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Dry Camping Inverter/Battery Data Point


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We did our first dry camping with the inverter and battery setup. We have the Magnum 2812 and 4 Trojan L16E-AC batteries (740 AH per Trojan data sheets). The coach AC panel I modified and pulled four 20 amp circuits onto a separate bus that is driven by the inverter. After my mod, the circuits are on the same leg of the 240V 50 amp service as they were pre-mod.


On batteries, in addition to the normal 12V loads, these loads are supported by the inverter - residential refrigerator, micro wave, TV, surround rcvr, sat rcvr, subwoofer, living rm lights, kitchen lights and outlets, lav lights and outlets, bedroom (lights, TV, and outlets).



My observations are - with the outside temps in the 55 - 75 range, the refrigerator doesn't run that much. The inside lights in the frig draw a lot, so we unscrewed all but one light bulb in the frig and freezer. I think there were three 120V bulbs in the frig part. Had the ice maker off.



The worst depth of discharge noted on the Magnum remote panel was 17% (83% capacity left). I ran the gen set for an hr in the morning during coffee, toaster, micro wave time, and again for about an hr in the evening during food prep. I cranked up the charge rate to 100% for the inverter and the most current I saw was 130 amps .....so 65 amps per battery leg is fine. Each gen set cycle resulted in the battery status showing 100% capacity.



I think I could have gone to once a day for running the gen set . Four days dry camping used 5.5 gal of propane for AC power generation. If I had three or four 250 watt solar panels, could have gone w/o running the generator at all, but at about $2.50 a day for propane, no solar for me any time soon.


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Great setup! One thing you might consider with the solar is that it truly makes it a set and forget type system. It just ticks away in the background and you have power on demand without having to worry about gen time, hookups, packin fuel, etc. It's also nice when your in storage mode between trips. Your mag will maintain your batteries beautifully all on it's lonesome. The most you have to do is turn the inverter on and off.


The 5.5 gallons of LP.. was that strictly gen consumption or does that include the water heater, stove, etc? Either way.. that seems highly cost effective and opens up a lot of camping opportunities when you don't have to rely on a hookup. ;)


~ Cheers

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Stan, my residential fridge has LED lighting in it....so there must be some.....


A lot of residentials have LED's now, but they are specifically wired for LED. There isn't a whole lot out there for A15 LED replacements.

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I did not have a light in my small Aliner's Dometic fridge, so I wired one up. It uses a small 5 LED headlamp that hooked up to a micro switch. The tiny internal batteries on the headlight are good for a couple hours of run time. If I have the door of the fridge open 1 minute/day, that means the batteries are good for 4 months of use before they need replacement. I also rigged up a way to easily turn the light off for cleaning, loading the fridge, etc, It's really only needed for night and early morning use, when its dark in the camper. It's not very bright, but better than nothing when its pitch dark inside. I made it with parts laying around the house, so it was virtually free. It was a bugger bear to align the door switch just right though.





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