Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-02-2010, 08:32 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
boutdoors's Avatar
 
2010 16' Sport
Madison , Wisconsin
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 91
Images: 7
Charging Battery From Tow Vehicle

We have a single deep cycle battery and plan on boondocking quite a bit this summer.

We plan on running only the frig., lights and occasionally the fantastic fan on the trips.

Question 1, how long should my battery last?

Question 2, how long would it take to charge the battery from just hooking it up to the tow vehicle?

We do not have a generator and do not plan to get one.

Thanks,
boutdoors
__________________

__________________
boutdoors is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2010, 09:04 PM   #2
Rivet Master
Airstream Dealer
 
Inland RV Center, In's Avatar
 
Corona , California
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 16,499
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by boutdoors View Post
We have a single deep cycle battery and plan on boondocking quite a bit this summer.

We plan on running only the frig., lights and occasionally the fantastic fan on the trips.

Question 1, how long should my battery last?

Question 2, how long would it take to charge the battery from just hooking it up to the tow vehicle?

We do not have a generator and do not plan to get one.

Thanks,
boutdoors
Run the frig on LPG, creating no battery drain.

How many lights etc. you have on, and for how long, determines how long the battery will last.

The charging rate of the trailer battery depends on the tow vehicles charging system, and the wiring back to the trailer. The heavier the wire, the faster the recharge.

Also, how long you will be towing, determines the total recharge.

If your only going to tow and hour or two, that will not be enough. Probably, about 4 hours of towing will do it, again depending on the speed and the type of tow vehicle you will be using.

Andy
__________________

__________________
Inland RV Center, In is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2010, 09:06 PM   #3
_
 
. , .
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 8,812
Q/A 1. 2-4 days of use easily, unless the ff is on much, or it's cold. the water pump is also 12v.

Q/A 2. 2-4 days of driving to recharge, yes it's true, especially 2get close to 100% charge.

the least expensive approach for adding daze of juice is a 2nd battery.

either installed or charged and ready to swap out.

cheers
2air'
__________________
all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
2airishuman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2010, 09:11 PM   #4
Rivet Master<br><img src="/ugala/forums/images/5rivet.gif">
 
CanoeStream's Avatar

 
2006 25' Safari FB SE
St. Cloud , Minnesota
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 13,279
Images: 19
Blog Entries: 3
Avoid the lights altogether. Get a couple inexpensive LED lanterns for after dark. Motors chew up the amp-hours -- and nothing worse than the furnace. I find that northern shaded sites need little cooling effort. Love the full-opening International windows. All depends on whether an oppressively hot period coincides with your camping. Fantastic fan makes a more focused 12v fan, the Endless Breeze -- unfortunately not cheap.

Boondocking is made for summer. Have fun!
__________________
Bob

5 meter Langford Nahanni

CanoeStream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2010, 09:17 AM   #5
Rivet Master
 
Ahab's Avatar
 
2008 22' Safari
Oracle , Arizona
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,174
We use one group 27 deep cycle. LED's are a must. According to your stated use you should get 5 or more days out of a fully charged new battery.The older they get the less they hold a charge. If you have a long drive, 4+ hours, you might be able to re-charge but don't count on it. A generator or solar would give you piece of mind. We made due with a group 24 for several years but it was dicey. I've seen 40 watt solar chargers for under $300 and Honda genny's around $800.
__________________
Ahab is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2010, 09:17 AM   #6
2 Rivet Member
 
boutdoors's Avatar
 
2010 16' Sport
Madison , Wisconsin
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 91
Images: 7
O.K. So I get that the TV will not adequately re-charge the battery. I like the idea of having an extra battery on hand as a lower cost alternative to getting a generator. But it seems like a hassle to have to swap out batteries mid trip.

What are my other options? I have a new model that is solar pre-wired. Does this mean it is a plug and play system or would I have to take it in and have a major install performed? How much does the solar panel cost, I cant find that info anywhere? Would it just be cheaper to get a generator?

Thanks again for all the helpful info.
__________________
boutdoors is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2010, 09:26 AM   #7
Rivet Master
 
Ahab's Avatar
 
2008 22' Safari
Oracle , Arizona
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,174
Being in the southwest, I like the generator because we can use the convection/microwave oven or AC when necessry. Solar chargers can be had at Harbor Freight or Costco and should be a simple hook up since you have it wired.
__________________
Ahab is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2010, 09:31 AM   #8
1 Rivet Member
 
Currently Looking...
Waynesville , North Carolina
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 14
I have two Trojan 105 deep cycle 6 volt batteries. This gives me at least 7 days of moderate use with the fridge on propane and moderate light use. Two 6 volts are much better than the 12 volt batteries for boondocking. You will not be able to run the microwave or AC however.
__________________
bhbdvm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2010, 10:13 AM   #9
Rivet Master
 
RickDavis's Avatar

 
1961 24' Tradewind
1969 29' Ambassador
1970 21' Globetrotter
Jamestown , Tennessee
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,781
The charge rate from the TV tends to be low, usually less than 5 amps. Unless you are driving at the time it doesn't make much sense to run a a couple hundred horse engine trying to recharge. If you do much boondocking a generator and/or solar is a good investment.
__________________
Rick Davis 1602 K8DOC
61 tradewind, plus a few others
13 Ram 2500 TD
99 Dodge TD 577K miles

RickDavis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2010, 11:13 AM   #10
_
 
. , .
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 8,812
yes swapping batteries is a bit of a hassle.

one could simply POSITION the 2nd battery near the first at the campsite.

and parallel connect or use quick releases on the posts.

but for 100$ or so that will double the reserve.

it's a bit like hauling fresh OR waste water.

a better approach is to MOUNT the 2nd battery,

but the cost goes up some.

lots of threads on adding a 2nd deep cycle to first.
____________

solar 'pre wire' only means a/s ran a section of appropriate wire in the wall...

with one end IN the roof (gotta cut a hole to fish it out) and 1 end near the fridge (in that compartment)

there are 100s of threads here on the solar prewire, finding, using it, bypassing it, and so on.

any solar website will provide panel prices OR package prices.

it's very hard to spend LESS than 1000$ for the essential/basics for a USEFUL solar kit.
____________

honda 1000 or 2000s are readily available in the 2ndary markets (bay, craig)

not as many used yams available but both red and blue can be found.

a used eu1000i is a great starting point, reliable AC power and DC battery charging...

small, light, easy to service and multipurpose.

300-500$ perhaps and again VERY easy to resell if you want a bigger genset or opt out of gensets.

it's also portable to the NEXT rv whereas INSTALLED solar bits are hard to move to the next stream...

many folks here have started with a used honda while sorting out there long term camping/power needs.

cheers
2air'
__________________
all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
2airishuman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2010, 12:37 PM   #11
I approve of this message
 
ostream's Avatar
 
2006 28' International CCD
Redmond , Washington
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 94
Images: 5
I suggest doing a little research on the battery installed by Airstream. Specifically, the group (size) and rated amp hour (capacity) of the battery. You might find that simply upgrading your battery either to a larger size and/or higher capacity battery may significantly extend your available energy. Of course, reducing your consumption, i.e. LED lights, avoid using the furnace, etc. goes a long way in successful dry camping.

Another thing to consider is a high quality 3-stage, portable battery charger. This can be used at home to fully charge your battery (more effective than the integrated charge-converter in your Airstream) and is great to maintain your batteries during the winter months. It can be also used with a generator if you go that route. BatteryMINDer® 12-Volt 2, 4, or 8 Amp Charger-Maintainer-Desulfator-Conditioner w/ABS-248 | All | Battery Chargers by BatteryMINDers.com

If you are considering solar, here is highly regarded option - AM Solar's SunRunner RV100-22B Solar Electric Battery Charging System for RVs

Cheers
__________________
ostream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2010, 06:21 PM   #12
4 Rivet Member
 
blickcd's Avatar
 
1979 31' Sovereign
Milford , Ohio
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 478
Images: 1
Blog Entries: 29
Since it sounds like you will be taking several boondocking trips this summer, as opposed to one long one, you will have the advantage of experimenting on the first few trips to see what works best, and how much power you use. You can then decide if you want a generator or maybe some solar panels.

A few years ago there was a power failure in my area for three days and my house is all electric. Fortunately my Airstream is stored at home and the factory twin battery setup enabled us to cook and take hot showers until power was restored. I will say though that the batteries were down below 50% when the power came back on. I might add that the weather was mild so no need to run the furnace.

Since that experience I have upgraded my trailer to four group 27 batteries. We have two boondocking weekends coming up soon, just two nights each, but based on that power outage at home I am sure we'll have enough power.

If we really fall in love with boondocking, I'll probably purchase a small quiet Honda generator to power the onboard converter/charger for an hour or so per day to top off the amps.

I like the idea of installing solar panels but that would require picking a site in full sun, which is not always possible as we stay in a lot of wooded areas, and in warm weather the trailer would get too hot inside. I also see the generator coming in handy for other uses so no panels for me any time soon.

Christopher
__________________
blickcd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2010, 07:02 PM   #13
2 Rivet Member
 
boutdoors's Avatar
 
2010 16' Sport
Madison , Wisconsin
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 91
Images: 7
Chris,
Sounds like we are in the same situation. Although all we have is 16 bambi. We currently have a single group 24 battery (call me stupid, but can someone let me know what this means?)

I am assuming that we could last about 24-36 hours with the amount of power we will use. I too plan on getting a small generator in the future.

We are long time tent campers and I don't see us using much power at all and even have LED lanterns and cooking only with LP.
__________________
boutdoors is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2010, 07:51 PM   #14
2 Rivet Member
 
boutdoors's Avatar
 
2010 16' Sport
Madison , Wisconsin
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 91
Images: 7
One more question for all you experts out there.

I checked my TV owners manual (Toyota Tacoma) and I have a two fuses I would like to identify to see if I am getting power to my trailer while hooked up to the Tow Vehicle.

1. 30 amp BATT CHG (Trailer sub battery)
2. 30 amp TOWING (Towing Converter)

Does this mean I am getting 30 amps to my battery at all times when hooked up to the running TV?
__________________

__________________
boutdoors is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Charging Airstream batteries from tow vehicle Jammer Batteries, Univolts, Converters & Inverters 18 10-09-2011 10:28 AM
Tow vehicle charging batteries safari 28 Batteries, Univolts, Converters & Inverters 25 11-15-2009 11:28 PM
Battery charging from tow vehicle ? rwnash Batteries, Univolts, Converters & Inverters 3 07-29-2008 09:17 AM
Charging the batteries using tow vehicle bci 2006 - 2010 Classic (all lengths) 22 06-09-2008 10:57 PM
Battery Charge from Tow Vehicle Wardinbb Batteries, Univolts, Converters & Inverters 13 12-08-2004 06:35 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:15 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.