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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Truck Campers- 12V Camper Electrical System Info

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NetBoy

Portland, OR

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Posted: 10/22/05 09:42pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi, there has been many posts over time about 12v issues -- batteries, converters, isolators, charging wire size, etc. The other day I wrote a post in another thread giving my opinion on what components are needed to make up a good solid 12v system for a camper. Here is the link to that post for anyone interested in this topic:

Netboy's Post on a Good 12v Camper System

Remember this is just my opinion on a decent system that balances performance and cost. Many folks will get along fine with lessor systems, and others will have installed better or bigger systems, and that is all good with me.

Happy camping.....

* This post was edited 10/26/05 09:25pm by an administrator/moderator *


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Kenneth

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Posted: 10/22/05 11:09pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sounds very good. The capacity of the betteries depends on how much dry camping you do without electrical hookups, and whether you run a generator.


Ken


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silversand

Montreal

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Posted: 10/23/05 02:40pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

NetBoy:

This is great, but Brad: is there any way to permanently install these 12V well-proven electrical installation posts and upgrades to a heading at the beginning of the list?

Regards,
Silver-


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vanbikehorse

Green Lane, PA

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Posted: 10/23/05 05:19pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Netboy - I have that (with the possible exception that I have a 10 gauge charge wire and 10 gauge ground on the charge as well as the original "shared" 10 gauge ground wire), but that's what the camper pigtail has. I consider this to be kinda the minimum requirements system. I was thinking you would be coming up with the "super" system to give me something to ask for for Christmas!


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Steve_in_29

29 Palms (SEMPER FI), CA 92277

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Posted: 10/23/05 08:29pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you have another 1" of height available in your battery box you can go with the T-145's from Trojan instead of the T-105/125's.


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NetBoy

Portland, OR

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Posted: 10/23/05 11:16pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Steve_in_29 wrote:

If you have another 1" of height available in your battery box you can go with the T-145's from Trojan instead of the T-105/125's.
That is true. But on my boat where I have plenty of head-room, I still used T-125's (4 of them in 2 banks). The decision was based on price -- the T-125's sell in higher volume than the T-145's, and the price is at a sweet spot. The T-145's were quite a bit more for a small increase in capacity.

But if you have the head room, and only room for 2 batteries, the T-145's would be a great setup.

An interesting battery titbit: D8 sized deep cycle batteries (sometimes called a traction battery and popular for buses and commercial trucks) used to be popular in boats and some RVs, but now golf car batteries have taken their place. Two golf car batteries weight about the same as one D8 (66 pounds each vs 132 pounds for the D8) -- but the golf car batteries are SOOOOOO much easier to handle. So now banks of two 6v golf car batteries in series are the market favorite over traction batteries.

Most places that specialize in batteries sell a pre-made heavy-duty "jumper" cable that exactly fits between the (+) on one 6v battery and the (-) on the other when they are sitting side x side, so switching over to 6v batteries (assuming you have room) is pretty easy.

In my camper I only have room for a single battery, so I am using a Trojan SCS225, which is the size of a group 31 battery, weighs 66 pounds, and has a 130 amp-hour capacity rating. It was about $100 when I bought it, but I think now they are about $115.

Happy camping....

Steve_in_29

29 Palms (SEMPER FI), CA 92277

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Posted: 10/24/05 12:20am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

NetBoy wrote:

.....But if you have the head room, and only room for 2 batteries, the T-145's would be a great setup....
That's exactly why I went with them. I was trying to squeeze the max capacity I could into a 2 battery space. I do agree they were pretty pricey (ouch!!).

NetBoy

Portland, OR

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Posted: 10/24/05 11:31pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Steve_in_29 wrote:

That's exactly why I went with them. I was trying to squeeze the max capacity I could into a 2 battery space. I do agree they were pretty pricey (ouch!!).
Steve, I would have gone with them also if I could have fitted them into my camper. My theory is use the highest capacity batteries that will fit in a camper -- the cost for high quality batteries when ammorized out over 5 years is one of the cheaper parts of owning a camper.

Happy camping....

The Boondocker

warren ma.

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Posted: 10/26/05 06:18pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I ordered my camper with out the geny and I have installed a second batt slide out tray and 2 more batts in there. So I have 4 Trojan 12V Batts with total of 520 AH's with a perco switch to disconect 2 frm camper Also in the works Iam replacing the converter PD9145 with the larger PD9180 w/ the charge wizard. I have one solar pannel on roof and when I can find a company that has another one in STOCK Ill be adding a second one on roof. Also hopping santa will bring my Xantrex 3000 plus inveter for me hope hope Bob kb1jid


  • 1990 Ford E250 Coachmen camper 7.3 IDI diesel
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  • Intel-Power ULTRA III Convertor/Charger
  • 2025 TriMetric Battery Monitor
  • LED Interior Lights
  • 9000 Lb Superwinch and bumper
  • Honda 2000i
  • GPL-31T AGM Lifeline battery



NetBoy

Portland, OR

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Posted: 10/28/05 09:56pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

watt/ham wrote:

I ordered my camper with out the geny and I have installed a second batt slide out tray and 2 more batts in there. So I have 4 Trojan 12V Batts with total of 520 AH's with a perco switch to disconect 2 frm camper Also in the works I'm replacing the converter PD9145 with the larger PD9180 w/ the charge wizard. I have one solar pannel on roof and when I can find a company that has another one in STOCK I'll be adding a second one on roof. Also hoping santa will bring my Xantrex 3000 plus inveter for me hope hope. Bob...
WOW -- that is an amazing system you have installed. You are no-doubt good for weeks of boon-docking in sunny country.

My system is pretty minimal -- one Trojan 12v deep cycle (SCS225), a good 3-stage converter/charger, and a Honda EU2000i. Solar may be in my future, but I am located in a part of the country that has more rain and clouds than sun. I will be installing a West Marine battery combiner with remote switch to toggle between "auto/manual off/manual on" soon. This will let the truck batteries charge from the camper converter when on shore power, or the camper battery charge from the truck alternator while driving. And I will be able to manually combine batteries for emergencies (starting truck for example).

Happy camping!

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