Scarpa tele boots as my casual apres wear that actually has traction on ice and snow!)
    _______________________________________________
    "Strapping myself to a sitski built with 30lb of metal and fibreglass then trying to water ski in it sounds like a stupid idea to me.

    I'll be there."
    ... Andy Campbell

  5. #11330
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    Nov 2005
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    Land of Brine Shrimp and Magic Underwear
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    The Transit's AGM batteries are in the cabin under the driver's seat. Not sure if there's any outside venting but I don't' think there is.
    There's nothing better than sliding down snow... flying through the air.

  6. #11331
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    There’s cabin venting in any vehicle.

  7. #11332
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    Well yeah. I was referring to venting specifically for the battery compartment. I don't think there is but I'd have to take a closer look before.
    There's nothing better than sliding down snow... flying through the air.

  8. #11333
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    As a Transit owner I can assure you the battery area is not sealed. I think there’s some confusion in the thread. In some camper or van builds, the batteries might be in a small interior or exterior cabinet. I think Alta was just pointing out that theoretically if such a box were sealed, H2 could accumulate.

  9. #11334
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    Cool yeah, I thought you might have a Transit. I was referring to a sealed(ish) and exterior vented battery compartment. I didn’t think AGMs vented any gases at all. Hydrogen venting sounds a bit alarming but if Ford doesn’t think it poses a safety issue that’s good enough for me I guess.

    My Transit will theoretically be built the week of March 6th. Fingers crossed!
    There's nothing better than sliding down snow... flying through the air.

  10. #11335
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    Oct 2003
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    Was UT, AK, now MT
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    Quote Originally Posted by beaterdit View Post

    My Transit will theoretically be built the week of March 6th. Fingers crossed!
    That’s pretty damn exciting.

  11. #11336
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    Apr 2004
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    cordova,AK
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    Quote Originally Posted by beaterdit View Post
    Cool yeah, I thought you might have a Transit. I was referring to a sealed(ish) and exterior vented battery compartment. I didn’t think AGMs vented any gases at all. Hydrogen venting sounds a bit alarming but if Ford doesn’t think it poses a safety issue that’s good enough for me I guess.

    My Transit will theoretically be built the week of March 6th. Fingers crossed!
    Ford made the Pinto
    off your knees Louie

  12. #11337
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    Could totally sleep/camp in a Pinto.
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  13. #11338
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trackhead View Post
    That’s pretty damn exciting.
    It is! Honestly I’m anticipating further delay but they seem to be catching up so maybe not. At least there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

    Quote Originally Posted by BFD View Post
    Ford made the Pinto
    Yeah that was a long time ago. We had one.
    There's nothing better than sliding down snow... flying through the air.

  14. #11339
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    May 2002
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    Beautiful BC
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    Quote Originally Posted by beaterdit View Post
    Well yeah. I was referring to venting specifically for the battery compartment. I don't think there is but I'd have to take a closer look before.
    In my Grand Cherokee the battery is under the passenger seat. The OEM battery has a vent hole that connects to a hose that goes somewhere. Since the seat is powered and has to move all the way forward you'll need to jumper the GC if the battery is dead.
    If you have a problem & think that someone else is going to solve it for you then you have two problems.

  15. #11340
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    Mar 2007
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    Eugenio Oregůn
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    Woke up to this Ö it was a very very good day!
    _______________________________________________
    "Strapping myself to a sitski built with 30lb of metal and fibreglass then trying to water ski in it sounds like a stupid idea to me.

    I'll be there."
    ... Andy Campbell

  16. #11341
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    Waiting for traffic down LCC to die down. Nice facing slope side lodging to chill out it.
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  17. #11342
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    ^ This. The ability to pull in to a remote TH at 10 pm and in bed by 10:30 after a beer, or chill out in a ski resort parking lot during the rush hour…this is why the ‘yeah but you could just stay in hotels’ argument against winter RVs kinda misses the point.

  18. #11343
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    Nov 2010
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    Montrose, CO
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    I don't do a ton of overnights or road trips in the winter, but our van has made my ski days infinitely better by giving the wife and dogs a place to hang out in the afternoons while I ski an extra couple of hours.

  19. #11344
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    Oct 2003
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    Seattle
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowaddict91 View Post
    I don't do a ton of overnights or road trips in the winter, but our van has made my ski days infinitely better by giving the wife and dogs a place to hang out in the afternoons while I ski an extra couple of hours.
    This is what is getting me interested. My family naps a lot more than I do, but I still want to be able to go skiing, biking, hiking at the same time/place even if we donít always want to start and finish every activity together.

  20. #11345
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    Mar 2007
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    Eugenio Oregůn
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    Yeah you canít beat a Class B setup for day trip hangout spot capability.

    Like, if I had a diesel dually longbed crew cab with a giant ass TC on it, I canít imagine ever using it for a day trip to the local trail network or up to the ski hill. And youíd have to be insane to pull a TT anywhere for a day trip. But no big deal with a van.

    I canít take our trailer everywhere a van or TC can go, but it sure does make a nice base camp setup for 2 adults 2 kids and doggo.
    _______________________________________________
    "Strapping myself to a sitski built with 30lb of metal and fibreglass then trying to water ski in it sounds like a stupid idea to me.

    I'll be there."
    ... Andy Campbell

  21. #11346
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    Oct 2003
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    Schralph are you located far from where you ski? I was wondering if you tended to go for many days at a time. Hauling and setting up a trailer for skiing seems like no small feat.

    Weíve got a lot of skiing and other stuff 1-3 hours from home. 2 hours has usually been my limit for a day trip most of the time, but with a little one itís less viable. Iíd love to be able to stay just one night, or show up early and have mom+kid nap for a while. Sounds like van business.

  22. #11347
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    Mar 2007
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    Eugenio Oregůn
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    Ski RV's, who's sleeping in parking lots?

    Our normal resort is 2 hours towing / 1:45 regular driving. We take trips around OR/WA as well, it was well over 5 hours with gas and pee/food breaks each way to White Pass WA last week. I should add that OR has literally one resort with on mountain lodging, (Timberflat) and only one more with lodging a walk down the road (Ski Bowl). Bachelor is 20 miles from town/lodging, so is Hoodoo, I think Anthony Lakes and Ashland are also around that 20 mile distance from nearest town/lodging as well. Willamette Pass has a few small cabin rentals about 5-10 mins away but really not much within a 45 minute drive until you hit Oakridge. Basically an RV is the main way you get on-mountain accommodations in this state!!!

    We have a local resort thatís 1.5 hours and we could day trip it, but with a 4 year old and a 2 year old, my wife just hates the idea of what happens if the 4 year old doesnít want to ski at all, or if either kid wants to take a nap, has a bodily fluid accident, etc. I keep mentioning all the things I can load in a duffel bag and wagon, and use the Thule Chariot Double to ferry the kids to the Lodge, but she is very uninterested in all that in contrast to our RV!

    So back to trailering Ö yeah, itís non trivial to set up - backing in is best done with the lot not very full, and itís an absolute mess when the lot is busy. But the tricky part is chiseling out enough ice to set the leveling blocks into place, crossing fingers that the scraps of landscape fabric under your leveling blocks will help keep the thing from sliding when you pull the trailer tire up onto it, and getting the correct number of blocks needed for side to side leveling on the first guess.

    All told itís well over 30 mins from when we pull into the lot to when I tell the fam they can jump out of the truck.

    Process: Remove WDH load bars, open propane, back and align the trailer (Austin Powers style) to optimize clearance and alignment with the other spots, level the trailer side to side (snow ice chipping involved), remove bins from cabin that prevent wife and kids from entering, fire up propane appliances (furnace, WH, fridge), chock wheels, unhitch and fore/aft leveling (more snow ice chipping involved under the tongue jack), stabilizers down (more snow ice chipping involved under the stabilizers), thank goodness I have a rad trailer with no slides but if you have one then you need to deploy that as the final step. Then wife and kids are allowed to enter and I get to work setting up camp while my wife gets breakfast or dinner going (as itís best to arrive early AM or early evening). I still have 15 mins of pulling skis, table, chairs, grill, propane, generator from the trailer storage and truck Ö connect the generator and electrical setup so that itís ready to go if we need microwave for dinner, or the next day to recharge after a night of furnace, fridge heater, iPad and phone charging etc. Even more involved is if I set up the ďbackyardĒ area between the trailer and the snow bank (clear snow if needed and pile it into a rough bench that Iíll shape later) to make our gear station and hang out area. Move truck - either the spot is too short to stay hooked up, or I want my truck set up to protect any ďyard spaceĒ Iím allowed to have. Needless to say, tear down takes a while doing all that in reverse, plus digging out and clearing snow off the rigs, but usually the kids play in the snow while Iím doing all that.

    My wife said she doesnít think itís worth it for a one night trip, but plenty of people do it! A lot of people also donít bother getting perfectly level etc, but then your propane fridge may not work (I know most people with big batteries are going 12V compressor now) and cooking / eating / sleeping all suck if you donít have it leveled pretty good. 2-3 nights is typical for us (2x/month) and we try to get at least one 4-5 night trip a year. We are set up to do about 7 nights but it takes a lot of water use discipline to keep the gray tank from filling up.

    Getting home is also pretty involved Ö hook up to dump station (I have a sewage cleanout right at my parking spot at home), dump and flush tanks, set up electrical heaters to dry out the cabin, pull the dirty laundry, pull the food (wonít take any chances with rodents), wipe down messes the kids made, arrange all the skis and boots and junk so that it dries out well, take stock of inventory items that need to be replenished Ö then during the week chip away at getting er all ready to go again come the weekend!!!
    _______________________________________________
    "Strapping myself to a sitski built with 30lb of metal and fibreglass then trying to water ski in it sounds like a stupid idea to me.

    I'll be there."
    ... Andy Campbell

  23. #11348
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    Mar 2007
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    Eugenio Oregůn
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    Here are my thoughts on the various rig types:
    -Van - most mobile, easiest to drive, least space, can make it work with 2 adults 1 kid and/or dog but itís so tight and tiny tank capacity, not the end of the world if you get denied from a FCFS type overnight situation and have to quickly pivot plans, awesome for day trips.
    -TC - also very mobile, need aftermarket suspension work on truck appropriate for your rig (maybe wheels and tires too), cabin space isnít any bigger than a van unless you get a really big ass TC, which also means you are now in longbed dually territory, technically can be dropped for a base camp so that you can use the truck locally but I canít see wanting to do this in the winter, Iím really not sure a TC makes sense over a van or Class C unless you have another reason to have a decently sized or big ass truck.
    -Class C - not as mobile as a TC but it drives like a moving truck so itís not bad, decent cabin space, storage and tank capacity, great option for a purpose dedicated vehicle, not technically car seat compatible for really young kids (this was a dealbreaker for my wife).
    -Travel Trailer - not very mobile, need to have reservable spot, takes the most time to set up, could benefit from aftermarket truck suspension work but not critical unless you are undertrucked, towing with chains sucks, towing on nasty slick roads is scary AF, towing in gusty winds is scary AF, you get to decide to have as little or as much space and tank capacity as you want, makes a great base camp if you are heading to various destinations in town or different THs.
    -Fifth Wheel - Seriously, do you really need that much space? Pulls better than a bumper pull TT but now you need a big ass diesel truck, probably not a problem paying for that if you spent the money on a big ass 5er to have all the creature comforts of a stick house.
    -Class A - have fun driving a 26,000 lbs bus on a nasty road then parking it at a busy ski area. Though a buddy of mine with wife, big dog, and 3 kids has a sweet 1964 GM coach RV conversion, makes sense when you have that many passengers.

    We went with a small TT to get good cabin space / tank capacity and have something I could pull with a truck I could use as a daily driver and MTB shuttle rig. Though ours isnít light - 1000 lbs tongue weight, plus family and a shitload of gear means that I have an F-250 gasser with RoadActive Suspension mod and Rancho RS7MT/9000XL shocks as my daily driver.
    _______________________________________________
    "Strapping myself to a sitski built with 30lb of metal and fibreglass then trying to water ski in it sounds like a stupid idea to me.

    I'll be there."
    ... Andy Campbell

  24. #11349
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Was UT, AK, now MT
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    Quote Originally Posted by SchralphMacchio View Post
    Here are my thoughts on the various rig types:
    I've owned all of them except Class A. Old school van way back when, three truck campers, two fifth wheels, one class C, three travel trailers, one pop up trailer. I have a 10 year old. I love my custom box truck camper, but only built it because I already had the truck (low miles). If my truck wasn't such low mileage, I'd buy a van to replace it.

    Van = Mobile, no set up, can use as daily driver, driving space is living space. Would have to be AWD. Daily driver part is the biggest advantage, don't need to insure another vehicle.

  25. #11350
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Seattle
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    I can appreciate the effort put into a brain dump for the benefit of others. Thanks for giving another NW dad some pro tips.

    The ski lodging situation in WA us perhaps a little better than OR, but not much. Availability and quality tend to be poor.

    We donít have parking for anything more than a van, so I should probably just rent one sometime to see if itís worthwhile. Weíve spent a lot of nights happily camping in a Forester (three season mostly) so anything larger, with vent fan and heater, sounds palatial. We also tend to move locations frequently when traveling, rarely staying for more than a night or two, so I have a hard time imagining extensive setup time being worth the hassle for us.

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