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Old 07-01-2018, 07:43 AM   #1
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Boondocking and batteries

I have just purchased honda generators but have questions about battery use. I am boondocking where the generators canít run after 10am but I need power for a fan and the basic things that draws power. I just have 1 battery that came with my 18TO Wolfpup. Anyone know how long I can run the bare necessities on that battery?
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Old 07-01-2018, 07:58 AM   #2
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NLP, I would suggest a decent battery monitor. Trimetric or the like, but they are in the 150 neighborhood. That said, a volt meter will give you SOME idea. I say some, as there will be a higher voltage when you first disconnect the shore or generator power. Only after a few hours usung the battery, will that over voltage dissipate and your discharge of the battery by using it settle in. There are many state of charge charts online that will tell you how many volts will equal a percentage of battery status. That said, do not go below the 50% level, as this will shorten the life of the battery. As you do this several times, you should get an idea of how much and how long you can get out of your battery.

The above said, if you can remove the caps on your battery, you can use a hydrometer instead of the above, but, then you will have a bit of dribble from the fluid. The fluid is acidic, and can make a mess of just about everything it touches. The hydrometer is very accurate for determining a state of charge.

Hope this helps.
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Old 07-01-2018, 08:15 AM   #3
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If your battery is healthy ( never run below 50 % charge ), your fridge is on propane( still draws for 12 v board) ,careful with lights and no heater use then you should make it overnight fairly easily and charge in the morning. The heater will probably put you over the top if it runs too much. You will need 2 batteries to run the heater worry free, the blower fan is a high amp draw.
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Old 07-01-2018, 08:17 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nlparrott1212 View Post
I have just purchased honda generators but have questions about battery use. I am boondocking where the generators canít run after 10am but I need power for a fan and the basic things that draws power. I just have 1 battery that came with my 18TO Wolfpup. Anyone know how long I can run the bare necessities on that battery?
To answer that question we need more information. Battery Size. Amp Hour rating. We have no way of knowing this information. And you would need a battery monitor to tell you when and how long to charge the battery. I'm sure somebody will jump in with tons of battery information and links to good information.
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Old 07-01-2018, 09:42 AM   #5
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If you boondock regularly, you will need two batteries.

If this is just an occasional occurrence, then one battery will most likely get you through the night if you don't use your heater (fan will use up your battery), run everything on propane, and use lights sparingly.

A cheap multimeter (the free one works fine) from Harbor Freight will tell you the status of your batteries, but it's not absolutely necessary.

We boondock 80% of the time with 2 12v Series 27 marine deep cells from Interstate. They last about 4.5 years. We recharge them by running the Honda generator(s) for about five hours a day. We boondock for up to three weeks at a time.

System works great, never run out of power.

Enjoy!
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Old 07-01-2018, 04:51 PM   #6
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As long as you have the fridge on propane and you don't run the furnace, you should be able to go one night on a single battery.

BUT I'm sure the dealer supplied the cheapest dual purpose marine battery.
If you plan on dry camping or boondocking, as was as said, you need two batteries. The best would be two 6v golf cart batteries.

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Old 07-05-2018, 02:54 PM   #7
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Another word of caution is that your onboard charger may not get your battery up to 100% in a couple hours if that's all you are allowed. Most factory converter/chargers are pretty low amperage on the charging aspect, so they may take 5-10hrs to get a battery full! All depends on how much it's charging, and what it's amperage output is. Some generators have a 12V output, so you may be better off hooking it straight to the battery. It would just take some homework and testing to figure out what was better. A bigger converter is an option and Progressive Industries sells some nice ones.

You may want to investigate solar. We just did a 16 night trip where we were on solar/batteries for 11 of them. With 200W of panels and two 250Ah 6V batteries, we only went down to a minimum of 88% and charged the panels every day, even on cloudy days. We did't use much besides the 12V gear, and a small inverter for tv, boot dryer, and charging camera and drone batteries.
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