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Old 06-26-2019, 06:57 AM   #21
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Congrats on the new camper, know you will enjoy it.
A few things I have learned over the years on Boondocking is this, if you don't use it, leave it Off, if you don't need it, don't use it. I'am sure you have LED lights and that will make a big difference. Your biggest electrical draw will be the furnace, it will suck your battery down faster than anything else, in my opinion. Good Luck and enjoy that new camper.
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Old 06-26-2019, 08:21 AM   #22
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When boondocking, besides running a generator to recharge the batteries (I don't have one or plan to get one), what other options are there to recharge them? Can the batteries be recharged by running the tow vehicle engine with the trailer plugged in via the 7way pigtail? Someone told me no because the trailer would have to be attached to the hitch for grounding purposes. Anyone know about this? Thanks in advance
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Old 06-26-2019, 08:27 AM   #23
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Although you will get some differences of opinion, general concencus is that while driving and hooked to TV, there will be some slight charge, but barely enough to keep batteries at the full level if that. Certainly not a solution to recharge. My first hand experience is NO. my TV will not recharge batteries. I use genny daily.

Solar is option but I have no experience. Just last week I was at 50% when I left.... 3 hours driving later still at 50% when I arrived. Genny so easy.
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Old 06-26-2019, 08:29 AM   #24
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I would be looking at solar if you don't use a genny.
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Old 06-26-2019, 08:33 AM   #25
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Yep, I have a 50W solar panel but I know that won't recharge the batteries fully
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Old 06-26-2019, 08:49 AM   #26
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Pop up Newbie

Not too familiar with solar but itís my understanding that you need at least 200vwatts to get any real recharging benefit. Your 50 will be fine for trickle charging while the camper is in storage but thatís about it.

https://drivinglife.net/how-much-sol...-rv/#tab-con-2
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Old 06-26-2019, 11:46 AM   #27
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Get a BAL leveler. I sold my PUP 3 years ago and that BAL leveler remains the best RV accessory I've ever purchased. I miss how ridiculously easy it was to level my PUP. My current TT isn't difficult to level, but nothing is easier than a BAL leveler.

Then, just be meticulous and slow during set up and tear down. Any time you feel resistance on anything, stop. Stop, because you'll always win the battle ... at the expense of canvas, fabric, aluminum, etc. My canvas was in perfect shape when I sold my PUP.

Everything else is garden variety camping lists and learnings.

For battery, power, and solar there are 3 key points:
  1. You can fund pretty accurate and reliable power draws for everything in your PUP. From CO/propane detector, to furnace fans, to water pumps, and everything else in between. This allows you to build out your estimated daily power consumption. Simple math.

    For example, if i run my furnace for 5 hours at night at 4.2 amps/hour, then that's 21 amps. Add in an hour or so of lights at night, a few minutes of water pump, etc. 25-30 amps is reasonable.
  2. You can only use 50% of your battery's capacity without damaging the battery. So, if you grab a big group 29 battery with 130 amp-hours, you only get to use 65 amp-hours.

    If you only camp on weekends (2-nights), then you're all set, using the example of consuming 30 amps per day. 65 amp-hours gets you by just fine. If you camp more than that, you'll need a second battery or a charging scheme.

    Assume you want to camp for 4 nights. You still get to consume 65 amps over those 4 days, so you need to replace 14 amp-hours per day, using the example where you use 30 amps per day (30 - 65/4).

    Note that this is different from guidance from solar panel providers. They want you to size your array to replenish your 100% of your battery each day. You don't need to do this. You only need to put enough back so that your cumulative net draw doesn't exceed 50% of your battery's capacity.
  3. P=VI. But, solar panels charge at ~17 VDC, not the 12 VDC circuit. Figure 80% efficiency to account for off-peak sun and circuitry losses. And figure 6 hours for charging.

    P=VI/(80%*6 hrs) = 17 * 14 / (.8 * 6) = 50 Watts

    For a 4 day camping trip with a 130 amp-hour battery and a 30 amp/day power use, a 50W solar panel will get you by, assuming 80% efficiency and a 6-hour solar day. If you want to camp longer, have different power needs, and so on, these numbers change ... but the math is still really easy.

Have fun.
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Old 06-26-2019, 12:09 PM   #28
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When boondocking, besides running a generator to recharge the batteries (I don't have one or plan to get one), what other options are there to recharge them? Can the batteries be recharged by running the tow vehicle engine with the trailer plugged in via the 7way pigtail? Someone told me no because the trailer would have to be attached to the hitch for grounding purposes. Anyone know about this? Thanks in advance
As you said, 50w solar panel is no way enough to keep your batteries charged.
And using your TV to recharge the battery is the MOST inefficient way to recharge the battery.
Most TVs, while towing, will only provide a trickle charge at best.
So if you are adamant about not using an inverter generator, then a beefier solar system is your only option.
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Old 06-26-2019, 12:16 PM   #29
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As you said, 50w solar panel is no way enough to keep your batteries charged. [...]
Such statements are almost always better with math.

When I used to camp, I almost never drew more than 20 amps in a day. A 50W panel can easily add 14 amps back in (I = P/V *80% * 6 hours). With 120 amp-hour battery, that 50 W panel would keep me going for 10 days.

What am I missing?
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Old 06-26-2019, 01:32 PM   #30
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The only way to be sure for sure is to try it all out and see how much juice I use and how much the solar panel replaces. Worst case scenario is I'll be camping like I did last summer (tenter) for a couple days at the end of my 5 day excursion. I'll make sure there's enough juice left to put the top down! However cranking it down manually is probably easier than cranking it up. I like your mathematical explanation 67L48. Thanks for the info
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Old 06-26-2019, 01:45 PM   #31
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Can the batteries be recharged by running the tow vehicle engine with the trailer plugged in via the 7way pigtail?
In most case running the TV at idle will do nothing to charge the PUP battery. Even towing for a few hours will do little unless you upgraded the TV wiring. As I mentioned earlier, I would wait to see how much 12V demand you have before purchasing anything else. You may need 200-300W of solar or a 2000W generator especially if you plan to use the furnace or CPAP. Also to correct an earlier post fridge does need 12V even on propane for the control board and if the 12V supply gets too low it will shut off.
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Old 06-26-2019, 02:30 PM   #32
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Thanks. Does the furnace also use some battery? For the thermostat? And blower fan
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Old 06-26-2019, 02:56 PM   #33
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Thanks. Does the furnace also use some battery? For the thermostat? And blower fan
Most furnaces are DC powered. The thermostat controls the furnace igniter, blower and control system. Most blowers are DC blowers. If your thermostat is digital, then it maybe powered by a self contained battery ie AA batteries.

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Old 06-26-2019, 02:59 PM   #34
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Thanks. Does the furnace also use some battery? For the thermostat? And blower fan
The furnace is all 12v battery power and is the biggest power drain on the battery. So the propane igniter and blower fan use battery power.
Thermostat should be AA or AAA battery power.
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Old 06-26-2019, 03:03 PM   #35
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Thanks everyone. All of this is so informative and yer all very patient!
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Old 06-26-2019, 03:08 PM   #36
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Personally we are veteran dry campers and wouldn't be without our quiet Honda 2000i inverter generator, 6 gallon fresh water jug, 150w inverter and 15 gallon tote tank for gray water.
Solar is not for us, as the DW likes using the microwave and we camp in wooded campgrounds.
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Old 06-27-2019, 06:56 AM   #37
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Enjoy your new trailer! We had the same one and loved it. 2nd the BAL leveler. Was a time saver in my opinion.

Happy camping!
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Old 06-27-2019, 07:58 AM   #38
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Let me see if I have this correct. To level it back to front, I use the tongue jack. To level it side to side, in the absence of the BAL leveler, I would have to put a slab of wood or something under the lower wheel? Can the stabilizer jacks be used to level it, or are they just to stabilize it after it's level? Thanks
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Old 06-27-2019, 08:02 AM   #39
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Stabilizer jacks are just for stabilizing, not for lifting. You will put them down (or screw them up depending on what kind you have) AFTER the pup is level. Another thumbs up for the BAL leveler. I have a tandem axle pup now and miss being able to level side to side easily.
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Old 06-27-2019, 12:25 PM   #40
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Let me see if I have this correct. To level it back to front, I use the tongue jack. To level it side to side, in the absence of the BAL leveler, I would have to put a slab of wood or something under the lower wheel? Can the stabilizer jacks be used to level it, or are they just to stabilize it after it's level? Thanks
As was said, stabs are NOT for leveling. If you do, Popup frames often will bend, causing door misalignment. I made this mistake on my first popup. Also caused misalignment issues in other areas.
Just get the BAL leveler, it also doubles as a wheel chock.
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