Jump to content


Photo

Electricity while off grid


  • Please log in to reply
40 replies to this topic

#1 JoeKan

JoeKan

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 57 posts
  • LocationKansas

Posted 12 January 2019 - 03:21 AM

I've been thinking of what it will take to live off grid in my NCO Alaskan camper. This is for emergencies only and I will not need any power for AC or heat. It will mostly be for charging electronics and 2 LED lights. I'm thinking of adding a 2nd battery under my truck hood and running power to the back for the camper. I believe I'm going have to get a bigger alternator and ISO cable. 

Does anyone have this set up? Is it effective?

Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated. 

Thanks,

Joe 


  • 0

1967 NCO Alaskan


#2 smlobx

smlobx

    Lost again

  • Members
  • 962 posts
  • LocationSmith Mt. Lake, VA and OBX, NC

Posted 12 January 2019 - 12:30 PM

I think many of us here on WTW have the capabilities to stay off the grid for an extended period of time.

Many of us have solar panels (I have 2 - 100 watt ) and the proper battery storage capabilities. I originally had 200 amp/hr lead acid batteries but am switching to single 100 amp hr Lithium Ion battery with the same capability but faster charging and half the weight.

My truck also charges the house battery when driving.

Is there a specific question you have?
  • 0

Eddie

www.PDandM.com
2016 F-350 CC, Diesel with a 2016 Hallmark Everest!


#3 DanoT

DanoT

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 165 posts
  • LocationSun Peaks, B.C.

Posted 12 January 2019 - 04:43 PM

For use in emergencies which may happen when the sun isn't shining, solar isn't going to help. A small portable 1000watt Honda generator (easiest starting vs competition) can power a battery charger but not AC and only a very small very low power electric heater.


Edited by DanoT, 12 January 2019 - 04:43 PM.

  • 0
1991 Dodge CTD, owned since new. 2011 Coyote RV Phoenix pop-up camper, custom made for the Canadian winter.

#4 JoeKan

JoeKan

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 57 posts
  • LocationKansas

Posted 12 January 2019 - 06:05 PM

I'm looking for a way to have power while boon-docking. I like to go solar, but with little of what I have to power up, I don't think it would be cost effective. What I'm trying to figure out is if I would install a 2nd battery under my truck hook and wire it up to my alternator, then that battery will be used exclusively for my camper. When I'm driving my truck, the alternator will be charging the 2nd battery and of course the main battery for the truck. How expensive would that be?  Has anyone have this system set-up in their camper and does it work out okay? 

I thought about using a generator but since I'm going to be in parking lots, I don't want the noise. 

Thanks for the replies and the help.

Joe 


  • 0

1967 NCO Alaskan


#5 smlobx

smlobx

    Lost again

  • Members
  • 962 posts
  • LocationSmith Mt. Lake, VA and OBX, NC

Posted 12 January 2019 - 06:22 PM

Many if not most truck campers have one or more "house batteries" that usually reside somewhere in the camper and are charged up by a cord that is plugged into the 7 pin plug that you hopefully have on your truck. If you don't have one it can be easily added.

I'm not familiar with Alaskan campers, do you have a house battery?

Edited by smlobx, 12 January 2019 - 06:23 PM.

  • 0

Eddie

www.PDandM.com
2016 F-350 CC, Diesel with a 2016 Hallmark Everest!


#6 MidAtlantic

MidAtlantic

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 115 posts
  • LocationColorado Springs & York, UK

Posted 12 January 2019 - 06:48 PM

smlobx

Any recommendations for lithium batteries?
  • 0

#7 Vic Harder

Vic Harder

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 1,785 posts
  • LocationCalgary, Alberta

Posted 12 January 2019 - 08:26 PM

Joe, What you describe is very much like what most truck/campers have, except that the extra battery is in the camper - as smlbox pointed out above.



I'm looking for a way to have power while boon-docking. I like to go solar, but with little of what I have to power up, I don't think it would be cost effective. What I'm trying to figure out is if I would install a 2nd battery under my truck hook and wire it up to my alternator, then that battery will be used exclusively for my camper. When I'm driving my truck, the alternator will be charging the 2nd battery and of course the main battery for the truck. How expensive would that be?  Has anyone have this system set-up in their camper and does it work out okay? 

I thought about using a generator but since I'm going to be in parking lots, I don't want the noise. 

Thanks for the replies and the help.

Joe 

 

You may not need a bigger alternator, but you will need beefy wire between the alternator and the second battery, and a device known as a battery separator that is responsible for ensuring the two battery systems don't discharge they other unexpectedly.

 

Also, that second battery should be of a similar basic type... as in flooded lead acid (FLA) or AGM because they have slightly charging needs.  Another consideration, is your truck a Toyota?  I have noticed that they have a slightly lower charging voltage than others brands.  That can be problematic, but not unresolveably so.

 

As for the battery separator, the BlueSea line of products are excellent, and I have an ML-ACR 7622 in my rig.  I also have lots of monitoring capability, and can see what's going on "under the hood".  This was on a recent trip when the "House" (your extra under-the-hood) battery was at 87% or so State of Charge:

 

In truck readout of charging at 87% battery SOC
 
Meters showing charge state, voltage and draw inside the camper (truck not running):

Power readings with fridge running

 


Edited by Vic Harder, 12 January 2019 - 08:28 PM.

  • 0

2002 GMC Sierra 8.1L 2500HD

2005 Hawk Shell built the way I like it

ShoulderingOurShare


#8 Advmoto18

Advmoto18

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 933 posts
  • LocationCoastal Low Country, SC

Posted 12 January 2019 - 09:14 PM

smlobx

Any recommendations for lithium batteries?

 

I'm a BIG fan of Battle Born.


  • 0

2016 F-350 4WD, Crew Cab, 156", 2015 FWC Hawk, 1988 Toyota BJ74 Land Cruiser


#9 MidAtlantic

MidAtlantic

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 115 posts
  • LocationColorado Springs & York, UK

Posted 13 January 2019 - 10:24 AM

Vic Harder:
Nice setup!
I have a Tacoma. How does one resolve the charging voltage issue you mentioned?
  • 0

#10 Optimistic Paranoid

Optimistic Paranoid

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 136 posts

Posted 13 January 2019 - 02:28 PM

JoeKan, if you are just going to be charging a cell phone and maybe a laptop, plus run a couple of low draw LED lights, I'm not sure you actually NEED a second battery.  Especially if things like the laptop could be recharged WHILE you are driving. Can you quantify how many amp hours you think you will need every day?

 

If you do decide you only need the engine battery, I would carry one of those Li-Ion jump packs for emergencies.

 

You say no a/c or heat, but how about a refrigerator and/or a 12 volt fan?  Might be hard to sleep in hot weather without a fan.  Either of those might push your power needs up to the point of justifying a second battery.


  • 0

Regards

John

Rule #1 For Wandering The West: DON'T FEED THE VULTURES!

I Don't Like To Make Plans.  They Cause The Word "Premeditated" To Get Used In Court.

My Body Is A Temple!  Ancient, Falling Apart, Probably Cursed . . .





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users