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Old 07-07-2016, 04:21 PM   #1
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Newbie to the A-Frame Community!

Hello all!

I've been snooping in this forum for sometime and am happy to report that I am a new owner of a used 2012 T12DDST! I have a few things to punch off the to-do list. It's been very helpful to read many of the posts from you.

My first order of business is to wash and wax, it was a bit neglected and will need a bit of TLC. The bubble windows need some sealant work, I've decided to go the route of the Everbond vs. 3M...the 3M is just so pricey. I'm also swapping the 12v interstate for dual 6v...can't wait to see how that goes. LED lighting and a good cleaning.

The one thing I can't get a handle on is the life of the dual 6v batteries. Will I be ok for 2 nights in the Colorado mountains running the heater from time to time? I went with the Duracell SLIGC125. They show a 235AH at 20 hr rate. Batteries plus had a great sale, plus a mail in rebate. Currently its a better deal than Sam's or Costco. I'm considering solar but my fix up budget is tight. Any input would be great!

Thanks!
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Old 07-07-2016, 05:06 PM   #2
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Live in Colorado Springs with a bought-new Rockwood A122 A-frame. We bought at Nolan's in Denver, and discussed your question.

We decided that 4-5 hours use of the heater at night would heat the camper to 50-55 degrees, and could be powered by 2 12volt batteries for 4 nights and stay above 50%. Assumes no other real draw - minimum use of interior lights, no use of stereo or exterior lights, fridge on propane, etc. Have only spent 3 consecutive nights so far dry camping, and batteries held up. Heater use is very good in A-frames compared to PUPs.


Have since switched to dual 6V batteries which gives more reserve. My Interstates (232AH) cost just under $150 together (including tax) at Costco.

Fred W
2014 Rcokwood A122 A-frame
2008 Hyundai Entourage
camping Colorado and adjacent states one weekend at a time
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Old 07-07-2016, 05:06 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum. I spent some time camping near Cortez and Montrose in Colorado this summer and had a wonderful time.
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Old 07-07-2016, 10:06 PM   #4
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Thank you for the advice! I'm still on the fence about solar, I know it's the way to go long term, just trying to see if I can avoid the additional expense. My fear is that I have me, my wife, and a 4 month old baby with us on these trips and we are new to A-Frame camping...I don't really want to be in a situation without battery juice. I'd love to take a test run in the drive way but I don't think it will get cold enough at night to really test how often the furnace will run.
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Old 07-08-2016, 08:49 AM   #5
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My two 6v Costco batteries work well for 2-3 days of dry camping. Solar might be one way to go, but I suspect eventually you will want to get a small generator which will allow recharging of batteries and running the AC if not hooked up to shore power. My Honda EU2000 works nicely - many other options.
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Old 07-08-2016, 09:11 AM   #6
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I've been looking at a gen as an option, but one of the things I see is that the Honda might not have the juice to run the AC. What has your experience been? I also know that the generator is going to loose some output capability with the higher altitude here in Colorado. I'd love to hear what the experience has been with guys up at altitude running the Honda.
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Old 07-08-2016, 03:53 PM   #7
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Hello............

This is what I got to power even the CoolCat and micro at the same time. Does the job quietly and got it for a little over $500 with discounts at overstock.com. A third the cost of the Honda.......

'Rubicon' Wooly.

A212HW
https://www.overstock.com/Home-Garde...SI&searchidx=0
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Old 07-08-2016, 04:45 PM   #8
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How did you work the discounts? I'm seeing a list price of a bit $870. I'd be very interested if I could get it down to the $500 range.
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Old 07-08-2016, 06:43 PM   #9
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Whether you need or want solar or a generator depends a lot on where and how you camp, and for how long.

We don't get much besides long weekends at present, so enough battery for 4 days/nights with temps down to 30s in a no hook-site was our requirement. The dual 6V batteries get us there pretty easily, but we don't use much power for anything else. The inside lights are LED, and we use flashlights a lot anyway. We also normally cook, eat, clean, and lounge outside around the picnic table when weather allows.

The other reality is that the water tank is going to be pretty low after 4 days, as is our food supply.

The 4 nights is plenty for us, as we seldom stay in one place longer than 4 days. Nor do we hang around the campsite during the day - we're usually on the go much of the day. The A-frame lends itself to this style of camping by being very quick and easy to set up or take down.

Given the Colorado winds and our preference for shaded sites, we didn't want to mess with solar panels. Nor did I want to lug a generator and fuel to babysit when I wanted to be out doing stuff. Our belief is that in Colorado, if we are above 7,000 feet (and often as low as 6,000 feet), you don't need air conditioning even in the hottest part of summer. That said, during the summer we look for electric hook-ups if we are camping lower than 7,000 feet. Our preference is usually for spring and fall camping to avoid the crowds.

Future trips:
Rocky Mountain National Park - dry camping 4 days in August
Mt Rushmore - dry camping 4 days in September
Utah 5 National Parks - mixed dry camping/electric 9 days in October (moving around)

Your camping style may be very different in which case you may want a generator.
Fred W
2014 Rockwood A122 A-Frame
2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan
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Old 07-08-2016, 07:12 PM   #10
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Thanks Fred, I appreciate the insight. Just getting out and doing it will tell me a lot about our battery usage. I'm fearful of running out of juice with a 4 month old. Not that we need power for much...the heater is the priority. Our first trip we used the inside lights for about 1min and realized...dang those are bright. I ordered LED's on Amazon to replace all the inside and outside lights to help save battery juice. The water pump is going to get exercised...we love having hot water. I'd like to use the radio but will avoid it to conserve if we don't do solar. I don't want to get caught without power, but don't want to go over board either.
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