Confessions of a generator hypocrite

Discussion in 'Campground Etiquette' started by WingShot, Aug 4, 2014.

  1. novagirl

    novagirl retired camper

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    We just dry camped in Northern Michigan for a couple nights. Low temps were in the low 40s and the DH uses a CPAP so we brought our little Honda generator to keep the battery for the CPAP and the trailer battery topped off. We have a Honda 1000 and it works great. We just changed all the light bulbs in the trailer to LED's and that helped too.

    Sent from my KFTHWI using Tapatalk HD
     
  2. Adam Roby

    Adam Roby New Member

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    Newbie question...

    My buddy has 15 acres of land in upper NY state and has offered me a spot to park my PUP. He recommends I get a 2000i generaor because he said the cost of the batteries and solar panels to be strong enough to pull water from the well and heat it (for showering) as well as topping off the batteries (apparently they can not charge 100% just with the panels) would be much more expensive.

    Thoughts? Can 1 marine battery and a small $100 panel keep you going for a long time? I plan on putting in LED lighting, and as it stands I have no shower in there anyways... but will need to draw water from the well for basic things like dishes etc.
     
  3. 94-D2

    94-D2 Happy Campin'

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    Depends on what kind of well pump. I live on a well pump and it is 220 volts. Your not going to accomplish that with a honda 2000 or a any kind of marine battery for an RV and a $100 solar panel. If you pull water with a bucket, no problem, your golden!
     
  4. Adam Roby

    Adam Roby New Member

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    Hence why the first sentence was a disclaiming "newbie" :)

    It is all just theoretical at this point because he has no well dug yet. Just trying to determine for the future if I stay on his land. He tends to just use the front 200' or so... and there is still a few 1000' back not being touched.

    I suppose I could also get a small gas powered pump if needed... or a hand pump.

    For just basic lighting, the 1 battery and small panel is sufficient?
     
  5. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    First, the battery would have no role in heating the water. That's done by a propane water heater.

    Second, I use two Group 27 batteries wired in parallel for boondocking so I am sure to have enough power for a few days regardless of the weather. (You'll need to heat the camper in cool/cold weather and the furnace fan needs electricity. It pulls about 3.5 to 4 amps per hour.) I use a 90-watt solar panel charging system when I can but if I'm in the shade of a forest and/or it's cloudy/raining the panel can't do the job. I have a Yamaha 1,000-watt generator and a smart, 3-stage battery charger plugged into it to charge the batteries when solar won't work. 1,000 watts is enough for me because battery charging is the only thing I use it for.

    Frankly, I don't think one battery and a small solar panel can do the job you are talking about. I'm also wondering about whether or not a standard water pump, which is designed to move water from a nearby holding tank, can pull water from a well. How deep is the well? You might need a bigger pump and that would require more power.

    Finally, you can help yourself a lot by changing all of you incandescent lights to LEDs if you haven't already done that.
     
  6. 94-D2

    94-D2 Happy Campin'

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    I live in an area that is all well water. There is a few folks who use a solar set up that tracks the sun all day. And electrical power by night and inclement weather. I suspect the set up was several thousand dollars though. I have another neighbor who uses a 4500 watt generator on a 220 well pump but doesn't live there. They start the genny, run the pump for what is needed at the time and turn it off. You would want to do that and fill your pup tank as you need it. Then your 12v on board pump would supply your needs inside the pup from your holding tank. I have an old 45 watt panel that I crudely set up as a portable to augment my 2 group 27 like UT's. I keeps me out dry for several days. I too have a Honda 2000 for the times that I need a top off. That would be my recommendation. Any well that is drilled is usually going to be set up with an electrical pump and pressure tank for eventual residential use. Other powered options are usually agricultural in nature and very expensive. I do not believe that a small 1 1/2" gas pump will pull the 150-500' depth required of a well, for very long anyway.


    Good luck!
     
  7. R00

    R00 Active Member

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    Bingo. If it doesn't have this it's just a hole in the ground.
     
  8. JeffC

    JeffC New Member

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    Yeah, the Honda or Yamaha 2000 watt units are great! They work great for camping and to run the fridge and freezer when the power is out. The solar crowd isn't generally too pleased with their equipment performance here in the Pacific Northwest, especially in the rain forest! I like to use my smart charger on the batteries to keep them topped and in good shape.
     
  9. West Coast Canuck

    West Coast Canuck Jumped to the dark side ......

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    I have a Champion 2000 and a 3100 invertor generators. They both run quiet and I usually use the 2000 watt the most for topping the battery for the TT and for recharge the battery pack for my CPAP.....most of the Provincial parks that I camp at are usually shady and two that have power are impossible to book. I try to set up on sites away from others as much as possible. Because the CPAP is a medical device, I am permitted to run my generator outside the posted allowable generator run times. I have not received any complaints yet....in fact I receive compliments on how quiet it runs.
     

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