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Old 12-09-2008, 11:05 AM   #1
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battery life/length of stay

I currently don't have my 64 overlander wired to use a battery. so far we've only used it at sites with electric/water hookups but am prepping it now to visit a national park which boasts no water or electric....

just curious as to what kind of duration I could expect from a fully charged battery and average use of lights, heater blower, water pump, etc.

I know the short answer is 'it depends' but I have really nothing to gage this on since I have yet to use the batt.
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Old 12-09-2008, 11:28 AM   #2
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Our first A/S, 63 Safari, air compressor h2o pump, w/single 27series r/v battery, about 3 days boon-dock'n with VERY limited use.
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Old 12-09-2008, 11:35 AM   #3
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Doug,

The heater fan uses lots of power, and so if you use furnace at all, it will really cut your battery's charge....probably discharge it in one night. The water pump also uses a lot, but it normally does not run as long as the heater blower. Next are the incandesent lights. Use them sparingly, or use florescents, or the ones that take the least amount of current are the LED lights. But, the LED replacements are expensive.
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Old 12-09-2008, 11:46 AM   #4
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A definite case of your mileage may vary. Only one battery? You may be limited to one night at a time with minimal furnace use. I bring warm bedding and set the thermostat in the upper 50s to keep it from running constantly if it's real cold out.

You'll last longer if you don't use lights. We use a couple small LED lanterns when we boondock. I principally want to keep the fridge, water heater & water pump running. Your endurance would be in multiple days running just those.

You want to avoid drawing your battery below 50%. Drawing down completely wil shorten its lifetime significantly and impact capacity immediately if you discharge it completely. The easiest way to monitor is to get a compact volt-ohm meter (VOM). I got mine at Home Depot but there are many possible sources. Then use the chart Nick Crowhurst put up here in the last week - http://www.airforums.com/forums/f449...tml#post643843.

Hooking up to your running tow vehicle daily for 15-30 minutes will accomplish almost nothing for a number of reasons. We use a Honda eu2000i for dinner hour if we want more lights or use the microwave when boondocking.
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Old 12-09-2008, 12:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 59er View Post
... to visit a national park which boasts no water or electric....

just curious as to what kind of duration I could expect from a fully charged battery and average use of lights, heater blower, water pump, etc...
This past May/June we spent a few day in the Tetons and Yellowstone with no hookups (there's a thread here somewhere...). We added a second battery to the trailer harness (again, there's a thread here somewhere of how I did it...) and used a Honda 2000 genset. We didn't skimp on usage, the heater ran a bunch and we watched Sat TV for an hour or two after quiet time. The Honda didn't charge very good using the old univolt and by the end of the week it had toasted one of the batteries. We pretty much had to recharge every day. Based on all of my calculations, I believe with my new 3 stage charger we have enough capacity to do the same thing, but recharge every other day.

The heater is my big pull...but momma had to be warm and happy
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Old 12-09-2008, 12:36 PM   #6
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... Next are the incandesent lights. Use them sparingly, or use florescents, or the ones that take the least amount of current are the LED lights. But, the LED replacements are expensive.
Surprisingly, most LED's DO NOT live up to the hype - as per tests and Dept. of Energy articles - reference here:

LEDs are efficient for some applications and here:

Don's Lighting Info Center!

have determined that in MOST INSTANCES Fluorescents still produce more lumens per watt.

I purchased several (relatively) high dollar LED arrays when I redid the '78 Sovereign's lighting system, and am sorely disappointed with the outcome.

Many LED's are burned out on one array, and two others do not put out nearly the lumens I had hoped for.

Best to see an actual demonstration of a light fixture before putting your money out.

They're getting better, but quality is still not consistent.
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Old 12-09-2008, 12:37 PM   #7
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Just my opinion, but I think if I wanted to do much boondocking in cold weather, I would get one of the propane catalitic (sp?) heaters.

If it was much below freezing, I wouldn't be there, boondocking or otherwise.
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Old 12-09-2008, 01:15 PM   #8
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There is also the issue of how long your water last. It's all in the end users expectations of comfort.
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Old 12-09-2008, 02:56 PM   #9
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all good points.

would it do any good to use a small generator if for no other reason than to recharge the battery during the day (since there are usually quiet times at night...)?

like a small 900 to 1000 watt, 8 or 9 amp type?
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Old 12-09-2008, 03:16 PM   #10
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Thumbs up Using a generator?

We used a Yamaha 1000 with our "63", a very good "small" unit.
A two hour run usually got us through another day. When we got the Classic it was replaced with a Honda 2000 that now has a Lpg/gasoline conversion.
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ďAfter all these years the reason I continue to love Thanksgiving.....I still sit at the kids table.Ē
RLC

Sandra wanted to go to Cleveland on vacation,
but Iím the Husband, so we went to Cleveland.
RLC
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Old 12-09-2008, 03:23 PM   #11
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wouldn't still have the 1000 for sale by any chance?
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Old 12-09-2008, 03:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
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wouldn't still have the 1000 for sale by any chance?

Sorry.. we sold it with the trailer.
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ďAfter all these years the reason I continue to love Thanksgiving.....I still sit at the kids table.Ē
RLC

Sandra wanted to go to Cleveland on vacation,
but Iím the Husband, so we went to Cleveland.
RLC
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Old 12-09-2008, 05:03 PM   #13
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The heater is the BIG draw. One fairly cold night will kill two good batteries. We find the other loads are manageable for 2 to 4 days of careful use. Lights on only when you need them, careful water use, etc. doesn't use a lot of power. I have made it 5 days, in mild weather (no heat).

One big trick an old timer showed me was to turn off the "moisture" control on the refer. This is a heater that is intended to function something like a defrost unit in a home refer. It is very power hungry too.
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Old 01-17-2010, 04:47 PM   #14
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This is a really old thread but I'm going to post this info here.

I measured the amp draw of various items on my '91 trailer-

Here's what we have;

.9 amps for the fridge
.5 amps for the water heater
6.5A Heater fan, 7.8A heater running
1.82A for the fantastic fan running on low, 2.5 med 3.4 high
2.4A kitchen sink fluorescent
1.9A stove fan, 1A for the hood light
1.1A bath lamp on low, 7A on high
11A living area lights on high
2A outside step lights
1.5A for the small square over head reading lights (each)
Direct TV receiver 18 watts, 61watts with 13"tube type tv (6.5A on the inverter)

I'm using these values in a spreadsheet to model my usage on a simulated hourly basis and see how solar/gen/bigger batteries work before I spend the bucks.
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