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 > Best Dry Camping Battery Combination?

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smokemtony

Northern California

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Posted: 04/22/07 04:19pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My wife and I just bought our first TT, a 25' Summit. We will be doing a lot of dry camping in Yosemite, Lake Tahoe areas. I am thinking of replacing the existing basic battery with either 1 Energizer "commercial 4DLT", 12v, 825 CCA ($97), OR two Energizer 29HM with 675 CCA ($65 each), both available at Sam's Club. What would you recommend? How often and how long do some of you run the generator just for recharging purposes? Also, how do you mount the larger batteries?

I just bought the Honda EU2000i generator for recharging purposes and running the microwave occasionally. I know it won't handle the A/C. I'm o.k. without the A/C.

Also, I forgot...no tv in the TT. We will run very conservative on power, little to no microwave, no tv, etc. Most of our camping will be outside the trailer. We will occasionally use a portable DVD player for pre-bedtime for our young kids. We will be running the heater at night (mid to high 30's temperatures), and night-time lights in the TT.

Thanks all. I know I've got lots of questions here.

* This post was edited 04/22/07 04:36pm by smokemtony *


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skipnchar

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Posted: 04/22/07 04:37pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don't think you want to be putting starting batteries in your trailer for dry camping use. When a battery lists CCA (cold cranking amps) that is a pretty good indication it is not a deep cycle battery since they are generally NOT rated for cranking anything. The best all around battery combination for dry camping is the T-105 Trojan 6 volt golf cart batteries or something that is equivalent to them. The bigger solid lead plates allow them to stand up to many charge/discharge cycles without damaging them. Starting batteries designed for cranking engines will not stand up well to repeatedly being discharged and charged as they are intended to be kept at full charge pretty much constantly. good luck / Skip


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blue318

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Posted: 04/22/07 04:38pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

CCA (cold cranking amps) are starting/marine batteries. A true deep cycle does not show cranking amps as it is not used to start an engine. If you plan on dry camping then Trojan 105's or equivalent are the batteries that you need. The batteries that show CCA and Reserve capacity are not true deep cycle and will not last long under heavy use; nor will they have a long service life.

smokemtony

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Posted: 04/22/07 04:40pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I should have mentioned that the Energizer 29Hm is a RV/Marine battery. I think these are deep cycle, but not sure.

Thanks

GrankidsRfun

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Posted: 04/22/07 04:44pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If I drain the TT battery, how long will it take to charge the battery with my Honda 2000 with the TT plugged into the gen? Or do I need to disconnect the battery and charge it directly hooked to the Honda?


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smkettner

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Posted: 04/22/07 04:53pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Get four 6v from Sam's. Get a single box that will hold all of them. Forget CCAs you need amp hours. The four 6v will give about 450 amp hrs and they will recover better from 50%+ discharges.


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skipnchar

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Posted: 04/22/07 04:53pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

GrankidsRfun wrote:

If I drain the TT battery, how long will it take to charge the battery with my Honda 2000 with the TT plugged into the gen? Or do I need to disconnect the battery and charge it directly hooked to the Honda?

First let me say that you should NEVER discharge any battery greater than about 50% or even good deep cycle batteries will have their service life shortened. That being said, how to best charge your batteries depends on what you're charging them with. Some trailers have very good 3 stage smart chargers and others have only a bulk type charger and some older ones have only a trickle charger. If you have a good smart charge system on your trailer then that would likely be the way to charge, just connecting to the generator. If anything else, you'd be better off buying a stand alone battery charger that IS a three state charger. Charging directly from the generator would be about the LAST choice for battery charging as it would take a couple of days at 8 amp max output.

I'd suggest you take a look at the great articles in "the 12 volt side of life". http://www.ccis.com/home/mnemeth/12volt/12volt.htm

Good luck / Skip

smokemtony

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Posted: 04/22/07 05:04pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

smkettner - thanks for the information! I was just getting "schooled" on your 4-6v idea at http://www.batteriesnorthwest.com/index.cfm?opt=tech&TID=9 .
This looks like the proper/best way to go. Do you just build your own box? Can four 6v fit across the trailer tongue area?

smkettner

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Posted: 04/22/07 06:45pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I bought my single box that holds four 6v from www.alliedbattery.com. My box fits snug in my front compartment. There are also dual 6v boxes that might fit better on the tongue. Either end to end or side to side is available. You probably will need to add some angle iron to the tongue to place all the batteries in a row.

roadrashray

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Posted: 04/22/07 06:52pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had a steel frame box built across my A frame(trailer tongue) for four golf cart batteries. It must be well built as the batteries weigh apprx 60lbs each. You will want the battery boxes built so each battery is in a rubberized box enclosed by a bolted steel frame to keep eveything in place when you're bouncing around in the boonies or worse the ugly CA freeways up there. You might get away with two golf carts if most of your camping is over weekends.
Forget the generator if you plan to be doing much boondocking. People that boondock are going there for the QUIET experiance and hate generators. I had two 75 watt solar panels installed on the roof with a digital controller to keep all the electrons moving happily along to those great batteries. Further to the 6V golf carts vs 12V marine. The golf carts are designed to discharge by 80% compared to 50% for the marine. Check Excide web site as they mfg both types. I have boondocked in the mountains of Montana for the entire summer from June through Sept and never had to run my generator. Four golf cart batteries provides awesome storage capacity. I camped down the Oregon coast in the fall with very cold days and constant rain requiring running the furnace and lights through the day. since no sun was available the solar panels couldn't work. I lasted five days wihout charging. I suggest decent warm weather sleeping bags instead of running the furnace at night. I will typically turn the thermostat down to 50 degrees at night. With a couple of adults plus two or more kids you're TT should stay pretty toasty at night in 30 degree weather.
Enjoy

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