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Old 06-29-2010, 10:33 PM   #15
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Boondocking usage/timeframe

Hi -

We just got back from a 10 day trip to Southern CO with our AS 23' Safari. It has two batteries and we also took along 2 Honda companion 2000 generators and filled our freshwater tank before leaving.

We were able to make it 5 days without dramatically depleting the batteries - the monitor light did not even go to yellow.

We ran the generator for microwave use in the morning - had to have our coffee... I also ran it 1 day for 30 minutes and another day for 1.5 hours to charge the batteries but that was it for the 5 days.

We used the interior lights in the early evening and also used the water pump for washing dishes, toilet, showers. Took 1-2 showers every day.

Overall I was surprised at how much power we had - I did not feel like we were walking around with candles/lanterns. We used lights as needed and when we went to bed, we did use reading lanterns instread of interior lights.

I am sold on boondocking! Later in the trip we went to RV parks but we lasted 5 days boondocking - did have to drain the gray water tank at the next RV park though so timing was right to visit the dump station after 5 days.

Sandy
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Old 06-30-2010, 02:25 AM   #16
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good report sandy...

off the grid is truly liberating.

so how was the "towing with water" issue?

were you happy with the towed water or was a fill available at the boondocking location?

keep in mind LONG sunny days and moderate temps use much less juice...

than shorter cooler spring/fall days.

hiho' is correct the F vents are amp hungry.

and with the vents UP and windows open,

passive air flow is adequate and uses much less battery power.

cheers
2air'
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Old 06-30-2010, 02:48 PM   #17
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boondocking

Thanks, 2Air..

The towing with water was fine. Based on your advice, I loaded up the freshwater tank before leaving and had no problems towing it over the mountain passes (other than my nervousness towing for the first time and going over some of the biggest passes in Colorado - I went over 5 passes that were in the 10K plus range with 7-9% grades on both sides)

Now I figure I can conquer anything!

I was glad I filled up with water since our first 5 days was boondocking and it was great to just pull into camp and set up rather than dealing with finding water.

Had a great first extended trip in the AS.

Sandy
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Old 07-05-2010, 06:10 PM   #18
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We're that way too - have "rough camped" and backpacked far more than Airstream luxury. But this sure is nice!
Water is our new concern, too. And taking my whisky neat is certainly a ' cube saver. I'll drink to that! We always have a bottle of single malt in the cubbie so come see us when you are in Colorado!
Now I certainly must get those bulbs changed out to LED...maybe AFTER changing that noisy water pump. Sheesh, it shakes the whole trailer...
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Old 07-22-2010, 04:27 PM   #19
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Sandy,

How discipline did you have to be with water to last 5 days. I have solar and led lighting so I am not too worried about power, but water is another concern. We just bought a 28' INT and are planning several trips out to the coast without hookups. It's me, my wife, and 4yr old daughter.

Tom
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Old 07-22-2010, 05:03 PM   #20
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There is no need to give up ice under yer single malt!
Check out this small manual ice maker that fits in almost all tiny trailer freezers. ice cubers are covered - no leaks, it stores extra and can even be used to chill a bottle 'o beer in a pinch (not that I would know any thing about that....)

It's spendy - but so is the single malt....
See how it works here: fusionbrands



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Old 07-22-2010, 08:26 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman View Post
...hiho' is correct the F vents are amp hungry...
cheers
2air'
FYI

I did a little power study yesterday/today...

Fully charged batteries (3 grp 27 @ 85 AH)

One Fantastic vent on low (1.8 amps) set on "Hot" (Today was 99 outside, the fan is still running at 8:00pm), dunno what time last night it shut off - was closed at 6:30 this morning. No other loads xcept the .2 amp radio

15 W solar panel that gets sun from 9:00 to 1:00 (another little 'Xsperiment)

Used 6% of the batteries after 24 hours...

The solar has shown to add back 2% on a no load day

So, on a single bat setup that would be 24% used up with just a fan on low for 24 hour period with no solar.

But it wasn't 112 inside like yesterday...
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Old 07-22-2010, 10:22 PM   #22
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Nice add

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman View Post
good report sandy...

off the grid is truly liberating.

so how was the "towing with water" issue?

were you happy with the towed water or was a fill available at the boondocking location?

keep in mind LONG sunny days and moderate temps use much less juice...

than shorter cooler spring/fall days.

hiho' is correct the F vents are amp hungry.

and with the vents UP and windows open,

passive air flow is adequate and uses much less battery power.

cheers
2air'

"off the grid" Cool
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Old 07-25-2010, 10:33 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiHoAgRV View Post
FYI

I did a little power study yesterday/today...
...Used 6% of the batteries after 24 hours...
...
After 4 days it works out to 5% a day- or 15% for a single 85AH battery...Solar and all

Kickin' the Charge Wizzard 60 amp converter into "NASA" mode brought the 3 80% Batteries to 100% in just over 2 hours
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Old 08-11-2010, 05:20 PM   #24
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Thanks for the great thread! So I am in the planning stage of a resto and would like to do a fair share of Boondocking. I have a 16' Bubble and am looking to keep things as simple as possible to save money and to conserve resources. I am going with a faucet pump, 4 12v lights, Humphrey light, catalytic heater, and plan on my kid watching a movie on the computer at night. I am thinking about installing a fantastic vent. What has your experience been with a passive system on hot days vs the fantastic system. With minimal light use, will a good battery be sufficient for 2 to 3 days or should I look at a solar system?
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Old 08-12-2010, 12:23 AM   #25
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A work in progress

Quote:
Originally Posted by baby_beluga View Post
.............. What has your experience been with a passive system on hot days vs the fantastic system. With minimal light use, will a good battery be sufficient for 2 to 3 days or should I look at a solar system?
No Fan, LED lights and the battery will last 2 to 3 days. I'd put the fan in for sure as it can make a big differance on cool nights. Your power plans are a "work in progress". You may decide to do a little more of this, and a little less of that, then you can always hook up your tow vehicle to get a little boost if your solar sytem does not give you enough.

The differance between "a passive system in a unit that will want to hold the heat", and a "Vent that will pull the cool night air" may be sleeping and not sleeping.

Dan
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Old 08-12-2010, 10:48 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baby_beluga View Post
Thanks for the great thread! So I am in the planning stage of a resto and would like to do a fair share of Boondocking. I have a 16' Bubble and am looking to keep things as simple as possible to save money and to conserve resources. I am going with a faucet pump, 4 12v lights, Humphrey light, catalytic heater, and plan on my kid watching a movie on the computer at night. I am thinking about installing a fantastic vent. What has your experience been with a passive system on hot days vs the fantastic system. With minimal light use, will a good battery be sufficient for 2 to 3 days or should I look at a solar system?
A couple of comments based on our experience with our 1960 Pacer, very similar to your Bubble:

If you are going to boondock, LED lights will pay for themselves very quickly. Power consumption about 1/10 incandescent for a given amount of light.

It it's hot, you will want the Fantastic Fan. There is no comparison between the fan, even on the low speed setting, with natural convection. On the other hand, it does use power.

If it's sunny, do not underestimate the value of lots of awnings. They help a lot! You can improvise awnings inexpensively on your Bubble windows by coming up with cloth slip-over covers for the windows on the sunny side.

Our Pacer (since sold) had a pressure-tank water system which we liked quite well. (Our aluminum pressurized water tank was still intact.) Even simpler than your faucet pump. You can pressurize with a bicycle pump in the boonies.

Welcome to the forums and good luck with your restoration!
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Old 08-12-2010, 11:46 AM   #27
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Baby',

How hot is will be at night depends on where you camp. Since you live in Ft. Collins, I expect some will be to the west in the mountains where it will cool off substantially. Still, a fan makes a lot of difference. You may have to worry about heat instead and a furnace with a fan also drains batteries.

The options available are (1) a generator, (2) solar electric, (3) more or fewer blankets, (4) LED's and/or Coleman lantern for lighting. You can combine these. A 1,000 watt generator (most buy either the Yamaha or Honda's) will keep the battery topped up and in the fall it can supplement solar when it's cloudy or you are camped under trees. If you want to run major 120 v. appliances, especially at high altitude, you may need a 2,000 watt generator (or even more for A/C). That computer needs to be recharged and if you do it via the 12 v. system you will put more drain on the battery. You may think about adding a trailer battery.

Since you are doing a restoration, include wiring for things you may need years down the road. If you don't want solar now, include wiring for it anyway. Electronic devices have to be considered. While a lot of stuff is going wireless, an external high gain antenna is a good thing for wifi and cheaper if you use wires. TV could mean wiring for satellite. Satellite radio? Satellite for an ISP? All this changes so fast, it's hard to plan ahead.

Gene
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Old 08-12-2010, 03:52 PM   #28
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Thanks for the reply's. This has definitely helped in deciding to install the vent fan. The ideas about the led lights are great as well.

Nuvite-F... The Bubble has the pressurized system. Everything looks intact, but the trailer is so moldy and old I am a little apprehensive about using the tank. Since I am doing a complete rebuild it seems like a no brainer to put in a clean light modern water tank. I will have to think about this more.

CrawfordGene... All appliances will be propane. I do like the idea of planning for the future as far as prewiring. That is a great tip.

Thanks again
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