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Old 02-10-2019, 08:51 PM   #1
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Charging while dry camping.

We have a FR 2019 X-LITE 241RLXL. a 12v batt. was included at "drive off 6 months ago.

We are going dry camping in 4 days and the ground rules are: "quiet time...8pm to 8am. " UGH!!!

We plan on using the 12 volt battery to power the outlets & TV, also so we can plug in our electric blanket since it's going to be very cold at night.

My question is: during the day when we have our generator on...we need a better, faster charging system for the battery during the day OTHER THAN our trickle charger.

I keep hearing I keep hearing that if you charge it too fast it might explode. Which scares me!

Does anybody have any advice on how to fully charge this battery so we can use it another night?

sorry if I sound like a total newbie. I'm not (to camping) , but I am a newbie to a travel trailer. :-D

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Old 02-10-2019, 09:01 PM   #2
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I bought a CTEK 25 amp smart charger for the very reason you described. It was expensive. BTW, that electric blanket is going to put a big dent in that battery overnight. May be more energy efficient to just run furnace.

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Old 02-10-2019, 09:07 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum and feel free to ask all the questions you want.
There are two completely independent electrical systems in your RV. a 110VAC system which runs the AC and charges the battery via the converter. The other system is a 12VDC system that runs your lights, furnace fan. When you are not connected to shore power, you will not be able to run your electric blanket. You can run your tv if you have a small inverter but you need to be careful in how much 12V current you use. If you run your furnace all night on a cold night, it will drain your battery. You will also drain your propane quickly. If you plan to do much off grid camping you should have two high capacity deep cycle batteries. Before you venture out, I suggest you read through the RV electric tutorials in the library section of the forum. As for charging the battery with a generator, the best way to accomplish this is to connect the standard power cord to the generator and allow the converter to charge it. It will not blow up.

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Old 02-10-2019, 09:17 PM   #4
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im confused. how do you plan on running a tv outlets and an electric blanket off battery? You either have an extensive non stock after market battery system or not much understanding on the limitations of the 12 volt system?
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Old 02-10-2019, 09:26 PM   #5
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A fair 12v battery will hold 800 to 1000 watt hours (watts for one hour). A blanket will use about 200 watts so 800/200 is 4 hours of blanket. You would be much better off with a good comforter and use the gas heater in your camper. Also most batteries (except true deep cycles) will not survive more than a few full cycles (fully charged to full discharged), you are better off not draining them completely. LED lights only use a few watts and will run days or weeks. The heater might be 50 watts (fan) but only runs part time. You can get 2-3 days of heat and light from the battery if you use only the lights and gas heater. No one wants to hear generators running day or night.
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Old 02-10-2019, 09:51 PM   #6
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thank you all so much! This is a wealth of information! :-D
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Old 02-10-2019, 10:03 PM   #7
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Just some food for thought - depending on how much your battery is discharged overnight, you will likely need to run the generator for several hours - minimum -to get it charged back up. As the battery gets closer to a full charge, the rate of charging slows down. Many folks using a generator will try to minimize the run time which is understandable but if you don't get the battery fully recharged, then you have less & less available amps each night. If you discharge your battery below the 50% level, it starts to damage the battery and you'll get less & less run time out of the battery.

As was mentioned earlier, there is a lot of info on 12V systems and batteries in the library here - this link is to one of the more comprehensive articles and should give you some good information to get started on dry camping - The 12V Side of Life

Dry camping is a lot of fun - don't be intimidated by figuring out the 12V way of life - it's not that difficult
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Old 02-10-2019, 10:13 PM   #8
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I would forget the heated blankets and go for something like this at night... get the extended 10 or 12 foot propane hose with 20# tank adapter end...

will give off plenty of heat for zero electric

I have added the part in the manual that says it is safe in enclosed spaces IF you have a small window open...

Also think about getting a group 27 (larger than your stock battery) 12 V rechargeable marine/RV battery... cheapest place I know of is Costco for about $80
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Old 02-10-2019, 10:24 PM   #9
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I prefer a good sleeping bag. A couple blankets or quilt perform well also, unless you need to keep the trlr from freezing up in really cold weather.
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Old 02-10-2019, 11:16 PM   #10
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Lots of good replies...I will add that during the day you can plug a portable battery charger like this into your generator and attach to your battery to bring it back up. Then your converter can maintain it from there.

These can be had for $29 on sale and work great.

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