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Old 11-12-2014, 07:00 AM   #1
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Walmart Batteries

Looking at buying a backup battery from Walmart, has anyone used them? We are looking at doing mostly dry camping and will be running the fridge and a few lights at night (switched to led's) how long does a battery usually last? Thanks this is our first TT.
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Old 11-12-2014, 09:28 AM   #2
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2 of my five batteries are Wal-mart, no problems to date, (Got 'em in 2011 to replace a pair of 5 year old AGM's that were toast). Can not tell you more till they fail.. The company that makes them has a good rep but I do not know if they make all same quality or if they make a cheaper battery for Wal*mart.

So the bottom line is a neutral recommendation. Likely a good cost/benefit ratio.

Only warning: Wal*mart gives you inflated Amp-Hour ratings (like 100+ amp hours at the 1 amp rate for a Group 24) the actually C/20 rating of that battery is about 75.. But by using the 1 amp rate they get a bigger number, so do not believe that number, all Group __ batteries will be within a few amp hours of each other save for the GC-2 where they make several some taller, than the others.

And if you have 3 jars, all with the same base "Footprint" the taller the jar, the more it holds, Same applies to batteries.
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Old 11-12-2014, 09:45 AM   #3
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Since 2010 Johnson Controls has been the sole maker of automotive, marine, garden equipment batteries sold by Walmart. It used to be divided with Exide, but in 2010 Walmart switched to all Johnson Controls, the biggest maker of aftermarket batteries in the world. Johnson has made Sears Diehards since 1999. There are different grades of batteries sold in each size, an important factor to consider is weight. The more lead, the better the battery. (in general)
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Old 11-14-2014, 01:13 PM   #4
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I have used Walmart batteries on all my TT or toy haulers (6 total) and never had a problem and they had a great warranty if they went bad.
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Old 11-16-2014, 09:06 AM   #5
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My older rv hybrid I have gotten 4+ days dry camping with using the lights on a limited usage. Main issue was to have enough 12 volt battery power to cycle the frig on gas. When the voltage gets too low the frig will no longer light.

On our newer 2013 hybrid we get less days out of our battery when dry camping. Maybe 3-1/2 days max. One reason might be the back lighting that stays on 24 hours a day for the radio / CD player. ??? don't know why they would design it that way. Also there are lights that stay on the fuse panel breakers. Each breaker has a green (good) or red (tripped) light that stays on 100% of the time.

Our last trip to the Smoky's in 13' I did switch out most of the lights to LED's. But i'm in the opinion that the radio and fuse lights together are drawing the bulk of the juice.

In order to get enough juice to restart the frig I'll hook up my power cord to my tow vehicle and run it for 20 - 25 minutes to top charge the battery a bit.
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Old 11-16-2014, 09:35 AM   #6
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There are usually 2 12 v (+) leads to the radio, one normally switched by ignition and the second for time and memory. You could put a separate switch in the 12 v (+) memory wire to the radio. It might lose the time and preset stations, but it would stop the power draw.
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Old 11-17-2014, 06:17 AM   #7
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In order to get enough juice to restart the frig I'll hook up my power cord to my tow vehicle and run it for 20 - 25 minutes to top charge the battery a bit.

OK since this is all new to me what you are saying is once a day plug the trailer back into the truck and let the truck run for a bit?
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Old 11-17-2014, 06:21 AM   #8
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Also should I have a second battery as a backup?
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Old 11-17-2014, 06:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Superslif View Post
My older rv hybrid I have gotten 4+ days dry camping with using the lights on a limited usage. Main issue was to have enough 12 volt battery power to cycle the frig on gas. When the voltage gets too low the frig will no longer light.

On our newer 2013 hybrid we get less days out of our battery when dry camping. Maybe 3-1/2 days max. One reason might be the back lighting that stays on 24 hours a day for the radio / CD player. ??? don't know why they would design it that way. Also there are lights that stay on the fuse panel breakers. Each breaker has a green (good) or red (tripped) light that stays on 100% of the time.

Our last trip to the Smoky's in 13' I did switch out most of the lights to LED's. But i'm in the opinion that the radio and fuse lights together are drawing the bulk of the juice.

In order to get enough juice to restart the frig I'll hook up my power cord to my tow vehicle and run it for 20 - 25 minutes to top charge the battery a bit.
No idea about your radio but my Sonys' lights can be turned off by holding the power-off button activated for 5 seconds or more.
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Old 11-17-2014, 06:36 AM   #10
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Also should I have a second battery as a backup?

This is up to you. If you want to hook them together and have them function together, it's best to buy both batteries of the same type at the same time. Not connect old with new. They won't charge properly having an old connected to a new.

If you have the room, buying 2 GC2 6 volt golf cart batteries and wiring them in serial to provide 12 volts, will be a big upgrade for you. Sams Club has the GC2 batteries for about $87 each. Combined they would give you 220 amp hours.
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Old 11-17-2014, 09:10 AM   #11
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Is that better than buying two 12 volt and linking them?
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Old 11-17-2014, 09:22 AM   #12
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Is that better than buying two 12 volt and linking them?
Yes, you'll end up with slightly higher ah since most 12v batteries come in at roughly 95ah each or 190ah total compared to 230 for most 6v batteries in series but I found that my four 6v series/parallel rig charges up really quickly. In 24 hours my 5er would be down 30% to 12.31v pretty consistently. I could run the generator two hours and they would reach float mode on the converter.

I'm really pleased with the result and wish I had done this years ago.
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Old 11-17-2014, 10:14 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by vt skier View Post
In order to get enough juice to restart the frig I'll hook up my power cord to my tow vehicle and run it for 20 - 25 minutes to top charge the battery a bit.

OK since this is all new to me what you are saying is once a day plug the trailer back into the truck and let the truck run for a bit?
It's a pretty inefficient and slow way to charge batteries if you're just using the 14-16 gauge wires in a typical trailer wiring harness and the engine alternator. Also, how discharged is the battery that it won't power the refrigerator? You seriously weaken a battery by repeatedly discharging a battery below 50% capacity.



Switching out the 12 v for two matched 6 v will be much better than adding a new 12 v to an older 12 v. You will increase your reserve power. If you don't have a generator, a solar panel or two on the trailer roof could greatly increase you electrical capacity.
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Old 11-17-2014, 10:26 AM   #14
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A small portable generator or a solar panel would solve your problems. The small generator for sure, just depends how long you run it. Solar is just a matter of getting enough watts capacity. Nice thing about solar is quiet and no operating cost, just the initial expense and the installation effort.

Having a second battery is a good idea anyway.
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