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Old 11-03-2014, 01:03 PM   #1
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One weekend boondock

Sorry if there is another thread on this that I missed. I'm using our TT for the first time without shore power and I have no generator or solar, etc. (i do have a second battery i could pack along....)

My main need for electricity on this trip would be to run the heat over night. night time temps will be in the high 30's to mid 40's, daytime in the lower to mid 60s. I have no concept of how long the stock battery (less than 1 year old) will operate the heater blower.

Anyone ever tried this? I'm wondering if i'll make it through the night, or two nights.? I will occasionally use the water pump. Maybe a couple LED lights.

Thank you for sharing your experience/knowledge.
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Old 11-03-2014, 01:17 PM   #2
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My FIL will get about a day and a 1/2 out of one battery using it only at night for heat and a couple of lights. If you have a second battery I would take it just in case its needed. Hope this helps you.
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Old 11-03-2014, 01:57 PM   #3
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If you set the furnace a bit high you might not even make 1 night.
Its just great being woken up at 5 in the morning with the propane alarm beeping cause the battery is flat.
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Old 11-03-2014, 02:57 PM   #4
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It could be difficult. But two nights, two batteries, it could be doable. On a 2015, I would assume you have LED lights. Turn off the lights when and where they are not needed. We tend to carry a few candles so light one or two for general lighting. If you have a central switch for the general ceiling lights, turn it on, then walk around the TT and turn off the lights at each light fixture, then only turn on the lights you need where you are at, then turn them off when you are done. This is very important if you are using incandescent light bulbs. It will save a lot of power. Also if you have incandescent lights, take one bulb out of the double light fixtures, again this will save a lot of power.

When we are boondocking, and we have no generator, I will turn the furnace on at night before going to bed, to get the temp up to a nice comfortable setting. When I go to bed, I turn it off. In the morning I turn on the furnace again, and get the temp back up to a nice level, then turn it off again. We have in the middle of the night when getting up to use the bathroom, turn on the heat for a few minutes, to take the some of the chill out of the air, but remember to turn it off. We have done this for 3-4 nights without much of an issue.

In a pinch you can plug your TV into the TT and run the TV for an hour or two to put some charge back into the battery. It is not the best method to recharge your battery but it will work in a pinch. Also bring spare blackest and a few light jackets/sweaters, and layer up.
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Old 11-05-2014, 01:32 PM   #5
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When we are boondocking, and we have no generator, I will turn the furnace on at night before going to bed, to get the temp up to a nice comfortable setting. When I go to bed, I turn it off. In the morning I turn on the furnace again, and get the temp back up to a nice level, then turn it off again.
I think this is good advice. Chances are your stock battery is a group 24 and if that is the case, I would suspect you will only be able to go one night (with the above advice). You probably should take the extra, charged up battery, as a back-up. I'm guessing you will probably need it. You don't want to run your batteries beyond a 50% discharge rate or you run the risk of damaging them.
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Old 11-05-2014, 04:20 PM   #6
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You don't want to run your batteries beyond a 50% discharge rate or you run the risk of damaging them.
Just to clarify the 50%, that is when the battery is discharged to around the 12VDC level. You could go lower, but it will have an effect on the life of your battery.

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Old 11-05-2014, 05:33 PM   #7
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Just an idea. Sometimes at my house we have used our gas stove/oven during power outages for some heat. Anyone try this in their RV for some boondocking heat? It might at least take the chill out of the air and wouldn't use any power.
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Old 11-05-2014, 10:36 PM   #8
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Just an idea. Sometimes at my house we have used our gas stove/oven during power outages for some heat. Anyone try this in their RV for some boondocking heat? It might at least take the chill out of the air and wouldn't use any power.
This is a very dangerous idea, especially in an RV, do to the carbon monoxide being introduced.

We have sheep around here, and the herders stay with the flock in small TT. It seems every couple years one dies from CO poisoning from heating their TT this way.
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Old 11-06-2014, 12:28 AM   #9
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Just an idea. Sometimes at my house we have used our gas stove/oven during power outages for some heat. Anyone try this in their RV for some boondocking heat? It might at least take the chill out of the air and wouldn't use any power.
Bad idea. I work for the gas utility company up here in BC and respond to gas emergency calls including CO calls.. Some people dead, some extremely sick from CO..
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Old 11-06-2014, 12:40 AM   #10
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When camping, we have used the old fashioned hot water bottles. Heat water in a kettle or pan on the stovetop and then fill the bottles. They stay warm for a long time when under the covers. Our best bet, however, is Homer the beagle and it almost the only good use we have found for him. Homer is one HOT dog, and even cat lovers will snuggle up to him on a cold campout.
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Old 11-06-2014, 07:01 AM   #11
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When camping, we have used the old fashioned hot water bottles. Heat water in a kettle or pan on the stovetop and then fill the bottles. They stay warm for a long time when under the covers. Our best bet, however, is Homer the beagle and it almost the only good use we have found for him. Homer is one HOT dog, and even cat lovers will snuggle up to him on a cold campout.
Everyone should have a "Homer"
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Old 11-06-2014, 07:06 AM   #12
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This is a very dangerous idea, especially in an RV, do to the carbon monoxide being introduced.

We have sheep around here, and the herders stay with the flock in small TT. It seems every couple years one dies from CO poisoning from heating their TT this way.
Good point! Now I'm afraid to heat up my Ramen Noodles...
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Old 11-06-2014, 09:18 AM   #13
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Thanks everyone!
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Old 11-06-2014, 09:30 AM   #14
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Good point! Now I'm afraid to heat up my Ramen Noodles...
Ramen noodles are dangerous and contribute to premature death for whole differnt set of reasons -- but I do enjoy a big bowl of ramen on a cold day. :-)
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Old 11-06-2014, 12:54 PM   #15
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Since CO is heavier than air, would the draw from the overhead range fan be enough to essentially vacuum up the CO gasses while using the oven/burners?
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Old 11-06-2014, 02:09 PM   #16
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Under normal circumstances, CO is actually slightly lighter than air, so with normal cooking on your stove and in your oven any products of incomplete combustion(CO) would be exhausted with your hood fan.
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Old 11-07-2014, 12:23 PM   #17
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Under normal circumstances, CO is actually slightly lighter than air, so with normal cooking on your stove and in your oven any products of incomplete combustion(CO) would be exhausted with your hood fan.
provided you have the outside vent unlatched
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Old 11-10-2014, 04:58 PM   #18
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Update on the Weekend:

This was actually a Football tailgate weekend. I ended up bringing an extra battery and used some jumper cables to wire the batteries in parallel. Only had to run the heater before bed and early morning. No shortage of power for the weekend.

Thanks for all your input!
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Old 03-04-2015, 07:37 PM   #19
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My old Suburban has two batteries, even though it is a gas job. When I used it as a TV, i would isolate the second battery when I parked, and didn't have to worry if I ran the two TT batteries and the primary TV battery down. Our new Ford F150 has only one battery, but doesn't supply juice to the trailer when the key is off, so I guess it is "isolated" when boondocking as well.
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Old 03-05-2015, 09:53 AM   #20
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If you set the furnace a bit high you might not even make 1 night.
Its just great being woken up at 5 in the morning with the propane alarm beeping cause the battery is flat.
ABSOLUTELY - nothing worse than that alarm! On our 3rd shakedown trip we were beach boondocking ~ the nights were into the 40s and very damp, so we ran the furnace at 65. At 5am the alarm blasted - the dog launched onto the bed (claws extended), I launched myself out the door barefoot and in my PJs, and DH had to focus and troubleshoot while still half-asleep. Of course, we couldn't brew coffee and the place was freezing so we just packed-up and headed home! That one miserable experience propelled us into purchasing (2) generators. SO ... it is HIGHLY suggested you borrow or rent a generator 'just in case' and run it during the day to charge-up.
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