I know finally! December has been an extremely busy month, so lets just recap as we are at the 22nd of December already. Six new lithium 100 amp/hour batteries, a 3000 watt hybrid inverter/charger, and a new battery monitoring system. Doesn’t sound like much until you throw in the fact that we moved the location of our battery bank, had to make all the new cables, added a new 400 amp fuse, a battery cut off switch, and oh yeah we had to order all these components and have them shipped from all across the states, any where from Maine to California, and were shipped by UPS, FedEx, and USPS, from a dozen different suppliers, so I’m thinking it could be as much miracle as good planning…just saying.
So just what exactly have we accomplished? I mean besides spending a ridiculous amount of money! Well let me try and explain just what we were trying to accomplish, at the end of the day…we wanted to be able to dry camp without it being a nightmare of calculations, we wanted to have all of our creature comforts, TV, BlueRay, iPads, phones without doing a lot of extra planning. We wanted to travel without resetting every electric clock on board every day, we wanted to be warm on cold nights and to have the ability not to worry whether we were further damaging our battery bank.
So putting it simple we had a lot of wants…here is what we got…we now have the ability to boondock with all our comforts, the inverter stays on all night as I used to have to shut it down the old inverter every night when we went to bed, we now have no fear of not getting our batteries topped off every day as the lithium are not as sensitive to being fully charged, and no more having to reset the microwave clock every morning. We can now run our microwave for what ever time we need to without fear of being out of power before morning, small things but still important to us. We were awoken way too many mornings to low voltage alarms on the smoke detectors, because the coach batteries were too low, I can honestly say I’m sleeping better at night knowing we are going to be ok.
I have tested the assist mode on the inverter and it is such a great feature, a couple of quick adjustments and I can limit the power drawn from the shore power connection, it can be adjusted as low as five amps of power, so any demand more than that is picked up by the batteries. Sounds pretty minor until you kick off the breaker at 11 o’clock at night and don’t want to bother anyone till morning. You see the old inverter would always try to recharge the battery bank as soon as we plugged in, so if the batteries were discharged which they always were it would use almost all the available power to charge the batteries while this new inverter only uses surplus power to recharge, doesn’t sound like a big deal but it actually is.
Our next ten days or so will be spent testing our new system, to see what it can do, how long our batteries can carry us, and of course the next big question will our solar have the ability to keep us recharged? Or will we need to add some more panels, we should know by the time we get to Quartzsite near the end of January, but either way our winter of boondocking will be a lot easier…just saying.