Category Archives: Camper Upgrades

Reader Question: Can I Charge My RV Battery With An Inverter Connected To The Battery?

Ah, perpetual energy without solar panels or a generator!

Readers of this website normally can’t contact me, because there isn’t a “Comments” function, nor is there an “Email” button. But hey, this is the Internet Age, and it shouldn’t be too difficult to contact me if one really wants to. Then of course, it is more than likely I will ignore you. However, in this case, I recently received an interesting inquiry worth discussing.

 

 

Hi Nick,

I read your posts on solar and batteries and have a question. Why can’t I just connect an inverter to my trailer’s battery and then power a battery charger with the inverter. Seems the battery would always be 100% charged.

 

Not only is the answer, “No,” but trying to do this will cause a battery to go dead very quickly. There are two ways to explain this. The first is by using some simple math, and the second is to experiment under real-world conditions. I’ll do both. Before we start, we need to define a couple terms.

Continue reading Reader Question: Can I Charge My RV Battery With An Inverter Connected To The Battery?

What Is A RV Awning/Patio Mat And Which One Is Best?

Reader Beware: this is a product review. After 20+ years of using this product it is safe to say it has been tested thoroughly and long enough.

When my kids were young we did a lot of tent camping and most trips were 1 – 2 weeks long. When they were 5 and 7 years old (in 1992) the tenting experience was becoming somewhat of a hassle and a small camper was an obvious solution. Owning a 4 cylinder Dodge Caravan, with a modest towing capacity, trailer choices were limited. And being 1992, the Internet as we know it today didn’t exist and neither did Yahoo or Google. Plus camping was such a simple thing to do, it didn’t dawn on me to check and see if there was such a thing as a trailer-based camping magazine – so I decided to purchase a trailer the old fashioned way… go look at campers and figure out own my own what was best without asking anyone for advice  — what a concept! After visiting several RV dealers I ended up buying a small Starcraft Meteorite tent trailer, which turned out to be an excellent decision. It was a great little trailer.

Anyway… let’s get back to the title of this post.

Continue reading What Is A RV Awning/Patio Mat And Which One Is Best?

Endless Breeze 12 Volt Fan, by Fan-Tastic Vent

There are some things in life we just don’t give much thought to.

An example is electricity. Our society is powered by electricity. We don’t think about it; we expect it to be there when needed. But when there is a power outage people freak out. When there is a large power outage, such as the entire Los Angeles or New York City metropolitan areas then it is a disaster.

One thing I don’t give much attention to or think about is the Endless Breeze fan that resides in our camper. As a matter of fact, in the nearly 700 posts and pages I have published over the past 4 plus years I don’t think I have ever mentioned it.

Given that I bought it 14 years ago (way back in 2003), it is probably time to do a proper review.

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Does A Weight Distribution Hitch Increase Tongue Weight?

The short answer is, No.

 

Often trying to find detailed information on trailer towing is difficult at best.

When we bought our current trailer and tow vehicle I knew that we would be close to the maximum capacity specifications for both. Most of the self-proclaimed or perceived experts would say buy a bigger tow vehicle if you are going to be close to the tow vehicle’s maximum specification for gross trailer weight and/or tongue weight. In other words, “buy a bigger gun.”

I am not a hunter and I have never hunted. But I know you don’t hunt elk with a pocket knife (too small) or a rocket propelled grenade (too big). You use a rifle with the correct caliber of bullet and other attributes that combined are a match for taking an elk. And so it is with our tow vehicle. The manufacturer (Ford) says we can safely tow a trailer that weighs up to 9,200 lbs fully loaded as long as the tongue weight is between 10% and 15% of the trailer’s weight and the tongue weight doesn’t exceed 920 lbs using a weight distribution hitch also known as a WDH, and at the same time the tow vehicle cannot exceed the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, or any Gross Axle Weight Ratings, and the Combined Gross Vehicle Weight.

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