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Old 10-06-2011, 10:36 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the input. I have a somewhat special situation in that I have an 80ah gell cell battery as a spare in the back of my expedition. It is used primarily to support the 500 watt amateur radio amplifier I use when I am not towing. This battery is fed with double #4 from the vehicle battery as the amplifier will draw 80+ amps on peak when the radio is transmitting. I am thinking of running a separate pair of cables #4 or better to the trailer with a very robust connector and tieing them directly to my auxiliary battery (fused of course). This way I will not "toast" my 7 pin cable or connector. I have large dual 12v deep cycle batteries already on the trailer. I will probably add a xantrex 2000 w inverter for the occasional microwave blast or to watch the 24" lcd tv.

I will be dry camping for a week at Hither Hills State Park on the extreme eastern tip of Long Island(NY). We will go in early June when it is not really hot enough for AC.

As for the charging questions, for many years I ran deep cycle batteries (both 12v in parallel and 6v in series) on my former boat using the engines to provide charging when not connected to a dockside charger and they appeared not to suffer any ill effects over time. In my case though, I was charging a number of batteries as I will be here. (Primary car battery, backup battery and two trailer deep cycle batteries. I have digital voltage and current meters watching the trailer batteries. These show the current going to and from the batteries. If I do more dry camping as time goes on, I will probably bite the bullet and purchase a pair of 2kw inverter-generators. Even with the gensets, I prefer the inverter for short bursts of appliances. My car alternator is 135amp and should provide sufficient current so long as I increase the charging wire size to deal with the load. I even considered putting the inverter in my Expedition and plugging my "shore" cable into it there. This way I keep the 12v cable length to less than 3 feet and the trailer converter will charge the trailer batteries with a hefty charge when the engine is running. Not sure if I answered everyone's questions... Saturday will be our first overnighter with the new Jayco. (Safely tied to a full hookup to run the heat )(40 degrees last night here in Lake George, NY)

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Old 10-07-2011, 11:35 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by foodwatch2003 View Post
snip.......All of this assumes doubling up on the supplied battery or going the golf cart battery route......snip

I thought you initially implied that you only had the single OEM battery in your new Jayco....., but I see from your recent post that you had two 12V batteries.

Originally Posted by foodwatch2003 View Post
snip........I have large dual 12v deep cycle batteries already on the trailer.......snip
Sounds like you have a handle on what you plan to do , let us know how it works out.



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Old 10-07-2011, 11:43 AM   #13
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Sounds like you have a decent setup to support yourself. Though the inverter is going to kill your batteries especially if you try to run your micro. For what you spend on an inveter of that size you might be better to buy a 750W inverter and a cheap small Honeywell genny. I have a 750W inveter in my rig and that runs three LCD TV at once with some leftover to do my phone or laptop. It does however chew up some battery after about 3 hours of use. Just my opinion.

Thought that was the CG you were talking about. Heading there next week for 4 days. I like the offseason there as you can have a campfire and fishing is exceptional.

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Old 10-08-2011, 08:18 PM   #14
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Just a suggestion for "robust" connectors. I have an industrial diesel backhoe with a 24v system. I have a small parasitic drain that I can't find, if the backhoe sits for a week or so, the batteries will be low. I needed a heavy connector to unplug the batteries, the starter draws a lot.

Went to the local welding supply and picked up connectors used for welding lines, they were very reasonably priced.
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Old 10-12-2011, 02:59 PM   #15
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Charging deep cycle batteries..

What I have found the trick to charging deep cycle batteries is to hit them with 14.4VDC at 40AMPS or so for about two hours then drop back to 13.6VDC for another hour or so. This should bring any deep cycle battery back up to about 90% charge.

I have also found you cannot charge a battery with just 12.2VDC - it will take forever and then two more days to make any headway. Using your truck and alternator would require running your truck for 3-4 hours to get a couple of deep cycles batteries back up to at least 90% charge.

Running a large INVERTER is also a bad idea. True it will put out enough power to run your toys but it wont last long. Inverters pull "alot of current" from your batteries... Mine are fused at 175 AMPS. It will run down my three GP24 deep cycle batteries in just a few hours so I really have to watch my p's and q's when camping off the power grid running off just the Inverter.. I can run most everything I normally do at an electric site like watch HDTV, light up my corner of the camp site, play with my ham radio toys, and survive pretty good until lights out. Then during the night we run one electric blanket and maybe a LED night light. No heater fan as it pulls a bunch of power so have to get under the covers real quick. Then the next morning when i am allowed to run my 2KW generator I will re-charge my three GP24 deep cycle batteries back up to 90% charge in a 3-4 hour generator run time during the day. Then I'm good to go for that nites battery run with my toys...

You have to replace all of your incandescent lights with LEDs and replace your on-board converter/charger with a "smart mode" system, beef up your battery cables to 4GA cables and install at least two batteries for your DC toys... Then you will need at least a 1500W Inverter PSW TYPE to run your AC toys... This does not include the use of your Air conditioner or high wattage Microwave or running your furnace blower motor all night...

Once you run out of battery power during the night Momabear goes home and she wont let you camp by yourself after that...

We again make it just fine but have to re-charge batteries the next day by connecting the trailer shore power cable directly to the 2KW quiet mode Honda generator 120VAC Receptacle using a RV30A-15A adapter from Walmart for 3-4 hours...

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