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I was thinking about a taking the 21RS on a fishing trip that would be to a State Park with no facilities whatsoever. Since I am too lazy to research through the manuals, I thought it would be easier asking other Outbackers. What will work off battery? What works off battery but will drain it quickly? Is an external generator the answer? Are generators loud and offensive to other campers?

Sorry for the rambling on .....
 

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Hi chip, I will see if I can answer your questions. The furnace will suck your batteries dry in no time at all so use it as little as possible. Everything else should work except the microwave and the A/C. You will have to run the water heater and frig on propane which should be no problem. Yes you will most likely need a generator, if you run it a couple of hours in the morn and at night you should stay charged all weekend and then some. Honda and Yamaha are about the quietest generators to be had, they are expensive but you will not have your fellow campers up in arms against you. Try to stay away from the Coleman powermate generator they are very LOUD but they will have enough output to run the microwave and water heater on 115 volts, it's up to you, had one got rid of it ASAP
. I may have missed somethings but this should cover the basics. Kirk
 
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Hi Chip,
I've got a 28FB-S, but I think that most of the equipment is the same. The only things that don't work when you're on battery power are the air conditioner, the microwave, and of course the AC outlets. Yuor television is probably plugged into an AC outlet, so that wouldn't work. The fridge has to be set to "auto" or propane. The stuff that runs the battery/batteries down the fastest are the things with motors (furnace, vent fans, water pump, etc.). In my family the thing that uses the most electricity is a female, just kidding
, but you should watch the lights and stuff. If you don't have a generator, your tow vehicle can charge your battery back up in a pinch.
As far as generators, yes they are a noisy detraction from the enjoyment of camping, and some CGs (campgrounds) either restrict their use or ban them outright. That said, I think a generator is essential for dry camping. The trick is to use good judgement as to when and how long at a time you use it. Just think of the times of the day that it would bother you, and give others a break during that time. If you don't already have a generator, look for one of the quiet ones. Honda EU series are very quiet, and I've heard that Yamaha has a quiet one or two.
Sorry to ramble on so long. Hope you enjoy dry camping, it's my favorite way (but my DW demands a full hook-up every now and then).
LOL
Gary
 

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Chip,

Ever since I started camping with our Popup I've always had dual 6v batteries. I've camped with many folks with single 12v, but I've also seen many of those folks drain their battery in one night of heavy furnace use.

To me the key to dry camping is conservation. I pull lights from sockets sometimes and avoid fans or other drains of the battery juice. Turn on the water pump when you need it and off when your done, leaving it on isn't a huge drain but every bit can help. We've camped for 3 nights when it was chilly and never had problems with low batteries. You don't want to fully drain your battery either since that will lead to a short life span. I would avoid TV even if its on 12v as they drain batteries pretty quick. If you are going to you may want to hook up your truck and charge it, or I've seen folk use a 7pin-lighter adapter on their truck for TV watching, that way they don't drain off their camper battery.

With all the lights on the Outback that is one of my bigger concerns, from a rough count our outback has some 27 bulbs


Do you know what group rating your battery is?

For some general info check out this post too.

Happy Camping!
 

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We dry camp every year up in Vermont. We can go 4 or 5 days with the same battery. The trick is not to use the lights or funace. We use a candle at night for a night light for my son. At night we stay out doors until late but we have a lantern that does the trick unstead of the porch light. We also take showers up at the bath house, this saves the pump from running long. And you must get the right batteries. The batteries that come with the unit are usually garbage. Go get a deep cycle marine battery they work the best.
 

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I have a second 12v deep cycle marine battery. Has anybody had any experience hooking up a backup battery to the original battery? All advice welcome!! Thanks
 

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Has anyone used the Leisure Mat? Sounds good in the camping world magazine but it's not cheap at $79.99 +$9.50 shipping. Sounds like it lets water and dirt fall thru yet it folds up small.
 

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Hi there,

We are big dry campers as we find primitives places offer beauty unlike other crowded camps. Plus, when we are not traveling with a group, we enjoy privacy and camping in seclusion where it's just us and mother nature. Some places we're lucky to get a pit toilet. All said, we are excited to experience the RV world and all the amenities the Outback will offer if we stay at a parks with full hook ups. Sappose the closer I get to 40 the more I think I'll enjoy those amenities LOL
Hubby has been there awhile. He'll kill me if he knows I said that


Our Outback came with two 12 volt batteries and we recently invested in a 100 watt solar panel. The panel is constantly recharging your batteries when there is any kind of light. Friends of ours have them and swear by them. Saying they can go a week with no problems. They say that we will never drain our battery as long as there is daylight to keep them charged.

Last Christmas I bought hubby a 1000 watt power inverter (100 bucks at Home Depot) which will allow us to run some electric gadgets (tv, coffee pot, etc. ) off the battery power. At the time I bought it we were thinking tent camping and being able to run the blender for those margaritas and CD player etc. Who knew we would upgrade to the Outback and can still put it to use. He had Battery World make cables that are attached to the inverter. Cables then attach to the Outback's batteries which provides the power. The solar continues to charge the batteries and we hope this will take care of our power needs, for the most part. Except when we want to use the A/C or micro. Hey, you can't have it all when you're dry camping!!

He went out this evening to test it out. Well, the results,??? A fresh pot of coffee from the electric coffee maker in just a few minutes.

We are going for a weekend gettaway (only our second) with our new TT and we'll see how the solar/battery/inverter set-up works.

Happy Kampin' sunny

lisa
 

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JimBo said:
I have a second 12v deep cycle marine battery. Has anybody had any experience hooking up a backup battery to the original battery? All advice welcome!! Thanks
Jimbo, its not advised to hook up two different and two different aged batteries together. The weaker one will drain the stronger one. If needed use one until its down then swap and use the second one. There is a discussion about Outback batteries with several great links. The 12v Side of life is a great website to read and really educated me about batteries, how to use, how to maintain and how to care for them so they last for years. I'd highly suggest it.

Link to 12v side of Life: http://bart.ccis.com/home/mnemeth/12volt/12volt.htm
 

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Hi folks, We also do a lot of dry camping. I have to agree with Y-Guy, the second battery will draw down the sysytem if there is a drastic difference in the age of the batteries. You are better off selling your 12 volt single battery and buying two 6 volt and doulbling the amp hours.

Lisa: I also have two solar panels on the top of our TT. If you look under the trailer between the wheel and the front bunk door you will see the ground lug and 12 volt negitive fastned to the frame also the 12 volt negitive is fastened to the frame at the bateries. You can improve your charge rate by running a new wire(6 awg) from the frame lug (loosen and slip in new wire) to the battery lug( loosen and slip in new wire). I got this information from Paralax the company who makes the converter/charger for our TT.

Paralax also told me to check the wires between the two battieries. If in the 2- 12 volt config. make sure that the connecting wires( paralell> neg to neg & pos to pos) are the same gauge as the incoming wires( 6awg) from the converter. The ones that the dealer installed on mine were 10 awg and I had to change then. One last thing if in the 12 volt, 2 battery set up put the 12 volt pos. on one battery and the 12 volt neg on the other. sorry to be so long winded hope this helps. Kirk
 

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We use a candle at night for a night light for my son.
Please use extreme caution when using any open flames in your TT. As a professional firefigher, I have seen too many fires started by the innocent use of a candle. Unfortunately, some of these have ended in tragedy.

You might consider a small battery operated LED light instead. I am sure they are available somewhere, and the LED's tend to use less wattage than a regular bulb, and if there is an inverter, or shore power available, there are a multitude of LED, and other types of nightlights available to plug in to the wall.

Stay safe while Outbacking in the outback.

Tim
 

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Good advice!

I have a candle lantern I've used for camping for many years. Comes in handy dry camping or during electrical outages.

Mine is fully enclosed in steel and glass, just like a real lantern. Much safer than an open flame, but all the light.

Safe camping!
 

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YGuy- Thanks for the battery site link. Very good information.

Kirk- Thanks for the helpful hints. I was wondering if you have any kind of power inverter hooked up to your rig? If so where did you mount it? We're heading out after work tomorrow and are going to try out our power set up. Going to be in the 80's here. Woo whoo! sunny

lisa
 

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Hi Lisa, No need for an inverter but it is a good idea when dry camping. I opted instead to build in a generator large enough to handle the A/C and micro wave at the same time. Look at the pic's in the photo gallery I have re- posted and you will see what I mean.

As far as mounting the inverter equippment that"s a tough one, is your inverter the type with a built in 110 volt recepticles or hard wire to panel? Kirk
 

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Hi Kirk, yeah ours is a 1000 watt inverter with recepticles for hooking up. We had it wired with thick cable so can be clamped to the batteries. I'm thinking eventually we'll want to hard wire it to the trailer's system. That battery link that YGuy posted had a lot of info on this subject. Just not sure where to mount it for the best results.

Our Outback came with two 12 volt deep cycle marine batteries and with the solar panel they are working great. We used the inverter last weekend to hookup the 21 inch flat screen (not huge but enough) to watched the Kings (Go Sacramento) while sitting under our awning on our new leisure mat......heheheh.......oh, with a cocktail. Is this really camping?? Worked great except by morning there wasn't enough power to make coffee by way of an electric coffee pot. I guess the Wallmart special that I bought really sucks down the juice and so by morning we were too low to run the thing without the high pitched buzz sound from inverter telling us we were low. Since the batteries don't charge during night I guess making coffee the next morning is going to be a challenge if using a lot of power night before. I think I want to ditch the electric coffee pot idea all together and just go back to a gas stove top percalator. I don't want to have to worry about power to make a pot of coffee in the morning. This is essential to starting a great day camping, you know.


Weekend campout was GREAT! We had a site directly facing the lake and the pines looked lovely. Left the mini blinds up on the queen slider windows and over the kitchen so had a 180 degree view of the water when in bed.........so NICE. Awesome waking up with that view and seeing the water through the trees. If you like getting up with the sun, that it. We do. Don't wanna sleep all day. You miss all the fun.


lisa
 
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