Like you, we all have to start somewhere when it comes to RV electrical. Roy has given you a lot of GREAT information and I will add a little more to Ron’s list of items. It looks like you already know how much drain you are going to have on your batteries and if you are not totally sure, purchase a “Kill A Watt” 120 volt meter (Amazon.com). It is a great all around tool. It measures your AC load (Fridge.. TV.. Microwave..) for each item. I was surprised that the large TV in the 2013 Jayco Eagle 284BHS only used .8 amps.
This is definitely an individual’s preference here. I prefer using (2) 12volt batteries for the sole reason that if one of them goes bad I still have the second 12 volt battery to hobble home with, whereas if one of the 6 volt batteries goes bad, there is no battery power for the trailer, not counting the Tow Vehicles connection. In the old days the 6 volt batteries produced a substantial amount of power over their 12volt brothers, but now they are in the same ball park. One thing I do recommend is that you do not purchase the deep cycle batteries that are rated using CCA/MCA (Marine/RV), as these batteries have plates that are thinner (More power for a shorter duration), than the true deep cycle batteries. USBATTERY.COM has an excellent list to look at. I use the “Minutes @ 25Amps” numbers. Divide the number by 60 and you have how many hours it will last @ 25amps. And of course these are only reference numbers and on NEW batteries. Secondly, only buy batteries that have the SAME month date code (usually located on the top next to the + terminal) as the internal resistance of the batteries will be closely matched. If you buy one battery and add one at a later date the batteries will reach the end of their life sooner, as the higher internal resistance of the older battery will drain down the newer one. If you like buying “AMERICAN” USBATTERIES are made in the USA. I am in the process of ordering the US 185HCXC from them. Two batteries will have 886 minutes @ 25 amps (14.76hrs), which will be just fine for us. One last item, go on Amazon and order a 300 amp ANL fuse holder and at least 2 fuses to protect your inverter/trailer in case of a larger than expected power surge. Best $15 you will spend!
Sample battery list:
Extension Cord elimination:
I hated using extension cords so I ran a permanent 12 gauge 3wire with ground cable from the front storage compartment to the rear storage compartment, where my campsite 120VAC cord is stored. I then installed a 30 amp female campground outlet (Lowes has them) on the end of it in the rear storage compartment. My 1500 watt Ramsond DC>AC Pure Sine Wave inverter is located in front storage compartment (wired directly to the batteries using less that 4 feet of welding cable for each connection). I took the end of the 12 gauge wire and put a heavy duty male plug end on the cable from the rear storage compartment and plugged it into the inverter. So, when I do not have campsite AC power, I go to the rear storage compartment and plug the trailers 30 amp AC cable into the outlet that I connected to the inverter. I turn off the trailers battery controller (which I wired to a new breaker I installed in the spare location), turn on the inverter and I have power to all the trailers outlets. Last weekend we went to Daytona (Good Sam’s Rally) and had plenty of AC all weekend. Also, when I travel, I use the inverter to run the refrigerator while driving (since the truck charges the trailers batteries) and we arrive fully charged.
Eagle Off Grid Wiring Diagram
Front Storage Compartment:
In January I will be adding (2) Affordable Solar 235W- 20VDC Panels ($220 each) on the roof (470 watts total) and a Xantrex (Schneider) Battery Controller (C-40-DD). These items should get us through our trip to CO, AZ, NM, TX, WY, and SD in 2013.
Sorry I got carried away with this…. but I even could keep on going. I enclosed a few links and pictures. Have a GREAT EVENING!! Hope I did not put you to sleep. Any questions just yell!!