what runs off the battery, etc...?

Discussion in 'First Time & New Camper Owners' started by Quackerjacks, Sep 18, 2016.

  1. Quackerjacks

    Quackerjacks New Member

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    So we're noobs to the pop up world. With winter coming I am trying to get an understanding of the power source for all the accessories. What all runs off of the battery/ shore power/ propane? We have a 2009 Viking Epic 1906 with a fridge, AC, and furnace.

    Can I haven't found a stellar owners manual yet either so any help is HUGE for us. Thanks!
     
  2. flingwing1969

    flingwing1969 New Member

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    Not my brand but they are all pretty much the same:

    Battery 12 vdc
    Interior and porch lighting
    3-way fridge (although not for long)
    Break-away trailer brakes (if equipped)
    Water pump (if equipped)
    Cigarette lighter plug(s) (if equipped)
    Vent fan (if equipped)
    Portable reading lights/fans (if you have them)
    Furnace fan (if equipped)

    Shore Power 110 vac
    Everything that runs on 12 vdc via the converter
    3-way fridge
    110 vac outlets (if equipped)

    Propane
    Interior stove
    External stove/bbq
    Furnace
    Water heater

    I'm sure I might have forgotten something but that is most of it.
     
  3. Quackerjacks

    Quackerjacks New Member

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    Does the AC only run off shore power?
     
  4. tsc

    tsc Member

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    propane detector (and depending on what CO detector you have or if it's a 2 in 1 with the propane). That is usually hardwired to the 12V.
     
  5. flingwing1969

    flingwing1969 New Member

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    Ah, see, I've not had one installed so I didn't think of that. Yes, only off shore power in almost every case.
     
  6. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    Nice list. Just a note. The furnace will also need 12 VDC for the blower fan.
     
  7. flingwing1969

    flingwing1969 New Member

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    Ah, see I knew I'd miss some things as I wing it. Yes, 12 VDC and runs off the converter under shore power.
     
  8. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    The manual on here is the standard type of manual that I've seen for campers.
    http://www.popupportal.com/index.php?action=media;sa=item;in=2818

    None of them seem to delve as deep as many of us might like to see. Most of the appliances - a/c, furnace, water heater, refrigerator, microwave, whatever else it may be equipped with, tend to have a separate "manual" - in the case of the furnace on our 2010 pup, that consisted of one slightly-larger-than-a-postcard hang tag on the furnace.

    Saving power if you are camping without hook-ups, especially if you do not have a way to recharge the battery, is important. One of the first mods we did to both the 2010 pup and our 2015 TT was to change out the bulbs to LEDs. (We do have solar panels to charge the batteries.)
    Many of us have also added a cut-off switch to the battery (some pull a fuse or just remove a connecting wire) so that the parasitic load from the LP or LP/CO detector doesn't pull the battery down between trips.

    Others have given good lists for what runs from which source. The lights, furnace fan, refrigerator controls, water heater controls, and the like are all 12v appliances -they run either from the battery or 12v converted from "shore power". They a/c needs 110 v to run, usually shore power. Some have generators that will run an air conditioning unit, but they tend to be larger generators, and if you are camping in a campground, most have limited hours to run generators.
    Furnace and stove need LP (furnace also uses 12v, most stoves do not, unless they have electric ignition); 2- or 3-way 'fridges need LP if not running on shore power (3-way will run solely on 12v, but will kill a battery quickly), use 12 v for brains, and some for ignition. Some water heaters are LP only, some have both 110 and 12v.
     
  9. flingwing1969

    flingwing1969 New Member

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    I always run two deep cycle batts and have never run out of power - no AC, we only use the furnace if we eat late in the camper and my elderly inlaws are with us, and we pretty much live outside and sleep inside. I will be running 12 vdc LED lights around our canopy, which covers our galley, so we will be using a bit more power in the future than we do now but I don't expect any issues.

    The water pump is our only real amp eater that we run regularly and it only uses 3.5 amps anyway and probably pumps less than an hour or two total during a week-long trip (no accumulator installed).
     
  10. Quackerjacks

    Quackerjacks New Member

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    What kind of solar panel do you use?
     
  11. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    For the pup, which had 2 ceiling lights and the furnace, we used four 15-watt Goal Zero panels. We started with two, added a third when it wasn't quite enough under dark, rainy conditions (on top of which we used the furnace and lights more then too). The fourth was added when we found a great deal at an REI Garage Sale. We still have the panels, which we can use to recharge the GZ Yeti 150, free-standing battery we also take. Handy for charging electronics, as well as powering the Endless Breeze fan or an LED light anywhere in the site we need either. We haven't had to recharge the Yeti on our trips this year, maybe on the 2-week one planned for next summer. (We sometimes charged the predecessor to the Yeti once on a week-long trip.)
    When we switched to the TT, we found that the GZ panels weren't sufficient - though how much they lacked isn't clear, since we eventually found out that our battery was defective. We may have done fine sticking with those panels, maybe not. We switched to two 6v golf cart batteries, since they can be drained routinely below the 50% SOC recommended for the 12v (such as the group 24 or 27) more common on pups. We changed to a Zamp 160 watt panel, which is great - we probably would have been OK with the 120 watt one, but figured we only wanted to up-size once.
    On the TT, last year we also had an electrical gremlin, which we seemed to have squashed by replacing the LP/CO detector. The water pump is a power pig, we noticed just how much on the first trip this year, when we did not use the water system (it was too cold) but were running lights and furnace much more than we usually do on warm weather trips.
    The Zamp is great, it seems to top off the batteries by early afternoon or so, sometimes later, depending on how much we've used and how the orientation of the panel is. We don't stick around camp all day to move it around. At one site on the trip last week, the TT cast a shadow on the panel until noon or so - it was charging, just not at as high a rate as it would in full sun. By the last day, we had it located so the shadow didn't last quite as long, but site limitations were what they were.
     
  12. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    It's like giving a speech and trying to thank everyone.
     
  13. flingwing1969

    flingwing1969 New Member

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    [8D]
     

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