Many questions regarding the Tab Boondock?

tonyo35tonyo35 Member Posts: 14
Hi I love the Tab look and quality and in the process of buying one but I have many questions. I have never owned a camper before and a total novice.  Have always tent camped   #1. Most of my camping will be on state land and or boon docking.  I have a business where I make trout flies everyday and was hoping I could work at least 3 to six hours a day and that would require for me to play music ( to break up the boredom)  and use a auxiliary light. The light would be a simple LED.  Would using the extra light and music wear down the battery quickly?  How long do people suspect the battery power would last with music and the extra lighting?    Would like this to work due to the amount of time I have to work limits how  often I can leave my home to fish other areas.

#2. Was wondering about the solar panels offering with the Tab Boon dock and how efficient it is in terms of recharging the battery system.  We live in NYS where sunlight can be at a premium. Is it worth the extra 850.00. I kinda like the idea of the panels being fixed to the Tab as I will be camping in the Catskills and leaving my camper unattended for extended periods of time. There is a lot of theft in the Catskill Region. 

#3. My wife is also looking forward to the Tab but we have a big Golden.  Is there enough room in the Tab for all of us to hang out.

#4. I talked to a Tab salesman today who did not seem overly knowledgeable.  Is it true that I cannot use the TV off the battery system? 

We picked up a Toyota Four Runner for the Tab.  

Comments

  • pthomas745pthomas745 Member Posts: 1,282
    If  you have a panel and a reasonable amount of sun, there is no reason you can't run the LED lights in the trailer or the radio.  LED lights use very little power. 

    What you need to come to grips with first:  How much battery power do I have, and how much of it can I use?

    Then you can start to ask:  if I use this light or this radio, how much of my battery power will I use up? 

    And then:  how do I monitor my battery to see how much power I have left?

    And then:  how well will my solar panel keep up with my use and recharge my battery?

    This will take a little practice to think about this.  The good news is nice people here have done a lot of thinking already.

    Read over Jkjenn's blog and some of these mysteries will be answered. 




    2017 Outback
    Towed by 2014 Touareg TDi
  • JustJohnJustJohn Member Posts: 171
    Yes, you can run the television off of the battery. You cannot run the air conditioner. You can run the Alde and refrigerator off the battery and propane. I have found them to be very efficient in propane mode. Wlth my little solar system, l have boondocked up to 12 days with no ac power. I travel to fly fish also.
    2016 Outback.....North East N.C...... Former 2012 Silver Shadow
  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Moderator Posts: 5,478
    edited November 2018
    @tonyo35, if you plan on boondocking in the northeast, you will most likely need more battery capacity to get you through those periods that you are unable to recharge due to lack of sun - either two 6 volts or a single large battery.  Consider AGM batteries as they have less resistance to charge - important wilth potential limited sunlight.  Remember if you have the permanently mounted solar panels, you must park in the sun.  You will find helpful, a battery monitor that gives you more info than the current TaB monitor.  
    Sharon / 2017 [email protected] CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan / Westlake, Ohio
  • HomebodyatheartHomebodyatheart Member Posts: 2,205
    @tonyo35 I had the dealer install a group 27 battery before I took delivery of my Tab. Others have added bigger or two 6v batteries. It does fit my needs and I’ve always had plenty of power. I’m also pretty frugal in my power usage, such as using Luci solar lights inside at night, running the Alde and fridge off propane.  I have never run out of propane. I did buy a 120w lightweight three panel solar suitcase from ACOPower in Southern California this season (Amazon). It keeps the battery topped off nicely when I need it. It also weighs just over 8 pounds and is very thin. Both are helpful for me! That’s the beauty of our trailers, we can customize them for our needs which might be different from someone elses. This forum has a wealth of information and people willing to share their knowledge. Good luck with your decision! 
    2017 [email protected] 320 Max S silver and cherry red, [email protected] ("Bug" aka my [email protected] pod), TV 2015 Toyota Highlander aka Big Red
  • dsfdogsdsfdogs Member Posts: 348
    @Homebodyatheart do you know the amp hours of your group 27? Thanks!
    Debbie in Oregon
    2018 [email protected] 320 S/2019 Toyota 4Runner SR5
  • rcuomorcuomo Member Posts: 244
    IMO scrap the fixed solar panels and use something like the Renogy 100w suitcase. I keep mine secured with a locking cable that allows me to move it to follow the sun. I also carry a supplement Marine battery but after two days camping in Montauk using lights, the television, the DVD player, a fire stick my battery never fell below 12.3 volts. I was able to re charge to over 13v in less than 3hours. I use the propane to keep the fridge cold. 
    ‘18 Tab 320S- mfg’d 4/17, acquired 9/17
    Spare & bike rack on tongue, Renogy suitcase connection, cargo & door nets, sway bar, wired rear camera, Norcold aux fan, front window protection, frame mounted sewer & water hose storage. 
    ‘17 Honda Ridgeline RTL-E- 5000# tow cap, 600# tongue cap
    ‘20 Honda Pilot Elite- 5000# tow cap, 500# tongue cap
    Huntington LI
  • ScottGScottG Moderator Posts: 3,576
    @tonyo35, I agree with rcuomo. I've camped around the northeast and Atlantic Canada and almost never have site with full sun exposure on the camper. Maybe you'd have more flexibility if you were truly boondocking and weren't as restricted in your campsite choices and positioning. However, note that even a little bit of shading will really curtail the output of your panels, so being able to chase the sun as needed is pretty important for keeping your charge up. I've got almost 40' of cable and have used all of it more than once, including in the Catskills!
  • HomebodyatheartHomebodyatheart Member Posts: 2,205
    @dsfdogs sorry, no, that’s a tech number way over my head. I’m sure others will know!  :)
    2017 [email protected] 320 Max S silver and cherry red, [email protected] ("Bug" aka my [email protected] pod), TV 2015 Toyota Highlander aka Big Red
  • ScottGScottG Moderator Posts: 3,576
    edited November 2018
    @dfsdogs, I also retrofitted my [email protected] for a group 27 battery. It's listed at 105ah @ 20hrs.
    It's nothing special. Just a <$100 wet cell marine battery I bought at a local chain store. It's served me well for three seasons and counting, though it is starting to show a little age.
  • rcuomorcuomo Member Posts: 244
    Many dealers use the Interstate battery line. The group 24 battery is 100 reserve capacity minutes or approximately 42 amp hours. (100 x 41.67 conversion factor). They have two group 27 batteries listed at 160 & 180 RC so that would be 67 & 75 amp hours. 
    ‘18 Tab 320S- mfg’d 4/17, acquired 9/17
    Spare & bike rack on tongue, Renogy suitcase connection, cargo & door nets, sway bar, wired rear camera, Norcold aux fan, front window protection, frame mounted sewer & water hose storage. 
    ‘17 Honda Ridgeline RTL-E- 5000# tow cap, 600# tongue cap
    ‘20 Honda Pilot Elite- 5000# tow cap, 500# tongue cap
    Huntington LI
  • dsfdogsdsfdogs Member Posts: 348
    Thanks @ScottG!
    @rcuomo that group 24 (HD24-DP) is exactly the battery I have...and upon researching "reserve capacity", was dismayed to see it's just 41ah. Which I think means I really only have 20 ah until 50% depleted? That explains a few things.

    I found a group 24 (Trojan SCS150 wet cell for 100ah @ 20hrs)  they list as deep cycle (vs a dual purpose),  but also list the cranking performance. Hmm. I also found a Power Sonic AGM (PDC-121000) for 100 ah @ 20hr that might easily fit the battery box as it's only a smidge longer. Thoughts?

    @tonyo35 regarding your question #3 and your big golden and space: it will be cozy. I camp solo with my two Labs (one is 90# and one is 65#). Due to lack of floor space, the smaller dog is almost always on the bench seat/bed and the big boy on the floor. It's a shuffling dance when I cook or sit at the table. You and your wife will need to figure out how you want to sleep. When I make up the full bed, we are all sleeping on it as the leftover floor space isn't large enough for the big dog. If I sleep on the back section (wheel to wheel), the big boy sleeps on the floor. (I got him a nice thick bed). If you don't want the dog on your bed, I think you would need to sleep as singles so the dog has floor space. You might consider the [email protected] 400 to offer more space. 
    Debbie in Oregon
    2018 [email protected] 320 S/2019 Toyota 4Runner SR5
  • tonyo35tonyo35 Member Posts: 14
    Thanks guys for all the great advice.  What a great forum and really like the positive karma here. Some of these forums can be so hostile.  Looks Iike I can pick up a Boondock Lite for around 19,000 new. Is that a good deal.  Bob 
  • ScottGScottG Moderator Posts: 3,576
    Thanks for your comments on the forum, @tonyo35. We do run a tight ship when it comes to civility, but I'm pleased to say infractions are extremely rare. A real testament to the quality of our members!
    (And sorry, I don't know if that's a good deal or not, as I haven't paid much attention to prices since I got my [email protected] in 2015.)
  • lkc001lkc001 Member Posts: 520
    tonyo35 said:
    Thanks guys for all the great advice.  What a great forum and really like the positive karma here. Some of these forums can be so hostile.  Looks Iike I can pick up a Boondock Lite for around 19,000 new. Is that a good deal.  Bob 
    Tonyo35--in the Denver area that would be a good deal, yes!  Prices are often higher on RV's in the West U.S. than in other places in the U.S., but research RVTrader, craigslist, ebay, facebook, this forum also has a section for sale, & other Tab forums on facebook have them for sale by private owners occasionally--hope you love your Boondock =)
    2016 Nissan Frontier SV V6 4x4
    Finally!  New Owner of a 2017 Tab 320S! 
    Woohoo!
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