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Old 05-12-2009, 09:42 AM   #1
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Unhappy Newbie from NJ

Hello all. I have been scouring these posts for the past two months and you all have a great deal of experience that I hope to be able to call upon real soon. I found out this morning that I will be getting my new Roo 23ss on Friday. I am both excited and nervous!!! I am a long time tent camper, but a first time camper owner. There seems to be sooo much that I will need to learn. I've received some pretty good advice from friends so far in the way of staples I will need just to have, but there are some things that are just driving me crazy.

I plan on going on my first trip next week and hope I am prepared. Most of the camping I will do is dry camping. The more I read about generators vs solar, the more I learn, but the more I don't know which way to go. If I go gen, I plan to go honda eu2001 (although the $$ is high). I don't "expect" to use a lot of electric, but I also don't want to disrupt my woodsy neighbors with a gen. Until I receive the unit, I don't even know what my amp hours are on the battery. Will I drain the battery over 5 days with nominal usage? How do I recharge it while dry camping?

Expectations on electric usage:
Fridge, lights (sparingly at night), radio. Plus whatever other electric sucking hidden items I will be surprised that use electricity (water pumps for sink, toilet). I really don't expect to be using the heat (maybe for an ititial warmup when we put the kids to bed.

Ugh, I think I'm rambling!


Stessfully yours,
Wes
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Old 05-12-2009, 10:40 AM   #2
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Congrats on the new trailer, and I hope you get good service and have a wonderful time with it. You are wondering about electric usage. Double check your refrigerator and see if it will operate on 12 volts, most will not. When dry camping, you'll have to run it on propane. That eliminates one thing. If you get a generator and plug the camper in to it, the converter in the camper should recharge the battery. If you don't have a generator, back your tow vehicle close enough to plug in the light connection, and leave it running for a while. If wired properly, it will recharge the battery. This is handy to know in case the battery is too weak to retract the slide when you're ready to leave. Also add the slide motor to your list of battery drains. Personally to dry camp, I would leave the tow vehicle plugged in for the extra juice till I got my slide out. Get a decent voltmeter and watch your battery voltage the first few times out. Down around 10.5 to 11 volts is as low as I like to see one get. Remember also, the first time the battery will do it's best because it is new, each time after will be a little less. Hope this helps a little, and enjoy.
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Old 05-12-2009, 09:14 PM   #3
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I believe that most new refrigerators are 3-way (propane, 12V, 110V). I spent a week (5 nights) of dry camping in my 2006 Rockwood pop-up. The refrigerator was on propane, the battery took care of the water pump, limited lighting, and the fan in the roof vent for a few hours. The battery was in fine shape when we were done. One help with lighting was a propane lantern on the picninc table outside the unit. It was plenty to keep the unit lit as the kids went in and out during the evening. If you are stressed about the unknown, charge the battery and do a test run in the driveway. If you want quiet and "green" insurance, get a solar panel. Good luck.
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Old 05-13-2009, 11:43 AM   #4
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Thank you both for the feedback. I am definitely looking forward to learning as I go. This puts me at a little more ease that I am probably making things out to be more in my head than they are. Hopefully all goes well and I look forward to years of enjoyment in my roo.
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Old 05-13-2009, 12:49 PM   #5
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I think most of the larger refrigerators are two way. Even the pop-up refrigerators will eat up a battery pretty quickly.

Joe
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Old 05-15-2009, 07:29 PM   #6
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Wes, Welcome to the Roo Krew!!!

we also have a 23SS. we do mainly dry camping. i got a Honda 2000. we had one size 24 battery. for just the 2 of us, we needed recharging in 3 days. with kids, you'll be lucky to get 3 days out of one battery. there are also parasitic draws, such as the CO2 detector, that will drain the battery.
my 24 just died and i'm going to put 2 6v golf cart batteries on the tongue. then i'll be able to go for more than a week without recharging.
you can get the 2000 from many online dealers for under $850, delivered.
i got mine off of Craig's list for $650 with only 25 hours on it.
as was said, you get a 30 to 20amp adapter and plug the shore line into the outlet on the Honda. this will power everything(except a/c) and charge the battery.
i can run my a/c with the Honda but i not at altitude. i also bought a extra 30ft. cord so the Honda can be 50 feet away.
we had neighbors two sites away and didn't know we were running a generator.
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Old 05-15-2009, 10:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWesties View Post
Hello all. I have been scouring these posts for the past two months and you all have a great deal of experience that I hope to be able to call upon real soon. I found out this morning that I will be getting my new Roo 23ss on Friday. I am both excited and nervous!!! I am a long time tent camper, but a first time camper owner. There seems to be sooo much that I will need to learn. I've received some pretty good advice from friends so far in the way of staples I will need just to have, but there are some things that are just driving me crazy.

I plan on going on my first trip next week and hope I am prepared. Most of the camping I will do is dry camping. The more I read about generators vs solar, the more I learn, but the more I don't know which way to go. If I go gen, I plan to go honda eu2001 (although the $$ is high). I don't "expect" to use a lot of electric, but I also don't want to disrupt my woodsy neighbors with a gen. Until I receive the unit, I don't even know what my amp hours are on the battery. Will I drain the battery over 5 days with nominal usage? How do I recharge it while dry camping?

Expectations on electric usage:
Fridge, lights (sparingly at night), radio. Plus whatever other electric sucking hidden items I will be surprised that use electricity (water pumps for sink, toilet). I really don't expect to be using the heat (maybe for an ititial warmup when we put the kids to bed.


Ugh, I think I'm rambling!


Stessfully yours,
Wes
Wes,

You can expect that a single group 24 or 27 battery of the kind that will come with your trailer will provide between 70-105 amp hours of power. Therefore, run as little as possible on 12 volts. Absolutely do not run the fridge on DC if it has that option as it draws a lot of amps. The furnace is also by far one of the biggest power hogs on any rig using upwards of 7 amps when running. Even in our 37' Georgetown with 6-6V golf cart batteries we still carry a lot of blankets for the bed and turn down the thermostat at night if we are camping in cold conditions.

A small (1 or 2kw) generator like the others have mentioned is your most bang for the buck when it comes to portable power and charging your battery. I picked up a 1kw Yamaha for $300 that I used with our last rig. The suggestion of swaping out your single battery for two 6V Golf cart batteries is by far one of the best suggestions you can take. Two 6V Trojan T-105 batteries will provide upwards of 220amp hours. Much better than the measly amount in a group 24 or 27.

Solar is a good choice if you get good sun and aren't parked under cover however it is pricy. I have two panels that provide 260watts of charging at upwards of 19amps at times if the sun is good. Multiply an average of 15amps over a period of 8 to 10 hours in a day and I can be replacing upwards of 150amps per day but that is under ideal conditions. For a trailer your size I don't think you would have room for that much solar on the roof or even need it. You might get by really well on a single 80watt panel with two 6volt batteries for your bank.


Have fun with the new trailer and enjoy.
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