How fast would it take to use up charge in 12 volt battery in my scamp charging lap t - Fiberglass RV
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Old 02-15-2014, 11:33 AM   #1
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How fast would it take to use up charge in 12 volt battery in my scamp charging lap t

Can some one tell me how viable to buy converter for my scamp 12 volt to be off grid for days and use my lap top hours at a time?
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Old 02-15-2014, 11:45 AM   #2
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Trying to remember my old EE stuff...

Check the back of your laptop or the manual. It will tell you the power consumption in watts. Or... look at the plug-in power supply, it will have something like "15V / 5A". That's the top the power supply puts out. What your computer is using at any particular moment depends on what's happening on the computer. To maximize battery life go into your settings and change the power usage to dim the screen and slow down the clock. You'll probably see some sort of setting for "efficiency" or the like.

To figure out how long your battery is going to last, look for the amp-hour rating of the battery.
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Old 02-15-2014, 11:50 AM   #3
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Judi, if you haven't already found it there is a website called the 12 Volt Side of life that is a great resource for figuring out your 12V usage and set up.
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Old 02-15-2014, 11:54 AM   #4
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Thanks to both of you. I am in need financially of being off grid 3 days out of 4 as I live in trailer half the year. Will look at your suggestions. J
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Old 02-15-2014, 11:59 AM   #5
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Solar Panels

If you add a solar panel to your system you should be good forever.
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Old 02-15-2014, 12:00 PM   #6
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Also.. The type and age of your battery, as well as how it is being charged, will have a lot to do with how long it will last. Older batteries that have been run down a few times, or are sulfated, will have as little as 1/2 the life as when new.

And, if your Scamp hasn't has had an updated power chassis installed, it's battery may not do as well as possible with a more modern charging system.

For starters you need to get a battery monitor that accurately reads in 2 decimal places so you can monitor the actual remaining charge while in use.

BTW: If you still have standard lighting in your Scamp, those can be battery killers, look for some LED's if battery life is critical.

Bottom line, with so many varibles, ya gotta try it to find out.



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Old 02-15-2014, 01:03 PM   #7
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My Chromebook charges in about an hour and a charge lasts about 6 hours. It uses about 3 amp-hours to charge. Many charges available from just about any battery.

Wen went from a PC to a Samsung Chromebook, about $200. It's a wonder. Simply open the lid and it's ready to go.
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Old 02-15-2014, 01:27 PM   #8
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Why don't people want to charge their devices in their car, then you just start it up to recharge your battery. On another trailer forum someone made a big deal about having no power for a couple days because of the recent storm. Instead of charging his iPad and phone in his car he took the time to wire up a temporary 12 volt outlet to his camper battery. If you have a camper, you have a tow vehicle. I don't get it?
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Old 02-15-2014, 01:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mary and bob View Post
Why don't people want to charge their devices in their car, then you just start it up to recharge your battery. On another trailer forum someone made a big deal about having no power for a couple days because of the recent storm. Instead of charging his iPad and phone in his car he took the time to wire up a temporary 12 volt outlet to his camper battery. If you have a camper, you have a tow vehicle. I don't get it?
My thought was it takes gas to leave a vehicle idling for a hour of so to charge up a laptop or phone. Not to mention a number of places (including BC) have anti Idling laws where it may be illegal to idle a vehicle for more than three consecutive minutes or while unattended and unlocked
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Old 02-15-2014, 02:35 PM   #10
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Using car to recharge
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Old 02-15-2014, 02:43 PM   #11
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Oops. Left out reply. I did use my car to recharge my kindle, iPhone and Mac on my 40 day road trip last fall. Now I am getting ready again to live on road for weeks at a time and with only 700$ a month to live on, it became clear I cannot be using my gas to recharge my devices and I do need them as an author writing on the road. So using gas up that way is not an option as I will not be driving except maybe one or two times a week. And the other issue as mentioned us the sustainability thing--my commitment on the road is to minimize my footprint on the planet and lowering emissions is a goal of mine. I am now seriously thinking small solar panel just for devices as I run no AC, no microwave, no tv or major music device. Thanks for the dialogue on this as it opens up possible options for me. Judi
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Old 02-15-2014, 03:10 PM   #12
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I see lots of 12 volt powered laptop chargers on Amazon for $10-$20. I don't know how good they are but some have pretty good reviews. You could charge your laptop many times before your Scamp or car battery notices. There is no need to run your engine. A couple trips per week will top the battery off. On the other hand solar seems nice.

Best of luck, john
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Old 02-15-2014, 03:27 PM   #13
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Thanks john. I like that. I found a 300 watt TrippLite inverter that I think will charge via car lighter and also if i get a converter for in trailer or wire 12 v. I do love the solar idea and in reading article on this forum just now I like his suggestion for solar of non mounted panel which can be set up in a-frame w/ controller for 750$ perhaps which is about what I have left of savings to use up. Good to know I can charge off battery w/o running car. My iPad takes four hours charging from shore power, iPhone only 1 hour and Mac air is about 1 hour.
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Old 02-15-2014, 03:35 PM   #14
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I often use a USB 12V in the lighter socket in the vehicle to recharge the phone & iPad while driving. Cheap you can get a good dual one for well under $15.
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Old 02-15-2014, 03:38 PM   #15
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[QUOTE=John Linck;441900 There is no need to run your engine.

Exactly right. With comments about how little it takes to charge a iPad or phone you would only have to run the engine a couple minutes and not every time you charged something. Seems cheaper and simpler than a solar setup, but we all do things different, and we do what works for our own situation. At campgrounds with no electric hookups I've seen people charging things in the bathrooms that had an outlet, and one time at a campground I recharged a cordless drill at an outlet a soda machine was plugged into.
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Old 02-15-2014, 03:41 PM   #16
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The inverter route is easy, but there is a penalty due to inverter inefficiency, as much as 10% maybe. That's why I suggested the direct 12 volt to laptop route. On the other hand with an inverter you can plug in a power strip and charge all your devices at once, a good trade off. Plus, with an inverter you have 120 volts for other gadgets you may use (printer, TV, etc.)

Don't spend $750 for solar. I just added a 100 watt panel/controller to my Scamp for less than $250.00. You should be able to find a portable unit for about $300.00. Just watch out for folks with sticky fingers.
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Old 02-15-2014, 03:52 PM   #17
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Well as I said I was running off car but my iPad tajes four hours to recharge so not a minimal timeframe. I am now looking at buying a solar 16 watt portable charger for 130-150$. I don't need to run tv or AC or even coffee pot as my main constant is the IT device for my writing. Charging my iPhone with a very good lighter charger was okay - an hour to two maybe. Charging all three devices could run into 6 or more hours.
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Old 02-15-2014, 03:55 PM   #18
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Ps as for charging in bathrooms of campgrounds, most of time plan to be in free or 5$ national forests without bathrooms. Again a few minutes of recharge with car will do me no good. I like portable panel idea!
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Old 02-15-2014, 04:08 PM   #19
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[QUOTE=mary and bob;441905][QUOTE=John Linck;441900 There is no need to run your engine.

Exactly right. With comments about how little it takes to charge a iPad or phone you would only have to run the engine a couple minutes and not every time you charged something..[/QUOTE]

Wish that was true Bob but I have found it normally takes my iPhone about an hour plugged in to fully recharge once it run right down and my iPad way longer - never actually timed it but my guess is at least a few hours.
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Old 02-15-2014, 04:09 PM   #20
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How well a small solar panel will do on keeping up with your electrical usage depends (obviously) on your usage. I am a heavy user - my laptop alone (a power hungry 17" MacBookPlus) can eat 5 -7 amp hours per day if I'm processing lots of photos & keeping up my web pages. Combined with everything else, I use between 15 and 20 amp hours daily, which my 95 watt panel & a pair of 6V, 232 amp hr batteries will keep up when the sun is shining. A couple of cloudy days, and I have to cut back.

I do try to charge the laptop using the RAV4 on the days that I drive.
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