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Old 07-13-2012, 01:12 PM   #15
Rivet Master
1988 32' Excella
Robbinsville , New Jersey
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 983
Well I don't really believe battery brand makes a noticeable difference in quality and your batteries are new so "should" be good. If you are not using the heater or an inverter to power 110 appliances you would need to use a lot of lights and/or a TV to run down the batteries in 1 night. It might still be worth the effort to take your batteries to an auto parts store to have them load tested (new doesn't always mean good). Switching to LED lights will help reduce power use to.

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Old 07-14-2012, 09:49 AM   #16
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2004 25' Safari
East Northport , New York
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 58
It was very hot so we were using the two Fantastic fans. I try not to use too many lights but we probably should switch to LED lights.


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Old 07-14-2012, 09:58 AM   #17
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1968 24' Tradewind
Oxford, , Mississippi
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,307
Here is an excellent little book on 12 volts systems. I think I got mine from Randy at Best Converters when I ordered my IOTA 55 from him, but Amazon has it. I think it is a must read for all Rv'ers. Managing 12 Volts: How to Upgrade, Operate, and Troubleshoot 12 Volt Electrical Systems (9780964738621): Harold Barre: Books
Bruce & Rachel
68 Trade Wind
2001 Toyota Tundra
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Old 07-14-2012, 10:56 AM   #18
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2005 19' Safari
Phoenix , Arizona
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 2,359
Two FantasticFans running 24/7 will drain batteries similar to using the furnace blower in very cold weather. You will probably have to run the generator every day for an hour or two in the morning during breakfast and/or lunch, and a couple of hours in the evening during dinner prep through television/movie/video game viewing afterwards, to replenish the charge.

If you can get by with using one FantasticFan when running only on 12-volt power, generator time can be reduced. Also, when on battery power, limit usage of 12-volt incandescent lights and other devices (e.g., a television or appliance that uses 110 volts supplied by a 12-volt INVERTER). Then, when your generator is on, go ahead and turn on whatever you want.

Replacing incandescent lighting with LEDs is expensive. As an alternative (until prices come down like CFLs did), I have replaced some of the 12-volt lamps in our Bambi with lower-wattage bulbs. For example, my wife reads in the evenings, so the fixture over her seat at the dinette table and the one over her side of the bed have bulbs rated at about half the wattage as normal. Also, the double-bulb fixture in the bathroom has one lower-wattage bulb installed. That way, late at night, the dimmer bulb comes on first; and, if you need more light, just turn both on.

When boondocking, we use a couple of strategically-placed portable LED fixtures that run off of AA batteries. One of the LED fixtures frequently left on for extended periods is located over the dinette table, and another drops out of an overhead bin in the sleeping area. This limits overnight battery drains to only the FantasticFan(s) or furnace blower, which helps the batteries last longer.

The first 12-volt LED bulbs we will probably replace will probably be the one over the stove, which we use as an indirect light in the evenings, and the one centered over the dinette table. The other incandescent bulbs are used infrequently, and are only on for a couple of minutes at a time.

Our two granddaughters now have iPhones, MP3 players, etc. that need external power. In the evenings, I give them my portable jumper/booster battery to use, which has a 12-volt plug for their USB cables. Surprisingly, these devices can draw up to 1/2-1 amp or more, each, which adds up; so it helps to disconnect them from the house batteries. Also, they can use the portable battery in the tent, if they decide to camp outside, which is frequently the case.
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Old 08-16-2012, 05:57 PM   #19
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Join Date: Jan 2005
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I have a 2004 25 Safari like the author of the thread. It has a Paralax 7355 converter, a single stage converter that is known for taking a long time to charge the batteries and eventually overcharging and shortening their lives as well.
We hunt in our trailer and live off the grid for weeks at a time in cold fall weather in Colorado. In the mornings, after running the furnace during the night, the batteries were always low. After cold nights, they were critically low.
We got by for several years with our poor converter because we had a 10 amp solar charger. In sunny weather, it would almost charge the batteries in a day. An hour and a half of run time on the generator was all that was necessary to charge the batteries for the next night. In cloudy weather, generator run time jumps to an annoying three to four hours.
After replacing the batteries for the umpteenth time after only two years of life, we upgraded the converter to a three stage one from It is advertised as "plug and play" and was almost so although I had it professionally installed. I anticipate increased battery life that will cover the modest cost ($215) of the converter.
The bulk charge feature will charge the batteries faster and the float charge feature will not kill them. I anticipate shorter generator run times.
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Old 08-16-2012, 06:52 PM   #20
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1971 25' Tradewind
1993 34' Excella
Currently Looking...
Estancia , New Mexico
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 5,880
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A comment and a question. My Honda eu2000i comes with a cable to directly charge a battery. Is this any better or worse than plugging the trailer power cord into the generator?
Sail on silver girl. Sail on by. Your time has come to shine.
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Old 08-16-2012, 07:00 PM   #21
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2012 25' Flying Cloud
gresham , Oregon
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 85
If you have a portable multi stage charger plug in to batteries and then the generator.Works really well and you will achieve a full charge
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Old 08-16-2012, 07:21 PM   #22
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2000 27' Safari
Palo Alto , California
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 258
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"Replacing incandescent lighting with LEDs is expensive"

I spent less than $100 upgrading all of my interior dome lights to LEDs - and had the whole project done in less than an hour. I went the eBay purchase from Hong Kong route and have been completely happy. Each replacement light pad provides more light than the bulb it replaces, and uses 1/8th the power.

I think that upgrading to LEDs and purchasing a more advanced converter / charge are probably the two most fundamental upgrades you can make that will both make a major difference - reducing charging time and increasing run time.

Next step for my trailer is to add a second battery, and following that a solar panel.

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