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Old 05-21-2014, 04:09 PM   #1
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Question Camping with no power

I'm planning a camping trip with no power sources besides my truck and the battery on the trailer. If I leave my truck hooked up will it charge the battery on the trailer? Will the trailer battery run the water pump and furnace fan for a weekend?
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Old 05-21-2014, 05:05 PM   #2
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Sorry about that!! We RV, don't do the "no power" thing anymore.

Anyway, to answer your question, unless you plan on leaving your truck running all weekend, plan to run off your trailer battery and then once a day you can start your truck and hook up to the trailer plug and recharge it a bit. Don't leave your truck hooked up with the keys on and not running or you could end up with a truck that won't start. For that matter don't leave your truck plugged into the trailer at all just in case it tries to pull juice (shouldn't happen) but better safe than sorry.

Your trailer should have a deep cycle battery and if it is in good shape it may last the whole weekend if you don't need to run the furnace fan a lot. Any access to a small generator? They come in handy in the event you run your battery down. Ignoring my first statement above, I carry a 3000 watt generator in the 5er just in case I end up with no power.
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Old 05-21-2014, 05:09 PM   #3
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The Alberta climate is probably not much different than down here in NS. Based on our experience last weekend, I would answer "probably not". We don't leave the truck hooked to the camper except to charge it while travelling. Killed the truck battery on last truck leaving it connected overnite running furnace and lights. A single 12V RV battery won't last very long in cool weather. I would suggest a small generator (1000W or better) to keep battery charged. Of course if you are in a campground you might want to look at a Honda because they are quiet. If you dry camp in the middle of nowhere, get a cheaply from Walmart or Crappy Tire.
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Old 05-21-2014, 05:40 PM   #4
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We have this inventor/generator unit. Quiet and cheaper than a Honda considering we don't use it hardly ever but bigger than you need.

http://partstore.agriculture.newholl...-p1968031.html

Gives you an idea. It still won't power out AC unit but runs everything else.
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Old 05-21-2014, 06:03 PM   #5
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I totally agree with p4lrjfd
If you only have one 12V battery, and have to run the furnace very much, you won't make the weekend.
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Old 05-21-2014, 06:28 PM   #6
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If you have a place for 110v, take a battery charger and take battery out to where you can plug in the charger. That's what my neighbor does, and he makes it last all week down the shore.
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Old 05-21-2014, 06:58 PM   #7
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Thank you all for the input. We don't have access to a generator/inverter. We want to try it out.
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Old 05-21-2014, 07:10 PM   #8
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Good luck with the adventure and let us know how you faired.
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Old 05-21-2014, 07:28 PM   #9
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install solar panels. And another battery
1 130 watt panel will give you about 5-7amp charge rate
With sun shine. Clouds a lot less
Its Quiet power
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Old 05-22-2014, 05:38 AM   #10
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I can make it about 4 days before the propane sniffer begins to 'beep' meaning the batt is getting to low to keep fridge working (on gas). I switch to other battery and bring 1st batt and a charger to 110v plug at washroom ,or somewhere,to charge.
If you don't want to charge it ,just bring an extra battery and hook both together with jumpers and you will be ok for a weekend.
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Old 05-22-2014, 08:51 AM   #11
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If fairy new, your truck should have an "isolator" or such which shouldn't allow the truck battery to be used for the trailer. It will charge the trailer battery, however, when the engine is running.
Not a bad idea to disconnect if concerned but it really shouldn't be necessary.
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Old 06-10-2014, 06:58 AM   #12
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Yeah we ended up finding a site with power. I wasn't taking the chance.
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Old 06-17-2014, 09:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aric14 View Post
I'm planning a camping trip with no power sources besides my truck and the battery on the trailer. If I leave my truck hooked up will it charge the battery on the trailer? Will the trailer battery run the water pump and furnace fan for a weekend?
pick up a samll solar charger, hope for sun other wise it will not charge and infact can kill your trucks battery too!
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Old 06-17-2014, 09:28 PM   #14
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As long as the blocking diode in line the panel cannot draw power from the battery when the sun goes away
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Old 06-17-2014, 11:02 PM   #15
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We'll, we just got back from a 5 day camping trip here in So Cal to a bluegrass festival.

Besides using our 5,500 Onan generator, I hook up a 1,500 watt inverter to charge phones and make coffee early before most are up.

My wife unknowingly, turned on the generator while the small inverter was still running and we blew the two 35 amp fuses in the larger, trailer inverter.

We never realized this was an issue until my wife tried to start the generator. It turned over but wouldn't start.

I checked the spark plug and it was dry. Thinking it must be a fuel problem even with over a half a tank in my Toy Trailer, I checked the fuel pump, filter, pulled the bowl and checked the floats and needle valve. All looked great. Check for plug spark and found none. Not good. Something I'd have to pull apart once home.

A lesson to be learned the hard way, I then checked the battery voltage with my VOM. Ouch, both batteries were registering at approx 9.5 volts yet had enough amperage to turn over the gen starter. Those old dc motors!

I assumed the gen had a magneto or capacitor discharge ignition and it didn't need 12 volts from another source to create spark. Wrong!

I put in a spare battery, turned over the gen and it started right up. There was a relay in the battery compartment that clicked once it had a 12v source and everything worked as normal.

Writing this as I hope it helps another who spends 2-3 hours digging into the gen when checking with a VOM first, could save others, time, effort, and headaches too.
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