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Old 10-29-2014, 08:48 AM   #15
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JFNM

Ditto. We need to run the generator this week since we have not tested it for several months. It is just a 1 kW Honda. Son put in battery chargers so that we can charge the batteries on 15 amp dirty power (it can jump 85 to 145 V in Yucatan and lower Baja) or from the generator. Tossed the 50 amp cable a year ago.

There is an initial cost to solar but well worth it.
Reed and Elaine
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Old 10-29-2014, 09:41 AM   #16
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I'm not in the solar camp quite yet but I'm doing my research.

I have a typical fifth wheel, four 6V golf cart batteries, 120v/lp fridge, a Honda EX4500 generator, and your typical dual lp tanks.

In eight days boondocking the cg cost me $120 for the week, $20 in lp, I went through about 15 gallons of gas for the generator or about $50 so $190 all told for the week.

I use a cpap at night powered through an inverter, and I used the inverter to power the TV at night to watch a movie. The regular systems that use 12v such as the water heater and fridge controls, water pump, etc. Every morning I would check my voltage, it was at 12.3v consistently, and would take two hours on the generator for my converter to enter float mode.

I just got the dual Honda EU2000i generators so I'm hoping to cut my fuel bill by 2/3 as I'll be able to run only one generator to charge things or parallel them up when I need AC.
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Old 10-29-2014, 09:53 AM   #17
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Hey sknight - I also use a CPAP (BiPAP). Mine is 12V so no need for an inverter. I just built my own power chord wired direct to the house 12V system. I think most of them are 12V internally so might be worth checking on yours. You may be wasting a bit of power (12V battery to 110V back to 12V into CPAP).
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Old 10-29-2014, 11:36 AM   #18
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Hey sknight - I also use a CPAP (BiPAP). Mine is 12V so no need for an inverter. I just built my own power chord wired direct to the house 12V system. I think most of them are 12V internally so might be worth checking on yours. You may be wasting a bit of power (12V battery to 110V back to 12V into CPAP).
I'm sure I'm losing a bit in the conversion. When I got my machine I didn't even consider needing 12V use and the one they offered that was portable, ie, 12V ready, was nearly twice as much. Thanks to my wonderful health insurance in this brave new world, my machine wasn't covered, so I went with the cheaper option.

I checked with Fischer & Paykel and mine has no provisions for 12V power. I qualify for some trade up program that's going and will hopefully will be going during tax time, if so I'll see about trading for one that can go straight 12V. I'll leave the inverter in place though, it's nice being able to run the TV and whatnot while in the woods.
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Old 10-29-2014, 11:49 AM   #19
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Lot of folks seem to be using CPAP. Our dentist suggested a mouthpiece that pulls the lower jaw forward and my wife said it really cut out the snoring (and hopefully has improved sleep)

I think JFNM has the correct idea is utilizing a 12 V CPAP since the inverter uses up a lot of energy. Our 4.0 KW PSW takes about 55 W (about 4.5 amps at 12 V).

400 W of solar should be sufficient for your battery bank. The panels cost about $.50 to $1.00/watt these days. The flexible are more expensive but easier to install (just glue or velcro on). Handy Bob is good for simple and cheap. Vsheetz who posts on this forum is excellent for more advanced systems. He has proven most helpful to others.

Reed and Elaine
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Old 10-30-2014, 06:42 AM   #20
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I'm sure I'm losing a bit in the conversion. When I got my machine I didn't even consider needing 12V use and the one they offered that was portable, ie, 12V ready, was nearly twice as much. Thanks to my wonderful health insurance in this brave new world, my machine wasn't covered, so I went with the cheaper option.

I checked with Fischer & Paykel and mine has no provisions for 12V power. I qualify for some trade up program that's going and will hopefully will be going during tax time, if so I'll see about trading for one that can go straight 12V. I'll leave the inverter in place though, it's nice being able to run the TV and whatnot while in the woods.
My first CPAP cost my insurance $1700. I bought a travel/backup from CPAP.COM for $300. I found 12v cords for both of them and will check for 12v capability if I ever have to replace.
Funny thing is that I use the expensive BiPAP in the RV because I put it on the wardrobe shelf and close the door, keeping the noise level down to a white noise level for my DW. She said it was like sleeping with Darth Vader when it was in the S&B bedroom. The travel CPAP stays in the house as it is much quieter and has a steady sound.
I keep the RV one on 12v at night so I don't have to switch between power cords.
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Old 10-30-2014, 06:54 AM   #21
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I think JFNM has the correct idea is utilizing a 12 V CPAP since the inverter uses up a lot of energy. Our 4.0 KW PSW takes about 55 W (about 4.5 amps at 12 V).
To complete the loop and purely for informational purposes, my BiPAP machine consumes 12 watts (1 amp at 12V) when running continuously. 8 amp hours (assuming one sleeps 8 hours per night) is a pretty small number in ones daily energy budget.
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Old 10-30-2014, 02:32 PM   #22
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Last year boondocking cost us about 11000 a night. I guess we need to boondock a little more to get the average down.

RV 10000, Solar 1000
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Old 10-30-2014, 03:16 PM   #23
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I can burn 50 gallons a week boondocking and that's cooking with propane (And heating water and running fridge) so I'm paying 375/month for 50 amp power..... Just paid 65 (rounded) for propane (Should I need it) and only running Generator 1/2 hour per month.
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Old 10-30-2014, 04:24 PM   #24
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Last year boondocking cost us about 11000 a night. I guess we need to boondock a little more to get the average down.

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Youch!

I guess on the positive, you could easily cut your per night costs in half.
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Old 10-30-2014, 07:00 PM   #25
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I second JFNM; 11,000 a night, holy smokes, where do you boondock? I am sure you can cut your costs by more than half.

Attached is "Bat Crossing" sign seen near Calukmal Archaeological site turn-off in Yucatan.

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Old 11-03-2014, 09:12 PM   #26
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I only boondock when traveling from point A to point B. In the winter I rent a 1/2 acre private lot in Lake Havasu. It has electric and water but no sewer. So I have to drive to the dump station once a week to empty the holding tanks. I pay $300 bucks a month or $1200.00 total for the whole season. The lot has a concrete garage with bathroom and shower so I don't fill up my holding tanks so fast.
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Old 11-07-2014, 09:00 PM   #27
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Last year boondocking cost us about 11000 a night. I guess we need to boondock a little more to get the average down.

RV 10000, Solar 1000
just like above two gents said, you have a big room to improve
i use less than 1% of your rate
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Old 11-08-2014, 09:36 AM   #28
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How did you get a 40' Country Coach for $10,000?
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