News & Articles from Sierra Teardrops



Little Guy Max Information and upgrades

FunDirector Jan-27-2018 LGMax Systems

This article will constantly updated as we learn more about the Little Guy Max through our experiences and experiences of our rental customers.  I will keep track of systems information, as well as improvements I make to the Max for better dry camping capability and any repairs we need to make.  This will be the "master article" and will be the index into other articles for these improvements & repairs if they are too lengthy to be included here.

Information

Sewer Hose

It's great that the Max has a built-in sewer hose compartment!  Unfortunately any standard sewer hose with a twist-lock collar don't fit!  This includes any brand we have bought in the past: Viper, Thetford, Rhino, and Dominator.  Some of those are pretty bold names for a sewer hose, by the way :)   

I finally found one that fits: the Blueline sewer hoses have their own style of simple "push-on" connectors that don't have a big collar on them.  They also fit into standard 4" bumpers and tubes.   It may also be listed under their parent name Prest-o-Fit.

As a side note, on any of our T@B or LG Max sewer hoses I only buy the sewer hose that keeps it's shape.  So when you compact it together it stays together and you only expand as much as you need.  For the Blueline hose, they call it their "DuraForm".  Camco calls theirs the RhinoFlex series, and Valterra's Dominator also holds it's shape.  Once you have one of these, you'll never go back to the sloppy ones!

Fridge

The wonderfully large fridge is a Dometic RM2454LB  ("Americana" Series).  I'm still researching this model but it looks like it draws 1.3A DC while in propane mode, and a whopping 15A DC in DC mode.  This seems like a lot but the smaller tri-fuel fridges in our T@Bs do draw about 10A in DC mode so yeah, it makes sense.  Here's what do don't want to do: drive with the fridge in DC mode for a long time thinking your tow vehicle can handle the power through the 7-pin connector.  The 7-pin connector is more of a trickle charge, and can be as low as 3A, so a 10A or 15A draw with only a 3A trickle charge will have you arriving at your destination with a potentially depleted battery.  Not a big deal if you have hookups at your destination, but if you're dry camping that is a bad way to start!

A good approach is to pack your fridge & freezer compartment the day before and try to get a good 12-24 hours of cooling while plugged into AC.  With a small battery-operated air circulator like the Camco 44123 Fridge Airator on the bottom shelf, if you don't open the fridge it should stay colder than 40F for half a day with no warmer areas.

Propane Burn of Fridge

For the theoretical burn rate (instead of relying on anecdotal evidence), I contacted Dometic to get the actual burn rates of the RM2454.  The BTU rating for this unit is 1080.  A gallon of LP (propane) is equivalent to between 91505 and 91690 BTU, so the RM2454 will operate about 85 hours continuously on one gallon of LP (or 20 hours per pound).  Pretty impressive!    Of course, that is continously burning on high flame, which isn't a real world example except for perhaps in the Mojave Desert with the windows open all the time.  So if it was running half the time, that would be 170 hours per gallon of LP, or 7 days per gallon, or about 35 days.

Which leads us to real-world  / anecdotal data.  People have found 12CuFt fridges tend to consume about 1.5 lbs of propane daily, so let's assume our 4CuFt fridge consumes about 1/2 lb per day.  This means our 20lb tank of LP should last about 40 days.  A couple other people have quoted 30-35 days out of one tank of LP running the fridge so all these numbers tend to be in agreement.  Note this doesn't take cooking or furnace into account.

Solar

Little Guy tells me the solar system is a Zamp 100W Flexi Solar Panel M-SP100F-36 and the controller is the ZS-10AW.

Upgrades

Dry Camping

Tongue Box