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Old 05-13-2015, 09:59 AM   #1
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FC Operation w/o Shore Power...???

My wife and I are considering an Airstream 25 foot flying cloud.

We're coming from a 40' bus, which was just overkill.

But the way we travel (or travelled) usually involved a lot of overnighters in walmart parking lots along our route. Night 1, walmart, night 2, walmart, night 3 stop at a campground for a few days to rest, continue...

In the 40' dp, no big deal, crank the genset and bam - you're in business.

But I'm a little curious about operation without a generator.

There's only two things I'm really concerned about.

A/C and running my CPAP machine and some lights in the evening. I realize the battery will never run the A/C - for that we would need to install a genset in the truck, which I have no problem doing.

Ok so question... I thought the flying could 25 came with 2 batteries, but I saw one on a dealer site that stated 1 battery. Maybe this was just a typo... or did I miss something....

If the batteries are charging while driving, great, I know I can run lights and cpap overnight no big deal on two batteries.... but if the truck doesn't fully charge the batteries?? What then?

Maybe I should just be counting on mounting a genset in the pickup truck bed period, then I'm always covered. 2 x 2000
Or maybe I should stop sleeping in walmart parking lot, but man o man is it ever convenient. You just park and sleep, no paying, no backing, no reservations... just sleep....

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Old 05-13-2015, 10:08 AM   #2
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Getting the two gen sets sounds like a fix for your issues if you can not live without air conditioning.


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Old 05-13-2015, 10:17 AM   #3
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I guess it all depends on the current temp - throughout last year, we put 22,000 miles on our DP - and there were a handful of times when this was important. A lot of case though we got away with simply using a fan and that was good enough.
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Old 05-13-2015, 10:24 AM   #4
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Gets pretty hot here in Houston :-)
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Old 05-13-2015, 10:34 AM   #5
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Couple of questions for you. Does your CPAP run on 12V or only 110v? If 12V then you should be fine. Any newer unit will have 2-105ah 12v batteries. If it is a 110v AC unit then you would need to have the inverter turned on, which also consumes 12v power and you may find that you don't have enough juice by morning.

Recharging is slow at best with the AS hooked to the truck. It will keep batteries topped off but would be a poor charger if you run them down overnight with the CPAP.

You have a pretty good reason to look at adding some solar panels to the roof.
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Old 05-13-2015, 10:51 AM   #6
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Welcome to the forums.

So far as I know, the battery box on most new trailers will hold two group 24 batteries.

I have seen threads here that mention using a small inverter to power CPAP and making it all night with no issues.

If one is used to a motorhome, I might suggest an electric start generator instead of the twins. We have the twins, but have used a single 4K electric start and other than being heavy to lift the remote electric start was nice.

Morning coffee without going out and pulling a rope.

As far as charging while traveling, the vehicle charge line does pretty good. I would think adding a solar panel or two would insure a complete charge by the end of a day on the road.


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Old 05-13-2015, 11:10 AM   #7
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Yep the CPAP runs on 110. It could totally run on a stand alone inverter (opposed to the inverter installed in the AS) Our bus had 4 coach batteries, and the cpap hardly touched them during the night.

I have no issue mounting a 4k genset in the truck bed towards the tailgate. I've been considering adding a camper shell for some time now, so that would keep it out of the weather. There are all sorts of mounts and locks to lock it down from movement and thief's. Would it operate all night without running out of gas...... hmm

Remote start sounds amazing. I'm also a fan of solar power.

From what I'm reading on the Res Med website, my cpap would draw anywhere from 2.76 amps (most likely) to 5 amps depending on some settings that are within my range of settings. They state a single size 40 amp hours to size 65 amp hours battery should operate it for 8 hours. They show an adapter that actually just lets you direct connect to a standalone battery, seems silly. The highest listed on the entire sheet, at max setting in the cold cold weather is 78 amp hours to operate for 8 hours. And they say even that includes 50% safety margin.
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Old 05-13-2015, 11:43 AM   #8
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Hi Plasma

The charge line will work to a degree. Typically a stock charge line (with a fuse, relay, or wire added to make it work on vehicles that require that) will charge a mostly discharged trailer battery or battery pair at a total rate of 10 amps. So if you drive for 5 hours you'll maybe add a total of 50 amp hours of charge to your batteries.

I have modified my charge circuit by running heavier gauge wire from the engine compartment to the hitch, and, as a result, get more like 30 amps.

If you're going to depend on the charge line it is a good idea to have an ammeter wired into it, or have some other means of being sure that it's doing something.

On some vehicles you can add an additional battery under the hood and wire that into the trailer circuit. I have done this and its one more way to have a little extra 12v power available.
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Old 05-13-2015, 12:20 PM   #9
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If you were to get an AS trailer I'd want to ramp up on batteries and install a roof solar system to keep the batteries fully charged while towing. You may want to add a couple of extra batteries. Charging from the tow vehicle shouldn't be relied on. Also, install a better converter/charger. Installing a generator in the truck can be done and the new Airstreams have the additional 30amp connector on the front. A Honda 3000is is quiet and fuel efficient and could probably last most of the night on its internal tank running AC but then you have to carry additional fuel.

Maybe a smaller Class A or C would be better for your requirements.

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Old 05-13-2015, 12:39 PM   #10
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Originally I was out looking at class-c's, just the build quality of what I saw was .... less than impressive shall we say. And keep in mind, I always do have a "destination" I'm heading to, these overnighters are usually just a temporary "easy" stops along the way to keep from having to find, drive to, pull into, pay for a camping spot just to sleep. The longest I've ever travelled and overnighted in parking lots was 4 to 5 days. Usually by then or sooner, we would prefer to stop, dump our tanks, take on fresh water and chill for a few days before hitting the road again.

Interesting thought on adding batteries. It's good to know that this is possible. The addition of two batteries would most certainly make things easier.
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Old 05-13-2015, 01:24 PM   #11
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The Airstream comes stock with 2 Grp 24 batteries. You can put 2 grp 27 batteries in the box to boost the capacity. Any more batteries requires mounting them in non-stock locations. I just mentioned having 4 batteries due to your medical requirements. A good roof solar system, say about 400w, is needed to keep 4 batteries charged and since you are driving a lot the roof solar will keep you charged while towing so you can run your medical equipment with extra to spare if boondocking enroute.

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Old 05-13-2015, 03:17 PM   #12
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Makes sense! Thanks for the advice and tips.
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Old 05-13-2015, 03:31 PM   #13
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Your Resmed CPAP should actually work on 12 volts with the right plug adapter from your DME or manufacturer. I have run my CPAP (on 110V), a few lights, water pump and the Fantastic fan all night. I don't think I would make a habit of it. If you run your CPAP on 12V, then your batteries would take less of a hit as it doesn't have to go through your inverter. After saying all that, I invested in two Honda 2000 generators so that I can run all of the above AND my A/C when I have to, which is most nights.
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Old 05-13-2015, 03:33 PM   #14
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Solar.. and Lifeline batteries.. contact Lewster on this site.

You won't run the AC on batteries. See if you can get your CPAP in 12VDC.... will save even more power than using inverter ....

Wal Mart is slowly shutting down 'overnight' stays... Prep for something different.

Peace and Blessings..
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