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Old 02-15-2016, 11:42 AM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 3
Yeti 150/400 as backup power?


Without going full on solar (I don't think I'm ready for that) and without a gas powered generator, I'm looking for ways to keep power over multiple days where I will not have power hookups.

There's actually not a bunch of information I could find on anything besides those couple of options. But I did find some battery packs like the Yeti 150/400 (Goal Zero Yeti 150 Solar Generator Kit | | Goal Zero and Goal Zero Yeti 400 Solar Generator Kit | Complete Solar Kits | Goal Zero) that come with solar panels, I can also plug into the wall before I leave, or into the car while traveling. I realize fully charging on solar alone could take me a several days to a week.

With all of that ~said~ typed, can either of these systems be used as a backup? Could I plug the whole camper into one and power it for the night? Multiple nights? Would that include A/C or heat? I'm still new to the whole scene, and can't figure out how to calculate power draws and how long my battery would last under typical usage. (I have only camped where there have been hookups thus far).

I have a 2015 Freedom 2318g, and the battery I currently have is the one that came from the dealer, an Interstate Marine HD24-DP.

Thanks for any info!

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Old 02-15-2016, 03:46 PM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 635
Until you have an idea of how much power you are using, nobody can give you an answer that has a high probability of working for you. You are jumping at solutions without knowing the problem.

In the A-frame section (A-frames and pop-ups are very similar systems and capabilities), there is a sticky thread that lists power consumption in amps of the various electrical items in our campers. You want to convert this to amp-hours by multiplying by the number of hours an item will run in one day. Then add up all the amp-hours, and you have your daily usage. You basically have the heater fan, lights, exhaust fan (if installed), and the propane/CO alarm. Also, some stereos do not shut completely off.

An A-frame or PUP can be pushed as low as 22AH per day if use of the heater is minimized (4 hrs run time on the heater with 4 amps on the fan, plus 6AH for the propane CO alarm). 30-40 AH is a more typical minimum in the PUP world. The less you use, the simpler the solutions are. LED interior lights and flashlights really make a difference, as does stereo/TV use (or non-use).

Your single battery likely has 80 AH capacity, with 40 AH usable.

The second part of the calculation is how many days are you camping without power. On my A-frame (15 gal water and small fridge), water and food (that we want to eat) will run out in 5 days without re-supply. We have 2 propane tanks, so propane is not an issue. In light of the above, our plan was to camp long weekends (4 days) without hookups. If we minimize our heater use, 80AH should cover us for the 4 days. That is a 6 day trip, given up to 1 day travel on each end. We haven't camped that long in one place yet.

So my recommended first step is to at least double battery capacity. It is the cheapest and easiest solution for short-term dry camping, and increases the efficiency of both solar or generator solutions. I started with 2 Group 24 12V batteries, but when one failed I switched to Costco golf cart 232 AH 6V batteries. This gives me 116 AH usable in the same space (but slightly heavier tongue weight) as the dual 12V Group 24s (80 AH usable). The 2 batteries from Costco cost $150, including tax.

The next cheapest solution is solar. However, solar panels have to be out of the shade to work. Colorado is a good place for solar, but even here a 100W panel is likely to only give 24 AH per day. 180-200W of panel is generally seen as the minimum to keep pace with power usage (allows for clouds and other sub-optimum conditions). You still want 2 batteries to cover for bad days and optimize charge times.

Generator is the most expensive way to get power, but it is all weather. Noise is the big issue with run hours limited in many campgrounds. Again, dual batteries will allow you to skip charging that last 5%, which is very time consuming.

just my thoughts and experiences, yours may differ
I prefer to learn from others, learning from my own mistakes is killing me
Fred W
2014 Rockwood A122 A-frame (dual tanks, dual 232AH 6V golf cart batteries)
2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan with Equalizer WDH/antisway

before: 2000 Coleman Westlake PUP (single Group 27 Battery that we ran down too far occasionally)
1993 Ford Explorer - sway began at 62 MPH.

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Old 02-15-2016, 03:59 PM   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Idaho
Posts: 1,797
I can easily camp five days in my popup, even with the temps dropping into the 30s at night, but warm during the day. Could do more per my power monitor, just never have had too.
Only drain on the batteries is the heater blower at night, LED interior lights, and the occasional water pump operation. Fridge is on propane.
I am using two "true" deep cycle series 27 12-volt batteries.
Trailer: Lifted 228BH, heavy duty springs and Yokohama tires
TV: 2016 GMC Sierra Z71 4x4 CC, SLT
Spare TV: Two Alaskan Malamutes

Living somewhere in ID; previously lived in Moab UT; previous to that, don't ask!
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Old 02-16-2016, 07:55 PM   #4
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 39

We have the same year and model popup; same battery, too. We didn't want to increase tongue weight so we went the solar route. The unit we purchased is a 120 watt folding system with a charge controller wired within 3 feet of the battery box. It was purchased from BHA Solar. Many of the folding systems available have the charge controller attached near the solar panels, however, the voltage loss is considerable from there to the battery. The whole system weighs less than 30 lbs. and can be set up in a few minutes. The output is > 6.5 amps/hour and charges that same battery you have quite well. Of course full sun works the best. Good luck.


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Old 02-17-2016, 09:33 PM   #5
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Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Posts: 144
I have a Yeti 150. It always charges fine when plugged into 110V AC. Occasionally it won't charge when hooked up to solar panels. We have tried to charge it using the 12V DC outlet in our trailer but it won't charge. I think the AC output on the Yeti is only about 100 watts. It's good for charging electric razor, cell phone, iPad, AA batteries. Yeti website says you can charge a smart phone up to 15 times, laptop 1-2 times.

We have 200 watts of solar panels (soon to be 300), and (2) 6V deep cycle batteries to power the trailer. Solar works very well when you get the right system. There is some good information on this forum. Some of the reputable retailers of solar equipment are AM Solar, North Arizona Wind and Solar, Renogy, Bogart Engineering. Take your time and do some research.
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