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Old 06-30-2014, 08:19 AM   #1
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First time with stock setup?

We are considering a long weekend at a rustic camp site. All our camping has been done at CG's with electric and water. Not too concerned about water, but our TT only has one 12v deep cycle w/85 Ah. Haven't done any changes to the factory lights, all stock. We don't have a TV or anything, and we can go without the microwave, ac, etc. but we would be using the fridge, water heater on propane mode and of course cooking w/propane. I'm worried that after a day and a half my battery is gonna die and won't be able to finish out the weekend. Do you think I can make it for three days with only 85 Ah?
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Old 07-01-2014, 11:21 PM   #2
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By it self, doubtful. If don't use a generator then you could charge it a little with your tow vehicle, assuming it's a seven way plug.
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Old 07-06-2014, 01:04 AM   #3
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Using your 7 way plug is a very inefficient attempt to charge the trailer batteries.

If you find yourself in that situation needing to charge up your batteries, it is much better and more efficient to use jumper cables connected from your truck to the trailer, the same as if you were trying to jump start a car.

The electrical transfer is much greater using the larger wires in the jumper cables than that of the 7 pin plug.

Ultimately, if you are boondocking on a regular basis, it is best to find an alternative method to keep your batteries charged, whether it be solar or generator
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Old 07-13-2014, 04:14 PM   #4
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Well, I just booked a site for two nights with no power. Gonna buy another 12v deep cycle (170 amp hrs total) and going to order some led bulbs. Any other suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 07-13-2014, 10:57 PM   #5
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It best to buy both batteries at the same time. They should also be same type and size. But I understand this is a learning process. Try it out and let us know how it worked for you.
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Old 07-13-2014, 11:28 PM   #6
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It is doable. We did it many times before switching to leds. We turn off all the over head lights at the fixture. When we need a light we only turn on the one we need. I also removed one bulb from the double fixtures.

As for two batteries, if they are not matched, just run one then switch over to the other. That is what we do. Works fine. We store the second battery in the back of the TV in a plastic milk crate, when needed it we put on the ground next to the tt and switch the wires over.

Good luck
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Old 07-13-2014, 11:43 PM   #7
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I just did a three night trip that saw my family of four doing dishes and bathed the kids one night with water pump running of course. Vent fan running used the furnace (we were in the sub alpine was cold at night) and sometimes leaving pump on. Not even close to draining the battery!
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Old 07-14-2014, 10:52 AM   #8
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Just ordered 20 LED bulbs. Anyone have experience with these? At this price my expectations are low, but they get very good positive reviews.

http://www.amazon.com/GRV-24-3528-Su...8+SMD+LED+Bulb
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Old 07-14-2014, 12:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fawcett View Post
I just did a three night trip that saw my family of four doing dishes and bathed the kids one night with water pump running of course. Vent fan running used the furnace (we were in the sub alpine was cold at night) and sometimes leaving pump on. Not even close to draining the battery!
Good info! Our only power use would be electronics for propane refrigerator, water pump (infrequent), an LED light once in a while, and furnace fan from time to time. Looks like a weekend off the grid with this use would be no problem. I'll report back.
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Old 07-14-2014, 12:35 PM   #10
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This is an excellent opportunity to track and record your DC power use so that you will know going forward how long you can/should run while dry camping.

Remember that ideally, you only what to go to 50% of your battery capacity, 85amps before recharging, except on rare occasions. Doing so will shorten the life of your batteries

Use a good digital millimeter to check on your battery condition. There are some charts out there that estimate the "voltage" to % utilization. Use these to understand where your use is at different stages of your outing. Remember that the most accurate voltage reading is when the battery is at rest for +30 minutes.

If you can begin to plot typical usage, you can project your run times and when you need to plan to recharge.
Adding a solar panel can also be a great way to top off your battery throughout the day
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