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Old 04-27-2016, 04:19 PM   #1
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Dry camping - how long?

We recently purchased a 2016 model year Rockwood 8280WS fifth wheel. It has two 12 volt batteries and one ZAMP 100 watt solar panel.

Since all lighting is LED and we seldom travel where it gets very cold (below 40 or so) at nights the heater seldom runs.

Dry camping, the refrigerator will use propane as does the water heater and furnace. The main drain on the batteries, I think, would be from lights and only be a few hours each night. Around the same for the furnace.

The question is, given we are fair weather travelers, can we expect to dry camp for at least two nights with no issue? As you can tell, dry camping is something we have yet to experience.

This forum, by the way, is a great place to learn what is needed when it comes to the RV life.

GT
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Old 04-27-2016, 05:24 PM   #2
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With LED lighting and if your heater runs seldom you should be good for way more than a couple days.
Make sure your batteries are fully charged at home before going camping. Your 100 watt solar panel should supply at least 40 amp hours per day (possibly up to 50 ah per day) as long as you are not camped in the shade. That should keep the batteries charged fairly good if you are not a power hog.
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Old 04-27-2016, 05:44 PM   #3
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Three to four for you easily. I could get two to three days on a pair of group 24's with no solar and only use about 40% charge.
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Old 04-27-2016, 06:02 PM   #4
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The furnace eats up battery power faster than the lights.
If you run it all night, it can drain a single battery by morning.
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Old 04-27-2016, 06:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greytraveler View Post

Dry camping, the refrigerator will use propane as does the water heater and furnace. The main drain on the batteries, I think, would be from lights and only be a few hours each night. Around the same for the furnace.
Be aware that most reefers, water heaters, and space heaters use 12 volts for their electronic control boards. The amount of electricity consumed by each is small, but it is being used 24 hours a day.
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Old 04-27-2016, 06:52 PM   #6
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To give you a ball park idea, we boondock for at least 30 days straight at a time.
We use the lights (LED) about 2-3 hours a night, water heater on propane, fridge on propane, furnace runs a fair amount at night (gets cool boondocking in the mountains). My two 6v batteries (225 ah) are charged back up by noon at the latest each day with 200 watts of solar.
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Old 04-27-2016, 07:27 PM   #7
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We have all LED lights , one 12v battery , a 60 watt solar panel..and can comfortably do 5 -7 days. I know some folks that couldn't get through 1 night with my set up.. Your furnace will be your biggest draw.
We also have a separate 12v battery and inverter for a 1-2 hrs of TV a day if needed.
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Old 04-28-2016, 07:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevnval View Post
We have all LED lights , one 12v battery , a 60 watt solar panel..and can comfortably do 5 -7 days. I know some folks that couldn't get through 1 night with my set up.. Your furnace will be your biggest draw.
We also have a separate 12v battery and inverter for a 1-2 hrs of TV a day if needed.
Wow! Impressive ...
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Old 04-28-2016, 02:06 PM   #9
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A good small generator is a life saver. The furnace is the biggest battery depleater.
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Old 04-28-2016, 02:29 PM   #10
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A Honda generator is great for recharging and the use of appliances that will not run on battery power. I kept running out of water when several people took showers. A small submersible pump works great to refill the water tank. Some campgrounds will not allow a trailer to hook up to the water but you can always fill a 5 gallon jug and fill with the pump. Takes a few trips but keeps everyone smelling fresh. Most forest service campgrounds allow draining the grey water as it helps water a pine tree.
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