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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  Modifications and Accessories

 > 2 12v batteries---Mallard TT help

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RustyMacIntosh

Fresno, Cal

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Posted: 11/29/19 07:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm not new to RV's, I've been using a 19ft Mallard for my jaunts over the past decade. I was gifted a 34ft Class A but it is too big, I prefer the TT. The motorhome will go for sale.

I struggle at times. Due to an industrial accident a decade ago, sometimes I need pointed advice to make sure I do not screw things up. Things happen when the brain is injured.

Going back to the Mallard, one aspect that always annoyed me was the lack of house battery(s). So before we leave again for a trip to Kansas from California I need to solve two issues.

1) Getting a charge to the house battery from the tow vehicle while traveling. I use a 99 Suburban. I'm not sure if I just need to install a 12v plug in the rear (I have rear AC so there is power there), then string a line out the back window connecting to the house battery. Or hardwire it from the pigtail connection at the trailer and Suburban. Not sure how to do this.

2) Issue two that I need to solve is installing two 12v batteries rather than one at the outside front of the Mallard. I am thinking, if I got this right, that I can put two 12v batteries behind the propane tanks. There is room. But hooking up the lines to the trailer I need not to wire it in such a way it is 24v. My guess is I need to run a hefty wire from both pos terminals to the trailer 12v. And likewise, two negatives to the neg connection on the trailer.

I have that right?

In the past, I always brought a couple of those 12v power packs. In the trailer running things such as a computer or whatever, I used those power packs. While I still will bring them, before I leave I want to install several 12v plugs inside my trailer.

One plug, to an inverter to run an electric blanket. Since I have a generic Fleetwood the insulation is not all that great. I do have a good working furnace and 14g of propane upfront. But....you know, tootsies get cold... A 60w electric blanket might suffice.

WayneAt63044

St. Louis, MO

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Posted: 11/29/19 08:18am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I wear socks to bed at night when it is cold and plenty of quilts keep us toasty warm. Be sure the socks are fresh and dry; not the ones you have worn all day. Have done this in Quartzsite for years when the overnight lows are in the 30s. Running an electric blanket seems to me a waste of precious battery power when off the grid. I reckon a trip to KS in the winter is another thing. When we leave St. Louis for the desert in January the weather and temps determine if we travel through OK City and Amarillo or take a more southern route. Your KS trip is north of our northern route.

I, too, have wanted more battery charging from the tow vehicle but have never tackled that issue. Shouldn't be too hard to do with heavier wire routed to a separate connector added where the trailer connects to the tow vehicle and heavier wire to the batteries. I have always had 2 12V batteries in parallel as our TT has always had the space for both. We used an inverter generator every few days in the desert but then we were boondocking with no neighbors to disturb and our nearby friends did the same. Just didn't watch TV or run much electronic gear. It's a great time to read. I also used a 12V battery charger from an 400W inverter I added to the tow vehicle. We have survived 2 weeks that way without a problem. The issue was breaking camp to dump the holding tanks and resupply freshwater. Will you have to travel with the water system winterized? Just my 2 cents worth. Good luck, surely you'll get more useful advice/experiences.


2012 Forest River V-Cross Vibe 826VFK
pulled by 2009 Ram 1500 Quad Cab Hemi

2oldman

Ca

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Posted: 11/29/19 09:18am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A heated mattress pad is also good because heat rises. It uses very little power. I don't consider staying warm in bed a waste of battery.
RustyMacIntosh wrote:

One plug, to an inverter to run an electric blanket.
Make sure it's a pure sine inverter. The newer blanket controls don't do well with cheap inverters.

Lwiddis

Los Angeles area :(

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Posted: 11/29/19 09:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

“Getting a charge to the house battery from the tow vehicle while traveling.”

You’ll get minimal recharging via the tow vehicle. Solar is the easy way to recharge. Maybe a hassle to install but then it just works.


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, 300 watts solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL pole for flags. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, USF&WS, state & county camps. Bicyclist! 14 year Army vet - 11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560)


Harvey51

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Posted: 11/29/19 09:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I also think it will be disappointing to heat anything with battery power. Propane heat is the way to go for heat.

Charging from the tow vehicle will also be frustrating unless a fairly heavy wire and very low resistance connectors can be implemented. In my experience a 100 watt solar panel is far better for charging and you won’t be leaving your tow vehicle running when camping.


2004 E350 Adventurer (Canadian) 20 footer - Alberta, Canada
No TV + 100W solar = no generator needed

RustyMacIntosh

Fresno, Cal

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Posted: 11/29/19 09:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Harbor Freight had a good sale today, a 1500wt inverter for 88 bucks. I'm off to Lowes to get some 10g or like black and red wires, connectors and clips. Maybe someone has deep cycle batteries on sale too

I have two big 6vt house batteries just installed on my motorhome but they weight about 300# each...maybe I can find a pair of batteries cheaper

Lwiddis

Los Angeles area :(

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Posted: 11/29/19 10:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Never encountered a 300 pound RV battery. Industrial, yes. Did you reenforce the compartment floor?

* This post was edited 11/29/19 10:43am by Lwiddis *

2oldman

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Posted: 11/29/19 10:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

RustyMacIntosh wrote:

Harbor Freight had a good sale today, a 1500wt inverter for 88 bucks.
That's a good price, but not a good inverter. Please re-read my post.

2oldman

Ca

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Posted: 11/29/19 10:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Harvey51 wrote:

I also think it will be disappointing to heat anything with battery power.
That's a general rule, but it doesn't apply for mattress pads. Mine uses very little power, and the heat is trapped by blankets. We're not talking about heating a room here.

* This post was edited 11/29/19 10:44am by 2oldman *

Lwiddis

Los Angeles area :(

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Posted: 11/29/19 10:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I’ve stayed away from HF inverters since, the last time I checked, they were not PSW.

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