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Old 01-14-2019, 12:15 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: TX
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Default New Texas RV'r ERA 170X

Just bought a 2014 Winnebago were going to snowbird and make kids pay the bills for a change. Any advice on power when parked should I add solar to the roof or wire in a plug for the off season? Thanks see you on the road.
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:59 AM   #2
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Location: Texas
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Welcome to the forum Ipodd!

Enjoy your new ERA. I would suggest you wait to see if more power is needed, based on how you will use it, before spending much time and money on upgrades.

However, good batteries are a must, so test yours before a long trip to see if they retain a good charge. It's very possible that your batteries could have been abused or neglected as this is easy to do.

You probably have two AGM or two flooded batteries and a propane 3-way fridge. If you arrive at a destination with two good and fully charged batteries, they should be fine over-night and perhaps even a second day it you conserve. Do not plan on running your microwave or any heavy draw through your inverter using your batteries. Your appliances won't like it, and your batteries will hate it. Run your generator for a/c, microwave, etc.

We have taken pains to run down and eliminate unnecessary power drains. We have everything running on 12 volts, so we eliminate the need to run our inverter. Never turned in on in 3 trips totaling almost 6 weeks out.

We have the draw of a 12v-only compressor fridge but can still run, lights, tv/dvr, for 3-4 hours daily, ceiling fan (or furnace depending on the weather) overnight, and awake with 70-75% charge on on our batteries after 15 hrs. unplugged. We don't stay in one place more than a night unless we can plug in to 30amp service and we drive at least 5 hrs or more each day so we always start overnight with batteries that are fully charged.

If you plan to boondock without plugging in for several days, others can advise you better than me on what is best. In the meantime, get familiar with your rv by "camping" in your driveway overnight or make a short 1-2 night trip somewhere close by. Then, you'll have a better feel for how to manage in your van and what you need to pack along before your first long trip.

Good luck!
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Old 01-14-2019, 12:12 PM   #3
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Location: League City, TX
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Originally Posted by Ipodd View Post
... were going to snowbird .... Any advice on power when parked should I add solar to the roof or wire in a plug for the off season? ....
Your location is given as Texas. Do you mean that you are going to reverse-snowbird? What do you consider the off season?

I reverse-snowbird to Nova Scotia for at least half of every summer, so that I can escape the Texas heat.
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Old 01-15-2019, 05:50 PM   #4
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We stuck a 100 Watts of solar on ours mostly to keep the batteries up to snuff as we travel. We tend to travel and then park the coach for a while without access to power so it works well for our usage. We are just finishing a barn by our stick house so soon I will be able to plug it in when we are home.
Era 170A
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Old 01-16-2019, 03:12 PM   #5
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Location: TX
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Default Reverse Snowbird

Our residency is in Texas but its so hot here in the summer we plan to be at another daughters home from the end of May until after Thanksgiving I suppose that's reverse? We always planned to RV when we retired but now its more of a means to travel between Texas and Washington. My better half has early onset Alzheimer's so this seems like the best mode of transportation for her with the restroom and TV to keep her occupied.

The Solar for batteries is probably my best bet since I have a pad in Texas and a street parking in Washington. Not sure how much time we will be spending on the road ill have to see how it works out on our first travels.
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