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Old 01-27-2023, 02:47 PM   #1
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Location: Olympia WA
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20BHS/Power package

Hi, new to the forum. My wife and I are considering buying the Geo Pro 20BHS with possibly the Mastervolt Power package. We're new to RV'ing and see ourselves leaning more toward boondocking than full hookup sites. I've searched out some solar threads and articles but still can't grasp how much solar/battery we would really need to sustain 2-3 days off grid. It seems like the 12 volt fridge would require a decent sized system to run 24/7 while camped if not in full sun.
The power package would obviously handle all our needs, but it is expensive and the weight, which I'm guessing would be around 200 lbs, seems significant given the 20BHS's approx. 900lb carrying capacity.
Does anyone have any experience with this system, or would like to chime in on solar/battery needs for boondocking? Any advice/info will be greatly appreciated!

Kip
Olympia, WA
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Old 01-27-2023, 11:28 PM   #2
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Good stuff but do you need it all?

Im at the Quartzsite RV Show and checked out the MasterVolt stuff. Very impressive. Seems well designed and well made. But yes, on the expensive side. Before doing anything you should decide what you want to run off of solar/batteries, determine their watt/hour power consumption and build a system around that. Make the shoe fit the foot.

As an example, not a recommendation, we have been boondocking at Quartzsite for three weeks running on two 100 watt panels charging two 100 Ah LiFePO4 batteries. This is not a robust system but then our electrical usage is modest. We can run everything we need lights, heat, water and, though a small inverter, the TV off this system. We have a propane frig and hot water heater so they draw almost nothing electrically.

Take your time do it right.
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Old 01-27-2023, 11:52 PM   #3
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Depends!!!!!!

The power option is a dandy! You could power the ac with it.

With the amount of solar out west you would be golden.

However the almost 10k is a lot.

If you live in the Midwest the solar is a lot less effective.

Depends on how much boondocking you do. And where.

For $3200 you could buy the battery and a Honda 2200 generator. That would power the rv 4 days. Then recharge the battery. Would take most of 8 hours. Plus the converter should be replaced likely.

The generator would run the ac. I think.
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Old 01-28-2023, 12:45 AM   #4
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Great replies, thank you. Running the 12v fridge is my biggest concern, but I think it could be done with 400w of panels and a 200ah LiFeo4 battery. I could get by without the AC (I think) though my wife isn't sure about that The microwave isn't a big thing for us, so not worried about that. We'd like to not have to use a generator if possible.
While it would be cool to have a rig you could tow anywhere, run everything and not worry about power, in the end money and the weight penalty might be too much.
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Old 01-28-2023, 08:29 AM   #5
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If you are a handy person DIY solar and batteries can be an option
you can put together a big/good system for about 3,000

Solar panels can be sourced second hand craigs list / FB marketplace
buy enough for some on roof and make up a pair to use suitcase style

get a quality Solar charge controller + Inverter.

280 ah lifepo4 battery can be assembled using 3.2v cells for about $800
no soldering skills required.

will get you enough power to stay out indefinitely and be able to carefully use the a/c.

you'll understand your system better
can increase capacity in make it in stages as needed / wanted


you can study what these people have done
https://diysolarforum.com/


https://www.youtube.com/@WillProwse

look for his videos on assembling a battery...
now days he is leaning towards the pre-assembled batteries.
especially since cost and quality have improved a lot.


IF you find cheap battery see if Will has done a teardown on it
could save you a big headache!





https://www.youtube.com/@OffGridGarageAustralia

they use 240v over there , but his videos on assembling a battery are good
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Old 01-28-2023, 09:21 AM   #6
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Thanks Aussieguy, those look like good resources. I'm medium handy, but I don't know much about electricity/electrical systems. Once I have a better understanding of these systems I'm sure I could muddle my way through an installation.
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Old 01-28-2023, 12:07 PM   #7
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The rv industry has gone to the compressor fridges.

These typically need 100 amps dc per day to operate. That is sort of an issue. Batteries are the weak link.

Solar is problematic. In the Midwest we have trees, rain and cloudy days. So any solar farm needs a backup generator.

It is reported that a 100 watt roof top solar panel on its best day can produce 25 dc amps.

In all uses of an inverter there is a 20% loss converting dc to ac. On standby they consume 1-2 amps dc per hour.

Study up. Make a plan.

Purchase a battery monitor.
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Old 01-28-2023, 05:53 PM   #8
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I have a youtube Channel I like to watch
in Australia a young couple travelling full time in their trailer

They just got a new one 18.9 foot off-road caravan.
they use 240v instead of our 120v



they have 1200w of panels 3000w Inverter
600 ah lithium
dc-dc charger


using .... 12v fridge and a/c
they claim never connect to shore or generator ...
and use a/c during the day

Their last trailer (2 years) only had 400ah but they did the same amount of traveling
including down south in Victoria where the weather can be nasty for a while so solar is less efficient down there.

also noticed a lot of the stuff we normally power.
they stick to manual stabilizers awning....... saves electrons I suppose

at the 36 minute mark he shows the 12v setup , batteries controllers , etc that are under the bed

the rest of the video is good to see too chassis and fittings ... $150,000 AU dollars

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Old 01-28-2023, 06:08 PM   #9
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Hey thanks that looks like a good vid, I'll check it out. Nice looking trailer too! I finally found some vids of the power package in a Geo Pro. Really awesome system, but it looks like it would reduce the carrying capacity of the 20BHS to approx. 600lbs. We've never RV'ed before, but I'm thinking staying under 600lbs with gear, water, bikes, etc...is pretty unlikely.
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