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Old 11-30-2021, 01:31 PM   #1
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Be Bold and Boondock!

Sort of accidentally, I did some boondocking for a long weekend recently, and I was very pleasantly surprised that my rig performed flawlessly. Now it was cool weather with no need for AC - rather heating, so it might not be so shocking, but still I had always been hesitant to try this out.

My 2017 DSDP 4369 has the all electric option with the 8 original, factory AGMs, and I had the AGS set to start the generator at 11.9 volts (loaded - probably close to 12.2 volts unloaded). Basically the generator would run at 6-7 AM for 3 hours, and I would purposefully run it from 6 PM until 9 PM to recharge for the night. I was shocked at how well everything worked, and now we are emboldened to try more. Now I have motivation to get the BMS installed with the upgraded Magnum panel.
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Old 11-30-2021, 01:40 PM   #2
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No surprise there. That is what your coach is designed to do. We have spent a week or more without any hookups at all.
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Old 11-30-2021, 02:04 PM   #3
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If I read correct you ran the genny for 6 hours a day? That seems like more charging than I would have figured was needed with 8 healthy house batteries.
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Old 11-30-2021, 03:16 PM   #4
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If I read correct you ran the genny for 6 hours a day? That seems like more charging than I would have figured was needed with 8 healthy house batteries.
2017 batteries in 2021... not surprised. Not too bad for the age of the batteries.
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Old 12-01-2021, 07:50 AM   #5
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If I read correct you ran the genny for 6 hours a day? That seems like more charging than I would have figured was needed with 8 healthy house batteries.
Three hours was overkill. I arrived at this run time based on suggested numbers (battery capacity, etc) in the magnum manual. I arrived at 2 hours, but decided for a first run, I would go for 3 hours. Besides, in the AM, I like to run the floor heat, coffee maker, and microwave.

I suspect there are a large number of folks out there like me who really haven’t pushed their rigs in boon docking mode and maybe even a few that don’t know there is an auto generator start (AGS) feature and that it has a voltage set point trigger and a run time setting. I think if more folks tried this, they’d find a whole new dimension to their camping and it absolutely exhilarating!
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Old 12-01-2021, 08:17 AM   #6
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Phil, congratulations on your boon docking discovery! I believe you are right about so many never discovering the joys of unplugging for a while. We don't do it often, but love how it actually brings an element of 'camping' to the whole motor coach experience.
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Old 12-01-2021, 10:37 AM   #7
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I agree that using the RV this way is great. Now you have to get solar!
Dr Phil, if you remember when we were both ordering our 2017s you actually talked me out of factory solar…I then went and installed 1440 watts myself and it has been great. For example, in 2019 we went to the Albuquerque balloon fiesta where we dry camped for 4 days. With the solar we didn’t need to run the generator at all (it was very sunny). We have boondocked at other rallies as well and the solar gives you more options…

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Old 12-02-2021, 10:46 AM   #8
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Be Bold and Boondock!

If your out west in the AZ-So Cal area check out the NKK Gathering in the Desert in January at Quartzite, AZ. There are usually just over 100 Newmars out there. It is a great time!
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Old 12-02-2021, 02:37 PM   #9
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I agree that using the RV this way is great. Now you have to get solar!
Dr Phil, if you remember when we were both ordering our 2017s you actually talked me out of factory solar…I then went and installed 1440 watts myself and it has been great. For example, in 2019 we went to the Albuquerque balloon fiesta where we dry camped for 4 days. With the solar we didn’t need to run the generator at all (it was very sunny). We have boondocked at other rallies as well and the solar gives you more options…

Thanks
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Did you ever write up the details of your install?
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Old 12-03-2021, 09:07 AM   #10
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Did you ever write up the details of your install?
I used Charlie’s outstanding guidance to install my solar…which went very well.

https://www.irv2.com/forums/f103/201...ml#post3569180

Btw. Battleborn has its lithium batteries on sale… lowest price I have seen. And since my cruddy flooded bats are 5 years old, I may finally pull the trigger.
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Old 12-14-2021, 04:03 PM   #11
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We went to the 2020 Gathering in the Desert and looking forward to this years as well.

We had over 130 Newmars that year.

Stayed about 7 days, enjoyed the company around the nightly bonfires.

Follow the boondocking tips for water conservation and tank management, should be no problem.

See you there.
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Old 12-14-2021, 04:20 PM   #12
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Dr Phil, awesome you are discovering the joys of being unplugged. When we started in the late 90's RVing we always booked into CG's for hookups, then the past almost 2 decades unless in a really built up area such as LA, LV, NYC, we are always unplugged. For many years we managed well with very careful energy conservation and generator back up.

In 2014 changed our Nevercold to a residential fridge, tube TV's to energy efficient flats, and added a lot of solar (1000w) and 800ah's batteries), and we've been golden hardly ever started generator to recharge.

I think once almost everyone gets over their fears and tests the parameters a bit here and further over time, they'll learn to embrace boondocking in beautiful locations of mountains, by rivers, lakes, forests etc, oceans even.

Happy Travels and Camping for all.
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Old 12-14-2021, 10:10 PM   #13
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Phil

Looks like it is time for a Harvest Host Membership and do some boondocking. We really enjoy the wineries and normally spend a couple of dozen nights enjoying our membership every year.
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Old 12-15-2021, 08:06 AM   #14
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It's meant to be...

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Phil, congratulations on your boon docking discovery! I believe you are right about so many never discovering the joys of unplugging for a while. We don't do it often, but love how it actually brings an element of 'camping' to the whole motor coach experience.
Agree 100% that if a RV owner doesn't unplug occasionally, they are missing the purpose of the "sport". Same way with boats. So many people have self contained boats with complete living and sleeping facilities but don't dare to anchor out for the night. In fact, they may not even know how to properly anchor their craft. Nothing inside a campground or marina can compare with getting up to sunrise in a beautiful open view and cooking up a little breakfast in REALLY fresh air. Yes, Phil... use your toys and enjoy the nature that many folks will never have the opportunity to see!
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