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Old 10-20-2016, 10:31 PM   #15
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Leave the invertor on

Run the furnace - set it on about 65, not 72F

Don't use the microwave or hairdryer on batteries

You should have changed your interior light bulbs out to LEDs long ago

You'll have no problem at WalMart for a night

When you get to your friends, run a standard extension cord out to keep your batteries charged. If you're going to take showers in the MH, run the hot water heater on propane so you don't blow his breaker - same with the refer.

If you don't have the adapters to get from 50A down to 15A, buy them while at WalMart.

Enjoy yourself.

Bill
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Old 10-20-2016, 11:03 PM   #16
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For us, the inverter was always OFF unless we needed to use 110v. However, we don't watch TV and the refrigerator and water heater were on propane. We used a stovetop coffee pot and made toast in a fry pan. We did without electric hookups very well - for days. Also, we had a propane heater so didn't need to run the furnace. We never got caught in a place we had to have air conditioning but that wouldn't work for everyone. The Fantastic fans works very well at night and don't run down the battery.

You just have to look at it as a different way of camping. It's easily done if you can do without all those electric appliances - at least for one night.
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Old 10-20-2016, 11:52 PM   #17
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Purchase a 100' heavy duty grounded extension cord and a 15/20 Amp to 30/50 Amp adapter so that you can plug into limited 120 VAC, when visiting relatives or friends who do not have a motor home outlet on their house. Remember that your input power is considerably less than a 30 / 50 Amp motor home service so be carefull what you try to operate, but it will power your converter for battery charging and small electrical loads (lights / radios / TV / etc).
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Old 10-21-2016, 12:13 AM   #18
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Bill

Go to the internet and google OHM's Law... and read and understand about it.... than understand the capacity of your batteries so you can start to learn to manage you total amount of power available (batteries) and your load... the simple formula of ohm's law will allow you to compute your load... and understand where you stand... we have enough batteries on our unit to spend 48 hours out without starting the gen set... when we drive on a daily basis we usually go all night without a problem unless were at a spot where the outside temperature is below 40 and we need to cycle the furnace a lot..

Its all about understanding and managing the power... Best of luck....
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Old 10-21-2016, 06:22 AM   #19
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FWIW perhaps it is worth mentioning usage patterns. I think you will find a lot of us do something similar when dry camping. When we park if we are eating in we start the generator while doing dinner, heating hot water and doing any other chores. The batteries should be up at that point but it keeps from sucking them down with the microwave and maintaining heat or A/C. After dinner the tv is not a huge load so the generator goes off.

In the morning the first thing is start the generator. Start bulk charging the batteries while heating water, making toast, coffee maker, blow dryer etc. That sheds the heavy morning load while getting ahead on re charging.

The idea is to use the generator when doing peak loads and get ahead of the big engine recharge curve if traveling. That lets the big engine finish bulk charging and then do the slow recharge to top off while driving. If camped for several days just extend the generator run time to something like 2 hours morning and evening. A little experience will help there. What you don't want to do is short cycle the generator by repeatedly starting and stopping. You will use more power starting than it puts back in 5 or 10 minutes.

If you get up in the morning and the generator won't start then start the big engine and let it run a few minutes. That might top off the house batteries enough to start the generator. If not then go to the emergency start or whatever they call it switch that connects the two batteries together. What you do not want to do is run down both battery sets with no running generation.
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Old 10-21-2016, 09:25 AM   #20
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I think there have been good comments, but especially doing some sort of dry run. The only downside as you've noted is a dead battery, so you want to understand when your voltage level reaches about 11.8-12.2 volts. I lean toward keeping your batteries above about 12.2 volts when there is no significant load (i.e., microwave, coffee maker). One thing I didn't see mentioned is whether or not you have AGS that will start your generator at a preset voltage level. That can save batteries, even if it does wake you and your neighbors up.
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Old 10-21-2016, 09:48 AM   #21
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One item not mentioned concerning the invertor is if the DC volts get too low it will shut down. How low is dependent on make, model and if the setting is user programmable. So in theory an invertor should not take you batteries down to zero or deep into the low volt danger range.

Low wattage devices, LED TVs, satellite receivers, computers, cell phone chargers and such shouldn't make too much of a dent in your battery capacity between recharging. But as mentioned heating or cooling devices can. Get to know you coach concerning what is and isn't a power hog.
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Old 10-21-2016, 12:16 PM   #22
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We do this all the time with no problems, but let's back up and make sure you check a couple things first.

- Make sure your house batteries has water to the correct level and covering the plates. I have 3 pair of batteries, where you may have 2 pair, but that shouldn't be a problem to last the night.

- Configure your AGS as a safety net, so that if your batteries get low the generator will start to charge the batteries. Also verify that your inverter is configured to turn off, if the batteries fall below your low voltage setting. You don't want to risk depleting the batteries, as that will have a long term effect and shorten their life.

- Do a test run in your driveway (as suggested prior), to verify everything is working correctly.

We can easily go 24 hours on batteries running RR, and Mwave/coffee pot when needed, and TV's. Overnight is a no brainer, wake up in the morning, shower/eat and get on the road. As you drive, your engine alternator will charge your house batteries back up for the next night.

If we boondock without power and driving during the day, I'll run the generator morning and evening for a short bit to charge up the batteries. Make sure your converter is configured for maximum charge rate when you are on generator. That way you don't run the generator longer than you have to.
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Old 10-21-2016, 03:35 PM   #23
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Not a simple yes or no answer, like has been said, try to dry run 1St. Do you have battery monitor's? Do you have Led lighting and a newer TV? How many batteries?
We have 6 12 volt batteries in good shape, we can overnight watch TV make coffee in the morning and use the microwave with out running out of battery, put fridge on propane. Had 4 house batteries that wouldn't last an hour, they checked bad, replaced them, had room for two more, works great now
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Old 10-21-2016, 08:48 PM   #24
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Turn the inverter off if you are not using any circuits that require it to run. Make sure your batteries are topped off and charged when you go to bed. If it is cold out set the thermostat for the lowest temp you can stand and sleep under extra covers.

We seldom use the inverter, there is quite a bit of parasitic draw when it is on even if you aren't using any heavy loads. I even have a small 400 watt inverter that I can use to power the front TV. I converted all of our fluorescent lights to LED which helps on total power consumption.
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Old 10-21-2016, 09:28 PM   #25
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Staying overnight without electric hookups

I don't know... there is an incredible amount of great advice on this thread ... but I think the best is simply to try it and get to know your rig through experience. Personally I think that if a setup can't stand to run the heaters from evening (8:00?)?through morning then it might be worth evaluating the health of the batteries (this assumes that you are watching the overall load and minimizing it , especially microwave and resistive/heating loads . On my rig (FWIW) I have had it in below freezing temps, run reasonable but minimal lighting , had the satellite/tv on, and run the (gas) heaters at 70 degrees all night, and not run the batteries below 12V by morning (at which time I would start the generator to make coffee ). Try it and get the feel for how your setup behaves ..
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Old 10-21-2016, 09:39 PM   #26
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Get there
Have a nice evening
Start the generator
Sleep well
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Old 10-22-2016, 08:03 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MN_Traveler View Post
I don't know... there is an incredible amount of great advice on this thread ... but I think the best is simply to try it and get to know your rig through experience. Personally I think that if a setup can't stand to run the heaters from evening (8:00?)?through morning then it might be worth evaluating the health of the batteries (this assumes that you are watching the overall load and minimizing it , especially microwave and resistive/heating loads . On my rig (FWIW) I have had it in below freezing temps, run reasonable but minimal lighting , had the satellite/tv on, and run the (gas) heaters at 70 degrees all night, and not run the batteries below 12V by morning (at which time I would start the generator to make coffee ). Try it and get the feel for how your setup behaves ..
The best advice you received is to get a battery monitor like the Bogart Engineering Trimetric 2030. With it you can directly monitor your battery bank charge state (you know when your battery reaches 50% charge not some voltage number that is likely impacted by resistive loads in your meter circuit).

I have 440 AH of battery capacity which means I can use 220 AH for 50% charge. This is what my battery manufacturer recommends for longest battery life. I also know that I can run everything in the coach on about 10 amps as long as I turn the refrigerator to LP mode and don't use the microwave. Therefore, I can get about 22 hours of use before I have to charge. I know what each appliance draws because I can watch the current change as I turn the appliance on and off.

The battery monitor has a display that I can see from the bedroom or the kitchen so I know if I am using excess current. It also has alarms that I can set for a specific charge level. The charge monitor is the best upgrade I have made to my coach.
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