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Old 12-22-2008, 12:19 AM   #11
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Re: generator vs. battery power

for a small dorm type fridge, a tv, and xbox 360 i would say that you should be able to run those things off from a pair of 8d batteries for several hours at least. A pair of those batteries will cost about 350 bucks,(and weigh about 350 pounds!) cheap inverters cost about $1/10 watts. So a 2K watt inverter is about 200 bucks. A 2000 watt inverter will run nearly any one single 110 volt appliance you have in your house...for a while. Want to make some toast? or make some pop corn in the microwave? You can easily do that when the bus is running. Wanna run a large rooftop a/c unit? that's much more challenging, especial if you're using a 12 volt alternator. For large current draw applications a 24 volt alternator is the way to go.

the above poster was right about coffee makers, and pretty much any appliances that make heat ie: toaster ovens, toasters, hair dryers, etc. they all use a ton of current. It's ok to use high current draw appliances for short periods of time if your inverter can handle them, especially if your engine is running. if you're parked for a day or so, running the microwave a long with all your other appliances is not a viable option with a small battery bank.

tv's laptops, florescent lighting, dvd players, etc don't use that much power at all.

and as far as driving, i love to have 2 or 3 other people on board who like to drive. I think it's lovely to go to sleep and wake up several hundred miles closer to your destination. I like to drive from michigan to winnemucca nevada in 36 hours non-stop....except for fuel.
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Old 12-22-2008, 03:50 AM   #12
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Re: generator vs. battery power

Quote:
Originally Posted by the_experience03
I don't mean to scare you. It's just a reality we all must face. I don't think what you're proposing is anything extreme. Heck, it pretty much describes my energy uses. If I was just running my lights (all fluorescent for reduced power usage ), my TV, my PS2, and my little surround sound system I think I could go for 2-3 days on battery power alone. But I also like to keep my food from spoiling which means a power hungry fridge.

Calculating the load you want to support can be a daunting task. If you were to give us more information about length of stays, exactly what you want to operate, etc (essentially your vision for the bus) then I think we can better help you estimate what you need.
okay lets see...

xbox 360 -160 watts
32 inch lcd tv -- 175 watts
dvd player 26 watts
kegfridge ( this is still in debate but i'm adding it to be safe) 350 watts
laptop 65 watts
fridge 360 watts

then some lights and a car stereo system which i haven't specified yet. but the longest tip i plan on taking will be to burning man. so about a week without access to anything all my other trips will be shorter and with in range of of things should i need it.
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Old 12-22-2008, 04:04 AM   #13
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Re: generator vs. battery power

Right off the bat you could eliminate most of your electrical draw by using propane fridges instead of electric. Those things are what's gonna kill your batteries. The drawback is slightly more involved installation since the propane fridges need ventilation, but they work terrificly, are silent, and use only a tiny flame. They'll run practically forever on a bottle of propane and you can leave them on continuously.
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Old 12-22-2008, 09:11 AM   #14
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Re: generator vs. battery power

Quote:
Originally Posted by lapeer20m
for a small dorm type fridge, a tv, and xbox 360 i would say that you should be able to run those things off from a pair of 8d batteries for several hours at least. A pair of those batteries will cost about 350 bucks,(and weigh about 350 pounds!) cheap inverters cost about $1/10 watts. So a 2K watt inverter is about 200 bucks. A 2000 watt inverter will run nearly any one single 110 volt appliance you have in your house...for a while. Want to make some toast? or make some pop corn in the microwave? You can easily do that when the bus is running. Wanna run a large rooftop a/c unit? that's much more challenging, especial if you're using a 12 volt alternator. For large current draw applications a 24 volt alternator is the way to go.

the above poster was right about coffee makers, and pretty much any appliances that make heat ie: toaster ovens, toasters, hair dryers, etc. they all use a ton of current. It's ok to use high current draw appliances for short periods of time if your inverter can handle them, especially if your engine is running. if you're parked for a day or so, running the microwave a long with all your other appliances is not a viable option with a small battery bank.

tv's laptops, florescent lighting, dvd players, etc don't use that much power at all.

and as far as driving, i love to have 2 or 3 other people on board who like to drive. I think it's lovely to go to sleep and wake up several hundred miles closer to your destination. I like to drive from michigan to winnemucca nevada in 36 hours non-stop....except for fuel.
Yeah i remember you adding the 24volt to your most current bus. I don't think I'd be using more then 2000 watts at most and most of the equipment would be used while moving i think I'll be way to busy to use it at the places i plan on taking the bus. thanks for the info.
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Old 12-22-2008, 09:16 AM   #15
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Re: generator vs. battery power

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Monstermaker
Right off the bat you could eliminate most of your electrical draw by using propane fridges instead of electric. Those things are what's gonna kill your batteries. The drawback is slightly more involved installation since the propane fridges need ventilation, but they work terrificly, are silent, and use only a tiny flame. They'll run practically forever on a bottle of propane and you can leave them on continuously.
My concern is the cost of the propane fridge, i could buy a eu2000 and a 4 foot cubic fridge for the cheapest price i found a propane fridge. and for just random weekends and a week and a half a year i'm not sure it would be a good deal in the long term, but i might not be thinking of all the costs.
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Old 12-22-2008, 12:10 PM   #16
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Re: generator vs. battery power

Quote:
Originally Posted by cucullen
My concern is the cost of the propane fridge, i could buy a eu2000 and a 4 foot cubic fridge for the cheapest price i found a propane fridge. and for just random weekends and a week and a half a year i'm not sure it would be a good deal in the long term, but i might not be thinking of all the costs.
If it's a week and a half a year plus random weekends then a huge battery bank and inverter setup is probably not for you. They require constant maintenance even when not in use. I think the eu2000 and an electric fridge is an excellent choice for your needs. It'd give you the gennie for emergency power during blackouts as well.

-Ray
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Old 12-22-2008, 08:24 PM   #17
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Re: generator vs. battery power

A pair of 225 amp hour 6 volts will power a dorm fridge for a surprisingly long time. I know...I do it. An 8D should give you similar, if not better run time. I use my bus for weekending and such and never really need to worry too much about my batteries unless I'm boondocking for 36 hours or more. Then I need to fire up the bus to charge the batteries (not a great idea in a crowded campground...people don't like the smell), fire up my gennie (loud!) and use it to power my 120v needs while also running a battery charger, or I use my tractornator 12v generator thing. It's nice because it is very fuel efficient and very quiet since it can run at idle. The disadvantage is that the thing is huge and the current alternator I'm running on it doesn't have the shnort to run any real serious draw (big audio equipment, for example) AND recharge the batteries in a reasonable amount of time.
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