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Old 10-25-2020, 09:19 PM   #1
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Interesting problem and need new battery recommendations

Hi all,
We bought a 2006 Raptor 3712 TS a few weeks ago and this was our first outing. I knew the batteries weren't great but I didn't think they were as bad as they were as we have full 50a hookups at our house. We ended up having to jump start the generator off the truck every time to start it up. Now onto the interesting part, when starting the second AC, it would run for a couple of minutes and then shut off the generator. It took some figuring out, but the batteries were so bad that the second AC paired with the converter was causing our onan 5500 to shut off on over frequency. Turning off the converter breaker made the problem go away. Needless to say we need new batteries but I thought I would share this because it may be something nobody else has seen before or may help somebody to see it and have an aha moment when they try and look up something similarly related.

This is our first onboard generator so there is a learning curve.

Any recommendations on new batteries, currently has 2 6v GC2's in it
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Old 10-25-2020, 10:03 PM   #2
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Your first question is about your camping style, how much do you plan on dry-camping or boondocking? Next question, Is this the only battery bank for powering the RV and starting the genset?
With those two answers we can respond with cogent replies.
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Old 10-25-2020, 10:58 PM   #3
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Your first question is about your camping style, how much do you plan on dry-camping or boondocking? Next question, Is this the only battery bank for powering the RV and starting the genset?
With those two answers we can respond with cogent replies.
Generally we prefer to dry camp, and yes currently it is the only batteries in the trailer. I have not yet, but plan on adding a small 1000w or so inverter in the near future. Mainly long weekend trips but a week or 3 once in a while.
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Old 10-26-2020, 12:38 AM   #4
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I would remain with 2 6V batteries or bite the bullet and buy a Lithium Ion 12V battery and charger, but that is over $1k and would perform better than a 4 6V battery bank..
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Old 10-26-2020, 07:21 AM   #5
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Two 6 volt, GC2 batteries are the best bang for your buck.

That gives you a bit more then 200 AH, a measurement of battery capacity.

If you run them down to much, they will not start the generator, so in your case, once run down to about 12 volts or 50% capacity, you need to start the generator for a recharge.

If mine, I would add a cheap & small, gp24, starter battery just for the generator.
That with a " Trik l Start " between the house and start battery gives you a good, charged battery to start the generator, even if you run down the house batteries overnight.

The generator should have handled all of the load you put on it. If overloaded, breakers trip.
It may show over frequency from surging before it shut down.

I would check the gas filter and even run a strong mix of sea foam in the gas, to clean up the carburator.
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Old 10-26-2020, 07:24 AM   #6
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I would remain with 2 6V batteries or bite the bullet and buy a Lithium Ion 12V battery and charger, but that is over $1k and would perform better than a 4 6V battery bank..
1, 100 AH lithium battery will out perform a 4 6 volt battery bank ?

A 4 battery bank is upwards of 400 AH.

I don't see it.
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Old 10-26-2020, 11:21 AM   #7
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The generator should have handled all of the load you put on it. If overloaded, breakers trip.
It may show over frequency from surging before it shut down.

I would check the gas filter and even run a strong mix of sea foam in the gas, to clean up the carburator.
My thought was that the batteries were so low that the converter was running all out, and with 2 30a breakers the converter shares with the bedroom AC. When I shut off the breaker for the converter it ran fine. You are probably right on the fuel filter, I just have to find it, but the carb was just rebuilt. I can run some seafoam thru for sure, that's easy peasy.

Lithiu-ion batteries are unfortunately just way out of the budget and was figuring on 2 more 6v batteries, as well as adding an alarming voltmeter. I would love to add a autostart, but for now they are out of the budget as well. The idea of a separate starter battery is interesting and will be looked into. Anyone know any good battery deals atm?? Lol
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Old 10-26-2020, 03:50 PM   #8
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I'm a big fan of Sams Club Duracell battys made in USA by East Penn and always a decent price. I have seen some sale prices late fall for pre-winter replacement customers.
A pair of 6V 200 AH FLA GCs will run about $160 for the pair... hard to beat for value.
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Old 10-26-2020, 04:16 PM   #9
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I'm a big fan of Sams Club Duracell battys made in USA by East Penn and always a decent price. I have seen some sale prices late fall for pre-winter replacement customers.
A pair of 6V 200 AH FLA GCs will run about $160 for the pair... hard to beat for value.
X2 on the SAMs Club Duracell GC2s. Ours are going on four years old and still performing surprisingly well. (Four total, wired series/parallel) They've were abused by the previous owner, almost dry when we bought the rig. Inverter was set at wrong charge rate also.
Just add distilled water occasionally and they will keep on going. I figure if they last another year I'm buying them again.

AGMs are another option, pricey but low/no maintenance.

LithiumIon do not perform well in cold climates unless mounted in a warm environment, such as inside the living space. Most expensive option.

Twinboats suggestion of a stand alone starting battery for the generator is spot on good advice.
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Old 10-26-2020, 04:17 PM   #10
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I have had good luck using the Sam's batteries.
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Old 10-26-2020, 08:02 PM   #11
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I checked sam's club and costco, sam's was sold out, and for $20 more I gained 25ah and ended up getting them from Batteries plus. Thanks for the advice all... hopefully my experience helps someone
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Old 10-26-2020, 09:42 PM   #12
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1, 100 AH lithium battery will out perform a 4 6 volt battery bank ?

A 4 battery bank is upwards of 400 AH.

I don't see it.
Depends on the type of performance you are talking about. Lithium is lighter, charges faster, provides more constant voltage, and is generally easier to care for.

If you operate your lead-acid batteries at 50% and higher the storage capacity is approximately the same. If you are comfortable running to 20% you have more storage capacity, but it will take a lot longer to recharge.

If you have your FLA out in the cold, compared to lithium inside, the capacity difference goes away. I was out in 11 degree weather recently, and I donít think my two Group 27 would have lasted through the night. For most of my camping it is not cold enough to make a difference, but this last trip it did.

Lithium battery prices are slowly coming down, but they are still very expensive. I finally bit the bullet and bought lithium ion batteries and am glad I did. I used FLA for nearly 30 years. It works, but it was always a thorn in my side.
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Old 10-28-2020, 10:15 AM   #13
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Depends on the type of performance you are talking about. Lithium is lighter, charges faster, provides more constant voltage, and is generally easier to care for.
People rarely factor all of that. Charging isn't free if you're using a generator and the lithiums last a lot longer.
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Old 10-28-2020, 10:56 AM   #14
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People rarely factor all of that. Charging isn't free if you're using a generator and the lithiums last a lot longer.
My experience is limited to lithium batteries in power tools and RC airplanes... lithium is great, but fragile...

You over discharge it once, youre done...

Leave it out in freezing temps too long... youre done, damage is permanent...

For someone living in a warm climate, who uses their RV very very frequently, makes sense. For the 95% of people that use the RV 3-4x a year... probably not?
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