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Old 07-07-2016, 07:02 AM   #1
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Dry camping help!

We will be in the Smokies with no power in our pop up. Is there a way to run the AC off propane just in case the nights get hot. And if so, how do I convert it? Any suggestions for dry camping are appreciated as this is a first for us.
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Old 07-07-2016, 07:06 AM   #2
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A/C is shore power or genset only.

And you need quite a bit of generator at that. At least 2,500 running watts.

You can't convert an A/C to propane. Gas absorption refrigerators are designed to move heat from an insulated box using heat. They work very differently than compressor refrigeration units.

Take advantage of the gas fridge to make as much ice as possible. Iced drinks, inactivity and shade are your only defense against high temps when boondocking.
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Old 07-07-2016, 07:06 AM   #3
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Nope.. Unfortunately, no AC power no AC
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Old 07-07-2016, 07:59 AM   #4
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we can run our a/c on the generator. Honda 2000i but its a small a/c 8000 btu
With no hookups you have to be mingy with electric use. We do lights only and use the water pump only when drawing water. And forego the shower. Use the bathroom facilities if available at the campground

Watch it when you do dishes.. We use way too much water then.

Usually folks who dry camp for extended periods get a generator or solar panels ( if so blessed with sun..we are not ) and a couple of haul tanks( a black one and a fresh one...mark em!) if stationary for days..

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Old 07-07-2016, 08:01 AM   #5
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Get a 12VDC fan and run it off you 12VDC accessory port. If you only have one battery, you will need some way to monitor the voltage (should not let the voltage drop below 12.0VDC) and charge your battery everyday. At some locations in the mountains you can not use a generator so you may need to charge your battery using your TV to charge it.

Order a digital voltage display something like the one below on Amazon, they are inexpensive, it will let you know when you can no longer use you battery until it gets recharged. Do not use the USB chargers unless you have a fully charged battery.. but in the mountains you may not have cell service anyway.

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Old 07-07-2016, 09:15 AM   #6
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Check the status in the SMOKYs for when you can run your generator. The many time I have been there most often camping at the ELKMONT CAMP SITE there has only been a couple of hours in the morning and and a few hours in the late afternoon. ELKMONT also had setaside sites just for generator use. No time could you run your generator after 8PM at night and before 8AM.

Most of the SMOKY sites are really covered by heavy tree cover. It is so bad (or good) that when it rains up there the trees will continue to drip water for days after that. You will see alot of campers that have tarps over there whole camp ground setup because of this...

If this is a big concern with your style of camping I wold suggest you check out a couple of the camp sites just outside the WEST Gate to the SMOKYs at the TOWNSEND entrance.

Both ELKMONT and CADES COVE camp sites has an special camp site with a 20AMP Shore Power plug for folks that request it for medical reason like needing to run their CPAP all night long.

We have camped at ELKMONT inside the Smoky Natl Park alot over the years. It is one of our most favorite sites... Used to Tent Camp there in the 70s as well...

I have my CAMPER all setup with bigger batteries and associated 12VDC upgrade systems and we survive each day/night off our batteries with ease... Then at 8AM each morning we will run our 2KW generator connected to the trailer shore power cable using the Camper ON-BOARD smart mode converter/charger to bring back my 50% depleted battery bank to its 90% charge state in a three hour generator run time. Now we are good for the next day/night run off the batteries...

This mode has done well for us over the years... Apparently alot of other campers are doing the same thing as at 8AM each morning just like an alarm clock you hear small generators firing up all around you haha...

We do almost every at our ELKMONT camp that we do at sites with hookups. We light up our patio area and watch HDTV every night. We use a 600WATT PSW Power Inverter running half capacity (about 300Watts) from the batteries that powers all of the low wattage 120VAC items just fine run by the batteries. We can run almost all of our appliances with the exception of Air Conditioning and the use of our High wattage Microwave unit. I do bring along one of those $35 small white faced dorm type low wattage manual operated microwave units from WALMART which we can use each morning when the Generator is running for three hours.

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Old 07-07-2016, 09:20 AM   #7
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I broke down in a 24' class C for a week in a parking lot once with high temp in Georgia. Thankfully, I had a tow car behind and we used that to keep the house batteries charged. We filled our portable cooler with ice and used two 12v fans to blow air into the ice. Couldn't believe how well it worked to cool the place down. That's the only remedy we came up with no generator or AC electric.
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