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Old 05-18-2015, 11:32 AM   #1
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3170DS: Any suggestions for camping without hookups or the generator?

This weekend my family will be camping Friday and Saturday night on a site with no hookups (and no generators allowed) and Sunday on a site with electricity.

This is our second outing with our 2015 3170DS and I want to avoid having any issues.

Any suggestions?

Here are a few thoughts:
- I am planning to run the fantastic fan most of the time.
- We don't use the TV's much, but might if it rains.
- With an RV will full LED lighting, should we even try to conserve lighting for just a 48 hour stay without power?
- I only plan to "break the rules" and use the generator for a few minutes if we have to use the microwave for something. Its an ATV park with a lot of vehicle noise during the day so I don't think it will be a issue, they just don't want generators running all night.
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Old 05-18-2015, 11:47 AM   #2
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How many batteries are you running? Their are trickle chargers that you can hookup to your truck to charge an "off-line" battery. Is your fridge propane capable? I would run 4 batteries two for online at a time and charge the other two.... Or give up the fans, TV (need 110volts), and electronic devices and relax and enjoy the great outdoors.
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Old 05-18-2015, 12:00 PM   #3
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There are two deep cycle 12V batteries under the steps. Yes, the fridge and water heater are both electric/propane capable.


I like the spare battery idea, but its not a large enough concern to go out and purchase a couple. I am just looking to understand how long the batteries should last with light use.

I'm pretty comfortable going without and so is my wife, its the 6 kids (15, 14, 13, 13, 6, 5) we are taking that I am worried about
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Old 05-18-2015, 02:26 PM   #4
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The kids will be fine. Tell them you can't run the TV and see how much fun they're having by the end of the trip without it. It might take them half a day to realize the outdoors have a lot to offer but they'll have fun.

We haven't dry camped without being able to run the generator so I can't tell you for sure how long your batteries will last but I would guess you can get by without the generator for at least two days and probably longer if you really conserve. If you're running just lights and the fan(s) you should be fine. Frankly I think you could also get by running the TV if you do get rain and you'll be ok. Check the battery levels a couple of times each day and if you do get low fire up the generator to bring the charge up.

We go to a couple of country music festivals each year and dry camp and we only run the generator for the microwave and a short blast of AC if it gets too hot. Otherwise our batteries have lasted through the entire weekend so I would say you'll be ok.
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Old 05-18-2015, 03:04 PM   #5
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I think running the motor coach for a while will still top up your batteries and is quieter than the generator.
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Old 05-18-2015, 03:28 PM   #6
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Old 05-18-2015, 03:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ORvideoguy View Post
The kids will be fine. Tell them you can't run the TV and see how much fun they're having by the end of the trip without it. It might take them half a day to realize the outdoors have a lot to offer but they'll have fun.

We haven't dry camped without being able to run the generator so I can't tell you for sure how long your batteries will last but I would guess you can get by without the generator for at least two days and probably longer if you really conserve. If you're running just lights and the fan(s) you should be fine. Frankly I think you could also get by running the TV if you do get rain and you'll be ok. Check the battery levels a couple of times each day and if you do get low fire up the generator to bring the charge up.

We go to a couple of country music festivals each year and dry camp and we only run the generator for the microwave and a short blast of AC if it gets too hot. Otherwise our batteries have lasted through the entire weekend so I would say you'll be ok.
Thanks for the reply! I assumed we would be fine if we take it easy.
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Old 05-18-2015, 03:41 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by chad.wiseman View Post
I think running the motor coach for a while will still top up your batteries and is quieter than the generator.
I was thinking the same. Just wasn't sure if idling for 30 minutes provide much charge.
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Old 05-18-2015, 03:47 PM   #9
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By and large.. it would depend on how many amp hours you have available. Right off the top you'll have a parasitic draw that will skim 48ah's or so over the course of those 2 days. If you leave a single fan on, at the lowest setting, that'll take another 96ah's.

I'm sure it's doable, but you'll want to take it easy. If you have an inverter I would try to stay off of it as much as possible. When you're not there during the day it would be a good idea to disconnect your batteries.

I hope it works out for ya.
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Old 05-18-2015, 07:13 PM   #10
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I don't have LEDs yet and am only planning switching as my incandescent lamps burn out (going on 5th year still haven't burned one out). With three kids our biggest usage is as follows:
*Furnace (not a problem this time of year in Texas)
*Lights (kids never turn them off - probably not as much an issue with LED)
*Water pump
*Fridge & LP detector

We have an upgraded converter, Progressive Dynamics PD9200 60 amp 4 stage. It has a bulk charge mode that can get the batteries up to 90% SOC within a couple hours. When we where at the Grand Canyon for a week, we just ran our generator each morning while we were brewing our coffee. We made it through just fine with only one battery.
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