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Old 07-29-2012, 10:44 AM   #1
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New to Boondocking

The DW and I have been boondocking more and more lately and are starting to love it. It sure does give you a lot more options for places to stay. Of course with our 45' Travel Supreme we can not go too far off the beaten path.

The questions I have mostly are about electricity while boondocking. We have a 8kw generator and I was wondering how often I should run it to recharge the batteries. I do keep a close eye on the power panels and usually start it when either panel hits RED. We have two inverters and 8 house batteries which are brand new. My biggest concern is the huge GE Profile refridgerator stocked with tons of food. Also, any other tips on conserving energy would be helpful. Being in Washington State also helps a lot as we don't need to run any of the 3 AC units

I was also wondering if anyone has ever upgraded their water pump to get better pressure. The sink pressure seems fine but the shower has very little flow.

Thanks for all the help I'm sure I'll get with this
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Old 07-29-2012, 10:59 AM   #2
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A good investment may be to install an automatic generator start system such as the Onan EC-30W. It is a programmable auto start that will automaticaly monitor battery state of charge, start and stop the genny as needed.

With good water pressure to the sink and not the the shower I would tend to believe there is a restriction in the showerhead or valves. A thorough cleaning may be needed.

Investing in LED lighting is one of the best things we have done. 90% of the time we boondock.
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Old 07-29-2012, 11:29 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply Harold. We've only had this coach a year now and are still in the learning phase. We do have an automatic mode for our generator on the power panel. I just turned it on as both battery levels are red and in about 15 minutes the gen started, thanks. Sometimes you just gotta ask a question to realize the answer is right in front of you or in this case in the bathroom

The coach also has all LED lighting in the ceiling and fluorescence bulb lights under the counter and in the toilet stall. We use very little light at night. As for the shower, the shower head does flow very unevenly so could probably use a good cleaning.
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Old 07-29-2012, 11:29 AM   #4
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Regarding the shower pressure and boondocking...

There is a back flow preventer valve that can get crusted up. IMHO...DITCH IT! The only time it would protect you is if you left your shower head in the bottom of the shower with standing water. When was the last time you did that? Getting rid of it fixed our low pressure problems.

Also, you may or may not have a little slide valve located where your shower hose connects to the water outlet at the top of your shower. We use that to turn the shower on and off while we are in the shower. That avoids turning the faucet on and off and re-adjusting for water temp. If not, I recommend you get one. It is another reason why we ditched the back flow valve since turning it off that way makes it impossible for any water to back flow.

What we do is turn on the shower at the water faucet valve, then we use the other valve to let the water run, get wet as needed and then turn off the shower with that valve. Repeat to rinse... This method seems to really help control our water usage.
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Old 07-29-2012, 11:32 AM   #5
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What water pump do you have? Also do you know the manufacturer of the shower valve?
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Old 07-29-2012, 11:36 AM   #6
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Also try swapping your shower head with an oxygenics head. DW loves it.
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Old 07-29-2012, 05:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
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My biggest concern is the huge GE Profile refridgerator stocked with tons of food.
If your refrigerator will run on gas then try that. That's all I ever use when boondocking. Monitor the LP gas gauge to see how much it is using. I ran mine for a week and the gauge barely moved.
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Old 07-29-2012, 06:08 PM   #8
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You have 4 extra batteries to accommodate the residential refer. When boon docking I run the generator in the morning when I make coffee and toast, that normally about an hour do so. That may be enough time to recharge your batteries. If not the AGS system will take care of it.
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Old 07-30-2012, 06:38 AM   #9
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If your refrigerator will run on gas then try that. That's all I ever use when boondocking. Monitor the LP gas gauge to see how much it is using. I ran mine for a week and the gauge barely moved.
We are all electric, no LP Gas. That's probably the reason for the 8 house batteries.

I did use the automatic generator mode but the generator ran for ever it seemed. Eventually I manually shut it off.

I don't know what type of water pump we have, I actually don't even know where it is located
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Old 07-30-2012, 06:47 AM   #10
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Chech the program on the AGS. It should not allow the bank to go any lower than 11.7 volts. It would not be unusal to require 3-3-1/2hrs to bring that large a bank to full charge.
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Old 07-30-2012, 07:05 AM   #11
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You probably already have a high capacity pump. You probably can add a setting in the AGS to shut off the generator after a predetermined time when starting to charge batteries.
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Old 07-30-2012, 02:45 PM   #12
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I agree on the time to recharge that large of a bank of batteries and it seems those last couple tenths of a volt take forever. We have 8 house batteries too.

As an alternative, you could program to run more frequently (come on at a higher battery voltage) for shorter periods of time.
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Old 07-30-2012, 02:53 PM   #13
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My mistake; The AGS should be set to start the genny at 12.2.
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Old 07-31-2012, 07:23 AM   #14
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we put on 500 watts of solar, hardly ever need to run the genny, Do have gas fridge. solar will pay for themselve in about 5 years i figure at todays gas prices.
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