Originally Posted by RoyBraddy
Getting a 2KW generator was the first I did when we got our OFF-ROAD POPUP expecting to just fire-up the generator when we needed it. Right away we found out this wasnt the way to go camping back in the woods off the power grid. Everywhere we ended up at all had generator hours. Some places didnt allow genberators at all. I think all of this is relaxed somewhat in the western states but sure is not the "NORM" on the eastern side of the US. Then I deceided to beef-up the battery bank and added "smart mode" converter/charger along with LED lights, added PSW Inverters, and use low power items like LCD flat screen HDTV, low wattage microwave, low wattage electric blankets, CFL 120VAC lights etc...
The idea was to make it through just ONE night running all the AC and DC toys we wanted to have running off our present 255AH Battery bank. Then the next day we could re-charge our battery bank by connecting the trailer shore power cable directly to the generator using a RV30A-15A adapter. This is the only reason we run our 2KW generator. With the smart mode converter/charger on board we could get our battery bank back up to 90% charge status in a 2-3 hour generator run time to be able to do all of this over again for the next day. Of course we dont get to use the air conditioner and high wattage microwave unit camping this way.
I am planning on adding at least 120WATTs SOLAR Panels now to re-charge my battery bank during the daylight hours which will really help out between the generator run times.
This is how we camp now off the power grids... The way I am setup now we just run extension cords from the trailer to the picnic tables etc to run our 120VAC coffee maker, fans, lights, HDTV, etc. Kinda neat to be able to do this camping off the power grid... People walk up and ask how do you do this and not hearing a generator running in the background and no shore power connections. I usually answer "Majic Beans" at first and then give them the beefed-up battery tour...
I'd really like to hear more on the specifics on your battery bank and the other equipment you augmented it with.
Most of the time when we go camping, we hit a state park and there are usually hookups. I bought the generator for those times when we didn't have the connections but I would still want to use some of the features/appliances or recharge the battery. You don't have to convince me that sitting near a noisy generator isn't the ideal way to camp
. I would much rather enjoy the peace and quiet but I really need to get a lot smarter on power inverters, solar panels, charge controllers, and optimal battery configurations for my projected loads before I would have confidence that I could effectively meet my needs that way.
My thinking along these lines is to approach it in this rough sequence:
1) Determine what my true requirements are load-wise (i.e., lights, hot water, TV/radio, fans, etc.).
2) Skinny down the load as much as possible via LEDs, propane, changes in habits, etc.
3) Investigate 6V vs. 12V configurations to see which will give me the best bang for the buck and not drive me into too heavy a tongue weight for my rig. My hunch is that 6V will be better and 2-4 will be enough but that's really a SWAG (guess).
4) Purchase n number of batteries (2, 4, 6?) to meet that need with sufficient amp hours.
5) In the future look at solar to recharge the batteries so the generator becomes just a backup for charging.
Maybe this ought to be another thread but it would be great to hear what others have done and whether or not it's possible to approach this in an incremental way so as not to break the bank.