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Old 05-27-2014, 08:06 PM   #1
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Race track dry camping. Battery question

New guy looking for battery advice for 4 day dry camping track events. I have to replace the coach battery as I have no idea the age or condition of what's in there and would really like to stick with a single 12 volt as building a rack for 6v batts is not in the cards this year.

With being able to use the generator during the day and no expectation to use any TV's or appliances after hours. Mostly because of no inverter in the unit, and well, we just don't watch a lot of tv....Would I need to go to the extent of 6v units? I will be just running a few lights and the water pump, and the controllers for the fridge and so forth.....
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Old 05-27-2014, 08:20 PM   #2
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I had 4-6v when I got mine and found it way too cost prohibitive to replace them with the same. I just switched the wiring to 12v and did 2-12v deep cycle, then did 2 more the next year. 12V are much cheaper and with your use, you probably don't need to go with the 6v
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Old 05-27-2014, 08:27 PM   #3
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Two 12volt batteries will not have nearly the reserve power
of 4 6volt batteries. And the best are AGM type batteries.
You get what you pay for......
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Old 05-27-2014, 10:12 PM   #4
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You commented coach battery (engine start), but think you are speaking of the house battery - correct? The battery should have a date tag or other way to determine the age. You can haves auto parts or battery shop test it to gauge it's health. If the battery is ok, for your described usage you can probably run the generator two to three times a day for an hour or so and do fine.
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Old 05-27-2014, 11:36 PM   #5
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We will be doing at least 7 days of dry camping during our county fair. We can run the generator during the day so that will keep the batteries charged. We too use 12V house batteries and they do fine for what we use it for (pump, radio, lights). At night when generators are suppose to be off, my biggest concern is not being able to run the a/c. So hoping the evenings cool off and aren't muggy!! No A/C, that's almost roughing it eh . . .
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Old 05-28-2014, 12:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myrons31 View Post
New guy looking for battery advice for 4 day dry camping track events. I have to replace the coach battery as I have no idea the age or condition of what's in there and would really like to stick with a single 12 volt as building a rack for 6v batts is not in the cards this year.

With being able to use the generator during the day and no expectation to use any TV's or appliances after hours. Mostly because of no inverter in the unit, and well, we just don't watch a lot of tv....Would I need to go to the extent of 6v units? I will be just running a few lights and the water pump, and the controllers for the fridge and so forth.....
camped for years at tracks using the generator in the day and one 8D house battery to get through the evening and the a.m. No problem. If you get an inverter and start using coffee makers etc, you might add some batteries.

We run ten 6volt house batteries on our boat and they last quite a while, even powering fridge, ice maker, tv, stereo etc.
FWIW, the best place we've found for 6v golf cart batteries is Cosco, at least in this area. The battery boxes to put them in are relatively cheap and you can get them at marine supply places among others.
Have fun.
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Old 05-28-2014, 04:12 AM   #7
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If all you are using is lights for the most part, 2 - 12 volt batteries will do just fine. You probably only need a few hours a day in the evening during quiet hours. It is what I use, and it hasn't been a problem.
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Old 05-28-2014, 07:15 AM   #8
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One 12 volt will do what you are asking without any problem, just run the gen for a little while during the day to re charge.
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Old 05-28-2014, 07:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pexring View Post
We will be doing at least 7 days of dry camping during our county fair. We can run the generator during the day so that will keep the batteries charged. We too use 12V house batteries and they do fine for what we use it for (pump, radio, lights). At night when generators are suppose to be off, my biggest concern is not being able to run the a/c. So hoping the evenings cool off and aren't muggy!! No A/C, that's almost roughing it eh . . .
You should be just fine, you can always put on a cheep solar pannel from harbor freight to charge the Bat during daylight hours.
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Old 05-28-2014, 10:53 AM   #10
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Switch out your incandescent bulbs for leds and you should be just fine. We ran just two Interstate RV/Marine batts (not all that great) in our truck camper, camping up at a ski resort in blizzard conditions for days on end. Even though the heater fan was kicking on all night long, we never had a problem...except once....and that was my fault....and it never happened again. When you do replace your batts, you might take a look at Trojan batts. Even their 12v batts have some serious AHs. Pricey buggers though. If your batt compartment/tray is well vented, then I'd say go with flooded (we cell) for a host of reasons. If, however, your batt compartment is not well vented/enclosed, then AGM makes more sense.
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Old 05-28-2014, 02:23 PM   #11
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The problem with "Single 12 volt" is that it is not much info

I have a 12 volt battery not far from me that would power a standard Twin 1141 size lamp fixture for about 2 hours before it died.

I've uses some that could power a dozen of those all weekend long and still be strong.. of course that one tipped the scale at over two tons.

Most are in between (not all) A group 24 for example holds about 75 amp hours, G-29, just over 100, G-31 about 130 4D and 8D are in teh 200-300 amp hour range (not sure exactly where).

A pair of GC-2. 220-230 amp hours and they are real deep cycle meaning you can safely use half of it.

Now you have the givens.. Go ahead and do the math.
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Old 05-28-2014, 02:48 PM   #12
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I have had a lot of rigs in my day including boats, truck campers, toy haulers and motorhomes. If they come with 12V house batteries I replace with multiple (2 or 4) 6V batteries (which is not easy in a truck camper). 2 6v batteries have much more capacity (amp-hrs), and last longer.

I tend to hurt 12V batteries by letting the electrolyte get low exposing the plates. It happens fast on 12V batteries. 6V has more electrolyte per cell and takes much longer to expose plates (which are thicker). I am no slouch when it comes to maintenance but I don't seem to be able to keep a single 12V deep cycle battery fed.

My advice is to get 2 6V deep cycle batteries at Costco and don't look back.
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Old 05-29-2014, 10:59 AM   #13
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Thanks all. It's a wait til next year on a lot of bells and whistles. Probably add an extra frame mounted battery box after this season.
With the ability to run generator trackside amongst the others doing the exact same thing til quiet hours, I will be good. Thanks to the good advice from y'all!!
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Old 05-30-2014, 08:34 AM   #14
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I dry camp at NASCAR races for 4-5 days with no problem. I have 1- 12 volt deep cycle. I have a PD 4600 converter which quickly charges the battery when the generator runs. I have replaced lights with LED's. I make sure I have a full tank of gas in the motorhome so that I can run the genny as much as I want. You might want to pick up a smart battery charger to connect to your house battery if your onboard converter is an old style 13.2 volt float charge unit. Before I upgraded to the PD, that is what I would use. When at the races, I would connect the charger to the house battery whenever I ran the genny. I have had great success with the Walmart Maxx Everstart Deep Cycle batteries. Be sure it is says DC in the numeration.
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