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Old 09-27-2015, 04:16 PM   #29
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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!)
Get a good quality, stainless steel one, as the inner bits hold up better.

We have this one, the Rapid-Brew, 12 cup, and love it. Amazon has them, Cabela's has a nice one......just get a good one.

You can always boil water for tea in a saucepan...no need, really, for a kettle, unless it is an aesthetic thing that you just must have.


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Old 09-27-2015, 10:41 PM   #30
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Just keep an eye on the battery voltage. You can buy a voltage meter for 12V either plug in like this one:
http://www.amazon.com/HappyPrimeDay-...oltage+display

Or get one that you can attach with cables to the battery.

Do not discharge the batteries below 12.0 V - fully charged they will be above 13V. Once they are discharged into the 11V range, they are below 25% which will be damaging. At this level, you are still ok using the jack - but I also would recommend to do this with the TV plugged in and running.

If you do this more often, you should consider a solar panel. We have solar and when the sun is shining our batteries are pretty much always full.
I completely agree with knuff's comments. Keep an eye on battery voltage.
I am currently boondocking on the Outer Banks since Wednesday. Voltage has only dropped from 12.9 to 12.6. I will be here a couple more days. I don't expect it to drop below 12.5v. Just operating lights (led), tv, water pump and charge cell phone and computer. Fridge runs on propane with no phantom load.
Have fun. I love the freedom of camping without hookups.

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Old 09-28-2015, 07:40 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by pcskier View Post
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!)
I use a French press and a one qt pot to boil water. I have never owned a dedicated water kettle. I use the same press and pot at home so nothing new to buy.
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Old 09-28-2015, 08:21 AM   #32
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A Makita coffee maker works also. Boil water in anything you have.
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Old 09-28-2015, 08:29 AM   #33
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Personally, we/I like having a pot of coffee.

One activity, one perk, a couple of nice mugs full of half regular/half decaf apiece when it was two of us.....I now brew a smaller quantity for just myself, but use the same pot. It has history and memories....I like that.

I like curling up in the mornings, sipping my coffee, watching the news, checking these Forums ....and waking up slowly. Part of the luxury of retirement.

My son drinks several cups in the morning, but uses a press and does them one cup at a time.

It just depends on what you want and need.



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Old 09-28-2015, 08:36 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by pcskier View Post
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?
Here's just the basics.
Yes, there should be a 12 volt line from the TV that does charge the battery in the trailer. It does so very slowly and can't be counted on to fully charge a depleted battery. It will operate the tongue jack, so you can hitch a trailer with a dead battery.

When you have 120 volt AC power plugged in, there is a converter in the trailer's system that makes part of that power into 12 volt DC. That does charge the battery, as well as powering your lights, etc.. People who like to boondock often carry a generator so they can replenish their batteries while camping. Get a quiet one, worth the extra money.

Do not confuse your converter with an inverter. An inverter takes DC power from the batteries and makes it into 120 volt AC so you can run things like TV sets while camping without AC power. It is not a very efficient process, and will run the batteries down faster. It will not run heavy AC loads like air conditioners and microwave ovens.

There are several good books available on RV electrical systems.

Good luck with your search for an Airstream.
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Old 09-28-2015, 11:01 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by pcskier View Post
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?
Batteries are generally charged by the convertor when you are plugged in or by the TV when you are on the road. A convertor is just a battery charger.

Dan
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Old 09-29-2015, 12:03 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Lily&Me View Post
Get a good quality, stainless steel one, as the inner bits hold up better.

We have this one, the Rapid-Brew, 12 cup, and love it. Amazon has them, Cabela's has a nice one......just get a good one.

You can always boil water for tea in a saucepan...no need, really, for a kettle, unless it is an aesthetic thing that you just must have.


Maggie
Key with the coffee pot pictured, vs electric, is:
1) do not get a fine grind on your beans...it can clog the filter and cause it to drain slower, thus overflow can happen if your on too hot a burner.
2) watch the heat; after it starts to perk fast, turn burner down...we often do this outside on our portable camp stove, but sometimes inside the AS; that is where the front burner is hottest, and can boil over if not careful. Just keep an eye on it... We love the electric when plugged in...but this pot pictured we use always when boon-docking...
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Old 09-29-2015, 03:18 AM   #37
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If your battery is dead I've heard that by connecting the trailer electrical plug to your tow vehicle enough power will come from the car/truck to power the jack.
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Old 09-29-2015, 05:34 AM   #38
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Key with the coffee pot pictured, vs electric, is:
1) do not get a fine grind on your beans...it can clog the filter and cause it to drain slower, thus overflow can happen if your on too hot a burner.
2) watch the heat; after it starts to perk fast, turn burner down...we often do this outside on our portable camp stove, but sometimes inside the AS; that is where the front burner is hottest, and can boil over if not careful. Just keep an eye on it... We love the electric when plugged in...but this pot pictured we use always when boon-docking...
Yes! You are exactly right.

Thanks for adding that. We grind our own beans at the store. Best way to get the proper grind.

We went to all perk, all the time, when traveling, just to avoid carrying two coffee pots.


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Old 09-29-2015, 06:53 AM   #39
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I am a coffee lover.

I ended up getting a 9 cup stainless percolator from Cabelas. To give you a sense of what they mean by a cup. That holds about 1 quart of water.

I grind it chunky, and also put a paper drip filter in the basket. This does 3 things. It keeps a lot of sediment from getting through. And it absorbs some of the coffee oils. And it makes cleanup easier.

I like this coffee pot because it can be used as a means to safely heat and pour hot water also for oatmeal, hot chocolate, or to top off hot water needed for doing dishes if washing something large outside. (I can fill with hot water from inside at the sink, and SAFELY carry and pour it onto my cast iron griddle outside during cleanup)

So while it is true that a small kitchen pan can heat water, please do consider safety and think about a coffee pot or kettle for carrying and pouring hot water.
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Old 09-29-2015, 07:27 AM   #40
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Good points Piggy Bank. Amazon carries smaller versions of the Rapid Brew line for solo coffee drinkers with smaller trailers (weight/storage). Here is the 2-3 cup:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000QOM6P2/...=IUR7O1F8NHTCZ

Might work also for melted butter for lobster, hot rum toddies and so forth?

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Old 09-29-2015, 07:50 AM   #41
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Make sure your batteries are fully charged and in good condition. The one stage converter Airstream puts in new trailers can fry your batteries if you are plugged in too long and overcharge. Switch out to a 3 stage converter when you have the chance. It is an easy do-it-yourself project. A good source for replacement 3 stage converters is BestConverter - Converters, Inverters, Electrical Supplies, Electronics Call Randy at Best Converter to determine the correct replacement for your trailer. This is not something you need to do before your upcoming trip.

To conserve power, turn the water pump off when not in use.

If you use the furnace at night, reduce fan power consumption by keeping your the thermostat down (50 degrees) while you are sleeping. Take extra blankets for warmth.

LED lights use little power. Take a portable battery powered LED lantern with you for light in trailer at night. They give off a lot of light and are inexpensive to purchase.

The biggest power drain will be the furnace fan. If you are conservative in your power use, and the batteries are fully charged and in good condition, three nights should be no problem.

As others have said, you can run the electric jack off the tow vehicle when connected. It takes a long time to charge the batteries in the trailer idling the tow vehicle. Disconnect the electrical connection with the tow vehicle while camping. If you drain the trailer batteries completely you don't want to also drain your tow vehicle completely.
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Old 09-29-2015, 08:50 AM   #42
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Thanks all for the comments! I of course forgot that we won't be able to plug in the coffee maker--OOPS

Percolator is a great idea.
We have one like this Benjamin Medwin Stainless Stovetop Espresso Cappuccino Coffee Maker | eBay for making coffee. It's nice to have a GOOD cup of cappuccino for breakfast.
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