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Old 01-22-2015, 11:20 PM   #15
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Thank you so much. We have "that list" going on for all those things we are missing. Will look into the Honda generator. .. how long:will they provide power for? We are dry dock for 4 days and have no idea how long the propane, water etc will last but we are getting this figured out!
How long depends on use of course, but here's the average.

Propane, just cooking and running the fridge it will last a long time. It's when you turn on the furnace that really uses it. I boondocked in weather that hit the teens for one week and went through 1.5 tanks of LP while keeping the interior 50* at night. Blankets are your friend.

I didn't look up your fresh tank size, but I have 54 gallons, I showered every day, washed dishes and whatnot and ran out of water on the 8th day. Just me, and with experience I'm pretty good at conserving water.

Your big issue right now is battery power, odds are you have one battery and it will do fine until you turn the furnace on. The furnace will drain it fairly quick, as in several hours.
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Old 01-22-2015, 11:41 PM   #16
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If the battery goes completly dead it may cause issues for the fridge even on propane. Better to learn about boondocking in a parking lot than deep in the forest.
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Old 01-23-2015, 12:11 AM   #17
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Oh boy! I'm assuming the dealer you bought from didn't fill you in on how stuff works? They should have gone over all this with you so you knew what was needed to boondock like you are. You need batteries, an inverter and a generator to be really set for what you're trying to do. Solar panels are nice too but can't usually supply enough power and never for air con or heat pumps. In fact, your furnace and refer need 12 V power to run so I assume you have a battery somewhere, but probably not a very big/powerful one.
Having done a lot of cat shows we knew what we needed so have 4 GC-2 batteries, a 2000 W inverter and a 8,000 W diesel generator. Really more than is needed for a lot of uses. Even with that we can only go on batteries for a day or so. Usually have to start the generator in the morning if we're going to stay and then again later at night for a couple hours each time. Our rig isn't really set to boondock for long periods althoug ha week or so isn't bad.
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Old 01-23-2015, 11:24 AM   #18
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Thank you so much, the help is really appreciated! To me, the generator and such should have been included as a package deal with the trailer. Gonna call my salesman today!!!
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Old 01-23-2015, 11:58 AM   #19
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The explanation about the systems surely should have been part of the conversation and PDI walkthrough, and many dealers are also generator dealers so it would have been a good time to talk to you about off shore power options.
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Old 01-23-2015, 04:31 PM   #20
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Thank you so much, the help is really appreciated! To me, the generator and such should have been included as a package deal with the trailer. Gonna call my salesman today!!!
Trailers rarely if ever come with a generator. You got what you paid for and what is typical. You should have done more research before pulling the trigger. Boondocking requires a lot of additional purchases if you want to run any 110v appliances. You should get a quite generator, not just any. Honda or Yamaha are the better ones that won't get you in trouble with your neighbors.

You will also need a good Iota or similar 15.5v charger for the two 6v batteries you should purchase (the included batteries are rarely any good). The on-board converter/charger will work but is very slow and rarely gives you a full charge. I'd also get a trimetric monitoring system so you know what your batteries are doing. If you want to run 110v without a generator you'll need a good inverter for the whole trailer or use it at designated spots if you have the 12v outlets there. You will still of course need a generator to charge the batteries here and there for trips longer than a couple days.

You can't just step into boondocking without some research to be sure you are set up correctly. You have about $2,000 - $3,000 or so to spend if you want to be set up well. You can get away with less.

You have a lot of reading to do. Do some research before you make any decision about where you go from here.
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Old 01-24-2015, 10:45 AM   #21
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We are on our first trip in our 2015 TT. We are at a trade show atvthe expo center in Portland Oregon. No hookups. .. i didnt realize that without a connection to a shore line that we couldnt use any outlets, the micro wace, the tv, central vac... really? Is this what boondocking is or are we missing somerhing?
I see the guys have filled you in on genset basics, and its common for for RV sales guys not to volunteer anything you don't ask about.

You'll find everyone has a different idea of what "boondocking" consists of.

Kind of like boating- to some guys thats a sail, to other guys thats motor and rarely do the 2 mix.

So yes - To some people its finding a quiet spot away from everyone and a NOT running a generator or anything that makes any noise at all.

Some guys spend thousands on solar and batteries and inverters to never hear a genset and shun those that do.

Other guys run a genset from the time they stop to the time they leave and effectively have a fully powered zero compromise setup just like home.

My setup is like Mr D.s heavy on the genset and a light to moderate on the solar.

As for the gensets I have many but the ones the guys are talking about the hondas eu2000's are great little gensets, but I would buy the yamaha equivalents if I were to buy again today. If only because they have a fuel gauge and fuel shutoff to drain the float bowl - which you will soon learn the importance of, but that's a later post.

What size air conditioner is on your roof? If its a 9 or 10K but you CAN run it off a single 2K - if its a 13.5 - it can do it with a hard start kit, but not at altitude and you'll be at max RPM the entire time the compressor is running and you'll be annoyed, and be annoying out in the woods.

Listening to one run in a showroom is deceiving because they run at the RPM needed to carry the load- this is called an inverter genset. (not to be confused with an inverter for solar to AC) The little gennys are very quiet at idle charging laptops running a light here or there - but running an AC/ Microwave/ toaster/ hair dryer - they turn into screaming little demons. Bring a hair dryer and extension cord and see for yourself.

Cheaping out and getting a single speed frame type lawnmower engine genny- is a bad idea- you'll become the enemy of the entire campsite and go through gas like a drunken sailor. You get what you pay for here more than most scenarios.

Lots of guys here to help you, enjoy your new purchase, and have fun.

Uncle Dave
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Old 01-24-2015, 11:12 AM   #22
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dagmandt,
You mention a Iota 15.5 volt charger. Iota makes many chargers and list them by amp output, not volts. I see that the 4 step charger has a 15.5 volt step but only on a time setting.
When picking a Iota charger, check the AC input amps, to be sure your generator will handle it. Also remember, some generators ( Honda ) call them EU2000 but are rated at 1600 watts output, with less the 1/2 hour at 2000 watts.
I have one and it just handles 13 amps, before going into overload mode.

More expensive chargers will give you more DC amps output for less AC amps in. You need to check the power factor of the charger.

Happy shopping
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Old 01-24-2015, 02:55 PM   #23
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When charging off a dinky 2K genset I way prefer the smaller 5-8 amp maintainer type smart chargers.

They are more efficient and keep the Honda burbling vs revving up.

Anything bigger you have no availability during the bulk cycles left to use yourself .

An optimate 6 will work to 240 AH and needs absolutely no monitoring
no button pushing it detects both the size and chemistry of the battery being charged and is fully automatic.


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Old 01-24-2015, 03:11 PM   #24
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If you get a generator be careful of the little legs that can cause it to run away at night. If in an area with others I would secure generator so the little legs can not haul it off. Just saying....and do not ask how I know.
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Old 01-24-2015, 03:34 PM   #25
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Uncle Dave,

If I run my 240 AH battery down to 75%, I have used 60 AH. Recharging 60 AH at 6 amps, will take over 10 hours.

The dinky 2KW Genset can easily handle a 20 amp charger and be done in 3 to 4 hours.

Just my thought
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Old 01-24-2015, 04:07 PM   #26
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Uncle Dave,

If I run my 240 AH battery down to 75%, I have used 60 AH. Recharging 60 AH at 6 amps, will take over 10 hours.

The dinky 2KW Genset can easily handle a 20 amp charger and be done in 3 to 4 hours.

Just my thought

One can always push that, but the tradeoff is more noise, fuel and less of 1600 watts available to the user during that time.

When light loaded a honda with its 1.1 gallon tank will run about 10-14 hours making the two cycles about ideal for 6-7 amps.

Thats another thing I dont like about the honda 2K vs the yamaha is that with the honda you might as well run teh thing to empty because you dont have a built in way of draining the float bowl- but you could mod this.

While charging at a 20 amp rate you are using a good % of your gensets avilaibility where if you charged slower more of the measly 1600 watts is available to you outside of just charging. - and your genset run closer to idle saving fuel and noise.

The 20 amp charger pulls more than 20 amps because of ac/dc conversion losses on both sides so the math isn't linear.

With some " 20 amp" charges you would be surprised at this additive effect of the hondas conversion losses combined with the chargers.

I go for high amp charging when connected to the grid, and in the field go low and slow when connected to a 2K genset.

lots of ways to play it though for sure.

Sometimes Dw refers to the single honda as - "the generator that cant really run anything." combine a 20 amp charger with any other significant load (toaster- microwave-halr dryer, its "pop" and down to idle.

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Old 01-24-2015, 04:45 PM   #27
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A 12 volt, 20 amp charger pulls 6 to 8 amps at 120 volts.

A battery is a storage device, keeping a charger on it, defeats the purpose.

With your setup you are probably using more gas, keeping the engine turning then making power. It` like idling a car, zero miles to the gallon.

Honda generators are pure sine wave inverters. There is no conversion loss.

To me, boondocking means solar, when I can and short generator runs if needed.

It works for you, so enjoy.

TB
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Old 01-24-2015, 04:47 PM   #28
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a few of the chargers I've tested...


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