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Old 10-31-2020, 06:54 AM   #1
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Battery advice.

Iíll be dry camping for the first time at a farm next month. This is a rare occurrence and doubtful that Iíd repeat too often. We always stay at CG with services. The crappy marine/rv battery that came with our 2019 Winnebago doesnít seem to have much lasting power. I read I should get a deep cycle. Iíd like recommendations for a good battery that will get us through a three day stay using the furnace, pump and lights. Installing multiple batteries seems like overkill if dry camping will be rare for us. Iím going to buy a generator to recharge it daily. Iíve been talking for years anyways to buy one to help at home with occasional power failures. Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-31-2020, 07:15 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pj48009 View Post
I’d like recommendations for a good battery that will get us through a three day stay using the furnace, pump and lights. Installing multiple batteries seems like overkill if dry camping will be rare for us. I’m going to buy a generator to recharge it daily. I’ve been talking for years anyways to buy one to help at home with occasional power failures. Thanks in advance.
Using your water pump and lights won't be much of a problem but using your furnace will be an issue and you didn't mention your refrigerator. if you have one that runs on LPG, you'll be OK. If you have a residential refrigerator, you'll be running your generator for many, many hours, even with two batteries.

The most economical solution is to install two 6V golf cart batteries in series. They are true deep cycle batteries and both Costco and Sam's Club have reasonably priced versions. Two golf cart batteries will run you about $200 + tax for 220 amp hours. One 12V AGM deep cycle battery (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1) will run about $190 + tax for 110 amp hours. Remember, only about 50% of the rated amp hour capacity is useable before the voltage drops too low.

The biggest thing is to remember that you're camping, not RVing when dry camping or boon docking.
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Old 10-31-2020, 09:13 AM   #3
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Yes I forgot to mention my fridge will run on propane. I won’t go to Costco or sams club but I’m sure I can find a small business nearby. I assume two 6vt batteries become 12 vts?
I’m not sure I want to make modifications to carry two batteries for a one time use, but I’m not closed to it either. It just poses more questions.
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Old 10-31-2020, 09:24 AM   #4
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Battery advise.

“… This is a rare occurrence and doubtful that I’d repeat too often. …. I read I should get a deep cycle. I’d like recommendations for a good battery that will get us through a three day stay using the furnace, pump and lights. Installing multiple batteries seems like overkill if dry camping will be rare for us. …”

The size of the battery bank should be measured in amp hour capacity. Engine start batteries are rated in “cold cranking amps”. If the battery is not rated in amp hours, it is not likely a good deep draw battery.

For 12 volt appliances in a small travel trailer (you did not post model) to run three days, I use a pair of group 31 Interstate Marine 12 volt AGM batteries that are each rated at 100 amp hours. I get 3 days with good reserve capacity in weather with freezing nights and cold days. So this is the minimum deep draw battery bank size regardless of how often you use it.

You can get flooded cell batteries for less than AGM, but more maintenance will be required regardless of how often you dry camp. Water level must be monitored. Clean battery terminals and surroundings periodically. Remove corrosion and repaint battery compartment periodically.

AGM batteries do not require all that maintenance. However, they are sensitive to overcharging. Review your battery charger’s voltage profile when changing from flooded to AGM. My WFCO converter/charger works fine with AGM or flooded cell batteries.

“ … I’m going to buy a generator to recharge it daily. I’ve been talking for years anyways to buy one to help at home with occasional power failures. Thanks in advance.”

If you install 200 amp hours of batteries, you should not need a generator for charging. 200 amp hours will last 3 days. Recharge by plugging in at next destination. Charge for 14 to 18 hours for a full clean charge.

A 1000W generator is enough to run a 50 amp battery charger. You would need 2000 to 3500 watts to run 120 volt appliances while charging batteries.

A 3500 watt generator is probably too small for running a home. You could plug in a couple of major appliances separate from the home wiring system.

2 to 4 hours running per day would keep 12 volt things running. A full 14 to 18 hour charge is still required before storage. Always store lead acid batteries fully charged for long life.

Choosing An RV Battery https://www.irv2.com/forums/download...do=file&id=231
Note: The recommendation in this article to not use marine batteries does not apply to Marine AGM batteries. Large marine AGM batteries work as house batteries on boats and RV just fine.

Battery University https://batteryuniversity.com/

How does the Lead Acid Battery Work? https://batteryuniversity.com/learn/...ased_batteries

Charging lead acid batteries https://batteryuniversity.com/learn/...d_acid_battery

AGM https://batteryuniversity.com/learn/..._glass_mat_agm

How to Charge and When to Charge? https://batteryuniversity.com/learn/...o_charge_table

How to Store Batteries https://batteryuniversity.com/learn/...tore_batteries

Summary of Do’s and Don’ts https://batteryuniversity.com/learn/..._battery_table

I wish you good luck and happy trails ahead!
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Old 10-31-2020, 09:39 AM   #5
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Using your water pump and lights won't be much of a problem but using your furnace will be an issue and you didn't mention your refrigerator. .
I would agree the furnace will be an issue, particularly if only a single battery, but even if not.

I'd probably go the generator route. Keep in mind you'll likely need to limit what else you do with the generator, perhaps even having to shut off the charging to use the microwave. It depends on the size of the generator, but charging can take about 500 watts by itself.

I recently bought a Champion 2000/2500 watt generator. It fits nicely in the front compartment of my 2106DS and is easy to start. It would also work at home, although I have a larger Yamaha generator for that.
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Old 10-31-2020, 12:19 PM   #6
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I agree with what persistent said 100%.
I'd only add that if I thought the existing battery is bad, I'd replace it with a group 29 or 31 AGM battery. For a one time thing where you are going to run a generator you should be fine. Just run the generator in the morning and again in the evening. You could buy a second 12V flooded battery (Similar to your current battery) and just temporarily connect it in parallel. That would provide plenty of power if the current battery is still good. I like the Maintenance Free aspect of the AGM.
I almost exclusively dry camp. I have 2 Flooded batteries only because when I bought my trailer the battery it came with was brand new so adding a second battery only cost me $100. I added 270 watts of solar. I run the same things as you including the furnace. I have never ran the generator (even though I take it). I made a few trips between 4 and 7 days even before I added the second battery (but with the solar). A small generator will easily replace the Solar.
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Old 10-31-2020, 02:46 PM   #7
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Since you say you have other uses for a generator then I would and did go that route. I keep my trailer in a storage yard without electricity so the generator allows me to work on my trailer with power tools. I bought a GROUP 24 AGM from costco and it takes care of all my needs by running just 45 minutes a day but I donít use the heater. I would say get a AGM as big as you can fit without extensive mods and run that new generator.
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Old 10-31-2020, 03:00 PM   #8
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Deep cycle batteries come in a few group sizes. The higher the group size the more reserve power in the battery.

Group 24, Group 27, Group 29/31.

You should research the capacity of the different group size. But I will tell you I have a group 27 on my current travel trailer but my next trailer/5th wheel will have a group 29/31.
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Old 10-31-2020, 03:02 PM   #9
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Iíll shop for an AGM battery. Iím starting to think maybe I will try the two battery recommendation. Who knows what Iíll really do in the future. It wouldnít hurt to be prepared if the CG loses power that Iím in. We stay in Florida for the winter and I learned to keep my fresh water tank full after the CG lost water durin road construction twice while I was there. Just because you think you donít need something doesnít mean you donít need it. So I respectfully agree with what your saying. How does one operate a 12vt system with 6 volt batteries? Does two in series provide 12 volts? Or on the alternative I should buy a large capacity 12 volt battery. The dealer I purchased from taught me next to nothing. Between you folks and YouTube Iíve learned much.
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Old 10-31-2020, 03:10 PM   #10
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No investment, problem solved.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pj48009 View Post
Iíll be dry camping for the first time at a farm next month. This is a rare occurrence and doubtful that Iíd repeat too often. We always stay at CG with services. The crappy marine/rv battery that came with our 2019 Winnebago doesnít seem to have much lasting power. I read I should get a deep cycle. Iíd like recommendations for a good battery that will get us through a three day stay using the furnace, pump and lights. Installing multiple batteries seems like overkill if dry camping will be rare for us. Iím going to buy a generator to recharge it daily. Iíve been talking for years anyways to buy one to help at home with occasional power failures. Thanks in advance.
For a "rare occurrence" I'd just start your vehicle everyday and charge you battery from it's alternator.
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Old 10-31-2020, 03:15 PM   #11
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2, 6 volt batteries in series is the equivalent of more then 2, 12 volt batteries in parallel.

Simply hook one + terminal to one - terminal and use the other two terminals for 12 volts. Your equipment won't know the difference.

Because they have been used in golf carts for years, and some still do, they are low cost, and capacity wise, the best bang for your buck.

As far as AGM, if you don't have them now, why change ?
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Old 10-31-2020, 03:31 PM   #12
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Iíll shop for an AGM battery. Iím starting to think maybe I will try the two battery recommendation. Who knows what Iíll really do in the future. It wouldnít hurt to be prepared if the CG loses power that Iím in. We stay in Florida for the winter and I learned to keep my fresh water tank full after the CG lost water durin road construction twice while I was there. Just because you think you donít need something doesnít mean you donít need it. So I respectfully agree with what your saying. How does one operate a 12vt system with 6 volt batteries? Does two in series provide 12 volts? Or on the alternative I should buy a large capacity 12 volt battery. The dealer I purchased from taught me next to nothing. Between you folks and YouTube Iíve learned much.
If you opt for AGM both East Penn (Sams Club Duacell) and Trojan have confirmed that their 6V GC and 12V GP 31 have equivalent deep cycle and start capability. If you are talking flooded lead acid above not true as plate designs are different.
If you go a pair of 6V GCs they are wired in series and will give you 12V and roughly 200 amp hrs. Downside if / when a batty goes bad you can't get by even in emergency with only one.
If you use a pair of 12V GP 31s wired in parallel you will have roughly the same 12V and 200AH. The good part is if/when one batty goes bad you can disconnect it and get by for a short time with only one.
I'm a big fan of AGM and willing to pay the 100% premium for no maintenance, lower self discharge in storage, no ruined jeans / shirts from acid splash and refurbing batty compartment from corrosion.
FLA roughly $1/AH @12V
AGM roughly $2/ AH @12V
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Old 10-31-2020, 03:40 PM   #13
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For a "rare occurrence" I'd just start your vehicle everyday and charge you battery from it's alternator.
Sorry to disagree but running your vehicle with only alt as a load on it for hours is not the kindest treatment for an engine. Even generators recommend loading them at least 50% of max load.
Alternators / voltage regulators not a very efficient way to charge a half discharged deep cycle batty... they are designed primarily to top off start battys after a short and very small % discharge of batty capacity.
Many people start a vehicle and run it for 15 min and say they have charged up their batty... that's simply not possible with significant discharge.
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Old 10-31-2020, 03:54 PM   #14
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Agree with - do not use your vehicle. There is really no much charge coming from the vehicle.

The Catalac batteries are the expensive Lithium Ion. All other batteries are going to be heavy. You will need a bigger battery box. That in itself is its own issue to size the box and batteries.
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