Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 12-23-2019, 10:01 AM   #1
4 Rivet Member
 
Hawk-ination's Avatar
 
2014 Interstate Ext. Coach
Cedar Rapids , Iowa
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 336
Off the grid questions, so to speak

Asking questions on going off the grid, I got a lot of responses and the most common was, ďDepends what you want to do.Ē

Totally get that, but what Iíve found is thereís a lot of information about options to upgrade to. Maybe Iíve missed an overall summary. Wondering if some of you who have made changes could contribute possibly once again.

Iíve read about adding two batteries, changing to 6V, swap for AGM, upgrade to Lithium, adding a Yeti (and what size), adding solar (we have one panel), suitcases, upgrading solar, MPPT solar controller upgrades, visited AM Solarís webpage...did I forget anything? Oh, and reading about conversion penalties this week a bit more in depth.

Iím personally working on getting off grid for 24 hours. Iím wondering if we could open up a discussion once again. What did you do and can it get you through 24 hours off grid? If you canít make 24 hours, how long can you go and how did it help you get more dependent from being plugged in?

Thanks for revisiting. Good reading for the holiday season off time. Wishing you all happy holidays also!
Hawk-ination is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2019, 10:53 AM   #2
Rivet Master
 
Lily&Me's Avatar

 
2007 Interstate
Normal , Illinois
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 16,594
There is a ton of information here on this subject, but it really does depend on not only ones rig but also individual wants and needs.

Best thing for you might be to try it, see how you do, and if you don’t do as well as you would like determine what you can decrease or eliminate.

Maggie
__________________
Find a need and fill it.

🏡 🚐 Cherish and appreciate those you love. This moment could be your last.🌹🐚
Lily&Me is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2019, 11:54 AM   #3
Rivet Master
 
lsbrodsky's Avatar

 
2012 25' FB International
Trent Woods , North Carolina
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 3,121
Fact is, for 24 hours you can probably use your trailer as delivered. You will just need to watch your power use and not drop your battery voltage below the amount equal to 50%. In cold weather your furnace fan can stress that unless you just use it to warm things up in the morning. In temperate weather, with your refrig and water heater on propane, you don't need to spend any more money.
However, off the grid becomes addictive and you will eventually want to extend that to the capacity of your tanks, water and grey, which can be 4 days or longer with conservation. Then you need to spend some money.
Larry
lsbrodsky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2019, 04:26 PM   #4
Contributing Member
 
Pahaska's Avatar
 
2018 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
Austin (Hays County) , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 7,065
Images: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by lsbrodsky View Post
Fact is, for 24 hours you can probably use your trailer as delivered. Larry
Problem is, the OP does not have a trailer. He has an Interstate with a compressor-type refrigerator. No propane for the cold box!

The refrigerators in Interstates can pull anywhere from 2.5 amps to 10 amps, depending on the year and model. A "Lounge" model may pull as little as 2.5 amps when the compressor is running. My GT, with a larger refrigerator and a separate freezer, will pull more like 10 amps if both the refrigerator and the freezer compressors are on at a given time.

I would turn off my freezer and use it for storage if I was off hookups for a longer period. I plan to attend the balloon rally next fall and spend 5 days off hookups. I have a Goal Zero 1000, a 100 watt folding panel and 300 watts on the roof. Even with that, I'll turn off the freezer to be safe.
__________________
John W. Irwin
2018 Interstate GT, "Sabre-Dog V"
WBCCI #9632
Pahaska is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2019, 05:02 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
1960 22' Safari
in the wilderness , The great Mojave Desert
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 4,052
Why not get a Honda 1000 genny to recharge the batt?
__________________
I'd rather be boon docking in the desert.

WBCCI 3344 FCU
AIR# 13896
CA 4

Yes, we have courtesy parking for you. About an hour North of Los Angeles.
Goin camping is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2019, 05:49 PM   #6
Contributing Member
 
Pahaska's Avatar
 
2018 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
Austin (Hays County) , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 7,065
Images: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goin camping View Post
Why not get a Honda 1000 genny to recharge the batt?
This is an Interstate thread.

I have a Honda 1000. It, along with an extra gas can, rode in the back of my pickup when I had a trailer. I used it on my last balloon caravan three years ago.

I'm not about to carry it a gas generator in the Interstate and I will not stink up the Fiesta I tow with gasoline.

I have the 2500 watt generator that is OEM on the Interstate, but it vibrates and is noisy and I use it very sparingly. It is my backup if the solar can't keep up. Rain is rare in Albuquerque in October, thank goodness. That is one reason why the balloon festival is held then.
__________________
John W. Irwin
2018 Interstate GT, "Sabre-Dog V"
WBCCI #9632
Pahaska is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2019, 07:45 PM   #7
4 Rivet Member
 
Hawk-ination's Avatar
 
2014 Interstate Ext. Coach
Cedar Rapids , Iowa
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 336
Not wanting to sway discussions, we did pick up a GZ Yeti so we’ll see what that does to extend our capabilities. Interesting to hear you have more flexibility in the trailers with your refrigerators than those of us with Interstates. I didn’t think of the fact the GTs would pull more amps but makes sense them being larger units or separate freezers if I remember correctly.

We have a few more tricks to try but I’m trying not to sway the conversation. I see someone posted a similar post today although more specific about solar so good to reopen the conversation.

We haven’t had our Lounge long enough to know how long exactly we can last off grid but I don’t think it’s very long from what we did experience this fall. Our one solar panel is probably due for replacement after reading how long they generally last. Will need to check that out when it’s out of storage for good this spring.

I agree, the generator noise is disappointing and not a great alternative, yet at least it is an option. I would spring for a Honda if we had a trailer too, but haven’t found a good way to use one in an Interstate with theft, fumes, weight, etc. being issues at hand. I’d throw cost in on that list as they are fairly expensive too.
Hawk-ination is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2019, 09:29 AM   #8
Married with Airstream
 
drbrick's Avatar
 
2004 25' International CCD
Vancouver Island , British Columbia
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 780
Images: 5
We usually go for two weeks at a time - what we have is:

1) Champion 3400 dual fuel which we run on propane.
2) 200 watts of solar on the roof + 160watt suitcast unit we connect via the umbilical
3) 2x6v golf cart batteries = 200+ watts

At this point we have NOT added a lift kit but are careful in our travels but a 3" lift kit is recommended.
__________________
La Dolce Vita Brick & Mona
We're Married With Airstream dot com
2004 International 25CCD Registered Name "Blue Streak"
2013 F-150HD FX4 SuperCrew Lariart (MaxTow) "Red Dragon"
drbrick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2019, 10:06 AM   #9
4 Rivet Member
 
Rig Rat's Avatar
 
2015 Interstate Ext. Coach
Columbus , Ohio
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 299
Exclamation

I think that you will find the GZ alone will supply you with enough power to get you through at least 24 hours w/o hookups.

We have the 1400 GZ, the meezly 100w flex panel on the roof plus a 200w portable suitcase to supplement our 2 - 6v 224 AHR coach batteries.

We use the GZ from sunset to sunrise to power the refrigerator, and it uses between 25 to 33% of the GZ total capacity each evening. That useage amount could get you up to 3 days off grid as long as you got some daytime sun to keep your coach batteries up and the fridge running off of the coach batteries. If not, there's always the generator to fall back upon!

Pahaska, I'm with you in that we sometimes get suggestions from the trailer folks who may not know of the limitations we have with our Interstate motorhomes or their different operating systems!
__________________
Adventure before Dementia!
Rig Rat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2019, 10:15 AM   #10
2 Rivet Member
 
jhayesas's Avatar
 
Kansas City , Missouri
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 94
For those that have GZXXXX I recommend that you change your inverter settings in order to get outstanding runtime out of your GZ. For example, if I don't change my charge rate 10% (lowest setting) and charger to Stand By, I'll get about 2 hours of runtime because if I don't, the battery charge will drain the GZ. Once I make the settings and the GZ is setting at 100%, I can get 18-20 hours of run time and I'm just looking for it to run overnight. That's me running my tv, electric blanket, laptop, refrigerator, gas furnace and charging cell phones. Full disclosure, this was a very short test and I haven't actually ran this overnight but I plan to soon. The numbers came from the GZ.

In order to make this happen and not have the GZ sitting outside or the 30 amp power cable run through a window, I installed a automatic transfer switch in order to plug in the GZ inside my AI 19.
jhayesas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2019, 10:15 AM   #11
3 Rivet Member
 
2013 Interstate Coach
Indianola , Iowa
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rig Rat View Post
We use the GZ from sunset to sunrise to power the refrigerator, and it uses between 25 to 33% of the GZ total capacity each evening.
Rig Rat - what do you have rigged up to be able to move the refrigerator power plug to the GZ when you elect to do that?
nateallen80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2019, 10:39 AM   #12
2 Rivet Member
 
jhayesas's Avatar
 
Kansas City , Missouri
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by nateallen80 View Post
Rig Rat - what do you have rigged up to be able to move the refrigerator power plug to the GZ when you elect to do that?
Rig Rat, does your refrigerator have a night mode setting? My rig does and it cuts the usage in half.
jhayesas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2019, 12:02 PM   #13
1 Rivet Member
 
2013 27' FB International
Freehold , New York
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 11
Hereís what we did:

2017 23 FB

4 - 100 watt Renogy panels on roof using series parallel configuration and stock solar wiring ( haters please donít hate?)

2 - 100 amp hour lithium ion batteries

2000 watt inverter using stock on/off switch cable

Progressive Dynamics converter/charger

VictronConnect MPPT and battery monitor

A whole bunch of fuses and breakers and cables and shut off switches to handle the upgrades but stock wires from roof to mppt controller and from electric storage area to all trailer outlets and appliances.

We have only boondocked in the southwest states and never below 50 degrees days and 35 - 40 at night. With a full charge at the end of a day, the next day rained with a high of 50 and no sun, lows overnight of 40, we watched dvds all day, ran the furnace all day and night, refrigerator water pump lights and even a hair dryer and toaster and after 30 hours had 47% of our charge on our batteries. We were trying to see how much we could use. The next day was full sun and 100% charge by 1 PM. On sunny days I donít think we could ever use up our 200 amp hours no matter what we did.

Total cost for parts: $5000. Install: DIY
mikedebi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2019, 01:41 PM   #14
4 Rivet Member
 
Rig Rat's Avatar
 
2015 Interstate Ext. Coach
Columbus , Ohio
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 299
Quote:
Originally Posted by nateallen80 View Post
Rig Rat - what do you have rigged up to be able to move the refrigerator power plug to the GZ when you elect to do that?
I ran a 9' extension cord under the cabinet and plugged the refrigerator plug into it. If we are on shore power I plug the cord into the wall outlet behind the drivers seat. Otherwise, it is plugged into the GZ to run the fridge whenever I don't want the coach batteries powering it.

Hopefully the pictures will help with the explanation!
Click image for larger version

Name:	Fridge plug location.jpg
Views:	20
Size:	206.9 KB
ID:	358146
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	GZ cords for fridge and beds.jpg
Views:	26
Size:	289.3 KB
ID:	358147  
__________________
Adventure before Dementia!
Rig Rat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2019, 01:43 PM   #15
4 Rivet Member
 
Rig Rat's Avatar
 
2015 Interstate Ext. Coach
Columbus , Ohio
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 299
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhayesas View Post
Rig Rat, does your refrigerator have a night mode setting? My rig does and it cuts the usage in half.
Unfortunately, the 2015 fridge only has a single dial and no night setting.
__________________
Adventure before Dementia!
Rig Rat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2019, 01:51 PM   #16
2 Rivet Member
 
jhayesas's Avatar
 
Kansas City , Missouri
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rig Rat View Post
Unfortunately, the 2015 fridge only has a single dial and no night setting.
So you don't use a ATS (Automatic Transfer Switch)? I believe that my rig refrigerator is hard wired and I don't know about the microwave. Either way, the ATS takes care of it for me when I plug in the GZ.
jhayesas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2019, 02:02 PM   #17
3 Rivet Member
 
2013 Interstate Coach
Indianola , Iowa
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rig Rat View Post
I ran a 9' extension cord under the cabinet and plugged the refrigerator plug into it. If we are on shore power I plug the cord into the wall outlet behind the drivers seat. Otherwise, it is plugged into the GZ to run the fridge whenever I don't want the coach batteries powering it.

Hopefully the pictures will help with the explanation!
Interesting. I’m more likely to try this with my microwave than the fridge. I have an Inergy Kodiak that I bring on our trips, which would be great to be able to use for powering the microwave while underway without using the generator.
nateallen80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2019, 02:22 PM   #18
Rivet Master
 
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Long Island , New York
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 16,313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawk-ination View Post
. . .
I’m personally working on getting off grid for 24 hours. I’m wondering if we could open up a discussion once again. What did you do and can it get you through 24 hours off grid? If you can’t make 24 hours, how long can you go and how did it help you get more dependent from being plugged in?
. . .
To clarify again . . . the OP has a 2014 Interstate coach, not a trailer, with its own unique power management constraints.

There are some great threads on using a Goal Zero in an Interstate:

37 posts: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f240...it-199977.html
74 posts: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f240...-a-177828.html
139 posts [not strictly Interstate]: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f37/...um-196422.html

Lots of good tips and info in those threads IMO.

"Goal Zero Interstate" search results here on AF: https://www.google.com/search?q=Goal...=airforums.com

Good luck,

Peter

FYI/FWIW
OTRA15 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2019, 02:35 PM   #19
Contributing Member
 
Pahaska's Avatar
 
2018 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
Austin (Hays County) , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 7,065
Images: 4
My Goal Zero hookup plans

The inverter my GZ 1000 uses about 4 watts just running without any load. This is wasted power for me since my refrigerator and freezer run on 12v only. No 120v is needed at night. Unless I want to watch TV (seldom), there is no need for 120v. Turning on the 12v GZ outlets without load shows no wattage loss.

I ordered the GZ adapter that plugs into all of the GZ 12v outlets simultaneously. This adapter provides 40 amps. That should handle all I intend to use after dark ... some lights and the water pump as needed. I intend to turn off the batteries at the door at the end of the day when there is no more charge available from the solar. I'll install a plug that hooks the 12v into the coach 12v system. I simply need to remember to turn off the coach power before plugging in the GXZ 12v.

My GZ will live under the desk, against the wall. This still leaves plenty of foot room for the reversed driver's seat. This is convenient to the outlet under the driver's seat.

I can also plug my GZ car charger into the always-on outlet under the driver's seat. That will keep the GZ topped up as long as the starting battery is over 12.3v. It shuts off automatically at 12.3v. Another poster uses the car adapter in just this manner. During the day when solar is available, the Blue Sea ACR will feed the starting battery automatically and charge the GZ from the rooftop solar through the car adapter. The car adapter charges at a good rate, much faster than the built-in AC charger.

I have the MPPT adapter installed in the GZ to maximize the charge from the folding panels. In addition to the car charger, I have the fast 120v charger for topping up the GZ when I have hookups.
__________________
John W. Irwin
2018 Interstate GT, "Sabre-Dog V"
WBCCI #9632
Pahaska is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2019, 04:10 PM   #20
Rivet Master
 
1960 22' Safari
in the wilderness , The great Mojave Desert
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 4,052
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pahaska View Post
This is an Interstate thread.

I have a Honda 1000. It, along with an extra gas can, rode in the back of my pickup when I had a trailer. I used it on my last balloon caravan three years ago.

I'm not about to carry it a gas generator in the Interstate and I will not stink up the Fiesta I tow with gasoline.

I have the 2500 watt generator that is OEM on the Interstate, but it vibrates and is noisy and I use it very
sparingly. It is my backup if the solar can't keep up. Rain is rare in Albuquerque in October, thank goodness. That is one reason why the balloon festival is held then.
My apologies. Best to you in solving your dilemma.

BTW German NATO gas cans do not leak or allow fuel smell to escape.
__________________
I'd rather be boon docking in the desert.

WBCCI 3344 FCU
AIR# 13896
CA 4

Yes, we have courtesy parking for you. About an hour North of Los Angeles.
Goin camping is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Buyers agent so to speak JODYJOHN Dollars & Cents 8 09-10-2015 12:22 PM
How Big is my Solar System?! Off grid questions... simple sanctuary Generators & Solar Power 8 02-17-2015 06:21 AM
PLEASE, OH PLEASE, may I speak with the WIZARD??? WILDRTEXAS Stoves, Ovens & Microwaves 3 10-09-2009 10:27 PM
Anyone speak French? Silver Threads Off Topic Forum 10 07-10-2007 04:38 PM
Long Time Vintage Owners Speak Up! Safari Tim Our Community 28 11-04-2004 12:52 AM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:19 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.