iLoveRVlife Summer RV Travel Season Has Begun

iLoveRVlife Summer RV Travel Season Has Begun


iLoveRVlife Summer RV Travel Season Has Begun

by Jerry Neal | Jul 18, 2024

Our iLoveRVlife summer RV travel season has begun. We took a little time off for business demands and some family time. It was good to take a break, and great to be back traveling to some of our favorite places. This is a short video with a few highlights of travel with the family. We were fortunate to have time with all the “J’s”. Along with Me (Jerry) and Joan, we were able to spend time with our son Joel, our daughter Julie and her husband Josh, and our grandkids, Jake, Jaymi Kate, and Jilli Beth.

We’ll have much more to share over the coming days and weeks. I hope you’ll enjoying this short video with what we J’s do in the background that rarely makes the final cut.

Helpful Links:

You’ll see that we grill often in our RV travels. With over 10 years of RV travel, we’ve tried and wore out many portable grills. The Monument G22 Portable Gas Grill has become our favorite. Quality construction. Stainless steel. Even heat and hot enough to sear a steak. And most important, we can purchase parts if needed as a very reasonable price. Below are links for the two high quality portable gas grills we use.

G22 | Stainless Tabletop Gas Grill (As seen in the video)

13742 | Stainless Tabletop Gas Grill

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: iLoveRVlife Summer RV Travel Season Has Begun

VIOFO VS1 Mini 2K Dash Cam – Small Size With Great Video

VIOFO VS1 Mini 2K Dash Cam – Small Size With Great Video


VIOFO VS1 Mini 2K Dash Cam – Small Size With Great Video

by Jerry Neal | Jun 8, 2024

VIOFO VS1 Mini 2K Dash Cam

Joan and I have covered thousands of miles in our RV travels. Now on the second 5th wheel, we’ve learned much about towing and traveling in heavy traffic. Towing a 42 foot 5th wheel with a F350 dually, we’re long, we’re heavy, and it takes some distance to stop. Something that hasn’t changed are those aggressive drivers when we’re towing through a busy city. We have to maintain that every important long gap to ensure we have ample room to stop. Our concern has always been that of an aggressive driver that will jump in front of us when we’re trying to stop. We’ll bump their rear bummer (or worse), and it will be their word against ours that were were following too close. Hence, the need for a good quality dash cam that is always on while traveling with high quality recording of all the events in front of our truck. We’re using the VIOFO VS1 Mini 2K Dash Cam and found it’s a perfect companion for our RV travels.

VIOFO VS1 Mini 2K Dash Cam

We like the size of the VIOFO VS1 Mini, as the name implies, measuring only 3 inches tall and 1.3 inches wide. We installed the dash cam on our windshield next to our rear view mirror and liked that it had no screens or excessive lights to distract us will driving.

As you will see in the video, the VS1 dash cam records front road scenes in 2K resolution with a 140° wide angle and uses the Sony STARVIS 2 sensor providing distortion-free images that easily captures licenses plates and road signs.

VIOFO VS1 Mini Dash Cam

Installing Dash Cam

Installation was very simple, mounting securely to our windshield in seconds using the attached sticky pad. If using the supplied car accessory power plug, it’s just stick the dash cam to the windshield, plug in power, and in minutes your able to record your travels. We chose the optional HK5 hardwired kit to make the camera turn on and off with the ignition key. Simple install taking a little over an hour to run the wires.

Using the Dash Cam

As shown in the video clips, the integrated GPS displays the precise location to record our driving route, speed, exact time and date. The built-in WiFi allows us to wirelessly connect the car dash camera to our smartphone for video clip playback and transfers without having to remove the memory card.

Our thanks to VIOFO for providing the VS1 Mini 2K Dash Cam. This will be an excellent addition for our RV travels.

We have provided a link below the video for more information about the VS1 and a discount code for our iLoveRVlife viewers.

Helpful Links:

VIOFO VS1 Mini Dash Cam, 1440P/2K HDR Dashcam, STARVIS 2 Sensor, Free 32GB SD Card, 5GHz Wi-Fi Voice Control Car Dash Camera with GPS, Night Vision 2.0

VIOFO VS1 Mini 2K Dash Cam

VIOFO VS1 Mini 2K Dash Cam with HK5 Hardwire Kit (As seen in the video)

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: VIOFO VS1 Mini 2K Dash Cam – Small Size With Great Video

E-bike Around Daytona Beach Parks on HOVSCO 27 Inch Cruiser

E-bike Around Daytona Beach Parks on HOVSCO 27 Inch Cruiser


E-bike Around Daytona Beach Parks on HOVSCO 27 Inch Cruiser

by Jerry Neal | Jun 5, 2024

E-bike along Daytona Beach Parks
on a HOVSCO 27 Inch Cruiser

We travel to the Daytona Beach area to visit family throughout the year. We love the beaches, food, and wide variety of activities offered. But one of the areas that is often overlooked are the numerous parks throughout Daytona Beach, South Daytona, and Port Orange. These parks are bike and walker friendly with paved and unpaved trails, and many have small lakes, great places for picnics, some have a variety of activities for the kids, and they are pet friendly. As I do often, I ride around the area on my ebike to take in the sites and in this blog and video I show three parks close to our campground that has many of the amenities mentioned.

Daytona Beach Is Very Bike Friendly

The largest percentage of the roads in Daytona Beach and the surrounding area are bike friendly with well marked bike lanes or wide sidewalks. Several times a week I’m on our e-bike riding to the beach or a short shopping trip. Many times we’re traveling 25 to 30 miles and using an ebike makes these excursions much more enjoyable.

E-bike To 3 Nearby Parks

On this day, I traveled to three parks that are a very short distance from campground:

  • Reed Canal Park – 2871 S. Nova Road, South Daytona, FL has a 30 acres and a lake featuring shell hiking trails in the nature portion, a Disc golf course, a multipurpose play field, playground, dog park, pavilion and picnic facilities, and paved paths around the park’s developed sections.
  • Riverwalk Park – 3459 S Ridgewood Avenue, Port Orange, FL is split into two sections bordering the Riverside Pavilion on the Halifax River. The south section of includes a splash pad, playground, restroom facility, picnic pavilions, and a trail around the park. The north section of the park includes a kayak/canoe/paddle board launch, boardwalk, fishing piers, a trail, and restroom facility.
  • Port Orange Causeway Park – 93 Dunlawton Avenue, Port Orange, FL is located on the Halifax River at the Port Orange Bridge. The park has a wide roadside along the river with fishing piers, boat ramps, covered pavilions, and picnic tables and grills.

The HOVSCO 27” HovRanger Ebike

The HOVSCO HovRanger ebike is adult sized supporting riders in weight not exceeding 300lbs. The HovRanger is loaded with features including:

  • Single-Butted Aluminum Alloy with Internal Battery
  • Weight 55lbs with battery installed
  • 970W (Peak) 500W (Sustained), 48V Brushless Rear Hub Motor
  • Removable Internal Lithium-ion 48V, 15Ah (720Wh)
  • LCD Smart Easy Read Display with Back-light screen with app
  • 7 Speed – rear derailleur
  • Hydraulic Disc Brakes with 180mm Rotors
  • Max speed of 28 mph
  • Average range of 40-60 miles per charge depending on terrain and riding style

What really makes the HovRanger 27” Ebike and all of the other HOVSCO ebikes standout is their Torque Sensor. The ebike has 5 peddle assist modes. While peddling, the HOVSCO Torque Sensor feature automatically senses the need to assist, providing power to the rear wheel. A fun bike to tour the site or augment your RV campground local travels.

Visiting the many parks in the area is a great way to relax and spend a few hours enjoying the sites and sounds of the Daytona Beach area. And riding the HovRanger 27” Ebike is not only fun, but take the physical stress our of the ride.

Our thanks to HOVSCO providing the HovRanger 27” Ebike for our review. See the links below the video for more information about the entire line of HOVSCO Ebikes.

Helpful Links:

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: E-bike Around Daytona Beach Parks on HOVSCO 27 Inch Cruiser

REDODO 12V 100Ah Lithium Battery with Low Temp Protection

REDODO 12V 100Ah Lithium Battery with Low Temp Protection


REDODO 12V 100Ah Lithium Battery with Low Temp Protection

by Jerry Neal | May 11, 2024

REDODO 12V 100A Battery
With Low Temperature Protection

We see a number of blogs and video where lithium batteries are used in RV installations and usually these are associated with a large and very expensive solar build out. While these types of installations are worthwhile for those who’s RV travel takes them off grid, there many who own RVs who want the benefit of using lithium batteries who are wanting to replace their heavy, limited capacity Group 27 style lead acid batteries. We wanted to find a lithium replacement for lead acid batteries that were feature rich, at a reasonable cost, and could be used for campers, van builders and small bus builders. We have reviewed a number of larger 200Ah and 300Ah lithium batteries and wanted to give an option for those needing a 100Ah lithium battery that cost less, but maintained all the advanced features found in the more expensive, larger batteries. We evaluated the REDODO 12V 100Ah Lithium Battery with Low Temp Protection and found it not only performed very well, but meet all the features were were looking for in an affordable 12V lithium battery, and cost less or equal to most popular AGM lead acid batteries.

REDODO 12V 100Ah Lithium Battery

The REDODO 12V 100Ah Lithium Battery tested offers a number of benefits when compared to traditional 12V 100Ah AGM batteries having a discharge rate of only 50% and weighing 60lbs or more.

The REDODO 12V battery tested is equipped with a battery management system (BMS) that will automatically cut off of charging when the battery temperature is lower than 32°F (0℃), and automatically resume charging when the temperature is higher than 41°F (5℃). This is critical for all lithium batteries preventing damage to the battery during freezing temperatures.

REDODO 12V 100ah Lithium Battery is made of high-quality Grade A prismatic cells which we prefer over other types of lithium battery construction. This battery supports 4000+ deep cycle charges at 100% and has a 10-year service life which is superior to most AGM batteries having only 2-3 years and 200-500 cycles.

Specifications

  • Same size as a standard Group 27 Battery
  • Weight: 22lbs
  • BMS: 100A
  • Max Continuous Discharge: 1280W
  • Max Continuous Discharge Current: 100A
  • Low Temp cutoff: 32F
  • Charge temp: 32F to 122F
  • Discharge temp: -4F to 140F
  • Recommended charge: 20A @ 14.4V
  • 4 identical batteries for PARALLEL connection to 12.8V400Ah battery system
  • 4 identical batteries for SERIES connection to 51.2V100Ah battery system

Evaluating the REDODO 12V 100Ah Lithium Battery

As with all of our lithium battery evaluations, we place the batteries in an environment that demonstrates daily use in an RV where no campground power is available. It the video below, we show how long the battery will sustain a number of 12V DC and 110V AC appliances until the battery is depleted. The test was done with no external charging using the battery only for power. We found the battery performed very well with one 10 hour test period that included the charging of two tablets, and using a 1000 Watt pure sine wave inverter powering a number 110V AC devices including a LED light, small campus style refrigerator that had not been pre-chilled, an oscillating floor fan, 19 inch TV, and a Roku streaming device. After the test, we left the refrigerator running for another 12 hours to deplete the battery. We also tested the battery using a 3000 Watt inverter to see how the battery performed when the max continuous discharge current exceeded 100 Amps.

Results

Overall, the REDODO 12V 100Ah Lithium Battery performed very well. The battery is a very good solution for those who are wanting to replace their 12V lead acid battery with the benefits of greater power and less weight in a Group 27 form factor. And the REDODO 12V Lithium Battery offers a path for the budget conscious who are wanting to add lithium now, with plans to add additional additional batteries in the future.

Our thanks to REDODO for providing the battery for our evaluation. We have provided helpful links below if you are interested in knowing more about this and other REDODO battery products.

Helpful Links:

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: REDODO 12V 100Ah Lithium Battery with Low Temp Protection

Troxus Lynx Cargo E-bike – Powerful, Comfortable, Large Capacity

Troxus Lynx Cargo E-bike – Powerful, Comfortable, Large Capacity


Troxus Lynx Cargo E-bike – Powerful, Comfortable, Large Capacity

by Jerry Neal | Apr 30, 2024

Troxus Lynx Cargo E-bike
Comfortable Ride, Amazing Power, Awesome Capacity

We have become big fans of e-bikes to use in our RV travels. We’ve evaluated a number of different e-bikes from small to large folders, large cruisers, and in this blog we’re experiencing the new Troxus Lynx Cargo E-bike.

The Troxus Lynx Cargo E-bike is a two-wheeled cargo hauler- a perfect solutions to haul the kids, groceries, or supplies for a day at the beach. The Lynx Cargo E-bike is built for fun and adaptability, with optional running boards and a rear seat with rails, capable of carrying more than 500 lbs.

Specifications

  • Max Speed: 20 MPH
  • Range: Up To 90 Miles Per Charge
  • Weight Limit: Maximum Load: 500 lbs
  • Net Weight: 80.5 lbs
  • Motor: 48V/750W Hub-Drive Motor
  • Battery: UL-2771 Certified / Lithium Ion, 48V/20Ah (960Wh) with Samsung® Cells
  • Display: Color Display, Bluetooth, w/ Turn Light Signals
  • Throttle: Thumb Throttle on Handlebar
  • Pedal Assist: 0-5 Level Pedal Assist
  • Charger: 3A / 100-240V Input / 54.6V Output
  • Lights: Front Light, Rear Light w/ Turn & Hazard Signals
  • Frame: 6061-T6 Aluminum Step-Thru Cargo Frame
  • Derailleur: Shimano 8-Speed
  • Tires: 20″x4.0″
  • Brakes: Hydraulic w/ Brake Sensors

Our Experience with the Troxus Lynx Cargo E-bike

We found the e-bike to be a pleasure to ride. We were able to cruise with ease around town and along the beach using the pedal assist. There was ample power to climb the tall Silver Beach Bridge crossing the Halifax River, then a 5 mile beach ride against the wind proved to be effortless.

Watch the video below are we show the easy of assembly and a 25 mile ride from our campground to the beach and back.

The cargo ebike with it large font and rear cargo carriers gave us plenty of space to carry a small cooler and chairs to the beach, and was perfect for those grocery store runs from the campground.

Our thanks to Troxus for sending us the Lynx Cargo E-bike for our evaluation. Use the links below for more information about this e-bike.

Helpful Links:

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: Troxus Lynx Cargo E-bike – Powerful, Comfortable, Large Capacity

Evaluating The LiTime 3000 Watt 12V Pure Sine Wave Inverter

Evaluating The LiTime 3000 Watt 12V Pure Sine Wave Inverter


Evaluating The LiTime 3000 Watt 12V Pure Sine Wave Inverter

by Jerry Neal | Apr 13, 2024

Evaluating The LiTime 3000 Watt 12V Pure Sine Wave Inverter

We are needing to expand our inverter power in our Montana 5th wheel. Our current inverter is used for our residential refrigerator and a few accessories outlets. We also have the need to power our 1800 Watt microwave for lunch stops while towing and Harvest Host overnight stays. With our solar and large 300 amps of lithium batteries, we have ample power to support other 110V AC appliances. Not wanting to change our our current inverter, we wanted to add a second unit dedicated inverter for the microwave. We’re evaluating the LiTime 3000 Watt 12V Pure Sine Wave Inverter to see if it will meet our needs.

The LiTime 3000 Watt 12V Pure Sine Wave Inverter

The LiTime pure sine wave inverter 3000W is reported to efficiently convert 12V DC to 110-120V AC power. Considering this inverter for our use is it’s ability to handle a peak surge of 6000W power while providing clean, stable, and low interference power output for all appliances to operate.

Inverter Features

  • Under/over voltage
  • Overheating prevention
  • Overload protections
  • Short circuit protections for connected devices
  • LCD screen provides instant access to the real-time status of the battery, inverter, and loads
  • Continuous Power:3000W
  • Peak of Surge Power:6000W
  • Input Voltage:12V DC V
  • Input Voltage Range (VDC):9.5V-16.5V DC
  • AC Output Voltage:110V AC±10%
  • USB Output:5.0V DC/2.4A
  • Frequency:60Hz
  • Efficiency:85% to 95%
  • 4 – 20 Amp AC outlets
  • 1 – 30 Amp AC hard wire outlet
  • 2 USB outputs
  • remote control

Testing The Inverter

We put the LiTime 3000 Watt 12V Pure Sine Wave Inverter on our test bench to determine it’s standby power requirements and ability to handle high power devices, especially those creating large startup surges. We used a heat gun and a pancake air compressor to generate the compressor surges. The combined usage of both units created 2450 Watts of power and ran continuously without any overload or pause in power by the inverter.

We also connected a small apartment/campus style 110V AC refrigerator to the inverter to determine demand by this type appliance. These refrigerators are very low cost and popular for budget conscious van and bus builders as well as those upgrading older campers. The refrigerator had a 90 Watt demand from the inverter, but the inverter surprised us with it 12V to 110 volt conversion at this low wattage running with a 95% efficiency. Very good news for extend battery life.

Conclusion

Overall the LiTime 3000 Watt 12V Pure Sine Wave Inverter performed very well with the loads we used and our oscilloscope tests showed the inverter provided very clean power regardless of the demand required.

With the rich line of features and efficiency provided, the LiTime 3000 Watt 12V Pure Sine Wave Inverter will be a great addition to our Montana.

Our thanks to LiTime providing the 3000 Watt 12V Pure Sine Wave Inverter for our evaluation. We have provided links below if you are needing more information or wanting to purchase this inverer for your RV, van, or bus builds or if you’re needing high wattage 110V AC power for your off-grid needs.

Helpful Links:

LiTime 3000 Watt 12V Pure Sine Wave Inverter

Use code “iLoverRVlife” at checkout for additional savings.

20 Amp Transfer Switch

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: Evaluating The LiTime 3000 Watt 12V Pure Sine Wave Inverter

Installing the Active Start 50 AMP ACS50W Softstart and EMS

Installing the Active Start 50 AMP ACS50W Softstart and EMS


Installing the Active Start 50 AMP ACS50W Softstart and EMS

by Jerry Neal | Mar 30, 2024

Installing the Active Start 50 AMP ACS50W Softstart and EMS

I’m always looking for very innovative solutions for the power of our Montana Fifth Wheel. One of the challenges with RVs, especially 50 AMP powered models, concerns a 30 AMP connection at a state or federal RV park or when connected to a 3500 watt generators and have the ability to efficiently run an air conditioner. To accomplish this, RV owners often use a soft start device. A soft start prevents that surge or significantly reduces the surge when the air conditioner compressor starts. Most RV air conditioners typically run in the 10 to 11 amps which is well within the operating budget of a 3500 watt generator. But, you can experience a start-up surge ranging from 50, 60, or 70 amps and I’ve even seen some RV air conditioners generate a 100 amp momentary surge that can run for 1 to 3 seconds. We remedied this problem by installing the Active Start 50 AMP ACS50W Softstart and EMS.

Benefits of an RV Air Conditioner Softstart

When an air conditioner start-up surge occurs, if often trips the breaker on that 30 amp campground pedestal or will create an overload conditioner that shuts down the generator and you can never get that generator to level off to where it can meet the demand of the air conditioner.

If a condition can be created to get past that surge, the generator operated wthout any problem with the 10 to 11 amps the air conditioner requires.

A soft starts can reduce the air conditioner initial surge by 50% giving the generator the ability  to operate when the air conditioner first starts.

Installing the Active Start 50 AMP ACS50W Softstart and EMS

The  Active Start 50 Amp ACS50W is a permanently install unit that will be installed inside the fifth wheel between the power connection located on the outside of the fifth wheel and the breaker panel. This is a good options for those that are full-time RVer’s not want to deal with another item when setting up their RV, or if there’s security issues in a camping location.

This unit must be physically wired into the RV 50 Amp main power feed and something the average RV owner may not have the skill set to do. I strongly recommend that if you are not an electrician, then consider hiring one if you’re planning to install one of these units in your RV. This is a high voltage connection to the RV and using a qualified electrician reduces your exposure to electrical shock or possible damage to your RV. Our installation took the electrician less than an hour.

Features

  • Two softstarts for each 50 amp leg
  • Bluetooth control
  • Over Voltage Limits: 132 VAC per leg
  • Under Voltage Limits: 103 VAC per leg
  • Surge Protection: 5250 Joules
  • Current: Maximum nominal= 50 Amps
  • Over Current Limits: ACS50xx = 53A
  • Disable EMS function
  • Disable SoftStart for high amperage devices

Testing the Active Start 50 AMP ACS50W Softstart

We tested the ACS50W our 3500 watt generator. The generator is rated to a max of 30 amps total output. The ACS50W did a great job allowing us to run both 15000 BTU air conditioners and our residential refrigerator with power to spare for TVs and our cellular Internet router.

The ACS50W ActiveStart 50 Amp SoftStart with enhanced EMS, and Surge Protection is an excellent device to consider for hardwired installation of 50 Amp powered RVs. And with the added benefit of surge protection and energy management, the ACS50W provides a cost effect solution for RV power needs.

Our thanks to Active Control for providing the ACS50W for our review. We have provided helpful links below the video for more information about the ACS50W along with the checkout code “Jerry” for additional savings at purchase.

Helpful Links:

Active Control Active Start Softstart Products

Use the code “Jerry” at check out to save!

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: Installing the Active Start 50 AMP ACS50W Softstart and EMS

2 Year Update On Our 2022 Keystone Montana 3931FB

2 Year Update On Our 2022 Keystone Montana 3931FB


2 Year Update On Our 2022 Keystone Montana 3931FB

by Jerry Neal | Mar 16, 2024

2 Year Update On Our 2022 Keystone Montana 3931FB.
It’s been great!

We bought our new Keystone Montana 3931FB 5th wheel in February 2022. Since that time, we are asked by many how we like the 5th wheel and if we’ve had any issues since purchase. After 2 years of ownership and towing thousands of mile, we wanted to give you an up date on the likes and dislikes, the couple of problems we’ve experience, and share some of the modifications to add to our long term travel needs.

See the video below where Joan and I share our experience in our Keystone Montana 3931FB 5th wheel. We have also provided links below to view videos of the projects we shared.

montana 2 year update

Helpful Links:

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: 2 Year Update On Our 2022 Keystone Montana 3931FB

Epoch 300ah V2 LifePO4 Battery – Did it survive the cold

Epoch 300ah V2 LifePO4 Battery – Did it survive the cold


Epoch 300ah V2 LifePO4 Battery – Did it survive the cold

by Jerry Neal | Mar 9, 2024

Epoch 300ah V2 LifePO4 Battery – Did it survive the cold?

We reviewed the Epoch 300ah V2 LifePO4 Battery back in November 2023. Since that time, it has been our primary 12V battery source and it performed well over several weeks of travel in December into January. During the November evaluation, I shared that we would not be traveling for most of the colder months and I planned to leave both the solar charger and 75 amp converter/charger connected to maintain the battery. Epoch stated the 300ah V2 battery had low temperature disconnect and it was heated for temperatures below 32 degrees. Without these features, any charging that may have occurred during temperatures below 32F would have damaged, or worse, destroyed the battery. For a number of weeks in January and early February, we experienced extended periods with temperatures in the teens and 20s. Now as we prepare for our 2024 travel season, it was time to see of the Epoch 300ah V2 LifePO4 Battery survived the cold.

Multi-day Epoch RV Battery 12V 300Ah Testing

Over two days, we put the Epoch 300ah V2 LifePO4 Battery to the test in our Montana 5th wheel continuously powering a large GE residential refrigerator, lights, TV, and slides, and we also put a large load on the inverter making toast and coffee.

Throughout the evaluation period, we used the iOS Epoch LI-Ion Bluetooth app for iPhones and our Victron Smart Shunt to monitor the performance of the battery. As a check and balance between both monitoring platforms, we found the reporting to be within a percentage point of remaining capacity and available voltage.

Epoch 300ah V2 LifePO4 Battery Cold Test Results

With the battery at full charge, we started testing the Epoch 300ah V2 LifePO4 Battery. During both days of use, we had misty rain and they sky was heavily overcast. I disconnected the 5th wheel from the 50A pedestal, and left the solar charger connected. On day 1 we had no input and day 2 we had about 2 to 3 hours where the solar charger provided less than 50 watts. After 30 hours of testing, we had 40 percent left in the battery.

With the battery experiencing heavily load conditions and the continuous power demand from all the appliances, lights, and the residential refrigerator, we can share with confidence, the battery low temperature and heater features worked as designed during those cold winter weeks.

With the battery’s heavy duty construction, metal case, low temperature disconnect, internal heating, 11 year warranty, and much more, this is a perfect solution for our 12V power needs.

See our video below for the highlights from the two days of testing and the real time battery performance.

Out thanks to Epoch for supplying iLoveRVlife with the Epoch 300ah V2 LifePO4 Battery for our testing. We have provided helpful links below if you’re interested in learning more about the Epoch LifePO4 product line.

Epoch RV Battery 12V 300Ah Specifications

  • LiFePO4 Chemistry – Deep Cycle Battery
  • Epoch RV Battery 12V 300Ah HEATED – Internal heating allows for charging in sub-zero conditions

  • BLUETOOTH – iOS and Android Apps
  • Built-in Smart Battery Management System (BMS)
  • Over charge and over discharge protection
  • Over current and short circuit protection
  • High & low temperature disconnects
  • Max (4) in Series up to 48V @ 300Ah
  • Max (4) in Parallel up to 12V @ 1,200Ah
  • 4,000+ Cycle life & Maintenance-free
  • UL1973, UL1642, IEC 62133, UN38.3
  • 11 Year Manufacturer Warranty
  • Weight: 72 (LBS)
  • Dimensions: 8.1 x 11.1 x 15.4 (inches)
  • Ah Capacity: 300Ah
  • Max Continuous Discharge Amps: 300A
  • Max Charge Current Amps: 300A
  • Max Discharge Peak Current Amps: 900A (3 Seconds)
  • Max (4) in Series, Max (4) in Parallel – 4S4P

VOLTAGE

  • Voltage: 12.8V
  • Max Charge Voltage: 14.6V
  • Operating Voltage Range: 10.0 – 14.6V

Epoch 300ah v2 lifepo4 battery

Helpful Links:

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

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Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

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SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: Epoch 300ah V2 LifePO4 Battery – Did it survive the cold

HOVSCO HovRanger Ebike – Great RV Travel Addition

HOVSCO HovRanger Ebike – Great RV Travel Addition


HOVSCO HovRanger Ebike – Great RV Travel Addition

by Jerry Neal | Feb 24, 2024

HOVSCO HovRanger Ebike – Great RV Travel Addition

We have evaluated a number of ebikes over the past 18 months with the thought of what works best for the RV traveler. All the ebikes have been been folding with 20 inch tires to ease transport. We had a number of YouTube viewers and emails from our iLoverRVlife.com contact page asking us to review a larger frame, adults sized bike. To meet the request, we contacted HOVSCO who provided ebikes for our review last year, and they provided their HOVSCO HovRanger 27.5″ Electric Bike For Adults.

The HOVSCO HovRanger Ebike

The HOVSCO HovRanger ebike is recommended as adult sized for those who’s height range from 5’ 1” to 6’ 7” and a weight not exceeding 300lbs. The HovRanger is loaded with features including:

  • Single-Butted Aluminum Alloy with Internal Battery
  • Weight 55lbs with battery installed
  • 970W (Peak) 500W (Sustained), 48V Brushless Rear Hub Motor
  • Removable Internal Lithium-ion 48V, 15Ah (720Wh)
  • LCD Smart Easy Read Display with Back-light screen with app
  • 7 Speed – rear derailleur
  • Hydraulic Disc Brakes with 180mm Rotors
  • Max speed of 28 mph
  • Average range of 40-60 miles per charge depending on terrain and riding style

But what really makes the HovRanger Ebike and all of the other HOVSCO ebikes standout is their Torque Sensor. The ebike has 5 peddle assist modes. While peddling, the HOVSCO Torque Sensor feature automatically senses the need to assist, providing power to the rear wheel.

Regardless of terrain, the HOVSCO Torque Sensor makes riding the ebike a breeze. Aside from the added power assist when peddling, we like the ebike controller response. Torque assist is applied when the controller senses peddling and stops assisting when peddling has ended. We have have evaluated other ebikes and found a substantial lag in response where the controller continues for 1 to 2 seconds providing power to the rear motor after peddling has stopped. This is not the case with the well designed HOVSCO Torque Sensor.

Riding the HOVSCO HovRanger Ebike

We took the HOVSCO HovRanger Ebike to Amerson River Park located in Middle Georgia. This is a beautiful park with wooded and river views, and friendly to ebikes. Our granddaughter Jaymi Kate joined me and we spent the afternoon riding the trails.

Both Jaymi and I took turns riding the HOVSCO HovRanger Ebike. We found the ebike to be very comfortable and enjoyed the longer stride from seat to peddle, along with the excellent HOVSCO Torque Sensor feature. Riding the ebike was effortless, allowing us to extend our day in the park with little fatigue.

The controls for breaking, shifting gears, and changing the peddle assist mode are easy to access while riding. The breaks are hydraulic and take little hand strength to operate. When addressing a hill, the mode change to add more power to the HOVSCO Torque Sensor is a simple reach with the thumb.

See the video below to view our ride and evaluation of the HOVSCO HovRanger Ebike.

Conclusion

We like the fact that all HOVSCO ebikes come with free shipping from their US based warehouse. Each ebike comes with a 2-year warranty and they partner with over 100 dealers and storefronts to offer Test Ride and Maintenance Service.

They also have other models, and at the release date of this blog, offer the Entry-Level HovCity Ebike for $999 or 2 HovCity ebikes at $1499.

The HOVSCO line of ebikes is one of our favorites. From construction to features, the HOVSCO HovRanger 27.5” Ebike is a joy to ride. This is why we believe this ebike is a great RV travel addition.

We have provided help links below the video for more information about HOVSCO ebikes along with a link and code to save an addition $100 off your purchase.

Out thanks to HOVSCO for proving the HOVSCO™ HovRanger 27.5″ Electric Bike for our review.

Helpful Links:

Hovsco HovRanger E-Bike ($100 OFF: Use Code “Jerry”): https://www.hovsco.com/ILoveRVLifeJerry

Limited-Time Offer in Feb 2024: $999 for single HovCity Ebike, $1499 for two HovCity Ebikes (Auto-Code at Cart)

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: HOVSCO HovRanger Ebike – Great RV Travel Addition

Oupes MEGA 2 Power Station – Powering Our 5th Wheel Off Grid

Oupes MEGA 2 Power Station – Powering Our 5th Wheel Off Grid


Oupes MEGA 2 Power Station – Powering Our 5th Wheel Off Grid

by Jerry Neal | Feb 10, 2024

Oupes MEGA 2 Power Station – Powering Our 5th Wheel Off-Grid

The evolution of portable power stations continue to show substantial advances in features and function while decreasing costs for watt hour performance. At iLoveRVlife, we have used a wide variety of portable power stations for a number of years and are excited to see the manufacturers create units that work very well for RV travel. We have been looking at portable power stations that have increased watt hours, higher capacity pure sine wave inverters, and the ever important, 30 amp RV style power connector. We tested the new Oupes MEGA 2 Power Station and found its features and performance to be a perfect fit for our RV lifestyle.

The Oupes MEGA 2 Power Station

As we consider portable power stations, we are looking for those that will operate all of our RV 120V AC devices and appliances for an extended period of time. The Oupes MEGA 2 Power Station does that with 15 ports supporting USB, 12V and both 20 Amp and 30 Amp 120V receptacles. With the equipped 2048Wh of battery capacity, we are able to make our overnight Harvest Host stops without the need of a gas power generator, powering our GE residential refrigerator, microwave for a quick meal, watch TV, charge our portable devices, and watch a few hours of TV before we call it a night and resume travel the next morning.

For longer stays, the Oupes MEGA 2 Power Station can support up to 2,100 Watts of solar input using either fix or portable solar panels. With this increase solar capability, we are able to replace power used during the day with excess solar capacity recharging the unit for evening use.

Oupes MEGA 2 with B2 Multi-functional BatteryWe also like the ability to expand the watt hour capacity of the unit with the addition of one or more B2 Multi-functional Batteries each adding 2,100Wh with the ability to increase the MEGA 2 to a total of 10,240Wh of capacity. This gives that extra capacity for longer periods operating higher wattage appliances and storing power when solar production may be degraded due to weather conditions.

We put the Oupes MEGA 2 Power Station to the test. View the video below to see the full testing over 3 days using a wide range RV appliances and solar charging.

The Oupes MEGA 2 Power Station Features

Battery

  • Capacity – 2048Wh
  • Battery Chemistry – LFP(LiFePO4)
  • Cycle Life – 3,500+ cycles to 80% capacity
  • UPS – ≤20ms

Output

  • AC Output – 4X120V/2500W
  • DC Output 0 2X5.5mm DC Output 12V/10A
  • USB-A – 4 X QC3.0 18W Max
  • USB-C – 5V/3A:9V/3A:12V/3A:15V/3A:20V/5A (100W Max)
  • AC TT-30 Output – 120V/2500W
  • Car Output – 12V/10A
  • Anderson Output – 12V/30A

Input

  • Fast AC Charge Input – 100~120Va.c 16A Max 1600W Max
  • Slow AC Charge Input – 100~120Va.c 16A Max 800W Max
  • Solar Input – 12~150Vd.c 15A Max 2100W Max

Smart Control

  • Connectivity – Bluetooth, WiFi
  • App Control – Yes

4 modes to charge the unit

  • AC Fast Charge – 1600W
  • AC Slow Charge – 800W
  • Solar – 12V to 150V 15A Max Up to 2100W
  • 12V Car Outlet
  • AC and Solar combined for 3700W

General

  • Net Weight – 45.81b.(22kg)
  • Dimensions – 18.1*10.6*12in (460*270*305mm)
  • Operating Temperature – 0℃~40℃/30℉~104℉
  • Storage Temperature – 0℃~40℃/30℉~104℉
  • Certification – UN38.3.MSDs
  • Warranty – 36 Months

Conclusion

The Oupes MEGA 2 Power Station ran all of the appliance we use in our Montana 5th wheel. With the higher capacity solar connectivity, we are able to use the MEGA 2 during the day and keep the internal batteries charged for evening use. And with the ability to add the B2 Multi-functional Batteries, we can run higher wattage appliances for longer periods while storing power for the days when solar production maybe limited.

Out thanks to Oupes providing the MEGA 2 Power Station for our review. I have provided links below for more information about the MEGA 2 power station along with a code to use at check out for additional savings.

Helpful Links:

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: Oupes MEGA 2 Power Station – Powering Our 5th Wheel Off Grid

ACS50P ActiveStart 50 Amp SoftStart with Enhanced EMS, and Surge Protection

ACS50P ActiveStart 50 Amp SoftStart with Enhanced EMS, and Surge Protection


ACS50P ActiveStart 50 Amp SoftStart with Enhanced EMS, and Surge Protection

by Jerry Neal | Jan 27, 2024

The New Active Controls ACS50P ActiveStart 50 Amp SoftStart with Enhanced EMS, and Surge Protection

We are a big fan of surge and energy management for our Montana 5th wheel. With over 10 years of RV travel, we’ve seen to many instances where sever weather or poor power systems in the campground can cause damage to the electronic and appliances in an RV. Adding to RV power challenges are those times when an RV is required to operate on 30 amp campground power or a small to midsize generator. 30 amp power can be especially challenging for RVs with a 50 amp need when attempting to power multiple air conditioners and residential refrigerators either constantly tripping breakers or the generator shutting off due to power overload. The good news is softstart devices are available to reduce air conditioner surge minimizing amperage demand and preventing overloads on 30 amp power. The issue of purchasing multiple power management devices for an RV is the overall cost to purchase a surge protector with energy management, multiple softstart devices, and then the cost for installation. The good news is Active Controls has created their new ActiveStart 50 Amp SoftStart with Enhanced EMS, and Surge Protection in a plug-in device that is very cost effective.

How we use the new ACS50P ActiveStart 50 Amp SoftStart

ACS50P ActiveStart SoftStart Spec Sheet We have experienced a number of times when we were out of power in a campground due to bad weather. We also have the ability to stay overnight in Harvest Host locations where an RV must be self-contained. For these instances, especially during the hot Summer months, we need to run a 3500 watt gasoline generator to power our air conditioners and microwave. We also like to stay in state parks and many times 30 amp power is all that is available. For these instances we want to have our air conditioners equipped with a softstart preventing an overload on the 30 amp power due to effects of the compressor start up.

Active Controls has created a unique product for RV travel, the ActiveStart 50 Amp SoftStart with enhanced EMS, and Surge Protection model ACS50P. This device plugs into the campground power pedestal or a portable generator along with the RV power cord. For the 50 amp power, the ACS50P is equipped with 2 softstarts, one for each the L1 and L2 power circuits. The ACS50P eliminates the need and installation costs to install dedicated softstart to the RV air conditioners.

We also have the benefit of the ACS50P’s very capable surge protection. The unit’s surge protection is rated at 5250 Joules, one of the highest rating in the RV industry for a plug in device.

This new release of the ACS50P is controlled with an easy to navigate Bluetooth smartphone app that now has a number of enhancements for the energy management including:

  • Over Voltage Limits: 132 VAC per leg
  • Under Voltage Limits: 103 VAC per leg
  • Surge Protection: 5250 Joules
  • Current: Maximum nominal= 50 Amps
  • Over Current Limits: ACS50xx = 53A
  • Disable EMS function
  • Disable SoftStart for high amperage devices
  • Plug LEDs validating 50 Amp power connection

Click the spec sheet for more information.

Testing the new ACS50P ActiveStart 50 Amp SoftStart

We tested the ACS50P on both a 50 Amp campground power pedestal and our 3500 watt generator. In the video below we show the values provided by the Bluetooth app during operation. The ACS50P gave the condition of the 50 Amp power along with the power demand within our RV.

We then connected the ACS50P to our 3500 watt generator. The generator is rated to a max of 30 amps total output. The ACS50P did a great job allowing us to run both 15000 BTU air conditioners and our residential refrigerator with power to spare for TVs and our cellular Internet router.

Conclusion

The ACS50P ActiveStart 50 Amp SoftStart with enhanced EMS, and Surge Protection is an excellent device to consider for 50 Amp powered RVs operating on 30 Amp campground power or small generators. And with the added benefit of surge protection and energy management, the ACS50P provides a cost effect solution for RV power needs.

And for those RV that are equipped with 30 Amp or 20 Amp power, Active Controls also offers the 20 Amp and 30 Amp ActiveStart plug-in units.

We have provided helpful links below the video for more information about the ACS50P along with the checkout code “Jerry” for additional savings at purchase.

ACS50P ActiveStart 50 Amp softstart plug

Helpful Links:

Active Controls ActiveStart Soft Start

Use code Jerry at checkout for discount.

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: ACS50P ActiveStart 50 Amp SoftStart with Enhanced EMS, and Surge Protection

BougeRV 100 Watt Fiberglass Curved Solar Panel & Sunflow 40A MPPT Solar Charge Controller

BougeRV 100 Watt Fiberglass Curved Solar Panel & Sunflow 40A MPPT Solar Charge Controller


BougeRV 100 Watt Fiberglass Curved Solar Panel & Sunflow 40A MPPT Solar Charge Controller

by Jerry Neal | Jan 6, 2024

BougeRV 100W Fiberglass Curved Solar Panel & Sunflow 40A MPPT Solar Charge Controller

We have limited reviews of solar panels due so many YouTube videos and blogs that have covered the topic. We left the door open for a solar panel review in the event we found a unique product that would be beneficial for RV travel. And we found one!

We tested the BougeRV 100W Fiberglass Curved Solar Panel with the Sunflow 40A MPPT Solar Charge Controller. The flexible solar panel has a wide range of applications with its solar performance, durability, lightweight, and flexibility for even the most challenging installation. And the Sunflow 40A MPPT solar charger is feature rich and took minutes to install and configure. A great pair for the RV traveler needing solar power.

BougeRV 100W Fiberglass Curved Solar Panel

The solar panel is designed to be extremely flexible and we tested dozens of times bending over 270 degrees end to end with no change in the panel surface or damage to the solar cells. The panel is lightweight at 4.6 pounds and can be mounted on a wide range of surfaces using the reinforced gussets or an adhesive.

Features
The BougeRV fiberglass curved solar panel features an efficient 10BB cell design, achieving a high conversion rate of up to 23%. Its design also minimizes shading on the cells, enhancing light absorption and potentially contributing to the panel’s overall longevity.

  • Flexible – Can fit around curved structures, flexible for all shapes.
  • Stable output – Stable output can still be guaranteed in shadow occlusion environments.
  • Waterproof – Suitable for wet environments.
  • Lightweight – No frames, no special stands or mounting brackets needed.
  • Glass Free – Nothing to be broken.

BougeRV 100W Fiberglass Curved Solar Panel Specifications

  • Currently available in 100 Watt version
  • Solar panels are IP68 waterproof, ensuring durability and functionality
  • Weighs 3.81 lbs
  • 17.1V of max voltage
  • 5.85 amps of max current
  • Supports a 270 degree curve
  • No drilling to mount with existing reinforced holes or can be glued

We have plans for a larger solar installation and didn’t permanently install. To test the BougeRV 100W Fiberglass Curved Solar Panel, we set up a lithium battery, installed the solar charger, and ran 20 feet of 10 gauge wire to the panel to simulate a typical roof install.

We tested the panel mid December on a sunny day knowing the angle of the winter sun would be less than optimum to maximize solar panel wattage production. As expected we were able to create 50 watts from the panel.

BougeRV Sunflow 40A MPPT Solar Charge Controller

To test the solar panel, we used the BougeRV Sunflow 40A MPPT solar charger controller. Installation was very simple and configuration using the Bluetooth smartphone app was straightforward with the entire process taking minutes.

The solar controller has a wide range of robust features. The controller can adjust the charge current from 0A to 30A and its high tracking efficiency is up to 99.5% with a peak conversion efficiency up to 99%.

The controller is compatible with Lithium LiFePO4 batteries. One of the challenges with lithium batteries is sub-freezing (32°F) temperatures where a charge will permanently deteriorate performance and safety. The BougeRV Sunflow 40A MPPT solar charge controller can protect lithium batteries supporting low-temp cut-off at the solar charge controller end. The controller can also restart or activate dormant lithium batteries that are turned off due to short circuits or excessive amp draw.

We especially liked the smartphone remote control app with a Bluetooth range up to 32 feet. Using the app inside our 5th wheel living area we were able to stay informed with the charging and performance of the attached solar panel, lithium battery and solar charge controller.

BougeRV Sunflow 40A MPPT Solar Charge Controller Specifications

  • System Voltage 12V/24V
  • 40 Amp Charging Currently
  • Max PV input 600W/12V or 1200W/24V
  • Rated load current 20 Amps
  • Battery operating voltage of 8 to 32V
  • Built in Bluetooth

Final Thoughts

The BougeRV 100W Fiberglass Curved Solar Panel has a wide range of applications. With it’s flexibility and ease of installation the solar panel is an an excellent option for RV’s of all styles, vans, buses, as well as marine applications.

The BougeRV Sunflow 40A MPPT Solar Charge Controller is an affordable solution for small to mid-sized solar installations, yet offers the features needed to charge and manage RV, marine, and off-grid solar projects.

Out thanks to BougeRV who provided the 100W Fiberglass Curved Solar Panel and Sunflow 40A MPPT Solar Charge Controller for our review.

See the video below for our testing and addition information about BougeRV solar products.

We have provided helpful links below for additional information for these and other BougeRV products.

BougeRV 100 Watt Fiberglass Curved Solar Panel & Sunflow 40A MPPT Solar Charge Controller

Helpful Links:

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: BougeRV 100 Watt Fiberglass Curved Solar Panel & Sunflow 40A MPPT Solar Charge Controller

Merry Christmas from Jerry and Joan at iLoveRVlife

Merry Christmas from Jerry and Joan at iLoveRVlife


Merry Christmas from Jerry and Joan at iLoveRVlife

by Jerry Neal | Dec 23, 2023

From Joan and I along with the entire Neal family, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas from Jerry and Joan at iLoverRVlife

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: Merry Christmas from Jerry and Joan at iLoveRVlife

BougeRV 100W CIGS Flexible Solar Panel & Sunflow 40A MPPT Solar Charge Controller

BougeRV 100W CIGS Flexible Solar Panel & Sunflow 40A MPPT Solar Charge Controller


BougeRV 100W CIGS Flexible Solar Panel & Sunflow 40A MPPT Solar Charge Controller

by Jerry Neal | Dec 16, 2023

BougeRV 100W CIGS Flexible Solar Panel & Sunflow 40A MPPT Solar Charge Controller

We have limited reviews of solar panels due so many YouTube videos and blogs that have covered the topic. We left the door open for a solar panel review in the event we found a unique product that would be beneficial for RV travel. And we found one!

We tested the BougeRV 100W CIGS Flexible Solar Panel with the Sunflow 40A MPPT Solar Charge Controller. The flexible solar panel has a wide range of applications with its solar performance, durability, lightweight, and flexibility for even the most challenging installation. And the Sunflow 40A MPPT solar charger is feature rich and took minutes to install and configure. A great pair for the RV traveler needing solar power.

BougeRV 100W CIGS Flexible Solar Panel

The solar panel is designed to be extremely flexible and we tested dozens of times bending over 270 degrees end to end with no change in the panel surface or damage to the solar cells. The panel is lightweight at 4.6 pounds and can be mounted on a wide range of surfaces using the reinforced gussets or an adhesive.

Features
CIGS solar cell is a full copper indium gallium selenide solar cell, thin-film photovoltaic device that uses semiconductor layers of copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) to absorb sunlight and convert it into electricity.

  • Flexible – Can fit around curved structures, flexible for all shapes.
  • Stable output – Stable output can still be guaranteed in shadow occlusion environments.
  • Waterproof – Suitable for wet environments.
  • Lightweight – No frames, no special stands or mounting brackets needed.
  • Glass Free – Nothing to be broken.

BougeRV 100W CIGS Flexible Solar Panel Specifications

  • Currently available in 100 and 200 Watt versions
  • Copper Indium Gallium Selenide thin-film solar cell technology
  • Weighs 4.6 lbs
  • 25V of max voltage
  • 4 amps of max current
  • Supports a 270 degree curve
  • No drilling to mount with existing reinforced holes or can be glued

We have plans for a larger solar installation and didn’t permanently install. To test the BougeRV 100W CIGS Flexible Solar Panel, we set up a lithium battery, installed the solar charger, and ran 20 feet of 10 gauge wire to the panel to simulate a typical roof install.

We tested the panel mid December on a sunny day knowing the angle of the winter sun would be less than optimum to maximize solar panel wattage production. As expected we were able to create 50 watts from the panel.

BougeRV Sunflow 40A MPPT Solar Charge Controller

To test the solar panel, we used the BougeRV Sunflow 40A MPPT solar charger controller. Installation was very simple and configuration using the Bluetooth smartphone app was straightforward with the entire process taking minutes.

The solar controller has a wide range of robust features. The controller can adjust the charge current from 0A to 30A and its high tracking efficiency is up to 99.5% with a peak conversion efficiency up to 99%.

The controller is compatible with Lithium LiFePO4 batteries. One of the challenges with lithium batteries is sub-freezing (32°F) temperatures where a charge will permanently deteriorate performance and safety. The BougeRV Sunflow 40A MPPT solar charge controller can protect lithium batteries supporting low-temp cut-off at the solar charge controller end. The controller can also restart or activate dormant lithium batteries that are turned off due to short circuits or excessive amp draw.

We especially liked the smartphone remote control app with a Bluetooth range up to 32 feet. Using the app inside our 5th wheel living area we were able to stay informed with the charging and performance of the attached solar panel, lithium battery and solar charge controller.

BougeRV Sunflow 40A MPPT Solar Charge Controller Specifications

  • System Voltage 12V/24V
  • 40 Amp Charging Currently
  • Max PV input 600W/12V or 1200W/24V
  • Rated load current 20 Amps
  • Battery operating voltage of 8 to 32V
  • Built in Bluetooth

Final Thoughts

The BougeRV 100W CIGS Flexible Solar Panel has a wide range of applications in its 100W and 200W capacities. With it’s flexibility and ease of installation the solar panels are an excellent option for RV’s of all styles, vans, buses, as well as marine applications.

The BougeRV Sunflow 40A MPPT Solar Charge Controller is an affordable solution for small to mid-sized solar installations, yet offers the features needed to charge and manage RV, marine, and off-grid solar projects.

Out thanks to BougeRV who provided the 100W CIGS Flexible Solar Panel and Sunflow 40A MPPT Solar Charge Controller for our review.

See the video below for our testing and addition information about BougeRV solar products.

We have provided helpful links below for additional information for these and other BougeRV products.

Epoch RV Battery 12V 300Ah

Helpful Links:

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: BougeRV 100W CIGS Flexible Solar Panel & Sunflow 40A MPPT Solar Charge Controller

ALLPOWERS S2000 Pro Power Station with 30 Amp Connector

ALLPOWERS S2000 Pro Power Station with 30 Amp Connector


ALLPOWERS S2000 Pro Power Station with 30 Amp Connector

by Jerry Neal | Dec 9, 2023

ALLPOWERS S2000 Pro Power Station with 30 Amp Connector

We are always on the lookout for efficient yet simple systems to extend our power needs in our RV travels. When towing for long days and overnight stays where there’s no opportunity to connect to a power pedestal, our option has been to power the 110 Volt appliances with a gasoline 4500 Watt generator. Sometimes this is overkill when we need to stop for 30 minutes for lunch or our overnight stay at a Harvest host occurs during the months when no air conditioning is needed. For these stops, we needed a midsize portable power stations. To meet these off-grid power needs, we tested the ALLPOWERS S2000 Pro portable power station and this unit exceeded our expectations especially with it’s 30 Amp RV connection.

ALLPOWERS S2000 PRO Portable Power Station

The ALLPOWERS S2000 Pro has a 1500Wh capacity and 2400W output making it capable of running most RV and home appliances. The power station can operate as a UPS immediately supplying battery backup power. This is a great applications for both RV travelers and off-grid homes when refrigerators, computers, and other delicate equipment loose 110V AC power or power fluctuates above or below safe levels.

We were impressed with the speed when recharging the ALLPOWERS S2000 Pro portable power station and fully recharging within 1.5 hours when plugged into a household 110V outlet. Via the MPPT 650W max solar input and using 600 Watts of solar power, the power station has the opportunity to be fully recharged within 3 hours.

The ALLPOWERS S2000 Pro portable power station supports Bluetooth wireless connections with ALLPOWERS smart phone app. We were able to monitor and control the power station from 30 feet away. Using the power station LCD display and the smart phone app, we could accurately determine the power station’s remaining battery, input and output wattage.

S2000 Pro Specifications

  • Capacity – 1500Wh / 405405mAh
  • Battery Type – Ternary lithium battery
  • Wattage – 37.5 x 24.5 x 25 centimeters / 14.76 x 9.64 x 9.84 inch
  • AC Power – 2400W AC Pure Sine Wave Inverter (4,000W Surge)
  • Weight – 32 lbs
  • 1 – 30 A RV outlet
  • 4 – AC Output
  • 4 – USB A Output
  • 1 – Car Output
  • 2- USB C Output
  • Solar Input – MPPT 18-70V, 18A 650W Max

ALLPOWERS also provided two 200 Watt portable solar panels, Model AP-SP-033. The panels were simple to set up and came with a number of adapters to connect to various solar powered devices. Since the panels and power station are not sold as a kit, the panels did not connect MC4 adapters to connect the panels together or a MC4 to XT60 cable to connect the panels to the power station. These are not expensive items and I had both in my power kit. I also prefer using a longer power cord from the solar panels to the power station allowing me to extend the connection from outdoors to the 5th wheel storage bay.

AP-SP-033 Portable Solar Panel Specifications

  • Peak power – 200 Watts
  • Open circuit voltage – 22.2V
  • Maximum power voltage – 18V
  • Maximum power current – 11A
  • Weight – 13.9 lbs
  • Size folded for transport – 25.6 inches x 20.3 inches
  • Size unfolded for use – 87.8 inches x 25.6 inches

How we tested the ALLPOWERS S2000 Pro Power Station

As with all our power systems testing at iLoveRVlife, we set up the ALLPOWERS S2000 Pro as our primary power source. Now with the advantage of having a 30 Amp RV style receptacle, we used a 50 Amp to 30 Amp adapter to connect the power station to the side of the 5th wheel. With this connection, we were able to run all 110V devices located inside our Montana.

Testing the S2000 Pro Power station
Our Montana 5th wheel is set up for long term living plus we’ve added a number of 110 volt powered devices to the factory installation adding to our entertainment and work-on-the-road requirements. To test the power station, I wanted to use as many devices at one time just as if we stopped along our travels for a long lunch break or an overnight stop at a Harvest Host.

Our first test was connecting an oscilloscope to the power station. Before we connected this power station to the 5th wheel, I wanted to ensure the inverter was capable of producing clean power. We found the inverter produced a smooth sine wave with no jagged edges or clipping. This occur at idle and with a load. This is important especially with the use of sensitive electronics such as TVs, computers, routers, etc. to where a jagged sine wave, also known as dirty power, can prevent these devices from operating properly.

For our load test we powered the following devices at the same time to maximize wattage consumption using the power station.

  • GE 3-door residential refrigerator
  • 1500 Watt microwave
  • 50 inch TV
  • ROKU soundbar
  • Cradlepoint 5G R1900 cellular router

I also wanted to test the power station for those times when Joan would be spending time at her make-up desk running both a curling iron and a 1500 Watt hair dryer. I tuned these on while running all the devices listed above without the microwave.

This test would be a typical usage load on our 110V service. All the devices would operate at the same time with the exception of the microwave which would be used for short a duration during meal preparation time. Running all the device above used 1600 Watts of power for both tests. The test performed is to ensure a refrigerator with the compressor starting and causing a brief power surge would not cause the power station to overload and shut off when other 110 Volt devices were in use. With the ALLPOWERS S2000 Pro power station having the ability to handle a 4000 Watt surge, no overload or shutdown was experienced.

Testing the ALLPOWERS 200 Watt portable solar panels
We had a sunny December day with no clouds to test the panels. We connected the two panels to the S2000 Pro power station and were able to achieve 260 Watts of power at 20 volts. This was a reasonable output considering the angle of the winter sun.

The power station was at 81% remaining capacity from our testing and we charged the unit to 100% withing 1 hour and 20 minutes.

To see the actual testing, view the video below.

Final Thoughts

Overall I was very impressed with the performance of the ALLPOWERS S2000 Pro power station and the AP-SP-033 200 Watt foldable solar panels. Given all the appliances we have in the 5th wheel that we use on a regular basis, the power station operated with ample wattage to spare.

Replenishing the capacity of the power station would be easily sustained throughout the day and we found using for our general power use and the two 200 Watt solar panels should replace the power daily power used on those sunny days.

When comparing price to performance, the ALLPOWERS S2000 Pro power station is an excellent addition when off-grid RV power is needed.

Out thanks to ALLPOWERS for providing the S2000 Pro power station and the AP-SP-033 portable solar panels for our review.

Below the video, we have provided helpful links for products used.

Epoch RV Battery 12V 300Ah

Helpful Links:

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: ALLPOWERS S2000 Pro Power Station with 30 Amp Connector

Serenity Cellars, Helen GA Side Streets, 12 Spies Vineyards

Serenity Cellars, Helen GA Side Streets, 12 Spies Vineyards


Serenity Cellars, Helen GA Side Streets, 12 Spies Vineyards

by Jerry Neal | Dec 2, 2023

Serenity Cellars, Helen GA Side Streets, 12 Spies Vineyards

This is our last week in the North Georgia mountains for this year. The Fall scenery has been a great treat and we’re traveling to Serenity Cellars, Helen GA Side Streets, 12 Spies Vineyards, some of our favorite locations.

Serenity Cellars, Cleveland, GA

I took a short trip from the campground and stopped at Serenity Cellars, one of our favorite wineries located in the Cleveland, GA. We found Serenity Cellars several year ago as we traveled the area looking for the different styles of wines created by the local vintners.

The Serenity Cellar’s tasting room is located on a large hillside with both indoor and outdoor seating. Weekends are always special with musical entertainment along with the great wines offered. We often bring food and spend a while enjoying the wine and talented singers. But, on this visit I stopped by mid-week when less crowded to talk with the Edwardo who is the resident sommelier. Edwardo took me on a tasting journey of their delicious wines and of course, good conversation.

I couldn’t leave Serenity Cellars without wine for the holidays. Always a great visit.

The Side Streets of Helen, GA

A trip to North Georgia wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the pretty Bavarian village of Helen, GA. We have traveled here for years and watched as it has transitioned into one of the more popular locations in the area with people visiting from all across the world. This year, I wanted to do something a little different and spend the afternoon visiting some of the side streets around Helen to experience what the village had to offer other than the typical shops, restaurants, and Oktoberfest Halls.

Helen Arts & Heritage Center
I stopped first at Helen Arts & Heritage Center to take in the wears from many of the local craft persons. The Center has a wide assortment of quality painting, jewelry, pottery and much more on display with each item available for purchase.

I also had the opportunity to speak with one of the local jewelry makers who shared her experience and also gave me a tour of the center. Make sure you catch her sharing her craft in the video below.

Helen Glass Blowing Shop
The staff at the Arts Center suggested I stop at the Helen Glass Blowing Shop to see the many pieces of glass art made locally. I was treated by the local glass blower making a number of items. I also found unique jewelry created in the shop and couldn’t leave without purchasing a piece for Joan. You should have seen Joan when I surprised her with a unique turquoise necklace and matching earrings.

Nora Mill Granary Grist Mill & Country Store
I also stopped at the Nora Mill Granary Grist Mill & Country Store to tour the grain making process and of course, purchase some fresh ground corn meal and buckwheat pancake mix.

Nora Mill Granary is an operational gristmill built in 1876 and is located on the edge of the Chattahoochee River on the outskirts of Helen. The mill is unique, not powered by a vertical water wheel, but uses a water turbine fed by a 100 ft. wooden raceway. During many of the weekends, you can visit the Granary and see the mill in action.

It’s wonderful that the third and fourth generation of the Fain family continue to operate the mill providing high quality milled corn products and allowing visitors to experience this historic general store and granary.

12 Spies Vineyards, Rabun Gap, GA

Much has changed in Raburn Gap, GA along with the nearby villages of Clayton and Dillard since my first visit in 1980. A few years out of the US Air Force and then college, I was working for the Continental Telephone Company who served over 1,400 rural telephone companies operating in 31 states. I was a central office technician and part of the team converting this area to digital telephone.

I fell in love with these North Georgia mountains – the beautify of the rolling hills, the lifestyle and pace of the mountains, and the friendly people who treated me as one of their own. Much has changed over the years and the area has grown offering a wide range of real estate options and service businesses.

One addition to the North Georgia mountains has been wine making. The area has attracted a variety of vineyard growers and wine makers each offering their unique approach to wine making as well as tasting rooms. One of our favorites is 12 Spies Vineyards. We have become friends with Shelly and Mike Brown, vintners and owners of this winery. They have transformed their piece of a valley into a beautiful tasting room and outdoor space treating visitors to that unique experience of local wine, beautiful landscape, and on the weekends local entertainment talent. And on our last day in the North Georgia mountains, we were able to again experience a great Saturday, spending time with our friends all while enjoying great 12 Spies Vineyards wine and song from Teddy Baker.

This season for North Georgia is over, but we know much more lies ahead. Joan and I often find ourselves counting the days until we return and hope you too will have the opportunity to visit the beautiful North Georgia mountains in the near future.

serenity cellars, helen ga, 12 spies vineyards

Helpful Links:

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: Serenity Cellars, Helen GA Side Streets, 12 Spies Vineyards

Epoch RV Battery 12V 300Ah Heated & Bluetooth & Victron Comms

Epoch RV Battery 12V 300Ah Heated & Bluetooth & Victron Comms


Epoch RV Battery 12V 300Ah Heated & Bluetooth & Victron Comms

by Jerry Neal | Nov 25, 2023

Epoch RV Battery 12V 300Ah 1080 – Heated & Bluetooth & Victron Communications

We evaluated the Epoch RV Battery 12V 300Ah with Bluetooth, self-heating, and Victron communications as our primary off-road power source. This the perfect 12 DC power solution for those who have large RVs with residential appliances and the need to operate when no campground power is available. The Epoch RV Battery 12V 300Ah is a strong contender for those who camp off-grid and need the extra amperage to extend these stays for those days when solar production is a challenge.

Epoch RV Battery 12V 300Ah Evaluation

We put the Epoch RV Battery 12V 300Ah to the test using our Montana 5th wheel as a real-world environment powering a large GE residential refrigerator, lights, TV, and slides over an extended period of time without any means to charge the battery. Our efforts were to simulate a long tow lasting 10 hours, an over night stay, and then continuing to the next destination for another 7 hours. We relied on the Epoch RV Battery 12V 300Ah only, with no provisions for solar, campground, or the 7-pin connection to our truck for charging power.

Over the evaluation period, we used both the iOS Epoch LI-Ion Bluetooth app for iPhones and our Victron Smart Shunt monitor the performance of the battery. As a check and balance between both monitoring platforms, we found the reporting to be within a percentage point of remaining capacity and available voltage.

Epoch RV Battery 12V 300Ah Results

With the battery at full charge, the evaluation for the Epoch RV Battery 12V 300Ah exceeded our expectations. We ran our test over 31 hours and at the end of two days, we still had 26 percent, one quarter of the battery capacity remaining.

Recharging the battery with our Progressive Dynamics 75 amp charger took around 3 hours. The shortest time when have experience with any of the batteries we’ve tested to date.

With the batteries heavy duty construction, metal case, low temperature disconnect, internal heating, 11 year warranty, and much more, this is a perfect solution for our 12V power needs.

Epoch RV Battery 12V 300Ah Specifications

  • LiFePO4 Chemistry – Deep Cycle Battery
  • Epoch RV Battery 12V 300Ah HEATED – Internal heating allows for charging in sub-zero conditions
  • BLUETOOTH – iOS and Android Apps
  • Built-in Smart Battery Management System (BMS)
  • Over charge and over discharge protection
  • Over current and short circuit protection
  • High & low temperature disconnects
  • Max (4) in Series up to 48V @ 300Ah
  • Max (4) in Parallel up to 12V @ 1,200Ah
  • 4,000+ Cycle life & Maintenance-free
  • UL1973, UL1642, IEC 62133, UN38.3
  • 11 Year Manufacturer Warranty
  • Weight: 72 (LBS)
  • Dimensions: 8.1 x 11.1 x 15.4 (inches)
  • Ah Capacity: 300Ah
  • Max Continuous Discharge Amps: 300A
  • Max Charge Current Amps: 300A
  • Max Discharge Peak Current Amps: 900A (3 Seconds)
  • Max (4) in Series, Max (4) in Parallel – 4S4P

VOLTAGE

  • Voltage: 12.8V
  • Max Charge Voltage: 14.6V
  • Operating Voltage Range: 10.0 – 14.6V

Epoch RV Battery 12V 300Ah

Helpful Links:

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: Epoch RV Battery 12V 300Ah Heated & Bluetooth & Victron Comms

Hiking Duke Creek Falls and Biking Smithgall Woods State Park

Hiking Duke Creek Falls and Biking Smithgall Woods State Park


Hiking Duke Creek Falls and Biking Smithgall Woods State Park

by Jerry Neal | Nov 18, 2023

Hiking Duke Creek Falls and Biking Smithgall Woods State Park in Helen, GA

We had several weeks of great weather in North Georgia to go out and experience the hills and trails. This week I visited two popular spots, Dukes Creek Falls for a hike to a series of beautiful waterfalls and Smithgall Woods State Park to bike over 5 miles in this amazing conservation area.

Duke Creek Falls

Dukes Creek Falls is located on Russell-Brasstown National Scenic Highway a few minutes outside of Helen, GA and 20 minutes from Leisure Acres Campground. This was one of our shorter hikes we experienced this year providing great views of the surrounding mountains, vibrant Fall foliage, and the series of waterfalls at the end of the trail did not disappoint.

The trail is well walked and offers a number of short steps and wooden walkways along the trail and at the bottom to observe the waterfalls. The walk is gradual, well maintained, and did not contain any obstacles to navigate. There were several spot along the trail where we could stop and see the mountains with this year’s Fall canopy rich in yellows, oranges and reds. As we walked the trail, we were able to view Dukes Creek and teased with a number of small cascading flows along the rock formations as a hint to what we would find at the end of the trail.

Reaching the bottom of the trail, we were greeted with a number of waterfalls. One was a small stream starting several hundreds hundreds of feet above and gracefully flowing down the mountain side to the stream below. Continuing along the observation deck, a series of falls flowed over a large rock formation. The waterfalls and the cascading steam below gave a beautiful show with the hills and Fall foliage in the background.

The hike back to the top took around 30 minutes and took moderate effort. At the top, is another view of the mountain vistas in the distance capping off this hike in the North Georgia mountains.

Smithgall Woods State Park

Leaving Dukes Creek Falls and heading back to the campground, we stopped at Smithgall Woods State Park located at 61 Tsalaki Trail next to Helen, GA.

Smithgall Woods is a Conservation Area consisting of 5,664 acres as a protected wilderness area. It contains old growth forests, trout streams, and abundance of wildlife. The area is named for Charles A. Smithgall Jr., a Georgia publisher and philanthropist who sold the property to the state in 1994 for half its appraised value. During his time of ownership, he had teams restock streams and plant thousands of trees to restore the natural beauty.

I took the bike to ride along 5 miles of trails. The bike trails were a mix of paved and gravel roads where I experienced the beautiful hardwood trees in their fall colors along with the streams and wildlife. We didn’t have time to enjoy the many trails in the park during this trip, but the bike ride didn’t disappoint.

I hope you have an opportunity to visit these sites in the future. They are easy to hike and bike and there’s so much to see in these nature wonderlands.

Dukes Creek Falls and Smithgall Woods State Park

Helpful Links:

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: Hiking Duke Creek Falls and Biking Smithgall Woods State Park

Evaluating the Time USB 230Ah LifePO4 Battery and DC Socket Outlet

Evaluating the Time USB 230Ah LifePO4 Battery and DC Socket Outlet


Evaluating the Time USB 230Ah LifePO4 Battery and DC Socket Outlet

by Jerry Neal | Nov 11, 2023

We are always on the lookout for innovative power solutions for the RV traveler. We have looked at both power stations and lithium batteries as sources when campground power isn’t available. Today we are evaluating the Time USB 230Ah LifePO4 Battery due to it’s large capacity and value pricing. We also wanted to take this opportunity to go a step farther providing a power station environment using the battery along with a 14.4V 20 Amp battery charger and DC Battery Outlet also provided by Time USB. This solution supplies battery power to the RV along with charging and outlets to power DC and USB devices at a very affordable price.

Why Lithium Batteries Vs Lead Acid Batteries

Over the last 18 months we have become big fans of lithium batteries. We’re not long term boondockers, but we often tow our 5th wheel for extended periods or have overnight stops where pedestal power may not be available. The power offered by lithium over lead acid batteries makes a substantial difference in these instances.

Many RVs, our Montana 5th wheel included, come from the factory with Group 27 lead acid batteries. These batteries have been a main stay in the industry providing reliable power for the 12V DC devices and lighting found in most motorized and pull behind RVs.

The downside of lead acid batteries has been their weight and capacity. Most 100 Amp Group 27 lead acid batteries are capable of providing 50 amps of usable power. This is the result of the damage that can occur when discharging a lead acid battery below 12V DC which is one half or 50 remaining amps in the battery. To achieve 100 amps of usable power, two Group 27 batteries are used, configured in parallel.

Using a Lithium battery such as the Time USB 230Ah LifePO4 Battery, we can provide 4 times the amp hour capacity found in two Group 27 lead acid batteries with less than half of the weight. This increase in available amps is the result of the LifePO4 cells that make up the 12V battery and the battery management system (BMS) limiting the discharge to 10% without damaging the battery cells.

Time USB 230Ah LifePO4 Battery Specifications

  • 12.8V Nominal voltage
  • 230Ah Capacity
  • 50A BMS board
  • 2944Wh energy
  • 1920 Max. power
  • 150A Max. current
  • 44lb battery weight
  • 19 x 6.7 x 9.5 in Dimensions (L*W*H)
  • 15000 Cycles & 10-year Service Life

There is a temperature issue to consider with the Time USB 230Ah LifePO4 Battery and other lithium batteries that do not have low temperature protection. These LifePO4 batteries cannot be charged below 32 degrees Fahrenheit or the battery cells will experience permanent damage.

Evaluating the Time USB 230Ah LifePO4 Battery

Charging the Battery
We started our test with a fully charged battery. As part of the evaluation, we used the 14.4V 20 amp charger provided by Time USB. This is a cost effective charger that was simple to use with a status LED glowing red while charging and green when complete. We started the charge late in the afternoon and it was complete the following morning to start our battery evaluation.

Real World Battery Test
Our process to evaluate RV batteries is to place in a real operating environment where devices and lighting in our Montana 5th wheel are powered as we tow and use the RV. In the evaluation we use the Time USB 230Ah LifePO4 Battery without any external power from our F-350 Super Duty, the solar panel, or 110V pedestal power. Our effort was to determine how the battery would perform over an extended period of time in an actual use environment with no external charging.

Our evaluation lasted over 25 hours running a large 110V AC 3-door GE residential refrigerator through a 2000 watt DC to AC inverter. We also operated 12V LED lights throughout the 5th wheel along with constant demands from various devices such as thermostats, 12V to USB chargers, etc.

Battery Test Results
At the end of the 25 hours of use, we still had an estimated 35% of battery capacity available. This exceeded our expectations for this battery, but we had one more device to evaluate – the Time USB DC Battery Socket Outlet.

Using the Time USB DC Battery Socket Outlet
The Time USB DC Battery Socket Outlet was inexpensive yet a convent way to have a number of power connections supporting a wide variety of options. It took minutes to mount the outlet on a wall and connect to the battery with the supplied cable. The unit has a LED power display to show the current state of the battery along with a 12V cigarette style accessory outlet, 2 – USB 2.4A, 2 – QC 3.0 USB, and 2 – USB C connections.

We tested the Outlet with a 55 Quart 12V chest style refrigerator and all of the USB connections using a cell phone. Each device powered or charged with no issues.

Final Thoughts

The Time USB 230Ah LifePO4 Battery performed well and gave an affordable solution to extend our travels using a single lithium battery. In our use with the addition of our solar charging, we will be able to extend our time in towing and overnight night stays where pedestal power isn’t available and the use of a gas generator isn’t convenient.

Out thanks to Time USB for providing the Time USB 230Ah LifePO4 Battery, charger and socket outlet for our evaluation.

Raven Cliff Falls Helen GA

Helpful Links:

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: Evaluating the Time USB 230Ah LifePO4 Battery and DC Socket Outlet

Hiking Raven Cliff Falls in Helen GA

Hiking Raven Cliff Falls in Helen GA


Hiking Raven Cliff Falls in Helen GA

by Jerry Neal | Nov 4, 2023

Raven Cliff Falls, Helen, GA

One of the fun activities I enjoy when we travel to the mountains are all the great trails to hike. On this years trip to North Georgia I wanted to find trails that I haven’t experienced and if water falls were in the mix then even better. In this video I share Raven Cliff Falls in Helen, GA. It’s the peak of Fall and the scenery if spectacular.

Hiking Raven Cliff Falls

A short drive from the campground and minutes from Helen is Raven Cliff Falls located off 3000 Richard Russell Hwy, Helen, GA. The trail to the falls follows Dodd Creek and offers a wide variety of scenery.

Most trail maps rate the trail as moderate and I agree. I found the trail to be well hiked, easy to follow with a few easy creek crossing. The area that had the most difficulty was at the end along the steep cliffs.

There were a number of smaller waterfalls along the trail that were easy to access and provided a great location for photos. At the end are very large and shear granite cliffs where the highest waterfalls are located. Unfortunately, there has been little rain over the past few weeks when and the falls were not very prominent. But, the lack of water did not detract from the beauty of the area.

I hiked mid week and it wasn’t crowded, but weekends during the popular seasons can be very busy. This was a fun hike that took most of the morning. Great views along the way and opportunities for great views across the seasons.

Raven Cliff Falls Helen GA

Helpful Links:

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

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Source: Hiking Raven Cliff Falls in Helen GA

Wandering Around North Georgia

Wandering Around North Georgia


Wandering Around North Georgia

by Jerry Neal | Oct 28, 2023

Wandering Around North Georgia

Joan and I enjoy wandering around North Georgia. This area has been one of our favorite RV destinations for the last 10 years. And this year continues to amaze us as we return to some past destinations and as well as discovering new places never visited.

Crane Creek Vineyards

Crane Creek Vineyards - North GeorgiaIn this video below, we start at Crane Creek Vineyards located in Young Harris, GA. We missed this vineyard last year and on this trip went to the Farm House tasting room located at the base of the vineyard. This was a first usually going to the top of the vineyard to the newer Stone House. The Farm House was built in 1901 and still retrains much of the old charm. Located at the bottom section of the vineyard, covered sitting areas have been added along with seating along the edge near the vines.

We visited on this crisp Fall day enjoying this years wine vintages along with excellent Barbecue from the food truck. Crane Creek Vineyards is pet friendly and Joan and I were entertained by a number of the fur babies who visited. This was a great start this years wandering around North Georgia.

Blue Ridge Honey Company – North Georgia

blue ridge honey company Located a few miles south of Clayton, GA on US 441, is Blue Ridge Honey Company. This is one of those places we pass often when I suggest to Joan that we need to check out. Embarrassed to say how many times we have said that over the years of our North Georgia travels. Finally, we stopped and were not disappointed.

Blue Ridge Honey Co. is a family business with bee yards located in Northeast Georgia, Western North Carolina and South Georgia. Something that impressed us was the quality of the honey. Their honey is pure, natural and raw. They do not pasteurize or micro filter the honey. And the results were proof. We sampled each variety from the often found clover and wildflower to more unique types of blueberry, black sage, and more. You may be asking what was our favorite? All of them!!!

Aside from tasting the honey, we were able to see the production area, a live hive (safely behind glass) and many other products made from beeswax and honey.

Jumpin Goat Coffee Roasters

jumpin goat coffee roasters - North GeorgiaA few minutes from the campground is Jumpin Goat Coffee Roasters located at 2404 Helen Highway in Cleveland GA. Pulling off the highway and continuing up the hillside driveway, we were greeted with one of the most stunning views in Cleveland. The cafe and roaster is located on a ridge overlooking gentle rolling hills with an amazing presentation of Mt Yonah in the background.

Walking to the cafe, I was greeted with the wonderful aroma of fresh roasted beans and seeing the smoke rolling along the side of the building, Inside the cafe, the friendly staff welcomed me and I couldn’t wait to have a fresh brewed coffee. I treated myself to a delicious Americana and returned outside to enjoy the views.

Before I returned to the campground, I couldn’t leave without purchasing a number of their excellent coffees and gazing at the incredible views one more time.

We’ll be in this area for a while and looking forward to sharing this years adventures as we continue our wandering around North Georgia.

ilovervlife wandering around north georgia

Helpful Links:

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

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SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: Wandering Around North Georgia

HiBoy EX6 E-bike – Great Features at a Lower Cost

HiBoy EX6 E-bike – Great Features at a Lower Cost


HiBoy EX6 E-bike – Great Features at a Lower Cost

by Jerry Neal | Oct 21, 2023

HiBoy EX6 E-Bike

We have been testing e-bikes that fit our RV lifestyle for the past 12 months. Some of these have been expensive e-bikes that have been feature rich. We’ve had many comments on our YouTube channel as well as contacts from our lovervlife.com website stating they wanted an e-bike, but needed a more affordable solution yet retain many of they features to make the e-bike experience enjoyable. So we took up the challenge to find an e-bike that met those requirements. We are contacted by many e-bike manufacturers and settled on the HiBoy EX6 Electric Bike. At the time of this video and blog, the direct purchase from HiBoy or from Amazon with coupon, the e-bike is below the $1,000 price and maintains all the features we find important for an enjoyable experience.

HiBoy EX6 E-Bike Features

  • 500W powerful brushless motor – 500w high speed brushless motor, with high torque and a top speed 25+mph.
  • 15AH Large capacity battery – 15AH/48V removable battery that can help you go 41 miles on electricity alone and 75 miles with pedal assistance depending on terrain.
  • All-terrain fat tire and fork shocks – The 20″ x 4.0″ all-terrain fat tire e-bike is suitable for riding on all kinds of bumpy terrain, mud and beach. The 4″ fat tire is large wheel to ground contact area and cave-in resistance as well as better grip. The fork shocks provide a smooth and comfortable riding experience on rough and rocky terrain.
  • Ergonomic riding design – Adjustable handlebars provide a comfortable riding experience along with a memory foam adjustable seat. The seat height is adjustable and along with the low step-in frame and the step-in design allows riders to get on/off the bike quickly and with little effort.
  • Comfortable riding experience – Built in 3 riding modes, easy to switch by button. The e-bike can be used as a standard bike with now assistance. The power of the HiBoy EX6 E-bike comes from the 5 modes of torque assist and 500 watt motor. Making changes from the handlebar mounted controller can be handled with ease. The Shimano 7 speed shifting package gives the e-bike greater versatility to handle the step hills and rough terrain.

See the video below for our experience with the HiBoy EX6 E-Bike. Our thanks to HiBoy providing the EX6 e-bike for our evaluation. We have provided links below for the purchase of the e-bike and available discounts.

HiBoy EX6 E-bike

Helpful Links:

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: HiBoy EX6 E-bike – Great Features at a Lower Cost

Preparing Our RV For A Trip

Preparing Our RV For A Trip


Preparing Our RV For A Trip

by Jerry Neal | Oct 14, 2023

Preparing Our RV For A Trip

Due to some medical issues, we had to limit our summer travel. I share more in the video below. The very good news is all is well and after many months we are heading back out to enjoy some extended RV travel. With the 5th wheel sitting for these many months and time for some annual maintenance, I thought this would be a good time to share preparing our RV for a trip.

RV roof inspection

Owning an RV for 10 years, we’ve learned from experience (not always positive) to give the roof a thorough inspection. I look at all the roof seams that have lap sealant, and check the plastic skylight and roof vents for cracks. It never fails that after a year of travel, there are locations in the lap sealant that crack or separate the will allow water to intrude. A few minutes of inspection and follow up with a little lap sealant will prevent leaks and worse, damage to the RV roof and ceiling.

Cleaning a very dirty 5th wheel

We had a heavy travel scheduled planned for the year, with the July 1 injury everything stopped. We parked a dirty 5th wheel only to get worse from dirt and pollen along with the road scum hardening on the surface. Our next step for preparing our RV for a trip was to give the 5th wheel a good scrub.

It takes us around 3 hours to wash the external surfaces of our 5th wheel. The roof had gone from a bright white to an ugly gray and black. Aside from it dirty appearance, a dark roof adsorbs the sun and doesn’t reflect causing unwanted heat. Our roof is PVC and when clean reflects the sun and reduces the hot temperatures in the 5th wheel.

We don’t use a pressure washer. I don’t have an issue with those who have pressure washer skills, I don’t. I prefer to use a large, soft bristle car wash brush. Also, harsh detergents such as Dawn or similar products can cause damage to the RV surface finish stripping the wax and causing premature oxidation. I’ve had good success using Meguiar’s M4364 Marine/RV Boat Wash. A large bottle will last several years and I use on our F-350 too.

Tow vehicle tire inspection

Having experienced two RV tire blow outs during our early RV travels, I never start a long trip without inspecting the condition of our tires and tire pressure. We also use TST tire monitoring on our 5th wheels and F-350 to watch for changes in temperatures and pressure that could result in a blow out while traveling.

We always follow the tire pressures recommended by the RV and tire manufacturer. These are posted on the side or inside the doorway of the RV and on the side of the tire. Under or over inflating the tires can cause excessive tire pressure or over heating and result in failure.

We also inspect the condition of the tires. We look for damage to the sidewalls or the treads resulting for pot holes or other road hazards. We check the bead next to the rim. We look for cracks, defects or any indication of dry rot. If found, we have the tires replaced.

Also check the tire lugs to ensure each are tight. You can find the manufacturer axle recommendations for lugs online.

Failing to inspect and remedy RV tire issues can cause failure and when these tires blow, they destroy the sides of the RV and can blow holes in the floor.

Tow vehicle hitch and tires

For those that have a tow vehicle, the hitch should be inspected at least once a year. This included both 5th wheel and camper hitches. Inspect and tighten all the bolts. Look for cracks or failed welds in the hitch, tongue or pin. Lube the hitch per manufacturers recommendations.

For those of us who tow 5th wheels and have older trucks without the puck system, check the bolts connecting the rails to the frame. Make sure all are tight to the brackets and frame.

Those miscellaneous tasks before travel

There are a number of small, yet important tasks to perform before RV travel and more so if the RV has been sitting for a period of time. In the video below, I share our steps for each as they relate to our needs and may be helpful as you prepare for your travels.

If you need more information about the products used in the video, we have provided helpful links below.

Preparing Our RV For A Trip

Helpful Links:

Our thanks to Brooklyn Bedding who sponsored today’s video. Go to https://rvmattress.com/ilovervlife and use discount code “ilovervlife” for 25% off any mattress.

Meguiar’s M4364 Marine/RV Boat Wash

Fifth Wheel Lube Plate

Deluxe Car Wash 8″ Brush

Deluxe Car Wash 8″ Brush

SetPower PT55 58Qt Dual Zone 12 Volt Refrigerator

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: Preparing Our RV For A Trip

Can You Earn A Living With YouTube – Part 2

Can You Earn A Living With YouTube – Part 2


Can You Earn A Living With YouTube – Part 2

by Jerry Neal | Oct 7, 2023

Can you earn a living with YouTube
Part 2 – How much we earn from YouTube

This is Part 2 of our two part series “Can you earn a living with YouTube?” In this installment I share how much we make from YouTube and our efforts to off set the expenses to create content and supplement these costs with income from YouTube.

If you missed Part 1 – Tips to help you start your YouTube channel click here to view.

how much we earn from youtube

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: Can You Earn A Living With YouTube – Part 2

Can you earn a living with YouTube – Part 1

Can you earn a living with YouTube – Part 1


Can you earn a living with YouTube – Part 1

by Jerry Neal | Oct 4, 2023

Can you earn a living with YouTube
Part 1 – Tips to help start your YouTube channel

This is Part 1 of a two part series titled “Can you earn a living with YouTube?” The simple answer is maybe. Their are a number of parts that we have learned as to what makes a YouTube channel successful and more so, the challenge to making money from our efforts.

In Part 1, I cover the landscape for YouTube, how large and an intro as to the overall volume of YouTube. I also cover a number of helpful tips as to how to be successful from content creation and the overall channel and video creation process.

Can you make a living with youtube

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: Can you earn a living with YouTube – Part 1

Replacing RV Bed Gas Struts

Replacing RV Bed Gas Struts


Replacing RV Bed Gas Struts

by Jerry Neal | Sep 28, 2023

Replacing RV Bed Gas Struts

Replacing RV bed gas struts are a relatively easy task. These bed struts go bad after a few years of use or are needed when bedding is replaced with a heavier mattress. In our case, we replaced our mattress with a Brooklyn Bedding Signature series and along with the added comfort, increased the weight by two and half times. This overloaded the existing gas struts and it was difficult to raise the bed for storage access and the bed would not stay in the raised position. The fix is very easy and cost us around $20.

It’s Easy Replacing the RV Gas Struts

Our first task was to determine the load rating and length of the existing gas struts. This may be found on the gas strut label or a quick search of the model number on Google will give the data needed. Also, measure both the length of the black section of the strut and the overall length when extended before purchasing a new strut.

If the existing bedding is used, stay with the same weight strut as installed at the factory. We knew we increased the weight of our bedding and looked for struts around two times stronger than factory. Our Montana 5th wheel came with 80lb struts and we increased the strength to 150lbs. With a bedding increase, using too little will not ease lifting and staying in place, and too strong could cause attachment pull out from the wood or the bed platform will not stay in place when closed.

We show our process of removing old struts and replacing with new in the video below. It took us less than hour. It’s important to look at the strut used. Some can be removed from the hardware, others may be permanently installed and the struts will need to be unscrewed from the platform and new strut installed. Our installation required us to remove a spring clip holding the strut to the hardware, remove strut, install new strut and replace with the provided spring clip.

I can’t confirm your specific installation needs, but if you have used similar bedding and have the same length in gas strut, I’ve providing a link to the unit we purchased below.

replacing rv bed gas struts

Helpful Links:

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: Replacing RV Bed Gas Struts

BigBlue SolarPowa 20 – Solar USB Charger

BigBlue SolarPowa 20 – Solar USB Charger


BigBlue SolarPowa 20 – Solar USB Charger

by Jerry Neal | Sep 26, 2023

BigBlue SolarPowa 20 – USB Charging for the Campsite and Beach

Our RV travels take Joan and I to places where there’s no power for our devices such as cell phones, tablets or our Internet hotspot. For the past year, we have used the large power stations for supplemental power and they have worked great, but they are large, bulky and heavy for short trips when we need to charge our phones. We now have an alternative, the BigBlue SolarPowa 20 portable solar panel with two USB ports. With the SolarPowa 20, we can head to the beach or a weekend outing, pack light and keep our phones and tablets charged.

BigBlue SolarPowa 20

The BigBlue SolarPowa 20 is light weight and fits easily in a backpack or carry bag. The panel weighs 1.7 lbs and folded is 9” X 9” and with the attached USB power connection is 1.5″ thick. Open, the panel is 26” X 9”.

The back of the solar panel contains the USB charger with a USB Type-A and a USB Type-C connection, both rated at 5V and 2.4A. Also on the back is a folding arm that fits flat when stored and can be open to act as a kick stand to gain the best angle for sun exposure. We also like the reinforced eyelets on the corners where we can hang from our tent when we spend the day at the beach.

BigBlue SolaPowa 20 Features

  • EASY TO CARRY: Portable, rugged and lightweight. Easy solutions for portable USB charging.
  • HIGH-EFFICIENCY: Latest custom-designed N-Type PERC TOPCon Solar cells with energy conversion of 24.3%.
  • CONVERSION OPTIMIZATION: Easy to deploy adjustable stand to angle the panel from 30- to 60-degree. Reinforced eyelets to hang the panel.
  • WEATHER- PROOF: Weather-proof with a 10-year performance warranty.

Testing the BigBlue SolarPowa 20

We wanted a bright sunny day to test the BigBlue SolarPowa 20, but after two weeks of rain and overcast skies, decided to give the panel a real world test during a partly cloudy day. We expected this would be a challenge for the panel, but perfect sunny days aren’t always available when we travel and we need to charge our phones.

For the test we used a Samsung 8+ cell phone and a Samsung 8” tablet. The phone was completely discharged and the tablet was at 26%. We connected both devices using a USB cable to the BigBlue SolarPowa 20 and gave the panel 3 hours to charge. During the test, we experienced several large clouds obstructing the sun from panel for short periods and estimate full sun for about half of the charging time.

At the end of 3 hours hours, the phone battery charged from 0 to 63% and the tablet charged from 26% to 81%. We didn’t use the devices during the charge, but background tasks continued including messaging and emails.

Conclusion

We found the BigBlue SolarPowa 20 to be a light weight, easy to deploy solution when we need USB power for our communications and entertainment devices. Even in less than optimal sun, the panel provided enough power to charge our devices with power to finish our day of travel.

Our thanks to BigBlue for providing the device for our evaluation. We have provided helpful links below for more information about this unit and how to purchase for your next RV outing.

BigBlue SolarPowa 20 solar USB charger

Helpful Links:

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: BigBlue SolarPowa 20 – Solar USB Charger

RV Water Heater Troubleshooting and Repair

RV Water Heater Troubleshooting and Repair


RV Water Heater Troubleshooting and Repair

by Jerry Neal | Sep 16, 2023

RV Water Heater Troubleshooting and Repair

We started the day with no hot water when connected to the campground power and using the 120V power option for the water heater. Fortunately, we were able to use the propane switch and the water heater functioned well. For most RV water heaters, the parts that are most likely to fail are easy to test and replace if needed. This held true for our 12 Gallon Suburban Advantage Tank Water Heater model 5146A/F. Now it was time for RV water heater troubleshooting and repair.

Troubleshooting An RV Water Heater

We’ve all forgot to turn on the water heater when we arrive at the campground. This was the most obvious starting point. I checked to ensure both the 120V water heater switch was on and the breaker feeding the water heater had not tripped. Both were on and still no hot water.  Next step was troubleshooting the water heater components.

The components mostly likely to fail are the 120V water heater element or the thermostat switch. Starting with the water heater element, first ensure no AC or DC power is going the water heater. If the unit has been heating with propane, give the water heater time to cool.

testing rv water heater elementWe removed the heating element cover and use a digital voltmeter set to AC voltage to ensure no AC power is going to the heater element. Once confirmed, I removed one power lead from the electric heater element, set the digital meter to OHMS, and placed the probes on each heater element. We had a reading of 10 OHMS indicating a functional heater element.

Our next step was to test the 120 volt thermostat switch. On the 12 Gallon Suburban Advantage Tank Water Heater model 5146A/F there are two thermostat switches. This can be found near the top of the water heater with two rubber inserts used to reset the switches if overheating occurs. With the cover removed you’ll find the 12V thermostat switch on the right and the 120V on the left. The 12V has a wide, flat conductor running top to bottom and the 120V has a thin wire located in the same place.

testing rv water heater thermostat switchFirst we found the power wire located at the bottom of the 120V thermostat switch had overheated and some of the insulation wire was burned. We removed the wire and tested the switch with the digital voltmeter. The bottom of the switch has two tabs, one where the power wire connects and the second with a soldered wire going to the top of the switch. I set the digital volt meter to OHMS and placed a lead on each post. A working switch will read a short, zero on the digital voltmeter. If the switch has failed, the reading will be low or open depending on the voltmeter’s display. Our reading was low indicating a bad switch.

It was time to order parts and begin the repair.

Repairing An RV Water Heater

suburban 232306 thermostat switch model 232306We ordered a new Suburban 232306 Thermostat Switch, Model: 232306 from Amazon. Looking at the back of the thermostat switch ensure you see the 2306 before ordering. Replacing the switch was simple, slip off the power wires, remove the center nut, pull off the old thermostat switch and reverse the process to install the new unit. Make sure the nut is tight to create a thermal bond between the water tank and the switch, but do not over tighten and risk breaking the threaded stud from the tank.

We also suspect the power wire either rubbed the metal edge and the wire shorted, or the power connector wasn’t tight causing overheating, but most likely the thermostat switch overheated causing the wire to burn before the switch completely failed. We replaced the connector, reconnected all wires, replaced all the covers, and it was time to turn on the 120V switch to the water heater and see if our repairs worked.

RV Water Heater Troubleshooting And Repair Results

Our RV water heater troubleshooting and repair was a success. Turning the 120V power to the water heater and waiting about an hour, hot water had returned. The troubleshooting process discussed took less than 30 minutes. With Amazon Prime, we had the Suburban 232306 Thermostat Switch, Model: 232306 in two days and the repairs took less than an hour.

If you have basic skills using small tools, RV water heater troubleshooting and repair is simple. The two most common parts to fail are inexpensive. At the time of this blog, the Suburban 232306 Thermostat Switch, Model: 232306 was $16 and if the heating element failed, its cost would have been $20. With a few minutes of troubleshooting and repair we were able to have 120V heated water again.

If using tools and wiring isn’t your skill set and a RV technician is needed, this is one of the lessor cost repairs for parts with labor being the higher cost component.

The video below shows our step-by-step process to troubleshoot and repair. I’ve also included helpful links below for parts, tools, and our blog showing how to use a digital voltmeter.

rv water heater troubleshooting and repair

Helpful Links:

How To Use A Digital Voltmeter

Crenova MS8233D Digital Multimeter

Klein Tools 32500 11-in-1 Screwdriver

Suburban 232306 Thermostat Switch, Model: 232306

520900 RV Water Heater Element For Suburban RV SW Series Electric Water HeaterRV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: RV Water Heater Troubleshooting and Repair

The Calm Before The Storm – Daytona Beach and Idalia

The Calm Before The Storm – Daytona Beach and Idalia


The Calm Before The Storm – Daytona Beach and Idalia

by Jerry Neal | Sep 1, 2023

It was the Monday before Labor Day 2023 in Daytona Beach, FL and the calm before the storm. Hurricane Idalia was starting to make progress north from Cuba and the weather reports were the possibility of making landfall on Wednesday along the section of the Florida Panhandle known as the Bend. On this Monday, the sky was clear, a gentle breeze and it was a great time to take an ebike ride from the campground to the beach and back. In the video below I share the beach repair progress from last years Hurricane Ian along with the great views of Daytona Beach.

Daytona Beach Hurricane Repair Progress

Joan and I return to Daytona Beach, FL each quarter to visit our son who lives in the area. We were in Daytona Beach last September 2022 weeks before Hurricane Ian struck the coast and created substantial damage to many of the condos, hotels, homes and businesses that stretch along Hwy A1A from Ormand Beach south to New Symrna Beach. Buildings were damaged, but the big impact was the result of the sea walls failing along the beach.

In the video below we show the repair progress as well as shots from the beautiful Daytona Beach. We also share tips for those interested in visiting the area especially during the “shoulder season” periods.

Daytona Beach and Hurricane Idalia

For most of the Daytona Beach area south faired well during Hurricane Idalia. We were fortunate to only experience some moderate wind gusts that lasted from sundown on Tuesday and continued for most of the day Wednesday.

For those along the west coast of Florida and through the pan handle we pray for your safety and a speedy recovery.

calm before the storm Daytona Beach and Hurricane Idalia

Helpful Links:

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

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Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

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Source: The Calm Before The Storm – Daytona Beach and Idalia

E-bike in the Great Smoky Mountains – CyCrown E-bikes

E-bike in the Great Smoky Mountains – CyCrown E-bikes


E-bike in the Great Smoky Mountains – CyCrown E-bikes

by Jerry Neal | Aug 26, 2023

Our daughter Julie and her husband Josh along with the grandkids camp each year at the Smoky Mountain Campground located just outside of Bryson City, NC. The campground is located at the Deep Creek entrance of the Great Smoky Mountain Nation Park and is a favorite for tubers along with the many trails for hikers and bikes. We wanted them to have an extras special time and thought it would be fun to share our CyCrown CyFree so they could e-bike in the Great Smoky Mountains. In the video below Julie shares their experience with the e-bike along with many of the beautiful views along Deep Creek.

CyCrown CyFree E-Bike

On this years trip we shared the CyCrown CyFree, a 20″ fat tire foldable e-bike with a 750W motor, dual front shock absorbers, along with Shimano 7-Speed gears to make the most difficult hill climbs easy. We’ve found the CyCrown CyFree to be one of the more affordable e-bikes for RV travelers yet very well built and wide range of features and options. We especially like the folding feature allowing us to easily store the e-bike in our 5th wheel storage area.

Smoky Mountain Campground

Joan and I understand why Julie, Josh and family love the Smoky Mountain Campground located in the community of Deep Creek, NC. This campground provides a family friendly environment located along the edge of Deep Creek, a favorite North Carolina tubing location. The campground is located at the Deep Creek entrance of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and tubers can walk, bike, or drive along the creek for a long float through the park to the campground. Aside from the tubing, there are great trails, waterfalls as well as an abundance of nature for those perfect camping pictures.

We appreciate CyCrown providing the e-bike for our evaluation. If you’re interested in purchasing a CyFree or one of the other CyCrown e-bikes, we’ve provided helpful links below.

e-bike in the smoky mountains

Helpful Links:

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: E-bike in the Great Smoky Mountains – CyCrown E-bikes

9 Tips To Help Maintain Your RV Black Tank

9 Tips To Help Maintain Your RV Black Tank


9 Tips To Help Maintain Your RV Black Tank

by Jerry Neal | Aug 19, 2023

Using your RV blank tank does not have to be scary. Whether you’re a seasoned RV traveler or new to the world of camping, understanding how to maintain your RV black tank is crucial for a comfortable and enjoyable trip. From our 10 years of RV travel, we have created 9 tips to help you maintain your RV black tank. By following these tips you can to have a clean and well-maintained black tank so you can fully enjoy your RV travels without any unwanted odors or problems.

In the video below, we’ll walk you through the process of cleaning your RV’s black tank, provide expert tips, step-by-step instructions, and share answers to many of the RV black tank questions received from our YouTube comments or iLoveRVlife website contact page.

RV Black Tank Topics Covered In The Video

  1. Take care of your black tank – RV toilet paper, enzymes, and cleaning products.
  2. Your black tank needs water.
  3. Never leave your black tank dump valve open.
  4. Cleaning your black tank sensors.
  5. Black tank hoses and connectors.
  6. The 5 gallon bucket method.
  7. Black tank hose storage.
  8. Managing black tank hose storage container odor.
  9. Using a portable camper tote. a.ka. The Blue Boy

So don’t fear the RV black tank. With our 9 tips to help you maintain your RV black tank video, you’ll have the knowledge and confidence to keep your RV in top condition.

9 tips to help maintain your RV black tank

Helpful Links:

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: 9 Tips To Help Maintain Your RV Black Tank

Goldenmate 200Ah Lithium Battery – Great Value LiFePO4

Goldenmate 200Ah Lithium Battery – Great Value LiFePO4


Goldenmate 200Ah Lithium Battery – Great Value LiFePO4

by Jerry Neal | Aug 12, 2023

Over the last year of RV travel, we have become big fans of lithium batteries. We have reviewed a number of lithium battery manufacturers and had a great response finding quality products. The problem has been cost. Many viewers of our YouTube channel and from the responses from this website contact page have asked if there were others lithium options that were affordable. Our search lead use to the Goldenmate 200Ah Lithium Battery. This battery is well built, has the features that most need for RV travel, and at the time of this blog, one of the most affordable lithium batteries in the 200Ah category.

Why Use Lithium Batteries for RV Travel?

Lithium batteries are a great option to power the 12 volt devices in an RV and very proficient when it comes to powering traditional 120 volt AC appliances using an inverter. Much lighter that lead acid batteries, with zero maintenance, and where lead acid batteries can be discharged to 50% before damaging the cells, a lithium battery can be safely discharged to 90%.

The Goldenmate 200Ah Lithium Battery

The Goldenmate 200Ah Lithium Battery is a 12V LiFePO4 battery suitable for high-load and long-duration applications. Out testing found the performance was perfect for RV/outdoor camping. The LiFePO4 battery can withstand 5000+ cycles, which is more than 10 times the cycle life of traditional lead-acid batteries. The battery come with a built-in Battery Management System to safeguard against overcharging, over-discharging, overcurrent, overheating, and short circuits.

Features

Electrical Specifications
Nominal Voltage: 12.8V
Nominal Capacity: 200Ah (0.2C, 25°C)
Energy: 2560Wh
Resistance: ≤30mh
Cell Type: LiFePO₄

Mechanical Specifications
Dimensions: 20.55”L*9.45”W*8.58”H
Weight: 57.32LBS
Case Materials : ABS

Charge Specifications
Charge Voltage: 14.4V
Standard Charge Current: 40A
Maximum Charge Current: 100A

Discharge Specifications
Maximum Continuous Discharge Current: 120A
Discharge Cut-Off Voltage: About 10V

Temperature Specifications
Charge Temperature: 32 ℉ – 122 ℉
Discharge Temperature: -4 ℉ – 140 ℉
Storage Temperature: 32 ℉ – 112 ℉

We found the Goldenmate 200Ah Lithium Battery to be a cost effective and well performing battery for RV travel. As a standalone battery, there was ample capacity to power all the devices in the RV including our large residential refrigerator on long tows with power to spare.

Our thanks to Goldenmate for providing the lithium battery for our review. See the helpful links below if you would like to learn more or purchase a Goldenmate lithium battery for your RV travel needs.

Goldenmate 200Ah lithium battery

Helpful Links:

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: Goldenmate 200Ah Lithium Battery – Great Value LiFePO4

Stone Mountain Park Historic Square

Stone Mountain Park Historic Square


Stone Mountain Park Historic Square

by Jerry Neal | Aug 5, 2023

If you’re seeking a journey through time, a visit to the Stone Mountain Park Historic Square is a must. Located in the center of Stone Mountain Park, this historic square offers a glimpse into the past. The Square contains a collections of building moved from a number of Georgia locations that were built between 1792 and 1875. Each building was moved and was carefully restored to much of it original state along with a collection of furnishing that were contained in the original house.

The Evolution of Stone Mountain Park Historic Square

Located on the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia, the Stone Mountain Park Historic Square is a unique destination for history enthusiasts, families, and curious minds alike. This well-preserved area offers a window into the past, taking visitors back in time for a glimpse of life as it was in the 1800’s.

The Historic Square within Stone Mountain Park showcases the evolution of Southern culture and architecture. From its humble beginnings, it has grown into a meticulously curated representation of the past. The square’s buildings, pathways, and decor all reflect the changing times and the merging of cultures that shaped the region.

Some of the Historic Square Buildings:

  • Allen House from Bartow County, GA – Circa 1845
  • Dr. Chapmon Powell’s Cabin from Dekalb County, GA – Circa 1826
  • Thorton House from Greene County, GA – Circa 1792
  • Davis House from Calhoun, GA – Circa 1856
  • Powell Academy Schoolhouse from Dekalb County, GA – Circa 1875

As we toured the Historic Square, it was as though we stepped into a time machine. I’m a huge fan of 1800 architecture and seeing the construction of each home was a testament to the craftsmanship of the past. Viewing each home, I had to admire the intricate details of furniture, textiles, and household items that were an part of daily life in bygone era.

Visiting Stone Mountain Park

Surrounded by the natural beauty of Stone Mountain Park, the Historic Square is an ideal starting point for outdoor adventures. Whether you’re into hiking, picnicking, or simply soaking in breathtaking views, the park offers a multitude of outdoor activities.

This living museum captures the essence of Southern heritage and invites you to be a part of its ongoing story. The Stone Mountain Park Historic Square isn’t just for entertainment – it’s a valuable educational resource with an experience that makes history come alive.

Stone Mountain Park

Helpful Links:

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: Stone Mountain Park Historic Square

3 Great Outdoor Meals on the Monument Grill

3 Great Outdoor Meals on the Monument Grill


3 Great Outdoor Meals on the Monument Grill

by Jerry Neal | Jul 29, 2023

When we travel in our 5th wheel, we enjoy our grilling time. Over the years of RV travel we have tried a number of portable gas grills. We are on the road for over half of the year and longer, and use our portable grill weekly. From our last live YouTube broadcast, I mentioned we cook often in our travels and many commented they wanted to see what we cook. We thought it would be fun to show 3 great outdoor meals on the Monument Grill.

We’ve used and burned out more grills than we can count with the biggest issue being the burners usually lasting less than a year. Good news is we found Monument Grills. We have been using a Monument Grill for over a year and other than heavy use, it’s works as good as new. And if we have issues, it’s easy to purchase spare parts and they are reasonably priced.

In the video, we show two Monument Gas Grills. Don’t fast forward the video! We have a number of tips, plus our son Joel is a great chef and he shared some of his cooking tips. And as promised in the video, here is Joel’s Steak Marinade.

Joel’s Steak Marinade

  • 1 1/2 Cup Seet Red Wine
  • 1 1/2 Cup Italian Dressing
  • 1 Cup Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 Cup Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tbls Franks Hot Sauce
  • 1 Tbls Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tbls Onion Powder
  • 1 Tbls Kosher Salt

Stir briskly. Set in refrigerator for 1 hour before use. Marinade steaks 4 hours before grilling.

I mentioned we show two grills in the video. Along with the G22 Tabletop Grill, we also show the Mesa 400. Traveling in June and July, we noticed a number of RVs camping together. These large groups would gather nightly and cookout. Each brought a large residential style grill along to have ample cooking space. We liked the idea and being that we have had great results with the G22 Tabletop Grill, we contacted Monument to try their Mesa 400 4-burner grill.

Below are the features for both grills shown in the video.

Monument G22 | Stainless 2 Burner Tabletop Gas Grill

Monument G2 Tabletop GrillStainless steel body for easy cleaning and long-lasting quality. Two main stainless-steel burners with a total of 15,000 BTUs deliver fast and even heat and a great grilling experience. The design of the large front handle, locking lid, and four legs make this grill very portable, and easy to transport or store.

Features

  • Burners: Two independently controlled 304 stainless steel burners with 15,000 BTU to deliver powerful heat. Stainless flame tamers ensure even heat delivering great flavors.
  • Clear view lid is made of high heat tested, tempered glass that allows you to keep an eye on what you are cooking without letting heat out by opening the lid 200 square inches of the total cooking area offers plenty of grilling space.
  • Stainless steel cooking grates designed for even cooking.
  • Lightweight and Portable: Small in size, can be put RV storage area, ideal for outdoor cooking, camping, or traveling.
  • Versatile: Includes 40-inch hose to connect to 20lb Propane Tank(tank not included).
  • Easy to assemble and clean: Start a BBQ experience immediately without spending much time assembling. The removable drip tray and stainless-steel body are easy to clean after a barbecue.

Mesa 400 | 4-Burner Propane Gas Grill

Monument Mesa 400 Gas GrillFour burner gas grill upgraded with a viewing window keeps the slick design. High quality stainless classic sturdy design for durability, 4+1 burner design with 690 sq. cooking area plus 60,000 BTU keep the fast and even heat all the time.

Features

  • Burners: Four main 304 stainless steel burners and one stainless steel side burner with a total of 60,000 BTUs. Stainless flame tamers ensure even heat delivering great flavors.
  • Cooking Space: 690 square inches of the total cooking area. 480 square inches of primary cooking area and 210 square inches of warming rack area.
  • Grates: Porcelain cast-iron cooking grates designed for even cooking.
  • Construction: 430 stainless steel lid, firebox, door, and side shelves.
  • LED Control Knobs for increased visibility at night.
  • Electronic ignition system for easy burner starts.

Our thanks to Monument Gas Grills sending us the new G22 Table Top Grill and the Mesa 400 Gas for our review.  See the helpful links below for more information about these and other Monument Grills.

3 great outdoor meals on the monument grill

Helpful Links:

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: 3 Great Outdoor Meals on the Monument Grill

Stone Mountain Park GA – Campground, Great Nature, Fun Attractions

Stone Mountain Park GA – Campground, Great Nature, Fun Attractions


Stone Mountain Park GA – Campground, Great Nature, Fun Attractions

by Jerry Neal | Jul 22, 2023

Stone Mountain Park is a natural wonderland located just a short drive away from the center of downtown Atlanta, Georgia. The park spans over 3,200 acres and offers a variety of recreational activities and attractions. Whether you prefer RV camping with full hook-up sites or pitching a tent, Stone Mountain Campground offers a fun camping experience, surrounded by lush greenery and stunning views of Stone Mountain itself.

But, camping is just part of the experience at Stone Mountain Park. There is so much for the entire family to experience from hiking in nature, the trek to the top of Stone Mountain, great bike trails, fishing, nightly laser shows on the lawn, historic sites, two championship golf courses, ride the scenic railroad, visit the kids attraction park, and so much more.

Stone Mountain Campground

There are multiple campgrounds that range from large paved, full hook-up, big rig friendly sites, those that surround the pool and kids activity area, large wooded spots, tent camping along the edge of the lake, even yurts and camper rentals.

In the video below, we take you along for a brief review though some of the campgrounds. There are a wide variety of campgrounds with over 400 sites offering a wide variety of camping experiences. Site range from:

  • Very large “glamping” spots along the edge of the lake,
  • Big rig friendly, heavy wooded full hook-up sites,
  • Large and small sites around the pool and kid’s play area,
  • Wooded water and electric sites,
  • Beautiful tent sites along the lake, and
  • Yurt and camper rentals.

We had no problem finding a site in the mid-priced campground for our 42 foot Montana 5th wheel. Our site was located in L campground with wooded and graveled sites, full 50 amp hook-up with cable, picnic table, and grill. We liked the design of the campground providing ample space between the RVs along with the heavy wooded area giving us relief from the hot summer sun.

Stone Mountain Park Sites and Activities

In the video below we share some of the sites and activities we experienced during our stay. We had great bike rides, a stop at the old Grist Mill, on to the quarry exhibit, then off to lawn for a view of the mountain, the Stone Mountain Museum at Memorial Hall, and some of the attractions for the kids.

Here is a list of the some of the many amenities to experience at Stone Mountain Park.

  • Summit Skyride to the top of Stone Mountain
  • Historic Square: A Collection Of Georgia Homes and Antiques
  • Scenic Railroad: A 5 mile ride around Stone Mountain in open-air cars pulled by a full-size locomotive from the 1940’s.
  • Miniature golf course
  • 4D Theater
  • Geyser Splash Pad
  • Camp Highland Outpost: With rock walls to climb and a low ropes course with multiple line bridges
  • SkyHike®: Experience treetops on one of the nation’s largest family adventure courses
  • Fishing in Stone Mountain Lake
  • Two 18-Hole golf courses
  • Abundance of walk, Jog and bike trails
  • Visit the Covered bridge, a historical pine and cedar bridge
  • Tour the grounds of the centuries old Grist Mill
  • And so much more!

Stone Mountain Park is one of those special destinations that Joan and I enjoy visiting again and again. The Park is that special place to escape for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike. With its wide variety of campground offerings, the picturesque surroundings, a extensive list of recreational activities, and the many fun family attractions, it promises an unforgettable experience for all ages.

Stone Mountain Park

Helpful Links:

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: Stone Mountain Park GA – Campground, Great Nature, Fun Attractions

Joel’s 1st e-bike ride

Joel’s 1st e-bike ride


Joel’s 1st e-bike ride

by Jerry Neal | Jul 15, 2023

Thinking about your first e-bike? View the short video below of our son Joel’s 1st e-bike ride. And in true fashion, Joel likes to go all out and push the limits. His suggestion was “Hey Pops, let’s ride 30 miles!” And that’s exactly what we did.

The Florida Rails to Trails

We found a great trail, The Florida Rails to Trails, that started on the edge of New Smyrna Beach, FL and stretched to Titusville. As much as we want to go end -to-end on the trails, we road the e-bikes for 30 miles on this hot summer day. A beautiful ride with great scenery and abundance of wildlife. The trail is paved and there are virtually no hills, just a great ride to experience nature at its best.

HOVSCO HOVBeta

Joel road Joan’s new purple HOVSCO HOVBeta e-bike. The HOVSCO HOVBeta is a great companion for RV travel. This e-bike is foldable, portable and storable is a step-through style. We found the HOVBeta easiy to fold and place in our 5th wheel storage bay. With 4″ fat tires, a front suspension fork, and a 750W motor, we found the HovBeta preformed exceptionally well on pavement as well recent mountain trail runs.

Features include:

  • 750w Upgraded hub motor
  • 720Wh Samsung/LG battery
  • Weighs 66.4 lbs
  • Speeds up to 28mph after downloading app
  • Capable range of 60 miles on a single charge
  • Hydraulic disc brakes
  • SHIMANO 7 speed shift
  • 5 torque sensor pedal assist settings
  • Throttle on demand

Our thanks to HOVSCO providing the HOVSCO e-bike for our evaluation. If you’re interested in purchasing one of HOVSCO quality e-bikes, see the helpful links below.

Joel's 1st e-bike ride

Helpful Links:

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: Joel’s 1st e-bike ride

North Georgia Farm Stands, Honey and Fireworks

North Georgia Farm Stands, Honey and Fireworks


North Georgia Farm Stands, Honey and Fireworks

by Jerry Neal | Jul 8, 2023

One of the RV travel adventures that Joan and I enjoy during the summer months is visiting farms and the large farmers markets. During our recent trip, we visited several North Georgia Farms and Farm Stands that were outstanding. Our first stop was Jaemor Farms located on Hwy 23 near Lula, GA. Our second stop was as Allison’s Honey & Vineyard just a short drive from our stay at Leisure Acres Campground. And our last stop was one of our favorites, the Tomato House located on Hwy 115 halfway between Cleveland and Dahlonega, GA.

In our video, we also share a few short excepts from Leisure Acres Campground annual Freedom fest. This was a fun afternoon into the evening event with a powerful patriot theme along with one of the largest fireworks displays held in North Georgia.

Jaemor Farms

This was our first trip to Jaemor Farms and it did not disappoint. The farmers market is adjacent to one of the family farms a few miles north on Hwy 23 near Lula, GA. The farm has been in the family since 1912 growing fresh fruits and produce.

The stalls were loaded with all of our favorites along with an extensive selection of local jams, jellies, salsas, fresh bread and so much more. We cheated a little before we left and visited their cafe offering sandwiches, homemade fried pies and soft ice cream. Oh and the cheat – we had fried apple pie and peach ice cream for lunch.

Allison’s Honey & Vineyard

Allison’s Honey was another first and we thought this visit would be to satisfy our honey craving, but we also found an assortment of estate wines and mead.

We spent a few hours talking with our host about the wide assortment of delicious honeys, plus sampled there latest meads and wine. We did walk away with the standard wild flower and sour wood honeys, but my new favorite was mimosa honey.

The Tomato House

We have been visiting the Tomato House for sometime. Just a few miles from our annual visit at Leisure Acres Campground in Cleveland, GA, we affectionately refer to The Tomato House as Farmers Market eclectic.

Joan always has to stop outside first to investigate all of the mountain decorations for our porch and yard. Then as we walk inside we find a wide assortment of fresh produce and so much more. Our first stop is the wine area to see if we can find any deals on some of our favorite North Georgia wines, and yes we found the deals. Then its off to buy some of the unique jams, salsas, sauces and so much more. If we really want to treat ourselves, we visit the meat counter and have a thick steak cut from their hand select Iowa beef.

Freedom Fest at Leisure Acres Campground

For more than 10 years, John and Peggy Morris, the owners of Leisure Acres Campground have created a patriotic celebration that is held the week before the 4th of July. We were invited this year to attend where we provided a the video services for a Facebook live event on the Leisure Acres Campground Facebook page. We will include a link to the video in the Helpful Links below. The event includes a number of vendors offering various fanfare along with great food. Also, there is a wide assortment of inflatables for the kids.

The 5 hour celebration provided a mixture of single and group acts with contemporary Christian themed music and touching patriotic presentations including a tribute to all who served in the various branches of the military. The grand finally was one of the largest fireworks displays held in North Georgia. It was a great evening for the several thousands who attended.

I’ve provided links below for the places visited and the video from Leisure Acres Freedom Fest.

north georgia farms video

Helpful Links:

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: North Georgia Farm Stands, Honey and Fireworks

Using the ActiveStart Soft Start 50 Amp

Using the ActiveStart Soft Start 50 Amp


Using the ActiveStart Soft Start 50 Amp

by Jerry Neal | Jul 1, 2023

Traditional RV power systems often face significant stress when starting high-demand appliances such as air conditioners or refrigerators. The Active Control ActiveStart 50 Amp Soft Start, significantly reduces this high amperage in-rush. The soft start feature gently ramps up the power preventing sudden high amperage spikes caused by the demands of appliance compressors when connected to portable generators, 30 Amp campground pedestals, or a 15 Amp home circuit.

Energy Efficiency

The ActiveStart 50 Amp Soft Start is designed with energy efficiency in mind. By gradually introducing power to an RV’s electrical system, it prevents high amperage surges caused by the compressors found in appliances such air conditioners and refrigerators. This is beneficial when the RV is connected to a small generator or 30 Amp campground power. Minimizing this surge prevents small generators for going into overload or a tripped circuit breaker in the campground 30 Amp connection. With this in-rush surge eliminated, other 120V devices can be used within the parameters of the amperage available without overloading the power connections.

Compact and Easy Installation

The ActiveStart 50 Amp Soft Start is designed for hassle-free RV installation. The ActiveStart is universal and can be used with any 50 Amp RV, or connected to 30 Amp power with a 30-50 Amp adapter, or connected to most common household circuits with a 15-50 Amp adapter.

No wiring is required. This plug-in unit is completely self contained with two soft start devices each serving both 50 Amp L1 and L2 circuits. No costly external wiring to the air conditioners are required. Just plug the unit into a generator or campground power and the soft start function is ready to use.

Enhanced Power Management

Another benefit of the ActiveStart 50 Amp Soft Start is its enhance power management capability. This all-in-one power management device not only provides a 50A RV soft start capability, but also provide surge protection and energy management. The unit will monitor system health including current, voltage, and frequency. An easy to use mobile app is available for iOS and Android giving real time readings of power used for each 50A leg.

Cost-Effective Solution

When compared to hard wire soft start solutions, the ActiveStart 50 Amp Soft Start provides a competitive solution. Adding up the cost for two hardwired soft starts, installation of each by a qualified RV technician, along with the Bluetooth power management and surge protection, and the ability to use with any RV, the ActiveStart 50 Amp is a great option for the RV traveler.

ActiveStart 50 Amp Soft Start Specifications

  • Inputs: L1, L2, N and Ground
  • Nominal Voltage: 120-230 VAC, 50-60 Hz
  • Over Voltage Limits: 132 VAC per leg
  • Under Voltage Limits: 103 VAC per leg
  • Surge Protection: 5250 Joules
  • Current: Maximum nominal= 50 Amps
  • Over Current Limits: ACS50xx = 53A
  • Operating Temperature: -4ºF to 176ºF (-20ºC to 80ºC)
  • Storage Temperature: -40ºF to 149ºF (-20ºC to 65ºC)
  • Humidity: 5-95% Non-condensing.
  • Weight: 3 Lbs. (1.36kg)
  • Warranty: One year limited warranty (standard)

The ActiveStart 50 Amp Soft Start is an essential component for any RV traveler looking to optimize their power management and enhance their overall RV experience. With its ability to mitigate power surges, reduce electrical stress, improve energy efficiency, and protect sensitive electronics and appliances, the ActiveStart 50 Amp Soft Start complete energy management package provided in a simple to use plug-able device.

We have provided the video below with our testing results of this unit. Our thanks to Active Control for providing the ActiveStart 50 Amp Soft Start for our evaluation. If you are interested in knowing more about the Active Control Soft Start units, see our helpful links below.

Traditional RV power systems often face significant stress when starting high-demand appliances such as air conditioners or refrigerators. The Active Control ActiveStart 50 Amp Soft Start, significantly reduces this high amperage in-rush. The soft start feature gently ramps up the power preventing sudden high amperage spikes caused by the demands of appliance compressors when connected to portable generators, 30 Amp campground pedestals, or a 15 Amp home circuit.

Energy Efficiency

The ActiveStart 50 Amp Soft Start is designed with energy efficiency in mind. By gradually introducing power to an RV’s electrical system, it prevents high amperage surges caused by the compressors found in appliances such air conditioners and refrigerators. This is beneficial when the RV is connected to a small generator or 30 Amp campground power. Minimizing this surge prevents small generators for going into overload or a tripped circuit breaker in the campground 30 Amp connection. With this in-rush surge eliminated, other 120V devices can be used within the parameters of the amperage available without overloading the power connections.

Compact and Easy Installation

The ActiveStart 50 Amp Soft Start is designed for hassle-free RV installation. The ActiveStart is universal and can be used with any 50 Amp RV, or connected to 30 Amp power with a 30-50 Amp adapter, or connected to most common household circuits with a 15-50 Amp adapter.

No wiring is required. This plug-in unit is completely self contained with two soft start devices each serving both 50 Amp L1 and L2 circuits. No costly external wiring to the air conditioners are required. Just plug the unit into a generator or campground power and the soft start function is ready to use.

Enhanced Power Management

Another benefit of the ActiveStart 50 Amp Soft Start is its enhance power management capability. This all-in-one power management device not only provides a 50A RV soft start capability, but also provide surge protection and energy management. The unit will monitor system health including current, voltage, and frequency. An easy to use mobile app is available for iOS and Android giving real time readings of power used for each 50A leg.

Cost-Effective Solution

When compared to hard wire soft start solutions, the ActiveStart 50 Amp Soft Start provides a competitive solution. Adding up the cost for two hardwired soft starts, installation of each by a qualified RV technician, along with the Bluetooth power management and surge protection, and the ability to use with any RV, the ActiveStart 50 Amp is a great option for the RV traveler.

ActiveStart 50 Amp Soft Start Specifications

  • Inputs: L1, L2, N and Ground
  • Nominal Voltage: 120-230 VAC, 50-60 Hz
  • Over Voltage Limits: 132 VAC per leg
  • Under Voltage Limits: 103 VAC per leg
  • Surge Protection: 5250 Joules
  • Current: Maximum nominal= 50 Amps
  • Over Current Limits: ACS50xx = 53A
  • Operating Temperature: -4ºF to 176ºF (-20ºC to 80ºC)
  • Storage Temperature: -40ºF to 149ºF (-20ºC to 65ºC)
  • Humidity: 5-95% Non-condensing.
  • Weight: 3 Lbs. (1.36kg)
  • Warranty: One year limited warranty (standard)

The ActiveStart 50amp Soft Start is an essential component for any RV traveler looking to optimize their power management and enhance their overall RV experience. With its ability to mitigate power surges, reduce electrical stress, improve energy efficiency, and protect sensitive electronics and appliances, the ActiveStart 50 Amp Soft Start complete energy management package provided in a simple to use plug-able device.

We have provided the video below with our testing results of this unit. Our thanks to Active Control for providing the ActiveStart 50amp Soft Start for our evaluation. If you are interested in knowing more about the Active Control Soft Start units, see our helpful links below.

softstart 50 amp

Helpful Links:

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: Using the ActiveStart Soft Start 50 Amp

12 Tips From a Seasoned RV Traveler

12 Tips From a Seasoned RV Traveler


12 Tips From a Seasoned RV Traveler

by Jerry Neal | Jun 24, 2023

Joan and I have been traveling in an RV for almost 10 years and covered many thousands of miles. Prior to our RV travels I was a large infrastructure telecommunications engineer and operations specialist and traveled throughout the US, Canada, Central America, and the Caribbean with over 2 million air miles and many thousands of hotel stays. Having this experience we have developed a number of tasks that we rely on for our RV travel. I’ll be brief with each tip for the reader of this blog, provide a description, and hope you’ll watch the video for more information. The video covers each tip along with steps and our experiences as to why these are important. We hope you find our 12 Tips From a Seasoned RV Traveler helpful.

The 12 Tips From a Seasoned RV Traveler

1.Plan Your Trip

There are a number of factors why it’s important to plan your trip. Popular campgrounds fill up quick especially during holidays or for those popular locations. If traveling on a long trip, it’s important to know the distances traveling each day and ensure you have an overnight stop or enjoy a few days off the road to recoup and take in a few sites.

2. Follow the 330 Rule

We learned this rule quickly during our first year of travel. The 330 rule is to stop at the campground at 3:30 in the afternoon or after 330 miles of travel, whichever comes first. Of course there are times this is exceeded, but we try to make these rare occasions. The rule reduces travel fatigue and provides time to arrive at the campground during daylight hours to park and set up the RV.

3. Prepare Your RV and Your Tow Vehicle Before The Trip

When it comes to preparing your RV and tow vehicle before a trip we’ve found it’s a best practice to have a checklist of those important tasks to complete before travel. It’s easy to get busy or distracted and then when arriving at the campground something was forgotten or a task was overlooked. In the video we address some of the more important items to consider before leaving on you next RV adventure.

4. Weather Plans

What to do during rainy days? Preparing things to entertain the kids if a day or two are washed out. No kids traveling with you? Ok, we still need to get out of the small space if nothing more than dining out or a short stop during the day at one of the local shops. And what if the pending weather is sever? A plan B is very important to salvage the trip and ensure everyone’s safety.

5. Postponing Travel

Postponing RV travel happens. It’s unfortunate, but life can get in the way. A health issue rises, a family emergency, there are those events not planned, but require action that can cancel or require the trip to be rescheduled. Before making a reservation, understand the terms and conditions for canceling or postponing the stay. The more popular locations may have a no cancellation policy, or may be have forfeit of deposit, or a fee to rescheduled.

6. Campground Research

Yes, we’ve gotten burnt in our RV travels trusting the campgrounds website and not doing our research. We use Google and TripAdvisor reviews first knowing these are not sponsored by the campground. We use the “9 or of 10 rule” when we read the reviews and consider what was said in the negative comments. We use the campground review apps and websites as well, but compare these along with the other reviews mentions for the best picture.

7. Distractions are a Potential for Disaster

It’s of the most importance that we pay attention to the road as we drive these long and very heavy RVs. We have to remember that it can take several hundred feet to stop and adding a few seconds in response while being distracted can be the difference in safely avoiding a bad situation or a driving into a disaster. Stay off the tech and use your co-pilot. Both will allow you to focus on the road.

8. Travel With Empty Tanks

We should always travel with empty black and gray tanks. There’s no reason to leave a campground with full tanks. And consider traveling with empty water tanks. Water weighs 8.34 lbs per gallon and a full tank impacts gas mileage and adds wear and tear to the RV. Consider using the gallon jug method we discuss in the video. We’ve done this for most of our travel and never had an issue.

9. Managing Your RV Weight

When it comes to managing your RV weight we recommend a vehicle’s tow capacity that exceeds the RV weight by 30% or more. This will ensure there’s both power to climb those long and steep inclines and give added weight and break capacity as the RV pushes the tow vehicle back down the incline. Also, don’t exceed the weight of the RV. It adds up quickly with full propane tanks, food, and all the items brought along for the trip.

10. Sticks and Bricks Chores

Start these chores a week to 10 days before the trip. Waiting till the last minute adds stress and fatigue to the beginning of the trip. In the video we share a number of items and why each are important.

11. One Year Clutter Review

I think it’s part of human nature. We just allow things not used to build up for that “just in case”. The problem is just in case never occurs and we end up with clutter and in some cases, added weight to our RV. We have a rule that if we haven’t used in a year, then we either give away or store at home. This doesn’t apply to emergency items or important tools.

12. Communications

It’s important to share your travel itinerary with a trusted family member or friend. Give them copies, write it down, or in our case we have our travel dates added to a Google Calendar and in the information area we add the campground address and phone number. The calendar also gives us the ability to share with that trusted family member or friend. We also use the locate app on our phones with the same family or friend. They can see where we are in real time in case we haven’t checked in along our travels. There are times when RV travel takes us to locations with no cell coverage. The Garmin InReach Mini 2 is a great device that uses satellite technology giving the ability to message, send SOS with location, and more at a very reasonable monthly price.

I hope you found these 12 tips from a seasoned RV traveler helpful. For more in depth discussion of each, watch the video below as we also share the importance from our RV travel experience. In the video we mention a number of other videos and blogs that you may find helpful on your RV travels. We provided these in the helpful links below.

12 tips from an rv traveler

Helpful Links:

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: 12 Tips From a Seasoned RV Traveler

Uncover a Winter Wonderland: 10 Must-See RV Destinations for a Wintry Road Trip Adventure

Uncover a Winter Wonderland: 10 Must-See RV Destinations for a Wintry Road Trip Adventure

Image Credit: Ark PP / flickr

As the winter season approaches, the idea of embarking on a road trip adventure with an RV may seem counterintuitive to many. However, the winter season can bring about a unique and exciting opportunity to explore some of America’s most beautiful national parks and scenic routes. In this article, we will uncover the top 10 must-see RV destinations for a wintry road trip adventure, including tips for RVing in the winter, recommended RV campsites and services, and descriptions of the parks’ winter scenery and activities.

 

Uncover a Winter Wonderland 10 Must-See RV Destinations for a Wintry Road Trip Adventure- Yellowstone
Image Credit:
Yellowstone National Park / flickr

Destination 1: Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park, located in Wyoming, is a winter wonderland that transforms into a snowy paradise in the colder months. Visitors can enjoy cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and even ice fishing. RVers can take advantage of the park’s numerous campgrounds, with options ranging from rustic to modern. Some of the recommended RV campsites include Madison, Canyon, and Grant Village.

 

Uncover a Winter Wonderland 10 Must-See RV Destinations for a Wintry Road Trip Adventure- Glacier National Park
Image Credit:
National Park Service

Destination 2: Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park, located in Montana, is another popular winter destination for RVers. The park boasts picturesque views of snow-capped mountains, frozen lakes, and icy waterfalls. Visitors can participate in winter activities such as snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and ice fishing. RVers can stay at Apgar, Fish Creek, or St. Mary campgrounds.

 

Uncover a Winter Wonderland 10 Must-See RV Destinations for a Wintry Road Trip Adventure- Rocky Mountain
Image Credit:
National Park Service

Destination 3: Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park, located in Colorado, offers visitors a winter wonderland with numerous winter sports and activities, such as snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and sledding. RVers can stay at campgrounds such as Moraine Park, Glacier Basin, and Aspenglen.

 

Uncover a Winter Wonderland 10 Must-See RV Destinations for a Wintry Road Trip Adventure-Acadia National Park
Image Credit:
National Park Service

Destination 4: Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park, located in Maine, offers a unique and tranquil winter experience with scenic views of snow-covered forests and frozen lakes. Visitors can engage in winter sports such as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and ice fishing. The park’s Blackwoods Campground offers RVers amenities such as electrical hookups and heated restrooms.

 

Uncover a Winter Wonderland 10 Must-See RV Destinations for a Wintry Road Trip Adventure-Joshua Tree National Park
Image Credit: National Park Service /
Raw Pixel

Destination 5: Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park, located in California, offers RVers a unique desert winter experience. Visitors can enjoy mild temperatures, clear skies, and breathtaking views of the park’s unique rock formations. Winter activities in the park include hiking, rock climbing, and stargazing. RVers can stay at Black Rock, Indian Cove, or Cottonwood campgrounds.

Uncover a Winter Wonderland 10 Must-See RV Destinations for a Wintry Road Trip Adventure-Bryce Canyon National Park
Image Credit:
Rob Lee /flickr

Destination 6: Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park, located in Utah, offers a unique and stunning winter experience with its red rock formations contrasted against white snow. Visitors can participate in winter activities such as snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. The park’s North and Sunset campgrounds offer RVers access to electrical hookups and heated restrooms.

 

Uncover a Winter Wonderland 10 Must-See RV Destinations for a Wintry Road Trip Adventure-Big Bend National Park
Image Credit:
Jonathan Cutrer / flickr

Destination 7: Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park, located in Texas, offers RVers a unique and quiet winter experience with its vast desert landscape and clear skies. Winter activities in the park include hiking, birdwatching, and stargazing. The park’s Rio Grande Village campground offers RVers access to electrical hookups and heated restrooms.

 

Uncover a Winter Wonderland 10 Must-See RV Destinations for a Wintry Road Trip Adventure-Great Sand Dunes National Park
Image Credit:
NPS Natural Resources / flickr

Destination 8: Great Sand Dunes National Park

Great Sand Dunes National Park, located in Colorado, offers a unique winter experience with its snow-covered sand dunes and breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. Winter activities in the park include sledding, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. The park’s Pinon Flats campground offers RVers access to electrical hookups and heated restrooms.

 

Uncover a Winter Wonderland 10 Must-See RV Destinations for a Wintry Road Trip Adventure-Mount Rainier National Park
Image Credit:
Mount Rainier National Park / flickr

Destination 9: Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier National Park, located in Washington, offers a unique and stunning winter experience with its snow-covered mountain and serene winter landscapes. Winter activities in the park include snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and sledding. RVers can stay at campgrounds such as Cougar Rock, Ohanapecosh, and White River.

 

Uncover a Winter Wonderland 10 Must-See RV Destinations for a Wintry Road Trip Adventure-Denali National Park
Image Credit:
Denali National Park and Preserve / flickr

Destination 10: Denali National Park

Denali National Park, located in Alaska, offers a unique and exhilarating winter experience with its rugged terrain and abundant wildlife. Visitors can engage in winter activities such as dog sledding, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing. RVers can stay at Riley Creek, Savage River, or Teklanika River campgrounds.

 

Takeaway

Embarking on a wintry road trip adventure with an RV can be a unique and unforgettable experience, and America’s national parks offer some of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring winter scenery in the world. From Yellowstone National Park to Denali National Park, each of these 10 destinations provides visitors with a unique and stunning winter experience. To plan a successful winter RV trip, it’s important to be well-prepared and equipped with the necessary gear and supplies. Additionally, it’s important to check road and weather conditions before embarking on the trip.

 

FAQs

Is it safe to RV in the winter?
Yes, RVing in the winter can be safe as long as you are well-prepared and equipped with the necessary gear and supplies. It’s important to check road and weather conditions before embarking on the trip and to stay informed about any potential hazards.

What are some winter activities to do in national parks?
Winter activities in national parks can include snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, sledding, ice fishing, snowmobiling, and more. Check with each individual park for specific winter activities and recommendations.

Are there any specific RV campsites recommended for winter RVing?
Yes, many national parks offer specific RV campsites that are open year-round and equipped with amenities such as electrical hookups and heated restrooms. Some recommended campsites for winter RVing include Madison Campground in Yellowstone National Park and Apgar Campground in Glacier National Park.

What kind of gear and supplies do I need for a winter RV trip?
Some essential gear and supplies for a winter RV trip include warm clothing, snow boots, tire chains, a shovel, and extra food and water. Additionally, it’s important to ensure that your RV is equipped with a functioning heating system and adequate insulation.

How can I prepare my RV for winter RVing?
To prepare your RV for winter RVing, it’s important to ensure that all of its systems and components are functioning properly. This may include checking the heating system, water and plumbing systems, and tires. Additionally, it’s important to insulate the RV and seal any potential air leaks to ensure maximum warmth and comfort.

CyCrown E-bike Florida Rails to Trail Ride

CyCrown E-bike Florida Rails to Trail Ride


CyCrown E-bike Florida Rails to Trail Ride

by Jerry Neal | Jun 17, 2023

In recent years, the demand for electric bikes has soared, driven by a growing interest especially within the RV community. We had the recent opportunity to evaluate the CycFree CyCrown e-bike on the East Central Regional Rail Trail starting at New Smyrna, FL. We found the CyCrown e-bike to be well made, with a sleek design and offered exceptional performance for the 30 miles traveled.

CycFree CyCrown E-Bike

CycFree CyCrown E-Bike Electric Motor

Cycrown E-bikeThe CyCrown CycFree E-bike features a 500W electric motor that provides seamless power assistance while pedaling. The motor offers multiple levels of assistance, allowing riders to customize their riding experience according to their preferences and the terrain they are traversing. We found the e-bike was able to tackle steep hills, accelerating quickly in traffic, all while delivering a smooth and efficient ride.

CycFree CyCrown E-Bike Battery Life

One of the key advantages of the CyCrown CycFree Electric Bike is its impressive battery life. Equipped with a high-capacity lithium-ion battery, we were able travel significant distances on a single charge. We felt confident that we could take long trips without worrying about running out of power.

CycFree CyCrown E-Bike Construction

For RV travel we found the CyCrown CycFree E-bike’s lightweight and durable construction made it easy to maneuver and transport with the folding frame and handle bars. We were able easily store the e-bike in our 5th wheel main storage compartment.

CycFree CyCrown E-Bike Intelligent LCD Display

One of our favorite CyCrown CycFree E-bike features was the intelligent LCD display that provided essential information during our trip. The display showed data such as speed, distance traveled, battery level, and the selected power assistance mode. This feature allowed us to stay informed and make adjustments to optimize our riding experience.

CycFree Cycrown E-bike Features

The CycFree e-bike is equipped with a 48V 20AH removable battery. The 54.6V 3A fast charger makes it possible to fully charge the electric bike in 5-6 hours, and the maximum range with that charge is up to 75 miles.

  • Equipped with a 500W 48V motor, strong and consistent power, with 5 power settings.
  • Supports a pedal assist mode assist as you pedal the bicycle.
  • Includes a fully electric mode with a twist the throttle to power up the bicycle.
  • Operates as a standard pedal bicycle as found in a non-electric bicycle.
  • Distances on a fully charged battery vary depending on the mode. Pure Electric: 42-53 miles, Pedal Assist: 53-75 miles, and Normal Bike: unlimited. The max speed is 20 MPH.
  • Equipped with 20″ x 4” puncture-resistant tires, Shimano 7-speed, and dual shock absorbers.

Our thanks to CyCrown providing us with the CycFree E-bike for this review. We found the e-bike with it’s cutting-edge features and reliable performance to be a great addition for our RV outdoor adventures.

East Central Regional Rail Trail New Smyrna, FL

The East Central Regional Rail Trail is a hidden gem nestled in the heart of New Smyrna Beach, FL. Spanning over 50 miles, this picturesque trail follows the route of a former railway line, offering a unique blend of natural beauty and historical significance. Whether you’re a nature lover, seeking a bike trail, or simply looking for an adventure, this rail trail offers a great experience for the outdoor enthusiast.

Trail head

Our e-bike journey began at the New Smyrna, FL trail head. As we started our ride on the trail, we were immediately greeted by a sense of tranquility and anticipation. The trail head serves as the gateway to an unforgettable adventure along the East Central Regional Rail Trail.

Natural Beauty

As we ventured further along the trail, we were captivated by the sheer beauty of the surroundings. The trail started with lush green forests, offering a refreshing escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. One of the highlights of the East Central Regional Rail Trail is the opportunity to encounter diverse wildlife. We saw a bird species and abundance of snapping turtles,

Picnic Spots

The East Central Regional Rail Trail offered numerous scenic picnic spots where we were able to rest, refuel, and enjoy a meal in nature’s beauty. What a treat to be surrounded by breathtaking views and the soothing sounds of the wilderness.

A Biking Paradise

The East Central Regional Rail Trail had a smooth paved, well-maintained surface, perfect for e-bikes and cyclists of all levels.

The East Central Regional Rail Trail starting in New Smyrna Beach, FL, is a true gem that seamlessly blends natural beauty and historical significance. From its breathtaking landscapes to its rich wildlife and intriguing history, this trail has something for everyone. Whether you’re touring on an e-bike, an avid cyclist, a nature enthusiast, or a history buff, the East Central Regional Rail Trail promises an unforgettable adventure.

CyCrown E-bike

Helpful Links:

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: CyCrown E-bike Florida Rails to Trail Ride

10 Items for Your RV Emergency Kit

10 Items for Your RV Emergency Kit


10 Items for Your RV Emergency Kit

by Jerry Neal | Jun 10, 2023

Joan and I have been traveling in an RV almost 10 years with tens of thousands of miles adding to our adventure. Starting day one of our travels we developed an emergency kit for those unforeseen events that may occur that would aid us in staying safe as well as allow us to make repairs within our skills so we could continue our travels. In the 10 items you need for your emergency kit we discuss below, we don’t address those items that would be equipped from the RV manufacturer such as fire extinguishers or that ever important Mom’s first aid kit. This RV Emergency Kit contains a number of tools and safety equipment that we have acquired over time and use either for our needs or coming to the aid of a fellow RV traveler.

Before I start the list, allow me to address RV preparation before you start traveling. If something is suspect that may give you trouble with the tow vehicle or RV, have it checked out weeks before you leave on the trip. You’ve planned for weeks or months for this trip so don’t let known problems attention fail on the road or at the campground that should be resolved and run the potential of ruining your RV adventure.

1. Eternabond Tape

Eternabond Tape is perfect for the RV Emergency Kit if roof damage every occurs. While rare, but it happens, large tree limbs can become dislodged and fall into the RV causing wholes or tears in the roof fabric. Eternabond Tape provides a quick and permanent solution to patch a roof quickly.

Eternabond Tape is a Micro Sealant tape that will stop virtually any leak and can water proof any surface in minutes. We carry a 4 inch by 20 foot roll and on two occasions had to make emergency repairs to roof damage. Eternabond Tape can be used to seal any rip, tear, or open seam in any surface and can be use on all roof types including EPDM, TPO, hypalon, most PVC, fiber glass and all metals.

2. Lap Sealant

As with the previously mention Eternabond Tape, a good quality lap sealant is important as part of your RV emergency kit. Do not use a silicone or calk designed for home use on your RV. Lap sealants are designed for the various types of RV roofing materials and remain pliable to withstand movement subjected to RV travel. A lap sealant is used to create a water tight seal along the roofs edges, vents, RV trim and screw heads. It cures fast and is highly weather resistant that will not shrink, remaining flexible over time.

For RVs with EPDM and TPO roof we’ve found Dicor 501LSW-1 Epdm Self-Leveling Lap Sealant works well. This also works well on fiber glass and aluminum. For those who have PVC roofs, use a XTRM-PLY PVC lap sealant.

3. Spare RV Tire

This part of the RV Emergency Kit that always generates a number of opinions around the campfire. Some take the path that all is needed is a flat tire puncture kit where a glue infused string is inserted into a hole in the tire created by a nail. Here’s the problem. Most RV tires require 65lbs to 110lbs of pressure. Many portable 12V air compressor will take hours to fill a flat tire to the lower pressures and most don’t have the capacity for time needing the higher pressures.

In our experience, we’ve had two tires that completely exploded and a third that had a tear in the treads where a puncture kit wouldn’t work. Our only alternative as a spare tire to continue our trip.

4. Bottle Jack and a ½ Inch Breaker Bar

Continuing the discussion of replacing a flat or damaged tire, those who have the basic skill and physical ability to replace a car tire can also replace a tire on most RVs. That is with the exception of a large Class A motor home. In the instance of a Class A, these are very large, very heavy tires, have large lugs and require specialty equipment to replace.

We have a 4 ton bottle jack. These are relatively inexpensive and are capable of lifting the axle of most 1, 2 and 3 axle RVs for tire replacement. We also have a couple 12 inch 2x10s in the event we are one soft or uneven soil and need a firm base for the jack.

We also carry a ½ inch drive breaker bar that is 36 inches long with a socket to match the lugs on our 5th wheel. There are times that it’s almost impossible to remove RV lugs with a 4-way lug wrench or worse with a tire iron.

Having the ability to replace a RV tire when traveling can save many hours sitting on the side of the road waiting on a service to render aid along with the substantial savings of doing it yourself.

5. Bottle water and Golf Umbrella

This part of the RV Emergency Kit may sound odd, but if an event ever occurs where your RV has broken down and it will be hours until help can arrive, a large golf umbrella and bottle water will be your saving grace. We’ve had two instances where we had to wait over 3 hours in the hot sun, on the side of the road waiting on a service call. I’ve never thought it was safe to sit in a vehicle on the side of a road for any period of time (we’ve all seen those catastrophic videos on YouTube). Having portable shade and hydration is very important if you have to face this experience in your RV travels.

6. Road Safety Triangle Kit

This is the last item I’ll discuss as part of the RV Emergency Kit for those events where your RV is disable along the side of the road. We all know the importance of using the emergency flashers, but that isn’t enough. We all see the long haul trucker using road safety triangles along the Interstate. Using several road safety reflective triangles spaced 10 to 15 feet apart from the back of the RV gives oncoming traffic better visibility with the hopes of additional space. This becomes more critical if a breakdown occurs and you are traveling at night.

7. Quality Bright Flashlight

A quality flash light need not cost a hundred dollars nor should it be one of those 99 cent specials from the grocery counter. My preference is an aluminum, weather proof flashlight that has at least 600 lumens of output and operates on standard batteries versus those that are rechargeable. We keep a couple in the ton truck in the door side pockets and a couple more inside the 5th wheel. These lights are easy to find at most big box stores for less than $30 and we carry a few extra batteries just in case. Perfect for those times if you arrive in a dark campground and need a little extra visibility find that camping spot.

8. Basic Tool Kit

A tool kit is important to fix basic problems that may arise. I’m not going to be performing major truck repairs, but I had to replace the two 12V batteries. We keep a small 3/8 inch socket set in metric and SAE for such instances.

We also have a digital volt meter to troubleshoot small electrical problems like a blown fuse or if we experience power problems at the 50 amp pedestal. And speaking of fuses, they always seem to pop when needed most. We have one of every type for the 5th wheel and our truck.

A small, inexpensive batter powered drill is handy for basic repairs along with our 11-in-1 screw driver, zip ties, and a few other simple tools we’ve acquired along the way.

Here’s a tip. Don’t go out and purchase every tool you’ll think you may need. Carry a few basics and as repairs are needed for something new, purchase and you have on hand if the need ever occurs again.

9. Weather Radio

I can’t stress enough the importance of a weather radio as part of your RV Emergency Kit. We have a Midland – WR120B – NOAA Emergency Weather Alert Radio and it has been our best friend during sever weather. The radio is a Public-alert certified monitor that receives 7 NOAA channels with flood, tornado, thunderstorm, and other warnings. It is easy to configure as you travel state to state, county to county, with alerts only when specific counties are threatened. In addition to standard AC power, it uses three AA alkaline batteries for emergency power back-up in the event of power outage.

10. Portable Power Station & Solar Panel

A lithium portable power station may seem like one of those items that will be rarely used or is too expensive. The good news is these units come in a wide variety of sizes that range from something slightly larger than a kids lunch box to more powerful units in the range of a small suitcase, with varying power ratings, outputs for devices, and cost. It all depends on how long you may want to power the devices needed and the wattage of the devices to be powered. One note, while these will handle most power needs such as TVs, appliances, residential refrigerators, phones, tablets, computers, and CPAP machines, they are not practical to power an air conditioner.

These portable powered generators can be charged with 120V AC, a 12V car cigarette plug, or solar panels. Depending on the unit, each can support 100 watts from one or more portable solar panels making this a great option for emergency power over extend periods of time.

I have included in the Helpful Links below various types and sizes of portable power stations we have reviewed showing practical uses of each and how they apply to RV travel.

While this list may not include everything that you may need in your RV Emergency Kit, this is a good start to address many of the issues that may occur. My hope is you’ll never need any of these, but if you do, you’ll be glad you were prepared.

10 items for your RV emergency kit video

Helpful Links:

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

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Source: 10 Items for Your RV Emergency Kit

G-POWER U1000 and S500 Portable Power Stations

G-POWER U1000 and S500 Portable Power Stations


G-POWER U1000 and S500 Portable Power Stations

by Jerry Neal | Jun 3, 2023

We have received a number of comments from our viewers asking about affordable portable power stations to use for overnight stops or as supplemental power. We have reviewed a number of portable power stations, but these have been larger more costly units with 2,000 watts of AC power with surge capabilities of 4,000 watts. These large capacity power stations are expensive, but there are other power stations that are small, have less capacity, yet meet the basic need at a much more affordable cost. We test two units that fit the bill – the G-POWER U1000 and S500 Portable Power Stations.

G-POWER S500 Portable Power Station

The G-POWER portable power station has a large capacity of 556.8wh and 500W AC output (peak 1000W), which can power most devices such as a car fridge, travel coffee maker, laptop, phone, and more. There are 4 ways to recharge the G-POWER S500 power station, including an AC wall outlet (with the supplied power cord), solar panel, DC port, and USB-C PD port. It can be recharged from 0% to 85% within 1.5 hours through an AC wall outlet.

The G-POWER portable power station is equipped with the advanced LiFePO4 battery. This power station also provides an intelligent battery management system, which effectively prevents over-voltage, under-voltage, over-current, short-circuit, over-temperature, and other problems.

The G-POWER S500 power stations has 1 1DC input, 1 Type-C PD port, 1 Type-C port (fast charge), 3 USB-A ports, 12V DC cigarette lighter port, 1 AC output, and 120V AC input. The DC multi-voltage outputs are compatible with a variety of devices that can be powered simultaneously. There are independent switches of the main on/off and control the AC ports, DC ports, and light.

G-POWER U1000 Portable Power Station

The G-POWER U1000 portable power station has a 974.4Wh ultra capacity with a 1200W rated output. There are 4 ways to recharge the emergency power battery backup, including a wall AC outlet, DC & Anderson solar charge, DC port, and USB-C PD port. It can be recharged from 0% to 85% within 5 hours using the supplied power brick.

The G-POWER portable power station is equipped with the advanced LiFePO4 battery. This power station also provides an intelligent battery management system, which effectively prevents over-voltage, under-voltage, over-current, short-circuit, over-temperature, and other problems.

The power stations has 1 DC and Anderson solar charge, 1 Type-C PD port, 1 Type-C port (fast charge), 3 USB-A ports, 2 AC outlets, and 1 12V DC cigarette lighter port and can power various devices simultaneously.

The devices performed very well. See the video below for additional information about these units.

Our thanks to G-POWER for providing the U1000 and S500 for our evaluation. See the links below if you are interested on purchasing one of these units.

G-POWER Station

Helpful Links:

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

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Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

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SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: G-POWER U1000 and S500 Portable Power Stations

Adding A Dimmer Switch to RV LED Lights

Adding A Dimmer Switch to RV LED Lights


Adding A Dimmer Switch to RV LED Lights

by Jerry Neal | May 27, 2023

Lighting in your RV does not have to be overly bright and harsh. In our Montana 5th wheel we have an area in the back living room that has four LED puck lights that are never used at night because they are too bright. That’s why we thought adding a dimmer switch to RV LED lights would be a perfect modification. Now we can enjoy dimming the lights for the evening and still have the ability to brighten up the space when we’re packing or cleaning.

Installing the Dimmer Switch

We had a dimmer switch next to the theater seating and wanted to use a similar switch in the back living area where the three cushion couch is located. We didn’t need to run any wiring, just replace the on-off switch currently installed with a dimmer switch.

We found a 12 Volt DC dimmer switch on Amazon that was similar to the style next to our theater seating. The switch will dim up to 60 watts (4.2 amps) of incandescent, halogen, or LED lighting. Aside for the benefit of adjusting light intensity, the dimming also reduces heat and power drain on batteries especially for RVs using incandescent or halogen bulbs.

Installation was simple. Remove the old switch, carefully enlarge the hole in the wall to fit the dimmer switch, disconnect the existing switch, connect the three wires – 12V DC power, ground, and the control to the dimmer, and mount with screws and install the plate cover.

LED Flicker

There can be issues where some lights may flicker when dimmed. This is rarely the case with incandescent or halogen bulbs, but can occur with some LED lights that do not support lower voltages for the dimming function.

Our Montana 5th wheel is equipped with puck style LED lighting. These lights work well with dimmers. If you plan to upgrade your RV’s incandescent or halogen bulbs with LEDs, make sure you find those that specifically state they will support dimmer voltages.

One other note. In the video below, the dimming of our LED lights shows a flicker. The flicker is a camera anomaly and not seen by the human eye. Unfortunately we did not have a camera setting that would refresh to eliminate the flicker in the recording and I can confirm that no flicker is experienced from the human eye.

Dimmer Switch Installation Results

Installation took less than 30 minutes and has now made the space more enjoyable for evening TV viewing as well as a more comfortable space when we have visitors sitting on the couch.

We now have a full range of operation for the four LED lights from a simple off and on, to dim to bright.

adding a dimmer switch to RV

Helpful Links:

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: Adding A Dimmer Switch to RV LED Lights

Jerry & Julie E-bike Tour Amerson River Park

Jerry & Julie E-bike Tour Amerson River Park


Jerry & Julie E-bike Tour Amerson River Park

by Jerry Neal | May 20, 2023

On this Spring day, I had the fortunate experience to enjoy a fun day with our daughter Julie as we traveled along the beautiful trails on an e-bike tour of Amerson River Park.

Amerson River Park, located in Macon, Georgia, is a picturesque destination that offers an abundance of outdoor activities. Among its many attractions, the park boasts a network of bike trails that cater to riders of all skill levels. In the video below Julie and l explored the many bike trails at Amerson River Park, highlighting their scenic beauty, family-friendly environment, and more.

Introduction: Amerson River Park

Nestled along the banks of the Ocmulgee River, Amerson River Park is a renowned outdoor haven for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. With its sprawling green spaces, dense forests, and tranquil river views, the park offers a delightful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Overview of Amerson River Park Bike Trails

Amerson River Park features a diverse range of bike trails suitable for riders of varying abilities. Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist or a beginner, there’s a trail for everyone. The park offers a mostly paved paths, each with its own unique characteristics.

The trails at Amerson River Park span a total distance of 7 miles, with options for shorter, leisurely rides with sections that can be used as short loops. Most of the trails are paved and wide providing easy travel. Trail difficulty levels range from easy to moderate, ensuring that both novices and experienced riders can find a trail that suits their preferences.

Scenic Beauty and Natural Surroundings

One of the most captivating aspects of biking at Amerson River Park is the stunning natural beauty that surrounds you. As you pedal through the trails, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of towering trees, vibrant wildflowers, and the tranquil flow of the Ocmulgee River. The park’s serene atmosphere and well-maintained trails create a truly immersive experience in nature.

Amerson River Park’s Family-Friendly Environment

Amerson River Park is a popular destination for families seeking outdoor adventures. In addition to the bike trails, the park offers a wide array of amenities and activities that cater to children and adults alike. From playgrounds and picnic areas to fishing spots, nature walks, and an outdoor exercise area, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Safety Measures and Trail Maintenance
We found the to be well-maintained to ensure a smooth and secure riding experience. Signage is strategically placed throughout the park to guide cyclists and highlight any potential hazards.

Accessible and Inclusive Trails

Amerson River Park is committed to providing an inclusive environment for all visitors. The bike trails are designed to accommodate individuals with disabilities, ensuring that everyone can enjoy the park’s natural beauty and recreational opportunities. Accessible amenities such as parking, restrooms, and picnic areas are conveniently located, enhancing the overall experience for people of all abilities.

Local Attractions and Amenities

While exploring the bike trails at Amerson River Park, consider extending your visit to explore the surrounding attractions. Macon, Georgia, is home to numerous cultural and historical sites, including the Tubman Museum, Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, the Hay House, The Big House Allman Brothers Band Museum, Capricorn Studios Musim, and the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park. After a day of biking, you can savor a delicious meal at one of the local restaurants, visit one of the many downtown brew pubs or indulge in some retail therapy at the nearby shopping centers. We have a number of videos for this area. CLICK HERE to see our Playlist.

A Great Day at Amerson River Park

Amerson River Park in Macon, GA, offers an family friendly and fun biking experience amidst stunning natural surroundings. The park’s diverse range of bike trails caters to riders of all abilities, providing a chance to immerse yourself in nature while enjoying the many recreational benefits of cycling and e-bike travel. When you visit the Middle Georgia area, pack your e-bike, and journey through the scenic bike trails of Amerson River Park.

e-bike tour of Amerson River park

Helpful Links:

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: Jerry & Julie E-bike Tour Amerson River Park

8 Big RV Mistakes We’ve Made

8 Big RV Mistakes We’ve Made


8 Big RV Mistakes We’ve Made

by Jerry Neal | May 13, 2023

This is one of those blogs where I could attempt to share the 8 Big RV Mistakes We’ve Made in words, but I think this time it’s best that I let the video below share these events.

Regardless of those who are seasoned RV travels or if this is the first year with the new camper, we all have made mistakes. For us, some of these had minor consequences, others had it’s share of difficulty, cost, and in one case pretty stinky results.

So it just goes to show that even for for Joan and I as experienced, long term travelers, we’ve had a few dillies and thought sharing these 8 Big RV Mistakes We’ve Made would help you avoid what we experienced. And now that each of these have passed, you can laugh along with us that we survived each and we can continue to share that I Love RV Life.

8 big rv mistakes

Helpful Links:

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: 8 Big RV Mistakes We’ve Made

We’re Giving a 12V RV Fridge Away

We’re Giving a 12V RV Fridge Away


We’re Giving a 12V RV Fridge Away

by Jerry Neal | May 10, 2023

WE’RE GIVING A 12V RV FRIDGE AWAY!

Nothing to buy, nothing to sign up for, just giving away a very nice Bodega 1.6cu ft 12V DC RV refrigerator. There is one stipulation – you have to pick it up. If you’re traveling down I-75 through Middle Georgia, we’ll meet the winner with the fridge.

HOW TO WIN

Just contact us at https://www.ilovervlife.com/contact-us/. Give your name, number, email and in the “share with us” section, let us know you want the fridge. I’ll contact the winner, we’ll get our calendars together and set up a location and time to hand off. Don’t worry about you RV size. There’s plenty of locations regardless if you’re traveling in something small or in a giant big rig, we have options where we can meet up that won’t be an issue. Good luck!

We're Giving a 12V RV Fridge Away

Helpful Links:

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: We’re Giving a 12V RV Fridge Away

The End To Facebook For Us

The End To Facebook For Us


The End To Facebook For Us

by Jerry Neal | May 10, 2023

This has been something we’ve considered for some time – the end to Facebook for us. We have reached the point where we’ve very concerned about the lack of security that exists in the Facebook social media platform and how it can impact Joan and I, our family, and equally important, all of our iLoveRVlife followers.

To our knowledge, Joan nor I have been hacked (YET!) or had our contact used in a negative way that we can identify. But, we receive notifications from our followers where their account has been hacked as well as receiving virus and malware links via Facebook. Daily we get requests from very undesirable parties to be a “friend”. It’s obvious these requesting parties have no intent to be a part of our RV community and want nothing more than to access our friends list to use in ways that we fear could cause a negative impact. More is shared from the video below.

So we have deleted all of our post, pictures and responses from the Jerry Lovesrvlife Facebook page. Joan has done the same for her personal account. We have deleted the accounts, but it takes Facebook 30 days to delete. Another reason we believe this platform does all it can to manage the user versus giving the user all the tools needed to properly and safely manage the platform.

DO NOT ACCEPT ANY FRIEND REQUESTS FROM “JERRY LOVESRVLIFE” GOING FORWARD. WHOEVER IS GENERATING THE REQUEST IS A SCAM! WE HAVE LEFT FACEBOOK AND WILL NOT REACTIVE ANY ACCOUNT IN THE FUTURE.

iLoveRVlife is not going away, We will continue to post our RV travels, tips, and product reviews on YouTube. The YouTube platform is much different and I have a wider range of tools to manage content and users to limit bad actors and protect our content. Plus YouTube is more for entertainment and less on the social interaction limiting access to our viewer’s accounts. We will also continue to maintain this website and our iLoveRVlife newsletter.

To all of our Facebook friends and family (an there are thousands), we will miss the interaction and bond we’ve created. We will continue to support an active comment community on YouTube and our contact page on this website is always open for help or just a hello.

Safe travels my friends….Jerry

The End To Facebook For Us

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: The End To Facebook For Us

Pecron E600LFP Portable Power Station

Pecron E600LFP Portable Power Station


Pecron E600LFP Portable Power Station

by Jerry Neal | May 6, 2023

When it comes to outdoor adventures, whether it be RV travel, hiking, or even tailgating, one of the essential items to pack is a reliable power source. With the advancement of technology and our dependence on electronic devices, the need for a portable power station has become more important than ever. We have had numerous comments asking us to find a lower cost portable power station that could be used for overnight use to power devices such as a CPAP machine, and charge phones and tablets. Others have asked for a similar unit to power devices around the campground for long weekends or for supplemental power for long term RV travel such as lights, a TV or longer periods for a portable refrigerator. So we put the Pecron E600lfp Portable Power Station to the test.

What is the Pecron E600lfp Portable Power Station?

The Pecron E600lfp Portable Power Station is a high-capacity power station that is designed to provide reliable and clean power for a wide range of electronic devices. It is rated at 614Wh capacity and 1200W rated power and can retain 80% of its original capacity at 3500 complete charge cycles. The Pecron E600lfp Portable Power Station also features a pure sine wave inverter that can deliver up to 1200W of continuous power. Weighing only 20 lbs, the Pecron E600lfp Portable Power Station is lightweight and compact, making it easy to carry in a vehicle or around the campground.

Key Features of the Pecron E600lfp Portable Power Station

  • 1200W 614Wh
  • 2.2 Hours Super Fast Charging
  • 400W Max Solar Charging
  • 1200W Rated Pure Sine Wave Inverter
  • 11 Versatile Output
  • LiFePO4 Battery with 3,500+ Life Cycles to 80%

Pecron E600lfp Portable Power Station Outputs

  • 3 – 120V AC outlets
  • 2 – USB-C Port(18W/100W)
  • 2 – USB-A
  • 1 – 12V Cigarette port
  • 15W Wireless Charging Pad

Pecron E600lfp Portable Power Station Charging Options

  • AC Input 120V/60Hz Pure Sine Wave
  • Car Input DC 12~18V–100W(Max)

Solar Charging

  • Charge Controller: Built-in MPPT Controller
  • 400W Solar input (0-100% in 1.5-2.5H)
  • 200W Solar input (0-100% in 3-4H)
  • Supports MC4 type solar panels:
    • Voc 12V~18V / 100W Max /7A Max
    • 2 x Voc 32V~95V / 400W Max / 15A Max
    • Max 400W Charging, Lightning Fast
    • DC5521: Voc 12V~18V / 100W Max /7A Max
    • GX16MF: Voc 32V~95V / 400W Max / 15A Max
    • E600LFP: DC5521 and GX16MF ports cannot be input simultaneously.

Testing the Pecron E600lfp Portable Power Station

To answer the questions from our the comments we’ve received from our YouTube viewers, we wanted to see how the Pecron E600lfp Portable Power Station would perform powering a CPAP machine overnight and if it could also charge portable devices at the same time. We also created a second test to see how long the Pecron E600flp would power a portable refrigerator. Each test was performed with the Pecron charged to 100%.

The results were much better than expected. We didn’t have a CPAP machine and used an incandescent 60 Watt light bulb to simulate the test. We also plugged in a completely discharged iPad, a Kindle at 35% and laid a discharged Samsung cell phone on the wireless charging pad. After 9.5 hours of continuous use, the Pecron E600lfp had a remaining capacity of 11%.

For the second test we used a 12V DC Setpower 47 quart dual zone portable refrigerator with both zones set for 36 degrees. We pre-cooled the refrigerator before the test and set the unit inside the 5th wheel to test. We closed the 5th wheel without any air conditioning to simulate the inside of a car or truck with temperatures hoovering around 84 degrees throughout the test. We stopped the test after 24 hours with 56% of the Pecron E600lfp power remaining.

One other note about the Pecron E600lfp. Units we have tested in the past failed the refrigerator test if the power station does have a power draw over a set period of time. That was not the case with the Pecron. As you’ll see in the video below, when the portable refrigerator compressor wasn’t running it would create a 2 Watt draw from the Pecron E600lfp every minute to keep the power station from turning off.

Our Impression of the Pecron E600lfp Portable Power Station

We found the Pecron E600lfp Portable Power Station to be a reliable and versatile power solution that is perfect for supplemental needs that fit the capacity limits of the unit. With its long-lasting lithium-iron-phosphate battery, pure sine wave inverter, and multiple charging options, we found the unit provided a stable and clean power source for the electronic devices tested. We especially liked the lightweight and portable design, LCD display screen, and the range inputs and outputs making it a versatile and practical power solution for a wide range of RV travel needs.

See the video below for the testing results. Our thanks for Pecron providing the E600lfp Portable Power Station for our review. We have provided helpful links below if you are interested in purchasing a Pecron E600lfp Portable Power Station and other items mentioned in the video.

Pecron E600lfp power station

Helpful Links:

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: Pecron E600LFP Portable Power Station

iLoveRVlife Live! – 1 Year Montana Update, Travel Costs, and Questions & Answers

iLoveRVlife Live! – 1 Year Montana Update, Travel Costs, and Questions & Answers


iLoveRVlife Live! – 1 Year Montana Update, Travel Costs, and Questions & Answers

by Jerry Neal | May 4, 2023

It’s been almost a year since our last iLoveRVlife Live! In the broadcast we cover two topics – a 1 year Montana update and the growing challenges of RV travel costs. We also opened the chat line and covered a number of questions from the viewers.

Our Montana 5th Wheel After 1 Year

It’s been a year since we bought our new Keystone Montana 5th wheel. We had a few small issues early in our travel. None affected our travel, but we had one issues with the electrical power for the awnings. Was easily remedied with a warranty repair. The other issues were very basics most being a loose piece of molding that was repaired with a small finishing nail.

We’ve made a few modifications, but worked very hard to make each fit the factory finish and not hack up the beautiful interior of this 5th wheel.

The added weight moving from a 14,000lb 5th wheel to a 20,000lb 5th wheel has been noticeable. Towing with the Ford F-350 diesel dully has been an non issue. The biggest issue is the push experienced by the 5th wheel as we navigate down long mountain roads. We haven’t had any problems, but have to manage downhill speed, breaking and down shifting a little different.

Increasing RV Travel Costs

Next we discussed the growing challenges of RV travel costs. We are seeing as well as experiencing a sharp increase in the cost of campgrounds. This includes both private, corporate, and state campgrounds. Plus finding a campground that meets our timeframes are requiring us to reserve sites anywhere from 6 to 12 months in advance.

We traveled over 8 months in 2022 to push the performance of the Montana. It performed very well. Moving from a 40 ft to a 42 ft 5th wheel hasn’t been an issue in towing, but we have run into a few campgrounds that would not accept an RV over 40 ft in length. Fortunately, we were always able to find a campground in the area we wanted to visit that met our needs.

And with that long 8 months of travel and many thousands of miles came diesel fuel costs. Wow, did we burn through the travel budget. Adding the 55 gallon auxiliary tank has been both a convenience and a cost savings. No longer do we have to stop during the trip and find fuel. And we’re now able to find lessor cost fuel near the campgrounds and not purchase the expensive truck stop fuel along the Interstates. Savings sometimes have been over a dollar a gallon, and the costs savings have been significant when we burned through a couple thousand gallons of diesel over a years time.

Watch the video for much more. And thanks so much following Joan and I as we share our RV travels, tips, mods, and product reviews.

iLoveRVlife Live

Helpful Links:

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

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SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: iLoveRVlife Live! – 1 Year Montana Update, Travel Costs, and Questions & Answers

Troxus E-Bike Tour of Lake Tobesofkee Campground

Troxus E-Bike Tour of Lake Tobesofkee Campground


Troxus E-Bike Tour of Lake Tobesofkee Campground

by Jerry Neal | Apr 22, 2023

Electric bikes are quickly becoming one of the most popular modes of transportation for RV travels and outdoor enthusiasts. With their ability to easily navigate through urban areas and off-road trails, e-bikes are an excellent alternative to traditional bicycles and providing an easy transportation to tour the areas near the campground. We had the opportunity to evaluate the Troxus Lynx 750W Low Step Fat Tire Electric Bike and explore its features, benefits, and ease of use. Below are some of the features of the e-bike.  View the video below of our Troxus E-Bike Tour of the Lake Tobesofkee Campground.

Troxus Lynx 750W Low Step Fat Tire Electric Bike

The Troxus Lynx 750W Low Step Fat Tire Electric Bike is a high-quality electric bike and with its powerful 750W motor, low step frame, and fat tires, this bike is perfect for of RV adventures and urban commuting alike. The Troxus E-Bike Lynx we tested is equipped with a long-lasting lithium-ion battery that provides up to 60 miles of range on a single charge. Additionally, the bike features hydraulic disc brakes, front and rear suspension, and an intuitive LCD display that shows speed, distance, and battery life.

Key Features of the Troxus Lynx E-Bike

The Troxus Lynx 750W Low Step Fat Tire Electric Bike is equipped with a powerful 750W motor that provides plenty of power for off-road adventures and urban commuting. The motor is located in the rear hub and provides pedal assistance up to 26mph.

Low Step Frame

The Lynx features a low step frame that makes it easy to get on and off the bike. This feature is especially helpful for those with mobility issues or for those who are comfortable riding an e-bike, but make have limited mobility issues to stretch over the high bar of a traditional bike.

Fat Tires

The Lynx’s fat tires this Troxus e-bike provide excellent traction and stability on all types of terrain. The tires are 4 inches wide and are designed to absorb shock and provide a comfortable ride.

Long-Lasting Lithium-Ion Battery

The Lynx’s lithium-ion battery provides up to 60 miles of range on a single charge. The battery is easily removable and can be charged in just a few hours using the included charger.

Hydraulic Disc Brakes

The Lynx is equipped with hydraulic disc brakes that provide excellent stopping power and control. The brakes are low maintenance and are designed to last for many years.

Front and Rear Suspension

The Lynx’s front and rear suspension provides a smooth ride on all types of terrain. The suspension is adjustable and can be tuned to the rider’s preferences.

Intuitive LCD Display

The Lynx’s intuitive LCD display shows speed, distance, and battery life. The display is easy to read and provides all the information the rider needs to make informed decisions about their ride.

Our Experience Using the Troxus E-Bike in our RV Travels

Convenience

The Lynx’s electric motor with this Troxus E-Bike provides pedal assistance, making it easier to climb hills and ride for longer distances. This convenience factor is especially helpful for those who may not have the stamina or physical ability to ride a traditional bike for extended periods of time.

Fun and Enjoyable

The Lynx’s fat tires and powerful motor make riding the bike a fun and enjoyable experience. Whether we were exploring the area around the campground, nearby bike trails, commuting through the city, the Troxus E-Bike Lynx was a fun way to enjoy the surroundings,

Ride Comfort and Handling

The fat tires on the Troxus E-Bike provide excellent traction and stability on all types of terrain, including sand, loose dirt, and gravel.

Powerful Motor

The Lynx’s 750W motor provides plenty of power. I’m over 6 feet tall and weigh 200 pounds and the Troxus E-Bike required little to no effort as we traveled along the trails and navigated the steep hills.

Long-Lasting Battery

The Lynx’s lithium-ion battery provides up to 60 miles of range on a single charge. During our test we road the Troxus E-Bike over 20 miles and used less than a bar of battery capacity.

Our Troxus E-Bike Tour of Lake Tobesofkee Campground

Nestled in the heart of Georgia, the Lake Tobesofkee Campground is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. With its large recreational lake, lush forests, two large campgrounds, and endless recreational opportunities, it’s the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

Natural Beauty of Lake Tobesofkee Campground

One of the main attractions of Lake Tobesofkee Campground is its natural beauty. Surrounded by lush forests and rolling hills, the lake offers a stunning backdrop for camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities.

Camping at Lake Tobesofkee Campground

If you’re looking for a place to pitch your tent or park your RV, Lake Tobesofkee Campground has plenty of options. With campsites spread across two different areas, you can choose a spot that suits your needs and preferences.

Water Activities

Lake Tobesofkee is a popular spot for swimming, boating, and fishing. With its large recreational lake, and sandy beaches, it’s the perfect place to cool off on a hot summer day. You can rent a boat from the nearby private marina to explore the lake or cast your line and try to catch some fish from the banks edge.

Playground and Picnic Areas

If you’re traveling with kids, Lake Tobesofkee Campground has a playground and picnic areas that are perfect for family outings. You can enjoy a meal or snack while the little ones run around and play. T

Disc Golf

The campground features a fun 27 hole disc gold course that plays thru the woods and along the lake in Claystone Park. It is very scenic, well maintained, and supports multiple target locations on most holes.

Restaurants and Stores Nearby

There are several restaurants and stores within a short drive from the campground, including a grocery store, gas station, fast-food chains, and the ever popular Fish and Pig Restaurant located on the edge of the lake.

Load Up the RV

With its natural beauty, recreational opportunities, and family-friendly activities, Lake Tobesofkee is the ideal spot for a weekend getaway or a longer camping trip.

Whether you want to relax by the water, beach, challenge yourself the disc gold course, or visit the many historical sites located around Macon, GA, Lake Tobesofkee Campground has something for everyone.

Troxus e-bike

Helpful Links:

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: Troxus E-Bike Tour of Lake Tobesofkee Campground

SetPower PT55 Dual Zone 12 Volt Refrigerator

SetPower PT55 Dual Zone 12 Volt Refrigerator

By Jerry Neal – iLoveRVlife.com

When it comes to RV travel, keeping your food and drinks fresh is essential. However, traditional iceboxes or coolers can be inconvenient and ineffective. That’s where SetPower PT55 Dual Zone 12 Volt Refrigerator comes in – an excellent alternative to traditional cooling methods for RV travel.

SetPower 12 Volt Refrigerator

Here are some of the key features that make the PT55 stand out:

  • Dual Zone Design – The PT55 has two separate compartments that can be set to different temperatures, allowing storage of frozen and refrigerated items in the same unit.
  • Low Power Consumption – The PT55 uses just 45 watts of power per hour, making it a very energy-efficient refrigerator. This gave us the opportunity to extended trips off the grid without worrying about our power source.
  • Digital Display – The PT55 features an easy-to-read digital display that shows the temperature of each compartment.
  • Compact Design – Despite its large 55-liter capacity, the PT55 has a compact design that made it easy to fit into our 5th wheel storage compartment.
  • Quite Operation – The SetPower PT55 Dual Zone 12 Volt Refrigerator is very quiet, producing only 45 decibels of noise. Less volume than a normal conversation.

Dual Zone Cooling

One of the standout features of the SetPower PT55 Dual Zone 12 Volt Refrigerator is its dual-zone cooling system. he compartments can be set to temperatures between 0°F and 50°F, making it perfect for storing frozen goods, and meats or general refrigeration making it ideal for storing drinks, fruits, and vegetables.

With this dual-zone system, we didn’t have to worry about running out of space or having to choose between keeping certain items cool or frozen.

Efficient and Durable Design

The refrigerator is made with high-quality materials and advanced cooling technology and we found the fridge handled the bumps and shakes during road travel and provided reliable cooling.

The fridge features a high-efficiency compressor that provides rapid cooling and low power consumption, critical for extending our battery power. It also has an intelligent battery protection system that automatically shuts off the fridge if battery voltage drops below a certain level. The refrigerator consume less than 45 watts per hour depending on outside temperatures.

The SetPower PT55 Dual Zone 12 Volt Refrigerator has an intuitive control panel that allowed us to adjust the temperature and switch between the two compartments with ease. It also has a built-in LED light that illuminates the inside of the fridge, making it easy to find what we were looking for items in low light conditions.

Traveling with the SetPower PT55 Dual Zone 12 Volt Refrigerator

The SetPower PT55 Dual Zone 12 Volt Refrigerator is a great addition for our RV travels. With its energy-efficient design, dual zone compartments, and flexible storage, the PT55 worked perfect for our outdoor entertainment and additional freezer needs. The PT55 offers a very cost effective solution for RV travel as well as those who need a primary refrigerator for their van or bus build.

Our thanks to SetPower for providing the PT55 for our review. If you are considering a portable refrigerator for your RV travels, see the helpful links below.

SetPower pt55 portable refrigerator

Helpful Links:

SetPower PT55 58Qt Dual Zone 12 Volt Refrigerator

SetPower PT35 37Qt Dual Zone 12 Volt Refrigerator

SetPower PT45 48Qt Dual Zone 12 Volt Refrigerator

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

Check out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES

Source: SetPower PT55 Dual Zone 12 Volt Refrigerator

Using TST 770 Tire Monitor on our 5th Wheel and F-350

Using TST 770 Tire Monitor on our 5th Wheel and F-350

By Jerry Neal – iLoveRVlife.com

We are always on the lookout for ways to make our RV travel safer. Finding a way to manage our tire pressures became critical having experienced not one but two catastrophic tire blowouts that caused extensive damage to our previous 5th wheel. In this blog and attached video, we share the features and ease of installation of the TST 770 tire monitor to improve safety and tire longevity as we travel in our Montana 5th wheel.

Why use a TPMS for an RV?

RVs have unique tire pressure needs compared to passenger vehicles, and tire blowouts can be particularly dangerous for larger and heavier RVs. Equally important is the ability to monitor the tires for vehicles in tow by a Class A or C RV.

One of the most significant benefits of using a TPMS is to improve the safety of RV travel. Tire blowouts can be extremely dangerous for RVs, as they can cause extensive damage to the tow vehicle or create a situations that can cause a potential loss of control. With the TST 770 TPMS, we now have the ability to monitor our tire state in real-time and receive alerts if the pressure drops or the tire experience excessive high temperatures.

The TST 770 TPMS

The TST 770 TPMS is a wireless system that monitors an RV’s tire pressure and temperature in real-time. The TST 770 color monitor alarms in the event of low pressure, high pressure, rapid pressure loss, slow leaks, and high temperature giving time to get off the road before a possible blowout occurs.

Features

Some of the key features of the TST 770 TPMS include:

  • Wireless sensors that transmit data to the monitor in real-time
  • Monitor 1 tow vehicle and up to 5 trailers
  • Supports up to 46 tires
  • Full color touch screen monitor auto-scrolls through each tire reporting PSI and temperature
  • Customizable high and low pressure and temperature alerts
  • Real-time direction of travel, altitude, and speed readings
  • Easy installation
  • Long battery life for the sensors
  • Included signal repeater allows the TST 770 monitor to read sensor signals up to 105 feet away from the monitor

Installing the TST 770 TPMS and Tire Sensors

Our Montana 5th wheel came equipped with TST internal tire sensors that were installed from the factory. We have been monitoring the 5th wheel tires with the TST 507 monitor since purchase. Meeting with the TST factory representatives at the Florida RV SuperShow, they along with TechnoRV sent us the new TST 770 TMPS along with six cap style tire sensors for our F-350 dually.

This TST 770 has a large color display when compared to the the 507 with a number of added features. The TST 770 was a breeze to set up and took minutes to configure the cap sensors for the F-350 and the existing internal sensors on the 5th wheel. The cap style sensors were easy to screw on our F-350 valve stems completing the installation.

The TST 770 monitor comes with a window suction cup and magnetic attachment. The monitor can be used with this mount or any standard magnetic dash display mount.

Results Using the TST 770 TPMS

The TST 770 TPMS gives us the peace of mind as we tow our 5th wheel. We now have the ability to observe real-time tire pressure and temperature data with customizable alerts, and the ability to monitor both the 5th wheel and truck tires. The TST 770 TPMS and it’s easy to ready display will alert us of any tire issues that occur before they become major problems.

Our thanks to Truck Systems Technologies and TechnoRV for providing the TST 770 TPMS for our review. View the video below to see how easy it is to install the cap sensors and configure the TST 770. We’ve also provided helpful links below if you are considering a TPMS purchase.
TST 770 Tire monitor

Helpful Links:

TST 770 TPMS with 4 CAP sensors

TST CAP Sensors (2 Pack)

TST Flow Thru Sensors (2 Pack)

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

Check out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES

Source: Using TST 770 Tire Monitor on our 5th Wheel and F-350

E-bike Tour Around Daytona Beach

E-bike Tour Around Daytona Beach


E-bike Tour Around Daytona Beach

by Jerry Neal | Apr 1, 2023

It was a beautiful late March day in Daytona Beach. This was a perfect time for our new Hovsco and taking an e-bike tour around Daytona Beach. We’ve found Daytona Beach to be very bike friendly with bike paths, designated bike lanes along most of the roads, and large well maintained sidewalks. The bridges also have extra wide lanes for bikes and pedestrians making it very easy to navigate the area.

Hovsco E-Bike

hovsco e-bikeWe wanted to see how well the e-bike would:

  • Navigate the extra tall bridges in the area.
  • Take the strain off the rider.
  • Travel on a single charge.

The e-bike has 5 levels that can be set to assist in pedaling. Hovsco reports the e-bike is capable of reaching a distance of 60 miles using the level 1 pedal assist setting. We road a 22 mile loop and only used one bar of power.

Our Daytona Beach E-Tour Route

e-bike over halifax river daytona beachAs far as distance and difficulty, we purposely didn’t choose the easiest route. We had to navigate two bridges across the Halifax River and both had very high arches supporting boat traffic. The e-bike removed virtually all of the effort required for the steep up hill climbs.

We found the roads to be very friendly for riding bikes. Most had designated bike lanes, wide sidewalks, or both. Busy road intersections were easy to cross with electronic buttons to stop traffic.

We stopped at a number of parks along the way. The area of Daytona Beach, South Dayton, Daytona Beach Shores and Ponce Inlet have a number of bike friendly parks with trails that are both easy to navigate and scenic. We stopped at several of the inland parks, but all of the parks along the beach were closed for repairs due to the damage caused by Hurricane Ian. Work was underway and I hope to see these parks reopened soon.  We also road along the beach and we’re surprised to see a number of other e-bike riders enjoying this warn March day.

From Start To Finish

The tour from start to finish took us three and a half hours. I was very surprised of the little fatigue felt from the long ride. It was great getting out, meeting other riders along the way, and enjoying the views at the beach. I’m looking forward to our return and finding other routes to experience for our next e-bike tour around Daytona Beach.

e-bike tour around daytona beach

Helpful Links:

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: E-bike Tour Around Daytona Beach

I Love RV Life – The Poem

I Love RV Life – The Poem


I Love RV Life – The Poem

by Jerry Neal | Mar 30, 2023

I LOVE RV LIFE – THE POEM

I love RV life, oh how I adore
The open road, the freedom to explore
From mountains to beaches, and everything between
There’s so much to see, so much to glean

The engine roars as we hit the gas
Adventure awaits, let’s make it last
The world is our playground, we’re on the go
No need to rush, no need to be slow

Campgrounds and parks, they’re all our home
A new backyard wherever we roam
The sound of nature, the chirping birds
Life’s simple pleasures, without any words

The stars above, the moonlit sky
A perfect view, just you and I
The crackling fire, a cozy night
This is the RV life, pure delight

I love RV life, the memories we make
The laughter, the joy, it’s all at stake
So let’s hit the road, and chase the sun
The RV life, we’ve just begun.

Copyright 2023 – I Love RV Life

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: I Love RV Life – The Poem

Using a Synology NAS in an RV

Using a Synology NAS in an RV


Using a Synology NAS in an RV

by Jerry Neal | Mar 25, 2023

Working from an RV is very similar to having a home or small office. Comfortable workspace, tools for the job, Internet, phone and a desk computer or laptop. Something often missed is the need for data storage or backup. In today’s digital world, data storage and management are crucial for both individuals and businesses. The sheer amount of data that we generate and accumulate makes it necessary to have a reliable and secure storage solution.  A Network-Attached Storage (NAS) device is a popular choice for many users because of its ease of use and functionality. We’re a using a Synology NAS in an RV to store work files and entertainment. A very cost effect solution with a wide range of features.

Why have a NAS?

If your work has important data that must be saved for future reference and you don’t have a backup plan, then you may experience a work catastrophe if you desktop PC or laptop fails and you’re unable to retrieve work files.

This is equally important for those who home school. Having backups of all of the critical student data. Much is purchased and the loss could be expensive to replicate.

Lastly is entertainment. Having the ability to access video and music when traveling is a great benefit. Many times, Joan and I are in an area where we have poor Internet and having access to a stored video library gives us a wide range of entertainment options.

We have used portable hard drives in the past for our data storage needs, but this has limitations. These drive are expensive. Then there’s storage and attempting to catalog what’s on each backup drive. It never fails, that I have to go through multiple drives to find my data. Then there access from multiple devices – various laptops, tablets, and our Roku for video files. This is where the NAS excels. A NAS provides a method to store files on a large hard drive and everyone who has access can obtain the files when needed.

Using a Synology NAS

Synology DS118The Synology DS 118 NAS is a compact, yet powerful storage device that is designed for home and small office use. It features a 64-bit quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM, which enables it to handle multiple tasks simultaneously without any lag. It also supports up to 12TB of storage, making it an ideal choice for users who need to store a large amount of data.

The Synology DS 118 NAS runs on Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM), an intuitive operating system that enables users to easily manage and access their data. DSM offers a range of features and applications, including file sharing, media streaming, backup and restore, and cloud synchronization. It also provides advanced security features, such as data encryption and two-factor authentication, to ensure data is safe and secure.

We chose the NAS 118 as a backup and storage solution. It has a single hard drive, but other models have two or more drives for redundancy. We used a 8Tb hard drive, but the Synology DS 118 can support up to a 12TB drive. To use the Synology you must have a router with Ethernet ports. We use a Cradlepoint Cellular WiFi router and there are other models by other manufacturers of varying cost and performance that can offer similar access. CLICK HERE to see our Cradlepoint installation.

One of the biggest advantages of the Synology DS 118 NAS is its ease of use. Setting up the device is a breeze, thanks to its intuitive web-based interface. Users can easily configure settings, set up shared folders, and access data from anywhere in the world using Synology’s mobile app or web interface.

Plex Media Server

Plex Media ServerWe like the benefit of having our video library stored where we don’t have the need for a DVD player or store hundreds of DVDs. We installed the Plex Media Server on our Synology and now have the ability to access our media content across multiple devices and platforms including our tablets and ROKU digital media player.

Our media files are ripped from DVDs we’ve purchased and use DVDfab to convert the video to MP4 files. Plex automatically organizes our media content, adds metadata to it, and creates a media library for easy access.

It took minutes to install, connect to our router, and configure the Synology DS 118 for our needs. Adding Plex was effortless, but uploading all of the videos can take some time. This is a cost effect solution to provide backup storage for our work, iLoveRVlife, and entertainment data files.

Synology NAS working from your RV

Helpful Links:

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: Using a Synology NAS in an RV

Day 5 – 2023 Florida RV SuperShow Class A Class C Super C RVs and Vans

Day 5 – 2023 Florida RV SuperShow Class A Class C Super C RVs and Vans


Day 5 – 2023 Florida RV SuperShow Class A Class C Super C RVs and Vans

by Jerry Neal | Jan 24, 2023

We are completing day 5, our final day at the 2023 Florida RV SuperShow. Today Joan and I tour motor coaches with a tour of RV SuperShow Class A, Class B, Class C, Super C, and Vans. We show several of our favorites from our early morning start on day 5 continuing our tour till late afternoon. To provide a video of reasonable length fo