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Old 03-28-2023, 03:28 PM   #1
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Name: Jesse
Trailer: In the market
California
Posts: 2
Going to portable power pack generator for all!

Hi, I have a 1982 13' Burro. Slowly renovating all.

The electrical seemed to be original with mods along the way.
I decide to go with a portable power pack and direct plug into the pack for my needs.
It may work for you? I'm curious what other think about this approach.
Bought a EcoFlow RIVER Max Plus Portable Power Station, 720Wh Solar Generator
I was going to go with a 200wh but got a good deal (Same club) this will allow me to charge at home before I go, along the way from shore power or, with optional solar.
Then I will wire Max Fan with 12Volt aux plug to plug direct into generator (when needed)
I plan to have one "outlet" in the cabin plugged into the generator at all times for phone etc. Which will basically be like an extension cord to generator.
I plan to use 2-3 "USB rechargeable lights" for the cabin which will plug direct into the generators USB ports. (kinda like hardwire).
Hopefully with a remote I can attach near door for a "light switch"

The last thing will be to run 4 pin car connection to brake, running & signal lights.
I like this because I can easily upgrade any part of it at anytime. fast charging with multiple options & clear reading of power use.

Love to hear your thoughts. whew thanks for reading all that.
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Old 03-28-2023, 08:16 PM   #2
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Name: Perry
Trailer: 2016 Bigfoot 25RQ
Lanesboro, Minnesota, between Whalan and Fountain
Posts: 657
Quote:
Originally Posted by start anywhere View Post
Hi, I have a 1982 13' Burro. Slowly renovating all.

The electrical seemed to be original with mods along the way.
I decide to go with a portable power pack and direct plug into the pack for my needs.
It may work for you? I'm curious what other think about this approach.
Bought a EcoFlow RIVER Max Plus Portable Power Station, 720Wh Solar Generator
I was going to go with a 200wh but got a good deal (Same club) this will allow me to charge at home before I go, along the way from shore power or, with optional solar.
Then I will wire Max Fan with 12Volt aux plug to plug direct into generator (when needed)
I plan to have one "outlet" in the cabin plugged into the generator at all times for phone etc. Which will basically be like an extension cord to generator.
I plan to use 2-3 "USB rechargeable lights" for the cabin which will plug direct into the generators USB ports. (kinda like hardwire).
Hopefully with a remote I can attach near door for a "light switch"

The last thing will be to run 4 pin car connection to brake, running & signal lights.
I like this because I can easily upgrade any part of it at anytime. fast charging with multiple options & clear reading of power use.

Love to hear your thoughts. whew thanks for reading all that.
Looked it up and itís not a generator. Itís merely a 56 ah battery (720 / 12.8 ) with options to hook up various devices and charge from a hookup or solar. 56 ah is a smaller lithium battery, and would be a bare minimum for our Casita that we only used in the summer. However, with a good 100 watt solar panel you should be fine for your limited needs. I do see they offer dual fuel generators starting at $1,599.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Previous Eggs -2018 Escape 5.0 TA, 2001 Scamp 16' Side Bath, 2007 Casita 17' Spirit basic, no bath, water or tanks, 2003 Bigfoot 25B25RQ, that we regreted selling
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Old 03-29-2023, 04:27 AM   #3
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Trailer: Boler 13 ft / Casita FD
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I've been saying this ever since they came out on the market ... They shouldn't be calling them a "Generator"!
For what it's worth, we took a trip cross country in our Casita and Boondocked for over 75% of the trip and we had no problem with our 100W solar panel and our wet cell battery.
We still go here into the woods of Maine with the same set up for weeks at a time but I did graduate to a Gel battery now and being frugal we have never had a problem with just the 100W portable panel.
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Old 03-29-2023, 07:06 AM   #4
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Name: Larry
Trailer: Burro
California
Posts: 123
Burroman

I like your approach.
Iíve done the same thing with my Ď82 Burro.
Use solar charged lights for interior and rarely use the power from my 12v lead acid battery. I carry a small, 20 watt solar panel to keep battery topped up, and have a 100 watt one with controller for longer trips.
Depends on how much electricity you need.
Once we go down the slippery slope of electrical gadgets, thereís no end to how much power we need.
Keep it simple, my motto- less is more!
Burroman
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Old 03-29-2023, 09:49 AM   #5
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Name: Perry
Trailer: 2016 Bigfoot 25RQ
Lanesboro, Minnesota, between Whalan and Fountain
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burroman View Post
I like your approach.
I’ve done the same thing with my ‘82 Burro.
Use solar charged lights for interior and rarely use the power from my 12v lead acid battery. I carry a small, 20 watt solar panel to keep battery topped up, and have a 100 watt one with controller for longer trips.
Depends on how much electricity you need.
Once we go down the slippery slope of electrical gadgets, there’s no end to how much power we need.
Keep it simple, my motto- less is more!
Burroman
When still working we could only camp for two weeks max and only in the summer (I taught in a small K-12 school). Once we retired and decided to travel for up to 4 months at a time we have gone down that "slippery slope of electrical gadgets" and need more power. There is no "Power Station" that will even remotely work for us at a reasonable cost.

We currently have 160 watts on the roof and a 100 watt portable with 200 ah's of lithiums, but no need for a lithium specific charger, nor a need for a DC-DC charger. If you have solar these devices are way oversold, especially DC-DC and "Power Stations".

I'll be adding 400 watts to the roof so I don't have to use that 100 watt PITA portable though.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Previous Eggs -2018 Escape 5.0 TA, 2001 Scamp 16' Side Bath, 2007 Casita 17' Spirit basic, no bath, water or tanks, 2003 Bigfoot 25B25RQ, that we regreted selling
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Old 03-29-2023, 11:01 AM   #6
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Name: Larry
Trailer: Burro
California
Posts: 123
Burroman

I get what you mean.
Our 13í trailers really canít accommodate too many gadgets.
I only go out for 2-3 weeks at a time- frequently in California winters, springs and falls.
Most of us with tiny (13í) trailers arenít living in them for prolonged time periods, thus we really donít need too much power.
Download movies on our IPads, use solar powered lights, use a well insulated cooler( ice is the limiting factor for us, need to replenish every 5-6 days).
If I had a bigger trailer Iíd probably do things differently, but for our particular needs this system works well.
Burroman
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Old 03-29-2023, 11:46 AM   #7
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Name: Perry
Trailer: 2016 Bigfoot 25RQ
Lanesboro, Minnesota, between Whalan and Fountain
Posts: 657
Quote:
Originally Posted by Burroman View Post
I get what you mean.
Our 13í trailers really canít accommodate too many gadgets.
I only go out for 2-3 weeks at a time- frequently in California winters, springs and falls.
Most of us with tiny (13í) trailers arenít living in them for prolonged time periods, thus we really donít need too much power.
Download movies on our IPads, use solar powered lights, use a well insulated cooler( ice is the limiting factor for us, need to replenish every 5-6 days).
If I had a bigger trailer Iíd probably do things differently, but for our particular needs this system works well.
Burroman
I hear you!

We had dual 6v batteries for our Scamp and a series 31 AGM battery that would fit in our Casita's battery compartment. It had both posts or bolts to connect to the batteries. I just cut the inner battery post off so it could completely slide into place.

I also wired our 2003 Odyssey with larger wires (4 or 6 awg) to charge quickly down the road. Can't do that with today's alternators.

Both campers worked extremely well for our weekend needs, plus that 2 week summer trip, and we never ran out of juice.

Today, with the 400 watt inverter that came in our F150 and the four USB outlets in the cab we're set for charging our phones and e-bikes. After riding, we just connect our e-bikes batteries to their charger and plug into the F150's inverter to charge. We don't always get them charged, but have never come close to running out either. We have a couple of 30,000 mAh power blocks for charging in the camper that are charged driving down the road.

Enjoy,

Perry
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2016 Bigfoot 25RQ - 2019 Ford F-150, 3.5 V6 Ecoboost,

Previous Eggs -2018 Escape 5.0 TA, 2001 Scamp 16' Side Bath, 2007 Casita 17' Spirit basic, no bath, water or tanks, 2003 Bigfoot 25B25RQ, that we regreted selling
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Old 03-29-2023, 05:29 PM   #8
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Trailer: Boler 13 ft / Casita FD
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After reading a few posts I guess I should say that the wife and I are very frugal with our power needs ... only thing we do use is lights / furnace / and overhead fan / and water pump for showers and dishes.
When we travel our truck to camper plug also is charging the camper battery so that is when I do charge my computer battery with a 100w watt inverter plugged into an outlet in the camper. Don't know why I just didn't plug it into the dash of the truck, I could have.
The trip cross country took 3 months and as said only stayed maybe 20 days at campgrounds that had electical hook ups and had no problems for power now finding water was sometimes a chore but we made due.
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Old 03-30-2023, 07:56 AM   #9
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Name: Larry
Trailer: Burro
California
Posts: 123
I enjoy the heck out of this website.
I find myself being mostly attracted to posts relating to the smaller , 13í, trailers.
Us 13 footers donít have a lot of space to work with and Iím fascinated to hear and see how others have capitalized on dual- use solutions. Incredibly creative ways to use our 13í space.
I probably use my Burro for 3-4 weeks out of the year and every modification Iíve done is completely reversible back to the original.
Removed the water tank(never felt I could use it for drinking), just put a 3 gallon container under the sink- easy to get to and always clean. Carry extra water in tow vehicle. Thought about removing the battery and propane tank but have been voted down. Propane tank fuels a portable fire pit really well.
Many solutions for many different ways of camping.
Thanks to all of you for great ideas!
Burroman
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Old 03-30-2023, 01:34 PM   #10
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Trailer: 2015 Escape 21; formerly Casita 1999 17 ft Liberty Deluxe
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Furnace can be a power hog

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerry View Post
After reading a few posts I guess I should say that the wife and I are very frugal with our power needs ... only thing we do use is lights / furnace / and overhead fan / and water pump for showers and dishes.
When we travel our truck to camper plug also is charging the camper battery so that is when I do charge my computer battery with a 100w watt inverter plugged into an outlet in the camper. Don't know why I just didn't plug it into the dash of the truck, I could have.
The trip cross country took 3 months and as said only stayed maybe 20 days at campgrounds that had electical hook ups and had no problems for power now finding water was sometimes a chore but we made due.
If your furnace has a fan, just remember that it needs more juice than seems necessary. We try to run ours only in the mornings when camping off the grid. (We use a small electric cube heater when camping with hookup.) YMMV and ENJOY!
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Old 03-30-2023, 02:05 PM   #11
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No furnace- Im in California
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Old 03-30-2023, 05:21 PM   #12
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No furnace- Im in California
In the White Mountains of NH and Maine and we use to camp one night every weeks 52 weeks a year, we used our furnace a lot!!!
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Old 03-30-2023, 05:28 PM   #13
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Name: Larry
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I actually have a little buddy.
In winter use it for about an hour in morning, maybe same at night.
Good sleeping bags!
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Old 04-05-2023, 10:52 AM   #14
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Name: Dave
Trailer: boler 1978
British Columbia
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I'm not a fan of portable power stations even for small RV's. You essentially have a battery, inverter, and charge controller in one box. Unless you spend a whack of money its not particularly good at any of these functions. For the same money you could buy a bigger LIFEPO4 battery, a decent MPPT charge controller, and a small inverter. If anything stops working on the power station you brick the whole thing whereas separately its a cheaper easier fix. If you needed more power on a three piece setup u just add a battery, upgrade the controller or buy a bigger inverter. Also each piece is smaller and can be hidden or tucked away easier. Power needs add up quickly. Furnace, DC fridge, 120 inverter outlet for whatever.....
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Old 04-05-2023, 11:02 AM   #15
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Name: Knoxy
Trailer: 1981 Bigfoot B17
Alberta
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Nice to hear all the different solutions here.
Personally I have been drawn to the idea of these "generators" but I am always taken back by the price, it seems odd to drop $500-750 CAD plus on a unit that has to be lugged around, plugged in, unplugged and recharged all the time. Dont get me wrong, they have their use, but I dont see it with a unit that we boondock off of for a week at a time with 2- 100 AH batteries just fine.

2- 100 AH batteries, either wired up in parallel or wired up one at a time, (still renovating the battery storage area). I have re-wired the entire unit and added some USB plugs, a battery voltage monitor, an inverter that is permanently mounted and hard wired, as well as LED lights, amongst other things. The major use of the battery power in our rig is the furnace and water pump, the furnace hums all night in the shoulder seasons, but rarely in the summer, and the water pump is used pretty infrequently.

That said, I can get 2 100AH batteries, that have nearly 4x the total capacity of one of these generators for the same if not less money. plug into shore power when i get home and they are topped up. I have all the utility power I should need and I do bring a fold out 100W solar panel if we are gone for SUPER extended trips, JUST in case, but realistically my truck can pick up the slack if needed.

*the batteries i have are AGM, did not bite the bullet for L-ION, but maybe one day, when i decide i need to upgrade the charge controller.... again.*

Just my .02, do what works for you, and I wish you the best, i am a big fan of setting the batteries in the compartment at the beginning of the summer, pulling them out at the end of the season, and being done with it. I have all the USB plugs, 120V and operational power I need, but it did require a bit of fooling around to get started.
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Old 04-05-2023, 12:02 PM   #16
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Name: SheilaP
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One nice thing about a portable electric power station (like a GoalZero, etc) is that you can easily pull it out of the small trailer and use it for other things, like lights & fans & fridge, in your house if the power grid goes out in a storm.
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Old 04-05-2023, 01:53 PM   #17
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Name: Henry
Trailer: BigFoot
Tennessee
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I have solar panels, lithium batteries, MPPT controller, and inverter. A small gas or propane generator is a must have back up for cloudy days and when parked in the shade under trees, or between two tall class A motorhomes. I use more electrons than I prob should but I need a heated CPAP machine. I am thinking about a DC to DC converter because we move around a lot and seldom stay for more than a day or two. That may change, but we get bored sitting in one place for more than 4 or 5 days.
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Old 04-05-2023, 02:40 PM   #18
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Name: John
Trailer: Casita
Illinois
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Originally Posted by kip22 View Post
I'm not a fan of portable power stations even for small RV's. You essentially have a battery, inverter, and charge controller in one box. Unless you spend a whack of money its not particularly good at any of these functions. For the same money you could buy a bigger LIFEPO4 battery, a decent MPPT charge controller, and a small inverter. If anything stops working on the power station you brick the whole thing whereas separately its a cheaper easier fix. If you needed more power on a three piece setup u just add a battery, upgrade the controller or buy a bigger inverter. Also each piece is smaller and can be hidden or tucked away easier. Power needs add up quickly. Furnace, DC fridge, 120 inverter outlet for whatever.....
I think this is a really good response, that's practical.

However, I use a solar generator for my Casita 17 main battery. The only reason I did it, is that I was able to work out (and also corresponded with the manufacturer) that my unit's "battery expansion" connector is a 50 amp connector hooked up to the battery directly. Just using a 12 volt cigarette style connector on one of these is going to get you a regulated output, with a current limit (often only 10 amps). Or if not regulated it's likely you'll melt plugs - running only my fridge, on DC rather than propane, did this with the cigarette style plugs I tried.

In my case, the solar generator is also a 24v system, so I added a DC converter for the trailer mains, plus a 24v outlet that I use for a toaster oven and to charge my laptop.

I have 2000 Wh (zero point titan), which is 166 Ah in 12 volt terms. Yes, I spent a whack of money - I like how you put that!
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Old 04-05-2023, 03:36 PM   #19
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Name: Henry
Trailer: BigFoot
Tennessee
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jkcronan, how many solar panels do you have and how long does it take to charge your solar generator in full sunlight?

Can you charge the unit from your vehicle when driving?

It never occurred to me to use a solar generator instead of the stand alone components. What an interesting device.
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Old 04-05-2023, 04:41 PM   #20
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Name: John
Trailer: Casita
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jkcronan, how many solar panels do you have and how long does it take to charge your solar generator in full sunlight?
I have two 175W flexible panels mounted on 20x20 aluminum channel frame that go onto a shelf in the back of my SUV so that I can put gear under them. Under ideal conditions, they charge the full capacity in one day's sunlight.

Quote:
Can you charge the unit from your vehicle when driving?
Yes, though I don't currently have that wired up. The 12v charger that Zero Point uses now is about 85W charge rate. Not especially high, but helpful. Initially I had something that I tried with a converter, using the 2nd solar charger input, but I couldn't get it to work well.

edited to add: with the design of this thing, I suppose I could double that tow charge rate to 170W by purchasing a 2nd charger - but then I'd have to switch it out manually whenever I need the AC charger
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