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Old 02-20-2019, 10:29 PM   #1
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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?
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Old 02-20-2019, 11:31 PM   #2
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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).
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Old 02-21-2019, 12:25 AM   #3
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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.
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Old 02-21-2019, 05:55 AM   #4
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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

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Old 02-21-2019, 09:37 AM   #5
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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
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Old 02-21-2019, 02:16 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 02-21-2019, 02:33 PM   #7
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"(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%
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Old 02-21-2019, 02:50 PM   #8
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"(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.
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Old 02-21-2019, 07:04 PM   #9
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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
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Old 02-22-2019, 04:38 AM   #10
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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/
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