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Old 05-22-2014, 05:05 PM   #1
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Adding another battery

Hello!, I've currently got two group 29 batteries connected to my trailer for power. I do a lot of boondocking and have found that those two batteries just isn't quite enough power to complete my camping trips so I'm thinking of adding an additional battery of the same make and model to the bank. the two existing batteries are about a year and a half old.

is this a good, bad, or doesn't matter idea to add a fresh new battery to a year and a half old bank?

Thanks!
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Old 05-22-2014, 07:37 PM   #2
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Clearly you get the Idea that they should all be matched and date coded. If not, the weaker will become parasitic of the other, reducing the total array to the weaker level ( that's the way I understood it anyway )

I'm guessing that at 1.5 years, the existing have already diminished somewhat.

For the roughly the same $, you could start adding 100 watt solar array and just recharge what you got.

Could you? Yes you could, and you would have greater Amp hours, just not optimal, and it may reduce the life of the new battery

Just my .02
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Old 05-22-2014, 10:42 PM   #3
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There are millions of 18 wheelers on the road with four batteries in parallel. Many of them replace batteries piece meal (as needed) one at a time as they go bad which they do as it is a very harsh environment. The bottom line is there is every conceivable mixture of batteries hooked together with very few problems except when one or more are bad. I have 20 years trucking and currently have a mix of batteries of different makes and sizes with no problems and consider this normal. I won't worry about a mix of different batteries as long as they are good batteries. They will maintain a compatible charge state as long as they are maintained properly.
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Old 05-23-2014, 07:57 AM   #4
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You can do that but if you boondock most of the time I would suggest you go to 2-6 volt golf cart batteries wired +to- to give you 12 volts. The plates are thicker and more tolerant of deep discharge than a 12 will ever be.
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Old 05-23-2014, 08:06 AM   #5
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You have a couple of options... We camp almost always off the power grid and my battery bank is 255AHs. We get by just fine in the one day/night run off the batteries and then re-charge the morning at 8Am during breakfast using my 2KW Generator. This brings my batteries back up to their 90% charge state so we can do this all over again the next day/night run off the batteries.

One of the biggest things that helped us in addition to adding more batteries was to change out the automotive incandescent bulbs for LED boards. This saves around 80% of power drain just coming from the lights. My trailer had 5 interior incandescent bulb that draw 1AMP each or a total of 5 AMPS from the batteries. Now with the LED boards my total draw is around 1 amp if they were all on. Big power savings...

We do almost everything we normally at the electric campgrounds except no air conditioning or high wattage microwave. Everything else is full game...

After beefing up the trailer for being more efficient we can pull off running the generator a few hours during the day time. Here on the East side of the US where we camp the campgrounds all have generator restriction hours. even the Natl Forest areas here. We have very few dispersed camping locations around here. Running the generator three hours day usually fits in well with the sites that have generator run time restrictions.

We can stay out for 12-14 battery cycles of 50% to 90% but then start losing battery performance which is wanting me to do a full 100% SOC. This requires a good 12 hours of generator run time which is not allowed for us so this is usually the time we head back for home...

Adding SOLAR PANELs to the mix should help big time not having to run the generator so much during high sun times. I am just now thinking about adding 360WATTS of solar panels since we started camping off the power grid back in late 2008 with my off-road setup.

It takes planning for sure to be successful at it

Roy Ken
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Old 05-23-2014, 09:53 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwsmith111 View Post
There are millions of 18 wheelers on the road with four batteries in parallel.
Your comparing regular AUTOMOTIVE starting batteries to DEEP CYCLE batteries. That is like comparing Apples and oranges.

Just my thoughts,

Don
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