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Old 11-29-2016, 06:20 AM   #1
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5th Wheel Boondocking Usage Survey: Length, Gallons, Solar/Generator

Looking for real numbers - to better 'understand it all' ; )

How (on average) many days to you boondock consecutively?

Per that stay average, how many gallons used:
Fresh
Grey
Black

Edit: Regards power consumption, use a Trimetric

Huge thanks for all replies !
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Old 11-29-2016, 06:44 AM   #2
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When and if you get serious about boondocking start by getting a quality battery meter. Only you can figure out what type of DC voltage you want to live with (in terms of storage). The meter will take the guess work out of it.
The meter will work perfectly with your complete solar system when you get to that.

Good luck.
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Old 11-29-2016, 06:52 AM   #3
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As said above, You need this.
Bogart Engineering TriMetric TM-2025-RV Battery System Monitor

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Old 11-29-2016, 06:55 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by okcnewbie View Post
When and if you get serious about boondocking start by getting a quality battery meter. Only you can figure out what type of DC voltage you want to live with (in terms of storage). The meter will take the guess work out of it.
The meter will work perfectly with your complete solar system when you get to that.

Good luck.


Gotcha on the power-side; any input on the tank usage, days spent?
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Old 11-29-2016, 07:00 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by C&SL View Post
As said above, You need this.
Bogart Engineering TriMetric TM-2025-RV Battery System Monitor

C&SL
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Gotcha on the power-side; any input on the tank usage, days spent?
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Old 11-29-2016, 07:08 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by lalaposhi View Post
Gotcha on the power-side; any input on the tank usage, days spent?

If you want to check this blog out I think they said something about how much water per day they were able to get down to; The Fit RV


update; I think it was this couple that goes into how much water they use; http://wheelingit.us/

With some extra bottled water and ingenuity I think you will find that the grey and black tanks are the limiting factors. You can really get into a problem with the black tank if you try and skip on water here.
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Old 11-29-2016, 07:17 AM   #7
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Trimetric is one way but you'll have to stay unplugged while doing your testing. Also highly recommend doing an energy audit. Test each and every item in your rig, note the parasitic draw too. Put it all down on paper (or for us more advanced folks, a spreadsheet) estimate how long each will run on a given day. Calculate the usage and bam! you can estimate most of what you are looking for on the electric side. Then for water fill your tank. Go do some "boondocking" as if you were in the middle of no where. But this can be done in your driveway. Wash dishes, use the toilet and take showers. After a couple of days fill the tank again but this time use one of these:
Water meter thingy
You now have water usage for however many days you were tracking.
It's really hard to use others estimates for this kind of stuff. Much better to estimate based on your usage.
Best of luck and let us know what you find out.
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Old 11-29-2016, 07:37 AM   #8
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As with power usage, water usage is the same. Every one is different, If you shower every day, use paper plates, use bottled water, & your type of toilet and how much water it takes.
We have 110 Gallons of water, I have our tanks (gray/black) set up so they can be connected together to hold the the capacity we need.
We have gone from a week to about 3 weeks, depending where we are and want to do.
Many way to work around the power & water situations.

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Old 11-29-2016, 07:46 PM   #9
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How (on average) many days to you boondock consecutively?

Per that stay average, how many gallons used:
Fresh
Grey
Black

We have boondocked over two weeks in 34' fifth wheel and three weeks in Roadtrek 190. It is to be noted that we were in Labrador and Newfoundland with Roadtrek and it was fairly cool and we just washed outside. There were some great and very secluded spots.

5th wheel has 80 gallons freshwater, 40 gallons grey water and 40 gallons black water. As noted above by others, black water is limiting factor. We winter in Yucatan and RV parks in Mexico forbid flushing TP down the drain. This saves a lot of space in the black water tank and avoids jamming the valves. We generally boondock in dispersed sites (no one around) and can shower outside (do not want to frighten horses or young children).

We have 1400 W of solar on 5th wheel with 9 kW-hrs of LFP. We once decided to see how much we could harvest and by running the fridge and hot waterday and night on battery suite plus running the a/c for a few hours, we harvest over 8 kW-hrs in mid-latitude summer. We do generally run the fridge and hot water on solar/battery during high sunshine.

It is generally permissible to dump dish water (check with local Forest Service regulations) and shower outside. This permits boondocking for quite a while. We carry four to six x 6 gallon water cans on these trips so that we can drive our pickup to a water point.

The tap water where we spend time on beach in Yucatan is absymal and only used for outdoor shower with hose. We drive to a water store and fill the 20 liter (about 6 gallon) garrafones and use these to fill the freshwater tank for drinking, washing dishes, and final freshwater shower after getting out of ocean.
Reed and Elaine
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