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Old 09-26-2015, 02:24 PM   #15
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. Plug in before you leave, you should be good for 4 days if careful, we do it all the time,
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Old 09-26-2015, 02:25 PM   #16
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Smile camping battery only

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Originally Posted by NY24 View Post
Even when running on propane, a fridge NEEDS 12VDC to run the control board so, there will always be an electric draw there. As already stated, forget the coffee maker (and any other heat producing 110VAC appliance). Have you considered getting a small (1 or 2 KW) gasoline powered inverter / generator? Honda and Yamaha make excellent models that are very quiet. Run it in the morning and, you CAN have your coffee (or use microwave). Run an hour or two in the PM to recharge your house batteries. I had a Honda Handi 3KW pull start genny that could run my entire 17' Casta travel trailer. Used less than 1 gallon of gas / day.
Older AS do not use 12volt as no control board, most have dometic reefers with propane and 110 elctric only
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Old 09-26-2015, 03:07 PM   #17
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Dry camped for for the 1st time this month - 3 nights. Did not even take the AS home. Dropped it off at the dealer & upgraded to converter that will not fry batteries, 2 6 volt batteries, 2 solar panels.
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Old 09-26-2015, 03:08 PM   #18
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I had to use the jack hand crank this summer and found that the propane tank cover prevents you from cranking in a full circle - you have to remove the crank and reconnect every half turn - a real PITA. So...bring an suitable extension that allows you to crank from higher up in a full circle. A large ratchet wrench with extension works even better. Try it out before you leave home.
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Old 09-26-2015, 03:27 PM   #19
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3 days? Maybe

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Originally Posted by lizfsmith View Post
Next weekend we are camping for 3 nights in a spot without an electrical/water hookup. We have no idea what to expect in terms of battery life and wanted to get a general sense of whether we have reasonable expectations. We have a 19' bambi international. Plan to use fridge (but will keep on propane), one or both fans at night, water pump. Not planning to use stereo or lights. Only appliance will be coffee maker. Will the battery still have enough juice to use the power jack to reattach to tow vehicle after the weekend?
It depends on where you are camping. If you are camping somewhere cold enough that the furnace runs, you could be low on battery power after the second day. (assuming two batteries) I was in Maine last week and the furnace ran a lot at night. Next week in central NC you should be fine if you turn the furnace thermostat off.

This article answers a lot about battery life.
http://www.progressivedyn.com/battery_basics.html
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Old 09-26-2015, 04:08 PM   #20
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I had to use the jack hand crank this summer and found that the propane tank cover prevents you from cranking in a full circle - you have to remove the crank and reconnect every half turn - a real PITA. So...bring an suitable extension that allows you to crank from higher up in a full circle. A large ratchet wrench with extension works even better. Try it out before you leave home.
Couldn't you remove the propane cover in order to use the crank in a full circle? It is usually a simple operation to lift the cover off . . .
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Old 09-26-2015, 04:09 PM   #21
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We've found the furnace fan and water pump to be to big users of juice. We just went six days just on batteries. We keep a gallon jug of water in the bathroom, keep the water pump off and use the jug for flushing most times.

Also if you have subwoofer, be sure the radio is completely off so the woofer isn't being powered. And make sure the antenna booster is off too.
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Old 09-27-2015, 06:27 AM   #22
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Couldn't you remove the propane cover in order to use the crank in a full circle? It is usually a simple operation to lift the cover off . . .
That is what did when my jack crapped out. Easy peasy, takes 30 seconds.
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Old 09-27-2015, 08:59 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phann View Post
I had to use the jack hand crank this summer and found that the propane tank cover prevents you from cranking in a full circle - you have to remove the crank and reconnect every half turn - a real PITA. So...bring an suitable extension that allows you to crank from higher up in a full circle. A large ratchet wrench with extension works even better. Try it out before you leave home.
The propane cover comes off with little effort so you can turn crank 360.
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Old 09-27-2015, 09:19 AM   #24
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Simple math take your Amp Hour Rating for the Batteries, my West Marine Group 24 AGM's are rated at 79 Amp Hours...maybe liberal; Dual-Purpose AGM Batteries | West Marine
Now don't use more than 60% of the Amp Hours so 79 AH x 2 Batteries = 158 AH X .60 = 94.8 Available Amp Hours. Now take whatever you will be using and figure how long it will be used. For giggles say you would use something with a 5 Amp Draw, 94.8 available Amp Hours divided by 5 Amps would yield 18.96 Hours (using 60%).
Some like using 50% instead of 60 % but this should help you manage the power

I am making provisions for a second Group 24 AGM Battery just for dry-camping. I already have a SOLAR Panel and Regulator that will be used as well.
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Old 09-27-2015, 11:26 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne&Sam View Post
We've found the furnace fan and water pump to be to big users of juice. We just went six days just on batteries. We keep a gallon jug of water in the bathroom, keep the water pump off and use the jug for flushing most times.

Also if you have subwoofer, be sure the radio is completely off so the woofer isn't being powered. And make sure the antenna booster is off too.
The water pump does not use much at all from the batteries. The load is about 5 amps and it probably pumps 3 gal/minute. If you have a 30 gal fresh water tank that means it will empty in about 10 minutes using the pump. 10 minutes is 1/6 th of an hour. So, 5 amps x 1/6 hour is about 1 amp hour total to empty the tank. A single group 24 battery has a capacity of around 75 amp hours.

Furnace, and lights and little loads which run long hours are the ones which eat into battery life. Very short term loads like the water pump do not.
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Old 09-27-2015, 01:41 PM   #26
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A french press for the coffee is another way to go. go by wall mart and get a pack of those stick-on press lights. You can stick them up anywhere, they come in a pack of three and are led lights. They use AA batteries. I purcased some a few years ago and have yet to replace the AA batteries in them. I have one in the bathroom, so at night just have to press on the light and not have to turn on the bedroom lights. I have replaced most of my lights with Led. I ran the house batteries down on a cold night the next morning I backed the tow vehicle up plugged in the trailer and was able to use the power jack.
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Old 09-27-2015, 02:14 PM   #27
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Maggie, do you have a recommendation for a stove top percolator? I was going to use a french press, but that would require 2 things...the french press and a kettle. Percolator would eliminate one item. (Already thinking about staging my FC 19 even though I won't be picking it up for another 3 weeks!)
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Old 09-27-2015, 02:24 PM   #28
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While we're at it, as I'm a soon-to-be noob as well...When you are plugged into the TV and the engine runs...this trickle charges the batteries, yes? In an emergency could you hook up the TV plug and run the car for a bit to top off batteries? Also, does shore power top them off as well? OK, I'll just come right out and ask it: How DO the batteries charge up?
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