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Old 05-25-2013, 05:52 PM   #1
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Question Need Help/Advice on Trip Planning on a Budget

Well, June 1st, I have my scheduled week of vacation. Due to low seniority, I have a week in June, Sept, and November (Converted to 7 daily for use during the year). So, I am off on a solo trip. I am planning on going to DC to visit a few friends and their new baby.

This is going to be a budget trip. Since buying the new camper, just getting off of Engineer Training pay, and other things, I don't have big funds. So, I got to looking into campgrounds near their home in Silver Spring, MD. The closest, Cherry Hill, has only Full Hookups, but with GS discount, is still nearly $60 a night. OUCH!!! Now, there is Greenbelt National Park, which is $16 a night, and seems like a good alternative. They have quiet times of 10pm to 6am, with no generator use.

I am no stranger to camping without hookups. I use to camp in the fields at the race track in the 90s. Contractor style generators were the norm, and due to the race track noise, no one cared. But, this is a National Park. I have access to 2 generators. A 3000 watt contractor style and a 800 watt 2 cycle, both Harbor Freight.

Now, the 800 watt, I can fit in a roof top carrier, where I plan to keep the spare tire from the Jeep. The 3000 watt would have to be in the Jeep, where I hauled it this winter during the Blizzard or '13 (The Weather Channel called it Nemo for some reason...didn't look like a clown fish to me).

Any Suggestions/Advice from people would be great!! I could get my hands on a 2nd battery, also, but I would have to move my 5lb propane bottle and store it elsewhere.

HELP!!
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Old 05-25-2013, 06:18 PM   #2
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I would take the small generator running it some each day just to charge up your battery. Hopefully, when very few are around in the campground. The National park would be my choice but you might want to call & see how full they might be & how their camping system works. You might be lucky getting a space & you might not. There is a lot to do in the DC area but I would prefer getting out of the city after 3-4 days. The Blue Ridge Parkway is nice but you need to indicate what you like.

If you really like work, Baltimore has a super RR museum, lots of history.

Added. The Greenbelt NP takes reservations, I would lock them in. http://www.nps.gov/gree/planyourvisi...servations.htm
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Old 05-25-2013, 06:57 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by lswartz View Post
I would take the small generator running it some each day just to charge up your battery. Hopefully, when very few are around in the campground. The National park would be my choice but you might want to call & see how full they might be & how their camping system works. You might be lucky getting a space & you might not. There is a lot to do in the DC area but I would prefer getting out of the city after 3-4 days. The Blue Ridge Parkway is nice but you need to indicate what you like.

If you really like work, Baltimore has a super RR museum, lots of history.

Added. The Greenbelt NP takes reservations, I would lock them in. Campground Reservations - Greenbelt Park
I am not planning on staying a week, as I am thinking of heading back North and seeing some friends in Rochester, NY, also. And, I am going to visit my friends, not really doing some site seeing. If anything, I may use my Six Flags season pass at Six Flags DC....maybe.

My biggest concern is the refrigerator. My old campers, they would run and run because they didn't need power. These new ones need power, unfortunately. And, this is an advancement? LOL But, I am afraid if it is warm, and I have the Fan-tastic running, that I would kill my refer.

Also, how much battery do I need to run my fridge, an occasional light, and possibly my Fan-tastic and/or bunk fan?
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Old 05-26-2013, 02:11 PM   #4
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If you can get a site with afternoon shade (use google maps to see) you won't need the fan. Your refrigerator is on propane & takes little battery, so you should be OK for 3 days. Take the small generator just in case.
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Old 05-26-2013, 02:43 PM   #5
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Now I thought I had a 2nd marine battery available to me, but upon looking at it, it is just a regular automotive battery that has terminal tops added. Can I parallel this different type of battery to mine just for one trip? Or should I be fine on 1 battery?
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Old 05-26-2013, 02:44 PM   #6
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I have a 2 battery setup and we go for 10 days easy on just battery. We use the fridge and water pump for washing, toilet, and showers.

I try to stay away from the lights. Those incandescent bulbs burn a lot of power so at night we typically would use a rechargeable led lantern (and then recharge it in the car the next day).

This year I swapped out the incandescent bulbs for led panels.
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Old 05-26-2013, 02:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
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I have a 2 battery setup and we go for 10 days easy on just battery. We use the fridge and water pump for washing, toilet, and showers.

I try to stay away from the lights. Those incandescent bulbs burn a lot of power so at night we typically would use a rechargeable led lantern (and then recharge it in the car the next day).

This year I swapped out the incandescent bulbs for led panels.
So, with one battery and running the generator a little in the morning and evening, no issues for 3 days? I will pack a couple of LED lanterns, since I have not changed my lights to LED yet. I was going to as they burnt out.

Spending 16 a night over 60 will be a big savings.
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