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Old 01-14-2016, 08:29 AM   #41
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This is an interesting discussion. Once I installed my Trimetric I immediately saw that my alternator was charging at around 14.5 volts while my converter was at the normal 13.6. Since my rig is a Class A, I could see how long it takes to get to 100% state of charge even at 14.5 volts, since the battery back voltage continues to reduce the charging current. On the road it took almost 6 hours to go from 80% to 100% and probably 4 of those to go from the mid 90's to 100%. If your alternator is putting out 14 volts or more it seems that the resistance of the lead from the TV to the TT is what would limit your current when you could be putting in more than 10 amps or so. On my rig, at a 70% SOC the alternator is providing more than 30 amps! It is a little concerning to me that with low batteries, you would be trying to overload the wiring and are simply relying on its resistance to limit the current, but frankly I can't think of another way to do it.
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Old 01-14-2016, 08:32 AM   #42
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I agree with Post # 40 that Glenn Posted! Youroo!!
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Old 01-14-2016, 08:34 AM   #43
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Go Solar

Go solar. It is quiet, and very convenient. We have a 21 ss Roo. We love to boondock away from other campers. I bought a flexible 100 watt panel and glued it to the roof with silicone caulking. I did this on my last camper and ended up selling the panel with the camper, because It was too difficult to remove. I read this blog https://handybobsolar.wordpress.com/...ging-puzzle-2/ and if you slog through it, it tells you everything you need to know. I installed 8 ga. wires from the panel to a fuse box & then to a Morningstar SHS 10 charge controller, then 8 ga. wires to the battery. If you use an oversized controller and you can upgrade the system later if you think you need to. I have the two standard 12v deep cycle batteries that came with the trailer and bought LED replacement bulbs on eBay for less the $40. We can run everything but the AC and Microwave forever without outside power. The entire system cost less than $300. If we wanted to run the microwave, we could probably do short (5 min) runs (using an inverter) with our system, but I donít really need it. We use sleeping bags at night because I hate the noise of the heater going on in the middle of the night. It is still dark when I wake up, and Iíll run the furnace for 30 minutes or so to warm the trailer in the morning. By the time my wife wakes up, the sun is up, and she can run the furnace as long as she wants. The controller shows the battery is charged to 100% before noon (I donít have a good monitor yet, so I really donít know). We have never run it down below 75%, which radically improves battery life. One caveat: We live in New Mexico where the sun always shines. But I find that even with cloud cover for several days, the system works fine for us. Iíve hauled a Honda 2000 along on our first 4 trips, but never used it, and that is just fine with me. In the off season, it takes care of itself, and always keeps the batteries charged. Life is good.
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Old 01-14-2016, 09:50 AM   #44
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1000w will work fine

We do this all the time with a 1000w with our Hybrid. We only use lights at night and also only use heat and hot water when necessary. So the battieries will last. We have two batteries and run on one and every or two during "generator" time about 3 or 4 hours charge a battery. They last a long time if you are not using them non-stop. The best part about boondocking is actually being disconnected a bit and getting outside! We have gone 2 weeks running this way before an never had a problem.
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Old 01-14-2016, 11:06 AM   #45
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Power topics are always interesting. Not to muddy the waters, but discussions that include using generators for charging/ boondocking purposes seldom include output loss due to altitude. As an example, the popular eu2000 Honda inverter generator purring along at your sea-level campsite is actually putting out 1600 watts/13.3 amps, that's the actual Honda factory rated output as stated in their printed specs in their brochures, a fact obscured by most potential shoppers who get fixated on the "eu2000" label on the generator. The 2000 refers to the "surge" rating, the available max for starting things with motors.
Anyway, the point I want to make is what a traveler needs to know when their adventure takes them to places that are higher in altitude, as in my home state of Colorado. That Honda or any other carburated gen-set, will lose approximately 3% of it's output per 1000 feet above sea level. In my example, that 1600 watts has become 1360 watts when used in a Denver camp site.
Generators are given their output ratings based at sea-level.
Just a bit of physics to consider when putting together your electrical plan. And a reminder to check the printed specs, don't go by the shiny model name badge.
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Old 01-14-2016, 11:09 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by gljurczyk View Post
You can correct me if I'm wrong, Makes no difference in the size of the TV alternator. It is the size of the wire that matters that runs to the plug. At best a TV will only put out the a trickle charge even if it's a 200 amp alternator. They just are not designed to charge TT batteries, at best just to keep them charged while driving. If you the OP is planning on alot of boondocking then invest in a good honda that do your loads. If you are just doing it to try it out you would be off renting one, then figure out what you really want to do. Just my 2 cents....Main thing JUST HAVE FUN....
Thanks, didn't think about renting. Agree on the TV charging. It makes no sense to run a 375 hp engine to charge a battery. Diesels don't like idling either.
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Old 01-14-2016, 11:21 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by mnoland30 View Post
Go solar. It is quiet, and very convenient. We have a 21 ss Roo. We love to boondock away from other campers. I bought a flexible 100 watt panel and glued it to the roof with silicone caulking. I did this on my last camper and ended up selling the panel with the camper, because It was too difficult to remove. I read this blog https://handybobsolar.wordpress.com/...ging-puzzle-2/ and if you slog through it, it tells you everything you need to know. I installed 8 ga. wires from the panel to a fuse box & then to a Morningstar SHS 10 charge controller, then 8 ga. wires to the battery. If you use an oversized controller and you can upgrade the system later if you think you need to. I have the two standard 12v deep cycle batteries that came with the trailer and bought LED replacement bulbs on eBay for less the $40. We can run everything but the AC and Microwave forever without outside power. The entire system cost less than $300. If we wanted to run the microwave, we could probably do short (5 min) runs (using an inverter) with our system, but I donít really need it. We use sleeping bags at night because I hate the noise of the heater going on in the middle of the night. It is still dark when I wake up, and Iíll run the furnace for 30 minutes or so to warm the trailer in the morning. By the time my wife wakes up, the sun is up, and she can run the furnace as long as she wants. The controller shows the battery is charged to 100% before noon (I donít have a good monitor yet, so I really donít know). We have never run it down below 75%, which radically improves battery life. One caveat: We live in New Mexico where the sun always shines. But I find that even with cloud cover for several days, the system works fine for us. Iíve hauled a Honda 2000 along on our first 4 trips, but never used it, and that is just fine with me. In the off season, it takes care of itself, and always keeps the batteries charged. Life is good.
That's amazing. I will definitely look into solar. I saw some panels at harbor freight but they didn't seem to be enough wattage.
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Old 01-14-2016, 11:43 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by metalsideup View Post
Power topics are always interesting. Not to muddy the waters, but discussions that include using generators for charging/ boondocking purposes seldom include output loss due to altitude. As an example, the popular eu2000 Honda inverter generator purring along at your sea-level campsite is actually putting out 1600 watts/13.3 amps, that's the actual Honda factory rated output as stated in their printed specs in their brochures, a fact obscured by most potential shoppers who get fixated on the "eu2000" label on the generator. The 2000 refers to the "surge" rating, the available max for starting things with motors.
Anyway, the point I want to make is what a traveler needs to know when their adventure takes them to places that are higher in altitude, as in my home state of Colorado. That Honda or any other carburated gen-set, will lose approximately 3% of it's output per 1000 feet above sea level. In my example, that 1600 watts has become 1360 watts when used in a Denver camp site.
Generators are given their output ratings based at sea-level.
Just a bit of physics to consider when putting together your electrical plan. And a reminder to check the printed specs, don't go by the shiny model name badge.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I completely forgot about how elevation reduces HP. I will be at 8600', (Zions, Brice area) that 1600 wt is now 1200 wt. Did your generator run ok at 5k ft? Just wonder if the thing will blow black smoke at 8600' from running too rich. Need a way to lean it out. Wonder if any small portable generators can self adjust. Thanks.
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Old 01-14-2016, 11:54 AM   #49
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My dealer seems to like the power house ph4000.

It might be something for you to look into, as its fuel injected.


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Old 01-14-2016, 01:43 PM   #50
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Absolutely NOT... 12.7V is NOT full if the batteries are connected to the coach and less than 24 hours has passed since you last charged or used them. THIS assumption is what kills batteries. This is why you need a true battery monitor.
12.7 could quitel literally mean a battery half full if because the surface charge (not real) put on the battery by charging takes 24 hours at rest to dissapate. Rather inconvenient if you boondock. LOL
Absent a real battery monitor the ONLY way to know when you are 100% when you stop charging is using a hydrometer and testing at least a few cells in each battery.... pain in the ass but accurate. Read the link to avoid the pitfalls in mesurement that are possible & simple to avoid.
Using the Battery Hydrometer

You will definitely be surprised and how many HOURS it will be before you get a full charge. But if you are short term boondocking ( less than a week) you don't necessarily have to get all the way to 100% as long as you don't fall below 50% and can cycle between 50 and 80-90% until you can get home and plug in for an overnight charge to 100%. (This is only for wet cells....agms' are much more sensitive about needing a full charge.)

Good point, I usually measure the voltage when the battery has been sitting for a while.
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