Originally Posted by mbbear
Hi John, Michael here from VA. I'm a relatively new to the group. I hope to do a winter sw trip as well, and I'm wondering if you guys were boondocking
or primarily were hooked up? The heart of my question is that I've read that running the furnace will kill your battery
quickly and I'm wondering how you dealt with this? Thanks!
I think this will pretty much rehash Bryon's post as I have a very similarly equipped rig and achieved similar results. (Good post Byron, btw) On our 60 day trip we were hooked to shore power about 10 nights. Actually little of that was necessary, just came with the campground. Otherwise we dry camp (no hookups). We towed about 7000 miles in 60 days. Towing certainly topped off the battery
on driving days. Our 100 watt roof mounted solar panel
kept us topped off during long stays in several national parks. Except at Yosemite where we stayed 11 days. It was the shade of those darned huge Ponderosa Pines and solar
was almost useless. I watched the battery discharge over 6 days and finally get to 11.9 volts which is lower than I like to see. So we hitched up, drove to a sunny meadow under El Capitan, set up our beach chairs in a meadow leaving the Scamp
in full mid-day sun. After lunch, hiking and reading and maybe even a short nap the battery was charged and we were good for the rest of our stay.
Our weather included mostly days in the 60's and nights near freezing. Over the weeks we moved to a regimen of using the furnace in the morning and evening. At bedtime we turned if off and climbed under our down quilt. I think the inside temps fell to the upper 40's on a few nights, warmer otherwise. Each morning I just reached over and turned on the furnace before we got out of bed. The furnace brought the temp up in less than 5 minutes. During the day we were outside hiking, etc and the furnace was off. Overall I think we set the thermostat at 68 for about 5 hours each day (morning and evening) and the furnace ran less than an hour during those 5 hours, just cycled on and off. BTW. We kept the roof vent open at all times except during towing.
Like Byron I am a fan of LED lights
, propane and solar power
. And I would buy a gravity furnace in a minute if someone made one today. I think generators are unnecessary and I really get annoyed at the noise fellow campers make with them. Camping should be quiet with a breeze in the trees, babbling brooks, animal noises and maybe an occasional child being a kid. Noisy diesel engines and generators are not for me.
Cheers and have a great trip, john