RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Figuring this power stuff has my head spinning

RV Blog

  |  

RV Sales

  |  

Campgrounds

  |  

RV Parks

  |  

RV Club

  |  

RV Buyers Guide

  |  

Roadside Assistance

  |  

Extended Service Plan

  |  

RV Travel Assistance

  |  

RV Credit Card

  |  

RV Loans

Open Roads Forum Already a member? Login here.   If not, Register Today!  |  Help

Newest  |  Active  |  Popular  |  RVing FAQ Forum Rules  |  Forum Posting Help and Support  |  Contact  

Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Tech Issues

Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Figuring this power stuff has my head spinning

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 4  
Prev  |  Next
Sponsored By:
mordecai81

United States

Full Member

Joined: 10/13/2015

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 06/07/19 09:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a Champion 3000w generator that will run the AC and a stand alone 60 amp Boondocker charger that I plug into the generator and then use jumper cables to attach to the battery posts. It charges the battery as efficiently as is possible via a generator. We also have roof and portable solar that is either very helpful or not at all depending on weather and shade. If you charge only with the built in converter/charger, NPS campgrounds don't have long enough generator hours to get the batts fully charged.

Vintage465

Prunedale CA.

Senior Member

Joined: 05/02/2015

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 06/07/19 09:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

SoonerWing03 wrote:

valhalla360 wrote:

Big question: What do you plan to run when off the grid and how long?

Odds are the charging unit (converter) isn't a big issue worth addressing right now.

Do you plan to run air/con off grid? If yes, that means the generator will be running and charging isn't a major consideration. This is typically the turning point between operating off battery power vs running the generator.

If you are just running a few lights and maybe the TV off battery, you batteries should get you at least a couple days and then an hour or two running the generator (which powers the battery charger) should keep you going.


For this trip I doubt we will need the AC but if I am going to purchase a generator I might as well get one big enough to run the AC in the event that we want to go off the grid in lower elevations. Going off grid just opens up sooooo many more opportunities and is really at the essence of what I want our family camping experiences to be. However my wife is more of a "glamper" so I will have to meet her in the middle.

We like our coffee in the morning and the kids will want to be able to charge their phones at night. We would probably watch 1 maybe 2 tv's for an hour or two in the evening and may play a movie on 1 of them requiring a DVD player. If the phones have much of a signal at al, they will opt for playing around on them rather than the TV once the sun goes down. 1 or 2 lights max would be all we need and they are already LED's.

"We Like our coffee in the morning..." It is really easy to make great coffee on the stove top with a percolator or use a quality drip type unit you pour water through. If you can....the less items you run off 110v, the easier it is to keep the 12volters up.


V-465
2013 GMC 2500HD Denali. 2015 Creekside 20fq w/450 watts solar. Retiring in 2021, then look-out road, here we come!

2oldman

Ca

Senior Member

Joined: 04/15/2001

View Profile


Online
Posted: 06/08/19 07:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This tutorial was of immense help to me when starting out.
12v side of life.

Most everyone understands generators, but it takes a bit of study to get knowledgable about inverters, which are a really nice quiet source of AC power at night to watch TV and in the morning to make coffee.

BFL13

Victoria, BC

Senior Member

Joined: 02/15/2006

View Profile



Posted: 06/08/19 07:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mordecai81 wrote:

I have a Champion 3000w generator that will run the AC and a stand alone 60 amp Boondocker charger that I plug into the generator and then use jumper cables to attach to the battery posts. It charges the battery as efficiently as is possible via a generator. We also have roof and portable solar that is either very helpful or not at all depending on weather and shade. If you charge only with the built in converter/charger, NPS campgrounds don't have long enough generator hours to get the batts fully charged.


I don't think this actually means "fully charged" as stated, but more of in general terms. You would never try to do the last 10% of SOC on generator even if they let you and you had enough gas for the generator. You do 50-80s or 50-90s. Maybe 40-80s. Whatever works.

Even so, the gen hours may be too short to do a 50-90 or 50-80 unless you have the set-up to do that. I had to equip for doing a 50-90 in two hours to meet gen hours, with a 450 AH bank at 50%.

I was able to do that by using enough charging amps at the proper voltage of 14.8 (15.2 at 35F when I was doing this sometimes) which was 130 amps of non-PF corrected chargers adding their amps. To run those I had to max out my Honda 3000is. One more charging amp and it would pop the breaker [emoticon]

In the above case, a second 60 amper at the same set voltage would provide 120 amps and would run off that 3000w gen.

These days I only have a smaller generator that is maxed out running a 75 amp charger. I am reduced to doing 50-80s not 50-90s in the two hours or else cheat and leave it to run overtime. Park Rangers don't seem to care that much, so I have been getting away with going a bit longer.

Point being, you can arrange things to suit the scenario. You are not stuck with what the trailer came with.


1991 Oakland 28DB Class C
on Ford E350-460-7.5 Gas EFI
See Profile for House electronics set-up.

westend

Shorewood, MN

Senior Member

Joined: 11/17/2011

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 06/08/19 11:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Running A/C--You need 3000W of generator power. Break it down any way you want.
Running cell phones, TV's, laptop chargers, lights, water pump, and furnace--You need sufficient 12V power to accomplish it. Add up the draw of all your 12V devices and size battery bank/charging potential accordingly.


'03 F-250 4x4 CC
'71 Starcraft Wanderstar -- The Cowboy/Hilton

valhalla360

No paticular place.

Senior Member

Joined: 08/19/2009

View Profile



Posted: 06/09/19 05:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

SoonerWing03 wrote:


For this trip I doubt we will need the AC but if I am going to purchase a generator I might as well get one big enough to run the AC in the event that we want to go off the grid in lower elevations. Going off grid just opens up sooooo many more opportunities and is really at the essence of what I want our family camping experiences to be. However my wife is more of a "glamper" so I will have to meet her in the middle.

We like our coffee in the morning and the kids will want to be able to charge their phones at night. We would probably watch 1 maybe 2 tv's for an hour or two in the evening and may play a movie on 1 of them requiring a DVD player. If the phones have much of a signal at al, they will opt for playing around on them rather than the TV once the sun goes down. 1 or 2 lights max would be all we need and they are already LED's.


Just run the generator for an hour or two in the morning while the coffee is brewing.

Get a 12v car adapter for phone charging (most RVs have a cigarette lighter plug).

Only thing that might be a minor issue is the TV. Unless it's a 12v model, you will need a small inverter (converts 12v DC to 120v AC). For the TV, you don't need anything big.

One thing to note: You won't get the batteries up to 100% charge. As you get up around 80-90% full, the amount of charge they will take starts to drop off...the result is that last 10% can take hours to refill. So plan to operate between 50%-90% charge. (lower than 50% is hard on batteries)

Just get it up around 80-90% full on the generator and when you get home plug in so it occasionally gets up to 100% and its not a problem.

If you find yourself doing a lot of boondocking without air/con, you might want to consider a solar system but once you have a generator, the incremental cost of fuel saved will likely never cover the cost of a solar system...it would mostly be about the advantage of set it and forget it.


Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2008 Copper Canyon 5er
Catalac Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and 5er


ajriding

st clair

Senior Member

Joined: 12/28/2004

View Profile



Posted: 06/22/19 08:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

wa8yxm wrote:

I will deal with the size issue.

Many posts the person says "I have a 12 volt battery".. great. I'm looking at a 12 volt battery as I type. I can hold it in one hand comfortably 7 Amp hours capacity.

I once borrowed a battery from a battery company for a weekend This sucker was a good 4 feet long. 3 or more high and a foot thick. they loaded it on my rented trailer with a fork lift. another of the same powered the fork lift.. About a thousand amp hours.

See what "I have a 12 volt battery" is not enough information.. both are 12 volt batteries.


When, on an RV forum, someone says, "12 volt battery" then they are obviously talking about those special flashlight batteries that you can tuck into your pocket, because every RVer needs to carry spare flashlight batteries. You can speculate on what the person means by 12v, but why, for goodness sake, would you take time to post this? Stay within the context of the discussion please.

wa8yxm

Wherever I happen to park

Senior Member

Joined: 07/04/2006

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 06/22/19 04:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well even the difference between a group 24 and a group 31 (75 and 130 amp hours) is a big difference. I was just pointing out the absurdity of not posting the battery SIZE. I have even seen 4D batteries in a motor home (220 amp horus)


Home is where I park it.
Kenwood TS-2000 housed in a 2005 Damon Intruder 377


Harvey51

Alberta

Senior Member

Joined: 12/11/2006

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 06/24/19 06:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We never plug in to shore power even at home except battery charging once or twice in winter. No generator. We camp only in Canada, usually fairly far north where air conditioning is not necessary. Some charging from the engine while driving. I tried a single 100 watt solar panel flat on the roof first to see what it could do. I was very pleasantly surprised that it fulfilled all our electricity needs. Since installing the solar panel about 5 years ago I have never seen the batteries below 80% charge. Now we don’t worry about electricity at all - water is the limiting factor in our boondocking. We were just out for a full week in campsites without electricity with the battery monitor indicating 100% all the time. The freshwater tank and two jugs of drinking water just made the week. We use propane for the fridge and making tea or coffee on the stove.


2004 E350 Adventurer (Canadian) 20 footer - Alberta, Canada
No TV + 100W solar = no generator needed

larkyblast

calgary

New Member

Joined: 05/28/2019

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 06/26/19 02:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Harvey51 wrote:

We never plug in to shore power even at home except battery charging once or twice in winter. No generator. We camp only in Canada, usually fairly far north where air conditioning is not necessary. Some charging from the engine while driving. I tried a single 100 watt solar panel flat on the roof first to see what it could do. I was very pleasantly surprised that it fulfilled all our electricity needs. Since installing the solar panel about 5 years ago I have never seen the batteries below 80% charge. Now we don’t worry about electricity at all - water is the limiting factor in our boondocking. We were just out for a full week in campsites without electricity with the battery monitor indicating 100% all the time. The freshwater tank and two jugs of drinking water just made the week. We use propane for the fridge and making tea or coffee on the stove.


Harvey, do you winter camp as well with your unit? What do you get out of your solar then? I don't want to run a generator, but am having trouble making it work (on paper) with less than 400W of solar in winter. We only need the circulation pump for the heat and a few lights.

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 4  
Prev  |  Next

Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Figuring this power stuff has my head spinning
Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Tech Issues


New posts No new posts
Closed, new posts Closed, no new posts
Moved, new posts Moved, no new posts

Adjust text size:




© 2020 CWI, Inc. © 2020 Good Sam Enterprises, LLC. All Rights Reserved.