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Old 05-05-2016, 11:19 AM   #1
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No electricity!!!

For the first time, I am going to Cranberry Lake State C.G. and there is NO electricity. I am only going to be at the site in the evenings to sleep and shower, but I have a couple of questions about using my 12V system. I know I have 12V lights and my water pump will operate, but what about my furnace should the temperature drop at night? Can I use the water heater on propane setting? Should I leave my RV plugged into my Silverado 2500 HD, which has two batteries, or do I only use the RV battery? This much I know, I can run the truck and charge the RV battery if I needed to. A little nervous the first time.

I know that a microwave and AC are out of the question, but is there anything else that is a no no? Any help will be appreciated,---thanks.
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Old 05-05-2016, 11:23 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by fayliss View Post
For the first time, I am going to Cranberry Lake State C.G. and there is NO electricity. I am only going to be at the site in the evenings to sleep and shower, but I have a couple of questions about using my 12V system. I know I have 12V lights and my water pump will operate, but what about my furnace should the temperature drop at night? Can I use the water heater on propane setting? Should I leave my RV plugged into my Silverado 2500 HD, which has two batteries, or do I only use the RV battery? This much I know, I can run the truck and charge the RV battery if I needed to. A little nervous the first time.

I know that a microwave and AC are out of the question, but is there anything else that is a no no? Any help will be appreciated,---thanks.
Sounds like you are pretty much on par with all of this.

The A/C, microwave, television, and anything else plugged into an electrical outlet will not function without a source of 120 volt AC power.

I'll edit this post in a few minutes with some links that may help. Hold on
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Old 05-05-2016, 11:27 AM   #3
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I think that you have a pretty good handle on things here and what will work and not work. Your furnace will run off your battery but will draw some pretty good amps mostly for the fan motor. Your truck batteries will not help with the load most have a relay and only provide power when the truck is running. You can run your hot water heater om propane very little power draw but I would not leave it running all the time only run 20 min before needing hot water.
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Old 05-05-2016, 11:32 AM   #4
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I think that you have a pretty good handle on things here and what will work and not work. Your furnace will run off your battery but will draw some pretty good amps mostly for the fan motor. Your truck batteries will not help with the load most have a relay and only provide power when the truck is running. You can run your hot water heater om propane very little power draw but I would not leave it running all the time only run 20 min before needing hot water.
My experience is that most do NOT have a relay. I had to add my own (with a switch on the dash so I can control it) on my Silverado. My Traverse is the same, but I don't use it enough to warrant adding a relay.

Since you have a Silverado, too, I suspect yours will be on all the time, but don't assume - the only way to know for sure is to check it with a meter with the TV running and shut off.
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Old 05-05-2016, 11:41 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by fayliss View Post
For the first time, I am going to Cranberry Lake State C.G. and there is NO electricity. I am only going to be at the site in the evenings to sleep and shower, but I have a couple of questions about using my 12V system. I know I have 12V lights and my water pump will operate, but what about my furnace should the temperature drop at night? Can I use the water heater on propane setting? Should I leave my RV plugged into my Silverado 2500 HD, which has two batteries, or do I only use the RV battery? This much I know, I can run the truck and charge the RV battery if I needed to. A little nervous the first time.

I know that a microwave and AC are out of the question, but is there anything else that is a no no? Any help will be appreciated,---thanks.

Depends on how many nights you're going to be there, condition of the trailer batteries, are the interior lights old style or LED's and how long you need to run those things.

Depending on the outside temps, I would try to refrain from using the furnace, it (the blower) is the biggest draw on the batteries. Just use extra blankets if you can.

The next biggest draw would be the refrigerator (cooling fans behind it).

Water pump only runs when the water is being used. If you use the "navy" method of showering, you should be ok, all other uses considered.

All your components (when running on propane) need 12v to operate the circuitry and open & close the gas valves (fridge, water heater, furnace + blower)

Your tow vehicle, when plugged in to the trailer & wired correctly can only at best, trickle charge the trailer battery (due to the size of the wiring).

If you have access to a small generator (if allowed), that might be a better solution. This would allow your on-board converter to charge the battery more efficiently & quicker than depending on the TV to do the job.

Good luck & let us know how you make out.
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Old 05-05-2016, 12:26 PM   #6
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Also, if your fridge has a door heater, you'll want to disconnect it. It will suck your battery dry very quickly. See attached for a how-to on disconnecting it that someone posted previously (you roo, maybe?)

I've also included a schematic if you want/need to install a single pole single throw relay in the aux power to your towing plug.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Refer door heater switch mod.pdf (282.7 KB, 18 views)
File Type: pdf Trailer tow aux power relay.pdf (121.4 KB, 9 views)
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Old 05-05-2016, 02:21 PM   #7
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We've been to Cranberry several times over the years and we usually stay for a couple of weeks at a time. It's really a great park.

Our last camper (we have a new one now) had just one standard dealer installed group 24 marine dual purpose battery which had almost no storage capacity.

Yes, you can use generators (like most NYS owned parks, there are certain hrs you can use them and the park has the discretion to say no if it's too loud, or whatever). We needed to use ours a couple of times a day (we were also helping a few of our neighbors batteries at the same time).

We used lanterns (battery powered) inside most of the time, no awing lights, radio, tv, etc., turn water heater on ~10-15 mins before you need it (don't forget to turn it off). Navy showers to save on the water pump cycling ... better yet, use the shower house and save your water, storage and battery. We had LED's in the last rig to but when a lantern lights it up, why not use it instead?

We have a Mr. Heater propane heater that we used before bedtime and in the morning if needed with extra blankets (or even sleeping bags).

For adult beverages and whatnot, use a cooler with ice. It'll save the fridge from using more power. Keep in mind, the fridge needs some power to operate. That's why we were helping our neighbors - their fridge died because of a dead battery.

I wouldn't leave the truck plugged in to the camper for 2 reasons.
1- what happens if you forget and drive away? At best it unplugs. At worst, you have to replace wiring.
2- what happens if you start draining your truck batteries? Now you'll need to find someone to jump start a larger diesel. It'd be big strain on a car or small SUV's electrical system.

Mainly because of the camping we now do (and Cranberry Lake is one of them), we have a camper that I can add several batteries to the front without much of an issue if I need to.
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Old 05-14-2016, 12:01 PM   #8
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What is a refrigerator door heater, what does it do, how will I know it I have one. I have a 2015 Wildwood ultra lite. The fridge light looks the same.
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Old 05-14-2016, 12:13 PM   #9
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What is a refrigerator door heater, what does it do, how will I know it I have one. I have a 2015 Wildwood ultra lite. The fridge light looks the same.


What model is your fridge?

The door heater eliminates condensation on the fridge surface.

It's a fairly big draw when not needed.
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Old 05-14-2016, 02:46 PM   #10
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I have a Dometic DM 2652 LBX made in 2014 1500 btu hrs
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