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Old 05-28-2017, 07:15 PM   #1
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New to RV life - introduction

My DW and I are new to the RV'ing and jumped in the deep end purchasing a 2017 Ventana LE 4037. We loved the layout and diesel power. The local dealer happened to have exactly what we wanted (at least 95% of what we wanted) and we pulled the trigger.

We plan to use it to make the most of family time with two kids still in the house - a daughter in high school and a very active son in 6th grade. Our son is on two travel lacrosse teams and is also a competitive golfer. Most of our summer weekends will be spent traveling in the RV!

We left on our first trip to Boston for a tournament at the NCAA Lacrosse Final Four less than 6 hours after driving out of the dealer. Like many of our trips, we will be staying either on site at the tournament or at a Walmart or the like.

A question for the group that could use more explanation than what our dealer provided. When dry camping and running lights, water pump, refrigerator (full size), fans, radio/TV how much can we do it just on the house battery and how much do we need to fire up the generator? I don't want to completely drain the house batteries and have no idea how long they would last. I assuming if we were going to try to run the AC we would need to fire up the diesel generator. Would appreciate thoughts and things to look out for.

And thanks to all the great advice on all the threads. The search was really helpful as we were deciding to go with Newmar.
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Old 05-28-2017, 07:31 PM   #2
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I do a lot of dry camping at race tracks,usually get by with about 4 hours a day running the gen set to keep the batteries topped off. Black water tank is the biggest issue can do about 5 days with the macerator toilets set on low.
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Old 05-28-2017, 07:35 PM   #3
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Glad to have you here in the forum with us.

Happy Trails!!!
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Old 05-28-2017, 07:41 PM   #4
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I do a lot of dry camping at race tracks,usually get by with about 4 hours a day running the gen set to keep the batteries topped off. Black water tank is the biggest issue can do about 5 days with the macerator toilets set on low.
If you were to install a good solar system you would be able to run everything except the AC, 24/7. And w/o macerator toilets I go 2 weeks easily with the black tank. I'm convinced that newer coaches are designed for park to park camping.
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Old 05-29-2017, 05:45 AM   #5
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Thanks for the feedback. I will do some research on the solar setup as well.
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Old 05-29-2017, 07:00 AM   #6
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Hi canipeb,
Welcome to the Newmar Owners forum and the Newmar family. Consider watching your coach battery volt reading. 12.2 is the lowest I'd go before starting the generator. There are too many variables to say how long one can use the batteries before starting the generator.

Like mentioned earlier, holding tank capacity can become a problem. Watch water usage like a hawk.
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Old 05-29-2017, 11:58 AM   #7
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Can you tell us a bit more about your rig?

How many batteries? Amp Hour rating?

Residential or Dometic cycle Fridge?

Oasis or Propane Hot water?

Auto Gen Start?

Which model of Magnum Remote do you have?
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Old 05-29-2017, 01:25 PM   #8
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If your rig has a auto generator start function, you should enable it. That way the generator will auto start when the batteries are in need of a recharge, and the generator will stop itself automatically too....you can even program "quiet times" so the generator won't run during those times. But on average start the generator when you wake up, and let it run for 2 hours....then also run it for 2 hours right before quiet time starts.
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Old 05-29-2017, 01:27 PM   #9
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Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

Congrats on the new rig! Keep her between the ditches!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 05-29-2017, 04:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C.Martin View Post
Can you tell us a bit more about your rig?

How many batteries? Amp Hour rating?

Residential or Dometic cycle Fridge?

Oasis or Propane Hot water?

Auto Gen Start?

Which model of Magnum Remote do you have?

Wow, I feel like I've taken a Masters course in Class A RVs. I can actually answer most of these questions that were a different language a month ago. Our Ventana LE has most of the options:
Auto Gen Start
4 batteries
8.0 KW Onan Generator
Propane Hot water
Whirlpool 19.7 Refrigerator
2000 Watt Inverter
2 15M Penguin Heat Pump Air Conditioners
Don't know which Magnum Remote I have without going out to look at it.
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Old 05-29-2017, 05:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canipeb View Post
Wow, I feel like I've taken a Masters course in Class A RVs. I can actually answer most of these questions that were a different language a month ago. Our Ventana LE has most of the options:
Auto Gen Start
4 batteries
8.0 KW Onan Generator
Propane Hot water
Whirlpool 19.7 Refrigerator
2000 Watt Inverter
2 15M Penguin Heat Pump Air Conditioners
Don't know which Magnum Remote I have without going out to look at it.
Thanks!

The fact that you have Auto Gen Start tells me you probably have the ME-RC50 remote.

So, when dry camping...you've got 4 batteries...I am assuming they are 6v Interstate Flooded Lead Acid batteries rated at 232 aH (20 hr rating). They are connected together to give you the equivalent of two big 12v batteries...and 464 aH of battery power. Is is safe to use these batteries and discharge them up to 50% of their rating. So you can run out 232 aH before needing to plug-in/start the generator/ or collect some sunlight thru solar...

You can run static drains, dash radio, entertainment system in standby, microwave clock, etc...for about 24 hrs with the 4 batteries. It will drain faster with lights, and tvs, fans, etc...running.

Airconditioning (except for the King Aire with 16 AGM batteries, and hybrid inverter) has to have shore power or Generator power. If you open your breaker panel...all the stuff to the left of the gap are only powered thru your transfer switch... I.E., Air Conditioner 1 & 2, electric hot water heating elements, induction cooktop (if you have that vs propane stove) Block Heater, Washer and Dryer ( if optioned). The stuff on the short section of panel are powered thru the Inverter. I.E., outlets for tv, residential refrigerator, etc...

You can do two things to help keep up the batteries. Know how to set up the Auto Gen Start to fire up based on Voltage. When the batteries start getting low...the genny will start and run for your prescribed amount of time. The Magnum manual includes some recommendations based on the size of your battery bank (464 aH).

The other thing is to set a failsafe,,, the LBCO. This will switch off the inverter to help preserve what's left of your battery, should the generator not start to charge up the batteries.

If you really enjoy this type of camping...down the road you can look into a few things which will improve your functionality.

1) Battery Monitor Kit (ME-BMK). This acts as a counter to measure everything going in or out of your battery bank. It will express the status as a percentage or "State of Charge". It is far superior just using voltage to gauge the battery charge.

2) Solar Panels and charge controller. These can be programmed...and once set, they just work. Whenever there is sunlight, they will convert that energy into charge potential for your batteries. It will cut down tremendously, how much...if any...generator you will have to use.

3) Adding more batteries. Yup...the more you have, the longer you can go between chargeups. If weight is an issue...there are newer Lithium technologies being used in the RV industry...they last longer, can be discharged more deeply, but come at a price$$$.

4) Upgrade the ME-RC remote to the ME-ARC remote. The "A" is advanced. It gives you a bunch of new menu options. It can trigger your Auto Gen Start based on State of Charge, instead of just voltage. Worth looking into if you've come this far.

As others have stated...the real limitations to dry camping are triggered by need for fresh water...need to dump grey tank, dishwashing, showering, and black tank capacity. If we use our Macerator toilet with full qty flush...the light comes on in 2-3 days. If we use the gravity toilet in our half bath...we've gone 5 days, and it only be 1/3rd full. I don't know if your coach is like mine. But IF it has a gravity toilet in the half bath...you are ahead of the game there. Add an Oxygenics shower head...and learn to take combat showers...use paper plates when able....and you'll quickly stretch out your grey tank usage.

Enjoy your new coach. I am sure you will fall in love with it...and make many happy memories as your journey unfolds.

All the best!
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Old 05-29-2017, 06:07 PM   #12
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[QUOTE=C.Martin;3621893]Thanks!

The fact that you have Auto Gen Start tells me you probably have the ME-RC50 remote.

So, when dry camping...you've got 4 batteries...I am assuming they are 6v Interstate Flooded Lead Acid batteries rated at 232 aH (20 hr rating). They are connected together to give you the equivalent of two big 12v batteries...and 464 aH of battery power. Is is safe to use these batteries and discharge them up to 50% of their rating. So you can run out 232 aH before needing to plug-in/start the generator/ or collect some sunlight thru solar...


Thanks so much for the thorough response. I'm heading out to get the manual now. One point of clarification - I have 4 12V batteries, not 4 6V.
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Old 05-29-2017, 06:14 PM   #13
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[QUOTE=canipeb;3621939]
Quote:
Originally Posted by C.Martin View Post
Thanks!

The fact that you have Auto Gen Start tells me you probably have the ME-RC50 remote.

So, when dry camping...you've got 4 batteries...I am assuming they are 6v Interstate Flooded Lead Acid batteries rated at 232 aH (20 hr rating). They are connected together to give you the equivalent of two big 12v batteries...and 464 aH of battery power. Is is safe to use these batteries and discharge them up to 50% of their rating. So you can run out 232 aH before needing to plug-in/start the generator/ or collect some sunlight thru solar...


Thanks so much for the thorough response. I'm heading out to get the manual now. One point of clarification - I have 4 12V batteries, not 4 6V.

Opps...my bad. I am not familiar with what they are rated for.
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