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Old 10-16-2014, 11:55 AM   #1
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Alternate amps

I have been tring trying to get the maximum amps from my fiver in anticipation of a long winter boondocking trip. My battery compartment is limited to 2 group 31 batteries if I make some minor alterations. The unit at present has the original 2 group 24's that came with the trailer. I came up with this possibility after some trial and error. The cables that are used were no 8 wire. I was initial afraid that the draw when using the inverter would create excessive heat. That is not the case. Heavy alligator clips are used in the compartment. I have used this setup dry camping in my shed tring to duplicated boondocking senarios. It works very well so far. Obviously, there is no security on your outside batteries. I have thrown an old rug over them so as to not attract attention to them. The fact that the existing batteries were still in good shape and I also had access to 2 more group 24's that were close to the same age was the reason for the experiment.
This setup gives me 320Ah compared to a possible 260 Ah with group 31's. I can easily get a full day before recharge with this setup.
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Old 10-16-2014, 12:13 PM   #2
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pictures

Pictures that didn't come thru with dialogue.
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Old 10-16-2014, 12:28 PM   #3
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Nice.

Wonder if there would be someplace inside the RV where those additional batteries could be kept secured with those wires running to the original two batteries. Since it works, that's what I'd be looking for next is a space modification somewhere inside the RV for those.
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Old 10-16-2014, 12:41 PM   #4
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That was my original thought also. The issue was that I would have to steal space from storage and also how to vent the batteries as well. For me, the juice wasn't worth the squeezing. Most times when we are boondocking, its in a low risk environment. The worst that could happen is that you lose a battery. Not the end of the world. The fact that I could lock the battery compartment and still have the benefit of the additional battery power was what I liked. The fact that it only takes about 5 extra minutes to set up was also a big plus
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Old 10-16-2014, 07:36 PM   #5
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[QUOTE=Ela1948;242939] I have thrown an old rug over them so as to not attract attention to them. /QUOTE]

I would recommend using some other type of cover, other than a carpet for your batteries. Should the carpet get damp from dew or worse yet soaked by rain, the wet carpet will not be good for your batteries. Anything that is damp or wet will create a link between the terminals.. (wet rag = resistance) see below.
Go to Walmart and get a couple of the plastic storage crates to put the batteries in them and something across the top of them

Just my thoughts,
Don
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Old 10-17-2014, 09:26 AM   #6
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I totally agree!! The carpet was something that was handy at the moment. something plastic that wouldn't tend to blow around was what I've been pondering on. Thanks!!!
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Old 10-22-2014, 11:32 PM   #7
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It works, I just think its a drag to have to haul the batteries in and out of wherever you store them while traveling before you add them to the existing system. Out of curiosity, how do you currently travel with the extra two batteries? X2 on Don's idea of utilizing a plastic crate if you are to store them outside. Would there be any possibility to modify that same plastic crate idea with an exhaust for gases and keep the batteries in the storage areas?
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Old 10-23-2014, 07:28 AM   #8
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Have been carrying them in the bed of the truck. Just bought a battery box from amazon that will hold two batteries. Had to modify the box immediately to accommodate the existing batteries. Now the problem is the weight if you leave the batteries in the box. It"s approaching a 100 lbs. Getting too damn old to want to handle that every time you dry camp. I have a carrier on the back of the 5th wheel that could be a possible permanent spot. It would require about 30 ft. of wiring if I can figure how to run the cables. Also I"m assuming that I will have to increase the size of the wire to accommodated the length of run. In the next couple of days, I"m going to hook those batteries up with 30 ft. of 8 ga. wire and see how much heat (resistance) is created. Because the batteries in the battery box seem to be taking most of the load when you used the inverter, Im'm just not sure how heavy the wire needs to be on a 30 ft run.
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Old 10-23-2014, 02:14 PM   #9
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If you are using 30' of 8AWG I would not recommend using an inverter with that setup.

If you happen to use 1500 watts (surge or constant), that is 125Amps plus the resistance of the 30' of wire. 8AWG is not going to like that at all.

Just my thoughts,

Don
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Old 10-23-2014, 02:21 PM   #10
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I guess that's really the question. Do you have an idea of the amperage draw you will be using on the battery bank?

If you have any type of load, I just can't see using 8 AWG for 30' and I wouldn't want to pay for 30' of heavy gauge, like 4/0.
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