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Old 08-10-2020, 04:27 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
We had our Casita for 6 years and by adding a 100 watt Renogy portable solar panel , we enabled ourselves to camp for weeks without hookups .
Water was our biggest issue and we had the optional 25 gallon fresh water tank
For my wife , myself and our Lab , our Casita 17 SD was cramped and that was the only reason we upsized.
Thank you so much, Steve! Good to know that 100w solar panel and the single battery was enough for you guys for weeks of no shore power. Can you give me an idea of what you ran off of that?

Cheers!
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Old 08-10-2020, 04:35 PM   #22
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Thanks for responding, Henry!

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Originally Posted by Rzrbrn View Post
You have had many good, thoughtful responses. I had a 2013 Casita Spirit Deluxe (new). used it for about 350 nights or so. Wife really liked it. I thought it was too small and so we bought a 2019 Big Foot 25RQ (new). Casita had a few minor problems, BF had a few minor problems. After pulling the BF with a 2011 Tundra 5.7L 4x4 for a season I sold it and bought a 2019 Ram diesel 4x4. Tundra had zero problems during my ownership. Ram has had 2 recalls and zero problems.
It all depends on the kind of money I'm able to put together over the next two or three years (five at the most... I don't want to wait much longer than that).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rzrbrn View Post
Take a Look at the Oliver, a molded fiberglass trailer made in Hohenwald, TN (my home state). Very high quality, perhaps even better than my BF. Just s little too small for us at this time. Had I bought the Oliver instead of the Casita we would still have it, and not traded for the BF. If you can afford it, and don't mind small, buy the Oliver. You will not regret it.
I have looked at the Oliver. They do look very sweet... and their price tag reflects that. OUCH!

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Originally Posted by Rzrbrn View Post
I am having solar installed with 4 Battleborn Lithium batteries and 6 Renogy solar panels. I have a Microair Easystart capacitor installed in the 11K AC. I am being told to not expect it to run the AC. However I also have a Cummins propane generator installed, which will run the AC.

I installed a Honda eu3000is on the Casita, with remote start. Located it over the propane tanks in front. It ran everything at the same time when needed. Very pleased with this setup.

The Cummins generator is not nearly as strong, quiet and useful as that Honda.
All very good information... you've given me things to think about.
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Old 08-10-2020, 04:36 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Stevieboy View Post
Get the AC. Get a generator if you want to run it.
You WILL want to run it. Sometime.
Get the AC.
You're probably right... Ugh. So much to think about. I suppose if I got a generator, then it wouldn't matter, I could just run it or not, but at least then it would be an option.
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Old 08-10-2020, 04:40 PM   #24
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[QUOTE=toferj;788826]Randy, thanks so much for the thoughtful, detailed response. It's good to hear from a happy Casita owner too. You've given me quite a bit to think about.



I would of course want solar, it just seems that I could boondock longer if I had more battery capacity for that solar to charge.


So, this is something I'm learning. You're maybe the second or third person to tell me this, and I really appreciate it. I didn't know that AC units couldn't run off of battery.



I may end up doing something like this. I don't know that I'll be able to afford making such an expensive purchase, just as a test. It would be nice if I could rent one, but the only ones I've found for rent, don't allow pets which kind of defeats the purpose. If I could find a used one for $10k or under... but that doesn't seem very likely.

Visiting a rally would be great, but who knows when those will start happening again? I've signed up for a mailing list that is supposed to let me know about rallies and when they're happening. Maybe they'll start again soon.


Thank you!! [. This will be not the case in the very near future ,Happier Camper has been testing 2 different size Air conditioners for the past few months with very promising results with the ability to run up to 8 hrs with the proper battery and solar set up . At the very least they will provide cold air for short intervals during the day and for longer periods at night on eco mode and the ability to run the fan perpetually and can also be used with the smallest generator, might not be the holy grail but very close.
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Old 08-10-2020, 04:53 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by toferj View Post
Thank you so much, Steve! Good to know that 100w solar panel and the single battery was enough for you guys for weeks of no shore power. Can you give me an idea of what you ran off of that?

Cheers!
We live in NW Wisconsin so we can get by without A/C or that obscene generator most if not all the time

1) 12VDC LED lights
2 ) Roof fan
3) Water pump
4) Refrigerator on propane
5)Charged our cell phone in vehicle

On most days , 3 or 4 hours of bright sun would bring the battery up to full charge .
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Old 08-10-2020, 05:02 PM   #26
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Hi Toferi,

Casitas have lots of those little sloppy/crude things you saw, but the overall reliability and longevity is amazing. I have bought and sold four Casitas. Each one sold for MORE than I paid for it, even after I used them for 3-7 years. I cannot imagine how you and two dogs cannot fit in a 17ft Casita. Be sure to have no carpet.

No RV will run anything but lights off a 12v battery. Where did you get the idea you can run the air conditioer on a battery/inverter? If you want to camp where there is no shore power to plug into, you will need a generator. Get a propane powered 2KW machine.

I put 8 big batteries in the cargo hold of a motorhome with an inverter/charger. And a 4 panel solar array. Those batteries will run one air conditioner for 3 hours. The refrigerator will use up all the battery juice in less than two days.
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Old 08-10-2020, 05:12 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Mikmay View Post
This will be not the case in the very near future, Happier Camper has been testing 2 different size Air conditioners for the past few months with very promising results with the ability to run up to 8 hrs with the proper battery and solar set up . At the very least they will provide cold air for short intervals during the day and for longer periods at night on eco mode and the ability to run the fan perpetually and can also be used with the smallest generator, might not be the holy grail but very close.
Ohh!! That's exciting! Thanks for the info!!
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Old 08-10-2020, 05:16 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
We live in NW Wisconsin so we can get by without A/C or that obscene generator most if not all the time

1) 12VDC LED lights
2 ) Roof fan
3) Water pump
4) Refrigerator on propane
5)Charged our cell phone in vehicle

On most days , 3 or 4 hours of bright sun would bring the battery up to full charge .
Gotcha. Thanks! That helps give me a frame of reference. I may have one or two more electrical devices - laptop, mobile internet equipment and TV. Though I suppose I don't need the TV, I could just use the laptop. The TV would really just be a luxury for watching a movie on a rainy day.
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Old 08-10-2020, 05:17 PM   #29
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[QUOTE=Mikmay;788830]
Quote:
Originally Posted by toferj View Post
Randy, thanks so much for the thoughtful, detailed response. It's good to hear from a happy Casita owner too. You've given me quite a bit to think about.



I would of course want solar, it just seems that I could boondock longer if I had more battery capacity for that solar to charge.


So, this is something I'm learning. You're maybe the second or third person to tell me this, and I really appreciate it. I didn't know that AC units couldn't run off of battery.



I may end up doing something like this. I don't know that I'll be able to afford making such an expensive purchase, just as a test. It would be nice if I could rent one, but the only ones I've found for rent, don't allow pets which kind of defeats the purpose. If I could find a used one for $10k or under... but that doesn't seem very likely.

Visiting a rally would be great, but who knows when those will start happening again? I've signed up for a mailing list that is supposed to let me know about rallies and when they're happening. Maybe they'll start again soon.


Thank you!! [. This will be not the case in the very near future ,Happier Camper has been testing 2 different size Air conditioners for the past few months with very promising results with the ability to run up to 8 hrs with the proper battery and solar set up . At the very least they will provide cold air for short intervals during the day and for longer periods at night on eco mode and the ability to run the fan perpetually and can also be used with the smallest generator, might not be the holy grail but very close.
Thank you ; If Happier Camper can help eliminate camping generators we all should be thankful .
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Old 08-10-2020, 05:22 PM   #30
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Thanks for the response, Bruce!
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucewarren View Post
Hi Toferi,

Casitas have lots of those little sloppy/crude things you saw, but the overall reliability and longevity is amazing. I have bought and sold four Casitas. Each one sold for MORE than I paid for it, even after I used them for 3-7 years.
WOW!

Quote:
Originally Posted by brucewarren View Post
I put 8 big batteries in the cargo hold of a motorhome with an inverter/charger. And a 4 panel solar array. Those batteries will run one air conditioner for 3 hours. The refrigerator will use up all the battery juice in less than two days.
Yikes! Thanks for that information! That really puts into perspective what is possible with current battery technology. Very helpful to have it in terms of "I can run ___ for ___ hours with this particular setup." Really appreciate the info.
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Old 08-10-2020, 06:52 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brucewarren View Post
No RV will run anything but lights off a 12v battery.

Battery power is required for the ignition of my propane fridge, to run the propane furnace fan, to operate the water pump and the lights in my trailer.
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Old 08-10-2020, 08:55 PM   #32
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Visited Casita Showroom, Now I'm worried. My experience, questions and concerns.

I think he meant 12V battery power is not capable of running any major RV systems. And Iíd still disagree. It is increasingly common for new RVs to run refrigeration (DC compressor fridge) and cooking (microwave and/or induction burner) exclusively from battery power.

It does require a more robust battery and charging system than is typical of most small molded trailers.

Climate control (furnace and air conditioning) and hot water remain off-limits for all practical purposes. Fossil fuels or grid power are still required.
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Old 08-10-2020, 11:21 PM   #33
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AC is a personal preference. If you are not used to an AC camping, not sure you will need one. But, some of the fiberglass trailers are small and confined inside with fewer windows and some have a lot of windows and cross ventilation which is easier to cool down. Also some people cook in their trailer which generates heat, which will need to be cooled off if it is hot weather.
(Coming in the future - I have seen the solar/battery AC demonstrated at Quartzsite, which Happier Camper is currently testing.)

I managed quite comfortably without an AC living in an HC1.
One battery and it ran the lights, charged up my phone and tablet with a DC charger, and ran the overhead Maxx fan.
100 watt Solar panel with one battery runs the lights, keeps my phone and tablet charged with a DC charger, runs the Maxx fan, and runs the refrigerator (the refrigerator runs solely on the battery that is powered by solar power boondocking, or the battery can also be charged from electricity on a power pole). So far, the sun has kept the battery charged without the need for electricity from a power pole.

Microwave, heat, hot water and cooking do require solar, fossil fuel or electric power pole.

Fiberglass trailers do hold their value and live quite a long time. 50 year old Bolers (the original fiberglass trailer) sell for more now than the original purchase price.
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Old 08-11-2020, 08:19 AM   #34
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Just start checking them out. Youíll know. And itís not a one time thing. Youíll figure out exactly what you want after actually doing it for a while.

I live in my camper 6 months a year and I do not have a dedicated bed. I set it up and put it away twice a day, every day. Iíd prefer a dedicated bed but thatís the compromise for my trailer and layout. The ďcenter bathĒ model has a dedicated bed, but the entire trailer feels more cramped to me. I want the layout Iíve got, and it means bed setup. No big deal.
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Old 08-11-2020, 09:05 AM   #35
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Solar panel energy

My 4 solar panels put out about 800watts in a bright sun. Just one cloud or the shade of a tree knocks that down to 200 watts. Typical sunny day you have about 9 hours of sunshine on the roof of your RV. The average output is about 500 watts for 9 hours, which equals 4500 watt-hours, IF you have enough batteries to store it all... and that takes TEN big 12volt batteries.

An RV fridge running on 12volts takes about 6 amps.... that is 75 watts all the time. So 24 hours using 75 watts which equals 1800 watt hours.

A typical 12v battery can deliver about 500 watt-hours. Watt-hours is a measure of energy (like the KWH on your electric bill). Watts is a measure of power (like horsepower).

So the 12v fridge can suck 75 watts from the battery for about 6 hours before the battery is dead. So if the sun is shining the fridge is OK. After dusk, one battery will run the fridge until midnight.
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Old 08-11-2020, 10:46 AM   #36
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Bruce, thank you so much! This was an immensely helpful post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brucewarren View Post
My 4 solar panels put out about 800watts in a bright sun. Just one cloud or the shade of a tree knocks that down to 200 watts. Typical sunny day you have about 9 hours of sunshine on the roof of your RV. The average output is about 500 watts for 9 hours, which equals 4500 watt-hours, IF you have enough batteries to store it all... and that takes TEN big 12volt batteries.

An RV fridge running on 12volts takes about 6 amps.... that is 75 watts all the time. So 24 hours using 75 watts which equals 1800 watt hours.

A typical 12v battery can deliver about 500 watt-hours. Watt-hours is a measure of energy (like the KWH on your electric bill). Watts is a measure of power (like horsepower).

So the 12v fridge can suck 75 watts from the battery for about 6 hours before the battery is dead. So if the sun is shining the fridge is OK. After dusk, one battery will run the fridge until midnight.
It sounds like getting a three-way fridge might be best... or just use a cooler and eat perishable items quickly.

Are there systems that will charge your batteries from the tow vehicle alternator when you're driving from place to place? Is that even a thing?

Thanks again for the great post.
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Old 08-11-2020, 11:24 AM   #37
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A/C units VERY RARELY will be able to run off batteries. A HUGE battery bank will be necessary to accomplish A/C usage. HOWEVER, A/C units can be run off of an inverter generator (AVOID "contractor" gensets). If you add a "Soft Start" module to your A/C unit, a 2000W Inverter generatior WILL be able to handle the load. When not using the A/C, that little inverter generator can be used to run a microwave or a coffee pot or hair dryer etc. In ANY RV, the user needs to MANAGE electrical usage carefully. Once you learn how to do this, life becomes much more enjoyable.
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Old 08-11-2020, 12:41 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by GatorCasita View Post

...
As for the AC, no trailer can run AC off of the battery. Most, do as we did, and buy a Honda (or Yamaha) generator. Our Honda EU1000 runs our AC fine, but for the small price increase, an EU2200 might be smart.

...
Good luck,
This may be changing as higher capacity solar panels and stronger lithium iron batteries are coming out. Look at this blurb on a new option for the Oliver Legacy Elite II (probably expensive)
...
LITHIUM PRO PACKAGE
NEW 2021 MODEL ADD-ON PACKAGE
Our all new Lithium Pro Package gives you the power to go off-grid in your Ollie. It will even run your A/C without being hooked up to shore power. *

The Lithium Pro Package includes...

- (2) 200 AH LiFeBlue Lithium HCLT Batteries (400 AH total)
- 340 Watt Solar Package with Charge Controller
- 3000 Watt Inverter
- Micro-Air soft start capacitor for the A/C

The LiFeBlue Lithium Batteries allows you to use 85% capacity. Every LiFeBlue Battery has Wireless Bluetooth communications built in. Their free IOS or Android App called Smart Connect keeps you informed about the functioning of your battery. Also included in their App is a Battery Monitoring feature so you will always know the State of Charge (SoC) or how much energy is left in the battery. The built in BMS system offers 8 different protection modes including, over and under voltage, over and under temperature, over current, short circuit and more. The built-in heating system allows you to use your batteries down to -4 degrees Fahrenheit.

Solar charging efficiency is dependent on sun exposure.

* Running your A/C has limitations and depends on sun exposure, temperatures and elevation, and other uses of the trailer.

end quote
from
https://olivertraveltrailers.com/tra...rades-add-ons/

It says that running your A/C has limitations but implies that it is possible on days with good solar sun exposure.

The times, they are a changing. If Oliver is doing it this year, then the other brands may follow in two or three more. The key is more solar to allow those large capacity batteries to recharge. Otherwise, it is back to the generator.

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Old 08-11-2020, 01:21 PM   #39
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toferj,
I saw an add somewhere that you could rent a Casita from a place in Austin. I was searching the web for Casita and it showed up.
Jim
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Old 08-11-2020, 02:47 PM   #40
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You might want to consider a compressor fridge. Mine draws a bit less then 4 amps and only runs about 40% of the time. My Lithium Iron Phosphate LFP battery will run it for 2 days with out recharging. My 200 watt solar system easily keeps the battery charged on most days. Successive days of rain can be a problem for which I have a solution. I have an easy way to put an AC unit in an emergency window and run a generator for power.

You can run AC of solar. This video will give you an idea of how much is involved.

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