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Old 07-02-2013, 02:02 PM   #1
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Dual Batteries vs Generator

I have a dilemma maybe you guys can help me with. We are getting ready to head out to yellowstone for a couple weeks we are going to be regular camping (no hook ups)

I was going to install a second battery to the trailer when a friend asked if I wanted to borrow his generator. What would you guys suggest?? Install the new second battery or drive 100 miles to pick up the generator?
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Old 07-02-2013, 02:44 PM   #2
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A couple weeks? I would get the generator. I have two batteries and can run a couple of days with no power but not a couple weeks. Unless I misunderstand your statement.
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Old 07-02-2013, 02:52 PM   #3
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Even 2 batteries won't get you through 2 weeks (well maybe if only using for some lights for a short while in the evening and frig is on propane), how long they last is dependent on what you use the power for. For dry or boon-docking camping I have dual 12 volt batteries system (actually 4 six volt) and I take my Gen with me to recharge the batteries when needed, but the flip of that is I run the AC during the hot part of the day in a 26 foot TT. I for one would get the Gen, from your comment picking up the gen is in the wrong direction vs to Yellowstone? 50 miles in each direction is not too bad but 100 miles each direction not so good another possibility is buy a gen Harbor Freight prices are pretty decent but not as quiet as say a Honda.
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Old 07-02-2013, 03:14 PM   #4
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Have you thought of going to some place like Northern Equipment and getting a solar panel to charge the batteries during the day?
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Old 07-02-2013, 04:09 PM   #5
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It depends on the generator. If it is a contractor grade, I would not want to be near you in most campgrounds, even if the gen is allowed. If it is a quite, inverter gen-set then go pick it up.

If you take two batteries take a charger. Drop one off at a gas station and ask them to charge it for you. Pick it up that afternoon or the next day and swap when the first is low. Repeat. Gas stations near big campgrounds are sure to be accustomed to this and do it for a relatively small fee.
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Old 07-02-2013, 04:46 PM   #6
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Many campgrounds in Yellowstone do not allow generators; so check that out. That being said, I'm in the 1 battery/1 generator camp.
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Old 07-02-2013, 05:11 PM   #7
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can't recommend either without knowing what generator your friend has.

if it's an inverter generator, then i would recommend borrowing it and going with the one battery.

if you plan to dry camp more often, then go ahead and add the 2nd battery anyway but they have to be matched.

if it's a contractor open-framed generator, forget it.
but even two batteries won't last for 2 weeks so you'll need to recharge them anyway.
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Old 07-02-2013, 05:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooneil View Post
Drop one off at a gas station and ask them to charge it for you. Pick it up that afternoon or the next day and swap when the first is low. Repeat. Gas stations near big campgrounds are sure to be accustomed to this and do it for a relatively small fee.
the OP is talking about Yellowstone!
as far as i know, there's only one gas station in the entire park, by Fishing Bridge. it would take hours from some of the campgrounds to get there.
it would be cheaper probably to just rent a Honda/Yamaha for the trip.
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Old 07-02-2013, 05:31 PM   #9
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Bojo,

Most of these posts are from big rig owners. Our Aframes do not need as much power because we have relatively more natural lighting from the windows and really only need one light fixture on inside at night. If you put LED bulbs in, you can use the lights when needed and not overly draw down the battery. If it is hot you may need to run your fan at night, but you should get three or four days off a well charged battery.
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Old 07-02-2013, 05:33 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by bikendan View Post
the OP is talking about Yellowstone!
as far as i know, there's only one gas station in the entire park, by Fishing Bridge. it would take hours from some of the campgrounds to get there.
it would be cheaper probably to just rent a Honda/Yamaha for the trip.
That's a complication. What is one to do in a campground that doesn't allow generators?

Google reports one at Old Faithful and one at Grant Village. So a well planned day could get you by one of those. It seems better to do that than take a contractor grade generator and annoy the rest of the campground. But like I said earlier, if he can get a quiet inverter gen-set, take that.
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