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Old 04-20-2011, 07:08 PM   #21
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Forgot to mention that I did buy a Honda 2000i generator ($850 on Black Friday, Northern Hydralics) but never took it out of the box. I was later told that it wouldn't handle the air conditioner in my camper. So I returned it and purchased a larger 3500 watt generator ($300 not Honda). That to is still in the box because I haven't needed it yet. But the down fall is that it's big and loud and weights 150 pounds. Not very convienent to say the least. No where to put it on the camper too (gas fumes not wanted in the pulling SUV, Expedition). I will probably keep it for home use and bit the bullet and buy the Honda 2000i again for camping (who needs air conditioning). Just wish there weren't so expensive.
My opinion is to return that 3500 watt monster and go back and get that 2000i Next year you can get the "companion" 2000i and run anything you want with QUIET 4000 watts.
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Old 04-20-2011, 07:10 PM   #22
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Possibly a dumb question; could you not charge your trailer's battery from the TV using jumper cables?
Not a dumb question at all.

However you will have the same issues pretty much as if you plugged the trailer in to the TV. Not to mention your truck is going to burn WAY more gas than any generator.
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Old 04-20-2011, 08:07 PM   #23
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I was just thinking it would draw more because at that point the load would be right at the battery; causing the alternator to work pretty hard. I know in the past when I've had a car with a bad alternator we have left the jumper cables on for an hour to charge up the other vehicle's battery; then had enough power to get the dead car home. That's why I was thinking it could charge up the deep cycle battery in just a couple of hours.

What I was thinking of is how people talk about spending $1000-1500 on a generator; if I only dry camp 4 times per year and spend $15 in gas to run the truck for 2 hours; it would take over 16 years for the generator to pay for itself.

Obviously a generator has other advantages like being able to run A/C or a microwave, but for the purposes of plain dry camping, I am just looking for other alternatives.
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Old 04-20-2011, 08:17 PM   #24
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Well, a lot depends on what your draw is on the battery. If you pull say an average of 12 amps for 6 hours, you would have to run the truck charging at 12 amps per hour for 6 hours to replace that juice.

If you drew 6 amps from the battery for 6 hours, you would need to run the TV for 3 hours at 12 amps to replace that juice.

most common 12 volt items.

LPG detector draws .2 amps
Single dual bulb light (198 bulbs) 2.3 amps
Single dual bulb light (LED panels) .1 amps
Light fixture over dining table (4 198 bulbs) 4.5 amps
Single reading light over bed (1 198 bulb) .8 amps
Recessed Halogen lighting, living room (6 lights) 8.4 amps Full on
2.1 amps Fully dimmed
Recessed Halogen lighting, over sink (1 light) 1.4 amps Full on
.4 amps Fully dimmed
Recessed Halogen lighting, over couch (3 lights) 4 amps Full on
1.2 amps Fully Dimmed
Refrigerator 1.2 amps
Furnace (Suburban SF35) 7 amps
Water Pump (Shurflo Smart Sensor 5.7) 11.9 amps running, 12.6 max
Exterior porch lights (3 incandescent bulbs) 2.8 amps
Exterior Porch Lights (3 LED bulbs) .8 amps

Trimetric 2025 Battery Monitor

NOTE: Nothing here mentions an inverter. Converting 12 volt DC to 120 volt AC requires HUGE amounts of amps. Watts DC is Watts AC. For example, a 1500 watt coffee maker running on the Inverter pulls 125 amps from the battery. That will suck the batteries dead before you can say "Is it still perking?"
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Old 04-20-2011, 08:37 PM   #25
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Reading all the threads on this subject I haven't seen anyone mention solar charging panels. If a person really wants to get away from the hookups and find the beauty this country has to offer will solar panels buy you a few more days. With that said what size charging system is adequate for one battery verses a two battery system?

Getting the camper out for a trip next week.
Solar Cell, Solar Panel, Solar PV, Solar Products, Charge Controllers, Solar Trackers

Great Price for a fair sized panel.
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Old 04-20-2011, 10:08 PM   #26
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Refrigerator 1.2 amps
Once again- I greatly appreciate your wealth of information!

That 1.2 amps; is that a 3 way fridge running on 12 volt power? Or is that a 2 or 3 way fridge running on propane? Just asking because I know my fridge is 2 way only; so when boondocking I will be using propane for the fridge.
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Old 04-20-2011, 10:12 PM   #27
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Once again- I greatly appreciate your wealth of information!

That 1.2 amps; is that a 3 way fridge running on 12 volt power? Or is that a 2 or 3 way fridge running on propane? Just asking because I know my fridge is 2 way only; so when boondocking I will be using propane for the fridge.
as far as i know, the only 3-way fridges anymore, are only in popups or A-frame popups.
so, everything else has 2-way only.

maybe back in the day, TT's had 3-way but not for a long time.
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Old 04-20-2011, 10:22 PM   #28
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Well, I am using a "2 way" I guess.

It has a 120VAC mode and a Propane mode. The 1.2 amps is the "propane mode" dc current draw. Is that what you mean?

When burning propane to cool the fridge, the computer control board and flow fans use DC power.
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Old 04-20-2011, 11:26 PM   #29
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Yep- that's exactly what I meant. Once again; just counting my amps so there are fewer surprises the first time out.

Does the fridge run constantly, or does it just cycle like a home frisge would? I'm just thinking 1.2 amps as a constant draw would mean less than 72 hours of boondocking once you figure everything else in.
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Old 04-21-2011, 07:48 AM   #30
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Yep- that's exactly what I meant. Once again; just counting my amps so there are fewer surprises the first time out.

Does the fridge run constantly, or does it just cycle like a home frisge would? I'm just thinking 1.2 amps as a constant draw would mean less than 72 hours of boondocking once you figure everything else in.
On propane that is pretty much a constant draw. On AC, the current varies because it uses an AC heating coil to make the heat, not gas, as there is no "compressor" like your home fridge. The AC also has a "defrost" feature that you can turn off with the little switch in the freezer section. (top of door area). That uses AC power when the switch is on and only work on AC.

72 hours is about all I get with 150 amp hours of bank; PROVIDED I do not use the TV too much (inverter item).
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