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Old 03-10-2012, 11:54 AM   #1
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Can I camp without a 12V battery?

We are planning to purchase our first travel trailer (upgrading from a popup) in about 2-weeks. The model is a Jay Flight 32TSBH and is fairly well loaded including an electric power tongue jack. The stabilizer jacks are manual. We are going to store the camper at a campground we belong to and pay them to tow it on and off site whenever we camp. All the campsites we'll be on are equipped with a 30amp connection, sewer, and city water (actually well water). I downloaded and skimmed over the Jay Flight owner's manual but have a few lingering questions.
1. Can you power the electric tongue with the tow vehicle electrical connector? The campground uses either an F150 or a tractor for the bigger rigs.
2. Is the 12V battery charged when the camper is connected to the campsite's 30amp electrical line?
3. The water pressure was always sufficient in our popup so we never used the water pump. We did use a pressure regulator as recommended by the dealer. Can I rely on the water pressure for the travel trailer plumbing (sink, toilet, shower, water heater, etc) instead of using the water pump?
4. As the camper will be stored at the campground, the 12V battery will never be charged. Can I camp without even having a 12V battery installed? I have read in other posts that installing a solar panel can trickle charge a battery but I would like to avoid installing one if the battery is not mandatory.
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Old 03-10-2012, 04:51 PM   #2
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I will weigh in with my opinion for what it is worth...

1 - Probably not. The AUX power may not be able to provide enough current, cause a pretty good voltage drop and could damage your jack.

2 - Yes it is

3 - We never use our pump when hooked to city water and have never had a problem.

4 - Yes, you could camp without a battery, but I would not recommend it. There are a couple of things.....your battery is good at handling spikes in power such as the furnace turning on. Without the battery the converter has to do everything and it is a lot of undo stress on it. Second - I have seen problems first hand when not using a battery with the electronics in the water heater and fridge. The battery helps to smooth out the AC to DC conversion and without it there can be some AC ripple in the line which could cause this problem.

If you have to store it somewhere where there is no way to keep it charged, I would recommend just simply taking it with you and getting a small battery tender. You will be much happier just having it there.
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Old 03-10-2012, 05:59 PM   #3
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What is a Battery Tender?

[QUOTE=tafische] I will weigh in with my opinion for what it is worth...

If you have to store it somewhere where there is no way to keep it charged, I would recommend just simply taking it with you and getting a small battery tender. You will be much happier just having it there.

Thanks tafische. Just to be sure, when you refer to a "small battery tender" are you referring to a solar charger? Sorry, I am not familiar with these terms.
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Old 03-10-2012, 06:07 PM   #4
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I have had several RV repairmen tell me and saw it on blogs such as this numerous times, never ever run without a battery. As stated above it levels out the spikes in the 12V circuts. Also without it, it tends to fry your 12V controls on the heater, refrig, thermostat, water heater etc. Repairing those is much more expensive than an ocassional new battery.

Every weekend when you leave your rig, if your unit does not have a cutoff switch, then at least disconnect your power wires from the battery. Otherwise your C02 monitor, thermostat etc will drain and eventually ruin your battery. At end of season, remove your battery and take it home so you can recharge ocassionally.

Also for those that leave their rigs permanately stowed, I have read good idea to replace battery every 3-4 years. For all of us, don't forget to periodically check the water level in the battery.

And on the water pressure regulator, place it on the spigot end, also protecting your hose. Even on well, I would still use it.
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Old 03-10-2012, 08:29 PM   #5
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[QUOTE=lifercars;64740]
Quote:
Originally Posted by tafische
I will weigh in with my opinion for what it is worth...

If you have to store it somewhere where there is no way to keep it charged, I would recommend just simply taking it with you and getting a small battery tender. You will be much happier just having it there.

Thanks tafische. Just to be sure, when you refer to a "small battery tender" are you referring to a solar charger? Sorry, I am not familiar with these terms.
Battery Tender is actually a brand. It is just a simple wall wart charger that keeps the battery topped off (there are other brands just as good). The one I have is a 350ma charger and I think it was like $22 at Amazon. Does the trick and will add years to your battery.
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Old 03-10-2012, 08:31 PM   #6
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I think all the advise given is excellent.
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Old 03-11-2012, 07:46 AM   #7
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I have this one and it works great.



http://www.amazon.com/Battery-Tender...656c7064757-20
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Old 03-11-2012, 08:59 AM   #8
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That bigger one is nice! I have the JR which I think puts out about 350ma....did an experiment once when my group 24 battery was pretty low....took almost 6 full days to charge it - but it did actually charge it up.

That larger one is over an amp...prob charge in 2 days I would guess.

Depends on how long you have for charging I guess....I purchased a couple of them and they are great on the lawn mowers and other little batteries I have lying around....
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Old 03-11-2012, 09:06 AM   #9
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I use that to charge my trolling motor GRP 27 battery. Works like a charm.
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:50 AM   #10
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Smile Charging the 12V battery

Thank you all for your replies. I have a better understanding now on why I should (must) have the battery. In my case I will have to consider how to charge the battery while it is on my camper in the storage area. When we used the campground's tow service in the past (before we had a hitch installed on our TV) we would call ahead and they'd move it on-site before we got there. So the battery would have to be in-place and charged before I get there. Amazon has several solar trickle chargers so I'll look into that and then figure out a way to attach it to the roof. Maybe the dealer will have some suggestions as I am reluctant to put any holes on the roof.

This forum has quickly proved to be an invaluable resource for camping. Campers are some of the friendliest people on the planet.
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