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Old 08-01-2013, 01:12 PM   #1
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How long without power?

We are headed to meet friends at a national forest campground without any hookups. Does anyone have experience on how long the batteries will sustain us?
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:20 PM   #2
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Welcome moj

It depends. I just returned from boondocking at a music festival for 4 days. Just light use of lights, tv, fan and waterpump. My starting voltage was 12.96. After 4 days it was only down to 12.72v. I have two strong 6v golf cart batteries and led lights.

Dan
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:39 PM   #3
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Hello Moj-retired:

I have two six volt Trojan batteries in series. I only need to run the flourescent lights and the fresh water pump. These batteries last me five days. When I was using Sears twelve volt marine batteries in parallel, they would last seven days. You can run a small generator to keep them topped off, and they will last for years. This is only my experience. I intend to return to using 2 twelve volt marine batteries in parallel eventually.

Enjoy your camping trip. -- Don
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Old 08-01-2013, 04:01 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by moj-retired View Post
We are headed to meet friends at a national forest campground without any hookups. Does anyone have experience on how long the batteries will sustain us?
Varies widely depending on the type of lights you have, how many and what condition the batteries are, whether they're fully charged, and the furnace and fantastic fan.

Running the furnace or fantastic fan all night will limit you to 1-2 nights. With no furnace or fan use 3-4 nights is realistic, possibly more.

Most stock converters require at least 24 hours to fully charge the battery.

Batteries that have not been cared for or that are just old may not deliver much power. See my post on how to load test batteries.
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Old 08-01-2013, 04:46 PM   #5
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For us 3 - 4 days with limited use. No heat and cool enough so no fan usage either. That's for 2 adults taking showers and light cooking on board and some reading light usage.
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Old 08-01-2013, 08:07 PM   #6
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So many variables. I can go 4 full days....but it's just me (and my dog). This assumes not using MAXX fans, furnace (big draw)....and not using my 2000W inverter to run the Keurig! Lights on mine are all LED. Probably largest draw is fridge. I also have the advantage of a Trimetric which allows precise monitoring of battery life (as opposed to the semi-accurate meter installed as standard equipment).
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Old 08-01-2013, 08:53 PM   #7
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My record is 5, same as above, used, fridge, shower, LED lights, washeda few dishes, that was on 6 yeAr old batteries, new ones installed this week, looking forward to testing them.
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:12 PM   #8
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Probably largest draw is fridge. I also have the advantage of a Trimetric which allows precise monitoring of battery life (as opposed to the semi-accurate meter installed as standard equipment).
BAB

I don't understand how the fridge can be a large draw on your batteries. When my RM2500 runs on gas the 12v power is only needed to light the pilot (I believe).


Dan
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:39 PM   #9
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BAB

I don't understand how the fridge can be a large draw on your batteries. When my RM2500 runs on gas the 12v power is only needed to light the pilot (I believe).


Dan
Dan,
My Dometic pulls about .9 A in normal mode, .4 in low power, that doesnt seem much but over 24 hours it's actually the biggest draw in my 1991 'Stream. The dang electronics have a pretty good vampire load.

9.6 AH draw over a 4 day span is 1/2 of my usable capacity for a single battery.
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Old 08-03-2013, 11:00 AM   #10
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I am glad that my new RM2500 is essentially the same design as my 1984 RM2500 fridge with no vampire load on my batteries.

Dan
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Old 08-03-2013, 11:15 AM   #11
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Good reasons why even a basic solar system makes the Airstream much more versatile.

doug k
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Old 08-03-2013, 11:25 AM   #12
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The new refrigerators take less power to run the electronics than the older ones did. My Dometic in the 2014 FC 20' takes 0.32 amps when the flame is on, and virtually nothing when it is not on. That is quite a reduction from the older ones. However, the stupid side wall venting system, as supplied by AS on the smaller FC's has a fan which is not only noisy but takes 0.55 amps. I have gone to a lower draw one and done some other modifications, but still, gravity always worked for free, and took no energy at all. A step backwards for AS.

The new water heaters are also a lower draw than the older ones. Mine is .74 amps and the older one I have in my Argosy takes about double that. At least it is only when the flame is firing.
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