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Old 01-14-2016, 08:01 PM   #61
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"That's sarcasm but funny."

Well for someone to say:

".........the onboard converter will "maintain" your batteries they are not really designed to really charge them."

is just ridiculious.

As for generators, have a look at the Champion 2000, great generator for the price.
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Old 01-14-2016, 08:47 PM   #62
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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.


Thanks for the great info on solar. Question, Can a solar charger/panel be connected to the rv batteries without damaging the RV charger/ panel. Is there some diodes or something that will protect the RV side. Seems like it would hurt anything as long as the RV is not connected to shore power or a generator?
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Old 01-14-2016, 09:39 PM   #63
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I would love to get solar but right now I can't afford it, next camper. I have two Honda's 2000i that I carry. DW does not like to boondock I do. DW wins but maybe later on I can talk her into it.


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Old 01-14-2016, 09:51 PM   #64
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Yea, me too. Wife likes the power, ha. Looking at the portable units made by Zamp makes me want to build a portable unit. But then, I'd get back to the camper after a day of outdoors and find it missing. I'm thinking a 100 to 125 watt, 8 amps, would replenish my batteries during the day assuming I'm not in the shade. I really don't want those things on my roof.
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Old 01-14-2016, 10:12 PM   #65
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I have 6 x 100 watt panels on my roof and not a soul but me knows they are there. Every time I tell someone I'm solar, they start looking for them.
I haven't turned on our converter in at least 6 months as the solar system charges better than the converter.
The only reason we even plug into shore power is for ACs. Everything else will run off the batteries or inverter.
You might check with Tractor Supply as to the Champion 3500/4000 gens. They frequently put them on sale for around $300 + wheel kit. I've bought two from them in the past and they all work just fine. They crank on the first or second pull every time.
The way I personally look at gen usage is why get a gen so small it will only run your converter or small charger when for the same price, you can get one that will run everything on board? JMHO
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Old 01-15-2016, 12:12 AM   #66
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This is what I keep telling myself, why spend all that money for a few DB's of silence when you can get twice the power for one third the money.
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Old 01-15-2016, 12:16 AM   #67
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This is what I keep telling myself, why spend all that money for a few DB's of silence when you can get twice the power for one third the money.

Nobody's gonna like an open frame genny !
Just sayin.


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Old 01-15-2016, 09:01 AM   #68
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Yep I agree totally I wouldn't like it next to me either.
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Old 01-15-2016, 04:44 PM   #69
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A good option is a Boliy generator. 3000 watts continuous and 3600 watts surge (at sea level). I got mine for about $1,000 online from bottomlinetrading.com

I've had mine over 4 years and it has been extremely reliable. Maintenance has been to rejet for high altitude, replace spark plug each year, clean the mesh spark arrester, and oil changes every 50 hours or after each camping trip.

One issue I have seen with converters taking SO long to charge a battery even with a 70 amp-hr Progressive Dynamics converter/charger is wire diameter and length from converter/charger to battery. It was taking me 6 hours to charge my batteries each morning and I realized that was because my converter/charger was in the back of the camper and the batteries were 25 feet up front. At that distance I needed 3/0 cable to have less than 3% voltage drop.

Instead of spending a fortune on cable, simply moving the converter within 2-3 feet of the batteries will greatly speed up your charge time. I think I was losing 1.8V over the distance of too thin cable.
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Old 01-16-2016, 06:56 PM   #70
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This is what I keep telling myself, why spend all that money for a few DB's of silence when you can get twice the power for one third the money.

Sounds good, but......please don't camp anywhere near me. I spent the money to get the quietest geny I could get, so wouldn't bother you.


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