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Old 01-31-2017, 10:57 AM   #1
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How Much Battery Do I Need?

We camp host for the month of August in Yosemite and have water and sewer, but no electrical.
I have my big generator on the coach and a Honda 2000...So I can keep batteries charged..

I am thinking about upgrading my batteries (they are 7yrs old) but not sure how much I need....

My coach is 90% LED"s (TV included).. We use very little electricity during the day, but at night we would like to watch TV for a few hours and use our electric blanket (wife)..... Of course that would mean having the invertor/convertor on all night...

Costco's Golf batteries are 205ah and Batteries + Bulbs has Duracell's that have 235ah..... Of course B+B's are more $$$$

Switching from 2 12volt to 4 6volt.....

Also how far can I take the batteries down? is 10 to low?
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Old 01-31-2017, 11:09 AM   #2
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Lee,

Letting your bank get down to 10 will kill it in short order. When a Lead Acid bank gets down to 12.0 half of the rated 20hr rate is used. Some special deep cycle can stand as low as 11.8* before their ability to be recovered is lost.

I suggest that you look up "12V side of Life" I have the book, but I bet you can download it too.

Frank
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Old 01-31-2017, 11:39 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F76Marion View Post
Lee,

Letting your bank get down to 10 will kill it in short order. When a Lead Acid bank gets down to 12.0 half of the rated 20hr rate is used. Some special deep cycle can stand as low as 11.8* before their ability to be recovered is lost.

I suggest that you look up "12V side of Life" I have the book, but I bet you can download it too.

Frank
Thanks I'll check into it
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Old 01-31-2017, 12:35 PM   #4
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Would be a good exercise to do an energy audit. Then you know what you need.
Also a good overview is this website 12v RV Info
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Old 01-31-2017, 01:00 PM   #5
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Here is some good reading on battery care and use.

http://www.wholesalesolar.com/solar-...e-battery-info
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Old 02-02-2017, 10:31 AM   #6
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I run the GC2's from Costco -so far pleased with them. I have 4x6V @ 208hrs each. Cheap too.
That gives me 416ah @ 12V - of which you never want to use more then half - so 208ah usable.

This will last us 2 solid days before needing to charge while being cautious on the lights - but using my desktop computer and monitors and such on the inverter.

I'm looking at either adding 2 more or doing a small solar setup to extend time between charges - but thats a whole different thread.
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Old 02-02-2017, 08:37 PM   #7
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10% is way too low. If you haven't considered it already, I'd recommend a Trimetric 2030 to monitor your usage and your state of charge. You really can't tell SOC by voltage unless you remove loads and charging sources. You also won't have to guess what your SOC is when running your generator with the monitor. Why run it longer than necessary, particularly in Yosemite.
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Old 02-03-2017, 08:59 AM   #8
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With the power use you out line the only problem I see is the electric blanket. In August in Yosemite the temps should be warm enough that the electric blanket should not be needed. And with your charging ability you should have no problem. We while boondocking will run the Gen 2 hours morning then 2-4 hours evenings watching TV and never run the batteries even close to 50%. The 10 you mention is confusing, but if measured at a point where the load for inverting were very high could be possible with old batteries. For the price Costco batteries are a good bye, if you have room you could go to 6 and have about 50% more bank than most boondockers have. For the electric blanket warm the bed before the Gen off quiet time and then shut it off and get a small down throw for the wife. Sounds like a fun time.

LEN
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Old 02-03-2017, 12:41 PM   #9
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Agree with doing some practice like runs and performing the energy audit.

I like to have extra capacity for 'just in case', and pay to do so. (X's 4 L16's for 800AH's.).

Though pricey, Trojan does have the T125 and T145 6V batteries that each add a bit more AH's per battery, in the save footprint as a 6V GC2 battery, but with higher headroom required. You could also get the measurements of the space available, and look at different 6V or even 12V Deep Cycle batteries combinations that would fit in the space available.

One other advantage of having more capacity then needed, is you would not be running down to 50% SOC as often, and that adds to battery life, as DoD 1000 Life Cycles is pretty common. So pay a bit more to have reserve capacity, but hopefully with not running down to 50% SOC as often, you'd get a longer life to amortize the costs over. And then over the life of the batteries, you'd have the reserve for 'just in case' it's ever needed.

No right or wrong on this, just choices!

You might also look into 12V electric blankets, and see if they use less overall power (Believe they do.) then running 120V off of your converter.

Best of luck to you,
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Old 02-04-2017, 09:08 AM   #10
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System Size Pt. 1

This article from AM Solar has some good advice as to how to determine the sizing of the batteries and the solar for your system.
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Old 02-04-2017, 05:44 PM   #11
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Use a good down comforter instead of the electric blanket. It's very effective at keep you warm in bed and allowing the furnace temperature set low. We usually end up kicking it off during the night from being too warm. Uses a lot less electricity than a electric blanket. (-:
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Old 02-04-2017, 05:55 PM   #12
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I have six GC2 batteries from Costco. They are inexpensive and work fine. 12 volts is the lowest I want to take the batteries - approximately 50% SOC. If you have a voltmeter in the RV and check voltage when under load, the actual at rest voltage is somewhat higher.
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Old 02-05-2017, 08:50 AM   #13
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Thanks you all have giving me some great information, the electric is Mama's wish. I like the down comforter and I have a feeling I will be winning this one. ...

I have measured and I do have room for 4 6v except I have to trim the top about 1 inch to make room for height... So far the Costco batteries are winning although I may check into 2 12volt and see....But I do like the idea of having 800+ah I can get with 4 6volt, not sure how many ah I can get with 12volt

Thanks LeeB
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Old 02-05-2017, 08:58 AM   #14
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Lee - I meant to comment earlier - there are 12v electric blankets out there. Using one would be more efficient than an AC blanket - you'd eliminate conversion losses. They're also smaller - more like a throw. The wife LOVES hers for travel time.
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