The CO detector, water pump, furnace draw intermittent power. So now, calculate your needs and go from there. As you can see, keeping everything low power and 12 volt is paramount in an efficient system. To help keep our power needs down in the winter we had a Olympian Wave catalytic heater installed that draws no electricity when producing heat and feels nice on the toes.
For our cooling needs, the PetCool air conditioner unit is a 12 volt compressor driven by a 110 volt motor and produces 2500 cfm of cooling power at about a 3.5 amp draw. It will work off the batteries for several hours or continuously when driving down the road running on the trucks alternator.
The PetCool is nice, but it’s not yet working as intended. It is not cool enough and thus is a work in progress. I’ll be venting it to the outside and adding a drain plumbed into the fresh water drain for evaporation next week. That’s not a big deal, but the person who sold it to us really didn’t understand the application it was going to be used in. They forgot it needed venting and drainage like any other air conditioner when used inside an enclosed space. I wondered from the beginning, but my rose colored glasses kept fogging up. I called up the manufacturer’s tech support of the unit and they were extremely helpful in diagnosing and then brain storming ideas on how to make it work.
In conclusion, in this age of high priced energy, it is very nice to be able to sit with your camper and not use up precious fuel to charge your batteries. An efficient and well designed system will allow you to boon dock for extended periods and, in the end, make your camper something that will save you money and time down the road.
Carl’s Truck Camper Rig
Truck: 2004 Ford F-350, flat bed truck, extended cab, single rear wheel, long bed, 4×4, diesel
Camper: A custom 9.5 foot Alaskan camper
Tie-downs and Turnbuckles: The camper is bolted through the floor of the camper.
Suspension Enhancements: Bilstein 7100 shocks, ProComp springs in the front, Torklift Stable Loads in rear, and Firestone air bags in the rear
Gear: Seven Autometer gauges for monitoring the vehicle’s performance, Warn 16.5ti winch, 19.5 inch wheels with commercial Goodyear G-124 tires, ABI Marine LED lights, three solar fans, two 85 watt solar panels, Olympian Wave catalytic heater, MightyKool portable swamp cooler, Nova-Kool 12 volt refrigerator, Yaesu 7800 ham radio, Torklift SuperHitch, Engel 45 fridge/freezer, Buckstop bumper in front, Dual Viair compressors and tanks, Procomp springs in front are a leveling kit