As the unit came it has one (too small) battery, and an inverter to power only the fridge when not hooked up to shore power or running the generator.
We don’t boon dock a lot, but when we do it is not always in the best of weather, ie during the winter months traveling in and out of the North East to and from warmer climes. We’ll spend 10 or so hours in a rest area, truck stop or Wallymart. We will frequently run the heater. And of course the fridge. Now when cooking and lounging I don’t mind running the generator. I don’t like running it all night. It’s inefficient as you aren’t utilizing it’s capacity. Lots of diesel burnt just to run it.
So, when we go to sleep I shut it down. Now we’re running the furnace, fridge and lights on the one small battery. Which is not enough. And we have no 120V to watch TV and charge our phones.
So, we need more battery and a whole house inverter. Not complicated. Find a location to add a few batteries, a nice inverter and then tap into the line from the generator to the transfer switch, and viola “whole house” inverter power. No it’s not idiot proof. You can’t “run it all”. I hope to size it to where I can run the fridge, outlets for TV’s/chargers and then either the furnace for 10 or so hours or, and that’s even more demanding, the bedroom AC for 8 hours. A few AC ammeters to monitor load, and a condition monitor for the batteries. The afore mentioned charger probably an inverter charger as the converter as installed won’t be putting out enough. Not overly complex and nothing I haven’t done before.
But before we get into the nitty gritty I have to add another twist. Just like the last time we had a toy hauler we want something for one nighters. Short trips where we visit people and park in their driveway. Needless to say the Castle is not the right tool for the job. So we got a truck camper, and are looking at them again.
Park the Castle in the driveway and slide in the TC. One of the reasons I don’t want to have to remove a 100+ pound fifth wheel hitch every time and have installed a goosebox. Now, the truck camper will have the same, if not more, boondocking requirements as the Castle. So, another bank/inverter/selector/gauges…… then I had an idea.
How about I put the batteries/inverter in the truck? Put a connector on the front of the Castle and run the cable…… Same with the TC. And, any other time I’m in the middle of a field with my truck and need to run an electric implement or three. It happens.
Now in the front of my bed I have a big “box” hanging that stores the metal roll up tonneau cover. Truck came with it, I love it. It is functional, strong and looks pretty good. Under it is some space, in fact it may be enough to build a compartment for batteries and inverter charger…..