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Old 11-24-2012, 09:44 AM   #1
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Boondocking for the first time

We need to have the coach at the dealer's at 8AM on Monday so we decided to drive there the afternoon before (it's a long drive). There are no hookups available so we'll be boondocking overnight Sunday. We've never done this before and are looking for tips for power management.

We have a generator and inverter. Hubby will want his perked coffee and toast Monday morning. The low Sunday night is expected to be 52 degrees.

I don't think we'll need heat overnight; we usually sleep with windows open. Guess I'm wondering more about using lights and the inverter to run the coffee maker and toaster. How will that affect the batteries? If the coach batteries go down, will we be able to start the generator and recharge them?

Anything else we should consider?
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:57 AM   #2
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I would ask the dealer to alow you to park in their lot.

'11 Rv.. I would say you have plenty of battery for one night.
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Old 11-24-2012, 10:19 AM   #3
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It all depends on how many batteries you have and their condition. Generally speaking, you should fine with one overnight stay. Big 120v items (microwave, coffee pots and elect heaters) on an inverter do take their toll, but again it depends on the condition of the batteries and how many Amp Hours they have.

If you have a volt meter in the coach that gives you reading on the house batteries, you can let them get down to 12.0v before needing to run the generator.

If you want to just play it safe until you know what you can do, just run the genny when making coffee or using the micro.

You should have a "Boost' switch on the dash that will connect both battery banks for emergency starting of the engine or generator if one of the banks are weak. You can also just start the engine for a bit then start the genny, once started, turn the engine off. Overall, I'm sure you'll have no problems.
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Old 11-24-2012, 10:23 AM   #4
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if in doubt, just start the generator while making coffee and toast. I would think you have plenty of battery to run the furance all night if you get cold. that is rving is all about. enjoy.
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Old 11-24-2012, 10:26 AM   #5
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Jillie --

We were told by the dealer on our 2011 Ventana 3433 that with inverter and all house batteries fully charged before going to bed (top off charge with gen set if needed) that there should be no worries about reasonable usage of all electrical appliances in evening, through night and into morning before you leave parked status.

Not sure if you have hydronic heat or not but if so, same applies there -- there should be no worries to you overnight on anything if temps stay where your weather report says they will. If you have Energy Management, coach will automatically shut down appliances as needed to keep the critical ones going if you use too many all at once (doesn't sound like you will be doing so however).

Have a safe trip.

Happy Motoring!

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Old 11-24-2012, 11:04 AM   #6
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I'm planning to put the fridge on propane and use propane for hot water. We'd like to watch some tv in the evening (Sunday night football), warm supper in the microwave, have coffee and toast in the morning, take a hot shower (or two), and use lights. Would be nice if my electric blanket worked overnight.

From what you all are telling me, we should be able to do those things using the inverter and running the generator perhaps in the morning to recharge. One good thing is if we have problems, the dealer opens at 8 the next morning.

Deek: Don't know if we have Energy Management; will check into it. Some of the things they went over with us when we purchased this unit didn't click with us then. We're still figuring out exactly what we've got here and how to use it. Love it when we realize we've got something we didn't know we had.
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Old 11-24-2012, 11:17 AM   #7
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It all sounds doable, but the electric blanket would be a bit of a concern to me. When we boondock, we watch TV in the evening, but only run the microwave from the generator. In the morning, after the propane heater has run overnight, there isn't a lot left in the four house batteries, and we're on our third set since new. This means running the inverter for a coffee maker isn't doable in the morning and the generator becomes necessary--unfortunately many parks don't allow generators to come on before 9am or 10am.(10am is a bit silly, but it's the rule at a state park on the ocean that we stay at often.)

You shouldn't need much more than an hour to charge the batteries with a 2000 watt inverter/charger set at 30 or 50 amps. The good news about DP's is that they were made to allow boondocking for a week for two people due to tank sizes and battery capacity.
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:07 PM   #8
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Forget the electric blanket and all else will be fine. With frig and water heater on propane your other draws won't be enough to cause problems.

But seeing how your going to someplace where you'll be having repairs done, I would push the system to it's max. That way I'd know it's limitations should any emergency come up down the road.

So I would shut off chassis batts and run everything as normal, plus a little. If you run the house batts to low to start the genny, you'll still be able to start the main engine. I've started our old Onan 7.5 kw at 11.5 volts before.
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:16 PM   #9
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Think I'm beginning to look forward to the night in the 'boonies'. Haven't done primitive since the tent days.
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:31 PM   #10
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Jillie,

How do you like you coach so far? My wife really likes the Ventana 3434 floorplan, says we should buy a smaller coach--which is funny since she's never driven our 38' in 12 years!
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Old 11-24-2012, 01:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Regan View Post
Jillie,

How do you like you coach so far? My wife really likes the Ventana 3434 floorplan, says we should buy a smaller coach--which is funny since she's never driven our 38' in 12 years!
We really like it Jeff. Like the layout. Like the features; the pullout buffet table is the greatest. Could use a bit more inside storage though. And I need to find a way to put a shelf in the kitchen cabinet. No major problems with anything yet. (fingers crossed)
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