Another - GENERATOR USAGE thread - my take after a trip out - Page 4 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-20-2019, 07:17 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by Joe & Cherie View Post

I just don’t want to spend any more $ on upgrades because we have done a lot to the egg already and are upside down on cost vs value I’m sure. And if we were keeping it I’d add gas, but we may move to a 5.0ta in the next 4 years or so.

Thanks again everyone!
Cost versus value: you get value out of any recreational item by using it. I’ve never made money on fishing gear, skiing equipment, boats or motorcycles. Never made a profit on my tow vehicle or trailer either.

In each case the VALUE came from using the item. If I buy some basic camping item for $50 and then never use it, not very good on cost versus value.

On the other hand if I buy a camper and use it a lot for many years, even if I give it away in the end, I feel I’ve done great on cost versus value.

None of this stuff is an investment. But I did meet a guy with a $750,000 motorhome who told me he knew they dropped in value fast, but his was an investment in lifestyle. I liked that answer!

Like any piece of recreational equipment it starts with the family budget. Being over-extended for an RV is a bad idea.

While some in the FG RV world have gotten their money back out of their unit when they sold it, my focus is getting the value now by using.
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Old 10-20-2019, 09:04 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by Joe & Cherie View Post
So we go to John Bryan State Park Ohio (lovely place!) for a 3 night stay. There are no sights with electric available, and none have full hookups. For that matter, the park only has pit toilets and NO shower house!
We camped at John Bryan State Park the middle of September. There are about 10 sites with electricity.

------------------------------------------

As you have found out, an all-electric camper is severely limited if you want to stay in most state and federal parks. We've had fourteen previous campers and know that all-electric won't work for us, since many of the campgrounds we want to stay in have either few or no electric sites.

A year ago (October 26, 2018) we purchased our first new camper, an Escape 5.0. Everything runs on gas and was ordered with a 170 watt solar panel, with 220 amp, dual 6v, AGM batteries to provide our electric needs. Our biggest power draw is the furnace fan. In the next month I'll be installing a Camco Wave catalytic heater in the camper to eliminate that furnace fan draw on the batteries.

We also have a Buddy heater to quickly warm up the camper at night and in the morning when we get up. We use DOT-approved Flame King refillable 1lb gas containers for the Buddy. We do NOT run the Buddy all night, but set our furnace to 60 degrees, have flannel sheets, an insulating top blanket, and snuggle for warmth.

Since we purchased the camper, slightly less than a year ago, we have 18,600 towing miles, and 197 nights sleeping, and a few nights at less than 20 degrees, plus many at 20-40 degrees. We have yet to run out of electricity. That includes 8 continuous nights in Big Bend NP last winter, and 10 nights in Nickerson State Park at Cape Cod, just using our solar.

Friends have a 23' Airstream with 300 watts solar, with dual 230 amp 6v AGM batteries. They were screwed by the Airstream dealer and paid close to $5,000 for their solar panels, controller, battery monitor, and install. We have less than $1,000 invested in our Escape-supplied solar, including the additional cost for AGM batteries. When our friends purchased the Airstream the dealer said they still needed a Honda generator to camp. Of course, their Airstream dealer just happened to sell Honda generators. After two winters hauling the Honda gen they now leave it home.

We see no need for a generator for us, including the need for a cpap. If one can afford a camper, one can afford a battery-operated cpap. And yes, we leave our Instant Pot at home, use the Melita system to make awesome coffee, and bake bread/quiche/pizza/baked apples in our Weber grill.

We also carry a Bio-Lite Firepit to grill steaks/etc. sometimes with charcoal. When done using charcoal, we lower the grate and have a portable wood firepit that can be moved anywhere, at any time (we use the fan less than 10% of the time, only for wet, hard burning wood, it sits in the trailer when not needed). How many times had you wished the campsite firepit was oriented differently or in a different spot on your site? We just move our BioLite.

As always, YMMV.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 10-20-2019, 09:11 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
I fully understand that those that need air conditioning in the deep south in summer months, and have no electrical hookups available, would need a genset to provide A/C. As we don't live in an area like this, and only travel their in colder months, it is easy for me to avoid.
This is the one area where one can easily see the use for a generator. Like you, living in the north has its advantages. Plus we avoid hot summer camping.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 10-20-2019, 10:09 AM   #64
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I just want to say that it's comforting to me to see so many folks concerned about whether their neighbors are bothered by the noise - as somebody said, it's about respect.

We are generally annoyed by generator noise - so we had 300w of solar installed on our roof and 2 6v batteries, and since we live in Colorado - we are lucky enough to benefit from enough sun to fully charge our batteries each morning - usually before we even eat breakfast, and to have nice cool evening temperatures so as not to need air conditioning. We know that is not the case everywhere.

We do have a dual fuel generator that we carry with us when we think the weather will be bad or the campsite will be tree-covered. But we rarely use it. This past summer, we carried it to Grand Teton & Yellowstone and only used it one day - midafternoon for about 20 total minutes - to make margaritas in the blender. Possibly a waste, but it tasted worth it at the time! ;-)

We've only had one camping trip ruined by generator noise. And I can tell you, it was completely ruined - we should have moved on after the first day, because we were across the way from a site with 2 campers, 2-3 tents, 15 people - and they chose to place their open frame generator as far from their site as possible - facing three sites next to them (ours included). Several neighbors (us included) asked them to turn it off when quiet hours came the first night and it was still chugging - and they finally did that night. But they started it right up the next morning & ran it all day long - until quiet hours again the next night. The camp hosts were nowhere to be found. It was so loud, we literally couldn't sit at our campfire and have a conversation. It's amazing to me that people can be that inconsiderate - but most people aren't. They're just the ones we remember, right?

So thanks for reminding me that most folks care. :-)
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Old 10-20-2019, 10:43 AM   #65
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Most of us have figured out there is a time and a place for just about everything
In the North there is a season for swimming , wearing shorts , camping , water skiing , eating outdoors and other like activities . At some point the seasons change and these activities become impractical . We can’t heat the outdoors or change mother nature so we put our trailers and boats into storage until the weather becomes more favorable
We get streaks of hot weather and if we can’t find a campsite with utilities then we stay home and cool off in the lake
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Old 10-20-2019, 11:10 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by Osos1 View Post
We cruise through campgrounds looking for a spot and if we see a generator we keep moving as far away as possible and even farther or depart if it is a rack generator.

I just realized that I need a fake, cardboard, foldout, rack style generator that I can set out in a prominent place while camping. This will ensure lots of empty sites near me. No maintenance required and folds flat! I can see the scowls now, as people drive by.

These could also become a hot item at Camping World, or at RV shows, where they use a lot of fake items for props, like bowls of fake apples, fake TV sets, etc.

It goes along with my earlier invention of a large backdrop with pictures of valuable items that would be used to lure people into a garage sale as they drive by. When they walk up to have a look, you sell them the items you really want to get rid of. Then roll up the backdrop and put it away until next time.

These items would be available at the Map Store. That's a location where you go to get your road maps professionally re-folded. You could also purchase previously re-folded maps for a discount price.
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Old 10-20-2019, 11:52 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by Perryb67 View Post
This is the one area where one can easily see the use for a generator. Like you, living in the north has its advantages. Plus we avoid hot summer camping.

Enjoy,

Perry
Growing up in Canada has made me really appreciate cooler, at least not super hot, weather. No way I could camp in the southern US in summer, I would definitely melt.
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Old 10-20-2019, 02:03 PM   #68
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As to the generators I also use my Scamp for emergency response for CERT and ARES.
As such I have 300 watt solar with two 12 volt 105 AH batteries ( Until I replace them with two golf cart batteries) and also the dual fuel generator.
Since fuel is a real issue for longer deployments the solar is capable of running the communications and utilities (no, not the A/C) and the generator is a backup.
As noted above the heat can be an issue down South, but it would need to be dealt with when fuel is limited.
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Old 10-23-2019, 04:11 AM   #69
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We almost bought a all electric Snoozy, but got robbed. BUT after buying a Casita & using propane I am very glad for our Casita. Sometimes you do not understand what you need until you actually use it. Buying all electric is a bad idea.
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Old 10-23-2019, 07:57 AM   #70
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Not a generator noise story, but similar. A few years ago, we were camping at Dead Horse Point State Park in Utah and on a very hot day were enjoying the air conditioner running in our Escape off of the campground supplied AC power. Other than us in our Escape, the campground was almost exclusively filled with tent campers. In the early evening my wife and I went for a walk around the campground and were somewhat appalled at the extremely load noise that our Dometic Air Conditioner was making, you could hear it quite clearly all of the way to the farthest areas in the campground. When we got back to the trailer, to ease up on the noise that we were making and to make life more enjoyable for our tenting neighbors, we turned off the air conditioner and avoided using it as much as possible for the remainder of our visit.
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Old 10-23-2019, 08:11 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by Lauren in Colorado View Post
We've only had one camping trip ruined by generator noise. And I can tell you, it was completely ruined - we should have moved on after the first day, because we were across the way from a site with 2 campers, 2-3 tents, 15 people - and they chose to place their open frame generator as far from their site as possible - facing three sites next to them (ours included). Several neighbors (us included) asked them to turn it off when quiet hours came the first night and it was still chugging - and they finally did that night. But they started it right up the next morning & ran it all day long - until quiet hours again the next night. The camp hosts were nowhere to be found. It was so loud, we literally couldn't sit at our campfire and have a conversation. It's amazing to me that people can be that inconsiderate - but most people aren't. They're just the ones we remember, right?

So thanks for reminding me that most folks care. :-)
You’re right- just a few bad apples- but that’s not much help when they’re your campground neighbors. If they’re violating campground rules and hosts are not present, you can call law enforcement directly (ranger, sheriff, or police depending on location).

In this case it sounds like they were within the rules, just very inconsiderate. You might write to the campground’s operators to let them know about your experience and encourage more restrictive rules. The general trend of public opinion is on your side. It depends on what type of campground it is, though. We haven’t used NFS sites, but my impression is they tend to be somewhat more laissez-faire regarding generator use.

I’d have been mightily tempted to slip in during my 3am bathroom run with a cup of sugar...
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Old 10-23-2019, 08:17 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by Ice-breaker View Post
Not a generator noise story, but similar. A few years ago, we were camping at Dead Horse Point State Park in Utah and on a very hot day were enjoying the air conditioner running in our Escape off of the campground supplied AC power. Other than us in our Escape, the campground was almost exclusively filled with tent campers. In the early evening my wife and I went for a walk around the campground and were somewhat appalled at the extremely load noise that our Dometic Air Conditioner was making, you could hear it quite clearly all of the way to the farthest areas in the campground. When we got back to the trailer, to ease up on the noise that we were making and to make life more enjoyable for our tenting neighbors, we turned off the air conditioner and avoided using it as much as possible for the remainder of our visit.
Thank You!

Our Escape also has that fairly loud air conditioner. I've heard much quieter AC's and wish Escape would have chosen one of those. OTOH, so far we have 197 nights in our 5.0 and thankfully have yet to need the AC.

We need more courteous campers like you!

Again, thanks!

Perry
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Old 10-23-2019, 12:43 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by Ice-breaker View Post
Not a generator noise story, but similar. A few years ago, we were camping at Dead Horse Point State Park in Utah and on a very hot day were enjoying the air conditioner running in our Escape off of the campground supplied AC power. Other than us in our Escape, the campground was almost exclusively filled with tent campers. In the early evening my wife and I went for a walk around the campground and were somewhat appalled at the extremely load noise that our Dometic Air Conditioner was making, you could hear it quite clearly all of the way to the farthest areas in the campground. When we got back to the trailer, to ease up on the noise that we were making and to make life more enjoyable for our tenting neighbors, we turned off the air conditioner and avoided using it as much as possible for the remainder of our visit.
That’s a nice gesture and that’s exactly what we faced on my original post! Everybody was tent camping (35f no less) and we felt bad and just left generator off and piled up the blankets! At 10am we ran it briefly only to thaw out and make coffee. We were not so much trying to impress the neighbors as one reply said, but trying to respect them! as it was quiet there.

Also I guess I was not clear, it was pointed out John Bryan does have electric sites. My post said they had none available and what I meant to say is that they were all already booked us, so none were available “to us”. That threw us into the tent area.

I think most here seem to be on same page! It’s nice to see the respectful side of peeps still exists!

We want to camp one more time this year but it will be an electric site lol.
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Old 10-23-2019, 08:05 PM   #74
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One thing I like about the mini-split is that it is very quiet inside and out
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Old 10-24-2019, 10:02 AM   #75
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I read your report on “Generator Camping”.
I did not read any of the responses that followed.

First observation: An all electric travel trailer ??? What were you thinking ???
Real campers often boondock and a propane refrigerator and a propane cook top are minimum...plus a propane water heater are minimum equipment for a real camper.
What you own belongs in a RV Park.....staying in a RVPark is not camping...it is a hotel/motel replacement.

I did boondock camping with a travel trailer (propane equipped) and also had a quiet generator by Champion 2,800 watts...it was reasonably quiet and did increase in volume when I fired up my A/C (electric not propane) but the nearest camper was about a mile or more away...I was camping in a state forest...true boondocking....no electric hookups...no public showers...my shower was in my travel trailer. I used my 40 gallon fresh water tank. My generator charged my battery and supplied power for nighttime television viewing.

Might be time to choose between RV Resorts and real camping (boondocking).
Might be time to trade in your all electric mistake or just check into a motel.

Happy Camping !
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Old 10-24-2019, 10:47 AM   #76
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First observation: An all electric travel trailer ??? What were you thinking ???
Real campers often boondock and a propane refrigerator and a propane cook top are minimum...plus a propane water heater are minimum equipment for a real camper.
What you own belongs in a RV Park.....staying in a RVPark is not camping...it is a hotel/motel replacement.
What I have is a motel room on wheels, already packed planned to meet my needs 90 + % of the time.

We were out for two months and used the generator once for an hour or so.

You buy or build what you want.

Personally I am not a boondocker so I haven't optimized my trailer for that, however it can work well.
I have optimized it for emergency response and traveling as it is a TRAVEL TRAILER not a camping trailer.
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Old 10-24-2019, 12:33 PM   #77
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Another - GENERATOR USAGE thread - my take after a trip out

Nice to see what a “Real Camper is”. I guess I am not since I boondock without installed propane. Of course most tent campers are not “Real Campers” either LOL. To be a “Real “Camper “ one must have the luxury of home . Seriously folks, sometimes we can be a mite judgemental and downright silly.LOL
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Old 10-24-2019, 12:51 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by Uplander View Post
...
Real campers often boondock and a propane refrigerator and a propane cook top are minimum...plus a propane water heater are minimum equipment for a real camper....


REAL campers don't use propane at all, they burn firewood that they cut with their own ax. REAL campers don't use refrigeration. We are all Recreational Vehicle owners, some of who by choice come closer to being REAL campers than others, and some who don't.
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Old 10-24-2019, 01:02 PM   #79
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Does a “ REAL CAMPER “ drive to some remote , quiet and pristine wilderness campsite , start up a generator , plug in their trailer , turn on his / her air conditioner and TV and then stay in their trailer until the generator runs low on fuel or it’s time to leave ?
Camping to me is sleeping in a tent , cooking over an open fire , cleaning up in a cold stream or lake , braving the elements and using a fallen log for a toilet .
What we do is RVing
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Old 10-24-2019, 01:08 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by jgilliam1955 View Post
Buying all electric is a bad idea.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uplander View Post
Might be time to choose between RV Resorts and real camping (boondocking).
Might be time to trade in your all electric mistake or just check into a motel.
Our camper is all-electric and purchasing it was NOT a bad idea .. for us. And yes, we boondock (so far for up to a week, sometimes in cold weather). A Mr. Heater provides heat when needed plus a cook top. A Clam shelter provides extra space if we don't want to cook in the camper when in remote bear country.

Some things were more important to us than integrated propane. Such as the head room and the floor plan. And besides that, the EggCamper is just a cutie.

Nancy
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