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Old 08-12-2013, 11:48 AM   #31
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I read this thread with much interest. The DW and I will be "roughing it" (her words not mine for a week of boondocking in the aderondaks eastern NY. It is a DEC park, no electric, and you can only run your generator 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours at night. I have a coleman 1500 watt 1800 watt max generator witch is approved for Federal park system. My brother who is an electrician said that I should be using a battery charger plugged into the generator as this would charge the battery faster then the converter. So after reading this thread am not sure if I take the charger or not. Will 4 hours a day keep my battery charged?
Plugging the tt directly into the generator and letting your converter charge the battery should be fine, if your power usage isn't excessive. I would think the tt converter charges at about the same rate as a battery charger on the normal charge rate. Your brother may be suggesting using the fast charge mode. I've never used a fast charge on deep cycle batteries - not sure if there is any risk in that.

We love the Adirondacks and frequently stay at the state parks. We were at Rollins Pond in July. Went four days on just our two 12 volt batteries. That was taking it easy - interior lights are LED's, then minimal use of the water pump. Our fridge has a cooling fan and it was hot, so that fan ran almost 24hrs a day.

Calculating the amp hour requirements would get a precise answer, but I think in general, the 2 hours in the am and 2 hours in the pm that they allow generators is enough time to stay charged with a little conservation the demand side.
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Old 08-12-2013, 11:57 AM   #32
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I can only tell you what I observed from personal experience. I use a small Honda 750w generator. Just the wife and I and we camp rather conservatively. This has been our highest usage so far.We ran our generator the day after an evening where the temps were in the low 50's so the furnace did kick in a few times during the night. Batteries were about at the 1/2 mark by the time we started the generator (1pm). We ran the generator simply using the convertor to charge the batteries for less than three hours and reached full charge. I'd say depending on how far discharged the batteries are when you start charging as well as the condition of the batteries, would determine the charge time more than generator size and charger type. IMHO I think you'd be OK.
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Old 08-12-2013, 12:02 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by KMP44 View Post
Plugging the tt directly into the generator and letting your converter charge the battery should be fine, if your power usage isn't excessive. I would think the tt converter charges at about the same rate as a battery charger on the normal charge rate. Your brother may be suggesting using the fast charge mode. I've never used a fast charge on deep cycle batteries - not sure if there is any risk in that.

We love the Adirondacks and frequently stay at the state parks. We were at Rollins Pond in July. Went four days on just our two 12 volt batteries. That was taking it easy - interior lights are LED's, then minimal use of the water pump. Our fridge has a cooling fan and it was hot, so that fan ran almost 24hrs a day.

Calculating the amp hour requirements would get a precise answer, but I think in general, the 2 hours in the am and 2 hours in the pm that they allow generators is enough time to stay charged with a little conservation the demand side.
We will be at Fish Creek Pond, just a stones throw from Rollins. We will be using the camper lights sparingly. I had her stock up on some new batteries for the flash lights instead of lighting up the camper top to bottom. Propane lantern outside, led lantern inside and for walking at night. Propane tanks are full so just need battery for fridge start up. I do not anticipate heat being needed so that should hold back fan usage. The camper was brand new this year so battery is fine. I think we'll be good to go with just the generator, but I might throw the charger in. I was also thinking about a surge protector, as I have read a lot about them and with using the generator I was thinking it might be a good idea....
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Old 08-12-2013, 12:10 PM   #34
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I can only tell you what I observed from personal experience. I use a small Honda 750w generator. Just the wife and I and we camp rather conservatively. This has been our highest usage so far.We ran our generator the day after an evening where the temps were in the low 50's so the furnace did kick in a few times during the night. Batteries were about at the 1/2 mark by the time we started the generator (1pm). We ran the generator simply using the convertor to charge the batteries for less than three hours and reached full charge. I'd say depending on how far discharged the batteries are when you start charging as well as the condition of the batteries, would determine the charge time more than generator size and charger type. IMHO I think you'd be OK.
Thanks Canonman.. I am thinking we'll be ok as the fridge, water pump and possibly furnace are the big items. Lights will be used sparingly as flash lights and lanterns are ready...

On another note I just got the EOS 7D with the battery grip, remote shutter control card reader, 16 gig card and a few other add ons for my crime scene kit... I would love to "borrow" it for my trip to Fish Creek pond... would sure beat the hell out of what I normally photograph.....
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Old 08-12-2013, 12:30 PM   #35
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Cannon 7D is a great DSLR. Have fun with it.

With regards to charging through the converter in the TT or a separate battery charger, I would say you are better off with the battery charger.

The typical WFCO converter today is going to take longer and will not provide enough voltage to keep deep-cycle batteries healthy over the long haul. I can provide some detail if you wish, but my personal experience charging my 6-volt battery bank is that my 40-amp charger does it quicker and at a higher voltage for a longer period than the converter/charger.
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Old 08-12-2013, 01:52 PM   #36
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Cannon 7D is a great DSLR. Have fun with it.

With regards to charging through the converter in the TT or a separate battery charger, I would say you are better off with the battery charger.

The typical WFCO converter today is going to take longer and will not provide enough voltage to keep deep-cycle batteries healthy over the long haul. I can provide some detail if you wish, but my personal experience charging my 6-volt battery bank is that my 40-amp charger does it quicker and at a higher voltage for a longer period than the converter/charger.

thanks Tri Guy... I was leaning towards taking the charger as a just in case thing.. It is small handles all battery types and it couldn't hurt to have it along.. much the same as tools, bottles jacks, etc..

I have done some CS work with the 7D it is on the same order as the 4D just with more features.. But this at least provides me with 2 camera bodies so that it cuts down on the lens swapping I have to do to capture an entire crime scene... I keep the Maco lens on the 4D and the wide angle on the 7D and only have to swap 2 other lenses out if needed... With the 7 I have the grip add on and it makes the camera heavier but adds the versatility.. over all I am happy with it....
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Old 08-13-2013, 10:45 AM   #37
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Golflover, your Coleman generator may have a muffler that's approved, but its noise level may not be.

there's no such thing as a quiet Coleman generator.

but are you going to really be "boondocking" or will you be "dry camping"?

boondocking is where you camp in an undeveloped place and don't have designated campsites with neighbors.
dry camping is camping in a developed campground WITHOUT any hookups.
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Old 08-13-2013, 10:50 AM   #38
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I guess there must be several "interpretations" of the terms.. We will be dry camping it appears. My coleman has a 58 db rating.. Not sure if that is loud by standards or not.. When I got it years ago. Honda did not make the 1000.2000 or 3000 EU models... I'll start it and run and the worst they can do is tell me to turn it off if it's too annoying or loud...
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Old 08-13-2013, 01:45 PM   #39
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We will be at Fish Creek Pond, just a stones throw from Rollins.
This was our first trip there. We usually end up staying in the southern half of the Adirondacks, but we were looking for some different kayaking spots and Rollins/Fish Creek sure fit that bill. It was worth the extra couple hours drive. One thing is for sure though, with the long drive through Fish Creek and then into Rollins, you don't want to have to run out to the store very often...

There certainly were lots of generators hammering away when were there. I don't think you need to worry about your sound level as long as you are within the allowed hours. The policy says "excessively loud generators may not be used" but they don't define it or seem to have anybody out policing it.

Enjoy the trip!
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Old 08-15-2013, 02:48 PM   #40
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Direct charging vs 110V through trailer invertor

If you are going to use other things while you have the generator running and it is going to run for a long time (+6 Hrs) then it doesn't matter. Your trailer charger is a trickle charger. The direct output from the generator is more like a charger you would use to charge a car battery. Using that output directly to your battery will charge it much faster than the trailer charger would. (probably less than an hour)
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