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Old 05-14-2019, 09:16 PM   #1
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What TT Battery Do I Need?

The battery on my TT (the one that rides on the frame right behind the propane) is dead and needs replacement (I had it charged and professionally tested and it is deceased).

I would like to know what kind of battery to buy. The camper is 20-some foot and has one slide. I assume that's the only thing the battery is used for, since nothing inside the camper works unless it's plugged into 120v power.

So, I guess there's a second question--should the interior 12v lights work on the battery alone (without being plugged into 120v power)?

But my first question is what size and type of battery do I need to buy, and how much should I expect to pay?

Thanks very much for your advice!

Tom
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:26 PM   #2
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Basically everything runs 12VDC. So if nothing is working, yea replace the battery. Depends on whats there now. Common are either GP24 or GP27 the GP27 will give you more available power, so thats what I would go for. Any brand of deep cycle battery you can find in the size you have at a decent price will work.
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:01 PM   #3
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Many that spend time away from hookups use two 6 volt GC2 batteries because they are built better for deep cycling.

You will find a lot of good information on batteries and energy use on this web page:
The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)
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Old 05-15-2019, 08:52 AM   #4
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Look at the label of what you have. They are defined by the group size numbers. That will define decisions and what side the + is on and capacity. I always up the group size to whatever the biggest is that will fit vs the cost. You may need to get a bigger battery box but they are not expensive. You might add a second battery. You can do two 6 volt or two 12 volt.


Two 6 volts will need to be wired in series to get the 12 volt output. Two 12 volt will need to be wired in parallel to keep the same 12 volt output and get more capacity.


You can get more capacity from two 6 volt vs two 12 volt.


Either way you go will work, just keep it connected correctly.
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Old 05-15-2019, 09:46 AM   #5
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If you have a group 24 battery you may need a larger battery box to go to a group 27. It will be worth it to go to a group 27 or 29/31. Each step up is a better battery. One that not only has more capacity but that will also last longer, maybe by 3 or 4 years.

A new group 24 battery will cost, say $119. A group 27 will cost $129 and a group 29/31 will cost $139.

To me, that $10 jump is the best deal around. You get a battery that is 25% better for less than 10% cost increase.


Or

Go crazy with 2 6v golf cart battery's wired together. 2 - 6v wired correctly give you the 12v that you need.

Or get super crazy and buy a very expensive 12v lithium battery.

The simplest would be to replace the bad battery with a like sized battery...even if it is a group 24.
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Old 05-15-2019, 10:39 AM   #6
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Your battery's first purpose is to power the trailer brakes in the event that it somehow becomes detached while you are traveling. It is required by law. Beyond that it also powers the lights, slides, stereo/tv, propane detector, tongue jack, circuit boards for all appliances as well as fans and the furnace.

Most of those will operate without a battery as long as you are plugged in to 110 power because the converter will still supply 12 volt power, however you would not have the required emergency braking power.
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:38 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone!
Now, please tell me what recharges the battery? Is there a charger onboard the TT, or do I have to bring a charger with me, or does it recharge off my tow vehicle's alternator?

Thanks again,
Tom
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Old 05-16-2019, 02:43 AM   #8
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Your trailer should have a converter/charger that charges the battery while on shore power.

If set up, it can also charge thru the tow vehicle, although at a slow rate.
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Old 05-16-2019, 03:15 AM   #9
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Agree with twinboat.

I always try to keep my trailer plugged in to 'shore power' if I can. In storage I unplug and use the battery disconnect to reduce electric drain on the battery.

When I use the trailer the very 1st thing I do is plug it back into 'shore power'. Having it plugged into shore power will charge the battery if the converter is working. Like twinboat says the tow vehicle also puts a small charge back into the battery when towing.
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Old 05-16-2019, 08:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karoshi View Post

1) I would like to know what kind of battery to buy. The camper is 20-some foot and has one slide.

2) I assume that's the only thing the battery is used for, since nothing inside the camper works unless it's plugged into 120v power.

3) So, I guess there's a second question--should the interior 12v lights work on the battery alone (without being plugged into 120v power)?

But my first question is what size and type of battery do I need to buy, and how much should I expect to pay?


Tom
1) Deep Cycle (Deep Draw) 12 volt, largest size you are willing to pay for. Larger batteries require larger battery box on tongue.
I use Interstate Marine group 31 AGM 12 volt. AGM will cost as much as double what a Flooded cell battery cost. AGM does not require monitoring fluid level. AGM typically charges faster. AGM tolerates being drawn down flat a lot more than Flooded cell batteries. AGM will not leak or spray acid on near by equipment or cause holes in your clothes. AGM will last twice as long in storage when disconnected.
Lots of other configurations are possible. You can optimize initial cost or convenience. Lots to learn if you go that route.

2) Most things in your small TT work on 12 volts. Air Conditioner and Microwave do not, they only work on 115 volts. The reason nothing else works unless plugged in, is because the battery is dead. A new battery will power lights, water pump, and other small power equipment.

3) See #2 above.

4) The battery will be charged using a converter/charger already installed in your TT. It is the same device that now powers your lights when plugged in. It takes 14 to 18 hours to fully charge any lead/acid battery. You must do this often and before storing. Short periods of charging can replenish some of the charge, but full charge is necessary for long term health of the battery.
Storing the TT for long periods without being plugged in will probably kill the battery. One or two 12 volt devices will be always on. The battery may be critically low after one week.
To prevent discharging flat, disconnect the battery for storage. Some owners install a battery disconnect switch to do this. A new fully charged flooded cell battery is good for about 3 months of storage when disconnected. An new fully charged AGM battery is good for about 6 months when disconnected.

5) You should expect to pay a competitive price. Shop around for a good buy, but expect to pay a little more for the best quality.
Many people have favorite brands and types. I look for proper specifications on the battery labels. The label must specify the amp/hours and manufacturer. It must specify deep cycle or deep draw. Cold cranking amp specifications are for engine start batteries and do not apply for TT house batteries. The manufacture must have a website that publishes full specifications even if I don't understand them all. That means they compete for both price and quality.

Definitely read the "12 volt side of life" recommended in previous post.
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Old 05-17-2019, 08:23 AM   #11
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I’ll add my 2 cents.
Most TT come with a group 27 deep cycle battery. It’s about 15-16” long, as opposed to a group 24, which is only about 12” long.
Also, be sure to check out the date on the battery. Most of them now have a sticker with the “ship to” date on it. This is the date the battery was shipped to the store.
Some have a month/year date, while some use a code. A is January, B is February, and so on, followed by the year. Sometimes the year is a single digit to indicate the last digit of the year shipped.
Beware of old batteries. They won’t hold a charge as well.
Hope this helps!
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Old 05-24-2019, 08:06 PM   #12
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I say you are likely to have the smallest battery, group 24. It is simplest to replace with a new like battery but not always the best. A group 24 battery might cost $119 while the much better group 27 battery costs $129. And then a group 29/31 will cost $139. To me it is best to buy the better battery for $139.

If you have as group 24 battery you will most likely need a bigger battery box for a bigger battery.

Then you have AMG batteries which are better than lead acid batteries. And better than AMG is Lithium Ion which are crazy expensive currently.

It would be great if you could swing for the AMG battery. That battery will last maybe 3 or 4 years longer than the old fashion Lead Acid battery.

Good luck
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Old Yesterday, 06:38 PM   #13
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When I purchased my TT the 12v bat was dry as a bone. 25+yrs as a mechanic and never saw a bat that dry.

After reading about convertor/chargers, I figured the 35A WFCO was part of the prob. 1 stage charge.
Replaced 12v bat w/ 100ah and convertor w/45A Progressive Dynamics, 3 stage charge.

The TT has been plugged in shore power for 3months. Bat hasnt lost a drop.

Also swapped out interior bulbs w/ LED.
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Old Today, 06:04 AM   #14
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What works on the 12v Battery - one day I was in an RV Park. I had the radio playing and a light on. The power went out in the park. I did not even know I had no power until I went to the RV type refrigerator. I noticed it switched to propane. Then I noticed the Micro Wave clock was out.

So the three things I know that do not run off the battery are T.V., A/C and Micro Wave. Now you can buy a 12v TV if you were boondocking a lot.
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