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Old 10-25-2014, 05:27 AM   #1
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First time boondocking

I have a new X19H HTT and will be a first-time boondocker next week for about four days in a State park with no hookups but with bathroom and shower facilities, and some 120 VAC outlets in the ramada near our HTT (supposedly NOT to be used for hooking up the TT). What advice can you offer me as far as a setup for this trip. I am particularly interested in my needs for electricity. Do I need a second battery and/or an inverter or generator ($$$). By the way, I do not plan to boondock very often as my DW prefers "glamping" at RV resorts with full hookups which we have done so far for about 25 total days.
Here is also a specific question about inverters. I have seen reasonably-priced, modified sine wave ones and thought about getting one at about 1100-1500 watts. Can I use it and plug in my TTs 30 amp shore power cable with my 15 amp adapter and essentially electrify my trailer? What would be the drain on the battery, especially since I do not have a generator and prefer NOT to buy one at this time? I know that, if this would work, I could not use more power than the max. output of the inverter. I would want 120 VAC for TV/DVD, laptop computer, recharging phones, etc., maybe the microwave.
Any help here would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 10-25-2014, 08:41 AM   #2
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Can I use it and plug in my TTs 30 amp shore power cable with my 15 amp adapter and essentially electrify my trailer?
That would kill a single battery in a very short time.. if you did this you would have to pull the fuse on the converter or it would try to charge the battery and it would take more power out than puts in (death spiral). Learn the basics of power conservation... shut it off if not using it.. forget about the TV and remember the furnace will kill your battery in one night.. You can get an inverter style gen for about $500.00 at Costco but if you only if you are going to use it lots does this make sense... try a local rent it store but make sure you get an inverter style rather than a construction grade one (noisy). I boondock 100% of the time and the $5000.00 I put into my system has paid for itself.
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Old 10-25-2014, 04:31 PM   #3
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Go out in your driveway tonight and open a door in your car, leave the key on acc. so you can turn on the radio and the fan. Then go into the house and get a good nites sleep. The next morning, go out and start your car. You'll quickly understand the realities of running on a battery. Ok so the battery on the TT probably is a deep cycle and will have a bit more amp hour rating than the car, but one battery won't last long if you run even half the stuff you're talking about. Microwaves on an inverter are battery killers. Forget the microwave, coffee maker, hair dryer or anything that creates heat. Boondocking without a gen or multi battery bank and expecting to last more than 1 night is just a dream that will leave you with a nightmare on the 2nd or 3d day.
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Old 10-25-2014, 05:37 PM   #4
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Figuring battery usage isn't difficult, but there is some reading you have to do - if you care to. Here's a condensed version: I'm assuming your X19H has a battery that will produce about 80 amp hours (one amp for 80 hours). You shouldn't go below half-life so you should keep the usage to not more than 40 amp hours between charges. So, that's 20 amps for 2 hours; 10 amps for 4 hours; 5 amps for 8 hours. There are lists readily available that show how many amps common electrical devices use per hour. There used to be one in the Jayco owners manual, and there might be one on this forum.

If you decide to do the reading and start budgeting your amps usage, you will eliminate some unpleasant surprises. Also, remember there is probably ABOUT a one amp draw on your battery all the time for small things that are constantly connected. About one amp for 24 hours is half of your budget and, you haven't turned anything on yet.

There are some good threads on this forum about electrical draw and battery life.

We were in the same situation some years ago and needed heat at night. We didn't turn the furnace on until later at night than we normally would have, and turned the thermostat way down so it wouldn't cycle as often. We made it fine - a night at a time. I took our battery out and charged it from an outlet in the bathhouse. Of course you have to have a charger with you, and we stayed close enough to keep an eye on it. We made our coffee from the same outlet. We said we were "roughing it". Now when we rough it, we charge the battery from our portable generator through the power converter.
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Old 10-26-2014, 10:26 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OnTheGo View Post
We were in the same situation some years ago and needed heat at night. We didn't turn the furnace on until later at night than we normally would have, and turned the thermostat way down so it wouldn't cycle as often. We made it fine - a night at a time. I took our battery out and charged it from an outlet in the bathhouse. Of course you have to have a charger with you, and we stayed close enough to keep an eye on it. We made our coffee from the same outlet. We said we were "roughing it". Now when we rough it, we charge the battery from our portable generator through the power converter.
Sounds to me like you really MUST have a generator if you are going to seriously boondock! But at ~$1,000 for a good Honda 2000, I'll have to seriously look at what type of camping we really want to do as we have been pretty happy so far at RV parks with full hook-ups. Next week's boondock may tell the tale.
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Old 10-26-2014, 10:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docmarrin View Post
Sounds to me like you really MUST have a generator if you are going to seriously boondock! But at ~$1,000 for a good Honda 2000, I'll have to seriously look at what type of camping we really want to do as we have been pretty happy so far at RV parks with full hook-ups. Next week's boondock may tell the tale.
No generator is required at all......

Here is a link to a person that is full time Boondocking with a generator,

http://handybobsolar.wordpress.com/
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Old 10-26-2014, 12:45 PM   #7
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docmarrin, you need to understand what your actual consumption is while boondocking. There are many resources. I think the 12-volt side of life Parts I & II are useful. Handy Bob also has a good piece on RV charging. This link is the "RV charging Puzzle". See if any of these links are helpful. Bob makes an argument that the RV industry builds units designed to keep us tethered to the electrical pole at RV parks. It really will come down to you determining how you want to enjoy your TT. We prefer to boondock, others, especially those new to the TT world, will begin by enjoying the RV park.

Read these and share your thoughts.

http://www.marxrv.com/12volt/12volt.htm

http://www.marxrv.com/12volt/12volta.htm

http://handybobsolar.wordpress.com/t...ging-puzzle-2/
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Old 02-11-2015, 06:20 PM   #8
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You could pretend you don't have a battery. Water jugs on counter and one in the bathroom for flushing so you don't need to turn on the water pump. Led lanterns for lighting. Down sleeping bags for heat and warm clothes so you don't need to turn on the heater. Basically, tent camping in an RV.
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Old 02-13-2015, 07:07 AM   #9
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We've never boondocked before but it seems to me like tent camping with a few perks. We tent camped for YEARS with only a battery boost box to power a fan on those hot nights. We may attempt boondocking and just pretend we're back in the tent.
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Old 02-13-2015, 08:26 AM   #10
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Our one bad electrical experience when boon-docking was also one of our first shake-down trips ~ before we had fully assessed the TT power drain on our batteries. They had drained to the point that the CO2/Propane alarm was triggered at 5:30am - our first clue was the initial beep that launched the dog onto our bed (she missed and crashed on the floor). Not awake enough to know what was happening - I dashed out with her on the leash as DH figured-out the situation. Needless to say, couldn't make our coffee so we just packed-up and headed home ... and started pricing generators!
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