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Old 09-05-2018, 01:34 PM   #41
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2004 19' Bambi
Sonoma , California
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Just returned from our first two-month trip in our 19' Bambi. I bought a Kodiak SOLAR generator -- yes, SOLAR -- that can be charged three ways: truck cigarette lighter socket, house plug-in, or solar. Has an RV socket, six regular sockets and four USB ports. We haven't even begun to tap its use, as I haven't gotten solar panels yet. Weighs only 20 pounds, is a lithium battery and about the size of a large shoe box. No gas or noise! Want the Inergy company's panels but they are back ordered six months. Theirs are the Predator panels that can be clipped together, weigh 4 lbs and are indestructible. It is pricey but worth the move to cleaner and quieter power. Check it out:
Kodiak Portable Solar Generator - Inergy Solar
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Old 09-05-2018, 02:08 PM   #42
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2020 25' Globetrotter
Malibu , California
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Only running refer (no fan on mine) and turn on hot water in am and pm and furnace for 10 to test. One 100 watt solar on roof and 100 solar suitcase panel in parallel and battery is at 80% in morning and back to 100 by noon
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Old 09-05-2018, 04:29 PM   #43
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2019 16' Sport
Clearwater , Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

... errr ... not so much ...

You own 200W of panels, as we went through in the other thread, getting 200W from them as you will have them set up is not likely.

Drop a second battery into the trailer with exactly what's in there now. Yes, both batteries need to be same /same for them to charge properly. No other upgrades required to the charger or controller. You now have 80AH rather than 40AH available. No need for 6V AGM's, you can go with whatever is on sale. Amp hours are amp hours ....

If you decide to go with lithium's, they *can* drop right in as well. There is no *need* to upgrade any of the other stuff, it just will work a bit better if you do.

The only type of meter that will give you better information is one with a shunt on it. That makes it a permanent install sort of thing. You can get a very good one for just a bit more than that Walmart battery cost. If you will be running off batteries on a regular basis (and don't want to destroy them) - yes, you need something like this.

Bob
https://starkpower.com/product/12-volt-125ah-battery/

This company really peaked my interest. They had a 100 AH for $850 but sold out and still no stock. Call them. They also have a cool app for the smart phone to monitor the battery. 😉
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Old 09-05-2018, 06:30 PM   #44
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Zanadude Nebula , Milky Way
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How much is the fridge drawing on LP?

Make sure the ambient/climate switch's are off.

Bob
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Old 09-05-2018, 08:12 PM   #45
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2020 25' Globetrotter
Malibu , California
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Donít have that switch but thanks. Donít have battery monitor with shunt yet so donít know actual amps. Want to add monitor but canít find pictures or text on how it is done in my AS with batteries on A frame. Not looking to add/move a bunch of wires
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Old 09-05-2018, 08:33 PM   #46
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Zanadude Nebula , Milky Way
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garfish View Post
Donít have that switch but thanks. Donít have battery monitor with shunt yet so donít know actual amps. Want to add monitor but canít find pictures or text on how it is done in my AS with batteries on A frame. Not looking to add/move a bunch of wires
Handy AS tool box addition.

Bob
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Old 09-05-2018, 09:41 PM   #47
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1969 27' Overlander
, Michigan
Join Date: Mar 2002
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Boondocking with a Vintage Airstream

Quote:
Originally Posted by Garfish View Post
My second camping trip next month to Mammoth Lakes. Last time after a few days battery dropping. Like to stay 5-6 days this time and be OK.

Sport 16
12v AGM
100 watt solar on roof and added 100 watt Renogy portable that connects in parallel. Tested in driveway and getting amps from both panels (topped 6.8 in full sun at 90% and to 100% in 60 min with refer on).

From research on forums should get about 40 Ah, maybe more? Roof panel in shady location and moving Renogy to sun when there

Use maybe 60Ah - refer (24?), parasitic (24?), no heater, water heater 1 hr/day, no 100 (no inverter anyway), some lights at night, water pump on only when needed. If after solar charge in the morning and not good I will turn off refer as I have cooler and fine with us.

Donít want to pop $2k for Honda 2200/propane and prefer not to run them. When AGM goes south will look at lithium probably $$$$

Comments/suggestions?
We've stayed at the National Parks for 4 - 6 days on several occasions in our 1969 Overlander. Everything runs on pilot lights (fridge, water heater, stove, oven). Furnace uses a spark ignition, but no circuit boards. No circuit boards = no power loss. Only time we tap the battery is when we turn on a light or run the water. We pretty much camp as normal. We made a point to use a couple of oil lights for longer evening activities. We were able to run the furnace a bit to take the morning chill the few mornings it hit 32 in Yellowstone (32 at night, but 85 during the day). Beautiful thing about Airstreams is the windows can open wide and they are large and plentiful to catch the slightest breeze.

But, we are looking to upgrade to something larger and thus moving into the modern world of winking lights and underlying automation. I very much appreciate the information in these threads on routine power consumption and generation.

Thank you.
Jim
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Old 09-06-2018, 06:19 AM   #48
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Charlotte , Vermont
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garfish View Post
Only running refer (no fan on mine) and turn on hot water in am and pm and furnace for 10 to test. One 100 watt solar on roof and 100 solar suitcase panel in parallel and battery is at 80% in morning and back to 100 by noon
My Sport 16 comes with a fan switch and somewhere I read (the Newbie Guide by Rich Luhr?) says the fan should always be on when the refer is on. Is that not true? In any case, it does not drain the battery that dramatically.
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Old 09-06-2018, 10:41 AM   #49
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2020 25' Globetrotter
Malibu , California
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Bob’s instruction on the refer climate switch is correct, thanks. Switch is on the side of the cabinet and it will draw amps if on. This is when you are in hot/humid climate to evaporate condensation in refer. Leave off unless on shore power and in that climate or will drain batteries
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Old 09-07-2018, 06:43 AM   #50
2020 Globetrotter 25 FBT
 
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Wildwood , Missouri
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Sorry for a brief hijack. All I have in my 2011 FC is the meter in the bath that shows water levels and battery level with colored lights. Obviously this isn’t very accurate or informative. Is there a easy device that I can clamp on the batteries or somewhere that shows current levels? Trying to stay in the 12.5 range.. Last time we were camped in Rocky Mtn NP with no hookup, I ran the generator twice during the week for a hour or two each time. It’s a Honda 2000 so not very loud, but I’d like to only run it when actually needed. Using the “green, yellow, orange, red” light bar in the bath now, seems like more accurate info would be helpful. Thanks
I’d rather not cut a hole in the wall for a meter. Just something I could squeeze into the battery box, if possible.
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Old 09-07-2018, 09:20 AM   #51
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2007 27' International CCD FB
San Diego , California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GettinAway View Post
Sorry for a brief hijack. All I have in my 2011 FC is the meter in the bath that shows water levels and battery level with colored lights. Obviously this isnít very accurate or informative. Is there a easy device that I can clamp on the batteries or somewhere that shows current levels? Trying to stay in the 12.5 range.. Last time we were camped in Rocky Mtn NP with no hookup, I ran the generator twice during the week for a hour or two each time. Itís a Honda 2000 so not very loud, but Iíd like to only run it when actually needed. Using the ďgreen, yellow, orange, redĒ light bar in the bath now, seems like more accurate info would be helpful. Thanks
Iíd rather not cut a hole in the wall for a meter. Just something I could squeeze into the battery box, if possible.
Yes, there's a super easy and cheap solution if you have cigarettes lighter outlets. Many styles.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N00I4TM..._bIOKBbHC058MV
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Old 09-07-2018, 09:44 AM   #52
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2016 25' Flying Cloud
Fairfield , California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GettinAway View Post
Sorry for a brief hijack. Using the ďgreen, yellow, orange, redĒ light bar in the bath now, seems like more accurate info would be helpful. Thanks
Iíd rather not cut a hole in the wall for a meter. Just something I could squeeze into the battery box, if possible.
What I found very helpfull and easy to install is the Smartguage by Balmar, two wires to the batteries using the existing hole wires run through. Www.balmar.net

Been using it for over a year and found it to be very accurate on the discharge side and lags about 5 to 10% when charging.

It is simple to read and understand.

Thanks,
Matti
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Old 09-08-2018, 06:27 AM   #53
2020 Globetrotter 25 FBT
 
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Wildwood , Missouri
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pteck View Post
Yes, there's a super easy and cheap solution if you have cigarettes lighter outlets. Many styles.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N00I4TM..._bIOKBbHC058MV
That was easy. Iíve got cigarette lighter outlet up by the radio.
Thank you!
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Old 09-08-2018, 08:24 AM   #54
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Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Hi

Any voltage reading that is not right on the battery posts is going to be a bit off under this or that condition. How important that is depends on how careful you are. In addition, with lead acid batteries, they take a bit to "settle" after charging or heavy discharge. The readings at the posts are indeed accurate in these conditions, they just can't be easily used to tell you how much capacity you have left .

Regardless of how accurate the reading is, temperature still gets into the act. Everything moves higher when cold and lower when hot. If it's snowing out, your 12.0V reading likely means the battery out there in the battery box is pretty close to dead.

Bob
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Old 09-10-2018, 06:53 AM   #55
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Wildwood , Missouri
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Thx Bob. My dad was a EE, but his genes skipped me somehow..
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Old 09-11-2018, 09:36 AM   #56
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Thx Bob. My dad was a EE, but his genes skipped me somehow..
Hi

One of the most basic issues about owning an RV is the vast range of systems you suddenly need to be able to keep up with. At home you very much have a choice of call somebody / fix it yourself. Out at a campsite somewhere .... you get to dig into it. You may not need to rebuild things from scratch. You do need to get this or that running well enough to get to the next stop. Lots of stuff to "learn up on".

Bob
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