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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers

 > adding a second battery

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cpaharley2008

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Posted: 03/23/09 03:55pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'd like to add another 12 volt battery to my trailer. The battery already there is one year old. Someone told me that with 3 batteries now-two in trailer and one in tv, the alternator will charge the weakest battery and the stronger, newer battery will not get fully charged?
They also mentioned a battery isolator/ What is that and are they only applicable to multiple trailer battery set ups? I'd rather not have to replace both trailer batteries in order to have equal batteries besides my tv battery? Can anyone shed some light here?


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skipnchar

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Posted: 03/23/09 04:11pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

They told you incorrectly. Your alternator will charge all batteries regardless of their age. It is the BEST situation to have batteries of the same size, same brand and same age but not necessary by any means.

Battery isolaters simply separate your trailer batteries from the battery on the tow vehicle. Unless you're towing with a Ford or Toyota it probably wouldn't be a BAD idea but you can accomplish the same thing with Dodge or GM by simply unplugging the umbilical cord. With a Ford or Toyota the battery is ALWAYS isolated any time the ignition key is in the off position.

It would probably be MORE useful to install a battery isolator switch between the trailer batteries and the trailer itself to prevent items in the trailer like CO detector, LPG detector from discharging your batteries while the trailer is in storage and not plugged in. In EITHER instance they do NOT apply only to multiple battery set ups. Any time you tow a trailer you have a multiple battery situation (one in the tow and one in the trailer) and they charge just fine. Nothing changes when you add a third battery.


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Rolling Condo

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Posted: 03/23/09 05:49pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For a good understanding of batteries, chargers, inverters, etc. I suggest you look here > 12V side of life part 1
and here> 12V side of life part 2


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tvman44

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Posted: 03/23/09 06:52pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You'll be fine, go with it. There are more old wives tales on here than truth.


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bucky

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Posted: 03/28/09 05:18am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My friend with an Expedition can tell you that his TV battery is NOT isolated. My F250 is, maybe it's just the pick ups. I had to jump him in the AM after a furnace night at Wally World.


I just realized that my last 4 trucks were gas GMC, diesel Ford, gas Chevy, and now a diesel Dodge. I didn't realize I was so open minded lol.

kschitoskey

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Posted: 03/28/09 07:49am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I just upgraded to 2 Golf Car 6 volt batteries following the directions on 12 Volt Side of Life site. I found some "factory blems" which had some cosmetic damage at a local industrial battery supply. They ran $35 each - I also put a battery cut off switch on at the same time. Awesome advice on this site.

Good luck.


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campalaska

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Posted: 03/28/09 01:03pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

kschitoskey wrote:

I just upgraded to 2 Golf Car 6 volt batteries following the directions on 12 Volt Side of Life site. I found some "factory blems" which had some cosmetic damage at a local industrial battery supply. They ran $35 each - I also put a battery cut off switch on at the same time. Awesome advice on this site.

Good luck.


you got 6 volt deep cycle batteries for $35 each? where can i find that deal?


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smkettner

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Posted: 03/28/09 01:12pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

cpaharley2008 wrote:

I'd like to add another 12 volt battery to my trailer. The battery already there is one year old. Someone told me that with 3 batteries now-two in trailer and one in tv, the alternator will charge the weakest battery and the stronger, newer battery will not get fully charged?


Well they are wrong and gave poor advice. As long as all batteries are in good shape they will all charge together just fine. Up to four in parallel on the trailer is fine.


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kschitoskey

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Posted: 03/31/09 07:15am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have a local place called Moreco - it's a local industrial battery distributor. I asked one of the aircraft mechanics at work where they source batteries for our King Airs. He sent me to Moreco. They buy batteries in large quantities and get some factory blems regularly. They never know what kind of blems they will get; they day I stopped by they happened to have a couple. Call your local industrial battery supply and ask them.

Kevin

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