Lights only when switched to battery mode?

Discussion in 'First Time & New Camper Owners' started by Milehifireguy, Jun 14, 2015.

  1. Milehifireguy

    Milehifireguy New Member

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    Had our first outing in the PU! Had a great time at the Great Sand Dunes in Southern Colorado. Everything seemed to work, however.... Some questions though.... If the converter switch is set to battery and no hook ups available is there any way to run the outlets without a generator? Lights and furnace blower only? Could the converter be switched for an inverter? Would that help? What are the steps for that if possible? Thanks!
     
  2. fallsrider

    fallsrider Active Member

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    There is no way within the design of your camper to power the receptacles from your battery. That is only available when hooked into shore power. You can hook an inverter up to your battery and run low amperage 120v devices from the inverter, but if you run higher amperage devices, you will kill your battery rather quickly.

    When you have no hookups, your lights and furnace are all that is available to you because they are 12v devices. Your fridge (if you have one) should run on propane.

    You don't want to switch out your converter for an inverter. If you do, your lights and furnace will not run off shore power when hooked up, and your battery would not charge. If you are never going to be connected to shore power, and you will always be using a generator to keep your battery charged, then I guess you could switch. But if you are only wanting to run a very few low amperage 120v devices, I would just connect an inverter to your battery circuit. I would not remove the converter. JMHO.
     
  3. Milehifireguy

    Milehifireguy New Member

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    Ok thanks for the info. The whole 12v thing is new to me so I just needed to know the limitations of the existing system. I was thinking of adding some 12v power points and tie them in with the existing system and get a couple 12v fans for when no hook ups are available and when I don't feel like running the genny for extended periods. Other than to top off the battery. I might also look into a larger group battery than the existing one as well. Thanks again!
     
  4. capy235co

    capy235co Member

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    Be sure to check out the quad state rally for later this month at Mesa Verde. Hope to see you there!
     
  5. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Welcome - there are so many great places to camp in Colorado and environs. Follow the link in my signature line for information on the Colorado Rally at Thirty Mile campground, in July.

    Yes, outlets work only when connected to an external power source - think of them as a long, strange extension cord.

    Are you going to use battery power for anything other than lights, furnace, those fans, do you have an electric water pump?

    How long your battery will last depends on how conservative you are with usage - for example, changing any incandescent bulbs to LEDs, running the furnace as a reasonable setting, etc. (We tend to leave the thermostat set somewhere in the mid-upper 50s at night when we're camping. Others don't even run the furnace at night, but my old joints appreciate the warmth.)
    The amp pull of the fans you buy will determine how much you can use them. We have an Endless Breeze fan, and have used it for a good several hours in a day with no issues, with the solar panels charging at the time; we weren't (usually) running the furnace at night, so the battery had little draw down from the lights.
    Having a meter to keep tabs on the battery is extremely helpful. We have a plug in one, others have a wired on one. If you have a standard 12v RV/marine battery, you do not want to draw it down below 50% state of charge much. I copied the chart from here, and laminated it: http://www.marxrv.com/12volt/12volt.htm

    We usually did fine for a night or three with the 12v battery on our pup, and only LED lights and some furnace use. After a couple of trips, though, we added solar panels; the set-up we had was capable of recharging our battery, usually by early afternoon. Now that we have the TT, we discovered that we need more amps than the 12v battery had and more solar watts, especially under less-than-ideal conditions. We're changing to two 6v "golf cart" batteries and a Zamp 160 watt solar panel.
     
  6. Keith Hawkins

    Keith Hawkins Active Member

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    Nope, the converter only works the lights and the blower on the furnace
     
  7. kcsa75

    kcsa75 Well-Known Member

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    What about the water pump. Is that typically 12v/will it run on the battery?
     
  8. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Yes, water pump is 12v
     

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