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Old 06-19-2018, 11:41 AM   #1
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Access Underneath '19 Minnie 2250DS

Hello all,


We purchased our first ever RV just over a week ago, a 2019 Minnie 2250DS, and I'm already considering upgrades. The trailer performed quite well on our first trip, two nights at a state park with electrical and two nights boondocking.


But one thing I've noticed is the factory only used 6 gauge wire for the main run from the rear of the trailer all the way forward to the battery. I've estimated that round-trip to be about 55 feet. Six gauge wire running that distance results in a more than 10% voltage drop under higher amp loads.


The other thing we had issues with were the tank level gauges. I may want to upgrade to SeeLevel gauges in the future, but I definitely want to at least see the shape of our black tank now so I can visualize how full it really is when looking down into it.


To the point, does anyone have any advice on gaining access through the bottom insulating fabric stuff in order to pull new wire and just view the tanks? I can see the front of the fabric seems to be held in place by self-tapping screws driven through a light metal bar, but I don't want to start undoing any of that without knowing if there's can of worms waiting to be freed if I do.


TIA


Jim
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Old 06-19-2018, 11:55 AM   #2
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Six amps or less 6 gauge would work at that distance....six amps! Saved a buck or two instead of doing it right.
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Old 06-22-2018, 08:04 AM   #3
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Our 2106FBS has a corrugated plastic sheet over the fresh water and holding tanks. We had a fresh water tank leak do to the "Full" sensor being broken during assembly and I took down the front to let it drain and to try and see what was going on. Looking at the back end of ours the attachment appears to be the same. Other than the front being fairly easy to open and close the sheet was pretty tight under the axles to the point I couldn't create any opening between it and the front axle. My guess is the back might be easier to access as the axle is further away. Just keep in mind that there is spray foam that will need to be reapplied all over to keep out water and more importantly critters. Back to the fresh water tank sensors. They are located between the axles on our trailer and unreachable from the front. Rather than try to fit under there and it being under warranty I took it back to the dealer.



My suggestion is if you are just exploring is to get an endoscope and cut a small slit here and there to see what is above it. Be careful to not puncture a tank of course. I'd then seal up the slit with some Gorilla tape.
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Old 06-22-2018, 09:23 AM   #4
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Interesting. I always wanted to look. Can you post any pictures, please?
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Old 06-22-2018, 09:37 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by old_engineer View Post
...Just keep in mind that there is spray foam that will need to be reapplied all over to keep out water and more importantly critters...


My suggestion is if you are just exploring is to get an endoscope and cut a small slit here and there to see what is above it...
Old_engineer,

Thanks. This is exactly the kind of input I was hoping for. Unfortunately, I don't have access to an endoscope.


I've pretty much written off the tank sensors. Every post I've seen suggests the factory-supplied sensors just can't be made reliable.


My main focus right now is the wimpy six gauge positive battery wire -- it's not technically a defect, but it's a long way from good. Our Minnie has the WFCO8955 that so many have complained won't go into bulk charge mode. I suspect one reason it doesn't is that the wire to the battery is just too small and has too much voltage drop for the WFCO to function properly at higher amperage. If I can prove that theory, I'm going to run a second 6 gauge cable using the empty connection on the WFCO. Two six gauge cables together equate to a three gauge which should keep the voltage drop to less than five percent at 50 amps.


Do you have an opinion as to whether or not a second battery cable could be run to the power converter from the battery without getting into a major headache? I'm very tempted to remove a few screws from the front edge of the underbelly covering and take a peek, but your mention of the foam has me concerned I'd rip it or otherwise dislodge something I couldn't easily put back.


Thanks again for your input and any future comments you may wish to offer.



Jim
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Old 06-22-2018, 10:04 AM   #6
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I would not change the 6ga wire. I assume you are talking about the 12v system. The typical system has a red and a black wire. The red is the positive and will carry the current needed. For the most part, the black has no current. The ground (neutral) often drops a wire size for that reason. There is nothing on a trailer pulling over 30 amps. The only reason to change is if you are adding something special or real big in current draw.


https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/a...uge-d_730.html
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Old 06-22-2018, 10:18 AM   #7
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In my Winnebago Class A, I had a similar concern about the voltage drop between the Converter Charger located about a 20 foot wire run away from the batteries limiting the ability of it to bulk charge the batteries at full output all the way to 80% like it was supposed to.

IMHO the best engineering solution is to move the Converter Charger closer to the batteries, so that the 12 volt wire runs are short with less voltage drop with the full charging current thru them. You move the converter charger and extend the 120 Volt feed to the converter charger with 14/2 w G romex. It is already on a 15 A dedicated breaker in the WFCO.

I boondock so I bought a standalone Converter Charger that I installed close to the batteries and connected it directly to the batteries with a protective fuse inline. It can output 100 amps to recharge the batteries faster when use more power than solar can replenish due to weather or parking under trees.

I removed the OEM converter charger and sold it on ebay to recoup part of the cost of the project.
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Old 06-22-2018, 10:27 AM   #8
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jaeger, again, please take pictures of whatever you can...the "belly of the beast."
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Old 06-22-2018, 10:43 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Tucsontoy View Post
I would not change the 6ga wire. I assume you are talking about the 12v system. The typical system has a red and a black wire. The red is the positive and will carry the current needed. For the most part, the black has no current. The ground (neutral) often drops a wire size for that reason. There is nothing on a trailer pulling over 30 amps. The only reason to change is if you are adding something special or real big in current draw.

https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/a...uge-d_730.html
Thanks for the input, especially the link. I know 6 gauge wire is safe for the amps moving through it, but it's far from good. And I did note that only the positive cable is lacking since the frame is also a ground.

According to the wire size chart, 6 gauge wire is only good for about 15 amps at a 50' (round trip) run with a 3% voltage drop.


The WFCO8955 is supposedly able to crank out 55 amps. In order to push that many amps the round trip to the battery and back, I'd have to install 1 gauge cable (!) to only have a 3% voltage drop. Fortunately, I'm thinking a 5% voltage drop will be acceptable.


Ideally, I'll be able to get the WFCO to crank out its rated amps and keep things simple. But if not, I do have a Plan "B" as mentioned in the next response.
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Old 06-22-2018, 10:52 AM   #10
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...IMHO the best engineering solution is to move the Converter Charger closer to the batteries, so that the 12 volt wire runs are short with less voltage drop with the full charging current thru them...
An excellent suggestion and this is, in fact, Plan "B". I've already got my eyes on a 30 amp Samlex charger I can mount up forward that would need just a short run of some 4 gauge wire to work well.


Rather than run new AC to feed it, though, I was considering tapping off the back of the outlet that is right there in the forward storage area.


But ideally, if I can make the WFCO happy by having less voltage drop, I won't have to disable the converter or solve the two-chargers/one-battery bank problem. I'll be able to plug in my little Honda and get most of the charge back in batteries with minimal run time.
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Old 06-22-2018, 11:08 AM   #11
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jaeger, again, please take pictures of whatever you can...the "belly of the beast."
Larry,

There's nothing special to see at this point, just the underside of a new Minnie: the first pic shows the factory cable run disappearing behind the fabric cover and the second shows the metal band that appears to be what is holding the fabric in place.

FWIW

Jim
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Old 06-22-2018, 11:16 AM   #12
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Sorry I can't speak to wire routing or anything like that as I haven't explored the trailer further than the leak.



Endoscopes don't run much these days. I've seen them going for $20 with USB to just under $50 for Wifi and were compatible with most smart phones and PC's. I can't speak to the quality on any of these but have included a link to an Amazon search.



https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_s...d=UMQMMWC0GWCU
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Old 02-16-2020, 08:47 PM   #13
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I have the very same year and model. My FW tank sensors were giving me faulty readings. A service guy at the RV dealer suggested that I pour a couple gal. of vinegar to it with a few gal. of water, drive it around and slosh the contents to dissolve scale that may have built up. It worked. I now use a filter between supply and tank.
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Old 02-17-2020, 08:02 AM   #14
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Jaeger, we have a 2018 2250DS and have pulled it 11,000 miles. It has been excellent with very few problems. My suggestion is to stay out of the underbelly and leave the wiring alone because it is more than adequate for the job. Yes the tank sensors are a problem on all Minnies. The way to clean the back tank sensor on your next trip is to pour 1 cup of Dawn, 1 quart of vinegar, and 5 gallons of water down the toilet. Empty at the next dump station. You can do the same for the gray tank.


You are better off to spend your time and money doing "real" upgrades. To name a few: Goodyear Endurance tires, rear view camera, wired Progressive Industries EMS-HW30C surge protector, new faucet for the sink, Camco vent covers, TPMS, MORryde STP-3-27-02H steps, and the list goes on and on. You are going to love your new trailer.


Here is a very active website for Minnie owners. https://www.facebook.com/groups/425391114324531/
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Old 02-17-2020, 08:23 AM   #15
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Jaeger, we have a 2018 2250DS and have pulled it 11,000 miles. It has been excellent with very few problems. My suggestion is to stay out of the underbelly and leave the wiring alone because it is more than adequate for the job. Yes the tank sensors are a problem on all Minnies. The way to clean the back tank sensor on your next trip is to pour 1 cup of Dawn, 1 quart of vinegar, and 5 gallons of water down the toilet. Empty at the next dump station. You can do the same for the gray tank.


You are better off to spend your time and money doing "real" upgrades. To name a few: Goodyear Endurance tires, rear view camera, wired Progressive Industries EMS-HW30C surge protector, new faucet for the sink, Camco vent covers, TPMS, MORryde STP-3-27-02H steps, and the list goes on and on. You are going to love your new trailer.
I would add getting in the practice of dumping before towing, so unless you stay someplace a long time that doesn't have hookups, your upper sensors will probably never be covered. And you'll be pulling less weight.

I like your list of upgrades. I've already done the first, bought the second (may install today), dealt with the third. Rather than vent covers I was going to upgrade the bathroom fan to one of those larger units with an integrated cover.

I disagree with you on the steps. When we were looking for a trailer we were planning on converting anything that came with that type to the pull out type. I want to be able to easily get in/out without putting the steps down.
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Old 02-17-2020, 10:38 AM   #16
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Goodspike, I always dump my tanks before leaving a campsite and use the black tank flush. I never dry camp or boon dock.

The MORryde steps are very fast to deploy and retract. They are far better than the stock steps. My wife really loves them. Here are a few photos. I installed the LEDs about 2 years ago and they look great at night.


Oh yes, it took me about 20 minutes to install these steps but I am slow.










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Old 02-17-2020, 11:20 AM   #17
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The MORryde steps are very fast to deploy and retract. They are far better than the stock steps. My wife really loves them. Here are a few photos. I installed the LEDs about 2 years ago and they look great at night.
My concern is just about hoping in and out without using the steps when you're not camping. That's impossible with those ramp style steps. Also some places (e.g. the gas station) you might not have enough space to fold them down.
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Old 02-17-2020, 12:18 PM   #18
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My concern is just about hoping in and out without using the steps when you're not camping. That's impossible with those ramp style steps. Also some places (e.g. the gas station) you might not have enough space to fold them down.
Our Minnie is way too high for either one of us to consider hopping in or out without using the steps.

Once you open the door it takes less than 5 seconds to put them down. When I am at a gas station the Minnie is way back from the gas pumps and nothing in the way of putting them down. We prefer to use the Minnie restroom over the service station restroom.

In 6 years of camping (two different Winnebago Minnies) and probably 30 different campsites I can think of no place where they would not work. The landing gear is easily individually adjusted for uneven ground.

Be glad to address any other concerns that you might have.
Ken
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Old 02-17-2020, 03:21 PM   #19
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Our Minnie is way too high for either one of us to consider hopping in or out without using the steps.

Once you open the door it takes less than 5 seconds to put them down.
Ken
I'm in pretty good shape, and even when retracted the normal step provides a step. I don't really need it, but it's helpful.
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Old 02-17-2020, 05:01 PM   #20
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Sounds good.
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