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Old 01-04-2008, 04:41 AM   #15
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Jeff_in_The_Dalles:
The pair of T125 trojan's in my 30' 5er with seperate garage will run the furnace at 45 for a week or so with temps down in the 20's at night. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That's sort of what I'm looking for. If I knew this was going to be parked in sub-zero weather I would go ahead and drain/winterize everything. But I want an SOP that I can do that will protect the plumbing for those fall/spring months where it will occasionally dip into below freezing. So when I build this thing I'll ask for extra battery capacity. Some of the trailers I've looked at also have a pair of 30 lb propane tanks as an upgrade. And if I wanted to be really on top of it, I could spec a solar panel on the roof just for grins.

With all that in mind, I've also been considering alarms and LoJack systems for this trailer. I'm guessing someone makes an RV security system that will tie into a cell phone and call me if the alarm goes off or the trailer temperature gets too low. Any hints where to look, or should I just start googling?
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Old 01-04-2008, 08:26 AM   #16
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If it's just a few degrees below freezing for only the early morning hours, and the trailer is well insulated, it might be fine w/o heat. With you not being around, though, I'd still have the furnace at 40 anyway...

Two 30# tanks would be the minimum I'd want.

Another thing that occurred to me: I remember looking at an upper end unit that had an option to auto-start the generator when the house batteries got below a specified voltage. You could also set how long it would run to recharge, and you could set it not to auto-start at night.

In your situation the problem I could see with solar is if they got covered in snow, no one would be around to clear them off.
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Old 01-04-2008, 04:38 PM   #17
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Jeff_in_The_Dalles:
With you not being around, though, I'd still have the furnace at 40 anyway... Two 30# tanks would be the minimum I'd want.

I remember looking at an upper end unit that had an option to auto-start the generator when the house batteries got below a specified voltage. You could also set how long it would run to recharge, and you could set it not to auto-start at night.

In your situation the problem I could see with solar is if they got covered in snow, no one would be around to clear them off. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

All good ideas. The smallest auto-start generator could certainly charge the batteries up once a day. And you're right about the snow issues with solar cells. Sort of like the Rovers on Mars this trailer could have dust (or snow) accumulation. More questions for my potential trailer builders next week.

Thanks a bunch for the thoughts.
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Old 01-04-2008, 05:04 PM   #18
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Check out these Deka batteries for amp-hours. These put any golf-cart battery to shame for amp-hours.
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Old 01-04-2008, 06:19 PM   #19
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ray,IN:
Check out these Deka batteries for amp-hours. These put any golf-cart battery to shame for amp-hours. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Most interesting. Looks like six cells at $95 each (plus shipping) would probably run the fan for a propane furnace around a month at 50% duty cycle. However, at 185 lbs. per cell that six-pack "battery" would weigh about 1,000 lbs. Yikes!!!!

In restrospect, what I probably need is a really small propane fueled 12-volt generator that would auto-start and run every time the furnace called for heat. A 100 watt genny would be more than sufficient to overcome the fan current draw of the furnace. That sort of thing would keep everything warm until the propane ran out. Wonder if anything like that is commercially manufactured? I'll snoop around a bit, but perhaps a full-size RV generator around 4KW would be able to run my Microwave and AV system as needed. More to learn.
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Old 01-05-2008, 07:09 PM   #20
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Of course there are propane powered built in generators, but they are generally large and can go through fuel if they are running at a load.

I'm not aware of any small electric start propane generators. You would probably want around 2000 watts anyway, so it could drive a large multi-stage converter/charger to bring the batteries up quickly.

My preference would be either an Onan or Honda gasoline gen, and autostart controller.

Most of the time, if you are only gone a week or so and it isn't far below freezing, I doubt it would run often if at all, depending upon the battery bank and level of insulation.

Also, as long as you are putting a gen in it, it may as well be able to run the AC in case you get stuck some place with no hookups in 100+ temps.
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