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Old 02-12-2014, 04:50 PM   #57
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If you can't get into a campground near where you are just be sure to have your fuel tank topped off. If you get to a 1/4 tank you'll find that the generator will not run.

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Old 02-12-2014, 04:54 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by 4tfamily View Post
Ps batteries are BRAND new. Got them this fall. First trip with them. Not planning on boondocking ever again in this kind of weather. Just a quick overnight stop which ended up quicker than expected. So we should be running the genny even when moving? Doesn't the engine charge the batteries? Sorry if I'm asking not-so-bright questions!
Well, how many do you have and what size & kind are they?
The engine MAY be charging them and they may just not be large enough to handle the load you are imposing. On the other hand...the alternator may not be charging them...or may not be set up to charge them. Easy to figure out with a small 10 buck voltmeter... just take a reading at the battery terminals while parked with engine off. Then turn the engine on and wait a minute or two and take another reading. You should see readings of AT LEAST 13.2V if the alternator chaarges your batts. If your readings are in the 12V range...you need to run your genny to charge them...or plug in somewhere.

You've already done some damage to your deep cycle house batteries by allowing them to discharge way below 50%. Suggest you get a real battery monitor (like the Victron BMV602) to prevent their premature death and enable you to monitor charging and use in real time.

For example... if you know you have 225 amp hours of batteries when fully charged...it means you have 112.5 amp hours of use to the 50% recharge point. It would also be good to know how many amps your heater fans, lights etc. are using on a cold evening...because if it is say 20 amps...then you'll need to be turning the genny on in 5 or 6 hours for a recharge. Then it might be nice to know how long you have to run the genny to get back to a 100% charge while using your coach normally at the same time. You may also decide to expand your battery bank size to stay off the genny longer. This is why a good battery monitor is valuable for those who like to boondock rather than stay plugged in.

Anyway...stay warm....it ain't much better down here in the South today!

Cam... Georgetown 280DS 2015
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Old 02-12-2014, 04:56 PM   #59
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to 4tfamity
there is a koa park at exit 90 called lickdale koa it is open year bound. Hope this helps you out.

There is also a year round park south of Harrisburg called western ranch
Barry A.M.
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Old 02-12-2014, 05:00 PM   #60
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both campgrounds are off rt 81
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Old 02-12-2014, 05:28 PM   #61
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I hope your not in PA., VA. or points south. To be safe you need to be in western PA. or Ohio. From Pittsburgh south and southeast your screwed / grid-lock. Thursday will be a mess in the eastern seaboard. I would have taken I-80 west & I-71 to Columbus and Cincinnati.
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Old 02-12-2014, 05:34 PM   #62
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Download the "WeatherBug" app onto your iPhone. They have a active weather radar for any location that your at.
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Old 02-12-2014, 05:41 PM   #63
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Old 02-12-2014, 05:46 PM   #64
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I would not head south. Supposed to be to an inch of ice in many parts of Ga. And S. C. And not just in higher elevations. Weatherbug says there are over 200k without power in both states. It's gonna be bad for a couple days. Go west, young man!
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Old 02-12-2014, 05:49 PM   #65
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Dear 4t family,
I am sorry so many people yelled at you when you asked them for help. I am sure you realize your situation is dire (that is why you asked us all for help).
To all the people that offered you information on campgrounds close to you I would like to say Thank You. That is what RVing is all about.
Now, having said all of that, find a campground, plug in and be warm. Don't worry how many days you will be there, you will be ALIVE to be there.
When it warms up and the snow thaws, come to Louisiana. It's Mardi Gras!!
Please stay safe!!
Rick and Karen
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Old 02-12-2014, 05:50 PM   #66
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So much advice, and some of it conflicting...you are in an adventure! You will laugh, and talk about this for years. Of course it is never funny at the time is it?
As far as water goes, I didn't see that you had figured that out. If the water just went in the fresh tank and wasn't circulated, then your water heater is empty. Do not turn it on until you have water flowing out of faucet on hot water side, as you will burn up the heating element. And if the water isn't flowing, check the bypass levers in your water door, make sure it is not pointed to bypass. And make sure the other lever isn't pointed to antifreeze, if you have that option. Now go back inside and let the pump run long enough to fill water heater, this will take several minutes. And you should be good to go.
Judy & Ralph, w/Molly (the Westie) & Sadie (the Fourche Terrier)
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Old 02-12-2014, 06:48 PM   #67
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Lots of good advice...best advice - find a plug in and park it....and fill your fuel tank. A bad storm is probably going to take out power - so you may need your genny anyway. Lastly, if you are in a park - and ice is coming - don't park under a tree as branches break off under the heavy weight of ice....

Good luck.
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:22 PM   #68
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Keep the slides closed and it's MUCH easier to heat. Got stuck in a storm on our way home last November with both of our furnaces and heat pumps non-functional due to a 12 volt glitch. Put the slides in and warmed up the coach by 15 degrees.
Dick & Theresa
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Lots of power to pull the toys I don't have time to use!!
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:36 PM   #69
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If you head west and start south you can get out of the weather. Arkansas is going to see temps in the 60s for the rest of the week into next week. I am not sure how far east the temps are going but from what I understand we were at the very western edge of the big storm. The news just showed pics of Atlanta and they are expecting up to an inch of ice. If you should decide to drive a mh on an inch of ice please tell us about it I am curious what that experience would be like and I am not going to try it to find out. The news tonight said that people in North Carolina decided to go ahead and get out in the storm and the interstates are a big parking lot. I am not sure how you are going to get through to florida at the moment with NC snowed in and Georgia iced in.

It sounds to me like you turned on the pump and it pumped out the antifreeze in the pump through the lines. You do not have a tank of antifreeze so probably just what was in the pump is what you saw come out. At -4 degrees I am pretty sure your line from the water tank to the pump is frozen. I just came back from camping in -4 degree weather and a lot of 5th wheels in the park where I was staying had frozen lines if they did not have a heating system in their wet bay area. If you have heat from your furnace going down to the wet bay area to keep it from freezing when your power dropped down and the furnace went off it probably got below freezing in your wet bay area pretty quickly. The good news is a lot of MH use pex for their lines so hopefully it will be just frozen and not cracked.

I am not surprised your furnace would run down your batteries. At -4 degrees your furnace cycles on and off a lot. Like I said I just came out of camping in that kind of weather two weeks ago. Probably nothing wrong with your batteries or charging system like another poster said your alternator is charging your batteries or you would not have been able to start your generator since most of them start from coach batteries.

I imagine by now you have set up your generator auto start.

Good luck and keep us posted on how you are doing
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Old 02-12-2014, 11:03 PM   #70
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I think if I was in your situation, I would start the generator and let it run. I would set the thermostat for about 65F to 68F. The basement will be about 15F cooler than that. I would open the kitchen and bathroom cupboard doors to let the heat get at the plumbing pipes.

I would probably turn west and keep going until I was out of the storm. If I can't get out of the storm, I'd get into a RV park and hook up and try to settle in. If that doesn't work, I'd move into a hotel.

Wishing you all the best.


Jim & Kate
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Canada, eh?
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