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Old 12-04-2021, 04:42 PM   #1
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Advice for battery upgrade

Hi

This is my 1st official post on the board. I'm a relative newbie where next spring will be our 2nd season. I'm really interested in trying boondocking and have been honestly trying to research the battery question including reading some of the threads in this forum. Let me explain my situation:

We have a 24 ft TT which came with the standard 12v. I know this isn't adequate. I'm really only looking to boondock for 2-3 days at a stretch here and there so going all out for lithium seems overboard.

We also won't be boondocking in the cold too much. We live in the NE where there isn't a lot of boondocking. I'd like to try a few days here and there when we venture out to areas where there is more but this would be in the Summer interspersed with days on full hookups.

So, I'm thinking 2 6V. I believe my main concern will be the fridge, obviously running off propane but still drawing some power. I was also hoping to avoid getting a generator but will if I need to. Really appreciate any feedback. If I get this wrong I'll never hear the end of it
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Old 12-04-2021, 05:10 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NERoamer19 View Post
Hi

This is my 1st official post on the board. I'm a relative newbie where next spring will be our 2nd season. I'm really interested in trying boondocking and have been honestly trying to research the battery question including reading some of the threads in this forum. Let me explain my situation:

We have a 24 ft TT which came with the standard 12v. I know this isn't adequate. I'm really only looking to boondock for 2-3 days at a stretch here and there so going all out for lithium seems overboard.

We also won't be boondocking in the cold too much. We live in the NE where there isn't a lot of boondocking. I'd like to try a few days here and there when we venture out to areas where there is more but this would be in the Summer interspersed with days on full hookups.

So, I'm thinking 2 6V. I believe my main concern will be the fridge, obviously running off propane but still drawing some power. I was also hoping to avoid getting a generator but will if I need to. Really appreciate any feedback. If I get this wrong I'll never hear the end of it
To determine, how much battery amp/hrs you’ll need for 3 days of boondocking, you need to know what is your daily power consumption. Otherwise, you’ll wind up spending dough you may not need to spend. You should consider, first investing in a negative shunt monitor, which will tell you the SOC of your batteries, and how many amps are being used. Once you know how much power you consume, you can decide what kind of battery and charging system is best suited for your needs. Be careful of just throwing 2x 6von the tongue. They are very heavy, and could possible increase your tongue weight such that you exceed the payload of your tv. So, the two most important things to know are: how much power do you consume, and how much payload can your tow vehicle handle.
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Old 12-04-2021, 05:38 PM   #3
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AND a small portable generator will set you free.................

Mike in Colorado
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Old 12-04-2021, 06:40 PM   #4
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Welcome, You will get some good advice.

Take your time and plan ahead.

Check this out
https://thecampingnerd.com/6-volt-vs...-rv-batteries/
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Old 12-05-2021, 08:57 AM   #5
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Welcome to iRV2
There is so much info here re battys that it can be daunting and confusing. Your boondocking style and power needs sounds fairly simple. Cooler Wx and furnace blower use is a huge power use that you will avoid it limited to warmer Wx. Fridge on propane also significantly reduces power needs... thec12V controls have very low draw. If you can list your power needs and estimate how long you can look up amp draw for typical appliances, etc and come up with a rough estimate of your reqmts.
If you don't have an inverter that powers 120V appliances from 12V batty all you will need to consider are 12V lights, fans, TV, radio... and these are fairly modest. A good way to test your estimates is to set up at home and simulate a day or two of camping. Check batty V at start & end of a day to estimate batty SOC.
If you are close to capacity and/or want to extend # days you might consider a small gennie (Honda one of the best) and/or a portable solar charger.
The article above is good but I disagree with one point made... IMO 6V GC (golf cart) battys are not more expensive that 12V if you consider $/AH. GCs are a very good deep cycle choice, readily available and made in high volumes that make them very competitive. Its your choice whether to go/stay with flooded lead acid or AGM which are maint free and avoid corrosion of FLA. Many will preach the benefits of Lithium... LDP but for simple boondocking needs they seem like overkill to me.
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Old 12-05-2021, 09:18 AM   #6
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Batteries for Boondocking and Dry Camping

Batteries for a 24 foot travel trailer:

Minimal configuration for 3 nights without running the furnace a lot is 150 amp hours. With conservation, you should have significant reserve at the end of 3 nights.

This provides for lights, water pump, water heater 12 volt controls, refer on propane 12 volt controls, charging cell phones.

Better configuration for 5 nights without running the furnace a lot is 200 amp hours. Running the same appliances. Again you should have substantial reserve capacity.

Adding a TV requires a little more. A 12 volt TV for 2 or 3 hours per day can easily fit into the reserve capacity. A 200 watt inverter running a 120 volt TV takes a little more.

When weather is cold (freezing at night) and we use the furnace a lot, 3 days becomes the limit for our 200 amp hour battery bank.

Fully charge batteries 14 to 18 hours after 5 days. Lead acid batteries must be stored fully charged for long service life. Letting them sit discharged for weeks will reduce storage capacity. Letting them sit for 3 months will probably kill them.

I like AGM batteries. They cost more than flooded cells but have significant advantages in deep draw situations. I have a pair of group 31 AGM marine 12 volt batteries. Total amp hour rating is 200 amp hours.

I camp for a few days and recharge in my driveway overnight. I dry camp most of the time. For long periods I alternate between campsites with and without 120 volt shore power.

I have a small light weight generator that I almost never use.

Choosing An RV Battery https://www.irv2.com/forums/download...do=file&id=231
This is a good article, but its recommendations against “Marine Batteries” does not apply to “Marine AGM batteries”.

Battery University https://batteryuniversity.com/articles
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Old 12-05-2021, 10:32 AM   #7
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If OP will provide some specifics on the year/make of his TT, and a description of his TV, many forum members can give you real world info on easiest and cheapest way to get 3 days boondocking without generator out of your rig. Having an absorption fridge and not camping in cold weather gives you lots of options.
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Old 12-05-2021, 10:52 AM   #8
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For whatever it's worth, we do a lot of boondocking, for up to a week at a time. We have two group 31 12 v deep cycle batteries -- one in use and one as a spare. We have a 120 watt portable solar panel.

And we carry an old, well-maintained Honda generator, which we almost never use. But it's there if we need it.
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Old 12-05-2021, 11:13 AM   #9
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For whatever it's worth, we do a lot of boondocking, for up to a week at a time. We have two group 31 12 v deep cycle batteries -- one in use and one as a spare. We have a 120 watt portable solar panel.



And we carry an old, well-maintained Honda generator, which we almost never use. But it's there if we need it.
Running both batteries in parallel will give you better service and longer life.

The higher the amp draw, the faster a battery discharges. Parallel them to cut that draw in half. It's called the Peukert effect.

The deeper the draw down, the less cycles a battery supplies before it fails. Parallel them to use shallower cycles extending their life.
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Old 12-05-2021, 11:19 AM   #10
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I know everyone has different power needs. In our 20' TT with a propane fridge we could run for 2-3 days and keep our single G27 battery above the 50% point. Two GC batteries wired in series will triple your amp hour capacity. You should be able to camp for up to seven days with those.

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Old 12-05-2021, 09:59 PM   #11
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Thank you all! Some great points and info. Great articles as well. I'm going to respond to some of the specific posts that raised some specific points. The 2 6volt consideration is new as I was pretty fairly convinced that I was going to go with 2 12v. Then I saw some tests on Youtube that got me concerned that maybe that wouldn't be enough. Now though after reading some of the posts here I believe the only way to determine this is to mock a boondock out in the driveway and monitor the battery to see what the draw actually is.
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Old 12-05-2021, 10:19 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Marine359 View Post
To determine, how much battery amp/hrs you’ll need for 3 days of boondocking, you need to know what is your daily power consumption. Otherwise, you’ll wind up spending dough you may not need to spend. You should consider, first investing in a negative shunt monitor, which will tell you the SOC of your batteries, and how many amps are being used. Once you know how much power you consume, you can decide what kind of battery and charging system is best suited for your needs. Be careful of just throwing 2x 6von the tongue. They are very heavy, and could possible increase your tongue weight such that you exceed the payload of your tv. So, the two most important things to know are: how much power do you consume, and how much payload can your tow vehicle handle.
Thanks Marine 359,
I was trying to look up a "negative shunt monitor" Could I get the same info using a multimeter? Could you provide a link to what you're referring to? I'm not sure. I am definitely aware of the tongue weight increase concern and will be looking into this carefully. Thanks for mentioning it though.
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Old 12-05-2021, 10:24 PM   #13
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AND a small portable generator will set you free.................

Mike in Colorado
Thanks Mike, I know. They seem real handy to have but also expensive esp. if I didn't end up needing one. I guess there's no rush I can go out for one night and see what happens and gradually add until I reach my 3 days to see if I reach the point of needing one or not.
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Old 12-05-2021, 10:29 PM   #14
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Please allow me to get my 2 cents in. The wife and I both need c-paps. I installed a 400 watt inverter to run them. I installed 2 6 volt deep cells and we can last for 2 days without needing to plug in. I think that under normal use 2 6volt deep cells would do what you want with no problem. It would give you a buffer of stored power if the need should arise.
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