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Boondocking electric question

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glenncc

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Boondocking electric question
« on: March 28, 2015, 02:08:37 pm »
I'm new to full-timing in my 2350 and have always had elecric hookups to this point.  From reading previous posts on the subject I understand I should not leave the inverter turned on while boondocking unless I need it to run 110 volt appliances.  Since the inverter shows me the state of charge for my coach batteries if it is turned off will I still get an alarm if those batteries get seriously discharged?  My 6-volt coach batteries were five years old and in storage for four of those years so I replaced them in January with new 6-volt Interstate batteries and I don't want to do anything stupid to ruin them. 

Thanks for any advice someone has to offer.

Glenn Canavan 2010 Model 2350 with no slide out.

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keelhauler

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Re: Boondocking electric question
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2015, 04:09:43 pm »
I always leave my inverter off  unless I need to use one of the outlets that it supplies. It does have a low current draw, but low is not zero.
If you are going to do very much dry camping you should get a couple of solar panels. Cost has come way down.

Also remember the converters that RV's use never fully charge your batteries. But your alternator will when you drive,

When you are not charging here is an idea of your battery condition.
Percentage    
Charge   Voltage
100   12.73
90   12.62
80   12.5
70   12.37
60   12.24
50   12.1
40   11.96
30   11.81
20   11.66
10   11.51

You really shouldn't let batteries go below 12.1 volts or 50% charge.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2015, 04:11:25 pm by keelhauler »



John

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Carol

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Re: Boondocking electric question
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2015, 04:42:31 pm »
Hmmmmmm.... maybe I've been doing it all wrong....  I just finished a week of dry camping and definitely had the inverter on so that I could keep an eye on the battery's charge.  I could also look at the panel for the solar system on the bottom of the kitchen sink that shows the battery voltage, but the inverter panel is looking me right in the eye when I'm at the dinette.  In fact I've never turned the inverter off.  Maybe I should?  Also, I don't think the alarm for low battery voltage will sound if the inverter is off.  Plus you would;t get the codes telling you what the alarm is announcing--could be anything from low voltage to too high of a voltage. 
Would love to hear some insight and tips from other PC dry campers out there!

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Carol

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Re: Boondocking electric question
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2015, 05:14:45 pm »
P.S. Another thing I do when dry camping is I do not plug my PC or my cell phone into an outlet to charge unless or until I am either using shore power or the generator.  The inverter that powers the house plugs is a modified sine wave inverter, as opposed to pure sine wave.  Shore and generator power both provide pure sine wave.  I have seen debate on whether or not the modified sine wave can damage sensitive electronics.  Bottom line for me, though, is if they are wrong and the modified sine wave does not do damage, then no big deal that I am changing my routine somewhat to avoid it anyways.  On the other hand, if they are right that it does do damage, then there's a big cost associated with ignoring that.  Another charging option for the sensitive electronics is to use one of those automobile inverter/adapter things that plug into the dash board while you drive.  Just my 2 cents!
« Last Edit: March 28, 2015, 05:16:34 pm by Carol »

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glenncc

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Re: Boondocking electric question
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2015, 05:20:37 pm »
John, do you turn your inverter on periodically to check your battery levels or do you do that another way? 
Glenn Canavan 2010 Model 2350 with no slide out.

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keelhauler

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Re: Boondocking electric question
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2015, 10:02:47 am »
I use a Bogart TM-2025-RV to monitor my solar panel and battery state of charge. At a glance I can tell the state of charge of my batteries. It also displays my Engine battery voltage.

I had Phoenix mount it along with the inverter & tank monitor on the side of the cabinet by the left side of the door.


I had them mount my Charge Controller and  Progressive EMS Display  on the right side of the door. This way when I connect my power I can glance in the door to see what the voltage is or any error signal. I spend my winter in RV parks that have frequent voltage problems so the system saves me ruining my microwave or refrigerator controls.




John

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Pax

Re: Boondocking electric question
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2015, 08:35:22 pm »
Thanks for posting that, John (with the pics).   Very informative!

   - Mike

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donc13

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Re: Boondocking electric question
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2015, 07:16:08 pm »
P.S. Another thing I do when dry camping is I do not plug my PC or my cell phone into an outlet to charge unless or until I am either using shore power or the generator.  The inverter that powers the house plugs is a modified sine wave inverter, as opposed to pure sine wave.  Shore and generator power both provide pure sine wave.  I have seen debate on whether or not the modified sine wave can damage sensitive electronics.  Bottom line for me, though, is if they are wrong and the modified sine wave does not do damage, then no big deal that I am changing my routine somewhat to avoid it anyways.  On the other hand, if they are right that it does do damage, then there's a big cost associated with ignoring that.  Another charging option for the sensitive electronics is to use one of those automobile inverter/adapter things that plug into the dash board while you drive.  Just my 2 cents!

Those small inverters that plug into a 12v socket are modified sine wave...not pure sine wave. .   Or, I have yet been able to find a small 12v pure sine wave inverter in the 75w on up range.   The few I have found are all about 8" x 4" x 3".  And that's after several years of searching the internet off and on looking for one.

---
Don and Patti

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Carol

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Re: Boondocking electric question
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2015, 10:44:19 pm »
Thanks for clarifying that, Don.  I am looking at the packaging that I saved (CyberPower 150 W Power Inverter) and it indeed does not specify pure sine wave, even though it says it can be used to charge PCs, phones, tablets, etc.  I specifically asked the salesman at Best Buy, and he said it was pure sine wave.  Guess I should have know better than to listen to him.  >:(

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jfcaramagno

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Re: Boondocking electric question
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2015, 05:59:49 pm »
I read somewhere that modified sine wave is good enough for chargers but not for directly plugging in electronics. Chargers are rugged little devils able to handle up to 240v and 50Hz. I have never had a problem with a modified sine wave powering a charger.
John and Carol