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Old 11-22-2013, 12:09 PM   #1
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Default 2012 189FDS mods made to date

2012 189FDS Modification List

1) Hard Mounted 140w solar panel, roof mount with breakers and controller ($43
2) Replaced 12v deep cycle with Interstate 6v battery cart batteries, better life cycle and amp hours ($200)
3) Replaced all bulbs with LED bulbs ($140)
4) Replaced showerhead with O2 oxy head ($20)
5) Replaced refer cooling fan with .025 amp 100cfm quiet fan (must have since the cooling coils have no other means to get cooled off, poor installation design, common) ($12)
6) Insulated pass through under bed and side with 1” foam panel and alumi bubble insulation sheeting, did this under fridge as well and bench seat on side of fridge. ($15)
7) Sealed all pass through’s cabinet to cabinet and through floor. ($10)
Pulled lower A/C vent and resealed space between roof and interior ceiling
9) Replaced Flat Panel TV with 27” 12v DC TV ($145)
10) Added 16 ft of white water proof LED strip lighting along frame of awning and down the frame sides, got tons of light at a mere dribble of power use ($13)
11) Added VDC digital meter so I know how much battery really have vs. idiot gauge.($6)
12) Add blue LED strip lighting behind slide out frame, give a blue ambience when other lights are off, sort of cool. ($13)
13) Tried Champion gen, after three free units decided they are junk now have 2-Honda 2000i with extended tank, can run for a week w/o out refill. ($2000)
14) Fresh water drain, routed to side of steps, no more crawling under trailer ($6)
15) Replace WFMCO charger with progressive 4600 ($200) this made a big difference in battery health
16) Added addition DC outlet plug that I can use a small inverter if I need 120v for anything or phone charge ($20)

17) dumped stock mattress and put in nice multidensity foam mattress, walmart ($200), really comfortable

I have found water is my only limiter when boone docking, don’t need gens unless I want A/C or Microwave. Solar panel runs everything else extremely well and 2 tanks of propane lasts the summer). The insulation eliminated all the drafty places so now it heats and cools and stays that way vs. stock.


If you have other mods let me know
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Old 11-23-2013, 08:41 AM   #2
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Wow, that's a lot of work and well worth the effort I'm sure.

The only significant mods I've made have been replacing the hand crank tongue jack with a powered one and getting rid of the noisy POS fan over the bed and replacing it with a Fantastic Vent.

I also replaced some of the bulbs with LED's but haven't gotten around to doing them all yet.
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Old 11-24-2013, 09:53 AM   #3
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Default WFCO converter

Shadow, that is an impressive list of mods!

Excuse this ignorant question, but how can one tell that a new converter is better than the stock WFCO item? Are you seeing faster charges, or longer battery life, or what?

Also, was it tricky to swap out the converter?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-25-2013, 02:45 PM   #4
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measure the output, the 4600 is true 3 stage charger with manual override. I began noticing we would leave shore power plugged is overnight and bats just need never seemed to peak. also, ran gen for 9 hours once and bats were only 3/4 charged..told us something was not rightStarted measuring and found the original was not putting out 50amp, actual found it was pretty much dribble all the time. Replaced in about 1.5 hours, very simple, batteries went the all charging (4) stages getting the peak amps charging when needed. Batteries can pretty much be fully loaded with very little drain, previous exp. was by the following morning I would be at 1/2 power, fortunately the solar panel does very well so never got stuck w/o power. From what I have found this is not an uncommon problem.
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Old 12-12-2013, 12:47 PM   #5
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Default What is your gas mileage, Shadow?

Hey Shadow. I noticed that you use a newer 5.7 Tundra 4x4 to pull the same trailer I have. Please tell me what gas mileage you get when towing. If you know, please give me your best (flat, no wind) and your worst (mountainous/headwind).
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Old 12-12-2013, 01:36 PM   #6
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worst is 8mpg, that is thru some really steep terrain and I keep it cranked at about 65-70. open road I'll get 10-12mpg, again I move it along at 70-75
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Old 12-12-2013, 01:38 PM   #7
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also, carrying Brute force Kawasaki ATV 750cc and 3 dogs, Rhodesian's and German Shepard. water tanks usually empty
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Old 12-12-2013, 01:49 PM   #8
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Thanks Shadow. You can see from my profile that I currently tow with an 06 4Runner 4x4 with a small V8. The vehicle is certainly fine for towing this relatively light trailer, but I would sure like to find something with better mileage. I average about 11 mpg with 9-13 low to high. I know a diesel truck would get me about 14 average, but I would have to put a lot of miles on it to make up the cost of buying plus 40 cents more a gallon for diesel over unleaded. Happy camping!
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Old 01-13-2014, 07:07 PM   #9
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Default Charging the Batteries.

I have a 2008 21ft Funfinder. Right now I have just the one battery, and I carry a Honda 2000 for charging. I don't think the factory charger I have has much amp output. ? Does anyone know what it is, and what the amp output is, and is it a three stage charger? It seems awful weak to me ... I was thinking of buying a Sears 50 amp three stage charger and plugging it into the Honda, and alligator clip it to the batteries for a quicker more robust charge. I also plan to go to two batteries to increase the total amp hours, perhaps the 6 volt golf cart type, like Trojan 105's.

What to you all think of this plan, and what can you tell me about the existing charger??

Thanks
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Old 01-13-2014, 10:52 PM   #10
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Default Factory charger

Tampasailor-
You might want to check through some of the older posts on this topic. The string from September 2013 titled "WFCO battery maintenance" has a lot of helpful information from several of the forum's regulars.
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Old 01-14-2014, 06:19 AM   #11
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Default Battery charger

OK, did that too. From what I read, the factory installed WFCO will not charge up the batteries like I'd like them. I'm looking to run the Honda 2000 for an hour in the AM, and if needed, an hour in the PM. If I install the two 6 volt golf cart batteries, like the Trojann 105's, I'll have 220 AMP hours. I'll want to charge these from 50-60% charge state to 80% charge state. So I'm looking for about 50-60 AMP hours of charge. No way the toy WFCO can do this.

So here is my question; Does anyone charge their batteries with an automotive charger directly from a generator? That is, not plug in the camper, instead, just plug in the remote battery charger. Seems I would need a 50-75 amp capable charger with a three stage regulator. True, I still probably would not get 50 amp hours back in the bank, but I'd be getting a lot closer.

I'm obviously talking about dry camping here, no power to plug into.
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Old 01-17-2014, 07:43 AM   #12
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if you use a car charger make sure it is a good one. pout it on turtle charge(slow). if you do a regular charge your deep cycle batteries will not last very long, plates don't get clean so over a short period of time you will hold less and less of a charge. I do this slow charge at the start of the season takes about 10 hours. With the new performance 4600, 4 stage charger my batteries are now maintained at peak charge. 4600 charge module was a great investment took about 2-3 hours to put in, does a far superior job than that wfco unit. just a few thoughts
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Old 01-17-2014, 10:50 AM   #13
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We need Photos !!!!
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Old 01-17-2014, 11:39 AM   #14
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no pics to take other than the old fuse holder and that was only to be sure I reconnected the wires to the fuse in the proper sequence. Pulling the old wfco charger involved removing 3 wires from main charger and 4 screws. sliding new unit is bolting down with 4 screws and reconnecting neg ground and power wire and installing new fuse panel which snaps in once you transfer all the little wires. Breakers are untouched, front cover is the same, truly a swap out. what took the longest was an error in the instructions, took me an hour to figure that out. nice feature is a green indicator light flashes to tell what stage your in, this can be overridden to do more intense charge if so desired.

really worth looking into, got the unit on Amazon
Progressive Dynamics (PD4655V) 55 Amp Converter/Charger with Built-In Charge Wizard $228

the only thing you need check is distance from charger to battery bank. You may need to increase AWG to make sure your battery's are getting the amps, to small on amp rate will be restricted. My 189 was ok so no mod needed
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Old 03-16-2014, 09:06 PM   #15
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Default Battery and Charger upgrade

I wanted more amp hours of battery life, faster charging, and I wanted to keep it as simple as possible, and inexpensive too. Here is what i think might be a good path to go down.

First, the batteries. AGM batteries can absorb a charge much faster than a wet cell battery, so if you want less generator running time, and faster charging, go this direction. AGM can absorb a charge of up to 40% of the amp hr rating, where a wet cell or gel cell would be more like 25% of the amp hrs. If you are down say 60 amp hrs on your 120 amp hr battery, figure how long you need to run the generator for each to pump in 40 amps
The charger that comes on a lot of our Funfinders just does not put out the amps. If you go with a single 110AMP Hr AGM battery, you can safely bulk charge it at 40 amps. There are some inexpensive (Stanley and Die Hard) battery chargers that have a rapid charge cycle of 40 amps, accept of 15 amps, and float of 2 amps I believe. This can be hooked up directly to your battery from the generator.
An example (in theory) of use would be after two days, with a battery voltage at rest of about 12.2 volts, or 50% charged, or 55 amp hours used ... hook up the Honda generator, rapid charge for 45 minutes, bring the batteries up to about 80-85% charge, and repeat two days later.

When you are at a campground with electric, hook up the camper as usual and use the built in charger. You've got the time to charge the batteries up if you are plugged in for the day.

As I see it, this is the most efficient way to go. I personally doubled this with a 4D AGM at 210 amp hrs, and a charger that can put out 75 amps in bulk charge state. I can't recommend this, I this it is a bit of over kill, but I had the opportunity at about the same cost so i went for it.

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Old 03-17-2014, 04:44 AM   #16
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I mostly camp with hookups.
I found my truck plugged in to camper charged battery well off the alternator with a 15 to 30 minute charge,I have a 100 amp alternator.
I just bought a Optima BlueTop® Sealed Starting/Deep Cycle AGM Battery Group Size 31 Reserve Capacity (minutes) 155

This is the bigest I can fit on my camper as theres no room for a 2nd battery.
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Old 05-18-2014, 08:35 PM   #17
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Default Refrigerator fan

Shadow,
you were helpful to me when I was considering the 189 FDS. I just pulled it out of storage and started to tinker with things to get ready to go. Popup camping seems really simple at the moment. You did monster mods and I am only going to tackle a couple and I will confess some of my questions are going to be pretty stupid. Here goes:
1) I looked at the part number of my fan in the fridge area and it is a ADDA Brushless Model AD0912UB-A71GP. I can't seem to find any info on this to know whether it is an improvement over what you replaced.
2) I went in search of another today, Best Buy, Radio shack and I couldnt' find anything that had anymore than 70 cfm and they were monsters. Where do I find this replacement gadget, and do you have a brand/part number you used? I noticed in other posts you have commented a 100-150 cfm is needed.
3) I noticed it has a little male plug where it connects with the line, did you get one with the same type of male plug, or did you just rewire it.
4) Really stupid question, can I just remove one of the ceiling bulbs and take it to a box store and get LED bulbs or do I need something special? Do you have a recommendation? No need to reinvent the wheel if your work.

I live 800 miles from my dealer so they won't see me again and I discovered a couple of troubling items:
1) When I pull the plunger up for the shower, it stops the water to the sink, but nothing but a few dribbles come out of the shower head.
2) More troubling, at the level of where the inlet comes in to fill the fresh water tank, there is a leak, at first I just thought it was the clamp so I tightened that to no avail. I took the hose off, then partially back on and ran water in until it started leaking and it looks like there is about a 1 inch crack on the sidewall around the inlet hose area. I have sent pictures to the dealer to get their thoughts. Found a JB Weld product today that says it will fix potable water issues like this. Want to hear from service people though before I do something they don't like and void my warranty. Sure wish they would have caught this in their inspection, but they would have missed it unless they filled the water almost to the top.

Thanks for any helpful thoughts you have.
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Old 05-18-2014, 10:25 PM   #18
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whoa lot of questions

1) the fan in question was purchased from fry's electronics, the model I purchased is no longer made...typical! However, you can find others very close and you can go with 75-90cfm just move the fan closer up to the exchange coils, get within 8-10 inches. What I used is a computer fan nearly all are brushless. Radio shack will screw on the price, you should not pay more than 8-12 bucks

2) I rewired plug with Molex connector, about $1.50 very simple just but you need a Molex crimper. Otherwise use a simple blade terminal, pennies and any crimper will work.

3) Led lights, go online even since I bought mine there better products available, mine were a direct replacement, the blade type connector. check them out buy one se how it works happy buy , no send it back. Wish I could do more here but in a year the products have gone exponential.

4) shower head, not being sassy but check the on off valve on the shower head, may have a blockage, simple test is unscrew shower head and pull the diverter valve water should flow.

5) water fill, believe that is either 3/8 or 1/2 frankly you can fix that for under 15 bucks if that at the fill point. If your talking at the tank level , that is warranty and deal crap. I had a similar problem on the outlet side of my tank. What I did was hooked a vacuum up do the fill spout and pulled a vac on the tank and use super glue, the material are perfect for cyanoacrylate sealed great, 2 years no problems and the joint has frozen a time or two so I think it is good. bear in mind my leak was directly at the tank joint which sounds like your issue in reverse.
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Old 05-18-2014, 10:36 PM   #19
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My crack is on the sidewall of the fresh water tank right by and at the level of where the fill hose is attached to the side of the fresh water tank. Do I have this correct, you attached a vacuum to the filler area of the fresh water tank to create a vacuum on the inside and "sucked" super glue in the crack on your fresh water tank? Is that what your did?

I feel like a dolt, but I don't see any on off valve/switch on the shower head.
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Old 05-18-2014, 11:02 PM   #20
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that is correct use the thick stuff and be generous. also here is a link for leds I think this is where I got mine
http://www.superbrightleds.com/cat/m...re-wedge-base/
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