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Old 03-21-2009, 07:45 PM   #15
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I wish it had been an inaccuracy that someone told us, but it's the rule in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. No generators/no running engines to energize batteries. Maybe it has something to do with the GSMNP being such a popluar destination - keeps the turnaround up!

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Old 03-21-2009, 07:51 PM   #16
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There is no uniform policy for generator use in the National Park system; regulations vary from park to park and within a park. Always check the website before you go.


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Old 03-21-2009, 07:58 PM   #17
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The NPS says it's OK in the GSM

Check here for GSM park regs. I know most of the campgrounds allow generator use during the day, i.e. Cades Cove. However, there are some loops in the campgrounds designated generator free. If you plan to use a generator you have to get a site within a loop where it is permitted. Check this list of GSMNP campgrounds. If you click on "Reserve Now" you will get info for that particular campground regarding generator use.
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Old 03-21-2009, 09:20 PM   #18
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I think you could go several days by being conservative with the power. Be sure to check if the anti-condensate switch on the refrigerator is turned off.

This goes against mainstream advice so take it as you will:

1. Most people advise against discharging batteries more than 50%-as they'll take a hit on expected life. While this is true, it is relevant for those who charge and discharge their batteries very frequently. Charts I've read indicate about 1000 recharge cycles at 50% discharge vs. about 250 cycles at 90% discharge. Frankly if needed, I'd use one of those 250 cycles-the batteries are not that expensive. Keeping the batteries fully charged when not in use will do more for life IMO. Link: DEEP CYCLE BATTERY FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

2. Are you planning on driving the tow vehicle daily to sightsee? If so why not share a little of the battery duty with the tow vehicle's batteries? You have two big ones in the diesel Excursion, that really won't be working hard to start the engine in the summer. Since most Fords have a relay which cuts power to the 7 pin engine off, I'd make up a fused jumper cable long enough to reach from front of tow vehicle (backed in for access to emergency jump start if needed) to trailer batteries (leave it hooked up during evening hours while you're awake). Again, a few extra discharge cycles may shorten the life of the batteries a little. But this isn't something you plan on doing often.
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Old 03-22-2009, 05:32 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by kfrere View Post
I wish it had been an inaccuracy that someone told us, but it's the rule in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. No generators/no running engines to energize batteries. Maybe it has something to do with the GSMNP being such a popluar destination - keeps the turnaround up!
Great Smokey Mountains National Park - Campground Regulations

The following regulations apply to camping in Frontcountry Campgrounds and Group Campgrounds.

Quiet Hours and Generators
Quiet hours are in effect from 10 pm to 6 am. Generator use is prohibited from 8 pm to 8 am. During quiet hours, noise-producing equipment should be turned off and entry to the campground is limited to registered campers. Unreasonable noise, such as operating a generator for more than an hour at a time, is prohibited at any time. Please be considerate of other campers.
[edit] Just noticed sugarfoot linked to the same site

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