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Old 09-19-2016, 07:27 PM   #1
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Batteries???

My camper came with a 24 series interstate battery, not big enough in my opinion. what brand(s) should i look for? Are 31 series big enough or should i go with an 8D from Diehard. lithium ion batteries are insanely expensive. any input would be great
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Old 09-19-2016, 07:54 PM   #2
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Two 6 volt golf cart batteries, if you are boon docking or without hook ups. More capacity than two 12 volt deep cycle batteries.

As I have stated before, check you area for battery distributors and ask if they have any "blemished" batteries, aka "blems". These usually have full warranty but may have a crease in the case or are mis-branded. Sometimes up to half the cost of new batteries.

Costco can also save a few $$$$s.

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Old 09-19-2016, 07:59 PM   #3
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I take it that you are new to camping. One group 24 battery is just fine if you camp regularly with electric hookups. You need to determine where and with what hookups you intend on camping with. If you are new to the game, its probably going to take some time to get a handle on how much battery power you're really going to need. How much dry camping versus campgrounds with electric hookups. My suggestion would be to add a second group 24 as close to identical as you can to the original. That will give you a moderate amount of power for a couple days of dry camping with minimal cost while you decide the next step. All campers that I'm aware of have converters that are compatible with lead acid batteries. Lithium batteries would require not only expensive batteries but also a different converter to charge it as the voltage requirements are different. I would make a small step battery wise until you get a better feel of your needs.
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Old 09-19-2016, 08:02 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Mike1272 View Post
My camper came with a 24 series interstate battery, not big enough in my opinion. what brand(s) should i look for? Are 31 series big enough or should i go with an 8D from Diehard. lithium ion batteries are insanely expensive. any input would be great
It's difficult to know what is big enough. It all depends on your needs. If you never camp "off the grid", then the gp24 battery will probably do. If you do go off grid you really need to do an assessment as to how much power you need and for how long. Are you thinking of solar?
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Old 09-20-2016, 06:34 AM   #5
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Take measurements of your areas before you invest. At new I had a shelf adjusted to accommodate 2 x 6V. I have wet cells in my unit currently, but upon replacement I am going to AGM's. The AGM's perform better and last longer due to the mats being in constant contact with the lead. A little more expensive, but not near a lithium. I don't think I would trust a lithium these days. Has to have a really good charger to keep it at optimal performance and overcharging leads to fires.

If your not dry camping a lot then a good true deep cycle 12V would be an option as well.
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Old 09-20-2016, 07:13 AM   #6
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My camper came with a 24 series interstate battery, not big enough in my opinion. what brand(s) should i look for? Are 31 series big enough or should i go with an 8D from Diehard. lithium ion batteries are insanely expensive. any input would be great
A 1KW genset. Run an hour or so per day while you have no hookups. Cheapest solution.

Or solar panels to keep things topped up.

Forget the exotic batteries. When the OEM battery is completely shot go 2x Golf Cart. Lots of support here for that conversion.
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Old 09-20-2016, 08:23 AM   #7
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A 1KW genset. Run an hour or so per day while you have no hookups. Cheapest solution.

Or solar panels to keep things topped up.

Forget the exotic batteries. When the OEM battery is completely shot go 2x Golf Cart. Lots of support here for that conversion.
I've been pondering the same question as the OP, and I've thought seriously about your solution.

I just wonder how long it would really take to get a good charge on the battery with a 1KW genny? Could it really do it in an hour? I'm not talking about 100% full charge. But like 80 or 90% would be enough most of the time for my purposes.

I think for me, since we're most often connected to power, my first attempt will be to get a better, actual-deep-cycle, flooded battery. I think the additional AH would be enough to get through one night with moderate power conservation. My current Interstate (OEM) has been damaged and won't take a full charge, so my faith in it getting us through even one night is low!
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Old 09-20-2016, 09:00 AM   #8
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I've been pondering the same question as the OP, and I've thought seriously about your solution.

I just wonder how long it would really take to get a good charge on the battery with a 1KW genny? Could it really do it in an hour? I'm not talking about 100% full charge. But like 80 or 90% would be enough most of the time for my purposes.

I think for me, since we're most often connected to power, my first attempt will be to get a better, actual-deep-cycle, flooded battery. I think the additional AH would be enough to get through one night with moderate power conservation. My current Interstate (OEM) has been damaged and won't take a full charge, so my faith in it getting us through even one night is low!
One hour a day with a generator won't do much for you in my opinion. Maybe 10% back into your batteries. If you have a good converter or have upgraded to a better one than comes stock you will probably get more than that. Theoretically a 30amp converter can put back 30Ah into your battery in one hour. So if your 80Ah (group 24) battery started at 50% you could theoretically get charged to 87% after one hour. Realistically it won't get you that far but if you have a smart converter that actually will put out voltage high enough to properly charge your battery then you would probably get up to around 80% or so.

The last 10-20% of the charge takes the most time. I tested my converter once and it took 17 hours to fully charge my battery from 77% charge while plugged into shore power. The batteries are two 6v GC2 batteries, 220AH.

You are better off with a small solar panel trickle charging your battery all day or a proper solar system. My generator has sat in my shed unused since installing solar.

But as already mentioned two group 27 batteries in parallel will give the OP lots of battery capacity or even better two GC2 6volt batteries in series will be your best bet.

What trailer and tow vehicle do you have? Adding extra batteries to your tongue does add a bit of weight.
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Old 09-20-2016, 09:12 AM   #9
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...snip...I just wonder how long it would really take to get a good charge on the battery with a 1KW genny? Could it really do it in an hour? I'm not talking about 100% full charge. But like 80 or 90% would be enough most of the time for my purposes....snip...
45 minutes per afternoon proved more than adequate for SWMBO and I on several occasions.

Keep in mind I am an electricity miser!

When boondocking, of the resources we bring with us (water, propane, food, electricity, etc.) the smallest quantity and hardest to replace is the 12VDC in the battery. Up to 60# of propane, 55 gallons of water and too much food are easy. Refilling is as easy as reconnecting with civilization. But putting electricity back in the battery takes time and then you still don't have much. On top of that, every appliance is using several milliamps just standing by...

--------------

We've found what works for us: no TV, very limited radio, oil lamp or candles to illuminate dinner (only because the LED lighting is too harsh).

What works for others is up to them. Some folks need a 5KW genset just to run all of what they feel are their needs.

It'll take several trips into The Great Wilderness and discussions with the rest of your camping family to find what works for you.
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Old 09-20-2016, 09:35 AM   #10
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Last fall I installed 4x 6v AGM and for the winter I trip I carried a 1kw genny. I went with AGM's vs wet so I didn't need to vent them and I got the AGM's for pretty close to what flooded would have cost. If we ran the TV in the evening when boondocking I'd run the gen for 1.5-2hrs and then for an hr in the evening and it would replace what was used. This yr I'm adding solar just so it can recharge all day without using the genny.
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