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Old 03-26-2013, 09:08 AM   #41
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Just to add to the conversation here. I went and bought a Turnigy Power meter to see how much juice various things use.

In my trailer the stereo and CO detector are on the same circuit, and in standby mode they consume 2 watts. However they key with those is that they would be on 24/7, so 2 watts x 24 hours= 48 watt hours. Times 4 days is 192 watt hours or 16 amp hours. So once again assuming the OP has a 100 amp hour battery, and would only want to use 50 of those amp hours, that would leave 34 amp hours for other things.

Myself, I go camping with my two boys for 4 days and we still have enough power with just the 100 amp hour battery. We just have to ration the TV use, and we have LED bulbs. We also use rechargable lanterns for most of the light needs. Seeing as most nights get cool, we find the key is to use the furnace for about 45 minutes to warm up the trailer, then drop the thermostat down. With that many bodies in the trailer it stays pretty warm inside.

Personally, I enjoy the comforts in the trailer, and my boys have also figured out how to effectively conserve power when we are dry camping. In my mind you don't have to shut everything down, just be conservative.
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:33 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Pipeman View Post
My batteries come out during the winter and I put gauges on them to tell where the voltage is. I put a smart charger on them once a month to bring them up to full charge. I'm sure others will answer your question with other methods.
All voltmeters use current drawn from the source to measure voltage.

Permanently mounting a voltmeter to your batteries will assist in draining them (in addition to normal loss due to internal resistance).

FYI: If folks are dry camping with a TriMetric (or any other) battery monitor; keeping the display powered to display voltage constantly will shorten your camping time on battery. Always cycle to a blank display after taking your reading to avoid unnecessary power loss.
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:24 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ken0042 View Post
Just to add to the conversation here. I went and bought a Turnigy Power meter to see how much juice various things use.

In my trailer the stereo and CO detector are on the same circuit, and in standby mode they consume 2 watts. However they key with those is that they would be on 24/7, so 2 watts x 24 hours= 48 watt hours. Times 4 days is 192 watt hours or 16 amp hours. So once again assuming the OP has a 100 amp hour battery, and would only want to use 50 of those amp hours, that would leave 34 amp hours for other things.

Myself, I go camping with my two boys for 4 days and we still have enough power with just the 100 amp hour battery. We just have to ration the TV use, and we have LED bulbs. We also use rechargable lanterns for most of the light needs. Seeing as most nights get cool, we find the key is to use the furnace for about 45 minutes to warm up the trailer, then drop the thermostat down. With that many bodies in the trailer it stays pretty warm inside.

Personally, I enjoy the comforts in the trailer, and my boys have also figured out how to effectively conserve power when we are dry camping. In my mind you don't have to shut everything down, just be conservative.
This is the kind of post that gets me excited. Its all about making choices to extend the life of that battery before a recharge is necessary w/o turning everything off. It would be great to know what the exact draw is on a battery for any particular item as you say and I currently do not know how to do that. Bleh. I want get the draw numbers down to a science to help me make those on/off decisions.

Nice Abe Lincoln quote btw. I've been using it for years. :-)
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Old 03-26-2013, 02:29 PM   #44
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Well the power meter I bought was this one:
Turnigy 130A Watt Meter and Power Analyzer
It was around $30 with shipping. My only complaint is that it has a minimum threshold of about 1.5 watts. The problem there is my LED bulbs draw less power than that, so I had to combine measurements and switch things off to get a fair reading.

I have started making a list of things for my trailer to see how much power any given device uses. Some stuff I could not test yet as my trailer is still winterized. However in case you are curious, this is what I have so far:

Standby Mode:
Secondary 12 volt outlet- 0.6 watts
Stereo and CO detector- 2 watts (Both are on same circuit)

Usage Mode:
"1157" LED bulbs- 3.3 watts (each)
"921" LED bulbs- 1.1 watts (each)
Stereo playing USB video; volume between 2 to 4- 14 watts
Stereo playing USB video; volume at 12- 18 watts
Furnace motor- 33 watts
RCA 19 TV- 20 watts
Antenna power booster-
Water pump-
Digital power display-
Tank sensors-

I included hyperlinks to anything that is non-standard as well; just in case you are curious as to what I am using.
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