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  1. #10851
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    281
    The only other thing that I have to add is that charging over 120V 15A is pretty slow. If I was buying a generator, I'd look to one with a 30A output, assuming you've got your setup wired for that. I guess that matters less if you're going to run the generator while using your appliances, but in an ideal world I'd run the generator for a few hours occasionally to top up the charge.

  2. #10852
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Was UT, AK, now MT
    Posts
    12,382
    Quote Originally Posted by riff View Post
    I’ve got an electrical question that’s probably been asked already. I’ve got an old Bigfoot with two deep cycle lead acid batteries, brand new. I added battery heaters to them so I can get two or three days in single digit Fahrenheit temps; it would be nice to recharge them though, and as i understand it, idling the truck is a poor way to do it.
    The question is, suitcase generator or solar bank?
    The generator is easy to get, robust and useful for other things occasionally, but loud and bulky.
    Solar is perhaps less robust for mainly winter use, and i don’t know much about what I’d need to adequately maintain the batteries.
    I’m running a propane furnace and a handful of LED bulbs.
    Thought?


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    I'm from the ghetto, and still run lead acid batteries and use a very quiet 2000w generator. I think it's great for winter use, it's economical, and gets the job done. Solar won't do shit in winter, great for summer. Sure, I could get 300 amp hours of lithium, but I'd rather spend the $$ on ski gear for my kid. I don't ever bring extra fuel for a weekend trip skiing, the tank in the generator is enough.

    Someday when I'm rich and famous I'll have the fancy lithium stuff.

  3. #10853
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    NCW
    Posts
    4,069

    Ski RV's, who's sleeping in parking lots?

    Our Craiglist Honda 2000 and 200ah SLA has kept us storm chasing for weeks at a time no problem. In the summer I donít even bring the generator for lights, propane fridge and fan.

    Some people are spending more on li-ion battery systems than I spent on the camper.

  4. #10854
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Portland by way of Bozeman
    Posts
    4,265
    Quote Originally Posted by Backward_Banana View Post
    The only other thing that I have to add is that charging over 120V 15A is pretty slow. If I was buying a generator, I'd look to one with a 30A output, assuming you've got your setup wired for that. I guess that matters less if you're going to run the generator while using your appliances, but in an ideal world I'd run the generator for a few hours occasionally to top up the charge.
    Slow or not; it's what I got. The camper is set up to take higher voltage through shore power, but the generator is what I have for motorcycle track days, so it will need to suffice.

    Besides, the only appliance I use is the propane stove. The rest of the draw is for the lights and the heater fan. The generator is for high-load scenarios; running boot dryers and heaters for a few hours after skiing.

  5. #10855
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Was UT, AK, now MT
    Posts
    12,382
    Quote Originally Posted by jackattack View Post
    Some people are spending more on li-ion battery systems than I spent on the camper.
    A massive li-ion battery bank would be more convenient than firing up my generator at night for an hour or two, but alas, the generator is pretty reliable!

  6. #10856
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Posts
    234
    A generator with a 120 volt/30 amp output will not necessarily help charging your batteries any faster. Such a generator will probably be 3200 watts minimum, expensive and heavy, The recommended charging rate for a 2x6 volt, 220 amp hour total conventional lead acid system is between 20 and 40 amps at 12 volts. This charge rate requires only 500 watts or less so even my tiny EU1000 plus 30 amp smart charger system does the job with ease. Charging with more amps may harm you batteries. BTW I am not speaking of anything but conventional lead acid batteries and not AGM, lithium, etc.
    Check out the key takeaways on this link
    https://solarinfoworld.com/charging-...0damaging%20it.
    This is also a very informative link
    https://unsealed4x4.com.au/over-ampe...our-batteries/

  7. #10857
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    No longer somewhere in Idaho
    Posts
    1,553
    Excellent thoughts and info everyone, thanks! Iíll do some reading and probably be on the hunt for a generator soon.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    Gravity always wins...

  8. #10858
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    4,472


    Pretty damn clever!

  9. #10859
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Sun Peaks Resort
    Posts
    747
    Quote Originally Posted by byates1 View Post


    Pretty damn clever!
    Yes it is clever, but it takes a while to set up and once that is done it is no longer stealth.

  10. #10860
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    443
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Seen in Flagstaff Az
    Pretty cool project, I don’t know what the front looks like. Whoever’s working on it must like bucking rivets.
    "It's only steep if you're backseat"

  11. #10861
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Access to Granlibakken
    Posts
    10,396
    Quote Originally Posted by DanoT View Post
    Yes it is clever, but it takes a while to set up and once that is done it is no longer stealth.
    It’s the DIY version of the commercially available electronic one I posted here. Yeah it’s not ideal but I think it’s cool to see all the ingenuity and cost effectiveness out there.

  12. #10862
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Access to Granlibakken
    Posts
    10,396
    Li ion batteries are much cheaper than 2 yrs ago. I’ve seen decent brands going for $399 per 100 amp hr. A Honda 3000 W gen is what, $2500?

    if you have a decent alternator capacity and drive somewhere more than 15 mins away with the rig once every 3 days or so, and a high current DC to DC charger for the lithiums, it’s not a big deal to camp multiple days during a storm cycle IME. 3 li batteries effectively has 540+ amp hrs of lead acid capacity (360 lbs of lead ?).

  13. #10863
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Was UT, AK, now MT
    Posts
    12,382
    Unless you already own a generator….which I did. Then the upgrade to lithium is a little harder to swallow. I will upgrade soon, but just spent a ton of $$ building a new camper/flatbed. Wife would hang me by my balls.

    Generators are $900.

  14. #10864
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Portland by way of Bozeman
    Posts
    4,265
    Quote Originally Posted by apex dave View Post
    A generator with a 120 volt/30 amp output will not necessarily help charging your batteries any faster. Such a generator will probably be 3200 watts minimum, expensive and heavy, The recommended charging rate for a 2x6 volt, 220 amp hour total conventional lead acid system is between 20 and 40 amps at 12 volts. This charge rate requires only 500 watts or less so even my tiny EU1000 plus 30 amp smart charger system does the job with ease. Charging with more amps may harm you batteries. BTW I am not speaking of anything but conventional lead acid batteries and not AGM, lithium, etc.
    Check out the key takeaways on this link
    https://solarinfoworld.com/charging-...0damaging%20it.
    This is also a very informative link
    https://unsealed4x4.com.au/over-ampe...our-batteries/
    Interesting, but overkill. I already own an EU2200i. It helps keep the batteries topped up or share the load when I'm running boot dryers, charging phones, and the like. That's all I need. I'm not camping for two weeks at a time. It's a long weekend in a ski parking lot or a four-day weekend out riding motorcycles.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trackhead View Post
    Unless you already own a generator….which I did. Then the upgrade to lithium is a little harder to swallow. I will upgrade soon, but just spent a ton of $$ building a new camper/flatbed. Wife would hang me by my balls.

    Generators are $900.
    This is where I am. Though Li-Ion batteries are attractive, I just don't need to pour a bunch of money into a camper that loses value every year.

  15. #10865
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    North Vancouver
    Posts
    6,436
    Quote Originally Posted by AirheadD8 View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Seen in Flagstaff Az
    Pretty cool project, I don’t know what the front looks like. Whoever’s working on it must like bucking rivets.
    Friends of mine did this to a bus. They cut the top off below the windows, raised the top 14" and welded in supports. He used a gas cut off saw to lop the top off.

  16. #10866
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    443
    Quote Originally Posted by shirk View Post
    Friends of mine did this to a bus. They cut the top off below the windows, raised the top 14" and welded in supports. He used a gas cut off saw to lop the top off.
    I wasnít able to get to close but it looked like they drilled out the rivets and added sheet aluminum and installed new rivets. Basically drilling thousands of holes and using clecos
    "It's only steep if you're backseat"

  17. #10867
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Was UT, AK, now MT
    Posts
    12,382
    Got my "prison" windows in. With the sliding top half, putting in traditional windows such as Arctic Tern is impossible. Windows need to be flush with interior wall or the slide won't go down. With that in mind, wanted to hypothesis test and put in a small window first, see if I like it, then add bigger ones later. If these suck, I can install traditional RV windows. Double pane is nice, but completely unnecessary with the overkill diesel heater in this small unit.


    These are 3/16" Lexan anti-scratch. I recessed them in the wall so they won't get hammered in brush. They close up tight and have a great seal. They close/lock with four 3d printed latches. I need to come up with a "keep open" solution. That's the fun part, thinking, creating.

    Put in two of these today, plan will be a big on on the back wall, none on the front. Don't want rain/mud ramming into a front window going down the road. Truck bed comes off next week, staring to fabricate the flatbed this weekend.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  18. #10868
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    LV-426
    Posts
    19,925
    For a "keep open" solution - can that window be mounted as a sideways slider? Or is the seal not good enough to prevent leakage that way?
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  19. #10869
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Was UT, AK, now MT
    Posts
    12,382
    Quote Originally Posted by El Chupacabra View Post
    For a "keep open" solution - can that window be mounted as a sideways slider? Or is the seal not good enough to prevent leakage that way?
    No, it has to be recessed and inside must be flush with interior wall, so when top lowers it doesn't hit. I'll put a small gas shock on it.

  20. #10870
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Salida, CO
    Posts
    1,682
    Wolf Creek base camp is fully operational. New solar rocks.
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  21. #10871
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    4,472
    Noice!!

  22. #10872
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    base of the Bush
    Posts
    14,258
    Click image for larger version. 

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    www.apriliaforum.com

    "If the road You followed brought you to this,of what use was the road"?

    "I have no idea what I am talking about but would be happy to share my biased opinions as fact on the matter. "
    Ottime

  23. #10873
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Was UT, AK, now MT
    Posts
    12,382
    Quote Originally Posted by whipski View Post
    Wolf Creek base camp is fully operational. New solar rocks.
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    Is that private land and you can obviously leave it there? Nice set up.

  24. #10874
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Land of Brine Shrimp and Magic Underwear
    Posts
    6,346
    Quote Originally Posted by Trackhead View Post
    Got my "prison" windows in. With the sliding top half, putting in traditional windows such as Arctic Tern is impossible. Windows need to be flush with interior wall or the slide won't go down. With that in mind, wanted to hypothesis test and put in a small window first, see if I like it, then add bigger ones later. If these suck, I can install traditional RV windows. Double pane is nice, but completely unnecessary with the overkill diesel heater in this small unit.


    These are 3/16" Lexan anti-scratch. I recessed them in the wall so they won't get hammered in brush. They close up tight and have a great seal. They close/lock with four 3d printed latches. I need to come up with a "keep open" solution. That's the fun part, thinking, creating.

    Put in two of these today, plan will be a big on on the back wall, none on the front. Don't want rain/mud ramming into a front window going down the road. Truck bed comes off next week, staring to fabricate the flatbed this weekend.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Looks really good! Excited to see the interior layout and trying to figure out the dimensions. Modular/collapsible bunks?

    DMing you about your Utah trip.
    There's nothing better than sliding down snow... flying through the air.

  25. #10875
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Fraggle Rock, CO
    Posts
    7,225
    Quote Originally Posted by whipski View Post
    Wolf Creek base camp is fully operational. New solar rocks.
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    Oh dang!
    Brandine: Now Cletus, if I catch you with pig lipstick on your collar one more time you ain't gonna be allowed to sleep in the barn no more!
    Cletus: Duly noted.

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