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Old 08-27-2015, 12:56 PM   #11
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Please could you help me to understand the best route to go forward:

- I will order a new White Hawk soon
- I am planning to buy AGM batteries and put them inside the trailer or in a cargo compartment in the back to kill the tongue weight and to have them in more secure place (would appreciate comments if this is a bad idea)
- many campgrounds where I will be going will not have hookups, so I would need a solar panel or generator to recharge batteries
- we do not watch TV, so I assume we will not use a lot of the electricity
- however, we have a toddler and I am not sure whether from time to time we would not need to run the air con - then we would need a generator

I am planning to start with the solar panel and check whether the generator is really needed. What kind of size I should be looking at? White Hawks are "solar ready" - does it make things easier? If I move the batteries from the front to the back of the trailer, does it make any difference?
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Old 08-27-2015, 01:36 PM   #12
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X2 Jipsmjim. My Renogy 100 watt solar system was literally the best investment for my TT I ever made.
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Old 08-27-2015, 02:01 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bono View Post
Please could you help me to understand the best route to go forward:

- I will order a new White Hawk soon
- I am planning to buy AGM batteries and put them inside the trailer or in a cargo compartment in the back to kill the tongue weight and to have them in more secure place (would appreciate comments if this is a bad idea)
- many campgrounds where I will be going will not have hookups, so I would need a solar panel or generator to recharge batteries
- we do not watch TV, so I assume we will not use a lot of the electricity
- however, we have a toddler and I am not sure whether from time to time we would not need to run the air con - then we would need a generator

I am planning to start with the solar panel and check whether the generator is really needed. What kind of size I should be looking at? White Hawks are "solar ready" - does it make things easier? If I move the batteries from the front to the back of the trailer, does it make any difference?
Save the bux and stay away from the AGM batteries. Flooded cell deep cycle batteries are a must if you are going to be camping without plugging the RV into the grid.

You'll also need at least 3KW of genset to run an air conditioner.
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Old 08-27-2015, 02:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bono View Post
Please could you help me to understand the best route to go forward:

- I will order a new White Hawk soon
- I am planning to buy AGM batteries and put them inside the trailer or in a cargo compartment in the back to kill the tongue weight and to have them in more secure place (would appreciate comments if this is a bad idea)
- many campgrounds where I will be going will not have hookups, so I would need a solar panel or generator to recharge batteries
- we do not watch TV, so I assume we will not use a lot of the electricity
- however, we have a toddler and I am not sure whether from time to time we would not need to run the air con - then we would need a generator

I am planning to start with the solar panel and check whether the generator is really needed. What kind of size I should be looking at? White Hawks are "solar ready" - does it make things easier? If I move the batteries from the front to the back of the trailer, does it make any difference?
If you run air or a microwave, you need a generator. We DO use a TV after dark, but ours is a 12 V so we don't need a genny for that. Since the solar keeps the 12 v charged our genny hardly ever gets used, but we would still not be without it .
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Old 08-27-2015, 02:14 PM   #15
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@mike837go - I thought AGM are deep cycle batteries. Not taking the costs into consideration, what are benefits of having flooded cell deep cycle batteries over AGM?

@gypsmjim - I understand that I need genny to run microwave. I can survive without this. The only concern I have is whether I would need to run air con for the toddler. We will see.

100 watt solar system is enough to recharge the batteries?
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Old 08-27-2015, 02:21 PM   #16
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I guess we need a little more information...

- Are you only going to be using 12 volt things in the TT?
- Are you going to be purchasing an inverter (converts 12VDC to 110VAC so the doodler can watch cartoons on a rainy day(s))?
- How long are your stays at CG's that do not have hookups?
- Do you have LED's installed in the TT?
- How much power do you need?

As for the batteries, keep them where you currently have the cable that connects your batteries to your TT's charge controller. AGM's are nice but do you really need them? If you are going to put them in the storage compartment, then yes they would be a good choice. They cost a lot more... Deep cycle flooded batteries are cheaper and work just as well. Adding another 30-50 pounds should not be an issue on the tongue weight.

Solar vs generator.. do you park your TT at CG's under trees (shade)? If so do not expect to get the rated output of the solar panel. Add a cloudy day or 2 and your batteries will never reach 90% charge. Depending on the Ah ratings of the batteries you purchase and how far you drain them each night (12VDC is the recommened lowest level you should discharge your batteries - 50% rule), you will have to match that with amount of SOLAR that will recharge them in 4-5 hours of sun the next day. Oh, and your batteries may be rated at 220Ah, but you can only use 50% of that or 110Ah (50% rule).

If you decide to add an inverter in the future so the little one can watch Tv, you need to mount that inverter AS CLOSE TO THE BATTERY as possible.

If you mount the batteries at the rear of the TT, you will need to run the proper size cables to the TT's control center.

Solar ready on most TT's means that at the battery they installed a SOLAR industry plug so you can plug in portable panels to it.

Good Luck,

Don
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Old 08-27-2015, 02:21 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bono View Post
@mike837go - I thought AGM are deep cycle batteries. Not taking the costs into consideration, what are benefits of having flooded cell deep cycle batteries over AGM?

@gypsmjim - I understand that I need genny to run microwave. I can survive without this. The only concern I have is whether I would need to run air con for the toddler. We will see.

100 watt solar system is enough to recharge the batteries?
Absorbed Glass Mat batteries are incredibly solid. You can mount them in any position and vibrate them. And they will still function. But they are NOT deep cycle. They are very thin 'plates' wrapped with fiberglass and just enough electrolyte to function. No vents no spill. They are a starter battery. Short discharge and then recharge immediately.

But, you need thick plates with lots of electrolyte to store lots of electricity. And get it back several times. Deep discharges destroys batteries. So, go with battery that will take that kind of abuse.
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Old 08-27-2015, 02:24 PM   #18
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Bono,
My 100 watt solar works well on sunny says and keeps both batteries fully charged even when we watch TV at night. On cloudy days I start loosing recharging capacity however. I have to respectfully disagree with Mike837go. My Honda EU2000 runs my air-conditioner even with a 100 foot extension cord. However, I don't turn on anything else that would draw a lot of power like the wife's vacuum. It tripped when I tried to use both.
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Old 08-27-2015, 02:36 PM   #19
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Thank you Guys! It all makes a lot of sense.

@Mustang65 – re 12 volt things in the TT: I do not know yet. I think the inverter will be a good thing to be able to recharge the phone, etc. If I install inverter, how does it work – I will have one dedicated socket for 110 V?

As far as LED as concerned – I believe new White Hawks have LEDs. Usually, we will be going for weekend trips, 2-3 days, with probably 2-3 longer trips per year. I am not sure about the tree, etc. now. However, we are in California, so there is usually a lot of sun.

@mike837go – thanks, I thought AGMs are deep cycle. Looks like this is not the best option for me.

@ tawoo – one EU2000 is running your air con? Is this 13.5 btu or 15 btu air con?
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Old 08-27-2015, 02:53 PM   #20
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Absorbed Glass Mat batteries are incredibly solid. You can mount them in any position and vibrate them. And they will still function. But they are NOT deep cycle. They are very thin 'plates' wrapped with fiberglass and just enough electrolyte to function. No vents no spill. They are a starter battery. Short discharge and then recharge immediately.

But, you need thick plates with lots of electrolyte to store lots of electricity. And get it back several times. Deep discharges destroys batteries. So, go with battery that will take that kind of abuse.
Trojan makes several AGMs designated as "12V Deep Cycle".

Battery | Trojan Battery Company

Their Reliant T1275 AGM has 150 AH, but at well north of $300? Maybe not the best option for those of us with a budget.

Their cost is the ONLY thing keeping me from putting an AGM on my trailer. I just can't swallow that price when I don't boondock... I did put an AGM starting battery in DW's X-Terra, and I absolutely LOVE it.
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