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Old 09-16-2017, 07:59 AM   #1
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Dual Batteries?

Any suggestions on dual batteries for my Jay Flight SLX 174BH for dry camping over a few days?

I'm sure there are a few options.
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Old 09-16-2017, 08:30 AM   #2
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In the past I have used Trojan 105 6 volt deep cycle batteries, Interstate equivalents, and Excide 6 volt deep cycle golf cart batteries. They all have a minimum 225 amp hours ratings. The Tojans and Interstate golf cart deep cycle batteries tend to be in the $150 or more range while the Exide, Deka deep cycle batteries are in the $90+ range. There are claims that the Trojans and Interstate batteries will last longer but all batteries will go bad after some time and depending on how far you let them run down between charges, temperatures and age. Many people buy Walmart or Cosco 6 volt deep cycle golf cart batteries for $80-$100 and have good service from them. Many times they use Exide, Deka,and other battery makers as their source.

Bottom line is to get a name brand 6volt deep cycle battery with at least a 225AH rating so that if they go bad you can easily replace them under warranty in different parts of the country.
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Old 09-16-2017, 08:33 AM   #3
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We had room for 2, group 24 batteries in battery boxes on the tongue of our Jay Flight. They were easily to install on the support for the single battery the trailer came with.

You didn't mention your expectations for two batteries: With minimal 12v use, with two batteries you will be able to double the number of days dry camping.... say from 2 to 4. Discharging them too far (below 12v) and for too long will ruin batteries so their state of charge will need to be monitored. You will need to plan, too, for recharging the batteries after using them for dry camping.
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Old 09-16-2017, 09:06 AM   #4
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Best is the dual 6 volt golf kart batteries as mentioned, Next choice is dual group 31 or 27 or 24 depends on your needs. I use the group 27 at present and holds up fairly well during the night when running the furnace. Best is also to install: DC volt + Amp gauge and AC volt + Amp gauge to keep an eye on to the load and use conditions.
The furnace is the highest user of the 12 volt and propane system. At present where we camp the furnace runs during the night of and on as temps are already around freezing.
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Old 09-16-2017, 09:35 AM   #5
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Best is the dual 6 volt golf kart batteries as mentioned, Next choice is dual group 31 or 27 or 24 depends on your needs. I use the group 27 at present and holds up fairly well during the night when running the furnace. Best is also to install: DC volt + Amp gauge and AC volt + Amp gauge to keep an eye on to the load and use conditions.
The furnace is the highest user of the 12 volt and propane system. At present where we camp the furnace runs during the night of and on as temps are already around freezing.
X2, 2-6volt batteries would be your best bet
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Old 09-16-2017, 10:14 AM   #6
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If you can fit the 2 6-volts I agree that would be the best. oldmanAZ's point as to your expectations is a good one. If you primarily boondock the investment in quality 6-volts is the way to go. With the smaller campers such as the 174BH, or my 195RB, cargo capacity is rather limited. I see for the 2018 174BH standard model Jayco has increased the GVWR from 3500 to 3750 which is what my 195RB is rated for. Prior years the standard model topped out at 3500. So that extra 250lbs helps. The dual 6-volts (based on a Trojan T-105) will add about 35lbs more than dual Group 24. Not a whole lot, but when you don't have much cargo capacity to begin with it becomes more important.

We only occasionally boondock so I went the easier route and just added another Group 24 battery. It fits just fine on the tongue without any modification. That provides 85ah usable without running below 50% charge which is plenty of power for occasional camping without electric hook-up. We carry a Champion 2kw generator for recharging or running microwave or the small wall-mount A/C unit.
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Old 09-16-2017, 11:22 AM   #7
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The dual 6-volts (based on a Trojan T-105) will add about 35lbs more than dual Group 24. Not a whole lot, but when you don't have much cargo capacity to begin with it becomes more important.
I thought I should clarify this. After I posted I realized that for the OP, moving from a single battery to dual the weight increase will actually be greater than the value I posted as that was assuming a dual Group 24 setup was already in place. Since the OP is asking about dual batteries that isn't the case.

If you stay with the Group 24 adding a second one will increase cargo by about 42lbs. If you move to the 6-volt, using the T-105 as an example, you'll increase cargo by about 82lbs as the T-105's are approximately 62lbs each. You'll be adding ~124lbs minus the 42lbs of the existing Group 24 that would be removed.

If you haven't scaled your trailer fully loaded and ready for camping I would suggest doing so and ensure that you are comfortable with the overall loading given the increased weight the dual batteries would add. For 2018 the listed dry weight for the 174BH is 2960 with a cargo capacity of 790. I'm sure that the as delivered weight on the yellow sticker is a little higher than that. You may be closer to 725 cargo capacity. The increased weight of the dual 6-volt batteries could be more than 10% of your total cargo capacity.
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Old 09-16-2017, 01:03 PM   #8
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Going the twin 6v is pretty much your best bet if you have the room. Trojan, crown, rolls any good solar or GC class battery is what your looking for. Flooded is best value, agm is more expensive but easy maintenance. Keeping up with charge, water and maintenance is where you get your life. I have rolls batteries on an offgird soloar setup that are six years old and still working at about 90% capacity.

If you augment your twin 6vs with a decent 200w or so solar setup and don't get carried away with usage with good sun it really extends your useable power for quite a while.
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Old 09-16-2017, 09:01 PM   #9
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First off, thank all you so much for the information!

I think a dual 6 makes the most sense. It would be used mainly in situations of only a couple of days.

Also, I plan on getting a Genny at some point. So, during the day, that could be helpful, of course. I sold my Honda with my truck top camper. I have a huge Yamaha that is simply too cumbersome for this rig, but happy when we have a black out at home! (I know from the Airstream forum that the generator conversation could get quite activated if I bring up that question! Lol!!!)

I have an Interstate outlet pretty close here. Any thoughts on Interstate quality?
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Old 09-16-2017, 09:51 PM   #10
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First off, thank all you so much for the information!

I think a dual 6 makes the most sense. It would be used mainly in situations of only a couple of days.

Also, I plan on getting a Genny at some point. So, during the day, that could be helpful, of course. I sold my Honda with my truck top camper. I have a huge Yamaha that is simply too cumbersome for this rig, but happy when we have a black out at home! (I know from the Airstream forum that the generator conversation could get quite activated if I bring up that question! Lol!!!)

I have an Interstate outlet pretty close here. Any thoughts on Interstate quality?
I had a pair of Interstate L-16HCL (420ah) in a Solar-powered outbuilding. I got 10 years out of them though the last couple of years I could tell they were not performing like they used to. Heavy usage during late spring/summer/early fall, then very light usage during the winter months for the years I had them in service. From my experience I wouldn't have any problem going with Interstate.
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