Cynical?, Who Me?

Submitted: Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 01:12
ThreadID: 120405 Views:3481 Replies:15 FollowUps:0
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Am I becoming a total cynic??
Honest answers only except for humorous replies. They are always welcome. Jokes never get under my skin, even the ones about silly old blokes.

I read on the "other" forum that a vanner has towed a 22 foot van several thousand kilometres without brakes. Didn’t notice until they were nearly home.
They said the indicator lights on the controller were operating.
The so called "expert fitter" said, when the van was returned for service, that the controller had no earth, earth cable connected to plastic panel.
So I ask how come the controller lamps operated as the controller has a common earth and if no earth then no brakes and no lamps.
It is put to me that I am distrusting.

The "experts" say that I require at least 6 large solar panels just to operate my 190 ltr electric fridge.
With only 3 panels what has been keeping my beer cold for the past 4 years??

The "experts" say that the 6mm auto cable carrying current between the tow vehicle and the BT batteries is seriously undersized and will not do the job.
It has been perfectly functional for 4 years.

Another "expert" says that the Honda Eu20I will not run the air con, or if it does it certainly will not accept any additional load "or it will burn out" (Another forum)
We run the air con, 50A battery charger and the breadmaker all together from the Honda.
There is an overload cut out on the geny so you can’t "burn it out".
When I point this out the response indicates that maybe I don’t know ‘nuthin.

It is put up by an "expert" that wire wound transformer based battery chargers will not look after my batteries correctly.
In BT #1 the lead acid batteries lasted over 3.5 years, not bad for old fashioned technology.
So far, after 12 months the glass matt batteries in BT #2 seem to be in perfect condition, but then I haven’t taken them to the university for testing, maybe they are a decimal point away from perfect, tch. tch.

With apologies to Macka, I’ve even towed through Wollongong and survived. :-))

This discussion could go on forever but an "expert" may sue me if I am not careful. :-))

So what’s happening, I a finally getting to be a cranky old fart in a caravan park?
Seems to me that’s what most of the "experts" are.

Ah well, take some more pills and enrol at uni I suppose so that I can make more educated observations.
Or sit around and study my belly button as someone once suggested.

Best regards to all and if this upsets anyone I suggest a Bex, a cuppa and a lie down.

"Do It While You Can"
Nobody is getting any younger.

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Reply By: Deleted User - Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 01:31

Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 01:31
Now griff, I am all for over engineering but you must admit that if BTI has been doing it for ages with no accidents then ipso facto. However I would like to engineer up a bit but all depends on the weakest link the anderson plug. I would like a situation to exist whereby the batteries share their overload of power both ways but I am no expert not even a house electrician like anthony. And Collyn the aknowleged suggests there is a problem with doing it this way. So if there is a way let me know. Regards Macka
AnswerID: 561218

Reply By: Deleted User - Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 01:32

Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 01:32
G'day Macka, House electrician ... NOT me ..... I would be qualified to carry their tools, pass the odd GPO or maybe go for smoko. Thats my limit of 240 .... in the words of that great Indian Hiawatha no play with snake that spit lightning and kill you plenty quick !!! [MohawkSmile] Anthony Explore this Great Land ...Do it Easy ...Tow a Bushtracker
AnswerID: 561219

Reply By: Deleted User - Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 01:33

Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 01:33
Funny Anthony, I used to play with batteries as kid loved the zap from those little batteries with pos and neg on top with my tongue not fond of big zaps however. Peter
AnswerID: 561220

Reply By: Deleted User - Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 01:34

Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 01:34
There's the rub, Macka - there WERE 'accidents'. It was expressions of complaint/concern with dead batteries etc from several owners that started the whole questioning thing off. I am reasonably sure (from past experience as a Service Manager - domestic Hi-Fi and heavy engineering), that one of the (as yet unspoken) concerns with this whole site from BTI's point of view, is owners getting together and comparing notes on fault frequencies. If owners are prevented from sharing problems each can be told, "Gee, we've never seen that problem before" and, secondly, preventing the Chicken Little syndrome of a "common" fault being blown out of proportion (which is a very legitimate concern on a chat room type forum - as we have seen, its real easy for ego's to get their nickers in a knot. Email and chat rooms are dangerous places for expressing opinions and emotions - all the subtelty of a Mack truck hitting a watermelon.) Finally, the notion that because BT have made lots, that makes them uncontestable experts is interesting. As far as I know, there is no Doctorate in Caravan design and Construction, so what we have is a couple of nice guys with a passion and some experiences, that put there money where there mouth is, appointed themselves experts, and started building the things. By your (and there) assertion, doing something many times makes them experts. If that reasoning is ipso facto correct, then why didn't you buy a Jaco? They build as many vans a day as BT build per week (or month). Surely by your reasoning that makes them bigger experts than BT at building vans? Clearly a silly proposition. You know the old saw about 20 years experience vs 1 years experience 20 times. The real issue is attitude and intension. If you have a motto of Excellence and Authenticity, its possible to produce amazing results en mass or as a one off prototype. That attitude will keep you pushing the envelope & asking, "How can I do this better?" Rather than resistance and a snarl, its encouraging to see BT actually coming up with new options & approaches in some of the areas of concern. The "Best" just got better? Good. But things don't happen in a vacuum. Griff
AnswerID: 561221

Reply By: Deleted User - Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 01:35

Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 01:35
PS Macka, I don't know why you say the Anderson plug would be the weakest link. I can't recall whether mine is 125 or 175 amp, but certainly way more than the output of the alternator. A join is always a problem (resistance point), but not a 'weak link' if sufficient carrying capacity. That was my concern re the 6mm scenario that I put up on another thread, through the van wiring plug - not knowing how much heat would be generated and how much heat the standard BT plug can take, I had visions of many melted electical components from my past life where people put too much juice through leads, plugs or circuits. Griff
AnswerID: 561222

Reply By: Deleted User - Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 01:36

Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 01:36
To answer your specific question, Macka, about getting your circuit to feed power both ways - possible, complex and probably not worth it, but I totally get that it feels like a real elegant solution. I decided to feed one way (from truck to van (with circuit breaker to ensure circuit is dead when not hooked up - don't want some rat-bag shorting out my batteries one dark night). For power TO the accessory battery (or cranking battery if I want to hook it up that way too), I intend to us a portable Unisolar roll-up solar panel, which would give more dwell time when away from the van. Just a thought.
AnswerID: 561223

Reply By: Turist - Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 01:37

Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 01:37
Griff when you research the "accidents" as you phrased it most were subsequently proven to be simply fixed.
Some had batteries that were simply beyond the use by date.
Some, like mine, were new batteries but one ore more were proven to be faulty when correctly tested with a carbon pile type tester. (with temperature compensation, C.R.)
Some had solar systems that were undersized for the current draw required, either in attempt to save initial costs or because of poor advice in the first place. This is probably less likely to happen in the future as a direct result of this forum but only if we can get more buyers to find us prior to taking delivery.

But no one with 10 panels on the roof has reported a low power problem so perhaps C.R. was correct after all.

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Reply By: Deleted User - Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 01:38

Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 01:38
This is the great thing about BOG about your BT to the best of everyones ability and experience. For example : Of all the flooded type batteries that left BTI in BT's I wonder how many were told that discharging them below 50% markedly shortened their life. I wasnt told at all ... I knew because of previous battery experience but I wasnt told. People just saw Deep Cycle Low Maintenence and maybe thought they were bullet proof. I wonder if they are told now that AGM's can go down to around 30% before affecting service lifespan. Big difference in amps available in 3x100's now !!! If people read the battery info in here, over the months of it, I bet they were better informed about batteries and their care. I'm sure BTI would have looked for a more people proof battery after this rather than try to give people battery lessons. Eventually coming up with the "Killer" system now available ....its what I'm replacing my system with if/when it plays up. The new 40amp Solar Regulator .... YUM !!! 3 or 4 by 100amp AGM's ....YUM !!! And my existing 4 x 120w Solar Panels .... YUM, YUM !!! Anthony Explore this Great Land ...Do it Easy ...Tow a Bushtracker
AnswerID: 561225

Reply By: Luvntravln - Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 01:39

Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 01:39
Anthony's post points up the importance of mixing the technical with the nontechnical. Call it what you will; however, I am glad that as I went through every post since the site started I was "spoon fed" a lot of information that I would not have know to even ask about but for the particular thread. Kinda supports a vote against creating a particular "technical" area rather than leaving it as a mix. tgintl/jay
AnswerID: 561226

Reply By: Deleted User - Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 01:40

Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 01:40
I think I will have as big as I can going both ways
with circiut breaker etc. but done by an auto electrician.
AnswerID: 561227

Reply By: Deleted User - Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 01:41

Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 01:41
Yeah, Macka, that's the go. I had the same auto sparky do all the installation & electricals on the truck - only one person to talk to if something goes wrong! From Anderson back to van batteries, though, you maybe could go through the BT sparky if you can (nice fellow) - keeps all the van electrics under one roof - for same reason. However,you will need to be very precise about exactly what you want and how you want it done as BT will not design or give much (if any) advice on this sort of set-up). Still a bit uncertain about the desired application for the van solar back to the car accessory battery. Are you thinking of being in one place for several days & running down the batteries (with portable fridge & HF etc??). If so, wouldn't you normally unhitch so you could go awanderin'? Depends on how you want to use the fridge I suppose. If only for pick up of food from town, you'd unhitch, do your shop & return & then put it all in the big fridge. If for drinks, wouldn't you take it out of the car, plonk it down under the awning with you & plug directly into the van? I guess its about what compromises you want to make - I just have trouble picturing what's in the car chewing up juice to the extent that you would need to stay permanently hitched up to charge from the van solar. Fill me in Griff
AnswerID: 561228

Reply By: Deleted User - Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 01:42

Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 01:42
Griff , have sent reply from my email tends to take a day or two for some reason so from memory here goes. I intend having fridge in vehicle as well, radios HF and uhf cb and GPS as well as electric winch. Its just that I would like not to waste any spare power. If its not feasible then I won't. Thanks Macka
AnswerID: 561229

Reply By: Deleted User - Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 01:43

Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 01:43
Guys, My Codan NGT draws just under 1 Amp in stand-by and 9 amps transmitting ...not that transmitting drain is a problem because of short periods of transmit. What you dont want to do is leave it on accidently for a day or two .... two days is 50amp lost from a battery. Ouch !!! [smile] Regards Anthony B.SAE.Mw. Explore this Great Land ...Do it Easy ...Tow a Bushtracker
AnswerID: 561230

Reply By: Deleted User - Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 01:44

Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 01:44
I intend having backup fridge in vechicle
additonally HF & UHF radios, GPS, electric winch,and Sat 24. Thing is
just want to make as much use of available power maybe I'm wrong and don't
really need it.
AnswerID: 561231

Reply By: Noosa Fox - Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 01:45

Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 01:45
Macka, When parked you will only have the fridge going full time and may have HF on for short periods, but the other equipment will be turned off. If you feel the need to replace power, all you have to do is start the truck for a while andlet it idle if you haven't got anywhere to go, but usualy you will use vehicle most days to go and get firewood or something. Brian
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