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Old 12-04-2014, 02:48 AM   #1
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Location: Palm Desert, CA
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Touchdown! New x20e is here and I need some boondocking pointers

First - A big shout out to all the folks who helped with our purchase of a 2015 x20e. Those were some robust discussions and I am still receiving inquiries about unibody TV's.

Richardson RV in Menifee, CA did an outstanding job with the delivery of our new TT. I was armed with a printout of that entire sticky on PDI's, but they beat me to the punch on every item. The delivery was flawless, and we were literally driving away when I decided to switch out my battery for dual 6V deep cycles. Dennis, Ziggy, and Chris at Richardsons did not bat an eyelash and had us on the road again very quickly.

By the time we left, it was dark and there was a 45 mph wind for our 80 mile trip home. We never even felt the wind . . . but that could have all the celebratory beer we were drinking . . . okay, THAT was a joke - so you don't need to chastise me.

Since we are new to RV'ing we were wary about backing her into the "camper cave" in the dark, so she spent her first night in the Walmart parking lot.

Took our first trip last week over the long weekend - made it all the way to the Emerald Desert park, which is at least 3/4 mile from home. We felt pretty good about that as it gave us time to figure out how to operate most all of the goodies on the TT.

And, yes, we had a few moments . . . couldn't get the hitch on and then couldn't get it to release, etc. But the best part is the thrill we felt about getting her hooked up for the first time and then hearing a huge sound as we pulled her out of her storage area. Geez - how were we to know that the AC unit was so high above the roof and that the 14 ft. door had slid down a bit? We had managed to whack the crap out of both of them and then we laughed ourselves silly because of all the dumb stunts we had read about on the forums.

I swear, if it weren't for YouTube videos, we would still be in the Walmart parking lot.

So, this weekend we are going to try some boondocking in Joshua Tree Nat'l Park and I have a few questions having to do with the 12 volt system:

There seems to be just one 12 volt socket. It is behind the TV set and bears a warning label that says it is for the television ONLY. Is this really true? I would like to have a heated mattress pad and was going to order a 12 volt pad but what do I connect it to?

Also, we need to power a c-pap. Do i need an inverter or . . . ?

Is there anyway to use the TV for an hour or so without blowing thru the battery power? If so, I don't see any cord or 12 v plug on the TV so what use is the adjacent socket?

What can we expect? In case you haven't figured this out - I/we have no experience with 12 volt.

Thanks for any help you can give me and thanks (again) for all the fabulous input from a few months back.


Kathleen and the "Big Guy" (BG)
Homer the Beagle
2016 Acura MDX - 2015 X20E
10K Equalizer; Teshonka P3
Dual 6V Deep Cycle Interstate Batteries
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Old 12-04-2014, 04:50 AM   #2
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Location: Southwest Florida
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I can feel your excitement reading your post. I'm happy for you.

Something to consider: If your x20e came stock with one 12V battery, you might not have enough power available to boondock without really limiting your electrical usage, and you would need frequent (probably daily) battery charges. Anything that makes heat out of electricity uses a lot of current.

This forum is full of those kinds of threads. Using the search feature will take you to them. Also, there are some excellent electrical minded contributors that are willing to help you. Good luck, and enjoy your new TT.

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Old 12-04-2014, 05:45 AM   #3
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 40
Consider investing in a small generator. Honda EU2000I will serve you well. It will run the TV and the furnace and any lights you want on. Extremely quiet and easy on gas too. It will also run the AC if you aren't running anything else.
When boon-docking, instead of trying to run furnace and or some kind of electric heater we invested in a really good double sleeping bag. Keeps us warm well down into 20 degree weather. When we wake up we turn on the furnace and it warms up the camper quickly.
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Old 12-04-2014, 07:58 AM   #4
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Congrats on your new sled...
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Old 12-04-2014, 08:28 AM   #5
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Congrats on the new RV
Most C-pap's run on 12 V so if you check you might be able to bypass the converter inside the machine. It is not very hard to add 12V plugs to the RV. You just have to get past the OMG I am cutting a hole in it.. I am camped just a few miles from Joshua Tree.. (Niland) so if you want to meet for coffee this weekend and show off your new rig let me know.
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 12-04-2014, 10:43 AM   #6
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Old 12-04-2014, 11:52 AM   #7
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"Is there anyway to use the TV for an hour or so without blowing thru the battery power? If so, I don't see any cord or 12 v plug on the TV so what use is the adjacent socket?"

I would doubt the TV that came with your X20E is a 12VDC, rather 120VAC, so no you can't simply plug it into the 12VDC socket you mention.

Why its there is if you provided your own 12VDC TV in lieu of the 120VAC TV that came with it. I added a small 12VDC TV to my TT and honestly have only used is for a couple hours total. I wouldn't do it again.

You 12V system will run overhead lights, radio, furnace, fridge with LP gas, and water heater with LP Gas too.

If you want to run 120VAC items with no shore power connection you need either a generator or an inverter. The inverter will convert 12VDC to 120VAC, but they are not very efficient and will place a large drain on you battery bank. Using an inverter will most certainly require you have a way to charge batteries which brings you back to a generator or solar when camping without shore power.

There is a lot of debate about generators on these forums. One thing isn't really debated much is that is if you run one be sure to get a "Quiet" inverter type generator. < 60Db seems to be about the loudest acceptable by most folks. Honda and Yamaha are the gold standard in generators, personally I have a Honda EU2000i, but it seems Champion is making an inverter type quiet generator that other folks are very happy with.

If you are interested in adding a generator to your camping experience the next question is how big do you need. That can only be determined by what you expect to run with the generator. AC is the big one -- If you want to run your AC a 2000 watt generator will NOT accomplish that, and Yahmaa 2400 watt might.

I was able to get my Honda EU2000i used on CraigsList for $600. If you are interested in getting one I strongly suggest watching CL, they are often available for a quite a bit less than the $1000 MSRP. Plus with a little care, baiscally oil changes and cleaning the air filter, they will perform for years and years.
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Old 12-05-2014, 12:27 AM   #8
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Thanks for the comments and suggestions.

The one about the dedicated 12V television socket being for a 12V television makes sense and is something that would not have occurred to me. But can that socket be used for anything else? We have a small Apple charging device that has a 12 V plug on it. Can that be plugged into the television 12V socket?

Sleeping bags? Great idea and we have super bags so we will do that because the forecast is for the low 30's at night. We plan to use propane for everything that we can an we have been assured by some that the 2 deep cycle 6V batteries run in series will power the fan and the LED lights for several nights.

No AC use; no microwave; hair dryer, etc and we will need to be careful when using the water pump. We have well charged laptops and phones for entertainment purposes but would like to recharge them from the 12V plug if possible.

6V vs. 12V power? The two 6V batteries should hold a charge longer than the one 12V and since they are run in series, that = 12V, doesn't it?

We will start out using the above tactics but I would love to be able to add some sort of heated pad if that can work off those batteries. What about hot water bottles or some alternative. We can heat water on the stove top, but do they work? Anyone?

As for a generator, we like the Honda or Yamaha and could run two Hondas in series for greater power BUT I may have made a tactical error because I ordered a larger AC unit and I have now been told that I need a lot more power to kick it in. Since I am about 150% of my original budget, the generator (s) will need to wait a bit. I need something I can pick up and the smaller 2K watts at about 50 lbs. is about max for me. Any other ideas for staying warm with no or minimal power?

That hot blooded Beagle is beginning to look better and better.

Kathleen and the "Big Guy" (BG)
Homer the Beagle
2016 Acura MDX - 2015 X20E
10K Equalizer; Teshonka P3
Dual 6V Deep Cycle Interstate Batteries
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