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Old 02-07-2014, 08:13 AM   #1
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Question Dry Camping and Power Usage Questions

Hi All, Moving up from a Pop Up to a Roo 23SS. We do a lot of dry camping, shady spots (this is Maine) so solar is not an option. Places we camp (National Forest and State Parks) have limited generator hours. The plan (thinking) is to get two Group 31 batteries and wire in parallel. So my question is, with just doing dishes morning and evening, use of LED lights and fridge (no furnace use) and "navy showers" each day for 2 people how long will the battery last? I have read the posts on the forum and the fridge seems to be a big draw because of a "fan". My trailer is on order so I don't have it in front of me so not sure about the fan. It has a power awning and a slide. Will I have enough power at the end to power the awning and slide in or should I carry a spare battery for that? Looking for thoughts and options from you experienced dry campers
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:31 AM   #2
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We've gotten 5 nights out of 2 plain old "marine/crank/deepcycle" 12 volt
group 24 batteries. That included miserly use of conventional lights, an hour
of small LCD TV running on a cigarette socket inverter and of course
fridge on LP and most of a full tank of fresh water ran thru the pump.
My fridge doesn't have a fan. Are you sure yours will??
Also include a maxxair ceiling fan run on low for a few hours each night.

As far as how much at the end- if you have a genny, you can use it
to top up for final wrap up and if you have your tow vehicle wired
correctly you can plug in the trailer and get some use out of the
engine battery to pull in awnings and such.

I'm sure others will have more suggestions and opinions.

Happy Camping!
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:00 AM   #3
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We've gone 4 days on our 2 gr27 12v batteries. The led lights make a big difference. If you are planning a full week, you'll probably need a way to re-charge (and a portable waste water tank to empty some grey water). We camp in a lot of wooded state parks and many people are using portable solar panels. Most of the sites have a little bit of direct sun.

Or, inverter generators keep coming down in price. If all you want to do is re-charge the batteries, you could probably get away with a 1,000W generator.
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:14 AM   #4
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Dan, yeah, not sure yet about the fan since I don't have the trailer. That was what I was looking for was what people were running and what battery set up and how long it last's.
KMP44, thanks I was thinking maybe a small genny to recharge since they are coming down in price a little. I'll have to check into the portable solar and see.
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:31 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davylee View Post
Dan, yeah, not sure yet about the fan since I don't have the trailer. That was what I was looking for was what people were running and what battery set up and how long it last's.
KMP44, thanks I was thinking maybe a small genny to recharge since they are coming down in price a little. I'll have to check into the portable solar and see.
Not sure if your 23SS has a cooling fan on the fridge or not. Our fridge is in the slideout, so the vent can't go out the roof. They vent it through the side and add the fan to get air movement over the coils. We didn't know it was there until the first hot weather trip we took and it kicked on. Its not the quietest thing, but tolerable. Must not draw too much, as it ran 18-20 hrs a day for our 4 day dry camp.

After seeing others have pretty good results with their solar panels, I'm working on a small setup with a portable 100W panel. We dry camp a lot for 3-4 days. The DW and kids want to be able to listen to the radio and run the fans. Nothing too big as far as amp draw, so I bought a new inverter and just want to be able to maintain the battery charge. Don't really want to invest in and haul around a generator.

We're playing the "waiting game" as well since the camper is covered up and burried in 2 feet of snow. Can't even get into it. Someday maybe I'll get my heated garage (pole barn)
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:27 AM   #6
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Dave- FYI some of us use stand alone 25 amp chargers to top up batteries when dry camping. You will get LOTs of opinions if you ask what kind of
genny you need!
Just wanted to let you know basic Power formula-- P=IE old school terms.
It means Power in watts = Amps times Volts so to run a 25 amp
charger you need 25A x 12V = 300 watts.
Of course the charger is not 100% efficient so say even 450 watts.
That is well below the constant output rating of even the smaller generators. A honda EU1000 is rated at 800 or so watts continuous.
Not even working that hard with a charger.
Mine runs on low throttle most of the time with the charger on there.
That saves gas and it's even quieter.
Champion makes an inverter genny for pretty cheap price. Not quite as
quiet as the Honda but it's a good genny for not a lot of money.
Just my 2
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:36 AM   #7
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Kydan, Roger that. Understood on the old school terms, US Navy Weapons Systems training instilled that on my end and 21 years of working with electronics : )
You guys have been great with you help so far. Yes, don't want to get in to the genny wars over brands that's for sure. This year I think the longest trip for dry camping will be 5, we'll give it a try and see how far we get. Thanks for the help
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Old 02-07-2014, 12:46 PM   #8
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since Calif. State Parks rarely have any hookups, we're experienced dry campers and we have a 23SS and there's just two of us.
we have two Group 24 deep cycle batteries and if we do like you, we can go 4-5 days before having to recharge the batteries with our Honda 2000.
we usually only need 2-3 hours to recharge, well within the hours restrictions.
not sure if you'll have room for two Group 31, unless you have something constructed on the A-frame.

your FW and gray tank will be an issue before the batteries, if you have the two batteries.
you'll need something to carry water and to empty the gray tank into, if you plan on dry camping for more than 3 days. we use a 6 gallon water jug from Walmart and a 15 gallon tote tank for the gray water.
if it's just the two of you, for the weekend and you are conservative as you've described, then two batteries should be sufficient and you should be able to be fine with a full FW tank and your gray tank should be enough.
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Old 02-08-2014, 09:43 PM   #9
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Dan, Thanks for the info. I'm not sure about the Group 31's just throwing the idea out there. Will probably go as big as I can or I should say most amount of amp hours. We are moving up from a pop up and already have the grey water tote and the water jug(s) although may be getting a bigger gray water tote since I think the one we have is only 5 gals or so. a friend we have that has a Keystone Passport 235EXP same floorplan as 23SS) has a fan on his fridge that eats power and he can only get 3 days or so before he has to recharge batteries. So I will be checking the fridge out when we get it to see if the there is a fan in the outside of the fridge somewhere that keeps the temperature down when it gets hot. Thanks again for the info everyone has been very helpful
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Old 02-08-2014, 10:19 PM   #10
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Davylee, our '07 23SS has no fan in the fridge. not sure when Dometic started putting them in but i do know later years do have them in their fridges.
we have never needed one.
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