First, let me warn you, an electrician I am not. We have a 2000 Rockwood 2602 and I have absolutely no owner manuals.
My question is, when my TT is parked at home, should I keep it plugged in or should I only plug it in when I'm preparing to take it out soon to make sure the battery is charged? Do I want it to stay "topped off" I think I read that it's better to wear it down a bit more before recharging it.
We are thinking about getting a generator, as we have a few camping reservations with water hookups only. The campground as generator hours, 3 hours in the AM and 3 in the PM. Assuming we are running the fridge on propane and using the lights only at night, will running the generator during these times keep my battery charged?
Assume the generator is a 3000 watt continuous power generator. How long will it take to bring the battery back up to full from about 50%?
Since the generator can only be run til about 9pm, if I run the AC during that 3 hour span, will the TT keep cool for a while after?
Basically, I need to know what exactly you use your generator for when there are only "generator hours" and you can't use it full time.
We love camping at the beach and have been doing it in a tent for a few years and just moved up to a TT. We camped last weekend and it poured for most of the time. We had electric hookups, so our next outing will be a totally new experience with the TT and no electric.
I'm just not quite sure we need a generator. We will be camping four nights at a time and I'd like to use the refrigerator the whole time. The AC would be nice to cool down the TT during the day, but again, generators are only allowed to be run between 9am and 1pm and then 6-9.
I don't know if I'm asking the questions right, but, when there are such strict generator allowed hours, is it worth it?
Whatever insight you can give would be very much appreciated.
By the way, I'd like to applaud the RV community. I've read here about how RVers are so happy to help and I found that to be completely true. We were having a very hard time lowering our stabilizers and needed some help and some WD-40 (which I have now invested in my own!) The two campers around us were there in an instant in the rain, on the floor, trying to help us. They were amazing. I also didn't realize that my sight was a 50 amp service with an available 120 plug. Of course, didn't think I would need my adapter for the house and didn't bring it. The camper neighbor pulled out his extra and let me use it without batting an eye. We were sooo thankful for this help. They even let us have some leveling blocks because in my packing, I couldn't find mine!
Thank you to all who have helped your fellow campers! I can't wait til I can be of assistance to someone.
* This post was
edited 05/07/09 05:35pm by licountrygirl *
My experience only allows me to address your first question...we leave ours plugged in at home. First, I like to keep my Happy's Dry Air dehumidifier running 24/7. I need power to do that. I also like to putt around in the 5th wheel either cleaning, doing routine maintenance, or sometimes just hiding for some peace and quiet! Once I dewinterize, I usually start up the refer and leave it running also. I like the idea of having the fridge stocked and ready to go on a moments notice.
2011 Heartland Big Country 3450TS
2007.5 Chev LMM Duramax/Allison
2010 FLHTC Electra Glide Classic Red Hot Sunglo
Heartland Owners Club - Washington Chapter Leaders
Our DSDP is 7 years old, it's ALWAYS been plugged in when stored. The batteries are still in good condition and so is the refer, also left on all the time. I do turn the U-Line ice maker off between trips though. Oh yes, the storage bay refer/freezer is also on all the time as is the inverter.
No one can answer the question about the air con keeping the rig cool except you and that will vary with the outside temps, how cool you like it and how good the RV's insulation is.
By the way, the 50 amp plug is two legs of 50 amps each at 120 volts or 12,000 watts. I have a smapp adapter, only about 3" thick that plugs into the 50 amp and has a 20 amp out. Wonderful little adapter, much nicer than a dogbone one!
What you can run and how much generator time to recharge depends on your batteries capacity, their condition, how much you use them, how much charge your charger can put in in the limited time, etc.
We have 4 U-2200's deep cycle 6 volt batteries (230 amp hours each), we can go approx 8 hours without the generator before they need charging. Not very long, BUT we run TV's, lights, a laptop, ice maker and a 100# Refer/freezer off the batteries. We didn't order or rig with the idea of being "off the grid" for long periods, we go it so we could occasionally stay a few days boondocking. The less power you use the longer the batteries will last.
I would think in four days of camping your battery is going to need charged. We always carry our generators. If you need heat at night your battery will need charged in the morning. If you want to run the a/c your going to have to have the generator. As mentioned above one of the quiet gens is the way to go. I know the cost is much higher but, fuel use is way less, and the noise level is so quiet. When buying a gen it is not the time to save money. If you leave the gen at home, you could always plug into your truck and recharge while running the truck engine.
As for charging times that will depend on how low the battery is on charge, and how much power your converter will send to the battery. If you don't have a smart charger you might want to look into adding one to your converter. This will cause the converter to charge at a higher rate when the battery is discharged and taper the rate down as the battery charges. Without the smart charger I suspect a regular battery charger will charge the battery faster, provided it has a high enough amp rating to do so.
We always leave our rv plugged in, year around. Keeps the battery charged, and the fridge cold all summer.
2003 Jayco 308fbs eagle 33' tt, towed by a 2003 Ram 3500 slt, quad cab dually, cummins diesel ho, trailer towing package, with 6 speed manual. Hauls better 1/2, 3 kids, myself, and a 2003 ez go clays car.. I have added so far, neon lights, clearance lights, back up lights, black light, lift kit, mud tires, and everything necessary to make the golf cart street legal. It's now ready to spend the winter in the garage for more mods. More neon, strobe lights, alarm, a pa system, maintance, and whatever else that comes along. This golf cart does wheelies and travels thru 7 inches of mud when need be. Two honda eu2000i gens twinned to supply the electrical power. Latest addition an 04 Honda Goldwing. [url]http://www.hometown.aol.com/rvnagain/myhomepage/profile.html[url]
If you get a generator, I suggest that you invest in one of the quiet ones. We have a Honda EU2000i and you can barely hear it running inside the trailer (or 20' away). We also have one of the "contractor" generators at home for power outages. It's so loud that we would rather do without electricity than run it (and we have 12" stone walls on the house!). Running one of those at a campground, even during limited hours, will make you very unpopular.
FWIW, we keep our rigs plugged in to keep the refrigerators cold.
If you do keep it plugged in at home, be sure to check the fluid level in your batteries frequently
2012 Keystone Cougar 327RES 5th wheel
2006 Sundowner horse trailer with living quarters
Chevy C3500 tow vehicle
1st welcome to the wonderful world of rv'ing... So cool to hear about your experience with other campers. I can say, I have been on both ends of that equation. It's also great to hear your statement, that you can't wait til you can help someone! Very nice.
2nd, the first question is about charging. What you need to find out is if you have a smart charger. There are a couple of different ways. You can contact the mfg and see if they can provide you a manual and answer the question. Or, you can get a meter, then plug in the trailer and see what it shows when charging. If starts high, then tapers off to a trickle, then you have a smart charger... Then, when you get it home, just plug it in and leave it. My trailer stays plugged in year around... I check the battery water regularly, but with a smart charger it will not overcharge and "cook" the battery. There are some others members I am sure will provide you the exact charging rate numbers. This will also help in how long it takes to recharge with a generator...
Third, if you are planning on "boondocking" alot - which is essentially camping without hookups, then you may want to think about a couple things. Possibly dual batteries, and if you want A/C then a generator is a must. Personally, I am all about the quieter models... Just for the annoyance factor... Plus these tend to be of better quality. A good genny, smart charger and regular charging cylcle will charge the battery just fine given your stated usage... 6 hours is plenty.
As far as keeping the trailer cool... I would add a fantastic fan or polar aire fan. Then if it is hot, use the genny to cool it down in the evening, then run the fan crack a window and it should keep you nice and cool.
Good luck and have fun... before you know it, you will be an old hand and you will be the one offering the answers.
05' Layton Lite 170LT Cascade edition
06' Chevy Silverado K1500
We-No-Nah Rendevous, a Ljutic, a Remington, a Hard Rock Pro, a Polaris 550XP & Raleigh the Hunter
Ours stays plugged in from the time we get home till we pull out again.
1* DW "Granny"
1* 2008 Brookside by Sunnybrook 32'
1* 2002 F250 Super Duty 7.3L PSD
Husky 16K hitch, Tekonsha P3,
Firestone Ride Rite Air Springs, Trailair Equa-Flex, Champion C46540
"A bad day camping is better than a good day at work!"