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Old 08-07-2019, 12:26 AM   #1
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Hi from Twin Cities. Renting a Class B in Los Angeles, staying a few nights in San Clemente and boondocking in Joshua Tree NP. Am I nuts going without hookups only a few days into RVing. Only one day in Joshua. IDK what model we are getting, but requested but thought we are getting a lithium battery.
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Old 08-07-2019, 02:43 AM   #2
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Hi from Twin Cities. Renting a Class B in Los Angeles, staying a few nights in San Clemente and boondocking in Joshua Tree NP. Am I nuts going without hookups only a few days into RVing. Only one day in Joshua. IDK what model we are getting, but requested but thought we are getting a lithium battery.
Hi Paul. Welcome to the forum!

Even a non-lithium rv can make it overnight without hookups (boondocking). Provided that the batteries are in good condition, fully charged from driving when you hit camp, and you are judicious with your power use. Not that hard to do in Summer since you can't run a/c with batteries and most juice will be to run fans or compressor fridge (if equipped). I'd not use the microwave, even if the inverter is big enough to run it, and you'll probably be fine.

Had to miss Joshua tree on our trip out West last Spring. I have no idea what the temperatures will be this time of year.
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Old 08-07-2019, 10:29 AM   #3
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Folks have been boondocking in vans for more than half a century now so it's definitely doable. As rowiebowie mentioned high temperatures could be a real concern.

Battery power can be a limiter but many Class B's have enough battery power for a few days and there's usually the option to run a generator or idle the van engine to put some charge back in the battery if no solar panels installed.

Fresh water and waste water capacity are also limiters in Class B's particularly if showering in the van.
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Old 08-07-2019, 12:48 PM   #4
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I'm from the Twin Cities. You should enjoy Joshua Tree. It is one of our favored parks as we have been there over three times but not in August. I follow the weather in our travels and mostly stay in the upper Midwest of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan in the summer. You don't have much choice but to boondock unless you stay in an RV campground outside the park. As for boondocking, Rowiebowie already said it's doable. Joshua Tree is such a big park that you will drive every day to recharge your batteries. The only limitation is going to be running an air conditioner unless you have an Onan generator. If you see tent campers, they are in the same boat without air conditioning. I didn't think about it for 40 years as a tent camper.
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Old 08-07-2019, 06:54 PM   #5
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Thank you for your responses. The trip is not planned until mid October, I am guessing that day time temps may still be elevated but given the desert night temps will be 50-60* F. Again, not fully sure the model we will rent but it will be a Ram 2500 or 3500, Roadtrek, Hymer or Travato and it should have a generator. I will use it if necessary but not during the quiet times, I do not want to be "that guy".

Overnight we may be using a small fan or the vent fan but definitely a CPAP with an inverter. I have researched using a CPAP and found this "60 Watts/12 Volts =5.5 amp draw. 5.5 amps for 8 hours of sleep = 44 amps from the battery." Add the frig and a few lights , if a battery is rated at 35 Ah and are full, 2 batteries means 70 Ah therefore I should be okay, right? At 8 AM I can start up the generator up again.

We have been to Joshua Tree NP several times, including earlier in the year during the super bloom in So Cal but never stayed overnight in the park. I am an enthusiast photographer and I look forward to evening/night photos of Joshua. We also saw the camping amongst the giant boulders and these is the reason for our stay in the Park also trying boondocking.
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Old 08-07-2019, 08:46 PM   #6
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If you want to try Class B luxury with no boondocking problems you could try renting from Advanced RV. They rent out of Southern California and Ohio.

https://advanced-rv.com/arv-rentals/
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Old 08-08-2019, 03:26 AM   #7
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Thank you for your responses. The trip is not planned until mid October, I am guessing that day time temps may still be elevated but given the desert night temps will be 50-60* F.
Excellent decision to travel in the Fall. You will enjoy it!

We have a compressor fridge and only two 75ah wet cell batteries (75ah usable or maybe you can fudge a bit more, but not much). Let me emphasize that we used the advice on this forum to eliminate phantom drains and run everything on 12 only, never used the inverter. With good batteries that are freshly charged, we can go from 5pm to 9am the next morning never going under 12.2 volts (60% charge) and that includes several hours of lights, tv/dvr, and an entire night of Maxxfan or Suburban propane furnace depending on if we needed cooling or heating.

That being said, I'm in the process of upgrading to 200ah lithium batteries (180ah useable). The reason is my lead batteries are not holding quite a full charge, the need for checking/filling is a pain since it requires removing getting into the cramped exterior locker and removing tie-down straps and one cable to do so. Finally, they get dirty quickly, cause corrosion, we just want more reserve power. The lithiums will be inside and connected to a new 2000W PSW inverter that will run the microwave. The Wife is excited about that last one.
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