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Old 04-03-2013, 09:24 AM   #1
Ford Super Duty Owner
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Battery replacement time

Ok, as this area forum is about "boondocking" I hope my question is appropreate for our battery replacement.
First let me state; we have a 5er with a 7k gen. and we overdid the rest with a 2k inverter and 2 x 12V deep cycle batteries.
Here's the kicker we never "boondock" and if we do stop on route we use the generator. As of now, 8 years later the inverter has never been used off the batteries for 120V power.
Now looking at replacement of both batteries "deep cycle vs regular" I seem to think in our situation the "regular" type battery would be all we need.
Can anyone tell me (in our situation) the pros & cons of each?

There is a large solar panel with monitor used on batteries when not in use for camping.

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Old 04-03-2013, 09:39 AM   #2
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I would get "deep cycle/marine" batteries at Walmart or a local auto parts. Some purists say that are not "true deep cycle" batteries, but they are in fact what most rv's use, and they work well for the type of use you describe. They are what I have in my motor home.

Paul (KE5LXU) ...was fulltimin', now parttimin'
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:52 AM   #3
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I agree with AFChap. The regular starting batteries wouldn't last long should they become discharged more than a few times. Don't forget your fridge controls, furnace thermostat and possibly other accessories are consuming current anytime you're traveling. The deep cycle batteries can be discharged far lower than the starting batteries without causing any damage. They'll last longer in the cold Canadian winters without loosing power and needing to be recharged.
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Old 04-04-2013, 01:04 AM   #4
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Do you have room for more than 2 batteries? Your inverter could eat up their total charge really quick. Unless you plan to run your generator most of the time or not use much power, you'll do better with more amp hours of battery capacity.

Most boondockers I know prefer 6 volt golf cart batteries connected in groups of 2 to provide 12 volts. I bought mine at Sam's Club for about $80 each a year ago. The gold standard for lead acid 6 volt batteries are Trogan T-105. You'll spend more, but they have better capacity. And then there are gel and lithium batteries that are even more pricey.

You can find many battery discussions in the Boondocking archives.
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Old 04-04-2013, 01:29 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by AFChap View Post
I would get "deep cycle/marine" batteries at Walmart or a local auto parts. Some purists say that are not "true deep cycle" batteries, but they are in fact what most rv's use, and they work well for the type of use you describe. They are what I have in my motor home.
Of all the RV's I've had over the last 55 years I've only had one that used the so called deep cycle/marine batteries. All the others have been deep cycle 6V batteries.
But, for some users that's all they need.
We got one month short of 10 years out of our Interstate U-2200's so I replaced them with the same. Even after that long they were working OK, but we were headed out on a trip and I didn't want trouble on the road.
2009 45' Magna 630 w/Cummins ISX 650 HP/1950 Lbs Ft
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Old 04-04-2013, 09:09 AM   #6
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Only boondocking has been for a night or two, but I rarely used the inverter. Have either been running the Gen to use the microwave, or just using 12 volt stuff. Even a TV can eat up a lot of wattage via an inverter.
Jay & Teresa
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:24 AM   #7
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Hi buttster,
If your future RVing is like what you posted in the OP, I'd go with whatever you have now. If that is something you do not want to do, you could go with the cheapest option available that will fit in your RV. It seems you have a RV style that does not require much from the RV batteries. I buy what is needed to satisfy my requirements, no more.
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Old 04-05-2013, 06:24 PM   #8
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Regardless of your lack of inverter & battery use, your batteries are being discharged all the time you are traveling from site to site, and being charged continuously when you are camped at a site. To me, that type of usage indicates the need for a deep cycle battery for maximum life. Sure you can use a marine/RV battery, but you will be replacing them every 2-3 years. A decent quality deep cycle should last 7-10 years in the same RV. Figure the cost vs the lifetime, and figure whatever value you like on more frequent battery replacement cycle, and make your call.
Gary Brinck
Former owner of 2004 American Tradition
Home is in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:23 PM   #9
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It seems to me that these batteries have provided everything you need for the past 8 years. Then replace them with with exactly what you have. Look at the ratings on your batteries and go find an exact replacement.

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