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#1 anfox7

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 01:01 PM

[font="Comic Sans MS"][font="Comic Sans MS"]Hello,
I was wondering if anyone had some insight on how long our battery will last camping with out shore line power. We live in Alaska and it is still gettting chilly at night and will need to run the Furnace for a little bit to warm up. Other than that we will keep the usage to a minimum using propane for the refrigerator and maybe use the water pump from time to time for the bathroom or to wash our hands. Other than that we will keep it minimal. Any idea how long we can expect to get out of the battery life?

Thanks in advance.
Drew

#2 ArizonaEileen

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 02:13 AM

The furnace fan is the major consumer of battery power. With nothing else drawing power, the drain time is around 29 hours. Of course, completely drawing down the battery is something you never even want to get close to doing.

When boondocking, I highly recommend you consider either a generator or a solar panel to keep your battery fully charged. You will extend its life, have power for other appliances, and have no worries at night when it gets really cold.

Eileen
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#3 breckenridge

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 06:32 AM

Some what off topic:

We have used an older model of these for many years in conditions where temp drops to 25* at night.
http://www.amazon.co...y/dp/B0055QH97Q

Granted can not/should not be used while you are asleep, but it very quickly heats up the interior in the AM. To reduce condensation best to have a window/fantastic fan vent open.
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#4 anfox7

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 09:29 AM

Thanks for the information. I am going to look into the Solar panels and see what I can find.

Now if I notice the battery getting low. Could I just start the Jeep up plug the camper back in and charge the battery that way? I know it's a bit of a pain and probably wont do it in the middle of the night either :), but if it keeps the battery from draining it seems like a logical idea.. Thanks
Drew

#5 Jim & Carol

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 01:04 PM

Thanks for the information. I am going to look into the Solar panels and see what I can find.

Now if I notice the battery getting low. Could I just start the Jeep up plug the camper back in and charge the battery that way? I know it's a bit of a pain and probably wont do it in the middle of the night either :), but if it keeps the battery from draining it seems like a logical idea.. Thanks
Drew


Are you talking about just using the TV battery or actually running the TV to get charging from the alternator? The first could be tricky for more than a short amount of furnace use since you don't want to drain the TV battery. If you run the engine, be aware that most tow vehicles do not charge very well. The culrpit is significant voltage drop due to the long wire length from the engine compartment back to the trailer batttery. If you have one of those simple plug in volt meters you can do a test to see. Plug it into the trailer 12 volt outlet, let the battery run down to where it needs recharging, say 12.2 volts, and then plug in and run the TV. To get reasonable fast charging, you will need to see close to 14 volts or more. If it is 13.8, you get the same rate as the trailer converter, which would require many hours to get much charging. If you are closer to 13 volts or less, you are not really getting decent charging. You are mostly keeping the trailer battery from discharging any more. Some people add heavier wiring to the charge line in their TV to improve the situation if you want to try that.
Jim
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#6 anfox7

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 02:27 PM

Do you think taking one of those portable battery chargers would do the trick. If I charge it up and pack it in the Jeep. When the battery gets low hook it up and charge it. Has anyone had any lick with one? Like something similar to the link below.

http://www.walmart.c...tarter/14560016

Thanks again for everyones input..

#7 Don in Ut

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 09:56 PM

The booster battery is designed to provide enough power to help start an engine and will not do much toward extending the life of your trailer battery. It definately won't charge it. I'm no solar expert by any means, but it seems that the angle of the sun and the number of days where you have overcast conditions in Alaska will limit the usefulness of a solar panel. If it were me, I would be looking for a good buy in a generator. Most folks with Casitas use the Honda 2000i. They're pricey but almost ideal for most camping use - and quiet. Don't know where you camp - if you camp alone or in an organized campground - but you could probably find one a little cheaper that would work but be a little louder. Don't even think about trying to charge your trailer battery by running your tow vehicle. You will only waste time and gasoline. If you use any of the catalytic heaters, as suggested above, make sure you follow directions about providing ventilation as you use it. Also expect it to give off a LOT of condensation - especially in Alaska.

Don
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#8 anfox7

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 12:03 PM

Don thanks for the input. I def. wont waste my time on hooking the TV up and trying to charge the battery. I am looking into getting the Honda 1000i and possibly mounting it up where the second propane tank is? Still up in the air on that idea. However, I don;t have the time or money before we head out to the wilderness this weekend though.

One last question. As a last ditch effort to get battery power if it dies could we hook jumper cables up directly and charge it from the TV battery to battery? We may not even have to worry about as we camped last weekend with out propane and got into the sleeping bags and stayed warm. We will be out for two days and will be skiing and day tripping throughout the days. So, the battery may be just fine. I'm just trying to get a handle on what to do if we do have a few drinks and leave a light on and drain the battery down how could we re-charge it.

Again, thank you all for the responses this stuff helps a lot!!!

#9 pemsit

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 07:00 PM

I have a small generator from Harbor Frieght that I use with a battery charger to keep my battery up, about an hour to two hours max will give you a good charge
http://www.harborfre...ator-66619.html I paid $89.00 for mine on sale and have seen them as low as $79.00
It is two cycle but runs several hours on 1 gallon of fuel

#10 ewauld

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 07:57 PM

One last question. As a last ditch effort to get battery power if it dies could we hook jumper cables up directly and charge it from the TV battery to battery?

Yes, you could use jumper cables Battery to Battery. That was one of the ways we charged our trailer battery back in the 70's. Just make sure the TV's
engine is running.

Ed
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#11 Don in Ut

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 10:16 PM

The small 12vdc generator pemsit mentioned would work if all you want to do is charge your trailer battery. The Honda 2000i would not only charge your trailer battery but give you 120v AC so you could use a microwave, perk a pot of coffee or run your air conditioner (probably not a concern where you live).

I still think that if you use jumper cables from your tow vehicle to your trailer battery it is essentially the same as using one of those booster batteries you mentioned previously. You could get 12v power for as long as they are hooked up but you would not get any significant charge into your trailer battery. I suppose theoretically one could charge a battery by running the engine on the tow vehicle but it has to be the least efficient and most wasteful method out there.

You can do as you wish but I would first test your cell phone to make sure you can reach a friend to come after you if you inadvertently fry your electrical system on your tow vehicle while trying to hook it up to your trailer battery.

The simplest solution to your problem is to go with a battery in your trailer that you KNOW is good. Use your lights only as absolutely necessary and then turn them off. Think conservation. A reasonably good battery should last you for two days if you use common sense.

Don
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#12 pemsit

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 10:26 AM

Another thing I do if boondocking for a longer period of time is using my trolling motor battery and hooking up to the RV system

#13 anfox7

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 09:55 AM

Thanks for all the tips everyone! We had a good weekend out in the boondocks relying on the battery. No issues! We conserved and was able to keep it around 65 deg with the furnace so it was toasty our whole weekend. However, I did not realize I wouldn't be able to plug in the coffee maker for a cup of hot joe in the morning. Other than that it was a good first weekend in our CASITA!

Does the honda EU1000i give you 120v plug? or just the 2000i?

Drew

#14 ArizonaEileen

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 10:22 AM

Thanks for all the tips everyone! We had a good weekend out in the boondocks relying on the battery. No issues! We conserved and was able to keep it around 65 deg with the furnace so it was toasty our whole weekend. However, I did not realize I wouldn't be able to plug in the coffee maker for a cup of hot joe in the morning. Other than that it was a good first weekend in our CASITA!

Does the honda EU1000i give you 120v plug? or just the 2000i?

Drew




Think of it this way: anything that plugs into an 120V outlet when you're boondocking won't work.

A 1000 will provide enough power for the little appliances, like a coffee pot, that plug into a 120V outlet, but not enough for the A/C, microwave or a hair dryer.

A 2000 will provide all of the above.

Eileen
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#15 Jim & Carol

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 11:14 AM


Thanks for all the tips everyone! We had a good weekend out in the boondocks relying on the battery. No issues! We conserved and was able to keep it around 65 deg with the furnace so it was toasty our whole weekend. However, I did not realize I wouldn't be able to plug in the coffee maker for a cup of hot joe in the morning. Other than that it was a good first weekend in our CASITA!

Does the honda EU1000i give you 120v plug? or just the 2000i?

Drew




Think of it this way: anything that plugs into an 120V outlet when you're boondocking won't work.

A 1000 will provide enough power for the little appliances, like a coffee pot, that plug into a 120V outlet, but not enough for the A/C, microwave or a hair dryer.

A 2000 will provide all of the above.

Eileen


Best answer is to compare the watts for the total of everything you want to run at the same time vs the 1000 peak (probably about 800 sustained) watts produced by the Honda 1000. The converter will likely use about 100 watts for powering the DC use/battery charging so have about 700 left for other things. Most bigger wattage appliances - those with heating elements are the main culrpits - have the watts posted on their cases. For example, my coffee maker shows 1300 watts so can't use that. A small coffee maker might be okay.
Jim
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