Originally Posted by techntrek
I agree, no 2nd battery. You need to boondock a lot for that to pay for itself.
I would wait on the generator. For a few days a year use the "poor man's generator" and hook up your TV's battery to the camper batter with good jumper cables. You only need to do it every other day, running the TV for 30-60 minutes. It will be a waste of fuel to do it every day due to how lead acid batteries charge.
Get the inverter genset after you've upgraded your camper so you get one big enough to run it. Having a backup genset for home is great - I have 3 - so getting a genset for that use is a different issue in the near-term.
I'm not sure why the arguments against the 2nd battery.
In fitting out our A122 (smaller electric loads), my goal was to be able to dry camp for a long weekend (3-4 nights) in the Colorado mountains (3 seasons - I don't intentionally camp in the snow). Interior lights were already LED, and the smaller fridges have no DC draw when running on propane. Big draw was/is the heater fan which draws 3-4 amps when heater is running. There are some parasitic loads like the propane/CO dectector and stereo.
By far the cheapest, lightest, and simplest way to get to the goal was to add a second Group 24 12V battery. Cost me $120 added on the camper purchase, including installation, battery box, and the equal length cabling. A downstream mod is to add a marine-style dual battery switch which allows easy disconnecting of one or both batteries ($35).
The result is no generator to carry, fuel, or maintain, and no solar panels to be tended in the wind or to find sunny spots for. Even a dual Group 27 of Marine Diehards or equivalent is going to cost much less than the generator or solar. Remember, you don't need true deep-discharge batteries if you don't discharge below 60%, and only get that low once or twice a year.
Keeping things simple so I camp more.
2014 A122 A-frame
2008 Hyundai Entourage (minivan)