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What type of electrical system?
#11
(12-26-2017, 10:01 PM)jonyjoe303 Wrote: get a swampcooler.
Alas, for most people, swampcoolers won't work.
http://www.cheaprvliving.com/forums/show...?tid=26752

Living in "Ziggy the Snail Shell" since May 2015
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#12
I am going to agree with most of what has been said , try to never use electric when needing heat or running anything with a motor - like a fridge with a compressor .
Try to use low consumption sources [ that do not make heat or run a motor ] like lights , radio .
To get a feel for getting started , make a list of all your gear , make & model and most importantly there power ratings / consumption on the label - usually on the back .
Now for what you think you may want , either go to store front , or internet search , and look under spec.s and make notes of power supplies needed , again for both newbies [ to learn & get a feeling for power needed , & for those with more knowledge - to have the numbers to workout Ohms law - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ohm%27s_law .
This something that anyone even remotely thinking / working with anything electrical should know ,or should learn .
Some generalizations about solar , and leaning towards the problematic issues with mobile solar systems .
For most battery systems [ lead acid , the most bang for the buck , is still FLA - Flooded Lead Acid - deep cycle { not marine } ]
When buying quality [ not high priced ] FLA deep cycle batteries , and treating them correctly , you are going get the most performance for the least money spent .
This is generally , you can spend more on other types [ as an example some lithium chemistries ] but that is another kettle of fish .
Every type of battery has goods & bads , but to keep it simple , the easiest to find , cheapest and longest lasting is the above battery .
Anything else has special uses , and have special pricing , this means high price and typically trades off performance for the special - AGM , sealed , spiral wound plates etc.
So sticking with the FLA battery , to get them to last a long time requires treating it according to specifications , correct charging & discharging .
What is problematic with RVing , is not enough space to mount enough solar on your van / what ever to get a good sized battery bank charged correctly - correctly means that a relatively high charge rate as soon as possible [ this is a big part / or 2 part of long life ] " soon as possible " means charging as soon as you stop using the battery , battery sulfation is a process of crystal growth that is almost a constant process , the lower the the SOC - State Of Charge the fast the growth , also the longer the battery sits in any condition [ except charge condition ] , so basically its a constant process .
Again for long life , shallow discharge [ normal deep cycle is considered not more than 80% discharge { but not more that 50% is best , or less } ] .
With a workable battery bank [ for general full time RV living ] a min. would be something like the golf cart 6v batteries , & using 4 of these , 2 pair in series for 12v , then those 2 pair in parallel - for more capacity .
My last battery bank was this , except for using 4 Trojan L16's , they lasted over 12-13 yrs. using furnace and air conditioning .
This is the big issue with mobile / RV is having enough solar to get a high charge rate for this battery bank , at least 50 - 100 amps , without the ability to charge correctly , this shortens battery life , part of that is an equalizing charge [ this basically boils the electrolyte to do a couple things , sluff off the plates & 2nd force all cells to be equal ] .
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GeorgiePorgie (12-27-2017)
#13
Trojans deep cycles are great, including L16s, definitely a step up in quality from these
(12-26-2017, 09:48 PM)John61CT Wrote: Pairs of 6V Duracell (actually Deka/East Penn) deep cycle golf cart batteries, about $180 per 200+AH pair from BatteriesPlus or Sam's Club.
which are the cheapest ones I'd recommend.

But for a newbie starting out getting better quality may not pay off, as there's a learning curve to caring for them properly, and some "unavoidable" situations guarantee an early death, sometimes replacing a bank more frequently makes economic sense compared to the necessary remedies.

So "first bank cheap" is a good rule of thumb.
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GeorgiePorgie (12-27-2017)
#14
(12-26-2017, 10:01 PM)jonyjoe303 Wrote: For heating food up you can get one of the roadpros lunchbucket cookers, its what I use to heat up all my food for years, I just eat mostly can goods, put some aluminum foil on the lunch bucket, pour the cans in there and I also put bread on top of the foil and heat everything. 20 minutes later its steaming hot. Totals amps used during the 20 minutes is 6 amps. Easily handled by the battery. 

Are the Roadpros Lunchbox Cookers powered by 12 volt power? I have seen them advertised, but could not figure that out.
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#15
Yes, quick google confirms
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GeorgiePorgie (12-27-2017)
#16
"Are the Roadpros Lunchbox Cookers powered by 12 volt power? I have seen them advertised, but could not figure that out."

Yes they max out at 11 amps and once its heated up it goes down to about 9 amps. If you buy one replace most of the cable, oem is 16 gauge wire, too thin for 11 amps. The 16 gauge wire gets very warm during use, I cut most of the 16 gauge off and left a little by where it comes out and use 12 gauge wire. Also replace the cigarette plug those are cheap and will fail from overheating. You replace those parts and it will last you years, mine is going on 5 years. They are good when you want to heat up something quick without using gas.

My roadpro with the xt60 connector, and just regular aluminum foil instead of the special inserts they sell.
   
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GeorgiePorgie (12-27-2017)
#17
I've run my cpap off of a 50 watt panel and a walmart deep cycle. It isn't an ideal system, but it was a great **learning** system. You can't run much more than that.

I've upgraded to a 100 watt panel, fix mounted, and have kept the 50 as a semi-portable adjunct. I now have extra power during solar hours, which I use to run a 12v freezer and charge my laptop. Next up is a Victron Controller. I'm holding out for a better lithium option/price before I upgrade to a pair of 6v golf carts. I may not make it.
-Douglas Tooley

My Blog
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#18
(12-27-2017, 08:54 PM)jonyjoe303 Wrote:  Also replace the cigarette plug those are cheap and will fail from overheating. You replace those parts and it will last you years, mine is going on 5 years. They are good when you want to heat up something quick without using gas.

That's about right....I went thru four of them in a 37 year driving career, mostly in the first 20 years or so: they were originally marketed as Burton Lunchbox stoves....in the later years of my career, inverters and in-cab microwaves were becoming more affordable and available, so I used those stoves less and less.

They work well, if somewhat slowly, but you just need to take precautions as outlined above, and also, place the unit on something that will not be damaged by heat. They wont start a fire, but they COULD melt nylon or other light plastics, if placed against them. 

I only used them while driving: I would pull over in a rest area, pour in some soup, stew, leftovers, or a frozen burrito, whatever, then drive for an hour or two. I could tell from the smell when it was ready.

Pull over, have a meal, 10 minutes later, I'm rolling again.

I won't talk about manifold and turbo cooking on the engine, that's for another thread and another day!

Cool
Never trust a camp cook with lots of shiny new pans...
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