Full Timing for the Summer - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-14-2008, 04:21 AM   #1
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Name: Gerry
Trailer: Boler 13 ft / 31 ft Holiday Rambler
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Cool

Well I start Sunday the 18th on my new adventure of working full time as a campground host at the Covered Bridge Campground on the Kangamaugus Highway in NH.
I will be working 5 days on and 2 off exept on holiday weeks and it being a dry campground, I am a little concerned about how I am to keep dry and warm on rainy spells that last more then a few days.
Everyone tells me if I run my furnace I will only have about 48 hours of battery life.
I will be camping in a Boler 1300 and always on weekend trips us to say to the wife I could full time in this but now it time to put my money where my mouth is.
I will be looking into a 15W solar panel just to keep the battery up to snuff but I need to see if enough sunlight hits the site I will be camping at first so until then I will just use the battery power sparingly.
I use to do trail hiking for weeks at a time sleeping in a small pup tent but that was 15 years ago so if I need to be a minimalist I can (just don't want to too much, anymore).
I know there is no cell phone coverage where I am going so the hard part will be not having contact with the wife, as she will be working and staying home, but she will come up and stay on her days off so in reality I will see her 4 days a week.
Any suggestions on what I need to be concerned about other then the battery situation???
Gerry the canoebuilder
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Old 05-14-2008, 07:43 AM   #2
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Old 05-14-2008, 10:21 AM   #3
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I would bite the bullet and invest in a wee bit more solar. 15w will indeed keep the battery topped off, but if you deplete the battery to any degree, it will have a hard time keeping up. This always happens when the weather turns cruddy :-P

Another 15 should keep you happy for most cases. Another thing you may want to do is go pick up another wally world group 24 deep cycle, but don't install it. Keep a panel on it and swap out batteries when one gets too low.

I do this and it works pretty well. I don't have room to mount them both, so one sits fully charged (With a check on occasion) under my front bed and if I run into those low charging days, I pull it out and let it do it's job.

It may be a little late now, but there are so many threads on how to reduce your electricity usage with LEDS and other items. Search for them.

here is apage I did long ago on boondocking and how I did it in my 13. Boondocking without scimping

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Old 05-14-2008, 04:16 PM   #4
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I agree with Gina that it would be wise to invest in a second battery. If you can't get enough solar power to keep up, you could have your wife swap batteries back and forth to a charger at your house on her weekly trips. It's either that or get a Honda 2000 generator. I have 2 15W solar panels on my Bigfoot. If I am running my furnace a lot and the sun isn't shining, that output doesn't always keep up. The Honda provides one last battery charging backup.

Either way, I am glad to see that somebody is fulltiming off the grid. Life should be good.
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Old 05-16-2008, 11:18 PM   #5
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Gerry,
If you think you might need more than one 15W panel, look at the Coleman CL3600 on Costco.com. For about the price of two 15W panels, you get three Coleman CL1200 18W panels (54W total), a controller and all the wires to hook everything up. ($289 including shipping)

I used mine for the first time last week on the California coast. For three mostly overcast days, two panels kept the battery up just fine. But, to be fair, we weren't using a huge amount of power.

The panels are connected in parallel so you can use only as many as you want. My kit came with a different (better) controller than the one in the description. It is a Phocos 5A three-stage charger. It has enough capacity that you could add a fourth panel if you ever needed it.

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Old 05-16-2008, 11:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
you could have your wife swap batteries back and forth to a charger at your house on her weekly trips.
now there is a good idea!

I am so happy with my solar mostly because I don't care if I have a plug in.. except for if I think I may need my air conditioner. And even then, I live without it.

The freedom to go anywhere is what makes it so great. But if you under size, you will be disappointed.

I would also suggest a heat back up like a Coleman Black cat or a Mr. Heater buddy and have wife replenish your propane canisters too. Observe safety rules.. you'll do fine!

I am so jealous. Let us know how it is working.
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:10 AM   #7
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Gina,
The Black Cat is a great suggestion. I might add that the two heat settings are a must in a small trailer. On the ocean last week with temps 45-50, high became too hot after only a few minutes. We used 3/4 of a can of propane in three evenings.
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Old 05-08-2015, 12:03 AM   #8
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How do I post a message on this site? Where in northern Calif. do I go to look at a 19 foot escape?
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Old 05-08-2015, 04:26 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Terry Hawkinson View Post
How do I post a message on this site? Where in northern Calif. do I go to look at a 19 foot escape?
The easiest way to see an Escape is to call the company. They will put you in touch with an owner willing to give you a tour. Raz

Escape Trailer Industries – Chilliwack, British Columbia
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Old 05-17-2015, 01:32 PM   #10
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If I remember correctly, Covered Bridge is shady and can get buggy. I suggest you invest in a good screen house such as Eureka's Northern Breeze and a Honda 2000 generator.


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Old 05-17-2015, 01:59 PM   #11
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Name: John Michael
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Shouldn't need too much furnace running this time a year and forward. I suspect your battery will last longer than two days if you are careful and have LED lights.

Perhaps the campground folks have another location/office with electricity where you could drop off a second battery for charging.
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