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Old 12-21-2015, 12:45 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Mustang65 View Post
Do you park your TT at home?

If so, you could purchase 2 or 3 residential SOLAR panels (mounted on the TT roof) like you have on your house, wire in a transfer switch that will switch between (A) to your TT batteries (B) to Enphase 250 watt micro inverters wired to your Shore-Power cable (with proper protection circuitry) that is plugged into the house's SOLAR breaker box. Boy, would the local code enforcement group love that idea.

Don
Unfortunately the TT is stored about 30 mins away - I like your thinking though. I'm just not ready to commit the solar panels to the trailer yet because we are thinking that this might be a 3-4 year trailer for us as our kids are growing fast.
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Old 12-21-2015, 01:43 PM   #22
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The battery provided by the dealer is a Deka Marine Master DP24. On the Trojan website there is a document (link below) that flags it as a 65 AH...that's why I want to bump up my capacity. I could just get a single larger capacity battery for one night stays, but figure I might as well get two and have a bit more confidence, especially in the cold.

http://www.trojanbattery.com/pdf/Tra...ide_201105.pdf
Sounds like a solid plan. ~200AH @ 12V should give 48 hours of reasonable usage.

Add an inverter to run 110VAC appliances? All bets are off!
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Old 12-21-2015, 01:53 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by mike837go View Post
Sounds like a solid plan. ~200AH @ 12V should give 48 hours of reasonable usage.

Add an inverter to run 110VAC appliances? All bets are off!
No need to run any AC stuff (would be nice, but not a need). Going back to the original post, I was hoping to keep the single smaller battery on the a-frame, and then mount the AGM's inside to be used on an as needed basis because I don't want add to my tongue weight. Putting two Group 31's on the a-frame instead of the dealer battery would add about 80lbs almost 100% to the tongue weight...means I need to leave a kid at home
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Old 12-21-2015, 01:57 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by TommyAjax View Post
Unfortunately the TT is stored about 30 mins away - I like your thinking though. I'm just not ready to commit the solar panels to the trailer yet because we are thinking that this might be a 3-4 year trailer for us as our kids are growing fast.
I know about the kids hitting their teens, ours did not want to go anymore as it was infringing on their social life... we had a few good trips.. now the big guy is back to hiking/tent camping on the Appellation trail (while we are staying up in the GA mountains.. I am his Uber driver.. daughter is too used to upper level corporate America. Her idea of camping is like mine was, business trips at the Embassy Sweets (ahhhhh happy hour x2) and ducks in the fountain/pond in the lobby. Ate breakfast and dinner in the restaurant (by pond) Just DW, Wink the little Caviler, Amos the Blue fronted Amazon parrot, and finally me. What a crew!
Don
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Old 12-21-2015, 02:42 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by TommyAjax View Post
No need to run any AC stuff (would be nice, but not a need). Going back to the original post, I was hoping to keep the single smaller battery on the a-frame, and then mount the AGM's inside to be used on an as needed basis because I don't want add to my tongue weight. Putting two Group 31's on the a-frame instead of the dealer battery would add about 80lbs almost 100% to the tongue weight...means I need to leave a kid at home
"Leave a kid at home" -- There's a problem with that?

An extra 80lbs of tongue weight can be countered with an adjustment of the WDH or moving 40lbs of supplies (food, clothing, etc.) from ahead of the axle to aft of the axle. The farther from the axle, the more the impact on the tongue weight.
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Old 12-24-2015, 08:43 AM   #26
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I must not worry enough......

After 9 years with a fifth wheel, I'm still learning. We started out with the crap battery provided by the dealer. We did Wal-Mart overnights, but most stays were with hookups. Killed the dealer battery at some point and put a Wal-Mart Deep cycle in it. Started visiting National Park Campground with no hookups. Would make it a couple days before draining battery. Killed that battery and then hooked up two of the same. Realizing now that I was probably draining them too deep and charging want the best and killing them.

May have been wasting money, but isn't that how we learn? A couple hundred in batteries every 3 years or so wasn't going to give me ulcers or break the bank.

For what you describe, and from my experience, a second battery would do you just fine for overnight stops. Make sure you have charging juice going through your plug while the tow vehicle is running. While it may not be high amp charging, you'll have several hours of it and it will do pretty good.

I'm looking to get a little more "knowledgeable" with our next setup and will likely invest in Trojans and thinking about Solar, but that's a whole different level of confusion. Some people say 100 to 150 watts per battery, then I see others with 250 watts per battery and planning to go to almost 400 watts per battery. Who is right?? I try to figure it out, but never can because you never get all the details with batteries, charge controllers, wiring, power consumption, etc. Makes me wonder if the lower watt per battery is an ideal system and the higher watts is a less efficient system?

At this point, seems like the best idea for me is to try it, with expandability in mind.
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Old 12-24-2015, 09:00 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TommyAjax View Post
Unfortunately the TT is stored about 30 mins away - I like your thinking though. I'm just not ready to commit the solar panels to the trailer yet because we are thinking that this might be a 3-4 year trailer for us as our kids are growing fast.
When I trade my trailer my solar system stays with me!!! It is really not very hard to remove it.. then a dab of roof sealant followed with some Eternabond tape.
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Old 12-24-2015, 09:04 AM   #28
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"May have been wasting money, but isn't that how we learn?" Well, that is how some people learn, there are other ways like...Educating oneself, so you can make considered judgments, which takes both time and money, access to experienced owners and technicians, patience, and buying impulse control.

As to the wasting of money, it is all entertainment money, so it is only wasted if you think it was wasted.

Is there a way to reduce the cost of the entertainment and reduce your downtime/frustrations/breakdowns? - maybe/likely/yes. Those owners who have up-skilled themselves so they can do much of their own repair and maintenance work, and can inspect an rv so they can buy a used rv seem to reduce their costs significantly, avoid a lot of problems, and have few complaints as to how much money they are spending or shop wait times.

I just read an article in the WSJ about RV trends. It was written for someone who is thinking about first timers buying an rv. It was focused on buying new, with comments from a mfg that they are concerned that new buyers think like car buyers as to minimal problems, as if this was a new concern, with no mention of any commitment to change, which would start with applying lemon laws to rvs and the right to revocation, which of course was not mentioned in the article.

By the way, the solution to the post always starts with the sufficiency and appropriateness of the batteries/bank, and a good maintenance and recharging process that fits the situation. There are excellent articles on this subject on the internet that one can access using basic search methods.
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Old 12-24-2015, 09:24 AM   #29
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One should not mix battery types. I would not leave the lead acid in the loop. Save it for an emergency or stick it in your boat or car. I would not attempt to wire it in parallel with AGMs.

About generators. I do not like using them but I do not see any way around not having one or two. They can be a life saver when all else fails.
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Old 12-24-2015, 09:33 AM   #30
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When we bought our Northern Lite Camper, we had an 85 watt solar system installed and 2 12v RV/Marine batteries installed. The batteries are 100AH units. In 7.5 yrs we have boondock ed almost exclusively for up to 10 days at a time. We have never had to run a generator or start the truck to charge the batteries. We only converted 2 lights to LED (the commonly used ones) and we do run the stereo, water heater is on constantly, fridge and furnace is used as be essay. The system performs very well and I have only added water to batteries once in nearly 8 years. Both batteries are still top notch functionally.
Happy Camping
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