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Old 07-29-2015, 07:57 AM   #21
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: cincinnati
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We just got back from Yellowstone. Stayed at Baker's Hole, a Nat Forrest CG a couple of miles North of West Yellowstone. A few sites have electric. We stayed one night at Grizzly RV Park to fill up the fresh water tank and dump the black and gray tanks. The next morning I took just the TV to Bakers Hole CG to secure a site and put some chairs out while I went back to get the TT. Our site overlooked the Madison River. All the sites are large. Some of the Yellowstone CG's are very tight and I didn't feel comfortable trying to fit my 24 foot TT in. The sites do not have water hookups but you can refill easily at a couple of places in the CG using a water thief. West Yellowstone is central to touring the loops. I would allow at least 4 hours for each loop.

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Old 08-09-2015, 09:21 AM   #22
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Location: King George
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Our trick to camping off the power grid is to determine what you want to have running using an optional INVERTER for the 120VAC items or direct connected to the batteries for the 12VDC things.

Then beefup the on-board board converter/charger to a woring smart mode system, add additional batteries and larger battery cabes, changeout the automotive incandescent high wattage bulbs for LEDs.

Then we always start out each day/night run off the batteries with at least 90% charged state batteries. Then at 8AM the next morning when allowed to run our generator we will connect the 30A trailer shore power cable directly to the 120V RECEPTACLE of the 2KW generator which will fire up the on-board converter/charger and recharge the batteries in around three hours of run time.

We can reduce this run time down to an hour if we had solar panels installed as the initial start DC CURRENT for our battery bank wants to draw around 50AMPs DC CURRENT. The plan would be to run the generator for an hour first then shut it down and let the two or three solar panels finish off the 90% charge state the rest of the high sun day.

We learned along time ago you cannot start your day/night run off the batteries without at least a 90$ charge state battery setup. Otherwise it will get dark on you around 10PM at night...

This is what works for us when camping off the power grid here on the East side of the US.

Roy Ken

Roy and Carolyn
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Old 08-09-2015, 11:08 AM   #23
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Location: Eagle River, AK
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There is a lot of good advice on this thread. However, I will still give my 2 cents. Save on water and water heater usage; even when the kiddos were small we have boondocked without showering everyday (we have gone as long as three days, utilizing wet wipes (then again I have spent deployments and had no showers for two weeks or more)).
From many of the posts I have read, I think I push the limits on my rig much further than most people do, and tend to do with less.
My DW with two teens and a preteen have gone out for as long as 6 days on 50 gallons of water and no generator, with temps into the lower to mid 20s at night. We utilize a simple 40 watt solar panel to provide a slow trickle charge (which we set up immediately, even in cloudy weather, they will work). We use rigid power discipline. Lights kept off until they are absolutely needed, and turned off when not in use. Utilizing only one light at a time (even with LED's). Using the furnace only during the night with thermostat set around 40. First thing in the morning, I get up and light a burner on the stove to get the coffee brewing, and light the Buddy heater. That warms the TT up just fine until everyone is up and dressed. Water heater is kept off at night and turned on only when the stove is turned off. Again at night just before we shut everything down we run the water heater until it shuts itself off, then turn off the switch so it doesn't ignite during the night. The water stays hot enough through the night that we are good in the morning. We leave the refrigerator running on propane.
Sure the TT gets cold at night, but all of us sleep just fine with an extra blanket or bag.
The reason I mention, holding off on the showers is this; it will save on filling up your grey tank. Plus, realistically, it really won't hurt to skip a day or two.
We wash our dishes in a tub in the sink in the mornings after breakfast. We eat off paper plates and plastic utensils.

In the past we have gone as long as three weeks in our old 5er (which was much older and had incandescent bulbs throughout) on hunts in mid October. We utilized the plugging into the TV every second day for 20 to 30 minutes at idle to charge the battery, and still lasted just fine. We utilized a portable pump platform I built with extension wires off the TV and a hose to refill the FW tank from a mountain stream.

Nowadays I carry a 35 gallon portable tank inside the TT if I am boondocking that long and I have both a 1000W inverter generator and a 5500 watt construction generator if I am out on an extreme cold weather hunt in December where temps drop below zero.

Apologies for rambling. My point is this, you would be surprised how long you can go if you utilize good discipline with power and water usage. Many people get stuck in the mindset where they feel they need to keep their battery (or batteries) completely full everyday, and go into "recharge panic" mode when they see the meter drop to 2/3 charge. I have pushed my down to where it shows 1/3 charge and then drops to E when the heater or stove fan is turned on. Then if I don't have a gen with me, I plug my TV in and let it idle for 20 - 30 minutes.

One final recommendation. I have done this with every vehicle I own and ever TT and camping rig. I load two five gallon gas cans in the back of the vehicle and drive with the TT or under load until I run completely out of gas. This way I know how far I can actually go and then give myself a 30 mile reduction from the total distance so I do not find myself stranded somewhere. I also take the TT out for a weekend (Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday) and disconnect the battery (only connecting it for one hour daily) so we all learn our power discipline and learn how to stay out of the fridge to keep the food cool, etc. it has helped set the family and myself into the mindset.

We are just a humble drinking couple with a hunting and camping problem.
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