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Fixing Our RV Damage – The Ladder

This July we had some pretty substantial damage to the rear cap of our RV:

For the full story see https://rvseniormoments.com/2022/08/05/how-should-we-fix-our-rvs-rear-cap/

We had some ideas back in July of how to proceed, but fixing the ladder was the first step. So here’s what we did . . .

Remove the Ladder from Our RV

The Patient on the Table

Remove the Damaged Steps

Four Steps Removed

This was the most difficult step. Each step was held in place by two pins that defied removal.

We had to resort to cutting out each pin which also damaged the ladder itself.

After removing a step, sometimes the holding pins (circled) had to be cut out. Ugly.

Strengthening the Ladder with Pipes

A 4′ aluminum pipe was used inside each ladder rail (arrows = breaks in the ladder rail)

The ladder was compressed to hold it together

Adding the New Steps

The new steps were a different (and much better) design than the old steps. The new steps used side screws, not pins, to fasten them to the ladder rails.

Stromberg-Carlson 8540-NTB

Fully Assembled Ladder

Before and After

Rain!

The same day the temperature dropped, it rained. The first rain in months.

It wasn’t much rain, but what a relief. Jan, Flirt, and I watched from our porch.

There’s even thunder at the end of this clip

We really miss Wisconsin thunderstorms.

Triple-Digit Temps End

After umpteen number of days, it looks like our 100+ heat wave is at an end . . .

Last Tuesday’s Temperature

Saturday’s Temp

Victron MultiPlus II Generator Fix

Or, “How I rewired my transfer switch without killing myself.”

The Trouble with Features

After installing our Victron MultiPlus II Inverter/Charger, we were very happy with its performance and features. Simply, it slices, it dices.

However, one of the MultiPlus’s features had a downside – we lost half of our generator’s power. So while riding down the road in the summer heat, we now have one air conditioner instead of two. What’s the deal?

Dog Bones

Most RVers probably own a 30A-to-50A “dog bone” that allows connecting a 50A RV to a 30A power supply.

The Dog bone Adapter

Since 30A power only has a single “hot” line, a dog bone simply connects the single 30A hot line to both 50A power lines (L1 and L2).

With a dog bone everything’s hunky dory, but your RV can only use up to 30A, not 50A.

Enter the Victron MultiPlus.

More Technically Speaking

In order to distribute power to the RV, the Victron handles 50A power (“split phase”) and 30A power (“single phase”) differently.

When the MultiPlus detects 50A split phase AC power, it just passes incoming power on L1 and L2 through to the AC Out (top drawing below).

On the other hand, when the Multiplus senses 30A single phase power, it disconnects the incoming L2 AC power, but connects L1 and L2 AC power internally (see circled areas below). The MultiPlus does this so it can distribute power to the AC Out.

However, if your generator outputs single phase power (like ours), then you’ve just lost half your generator’s power.

How the Victron MultiPlus II handles incoming AC Power

Notice the voltage measurements for split phase and single phase systems:

Split Phase:
L1 to Neutral = 120 VAC
L2 to Neutral = 120 VAC
L1 to L2 = 240 VAC

Single Phase:
L1 to Neutral = 120 VAC
L2 to Neutral = 120 VAC
L1 to L2 = 0 VAC

Single Phase RV Generators

Before explaining our generator “fix”, here’s how a single phase generator outputs power:

The takeaway from the above graphic is that the Black (L1) and Red (L2) AC outputs both have the same voltage and the same phase (single phase). In addition, the voltage between L1 and L2 = 0.

Fooling the MultiPlus

To make use of all our RV generator’s power, we rewired our generator-to-transfer switch connection to create a “dog bone”.

To do this, we connected the generator’s L1 and L2 together and also connected the generator’s two neutral wires.

Test Wiring

Final Wiring

It worked! We can now fire up both our air conditioners without fear of tripping breakers.

Credits

This upgrade would not have been possible if not for the help from several excellent online sources. The single best source was from the Changing Lanes YouTube channel, in particular this video:

Changing Lanes video

Harris Beach State Park

We camped at Harris Beach in Brookings, OR from August 4th to the 18th.

It’s a short walk to the Pacific Ocean . . .

We’ve been here before . . . Flirt remembers

Flirt in 2019 and in 2022
We stayed at At Rivers Edge Resort in 2019

The weather was a glorious change from the triple-digit furnace we’ve been used to. The temperatures next to the Pacific Ocean ranged from the 60’s to 70’s. Lots a humidity, but no heat.

Sat Photo of Harris Beach

Official Oregon Campground Map

Campground Tour

Our Site A11

Our campsite even had a yard

Our favorite site – great ocean view

There are several yurts available at Harris Beach

Plenty of restroom/showers

Plenty of full hookup sites – but advance reservations are really necessary

S’mores

First time that we had s’mores in years

Sunset Trail

There are several walking trails in the campground. We tried all of them.

Fresh blackberries along the Sunset Trail

Flirt after our walks

Redwood Trail

We had to drive a few miles to get to this trail

Moss everywhere

Butte Trail

Just a short distance from the entrance to Harris Beach State Park. The trail had several switchbacks that took you higher and higher as you walked.

Trail End View

Click on the photo to enlarge it

Blue Water Cafe

Discovered this breakfast gem when new were doing laundry.

They have smaller size meals, too

Tolowa Dunes State Park

Just down the road from Brookings, a favorite of dog owners . . .

Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park Driving Tour

Jan wanted to see redwoods . . . and we did . . . up close . . .

Meeting cars coming the other way was not fun

Fog

Almost every day . . .