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Old 05-29-2016, 09:02 AM   #43
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Thanks to all!

I didn't expect the overwhelming number of responses!

Sounds like I should go with a slightly smaller array and put the money towards additional battery capacity, and more importantly look into fans, awnings and possibly a swamp cooler. Oh, and buy more undies so I don't have to do laundry as often.

I think my cat would vote for "make it hotter inside" anyway. If I do that for him, he may even let me have a turn driving sometime...
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Old 05-29-2016, 09:06 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by dphaynes View Post
It looks like there are some decent USB powered small DC fans out there. If I charge some small USB battery banks while I've got solar during the day I could use those at night rather than taking power losses using the inverter to run AC ones.

Why sustain MORE electrical losses ? Charging/discharging yet another battery system ?

Simply use the 12 volts from your coach batteries.

Here is an excellent 12 volt fan.

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Old 05-29-2016, 09:27 AM   #45
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I don't, I plan to stay at lavish resorts where the cabana boys plug in the power for me and and shapely young women wear bikinis while they empty the poop tank for me. Unfortunately my monthly budget plans to stay in places without utilities as much as practical...
Sounds like you are going for the idyllic lifestyle . . . a la rich and famous.

We stay in at a resort where the costs is 2500 per year and power maxes out less than 100 during peak usage. Tough to justify throwing in 5000 for panels and hauling water and sewage for the difference.
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Old 05-30-2016, 07:33 AM   #46
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Sounds like you are going for the idyllic lifestyle . . . a la rich and famous.

We stay in at a resort where the costs is 2500 per year and power maxes out less than 100 during peak usage. Tough to justify throwing in 5000 for panels and hauling water and sewage for the difference.
How about the lifestyle of the working slobs and the obscure? I feel fully qualified to pursue that one.

I've spent a lot of years wandering back and forth across the country, lived a lot of places, so the idea of staying in one place doesn't appeal much to me, especially as I approach "retirement" (or at least reduced hours) Montana will always be my home, but as the arthritis moves in and makes itself comfortable (i.e. strewing the joint with pizza boxes and empty beer bottles) the winters are getting a bit too long and too dark. I don't know of any better place to spend the summer months than here, but I'm also addicted to green chiles and New Mexican food. I plan to do the slow annual migration by season. A few months in NM, a few months in CO/UT/NV/WY, a few months in MT, and keep doing that over and over again until I finally get it right!
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Old 05-30-2016, 07:40 AM   #47
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Why sustain MORE electrical losses ? Charging/discharging yet another battery system ?

Simply use the 12 volts from your coach batteries.

Here is an excellent 12 volt fan.

Attachment 128523
I don't want to be tethered with the fans. The USB battery banks are very handy, I've used them for years now to charge my tablet, phone, batteries, GoPro and various other bits of electronics. I've got one that's 10 years old and still works great for recharging small devices like my Scala Q3 headset.

Electrical losses aren't that big a deal when the sun is the power source. (At least until the corporations figure out how to copyright/charge for sunshine )
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Old 05-30-2016, 07:56 AM   #48
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How about the lifestyle of the working slobs and the obscure? I feel fully qualified to pursue that one.
That's me too. The idea of a campground is distasteful - a resort is repulsive. But, everyone is different and there is nothing wrong with that.

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A few months in NM, a few months in CO/UT/NV/WY, a few months in MT...
That's generally my approach but, of course, something always gets in the way (arm surgeries this spring have me stuck near Albuquerque for the time being). If you like boondocking (really boondocking) you have the right places in mind. I am pretty flexible when it comes to indoor temps but it is extremely rare for me to run the air conditioning (one day last summer boondocking along the Madison river near Bozeman it become too hot for me and I had to fire up the generator and AC). The winter in NM is a bit cool for me but the state parks are a sweet deal! I spent this past winter in southwest AZ and really enjoyed it.
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Old 05-30-2016, 08:53 AM   #49
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I also travel with the "less neat" and obscure crowd. However I am aware (somewhat) of the costs of boondocking. Friends of ours boondocked for years near the Imperial Dunes. Health dictated the lifestyle was too demanding for them so they moved into the resort we stay at. Their comment was the cost was less at the resort.
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Old 05-30-2016, 09:14 AM   #50
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The thread creep that occurs on this forum is fascinating, sometimes. I'm not sure why it has occurred on this thread as the OP was pretty clear about his position on the costs of what he would like to accomplish. Nonetheless; here we are. Many things are about more than cost. I am able to boondock on very few dollars - others are not (for a variety of reasons). For me, it is more about quality of life. I could go live with my Mom for near zero cost but my quality of life would be in the tank - no thanks. Others would suggest that solitary confinement in a forest at the top of a mountain is pure torture. Understood, I find it pure bliss. Nothing wrong with either one, just differences in people. That lifestyle is worth something to me. I may be reading between the lines but it sounds like it is worth something to the OP as well.
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Old 05-30-2016, 10:15 AM   #51
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Oops, my bad. Technomadia already covered the topic well

The (Almost) Fantasy of Solar-Powered RV Air Conditioning | Technomadia

They pretty much say exactly what everyone here has said: "Don't be a dummy, use a calculator and go somewhere else when it's too hot"

One of the problems with so much useful info out there...finding the useful info pertinent to the question at hand!
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Old 05-30-2016, 12:10 PM   #52
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Some home made fans...

We had found some high volume low current fans for another project and got bored in the shop and made these.

A trip to local electronics supply..yes we still have one...found a battery same general width so battery in bottom.

Has a 5 amp or do battery and fan is .5 amp so it runs for hours.

The charge port is standard 12 volt coax and we also found a double male cord allows them to power other items.

They do very well at cooling or assisting heater.

They are based on the fans that are about 4 inch square.

Easy to make if you have access to parts.
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Old 05-31-2016, 08:03 AM   #53
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Lots of great advice about boon docking and solar.
Didn't see this mentioned so I am also throwing it in there.

The biggest problem with running a washer/dryer and boon docking is the water usage. It uses 10-15 gallons for each load. And each load is pretty small. You can bypass the dry cycle to get around the large draw on the batteries but the water usage and boon docking just doesn't make it feasible.
If boon docking is the intention a change in lifestyle is in order.

Boon docking is not glampling. It is about conservation and enjoying nature and the better weather (read - not hot, AC not needed)
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Old 06-04-2016, 01:20 PM   #54
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Some home made fans...

We had found some high volume low current fans for another project and got bored in the shop and made these.

A trip to local electronics supply..yes we still have one...found a battery same general width so battery in bottom.

Has a 5 amp or do battery and fan is .5 amp so it runs for hours.

The charge port is standard 12 volt coax and we also found a double male cord allows them to power other items.

They do very well at cooling or assisting heater.

They are based on the fans that are about 4 inch square.

Easy to make if you have access to parts.
Nicely done!

Sadly I just recently sold my whole shop full of fun toys :( I couldn't really use 'em anyway, too hard on the back leaning over all the time. Those fans do look like they were a really fun project!
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Old 06-04-2016, 01:27 PM   #55
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Lots of great advice about boon docking and solar.
Didn't see this mentioned so I am also throwing it in there.

The biggest problem with running a washer/dryer and boon docking is the water usage. It uses 10-15 gallons for each load. And each load is pretty small. You can bypass the dry cycle to get around the large draw on the batteries but the water usage and boon docking just doesn't make it feasible.
If boon docking is the intention a change in lifestyle is in order.

Boon docking is not glampling. It is about conservation and enjoying nature and the better weather (read - not hot, AC not needed)
Yeah, the Phaeton has a 90 gallon tank. I was figuring I'd need to empty the poop tank at some point anyway so no biggie if I had to take on water at the same time.

Here I thought my days of blowing sanitaries and rationing potty water were done when I got out of the Navy all those decades ago. On a submarine it's more exciting though, you have to pressurize the tanks to above sea pressure and if anyone oopses and tries to use a toilet while you're doing that...wheeee!

Good point, thanks for the info!
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Old 06-05-2016, 10:18 AM   #56
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Wow, you have more electrical issues to work out than Apollo 13! Just keep your batteries up to a level where they will start the generator, you will appreciate its function. Boondock considerations: hailstones love solar power panels; mice and rodents love electrical wiring. There is no free lunch.
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