Off grid camping - Dutchmen Owners

Go Back   Dutchmen Owners > Dutchmen Brand RVs > General RV Related Discussions
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 02-20-2019, 10:29 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: northern manitoba
Posts: 13
Manitoba
Off grid camping

I just received news that I did not get selected for a seasonal lot in our campground close to town. My next option might be to get one farther down the road but it has no power. I have a 3000 watt briggs and stratton inverter generator but what's the best way that i can watch tv and stuff for the kids after quiet time? A inverter off the 12v to power the tv ect. assuming I would need a extra battery or is there better options out there?
__________________

moosey069 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2019, 11:31 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: tampa
Posts: 1,852
Florida
Quote:
Originally Posted by moosey069 View Post
I just received news that I did not get selected for a seasonal lot in our campground close to town. My next option might be to get one farther down the road but it has no power. I have a 3000 watt briggs and stratton inverter generator but what's the best way that i can watch tv and stuff for the kids after quiet time? A inverter off the 12v to power the tv ect. assuming I would need a extra battery or is there better options out there?
If you have one, an LED television is the best way to go since it utilizes so little electricity. BUT, you will need power for the cable box, or if you are running off the antenna, the amplifier for that or if you are running off their cable system, you should be good to go.

According to one product review site, a 32 LED TV uses about 18 watts of energy. Moving up to a 40 LED increases that energy use to 31 watts not a huge difference. But a 55 LED TV uses about 57 watts or 2x the amount of electricity as a 32 TV (though still very little electricity).
__________________

franktafl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2019, 12:25 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Beaver Dam
Posts: 343
Wisconsin
Dry camping

Frank makes some good points. You may have a 40 or 50 amp/hr converter/charger. Add 200 amp/hours of battery. And you can go at least 2 days without running the generator, may be 4 days. Run the generator at least 4 hours every other day.
Don't run the batteries below 10% and you will get an 80% charge every time you run the Gen.
Run the batteries down to 40% and charge 4 hours every day to 90%. Some people believe you should not run the batteries way down.
Actual percentages and run time will vary greatly.
__________________
Paul Bristol
Dutchman Kodiak Cub KD176RD 2018
Nissan Pathfinder 2015
persistent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2019, 05:55 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Roseburg
Posts: 328
Oregon
The only thing you can do when dry camping is to add more batteries or amp hours. When off grid you will be running lights led's are much better than incandescent. If your running your TV, Power antenna, portable satellite dish on inverter? Bathroom fan, ceiling fan, miscellaneous detectors, phone and game chargers. With group 24 battery you will be at approx 85ah's. You can add 85ah with each new battery. I would go four if you got room But that said, if your not running your furnace you might get by with just two 12 volt batteries. With a large family you could be on the edge. You will need to run your generator at least 4 hours each day.
I would not run your batteries below 50%. I try and not go below 60% before charging. Which means your really not getting the full 85ah's out of each battery when off grid.

Let's guess your using a total of 10 amps with everything running at night to keep the family happy. 10 amps x 4 hours and you have used up the available amp hours in one battery without dropping below 50%. So, you can see how adding a batteries is a necessity when dry camping.

Get a battery voltage meter. Wire it near the converter directly to the cables to the batteries.
Simple and works good.
Digital Voltmeter | VoltMinder.com

1l243 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2019, 09:37 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Sioux Falls
Posts: 131
Arkansas
Quote:
Originally Posted by persistent View Post
Frank makes some good points. You may have a 40 or 50 amp/hr converter/charger. Add 200 amp/hours of battery. And you can go at least 2 days without running the generator, may be 4 days. Run the generator at least 4 hours every other day.
Don't run the batteries below 10% and you will get an 80% charge every time you run the Gen.
Run the batteries down to 40% and charge 4 hours every day to 90%. Some people believe you should not run the batteries way down.
Actual percentages and run time will vary greatly.
Unless you have lithium batteries NEVER run them below 50% lithium batteries can be run down to 10% without damage anything else ie, lead acid, agm,or gel will take permanent damage and shorten the life every time they go below 50%
With that said you need to determine how much power you will use in one day 24 hr period and have batteries equal to at least double that amount so you dont get to that 50% mark or your batteries will be short lived also a small investment in a couple solar panels would save you a good bit of money in the long run by not buying gas for the generator and they are quieter
scottxpc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2019, 02:16 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Beaver Dam
Posts: 343
Wisconsin
Thumbs up 50% a rule of thumb or limit to avoid abusing batteries

The myth of 50%.
I studied the test data for one manufacturer's AGM battery line. The main test was from 10% to 90% or 11.9 v to 12.7 v static. The available amp hours for each charge cycle was recorded. After 400 cycles the available amp hours were 80% of starting value. This test was repeated multiple times and showed good repeatability.
A second test was done. This time the batteries were discharged to 50%. The number of cycles before the capacity dropped to 80% was 800. (Cycle numbers have been rounded because I don't remember the exact numbers.)
This shows you can get twice as many cycles discharging to only 50%, but you get half as much capacity. It appears it is the amount of charging which is the same for both tests, not the depth of charging that limits the life of this line of batteries.
You can also put more amp hours into the batteries faster when the battery is at a low level of charge. (Also shown by recorded data.) Of course one battery being discharged to 10% weights half as much as two batteries being discharged to 50% and yet the available capacity for both methods would be the same.
In general deep draw batteries are designed to be drawn down to 10%. Maybe your batteries are different.
__________________
Paul Bristol
Dutchman Kodiak Cub KD176RD 2018
Nissan Pathfinder 2015
persistent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2019, 02:33 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Sioux Falls
Posts: 131
Arkansas
"(Cycle numbers have been rounded because I don't remember the exact numbers.)"

Not very scientific lol ask ANY manufacturer of batteries they will all tell you not to discharge lead acid batteries below 50%
Not to mention when a lead acid battery drops below 50% the voltage drops starts dropping fast and will be unusable long before it gets to 10%
scottxpc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2019, 02:50 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Beaver Dam
Posts: 343
Wisconsin
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottxpc View Post
"(Cycle numbers have been rounded because I don't remember the exact numbers.)"

Not very scientific lol ask ANY manufacturer of batteries they will all tell you not to discharge lead acid batteries below 50%
Not to mention when a lead acid battery drops below 50% the voltage drops starts dropping fast and will be unusable long before it gets to 10%
Actually it is very scientific, my memory is not very scientific. A great deal of detailed data was published by the mfg. The only negative in the report is that the manufacturer is the sponsor of the study. Potential for bias is present.
"ANY manufacture" does not compute. Obviously the manufacturer I reported on says it does not mater as do other high quality deep draw AGM battery manufactures.
As I said, maybe your batteries are different.
__________________
Paul Bristol
Dutchman Kodiak Cub KD176RD 2018
Nissan Pathfinder 2015
persistent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2019, 07:04 PM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: northern manitoba
Posts: 13
Manitoba
how to get to 120

I get that I'll need a extra battery and will run my genny to charge them in the day maby even ontop of a solar panel while I'm away I guess the biggest question I have is how do you get from 12v to the 120 just buy a inverter and run it off the batteries then plug my 240v with the reducer to the 120 connection and plug that into the inverter? ps thanks for all the help guys
moosey069 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2019, 04:38 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Roseburg
Posts: 328
Oregon
It depends on what you want to run off of your inverter. If you want to run everything in the trailer by plugging the trailer into an inverter, your going to need a large inverter 3000 watt maybe and a much bigger battery bank. some fancy wiring will be required so you bypass the converter wanting to charge the batteries when plugged in to 110.

If you just want to plug in a TV or some small electronics you could go with a small inverter one that plugs into your 12 volt outlet in the trailer.

I use a Samlex Sl-175HP inverter (175 watt). I plug into a 12 volt outlet that I wired directly to the battery cables in the Converter. I can watch a 40" LCD TV .

Your power TV antenna will work off the batteries.
The Samlex is very quiet. Some inverters are not.
https://www.toboaenergy.com/product/...sine-inverter/
1l243 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2019, 09:24 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Beaver Dam
Posts: 343
Wisconsin
Moosey,


No, do not plug your shore power cord into your new inverter. It could easily overload a small inverter. You cannot run everything in your TT at the same time on a small inverter.


1/234 has made a good suggestion above. One portable inverter for one 115 volt device. Plug it into a cigarette lighter outlet. 12 volt outlets can be easily installed near any existing 12 volt light or device.


Inverters up to 350 watts can be plugged into a cigarette lighter outlet. The outlet would be permanently connected to the battery bank.


The other solutions are a little more complicated to crazy complicated. There are systems often installed in 40 ft motor coaches that run every thing from multiple sources and switch automatically. How far are you willing to go?


I have the next simple solution in my 21 ft Kodiak Cub. It is a 1000 watt sine wave inverter. It is connected to my 200 amp hour battery bank. Output is through two standard 115 volt dedicate outputs one mounted on either end of the cabin. None of the Cubs other outlets or 115 volt devices are connected to the inverter.
Neither the battery bank nor the inverter are big enough to run heating or cooling devices. I can run an LED TV, laptop computer, and charge cell phones.


A 1000 watt inverter must be connected directly to the battery bank by heavy cable. When delivering full output it draws 85 amps from the batteries. That would drain my 200 amp hours in 2 hours.


A 2000 watt inverter needs to be directly connected by heavy cable and located close to the batteries because it would draw 160 amps and would drain my batteries in one hour. A 2000 watt inverter is equivalent to a 15 amp 115 volt home outlet. One electric heater, or one air conditioner could be run on this inverter. However, this is not practical with a 200 amp hour battery bank. These heavy users would not run long enough to be useful.


I installed my 1000 watt inverter my self. I have good knowledge about 115 volt and 12 volt wiring. You may need to have an electrician install yours.


There are other ways. 12 volt TV's are available on Amazon and other places. You may need a 12 volt outlet installed or there may be one already available in your TT. Most small electronic and electrical devices come in 12 volt or 5 volt USB versions.
I have a fan that runs from a cigarette lighter outlet, and all our cell phones charge from a 5 volt USB outlet that came installed in our TT.
__________________
Paul Bristol
Dutchman Kodiak Cub KD176RD 2018
Nissan Pathfinder 2015
persistent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2019, 03:48 PM   #12
Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: northern manitoba
Posts: 13
Manitoba
thanks

thanks again guys. I believe I am going to install a 1000 watt inverter and have it run off a battery separate from my TT battery. I will charge it via solar and the genny to top it up. sounds like I should run a separate plug for the tv and DVD from the inverter. I think that's the plan I will try. wonder how long the 36 in led and a DVD will run off a 200 amp hour with a 1000 watt inverter? this is exciting. I'm such a nerd for stuff like this lol
moosey069 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2019, 04:27 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Beaver Dam
Posts: 343
Wisconsin
Quote:
Originally Posted by moosey069 View Post
thanks again guys. I believe I am going to install a 1000 watt inverter and have it run off a battery separate from my TT battery. I will charge it via solar and the genny to top it up. sounds like I should run a separate plug for the tv and DVD from the inverter. I think that's the plan I will try. wonder how long the 36 in led and a DVD will run off a 200 amp hour with a 1000 watt inverter? this is exciting. I'm such a nerd for stuff like this lol
A 36 inch TV may use 60 watts.
1000 watt sine wave Inverter parasitic load may be 24 watts.
Total watts = 84
84 watts / 12 volts = 7 amps
200 amp hour battery at 50% draw down: 100 amp hour / 7 = 14 hours of continuous operation.
Add the wattage of the DVD to the 84 total watts above and recalculate.

You do not need to separate the inverter supply battery from the TT battery. You will easily get more than three days without running the generator using a 200 amp/hr battery bank for everything.

Running a 200 watt (maybe less) solar system will keep you going indefinitely as long as you have direct sun.

A 1000 watt generator will run your TT converter/charger just fine. It will substantially recharge with 4 hours run time. Most people buy the 2000 watt because they generally cost only a little more the 1000. (2000 watt gens are heavier.) You can run your microwave or air conditioner with the 2000 watt gen.
__________________
Paul Bristol
Dutchman Kodiak Cub KD176RD 2018
Nissan Pathfinder 2015
persistent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2019, 10:22 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: West Jordan
Posts: 204
Utah
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1l243 View Post
It depends on what you want to run off of your inverter. If you want to run everything in the trailer by plugging the trailer into an inverter, your going to need a large inverter 3000 watt maybe and a much bigger battery bank. some fancy wiring will be required so you bypass the converter wanting to charge the batteries when plugged in to 110.

If you just want to plug in a TV or some small electronics you could go with a small inverter one that plugs into your 12 volt outlet in the trailer.

I use a Samlex Sl-175HP inverter (175 watt). I plug into a 12 volt outlet that I wired directly to the battery cables in the Converter. I can watch a 40" LCD TV .

Your power TV antenna will work off the batteries.
The Samlex is very quiet. Some inverters are not.
https://www.toboaenergy.com/product/...sine-inverter/
Our power TV antenna only works with AC power, and does not work with 12 V DC battery power. So I think we HAVE to hook up a generator if we want to get antenna broadcasts.

DVDs it is....
Hart_family is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2019, 12:59 AM   #15
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: prophetstown
Posts: 236
Illinois
May be a dumb question but why can't you run the generator and buy a small battery charger and keep them charged that way
Local150 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2019, 01:08 AM   #16
Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: northern manitoba
Posts: 13
Manitoba
Charge battery

Now the only question is do I just plumb another deep cycle battery in with the one already on the trailer or is it smarter go get the 2 6v deal I have seen people talking about. looks like the 6v battery has 230 amp hours if I run the 2 in series which looks like the smarter options but it's not cheap that's for sure
moosey069 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2019, 10:31 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Beaver Dam
Posts: 343
Wisconsin
Quote:
Originally Posted by Local150 View Post
May be a dumb question but why can't you run the generator and buy a small battery charger and keep them charged that way
You can, but it takes days to fully 100% top off a lead/acid battery. They need to be fully topped off periodically for the longest life. Running a generator for days is possible, but the top off part of the charge uses very little power. The gen would be idling all that time.

A "small" battery charger would take hours longer. Lead/acid batteries can usually take a large amount of current in the early stages of charging. My 200 amp hour bank takes 45 amps at 20% charge and come up to 80% in less than 5 hours. At that point I am done with the generator.

Periodically I need to top them off by charging at a very low rate for at least another day or two using shore power. The same WFCO 50 amp converter/charger does the low charge.

Some people use solar for the long slow charge.

Charging lead acid batteries https://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/charging_the_lead_acid_battery
__________________
Paul Bristol
Dutchman Kodiak Cub KD176RD 2018
Nissan Pathfinder 2015
persistent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2019, 03:58 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Helena, MT
Posts: 460
Montana
I run a 400 watt inverter and/or a 1500 watt inverter. The larger one is permanently installed and the 400 watt on is kept more portable and can use either a 12V outlet for power or alligator clamps to battery posts. I just plug my shore cable into the inverter, it works fine. But YOU MUST DISABLE THE ONBOARD CONVERTER WHEN DOING THIS. I have my converter wired up to it's own dedicated AC breaker and shut that breaker off when shore power cable is plugged into the inverter. I also shut off the microwave and air con breakers to avoid them accidentally turning on and overloading the inverter.
I find this to be the most convenient way to run things. All the interior AC outlets are live so they all work just like when plugged into shore power. You have to be conscious of how much power you are drawing, but we don't really need to run anything that has us worry about this. We've been doing it for years so we're used to the capacity limitations.
__________________

__________________
2012 Aspen Trail 2710BH | 280 watts of solar on the roof | 2x6V GC batteries | 100% LED lighting | 1500 & 300 watt PSW inverters | so far strictly boondocking
ewarnerusa is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Dutchmen RV or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT. The time now is 02:17 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.
×