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Old 08-31-2016, 09:56 AM   #1
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New owner questions

Hello everyone, I was wondering if I could ask for some expert guidance on a couple of issues. Simple stuff, I think. But i'm new to this, so please forgive my ignorance.

My wife and I purchased a 2016 WhiteHawk earlier this year and have enjoyed it very much.

We are about to take it boondocking for the first time in Rocky Mountain NP. We have a 1000w Honda generator. If we run the generator for the max time limits am/pm in RMNP, for how long will the smaller electric items in the trailer (like lights, radio, TV etc.) run before the charge is gone? Does the generator charge the battery as well and how long will the battery keep running these types of small appliances after it is turned off? Does a heater create a major drain on the battery?

If we fill the fresh water tank, will the water heater heat water from that tank?? Is the water heater in the Whitehawk a tankless water heater?

Anyone know off hand how big is the fresh water tank in the Whitehawk.

Many thanks to any and all who can provide help.

James Patterson
Jimmyleepatterson@gmail.com
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Old 08-31-2016, 10:47 AM   #2
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The generator will charge the battery. 1 battery will easily last through an evening of use. 2 batteries are better then 1 and will double the amount of time for using 12 volt lights etc. The heater fan is not a significant draw on the battery unless of course it runs continuously. The water heater is probable a 6 gallon model and is fed by the 12 volt water pump. The fresh water tank size is listed in the owners manual (along with all other tank sizes) and is available for download on the Jayco web site. We have 2015 White Hawk 27DSRL and have found that dry camping for a weekend doesn't require a generator. 2 batteries are enough for our use. I have found that carrying a tote tank will come in handy but is not required to have fun. Enjoy your trip.
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Old 08-31-2016, 10:56 AM   #3
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From someone who practically only boondocks and is very much into the Leave No Trace movement....


Try and see how much of your precious resources (water, propane, food, electricity) you can do without. Also try and generate as little trash as possible.


When you enter a campsite and set up, you have exactly 100% of the stuff you brought with you. Challenge the whole family to do with less.
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Old 08-31-2016, 12:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Patterson View Post
...
We are about to take it boondocking for the first time in Rocky Mountain NP. We have a 1000w Honda generator. If we run the generator for the max time limits am/pm in RMNP, for how long will the smaller electric items in the trailer (like lights, radio, TV etc.) run before the charge is gone? Does the generator charge the battery as well and how long will the battery keep running these types of small appliances after it is turned off? Does a heater create a major drain on the battery?

If we fill the fresh water tank, will the water heater heat water from that tank?? ...
Welcome to JOF.

You probably won't need to run the 1000W generator at all. A brand new unit like yours will have LED coach lighting - super low draw. The water pump will certainly fill your water heater. The furnace fan will be the largest draw upon the "house" battery, so bring blankets. Use the furnace only in an emergency.

You'll be fine. The worst case scenario is your TT battery is flat by Sunday, and in order to retract the slide out will be to fire up the generator.

But seriously - these TT are self contained camping units, and one weekend on the battery will be easily done - and I bet you won't need the generator once.
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Old 08-31-2016, 12:28 PM   #5
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I find the biggest challenge (with a family of 5) is water usage. The grey water tank will fill up very quickly if you don't clamp down on that big time.

I got everyone to challenge themselves to see how who could use the least amount of water to wash hands, etc. The youngest child doesn't seem to care much about showering, so there's that, LOL!

If folks are careful, we can go an entire weekend without worry.

Do remember to bring a 5-gallon bucket. If the grey water tank gets full, you can use it to transfer some of the grey water into the black water tank via the toilet. With limited water use, it takes a LONG time to fill a black water tank with just black water stuff...
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Old 08-31-2016, 12:37 PM   #6
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Great tip. When I have 80 gallons of fresh water on board, the grey tank is full within 2 days, but the black tank is nearly empty. Transferring that grey water into the black tank is a great idea.

RMNP is a beautiful park. Say hello to the Elk and Moose for me, and if you don't mind, chase one of the larger Elk into the public hunting lands to the south so I can bag one this fall (not really joking hahaha)

I'd just add that it's really hard to know exactly what your battery is doing until you install a legitimate battery monitoring system... they are cheap, not terribly hard to install and will give you all the information you need to plan your energy use. I have a 4000 watt generator from Cabelas and I wouldn't dream of firing it up in that park. If my neighbors didn't shoot me before my wife did, I'd be really surprised. Yours is probably a lot quieter, but point stands..
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Old 10-13-2016, 12:32 PM   #7
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Wish I'd read last weekend

Transferring grey water to black water tank is fantastic tip. Last weekend grey water was full and black was 1/3.
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Old 10-13-2016, 01:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Patterson View Post
Hello everyone, ...
We are about to take it boondocking for the first time in Rocky Mountain NP. We have a 1000w Honda generator. If we run the generator for the max time limits am/pm in RMNP, for how long will the smaller electric items in the trailer (like lights, radio, TV etc.) run before the charge is gone? Does the generator charge the battery as well and how long will the battery keep running these types of small appliances after it is turned off? Does a heater create a major drain on the battery?

If we fill the fresh water tank, will the water heater heat water from that tank?? Is the water heater in the Whitehawk a tankless water heater?

Anyone know off hand how big is the fresh water tank in the Whitehawk.

[/EMAIL]
When the generator is plugged in and running, the converter will charge your battery(ies). As has been said, your trailer is new enough, to have LED lighting throughout so power draw is minimal, with exception to the oven hood light which is a standard incandescent bulb (along with the outside "spook" light on the drivers side back corner, and the light under the steps which operates with the LED awning light)
The heater (more precisely the heater fan) will create the largest draw on your battery, so use it sparingly, it will also be the largest draw on your propane.
Also noted previously is that your water heater is most likely a 6 gallon model. Since you are utilizing your fresh water tank, I will assume you will be filling it prior to departure. If you are doing so at your home with the trailer plugged in to shore power, I would suggest filling the water tank and water heater a day prior to departure and running the water heater on electric to preheat the water (like running the refrigerator to pre chill it), shutting it off just prior to pulling out.

Since you did not give the model of Whitehawk you own, you will have to go to the owners manual or online and look up the information regarding the size of your water tank.

Some tips which can extend the life of your batteries and propane. Some of these may seem minimal but every little bit helps. Only turn the water pump on when you are actively running water. Turn on the water heater first thing in the morning and turn it off once you complete doing the morning dishes. Turn it on again in the evening when you start dinner and turn it off when you complete doing the dishes. If you are going to utilize the shower, turn the water heater on about 10 minutes prior and turn it off after.
Have good blankets and do not leave your funace on during the night.
We set the coffee pot up the night before going to bed and have it ready on the stove. In the morning, when I wake up, I get up and start the coffee (I am usually the first one awake) and then jump back in bed for a bit. The burner on the stove heating the coffee will heat the interior of the trailer some. One you are ready to get out of bed, if you have to use the heater, the interior will already be a little warmer (which translates to a slightly less run time). If its not too cold, then the trailer will heat nicely when you cook breakfast....
Lights, even though they are LED's use as little as possible. We use flashlights most often instead of the awning/porch light.
The ideas for grey tank and black tank transfer are great ideas.
For the sake of saying it, and just to let you know. (like others here) I primarily boondock. I also tend to take my trailer into places that really push the limits of use. I (and two buddies) just recently spent a 7 day hunting trip; during which, for really stupid reasons, I was unable to get my 1000W generator started. However, even without plugging in to the tow vehicle, we went the entire 7 days utilizing only the onboard batteries and water. Judicious and high self disciplined usage allowed that the batteries never dropped below 2/3 power. Temps dropped below 30 degrees most night and never when above the mid 40s during the day. We never once used the onboard furnace heater (instead we used a Mr. Buddy propane heater). It can be done and it can be done comfortably.

Feel free to PM me if you have more questions.
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Old 10-13-2016, 01:15 PM   #9
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A couple of special notes to add.
When using things like a Buddy propane heater, ensure you have a vent slightly opened somewhere. We usually leave the bathroom hood vent fully open.
When I talk about light usage, I mean we try to utilize only one overhead light at a time unless you use the bathroom etc. During long trips we utilize a coleman two mantle propane lantern. It also heats the inside of the trailer as well as provides light (again, we make sure to have a vent open and maybe a window cracked somewhere).
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Old 10-13-2016, 02:22 PM   #10
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We very rarely boondock, but we often camp without sewer. So I have a routine to keep the gray tank from filling up. Dish water is minimized goes in the toilet, navy showers are required, I keep a garden hose adapter for my waste tank outlet as well as a small cat litter bucket to make transferring gray water to the black tank a cinch (it's smaller than a 5 gal bucket, so it fits in my storage compartment). I also have a 15 gallon waste water tote that I recovered from Padre Island National Seashore (it is a potable water tote that washed up, and was trash, so I picked it up and kept it, helped clean up the beach and got a useful tool too!) that I can use to transport gray water to the dump station. Using this routine, we will put about 9 gallons of gray water in the tank every 24 hours, and that's with both of us showering. Our tank is 32 gallons, so we could go a full weekend without needing to take any water off the gray tank.
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