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Old 09-06-2011, 07:46 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by jlibasci View Post
ok,so 2 6volt batteries, 8 gauge wire, dont know what a charge controller is, but I wil ask the dealer for one I suppose. anything else?
Great stuff! Much appreciated!
Charge controller is only if you have solar. It prevents over charging of the batteries and night time reverse flow to the panels.

2004 Chev Silverado Duramax optioned past the max. 2009 Jayco Eagle 308 RLS 765 watts of solar, 6-6 volt batteries (696 amp hour), 2000 watt (4000 surge) whole house inverter.
140 days boondocking in 2016
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Old 09-06-2011, 05:30 PM   #12
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Thanks a lot Kenelz. I was lookign at the Honda and Yamaha generators. Do you run you batteries and then just recharge with the generator when they are low or do you use the generator very often. My ideal plan would be to use the generator only to charge the batteries or for when I need to use the microwave and other high wattacge accessories. I am interested to know how many batteries you have, what kind and how long you can go before you need the generator. Thanks again!

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Old 09-06-2011, 08:32 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Seann45 View Post
Go with a pair of 6 volt golf cart batteries. They will last longer in use and for years.....snip
I agree...., a lot of advantages when boondocking.

Make sure you get the 100% Deep Cycle GC batteries, not the Marine/RV batteries. This is my recent 6V upgrade: http://www.jaycoowners.com/showthread.php?t=2752

Here is a current running thread on the subject of generators: http://www.jaycoowners.com/showthread.php?t=4230


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Old 09-07-2011, 07:27 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by jlibasci View Post
Thanks a lot Kenelz. I was looking at the Honda and Yamaha generators. Do you run you batteries and then just recharge with the generator when they are low or do you use the generator very often. My ideal plan would be to use the generator only to charge the batteries or for when I need to use the microwave and other high wattacge accessories. I am interested to know how many batteries you have, what kind and how long you can go before you need the generator. Thanks again!
I'm not a high tech guy, others will be around to answer some of the questions. I have a new rig and haven't added a battery yet. My last rig I just added another 12v in parallel, the reason was to only buy one battery instead of two if I went with the 6Vs in series.

I run my generator enough that the batteries don't get down much at all, an hour or so a day will keep it up. But, everyones case will be different. I'm usually outside all day, and some cold nights the furnace kicks on, so every day is different. I start it up in the morn for the toaster and watch a little TV, and when I use the microwave in the afternoon and evening are enough for my draw.

There are other things you can do to extend battery life, LED lights are supposed to really help, but I haven't done that yet.

If you are gone for any length of time, you will want to pull a battery cable, fuse, or whatever it takes to cut power to the items that have a constant draw (like the converter, radio, etc.)
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Old 12-04-2011, 03:35 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by jlibasci View Post
Yes, the title is correct. I am a newbie that bought a Jayflight 26ft bh ONLY for boondocking on my hunting property. I am supposed to pick it up from the dealer in a couple of weeks and was wondering if anyone had a list of items I should have the dealer add to the trailer to make it as boondock-worthy as possible (i.e. another battery?, what size generator?different wiring?? etc)
My trips will only be 2-3 days at a time with an occasional 4 or 5 day stint.

ALL help/advice will be greatly appreciated s I am not very handy and would like the dealer to do as much of the work as possible.
Been boondocking for 12 years - only stayed in a RV park 2 nights - hate em.

Two batteries - and a generator - a quiet one please. Tried solar and was more hassel than worth. A good quality genny is very easy to use to extend your batteries for ever (as long as you have gas).

Do you expect to run your AC?
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Old 12-08-2011, 02:28 PM   #16
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I know a lot of people won't agree but there is nothing worse than listing to somebody's generator. Sounds like your camp is on its own so you won't be annoying anyone else, Also as far as I'm concerned a microwave is only good for a bread box. Solar is so easy. No fuss no muss and it works weather your there or not. Every ones situation and needs are different, but I can't think of a thing I need that requires a generator.
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Old 12-29-2011, 01:26 PM   #17
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this is a great thread. Last summer we took our BH20 to Manzanita Lake up at Lassen for 6 days of boon docking After the forth day we were out of juice. My wife who refuses to use public facilities made me hook up to the jeep so she could flush. But it just dawned on me as I type this a gallon of water stored in the head would have worked. Duh!
When the juice is gone its like tent camping but with hard walls. Not a problem. I also bought a small propane heater...Mr Heater. I highly recommend it. Works very well. Make sure you read the directions for using it indoors.
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Old 01-02-2012, 05:50 PM   #18
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Check the electrical design on your trailer. I have a 2010 Starcraft 246RKS. This 28' trailer had the batteries on the front tounge and converter in the back connected via 8 guage wire. A little research (mostly @ http://wind-sun.com/ForumVB/index.php showed that you really can't expect to charge your batteries over that much wire - especially with that guage.

Maybe if the factory had run 0 guage I could have gotten a near charge, but still not good. After a bit of thinking and learning on the net I decided to move my converter to the front storage compartment - so now it is less that 6' of 4 guage cable from the batteries. In addition I replaced the 8 guage with 6 guage to go to the power distribution (which I left in the rear). In addition to the run of 6 guage, it required running new 110V cable from the old to new location.

After that, the charger actually can recharge the batteries fully, but the other thing I learned is that the low end Iota converter provided in these trailers is essentially a 2 stage trickle charger, putting out 13.6V in the charge phase. A bit of research later I realized that it might take 12 hours of generator time to recharge a nights use of the furnace. To solve this, I replaced it with a Progressive Dynamics unit

There is some debate on to which is better between higher end Iota's and this unit, but I had one of these in my Casita and it worked great so I went this way. In addition to it's 14.4V full charge - it has a cycle every 23 or so hours that is supposed to prevent stratification in the batteries. I think it works as I believe my Casita battery was the original and the trailer was 7 years old when i sold it.

Main point of this post is that RV manufacutures don't always build their trailers to be effective boondockers. The most important changes I made, moving the converter and increasing the guage of wire from the converter to the batteries, cost me around $100 and 8 or so hours of my life. Had it been done at the factory I'd estimate their increased cost at way under $50.

I bought this trailer used and learned that the prior owners 1) rarely used the trailer and 2) didn't leave it plugged in. That in combination with the fact that with the factory installation of the converter the batteries could NEVER actually be fully charged, leads me to believe I need to replace them. Next steps will be:

1) buy a hydrometer as that seems to be the only REAL way to test your batteries and they are cheap
2) replace them. I think will be be replacing with 2x Trojan 12V true deep cycle batteries. something like the T-1260 12V deep cycle.

I know many use the 2x 6V and while I think those may last longer - as a weekender my batteries won't go through huge numbers of discharge/charge cycles - and with these I will get more amp hours available than say 2x T105's.

I know this is a bit technical, and I'm not much of a writer, so feel free to ask for clarifications

- 2005 Dodge 2500 CTD 6spd manual
- 2010 Starcraft Autumn Ridge 246RKS
- 2003 Casita Spirit Deluxe (sold)

My Write-up on managing 12V and batteries
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:35 PM   #19
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We camped on our river lot for 15 years without power. We used a small honda generator 650 watts and ran a tank of gas in it every night. (about 1 liter of gas). A 2 gallon can would last about a week.
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Old 01-07-2012, 08:49 AM   #20
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I just submitted this resonse to another post here and it sort of applies to this one as well..

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 generators 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...

If this is on your land you wont be need to worry about running your generator anytime you want to but alot of other places you may have a problem doing this for all the rules out there... You might want to camp in other places off the power grid. It wan's all that hard for me to do all of the battery beef-up mods to make my trailer work. I did it in spurts... I would be glad to provide you with the info I went through to get my trailer battery system upgraded via emails. I'd rather do it myself as I would not what all I had after it was done.

These just involve ordering the right components and replacing what you have and adding a few additional items. All that is involved is with the BATTERY SIDE of things... Almost everything I installed was purchased from AMAZON.com and Lowes.

Roy and Carolyn
I claim Horse Creek Country in Southern Ill - Momabear is from North Texas
We live in King George VA

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