Newbie Question - Fiberglass RV

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Old 12-28-2016, 01:07 PM   #1
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Name: Beverly
Trailer: Scamp
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Newbie Question

Sorry if this is a dumb question but we are new to the RV community and have lots to learn. We are picking up our new Scamp in a couple of weeks and we don't expect to find campgrounds to be open on the way home with our unit. We plan to heat at night when we stop with a propane heater so that is covered.

The concern is that I use a CPAP machine. Is there enough juice in the battery to run it all night? We would run lights only to get ready for bed and will not use the frig. I could just not use the machine on the way home but I sure do hate to skip that therapy.
I know that many folks on this forum use CPAP machines and wanted to pick your brains.
I've seen lots of posts using technical voltage formulas and I am just looking for wisdom in layman's language.
Thank you for your kindness.

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Old 12-28-2016, 01:31 PM   #2
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If you use the CPAP without the heater, I think you will be OK. The line from the tow vehicle should recharge your battery when you drive. I'm assuming you have a 12v cord so you can plug it in. Otherwise you would need an inverter, which will be a little less efficient.

My wife and I always use separate batteries for our CPAPs so that we don't depend on the camper battery.

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Old 12-28-2016, 01:38 PM   #3
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Name: bob
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I take it you will be using a portable propane heater, like a Mr Heater ? If so be sure to have some ventilation, like a window open.
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Old 12-28-2016, 02:18 PM   #4
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Not a dumb question Beverly but my response may be . Being this is your first trip out with a new to you TT and the weather not being nice, you may consider stopping at a hotel. We've done that a few times and been less than 2 hrs from home (no TT with us) just because of road conditions.
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Old 01-01-2017, 11:09 AM   #5
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Name: Gene
Trailer: Scamp
North Dakota
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The furnace will run on the battery. The fridge will run on propane. Consider buying a Honda i2000 generator. That will run most any 110v appliance you will need. Scamp sells them or you can stop at a Fleet Farm store in Minnesota and get one.
There is a plug on the back of the converter that sometimes comes loose or doesn't get plugged in. If that happens your 12v battery will not charge off the TV. Ask about it. The salesman can show you what I am talking about.
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I'm not familiar with CPAP. If it will run on 12v buy a booster pack that has a plug on it for accessories. Also handy for other things camping.
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Old 01-01-2017, 11:16 AM   #6
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Do a Google search for open campsites open in winter in the area you want to stop. KOA might be a good choice to check.
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Old 01-01-2017, 12:36 PM   #7
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Chances are you'll have a Group 24 battery, which is about 70 Amp-hour rated, IIRC. If the trailer's battery is fully charged to begin with, it should be able to supply about 35-40A before it gets low enough to start harming the battery (low temps can reduce what the battery can put out, though). Assuming your CPAP average draw is 2 or 3 amps per hour, 8 hours of use would use 16-24A. I think you would have a decent margin. (Someone correct me if my math or assumptions are wrong.)

To be safe, I would take and use a flashlight for lighting to last longer than about 15-20 minutes; 12v incandescent bulbs can generally draw about 1A (most wedge base bulbs) or 2A (bayonet 1156/1157 bulbs) apiece, and the trailer fixture may contain 2 bulbs. Another alternative: LED replacement bulbs only use about 1/10 as much current, so you could get some of those and plug them into the fixtures before starting for home.
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Old 01-01-2017, 03:53 PM   #8
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I would not use the Scamp in your situation especially being a new owner. People do not usually use them in this weather anyway. Winter is not the time to try to figure out things and goof up. I would have the factory winterize the trailer before pick-up and have them show you how they did that --- everything they did--- and use hotels. Merely making it home towing your trailer will be more than good considering the states and possible weather.
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Old 01-01-2017, 05:19 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Beverly Korn View Post
We are picking up our new Scamp in a couple of weeks and we don't expect to find campgrounds to be open on the way home with our unit. We plan to heat at night when we stop with a propane heater so that is covered.
Thank you for your kindness.

My understanding is that the fan in my Casita trailer's Suburban propane furnace can run the battery down quite a bit overnight. I've also heard that a slightly low battery will fail to operate an internal mechanism that allows the furnace's gas to flow. I may be a bit off base on the particulars here, but I think there is potential for concern.

I personally haven't used our propane furnace other than to test it periodically. We generally just plug in a little electric heater as it is much quieter and also provides more even heat.

If you are intending to use the furnace Scamp installed, ask them what they can tell you in regard to what you can expect here. I expect they could also give you an quick assessment whether operating the CPAP is feasible. You would need to have the nameplate watts and/or voltage and current draw information available.

I agree with others that these would be challenging or even dangerous conditions to be out there learning. A motel might be the best approach.

At the minimum, a pre-reserved campground with an electrical hookup and a small electric heater would take some of the edge off of trying to learn to run new-to-you propane appliances.

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