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Old 07-06-2012, 01:28 AM   #1
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Hello from Sunny AZ!

Well, we finally took the plunge and bought our first travel trailer. We started camping three years ago with a Coleman Mesa popup that a friend of the family blessed us with. It was a great start but now we have decided to increase the size and capabilities of the trailer as our family and ambition for camping have grown. We bought a 2006 Flagstaff M-23lb which has a triple bunk setup with a front queen. It's fantastic which is why we couldn't pass up the deal even though we can't go camping for at least another 3 weeks due to prior commitments. During the last week or so and over the next few weeks I am planning on putting together a plan to update the power supply on the trailer and get it so we can do some extended weekends off grid. After reading some great stuff from Fire Instructor, Herk (Sp?) and some others this is what I have planned so far. Let me know what you think! I'm an un-intimidated newbie so I need all the guidance I can get before I do something stupid.

1. Replace the 3 year old car battery the trailer has now with a 12 volt AGM Trojan 31 series with 110 amp hours of life.
2. Replace all of the 12 volt lights inside the trailer to LED style.
3. Install a 100 watt solar panel with a 10 amp Morningstar SolarSaver Charge Controller via a kit from Solar Penny
4. Install a marine style break on the POSITIVE side.
5. While installing the solar panel, I am planning on using door hinges and mounts to create tilt options so I can angle the panel for better winter power solutions (sun sits low in the SW in the winter).

Reasons for only one battery to start:
a. Budget Constraints (later I want to add a second battery in parallel).
b. Only boondock a few times a year (I prefer campgrounds so kids can play without worrying about wild animals and I like to meet other campers).
c. When we boondock it is always with my wife's family for an extended weekend.
d. We are low power users---never even had a battery in the popup, just used a bit from the TV. I can't see how we would use 50 amps a day except in rare situation where the furnace would need to run.
e. When I boondock, I could borrow my father-in-law's Honda generator to keep batteries from getting low charge if I get in a bind. He plugs in his fifth wheel every morning.
f. Weight is an issue. I have a 2004 Dodge Durango SLT with Hemi and I don't want to overburden it. When fully loaded I'm close to GVCWR. Got a few hundred pounds to spare, so sticking with one battery at first to see how I do and keep the weight off.
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Old 07-06-2012, 01:30 AM   #2
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Also, I created a group for AZ campers. Look for the cactus avatar when searching the groups. If you are from AZ, join in. Love to meet up with you online!
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Old 07-06-2012, 01:33 AM   #3
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Forgot a pic of the TT!



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Old 07-06-2012, 08:27 AM   #4
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Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new camper. This is our 2nd year in the tt after moving up from the pop up. The pop up was fine for just the wife and I but 2 years ago we were blessed with twin boys. We decided to get a tt for the extra room. Got one big enough for the boys to grow into instead of having to upgrade in a few years. Hope you enjoy your camper and happy camping.
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Old 07-06-2012, 08:44 AM   #5
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Welcome to the forum from a fellow Arizonian and resident of the Valley of the Sun! Congratulations on the camper. It sounds like you have a great plan and are off to a great start.
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Old 07-06-2012, 10:25 AM   #6
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Can't agree more with WV Camper for just a couple of people. By the time you provision for everyone and try to get enough clothes, it just wasn't enough space. The thing I won't miss is having to set up the camper so we coul load it, then tear it down to go and do it all over again on return. When it's 110 degrees that is a real drag. Thanks for the welcome.
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Old 09-09-2012, 06:33 PM   #7
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Took the camper up to Mormon Lake, AZ for Labor Day weekend. Camped up around 7500 feet enjoying cool nights and days. Beautiful yellow flowers everywhere. Boondocked of Fire Road 91. Huge grassy meadows and tall pines.
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Old 09-09-2012, 06:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Misterdanderson View Post
Took the camper up to Mormon Lake, AZ for Labor Day weekend. Camped up around 7500 feet enjoying cool nights and days. Beautiful yellow flowers everywhere. Boondocked of Fire Road 91. Huge grassy meadows and tall pines.
Hello.
Glad to hear you enjoyed Morman Lake. Used to drive up there on my ATV from Sadona for lunch and back. I wish I could do that but now have a motor home and have to cut down on my off road travel.
I know where you stayed on Road 91. Many people stop there.

I couldn't find your group. Any members yet?
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Old 09-09-2012, 06:57 PM   #9
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You would be the first but it disappeared. Can't find it in my app, so will log in then post again when I can be clear about where it is. Thanks for asking. I'm new at this forum stuff. Getting back to the site was sloppy but worth it!
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Old 09-09-2012, 07:27 PM   #10
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I guess you can only get there from website. Click on: Forest River Forums>Social Groups>Uncategorized, Arizona Travel Trailer Families. But motor home owners welcome, too! I was wrong, at least one other FR member posted and another asked why I excluded motorhomes. That was unintended, all welcome.
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