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Old 07-21-2016, 09:51 AM   #1
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Recharge question

Heading out Monday for a 5 day boondocking trip to Duck Creek campground in Utah with our 2001 Jayco Kiwi 17 hybrid. Just put a new Crown 95 ah 12 volt battery in. We plan to use the power sparingly- water pump and minimal lighting (LED's) at night.

Roughly, how long will I need to run the generator each day to replinish the battery charge? Should I just charge till the voltage reads over 13 volts?

We have boondocked the last 2 years but only for 4 days each time.

Thanks for helping this not so newby!
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Old 07-21-2016, 11:48 AM   #2
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Whenever you can. Our Honda 2000i essentially is a trickle charger for the battery. It takes a couple of days to recharge a dead battery.
We did an oops the first day and left everything on.. dead. Since then we have been careful to turn the water pump off and did five days mostly boondocking last week without killing the battery. We had genny service for seven hours a day.
So between using your generator from the get go for a limited amount of time and doing the power management you are doing you will be fine.
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Old 07-21-2016, 01:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerdog View Post
Heading out Monday for a 5 day boondocking trip to Duck Creek campground in Utah with our 2001 Jayco Kiwi 17 hybrid. Just put a new Crown 95 ah 12 volt battery in. We plan to use the power sparingly- water pump and minimal lighting (LED's) at night.

Roughly, how long will I need to run the generator each day to replinish the battery charge? Should I just charge till the voltage reads over 13 volts?

We have boondocked the last 2 years but only for 4 days each time.

Thanks for helping this not so newby!
I am borrowing some information from RoyBraddy's post #6, regarding how long he charges his 3 batteries. Hope it helps a little.

I would recommend that you purchase a Digital Voltage Display meter like either of the ones below and when you battery hits 12.0VDC turn off your 12Volt things you are using, until you recharge the battery.

Roy, you may want to add to this....

Don



Tha
Attached Thumbnails
ELECTRONICS - 12VDC Voltage Display.jpg   BATTERY - AMP-Voltge Digital Display - AMAZON Picture.jpg  
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Old 07-21-2016, 01:21 PM   #4
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When we boondock (almost all our trips), I run the genset about an hour per day to let the built in (3 stage) charger do it's job.


Even if the battery is not fully charged, it puts back more than enough to last 24 hours.
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Old 07-21-2016, 02:18 PM   #5
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We camp alot off-grid up and down the Blue Ridge parkway and on SKYLINE Drive. When i was starting to do back in 2009 I did just what you was saying and that is just charging my batteries here and there a hour or so each day... This seemed to work pretty good with just LED lights and the usual parasitic drains including the ocassional water pump coming on...

The more we camped off-grid the more we kept adding to the list of things we wanted to have running. The one or so hours aday would not keep our batteries from discharging down. The more we only did the one hour of charging the batteries seemed to drop off quicker each running the same things...

Then I beefed up the batteries more and got a good working smart mode converter/charger set. Now I follow the rule to never start out each day/night run of my batteries unless I am at at least the 90% charge state. My batteries give almost 100% performance between the 90% and 50% charge state if I start out at 90% charge each day. I can only do this however for maybe 12-14 times before I have to a full 100% charge state which takes around 12 hours for me. The batteries would start falling off on performance if I didn't do this. It probably would hurt my batteries in the end so I watch that real close as well...

We are up to using 200-250 WATTS continuous drain now when we camp off the grid between 6PM and 11Pm each night and of course we also have to live with the parasitic drains as well.. This relates to around 20-22AMPS DC current continuous being pulled from the battery bank for the 4-5 hours or so each evening.

Doing this my 255AH battery bank will drop back to around the 50% charge state mark (around 12.0VDC) by 8AM each morning. This is when I hookup my shore power cable using an RV30A-15A long adapter cord and run the 2KW Generator to power up my PD9260C Converter/charger unit. This will bring my 50% discharged batteries back to their 90% charge state in around 3 three hours of generator run time.

This works out great where we usually camp as most place around us all seem to have generator run time restrictions in place - even the NATL FOREST areas...

This is breakfast time so works out great for us. We can tap in to the generator running and get our coffee made up for the day and MomaBear can run a few other things off the generator while the batteries are being charged up.

Been doing this routine since the early 2009 and my 255Ah battery bank is just now needing to be replaced... I've been in a expenses slow down mode here for almost a year now and can't keep my batteries charged up much at all now just sitting here around the house. Will have to replace all of them before getting back into camping again... Hoping to get back in the camping mode starting in NOV-DEC this year.

Of course all of this is way extreme to what you are wanting to do but for us I really had to watch my batteries to be sure we would keep up with load. Used to get dark on me around 9PM at night haha... That's no fun at all...

You just can't show up at the off-road camp site and make it all night long like you want to without some kind a pre-planning...

I've pretty much decided here to go witth two Battery Banks when I replace my old batteries - One on the trailer tongue and the otherone in the back of my truck bed. This will help out both of my hobbies of camping and Ham Radio emrgency comms. Then i can add both togther when camping and get double power there. Thinking of the low cost 6V Golf Cart batteries running in series. These will give me 220AHs and of running the two groups in parallel I can get up to the 440AH level...

I've got friends to look up that I haven''t seen for awhile. Will be a good family reunion haha...


Roy Ken
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Old 07-21-2016, 02:39 PM   #6
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From RoyBraddy "We are up to using 200-250 WATTS continuous drain now when we camp off the grid between 6PM and 11Pm each night and of course we also have to live with the parasitic drains as well.. This relates to around 20-22AMPS DC current continuous being pulled from the battery bank for the 4-5 hours or so each evening."


No offense, please; But, can I ask what you and your family are doing that requires that much electricity?


I consider electricity to be one of the limited resources we bring with us to the campsite. Fresh water, drinking water, food, propane and the waste tanks capacities being some of the others.
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Old 07-21-2016, 07:40 PM   #7
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When we boondock (almost all our trips), I run the genset about an hour per day to let the built in (3 stage) charger do it's job.


Even if the battery is not fully charged, it puts back more than enough to last 24 hours.
Thank you sir! That is the "simple" answer I was looking for.
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Old 09-15-2016, 02:25 PM   #8
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Like someone said, run the gen in the morning to take advantage of coffeepot, water pump etc. Maybe even an hour at night too.
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Old 09-30-2016, 09:23 PM   #9
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Boondocking

Perhaps I missed something - you're boondocking for about 5 days and asking about running a genset to recharge the battery, yes? It's great you have a genset to recharge the aforementioned battery, but wouldn't it be simpler to have a second battery (deep cycle I assume)? I've boondocked for 9 or 10 days (at below freezing temps with about the same electric consumption you mentioned and used 2 deep cycles without even denting the second. Of course, my cooking, coffee et al, was primarily accomplished with my 2 5-gal propane tanks. Obviously, power for the limited lighting, water pump and the furnace blower was from my 2 deep cycle batteries. I'm at a loss to understand why you'd need a genset - unless of course you've only one battery. Enlighten me please.
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Old 09-30-2016, 10:46 PM   #10
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Perhaps I missed something - you're boondocking for about 5 days and asking about running a genset to recharge the battery, yes? It's great you have a genset to recharge the aforementioned battery, but wouldn't it be simpler to have a second battery (deep cycle I assume)? I've boondocked for 9 or 10 days (at below freezing temps with about the same electric consumption you mentioned and used 2 deep cycles without even denting the second. Of course, my cooking, coffee et al, was primarily accomplished with my 2 5-gal propane tanks. Obviously, power for the limited lighting, water pump and the furnace blower was from my 2 deep cycle batteries. I'm at a loss to understand why you'd need a genset - unless of course you've only one battery. Enlighten me please.
Please enlighten ME. I'm still fairly new to all this. I did just upgrade to 2- 6 volt batteries, though.
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