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Old 07-14-2012, 04:44 PM   #29
2 Rivet Member
2005 19' International CCD
Campbell , California
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 38
Jeanne, I am not familiar with the roof of the 16', but solar is advertised as an option, so there must be some room for a 50w-75w panel.

Regarding getting the most out of batteries... converting to LED lights made the biggest difference for us. Upgrading the Fantastic fan to a newer model with a more efficient variable speed motor also helped. Generally, motors are a heavy drain on batteries and we leave the fridge fan turned off most of the time and fridge still performs very well. Good battery maintenance is also important - water, smart charger, and don't let it fall below 50%. We switched to AGM batteries. And, as pointed out previously, adding another battery (even jumper-cabled to your exiting battery) will double your capacity.

~ Ken

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Old 07-14-2012, 11:37 PM   #30
Len and Jeanne
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2005 16' International CCD
2015 19' Flying Cloud
Creston Valley , British Columbia
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,135
Gosh, thanks, guys for your expert advice! What a useful thread! Would that I had known about you folks and this forum when we first got our Bambi.

Re: camping in the dark.... Oh, OK, fair enough. On the other hand, our unit does not come with a microwave, we don't use a hair drier, if I got more appliances I would have no place to store them in a 16-footer, &c. (If we needed that stuff we would probably have opted for a bigger trailer on Day One.) I guess our main sticking point with our generator (which works fine, no problems) is that we still don't like the sound and gas fumes; and most NPS campgrounds won't let you run them at night or early in the morning when our power needs would be greatest.

But this is just a very minor quibble in light of your gold mine of terrific information!


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Old 07-15-2012, 02:13 AM   #31
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2005 19' Safari
Phoenix , Arizona
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 2,359
Sounds like you only need to run the generator to recharge your battery. If sound and fumes are concerns, buy a heavy duty 100-foot extension cord and use an adapter plug to connect it to the shore power connector on the side of your Airstream, instead of the shorter 30-amp shore power cable. Then, you can move your generator farther away from your trailer. Just be sure to use a cable or chain to secure it to a tree, so it doesn't walk away.

Sound follows the inverse-square law, so moving the generator two to three times farther away from your Airstream will reduce the sound significantly.
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Old 07-15-2012, 02:18 PM   #32
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2011 20' Flying Cloud
Beaumont , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 78
There is a lot of concern about running out do juice so let me give one example that may show how to survive. It makes one to appreciate the generator.

We got to our favorite campsite at Big Bend, dry camp at the Basin, and found out they reorganized the campground and our site is now "no generators". We had a choice to move or stay without a generator. We stayed and use all our stuff including stereo, fridge (no fans), LED lights and so on. You just start the day with about 12.3 V on the battery, not too good. So you connect the TV to the battery (long jump cables) and in several hours it equalizes to about 12.8 V, pretty good. You go for a hike and in the afternoon you go shopping or to the bar to recharge your TV. Next morning you repeat. If you can keep the same numbers you are OK. We lasted about 5 days and then the freeze came, bad enough I had to use the furnace. Even at 45 degF setting during the night I could not keep up with the recharging so we stayed another couple days and moved down to full service campground. Once the outside temperature hits about 23 degF I would need to run the furnace more often and I would need generator about 6-8 hrs a day to recharge. If the temperature goes below that I need it running whole night for tanks heating pads. So far I never camped below 14degF. Whole new topic.
So the criterium for for juice consumption: without recharging if you last over 3 days or with the help of your TV 5-7 days your consumption is good and with generator you should never have a problem. If not, first troubleshoot your electrical system for extra draw.

I enjoyed all previous posts, very good information.

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