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Old 08-22-2013, 07:43 AM   #1
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How long should batteries dry camp little help?

Our last coach, 04 Beaver Marquis, had 6-8 year old batteries and would go almost 2 days on batteries. I could use propane frig. Just got a 07 Marquis. It has the two extra large coach batteries. I think it will only go maybe 12 hours. I assume they are the original batteries. Does this coach use that much more electricity, or are the batteries that weak. Any ideas on how to cut down use of power? Checked on cost of replacing them, wow $1400. Thanks in advance for any help.

Safe travels everyone
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Old 08-22-2013, 07:56 AM   #2
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Were your old batteries 6V or 12V and how many?
What about the new ones? 12V, 6V?
You would have to answer how much power it's drawing with an amp meter, and then a load tester to see if they are bad or not. Maybe they are not getting charged well.
$1400 for two batteries and labor to change? No way. I don't see how. You can go to different batteries also, you're not limited to OEM necessarily.
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Old 08-22-2013, 07:58 AM   #3
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First, you need to measure how many AH's you are currently using per day from your house battery bank while not hooked to the grid.

Then you need to calculate how many AH's that your battery bank can provide, remembering that you should not go BELOW 50% SOC on your house battery bank.

Once you have both piece's of the equation, then it's easy to determine how long your battery bank will last when not hooked to the grid or before needing to be recharged.

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Old 08-22-2013, 08:00 AM   #4
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Hope you still have a propane refrigerator! I have a 1997 American Eagle and we dry camped for 16 nights in Silverton, Colorado last month. We have four Trojan T-105 batteries which we charged with the generator 60 to 90 minutes in the morning and the same just before quiet hours. What helps us is the propane refer plus having all LED light bulbs and LED televisions. I may have been able to not run the generator twice daily, but wanted to err on the side of caution regarding not discharging the house batteries below 50 percent. LED televisions not only use very little electricity, but are very light in weight. My 26" weighs only 10 pounds. The tv it replaced was a 20" Sony tube tv that weighed at least four times that much. A good source for LED replacement light bulbs is LED Lights, Bulbs & LED Lighting Accessories - SUPER BRIGHT LEDS Good luck! Jeff
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Old 08-22-2013, 08:13 AM   #5
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Jesilvas makes a GREAT point. Verify your current batteries are being charged! I should have also recommended this as my inverter charger recently was not charging! It is now working and all I did was disconnect and reconnect the romex electrical connections in the inverter wiring access panel. I also tightened ALL the electrical breaker connections in my breaker box. None were falling off, yet SEVERAL were not tight. Obviously do not know your setup, but I can confirm my inverter is charging by observing the amp draw as shown on the inverter display located in a cabinet inside my coach. When I initially plug in shore power, or start the generator, the amp draw goes up to its max of 130 amps, then with time and charging it drops down to the lowest amp LED light (in my case a10 amp light) then the voltage indicator remains at a float charge of 13 volts. When charging, my inverter display will go up to 14 volts while drawing the high amps. Check to see if your inverter responds similarly. Another great point jesilvas makes is that if your current batteries are bad, you do not have to go back with the same type if you have room for four six volt golf cart batteries, which of course is common...
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Old 08-22-2013, 09:22 AM   #6
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First thing would be to check the health of your batteries (specific gravity test, break down test), and health of the battery charger (voltage at battery should increase .5 volt or so when charger is charging).
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Old 08-22-2013, 01:28 PM   #7
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Bought my 07 Endeavor last year with used up coach batteries. If yours are original units they probably need to be replaced.
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Old 08-22-2013, 03:41 PM   #8
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Batteries

The batteries are original lifeline Gpl-4dl 12 volt. I thought $1300 was expensive NOT I need 4 of them! best price I found was $549 each! Mommy! Got a quote on , I believe delta brand from local shop I do business with at $475 each. The Delta only have 1 year warranty while Lifeline have 5 years.
I have an Alladin system and will see if it can tell me how many amps I am using. Batteries are sealed so no testing. Local battery shop said they can put a load on them but with deep cycle that test isn't very accurate?
Thanks for all the replys. Should have negotiated new pack when I purchased it. Assumed it used 6 volt like my 04 did.

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Old 08-23-2013, 04:18 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by FLYING BUTCH View Post
The batteries are original lifeline Gpl-4dl 12 volt. I thought $1300 was expensive NOT I need 4 of them! best price I found was $549 each! Mommy! Got a quote on , I believe delta brand from local shop I do business with at $475 each. The Delta only have 1 year warranty while Lifeline have 5 years.
I have an Alladin system and will see if it can tell me how many amps I am using. Batteries are sealed so no testing. Local battery shop said they can put a load on them but with deep cycle that test isn't very accurate?
Thanks for all the replys. Should have negotiated new pack when I purchased it. Assumed it used 6 volt like my 04 did.

Safe travels everyone
Just because the batteries are 6 years old does not mean they are shot. I think the first thing you need to do if test if you have any parasitic loads wasting a lot of power. One that comes to mind is the large contactor relays that connect battery banks together or turn on and off the house power. Sometimes these contactors are engergized all the time.

You might also consider old fashion flooded golf cart batteries. They are cheaper and work quite well. Seems like everyone gets all excited about the new battery technologies. The old lead acid flooded cell batteries will work just fine. There are some applications where you need a sealed battery that will run in any position or you can't afford the out gassing that the old batteries do, but most motorhome applicaitions don't fall into that category

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Old 08-23-2013, 06:58 AM   #10
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All I can say is for $500 max, you can get 4 T-105s that gives you 450AH. I can also say with the proper smart charger, maintanence is check water every six months and add water once a year. That's my experience plugged in 24/7 when not booning.

I too switched to all LED lighting. I replaced the TVs with 12v LEDs and we use no inverter. DW uses a 12v CPAP 8 hours a night and the Fantastic Vent usually runs 6 hours a day as do the TVs combined. We go almost 3 days (2 minimum) on only two 7 year old T-105s.

AGMs are nice for some folks, but there is zero advantage (except you can keep them in living space) for me. 6v GC batteries are the best bang for the buck and I have to believe they will continue to be for many more years. 12v wet deep cycles are running 2nd, but still more expensive per AH at this time.

If I were concerned about longetivity dry camping, I wouldn't throw $2000 at AGM batteries, it would go at a few hundred watts of solar. Just my 2 centavos.
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Old 08-23-2013, 07:19 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by FLYING BUTCH View Post
Any ideas on how to cut down use of power? . Thanks in advance for any help.
Safe travels everyone
FLYING BUTCH
Make sure that everything that uses 12VDC power is OFF when not needed, (including lights, the inverter, memory power to entertainment equipment, etc).
Common sense "electrical management" can/will reduce the needless discharge of house batteries, and result in longer usage before battery draw down.
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Old 08-23-2013, 07:55 AM   #12
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Batteries

Will the 4-T105 give the same amperage as I now have? Are they 12 or 6 volt, and what is the brand? How many 6 volt batteries will I need to equal power I now have or should I use 12 volt? I like the idea. We had 6 volt golf cart batteries in our 04 and they worked fine. Thanks for all the imput guys.

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Old 08-23-2013, 10:11 AM   #13
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FLYING BUTCH......You may have taken great care of your previous batteries, but the prior owner of the 07 coach may not have. Initially, I would guess that the batteries are bad.

My coach over charged the batteries for years because I didn't have the charger set correctly. I would test the batteries first. Harbor Freight sells an inexpensive battery load tester ($20.00) that does a good job. Since yours are gel cell, load testing may be the only thing you can do. Remember, you can never test dead batteries. Charge them to what you think is a full charge and then test.

I'm guessing that year coach has a Magnum inverter. Give Magnum a call and ask them for the settings you need for your batteries. They'll walk you through adjusting your charger.

Lastly, if the batteries are bad, which I suspect, I would do as Bob suggested and go with the good old wet cell batteries. The Trojan T105's are the best you can buy and will be a good replacement. They'll probably be about $150.00 each.
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Old 08-24-2013, 05:42 AM   #14
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Batteries

Thanks for the advise. If I have 4 of the current style I will need 8 t105s right? Sounds like best way to go.

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