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Old 04-16-2012, 01:16 PM   #1
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Does anyone use power accessories when boondocking?

I bought a 21rr and now I'm wondering if I'm boondocking and run the power awning in and out everytime I leave for a ride how much effect will that have on the battery? Also I have power stabililzers and tongue jack. I found out the keyless entry won't work when the battery gets low. I don't want to go somewhere and run out of power right away.
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Old 04-16-2012, 02:10 PM   #2
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Welcome to the wonderful world of dry camping.

Unless we are only staying out for just a few days, I do not extend the awning when boondocking. As to how much the awning takes from your batteries, I believe this question was asked awhile ago and an estimate was around 2amps in either direction.
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Old 04-16-2012, 02:15 PM   #3
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Tri guy is close to the truth. 2 amps out 2.5 in.
Worse case scenerio take jumper cables if you don't already
have them in your tv.
if you run short on voltage hook the truck up to tt battery
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Old 04-16-2012, 03:24 PM   #4
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IF you're going to boondock much at all you need 2 batteries.
What do you have now???
One 12v "crank/deep cycle?
Two 12v?
Two 6v deep cycle??

There is a huge difference in storage capacity from the top-
One 12v all the way down to two 6v.

Get a decent digital VOM (volt ohm meter) and watch your battery.
When it gets down to 12v it's about 50% or a tad less charge remaining.
For best longest life try not to run your battery(ies) down below 50%.

We typically can go 5 days on two 12v batteries.
We'll watch a little TV using a cigarette socket inverter.
Maybe watch one DVD.
We use lights sparingly and we have a thinlite florescent over our
table for eating and reading. It uses about as much power as a single
12v incandescent bulb but puts out much more light.
We also have a couple LEDs that we use for "walk around lighting" when
it gets dark. These use only a fraction of one single incandescent bulb.
We'll typically pump a full tank of water in that time also.
This also includes a few hours per night of a maxxair ceiling exhaust fan
running on low speed.

Get a meter, watch your battery and see how you're doing.
As mentioned, you can plug in your truck to get a boost if you need
something to work like a keyless entry or jack or awning.

Read this FAQ on batteries--
http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...ver-21215.html

Good luck!
Happy Camping!!
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Old 04-16-2012, 07:00 PM   #5
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Currently one 12v but will add another. Thanks for advice.
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Old 04-16-2012, 07:36 PM   #6
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are you talking about dry camping or boondocking?
we have a power jack and 12' slideout, both use a lot of battery power.
but only when setting up.

we dry camp nearly all the time and use two batteries and a Honda 2000.
we can go 4-5 days with the two batteries before we need to recharge them.
but we're ex-popup owners and have learned to conserve battery power.
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Old 04-16-2012, 07:45 PM   #7
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comfun, what type of trailer do you have?

I leave the bargman plug connected, even with the truck off, it will still draw from the truck battery, conversely, running the truck also charges the trailer batteries.

Do you have a generator? We used to run ours quite a bit but have figured a couple of tricks out so we don't need to.

Our biggest draw is probably the TV and Blu-ray, its on almost the whole time. Or we have the radio cranking. And of course, I like my showers after long rides. There are lots of threads with ideas on how to extend the battery time, and I think doing the mods is half the fun.

ETA, not sure where you camp and ride, but we seem to get a LOT of wind sometimes. I have just a regular awning, but I will NEVER leave it out if nobody is going to be around camp.

ETA, if the awning uses 2A to move, and takes.... 5 minutes to extend and retract, thats only .1 Amp hours. Thats not a lot considering that a small group 24 12V battery has from 40 to 80 Ah reserve.
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Old 04-16-2012, 08:51 PM   #8
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Hey Rod, agree with everything except the thought that the truck will charge a battery through a Bargman plug The truck's alternator may do it but the wiring with a stock tow package won't. It would just take too long.
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Old 04-16-2012, 08:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triguy View Post
Hey Rod, agree with everything except the thought that the truck will charge a battery through a Bargman plug The truck's alternator may do it but the wiring with a stock tow package won't. It would just take too long.
Yep, it would probably take quite a while. Not more than the 2 hour drive out to my camping spot though.
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:24 PM   #10
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My first trailer was a reg. 5th wheel 3 slides. 99 o/o of my camping is dry camping.

I went and bought a Honda EU3000I generator (very quite), elect. problem solved. I would keep it in the back of my truck up next to the cab with a cable and lock. I also have a 60 ft. heavy duty extention cord. ( gen. to trailer )

I now have a Toy Hauler with a built-in-generator. I still take my Honda gen. with me I it is a little quiter in the mornings and evenings.
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