nwgs motorhome addiction and therapy thread

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by nwgs, May 20, 2009.

  1. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    I suspect that you are probably right, although I keep running into folks that talk about boon docking in hot climates and I'd love to see how they do it.

    I've got a big generator (12.5kw Kohler driven by a 4-cylinder Perkins diesel) but it's a thirsty bastard and gets expensive if you run it much. We really, really need 50 amp service (not available everywhere) to run everything. We have had issues at more than one campground with popping breakers, shorted circuitry, and expensive electrical usage (many RV parks have pretty old wiring).

    For anyone getting into this stuff energy usage is a big deal. A lot of motorhomes with smaller generators can't run all of their A/C and appliances (like hot water) at the same time.

    And for folks that dream of big buses and such, some of the newer stuff that are "all electric" require really big generators (like 20kw units) to run the A/C and the other systems.

    SWMBO'd was interested in adding some solar panels but the numbers just didn't make sense to me.
  2. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    Motorhomes clearly are more reliable if you use them full time. Ours sat for several years before we bought it and you'd be surprised at the number of systems that have come back to life after just a little vibration from going down the road and flicking of switches.

    We didn't have a sewer hookup at our workshop so we'd have to fire up the old girl every 7 days or so and drive it a few miles to an RV park that had a dump station. That was a great cycle; when FEMA called last fall we could honestly say that we were road worthy and ready to go ASAP.

    Oh yeah. And ours is paid for as well. Bikes and trailer are paid for too. :clap We looked at some newer stuff and SWMBO'd sometimes talks about going back to work and getting a newer Newell but I'm pretty happy with the old 'bird.
  3. SeanF

    SeanF -

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2004
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    The regulars are probably tired of seeing this...but here's my full time home:

    [​IMG]

    18 months, and many lessons, busted knuckles and buckets of sweat later:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    A few places I've lived:
    Catalina State Park, AZ:
    [​IMG]

    Panguitch, UT:
    [​IMG]

    Cripple Creek, CO:
    [​IMG]

    Heron Lake State Park, NM:
    [​IMG]

    Tucson, AZ:
    [​IMG]

    Silver City, NM:
    [​IMG]

    :freaky
  4. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    What can you run on your pair of solar panels, Sean?
  5. SeanF

    SeanF -

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    On the 480 watts of solar (4 x 120 watt panels):

    AC loads:
    1 desktop PC & flat screen monitor, 8 hours/day, 5 days/week
    1 laptop PC, every day
    Router & satellite modem
    Occasional printer (HP Deskjet 460)
    Occasional food processor, coffee grinder, battery charger (18v cordless tools, etc.)

    DC Loads:
    DVD player/car stereo, few hours/day
    LED lights every day
    12" Fan occasionally
    Cell phone charger
    Muffin fans for battery box and toilet ventilation
    Water pump as needed

    I also have 4 x 420Ah batteries (Trojan L16H) and never discharge more than 25% (75% remaining).

    HTH
    Sean
  6. Daniii

    Daniii geezer

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    With a good evap cooler, and plenty of water, you could do a dry climate pretty well. Not so much in a humid one. We has a small evap cooler on our camper, and kept the inside at 75F while it was 105F outside, running on a single deep cycle battery, for about 8 hours. Then a couple on the generator. (We were camping on lake Powell, so we had plenty of water)
  7. DELTATANGO

    DELTATANGO Motorcyclist and Dog Walk

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    SeanF is a virtuoso.


    Nice moho.
  8. SeanF

    SeanF -

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    Good timing.:D My summer location will creep toward 100 degrees (with low humidity), so I am going to try a small evap cooler. Basically a large box fan with a pad and pump to circulate the water. Since I have grid power available I don't have to worry about power consumption on this puppy (but it is relatively low anyway). Same with water...few gallons/day, which is no problem where I am. But it would be if I were truly boondocking.

    I really like where I am so I hope it works.
  9. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    I don't see any A/C in there. It must get hot during the day.

    Are those your only batteries, or do you have another bank?
  10. DELTATANGO

    DELTATANGO Motorcyclist and Dog Walk

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    Its fun.
  11. Daniii

    Daniii geezer

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    I suspect he is on the bike during the day. :evil Where he camps/lives, it cools off at night.

    Unlike Florida, S Texas and Memphis.
  12. DELTATANGO

    DELTATANGO Motorcyclist and Dog Walk

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    Has anyone ever used like a mylar or some kind of reflective tarp to block the sun?
  13. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    South Texas seemed noticeably less humid than Florida but ...

    Swamp coolers are practically unknown in Florida.

    We are geared for hot climates and disaster relief. Not a lot of hurricanes in the hot and dry middle of the country, I guess. :huh
  14. cogitate

    cogitate What Marcellus Wallace Looks Like

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    That's it! thanks. Off to drool on my keyboard.
  15. Daniii

    Daniii geezer

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    I should hope.
  16. SeanF

    SeanF -

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    Thanks!

    No A/C....no way that could happen with solar & batteries. There wouldn't be enough roof area to accommodate the number of panels needed for A/C.

    No other batteries, other than a starting battery for the bus.
  17. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    Yeah, that's what I was wondering. I have practically unused storage pods Up There but no matter how you slice things the roof real estate is pretty tight.

    There is a guy on another list that I am on who runs massive shortwave radios off of some solar panels on top of a 10 year old Foretravel Unicoach. I need to get in touch with him and see what he can REALLY run.



    Do you have "a" starting battery or a bank of batteries to start the main engine?

    My 3406B CATs in my company Kenworths from 20 years ago required 4 massive batteries to start the truck engines, and if they were discharged it basically took a special generator to charge them back up enough to start.

    On the motorhome I've got a bank of 3 to run the engine and all the household stuff. More modern motorhomes differ by having separate banks of batteries for the chassis (engine) and the house (lighting and stuff).

    I have considered adding extra batteries but I don't have the space unless I move or remove something.

    The lack of battery capacity is about the only thing that irritates me with a classic Bluebird vs. some of the newer coaches. If I were to build one from scratch I'd redo the electrical system.
  18. DireWolf

    DireWolf Knees in the Breeze

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    I just creamed myself.
  19. DireWolf

    DireWolf Knees in the Breeze

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    Oops. Twice in one day. :lol3
  20. MudWalker

    MudWalker Long timer

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    So how does this work? I want one really bad, I'm pretty handy with screwdrivers and stuff, what will something like this particular beast do to my spare time?

    [​IMG]

    TRAVEL MASTER POMPANO GS 1989
    33', 454 GM, full bdrm, many upgrades,
    $8000 Saratoga Springs, NY

    Seems like a whole lotta machine for $8000.