We’ve had this camper for almost a year, and we are still learning about it. One question we had was whether we would be able to boondocks – camp without any access to hookups, especially electricity. Picture a remote area (with drivable roads) but no campground. You set up and enjoy the beauty around you, knowing if you are careful with your use of your battery bank, you’ll be okay for X hours.
What’s the X? That’s what we don’t know. We don’t how long we have until we’ve drained the battery to halfway. We DO know you shouldn’t go below that, and maybe not even to quite halfway. (This has something to do with the life of the battery. To be honest, Greg knows this and I just go along with it. I mean, isn’t the energy in the battery there to be used??)
Like many campers, we have two sets of batteries. One set is for the chassis – the motor part of the camper. The other set is for the “house” and runs the lights, the fridge, etc. If you are running on just battery power, you can’t use the AC/heat pump, and need to be careful with items that pull a heavy load, like a coffee maker and microwave. We were concerned that the fridge and lights we might typically use would drain the house batteries to that halfway point too quickly.
Nope. Not even close.
However, our CHASSIS battery went from holding steady to “uh-oh” in between two of our checks. And boom- dead batteries.
In order to test safely, we had gone to a local state park and waited until Saturday morning to flip the breaker on the power pedestal. We figured this way we would have easy access to power if the batteries showed a steady decline. It would have worked, too, (I think) had there not been something wrong with some part that is supposed to transfer battery power between the two systems. Ugh. Now I have to learn about that & how to fix it, too.
So, jumper cables are a must in any vehicle, and came in very handy. What did not come in handy was the broken rod that holds the camper engine hood open. The odd pictures are me as the hood-holder while we jumped the camper engine. In the dark and increasingly chilly evening.
Now we have to figure out how to fix the system and then try our test again. Maybe we will wait until spring!