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Old 05-23-2011, 01:06 PM   #1
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upgrade 12v battery

took our maiden voyage last weekend, had a great time. We were at a state park with no electric and the weakness of the dealer supplied battery (Interstate HD24-DP) was sad. Got about a day and a half by rationing lights and such.

I want more capacity, but do not want to spend $300 for a pair of 6V. i know it's a "better" set up, but I do not plan on boon-docking more than 4 days at a time.

My current battery is rated at 100 RC and lasted about 1.5 days. If i added a 2nd 12V but a bigger one (like the SRM-27B - RC is 180min), that should get me close to 4 days of light usage

Is it OK to parallel batteries of different size? Same voltage, same chemistry, so i would think so but am not sure.
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Old 05-23-2011, 02:24 PM   #2
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It is do-able, but it is always best to pair two batteries of the same make, model, and age. I they have the same specs, then it wouldn't matter size or shape, make or model, but usually you have to get the same battery to have the same specs.
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Old 05-23-2011, 02:51 PM   #3
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would it be better to install an A/B switch and switch between the two batteries manually?

I am looking for the best way to push 4 days of juice with cost as a constraint.
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Old 05-23-2011, 04:13 PM   #4
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Get a small generator maybe 1000 watts, with 12 v charging plug. Then you could use it either for just your lights, or charge your batteries. I know there are some inexpensive ones out there if you search around, or possibly find a used one.
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Old 05-23-2011, 04:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
but do not want to spend $300 for a pair of 6V
I have been eyeing the 6 volt batteries at Sams. They are not much more than the 12 volt deep cycle - around $75 or so here. They are no Trojans, but I hear they are pretty good for the price.
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Old 05-24-2011, 07:37 AM   #6
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Please be aware any battery that has a CCA rating is not suitable for RV use. the plates inside are just too thin..
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Old 05-24-2011, 08:13 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by tafische View Post
I have been eyeing the 6 volt batteries at Sams. They are not much more than the 12 volt deep cycle - around $75 or so here. They are no Trojans, but I hear they are pretty good for the price.
Hmmmm - called local Sam's and they have Energizer 6V golf cart batteries for $78.88

That might be the way to go.
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Old 09-26-2011, 07:36 AM   #8
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I installed two 6V golf cart batteries in series and can dry camp for 3 days with no problems (not using the furnace). Their about $100 each is the only draw back.
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Old 09-26-2011, 09:31 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by jpeake View Post
would it be better to install an A/B switch and switch between the two batteries manually?....snip
Yes, I would recommend it with unmatched batteries.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpeake View Post
snip.......I am looking for the best way to push 4 days of juice with cost as a constraint.
Depart home with a fully charged battery(s), don't rely on the trip time to the CG to charge the batteries fully. Use one light fixture at a time, remove one bulb from two-bulb light fixtures, don't use the furnace, and use the CG vault toilets. If you have an electric jack, use the manual over-ride wrench.

If you boondock frequently, then it may be wise to purchase a couple LED upgrade kits (about $25 each).

We all use our AMP energy differently, I could go 3 days easily with my OEM 12V Marine/RV battery (I have since upgraded to two 6V 100% deep cycle batteries).

Jump over to the "Jayco Mods" section of this forum, there are threads on both 12V and 6V upgrades.

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Old 09-26-2011, 10:13 AM   #10
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I have a set of the engergizer GC2's in my rig and they have 2 years and about 30 days of dry camping on them so far. Have to say they have held up and performed very well. We run an inverter on them as well as heat in the cooler months without issues. You can use your TV to charge them up for a few minutes daily if you don't want to spend or have no other uses for a genny.

For the money I don't think you can get more battery or plates currently. One issue though is that not all Sam's carry them in all locations, so check first. I had to pick them up while on a trip. If you have golf courses around your area you can ask them where they get their batteries in the area. They may know some good places to send you.

Mixing battery brands, types, age and size always seems to create headaches. Maybe not initially, but somewhere down the line it always seems to surface.

The dealer installed batteries are fine if your going to keep power from an external source 24/7 but if you want to do any dry camping with peace of mind, get 2 good rated 6V or a true 12V deep cycle non-starting type battery. These will have low CCA ratings and some may be solar rated.
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