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Author Topic: First Boondocking experience in the new Bus  (Read 920 times)


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First Boondocking experience in the new Bus
« on: January 14, 2018, 10:25:18 PM »
We went out to site just south of Quartzsite AZ for 4 days of Boondocking. This is the first time in the all electric Bus. We had previously dry camped in our 13' Pheton 36GH, so we had a pretty good idea of what to expect.

The biggest issues are that we have a residential refer, and the Aqua Hot has both an electric and diesel heating element. The Bus has six 6 volt wet cell house batteries, and a Magnum 2812 Pure Sine Wave (PSW) Inverter. A few weeks prior I installed a Magnum Energy Battery Minder Kit (BMK). It was probably the one thing I did that made monitoring the battery bank simple.

The BMK has a read out function called a "State of Charge" meter (SOC). The SOC reads your battery voltage in a percentage value. A fully charged bank reads as 100% (12.7 volts or higher), and a safe level of a discharged battery is about 50% (approx 12.06 volts). Keeping your battery bank voltage between those values will keep your batteries healthy and happy for a long time.

For heat we used another blanket on the bed, and ran the heated floors and electric heat for a bit while running the generator during the evening meal prep.

Just as a fail safe I set the Auto Gen Start to automatically start at 11.9 volts. It never kicked in though, and the lowest SOC I saw in the morning was 55 -60%.

We usually ran the generator 2 hours in the morning during coffee and breakfast, and 2 hours in the evening during dinner prep. That also gave us enough battery power to run lights, 2 computers, and even watched some TV with the Direct TV satellite.

All in all it was not too much of a different adjustment to hook up camping, just being a little more conscientious about leaving lights or the TV on when we were not watching or in the room.

Some guys like Kevin Means here on the forum has 6 good size solar panels on his roof that he has designed  to be able to tilt towards the sun with remote electric actuators. But Kev is a regular Boondocker, and for him it is a perfect solution.  We only occasionally Boondock, so we can get by nicely with being conservative and using the generator.

Either way, don't be afraid of camping without hook ups. It's not as difficult as you may think.
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Re: First Boondocking experience in the new Bus
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2018, 05:31:13 AM »
Thanks for the write-up Marty. Happy to hear you all had a good time. I've been following Kevin's KOFA topic silently wishing we could be there. Winter of 2019 we head west. This year we are committed to Florida.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2018, 06:04:49 AM by Alpena Jeff »
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Re: First Boondocking experience in the new Bus
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2018, 07:17:02 AM »
Good for you Marty.

That's pretty much the routine we use and have used even before I installed the residential refrigerator.

When we were racing and snowmobiling we boondocked quite a bit and have minimal solar (one panel) on this coach and none on our previous Beaver.  We would run the generator for a couple of hours in the morning to charge the battery bank while fixing breakfast and getting ready to head out and then for a couple of hours in the evening the same way.  Worked great and never had any issues.

When we were racing in the summer and needing the A/C, many times the generator would run from Friday night when we arrived until Sunday afternoon/evening when we arrived back home, non-stop but those were only a few rare occasions to have the generator running that long.

We don't boondock nearly as much these days so I can't justify adding solar for the 3-4 times a year for a night or two here and there.

Glad to hear you had a good experience and hope you guys enjoy QZ, we hope to get there someday.

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