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Old 02-17-2019, 02:53 PM   #1
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Not used to boondocking - want to be ready

We normally camp in Illinois or Wisconsin and all the state parks have electricity. We are going camping in either South Dakota or Colorado and most of the places we want to go are no electricity. Water is not an issue, we are used to that. I have two deep cycle marine batteries for the camper (26RLSS). Since we are going for a full week is there anything I should be really concerned for/about? Should I get a generator? Solar might be an option as well. I just have no experience for that kind of length.
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Old 02-17-2019, 03:08 PM   #2
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Well, marine batteries are not true deep cycle batteries.
They won't hold a charge as long as two 6v golf cart batteries will.
So, my suggestion is to get, at least, an 2000w inverter generator. Then you can recharge the batteries and run everything but the a/c.
If you want to run the a/c, then you'll need a bigger inverter generator.
Solar is great, IF you don't camp in wooded campgrounds and you aren't going to need the a/c or microwave.
Also, you'll have to do something about gray water. Most black tanks have enough capacity for a number of days.
Most RVs will run out of gray tank capacity, WAY before the black tank.
So you may need a tote tank for dumping gray water.

We are experienced dry campers. We have a Honda 2000i, a 15 gallon tote tank, a 6 gallon water jug and an inverter for tv.
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Old 02-17-2019, 03:31 PM   #3
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Should I get a generator?
With your current setup, I would most definitely recommend a generator to boondock for a week.
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Old 02-17-2019, 03:32 PM   #4
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As mentioned above 6 volt true deep cycle are the way to go. They are meant for withstanding deeper discharge cycles, will last longer and supply more amp hours then two 12 volts.... Having said this, if you plan to get a generator and recharge the batteries as needed you should be fine with 12 volts you just might have to charge them a little more frequently.
I would suggest you get as much generator as you can afford... As Dan mentioned, 2000 is the minimum and while your running it to recharge you can also use the microwave. If however you want to be able to run your AC and the Microwave and Recharge your batteries all at the same time then step up to a 3000 or 3500 and you can do it all. Youíll find there is typically $200 to $300 difference from 2000 to 3000/3500 and if you tend to dry camp a lot itís worth it, especially if you think you might want to run the AC..
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Old 02-17-2019, 04:56 PM   #5
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A little Harbor Freight 2000 watt will run you about $450 with coupon.
Run it a bit in the morning and a bit in evening when everyone else has theirs running and you should be good.
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Old 02-17-2019, 05:43 PM   #6
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Might I suggest that the OP read the generator threads on this forum. A lot of good information and discussions. Jay
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Old 02-17-2019, 05:52 PM   #7
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I would suggest you get as much generator as you can afford...

Good advice but don't overdo it. If you have an RV with a 30 amp power connection a 3500 Watt generator/inverter will be adequate. No need to worry about larger units or paralleling a couple of 3500 Watt units unless you have a 50 amp service.

Also consider the flexibility that "Dual Fuel" gives you when boondocking. Out of gasoline? Use Propane. Want extra long run times without having to rig an extended fueling system, use propane. A 20# tank will run a 3500 W Inverter (Champion) for 15 hours (avg) and a 30# tank will run it continuously for almost 24 hrs.

Just gives one flexibility that a single fuel unit won't provide.
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Old 02-17-2019, 08:33 PM   #8
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Generator 2000 watt would be a big help . Also they sale true deep cycle 12 volts batteries that are every bit as good as 6 volt deep cycles batteries . so you have option . 2 12v true deep cycle or 6 . for my it's the 12 volts because it's easier . some times i pull one and use it for a trolling motor battery and still have 12 volt at the camper . can't do that with a 6 . If you get the generator then the batteries you have will be fine IMHO
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Old 02-18-2019, 07:22 AM   #9
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Don't mean to be argumentative here but you need to be careful when comparing 12 volt deep cycle batteries to 6 volt deep cycle golf cart batteries......

Deep Cycle batteries are rated by 20 hour capacity, the more capacity the longer they will last under a load..

Here are comparisons of 2 of the more popular lead acid deep cycle batteries and their respective 20 hour capacity. I chose the top of the line in each brand

Duracel Deep Cycle 12 volt 75 hours
Duracel Golf Cart 6 volt 235 hours
Trojan Deep Cycle 12 volt 100 hours
Trojan Golf Cart 6 volt 260 hours

That's quite a difference and why most choose 6 volt when boondocking...

Can you get a true deep cycle 12 volt battery that has a much capacity as a 6 volt golf cart battery?? If you can, I couldn't find one and you can find 6 volt golf cart batteries at most retail stores that sell batteries like Costco, Wallmart etc.
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Old 02-18-2019, 07:45 AM   #10
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Hopefully you do not have a residential fridge as that would likely require frequent generator running.

Two batteries would last two days if used only for lights and the water pump. And not much else. The heater is a battery hog as well.

I doubt solar would do it. Unless you have a lot.
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