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Old 02-21-2017, 07:00 PM   #1
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Generators and six volt batteries

HI all fellow wolf pup and other knowledgeable camper owners. When dry camping, will a 1600 running watts/2000 peak watts generator, run my wolf pup lights, water pump, TV, Stereo, not the air conditioner, in order to preserve the 12 volt deep cycle battery until it gets to late to add generator noise late at night. My goal is to use a generator up until ready to go to bed and then shut off the generator and use the 12 volt deep cycle. Next day I can recharge the 12 volt battery and be good to go for the next night of needed power.

DO I need a bigger generator? Would putting two 6 volt batteries in series be a better option for the power I need when dry camping? Or would a generator as mentioned above and a 12 volt deep cycle be sufficient.

Thanks in advance for your kind responses.
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Old 02-21-2017, 07:22 PM   #2
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My thoughts are you need more battery. 1600 watts should run most of what you're wanting to do and charge your battery(s). 2 six volts would definitely be better than a single 12v.
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Old 02-21-2017, 07:38 PM   #3
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You don't run the generator to replace the battery, that would be irritating to your fellow campers.

Lights, stereo and water pump are 12v anyway.
Get an inverter to run the tv.

You run the generator to recharge the battery.
A two battery setup, 12v or 6v, is always recommended for dry camping or boondocking.

A 2000w INVERTER generator will run everything but the a/c.
With a dual battery setup, you should only need to run the generator every 2-3 days, for 2-3 hours per day. Unless you run the furnace all night.

Suggest you Google "the 12v Side of Life".
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Old 02-21-2017, 08:43 PM   #4
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What he said
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Old 02-21-2017, 09:10 PM   #5
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I agree; you should only need to run the generator every couple of days. Look into a small inverter or a 12v television. I had a Polaroid LCD that would run on 12 volt just fine.

Also, depending on where you camp consider solar panels and eliminate the generator.

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Old 02-22-2017, 02:07 PM   #6
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Solar panel v. generator for dry camping

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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
I agree; you should only need to run the generator every couple of days. Look into a small inverter or a 12v television. I had a Polaroid LCD that would run on 12 volt just fine.

Also, depending on where you camp consider solar panels and eliminate the generator.

Aaron
What minimum output from a solar panel would be needed to keep the battery charged during the day? Any recommendations on charge controllers?
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Old 02-22-2017, 02:16 PM   #7
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What minimum output from a solar panel would be needed to keep the battery charged during the day? Any recommendations on charge controllers?
That would totally depend on your individual power management.

A good rule of thumb is that a solar array needs to have twice the power that you plan on using each day to account for solar incidence angle on the cells, the amount of sunlight each day, and, inefficiencies in the solar power generation.

Where you are parked makes a big impact as well as parking under trees or clouds will cut power production to near nothing. Solar is a good option to minimize generator usage AFTER you have increased your battery bank size and have a reliable generator for non-sunny days.
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Old 02-22-2017, 06:56 PM   #8
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What minimum output from a solar panel would be needed to keep the battery charged during the day? Any recommendations on charge controllers?
Herk7769 has some good recommendations...

My rule of thumb is 80-100 watts per battery. More is better. I have a buddy with a Lance TT. He has a 160 watts of solar and two group 27 batteries. He does very well with that set up. However he usually camps at the coast in the direct sun and his parking space at home is mostly in the sun. He has actually disconnected his converter. I don't recall, but I think he has a 2,000 watt inverter.

I prefer camping in the partial shade. I currently use a MorningStar controller from Renogy Solar. I am using one of their older 100 watt suitcase kits. It keeps me topped up for light use.

Eventually we are going to 400 or so watts on the roof and keep the portable unit for when we are parked in the shade.

Everyone's requirements are going to be a bit different. We seldom run televisions or watch movies. I am more of a music guy. When hanging out somewhere the most I run is a couple of roof vent fans in the warmer months, in the winter the furnace. All of my lights are LED, I don't use a coffee maker unless plugged in, I use a stove top percolator.

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Old 02-24-2017, 11:21 AM   #9
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Most of the 12V deep cycle batteries that are available for less than $100 are marine hybrid construction batteries. These are "dual purpose" and are expected to start engines and provide deep cycle capabilities for running a few lights at night, especially the masthead warning light.

Six volt batteries are usually ones intended for golf cart use and are true deep cycle batteries that have a lot of difficulty providing the high starting current that an engine needs. They do, however have other characteristics that improve their suitability for your rig's house batteries. Two 6V golf cart batteries, wired in series to give 12V, will have 220AH (or more) capacity vs the usual 170AH capacity of two 12V hybrid batteries wired in parallel. True deep cycle 12V batteries with a higher AH rating are available but you'll usually find them at prices much higher than the marine hybrid batteries.

Phil
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