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Old 04-19-2015, 01:52 AM   #21
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1968 17' Caravel
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Originally Posted by idroba View Post
The biggest change you can make is with the incandescent lighting. Change it to LED and you will cut your power draw from lighting by 80% or more.

Add a second battery, or replace both with a pair of deep cycle golf cart types. That will increase you battery to double to triple what you have now.

Consider a modest solar system. It also will do wonders to your trailer electrical system.
Well, I ordered the LED lights today from Dan at LED4RV. He was a lot of help figuring out which bulbs will fit my fixtures, so I'm looking forward to trying that out.

I'll do more research on the golf cart batteries. I have room for two full size RV batteries.
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Old 04-19-2015, 10:19 PM   #22
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You should buy and install a catalytic heater to use rather than your furnace. No electricity needed and the heat is constant. Doesn't use a lot of propane either. I have one in each of my trailers.
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Old 04-19-2015, 11:57 PM   #23
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Thanks, but I had one in my Bambi and I didn't like the idea of a non-vented heat source. I know some people like them, but I was not comfortable with it.
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Old 04-20-2015, 07:40 AM   #24
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You should buy and install a catalytic heater to use rather than your furnace. No electricity needed and the heat is constant. Doesn't use a lot of propane either. I have one in each of my trailers.
If I might ask, what size cat heaters do you have in each of your trailers? And are they sufficient?

Thanks
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Old 04-20-2015, 10:20 AM   #25
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I have an older Olympian Wave 6 in my '84 27-foot Sovereign. It had been installed by the previous owner. It's all I need to heat the trailer in temps down into the 30s.
I replaced the original furnace in my '66 Globetrotter with the Olympian Wave 3. In retrospect I wish I had purchased the Wave 6, but I don't use the GT as much in the colder weather.
I don't worry a bit about the heaters not being vented. Even if I forget to crack a window or open a ceiling vent, I believe each trailer is drafty enough so that my safety is not a concern.
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Old 04-20-2015, 10:51 AM   #26
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That's good to know. I'm planning on a Wave 6 for my 25-foot Caravanner. Sounds like its cold-weather use will be similar to yours. We're in the midst of a shell-off rebuild, and I like the idea of no ductwork to run. What are your thoughts on keeping your tanks warm? Have you done anything special or do you avoid using them when it gets very cold? We don't plan on any mid-winter camping using the tanks, but I'm wondering if I might need to consider some other kind of tank heating solution.

Thanks again.
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Old 04-20-2015, 11:01 AM   #27
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In my 65 Caravel I use a 14 Watt self regulating solar panel and place it on the sunny side of the trailer. I installed a plug to go to the battery. I have used this system for years and have never run out of power. We nearly always Boondock and seldom have shore power. I leave the panel hooked up and in a sunny window to keep the battery charged all year.

Don B
Don- do you have a source for your 14 watt solar panel?

Stephanie- I think boondocking for a week is easily doable if you go with 2 golf cart batteries, go with led lights, have an old style fridge with no parasitic loads, not too much furnace or cooling fan usage and monitor your batteries. Two regular batteries may work too.

My fully charged batteries are at 13.0 volts. 50% discharge is at 12.06 volts. After 3 days of camping I am usually at about 12.7 volts. I have never gone more than 5 days, but at least in theory based on 0.1 volt per day decrease, I could boondock for about nine days minimum.

I monitor my battery consumption (voltage) by using a permanent battery meter (voltminder). I got this from Best Converters, but I don't see it on their website. It looks like you can order it from Digital Voltmeter | VoltMinder.com for $45.

I bought the two golf cart batteries from Walmart for about $70 each.

If you look at my Tradewind Thread you can see how I mounted my batteries, etc.

I carry a small Honda genny, but only use it for my wifes hair dryer.

Good luck, Dan
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Old 04-20-2015, 11:04 AM   #28
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I haven't done anything about my tanks. My '66 GT doesn't have a gray water tank and just a small black water tank. If I'm camping in below-freezing temps, I keep the black water and fresh water tanks empty. I winterize by blowing out the lines.
I've had my '84 out on trips when night temps have dropped below 20 degrees, but with both the catalytic heater and furnace running, I haven't had any problems with using my water system. I don't empty the holding tanks, however, until the temps are above freezing. The furnace does provide some warm air to the holding tanks, as I understand it.
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Old 04-20-2015, 11:13 PM   #29
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I monitor my battery consumption (voltage) by using a permanent battery meter (voltminder). I got this from Best Converters, but I don't see it on their website. It looks like you can order it from Digital Voltmeter | VoltMinder.com for $45.
Thanks Dan, and I'll go find your build thread and check it out.

One thing I find confusing is that people talk about monitoring the voltage of the batteries, but they talk about how much power the appliances use in terms of amps. How does one equate to the other?
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Old 04-21-2015, 08:07 AM   #30
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Thanks Dan, and I'll go find your build thread and check it out.

One thing I find confusing is that people talk about monitoring the voltage of the batteries, but they talk about how much power the appliances use in terms of amps. How does one equate to the other?

How about a vision like this:
Volts in a battery is like gallons in a tank
Amps out of the battery is like the flow from a tap coming out of the tank.
I am sure others have a better way of saying it, but this works for me. Jim


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Old 04-21-2015, 09:17 AM   #31
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Volts x Amps = Watts

therefore:

Watts/volts = amps

It's called Ohm's Law.






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Old 04-21-2015, 11:45 AM   #32
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Volts x Amps = Watts

therefore:

Watts/volts = amps

It's called Ohm's Law.
Now you're going to bring Watts into it?!! Aren't I confused enough
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