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Old 09-09-2020, 12:57 PM   #1
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Battery Upgrade questions

Got our used 2019 174BH a couple weeks ago, took it for a quick overnight the first weekend, most things worked great, a few minor issues found and fixed. We had shore power.

Second weekend, we went to a state park that had no hookups for 2 nights, we barely used any lights or power, but the second night, our group 24 battery was low enough that when the toilet was flushed, the lights shut off.

Not sure if the battery that came with it is just too old? But I plan to get it tested this week.

We only have 1 more trip planned this year but it has shore power, so I am thinking of holding off to buy the new battery until next spring, then get two new ones.

My question is, my current battery is a Centennial DP24MFS 650. Should I look at two of those, or is there a better battery to get?

Also, would it be cost effective to upgrade to a pair of Group 27 batteries instead of the Group 24?
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Old 09-09-2020, 08:33 PM   #2
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Your battery now is around 60ah and probably lasted about as well as I would think. A 27 group will have around 80ah. So 2- 27 group batteries at 160ah would definitely increase power storage.
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Old 09-09-2020, 08:44 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by JaycoMLOK View Post
Your battery now is around 60ah and probably lasted about as well as I would think. A 27 group will have around 80ah. So 2- 27 group batteries at 160ah would definitely increase power storage.
That is pretty close to what I was finding on the Centennial battery site, the 27 is 90ah, so 2 of them would be a HUGE increase in battery power over my single 24.

The main differences in the Centennials is the length. The 24 is 11" while the 27 is 12" the other dimensions are very close, width is only .06" difference and the height is only 1/2" taller. Based on the Amazon reviews for the battery boxes I have, a Group 27 battery will fit, so I may just spend the extra $100 and get a set of 27s.

Is there any advantage to buying a name brand battery? I never saw or heard of Centennial until I got this TT 3 weeks ago.
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Old 09-09-2020, 09:04 PM   #4
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Brand vs brand I can’t say. The rv dealers installs the batteries so it whatever they want to use. My dealer installed Interstate’s in mine which I’ve had really good luck with in all my other things. Also the plus for me my son has a automotive shop and is a Interstate battery dealer so I get them at a good discount.
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Old 09-09-2020, 09:30 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by fisduki View Post
Got our used 2019 174BH a couple weeks ago, took it for a quick overnight the first weekend, most things worked great, a few minor issues found and fixed. We had shore power.

Second weekend, we went to a state park that had no hookups for 2 nights, we barely used any lights or power, but the second night, our group 24 battery was low enough that when the toilet was flushed, the lights shut off.

Not sure if the battery that came with it is just too old? But I plan to get it tested this week.

We only have 1 more trip planned this year but it has shore power, so I am thinking of holding off to buy the new battery until next spring, then get two new ones.

My question is, my current battery is a Centennial DP24MFS 650. Should I look at two of those, or is there a better battery to get?

Also, would it be cost effective to upgrade to a pair of Group 27 batteries instead of the Group 24?
I love my single Group 24 battery; said no camper, ever.

From your description, you charged your battery the first trip. Did you disconnect the battery between trips? If not, you battery was discharging from things like the propane detector. In other words, you would have left for the second trip with a depleted battery, at the start.
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Old 09-10-2020, 09:35 AM   #6
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I love my single Group 24 battery; said no camper, ever.

From your description, you charged your battery the first trip. Did you disconnect the battery between trips? If not, you battery was discharging from things like the propane detector. In other words, you would have left for the second trip with a depleted battery, at the start.
Between our first trip to our second trip, I pulled the battery and put it on my battery tender at the house until Friday morning when we loaded up the camper to head out for the second trip. It showed fully charged when I put it back in the TT Friday morning.
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Old 09-10-2020, 10:07 AM   #7
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For the cables connecting the two batteries, do you guys suggest a 6 AWG or 4 AWG cable? IIRC, the cables going into my TT are only 8AWG.
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Old 09-10-2020, 10:10 AM   #8
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Whatever battery you install, I'd suggest disconnecting them when not using the trailer. As mentioned, the slow drain from the trailer can take the batteries right down. Whenever that happens, the battery life is shortened. If you want them to last as long as possible, keep them properly charged and disconnect completely between use.
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Old 09-10-2020, 10:13 AM   #9
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Another thing to remember, besides the output of the batteries, is how they are taken care of and maintained. If you run them down a few times too low, you can damage them permanently. This is a very common problem.

The key is to know how much power you're using, and keep the batteries charged, even when NOT camping. A portable volt meter is your best friend.
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Old 09-10-2020, 10:35 AM   #10
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In my 2019 174BH, I have an indicator above the sink for displaying tank and battery levels. Does anyone know how it is calibrated?

What I have learned is the battery shouldn't be drained below 50%, so when I press the battery button and it shows 50% battery, does that mean we should shut off everything because we have used 50% of the total battery power or is it showing we have used 50% of the usable battery power, so the battery is really at 75%??
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Old 09-10-2020, 10:51 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by fisduki View Post
Between our first trip to our second trip, I pulled the battery and put it on my battery tender at the house until Friday morning when we loaded up the camper to head out for the second trip. It showed fully charged when I put it back in the TT Friday morning.
Sounds like you did the right thing.

The cable between two batteries should be at least as large as the load cable to the trailer. With DC, you can look up distance and draw tables for particular distances. But, in general 2 and 4 guage will suffice and are readily available at auto parts shops.
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Old 09-10-2020, 10:52 AM   #12
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It's best to buy a decent volt meter and measure your battery when you are showing 50% on that trailer battery monitor. Then you'll have a reference. You might want to install a digital voltage monitor and stay at or above 50%.


https://www.amazon.com/SMAKN-Digital...s%2C161&sr=8-1
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Old 09-10-2020, 11:34 AM   #13
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Lots of good comments. 1st your TT is used. You never know how the previous owner treated the battery, or is it even a relatively new battery. They could have swapped out the battery at the time they sold the TT, with a 10 year old battery from their boat. usually there is a date code sticker on the battery.
  • As other stated discharging the battery below the 50% charge value is a bad thing. If it is done once in a while it is not horrible. I have done it more than once on my 9 year old battery.
  • I would make sure to check the fluid level in the battery. It should always be above the plates, and below the plastic well. If you need to add water, ONLY add DISTILLED water, nothing else.
  • If you are plugged into shore power the battery will automatically charge, so no need to use a battery tender.
It maybe worth pulling the battery and bring it into an automotive center and have them check the battery. Make sure it is fully charged, and been off the charge for a couple hours before checking it. What I have been told a hydrometer test is best.

We boondock not as much as I would like. We still use a cheap group 24 battery. We can easily go two nights on a single charge, without using the furnace (power hog). But we are ultra conservative when needed, and have been know to go 5 nights on a single charge. Incandescent bulbs and fans use a lot of power.

As for battery choices. A well maintained battery should last 8-10 years. As for what type of battery is best for you, is hard to say. If you like to be off the grid, investing in quality batteries may be wise. Lots of options. Most expensive and very nice is the newer Lithium batteries, but you will pay big bucks. Most people who like to boondock use dual 6 volt golf cart batteries. Good power, long lasting, and will not break the bank.
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Old 09-10-2020, 08:16 PM   #14
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Fisduki, I ( and otthers) will be glad to help you. First, like recommended here is get a digital volt meter to install in the camper. Depending on your skill level and desire, you can mount one in a panel or just get one that plugs into a power port and you are done. I got one that does temperature and volts for about $12 on Amazon.
Second thing is to very very carefully measure the battery rails in the front to see if you have enough room to fit 2 bigger group 27/31 plastic battery boxes side by side. Some have room, some donít. Measure the box in the store at the bottom.
Here are some popular battery choices based on NOT having enough room for 2 of the bigger boxes: 2- group24 batteries like you have. Doubles your power and if your battery is near new is the least costly. 120-130 amp hours.
2 GC2 6 volt batteries in series. They will fit in 2 of the smaller boxes but are a little bit taller. This gives something like 210-230 amp hours. Another advantage is that only 1 jumper wire between the batteries.
I would use a #4 cable(s) between the batteries.

If there is room for 2 bigger boxes, that opens up a lot more possible combinations of batteries. Jay
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Old 09-11-2020, 02:41 PM   #15
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I've had good luck over the years with Advanced Auto Parts and its Group 29HM marine batteries. Typically, these are around $100-120 and AAP always has 25% coupons to use. Ends up being a really nice 115 AH battery for about $85. With proper maintenance, these have always held up well for me.

As mentioned above, you should never discharge a battery below 50%. Doing so damages the battery and will reduce its capacity. So, a 115 AH battery should give you ~60 AH of use. This is generally good for light furnace and light use over weekend. Beyond that, you'll need another battery and/or a recharging scheme.
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