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Old 08-17-2009, 05:39 PM
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Default Running camp lights off a battery...

I was wondering how practical (how long) running a couple of standard (60-100 watt) light bulbs off a standard vehicle or deep cycle marine battery would be.

We don't have electricity at camp but would like to have a good light source at the cleaning shed instead of headlights from atvs/trucks.

How many hours of use off a charged battery do you think we could get before recharging? Thanks for the help.
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Old 08-17-2009, 05:41 PM
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I'd run the compact flourescent. They use much less electricity and would probably allow you to run the bulbs for more than just a couple of hours.
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Old 08-17-2009, 05:43 PM
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We use to use the battery in our trucks to run the lights for the evening. We switched vehicles every day to insure that we did not run the battery dead. Think we used lowest wattage bulbs and did not leave them on for long periods of time.
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Old 08-17-2009, 06:11 PM
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You can run quite a bit on them if only using say two bulbs. I have a camper set up to use either 12v or 110v and use the 12v system when off at a management area. I actually was thinking about buying a couple of bulb holders and using them at camp like you are doing cleaning the deer. If the battery get low just hook up your truck with jumper cables the next day to recharge it. Will cost you a little gas but it should work.
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Old 08-17-2009, 06:21 PM
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you might look in to using led's
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Old 08-17-2009, 07:37 PM
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go to a r.v. store and get a couple of those new spiral shaped bulbs in 12v.--60watts....i use one for 4 nites w/ and old reg.size car batt. .... never had to re-charge till getting home.....
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Old 08-17-2009, 07:47 PM
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go to a r.v. store and get a couple of those new spiral shaped bulbs in 12v.--60watts....i use one for 4 nites w/ and old reg.size car batt. .... never had to re-charge till getting home.....
Walmart did carry them, put them in a drop light fixture. We run them when fishing at night off the boat battery. You can run them for 3 or 4 hours with no effect on a good 12v battery. And they are relatively cheap.
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Old 08-17-2009, 08:29 PM
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12 volt florescent or LEDs. Will last a very long time off a big battery.

look around here: Great low prices and always free shipping

http://www.ledshoppe.com
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Old 08-17-2009, 09:09 PM
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you may also want to consider using jumper cables to charge your camp battery with your vehicle as needed
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Old 08-17-2009, 09:57 PM
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go to an rv store, you can buy a small solar panel that will charge a car battery during the day. then you can use it at night. there under 50 $ and work great. i dont know if bass pro has them, but most camping places do.
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Old 08-17-2009, 10:33 PM
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You guys are awesome...thought it would work but thank you for confirming!!!
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:07 PM
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Give the man with the plan a star for a good idea. If u run two marine batts in parrallel you can probably run them all nihgt and charge the batt when the sun comes up.
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Old 08-18-2009, 09:52 AM
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You can buy the solar battery chargers at northern tool.
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Old 08-19-2009, 03:51 AM
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You can also buy a power invertor at Lowe's, HD, or the local hardware store. It is basically a "step up" transformer that hooks up straight to your car battery and converts 12v to 110v.

Most of them have a sensor that detects low battery amperage and shuts the invertor down automatically to save the vehicle battery.

Depending on the wattage output and where you buy them, they cost between $50-$100. A marine battery will run similar in price.
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Old 08-19-2009, 11:55 AM
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You can buy the solar battery chargers at northern tool.
That's what I did on my camper, get a battery box at wal mart put a deep cycle in and hook up the solar charger. Solar charger is mounted on one of the 4x4 posts on the shed over the camper.
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Old 08-19-2009, 12:31 PM
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Some great ideas on this thread for deer camp or primitive camping. Thanks!
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Old 08-19-2009, 02:44 PM
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For a quick easy light you can get 12 volt work lights that have alligator clips for quick connection to your battery. Some automotive supply houses have them.
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Old 08-19-2009, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjcruiser View Post
I'd run the compact flourescent. They use much less electricity and would probably allow you to run the bulbs for more than just a couple of hours.
x2

You can even buy the night night fishing flourescent kit that clips on the boat (16" bulb I think). If it comes with a blacklight flourescent, just replace it with a standard. They usually have 10-15' of cable already ready to clamp to the battery. Will provide hours of light without killing the battery.
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Old 08-19-2009, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodney carpenter View Post
go to an rv store, you can buy a small solar panel that will charge a car battery during the day. then you can use it at night. there under 50 $ and work great. i dont know if bass pro has them, but most camping places do.
Buy them on line- or the sportsman guide has them
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Old 08-20-2009, 08:36 PM
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At my camp we use both AC and 12 VDC. We built it before we could get power in and set it up with solar and a couple of deep cycle batteries. If we use a lot of lights now and there is very little or no sun after a couple of days on battery we need to use the AC to charge the batteries. There are LED lights that will put out a lot of light for very little drain, but we mostly use fluorescent lights.

Harbor Freight is on the net and is a good place to look for solar panels. I bought one there for <$50 and it's all I use to charge the deep cycle I use to run my trolling motor in the boat.
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Old 08-25-2009, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjcruiser View Post
I'd run the compact flourescent. They use much less electricity and would probably allow you to run the bulbs for more than just a couple of hours.
yes but make sure they are 12 volts, u can get them at the camper stores. i tried it for a while, bout the time the campfire got roaring the lights went dim, solved the whole problem with a 5500 watt generator. it has enough juice to run our cabin, a/c, lights and even a electric heater.we built a small insulated and fireproof doghouse for it and from the cabin you cant hear it at all.
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Old 08-25-2009, 04:57 PM
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A combination of LED's, a Solar Panel and a couple of deep cycle batteries and you got all the lights you want with no need for jumpers, switching batteries etc... The technology is available and reasonably priced.
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Old 08-27-2009, 12:27 AM
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on sale this week!
http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/w...3124_200263124
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Old 08-27-2009, 09:10 AM
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Why not just get some propane lanterns and be done with it? I personally would not risk running my vehicle battery down and being stranded.
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Old 08-27-2009, 12:43 PM
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If you really want to impress the guys at camp you can use any of the outstanding ideas listed above, and then top it off with a DC generator to charge everything back up. Here's a link to a sight that gives detailed instructions on how to turn a lawnmower motor into a DC generator using a GM styled alternator with an internal voltage regulator. There's another variation on the net that uses the whole lawnmower frame for added mobility. I could also see this type of thing used to rescue an electric golf cart that ran out juice.

http://www.theepicenter.com/tow082099.html
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