Generator Noise & Outside Televisions - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-13-2010, 09:47 PM   #15
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I do that often, but I use my propane stove. I just mention it because sometimes people tend to forget the "old ways" and how simple (and silent) they can be.

Raya
and we walked a mile to school in the snow....uphill!
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Old 06-13-2010, 11:13 PM   #16
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Yes, solar seems like an excellent alternative but I think a generator has its place when used responsibly. I purchased this a few months ago to get my solar feet wet. It does an excellent job in maintaining the charge on the battery while the trailer is stored. I think I'm now ready to get a larger panel to partially replace the generator use. Any suggestions on a panel to charge the battery?
Steve, the BatteryMinder solar controller is a good quality unit, but the solar panel that comes with it . . . leaves a lot to be desired.

Recently I bought a pair of Rasmond 20w Solar Panels off of eBay for $70/each; these are the panels I'll be using at the Oregon Gathering next month to demonstrate how to assemble a good quality "portable" solar panel set on a budget. When I get back from Bandon I'll be posting the plans and parts list online.

The Rasmond panels I got are a good quality product at a good price ($3.50/watt for 20w panels, $3.00/watt for 50 & 80 watt panels, shipping included if you play your cards right while bidding on eBay). I'm really pleased with them and may buy another set.
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Old 06-14-2010, 08:37 AM   #17
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Just some observations from our travels....
I know that everyone's idea of "camping" is different. But gone are the days of a truly peaceful outdoor experience with fresh air and beautiful scenery. Those of us who prefer this type of "camping" are lucky to stumble upon it on rare occasion.

In campgrounds without hookups, there is always someone running a generator with different levels of noise and steady exhaust fumes. At Acadia NP we had to leave our campsite to have breakfast and dinner at a picnic area since our neighbor was positioned with their RV blowing their exhaust directly at us while they were indoors cooking. (just one example)

In campgrounds with hookups, there are always folks who run air conditioners when the temps are above 72 and furnaces when the temps are below 72. So there is always a hummmm of some sort going on. The cost of this electric usage is spread over all "campers" so that those who do not use lots of appliances are subsidizing those who do.

The quiet "campers" (including tenters and rv'ers who use their rv's like tents) still seem to outnumber those who need their appliances and gadgets. But because noise and exhaust cannot really be contained to one's own campsite, the experience of the many is sacrificed for the desires of the few. We've been at several campgrounds where "non-users" stand up and cheer when the "users" finally shut off all their stuff at 10 p.m. quiet time.

I've thought about this dilemma many times and tried to come up with possible solutions. It would be nice if campground managers would create separate loops to accommodate campers who prefer to hear children laughing and birds singing rather than the constant hummmm of appliances and gadgets.

Any ideas??
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Old 06-14-2010, 08:52 AM   #18
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Last year at a Branson, Mo. campground we were put between 2 large motorhomes-both with generators or their motors running. After an hour I said enough!!
We had our 13ft. Casita at that time- so I ask the campground office if we could move to a quiet area. She put us at the back of the campground-quiet, trees and also chipmonks to watch. Give me quiet and nature to watch-I will be happy.
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Old 06-14-2010, 08:53 AM   #19
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my u-haul is all elect and i carry my genny in the back of my pu w/camper shell on the bed and most of our camping is on the beaches here in lovely Texas's Gavleston bay.

when i park i angle the pu at 90% from our camper and with the genny in the pu the sound is muffled on 3 sides and top and bottom, so 90% of the time we dont hear it at all now does any one else.

but i do have one problem, i never hear it when it runs out of gas late at night heheh, gata make a bigger gas tank !
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Old 06-14-2010, 09:37 AM   #20
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Steve, the BatteryMinder solar controller is a good quality unit, but the solar panel that comes with it . . . leaves a lot to be desired.

Recently I bought a pair of Rasmond 20w Solar Panels off of eBay for $70/each; these are the panels I'll be using at the Oregon Gathering next month to demonstrate how to assemble a good quality "portable" solar panel set on a budget. When I get back from Bandon I'll be posting the plans and parts list online.

The Rasmond panels I got are a good quality product at a good price ($3.50/watt for 20w panels, $3.00/watt for 50 & 80 watt panels, shipping included if you play your cards right while bidding on eBay). I'm really pleased with them and may buy another set.
Peter - I was hoping you would join in the discussion. I recall earlier that you said the BatteryMinder solar controller was good quality and figured that the included panel was a good way to get my feet wet. The 5W panel has worked well to maintain the level of the battery while the trailer is stored. Even it finds legs the cost made it nothing to worry about. I think I'm ready now for something a little bigger to actually charge the battery while camping and hopefully not run the generator. I don't want to permanently install the panel, just prop it up against the trailer when needed to charge the battery. I also would like to keep the size to a minimum for storage in the pickup bed. Do you think that one 80W panel would be sufficient. The trailer has only one Group 24 battery and serves our needs for up to 3 or 4 days.
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Old 06-14-2010, 06:45 PM   #21
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They haven't made the generator that cannot be heard across a campground...period.
Anyone who thinks different is fooling only themselves for selfish reasons.
Bruce
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Old 06-14-2010, 07:59 PM   #22
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They haven't made the generator that cannot be heard across a campground...period.
Anyone who thinks different is fooling only themselves for selfish reasons.
Bruce

& they smell bad too!!!
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Old 06-14-2010, 08:19 PM   #23
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Peter - I was hoping you would join in the discussion. I recall earlier that you said the BatteryMinder solar controller was good quality and figured that the included panel was a good way to get my feet wet. The 5W panel has worked well to maintain the level of the battery while the trailer is stored. Even it finds legs the cost made it nothing to worry about. I think I'm ready now for something a little bigger to actually charge the battery while camping and hopefully not run the generator. I don't want to permanently install the panel, just prop it up against the trailer when needed to charge the battery. I also would like to keep the size to a minimum for storage in the pickup bed. Do you think that one 80W panel would be sufficient. The trailer has only one Group 24 battery and serves our needs for up to 3 or 4 days.
Not to hijack this generator topic, but here's an old post of mine about our impermanent solar panel mount. Enlarge the pic and you can see the panel is mounted on four, black rubber suction cups. (We remove it from the roof when we're underway.)

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Old 06-14-2010, 09:18 PM   #24
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& they smell bad too!!!
they should come with shock collars for the owners to wear and remotes for other campers to operate the collars
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Old 06-15-2010, 09:15 AM   #25
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they should come with shock collars for the owners to wear and remotes for other campers to operate the collars
I think most generator users don't really realize how easy it is to camp without one.... Coleman stove or propane for cooking, battery conservation (and backup battery or solar chargers) for lights and pumps, open the windows, doors and hatches for air conditioning and puffy sleeping bags for warmth. It works for most campers.
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Old 06-15-2010, 11:52 AM   #26
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Since we're talking about alternatives, I've found a fabulous way to keep the Boler cool with just a fan. I copied the "blow the warm air out which will suck cool air in" method that I've had good success with in houses.

Those of your with a Fantastic Vent are probably enjoying this already, but for those who don't have one (or who are wanting to use a 12 volt fan)...

When I'm plugged into power I use a regular 20" box fan like you can get at any hardware store or Home Depot type place for under $20. You could also use something like a Fantastic Fan (12-volt box fan). The idea is that the fan fills up the window without side gaps.

So, I have a "counter" that runs across the foot of the dinette bed (from the sink counter to the rear wall - it's about 18" x 42"). I set the box fan up on that, facing to the outside, and let the pulled back curtains help to seal the sides. It already fits top-to-bottom just about perfectly (there is a slight gap at the sides due to the angled walls). I open that window all the way (I have jalousies), then turn the fan on.

Immediately, nice cool outside air begins to pour in the other windows (the fewer other windows you have open, the more of a "blast" you will get through the open one(s).

With this set up, I've been able to keep the camper within 1 of the outside air, even in direct sun, in hot muggy weather. Of course during the day, it's still 90 inside if it's 90 outside; but at night when it cools down, the camper is instantly as cool as it is outside. None of that nice cool outdoors, but then you come inside and "ugh... hot." Even in a really hot climate I find that it usually gets down into the 70s at night, and with a breeze that is pretty comfortable.

Sometimes I even have to close, or partially close, the window at the head of the bed because it gets too cool (even in "hot" weather). By manipulating the window at the head of the bed I can adjust the breeze.

Raya
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Old 06-15-2010, 12:52 PM   #27
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Steve: If you can camp for 3-4 days using a single Group 24/80 Amp-hour battery, which has 40-50 Amp-hours of usable capacity before substantial battery damage occurs, that puts your power usage at 10-17 Amp-hours per day.

Lets think up some numbers and use them to do some calculations. First, at the equinoxes when there are equal hours of day and night, a quality solar panel can produce about 6 Amp-hours of usable power per Amp of the panel's rated capacity on a clear, cloudless, treeless day. Throw in a light cloud cover and that number drops by half, and a cloudy day more than halves that number again. Camp during the winter time in northern climates and you should divide that number by three.

Lets say, however, that you are the kind of camper who camps during the sunny half of the year and does not relish spending days and days camping in the rain.,
  • A conservative estimate for that kind of camping would be that your solar panels would collect about 4 Amp-hours of power per panel amp capacity.
  • 17 Amps consumed daily divided by 4 Amp-hours produced per panel Amp capacity suggests you need 4.25 Amps of panel capacity.
  • To convert Amps to watts, multiply 4.25 Amps by 17 volts (the nominal output voltage provided by most solar panels): 4.25 Amps x 17 volts = 72 watts.
  • Yes, 80 watts would be more than enough; since I'm being very conservative and assuming you do all your camping at the equinoxes and not during the summer months you might well find 60 watts meets your needs.
You might, however, opt to split your 80 watts of panel into two arrays, mounting 40 watts of panel on your roof and creating a second, portable, lightweight, easy to move and store 40 watt unit with an attached 16-gauge, 50-foot extension cord. That way you have half of your solar panels set up in a hard-to-steal, ready to go at all times configuration that will probably meet all your power needs on clear, sunny, mid-summer days and a second array that you can move to a particularly sunny spot when you need it.
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