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Open Roads Forum  >  Class C Motorhomes

 > Installing a second house battery

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Goodlife

Washington State

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Posted: 06/17/05 10:24pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I recently purchased a new Four Winds 5000 23A. Unfortunately it only has one house battery. Last weekend, with just moderate use, it ran out of power. The Four Winds 5000 Specifications and Options web page does not list a second battery as an option and my dealer (or at least the one service person I spoke to there) didn't know how I can add a second one. My question is, does anyone know of a standard "kit" I could install or some other practical solution to this problem? Your advice is appreciated!

guntruck

MD

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Posted: 06/17/05 10:54pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

With a basic understanding of the charging system and how it works I would imagine you could put an additional one in wired in parrallel.


Rich
2006 Itasca Sunova 34A


Bordercollie

Garden Grove, CA, USA

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Posted: 06/17/05 10:59pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you have enough room in the house battery compartment, perhaps you could install two 6-volt golf cart batteries in series like the Trojan T-105's rated at 225amp-hours. If there's not enough room, you might have a nearby exterior compartment that could be modified to hold two T-105's and run short connector cables to the existing battery cable setup. We have a converter/charger that will charge the our two T-105's at 45 amps to 80% full in 3-4 hours when hooked to campsite power or when running the generator. You may need to upgrade your converter to a 45 amp or higher capacity unit depending on what you have now. You chassis alternator should charge two 6 volt golf cart batteries fully in a couple of hundred miles. BTW, you may want to buy an inverter to run 110volt items like DVD players and small TV's to keep kids amused on the way or when dry camping. Inverters need to be hooked directly to batteries, usually don't work well when plugged into TV cabinet 12 volt dc receptacles due to typical low amperage wiring intended for 9" dc TV's.

Sorney1

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Posted: 06/18/05 04:41am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I guess the first possibility would be if you could hold a larger deep cycle such as a size 31? Or as suggested go to 2 batts if you have room. I certainly wouldn't scrap a good brand new 12 volt deep cycle to put in two 6s unless you are a boondocking type with solar cells, etc. sounds to me that if it died with moderate use it might have been not fully charged or maintained? do you have a solar charger on the MH? If not add one. If you have no room for an onboard second battery you could of course just carry a spare and if needed hook it up with jumper cables, not very neat but in an emergency it would work.

Goodlife

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Posted: 06/18/05 10:50am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the suggestions. I will first check out the size since it may be possible to just buy a bigger one. I hadn't thought of that. Also, I will check out installing a second battery beside the first one and look at hooking them up in parallel. That's what I was hoping there would be some kind of kit for, but that's probably wishfull thinking. If I'm unsuccessful, I'll look at the other good suggestions including just carrying a spare with jumper cables. Thanks for all the ideas.

TonyMin

Walnut Creek CA

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Posted: 06/18/05 10:59am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

To hook up a second battery you will only need some heavy gauge battery cables of the proper length. Most auto part stores sell them in different lengths.
12v parallel is + to +
6 v series is + to -


'98 Shasta Cheyenne 280 highrise, widebody


HiTech

Texas

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Posted: 06/18/05 12:40pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Goodlife,

Did you start with a fully charged battery? Many folks assume that the goofy little charge indicator on the information station that says 100% charged works. In fact they are extremely inaccurate and can list fully charged when the battery is quite substantially down.

To get a good charge you might need to have the rig plugged in for 48 hours before setting out.

Also and counterintuitively, a brand new battery does not have it's full capacity, even when charged. The lead plates are smooth and do not have their full surface area. A good discharge (1 time only!) is actually good for the battery as it will cause the acid to etch the plates and increase their surface area tremendously. This in turn increases the charge the plates can hold. Repeated deep discharges will continue the process and eat up the plates eventually.

Jim

patterpusher

Pineola, NC

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Posted: 06/18/05 01:49pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I agree with HiTech but would like to add one precaution. It is a little dangerous to connect two batteries in parallel unless they are the same make, type, capacity, and age. A fault in one battery will rapidly discharge the other. The strongest battery will keep trying to charge the weaker one. The best case would be to buy two batteries of the same kind at the same time if you want a parallel connection. Patter


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Sorney1

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Posted: 06/18/05 05:55pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

patterpusher wrote:

I agree with HiTech but would like to add one precaution. It is a little dangerous to connect two batteries in parallel unless they are the same make, type, capacity, and age. A fault in one battery will rapidly discharge the other. The strongest battery will keep trying to charge the weaker one. The best case would be to buy two batteries of the same kind at the same time if you want a parallel connection. Patter


or just use two "different' batteries and buy a boating battery switch so you can switch from A to B when you run down A.
Can switch to A/B when charging.

patterpusher

Pineola, NC

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Posted: 06/18/05 10:37pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sorney1:
That works. Gives you a reserve so you know when your half used up on power and only a tad more inconvenient. Patter

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