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Old 08-05-2018, 10:41 PM   #21
I Think We're Lost!
 
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Congratulations!
Let us know how it goes...
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Old 08-05-2018, 11:20 PM   #22
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Have your generator "At the Ready"!
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Old 08-06-2018, 04:09 PM   #23
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I use a great subscription app for checking out "free" places to spend the night. OvernightRVParking.com is the website, the app uses the same name.

It tells not just if a location allows, but has a short review and shows a map with other known locations. The review will tell you if the place is level, well lighted and appears safe. That's much more info than the free RV apps give. Some of your submitted reviews will earn you an extension on your subscription. A very handy tool.
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Old 08-06-2018, 04:46 PM   #24
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Boondocking and overnighting are two different things to me. Almost any coach will survive an overnight stay most anywhere...as long as you don't need A/C. Boondocking (to me) is an extended stay in remote areas or at designated camping venues where you will be there for several days without external available power. Thus, I will carry a Champion 3100 or my two Honda 2000's allowing the comforts of full power with A/C. Obviously generator etiquette is required but I do not care to play Russian Roulette with batteries. Many years of doing this is at the Atlanta Motor Speedway where we will have MH (previous TT and truck camper b4 that) parked for 10+ days with no hookups. I will also carry this option on the long highway JIC the generator fails or we get somewhere remote we just don't want to leave for a few days.
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Old 08-06-2018, 06:39 PM   #25
I Think We're Lost!
 
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Model: Tiffin Wayfarer 24 BW
State: New York
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I agree: any RV can survive an overnight devoid of external hook-ups...
It's the "RVers"; whose capabilities are in question.
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Old 08-06-2018, 07:06 PM   #26
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Most 12volt pairs or 6 volt pairs will be strained at running the fridge for 8-12 hours, and don't forget the small 12volt draws from the CO detectors etc. Our fridge was the only thing connected to the inverter from the factory--we could get about a day's drive and some park time before needing a plugin or gen start.
Have not seen a low/moderate priced unit that did not have most of the lights operating off 12volt, with a couple at most being 120volt.
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Old 08-06-2018, 07:12 PM   #27
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I must have a serious battery problem then and need to go to the shop. Mine will run the fridge for nearly 30 hours on the two 6 volts that came in it.
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Old 08-06-2018, 07:15 PM   #28
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I get 90 minutes with the two POS 12V that cane with my 31W. How big is your fridge? Mine is a 15 cu ft residential.
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Old 08-06-2018, 07:17 PM   #29
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I don't know...top freezer model. Whatever comes standard in the 35SF. Keep it full and it doesn't work hard...same as me!!
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Old 08-06-2018, 07:24 PM   #30
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Snort. Sounds similar. Once my inverter is replaced I'm going to test again with a full fridge. General RV says my batteries are fun according to their test. But I'm afraid it's just a quick load rather than a steady discharge capacity test.
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Old 08-06-2018, 07:27 PM   #31
I Think We're Lost!
 
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Originally Posted by The Gritz Carlton View Post
I don't know...top freezer model. Whatever comes standard in the 35SF. Keep it full and it doesn't work hard...same as me!!
But how do you keep it full?
You're always opening the door, and taking Pabst Blue Ribbon cans out of it!
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Old 08-06-2018, 07:35 PM   #32
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No, I'm puttin' Coors Light IN it! The Queen is the beer drinker. I'm a Rummer! But we keep it full of most everything...always ready for an overnighter. Went to AMS for one night this weekend. Training the dogs for life on the road.
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Old 08-06-2018, 09:10 PM   #33
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Boon-docking, Dry-camping, or otherwise 'living off the grid' is simply a combination of different power sources that make it bearable, as compared to living with constant 120v power to everything that is electrical.

What you realize, and quickly, with off-gridding, is that you have to almost become an electrical engineer, in so much that you have to quickly diagnose and learn what and how things get their power.
You'll soon realize that most of your typical 'RV' related items are 12v, and therefore should ALWAYS be available - such as lights, roof fans, water pump, video/radio, etc. These items all gain their power from the batteries directly, and why they are all integrated into your 12v FUSE panel.

Propane items, like the furnace, stove top, and water heater, should all also work ANYTIME, as they are linked to the 12v system since they need a 'spark' to start the process of heating... a flame, and a fan for the furnace.

120v items are different, though, as they are part of the Shore Power or Generator power systems, as everything 120v can be powered by these two sources, whether the Air Conditioners, electric Water Heater, engine Block Heater(if you have one), and all the other items that 'plug into' a residential outlet, such as fridge, microwave, etc.
When you 'UNPLUG' from shore power, or turn off the generator, you will NOT be able to continue to enjoy the roof Air Condtioners, and the electric Water Heater, etc., because these items draw too large Amperage, and therefore are dropped from the 'Inverter' equation.... Your breaker box should give you a hint as to what items are on the Inverter, and which are not. Some factories only provide an inverted outlet for the fridge, and others will also include one in the bedroom...while others with larger inverter will have ALL the outlets on the Inverter - such as mine.

Now, the Inverter/Charger is the critical link, allowing those two mentioned power sources to CHARGE your batteries, and therefore 'invert' 12v battery power to the 120v power items that need them - essential any OUTLETS that you plug something into, including the fridge, the microwave, computers, tvs, satellite receivers, etc.

Many, many campers, trailers, popups, and other types of RVs have NEVER had an inverter, so it's really a very nice addition to the experience, giving you more 'comfort' while camping, though there are some limitations without Shore or Generator power, such as size and number of batteries, and whether the batteries are fully charged when the inverter starts 'using' them. Solar can help, but even it has it's drawbacks, as the upfront cost is fairly expensive for the amperage it provides, mounting them is a question, and the extent of 'sun hours' is not always predictable - especially if you park in the shade!

The inverter also serves as your 'backup' power. Even if you have shore power, if it fails, your inverter can continue to power computers, tvs, and satellite receivers so that you can still continue to 'enjoy' the camping lifestyle!


For the best off-gridding experience, consider that even your fridge does not 'need' to run constantly, but only comes 'on' when the temp requires the compressor to kick on. Even if your inverter does not have enough battery power to keep it running during the last several hours of the early morning hours, it's doubtful that it's really an issue, since the fridge is essentially a 'cooler' full of cold items!
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Old 08-06-2018, 10:26 PM   #34
I Think We're Lost!
 
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Brand: Still Looking
Model: Tiffin Wayfarer 24 BW
State: New York
Posts: 16,302
THOR #8860
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Gritz Carlton View Post
Went to AMS for one night this weekend. Training the dogs for life on the road.
If you can train em to be friendly to everyone EXCEPT "cross-lot interlopers":
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Old 08-07-2018, 10:35 PM   #35
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I opened this thread in order to show my wife that there are folks who actually boondock and live through the adventure. I am very interested in this process but she has yet to "allow" such a thing as spending the night in a deserted parking lot in the middle of "where ever". So I get on the site and she reads the thread and starts asking me about our battery situation and my only knowledge is that we have two 12 volt house batteries. Then come questions such as what is an inverter, what is a converter, what is a bus, etc. I know most of answers but lack the knowledge of how an inverter actually does its thing, for example, and the answer to her question, "If it broke, could you repair it," is obviously no. (It doesn't seen to matter that I could most likely take the house apart and put it back together just like it was). Now she is even more convinced that boondocking is not in her immediate future thus not in mine. Thanks for y'all's help!!!
We had a good chuckle over this. Tell your wife that we boondock/dry camp/overnight or whatever everyone chooses to call it the majority of the time and not only survive but thrive in the experience.
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Old 08-07-2018, 11:40 PM   #36
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Half the fun is being disconnected in the right places. I watch a lot of people on YouTube that spend a considerable amount of time bumping around out west and dry camping a lot. Some of them go to the extremes that are almost a miserable mission rather than an experience, just to prove a point. Others have mastered the process just enough to step out of the box for a short change of pace. If you can manage your coach power to spend two nights off the hook it will open up so many really neat opportunities and allow you to spend some gorgeous nights under stars you've never seen before. Many of the National Parks have beautiful, secluded spots you can camp in but no hookups. Exercise the practice and get to the point you can do it. Start in your own yard with that safety net. I think every coach today is equipped to dry camp for a short time. It's also a great safety net to comfortably know you have "layers" of power options in the event something breaks down or you get stuck somewhere for an extended period.
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Old 08-07-2018, 11:43 PM   #37
Thor Palazzo 33.3 diesel
 
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Model: Palazzo 33.3 34'bunkhouse
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well said!
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Old 08-08-2018, 03:51 PM   #38
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Rather than overnighting in some parking lot, not knowing if security will kick you out... why not overnight in your driveway? That way if something goes wrong, or one gets overly anxious about this or that, you can stop and go into the house.

As long as one doesn't find any or every excuse on the planet to go into the house.

You may also find a lot of STUFF you NEED and wish you had with you...easy to fix that there and now.

Newbie here, haven't been out, but spent years 4 wheeling to remote tent camping. Teen years, camping with buds, no tent, just sleeping bags.
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Old 08-08-2018, 03:57 PM   #39
I Think We're Lost!
 
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Brand: Still Looking
Model: Tiffin Wayfarer 24 BW
State: New York
Posts: 16,302
THOR #8860
I agree!
But park so that you can't look at your house: You'll start noticing all of the utside projects" that you have!
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Old 08-08-2018, 04:45 PM   #40
Thor Palazzo 33.3 diesel
 
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Palazzo 33.3 34'bunkhouse
State: Georgia
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yes, most folks don't practice 'off grid' as they should, and very early on, as they might 'assume', like us, that everything might just work the same, regardless...but the electrical engineering that goes on behind the scenes creates a little havoc when you don't really realize how things work, where the wires 'go to', and how the systems interact with each other.

one thing we started realizing after a few months was the power of the AGS(automatic generator starter), integrated with our Magnum ME2012 Inverter/Charger.
While, like most, I was not accustomed to using a generator, and initially thought that I should limit it's usage as much as possible, I began to realize that the power systems within the coach are well designed to provide seemless power transfer between sources, such as between the Inverter and the Generator, when the batteries need recharging. The AGS simply does the job for you, while you relax and don't have to 'worry' about it.

After I got 'used' to how the generator works, and the fact that it is actually quite economical for the small amount of diesel fuel that it uses, per hour, I came to understand that the AGS is your BEST 'always available' power source, and started to turn my mind from the 'don't use it unless you absolutely have to' mentality, to a more 'use it and let it be used whenever needed' mindset.
It's really a joy to be able to travel, camp, and off-grid when you know that you can rely on this power source, no matter what other options you may or may not have.

I have solar, too, and it's nice to have the additional amperage to recharge the batteries, but it is so limited compared to the generator, and very finicky since the panels must be in the sun just when you want to park in the 'shade' to keep the coach cool! But, it does have some benefits, such as providing battery charging without the running of the Generator.

The other great invention, the Inverter, is also the device that takes the battery power and gives it back to you in a more 'normal' and expected supply, which is 120v that we all take for granted as available at all times for our computers, tvs, receivers, device chargers, and even the fridge and the microwave. When you get used to the idea of the Inverter being the primary source of power when you don't have Shore Power, or the Generator is not running, you quickly learn that it's integration with the Generator's AGS is an awesome twosome!

Yes, I can go to an RV park, pay $30 or more, and 'plug in'... but,
I can also go 'off-grid', run the generator, as needed, and have the Inverter powering most things in the mean time, and still remain comfortable...and may only spend $10 - $20 in fuel.

It gives you a LOT of choices when you actually make use of all of your power options, and it really frees up your mind to go almost anywhere, anytime... no reservations needed.
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