battery life question - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-02-2015, 04:13 PM   #29
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Name: Darral
Trailer: Scamp Standard 13' 2010
Tennessee
Posts: 1,443
I have a Champion 3500/4000 gen I bought for $300 new. I've used it at a model airplane flyin where there IS no hook ups of any kind and many gens are running. You'll see this alot at racetracks, model flyins, etc. We space far enough apart so the gens noise are not a problem. Ironically, I only run mine at night AND- as you say Uplander- it's for my A/C or heaters. Solar would be useless to me in this environment and I'd stay home if gens werent allowed.

They have their place even though it may not be congested campgrounds and/or state parks. But so does solar if you're staying where the temps are comfortable without additional help. It just amazes me how people want to bash them when they have their place....as long as it's not annoying to another camper.

But to be honest? SMOKE from others campfires annoy me A LOT quicker than the purr of a Honda generator ANY day!!
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Old 09-02-2015, 04:16 PM   #30
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Name: alan
Trailer: looking
Colorado
Posts: 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uplander View Post
...
Studies prove it increases the cost of power production...WHY you may ask?
When the sun goes away and/or the wind stops the blades from turning you still must rely on regular power plants. This means you have increased the total cost of capital equipment to produce power for customers...the same customers who have to pay not only for the electric power but all the new solar generating equipment and their maintenance in order to produce the same amount of total electric power. Also include the new array of switchover controls required to manage the uninterrupted flow of electricity to customers.
More equipment, more manpower all to supply electricity to the same customers.
Now that sounds like a great way to charge more and more per kilowatt hour!

Think about it.
I think you have some underlying assumptions that are incorrect.

"... When the sun goes away and/or the wind stops the blades from turning you still must rely on regular power plants. This means you have increased the total cost of capital equipment to produce power for customers...the same customers who have to pay not only for the electric power but all the new solar generating equipment and their maintenance in order to produce the same amount of total electric power. ..."
Capital investment in plant is based on meeting peak load requirements (over time). As I recall solar arrays tend to peak in the early afternoon and are still going strong by late afternoon when peak load usually occurs. This can actually diminish the peak load requirement.

Around here home owners and businesses may either buy their own PV array or invest in PV farms. The utility gets credit for the percentage of renewables but hasn't invested a penny.

PV maintenance? Baseball sized hail doesn't seem to be a problem.

I don't know anything about wind power but I'd guess that that is diurnal and highly predictable.
"... More equipment, more manpower all to supply electricity to the same customers.
Now that sounds like a great way to charge more and more per kilowatt hour! ..."
As I understand it one guy or gal admires the computer while it matches fuel feed to the load. The only problem area that I'm aware of is that when the light changes rapidly e.g. from a storm that coal plants (only coal plants) have some difficulty matching the fuel feed rate to the load. I'm not sure of how that guy or gal copes with that. Obviously they succeed somehow.
If I've got anything wrong I look forward to being corrected.

Alan
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Old 09-02-2015, 06:26 PM   #31
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Name: RogerDat
Trailer: 77 Scamp 13
Michigan
Posts: 3,081
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Originally Posted by M Scott View Post
About how long (days) will the battery last on my Scamp 13, using lights, furnace fan, water pump when no hookups are available/dry camping?

Do I recharge battery by hooking up to car and running engine? For how long?

Is there a way to test the life of my battery while dry camping?

Thanks for the help.

Just a reminder that this is the question the OP actually asked.

Solar, running the car, or a generator are all ways to extend your battery time. Each having some trade off.

Solar has a finite limit - you can only get how much sun there actually is. Often addressed by having enough capacity in panels that even a few hours of hazy sunlight will charge you back up. Or at least extend you battery time by long enough you run out of water and have to leave anyway. With adequate panels one can camp for an indefinite period as far as electric goes but water, food, fuel, laundry these things can remain limiting factors.

Generators - unlimited power (depending on size) but heavy, require fuel, create noise and may have some limits on where or when they can be operated. Only way to run power hungry devices such as AC or to insure power to health related equipment such as CPAP machine or Oxygen concentrators. Deep cycle batteries charge best with modest charge over longer time, charging off of generator means running the generator for a longer time. Or in cold weather with young children insuring you can have enough battery to run your furnace.

Converter - a charger that runs trailer 12 volt systems while plugged into the parks power and charges the battery at the same time. Fairly standard equipment for campers. A good one will do a good job of maintaining your battery, a junky one will cook it. These can be nice if you do a few days of boondocking then hit a park with showers where you can plug into shore power for a night. Or when running off of a generator.

Running the car - effective IF you are doing it when driving from one location to another. Requires the tow vehicle and hitch be wired to bring power back to the camper battery.

There are test gadgets to tell you the "state of charge" these range from cheap LED lights that more lights mean more charge to systems that are tracking actual usage and charge going in. A simple voltage meter works well. Voltage drops as the battery gets discharged so you can watch the battery go from 13 volts down to around 10 volts which is considered too low.

Advantage of a volt meter is you can monitor your battery, test for broken wires or troubleshoot bad tail lights etc. Sometimes just going from battery and checking for power along the way toward a device that is not working will go a long way toward figuring out what is wrong. Or answering the immortal question. Does it have a connection to ground? Useful in other words. If you don't know how to use one, it is not hard to learn the basics and a skill worth having.

One thing that get overlooked is the "solution" does not have to charge your battery to fully charged. Just put enough charge in to extend you camping time before battery gets drawn down to 50% charge. If you can get 3 days from the battery and only put 1/2 of that back with solar each day. That means you can now do 4 1/2 days instead of 3. Maybe running the generator for a couple of hours would give you enough battery charge to get that "extra" day and a half of camping.

See what I mean? For folks that more often than not do a weekend or long weekend 4 days is all they need, maybe they add a battery and/or more solar and extend that to a week but for those that work getting more than a week in the woods is a rare treat.

For those that camp and travel the car can charge during travel so battery solution only has to last as long as you think you will be in one place. I have done a fair number of trips like that. Go to some area then spend a couple of days, drive to another location further along and see what is there. Done loops through Colorado for example as a way to see the state.
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