Originally Posted by Deanm
Thanks for the reply,
Ex. fill propane / charge batteries at home ( or storage ) with shore power / turn on fridge / load food / drive to campsite ( what if over night trip, boondocking / how do most keep batteries charged if you don't have a built in Generator? / etc.
I'm starting to see the big picture. Dealer wants big money to add the Cummings gen to RV, so I spent hours reading about the Hondas / Champion/ etc options and plugging in/ filling gas up/ etc. And making sure it runs A/C ( contemplating how much the A/C will be required vs how much boondocking we will do.
Looking forward to learning how other people do it.
Typical of me, I kill with info. There are so many variables and the typical question lack enough detail for a detailed answer, but this helps. Yes, start the journey with full batteries. Assuming lead-acid these converters take in the days rather than hours to get it full from half full (Full is 12.65 vdc and half is 11.9 vdc... never let them go much below that... 11 volts is deader than my head and doing that will drastically shorten the life of them... Battery science is very complicated. The key is knowing what volts mean and when to read them. I also wouldn't be without a good battery status monitor... about $130 now with the required Shunt, with which you will know without the hassle. To really know status based on voltage reading you have to have let them rest... or sit not being charged or under load for about 12 hours... many times impractical or impossible. If under load they will read lower than they are and if being or just having been charged, higher than actuality.
So, before you take off, make sure they are topped off... as in full. Even if you have to remove and do it at home. Don't forget to check the water every 3 months unless they are sealed.
These are absorption type fridges and take way longer than a compressor type to cool down. So, at least a day ahead, two or three if you can... plug it in and prove its working either on shore or Propane and put a lot of cold things in there... I might throw two or three of ice in it. The key is everything you put it is already cold. Loading it with warm things will take a looooong time to cool down, maybe after you get back home.
You should also be able to run a 13.5K a/c ahead of time, from a 20 Amp home socket to cool down the trailer.
I think you meant Onan, not Cummins. As far as how much generator this same a/c needs it is probably 3000 watts, since they only peak at that number. 3500 w is much better and 4000 w the best. You can run almost everything on 4000 watts. This is where I won't skimp. Get an inverter type generator, not a open frame or contractor's model. Open frame is very noisy. And, your neighbors will hate you. There are now a ton of okay to darn good small inverter types available... Honda and Yamaha are number 1, but some of the new kids on the block are good and affordable. It is possible to have two 2000 watt inverter types paralleled with a cable kit, to produce 4000 watts total, and gives you the ability to run, again, nearly everything but only run one when it will do... say charging batteries... or running just the microwave and are easier on the back. Chain or cable them down and lock them up. Also handy around the house. Loloho has good vids on generators...
Thinking about boondocking... new challenges.
Never get to your remote side with black or gray tanks full. Remember to dump, not like I have done.
Of course you will want fridge and water heater on Propane... I only turn on the WH when I need it then off. So, water and battery power are two things that will probably limit your stay, so figure out how to get more water without moving the trailer... bladder... pump... you can use jugs or large bottles for drinking and cooking only. Some people forget to fill their hot water tank before get out there, that is 6 to 8 gallons that won't come from your fresh water tank. You can use very very little water showering with practice, even capturing the cold water into a pan or bucket while you wait for the hot to get to the shower and use it for dishes... something. Sink baths if push comes to shove.
If you're camping in cold weather, the furnace will really chew up a lot of battery running off and on all night. To even think about boondocking have 2 very good batteries... I prefer two or even four - 6 volt golf cart, true deep cycle in series... shop around for the best prices for a couple of 220 amp / hour batteries. Or two 12 volt in parallel, but 100 - 205 ah each. Spending a little more you could supplement charging with solar power on a small scale using a suitcase or DIY 100 to 200 watt (better) solar set up nd a very affordable 15 amp solar controller. The suitcase lets you get them to the sunny spot if you are in partially shade.
So, there's some thoughts for you to get started. I wish you all the best and please contact me if I can help further