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Open Roads Forum  >  Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping

 > Battery questions for boondocking

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Thermoguy

Graham, WA

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Posted: 10/28/20 06:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

kfp673 wrote:

Sounds like Costco 6V batteries are the most popular. We are Costco regulars but my local store does not stock these, however they can order them. Costcos website does have mixed reviews on those batteries however but I suspect most is taking care of them. Not exactly sure what that means but that seems to be the reviews. Thanks again all. I think 2 6V batteries are in my future!


I was concerned about the Costco reviews, so I bought mine at Batteries Plus. They are Duracell 6V, they have a couple different options. So far working great.

valhalla360

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Posted: 10/29/20 06:11am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

kfp673 wrote:

Yes I meant inverter generator. I use 2x 2000 w Champions with a parallel kit and a 50amp plug. Works great and is relatively quiet, but even still we dont like to run it for more than a few hours per day, and do not want to run it over night. When traveling long distances and stopping at walmart just to sleep I dont mind running them at all, but when we are in the woods we prefer the natural quiet. Thanks for the suggestions!


Unless you are running the air/con, you should be able to operate a single 2000w generator to cover the battery charger.

You likely won't get to 100% charge with 1-2hr of charging but you should be mostly full. The last 10% the batteries absorb very low amperage, so it takes a long time to hit 100%.

But as long as it's just a weekend here and there, no issues. Just make sure to plug it in and fully charge the battery bank when you get home. Lead acid batteries like to be stored at 100% charge but if it's just over a long weekend where they top out at 80-90%, it's not an issue.


Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV


kfp673

PA

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Posted: 10/29/20 02:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

valhalla360 wrote:

kfp673 wrote:

Yes I meant inverter generator. I use 2x 2000 w Champions with a parallel kit and a 50amp plug. Works great and is relatively quiet, but even still we dont like to run it for more than a few hours per day, and do not want to run it over night. When traveling long distances and stopping at walmart just to sleep I dont mind running them at all, but when we are in the woods we prefer the natural quiet. Thanks for the suggestions!


Unless you are running the air/con, you should be able to operate a single 2000w generator to cover the battery charger.

You likely won't get to 100% charge with 1-2hr of charging but you should be mostly full. The last 10% the batteries absorb very low amperage, so it takes a long time to hit 100%.

But as long as it's just a weekend here and there, no issues. Just make sure to plug it in and fully charge the battery bank when you get home. Lead acid batteries like to be stored at 100% charge but if it's just over a long weekend where they top out at 80-90%, it's not an issue.


Yes for sure. I think cold/cool weather for sure. I just do it out of habit. Also, I feel like running 2 in eco mode actually runs a little quieter. Sounds crazy but items like coffee maker will make 2 ramp up RPM and makes 1 scream. Radio, lights, water pump, etc. cause a single to go up and down where 2 run pretty consistent. Last weekend we camped 3 nights and I averaged running the gen 2-3 hours per day. the last night it dropped into the 30's and that's when my battery died over night. I think going 2 6V's and still brining 1 or 2 Gen's with me is the ticket.

valhalla360

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Posted: 10/29/20 03:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

kfp673 wrote:

valhalla360 wrote:

kfp673 wrote:

Yes I meant inverter generator. I use 2x 2000 w Champions with a parallel kit and a 50amp plug. Works great and is relatively quiet, but even still we dont like to run it for more than a few hours per day, and do not want to run it over night. When traveling long distances and stopping at walmart just to sleep I dont mind running them at all, but when we are in the woods we prefer the natural quiet. Thanks for the suggestions!


Unless you are running the air/con, you should be able to operate a single 2000w generator to cover the battery charger.

You likely won't get to 100% charge with 1-2hr of charging but you should be mostly full. The last 10% the batteries absorb very low amperage, so it takes a long time to hit 100%.

But as long as it's just a weekend here and there, no issues. Just make sure to plug it in and fully charge the battery bank when you get home. Lead acid batteries like to be stored at 100% charge but if it's just over a long weekend where they top out at 80-90%, it's not an issue.


Yes for sure. I think cold/cool weather for sure. I just do it out of habit. Also, I feel like running 2 in eco mode actually runs a little quieter. Sounds crazy but items like coffee maker will make 2 ramp up RPM and makes 1 scream. Radio, lights, water pump, etc. cause a single to go up and down where 2 run pretty consistent. Last weekend we camped 3 nights and I averaged running the gen 2-3 hours per day. the last night it dropped into the 30's and that's when my battery died over night. I think going 2 6V's and still brining 1 or 2 Gen's with me is the ticket.


Sounds like a good plan for 5-6 weekends per year.

Now if you are doing weeks or 20-30 weekends per year, a solar system starts making sense so you don't have to mess with the generator as much.

ppine

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Posted: 10/29/20 03:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I use a Little Buddy type heater much more than the furnace.
Get some good sleeping bags.

pianotuna

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Posted: 10/29/20 04:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

valhalla360 wrote:

kfp673 wrote:

valhalla360 wrote:

kfp673 wrote:

Yes I meant inverter generator. I use 2x 2000 w Champions with a parallel kit and a 50amp plug. Works great and is relatively quiet, but even still we dont like to run it for more than a few hours per day, and do not want to run it over night. When traveling long distances and stopping at walmart just to sleep I dont mind running them at all, but when we are in the woods we prefer the natural quiet. Thanks for the suggestions!


Unless you are running the air/con, you should be able to operate a single 2000w generator to cover the battery charger.

You likely won't get to 100% charge with 1-2hr of charging but you should be mostly full. The last 10% the batteries absorb very low amperage, so it takes a long time to hit 100%.

But as long as it's just a weekend here and there, no issues. Just make sure to plug it in and fully charge the battery bank when you get home. Lead acid batteries like to be stored at 100% charge but if it's just over a long weekend where they top out at 80-90%, it's not an issue.


Yes for sure. I think cold/cool weather for sure. I just do it out of habit. Also, I feel like running 2 in eco mode actually runs a little quieter. Sounds crazy but items like coffee maker will make 2 ramp up RPM and makes 1 scream. Radio, lights, water pump, etc. cause a single to go up and down where 2 run pretty consistent. Last weekend we camped 3 nights and I averaged running the gen 2-3 hours per day. the last night it dropped into the 30's and that's when my battery died over night. I think going 2 6V's and still brining 1 or 2 Gen's with me is the ticket.


Sounds like a good plan for 5-6 weekends per year.

Now if you are doing weeks or 20-30 weekends per year, a solar system starts making sense so you don't have to mess with the generator as much.


The less time you use the rv the more sense a small solar installation makes. Every starts with the battery bank full.


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, soon to have SiO2 batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

Blazing Zippers

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Posted: 10/29/20 10:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A comment about Costco batteries;
I've been screwing around with either sets of two 6 volt batteries, or now I have 4 6 volt Costco batteries. Costco is a great company to work with, they are everywhere, and have good quality products. HOWEVER!!!! The 6 volt batteries just don't hold up all that well.
We just pulled into town from a 4 week trip where we experienced extreme weather changes. For what it's worth, we charged the batteries with a PD Wildcat to 14.4 volts and about an hour later, the volts were down to under 13---no usage from us except for the propane refer. 3 hours later, the readings were 12.5 with a couple LED lights. The heater ran some in the night and by morning, the volts were right at 12 even. These batteries were installed new in March. The reason these batteries were new, is two of the other Costco batteries failed and the store had me replace all of them.
When these are to be replaced, I'm going to explore Trojan 125s.

pianotuna

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Posted: 10/29/20 11:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Blazing Zippers,

It may be best to desulphate the costco batteries and use 14.8 volts not 14.4.

They may have been chronically undercharged.

valhalla360

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Posted: 10/30/20 06:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pianotuna wrote:

The less time you use the rv the more sense a small solar installation makes. Every starts with the battery bank full.


If the OP can't plug it in at home, a little trickle charger sized solar panel (say 25-50watts) is OK but a big expensive solar system makes no sense.

A trickle charger won't do anything to eliminate the need for the generator for those weekends when he's using battery power and needs to replace it. (if he can plug in at home, it makes no sense)

pianotuna

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Posted: 10/30/20 09:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Valhalla360,

A solar system is the nearest thing to a free lunch anyone is likely to see. My 2005 panels continue to produce their rated output.

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