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Old 10-07-2016, 10:31 AM   #1
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Boondocking with dual 6v and generator

I'm new to the forum and new to travel trailers. I have a surveyor 291 bhss on order and am trying to nail down the proper "upgrades" to have done by the dealer before taking delivery. I have searched high and low for info on this and can't seem to come up with anything definitive, and the dealer/salesman I'm working with seems completely ignorant.

My plan is to be able to take my surveyor 291 bhss boondocking during hunting season for roughly 7 days at a time. Where I hunt we have nighttime temps around 20-35 deg f. I have decided on a dual 6v battery setup and have a Honda 2000 gen.

I have a hunting partner with a similar trailer that has complained about his ability to charge the batteries from the generator while boondocking, saying that the longer we are out, the more the batteries become depleted because the genny or converter won't push enough juice in to fully charge the batteries.

So the burning question is: with the stock surveyor converter, dual 6v batteries, and a Honda 2000 genny, will I run into the same issues? Potentially cutting my trip short because I have hopelessly drained the batteries after 4-5 days? Should I look into a converter upgrade? And if yes, what type/size/brand should I go for given my setup. Unfortunately nobody seems to be able to answer this question.

Sorry for the long post

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Old 10-07-2016, 11:08 AM   #2
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I would think you would be good. We go boondocking for 7 to 14 days with 2 12v batteries and have no problem keeping them charged with our Honda eu2000i. We can run the propane heater all night, every night, on battery. We run the gen a few hours in the morning for coffee and news, and then a few hours at night for microwave and TV/movie (avg 5 hrs per day with stock converter) If your friend has a problem staying charged he might look into upgrading the converter. Lots of 3 stagers on the market to pick from. I'm happy with my stock one so can't recommend a different one.

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Old 10-07-2016, 02:02 PM   #3
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I have a dual battery setup with a Honda 2000i and I've had NO problems recharging the batteries through the shore cord.
And that's for the past 10 years.
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Old 10-07-2016, 03:15 PM   #4
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Boondocking with dual 6v and generator

Just depends how warm you want it in your trailer. We (DW) are power hogs and run down 2 12v to about 60% every night with the furnace (she likes it warm). The stock converter would never go into "bulk" mode so it wouldn't charge back to 90% after running my Honda 2000 for 5 hours. Made the switch to a progressive dynamics pd4655 and the world changed. Now you have two 6v so you have many more amps available but that also means you have that much more to charge. So if your converter doesn't go into bulk mode, going to be a long time charging.

Get a 12v meter- lets you know where you are at:

DROKģ Small Digital Volt Temp Multimeter Red/Green LED Panel Voltmeter Fahrenheit Thermometer Multiple Tester 12V/24V Car Battery Voltage Monitor 10-170 ℉ Temperature Testing Meter 2in1 Cigarette Lighter Plug

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Old 10-07-2016, 03:39 PM   #5
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Just take a battery charger with you. Hook charger direct to the batterys and plug charger into generator??
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Old 10-07-2016, 08:23 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by guyster View Post
Just take a battery charger with you. Hook charger direct to the batterys and plug charger into generator??
Depends on the independent charger. Most of the less expensive ones won't charge as fast as a good converter. If the converter goes into boost or bulk mode, and holds that to about 90% battery charge, that is as good as you can do without special monitoring.

Converter max output should be about 20-25% of battery capacity for fastest charging. With my dual 6V 232AH batteries, the 35 amp capacity of the converter is a little bit under-sized for fastest charging. But I never see more than 30 amps going into the batteries - and then it drops to 20-25 amps in a few minutes. The charging just tapers off that quickly unless you have a huge battery bank or really depleted batteries.

In my case, the OEM WFCO converter never went into trickle mode, and I suspect it never went into bulk mode (or exited bulk mode early). I replaced it with a Progressive Dynamics, and since then don't have to worry much about battery charging.

I don't carry a generator, as the batteries will run the 4 amp heater fan on a 50% duty cycle at night for 4 nights (plus other 12V needs) without recharging. That's as long as we stay in any one spot.

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Old 10-07-2016, 08:30 PM   #7
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I've boondocked below freezing for a week with my Honda 2000, just running it a few hours a day to recharge. The generator is fine, it sounds like your friend might have a converter issue.
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Old 10-07-2016, 10:48 PM   #8
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Disconnect the factory converter and install a Progressive Dyanamics one that is mounted within several feet of your battery bank.

The old converter will be an emergency one if the PD one fails (should never happen with a PD one) and the PD converter mounted next to the batteries will charge the batteries much faster.
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Old 10-08-2016, 11:27 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the replies. Sounds like I might be able to go with the stock converter and be fine, but as others have said it definitely wouldn't hurt to go with an aftermarket one so I can get a bulk charge in quickly. Thinking I'll have it put in while the other mods are being done. So it sounds like with the two 6v a 35 amp progressive dynamics would do the trick?
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Old 10-08-2016, 02:05 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by guyster View Post
Just take a battery charger with you. Hook charger direct to the batterys and plug charger into generator??
Best solution

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