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Old 01-19-2015, 09:09 AM   #1
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Battery replacement options

I just purchased my first TT about 2 months ago and I am anxiously waiting for the spring to get out and use it. For the winter months I brought the brand new marine starting battery that came with the trailer home to periodically throw it on the trickle charger, making sure it would be ready to go come spring.

To save myself the embarrassment I will not go into details but this brand new battery fell off a shelf, cracked the top open and luckily landed bottom down ( all I can say is if you have 2 batteries on a shelf make sure the shelf is secure and when you remove one battery the other is not beyond the pivot point, the old see-saw effect). Other then the battery the only real causality was a pair of jeans that now look like Swiss cheese from the acid. I properly disposed of the battery and I think I have all the acid cleaned up, what a mess.

My question is now that I am in the market for a battery what system would be recommended? I have seen a lot of posts with the advantages of wiring 2 - 6v batteries to run the 12 V system or should i just going with a true deep cycle battery. I would like to hook up a fairly simple solar charging system for summertime camping and while the trailer is in storage. I am also interested in getting a power inverter but that might be further in the future.

I just started looking but wanted to see if this battery from Sams would be a decent option:
http://www.samsclub.com/sams/duracel...navAction=push

I know the first question will be what do we anticipate our battery usage to be but seeing this is my first TT and we have not even used it once I am not sure, I do know I don't want to be limited and regret not paying a little more for a better system.

Sorry for the long winded post but let me know your thoughts, suggestions, issues to consider and any recommendations.

Thanks
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Old 01-19-2015, 11:01 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum. You have lots of company here waiting for warmer weather.

RE: Battery... Oops!

There are many helpful '12volt' folks on this site. Using the 'search' function, you'll find many questions and answers about batteries.
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Old 01-19-2015, 12:12 PM   #3
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12 volt, 6 volt, flooded, AGM...

WELCOME!!!!
You will find a LOT of GREAT information here. There are a lot of knowledgeable people here.

Sorry about your batteries... at least no one was hurt.

As for what you should do for replacements... you will probably find a different suggestion from everyone here. Not that it is bad, but you will still have to make the final decision based on these and other thoughts.

I am glad that you are asking first and buying second, as there are a lot of people that just go out and buy and then have replace their first purchase because it will not accomplish what they needed to accomplish.

Instead of me writing 1K lines, it would be best to read HANDY BOB SOLAR's blog. Understand that he has his own personal favorites but you will get the BIG PICTURE of RV/SOLAR.
https://handybobsolar.wordpress.com/

Before you buy, you will need to answer a few basic questions:
- How much dry-camping do you plan on doing? (weekend, days, weeks..)
- How much power do you think you will use in a day/night?
You can do some basic calculations (Tv watts/4 hrs of Tv/night), radio...)
- Are you better off going with a generator (Honda 2K) or SOLAR$$$?
- How many Ah batteries do you need to meet your loads?
- How are you going to re-charge the batteries each day?
and the list goes on.
- Is the SOLAR just to keep the batteries topped off (FLOAT)?

I personally prefer the 2 6VDC batteries with a higher Ah rating. Others prefer going with 12VDC batteries. Since this is your first venture into the world of camping, it is better and cheaper to LEARN on the 12Volt batteries, because I guarantee that you will kill them, and they are a lot cheaper to replace.

When you decide on what you are going to do, go out and buy a BATTERY Monitor. When dry camping you will live by this digital display.
Just my thoughts,

Don

You can see my TT's solar setup by clicking on the link below.
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250Watt Grape Solar Panel, MorningStar MPPT 60 Charge Controller
1500 Watt Ramsond PSI, 2 Trojan T145 Batteries (260Ah)
2 - AirSight Wireless IP Cameras (used as rear view cameras)
EnGenius WI-FI extender, D-Link wireless (n) modem
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Our Solar Album https://www.jaycoowners.com/album.php?albumid=329
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Old 01-19-2015, 12:44 PM   #4
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First congratulations on the new TT, sorry about your battery incident. Mustang65 has a lot of the critical items covered. You stated you HAD two batteries on the shelf. Are/where both of those batteries for the TT or was one for something else? If they were both for the TT, I might hold off for a bit before buying a new battery setup, only because you said you are new to travel trailers. Go out have some fun; see what your power usage is. For example you or your DW need or want the AC on all the time, if you do, dual batteries will not help. What do you have for lights? Are they incandescent or LEDs? If you have incandescent bulbs; I would first spend your money on LED replacement boards, the china boards are cheap. All my LED light bulb replacements only use the amount of power as one incandescent bulb, huge power savings. Also note, that there are a lot of phantom power drains in your new TT, such as CO gas detector, radio, frig, etc. Bring an amp/voltage meter along with, check your battery and power drain. By the way your furnace fan will drain your battery in one night.

If you really plan to be off the grid, you really should figure out a conservation plan, and have a double 6V golf cart battery setup. After that, I recommend figure out a charging method, maybe a generator (Honda/Yamaha), or solar. I like the idea of solar, but they cost a lot, and the small little ones you find at Menards and the like, will not do much more than keep your battery topped off, do not expect it to charge your battery from 50% discharge in a single day. I do know a few people that have those small units on a PU which only have 2-3 lights and it is just fine, but then they never go out when it is cold ether.

On two 12V batteries with LED conversions, I can easily go 5 days when I do not need heat.
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Old 01-19-2015, 01:02 PM   #5
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Thank for the advice, it sounds like there are many variables to consider.

I have upgraded most of the lights to LED. I know a generator would be a nice option but I am really not looking to spend that much until i know if it will be of use. The solar set up i was thin king would more of at float or maintainer, looking at possibly an 100 watt system that could be upgraded in the future.

The other battery on the shelf was for my 1942 Jeep Willys but i do have an old marine battery that came used with my pop up that i traded in. I do not know the history of this battery which is why i would like to replace it, it does work to run the lights and slideout the couple of times I have stopped by the storage yard this winter.
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Old 01-19-2015, 06:44 PM   #6
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One thing batteries do not like is being cold when they are not at a full charge. Eventually the water will freeze. Not sure as to how cold it is where you have the TT stored or if it is plugged into shore power, but the next time you are there plug it into your TV and let it charge for awhile. When you are ready to leave unplug and pull the main fuse by the battery box, this will keep the phantom power drains from discharging your battery.

Just my thoughts,

Don
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2013 Jayco Eagle 284BHS
250Watt Grape Solar Panel, MorningStar MPPT 60 Charge Controller
1500 Watt Ramsond PSI, 2 Trojan T145 Batteries (260Ah)
2 - AirSight Wireless IP Cameras (used as rear view cameras)
EnGenius WI-FI extender, D-Link wireless (n) modem
MagicJack Internet Phone
2012 Ford F150XLT, EcoBoost w/3.73
157" Wheel base, HD Towing Package

Our Solar Album https://www.jaycoowners.com/album.php?albumid=329
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