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Old 03-22-2013, 09:47 PM   #1
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no electric or water

We will be taking our kids camping with several other families to a state park campground for 4 nights that has vault toilets and no water at the site and no electric. We have camped here once before in a tent.

We just bought a new 233s roo.

I am worried about the battery.

I have spent way too much time reading about generators, battery chargers, 2 12 V battery hookups and I have decided that we just do not have the extra money in the budget to buy any of these things.

We have tent camped without electric hook ups so we have battery operated lights and battery operated fans. We also have a 5 day cooler for our food and another cooler for drinks. We will bring water and we have a 5 gallon collapsible thingy that we can fill at the campground just not at our site.


If I push the battery disconnect while we camp, can I still use the toilet if we just put water in before we "flush" and can we "use" the sinks for brushing our teeth, washing hands, with the water we bring? There are vault toilets that we will use during the day but I have little kids and would like to be able to use the toilet in the camper during the night. We did not take showers last year, just "freshened up" swimming in Lake Michigan.

We will pack up and drive 2 hours to meet up with a different group of families for 4 more nights. That campground will have water and electric at the site and a dump station that we can use.
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Old 03-22-2013, 10:10 PM   #2
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No ideas, but thanks for asking. I have the same questions about camping at state parks with the RV.
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Old 03-22-2013, 10:17 PM   #3
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you sure can

Quote:
Originally Posted by mom28 View Post

can I still use the toilet if we just put water in before we "flush" and can we "use" the sinks for brushing our teeth, washing hands, with the water we bring?
you sure can
just pour a little water down through there
if that is your desire

the system knows not where the water comes from

on the last day or two run things using your battery
that will give you an idea how long it will last
good thing to know for the future

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Old 03-22-2013, 10:18 PM   #4
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You can still use the toilet. If you are putting paper down into the tank you might want to use a bit more water. It you keep water in the bowl and want to save on the amount of water going into the tank just remember if it is yellow let it mellow if is is brown flush is down. There will also be no problem with using the sinks just remember that you will have extra weight in the holding tanks when you leave.
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Old 03-22-2013, 10:23 PM   #5
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There is no reason you couldn't camp like that. We often use our motorhome without charging up the plumbing system. Flush and cook with water jugs we bring with us. We have a nice collection of 1/2 grapefruit juice jugs. We'll pre freeze two or three of them to cool the frig and use thatt water once they melt.

In the winter we'll carry a gallon or two of anti freeze for flushing.
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:24 PM   #6
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If it were me -

Fill the fresh water tank.
Connect the battery in the evening and turn on the water heater so I have hot water for the end of the day.
Leave the pump on for the night. It is an on demand pump.
Use the lights sparingly during the evening.
Disconnect the battery in the morning.
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:49 PM   #7
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Fairly simple to set up to use your tow vehicle to charge your RV battery when needed. Similar to using a portable generator to charge the RV battery. Start the vehicle, then hook the batteries together plus to plus and minus to minus. Similar to jump starting another car. Believe they have cigarette lighter adapters for "slow jumping" cars with low batteries - allows making the connection between the batteries "remote" from either battery. Safer than making the connection at the battery and allows charging without opening the hood.
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:56 PM   #8
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if you conserve power, you can get by. but if you plan on using the furnace, forget lasting with only one battery and no generator.

and using your vehicle to recharge the battery, is about as inefficient as you can get. using a 6-8 cyl. engine, to recharge a battery and letting all the exhaust pollute your campsite, is just something i can't see doing.
for an emergency, maybe.

with 4 kids, it'll really be a challenge for 4 days and one battery.
why not rent a Honda 1000w and take it to recharge the battery?
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:14 AM   #9
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Okay...
SO you've taken 8 kids camping before w/o your husband or oldest son along to help and you had two kids in port a cribs. All of this while tenting. Hmmm. You can do this. Piece of cake.

You haven't had to concern yourself with power consumption/savings before and have no idea how long that battery will hold. The trailer needs to be in storage due to rules in the neighborhood so putting this thing thru some all systems testing for four nights on the launch pad is out. Oh well.

Your Roo should have LED's as it was built recently. Huge power savings. Use as much portable water as possible. You are used to that already with the tenting you've done. The pump will use power for sure. Use it as little as possible. Keep the bunk fans off too. The fridge needs battery power, or so I understand, so hitting the battery disconnect will disable that too. Maybe Dan or someone else can chime in on that as he should understand better than I. If I'm mistaken please correct me.

A second battery isnt as expensive as you might think but still might not be in your budget. My Roo is coming with a 2nd battery. I had the dealer add it. Case, cables, battery and installed for $150. Its an identical match to the other one. Same type and age. But maybe battery money would be better spent elsewhere. Same thing might apply to renting a generator. I totally understand the budget thing.

This is still doable. Its all about making sure that battery lasts so it can have enough power for that fridge. You will be using the fridge right? If you need motivation sit the family down and watch Apollo 13. A great example of power consumption/conservation.
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikendan View Post
if you conserve power, you can get by. but if you plan on using the furnace, forget lasting with only one battery and no generator.

with 4 kids, it'll really be a challenge for 4 days and one battery.
100% agreement with the furnace thing. Furnace On = Game Over. Oh and Dan...its a possible 8 kids not 4. This is one adventurous woman here!
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:50 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by WarMovies View Post
100% agreement with the furnace thing. Furnace On = Game Over. Oh and Dan...its a possible 8 kids not 4. This is one adventurous woman here!
wow! 8 kids for 4 days and no hookups! with tents you don't have all the amenities that the trailer will have, which will be tempting to use.

your biggest issue will still be having the one battery, especially if you expect to use the furnace. then you add needing the water pump and lights. if they are LED's, that will help.

shuttling water will be fine. we dry camp almost all the time and are used to doing it.
we have two 12v deep cycle batteries, a Honda 2000, a 6 gallon water jug and a 15 gallon blue tote tank.
since we rarely have hookups, we got these things to make sure we can go for days if we want to.
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Old 03-23-2013, 05:45 AM   #12
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You’ve gotten some good advice. I would add for safety reasons be sure to turn your battery back on at night when everyone is sleeping. The propane detector operates off the 12 volt RV battery.

The original poster didn’t mention how many kids would be going, but if it’s 8, YIKES! 30 gallon black water tank, 8 kids, 4 nights, not sure how that will work out.
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Old 03-23-2013, 09:56 AM   #13
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Thanks everyone for the replies. Yes it is 8 kids but the toilet use would be mostly for my husband, me, my 2 year old daughter and maybe the 7 and 9 year olds so I don't have to get up when/if they go out in the middle of the night. The 1 year old will still be in diapers and the older kids can run to the vault toilet. We will keep an eye on how full the black and grey water tanks get and adjust usage. I am not opposed to using the vault toilet but would like to take advantage of the convenience of the camper toilet if possible. I have tent camping memories of me being about 3 1/2 months pregnant and running to the campground bathroom at least 8 times one night between myself and my younger boys a few years ago!

I do not plan to use the fridge because I am just too afraid of the battery dying and losing food would not be good. We have a 5 day cooler.

My husband is pretty sure they are NOT LED lights so that is why I just want to disconnect the battery and plan not to use it at all. Minimal usage could easily become maximum usage with our crew. I can see one of the kids running into the camper to get something and leaving a light on all day. We will eventually switch to LED just not this year.

We don't plan on using the furnace. We have tent camped in the fall when it got in the upper 40's at night and we were good. The dates have not been confirmed for the camp out but most likely mid summer so I don't expect it to get colder than that.

Someone mentioned the propane alarm needing the battery? Can we just turn off the propane at night? I guess we could reconnect the battery at night.

I have read it is not good for the battery to get too low...

Does the slide need a charged battery to operate so we can bring it back in when we are ready to leave if for some reason the battery did die? How would a dead battery affect us at the new campground with electricity?

The campground is very rustic and I really do not want to have to be running the car for a long time to recharge the battery.


If I had to buy all this stuff, it would be cost effective to just buy a generator but since we already own all the stuff, I figure we might as well just use it.

Originally, I had a pretty generous vacation/camper budget for this summer but my oldest son swore into the Delayed Entry Program of the Marine Corps recently and we need to use a huge chunk of it for all of us to go to South Carolina in December for his graduation! So now I am just having to make some adjustments to our previous plans...but well worth the effort.

Thanks again for the replies. It helps to talk (write) through it to make sure I am not forgetting anything! I am a big time planner (have to be with 8 kids) so that I can relax when we finally get to our destination.
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Old 03-23-2013, 10:15 AM   #14
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In the event of your minimal battery usage, it results in a low battery or accidental discharge and not enough power to operate slide or other device, you can always plug in to your tow vehicle (as you would if you were leaving) and everything in the trailer should operate as designed! Happy camping.
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Old 03-23-2013, 10:18 AM   #15
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Yes, the slide needs battery to come in- but, if you need to, simply plugging the camper into the truck will give it enough juice to come in.

I really feel like you have your head on your shoulders with this and should be set! Heck, you've inspired me!
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Old 03-23-2013, 10:23 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mom28 View Post
Thanks everyone for the replies. Yes it is 8 kids but the toilet use would be mostly for my husband, me, my 2 year old daughter and maybe the 7 and 9 year olds so I don't have to get up when/if they go out in the middle of the night. The 1 year old will still be in diapers and the older kids can run to the vault toilet. We will keep an eye on how full the black and grey water tanks get and adjust usage. I am not opposed to using the vault toilet but would like to take advantage of the convenience of the camper toilet if possible. I have tent camping memories of me being about 3 1/2 months pregnant and running to the campground bathroom at least 8 times one night between myself and my younger boys a few years ago!

I do not plan to use the fridge because I am just too afraid of the battery dying and losing food would not be good. We have a 5 day cooler.

My husband is pretty sure they are NOT LED lights so that is why I just want to disconnect the battery and plan not to use it at all. Minimal usage could easily become maximum usage with our crew. I can see one of the kids running into the camper to get something and leaving a light on all day. We will eventually switch to LED just not this year.

We don't plan on using the furnace. We have tent camped in the fall when it got in the upper 40's at night and we were good. The dates have not been confirmed for the camp out but most likely mid summer so I don't expect it to get colder than that.

Someone mentioned the propane alarm needing the battery? Can we just turn off the propane at night? I guess we could reconnect the battery at night.

I have read it is not good for the battery to get too low...

Does the slide need a charged battery to operate so we can bring it back in when we are ready to leave if for some reason the battery did die? How would a dead battery affect us at the new campground with electricity?

The campground is very rustic and I really do not want to have to be running the car for a long time to recharge the battery.


If I had to buy all this stuff, it would be cost effective to just buy a generator but since we already own all the stuff, I figure we might as well just use it.

Originally, I had a pretty generous vacation/camper budget for this summer but my oldest son swore into the Delayed Entry Program of the Marine Corps recently and we need to use a huge chunk of it for all of us to go to South Carolina in December for his graduation! So now I am just having to make some adjustments to our previous plans...but well worth the effort.

Thanks again for the replies. It helps to talk (write) through it to make sure I am not forgetting anything! I am a big time planner (have to be with 8 kids) so that I can relax when we finally get to our destination.
The 7 and 9 year olds should be able to use the campground toilets, so that is a savings right there.
The propane alarm sucks a lot of battery power, so I would just shut off the propane at night as you mentioned.
The slide does need a reasonably-charged battery to work, but you could just use booster cables when you need to pack up. And if you did run your battery down, charging it for a while with booster cables isn't the wrost thing I have seen done in campgrounds!
As far as having a "dead" battery when you move to an electric site, no problem, the camper's charging system will do the job.
You seem to be pretty well prepared, so should do fine.
have fun!
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Old 03-23-2013, 11:50 AM   #17
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Have you considered renting a generator for the time you are camping. You might be able to get one near the CG you are going to then you would be able to charge the battery up during the day. This would allow you to use your refrigerator while at the CG with no power. Just a suggestion. This idea might not work for you.
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Old 03-23-2013, 01:44 PM   #18
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the slide will also have a manual crank to pull it in, when there's no battery power. takes awhile but it'll work.

the fridge uses a fraction of the battery power, not a big power drain. are you going to use the water heater? the DSI will need battery power to light the WH but that's only for a second.

as was said, furnace, propane detector, slide motor and lights will be your biggest drains.
the fridge and WH only use power to light the propane side, except for the fridge light when you open it.
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Old 03-23-2013, 02:04 PM   #19
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Ok, I have a Rockwood 2109S and we do camp alot at state parks with no hookups. I do have 2 batteries (got the dealer to add it at no cost as part of the deal) and it is just my wife and myself. We are used to conserving anyhow from having a popup with one battery.
The state parks here will usually have an area where you can plug in a battery charger and charge your battery. Granted you have to lug it over to where ever that is but you bring your charger from home (if you have one) and charge the battery every other day. Call and see if they have something like that.
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Old 03-23-2013, 02:24 PM   #20
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I see no reason why you can't do what you're planning to do. Shut the propane off at night. The detector will still be working during the day if you leave the battery on. You can plug into your TV to bring the slide in. Conserve your battery power and have a great time.
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