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Old 12-22-2019, 07:08 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
 
Toronto , Ontario
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 9
19í Flying Cloud

We are new owners, and will be picking up our 2017 in the spring.
What do we need to know?
What do we need to buy?
We are thinking of dry camping for 4 days, without solar or generator and would like helpful suggestions.
Much appreciated!
DL
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Old 12-22-2019, 07:28 AM   #2
dropped rivet in grass
 
2019 23' Flying Cloud
Tarzan , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2019
Posts: 50
Nothing like bringing it home and then driveway camping for a few days. You will inevitably discover all kinds of issues ranging from what to bring to where to put all the stuff to how much and what to take out to bring the GVW down to acceptable limits. Better to find that out at home than four hours away.
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Old 12-22-2019, 08:15 AM   #3
2016 19ft flying cloud
 
Spokane , Washington
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 132
You can pick up a inexpensive solar set up for $200
It will plug in to your AS and save your batteries
You will draw your batteries down to a damaging level in four days without any assistance
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Old 12-22-2019, 11:01 AM   #4
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2018 25' International
Slidell , Louisiana
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 493
Tall Grass is spot on. Great advice.

At the very least while roughing it in the driveway go through in your mind everything you might do while dry camping.

Lots of great videos on YouTube. Here are some of the things we had the most trouble with when first starting and also when first dry camping:

Water management: Didn't run out of fresh water since we hauled more and could get more with a short drive. Had a lot of trouble with grey tank management. Showers and cleaning. Lots of advice online on how to reduce water use but it takes planning and practice.

Battery management: Know your battery capacity. Understand the safe degree of discharge. You should avoid drawing down the stock battery more than 50% so your available power is half the capacity in this case. Consider the weather. The propane furnace uses a fair to large current draw for the fan. The power vent is not a lot but it uses some. Four days, 3 nights with just the refrigerator an occasional lights will likely consume about 70-100 Amp hours. Depending on your battery(s), you may not make it with some intervention.

If it's a touch cold, we found a heated massage table mattress pad is great. Uses less current than the furnace. Running the very minimum we use 1.2 Amps. A light or two plus the inverter and the heating pads and we are up to 1.6 Amps. We have solar but if we did not, we'd get three days safely on our batteries and four if we took them down to 65% DOD, which is not too hard on our AGM batteries.

Cookware: This took us a while to get it right and it depends on your style an preference more than anything else. We didn't know what our preference was at first. We though we did, but no... Outdoor cooking we ended up using a double dutch oven and open fire most. Indoor, we simply default to the microwave.

We got a Solo Fire Pit and we love it! Almost smokeless! But the medium and small can't handle standard 18" firewood, don't know about the large one. I cut my wood in half with a chainsaw.

When you're connected to power use the Heat Pump when its warmer than 45F and a portable space heater when it is below. Propane is pricey.

Get a water filter for sure, I also strongly recommend a surge protector.

Does your tow vehicle have an electric brake controller? If not, get one installed.
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Old 12-23-2019, 05:52 AM   #5
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Toronto , Ontario
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tall Grass View Post
Nothing like bringing it home and then driveway camping for a few days. You will inevitably discover all kinds of issues ranging from what to bring to where to put all the stuff to how much and what to take out to bring the GVW down to acceptable limits. Better to find that out at home than four hours away.


Great idea. We had planned on spending one night at the dealership, but that is only for trouble shooting how things work. A few days in the driveway, with the ability to take or leave items, would be so helpful.
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Old 12-23-2019, 05:53 AM   #6
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Toronto , Ontario
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spinonedad View Post
You can pick up a inexpensive solar set up for $200
It will plug in to your AS and save your batteries
You will draw your batteries down to a damaging level in four days without any assistance


Do I need different batteries to plug in a solar panel?
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Old 12-23-2019, 05:57 AM   #7
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Toronto , Ontario
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Posts: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by BayouBiker View Post
Tall Grass is spot on. Great advice.

At the very least while roughing it in the driveway go through in your mind everything you might do while dry camping.

Lots of great videos on YouTube. Here are some of the things we had the most trouble with when first starting and also when first dry camping:

Water management: Didn't run out of fresh water since we hauled more and could get more with a short drive. Had a lot of trouble with grey tank management. Showers and cleaning. Lots of advice online on how to reduce water use but it takes planning and practice.

Battery management: Know your battery capacity. Understand the safe degree of discharge. You should avoid drawing down the stock battery more than 50% so your available power is half the capacity in this case. Consider the weather. The propane furnace uses a fair to large current draw for the fan. The power vent is not a lot but it uses some. Four days, 3 nights with just the refrigerator an occasional lights will likely consume about 70-100 Amp hours. Depending on your battery(s), you may not make it with some intervention.

If it's a touch cold, we found a heated massage table mattress pad is great. Uses less current than the furnace. Running the very minimum we use 1.2 Amps. A light or two plus the inverter and the heating pads and we are up to 1.6 Amps. We have solar but if we did not, we'd get three days safely on our batteries and four if we took them down to 65% DOD, which is not too hard on our AGM batteries.

Cookware: This took us a while to get it right and it depends on your style an preference more than anything else. We didn't know what our preference was at first. We though we did, but no... Outdoor cooking we ended up using a double dutch oven and open fire most. Indoor, we simply default to the microwave.

We got a Solo Fire Pit and we love it! Almost smokeless! But the medium and small can't handle standard 18" firewood, don't know about the large one. I cut my wood in half with a chainsaw.

When you're connected to power use the Heat Pump when its warmer than 45F and a portable space heater when it is below. Propane is pricey.

Get a water filter for sure, I also strongly recommend a surge protector.

Does your tow vehicle have an electric brake controller? If not, get one installed.


Thank you for the great suggestions. Do you recommend a brand of surge protector?
We will get a brake controller installed, thank you!
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Old 12-28-2019, 02:55 PM   #8
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Toronto , Ontario
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spinonedad View Post
You can pick up a inexpensive solar set up for $200
It will plug in to your AS and save your batteries
You will draw your batteries down to a damaging level in four days without any assistance


Do we need to change the AS batteries to add the solar panels?
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Old 12-28-2019, 03:15 PM   #9
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2017 19' Flying Cloud
Calgary , Alberta
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 59
Images: 2
Congratulations on your purchase of a 2017 FC19!

That is what I have. I've owned since new and have enjoyed it. Like all other models there are certain quirks. A couple things I've found the greatest value from are:

1) change out of the Parallax converter with a Progressive Dynamic unit

2) Replace stock batteries with 2, 220 amp hour 6 volts

3) Install battery isolation switch to prevent parasitic load from discharging batteries in storage.

The dealer made a variety of small repairs under warranty but for the most part all has been good.
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Old 12-28-2019, 08:17 PM   #10
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Toronto , Ontario
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 9
Great information. Thank you for the details. Did you add solar panels? We are thinking of having 200 watts installed, if feasible.
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Old 12-29-2019, 07:50 AM   #11
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2017 19' Flying Cloud
Calgary , Alberta
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 59
Images: 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oakley View Post
Great information. Thank you for the details. Did you add solar panels? We are thinking of having 200 watts installed, if feasible.
I am planning on installing solar this spring. These units are pre-wired for solar from the factory so installation is pretty straight forward. There is a 3 port connector on the roof and the wiring for the charge controller is in the compartment under the street side dinette seat. I’ve measured the roof in detail and have determined 2 90W Long (90L) Zamp panels will fit nicely. one on each side of the roof at the front. The TV antenna will slightly shade the panel on the street side but that is unavoidable given the limited space. I will be sourcing everything from AM Solar.
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Old 12-29-2019, 08:20 AM   #12
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2016 16' Sport
Miami , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronyx View Post
I am planning on installing solar this spring. These units are pre-wired for solar from the factory so installation is pretty straight forward. There is a 3 port connector on the roof and the wiring for the charge controller is in the compartment under the street side dinette seat. Iíve measured the roof in detail and have determined 2 90W Long (90L) Zamp panels will fit nicely. one on each side of the roof at the front. The TV antenna will slightly shade the panel on the street side but that is unavoidable given the limited space. I will be sourcing everything from AM Solar.
If you use two Zamp 45s on the side with the antenna then only one of the panels will get some shading. They are the same width as the 90s. 0ne 45 with slight shading added to a 45 in full sun shoulder have better results the one 90 with partial shading.
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Old 12-29-2019, 09:50 AM   #13
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2019 22' Sport
Carlsbad , California
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 161
Oakley, confirm you have the solar pre-wire at the frame in front, that is for a portable panel. If you start with a portable it is always useful, even if/when you add solar on top. You can put the portable in the sun anywhere you go (avoid the trees/shadows).

No need to change batteries at first, just make sure you have a way to charge them (solar or generator). If you havenít considered a generator, look at that too. Getting a dual fuel 2200w generator gives you guaranteed power, and you can tap right in to your propane at the quick connect port. No need to carry gasoline at all.

Have fun with the trailer, it is an awesome experience
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Old 01-12-2020, 08:48 AM   #14
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Toronto , Ontario
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prettygood View Post
Oakley, confirm you have the solar pre-wire at the frame in front, that is for a portable panel. If you start with a portable it is always useful, even if/when you add solar on top. You can put the portable in the sun anywhere you go (avoid the trees/shadows).

No need to change batteries at first, just make sure you have a way to charge them (solar or generator). If you havenít considered a generator, look at that too. Getting a dual fuel 2200w generator gives you guaranteed power, and you can tap right in to your propane at the quick connect port. No need to carry gasoline at all.

Have fun with the trailer, it is an awesome experience


Sorry for the delay; I thought I had replied. Thank you for the suggestions and input. Where we plan on going, doesnít allow generators. We have decided to have the dealer install 2 Zamp 100 panels, before we pick it up in the spring.

This is a novice question, but, are any of the electrical outlets functional an DC?
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Old 02-26-2020, 09:04 PM   #15
1 Rivet Member
 
Toronto , Ontario
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronyx View Post
Congratulations on your purchase of a 2017 FC19!



That is what I have. I've owned since new and have enjoyed it. Like all other models there are certain quirks. A couple things I've found the greatest value from are:



1) change out of the Parallax converter with a Progressive Dynamic unit



2) Replace stock batteries with 2, 220 amp hour 6 volts



3) Install battery isolation switch to prevent parasitic load from discharging batteries in storage.



The dealer made a variety of small repairs under warranty but for the most part all has been good.


Thank you for the tips. We are having the dealer install 200 watts of solar, and will ask about your suggested upgrades.
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Old 02-27-2020, 05:04 AM   #16
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2017 19' Flying Cloud
Calgary , Alberta
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 59
Images: 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oakley View Post
Sorry for the delay; I thought I had replied. Thank you for the suggestions and input. Where we plan on going, doesnít allow generators. We have decided to have the dealer install 2 Zamp 100 panels, before we pick it up in the spring.

This is a novice question, but, are any of the electrical outlets functional an DC?
There are several 110v outlets labeled for inverter use. When on battery power, there is a button to the right of the galley that will activate the 1000w inverter. this will give you power at the aforementioned inverter outlets.
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