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Old 04-28-2016, 03:34 PM   #11
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We dry camp quite often, and I love my Zamp portable 200W system. If that is all your use, what you described, you will be fine on a day-to-day basis, just make sure you keep your batteries charged as much as possible throughout the day with your solar panel, and don't let the batteries get below 50% charge, 75% or greater is ideal.
Keep in mind, if you are running your exhaust fans, or happen to have your heated mattresses plugged in, those things also eat up amp hours. We dry camped all week last year on the Outer Banks, and I'm pretty sure my biggest energy usage was running the exhaust fans all day and night though we had no problem keeping up with the energy usage. When really chilly, we rely more on our Little Buddy propane heater which is very efficient, and we only use the actual furnace for a few minutes just to really warm up if needed.
The only other consideration is if you utilize an inverter to power certain appliances, which can be a tremendous amount of usage depending on the appliance, microwaves and coffeemakers will quickly drain a battery.
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Old 04-28-2016, 03:55 PM   #12
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If DW agrees to a few days of dry camping then I will be looking to add another 100 watt solar panel to total 200 watts. No inverter so that is not going to be a problem. My guess is the furnace will be the biggest drain based on what people have said. That we can manage.

I suspect we will be dry camping in state or federal parks which may or may not have a source of water and a dump. No electric. Will have to learn from experience.

The length, which is now 4 feet longer than our last rig, is now 32 and that needs to be considered when selecting a site. Oh well.

Will make sure we do not park in the shade.

GT
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Old 04-29-2016, 10:02 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by ablindmule View Post
We dry camp quite often, and I love my Zamp portable 200W system. If that is all your use, what you described, you will be fine on a day-to-day basis, just make sure you keep your batteries charged as much as possible throughout the day with your solar panel, and don't let the batteries get below 50% charge, 75% or greater is ideal.
Keep in mind, if you are running your exhaust fans, or happen to have your heated mattresses plugged in, those things also eat up amp hours. We dry camped all week last year on the Outer Banks, and I'm pretty sure my biggest energy usage was running the exhaust fans all day and night though we had no problem keeping up with the energy usage. When really chilly, we rely more on our Little Buddy propane heater which is very efficient, and we only use the actual furnace for a few minutes just to really warm up if needed.
The only other consideration is if you utilize an inverter to power certain appliances, which can be a tremendous amount of usage depending on the appliance, microwaves and coffeemakers will quickly drain a battery.
I use a microwave and love my coffee. But to save my batteries when boon docking I cook on a grill when possible and use an old fashioned percolator for my coffee. These are things you need to get use to doing. I use my grill on a spare 20 pound bottle. I also have a 2 burner Colman stove I can hook up to that bottle. It is easy to exchange that bottle when it gets low or empty. This way I can save my main 30 pound bottles for heat if I should need it. That spare 20 pounder really comes in handy. Of course you can always cook inside on the stove if the weather gets bad. I could always cook using the oven if I can figure out how, LOL!

Jim
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Old 04-29-2016, 10:28 AM   #14
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I use a microwave and love my coffee. But to save my batteries when boon docking I cook on a grill when possible and use an old fashioned percolator for my coffee. These are things you need to get use to doing. I use my grill on a spare 20 pound bottle. I also have a 2 burner Colman stove I can hook up to that bottle. It is easy to exchange that bottle when it gets low or empty. This way I can save my main 30 pound bottles for heat if I should need it. That spare 20 pounder really comes in handy. Of course you can always cook inside on the stove if the weather gets bad. I could always cook using the oven if I can figure out how, LOL!

Jim
Jim, try this. Melitta Coffee Maker 6 Cup Pour Over Brewer with Glass Carafe 1 Count New 055437640442 | eBay You might like the taste over perked coffee. Malita also makes a one cup version that fits over your cup. Cheapest filters for these are at Wally World.
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Old 04-29-2016, 10:34 AM   #15
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You might be surprised to learn that your fridge draws over 25A or more a day. This is for a fridge running on propane; caused by the fridge's door seal heater.

Check the control panel for your fridge for a connection labelled "light/heater" If you remove the wire plugged into it, it will eliminate this drain on the battery but will also turn off the interior light. Be careful removing the wire if your fridge is plugged into 110AC because there's usually an exposed 110 connector nearby.

I always unplug the wire on my fridge when dry camping.

Phil
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Old 04-29-2016, 10:34 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by ablindmule View Post
We dry camp quite often, and I love my Zamp portable 200W system. If that is all your use, what you described, you will be fine on a day-to-day basis, just make sure you keep your batteries charged as much as possible throughout the day with your solar panel, and don't let the batteries get below 50% charge, 75% or greater is ideal.
Keep in mind, if you are running your exhaust fans, or happen to have your heated mattresses plugged in, those things also eat up amp hours. We dry camped all week last year on the Outer Banks, and I'm pretty sure my biggest energy usage was running the exhaust fans all day and night though we had no problem keeping up with the energy usage. When really chilly, we rely more on our Little Buddy propane heater which is very efficient, and we only use the actual furnace for a few minutes just to really warm up if needed.
The only other consideration is if you utilize an inverter to power certain appliances, which can be a tremendous amount of usage depending on the appliance, microwaves and coffeemakers will quickly drain a battery.
I have been looking at the Zamp models you mention. I wondered if the 200W was a good size. I just want portability without all the retro fit. Did you just connect directly to the 12v bat posts and monitor the batteries periodically during the week.
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Old 04-29-2016, 11:02 AM   #17
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Jim, try this. Melitta Coffee Maker 6 Cup Pour Over Brewer with Glass Carafe 1 Count New 055437640442 | eBay You might like the taste over perked coffee. Malita also makes a one cup version that fits over your cup. Cheapest filters for these are at Wally World.
Thank you! Didn't know they still made that! I use to have one but it got broke. I just ordered one off of Amazon. Here is a filter you might be interested in.

Robot Check

Jim
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Old 04-29-2016, 11:27 AM   #18
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ummm, 6 cups... you know they had a 10 cup for $2.43 more...

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Old 04-30-2016, 12:49 AM   #19
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What's wrong with a French press for coffee?

If I'm feeling lazy, I boil water and use coffee "tea" bags or put my favorite ground coffee in a tea strainer.

No electricity used just propane to boil the water.
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Old 04-30-2016, 09:22 AM   #20
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ummm, 6 cups... you know they had a 10 cup for $2.43 more...

That is what happens when I am in a hurry. Oh well. That will fill both my insulated mugs, by the time I drink them I will have another pot made. That works!

Jim
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