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Old 04-17-2016, 10:55 AM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Whitewater, WI
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Dry Camping

Going dry camping at a state park and am wondering the best way to keep cell phones and iPad's charged? Any advise? Generators are not allowed....

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Old 04-17-2016, 11:05 AM   #2
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We have cigarette socket plug in chargers for phones and tablets- doesn't everybody?? They are dirt cheap on Ebay but my phones came with them.
Hint search for 12v phone charger.

Alternate is cigarette socket inverter and then you can use your household chargers.

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Old 04-17-2016, 12:36 PM   #3
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Just plug them into your tow vehicle. Most nowadays have one plug that is on when ignition key is off and out.

If you are serious about boondock camping:
Backup generator
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Old 04-17-2016, 12:51 PM   #4
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Location: Camano Island, Washington
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If you're serious about dry camping, you need to get properly setup for it.

The simple solution is a 12v car charger.

But here's other questions:

Using the furnace for one night can empty a single battery. What will you do?
How will you get fresh water?
How will you get rid of gray water when the gets full after a couple of days?

By the way, what state park doesn't allow for any generator usage. All the state parks that I know of (that don't have any hookups), allow limited genrator hours.
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Old 04-17-2016, 04:02 PM   #5
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Whitewater, WI
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We live in Wisconsin.

I would not mind buying a small generator, we have water figured out. My car has has a built in inverter I did buy this thing as well. It will charge an iPad/phone.

I am just curious what will run with just battery power.

Can we run basic lights for 3 days?

We will not need to run the furnace.

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Old 04-20-2016, 12:00 PM   #6
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I carry a charger booster with a matched solar panel as back up for 12V charging, back up power (small amounts) and boosting, if required. I don't dry camp more than twice a year; and even then it's 3 days and my Group 31 battery is sufficient.
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Old 04-20-2016, 01:01 PM   #7
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I camp in Wisconsin state parks almost all the time. Many do have electric sites. I carry along three battery lanterns so we don't us the ceiling lights. Turn the pump off when not in use. It's amazing how little water you really need to use for dishes and flushing. We carry water for drinking. I have a small solar panel that keeps main battery charged, although I do have an extra battery if needed.
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Old 04-20-2016, 03:43 PM   #8
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We pretty much only dry camp since we like the peace and quiet. We have 100 gallons of fresh (plus what's in the water heater), and we are sticklers about how we use the water, especially since we also have dogs who need it. We do not shower, and only a trickle is allowed when doing dishes, or we fill the small sink and use that. On a typical 3 night trip we won't get even close to using half of the water we have, though we always worry. If I have to pee, I go outside. The kids are taught that flushing is not to be done unless necessary, and not to hold for more than about 2 seconds. Just in case, I always carry a 7 gallon water jug that would be for emergencies, but we've never needed it.

As for power, we've found that 2 nights on our big battery is easy, even if temps get down into the 40s, without a recharge. We stick with 65 degrees and heavy blankets. However, I bought a 100W solar panel that is more than enough to charge what we've used overnight. We also have a large generator for when we need it. My trailer had no cigarette lighter plug, so I installed one off of the stereo power, and I have a small 2 port USB charger we use when we need to charge. I also converted all lights in the camper to LED, and now every light can be on and it uses as much power (1.5W ea.) as ONE incandescent bulb (25W ea.) that came with the trailer. I plan on installing a small inverter to power the TV off the battery, rather than running the generator. The TV uses about 30W, and the heater is around 100-115W. I sized the solar panel based off rough use of the heater. If it's on for 4 hours throughout the night (just a random number), it'll take about 4 hours of full sun to get that power back. The rest of the power we use on battery is negligible.
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Old 04-27-2016, 12:29 PM   #9
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I wired in an accessory cigarette lighter /USB plug socket from the local auto parts store. All our electronics' can be charged now from the main battery.
Swap out all the overhead lights with LED replacements (Amazon) for $20.00 and you can go two to three days easily if you have a good battery.

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