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Old 03-14-2016, 12:14 AM   #1
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A-frame newbie, question on dry camping with A frame

Greetings all,
New to the forum and to RVs in general. Wifey and looked and read and waited and finally decided and signed on a 2016 Flagstaff T19SCHW A frame (shower and toilet were a must for the wifey). I'll make a camper out of her yet, ha ha...

We pick it up later during the week and plan to leave this weekend for our first trip out. No hookups where we are going to put it through its paces. Have a 2800/3000W inverter genny for power. My concern is water. Fresh tank only holds 26 gallons....

I had a thought but I am relying on some of the experience here. What is the feasibility of adding more water to the tank from a second tank? I have 55 gallon drums with hose spigots on the bottom of them that I intend to use for rainwater collection. Assuming I had one full in the back of my Truck, would this hooked up to the water inlet be enough to keep the 26 gallon tank Topped off by gravity alone? What about 5 gallon jugs and a creative adapter?

Thanks in advance!
Jeff
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Old 03-14-2016, 12:37 AM   #2
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Welcome!
I wouldn't tow with the fresh water tank full. That's a lot of weight behind the axle. I would be concerned of excessive sway. How long is your trip for?
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Old 03-14-2016, 12:52 AM   #3
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3 days 2 nights. I'm totally sure we would get by if we used sparingly. Just like the idea of having a little "extra" if you know what I mean.

Think that 26 gallons of water would make that much of a difference during towing? Its only like 216 pounds?

Jeff
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Old 03-14-2016, 02:09 AM   #4
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I towed an A frame to Alaska and back from Colorado with no problem with the tank full.
Me thinks your water tank is only 20 gal. Maybe you are counting the hot water tank.
I do not have a shower that we use, so don't know how much water you need. We carry two 3 gal jugs, for back up if the 20 gal tank goes dry. We also carry a case of drinking water bottles. We do disk washing with less then 1 gal of water. We only wash dishes once a day. Even with no hookup they normally have some place to get water.
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Old 03-14-2016, 06:42 AM   #5
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we've been dry camping for years.

we always tow with a full FW tank, cause it doesn't make much of an impact.
UNLESS you have a marginal tow vehicle.

we also have a 6 gallon FW jug and a 15 gallon blue tote tank for the gray water.
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:04 AM   #6
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Just a note on the water tank location... My 2014 Rockwood's water tank is in front of the axle, so double check that. They seem to have moved them from time to time.

Mine pulls a bit better with that extra weight in the front. Just watch the tongue weight if you have a smaller SUV like me. I usually don't fill it completely because it's just me out there when boondocking.
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertSchnzrs View Post
Greetings all,
New to the forum and to RVs in general. Wifey and looked and read and waited and finally decided and signed on a 2016 Flagstaff T19SCHW A frame (shower and toilet were a must for the wifey). I'll make a camper out of her yet, ha ha...

We pick it up later during the week and plan to leave this weekend for our first trip out. No hookups where we are going to put it through its paces. Have a 2800/3000W inverter genny for power. My concern is water. Fresh tank only holds 26 gallons....
According to the specs/floor plan I pulled up, this is a high wall unit with dormer. It has the larger TT style fridge, stove with oven, inside shower with cassette potty. 20 gal fresh water tank plus 6 gal hot water heater. Does not say what size of gray water tank you have. Don't believe there is a black water tank due to cassette potty.

Generally, stock RVs run out of battery first. A-frames and PUPs do not come standard with battery shut-off switches, so the stock batteries are often trashed within the 1st year by parasitic loads when the camper is parked (or sitting on display on the dealer lot). High wall A-frames have higher parasitic loads due to the bigger TT-style fridge - especially if there is a condensation-eliminating heat strip on.

You talk about taking a generator for power. Will you be able to (or even want) to run the generator continuously? The condition of your battery and your electrical usage will determine how much you will need the generator.

Second point: there's a reasonable chance you won't stay the second night because enough things don't work or you can't get them to work the way they are supposed to. I hope this isn't true, but I'm warning you in advance. Our first trip (3 days, 2 nights) was cut short the 2nd day by a propane leak at a faulty fitting where the hose joined the propane piping. And the stock mattresses were really uncomfortable (cured by adding mattress toppers).

Water usage is going to be driven by the shower. Without the shower, 3 gals per day per person is easily achievable - and you can manage on half of that with a little care. Sea showers (wet yourself, turn off, lather up, turn on to rinse) are the only way to have hot water at the finish of the shower - and it minimizes water use. Gray water tank capacity may also be a limit on both water and shower use.

Our first mods (and really the only things we needed) to make our A-frame comfortable for a long weekend (4 nights) with no hook-ups were a dual battery install and the mattress toppers. We do love our A-frame after tent and PUP camping previously.

Fred W
2014 Rockwood A122
2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan with E2 Equalizer WDH/anti-sway
camping Colorado and adjacent states one weekend at a time -
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Old 03-14-2016, 12:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pgandw View Post
According to the specs/floor plan I pulled up, this is a high wall unit with dormer. It has the larger TT style fridge, stove with oven, inside shower with cassette potty. 20 gal fresh water tank plus 6 gal hot water heater. Does not say what size of gray water tank you have. Don't believe there is a black water tank due to cassette potty.

Generally, stock RVs run out of battery first. A-frames and PUPs do not come standard with battery shut-off switches, so the stock batteries are often trashed within the 1st year by parasitic loads when the camper is parked (or sitting on display on the dealer lot). High wall A-frames have higher parasitic loads due to the bigger TT-style fridge - especially if there is a condensation-eliminating heat strip on.

You talk about taking a generator for power. Will you be able to (or even want) to run the generator continuously? The condition of your battery and your electrical usage will determine how much you will need the generator.

Second point: there's a reasonable chance you won't stay the second night because enough things don't work or you can't get them to work the way they are supposed to. I hope this isn't true, but I'm warning you in advance. Our first trip (3 days, 2 nights) was cut short the 2nd day by a propane leak at a faulty fitting where the hose joined the propane piping. And the stock mattresses were really uncomfortable (cured by adding mattress toppers).

Water usage is going to be driven by the shower. Without the shower, 3 gals per day per person is easily achievable - and you can manage on half of that with a little care. Sea showers (wet yourself, turn off, lather up, turn on to rinse) are the only way to have hot water at the finish of the shower - and it minimizes water use. Gray water tank capacity may also be a limit on both water and shower use.

Our first mods (and really the only things we needed) to make our A-frame comfortable for a long weekend (4 nights) with no hook-ups were a dual battery install and the mattress toppers. We do love our A-frame after tent and PUP camping previously.

Fred W
2014 Rockwood A122
2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan with E2 Equalizer WDH/anti-sway
camping Colorado and adjacent states one weekend at a time -
Fred
Thanks for the lengthy repsonse, lot to consider. This is our first RV so I'm sure it's going to be comical to a certain extent when we get out there. If we have to cut it short because of (Insert disaster here), we are both OK with it. This is more of a dry run so to speak.

As far as the Genny goes I was thinking more along the lines of running it s few hours each day to keep the battery topped off. Only reason I see to run it outside of that is to use AC or microwave? Maybe I'm missing something.

I asked the dealer about a second battery on purchase (I'm familiar with the whole 2 6v batt in series vs 12v batts in parallel argument). Said there is no room on the tounge. I beg to differ and that will be an upgrade soon...I kind of like the idea of a second battery and power inverter to run small electronic devices.

Reference the tank capacities, i Think you are looking at the t21 specs; that has the dormer; no dormer in this model . This has 26 gallon fresh/0 grey (collect or divert)/5 gal black by way of cassette potty. My "understanding" is that in my state there is nothing new unlawful about dumping grey water. Without somehow destroying the environment, I don't see what the difference between showering or doing dishes outside with the attached hose or dumping grey water is anyways.

Jeff
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Old 03-14-2016, 01:21 PM   #9
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My wife and I boondock a lot and we use about eight gallons per day. For extra water we use a 45 gallon collapsible tank with a 12volt pump for transfer.

We usually camp in the southwest where there are a lot of sunny days and we use a 100watt Renology solar panel with two six volt batteries. It provides all the electricity we need. We have led bulbs in our light fixtures. We don't use the microwave. I hate the sound of a generator even if it is my own.

One thing we did to our a frame was add ropes which we could attach so the panels wouldn't overextend when setting up in the wind.
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Old 03-14-2016, 01:28 PM   #10
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I would check under the trailer and see how well the fresh water tank is supported. Some seem to bulge quite a bit when full, only being held up by one strap, and could benefit from some extra support. Would not be hard to put another strap or two across the bottom to add more support if planning to travel while full.

Two batteries are definitely recommended, and should provide all the 12v power you need for a couple of days, and will support an inverter better than one battery. As you point out, you will need a genny to run the microwave or AC. The propane furnace is a big amperage hog (many find only one night/battery if camping in cold weather).

My last recommendation is do not run refrigerator on 12v, unless you are charging at the same time. Better to run on propane when boondocking and even while traveling if your TV is not charging.
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