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Old 01-21-2013, 12:43 PM   #11
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 80
Originally Posted by herk7769
I got the impression that Cindy wanted to know how to get set up her camper for "no hook up" camping. Whether that is in the deep woods or the parking lot at Wal-mart is moot.

Any modification that limits generator run time; yet maximizes camping time is more like what she is asking.

Typically, that is more battery power; less electric use; some way to recharge your batteries quickly; some way to create 120 volt AC when the generator is not running or allowed to run; less water use and a way to deal with full holding tanks.
Agreed! Not aware of any real wilderness camping here...just want to learn the basics to expand opportunities for camping in some high traffic spots. Plus, something about being off the grid appeals to my "green" side. However, at this point my ignorance on the subject is infinite! For instance, I believe our Sunseeker has 2 batteries, but I don't really even know what that means (do you use up one then switch to the other, or do you just have double the battery life.). Also saw that blue boy gadget, but wondering if that is even necessary to use for a 3 day weekend with just adults? Figuring some actual camping time will probably help

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Old 01-21-2013, 01:23 PM   #12
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Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 5,648
Lights are one of your biggest battery hogs. Consider purchasing a few LED
replacements. Often in the evening we leave one on just for "move around
inside" light. A LED will use just a fraction of a typical 2 bulb incandescent
We added a thin florescent over our dinette table because it uses less
power than the aforementioned 2 bulb incandescent and it's where we do
most of our reading.

We can camp 5 days on 2 normal 12v batteries. This includes a few hours
of ceiling exhaust fan on low, an hour of a small LCD TV per day and close to
a full tank of water pumped. Also minimal lighting as mentioned and some time
with the MP3 player on for "mood music".
Lately my mood music puts me in the mood for a nap!
We power our little LCD TV with a cheap cigarette socket plug in
This does not include use of the LP furnace which is a battery hog.

(Teachable moment-- an INverter changes 12v DC battery power into
120v AC household power)
You can get a small cigarette socket inverter for $30.

Here's one from WallyWorld

Here's another from Amazon- BESTEK 150w power inverter car dc 12v to 110v ac inverter dc adapter laptop charger notebook adapter dc charger ac adapter usb charger Dual USB 3.1A MRI1511U: Electronics

Dan & Rita D
2004 5.3L Silverado 1500 ext. cab 2WD
1999 Suzuki Intruder Motorcycle
Blue Ox WD hitch, AirLift load levelers

Camping days 2010-53, 2011-47, 2012-41,
2013-41, 2014-31, 2015-40, 2016-38
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:30 PM   #13
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Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 2,590
My DH and I often camp in our tiny vintage camper for 4 or 5 days at a time and boondock. Our tank capacities are the limiting factor but even then, we've learned some tricks to cope.

We have 35 gals of fresh water, 11 gal black and an appalling 9 gals of gray storage.

Assuming navy showers: 35 gals of fresh is plenty for flushing, cooking and cleaning. 11 gal black tank is sufficient as well. The grey tank is the problem. I've found that with careful use (and cooking 3 meals a day) it has to be drained on day 3. A blue tote or even a bucket and a discreet bush alleviate this issue. (note that I camp out west where the bush solution is often permissible).

Power issues are solved in one of several ways. We added a second battery and use a solar panel when we can but frankly often this just isn't a good option (rain). Our go to solution has been a Honda 1000 generator to recharge batteries and even in places where there is a no noise policy, tucking it under the trailer and shielding with a cooler makes it undetectable.

Learning to use electricity sparingly is key to not needing a generator. We don't use much electricity - no TVs, etc. Instead we bring guitars, books and hammocks. We avoid using the furnace as the blower sucks batteries down and last year swapped out for a ducted catalytic heater - all the heat, no fan needed.
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:36 PM   #14
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Location: Camano Island, Washington
Posts: 10,155
first, read this, both parts 1 and 2:

The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)

this is a good place to learn how your batteries work and what they work.

i'm assuming your Sunseeker didn't come with a generator.
and that of the two batteries, one is for the engine and the other for the house.

then the ways to extend your battery's power are see if you can add a second house battery. LED's will definitely help but the biggest power drain will be the furnace.
getting solar panels or a generator will be the next thing.

for us, a Honda 2000 was better, since we almost always dry camp in forested campgrounds and we can run everything except the a/c with it.

remember, solar and batteries will NOT run the a/c or the microwave or the 110v outlets. you'll need a generator for that. and you'll need a more powerful generator if you want to run the a/c.

lastly, the best choice for a generator, are the much quieter inverter generators, such as Honda, Yamaha, Kipor and others.
Dan-Retired Firefighter/EMT
Shawn-Musician/Entrepreneur/Wine Expert
and Zoe the Wonder Dog(R.I.P.)
'07 Roo 23SS pushing an '07 Chevy Avalanche
Equalizer WDH and Prodigy BC
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:50 PM   #15
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Location: Midland, MI
Posts: 588
I can relate to your real problem which deals with campsite availability. I'm a native Jerseyite myself now living in MI. The Michigan State Park system is great with over 140 Campgrounds but the more popular ones will fill up with in a few seconds of the sites becoming available. (6 months in advance.) ... very frustrating. But if we want to be in a certain area and can't get into a SP, we can usually find a private family owned CG that is available.

We've also camped in a number of very nice family owned campgrounds in PA on our way back to the Garden State for visits. The other campers typically have been very nice and were usually from Jersey.

We also do a lot a more spring and fall camping when there is far less demand for the best locations and far fewer people.

Remember! It dosen't matter where you camp or even how you camp as long as you camp. We love going to a pristine statepark in northern michigan, but boondocking in a casino rv parking lot while taking in a dinner and a show is also good!
Cathy & Jeff
Midland, Michigan
2013 Sabre 32RCTS / 2012 Ram2500 Hemi
Nights Camped: 2015-140; 2016-137 YTD; 160 Planned
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:15 PM   #16
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 40
That link to the page on the 12 volt side of life is a great resource. What we did in the pop up is put in LEDs and limit pump use. This allowed us to last over a week on a type 29 battery. I'll do some of that when we get the 233S. I will also put in some toggle switches to take care of parasitic drain from stuff like the radio. But like others said, not a lot of true boondocking in the mid Atlantic area.

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