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Old 04-13-2015, 06:14 PM   #29
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I agree with urnmor that there is a place for both. I haven't sought to go with solar though it greatly appeals to me. When I set up the inverter system in the AS I learned about the voltage, resistance, power requirements and time factor. I did not realize how much backup power was needed to use battery power and how little power it offered at one time. The idea of not being able to run AC or heat, I realized the limitations and went for the generator for an anything charger/usability solution.

That said, I have used the inverter for short durations while boon docking for TV, coffee, etc. which provides a sense of what solar would offer if used to charge batteries, etc. I have used the generator from the bed of the truck hooked to the LP tank on the trailer and it is not too loud. The cost and weight of the solar seem inefficient to me for usage that is limited in scope.
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Old 04-13-2015, 09:37 PM   #30
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I agree with urnmor that there is a place for both. I haven't sought to go with solar though it greatly appeals to me. When I set up the inverter system in the AS I learned about the voltage, resistance, power requirements and time factor. I did not realize how much backup power was needed to use battery power and how little power it offered at one time. The idea of not being able to run AC or heat, I realized the limitations and went for the generator for an anything charger/usability solution.

That said, I have used the inverter for short durations while boon docking for TV, coffee, etc. which provides a sense of what solar would offer if used to charge batteries, etc. I have used the generator from the bed of the truck hooked to the LP tank on the trailer and it is not too loud. The cost and weight of the solar seem inefficient to me for usage that is limited in scope.
The scope of solar is only limited by 2 factors.......the size of your trailer and the depth of your wallet..........
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Old 04-13-2015, 09:54 PM   #31
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Generator, w/small solar backup?

I don't think it would hurt to reclaim the solar panel that came with my 24' Avion. But, we are looking to invest in the Honda soon as we can justify it, lol. Batteries are a much more temporary item than the solar panel, though. So, I would use the generator for a long time, vs. wanting to replace batteries every so often. Also, I would prefer an A/C in this Florida weather So, environment aside, I say Larger Honda gen, and maybe one battery for backup solar...

BTW, we love to boondock and then we just rough it (and/or kick on the propaine accessories)
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Old 04-13-2015, 09:56 PM   #32
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Hi, Milo; What battery did you use? Size, number Etc. And did this battery fit in the factory battery box or somewhere else?
The battery was relocated to under the bed.

Here is where I show my ignorance about the battery. . It's a big white sealed one Uwe put in.
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Old 04-13-2015, 10:11 PM   #33
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I have two brand new 12v deep cycle Interstates. When I stop charging with the Honda 2000i, the voltage reads over 13 and then settles down to easily above 12.5. In the morn the voltage reads just below 12. I charge my batteries right away and check the cells aren't exposed. I've charged one hour to three hours; should I be charging longer? My needs for lighting, water pumping, and intermittent furnace use thru the winter are met each night but I'm jealous of those campers that go for days. Mind you, we don't use much juice in the evenings once I shut off the generator.

McDave, when I get situated I pull the trailer brake cord from the truck's plug and leave it dangling. How am I supposed to leave it? My AS dealer never mentioned that being a drain on the batteries.

Thanks all - advice much appreciated!
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Old 04-13-2015, 10:24 PM   #34
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I have two brand new 12v deep cycle Interstates. When I stop charging with the Honda 2000i, the voltage reads over 13 and then settles down to easily above 12.5. In the morn the voltage reads just below 12. I charge my batteries right away and check the cells aren't exposed. I've charged one hour to three hours; should I be charging longer? My needs for lighting, water pumping, and intermittent furnace use thru the winter are met each night but I'm jealous of those campers that go for days. Mind you, we don't use much juice in the evenings once I shut off the generator.

McDave, when I get situated I pull the trailer brake cord from the truck's plug and leave it dangling. How am I supposed to leave it? My AS dealer never mentioned that being a drain on the batteries.

Thanks all - advice much appreciated!
I am confused. In the bold above. Are you saying you pull the large plug that operates your brakes, blinkers etc? That big thick black power cord. If so, you are doing it right and there should be no problem.

The road emergency disconnect brake is a thin cable. You can disconnect that from the truck no problem unless you are pulling the pin outward at the trailer end of the cable.
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Old 04-13-2015, 10:52 PM   #35
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Yes, just the thick black cord for the trailer brakes/lights to my truck plug. So good, it sounds like that's okay to do.

Well, I just went outside in a chilly and windy New Mexico night and checked my batteries and they're already down to 12.08v, and that's after almost a two hour charge with the generator and just 1-1/2 hour of a couple interior lights turned on. I must be doing something wrong.

It's a good thing I'm not afraid of the dark. Well, at least not in the trailer.
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Old 04-14-2015, 12:12 AM   #36
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Yes, just the thick black cord for the trailer brakes/lights to my truck plug. So good, it sounds like that's okay to do.

Well, I just went outside in a chilly and windy New Mexico night and checked my batteries and they're already down to 12.08v, and that's after almost a two hour charge with the generator and just 1-1/2 hour of a couple interior lights turned on. I must be doing something wrong.

It's a good thing I'm not afraid of the dark. Well, at least not in the trailer.
What systems do you have on. water pump, heater etc.

I'm curious if you are draining the batteries or the batteries are faulty or the wrong type.

Even when I had interstates they would last for a couple of days.
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Old 04-14-2015, 06:44 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by westcoastas View Post
I have two brand new 12v deep cycle Interstates. When I stop charging with the Honda 2000i, the voltage reads over 13 and then settles down to easily above 12.5. In the morn the voltage reads just below 12. I charge my batteries right away and check the cells aren't exposed. I've charged one hour to three hours; should I be charging longer? My needs for lighting, water pumping, and intermittent furnace use thru the winter are met each night but I'm jealous of those campers that go for days. Mind you, we don't use much juice in the evenings once I shut off the generator.

McDave, when I get situated I pull the trailer brake cord from the truck's plug and leave it dangling. How am I supposed to leave it? My AS dealer never mentioned that being a drain on the batteries.

Thanks all - advice much appreciated!
I am no expert, but it sounds like your batteries are in their death throes. I would take them to a place and get them tested and see if they can be rescued by an equalization charge.
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Old 04-14-2015, 10:01 AM   #38
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I am confused. In the bold above. Are you saying you pull the large plug that operates your brakes, blinkers etc? That big thick black power cord. If so, you are doing it right and there should be no problem.

The road emergency disconnect brake is a thin cable. You can disconnect that from the truck no problem unless you are pulling the pin outward at the trailer end of the cable.
Just to clarify, when I bought the AS they told me to fasten the road emergency disconnect brake to the truck by unplugging it from the trailer, looping the thin cable through a hard point on the truck, running the plug back through the loop in the end of the cable, and then plugging it back into the trailer. Either they didn't mention or I forgot that it was important to plug the plug back into the trailer even if I wasn't going to use the trailer, because of the current that flows to the trailer brakes if the plug isn't plugged in.

Since then, I've found that most people don't attach the cable to their truck that way, and I now use a locking carabiner type of gadget so I don't have to unplug the plug at all from the trailer.

The main black power cable has to be connected and disconnected every time you hitch or un-hitch the trailer, as was mentioned. Sorry for the confusion.
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Old 04-14-2015, 05:48 PM   #39
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Goin campin': I bought my Interstate batteries from a reputable and trustworthy RV shop back in March. They sat in my truck bed unused for about 2-3 weeks before I swapped my old ones out. I was checking the fluid levels and they never went dry. I'm not used to a battery that I can add distilled water but it looks like the cells have a change in diameter about 1/2 inch below the cap and that's where I keep the water level.

As for night use, we only use the water pump when flushing the toilet but the pump switch is always on. We only use a couple lights to read before turning in. Again, my lights are not LED. We don't use the furnace at night as it is warming up (low 40s at night). If you leave something plugged in but not on, could that drain the battery? Our TV, speaker, and Playstation remain plugged into a surge protector but all off. We have the fridge on auto so it's being cooled by the propane.

Like I said, we get juice all through the night for our needs but I was told I shouldn't let the batteries go below 12.5v and I'm always going below that with just minor use.

I do have one positive cable that is somewhat loose on the post; that is, I can pull it off the post just from moving it around back and forth. The bolt doesn't tighten down all the way to the point the cable is super tight on the post although it does seem snug. Could I be losing a charge from that?

Thx!
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Old 04-14-2015, 07:13 PM   #40
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just one question????????????

WHAT CONVERTER ARE YOU USING as a charging source??????
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Old 04-14-2015, 08:32 PM   #41
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I think it beyond 80% discharge or below 10.5 volts where serious damage starts to be done that affects battery life. Its better to avoid dropping that low but using 12.5 volts as the floor seems kind of excessively conservative.
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Old 04-14-2015, 08:36 PM   #42
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Okay Lewster, now I'm confused. I should have consulted more with my dealer but at the time didn't know enough to question the efficiency of the converter. But what's confusing me is that the manual says the converter is a 7300 series converter. When I open the panel, there's a plastic pouch with a sticker that says it's a Parallax Power Supply Series 7300, Model 7355, 55 amp. But then there's another green sticker that says the power center has been retrofitted with a Progressive Dynamics converter. I don't know if that matters. So where do I go from here?
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