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Old 07-18-2012, 05:10 PM   #1
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Power Box

We have just started dry camping, in which we really like. I have a Generator, in which I can run my AC, but was going to buy a small Generator 800-1000W just so the wife could run a few smaller items. Friend told me why spend a lot on a smaller Gen...when you could invest in a Power Box in which you can charge and have available power without the noise. She likes to run a small table top fan at night and a small night light to read by. Just looking for a few suggestions, what size Power Box that would be ample evening useage. I see at our local CanadianTire, they have a 600 amp made by Eliminator on sale for $155.00. Just looking for a little input.

Thks.
Bryan
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Old 07-18-2012, 08:48 PM   #2
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I may be missing some of your intent here but I'll give you my take on it.

If a fan and a night light are your primary targets I would find a 12V low current fan and replace the incandescent bulb with an LED for reading. Any time you convert 12VDC to 120VAC to operate items than can be found to run on 12V is very inefficient.

Granted, some items MUST be done with 120VAC. Then your major consideration is how much battery capacity do you have? A typical group 24 battery is not going to fare well running a microwave or toaster.

I would be interested to know more about this "Power Box" you are referring to. Make & model. The "600 amp Eliminator" has me puzzled.
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Old 07-19-2012, 06:45 AM   #3
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I found the "Power Box" you were referring to. It appears the device was designed for very short duration uses such as a drill, emergency car starting, and an air compressor. In my opinion the device would not be a cost effective choice for what you described. Better to find a 12V fan.

Hope this was of some help.
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Old 07-19-2012, 06:58 AM   #4
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The best thing for us was to decide what we wanted to be using when camping off the power grid. Then we installed additional batteries to support that. Sounds like the "Power Box" is nothing more than a portable battery setup. I would rather have additional batteries wired into the trailer and have additional AHs longer capacity.

To use the generator would be the best way to keep the batteries charged up.

We installed a good converter/charger rated for the additional batteries we installed (I use a PD-9260C), upgraded the 12VDC lights to leds, increased the size of battery cables, used marine brand battery switches, fuse block, remote metering, etc, installed 600W "pure sign wave" Inverter for the 120vac items we wanted to run, and converter all 120VAC lights to CFLs.

The idea in mind was to have all the items we wanted to run in the one day/night battery run then be able to re-charge the battery bank by connecting the trailer 30A shore power cable directly to the generator 120VAC receptacle using a RV30A-15A 18-inch long "dogbone" adapter (Walmart) and be able to re-charge the battery bank in a 2-3hour generator run time. This satisfies the sites that have generator run time restrictions.

We will run our generator during the breakfast and evening meals and this insures us we have our batteries re-charged to a good 90% charge state so we can do the this all over again for the next day/night battery run.

The big word is being SUCCESSFUL. We do just about everything we do at a regular site except no air conditioning and some high wattage appliances like the microwave.

We always make up our fresh made bean coffee for the day in the breakfast generator run and Momabear might use the electric skillet or electric cooker during the early evening generator run. The rest of the time we run everything off the battery bank.

It just takes some planning and do the battery upgrades as a system approach. We found you just cant do one thing to make it successful. If you can run your generator 24/7 then that would be all you would need but we all know we cant do that with most of the camp grounds having their generator run time restrictions.

Here on the east side of the US we always run into the use of the generator is from 8AM-10AM and then again 4:30PM-7:30PM. That doesn't give you much time to run an air conditioner so beefing up the battery system to run all the things we wanted to run in the one day/night battery run and then re-charge the batteries the next day when allowed to run the generator was we opted to do.

Worked out great for us.... I started out with around 350AHs in our battery system and they are just now starting to go south on me as I am down to two batteries now with 170AHs capacity. They lasted five years for us. It time to start looking now for replacement batteries.
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Old 07-19-2012, 07:19 AM   #5
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Bryan,

Not familiar with power boxes myself...., but as a suggestion you may find purchasing a couple LED lights and a low amp fan as an alternative. Both of the following products I use on a regular basis whewn I boondock with great results:

LED Lights: http://www.commandelectronics.com/le...riorUpgradeKit

Low Amp box fan: http://www.adventurerv.net/fantastic...an-p-1456.html

Bob
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Old 07-19-2012, 12:25 PM   #6
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The best fan we found was at WALMART called the O2-COOL 10-inch 2-speed ac/dc fan. Runs on 8 D cells or 120VAC to 12VDC xfmr. Puts out great air with 10-inch fan blades. You can also take the fan to radio Shack and get a 12VDC cord for it to plug into the TV antenna 12VDC receptacle.

looks like this (Mine didnt come with the 12VDC plug shown here)

photo from google images
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Old 07-19-2012, 04:59 PM   #7
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02 Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoyBraddy View Post
The best fan we found was at WALMART called the O2-COOL 10-inch 2-speed ac/dc fan. Runs on 8 D cells or 120VAC to 12VDC xfmr. Puts out great air with 10-inch fan blades. You can also take the fan to radio Shack and get a 12VDC cord for it to plug into the TV antenna 12VDC receptacle.

looks like this (Mine didnt come with the 12VDC plug shown here)

photo from google images
Yes, they are good fans. So a Radio Shack 12VDC cord that plugs into your Tow Vehicle 12 volt outlet will charge the batteries in the fan?
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Old 07-19-2012, 07:54 PM   #8
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Yes, they are good fans. So a Radio Shack 12VDC cord that plugs into your Tow Vehicle 12 volt outlet will charge the batteries in the fan?
I have one too and also use the Radio Shack 12vdc cord. This does not charge the D cell batteries. Instead it directly powers the fan through the factory installed plug. This normally uses a 120 vac adapter that steps down to 12 vdc. We are just taking the converter out of the picture to improve energy efficiency.
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Old 07-19-2012, 08:39 PM   #9
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I have one too and also use the Radio Shack 12vdc cord.....snip
Richard,

Just curious, do you know how many amps the fan draws?

Bob
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Old 07-20-2012, 11:48 AM   #10
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I just had a look at the Walmart web site and they don't seem to list the 10" O2 COOL fan. They do have 5" and 8" fans, though.
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