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Old 09-20-2019, 06:05 AM   #21
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I haven't read all of the comments here (but that won't stop me haha). My take on this is that you need to know what questions to ask. I also suggest you tell us your budget (as an arm and a leg are different value for all of us ) and let everyone give you what they would do with that amount of money.

Questions:
How much can you spend?
How many days will you be boondocking?
What do you absolutely have to run while BD'ing?
What are you willing to sacrifice?
Will you be in sunny campsites?
How mechanically inclined/motivated are you (I'm thinking battery maintenance if going with lead acid)?
How much weight can you add to your camper (golf cart batteries are heavy)?
Here are my thoughts:
Boondocking will usually take some sacrifice unless you are running a genny or solar paneled to the hilt. I was given a Honda 2200 but am selling it (unused) because it is not what I want to do a)another engine to take care of; b)not efficient for fully charging my AGM battery; c)heavy d)gas/noise/exhaust; d)not running AC or heavy users so I mostly need battery recharge. I can go out for a couple of days running only fridge on propane and some sunshine on my 80w factory panel. I use independently powered lights & music, iPhone charger, campground water and bathroom. Theoretically, as my really OTG son said, I could bring a cooler with ice or rig up that set up in the fridge.

My plan is to get a 200w solar suitcase to chase the sun, a Victron battery monitor, and some different battery set-up TBD.

My two cents FWIW...now I am looking forward to reading the other comments! There's always more to learn!
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Old 09-20-2019, 06:14 AM   #22
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With a factory stock (1 battery) 22 we stayed at Yellowstone Madison (no hookups) with a family of 4 (2 in a tent) for a week.

You will be fine running a generator every afternoon for a while to top off battery.

The real issue will be water.

for GRAY WATER (not black)

We got a 12 gallon blue boy and used a fitting on the dump hose outlet that transitioned to a garden hose sized outlet. Then put a waste garden hose on that. We would empty that every afternoon. Then top off fresh water by using a couple of trips with a 5 gallon jerry can to pour into the fresh water holding tank.

We used bathroom at the campground as much as convenient, which helped.
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Old 09-20-2019, 06:31 AM   #23
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We boonrock frequently with stock batteries and a 100 watt portable solar panel. We've gone for eight days without issue and could have gone longer. We did have sunny days and we have never used the inverter. We are conservative with our battery use, but run the water pump and furnace for a few hours daily.
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Old 09-20-2019, 06:58 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piggy Bank View Post
. . .
You will be fine running a generator every afternoon for a while to top off battery.
. . .
^^^^^ x2

For the initial learning curve . . .

Less is more.

Keep it simple, Stu.

Happy trails,

Peter
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Old 09-20-2019, 07:55 AM   #25
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Want to extend boondocking time, don't use things that are electric.

Stay off the electronics, cook with and frig with propane. You could always put an extra battery in the truck/car that gets charged when you run the car/truck. Shacksman traveled this way for many of year, never needed solar, etc....

For light at night, LED's or even 100 hour candles.

Get lot's of books for reading,

If you think about it, "boondocking" to us, is the way people lived in there homes 100 years ago.

Just saying,
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Old 09-20-2019, 10:35 AM   #26
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Hi

Some of this depends on your trailer and the size of your crew. It also depends a bit on where you are. We can (with care) run two weeks on the water tanks in our trailer. That's with two people and one dog. If it was 4 people ... not so much.

The fridge in the trailer will pull about an amp off of 12V (assuming it's the normal propane fridge). You will run 24AH a day just with the fridge on and zero people involved. Our trailer is set up with a control system, that adds another amp of drain. Not all trailers have that sort of system. Past that (unless you run the furnace) it's pretty much all variable. As number of people go up, the likelihood of TV use seems to increase. We all come with a load of phones, tablets, and computers that need charging.

Do you run a hotspot / phone booster / WiFi extender? Some do / some don't. Again, with a bigger crowd it gets more likely. A full blown setup can easily get you over 2A.

If your "base load" is up above 5A, that's 120 AH per day. It will take a lot of solar (and a lot of battery) to keep up with that.

Now toss in the (earlier mentioned) A/C on an inverter. It is a pretty good bet that you will run around 15A at 120V into the A/C unit. It also is unlikely that you will do better than 90% efficiency getting that from your 12V battery. That puts the drain up at > 170A. Run the system for an hour (as it might well do if it's hot) and you have pretty much flattened a pair of 100AH lithium batteries.

You are *way* out of the "most economical" range at this point. A $1,000 generator will run your A/C pretty much all day on a load of fuel. It also will not make as much noise as the construction grade generator that would do it at half the price.

Indeed a 1KW lightweight generator will charge your batteries and it's a great thing to have. If you *need* the A/C running, something closer to 3KW is the target size. Yes, some people just *might* have more than one generator .

Can you get away with just solar? Do you ever use hookups? So far, in 3 years of doing this, the generator(s) has not (yet) been fired up. We've been out for well over 12 months in that time. By no means has it all been off grid. This summer (out since July) there really has been no need for A/C. That's a combo more than a little luck and indeed some planning.

So yes, this is all over the map isn't it? That's sort of what happens without a plan and some rational limits on what you are going to do. Flipping around can be *very* expensive.

Bob
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Old 09-20-2019, 03:04 PM   #27
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IMHO the cheapest way to add boondocking capacity is by buying a high quality and quiet inverter generator.

A thousand watt unit would work great for recharging your batteries and other light duty.
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Old 09-20-2019, 04:34 PM   #28
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1. QUIET inverter generator
2. Upgrade converter
3. AGM
4 . Upgrade Solar

Smile
We boondock 2x as hook up to a pedestal ...
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Old 09-20-2019, 06:51 PM   #29
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Airmiles, I have a PD4655 ordered. How hard was the replacement? Any issues I should be aware of?
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Old 09-20-2019, 07:20 PM   #30
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Check out this thread , I read this several times and installed mine three weeks ago easy to follow.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f449...es-162905.html
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Old 09-20-2019, 08:04 PM   #31
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Have same AS and I went with lead acid golf cart for $200 for both, a box for them that does fit inside the rails on the 22 (EBay for $70 I recall, white, made in Canada). 100 watt suitcase solar from Renogy, think under $200. You are done with cheapest way to do this.

Since I have added bat monitor (Victron 712), PD Wildcat charger and 2 100 watt Renogy panels on roof and Victron 30/100 controller. Don’t need to do this but whole project was cheap, fun to do and I do not worry when I boondock. For extra solar charge I bring 100 solar suitcase (I had) for 300 watts, more than enough for 22
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Old 09-21-2019, 05:41 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doughpat View Post
Hi all, I am trying to upgrade my Boondocking electrical capabilities, without spending an arm and a leg.
. . .
Wondering if you as the OP are still monitoring this thread? Lots of good suggestions, to supplement your Honda 1000 gen, with a variety of optional equipment, perhaps added incrementally IMO.

Cheers,

Peter
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Old 09-21-2019, 09:51 AM   #33
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Very much monitoring and taking lots of notes!

My current plan is to add 2 golf
Cart batteries on the tongue, perhaps keeping the existing 12v battery as a “backup” (isolated with manual disconnects). Then add as large of a portable solar as possible (probably 100w or so) to supplement my 1000w inverter generator.

FYI I do not have an AC so that load is not an issue. Biggest user will be a Cpap (which I will get a low voltage power supply for) and the furnace (during shoulder seasons). I have a small inverter for the occasional laptop recharge (and will try to do that during generator use).

Eventually I’d like to upgrade to a better converter/charger, probably the PD 4655L so that my batteries will get 14.4v during the generator time.

Long long term (after roof repairs, lift kit) I would like to add another 3-400 watts of solar and a better monitor. But that’s a while down the road.

Immensely helpful to read everyone’s contributions.
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Old 09-21-2019, 09:54 AM   #34
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Sounds good thanks for the update.

Happy Trails!

Peter
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Old 09-25-2019, 12:01 PM   #35
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Upgrade

The easiest and cheapest way I found to upgrade for boondocking capability was to go to Amazon and get a Renogy portable solar system, and two 100ah AGM batteries.

I have power throughout the cold nights with the heater blower running continuously. I never have to use my generator any longer.
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Old 09-25-2019, 12:07 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doughpat View Post
Very much monitoring and taking lots of notes!

My current plan is to add 2 golf
Cart batteries on the tongue, perhaps keeping the existing 12v battery as a “backup” (isolated with manual disconnects). Then add as large of a portable solar as possible (probably 100w or so) to supplement my 1000w inverter generator.

FYI I do not have an AC so that load is not an issue. Biggest user will be a Cpap (which I will get a low voltage power supply for) and the furnace (during shoulder seasons). I have a small inverter for the occasional laptop recharge (and will try to do that during generator use).

Eventually I’d like to upgrade to a better converter/charger, probably the PD 4655L so that my batteries will get 14.4v during the generator time.

Long long term (after roof repairs, lift kit) I would like to add another 3-400 watts of solar and a better monitor. But that’s a while down the road.

Immensely helpful to read everyone’s contributions.
Hi

Be very careful about the dimensions on the 6V batteries. If you have to have a new battery box made up and installed, they may be pretty expensive .... You need space around the batteries They can (but usually don't) swell up a bit.

Obviously, the time to check for clearance ( battery + cables + room above the batteries) is *before* you buy them. Do as I say, and not as I do ....

Bob
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Old 09-26-2019, 05:27 PM   #37
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if you are waiting till 12.2 to start charging you have lost the battle.. better to start at 12.4.. when you run a FLA, flooded lead acid battery that low consistently it damages the cells 12 or 6 v. Change to the 6 volt golf cart batteries with some solar panels 2-500 watts a good PWM charge controller and a good 3 stage 120v charger is you have a genny.

I changed to GC batteries and got a plastic battery box mounted on tongue behind LP bottles.. extended wire with large gauge copper etc.

Lithium are the top and the prices prove that. AGM better but still pricy for what you are getting.. FLA best bang for buck at this time.. hopeful that lithium will start to come down in price but with the $tuid trump trade war the prices goes up. so much for that crap..

Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
This is an excellent recommendation IMO. A very practical learning curve, requiring a minimum of investment up-front.

We use a Yamaha 1000 generator, modified to run off propane using the trailer's low-pressure quick-connect port. With an "extension cord" hose, the gen can be located where it does not bother neighbors. It is very quiet, lightweight, can be carried safely inside the tow vehicle, and is also helpful at home as a back-up gen in hurricanes etc. [with a BBQ tank hook-up regulator/hose].

We monitor the AS's battery voltage carefully, and charge if possible when it drops below 12.5 volts [~90%]. This gives a safety margin, as a level of ~12.2 volts is the first "must do" level [~50%], below which we endeavor not to cross. [Thank you, Winston Churchill. ]

Happy trails,

Peter

PS -- doughpat, even if you decide eventually to go "whole hog" with fancier improvements, a 1000 watt gen is a great tool to have in your life IMO.
PS2 -- Your other thread for background on this discussion: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f37/...0i-200945.html
PS3 -- Great advice from everyone else too.
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Old 09-26-2019, 05:35 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carl2591 View Post
if you are waiting till 12.2 to start charging you have lost the battle..
. . .
. . . which is why I said we start charging at 12.5 if possible.

Peter
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Old 09-26-2019, 08:36 PM   #39
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Hi

If it's 28 degrees out (temp here come Saturday) you need to start charging at around 13V....

Bob
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Old 09-26-2019, 08:58 PM   #40
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I haven't read the entire thread but we were struggling with how to recharge our batteries after a few days of dry camping so I wanted to chime in on the subject with an approach we've taken and it is working well for us.

We often dry camp for a day or two, sometimes three or four and didn't want to deal with a generator and also don't want the expense of solar. We did upgrade to 4, 12V AGM batteries in parallel.

I installed 2 gage welding cable from the engine compartment of our truck back to the rear of the truck. Similarly, I installed 2 gage welding cable from the front of the trailer to the batteries of the trailer. When I plug in the 7 way connector I also connect a heavy duty 2-pin power connector that charges the trailer batteries while we drive. We used the system on a recent 3 week trip with several nights of dry camping interspersed between shore power at campgrounds and the charging system charged the batteries very well. Drive time is a big factor in the amount of recharge as are other variables. Overall, we're very happy with the installation. Total cost was on the order of $300.

I plan to create a separate thread to describe the details but probably won't get to that for several days.
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