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Old 02-21-2016, 08:28 AM   #1
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First time boondocking, with a couple surprises.

No power!

All electric outlets are dead, no microwave, no a/c.

Makes sense, to conserve power. But it would be nice if tv worked.

Radio works, fridge went to propane, lights work, but thats about it.

Kept it hooked to the jeep, and slideouts were slow. Is this normal?
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Old 02-21-2016, 08:35 AM   #2
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You forgot to start the generator.
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Old 02-21-2016, 08:46 AM   #3
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Your regular 110v outlet items won't work off a 12v battery directly. As the previous poster said, you need to use a generator (or lots of batteries and a big inverter). Some televisions and DVDs are set up to work on 12v; ours are.
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Old 02-21-2016, 08:48 AM   #4
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Boondocking requires an all new set of skills and knowledge--things like house vs chassis batteries, generator run time, inverter status, which outlets are wired to inverter, battery capacity [amp hours] etc; all have to be learned/understood. What manuals do you have available. Is there an experienced RVer there to help get you started?
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Old 02-21-2016, 08:51 AM   #5
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Ok. Makes sense. I just assumed everything but hi-draw items like microwave and a/c woould work, since i am new at this.

We can live like this. It forces us to simplify our lives!
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Old 02-21-2016, 08:53 AM   #6
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Sorry, you were typing while i was.

No manuals, no mentors. Just figuring it out for ourselves. Making LOTS of mistakes along the way, but so far no permanent damage!
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Old 02-21-2016, 09:02 AM   #7
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Typical battery/invert config can provide power for things like lights, furnace fan, TV for several hours each day or over night if properly managed. Even warming a cup of coffee in the micro wave, but that is about it. A significant investment in solar cells will offset some of the need to run your generator each day to restore battery power used the previous night. But in short, the use of high amp equipment is severely curtailed without the generator being on.
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Old 02-21-2016, 09:02 AM   #8
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Still hooked up to the jeep. Is it drawing power off the jeep battery?

Or only while jeep is running?

Dont want to kill the tow vehicle's battery while off the beaten path.

Tested everything out and happy to find that heater works.
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Old 02-21-2016, 09:02 AM   #9
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What a great spirit you have for this adventure! You'll figure it out - and just like the rest of us - make a few mistakes along the way - but learn a whole lot. Safe travels - and enjoy!
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Old 02-21-2016, 09:03 AM   #10
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No generator. We have one but not using it this time.
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Old 02-21-2016, 09:10 AM   #11
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And we arent all that brave. We are 2 miles off the road in a clear spot in the woods. We live on a 700 acre cow ranch and just hauled the trailer out to the boonies as an experiment.

Very peaceful waking up to bird song and baying cattle and donkeys.
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Old 02-21-2016, 09:21 AM   #12
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That's interesting--boondocking on your own ranch. That is a very good way to figure out what you need for a real trip.
As to drawing power off the Jeep--most, if not all, newer vehicles with tow packages, will NOT supply power to trailer if not running, and will NOT draw power from the vehicle to the trailer battery(s) if not running. Very easy to check this by looking at the battery monitor panel with and without the Jeep running.
Be aware, the charging system on the tow vehicle is barely sufficient to maintain a charge on the system when towing, it is not meant to be a battery charger--the wiring is too light for much amperage to pass.
To properly charge the trailer battery(s) you should probably get a nice multi-stage automotive battery charger (Schumacher makes some nice digital units) and use the gen to power the charger to charge the batteries. Using the battery charger output on most gens does not do a very good job of charging, but will work if you have enough gas for the gen to run a long time.
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Old 02-21-2016, 09:21 AM   #13
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Sounds like a great spot. What state are you in?
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Old 02-21-2016, 09:43 AM   #14
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We are in texas, about an hour east of houston.

Thanks for the charging info.

Do the batteries charge while on shore power? We keep the trailer on shore power in the hay barn when not in use.

If it does not i have one of those schumacher chargers.
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