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Old 03-14-2016, 08:51 AM   #1
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New to Boondocking. Need some advice

Hello everyone. Well, we just purchased our new TT and were are pretty new at this. Actually, very new. We are going to be staying at a State Park here in Texas at the end of June that has no hookups. I have a few questions for you guys if you don't mind me asking. TT is a 2016 Cherokee Grey Wolf Limited.

1. It will be in Summer time here in Texas on this trip, and we will want to run the a/c, at least at bed time. What will be needed to be able to do this? We have a single battery that came on it and the optional hookup port for solar panels. Am I correct in assuming that we will still not be able to run the a/c with this set up mainly for the fact that there are not enough amps? In other words, do I need a generator to run the a/c?

2. We will obviously need to fill our fresh water tank to have water. Do you all fill this tank when you leave the house, or try and find a place when you get close? It will be a long drive.

3. When using the fresh water tank, we need to use the water pump. Do you all leave the pump on the whole time you are camping or do you only turn it on when you are about to use something that requires the pump?

4. Water heater. do you leave the water heater on the entire trip, or do you just turn it on when you need it.

Thanks so much for any help given.
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Old 03-14-2016, 09:05 AM   #2
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1. Yes, you need a generator or shore power for air conditioning.

2. I fill my tank before I leave the house, but there are lots of dump stations in the country and nearly all of them have potable water. We have a motorhome, I like to be able to use water between the house and campsite, so I've always got 100 gallons of fresh, gray and black water in the various tanks.

3. I leave the pump on all the time, the accumulator holds pressure between water uses, so it doesn't run unless needed.

4. I usually leave the water heater off until I need it. Once it's hot, it's available for a few hours, so there is usually some to use.

Since yours is a TT, you might leave more things off, we're already in the MH so things like the toilet get used during the trip.
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Old 03-14-2016, 09:18 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply! So if we do get a generator, does the generator need to have a 30 amp outlet? I have a 110v to 30 amp adapter at the house. I cannot use it to power the a/c though without tripping the breaker at home. Would the generator be any different?
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Old 03-14-2016, 09:24 AM   #4
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Two Honda 2k generators would be great. You could get one now and use everything but the AC. Try to avoid running to harbor freight and getting a contractor (loud) generator that is cheap and able to run everything.

You might still be interested in getting a meter like the Trimetric 2025 or 2030. Some us believe that every MH should come with a good battery/meter.


I personally turn off the pump when I leave the MH.
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Old 03-14-2016, 09:26 AM   #5
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1. Generally you will need a generator for a/c. We don't since we have 1400 W of solar and about 9 kW of LFP batteries. Technomadia has a good write-up on how best to cope with hot days. Texas will be hot in June. Try to set up in the shade so you don't have to run generator all day. Spend the day outside in the shade. We are basically "Goldielockers" as in "not to hot and not to cold, just right!" so we go north or higher in elevation in the summer and reverse in the winter. It was 103 or so at son's place in Ft. Collins several years ago so we found a great "dispersed camping site" at 10,400' just north of Rocky Mountain National Park where it was 38 at night and 76 during the day.

2. We fill our tank if boondocking unless we know that there will be a water point at some campground within a reasonable distance from where we plan to boondock (boondocking in this case meaning dispersed camping). We take along four to six jerrycans so that we can drive to get more water. You can use the pump in Open Range RVs to pull in 2.5 gallons/minute. This means that you might be hauling full water, grey water and black water heading out and that is a lot of weight. It is generally permissile to dump dish water at dispersed sites, but be sure of the regulations. We wash the dishes in a plastic basin when boondocking (which is what we generally do).

3. We always turn off the water pump when not in use. There is always the chance that you left a valve open (you would know it was running if you were there) when you go out for a long walk or similar excursion and run out your water. We do not hook up to line water in the few instances when we have stayed at an RV park. It is the same worry of coming back to find the caravan awash.

4. Agree with mriderLeon. We leave the hot water off until needed. It only takes 10 minutes to get hot and it stays warm for quite a while.

Agree with okcnewbie that a good battery meter is very important. We have a battery management system (BMS) somce we have the LFP battery suite. Elaine believes that I am OCD with the BMS, and she is probably correct.

We are currently at San Miguel del Allende (about 600 miles from border) on way back to USA after 3 months on the beach in Yucatan (about 20 km north of Tulum)
Reed and Elaine
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Old 03-14-2016, 09:28 AM   #6
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Thanks OKC! So if I were to get two Honda or two Generac's and hook them up together, that should power everything? How would you go about running those in a connected series? Also, do you know the answer to the question I posted above? Thanks so much!
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Old 03-14-2016, 09:30 AM   #7
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Thank you Reed!
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Old 03-14-2016, 09:39 AM   #8
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Ok, so I just read that all generators have to be shut off at 10 pm at this park. So I guess everyone suffers together. lol
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Old 03-14-2016, 09:40 AM   #9
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on edit - got sidetracked while typing and seems most have been answered... but will leave it for your use...

Whew,
June in Texas with no hookups ?!?
Think of it as tent camping - period !
I would suggest doing your first campout in your driveway with no hookups ! My comments in red below.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon_S View Post
Hello everyone. Well, we just purchased our new TT and were are pretty new at this. Actually, very new. We are going to be staying at a State Park here in Texas at the end of June that has no hookups. I have a few questions for you guys if you don't mind me asking. TT is a 2016 Cherokee Grey Wolf Limited.

1. It will be in Summer time here in Texas on this trip, and we will want to run the a/c, at least at bed time. What will be needed to be able to do this? We have a single battery that came on it and the optional hookup port for solar panels. Am I correct in assuming that we will still not be able to run the a/c with this set up mainly for the fact that there are not enough amps? In other words, do I need a generator to run the a/c?
Depending on your lights, etc.. usage, your one battery may not last the night WITHOUT a/c or tv's. In fact, unless you have an invertor to turn 12v into 110v, you won't be able to use most tv's, a/c's, etc...
so yes, you will need to bother your neighbors with a genny

2. We will obviously need to fill our fresh water tank to have water. Do you all fill this tank when you leave the house, or try and find a place when you get close? It will be a long drive.
I usually fill up at home or the last park I left..
and given these questions, what are you towing with? have enough load carrying capacity to handle the GVWR and tongue weight ?

3. When using the fresh water tank, we need to use the water pump. Do you all leave the pump on the whole time you are camping or do you only turn it on when you are about to use something that requires the pump?
We usually leave the pump off, while it doesn't use power unless it needs to (except for any lights on the display) if there is a water leak, it will run until your water is depleted. How many people going? Water usage has to go into holding tanks and with no hookups, do you know how to dump ?

4. Water heater. do you leave the water heater on the entire trip, or do you just turn it on when you need it.
Depending on your needs, again - it uses power and will take a while to heat up the water, so it's up to you - wait a while or use your limited power?

Better yet, use the campground showers.

Thanks so much for any help given.

Sorry, not raining on your parade, but an rv is not a house
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Old 03-14-2016, 09:48 AM   #10
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I am just going to cancel this trip. We have a baby that will be 7 months old when we go. Not gonna risk it without an a/c. For such a popular state park, I was really surprised to learn they have no hook-ups.
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Old 03-14-2016, 09:56 AM   #11
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Like a PP, I just make sure I never have to dry camp when I need electricity so I can't help with the AC. I will say that opening your windows and running an efficient 12v fan like Endless Breeze can help with the heat. Check for shade on the south and west sides of your site; that helps tremendously.

Water fill: We generally fill up at home since our tow vehicle has lots of spare towing capacity for our trailer. If you are closer to your tow limit, keep 10 gallons or so in your tank and fill up closer to your destination. Many no-hookup campgrounds will have a central water and dump site. Call the park to confirm.

I leave my water pump on. It is a pain to get up at night and have to turn it on to use the toilet. Then again, I have confidence in my plumbing. The power the pump uses is negligible.

The water heater runs on propane while dry camping. I always leave it on. I have a 10 gallon tank, and the amount of propane it uses doesn't concern me.

With only one 12v OEM battery you will need to use your generator a lot to fully charge the battery even if you don't want the AC, maybe 3-4 hours a day. Get some type of battery monitor, and try never to let your battery drop below 50% since the life is seriously affected by deep discharge.

Have fun!
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:01 AM   #12
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Don't wait, just redirect !!!
What part of THE great state are you in ?
there are many, MANY parks with power and water at least.

Not all encompassing, but a start:
Texas Campground Reviews - The Best of Texas Camping - RV Park Reviews
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:04 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon_S View Post
I am just going to cancel this trip. We have a baby that will be 7 months old when we go. Not gonna risk it without an a/c. For such a popular state park, I was really surprised to learn they have no hook-ups.
probably a good call.....personally I would look around for a campground with hook ups. We've went with all of our kids from birth basically but like you we planned accordingly. I personally wouldn't want a <1 year old camping and not have hook ups. It can be done....just more of a pain than it should be. I bet if you hunt around there will be a campground relatively close to where you wanted to go that offers hook ups.
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:19 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon_S View Post
I am just going to cancel this trip. We have a baby that will be 7 months old when we go. Not gonna risk it without an a/c. For such a popular state park, I was really surprised to learn they have no hook-ups.
Brandon, that is probably a wise decision, especially with a baby. I camp in Texas in the summer at race venues, but the genny runs 24 hours a day. No way could we do that w/o AC.

Is there a reason you want to stay at this specific state park? There are many SP's in Texas that have 30A or 50A service.
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