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Old 08-09-2020, 07:43 PM   #1
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Power System???

The wife and I just picked up a new 2020 30 (29.8ft) ft 5er. We are clueless. We finally have the right truck to tow it. Now I need to install a battery system. I have been researching the past few hours and am overwhelmed. Batteries costing anywhere from 179- to over a grand. How many do I need? How do I re charge them. etc etc. Do I need a starter battery.
And how big does my generator need to be. Ours is a 50 amp supply. Is a honda 3000 enough. Can someone point me to the right article or thread.? I would be very much appreciative. Thank you so much.
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Old 08-09-2020, 07:54 PM   #2
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I don't understand. You bought a new unit and it did not come with batteries ? Also did you not get a pre-delivery inspection and familiarization from the dealer ?
A 3 kilowatt gen is probably not enough power for a 50 amp RV. How many air cond. units ? You need to post more exact info. so people can help you. Start @ the beginning.
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Old 08-09-2020, 08:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePlumber View Post
The wife and I just picked up a new 2020 30 (29.8ft) ft 5er. We are clueless. We finally have the right truck to tow it. Now I need to install a battery system. I have been researching the past few hours and am overwhelmed. Batteries costing anywhere from 179- to over a grand. How many do I need? How do I re charge them. etc etc. Do I need a starter battery.
And how big does my generator need to be. Ours is a 50 amp supply. Is a honda 3000 enough. Can someone point me to the right article or thread.? I would be very much appreciative. Thank you so much.
Why did it NOT come with batteries already installed? Up in front should be a compartment open it and on most that is where the batteries will be.
Should already have a converter installed to charge batteries while on shore power.
By the way, what brand and model of your 5th wheel did you buy? During travel your tow vehicle should provide power to the batteries to HELP maintain a charge state. What kind of truck did you get and are plan on using to tow.
When you bought this and picked it up did you do a walk thru with the dealership so they could show things to you. During this time is good to find items that need repaired BEFORE sign on the dotted line or you leave.
During this PDI (predelivery inspection) is when the dealer shows you how things operate and explain where certain items are located.
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Old 08-10-2020, 06:07 AM   #4
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I agree with the other responses. If you have a brand new 5er OR trailer everything you are asking about should already be on it. You just need to start finding it and understand how to use it. I'm afraid I can't come help you because I'm in Connecticut and that is the wrong coast.



We need more info. Why do you think you need to install a battery system. If your 12 volt lighting does not work I would bet the battery main cutoff is turned off. It should be a big red knob.
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Old 08-10-2020, 06:44 AM   #5
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put in a call to a mobile rv mechanic. pay him for an hours time. have him show you everything about your trailer. it my cost a few dollars but it should make you feel more at ease. take notes! take pictures!

are you comfortable towing the trailer with your truck? do you know how to hook and unhook it safely? my first concern would be your safety and the safety of others.
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Old 08-10-2020, 09:45 AM   #6
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put in a call to a mobile rv mechanic. pay him for an hours time. have him show you everything about your trailer. it my cost a few dollars but it should make you feel more at ease. take notes! take pictures!

are you comfortable towing the trailer with your truck? do you know how to hook and unhook it safely? my first concern would be your safety and the safety of others.
I miss-typed. We haven't drove away with it. We have an appointment to go over the hitch up and walkthrough etc. I balked at the point when they asked us how many batteries we want. I'm trying not to get taken. we are set for this Friday.
Its a 2020 grand design 260 rd
pulling it with a ram 3500
BD3 hitch.
Thank you very much for your responses. And I'm very sorry I made it sound like we drove away with it. I'm an idiot, sorry.
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Old 08-10-2020, 02:59 PM   #7
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My new trailer came with two 12v interstate batteries. I had an option to pay for two 6v to be installed as well. I think it was an additional $300. Two 6 volts (ran together to equal 1 big 12 volt) will usually provide you with more usable 12v usage/time between charges. The rating on batteries that describes this is amp hours, or "AH". Two 12v with 50 AH rating will provide you 100 AH of power. Two 6v with a 100 AH rating will provide you with 100 AH of 12v power. This is more important when using your trailer while not plugged into a 120v house current or generator. If you'll be using your trailer for rv park type camping, you'll almost always be "plugged in" with the parks 120v AC power. When you're "plugged in", your trailer has a converter. It runs all the 12v accessories in your trailer. Things like lights, water pump, awnings, slide outs, vent fans. These are usually all powered by 12v DC power. Your converter also has a charger in it that keeps your batteries charged up while you're plugged in.


What you need to think about is how you'll use your trailer. What kind of camping do you do? This will tell you what you'll need. I kind of handy and opted to just use the two 12v batteries until they fail. I'll probably switch to two 6v at that time. Or perhaps, I'll go for the expensive lithium batteries. But the information you need to best answer your question is how will you use your trailer.

If I was only given one 12v battery, I would have probably paid to upgrade to the two 6v. This is a common upgrade as most 12v batteries are not designed for RV use. I hope this helps. Congrats on your new trailer.
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Old 08-10-2020, 07:53 PM   #8
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My new trailer came with two 12v interstate batteries. I had an option to pay for two 6v to be installed as well. I think it was an additional $300. Two 6 volts (ran together to equal 1 big 12 volt) will usually provide you with more usable 12v usage/time between charges. The rating on batteries that describes this is amp hours, or "AH". Two 12v with 50 AH rating will provide you 100 AH of power. Two 6v with a 100 AH rating will provide you with 100 AH of 12v power. This is more important when using your trailer while not plugged into a 120v house current or generator. If you'll be using your trailer for rv park type camping, you'll almost always be "plugged in" with the parks 120v AC power. When you're "plugged in", your trailer has a converter. It runs all the 12v accessories in your trailer. Things like lights, water pump, awnings, slide outs, vent fans. These are usually all powered by 12v DC power. Your converter also has a charger in it that keeps your batteries charged up while you're plugged in.


What you need to think about is how you'll use your trailer. What kind of camping do you do? This will tell you what you'll need. I kind of handy and opted to just use the two 12v batteries until they fail. I'll probably switch to two 6v at that time. Or perhaps, I'll go for the expensive lithium batteries. But the information you need to best answer your question is how will you use your trailer.

If I was only given one 12v battery, I would have probably paid to upgrade to the two 6v. This is a common upgrade as most 12v batteries are not designed for RV use. I hope this helps. Congrats on your new trailer.
Thank you all very much. I'm thinking I would like to have enough juice to get through a night using everything in the trailer, like lights, tv, massage chair, leveling off, etc. Then in the morning charge it back up using a generator or off my truck while towing to the next boondocking site.
Does that make sense? I'm going to put solar on pause right now but will consider it later on. Thanks again.
Did you say two 6 volt batteries tied together will do that?
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Old 08-10-2020, 10:59 PM   #9
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Thank you all very much. I'm thinking I would like to have enough juice to get through a night using everything in the trailer, like lights, tv, massage chair, leveling off, etc. Then in the morning charge it back up using a generator or off my truck while towing to the next boondocking site.
Does that make sense? I'm going to put solar on pause right now but will consider it later on. Thanks again.
Did you say two 6 volt batteries tied together will do that?
We're not big power users when we camp. I'm not knowledgeable enough to answer that question. There are ways to calculate your actual power needs, but that's above my understanding. Perhaps renting a generator the first few trips would be an option to make sure you're covered until you can get a better feel for what you need.



As far as your truck charging your batteries, I wouldn't rely on that. A normal charge wire in the plug will only do the bare minimal as far as charging. There are ways to upgrade that as well, but it requires work.



To begin with, I'd just call the dealer and ask what will come with your rig. After-selling things like batteries and such are usually money makers for dealers. You can usually do better going elsewhere or doing it yourself. Batteries are pretty easy to add if your somewhat handy.
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Old 08-11-2020, 12:35 AM   #10
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Rule of thumb:

We can get by for one night using all the equipment you mentioned and a few hours of TV watching and a little coffee in the morning using about 100 amps altogether.

To get the 100 amps we need, we installed 220 amps - which is two 6 volt golf cart batteries. The reason for this extra capacity is that we only want to discharge our batteries by about 50% for longest life.

If you have the necessary 200 amps in two 12 volt batteries, instead of two 6 volts, that's fine.

Does this help?

If you use a bunch of 120 volt equipment through an inverter, or have a residential refrigerator, or watch big screen 10 hours, all bets are off. You won't have enough.
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Old 08-11-2020, 01:39 AM   #11
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Rule of thumb:

We can get by for one night using all the equipment you mentioned and a few hours of TV watching and a little coffee in the morning using about 100 amps altogether.

To get the 100 amps we need, we installed 220 amps - which is two 6 volt golf cart batteries. The reason for this extra capacity is that we only want to discharge our batteries by about 50% for longest life.

If you have the necessary 200 amps in two 12 volt batteries, instead of two 6 volts, that's fine.

Does this help?

If you use a bunch of 120 volt equipment through an inverter, or have a residential refrigerator, or watch big screen 10 hours, all bets are off. You won't have enough.
Yes, thank you. That is a big help. But I don't understand when you said
"If you have the necessary 200 amps in two 12 volt batteries, instead of two 6 volts, that's fine."
Isn't 2 x 12 equals 24 and 2 x 6 equals 12? Wouldn't I get more Energy Out of two 12 Volt batteries instead of two 6 Volt batteries?
Can you make sense of that? So I can understand it.
Thanks
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Old 08-11-2020, 05:08 AM   #12
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batteries are a constant topic here. people use their rv's differently and that affects the number and type of batteries that they need.

the 12 volt systems on rv run on 12 volt dc power. there are two basic ways to provide this. you can install 12 volt batteries in parallel or you can install 6 volt batteries in series. two 6 volt batteries in series results in 12 volts as the two 6 volt batteries add their voltages. you can think of them as a 12 volt battery split into two sections. many people install multiple 12 volt batteries in parallel. in this configuration the voltage stays at 12 volt but the capacity increases as you add additional batteries. WHATEVER YOU END UP WITH MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU HAVE, 6 VOLTS, 12 VOLTS, SERIES, OR PARALLEL!

the measure of how much capacity the batteries has is called amp-hours. you generally want as many amp-hours as you can get subject to cost, space available, and configuration. as how many amp-hours your batteries will supply.

there will be lots of people that have lots of opinions about what is best. they are all probably correct for how they use the batteries. what meets the needs for one person may not be optimum for another.

the dealer has to supply some type of battery or batteries. you must have a battery installed to even drive it off the lot. this is required to operate the brakes in a break-away situation. most likely with a 5er you will have space for 2 batteries. most likely that space will allow 2 group 27 batteries to be installed. most likely the dealer will install 2 12 volt batteries. this should be included in the sales price. another other configuration will be extra.

your onboard converter / charger will recharge the batteries when you are hooked up to a power source (pedestal or generator). do not expect your tow vehicle to recharge them while driving.

i hope this helps. there are many configurations that will work. and while people argue about the benefits of specific configurations, in my opinion much of the argument is about getting from 90% optimum to 100% optimum.
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Old 08-11-2020, 06:29 AM   #13
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Sounds like they were specing out a new rig when they asked that question. I would just tell them to put in two good 12 volt batteries and go with it. If you are new to rving you don't really know what you want anyway YET.
I have been full timing for 11 years and I only have two 12 volt batteries. This has never been an issue for us. Besides if you keep rving you will probably acquire a generator anyway and that can be used to work around any short falls you will discover in the short run.


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Old 08-11-2020, 07:43 AM   #14
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Have the dealer install two 12V deep cycle batteries. Your 5er has a built in charging system when plugged in. Your truck will also charge the batteries while driving down the road. A 3000W gen is plenty for recharging while dry camping.
All this will be gone over when you do your PDI.
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