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Old 08-24-2014, 05:26 PM   #29
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You've all talked me into it! I neglected to take a close look at my existing 2 batteries, and made the dumb assumption that they were something good, worth saving. They're not worn out at all, but it is apparent that they are el-cheapo 85 Amp-hour marine batteries, and not real, deep cycle batteries at all.

Three new ones, coming up!

--DonK
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Old 08-24-2014, 06:24 PM   #30
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New batteries are nice.. I just put new ones in this coach over a 4 year period..

Coach is a 2005, I had some older Marine/Deep cycle 29's I added along with a couple of AGM 31s in 2006, Replaced the AGM's in 2011, Replaced one of the 29's in 2013 spring and the other in the fall, Repaced the GC-2's last March, and the starting battery a bit before that (Jan or Feb) so I know have basically all new.. LOTS of power.

To answer your question: Starting batteries (Chassis) normally live in the 90-100% charged range.. a really hard start may get it down to 80% so the alternator very quickly replenishes the battery charge.

Then you have full output less "Overhead" (Engine and lighting needs) for the house.. Likely 125 to 150 amps.

Finally, No need to split battery banks up, IN FACT, there is an argument for NOT doing that, UNLESSS you need to have "Emergency" power reserves.

Here is the argument. Peukert law

Which says (In short) the slower you discharge a battery the longer STILL it lasts.. That is if you discharge a 100 amp hour battery at say a rate of 5 amps, it should last 20 hours.. but if you draw it down at 2.5 amps it lasts not 40 hours as you would expect. but much longer

So doubling up on the batteries MORE THAN DOUBLES the usable power.
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Old 08-24-2014, 07:18 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mel s View Post
DonKarstedt
On most, (if not all), motor homes the ONLY alternator, (which is driven the engine), charges both the chassis and house batteries through the inverter if/when the engine is running.
Mel
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Mel: did you mean to say isolater instead of inverter. Half the motorhomes don't have inverters. In fifteen years I never woked on a motorhome that charged the batteries through the inverter from the engine alternator.
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Old 08-24-2014, 10:08 PM   #32
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IMO- You need a good battery monitor first to see exactly how much 12 volt capacity (amp hours) you already have and to figure out how much more, (if any), you may need.

Something like this:

http://www.bogartengineering.com/products/TriMetric
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Old 08-24-2014, 11:03 PM   #33
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The OP already decided to buy 3 new, deep cycle 12 v batteries. Not sure what a battery monitor system is going to do for him except cost money. If he reduces usage by changing to a 12 v C-pap and 12 v fans, he'll reduce need while increasing capacity with the 3 deep cycles.

I use a fan like this:
O2 Cool 8" Battery Operated Electric Portable Fan - Walmart.com
It comes with a 120 v transformer or works on 8 D cell batteries. I made a 12 v cord for it and plug it into an outlet near the bed. Works great, quiet, and didn't cost much.
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Old 08-24-2014, 11:06 PM   #34
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Love the idea of having all the 12v appliances I can find.. But... I have absolutely no 12 volt sockets to connect to. Sounds like another project coming on...

--DonK
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Old 08-24-2014, 11:17 PM   #35
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I installed a number of 12 v power outlets (cigarette lighter type), one on either side of the bed, one at the dinette table, and an additional one in the dashboard. They aren't hard to install or wire, I bought a bunch of in-line fuse holders on Ebay that I wire into the 12 (+) wire for safety.
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Old 08-24-2014, 11:20 PM   #36
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Are you tapping in to existing 12 volt lines nearby, or running entirely new circuits?

--DonK
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Old 08-25-2014, 12:04 AM   #37
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Under the dash I found a good 12 v source. For the others, I ran wires to convenient sources. Longest run was the bed, I wanted to make sure I didn't draw from the chassis batteries at engine, I wanted to use house batteries. Ground wires were lots shorter runs in most cases.
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Old 08-25-2014, 07:12 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ga traveler View Post
Mel: did you mean to say isolater instead of inverter. Half the motorhomes don't have inverters. In fifteen years I never woked on a motorhome that charged the batteries through the inverter from the engine alternator.
ga traveler
I did mean isolator.
Sorry!
An inverter uses 12VDC to make 12VAC, (and has nothing to do with battery charging while the engine is running).
Mel
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