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Old 04-03-2003, 08:40 AM   #29
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removing batteries for storage

I removed my battery winter before last and put it in my garage. After a few weeks I connected it to a small battery charger (2 amp I believe) that was supposed to not overcharge. The charger was made by schaumacher (probably spelled wrong). I had to go on an emergency trip for about a week and when I came back I found that the battery had exploded. Pieces were scattered all over my garage and the acid did a lot of damage. I am happy that my vehicle was out of the garage, and I am especially happy that no person was in the garage.
This past winter I left the battery in the trailer and ran a drop cord to the trailer about every six weeks to charge it up.
I am sure it would be better for the battery to remove it and keep it charged up but I am afraid to try it again unless I am certain that I have a charger that will not cause it to explode. I would welcome any suggestions.

Wayne
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Old 04-03-2003, 09:37 AM   #30
 
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We still stand behind the Sears "Fully automatic Battery Charger/Minder", 1.5A.
The batterry has been plugged on it for over 2 years now. Of course, it discharges some from the fridge control panel, but we left it at times with no load at all, and never had a problem. We constantly monitor that battery and have no complaint about this trickle charger.
I hope we are not over confident, as it is at the bottom of our pantry. (plenty of air there)
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Old 04-03-2003, 11:33 AM   #31
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A generator will last longer if you don't have to run it at full output all the time.

A 40-45A converter charger can draw 600-725 watts and a 1000W generator would be okay.

But a 55-60A converter can draw 900-1000 watts which is too much for these little 1000W generators. I've read posts from those who've upgraded a converter/charger or gotten a inverter/charger, and the 1000 shuts off with it.

For about $200 more, going with a 2000 lets the engine work at a lower rpm at less % of capacity when charging (i.e. runs quieter). Plus it gives you the option of using a 10A 2 hp air compressor and most microwave ovens.
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Old 04-03-2003, 03:58 PM   #32
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Thanks, Maurice

I do appreciate your voice of experience. I had not considered the converter draw . . . need to check the specs before I buy. One of the features I liked was the small size. When towing, I was thinking of securing the little 1000 watt unit to the battery box, just behind the case that hides the propane bottles. Then I figured I could stash it in one of the externally accessible storage bins when not in use (so it doesn't grow legs and walk away). If I was towing with a pickup, carrying a larger unit would be easy. I tow with a big Chevy wagon and don't really want gasoline inside the car. The deciding factor will be what the converter needs, and whether I can find some other way to transport the generator. Thanks again for your help.

Mike
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Old 04-12-2003, 07:36 AM   #33
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solar / generator

Go to the International Rally in Vermont and have AJL Solar out of Lake Havaso Arizona install two 75 watt panels, get a honda 1000(very quiet, your neighbors will love you)
Honda: $630 on net
Panels: prabably around $1,100 installed(I had mine put on at the Sarasota Rally)
Inverter: Stop at the flying J and get a 150 watt inverter to charge you laptop and tooth brush.
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Old 05-07-2003, 11:29 PM   #34
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I ended up getting the Honda 1000 watt unit. It is indeed very quiet. Way quieter than the built in unit in a 5th wheeler at a nearby campsite. I doubt if anyone in the campsite ever heard ours. It sits perfectly on the battery box when traveling (two hefty web straps secure it), and is pretty much invisible behind the propane tank unit in its silver cover. Used it to refresh the batteries a couple of times over the course of a 5 day outing, which enabled us to not be concerned about using too many lights, etc. The small tank on the generator holds enough gas to run the thing for nearly 8 hours. To solve the movie entertainment dilemma (I was originally thinking about one of those TV/VCR combos), I got a 12 volt adaptor for my laptop so we could watch DVDs. So far, the generator-as-battery charger seems like a good solution for us.

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Old 05-08-2003, 08:01 AM   #35
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honda 1000

Before solar I charged my laptop while the Honda 1000 was running using the AC.
I just got my 2x75 panels in Feb. and use a 150 inverter to charge lap top etc. now.. Coming back from Florida it was 25 degrees in Lexington Ky. and heavy overcast. (colder at night)Little to none in the way of solar help and the furnace was getting a workout and that really drains the batteries. I was pushing lots of heat because I did now want to freeze the pipes. But an hour in the morning and an hour at night even in heavy use kept me going for a week in below freezing weather. I was camped at the VA on the outskirts of Lexington. The guards let me stay in the lot because I was visiting my dad in hospice.
I have the small 9 inch Panasonic TV with the built in VCR. Certainly the bigger the screen the easy the TV is to see but the bigger the screen the more power you need.
In January and 20 days in Everglades National Park and no hookups. The big rigs with the 30 inch TV's ran huge noisy generators from morning to night to keep going. Quite bizarre considering the beauty of the national park.
Sometimes less if better.
In warm weather after a couple days you can run your Honda
45-60 min. a day to top it off. Shut light off when not in use. The Fantastic fan takes almost not power. I usually run the Honda in warm weather around 11am when the campground is noisy.
Quiet, peaceful.
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Old 05-08-2003, 09:01 AM   #36
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Question

I would love an expert opinion on my set up. It seems to work, but you guys might know something I dont, and no one else seems to be doing it. I have a couple extra batteries in my tow vehicle, behind an isolator. They charge while we are running errands, ect. When we get to camp, I have a 25 foot cord rigged up that runs from the extra batteries to an extra female trailer plug. I plug the trailer male connector into it. This seems to be the best way, using existing fuses and systems. Am I missing something?
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Old 05-08-2003, 11:26 AM   #37
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truck batteries

I have seen people using batteries out of a truck bed in Quartzite Az.. Ham Radio people use the same method with a brass flip switch (campers world has them)so they can use the 2nd battery with the ham radio while traveling and not be hooked into the vehicle to reduce noise. When not using the radio they switch back to 2 batteries in parallel to charge them up. Seems like no different than driving down the road when you are towing the trailer. Not sure if it is right, seem right, and other people are doing it. Maybe I can find the Ham radio article I am referring to.
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Old 05-08-2003, 12:18 PM   #38
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additional batts in truck

You need to ensure that adequate wiring was used to make the pigtail between the ext batts and the A/S. I would recommend at least 8 gauge as that will allow 30 amps given the short distance. 10 gauge will work, but under heavier loads the ext batt voltage present at the A/S will drop off (due to current limitations of the wire). Unlike the charge wire to the trailer battery where it is desirable to limit current to an extent (avoid stressing the alternator if it is not an aftermarket high current unit), you want to be able to source as much current as necessary from those ext batteries. I would also make sure that an inline fuse is close to the batteries so that should a short develop in the connecting pigtail, a meltdown and potential electrical fire will not result.

Putting the batts in the truck is a great idea. It puts the added weight where it can most easily be handled, plus as you indicated they charge as you run around. BTW, there is no reason that you can't connect them to the same battery isolator that runs to the A/S. I use a Hellroaring (www.hellroaring.com) unit that allows me to remotely set it for NO connection to the ext batt(s), auto connect (ie charge to the ext batts, but isolate the vehicle batt from the trailer to prevent the trailer loads from discharging the vehicle batt) and 2-way connect (all batts connected in parallel with NO isolation). This way, if I ever should loose the alterator while on the road, I can switch to 2-way and continue driving while pulling current from ALL the batts (which could well mean the difference in dead along the side of the road and making it to the next town). I can also use the 2-way mode to top off the vehicle batt with the solar panel on the A/S.
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Old 05-08-2003, 12:41 PM   #39
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I am not sure what gauge wire, its just a little heavier than a light home extension cord. I will look into another fuse. thanks
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Old 05-10-2003, 07:45 AM   #40
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heavy wire & fuses good advise

8 guage wire and fuses are good advise. Totally agree. Go to the hardware store / home depot /Menards etc. and look at wire sizes. Boat / Yacht shops have great electronic stuff because of the radio's on large yachts.
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Old 05-10-2003, 08:00 AM   #41
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Honda 1000 tip

Honda 1000 is a bit underpowered when your batteries are low and expecially in cold weather.
The Honda when using the choke will work. If you take the choke off to fast the red warning light comes on. You have 4 seconds to put more choke or you loose power and have to restart the generator.
I start the Honda, waite 20 seconds. 2 minutes below freezing and plug the trailer into the Honda. The red light comes on, play with the choke to keep it going watching the red light. Untill it stabalizes. Usually in 30 seconds, sometimes 3-4 minutes. Running with the choke makes your oil dirty so I try to minimize it.
When the generator warm up it is fine.
I met a guy in Cottonwood Arizona with a 34 ft. Excella trailer who came running over when he seen me charging with the honda 1000. He explained how he bought one and his wife was complaining about the expense of his toys in that the thing did not work she was giving him a hard time. He ran back to his trailer, started it up, played with the choke and you should of seen him smile. I have an electrolux home vacum, prabably 12 amps. If I play with the choke while the wife vacums I can keep it vacuming and get the carpets clean.
But you can not beat the quiet of the 1000.
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Old 05-10-2003, 10:08 AM   #42
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30XHS Fits!

I got the Trojan 30XHS installed a couple of days ago fits like a glove. The 30XHS has a rating of 130 AH. I only have one battery compartment.

On a side note, I tried to run my refer, which is a small 120vac unit on my 400W/800W peak Vector invertor. It would not start it. The refer draws 1.9 amps running. My brother in law pointed out to me that the "LRA" rating on the compressor is 9 amps, or almost 1100 watts. "LRA" means Locked Rotor Amps, which is how much current the unit would draw if the rotor was stuck. This also equates to the starting current. So, I guess I need a bigger invertor if I want to do this, but with a 95 AH battery hooked to the invertor, I would only get a couple of hours at best out of it.
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