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Old 11-23-2008, 06:47 PM   #15
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Don't forget to exercise your generator.
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Old 11-23-2008, 07:23 PM   #16
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Dale,

Interesting thing, we had previously winterized the coach, but then decided to head south for a week. So, forgetting the Kitchen and bathroom/shower faucets were open I hooked up the hose and turned on the water. Auto fill was off; however water was coming out of the kitchen and shower, caught it just before it went on the floor in kitchen. So someplace there is a valve which should be closed but is open, which I assume is the RO (don't use). I do believe however, when using the RO, the excess water is piped to the gray tank outlet/tank so you could fill that tank while using the RO if you are not aware. I thought about just putting all the RV antifreeze in the freshwater tank via a manual pump and then pump it throughout the whole system from the tank. Did not want to put that much AF into the tank.

One tech I know says he knows a fellow who buys cheap vodka, pumps it throughout his whole system, then has a spring party to awaken his coach. It seems to me the vodka might hurt the plumbing, but no expert here. There won't be any baddies in the plumbing with all that alcohol in there for sure. One heck of a party though!!!!
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Old 11-24-2008, 08:43 PM   #17
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Old Rv'er:

We also keep our RV in covered storage on gravel in Auburn, WA. I have found that it takes outside temperatures down around 20 degrees or so at night to get my interior temperatures down to 32 degrees or approaching freezing. These coaches just retain daytime warmer temperatures pretty well, and because we're not nearly as cold during the day in the winter as it is in the the upper MidWest, I just don't find it freezes hard as easily in the Alpine. I don't like to add RV antifreeze to my water lines because the taste/smell just hangs around for a period of time when I start the water back up.

My solution has been, like you, to dump the fresh tank, dump the holding tanks, drain the water heater, drain the low point drains, remove the water filters and dump them, turn on the water pump and make sure it pumps nothing out. I also open the shower valve inside the coach and the one outside and make sure there's no water in them. When I had the battery fill system before I installed the Lifeline AGM batteries, I drained the reservoir. I also used to blow out the lines with low pressure air but with the Alpine once I do the draining I just listed, I don't get enough water out with the air pressure trick to matter, so I don't do it anymore.

When we had our boat, I used to add a gallon or two of the cheapest vodka (instead of antifreeze) I could find to the fresh water tank after I had drained all the water and pump it around with the water pump. If I could find cheap lemon vodka I would use it so I could tell when I added the fresh water in the spring if there was still some lemon smell in it when I added some fresh water and pumped it out. In the Alpine, I haven't found a good way to add vodka to the tanks after I've got most of the water out, but when I do, I'll use it. I much prefer the smell and taste of leftover vodka to RV antifreeze.

Finally, use an electric dehumidifier that I bought at West Marine for our boat, to dehumidify the RV. I just leave it plugged in because I leave power on to the RV in the storage area. I think it's called a TurboDryer, doesn't cost much, doesn't use a lot of AC power,and doesn't require draining or adding beads or anything.

Just a few ideas for you--
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Old 11-25-2008, 04:56 AM   #18
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I do much of what is noted here but I do not leave the water tank drain open. Too many little critters where I live. Screens have been secured over the air intake opening, air filter housing and exhaust opening for the same reason. I leave the screens over the induction system in place except when changing filter elements.
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Old 11-25-2008, 08:18 AM   #19
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Old Forester can you explain the number and etc of the Lifeline AGMs. Have been considering changing from wet cell to agms. Mike E. Thanks.
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Old 11-25-2008, 01:14 PM   #20
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iron mike,

I also have eight 6 volt AGM house batteries that I had special installed at the factory when I picked up my coach in May 2006. Best decision that I ever made. I've never had any trouble with them - no watering, no outgassing, faster charging, etc. The batteries were sourced from:

LIFELINE MARINE & RV BATTERIES
955 Todd Avenue
Azusa, CA 91702
Tel. 626-969-6886
Fax 626-969-8566

See this link for the exact batteries: Lifeline AGM batteries
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Old 11-25-2008, 08:00 PM   #21
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Iron Mike,

Our coach is essentially the same as Dale Dowdy's -- except it's a mid-door and his is a front door.

His link to the Lifeline Batteries is correct; it's exactly the same battery we used; all 8 of them. The owner of Lifeline Batteries also has an Alpine Coach, and when I bought mine, gave me a nice discount for being a member of ACA. You might ask to see if he's still doing that when you call in. He will make sure you get the right battery.

He also gave me a good piece of advice -- to clean the bettery compartment with household ammonia followed by water rather than baking soda when changing the batteries. It's the same thing he does in his battery shop. Sure cleaned the compartment up nicely without leaving a residue like baking soda can do.

The only thing we had to do is put a piece of heater hose over the battery hold down straps to keep them from shorting out against the terminals of the new Lifeline batteries (the terminals are closer to the straps than the original wet cell batteries).

We have been very pleased in the 6 months we have had the Lifelines. Like Dale, we like not having to mess with water, or gassing out the ports, corrosion, etc. And we have found the AGMs go quite a bit farther on a charge before the AGS kicks in than the factory wet cells did even when new. I just think they allow a deeper discharge cycle.

If you do make the change, be sure to go to the Xantrex menu and make the change from wet cell to AGMS as the menu will guide you, so they get the correct charging cycle.

For what it's worth, I noticed a brand new very expensive Beaver Marquis in my dealer's showroom this week and it came from the factory with Lifeline AGMs.
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Old 11-25-2008, 08:24 PM   #22
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Thanks for the reply. When I talked to the guy at Optima he said I would need at least 5 12volt 31's to give the equivalent 6xx ampere hours of the led acid.

The lifeline sounds even better price wise. I will have to install another shelf in front of the jack I think. I give this fellow a call, we think we are still members ACA. Thanks again. Mike e.

We just drove to Portland, Or. this evening.
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Old 11-25-2008, 08:32 PM   #23
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All thank you for the information on the heater/dehumidifier thing from west marine. I have saved the link to my desktop, so I can call the store and check it out. We don't have the little critters here like they do in other parts of the country, but now that the tanks and lines are empty, I am going to go over and close them.

The manual on Aqua-Hot (Hydro-Hot) says it can be used when the water system is empty or been winterized, has anyone done this? I would be curious to know how it worked.

I tested the coolant solution in that system and it was good down to 0 degrees F, so I added a quart of the concentrate solution to the overflow tank and then normal "mixed" solution to get the level a little higher than the cold line. That should take it down to close to 20 below 0, which is what my manual says. Comments please if you want!
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Old 11-25-2008, 08:38 PM   #24
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iron mike:

You'll get 660 AH with six 6-volt Lifeline AGMs (for the house). They will work quite nicely. With my six, I only need to charge the batteries two hours in the morning if sunny (100 watt solar) or two in the morning and one in the evening if cloudy/rainy. I've gone two weeks dry camping with no problems.

You can add two more AGMs in front of the jacks with a tray added in front of the jack. That may eliminate generator charging on sunny days. At Quartzsite last year I met a guy, parked a stone's throw away from the ACA group (like me, we're shy, LOL) he has 300 watts solar and eight AGMs (house) and never runs his generator for 36 days, before heading in for more water and sewer. (Note: he really didn't smell too bad.) He has a 2001 40' Alpine.

I also have 12-volt (Optima) AGMs for the chassis battery, solely to prevent being stranded. After years of lead batteries, I'll never go back. Nary a problem with my AGMs, and worth every last cent. Overall and over time, they have proven cheaper than the leads.
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Old 11-26-2008, 06:31 AM   #25
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Monty,

You shouldn't have to worry about closing the drain valves to keep out critters. If you look an the end of the drain lines you should find a fitting with a screen in it. All of the drain tubes on this coach has them and I think our 2002 did too.

The Aqua Hot is dependent on having water in its system, but not the domestic water system. The domestic water is heated thru a heat exchanger in the Aqua Hot's "boiler tank."
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Old 11-29-2008, 10:43 AM   #26
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">If you do make the change, be sure to go to the Xantrex menu and make the change from wet cell to AGMS as the menu will guide you, so they get the correct charging cycle. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I was told at a seminar that changes also had to be made to the solar panels if you change to AGM batteries because they would overcharge the AGMs... is that true?
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Old 11-29-2008, 06:59 PM   #27
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I see referfences to FPPF products for diesel fuel, but which one do you use?
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Old 11-29-2008, 07:38 PM   #28
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gator,

The owner of Lifeline told me all I had to do was change the Xantrex panel to specify AGMs, so that's all I've done. I just have the 100 watt solar panel, and so far I haven't seen an issue with overcharging.
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