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Old 02-07-2013, 10:05 PM   #15
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Travis,

I hope you were not told that having and using a motorhome could be inexpensive. It is not.

Jim
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Old 02-07-2013, 10:10 PM   #16
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Travis,

I hope you were not told that having and using a motorhome could be inexpensive. It is not.

Jim
It was last year. Haha
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Old 02-07-2013, 10:13 PM   #17
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I dont need a generator. Or a house battery. Just thought id try and get some preseason camping in. For my income and my camper it is very cheap. My rig wasnt tens of thousands of dollars and my equipment doesnt have to be top of the line. Camping is by far the cheapest thing a person in there 20s can do.
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Old 02-07-2013, 10:55 PM   #18
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I dont need a generator. Or a house battery. Just thought id try and get some preseason camping in. For my income and my camper it is very cheap. My rig wasnt tens of thousands of dollars and my equipment doesnt have to be top of the line. Camping is by far the cheapest thing a person in there 20s can do.
You got that right, Travis!

It doesn't have to be palatial, or even as good as home! Hard-sided tent camping is what I call it, and if the rig lets you cook/sleep inside and has heat at least some of the time- who could ask for anything more?
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Old 02-07-2013, 10:58 PM   #19
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You got that right, Travis!

It doesn't have to be palatial, or even as good as home! Hard-sided tent camping is what I call it, and if the rig lets you cook/sleep inside and has heat at least some of the time- who could ask for anything more?
Mine has ac to boot!
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:09 PM   #20
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O.K., you can bring the A/C- but be prepared to plug it into a "currant bush" if you don't haul along a generator, too!

Point is, every amenity you bring is going to cost in terms of complications, so you'll have to decide just what it takes to make for a good trip and go from there.
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:26 PM   #21
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O.K., you can bring the A/C- but be prepared to plug it into a "currant bush" if you don't haul along a generator, too!

Point is, every amenity you bring is going to cost in terms of complications, so you'll have to decide just what it takes to make for a good trip and go from there.
So far every place ive gone has had full hookups. I only wanted answers to this topicbso I could figre out how to camp befpre they "open" the campgrounds.
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:33 PM   #22
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I know- that's what I'm talkin' about!

Once you can hit the hookup places, you can use all the appliances you want, but for pre-season no-hookups drycamping, you'll have to go lean, or bring power. I just think it's easiest to try to arrange things so as to need as little power as possible in those circumstances.

I'm sure you'll do just fine!
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:54 PM   #23
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I know- that's what I'm talkin' about!

Once you can hit the hookup places, you can use all the appliances you want, but for pre-season no-hookups drycamping, you'll have to go lean, or bring power. I just think it's easiest to try to arrange things so as to need as little power as possible in those circumstances.

I'm sure you'll do just fine!
I think after I switch my lights to leds and ration the heat to nights only I should be able to last a couple nights with a new deep cycle battery
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:13 AM   #24
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Hi gang,

I am new here I don't even have my R/V as of this date, but I have lived on a sailboat for about 8 years and am a retired Electronic Engr. If there is one thing I know, it's batteries and how long they will last.
We don't know a bunch of things to make even an educated guess as to how long Jim's batteries will last without recharging. One thing is sure, they wont last nearly as long as you would think. Also you have to take into consideration, is at 12.6 volts a battery is 50% discharged. That is as low as you should go to maintain battery life. A battery has only so many charge discharge cycles in them. The deeper the discharge the fewer charge recharge cycles you end up with.
So when our battery bank reaches 12.6 VDS it's time to recharge. Now we have to know what size battery the house bank is. That is how many amp hours are in the bank. Is the battery a deep cycle or starting type, it does make a difference. Now for the last part of the equation. We need to do an energy audit. How many amps does all the stuff draw. Is there a fan in the heater, does the refer draw power, what is the draw of the LED's. Once all that is discerned we can figure how many amps per hour and go from there.
I really hope I confused you, cause I sure am. Thats the problem with engineers
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:08 AM   #25
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Dave,

I think you should recheck your SOC voltage numbers. I think you will find that 12.6v rested is a near fully charged 12v battery and 12.2v rested is considered 50% SOC. Rested=no draw or charge for two hours or more.

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Old 02-08-2013, 10:41 AM   #26
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Travis,

Your comment about not having a problem running your motor for a half a hour to recharge your house battery is unfortunately not realistic. If you limit your discharge to 50% SOC overnight and for reasonable battery life you should not regularly discharge lower than that it will take several hours at least to recharge and that is assuming the engine alternator will charge your house battery as well as your chassis battery. Not all will. That is something you can check for yourself. You mentioned Harbor Freight. If you don't already have one go to Harbor Freight and buy a inexpensive digital multimeter. They are about $5.00. Every RV'er should have one. To see if your engine alternator will charge your house battery here is what you do. If you have shore power hooked up disconnect it. Shut off everything that draws battery power. Wait about a hour then set your meter on DC volts and check the voltage right on the house battery posts. Remember that number. Now start your engine and let it run for 10-15 minutes. Recheck the voltage at the house battery posts. If the voltage is now higher than the first test the alternator is charging that battery. If there is no change it is not.

Considering the age of your rig if you haven't already done it it would be wise to check the age of your tires. Every tire has a manufacture date on it. Google "How to check tire age" and you will find pictures of where the codes are and how to read them. Tread depth is not the only thing that determines when a tire becomes unsafe. Age also does.

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Old 02-08-2013, 12:53 PM   #27
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I think after I switch my lights to leds and ration the heat to nights only I should be able to last a couple nights with a new deep cycle battery
Now you're talkin'!

You can also save electricity/fuel by limiting use of the water pump and fridge. When I camp in colder weather, I actually keep perishables OUTSIDE to save on fuel.

Who needs a fridge when it's forty degrees outside, right?
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Old 02-08-2013, 01:30 PM   #28
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Travis - you can do it. The more you learn the less electric you'll need.
Francesca has it right - just turn off everything.
For lights use portable ('AA/AAA or button battery) LED lights - they are cheap.
Use a Cooler for food, use your gas to cook, and look into catalytic heaters for rvs.
Your water system should be winterized, so fill clear plastic jugs with water (2 qt. juice) and use a portable toilet.
Only heat the room you are using and turn the heater off at night (use a warm sleeping bag and blankets) Wear warm clothing with a hat/hood and you'll sleep fine.
Try it out in your driveway - work out the bugs before you go.
You can do it - I started out using almost no power, added interior LEDs and still don't use much power. I do use the RV heater (I don't have a catalytic heater because I don't need one).
P.S. I only camp one or two nights at a time and just for fun, but see no reason you couldn't do this.
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