We can manage nearly a week on a single battery without being drastic about it. As previously mentioned, the batteries will last a lot longer than you would expect. I have a dual 6V setup now and really have no idea how long it will last, haven't run them down yet.
I hear more and more generators in the non elctric campgrounds than ever. I am always wondering what people are doing to need to run the generator so much. Guess I am just old school and grew up without electricity in campgrounds very often, so it's no biggy to me either way.
I've only a small decent G24 but doing a long weekend is a no brainer for me as well . People just don't believe they live off the grid for more than a few hours- heck we'd go a week tent camping without shore power when the kids were babies. Kills me.
Now with all the electronics that come with us I have conceded to daily charging of cell phones, mp3 players and netbooks/laptops - keeps the kids happy which is becoming harder to do as they get older
It is amazing how things have changed. When I camped with my parents in the '50s, electricity was rare in campgrounds. It was just about all tents with just a very few trailers. The Coleman lanterns provided the light at night, and the white gas Coleman stoves or charcoal for cooking, even the trailers had gas lights, and don't remember them having a battery.
Later on as electricity was installed, the only thing used was a drop light in the tents, few used them because they charged more if you wanted the juice. We often mused why anyone would go camping and want electricity, if you want all the conveniences, just stay home.
A couple weeks ago I was camping in Michigan's U.P. at the Wells State Park. It was completely full because some kind of Halloween deal was going on. I was just passing through and lucked out and got a spot because of a cancellation. I'm guessing there are about a 150 campsites, I walked around and saw just two tents. Also most the campsites were lit up, felt like they wanted to bring the city with them.
That said, as an older more mature gentleman (cough,lol), I like the conveniences, I use the camper as a motel for traveling, and boondock at my destinations. Probably not really camping either as I bring a generator and enjoy watching TV in the morning and night, I'm outside all day.
The trailers are made for using without hookups, but I'll bet most are never used that way, but with one problem.... there are so many parasitic loads that a generator is pretty much a necessity (smoke/co2/propane alarms, antenna amp, radio face,etc), the poor battery doesn't have a chance.
We camped last weekend at Cataloochee, NC. It's a beautiful valley, but no power hookups. Water is available at spigots around the campground... we were able to connect several hoses to fill our tank directly. Night time temps were into the mid to low 30's. We had a good time, but need to figure out our power storage/usage issues.
With the two batteries, we're just not getting as much from them as I would expect. Maybe I should replace the older one with a newer one also... don't know.
First night we used very little incondecent lighting and set the heat around 55, we woke to little power. One shower and we had to start the generator. Ran the generator for a couple hours to get ready, but not later in the day to fully charge the batteries.
Second night we used no lights and set the heat at about 50... woke to almost no power. Start the generator, get ready... but not later in the day to fully charge the batteries.
Third night we used no lights, turned off the water pump, set the heat at 50 and woke the next morning to the LP alarm beeping... very low power. Start the generator, let it run for a couple hours. Ran it again that night for a couple hours to charge the batteries.
Fourth night used no lights, turned off the water pump, set the heat at 50, turned off power to the radio (I have a cut-off to disconnect it completely), we also found a "climate control" switch on the fridge which we turned off... next morning we had enough power for showers, but very little more.
Each night/morning it was VERY cold... we need help.
I expect we have a storage or consumption problem we need to resolve. With two deep cell "Type 27" batteries, I would expect to make it a little longer without recharging. One battery was purchased 2 or 3 years ago... one was purchased last month. We do not have a disconnect switch and the one battery was never removed... it's discharged completely multiple times.
I have a disconnect switch and will be installing it soon... I need to find an appropriate weather-proof electrical box to install it in as it's not weather-proof. I plan to bring the batteries to the house (we use a storage facility) to fully charge them.
So, any thoughts on where to start? Is there a way to check the storage capabilities of the batteries? Should I take them to AutoZone to have them tested or check the voltage on a meter after charging?
I've returned the loud generator and will be looking for a red or blue one. I felt like a heel every time I started that thing at 8am... sorry neighbors.
Harbor Freight sells a 1000 watt inverter generator for $129 or for $89 on their monthly sales. The thing is real small & light. It barely sips the gas, I can run it all evening lighting up & heating the tt. Being a cheap model it is louder than I'd like it to be, but I put an old insulated moving blanket around three sides of it to shield alot of the noise. I point the muffler end into the woods away from the direction of any other campers. I've gotten alot of use out of it, not just for camping and couldn't be happier with it.
I may have missed it in the comments but didnt see where you had a "smart mode" converter with your trailer. That is one of the best things to do as it will charge up your battery bank in as little as 3-4 hours by connecting your shore power cable directly to the 2KW generator using a RV30A-15A 18-inch long adapter from Walmart. The smart mode converter will do great re-charging your batteries and then you are ready to do it all over again the next night.
I use three GP24 Batteries in my battery bank and do just about everything I do at a regualr electric site except run the air conditioner. Since most of the sites we go to have generator hours the short time required to run the generator works out great for us.
So that is my input is to add a "smart mode" converter like the PD4600 series or the PD9200 series and I would also beef up the battery cables to at least 4GA size cables while you are making additions. Having LEDs lights is another hugh DC power savings as well (get the 4.99 LED boards from ebay - CHina). We can stay out in the woods probably as long as we want if we get to run the 2KW generator the next to re-charge our batteries.
My Posts are IMHO based on my experiences - PM me Roy and Carolyn
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