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Old 03-02-2014, 04:41 PM   #1
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New TT owner, couple questions battery related.

Just bought a new 24' Cruise lite for family camping during warm weather, and deer hunting through mid winter. When with the family undoubtedly we will be on hook-up. However, when I set up deer camp I will be boondocking as it's called. I've already decided to hook up another battery to get some extra run time on devices, but would like to hear some input/tricks that those w/ experience have done to help. I'm not too worried about running water...but would be nice to know if I can store water for toilet flushing without freezing, and I'm curious about furnace/heat run times on two batteries throughout the course of a weekend without a generator. The furnace would really only be ran throughout the night, and not much during the day. Maybe an hour or two. Also, when boondocking, do I need to unplug the trailer from the truck? I'm not sure if there is any draw on the truck while the ignition is off? Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-02-2014, 04:51 PM   #2
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IMO, get a generator. You won't need a lot of wattage since you will be running just the furnace motor and whatever lights you will have on. If you decide to go the battery route then I would change all your lights to LEDs and get some sort of meter to monitor your batts.

Here is a sample of a quiet generator. There are cheaper ones too: Shop Generac IX 2,000-Running Watts Portable Generator at Lowes.com
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Old 03-02-2014, 05:00 PM   #3
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Check this one out for the price of a couple of batteries:

2000W Watts Gas Portable Generator Quiet RV Home Camping New | eBay

It's not a John Doe brand, but if it last a few years it will be worth it.
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Old 03-02-2014, 05:27 PM   #4
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I've already decided to hook up another battery to get some extra run time on devices, but would like to hear some input/tricks that those w/ experience have done to help. Most will probably suggest two 6V batteries.
I'm not too worried about running water...but would be nice to know if I can store water for toilet flushing without freezing Do you have an enclosed and heated underbelly?
I'm curious about furnace/heat run times on two batteries throughout the course of a weekend without a generator. It depends on light usage, and lots of other things too.
Also, when boondocking, do I need to unplug the trailer from the truck? I'm not sure if there is any draw on the truck while the ignition is off? What truck do you have?
Ford has a relay so the charge line is only hot w/key on, most Dodge and Chevy's do not. I would unplug it anyway.
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Old 03-02-2014, 05:31 PM   #5
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Not sure why two 6 volt batteries. His TT probably has one 12v battery and he can put another 12v in parallel with the same rating.
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Old 03-02-2014, 06:50 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies...the info is very welcomed! I do have a Ford - 03 super duty, so it's nice to know that if I forgot to unplug it would not drain me if said relay is on older trucks. Underbelly is not heated...so I'll have to think on this one. It appears as if plumbing is a bear to get to (although I havn't looked too much into that).

One other thing I was wondering about is typical refer gas usage? For a weekend if needed, is it reasonable to run the fridge on gas, or should I just pack a cooler full of ice?

al2ride, the only thing I can remember on the 6v batteries vs. the two 12v is that the 6v cells are bigger and are usually a "true deep cycle battery" that will take the abuse of higher amp discharges longer/better than 12v. From a cost to amp hour rating, I've heard 6 volt series is better than 12v parallel, but not always. And thank you for the leads on the generator. Might be something to look at later down the road...just trying to avoid using one if I can.
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Old 03-02-2014, 07:12 PM   #7
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Underbelly is not heated...so I'll have to think on this one. It appears as if plumbing is a bear to get to (although I havn't looked too much into that).

One other thing I was wondering about is typical refer gas usage? For a weekend if needed, is it reasonable to run the fridge on gas, or should I just pack a cooler full of ice? A gas absorption refr takes ~8hrs to initially cool. So plan ahead.
A gallon of LP has 90-100k BTUs of energy. A 6 or 8 cu ft refr uses 1500 BTUs/hr. That is 60 hrs of run time. Might as well keep it on. I'm not sure of DC usage but it's small.


al2ride, the only thing I can remember on the 6v batteries vs. the two 12v is that the 6v cells are bigger and are usually a "true deep cycle battery" that will take the abuse of higher amp discharges longer/better than 12v. From a cost to amp hour rating, I've heard 6 volt series is better than 12v parallel, but not always. And thank you for the leads on the generator. Might be something to look at later down the road...just trying to avoid using one if I can. You could get a small solar panel to help the batteries during the day too.

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Old 03-02-2014, 07:14 PM   #8
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Whether you get 2 large 12V or 2 6V...you'll have somewhere close to 200 amp hours in batteries...you can use HALF of that or around 100 amp hours. Not nearly enough to run any heaters. If you don't have furnace heat ...you could get a gas "buddy" heater from Wally World and save the batteries for important stuff like the electric toothbrushes!
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Old 03-02-2014, 08:10 PM   #9
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First off, weekend or week a small generator can be a life saver. We've been TT deer camping for several years now and some notes: Our TT has 2 30lb propane tanks and we run the fridge and water heater on gas for 9 days minimum. The furnace is set low as we run a small ceramic heater at night, (we are next to a friends cabin and have 120 plug in), but we have the small generator (900 Peak/800 Running Watts, 2 HP (63cc) Gas Generator) power does fail there sometimes. This little generator has saved the day more than once. It is fairly quiet and with the length of the TT cord you don't notice it much. It will keep your battery charged or run light duty stuff in the TT. The first thing we did was buy a brand name spark plug and a spare. It fires right off and runs fine. We caught them on sale for $89. Almost a throwaway. If you switch bulbs to LED you will greatly reduce your 12volt consumption. A roll of heavy weight plastic, some tape and a few rocks or logs and you can "underpin" your trailer to keep the pipes from freezing. Ours has gone through some below freezing nights and not had a problem. The furnace has kicked on when really cold and that helps keep the pipes from freezing internally. In your case the genny could run at night until it runs out of gas (about 4 hours) and your battery would be stronger for the remainder of the night. Good luck and have a ball.
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