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Old 03-27-2016, 01:41 PM   #1
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Dry Camping and Battery Charging

Rockwood Roo 19, 2016 model

We will be out for 7 nights, weather will be fairly cold, so heater will be on. No AC use anticipated. Other than that we will run the TV a tad and heat the mattresses at night.

My question is this: I have a 2,000 watt generator that I can run daily during generator hours.

1) Should I plug the shore power straight to the generator to charge the batteries, or should I get a battery charger and charge the battery from the charger that is powered by the generator. I understand the converter will charge that battery, but will it give it a high quality deep charge on a few hours of generator power?

2) Will a single (stock) 12V battery be enough to run the heater fan and the mattress heaters all night? I have little ones and I don't want to risk leaving them in the cold at 4am.

Many thanks in advance! Sorry if this is a silly question. Very new to this.
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Old 03-27-2016, 03:25 PM   #2
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I don't have experience with generator charging of batteries, but I would suggest you get a 2nd battery and put it in parallel. Furnace can take down one battery in a night. Add the mattress heaters and I'm not sure even 2 batteries will do. Get some sleeping bags?

I'm sure others will chime in on charging and power use.
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Old 03-27-2016, 03:33 PM   #3
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1. One battery is not enough. At least one more.

2. What is the wattage of the mattress heaters?

3. You can charge twice as fast by splitting the batteries from each other, charging one on the converter and the second on an external charger of sufficeient capacity.
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Old 03-27-2016, 03:52 PM   #4
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The mattress heaters on my Roo 19 were 150 watts. If he runs both, that's 300 watts.

Now that I think about it, they run on 110VAC, so unless he uses an inverter, he can't use them anyway.
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Old 03-27-2016, 03:56 PM   #5
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LongWay:

Note that as I said above, the heaters are only about 150 watts, basically as much heat as a good sized light bulb. They are NOT like electric blankets. I found this out the hard way. First time I tried them, I kept putting my hand under the covers, expecting it to be warm like an electric blanket. The plug seemed to be very hard to get into the fitting on the mattress, so I thought it wasn't getting in far enough to make an electrical connection, so I "filed" down the outside of the plug, hoping I could get it in better. (Didn't help, but it did make it look ugly.) Ended up giving up and getting into bed, and discovering an hour or two later (the wife had turned it on, even though I had given up) that it was quite warm in there! Then I read here that it's only about 150 watts.

So don't expect electric blanket warmth. But they do work great. Just "different."

Only issue will be - are 2 batteries enough?
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Old 03-27-2016, 04:15 PM   #6
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2 Group 24 or 27 will handle the heater blower and the control board for the fridge, but not much else. Remember you should not discharge batteries beyond 50%. That gives you around 90 amp. hours per night.

Is the TV run on an inverter or directly on 12 volts?
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Old 03-27-2016, 04:17 PM   #7
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My experience was that one 12v dual purpose battery would not run the furnace one night. Put in another and I could, but barely (depending on outside temps). You can recharge your batteries with a genset. I don't know if using a separate charger would make a difference. You'll have to determine what your inverter puts out v. the charger.
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Old 03-27-2016, 04:36 PM   #8
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Charge the batteries by plugging in the power cord to the generator.
Won't be able to use the mattress heaters on DC power. They are AC only & would suck down a battery. Suggest 2 batteries of same size & age wired in parallel or 2 6 volt batts wired in series. 6 volt have always worked better for me.
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Old 03-27-2016, 04:46 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the advice! I do have the camper at the dealer now getting a small wiring issue fixed and they are quoting the price on a second 12V battery. I will either go with that, or with the 4 6v option I have seen several posts on.

I didn't realize the mattress heaters were AC. We'll just pack a few extra blankets to handle that!

Not sure if the TV runs on AC or DC.

Does the Roo come with an inverter? I understand what it is and what it does, but I have no idea if it come equipped. The info I got with the unit was lacking.
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Old 03-27-2016, 04:49 PM   #10
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No inverter. You buy your own.
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