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Old 05-11-2014, 11:53 PM   #15
Len and Jeanne
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2005 16' International CCD
2015 19' Flying Cloud
Creston Valley , British Columbia
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,129
We carry a generator with us for boondocking trips and do not have solar panels. But we are finding that, with really careful use, we can nurse our batteries along much further than we used to. On a recent month-long desert camping trip, we didn't use the generator at all, and boondocked up to four nights at a site. Our strategy:

1. Two decent batteries. We check them prior to leaving on a trip, and charge them up if we are not planning to drive all day. We test the battery strength frequently. We take along a battery charger for use in sites where we do have electricity, so they are topped up before we go.

2. Changing out the original halogen lights to LED lights. Installing an on-off switch on the fridge fan. Turning off the main battery switch altogether when we are out for the day or, oftentimes, at night.

3. We are finding the water pump to be a big user of electricity. So where possible/convenient, we use the campground restrooms.

4. We do use the propane furnace if there is any danger of freezing at night, as it blasts heat under the floor as well as into the living space, but we keep it on a low temp. and pile on extra bedding.

5. We have only used the AC a few times, I think usually in CGs with hookups, but would use the generator for a short blast of cold air if we thought this were necessary.

6. No separate electrical appliances. We don't have room for them, anyway, but found a stainless steel drip coffee pot and stovetop tea kettle, &c. We can recharge the laptop with an automobile plug-in converter. No TV -- just lots of books.

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Old 05-12-2014, 01:34 AM   #16
Overland Adventurer
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1991 34' Excella
2009 34' Panamerica
Telluride , Colorado
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1,689
I personally am not using a Magnum inverter.

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Old 05-12-2014, 03:14 AM   #17
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2014 30' Classic
2015 23' International
2013 25' FB International
Apache Junction , Arizona
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 4,233
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Our eight 100 watt AM Solar panels mounted on the roof of our 31' Classic model 30 feed into a TriStar 60 MPPT charge controller and then to the four Lifeline 6Vdc 300-amp hour batteries wired in series and parallel to create 12Vdc and 600 amp-hours of capacity. A Magnum MS2812 can create up to 2800 watts of 120Vac power from the batteries to any 120Vac duplex outlet in the trailer. That will start and run the rear air conditioner but not for a long time.

We had to set a new master circuit breaker panel in the street side storage locker to shed the 120Vac power to the front air-conditioner, the refrigerator and the water heater when not plugged into shore power. This was due to the 30 amp rated contractors in the Magnum MS-2812. Thus the original factory circuit breaker panel became a sub-panel with a 30 amp main breaker.

We also carry two Honda 2,000 watt generators, just in case, as solar does not do very much on overcast days.

The typical Airstream factory installed inverter (600 or 1,000 watt on 2013 and later models) powers perhaps three outlets of all the ones in the trailer - the televisions and one under the dinette in our 2012 25FB International Serenity.

At this point, our off grid camping will be only limited by water storage - fresh and used.

WBCCI Life Member 5123, AIR 70341, 4CU, WD9EMC

TV - 2012 Dodge 2500 4x4 Cummins HO, automatic, Centramatics, Kelderman level ride airbag suspension, bed shell

2014 31' Classic model 30 twin beds, 50 amp service, 900 watt solar system, Centramatics, Dill TPMS, disc brakes, 16" tires & wheels
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