When disconnected from shore power, your system is entirely relying on your house batteries. No matter which type of batteries you have on board, you likely want to conserve the charge for as long as possible.
Use the following tips to extend the use of your batteries while away from a charging station / shore power.
General Power Tips
- Make sure to plan ahead and charge your devices and onboard batteries when you have access to shore power. This includes making sure everything is fully charged up the night before you leave your house to go on that big camping trip. Or, maybe at the campsite before you head out to your next destination.
- Don't forget about the benefits of charging while "Streaming". For travel trailers, the onboard batteries are getting fed voltage through the 7-way towing cable.
- Instead of resorting to turning on your air conditioner to lower your cabin temperature (which requires shore power), utilize the ceiling fan(s) to pull air in through the screen door and windows. You can also simply open windows (or the entry door) at opposite ends of the travel trailer to create a draft.
- While you’re likely harnessing free energy from the sun with your roof-mounted solar panels, you can plug in an optional portable solar panel to charge your onboard battery. This also gives you the flexibility to move the portable panel around to the optimal location and still reach the solar input located next to your battery box.
- Charging without Drawing - With the electronic battery disconnect feature on your travel trailer, your onboard batteries will charge from any source (shore power [excluding Bambi & Basecamp], solar panel system, 7-way to vehicle) in both the “on” or “off” position. This means you can be charging your batteries while not actively using power throughout the system.
- Hot Weather Tip: Preventing sunlight from coming in through your windows is one of the best ways to save some energy (by not running your A/C or fans). Most Airstreamers will use their window awnings and also make it a point to find a spot in the shade to keep the sunlight off the exterior of the travel trailer.
- In colder weather conditions, avoid parking in shade and try to allow as much sunlight to touch the exterior of the Airstream as possible. Letting sunlight pour through the windows will cause a greenhouse effect and heat the interior. Using a skirting solution in cold weather will also prevent wind from going beneath the RV which ultimately saves energy used for heating.
- Your power center fuses can blow if overloaded and it’s a good idea to keep the right amp fuses on hand at all times.
- Be sure to know the wattage of the device you’re plugging in before you turn the power inverter on. Otherwise you may trip a breaker.
- Turn the power inverter off when you’re not using it.
Furnace and Water Heater
- Although the furnace uses LP (liquid propane) for heating, the warm air is pushed through the cabin by powering a fan (or pumps for the Classic Alde Hydronic Heating System) that also draws 12V power from the battery system. If you aren’t using the furnace or need hot water, be sure to turn them off to conserve battery power.
- When you’re not using your water pump, you can conserve battery power by switching it off.
- The 12V all-electric refrigerator in your travel trailer features low power consumption and high electrical efficiency whether you’re on DC or AC power. If you are planning to head out on a trip and have access to shore power / 110V electric, we recommend turning your refrigerator on ahead of time to start cooling the refrigerator down. By doing this, you conserve battery power and can seamlessly load your food items when you’re ready to depart.
- When loading food into the refrigerator, try to make sure it’s cooled instead of warm food. If the food is warm, it will raise the temperature inside the refrigerator which will use power to cool it back down.
- Don’t leave the refrigerator or freezer door hanging open for longer than what it takes to load or grab your items.
- Keep your solar panels clean so they can operate at optimal efficiency. Dust will naturally collect while traveling and even while in storage.
- If you’re looking to optimize your solar harvest, avoid parking in shaded areas.
- If you’re using a portable solar panel, be sure to point it directly at the sun.
Interior and Exterior Lights
- Although LED lights are highly efficient, you can conserve power by turning the lights off when you’re not using them.
- When switching the power disconnect switch "ON", the stereo does automatically power up. When you’re not using your stereo, you can conserve battery power by switching it off.