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Old 08-18-2015, 08:24 PM   #1
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boondocks need advice on batteries

We are planning a weekend trip coming up, we have never boondocked, and this trip we plan on running with our batteries, but I don't understand them lol, our tt has 2 105ah @20hr batteries, we aren't planning on using alot, just water pump, a couple of lights, a 400 watt inverter to plug a tv and xbox for the kids.. how long do you guys think I can run the batteries, any info will help...thanks in advance
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Old 08-18-2015, 09:22 PM   #2
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It's impossible to say. Lots of variables. If you have LED lights that's a big help. The TV and Xbox could be a problem depending on the draw. I found a 12 volt TV that only drew about 7 watts. I used that when boondocking.

How long your batteries will last is a little bit of science and a lot of experience. If you can test at home before you are "out on your own" you might be able to get some idea.

Best plan on first time out is to have a backup plan. Have a small generator or some other method to recharge. It stinks to be without power.

Tom
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Old 08-18-2015, 09:30 PM   #3
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I know my Xbox at home draws about 80 watts. That with a TV off an inverter will be significant. Leave that on for the kids and you might not be pumping water for a shower in the morning.
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Old 08-18-2015, 11:24 PM   #4
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Power draw and camping experience

Leave the TV and video games at home for 2 reasons....1) You will exhaust your batteries, 2) Camping should be the experience for the kids and hopefully you can show them how to enjoy it (nature walks, hiking, swimming, biking, kayaking, taking photographs of what they see, etc.) -- if not, why not let them stay home to play video games?
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Old 08-19-2015, 12:31 AM   #5
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Now now, we mustn't judge what people use their battery power for.

I would bring a gen if possible. You will definitely run the batteries out.


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Old 08-19-2015, 08:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arenivar04 View Post
how long do you guys think I can run the batteries
If you want to know what is happening, the process is pretty simple but takes a little time. If you want to guess, stop reading now.

Every electronic gizmo draws a certain amount of power that can be measured. Using watts as the unit of measure is best as it disregards voltage. Gathering all this data and analyzing it is typically called an energy audit or an energy budget. Some details are here but, in short, once you know the watts consumed by each device, you add up how long you anticipate using each of those devices and you have your total watts used in a period of time. Total watts divided by 12.5 (volts) equals the number of amp/hours required out of your batteries.

Assuming your batteries are in good condition, you have a total of about 100 amp/hours to use before your batteries are discharged (not good for them to draw down past the 50% mark).

Most of us that rely on our batteries have switched to the lowest power consumers possible - LED/SMD lights, LED TV's, etc...as every little bit saved makes a difference.
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Old 08-23-2015, 03:37 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by ampmtnbkr2 View Post
Leave the TV and video games at home for 2 reasons....1) You will exhaust your batteries, 2) Camping should be the experience for the kids and hopefully you can show them how to enjoy it (nature walks, hiking, swimming, biking, kayaking, taking photographs of what they see, etc.) -- if not, why not let them stay home to play video games?
You must have been a Boy Scout. I was and I feel the same way. Right on.....
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Old 08-24-2015, 08:18 AM   #8
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You should plan on the batteries running down and have a small gen available. As said above, it isn't any fun without ANY power--hooking to the tow vehicle may work, but will not charge the battery enough to use it again for much time. Many campers use the Honda-type 1000 gens--they are quiet and will work to keep the family happy.
For better success at battery charging, consider a Honda 2000i and a car battery 3-step charger--this combo will recharge the batteries much better than using the 12-volt outlet on a generator.
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Old 08-24-2015, 10:14 AM   #9
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Many campers use the Honda-type 1000 gens--they are quiet and will work to keep the family happy.
How about "quieter than most generators" or "the quietest gas powered generator available" instead of just "quiet"???

Not to start a generator noise battle but all gas/diesel powered generators make noise and that noise is often annoying to others.

Nitpicking, I know....
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Old 08-24-2015, 11:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Leave the TV and video games at home for 2 reasons....1) You will exhaust your batteries, 2) Camping should be the experience for the kids and hopefully you can show them how to enjoy it (nature walks, hiking, swimming, biking, kayaking, taking photographs of what they see, etc.) -- if not, why not let them stay home to play video games?
X2 on that. Turn off the cell phone also. When it gets dark sit around the campfire and tell ghost stories and when the fire goes out go to bed. No need for lights. The only thing you need power for is the water pump and to keep the frig running on propane. You only need water pressure for the commode and sink to wash up. Drink bottled water so there is no need for the pump for that (safer also).
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