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Old 07-31-2018, 06:29 PM   #1
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Basic electric for boondocking

First of all dealing with anything electrical scares me. Secondly, most of the work on my skoolies basic electric was already done. My bus has hookups for shore power, but I plan on boondocking and not just visiting parks. For now solar is not an option because it's not in my budget. I would like to find links and threads for other skoolies that have a battery bank, and an alternator charge converter.
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Old 08-06-2018, 09:42 AM   #2
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Any advice on tutorials to follow? What I need to order from Amazon? Prayers to prevent electrocution?
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Old 08-06-2018, 09:50 AM   #3
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In your situation, I'd say a small generator would be a good investment. I wouldn't want to solely rely on the alternator to keep up a large house battery bank.
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Old 08-06-2018, 10:07 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Mr4btTahoe View Post
In your situation, I'd say a small generator would be a good investment. I wouldn't want to solely rely on the alternator to keep up a large house battery bank.
Good suggestion.

I did a LOT of boondocking in my first bus. I didn't have solar.

I had a generator, inverter/charger and a 400 A/H 12 Volt battery bank.

I developed a routine of starting the generator when I got up in the morning and letting it run through breakfast. The generator run time topping up the batteries and supporting bigger loads like the coffee maker and blow dryer.

If I needed, I would run the generator during the day for air conditioning or power tools.

One thing to keep a close eye on is making sure that you achieve 100% SOC on a regular basis or you can trash your batteries.
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Old 08-06-2018, 01:43 PM   #5
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thanks for the feedback. So even if I go with a generator I need to figure out how to get a battery bank set up to power the electrical panel. i feel that for now alternator charging is a step towards having more power for a while than waiting till I can get a generator. My bus has a few other items I need to work on and my timeline to get on the road has drastically decreased.
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Old 08-06-2018, 03:06 PM   #6
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The battery bank will probably cost you more then a generator. If it we're me, I'd start with a generator... Then the battery bank. The generator can handle all of your electrical demand... All of the time right off the bat. As far as wiring goes... Simple... Plug it in just like you would at a camp site with hook ups.

You need a load center... Some form of breaker panel if you don't already have one.

What do you already have?
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Old 08-06-2018, 03:09 PM   #7
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Old 08-06-2018, 05:18 PM   #8
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I'm starting out with just an inverter generator as my main power source tied into the load center. I will add a battery bank at a later date and rewire everything and do what PNW_Steve did
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Old 08-07-2018, 05:42 AM   #9
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Chess and jjhwick119,

I'd really encourage you to include at least a single 12V battery to start. That is far from ideal but provides a very small bit of power without having to run that awful generator. "Awful" meaning for your neighbors (like me that really hate the sound of those things - they are all loud and awful!! ). That single battery will let you charge your phone, laptop, run a few lights, water pump, etc. One can be had pretty inexpensively from anywhere or even a used UPS battery from Craigslist.
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Old 08-07-2018, 07:06 AM   #10
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No worries, I wont have any neighbors before I get batteries. My bus will be sitting for another 7 months and I'll have batteries by then
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