Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Travel Trailers: First Dry Camping Experience
Open Roads Forum Already a member? Login here.   If not, Register Today!  |  Help

Newest  |  Active  |  Popular  |  RVing FAQ Forum Rules  |  Forum Posting Help and Support  |  Contact  

Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Travel Trailers

Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > First Dry Camping Experience

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 6  
Prev  |  Next
2 many 2

USA

Senior Member

Joined: 06/25/2015

View Profile



Posted: 07/16/18 11:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

"2 many 2: Is it difficult to get to the back of the fridge? Sounds like I have such a Dometic, so I need to decide between your method, or adding a switch. I'm not very experienced with electrical stuff, but I did add a relay and switches to an old tube style Hammond organ. I didn't kill myself or break anything, so I figure I could tackle this"

I have a different model than you but it is a Dometic so it should be similar. Open the outside access door for the fridge, the black plastic junction box with all the wires is on the lower left. Pop off the cover and simply unplug the wire for the heating element.

On the lower right side, mine has the wiring diagram on the the burner cover. The circuit is indicated as: "T" "Heating Cable" and #10 light blue wire. Mine has a simple female spade connector that just pulls off of the connector terminal strip.

You could just leave it un-connected, I added an in-line fuse holder to that connector and attached the other end to the terminal strip. Anytime I want it connected I just put a 3amp fuse in the holder (I have never needed to)

X2 On the checklist
X2 Check your own batteries with a $5 hydrometer

PaulJ2: "It's possible they weren't completely charged. I did have it plugged in to shore power for a day prior to the trip. Maybe that, along with the 2.5 hour drive wasn't enough to fully charge them? Prior to that, they were at a storage area, but disconnected from the trailer"

If your converter charger is a "Smart" four stage charger one day plugged into shore power will almost get the batteries to full. If your converter is a a dumb charger, that only puts out 13.6 volts all the time. it could take a few days. Usually driving while hooked up to the vehicles charging system is VERY slow due to the wiring size in the cord. A 2.5 hour drive would hardly do anything.

Good luck

* This post was edited 07/16/18 11:51am by 2 many 2 *

enblethen

Moses Lake, WA

Senior Member

Joined: 01/05/2005

View Profile






Posted: 07/16/18 03:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Oyarsa:
I sent you a PM


Bud
USAF Retired
Pace Arrow

2003 Chev Ice Road Tracker


rbpru

North Central Indiana

Senior Member

Joined: 12/18/2013

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 07/16/18 03:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The only 12 volt outlet in our TT is at the antenna amplifier.

We get about two days of toilet flushing/hand washing water and lights with our single 12 volt battery. If I need a third day I will use a set of jumpers from the truck and charge the TT battery for about 15 minutes of so.

In answer to the OP question, many TTs just have a 100 amp-hour battery. An incandescent bulb can draw about an amp. I measure my phantom loads at 1/3 amp. (with the TV antenna amp off.) So just having one lamp on, my battery would last 3 days. From that you subtract water pump time for flushes, washing, cooking and coffee making and two days is about right for us.

Recently we replaced our lights with LEDs but we also have multiple lights on. So, in reality if you want to spend more than a day or so boondocking you have to be set up for it or do without.

We seldom boondock, so 2 days serves us well. If you like to boondock there are a lot of folks on this board that can help.


Twenty six foot 2010 Dutchmen Lite pulled with a 2011 EcoBoost F-150 4x4.

Just right for Grandpa, Grandma and the dog.


profdant139

Southern California

Senior Member

Joined: 11/14/2005

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 07/16/18 07:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

And note that a battery with 110 amp hours (like my group 31s) can really only deliver about 55 amp hours before dropping to 12.1 V. I am told that if you routinely go below that level, it can damage the battery.

That's why I use one battery for a few days and then switch over to my spare. Often, I don't even have to switch the batteries because the 120 W solar panel tops it off every day. But if it doesn't, that's okay – I've got the spare. So I keep fairly careful track of the voltage.

I should also add one more thing about checking the voltage – let the battery "rest" for a while before testing the voltage. There is some disagreement on how long it has to rest. I let it rest for about 20 min.

If you measure it while it's under load (or right afterwards), you'll get an artificially low reading. After it rests, the voltage reading rebounds to its true level.

By the way, could someone tell me WHY the battery gives a different reading after it rests? I know it is true, but I don't know enough about batteries to say how come this happens. Thanks in advance. (And no, I am not really hijacking the thread -- this is directly relevant to the OP's topic, right??)


2012 Fun Finder X-139 "Boondock Style" (axle-flipped and extra insulation)
2013 Toyota Tacoma Off-Road (semi-beefy tires and components)
Our trips -- pix and text
About our trailer
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single list."


SoundGuy

S Ontario

Senior Member

Joined: 02/11/2015

View Profile



Posted: 07/16/18 07:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

profdant139 wrote:

By the way, could someone tell me WHY the battery gives a different reading after it rests?


Google battery surface charge and you'll find enough to keep you reading for weeks. [emoticon]

rbpru

North Central Indiana

Senior Member

Joined: 12/18/2013

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 07/17/18 07:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I key point is if you want to boondock on a regular basis, it helps to gear up for it. "Gearing up" also includes more of a camping mindset. That is forgoing some of the creature comforts.

profdant139

Southern California

Senior Member

Joined: 11/14/2005

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 07/17/18 11:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

SoundGuy, that was interesting. It turns out that this phenomenon is related to (but not quite the same as) "surface charge."

Paraphrasing the stuff I read, it seems that letting the battery rest before taking a reading is a means of compensating for "surface discharge." The surfaces of the plates get drawn down during use, but the interior of the plates don't always get discharged to the same extent.

So by letting the battery recover before taking a reading, we are allowing the plates to re-establish a uniform charge (uniform between the surface and the interior of the plates). This gives us a more accurate reading of the true state of charge than a quick reading based on the voltage during active usage.

This is important to boondockers and dry campers, because (as I can tell you from personal experience) I sometimes get pretty low momentary readings on the voltage -- if I am running the inverter and the furnace and the pump and the lights, I have seen 11.9 on the voltmeter.

If that were really the true voltage of the battery, it would be below 50 percent state of charge -- not good.

But then when I turn off all those systems and wait 15 minutes, I often get a reading of 12.4 or so. No problem!! And no need to run the generator, at least not quite yet.

kirkl

Washington

Full Member

Joined: 08/18/2004

View Profile



Posted: 07/17/18 11:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have 2 6 volt batteries and we just dry camped for 5 days and we ran lights, fridge, water pump, radio alot and 12 volt TV and I only ran my generator once for about 2 hours to give them a little charge, we were down to 1/3 on day we left but they worked great. When my batteries are at full they go to 2/3 pretty quick but they stay at 2/3 for days.


2017 Ram 2500 6.7 Cummins 4x4 LB
2018 Wildcat Maxx 28RKX
Honda 2000 Generator

boosTT

Milwaukee

Senior Member

Joined: 03/03/2012

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 07/17/18 12:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'd guess either your batteries were not fully charged or they are damaged. It is possible that your converter over charged the batteries at some point and damaged them.

LED bulbs are a quick, cheap and easy way to save power. And you don't need to try and conserve light as much.

profdant139

Southern California

Senior Member

Joined: 11/14/2005

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 07/17/18 12:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

kirkl, I don't know anything about 6 volt batteries (other than the fact that some of the most knowledgeable RVers have them). Does it hurt them to get down below a half charge, the way it does for an ordinary 12 volt??

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 6  
Prev  |  Next

Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > First Dry Camping Experience
Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Travel Trailers


New posts No new posts
Closed, new posts Closed, no new posts
Moved, new posts Moved, no new posts

Adjust text size:

© 2019 CWI, Inc. © 2019 Good Sam Enterprises, LLC. All Rights Reserved. | Terms of Use | PRIVACY POLICY | YOUR PRIVACY RIGHTS