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Old 01-10-2015, 12:47 PM   #15
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Ziggy2... excellent!

If we find your camped somewhere, can we watch movies at your place?
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Old 01-10-2015, 02:08 PM   #16
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We boondock most of the time and found solar to do everything we need. I do carry a 35 year old honda em600 for back up. Typically in 2 months in FL we will use about a gallon of gas. WE tend to camp in forests so sometimes we will be a little short on sun.

The generator requires maintenance like oil changes and other things.
The solar also requires maintenance, but any competent person with a bottle of Windex can do it
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Old 04-09-2015, 08:46 PM   #17
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Solar panels and generators.

We boondock in the Ca. and AZ deserts. Which means there are two short seasons where the weather is not hot as heck or cold as ice.

We replaced out the two 12 volt batteries with a big moho battery. The panel will keep it mostly full but lags a bit when we are running the furnace and the sun isn't out.

In winter we bring along a Honda 1000 to top off the battery when needed or run the computer to watch a movie.

In summer it's two 2000's for A/C if required.

Spent a lot of years in the desert in tents and vans. Now it's all about comfort.
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Old 04-10-2015, 02:29 AM   #18
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Old 04-10-2015, 02:36 AM   #19
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For those who can be comfortable in without A/C in the summer inside of one of these hot boxes,,,,, well you are a better man than I.

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Old 04-12-2015, 08:36 PM   #20
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We bought a generator with the Airstream because we thought that was the way to go, and soon discovered we didn't really like it that much. Too much futzing around with setting it up, carrying fuel, listening to it (however muffled), etc. So we sprung for solar, for about the same price. It just sits on the top of the roof and keeps our batteries charged day in and day out. We love our solar and now just fire up our generator in our garage whenever it occurs to me that it hasn't been run for a while. I rationalize keeping it because someday all the power to the house might go out and it would be better than candles (maybe).


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Old 04-12-2015, 09:43 PM   #21
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Please fire that generator up well OUTSIDE the garage. Carbon monoxide poisoning can ruin you....


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Old 04-12-2015, 11:34 PM   #22
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Good thread here. I bought a Honda 2000i for our full-timing needs and so far it's been very good for us, especially when we're dry camping for days. Still, we'd like to investigate solar down the road. But the thing that puzzles me is reading how many here can go days without draining their two 12v batteries (<12v). I can't figure out why my batteries go <12v after one night of minimal use. We don't use the furnace at night and just go with more blankets. Our 2005 International doesn't have LED lights but would that alone drain my batteries so quickly? I have to run the Honda the following morning to charge up my new Interstate deep cycle batteries. I'd appreciate any advice or a link to answer my question.

Thx, Jeff
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Old 04-13-2015, 01:49 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goin camping View Post
Solar panels and generators.

We boondock in the Ca. and AZ deserts. Which means there are two short seasons where the weather is not hot as heck or cold as ice.

We replaced out the two 12 volt batteries with a big moho battery. The panel will keep it mostly full but lags a bit when we are running the furnace and the sun isn't out.

In winter we bring along a Honda 1000 to top off the battery when needed or run the computer to watch a movie.

In summer it's two 2000's for A/C if required.

Spent a lot of years in the desert in tents and vans. Now it's all about comfort.

Hi, Milo; What battery did you use? Size, number Etc. And did this battery fit in the factory battery box or somewhere else?
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Old 04-13-2015, 06:38 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by westcoastas View Post
Good thread here. I bought a Honda 2000i for our full-timing needs and so far it's been very good for us, especially when we're dry camping for days. Still, we'd like to investigate solar down the road. But the thing that puzzles me is reading how many here can go days without draining their two 12v batteries (<12v). I can't figure out why my batteries go <12v after one night of minimal use. We don't use the furnace at night and just go with more blankets. Our 2005 International doesn't have LED lights but would that alone drain my batteries so quickly? I have to run the Honda the following morning to charge up my new Interstate deep cycle batteries. I'd appreciate any advice or a link to answer my question.

Thx, Jeff
You are discharging them below 12v? Do you check the voltage after you have charged them with the generator? If so, what is that voltage. Sounds to me like you are discharging them too much and not fully recharging them.
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Old 04-13-2015, 07:05 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westcoastas View Post
Good thread here. I bought a Honda 2000i for our full-timing needs and so far it's been very good for us, especially when we're dry camping for days. Still, we'd like to investigate solar down the road. But the thing that puzzles me is reading how many here can go days without draining their two 12v batteries (<12v). I can't figure out why my batteries go <12v after one night of minimal use. We don't use the furnace at night and just go with more blankets. Our 2005 International doesn't have LED lights but would that alone drain my batteries so quickly? I have to run the Honda the following morning to charge up my new Interstate deep cycle batteries. I'd appreciate any advice or a link to answer my question.

Thx, Jeff
Jeff,

How old are your batteries, what type and what size? What are you using as a charging source. All of these factors may be contributing to your reduced battery capacity (not to mention your battery load profile).

If you are constantly drawing them below 12VDC and never recharging them completely, they are probably sulfated and showing this reduction in capacity. Liquid lead acid batteries can sometimes be brought back to to a level close to their original capacity by a process known as 'equalization', which places a specific overcharge voltage on the batteries to 'scrub the plates' of the sulfur crystals. It also should not be done until the batteries are freshly charged.

Your local battery shop may be able to perform this procedure for you, and can also test them for capacity.
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Old 04-13-2015, 07:39 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westcoastas View Post
Good thread here. I bought a Honda 2000i for our full-timing needs and so far it's been very good for us, especially when we're dry camping for days. Still, we'd like to investigate solar down the road. But the thing that puzzles me is reading how many here can go days without draining their two 12v batteries (<12v). I can't figure out why my batteries go <12v after one night of minimal use. We don't use the furnace at night and just go with more blankets. Our 2005 International doesn't have LED lights but would that alone drain my batteries so quickly? I have to run the Honda the following morning to charge up my new Interstate deep cycle batteries. I'd appreciate any advice or a link to answer my question.



Thx, Jeff

Hate to admit to such a newbie mistake, but the first few trips I would pull out the brake cable from its plug on the AS to get it unhooked from my truck, and just leave it draped over the propane tanks because I was going to hook it up again in the morning anyway. I didn't realize pulling out this plug caused 10-15 amps to flow through the brakes, which of course will drain the battery in a hurry. The funny thing is, dumb though this might be, it's hard to imagine I'm the only person in the history of Airstream to ever do this. AS had no idea why my battery was draining and eventually replaced the battery. I eventually figured it out for myself.

If nothing else, get yourself one of those clamp on amp gauges from Sears or somewhere and you will at least know how much current is flowing through your batteries when you think everything is shut off.


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Old 04-13-2015, 03:43 PM   #27
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With 2 new group 27 batteries from Walmart we stayed in Glacier NP with no hookups for 4 days. The batteries were still good, but a bit lower of course. We were careful with lights and stingy with water usage and managed fine. Now with the same batteries 4 yrs old we've gone 2 days and all's well. Haven't had the need to go beyond the 2 days so can't say if they would hold up for 4 or not.
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Old 04-13-2015, 05:51 PM   #28
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I have both and believe there is a place for both. The generator for me is most importantfor when the AC is needed in the summer. I also like the fact that I can use a single generator to operate most equipment during the day therefore saving the solar for quite hours.
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