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Old 09-22-2014, 06:43 AM   #1
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How long will Battery and propane last

i have a 2014 mini lite 2104s. We set it up on a weekend spot that is a boondocking style spot. We will have it there for 9 weeks. My question is running the fridge on propane only how long will the 2 20lb tanks last.

2) wife wants to leave some items in the fridge and leave it running. no meat or items that will spoil and smell up the place if fridge dies.
How long will the standard battery that comes with the TT last just running the fridge and the other drain items like co2 sensor, radio memory if we left the fridge running. We will have a generator there on friday - sunday to charge the battery.

3) If i wanted to add a solar charger what watts would it need to be to keep the battery charged?


Thank you
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Old 09-22-2014, 07:05 AM   #2
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There is no real "standard" battery. It just depends on what your particular dealer chooses to mount on their rigs. What size have you got and what part of the country are you in?

Solar is a great option for a longer term setup like that, and if you are going to be there every weekend with a genset it should be pretty doable. Propane wise... that depends a lot on how much you'll be using for cooking/heating/water heater while you're on site for the weekend, and how large your reefer is. If it is JUST the fridge you should be able to get a good 6-8 weeks or more off of 2 - 20's. Your batteries will be the limiting factor, but more info is needed to help much more than that.
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Old 09-22-2014, 07:37 AM   #3
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You could always set it up at home and test it to find out how long it would last you. Set it up and use it as you would if you were there and see what happens. Would also like to know on the solar but bigger is better with solar and use a device so the batteries don't over charge. I'd install 2 batteries also.
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Old 09-22-2014, 07:37 AM   #4
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I can answer that one first hand. On propane....months. I've got an identical rig and run two group 24's. About two weeks is all I got before I hit 50% voltage. That was without the fridge running. Based on my short boondocking runs, the fridge doesn't add a whole lot of drain on top of that.

Interestingly enough, I was adding some lighting in the pass through a few weeks ago and was poking around looking at wiring out of curiosity. I found that the slide motor controller was reading 5V output with the disconnect off. I'm guessing the slide motors get constant power to provide a brake to keep it from flying out going down the road (and reading through some trouble shooting papers, that seems to be the case). Don't know exactly how much it pulls, but I didn't think about that adding to the power drain.
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Old 09-22-2014, 07:45 AM   #5
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Don't know the power drain, but we filled our 1st 30# cyl in Feb 14 since getting the trailer in Feb 2012 and we never turn the frig off. Spent 3+ months in it the winter of 2012 & the same in 2013 and use the propane for the water heater also.
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Old 09-22-2014, 07:56 AM   #6
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You might consider disconnecting the radio & CO2 propane monitor as well. Just remember to reconnect before using the TT. I use 2 6volt golf cart batteries & they would last a week easily. For 9 weeks, I would be looking at solar, it would be a fun project

Honestly, I think it is safer & less $$ to just shut it down for the week & bring a cooler with you to the campsite.
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Old 09-22-2014, 08:22 AM   #7
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I looking at getting a 30watt solar unit. We are working at The texas renfest. I will be working at Brigadoon brewery learning to make beer and drink some of what i make. Brigadoon will be providing Lunch and dinner for me.
The camping area has showers and bathrooms. Breakfast would be the only meal we really eat at the TT maybe some snaks and drinks. wife said she may use the shower in the trailer not to keen on using the showers there. They have service that comes to your camper and empties the tanks for you. cost like $60 a month if you request it.
I planed on looking at box and turning breaker off on everthing i can.

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Old 09-22-2014, 03:54 PM   #8
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If it were me, I'd use a cooler and some dry ice and not bother with the fridge at all. I'm assuming you're just doing a few nights at a time and leaving the trailer there? That being the case, I'd just pull the battery and bring it home to charge between trips. Staying there for nine weeks straight...maybe just throw the disconnect when you're not actually in it and you might make it.

I'll have to stop by Brigadoon this year. I'll be up there twice, just don't know when. Hoping to be at a different job in a few weeks, but haven't heard back yet.
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Old 09-22-2014, 04:20 PM   #9
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Nice Trailer.
As others have said the battery will become an issue. If it was mine I would either put 200 Watt of solar on the roof if you're in an area with enough sun light (it is fall btw. ), or buy 3 more batteries where you can add 1 to your current battery and charge the other 2 and swap them out every week.
A more permanent solution would be of course the solar approach with true deep cycle batteries, but pricey.
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Old 09-22-2014, 04:33 PM   #10
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The only thing that will be running on battery is the control panel for the fridge and other vampire things like co2 detector. The batter would only need to last for 4 full day. The morning of the 5th day I will have a generator hooked up to run AC and such for 3 days
For cost wise I wonder if a 30 watt solar charger would be enough
Here in texas we still have lots of sunshine well unless it storming..
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Old 09-22-2014, 04:49 PM   #11
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You SHOULD be ok if you run conservatively. I'll usually stay out there Fri, Sat, and Sunday nights and can easily get by on two batteries with occasional furnace and fans / lights. A second battery would probably do you good.
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Old 09-22-2014, 04:58 PM   #12
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pull the fuse on the propane detector so it doesn't run battery down, but remember to put it back when you return. I know my old trailer would last 2 weeks on battery without charging but that propane detector will run it down.
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Old 09-22-2014, 05:32 PM   #13
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30's going to be pretty small. I was looking at a 15W panel last year (http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...-it-44023.html) and when I got all the information from various threads on this site, worked out to barely providing enough juice to compensate for the Co2 detector. Now, this is based on southwestern Ontario, which doesn't get anywhere near as much sun as Texas, but I can't really see a 30W being able to keep up with all the loads in a trailer.

First things first would be to get a real idea of what your actual loads are. Grab a meter, shut things off you won't normally have on and then start measuring. Next, figure out how long you'll be running whatever at those loads. Since you'll be using the genny when you are there, you'll only have to concern yourself with the parasite loads, which will run 24hrs a day. So, let's say radio is .5, CO2 is .5 and fridge is 1 (numbers made up) then you'll be around 2A x 24 hrs = 48Ah you need to replenish in the battery every day. You'll need enough panel for that.

So what's the right size panel? That all depends on several factors, the most important of which is the amount of sunlight. Somebody once provided me with a link to a site that I used to determine this for my area. I can't find that link so a quick google search turned up:

U.S. Solar Radiation Resource Maps

Which seems similar enough (might even be the same site).

In this case, since you'll be leaving doing a leave-it and forget-it setup, you'll need to look at one of the non-tracking options. I don't think it matters much which one in particular, as long as you set up your panels the same way. I had used flat horizontal for mine, since I was thinking of installing it on the roof of my TT.

Using that and a series of calculations that I don't all remember since it was done last year, I found around here I needed 40W of panel for a flat mounted panel to compensate every 1A of parasitic load I had. Unfortunately I don't remember exactly what went into that calculation. (I found where I posted some of it here:
http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...tml#post571550)

Assuming I did do my calculations right though, since Texas seems to only receive moderately more radiation than here (per the map I referenced above) I'd guess that 30W panel will be producing about the same 1A parasitic replacement my 40W calculations showed. (Edit: If also flat mounted like I planed)

Of course you'll need to run your own calculations, but hopefully the information in the threads I linked, and subsequent threads they link, and then the subsequent threads they link will arm you to be able to figure this all out.

Please, let us know how it goes.

Mike
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Old 09-22-2014, 07:13 PM   #14
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Mike is giving you excellent advice, if you do want to go solar make sure you get more than you need, bec. if your panels can't keep up with the demand and the battery (batteries) get drained a number of times not only will your beer get warm but also the batteries will be toast.
Going solar is a beautiful thing but doing it right can cost a ton of money.
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Old 09-23-2014, 06:29 AM   #15
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Thank you for all the Ideals and information. I think this late in the game since the TT is all ready onsite we are going to use ice chest and add a 100watt solar cell and dual batteries over the mild texas winter for next year.
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Old 09-28-2014, 06:57 PM   #16
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This will take care of your Vampire problems.Just remember to pull-and reinstall your radio fuse to reboot it when it won't come on.I learned that by accident.
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