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Old 03-15-2016, 08:31 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idroba View Post
The water pump takes no power when not pumping water, so there is no need to turn it off when you are out
Good points on electrical usage, or lack there of with the pump.

But I would just add in regard to the water pump it is a good idea to shut it off when you are out. For other reasons.
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Old 03-15-2016, 08:39 PM   #22
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I have lasted 7 nites living in a venue parking lot in Chicago in July. No hookups, no need for water heater, i read via ipad at night, wash a couple things in morning. But I am working and really using Bambi for sleep, shower and foid orep. It works great foe me and I have battery to spare. I do use a battery fan at night that I top off during that day at my booth. I put led lights in, too tired to do much at night.
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Old 03-15-2016, 09:48 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by idroba View Post
The water pump takes no power when not pumping water, so there is no need to turn it off when you are out, or inside not using any water.
Idroba, there is an LED that lights when the pump is on. It's maybe 2 mA, and consumes 0.12 Ahr out of potentially 50 Ahr of usable battery capacity. So if you leave it on for 24 hours you've consumed about 0.12*24 = 2.88 AHr, or 5.7% of the usable battery capacity.
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Old 03-15-2016, 11:15 PM   #24
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My calculations in my previous post were nonsense. 2 mA is .002 AHr, so 24 hours equals .048 AHr which amounts to less an 0.1% of the usable capacity! It's insignificant!
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Old 03-16-2016, 12:51 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by alano View Post
My calculations in my previous post were nonsense. 2 mA is .002 AHr, so 24 hours equals .048 AHr which amounts to less an 0.1% of the usable capacity! It's insignificant!
Thanks for realizing your error and posting your second response. And your second response is quite correct.
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Old 03-17-2016, 09:20 PM   #26
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Nice thread, I hope more folks read it. Might help folks to understand why their batteries are dead, seems those have become a rampant subject.

Radio? I think it runs about one amp.
TV?
Inverter = serious power users, switch to smaller cigarette lighter type, might reduce the overhead of a bigger system.
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Old 03-17-2016, 10:06 PM   #27
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A former post of mine on Television power use:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f450...er-138719.html

And a repeat of my measured power in my 2014 FC 20'

Amp draw for things in a 2014 20' Flying Cloud "Bambi"

Measured with a Tri-Metric meter and 100 amp shunt.

Water heater, when flame on: .74 amp

Refrigerator, flame on: .32

Refrigerator fan only: .55

Bed lights, reading, each: .17

Bed lights, overhead, 3: dimmest .1
brightest .52

Main overhead lights, 6 dimmest .23
brightest 1.18

Step light: .06
Scare light (floodlight) .13

Table light: High .62
Low .31

Kitchen lights (either, there are 2) High .38
low .19

Bath lights (2, each with high and low) All .72
one high .38
one low .19
Every LED light inside on at the same time: 3.9 amps


Fantastic fan, each: High 1.55
Medium 1.22
Low .93

Bath fan (little, 4" round) 1.5

Kitchen range fan: 2.4

Kitchen range fan lights (halogen) 3.5

Furnace, 18,000 btuh, direct vent burner on: 3.65
fan only: 2.9

Radio, all off, no lights showing: no measure
Radio, disco lights on, no volume: .7
Radio, lights on, medium volume: .9 to 1

Propane detector: .06
(note: mis measured and posted an error recently on the forum, I was off by a factor of 10)

Pump: (variable speed) 2-4

1000 watt sine wave inverter, on, no load 1.76
with TV and DVD plugged in, but not on: 1.76

TV on and DVD playing: 3.6

TV on DVD playing, + radio on for sound: 4.9-5.3

Very small microwave, supplied by inverter: 89

Toaster, supplied by inverter: 75

Apple Mac Book Pro, charged running from
inverter: 3.1 to 3.3


Propane detector Measured 9/1/15 0.076

Inverters (2) Measured 9/1/15 0.02
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Old 03-18-2016, 02:26 PM   #28
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You lost me right after "no coffee maker."
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Old 03-18-2016, 02:36 PM   #29
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(propane + cafetiere) OR (propane + aeropress) = great coffee = 0 A
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Old 03-18-2016, 02:53 PM   #30
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We went to all-stove-top-percolator, all the time, 3-4 years ago, after carrying it primarily for boondocking.

The percolator makes better coffee, and then no need for duplication in the limited space of the Interstate.

Those tiny book lights that you can attach to a book, magazine, Nook, etc., give off a tremendous amount of focused light, the battery lasts a long time....then no need for those reading lights.


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Old 03-18-2016, 05:08 PM   #31
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We like to roast our coffee ourselves, use a hand grinder and then french press. After that I use a hand foamer for my MCT Oil and Butter I put in the coffee, top it off with Cinamon. Oh man. Yum. No power required.
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Old 03-18-2016, 05:15 PM   #32
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That's more labor intensive coffee than I am interested in, tho am always willing to drink fancy coffee that others make.

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Old 03-18-2016, 07:27 PM   #33
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On some fridges there is an electric heating element to prevent condensation from forming on the strip between the freezer and refrigerator. Some models (like mine) don't have a switch to control it, it's always on. I forget the numbers on how much it draws but I think it was between a 1/2 and 1 amp, 24/7 which adds up quickly. Fortunately the wire for it was clearly identified in the wiring diagram pasted inside the exterior refrigerator compartment. There is now a switch in there to turn it off.
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Old 03-23-2016, 04:26 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idroba View Post
The water pump takes no power when not pumping water, so there is no need to turn it off when you are out, or inside not using any water.

When the pump runs, it takes 4 to 7 amps. It pumps about 3 gal/minute when operating. So, in 10 minutes it can pump a 30 gal fresh water tank dry.

10 minutes is 1/6 of an hour. So, if the pump takes 6 amps per hour, 1/6 th of that is 1 amp hour to pump 30 gal of water. If it pumps the same 30 gal over two days, the same 1 amp hour is used over two days.

The water pump is NOT a big user of the stored battery energy. And it does not take any power when it is not running, so turning it off and on when you want to get a cup of water, or flush the toilet, does not use less battery capacity.

Thanks for the tip. I think it was actually our AS salesman for Bambi #1 who recommended turning off the pump when it was not in use!

However.... when we need to save battery power, like on our recent 7-day off-grid camping trip in the Mojave desert, we generally have several conservation issues going on at once, such as fresh water and space in the waste water holding tanks. We found that one toilet flush with the water pump turned on would put enough water in the system that we could turn off the pump and flush 2-3 more times without battery power for most (cough, ahem) "uses." Ditto for the bit of water still able to flow from the sink taps.

Somehow for us it makes sense, but possibly more for the fresh and waste water than for the battery.

Incidentally, with two six-volt batteries fully charged prior to our week off-grid, we used our generator just once, for about two hours. That charged the batteries enough for the rest of the camping stay, with careful useage.

I also have a little pocket-size solar panel device called a Power Monkey that we bought from REI that is capable of recharging a Kindle or cell phone. But no cell-phone service in most places where we would be off-grid around Death Valley and the Mojave National Preserve.
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Old 03-23-2016, 05:28 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idroba View Post
A former post of mine on Television power use:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f450...er-138719.html

And a repeat of my measured power in my 2014 FC 20'

Amp draw for things in a 2014 20' Flying Cloud "Bambi"

Measured with a Tri-Metric meter and 100 amp shunt.

Water heater, when flame on: .74 amp

Refrigerator, flame on: .32

Refrigerator fan only: .55

Bed lights, reading, each: .17

Bed lights, overhead, 3: dimmest .1
brightest .52

Main overhead lights, 6 dimmest .23
brightest 1.18

Step light: .06
Scare light (floodlight) .13

Table light: High .62
Low .31

Kitchen lights (either, there are 2) High .38
low .19

Bath lights (2, each with high and low) All .72
one high .38
one low .19
Every LED light inside on at the same time: 3.9 amps


Fantastic fan, each: High 1.55
Medium 1.22
Low .93

Bath fan (little, 4" round) 1.5

Kitchen range fan: 2.4

Kitchen range fan lights (halogen) 3.5

Furnace, 18,000 btuh, direct vent burner on: 3.65
fan only: 2.9

Radio, all off, no lights showing: no measure
Radio, disco lights on, no volume: .7
Radio, lights on, medium volume: .9 to 1

Propane detector: .06
(note: mis measured and posted an error recently on the forum, I was off by a factor of 10)

Pump: (variable speed) 2-4

1000 watt sine wave inverter, on, no load 1.76
with TV and DVD plugged in, but not on: 1.76

TV on and DVD playing: 3.6

TV on DVD playing, + radio on for sound: 4.9-5.3

Very small microwave, supplied by inverter: 89

Toaster, supplied by inverter: 75

Apple Mac Book Pro, charged running from
inverter: 3.1 to 3.3


Propane detector Measured 9/1/15 0.076

Inverters (2) Measured 9/1/15 0.02
This is really helpful, idroba. Especially now that I realize how much battery power cooking a meal uses, we might go more towards those supermarket prepared foods we've always resisted, for longer trips where we can't take everything prepared from home. (Our home-made stuff tastes better, is healthier, &c.) We don't carry a toaster. Muffins are fine.

The onboard inverter use seems unnecessary. I bought a portable inverter at an auto parts shop and it plugs into the truck cigarette lighter. It works fine for recharging the laptop, which is where I watch DVDs. If we wanted to watch TV we'd stay at an RV park with hookups.

We really keep the thermostat low when we need to use the furnace at night. Last night we set it for 55F, but that was a bit much. We're headed to the Grand Canyon, though, where we need to run it at night due to sub-freezing temps.

We're coffee hounds, as well, but make it the old-fashioned drip way. We found a collapsible cone at REI to hold filter papers. Boil water on the stove, pour into the cone, then the coffee drips into a stainless steel insulated carafe or directly into the thermos.

We carry a Honda 2000, which is good for running anything but the AC.
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Old 04-26-2016, 06:11 PM   #36
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NWGetaways,
Thanks for this thread 😃👍🏻 Would you please list your electric system components? Type and number of batteries, 30 or 50 amp, converter, etc.


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Old 04-27-2016, 08:45 AM   #37
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Hi Caroyl,

I have two 6 volt Lifelines, 220 amp hours each. The only inverter I have is a small 175 watt unit that plugs into the 12 volt socket. Adequate for TV, DVd, and recharging iDevices.
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Old 04-28-2016, 11:09 AM   #38
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Off Grid Electricity - A Minimalist Approach

Quote:
Originally Posted by NWGetaways View Post
Hi Caroyl,

I have two 6 volt Lifelines, 220 amp hours each. The only inverter I have is a small 175 watt unit that plugs into the 12 volt socket. Adequate for TV, DVd, and recharging iDevices.

Thanks! What converter do you use or do you just recharge with something else?


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Old 04-28-2016, 12:15 PM   #39
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I have a Progressive Dynamics 9260 in the 19' and the stock 3 stage WFCO n the 22'.
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Old 07-22-2019, 01:37 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NWGetaways View Post
If youíre full-timing with a microwave, hair dryer, electric coffeemaker - this exercise is not for you. You can easily spend into the low 5 figures for solar, lithium, etc.

But letís attack this problem from the other direction - limiting demand in order to reduce the power system needed.

LED lights: 4 amp/hours per day.
Letís say we average 4 hours a day running 2 lights. Thatís more than I would realistically ever typically use, but at 6 or so watts each, that would be 1 amp per hour.

Daily total so far: 4 amp hours.

Propane refrigerator: 12 amp/hours per day
Please correct me if Iím wrong, but Iíve read that on propane there might be a 0.5 amp or so draw for the fan and control board. I think this estimate is high, but letís go with it.

Daily total so far: 16 amp hours.

Laptop and cell phones: 10 amp/hours per day
Running through a small inverter, so thereís a conversion penalty. These things are very light users though. I think this would be more than enough to watch a movie or two with enough left over to check on everybodyís Facebook cat videos many times during the day.

Daily total so far: 26 amp hours.

Propane detector: 3 amp/hours per day
Also not sure about this one. Feel free to correct me.

Daily total so far: 29 amp hours.

Water pump: 4 amp/hours per day
Also not sure about this one. Feel free to correct me.

Daily total so far: 33 amp hours.

Furnace: 0 amp/hours per day.
Sorry, this is the battery killer, so the Atwood has to go. Switch to catalytic, marine stove, heavy blankets, or aerobic exercises of your choice.

Daily total so far: Still 33 amp hours.

If you camp in the open (I donít) in a sunny climate (nope again) a single 100 watt solar panel would probably keep up with this. A 1000 watt generator for a couple hours every few days probably would as well.

Feel free to poke holes in my usage estimates.
I didn't even think to break things down like this, so I'm learning a lot. Thanks for this post!!
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