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Old 08-22-2013, 02:20 PM   #1
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When to charge battery while dry camping?

Did my first week of dry camping with my Redhawk MH. It has only one battery. My question(s): the inverter tells me the battery's current voltage. At what point would I want to start the generator to charge it, and when to stop it.
The MH has only one battery- anybody ever try having a spare they haul around when dry camping that can be piggy backed to the first one? There is no room in the MH battery compartment for a permanent second one.
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Old 08-22-2013, 03:33 PM   #2
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If you recharge at 3/4 (25% used) you will likely extend the life of your battery significantly, regularly running the battery below 50% will reduce it's service life significantly.
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Old 08-22-2013, 03:39 PM   #3
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11.8-12.0 vdc
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Old 08-22-2013, 03:49 PM   #4
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The following voltage chart may be helpful:



As mentioned........, a shallower average DoD (Depth-of-Discharge) will increase battery life. A deep cycle battery with an average 50% DoD (50% capacity remaining) will last at least twice as long as an 80% DoD (20% capacity remaining). A typical GC-2 deep cycle battery will average 225 cycles at 80% DoD, but will increase to 750 cycles at 50% DoD.

I have two 6-volt deep cycle batteries and I average a 30% DoD (70% capacity remaining).

Bob
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Old 05-17-2014, 04:42 PM   #5
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Get a Trimetric 2025 (or perhaps the newer 2030) battery monitor. It is easy to install and tells you a lot about the condition of your battery. Less than $200. Be sure to get the shunt!
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Old 05-18-2014, 06:39 PM   #6
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Did you determine how to add a second battery? My Greyhawk has the same issue: the battery compartment drawer has room for only one battery.
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Old 05-18-2014, 08:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Car-los View Post
The MH has only one battery- anybody ever try having a spare they haul around when dry camping that can be piggy backed to the first one? There is no room in the MH battery compartment for a permanent second one.
The problem with hauling around a second battery and then hooking it up is that the batteries will not have an EQUAL charge. The battery that is your permanent battery should have a full charge from driving, but your battery that you are hauling and then connecting will not be EQUALLY charged. What happens then is that the battery that is not charged like the main one will reduce the power from the charged battery, which will have an affect on your output.

In your case I do not see any alternative, unless you can relocate your batteries to another compartment. Maybe with enough complaints/requests JAYCO will make some needed changes in future models.

Don
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Old 05-19-2014, 10:51 AM   #8
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As for adding an additional battery, no I have not completely figured how to get around the one battery compartment problem.

In my 31FK there is a 'basement' storage compartment between the coach battery compartment and the shore power cable compartment. I can remove the shell in that compartment, cut it in half lengthwise removing most of the half that is toward the frame while keeping the part that was the inner wall, and then put it back in place with the most inside wall fastened to the outside half to form a complete although smaller compartment.
*I'm sure that this description is real helpful or confusing*

This will leave a compartment with less depth and an open space between that compartment and the frame. I can then build a bracket to hold the four 6 volt, true deep cycle golf cart batteries that I plan to use. I intend to use Crown batteries. I will NOT use any dual purpose batteries like the RV/Marine battery that came with the RV.

The battery bracket may be mounted directly onto the frame. A mechanic that I know suggested that mounting the bracket to the roof of the compartment (floor of the RV) could be a problem because we don't know the location of any of the support beams that would be needed to support four heavy batteries. A floor plan that I got from Jayco was not so helpful because the dimensions of the various areas of the floor did not add up to the total length of the RV 'box' that was given on the floor plans.

The resultant compartment that will have less depth will then be used to house the Charge Controller for solar panels (they should arrive today) that I will mount on the roof of the RV. Wiring from the solar panels down to the charge controller will probably be 4 AWG wire routed through the black water tank vent. I'd prefer to not add any more hole in the roof than is necessary. Rather than have the 10+ foot distance between the batteries and the inverter that was stock on the 31FK I will probably move the inverter into this same compartment to reduce voltage loss on the wire.

Thoughts anyone?
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Old 05-19-2014, 04:13 PM   #9
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I had the same issue that the OP does. I installed a VMChargetank group 31 AGM battery under the bed. http://www.amazon.com/Vmaxtanks-Batt.../dp/B0042L7DZ8 I also swapped out the existing flooded house battery with the same battery. It fits in the factory slide out tray. I connected the new battery to the inverter negative post and to the factory input 12v power post. Oh yes I also have a separate fuse and battery disconnect. With this setup you need to turn off the 2nd disconnect prior to turning off the factory disconnect.
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Old 05-21-2014, 02:25 PM   #10
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In my RV I used he storage compartment next to the battery stand (where the battery used to be) I replaced the one 12 volt with 4 -6 volt golf cart batteries and with the solar charging I never have a shortage of power. The compartment has been vented and a slide out tray holds the batteries for easier servicing.
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