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Old 04-09-2014, 09:53 PM   #1
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Battery compartment build for boon docking

We have a Whitehawk 31DSLB and plan on boon docking with it. We have one Honda 2000i generator and want to build a battery box. I have seen some people using truck bed toolboxes as the battery box with the batteries inside on the tongue. My dilemma lies with the type of AGM batteries I will use. I can fit four 12v units easily, but am I better off with 8 6v units. I am hoping that we can use the battery bank to power the rig at night, saving the Generator for the AC at night. During the day when we are out, the generator will charge the batteries. I do want a companion generator at some point. What quality parts/manufacturers would you suggest? And yes, we have the necessary tongue weight room.

Thx.
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Old 04-09-2014, 11:40 PM   #2
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How much power do you really need? My 2 group 27 batteries get us through most nights, and that includes a couple hours of TV watching for the kids.
I want one of these:
http://www.torklift.com/products/powerarmor.php
My ultimate plan includes much solar, much battery, and a large inverter. I really want to run without generator/plug until I need air conditioner.
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Old 04-10-2014, 12:05 AM   #3
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I'm hoping to be able to run everything n the rig (including 2 TV's) from the batteries, minus the AC for a few days. We are a big family, five kids, mom and myself, and I like to make sure we have plenty of power for our excursions. While we go to RV parks, we also like to go to remote locations with a couple other families and our mobile cottages for a week at a time.

That PowerArmour setup looks very nice and is exactly what I'm looking for. I wonder if I can't build something very similar for less.
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Old 04-10-2014, 01:16 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by GeorgeT View Post
I'm hoping to be able to run everything n the rig (including 2 TV's) from the batteries, minus the AC for a few days. We are a big family, five kids, mom and myself, and I like to make sure we have plenty of power for our excursions. While we go to RV parks, we also like to go to remote locations with a couple other families and our mobile cottages for a week at a time.

That PowerArmour setup looks very nice and is exactly what I'm looking for. I wonder if I can't build something very similar for less.
They don't look too complicated. I've just reached a point, where my time is worth more than the research, part sourcing, and build time.
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Old 04-10-2014, 09:13 AM   #5
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Don't know where you camp at the most but here on the East side of the US the public camp grounds all seem to have generator restriction run times. Even the NATL Forest sites here have them as well. The camping sights that allow you to use the generator when you want to is few and far between. I'm guessing those are only private owned sites or maybe a NASCAR place.

The East side of the US doesn't have alot of DISPERSED CAMPING locations like out West I guess...

Knowing all of this was the big reason for us to build-up the trailer/battery systems to run all the things we wanted to run through the night coming from an INVERTER and Larger Battery Bank. Then we re-charge the batteries for three hours using smart mode charging the next morning when allowed to run the generator.

None of this includes the Air Conditioner for us. Most of our camping is in the woods anyway and usually well shaded. We get by just fine using around 255AHs battery bank as long as we can recharge the batteries the next day using the generator. Adding Solar Panels is out next addition to supplement the charging of the batteries during the high SUN DAY.

Just some of my thoughts here...
Roy and Carolyn
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Old 04-10-2014, 09:33 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by GeorgeT View Post
My dilemma lies with the type of AGM batteries I will use. I can fit four 12v units easily, but am I better off with 8 6v units.
Thx.
The 12VDC vs. 6VDC battery debate has been going on since day 1. Is there a real answer? As always, it depends on who you ask. The key thing you should consider is the batteries output. What will the Ah output of combined batteries be? (12VDC battery bank and the 6VDC battery bank) If both the 12VDC battery bank produces 200Ah and the 6VDC battery bank produce 200Ah, there is no difference. They will (should) produce the same output for the same amount of time. Battery life is based on cycles. The easy way to look at a battery cycle is 1 day. So that being said, if the batteries (6 or12vdc) will both have about the same number of cycles around 1000 cycles (3 years), they should last for the same amount of time. After that point (age) the amount of charge that the battery can hold slowly starts to drop off over time. You will begin to notice that the amount of time to charge the batteries will increase (with age). So, after about 3-4 years you will begin to notice a reduction in the batteries performance.

All things alike, the benefit is in the maintenance requirements. Maintaining 4 - 12 volt batteries vs. 8 - 6 volt batteries is a lot easier. One benefit of using 12 volt batteries is that if one should go bad (bad cell or something), you can take that battery out of the bank and the rest of the batteries will still continue to produce 12 volts. With the 6 volt batteries, if you only use 2, you have no batteries, with 4 or more you can rewire their output for 12 volts.

When I need to replace my 2 6 volt Trojan T145 batteries, I will go with 12VDC batteries.

Just my thoughts,
Don


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Old 04-10-2014, 03:13 PM   #7
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Excellent comments. I like the idea of 4x 12v AGM to help with boon docking. Where we go is private land, not any type of park. There are no restrictions at all. Others in our group run generators at various times of the day and night and we barely hear them (all Hondas).

Is a pure sine wave inverter worth the investment? I don't mind paying the price if it is worth it.
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Old 04-10-2014, 04:19 PM   #8
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Is a pure sine wave inverter worth the investment? I don't mind paying the price if it is worth it.
A PSW Inverter should be the ONLY choice for a TT. It is the only type of inverter that gets the output as close to the utilities sine wave form as possible (with todayís technology). There are some electronics that will not operate on a square wave (inexpensive inverter) or a modified/square sine wave inverter. Some delicate electronics can even be ruined by a square wave inverter. I would spend the extra money to ensure that your electronics will not suffer from a cheaper decision.
Just my thoughts,
Don
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Old 04-10-2014, 08:10 PM   #9
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With good advice from JOF members, this was my final design, including 4 12v batteries, an expandable solar array and a 600 w inverter for the entertainment center

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