Dry Camping in a TT

Discussion in 'Boondocking' started by neighbormike, May 13, 2018.

  1. neighbormike

    neighbormike Well-Known Member

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    Oct 6, 2012
    WI
    Wondering if anyone dry camps or boondocks with a travel trailer and what kind of battery setups you use.
     
  2. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

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    Mar 16, 2011
    Elkins WV area
    Rarely do we use CG's. Most of the time its boon docking. I have 1 GC12 ( golf cart battery), and a 120 watt solar panel, which is on a 75ft cable so it can be moved to catch the best sun. I have never ran out of battery.
    All lights have been changed to LED"s. We watch energy use.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2018
  3. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Dec 26, 2009
    Albuquerque, NM
    We mostly dry camp in our 17' Retro 177 TT. We changed to dual 6v deep cycle ("golf cart") batteries, so we could drain them below 50% SOC without shortening the lifespan.
    We have a Zamp 160 solar panel, free standing so we can orient it however is best in each site. Many have good luck with Renogy and other panels. When we bought the Zamp, 3 years ago, it seemed the best choice for us. Courtenay installed a Zamp plug, since they were not yet standard on the Retros, and that has been much easier than the clips on the previous solar panels. We tried using the 60-watt Goal Zero set-up we had for the pup, but it was just not sufficient, at least under all circumstances. The first battery on the TT turned out to be defective, which made figuring power needs out all the more interesting.
    In the places we usually camp, the batteries are often topped off by early afternoon. The only place we tend to have to chase what sun appears is in SE Ohio, late fall, many large trees, and often rainy.
    As we did in the pup we try to be conservative - only one of the main cabin lights (we changed them all to LEDs) on most of the time, for example, and keeping the thermostat to maintain comfort but not so the furnace runs excessively. We still use a free standing storage battery from Goal Zero, the current one is a Yeti 150. Handy for charging Kindles and cell phone, it also powers an Endless Breeze fan or hanging LED lantern wherever we might want to use one or the other. We used the predecessor in the pup, and replaced it with the Yeti when it croaked. the set of Goal Zero panels are stashed in an out-of-the-way storage space, so we can use them to charge the Yeti separately from the trailer. So far, we haven't needed to do that, since most of our trips are a week or so; we have a 10-day dry camp later this year, so we may have to dig them out.
     
  4. neighbormike

    neighbormike Well-Known Member

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    Oct 6, 2012
    WI
    Good to know, thank you both! The trailer I am getting is wired for the Furion solar panel which I plan on buying once I can scrounge up another wad of cash, but trying to get an idea for my new battery setup in the meantime. Joet - I actually never realized there was a GC12 (always hear of two GC6's) - I may need to look into that!
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2018
  5. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

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    Mar 16, 2011
    Elkins WV area
    Joet - I actually never realized there was a GC12 (always hear of two GC6's) - I may need to look into that![/QUOTE]
    Keep in mind this is a heavy battery coming in at 93lbs. Price wise its $200
     

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