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Old 02-05-2015, 09:54 AM   #11
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Thanks very much

Thanks much for the trip report. It is much appreciated. I also enjoy your web site.
Will be interested in your comments about the battery and power. Are you using an inverter to charge the laptops?
Leon
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Old 02-05-2015, 10:02 AM   #12
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Thanks much for the trip report. It is much appreciated. I also enjoy your web site.
Will be interested in your comments about the battery and power. Are you using an inverter to charge the laptops?
Leon
That could be part of the issue, covering 12v to 120v outlet to plug in a converter that converts 120v back to 12v for the computer, very inefficient and maybe the drain.
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Old 02-05-2015, 10:43 AM   #13
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I'm not surprised by their amp hour usage. Depending on the laptop, they can have quite a draw. For example, my 17" MacBookPro when charging and, at the same time operating with the high speed video card, draws 9 amps at 12V (using a 12V power adapter). A couple of hours editing images can easily use the entire capacity of a roof mounted 95 watt panel on low angle sun winter days.

I have a TriMetric battery monitor, and it gives me a very accurate reading on the number of amp hours in & out of my 6V batteries. With the laptop, LED lighting, charging phone & camera batteries, powering a router & MiFi, and less than an hour of furnace running, I tend to use around 25 - 30 amp hours per day; 6 more if I use the inverter to make a pot of coffee. The 95 watt panel on a cloudy day will often put less than 10 amp hours back into the system. Even under ideal conditions, it is rare to be able to put back more than 25 - 30 amp hours.

I've mentioned this before, but it is worth pointing out again - the voltage measurement of your battery state of charge is not all that accurate (although more accurate at night when there is no voltage being produced by the solar panel). Both the LED panel built into the monitor panel & the GoPower battery per cent of charge reading will often show my battery fully charged when it is down by 30 amp hours or more. One way to tell that the batteries are not fully charged is to watch how fast even a small load drops the voltage reading from 100%, again, at night when the panel is not producing current.

With only the 95 watt panel I have had to watch my usage & limit what I used. This is why I added a 160 watt portable panel that I can add to the trailer when necessary.
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Old 02-05-2015, 10:55 AM   #14
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But Jon, if you are using 30/day and putting back 20/day, that means a negative 10 draw down and with dual sixers your capacity is like 100 a/h, so you could go 10 days before hooking up, according to my 5th grade math??
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Old 02-05-2015, 03:11 PM   #15
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Yes but I have dry camped for a month, and a string of cloudy days can produce less than 20 amp hours per day, and tend to be the days you use more electricity.
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Old 02-05-2015, 03:14 PM   #16
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I understand, in your case water is the limiting factor. I'm just trying to determine why someone using computers with solar and dual sixers can not got more than 2 days. Even with stock #27 battery they should get 4 days!
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Old 02-05-2015, 04:34 PM   #17
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Thanks for all that great info
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Old 02-05-2015, 06:22 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by KarenH View Post
A wonderful trip report...thank you. What do you use to map your trip and stops?

The sail switch seems to be a not uncommon problem with the furnaces as I had to have mine replaced, too.
Hi Karen,
If you're asking about the map included in the trip report, I used Google maps to create it and then the Microsoft snipping tool to capture a slice of the map created.
For trip planning both pre trip and during the trip, Google Maps gives me a general idea and then an iPad app, AllStays Camp & RV is used for the more detail planning. I've gotten to used to relying on the GPS in our car to take us to the right place - sometimes we get surprised
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Old 02-05-2015, 07:18 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Vermilye View Post
I'm not surprised by their amp hour usage. Depending on the laptop, they can have quite a draw. For example, my 17" MacBookPro when charging and, at the same time operating with the high speed video card, draws 9 amps at 12V (using a 12V power adapter). A couple of hours editing images can easily use the entire capacity of a roof mounted 95 watt panel on low angle sun winter days.

I have a TriMetric battery monitor, and it gives me a very accurate reading on the number of amp hours in & out of my 6V batteries. With the laptop, LED lighting, charging phone & camera batteries, powering a router & MiFi, and less than an hour of furnace running, I tend to use around 25 - 30 amp hours per day; 6 more if I use the inverter to make a pot of coffee. The 95 watt panel on a cloudy day will often put less than 10 amp hours back into the system. Even under ideal conditions, it is rare to be able to put back more than 25 - 30 amp hours.

I've mentioned this before, but it is worth pointing out again - the voltage measurement of your battery state of charge is not all that accurate (although more accurate at night when there is no voltage being produced by the solar panel). Both the LED panel built into the monitor panel & the GoPower battery per cent of charge reading will often show my battery fully charged when it is down by 30 amp hours or more. One way to tell that the batteries are not fully charged is to watch how fast even a small load drops the voltage reading from 100%, again, at night when the panel is not producing current.

With only the 95 watt panel I have had to watch my usage & limit what I used. This is why I added a 160 watt portable panel that I can add to the trailer when necessary.
Yes to what Jon is saying. The GoPower reading may not accurately reflect what is left in your battery. I've put more data as to why I came to the conclusion I did in another thread - Trip Report (Long) Solar information. Sorry for the rough formatting that makes it a little difficult to wade through.
Don
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Old 02-06-2015, 01:39 PM   #20
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We have the standard Dometic 4.3 cu. ft refrigerator that ETI was installing when our trailer was manufactured. . . . We did have a problem with the refrigerator interior light, sometimes it worked, most of the time it didn't. Has anyone else experienced that problem?
Don, your question about the fridge light prompted me to lake another look at my similar problem. FYI, I posted my observations in another forum:Interior light not working on Dometic 4.3 fridge

-Dave
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